When K Avery-Stallion wanted to take her leather craft business up a level and open a modern lifestyle store, she used a powerful vision board exercise to make it happen.
"Two years before I opened my store, I had been sitting at my desk in front of a pin board with images of my ideal studio space, aspirational storefronts and modern retail interiors. I had a picture of the type of clothes I'd like to sell, books and branding I liked, alongside a classic MaxMara coat that I've always wanted to own. I knew I wanted to open a store, but had no idea HOW! It seemed as impossible as winning the lottery. A year later, a friend told me in confidence about a shop that was becoming available and the next thing I knew, I was sat opposite the landlords convincing them I'd be a great tenant. I had about three weeks to find the three months' rent I needed for the deposit. I had no savings so had to think big and fast!
"I began pitching to all my friends, family and online customers about crowdfunding and before anything was even confirmed or the lease signed, I'd secured some amazing brands like Superga and Taschen who'd agreed to sell me their products on the basis of my pinboard vision! And without the store even having opened and NO money in the bank. It's now 2018, and I've been trading at the store for 14 months, and although the learning curve is steep, my business is growing steadily."
So here we are, seven women on a Sunday morning ready for the Vision Board Workshop. "The idea is that you cut out some images from magazines that appeal to you and add keywords and phrases to hit the message home. And when you've fine-tuned the arrangement, you stick it down, and you hang it up! Somewhere you'll see it daily and let the magic do its thing," says K.
Ruth from Weald Power Yoga set us up with a guided meditation followed by two readings from Journey to the Heart. The first on the playful child and how we need to continue the practice as adults - if you're stuck on something, down tools and go play. The second, 'The Scattered Pieces Will Come Together,' on following your intuition and trusting that all the different facets of yourself will come together to make sense, something with purpose, something with meaning. Not worrying about the connecting thread but working joyfully on the piece that's before you, in your life today. I found comfort in that, good to take the pressure off feeling like you need to have your shit together.
So here is my vision board - a bit rushed as I had to leave early but the elements are there. A bijou home, womb-like, filled with light, music, art, colour and a quote: "I wanted a home that would be easy to live in - comfortable and full of light. It's just the kind of place I was looking for." The other half is travel inspired, places I want to work and things I need to feel alive - love, sunshine, nakedness, playfulness. At the centre of my board is the word 'love', which feeds everything I do.
All in all, a fun and inspiring day in good company. I now have a new tool to work with whenever I need to focus, change something, or set an intention for a more fulfilling future. "The scattered pieces will come together - the scattered pieces of yourself, your project, your life. The connecting thread is love. The picture will be beautiful, wait and see."
St Leonards Modern Goods, 70 Norman Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN38 0EJ.
K also runs 'Learn to Make' workshops so you can craft your British accessory.
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron - several of us have read her book and highly recommend it.
Daniela's tip: rub a couple of drops of orange oil between your hands before you start - "It helps create abundance." Daniela Exley, nutritional therapist and food photographer.