I've always loved workshops, studios, places where people create. I especially love when people create right in their homes, so that the tools of their trade and the fruits of their labour are all around.
There's a beauty to the order that people create when they make lots of any one thing: socks, toys, candles, or in this case, soap! Homemade shelves, systems to keep track of what's what, handwritten labels, and baskets and bins of their products characterize the home workplace.
When you walk into the home of Opeongo Mountain Meadow Soap, the first thing that hits you is the beautiful scent of lavender, and the many other essential oils that go into making Laurie and Jack's beautiful soaps. This is a special scent for me, as we gave away their soap as favours at our wedding.
Their house is simple, warm, and inviting; cats come to greet us, heat radiates from the woodstove, and baskets of onions and garlic adorn the kitchen wall. This home has all the charm and quirks of a house built by hand, and we feel welcome as soon as we enter.
I ask to use the washroom, and am directed through a snowdrift to the outdoor privy. Did I mention that it was -25 degrees Celsius when we visited? It gives a whole new meaning to the expression "freezing your ass off"...
Perhaps my admiration of home-studios comes from a deep-seated desire to have one myself. The dream of working in jeans, having lunch in my own kitchen, sitting to work in the light from a window to craft something useful and beautiful and unique with my hands is almost too dear to me to dare express it out loud.
I love to ask about the leap the artist took to start a home business, and the answer is often the same: "We had no idea it would get this busy. We just wanted to use up our extra goat milk/wool/wood". A hobby turns into a livelihood in small steps, and most craftspeople I speak to seem incredulous that they're actually doing it.
I get daunted by the details: Could I? Should I? What if I don't make any money? This is foolish...I have a great career! It would be crazy to not use my university degree.
Then I think of the fleetingness of time, and the relative shortness of this life here on earth, and I wonder...maybe I should just give it a try with no expectations, and see what happens. Maybe someday I could be the incredulous one, wondering how my little hobby grew into a successful little business!
I am inspired by these craftspeople who spend the day working in their home, heating up soup for lunch, petting their cat now and then, coming up with innovative ways to use the space they have. They help me to keep dreaming when I become too serious, and give me hope that someday, I might just try it myself.
Do you work out of your home, or dream about it? Tell me a bit about it in the comments section!