Admitting defeat isn’t something that comes easy to me. In my mind, there’s always another way. My husband often jokes that if I don’t like the answer – I’ll find a different way to ask the same question. Never give up. It’s my motto.
I had such a strong vision for Blank Canvas. In the months before we launched I spent every moment thinking about it. Imagining, dreaming, creating, designing. I had all these visions of kiddos wearing the art they'd created and smiling from ear to ear. Hand on heart – I honestly thought it was going to be a runaway success - the Aussie version of Seedling!
That’s not to say I haven’t had amazing highs and moments when I’ve thought I was on the precipice of success. But no matter how much I tried to harness that energy – it hasn’t materialised into a long-term viable business.
And I suppose if I’m honest – I get it. We are all time poor. And setting aside time to paint and create with your kids can be a challenge. Now that Sophie is at school full time, even we have less time together to get the paints out. I’ve also learnt it’s our nature to want things to look a certain way – so letting kids be free to create whatever they like is too much for some people. I thought about jumping on the ‘colour me in’ train – but really it would have changed my whole business and I would have become just another person importing crappy templates from China – and that’s never been what I’m about. And lets face it, I'll never be able to compete with the deluge of shiny plastic toys that fill our shops :(
So where to from here?
Well Christmas will be here soon enough and mums and dads across Australia know the summer holidays can be gloriously loooonnnng. Getting kids doing something creative is the perfect entertainment. So it's time for a SALE (you can read the details here).
It’s a sad day when your dreams don’t come true. It’s even sadder when you have to give up. But I am wiser for the experience and grateful for all of my gorgeous customers (it is absolutely true I used to happy dance every time I received a new order).
To those that loved the concept of Blank Canvas from the very beginning and helped spread the word – most significantly Gemma Maver; Claire from Claire Collected and Briar from Sunday Collector – a huge thanks. And of course to my friends and family, especially Pete – thank you for always believing in me. It means the world to know the people you love have your back.
As some have said, I'll probably look back at this time and think of it as a stepping stone. Well if that turns out to be true - it's been a mighty big, slightly crazy step - but one I'm very grateful I got to experience. Here's to the next chapter.