One class i am glad i took in school
is Economics. In fact i took several classes and now seem to filter my life through the lens of economics. Why discuss economics on a blog dedicated to art business? Hmm, they kind of go hand in hand. Economics is a social science… a science of how money and spending occur, and what impact changes in behavior have on the overall life we know.
That is why the discussion. We have done 4 shows in the past month, and a pattern is beginning to emerge. The market is cautious, and people are holding off on those fun purchases that may or may not be necessary…. those impulse purchases, those little luxuries. At least we are beginning to wonder what the buying consumers are thinking because they are holding on to their pennies, nickles, dimes etc. Images in Bloom has carefully developed products in a variety of prices, to make it more affordable to enjoy luxury of home made olive oil based soap we have developed a small “mini” bar for 50 cents. And last year our soap was selling very well. But this year things are moving kinda slow!
We think it is another economic principle at work…. unemployment leads to shortfall of funds, leads to curtailing of sundry spending, and that means our customers are not as able to spend money to buy soap. The funny thing is that right now this is our only means of income, and the cycle repeats in our home, and business… less income leads to less capability to live, pay bills, buy supplies or even afford the show fees. This is a season, and we remain eternally hopeful that America will stand up again, and find economic footing to get back to a place which allows living space for the middle class.
Come to think of it, i wonder why i said i was glad i took economics in college? Knowing the patterns, cycles, principles, and theories that govern the economy is a double edged sword… You can see patterns emerging whether of increase or decline. Both have their place in life, but they carry far different responsibilities. Knowing that economic cycles occur is good, but understanding when we are in a downswing is also painfully obvious.
Recession? Depression? Yes, i know our government officially tells us that things are looking up, but why are there still so many people out of work, looking for work, willing to work for half what they once made and do just about anything? CLearly we remain in a recession, but i believe this has been a period of depression approaching that of the “Great Depression”.
So why do i think about this? As a young company, and fledgling enterpreneur i want to find my footing and build this small endeavor into something that will provide employment for others, pay my bills, and allow me to save a little for my old age. I have a dream to help women who have need for dignity, income, and purpose. How this will come about is still a plan on paper, but one day i want to be able to say that there are people rescued from the stormy waters of underemployment or unemployment. But I cannot grow my dream until someone visits my tent and supports my efforts with the purchase of a bar of soap, or a scarf, or reblooming bag.
Economics is cyclical, and I know i will look back to this time and remember the struggle was worth the reward and privelege of growing a business. For our economy to begin humming again we all have to begin supporting the local economy – buy from the local butcher, baker and candle stick maker… keep our money in our community, and facilitate growth by buying what you need locally.