Learning and developing your craft making skills can be a tremendous benefit to so many different aspects of your personal development journey. There is something about creating with your hands that is instinctively enriching to your sense of Being. The focus and dexterity takes you out of your head – away from petty worries.
Crafts are perfect for working on our mental as well as physical well-being because it requires us to practice Mindfulness where we intentionally focus on details while consciously blocking out other distractions. With craftwork we can more easily enter a state of mind where we become immersed in the skill and challenge of our task.
In recent years there has been an up-surge of interest in craftwork; from cooking to needlework and pottery to origami. Many people are simply exploring their creativity by making a unique object that reflects their individuality.
But still more are recognizing that their crafting activities are working as a natural antidote to the stresses and pressures of life. There has even been some clinical research in the US conducted with patients who exhibit a variety of stress related symptoms.
Around three out of every four patients involved in the research reported feeling an overall reduced negative emotional state, as well as feelings of being less stressed along with a positive sense of accomplishment.
Craftwork effectively distracts us from our more negative thoughts while providing that sense of accomplishment we all love to feel.
What makes craftwork so effective?
The theory is that the focus that’s involved with crafting stimulates areas of the brain that are largely dormant for most people. A consequence of our pre-packaged, instant gratification, 21st Century world we live in! In effect we are retraining our brains to be patient and create a physical something that would simply not exist without our active intervention.
Craftwork also helps to get you off your phone! Have you noticed that the majority of time that you are on your phone is just because you are bored and looking for a distraction? Not because you really need to be on your phone; but just because you need to be doing something with your hands. You can choose to be distracted, or you can choose to create. It’s really up to you.
From my own experience with crafting, I would always feel my mood lift as I started a new project. I was focusing more and planning the process in my head. Was the result going to be better than my last attempt? I really don’t know. But I ‘felt’ like I was getting better at it and that is what mattered to me. The hardest part for me was just getting started!
One of the great benefits to practicing a craft, other than its positive effect on our well being, is that it can be both a solitary and group activity. Individuals can make it a very personal experience or they can use it to connect with other like-minded crafters.
Crafting for Profit
This may be one of the best benefits, as the options for where you can take your craft are seemingly unlimited. Many people have successfully turned their crafting skills into profitable businesses; providing them with the opportunity to resign from their day job and build their financial freedom while doing something their really love. Typically this involves a period of study with the aim of mastering your craft making skills while you research the business potential of your plan.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with a friend who had successfully transformed her passion for making her own footwear at home into a thriving and profitable business. Annika graciously agreed to be interviewed about her experiences, as I believe her story makes a great case study for this subject.
Case Study: Building My Footwear Brand
I first met Annika several years ago when we were both working in the Corporate world. She liked her job, but she always felt that there was something missing. Her real passion was footwear and she would dream of designing and creating her own line. Her favourite phrase was “ My passion is fashion, but it wont pay the bills!”
One day she found the course she was looking for. It was a 10-Day Footwear Masterclass Program with I Can Make Shoes in London. Several more months went by until finally she took the plunge. With some holiday leave saved up she booked into the course. It ended up being a life changing experience. Not only did it boost her confidence in herself, it opened her eyes to the potential for her business.
Annika learned so much, not just on the technical side of making shoes, but also on the business side of positioning her brand in the market. She explained it this way. “It’s as if Pandora’s box of opportunity had been opened, and there was no way I was going to close the lid again!”
With the knowledge she had gained and the ongoing support of her new community, Annika was able make her first collection from home and test her market at a reasonably low cost. She was still working full-time, but as her business started to get traction she knew the time would come that she would need to commit full time.
All that was 3 years ago. Annika now spends her time between the US and Italy, managing her footwear line. She employs 6 people, and has numerous subcontractors. However, she always remains ‘hands-on’ in the production process. It’s the part of the business she loves the most.
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Related post – 5 Steps To Creating a Mindset For Money.