Endless uphill, against the grain and wading through thick treacle...that is how it has been, but I have always seen this little picture in my head. Not too big that I can't handle it myself and not too small to go un- noticed.
Difficult marriage, divorce, losing my home, losing my kids (for that story see HERE), having my life threatened, having to leave my home country and my belongings to come to this strange country with nothing, leaving friends I love behind, dealing with bizarre and hideous behaviour of certain much loved people who I thought I could count on for moral support, (never do that!) ....the one picture I had in my mind never faded, I never lost faith in myself and my goal.
I started engraving in a tiny corner of a spare room, then into a very very tiny room added onto our house(our bathroom was bigger), after my divorce I moved the business into a large garage on an industrial park...then I left Zimbabwe and waitressed for 18 months whilst engraving once again in a tiny corner of a room, this time Brian's dining room!! Then my first rented UK unit was without water or a loo....next was the 2 small rooms I still rent in an industrial park alongside my 3rd office - the new showroom.
I have not put in the lighting as yet and there are a few pictures to put up and a couple of dabs of paint here and there, especially outside, and a little doorbell needs to be added. In time I will upgrade the display cabinets too. All in good time and as and when I can afford it, which is my golden rule!!
My children and my Brian have been too precious for words and I could not have made this happen without their love.
My customers have been awesome, right from the very first one ever, back in 1983, I will forever be grateful to you for your confidence in me and how this in turn helped me build confidence in myself. So many lovely helpful people on the way too, from the friendly forums to those who just pass by like angels, leaving me with sometimes the tiniest of gems, sometimes just a valuable comment. And my dear friends, who have stuck by me and encouraged and made me laugh when I just wanted to cry, offered me a shoulder (even by email) when in the depths of despair, thank you.
Whatever you do in life, never give up and strive to do everything yourself so that you owe no one. Unfortunately you will ALWAYS get the miserable characters who do not want to see you succeed, but they are put in your way to help you to fight on. Nothing is supposed to be easy otherwise you wouldn't appreciate it. A wee butterfly has to fight its way out of it's cocoon so that its wings are strong enough to fly.
I have added a few photos of the showrooms last few days of progress . Next time I will add pics of the new little kitchen/storeroom (which was the old showroom) and the finished workshop...a very important area where it all happens! Also of course, a picture of the outside.
Just to prove my point about the struggling to make one strong...oh yes...we had another storm last night which overwhelmed the drains, which were full of moss which had broken off the roof...and which should not have been there if it had been maintained properly!!!...and my brand new showroom carpet is completely soaked across about a 5th of the room. C'est la vie! My old showroom was flooded only 2 months ago. Such minor problems in the grand scheme of things.
Always count your blessings!