Why We Craft


Remnants of a glorious past: At Shively Park in Astoria, Oregon.


Yesterday, I shared a story about why we craft over on my facebook page. It’s an amazing story, and I hope you’ll pop over there to read it. 

However, it’s not my story. And it occurs to me that the why of what we craft is as deeply individual as the what; like the things we make, our impulses to be creative are ours. And there’s never just one reason, is there? 

(Whispering: I was raised with that old axiom, “You should never talk about religion or money in polite company”. . . and I’m about to break it on both fronts in this post. I still think y’all are polite company: but I hope you’ll read on! )

In my case, I shuttered Mireio last year because I was overwhelmed by a new job. It was so much to absorb, I didn’t think I had enough energy to work, volunteer, and be creative. Today, I’m working 3x as much–though I think I understand my job better! But in reality, there should be even less time to be creative. It’s plate spinning 101: if you run fast enough, perhaps nothing will drop?

But I missed it. I missed making. I missed photographing my adventures. And, I won’t lie, I missed the revenue. While money isn’t the only reason we make, it’s often a big part for those of us who choose to sell our wares. Or, maybe it isn’t for you — but I need the money, and making is just one way I can contribute to our household’s bottom line.

This year, my adorable 16 year old decided he wanted to go to college rather than spend 2 more years in independent study as a homeschooled student. “Ok, we said — you’ll need to pass your GED”. He took up the challenge and passed with honors in May. So, a deal is a deal? Right? And while we’re beyond proud of him, there is the reality of college tuition and books. Geo opted, due to his age, to go to our local community college: so, there is that! But even so, it’s an additional $500 a month.

Ok, so now I’m not just talking money, I’m talking numbers. I’m officially gauche. 

Here’s the thing: the part of all this making that scares me the most is the part where I have to sell what I make. I really despise that part. Every post I put up, telling you what I’m up to, I have that old axiom in my head: whispering in a fine southern drawl that feels more like a shout. I feel bad to intrude on your life, on your facebook page, on your twitter stream (I don’t even talk about it in person, even when people ask I demure) because I’m petrified of breaking a very old rule.

Most of my friends promote their wares endlessly. And I’m not appalled by it. I’m in awe of them! I wish I could be so brave.

So, this spring: when it became clear that our son was going to pass his GED and embark on his college career in September: I reversed my course and began reimagining what Mireio could be. I reopened my doors and I started talking to you about what I as up to.

Not as much as I can. Probably not even as much as I should: but here I am.

And here’s the thing, (this is the religious part: or the faith part as I’d like to think about it!) I’m not the only one who needs the money. I’ve talked about it before on this page, (My peas were an abysmal failure, le sigh) Oregon is a HUNGRY state, our county one of the most hungry. As I’ve sat with how to make my little store more profitable, I’ve also sat with the paradox of how blessed we truly are as a family. Despite our penny pinching, we are still able to put food on the table! There are others in my community who are not as fortunate. So, when a woman shared in church a few weeks ago that the food bank cupboards were bare of anything protein related and that there was a dearth of personal care items like soap; I knew I had to make Mireio count for more than just my little family’s growing fiscal need. 

Faith is believing in what cannot be seen. But that doesn’t mean God denies us the tangibles too! And here they are:

You don’t have to buy from Mireio. That’s ok. But when you do, I want you to know WHAT you are buying.

  • You’re buying books for a bright 16 year old who has dreams of changing the world as well as paying for his tuition.
  • You’re buying food for very hungry kids here in Clatsop County.*
  • You’re buying something beautiful to hold and keep; or give — that was made with love and care and a whole lot of faith. Faith that believes even a small gesture can change the world.

This, this is why I craft. I would love to know why YOU craft. 

More numbers: just how MUCH to the Clatsop County Foodbank? I’m donating 10% of the purchase price of each item sold on Mireio. I’ll be buying protein, mainly. And soap when I can find it on sale, so that the money goes FAR!  In real terms, when  you buy a $35 Buckwheat Hull Pillow, $3.50 will go to the foodbank.  The rest will go toward my kid’s college tuition and restocking supplies so I can keep on MAKING!