Today marks the huge milestone of five years in my little stall. From humble beginnings with a little bit of stock in a tiny corner of my counter, to the point now where I have very little room for anything new, this stall has been my world for the last five years. I have made friends, had more neighbours than I can remember, and lost and found my creativity more times than I can count. I've seen so much change, both inside and outside my stall. I've had so many good times, and some pretty rough ones too, but this little place will always be in my heart.
I will be closing my stall doors (ok, putting up wooden shutters)for the last time on Christmas Eve. The decision has not been an easy one, in fact there have been sleepless nights and moments of terrible uncertainty, but the time has come to think about the future, where I want to be in another five years, and to be honest, I don't see myself making progress if I stay here. I need flexibility to take my work out into the world, and structured opening hours just won't allow that. And I need new eyes to see my work, because I just can't keep waiting.
There are people I will miss. I will miss my little stall and all of it's quirks. I will miss the familiar faces that pass by every single market day, hearing about their families, the relief when I see them again after unusual absences. I will miss the stories. I will miss the gossip. I will miss visitors - the dear sweet lady that brings me a mice pie every Christmas, the Christmas cards and well-wishes. So much to miss.
I make it sound like it's perfect. It's not. But the things I will miss will outweigh the bad stuff. I hope I will always think fondly of this place - the first home of gemmipop designs, my first toe in the pond of self-employment and the place that has given me the confidence to try.