As I tucked my daughter up in bed just ahead of leaving for a trip to New York recently, she said "Are you famous in New York? Does everyone know you there?" I was momentarily speechless. She continued, "Because you're famous in Bransgore."
It really touched a nerve with me: we have our own perception of our own reality (working like an obsessive, barely doing enough to function as a family) and we always forget how others around us are interpreting these crazy times. Especially the perceptions of my own children.
Press and media coverage is building and I've worked it out that I must have welcomed over 600 different customers in to our home this past year. My children have got very used to disappearing into their bedroom as mummy's downstairs with a million and one pieces of art spread everywhere. They are pleased to see how happy and inspired I have become, but they have also witnessed the stress, the commitment, and the hours I'm in the studio & not with them. Add to that, they are getting used to asking how they feel about their mum's 'success'. (My eldest son was asked by a teacher at school: "Is it your mum that's 'Sally Mackness the artist'?" Truly mortifying when you're 12.)
Bransgore is a small village on the Dorset/Hampshire border: The New Forest on our doorstep and the beaches 'just down the road'. A truly fabulous spot to live. I know lots of people, mainly through the connections made through children and school over the years, but I rarely go out and socialise. Out of choice, I need to work every single possible moment I can. When I'm not working, I choose to do family stuff. I constantly turn down offers of coffee, get-togethers and 'drinks down the pub'. I am amazed there are people out there who still refer to me as a friend, because I am very much 'off the radar'. My social interaction is primarily posting messages on social media.
So, it is deeply humbling to acknowledge the overwhelming support I have received from the 'Bransgore Mums', their families and our village. Like with most of us, you forget that people do actually read what you put out there on the internet - and then when they stop me in the street and comment ... well it's a huge boost.
There is no doubt that business is certainly building, but at this point I am grateful for every single purchase by every single local customer. It would give me no greater pride, than to see my products selling in New York in the months to come and to know that the 'Bransgore mums' spotted the potential first. Thank you.