After what has been an incredible journey I have made the tough decision that it’s time for me to close Penelope Hope. The simple reason is that I’ve not been happy and the business no longer brings me the joy and fulfilment it once did.
It hasn’t been an easy decision and I haven’t taken it lightly. I've spent hours brainstorming how I could change things to bring back my love for Penelope Hope, but sometimes you just know when it's time to walk away and stop clinging onto something that no longer lights you up.
I set up Penelope Hope seven years ago to fulfil two purposes. One was to have a flexible career to fit around my family and one was to have a showcase for my artistic ability. Sadly, these two purposes are no longer being fulfilled.
The business has grown to such a level that I now spend 95% of my time packing orders, answering customer requests, ordering stock, marketing and admin and just 5% of the time doing what lights me up - painting, creating and designing. My artistic side is screaming out for more!
I'm not so naïve to think that running a business should be all fun and games, but I do believe in balance and harmony, and quite honestly, my daily task list left little time to nourish my inner creativity. Being a product-based brand, creative decisions were made for commerciality as opposed to following my true creative expression. That wasn't sitting right.
In February and March last year I was very seriously considering closing the business (for all the reasons outlined above) but lockdown 1 spurred me into action and response.
I felt a strong sense of duty to serve and a desire to provide some light and hope for my community (both online and locally). Creating beautiful products that bring joy and make people feel good was always at the heart of the Penelope Hope brand.
Many new products were launched in 2020 and Penelope Hope experienced a fantastic year of growth, but I still felt like something was missing. That I wasn’t living my life's purpose. An itch was not being scratched.
Ironically, by December I was suffering with a nasty all-over skin rash that was most likely brought on by stress. It was a big wake up call. A very physical message that it was time I listened to that inner knowing.
My family are young and I felt I was always having to make sacrifices, either way someone or something would lose out. Business commitments took me away from them or I would miss out on sales opportunities in favour of family time. So I always felt guilty one way or another. I don’t begin to think I’m the only one that feels this way, I know a lot of working mums experience similar feelings on a daily basis, but I'm fortunate as a business owner I have the freedom to design the business and life that works for me. If the last year has taught me anything it’s that my family are my world and my health and happiness must not be ignored.
Walking away is not easy. I have been grappling with this decision for several months and feel I have been privately going through my own grieving process as Penelope Hope is more than just my business, it was my fourth baby. I know in my heart it is the right decision, however hard it feels.
It has been an amazing seven years, with no regrets. I have learnt so much over the years and met many wonderful people along the way; colleagues, suppliers, collaborators, my lovely loyal customers and fellow entrepreneur friends. The community I have created with Penelope Hope makes this decision so hard as I will miss you all and the energy that you gave me. But it’s not goodbye forever. I am evolving and expanding and moving onto a new chapter of my life.
I am taking some time to decompress, be with my family and friends and to re-connect with my creativity. I am tuning into my spiritual side, studying subjects that light me up, doing courses, putting myself through my own version of art school again and giving myself permission to put my health and wellness first.
I can feel that little fire in my belly again and it feels good.
So over the next three months we will be slowly winding down the business. All workshops and parties that are booked in and scheduled will be running throughout June, July and August. So if you have been on the fence about taking one of our classes now is your chance. See our workshop schedule here.
Of course there will be sales and discounts flying left, right and centre!
Make sure you check out the website and Facebook page for updates on sales events and clearance items. Our End of an Era Sale starts on Monday 7th June both online and in our Trinity Square Studio.
Finally, thank you for your inspiration, your love and support, it means so much to me.
If anything I’ve written above resonates with you and how you are feeling right now and you’d like to pick up a conversation with me, you know I love a good ol’ chat. Get in touch.