Low stock prices, failed buyout deals, housing market crash below the 49, and Christmas. All these factors contribute to the economy. We are constantly fed tid-bits and micro-chunks on our worsening economic situation by the media, the government and our peers. Are we really facing the crisis of the 21st Century? Or is it all what we have chosen to believe therefore it must be true. Has any other designer felt the effects of a turned-down crisis on our hands?
It's hard to imagine that this particular situation, a turned-down/off moratorium on spending, has led us all to the point that we are selecting what to buy, where to buy it and possibly even going for the no-name brand. Every time I think about the down-turn, turn-down, turn-off - or whatever it's called - I imagine a volume knob slowing moving from ten towards two, or even zero in some cases. That knob, which is completely imagined in our minds, can be regulated by perception, intuition, the government and media. It's the worst kind of gauge for your self-worth or helplessness that we could ever put upon ourselves.
Quite a few months ago, before that knob moved from ten to two, I saw lay-offs and terminations everywhere. Sometimes it's just housecleaning, which was the case in the summer of oh-eight, and other times it's just poor management. At that time, I was praying to be hit with a buyout every day. I was looking for a solution to something that wasn't in the employment but rather within myself. I needed an excuse. A get out of jail free card. Looking back, I am very lucky that didn't happen.
I was foolish and overwhelmed with work. I had referrals that I had to turn away at every call because there was only one of me. Now? Nothing. The faucet of my design business has been turned off. Not even a drip drop in the background.
So it's time to regroup and get my solders lined up for the fight of my career. Back to school - again. I don't doubt that it will pick up again but I just don't know when and I don't want to be stand here stuck in a snowbank of mystery and doubt.
For 2009, I think Interior Design and decoration will face a challenge of truth. I know where I would like to take it myself but I think we will be on an upward battle with the tight purse strings of clients and corporations to contend with. There are some things we can do to soothe penny pinching:
- Shop local - housewares, food and clothing can all be produces and made local
- Think globally - encourage your MP to push King Steven toward better sustainable energy and environments within our borders. Take transit. Build a solar array. Invest in a clean and healthy future
- Darn your socks - perhaps we don't need that new pair of Jimmy Cho's or True Religion jeans. There are more in the closet already that can be taken to the tailor and mended
- Wear purple - it's such a great colour for the soul
- Minimize impact - empty our cash-culture ideals and find the true fundamentals