29 Sep Arriving at Home
Choosing a name for your business is hard.
“Suzanne Harrison Home” is not the business name I started out with. I decided to change it after meeting with a store owner who wanted to carry my pillows. She told me she thought my original name sounded weird. And I have to say, I appreciated her honesty so much. I told her that I had never fully embraced the original name, and that I had considered using my own name, to make it more personal, but that I didn’t want to tag “Design” or “Studio” to the end of it – that didn’t feel like what I was about. So she suggested, “Why not Suzanne Harrison Home?”
The second she said it, it felt right. Not just because I make items for the home, but because home really is where my heart is, and it has been pivotal in my desire to build a life that works best for me and who I am.
The past five years have been incredible for me. Five years ago I quit my regular job, and jumped into a scary new world of self-employment, self-reliance, and self-discovery. Being my own boss, in charge of my own work and time is hard, but it feels right (usually), and I love the flexibility of working around my kids’ schedules. My husband is also self-employed (he has an all-consuming iron-work business – are we crazy?) so not having a standard 40-hour work week helps to keep us somewhat sane and somewhat organized. But living without that steady paycheck, worrying about financial stability, as well as navigating health insurance, taxes, and finances – well honestly, it can be hugely challenging.
One of the biggest challenges, however, has been assuring myself that I’ve made the right choice – that I’m moving in the right direction – that I shouldn’t throw in the towel and go back to “Corporate America.” Am I making all the right choice? I have no idea! But most of the time it feels right. So I’m going to follow my intuition, work hard, and keep the faith.
Arriving at “home.”
Like many people, I didn’t grow up in an entrepreneurial environment. My parents, and everybody else’s parents, had “regular jobs.” And then so did I. For a long time. Until I started going a bit crazy, and decided to take a leap into the unknown. A leap that came with a way better schedule, but also with many sleepless nights, questioning my choices, worrying about money, and worrying about putting myself out there to be judged.
But no matter how scared, nervous, or envious of other people’s cash-flows I might get sometimes, I am always so very thankful for my little home, my patch of earth, my cozy kitchen and dining nook, my little workspace that I share with the cat, our slightly cramped living room where we play games and watch “Bob’s Burgers” together, our fantastic neighbors, our good friends nearby, and my beautiful city and state. Seattle is an expensive city to live in, with so many homeless people. I know that I am so so lucky to have this little home. This place where I am most myself. My most comfortable. My happiest.
So calling my business “Suzanne Harrison Home” isn’t just about making home products. It’s also a reflection of me and my relationship with my home, and my life. Life can be pretty challenging at times, and everyone needs (and deserves) a home that they love, and that loves them back. I know how lucky I am to have that.