I recently quit a job at a telephone research center. I quit because I couldn't make myself go there and make the same phone call asking the same questions over and over again anymore. This came as a surprise to me because boring repetitive tasks are my forte. I love counting things in large numbers, sorting, alphabetizing, and even stuffing envelopes. I think this skill of mine is the biggest key to the success of my business Candy Calamity.
I started making bracelets from folded candy wrappers while I was in college. Years later, when I thought about turning my hobby into a business, I knew that I would never make it unless I could create dozens of bracelets or more. Since deciding to go for it, I have make close to 100 bracelets, many candy wrapper coin purses, and even some purses made from folded potato chip bags. That equals thousands of tiny folded pieces.
So what was so wrong with the call center? My brain was forced to spend tedious hours thinking about things like satisfaction scores, efficiency quotas, and demographics. It was repetition for the brain, not the hands; a far cry from my beloved candy wrapper folding.
When I do my folding, my hands fall into a familiar rhythmic pattern, my body relaxes, and my mind moves beyond the worries of today. After a few minutes I no longer think about what to fix for dinner, what chores need to be done, or other mundane things. Instead I dream of future projects to be, the possibilities of tomorrow, or sometimes simply nothing. The allure of the daily moment of Zen is what draws many crafters back to their craft time and time again, be it knitting, cross stitch, painting, lamp working, or even making jewelry out of candy wrappers.
Emily O’Chiu of Candy Calamity uses candy wrappers to make bracelets and earrings, potato chip bags to make pouches and purses, and all manner of things to make fun magnets and pins. She says:
I can get inspired anywhere, even the grocery store.