Over eight hundred of you voted in my Broc-xit poll.I received over one hundred emails offering kind and inspirational opinion and advice and I truly felt the love. You see when you run an online business for as long as I have, you come to understand that it doesn’t wholly belong to you, it also belongs to the community that have long supported it, and it is for this reason that it struck me as important to ask your opinion when I was flailing. I owe you so very much.
The results were almost split between closing the Salon and keeping it open in one form or another so obviously I found myself facing the same dilemma about what to do, knowing that ultimately I would be disappointing one half of my virtual Broc-xit country!
And so I as suggested in my last post, I got out a great big roll of lining paper and a box full of sharpies and began manually mind-mapping the fuzz in my brain. Working out a way forward that is at once financially viable, creatively satisfying and honours those who have lifetime loyalty to BrocanteHome.
The truth is that there will always have to be a “paid” element to the site, simply because I can’t and more importantly, shouldn’t give away the vast amount of work I have created over the past fifteen years. Work you have told me, in droves, has changed your life in so many ways. Work that feels important to you and is so very much important to me in terms of building a body of writing that embodies what I have to teach.
While there will always be those who will not pay for anything on the internet because they believe information should be free, in reality a business like BrocanteHome costs more than you would imagine in terms of time, energy and actual money, and thus giving it away lock, stock and barrel would only be possible if I had a pot of gold from which to feed my family.
Though there are alternatives to financing a site like Brocantehome, like littering the site with pop-up adverts, or writing the kind of sponsored posts that bear no relevance to my message here, I have long wanted to resist such avenues, knowing how very much I hate visiting sites that have taken that route (and thus rarely return) and so desperately want to keep Brocante as a place of quiet sanctuary on the net.
So that’s the first point: there will by necessity be a “paid” element to BrocanteHome. A place in which to provide the kind of enormous value that Salon currently does, while addressing the issue that compromises its use: namely that the way I have organised it before now has made it feel overwhelming to you (there is a huge amount of writing and downloads in there!) and impossible to maintain for me personally, because I simply cannot take into account my dubious health and the kind of ongoing kerfuffles my life seems destined to keep chucking my way!
So the Salon as it stands will no longer be sold to new members and my intention is to keep it open in its current form until the end of this year, so that all my outstanding work can be completed without the pressure of the kind of deadlines, my health and personal well-being make it impossible to align to at this moment.
While the Salon as it stands may be closing, the future paid element of Brocantehome will take the form of an accessible “treasure chest” of downloads, programs and planners, and access to immediately available “add-ons” to the writing I do here on the site: further writing, planner pages and workbooks, as well as free issues of the Brocante Playbook.
You see one of the the things that one of my long term readers, Carly, said really struck a chord when she noted that she used to adore coming over to the site when it was a “one-stop shop” as it suddenly struck me how often I have been asking you to pop here, there and everywhere in pursuit of my latest content, when really I want us all to be going back to visiting BrocanteHome as a meandering, soothing, and inspirational treat. So it is with that singular remark that I am shaping the future here on the site. (Thank you Carleen!).
While what you see here on the site today is a very bare bones representation of Brocantehome, just so that you can still access the posts here, over the next few months I am going to be behind the scenes stitching all that already exists ( as you have told me that I don’t have to be so dedicated to creating new content when there is so much already here) into something you can you can truly enjoy once again. While at this stage it makes no sense for me to try to describe what that will eventually look like, please rest assured, that I am hoping that you will once again feel at home here when I am finished.
So what kind of timescale are we talking? If I’m honest I don’t know and like so many of you have advised, I want to resist setting a deadline so I don’t let both you and myself down. While I have traditionally taken the Summer off to be with Finley, he is older now and barely here, so I know I will have the kind of long days specific to those without a school timetable to dictate them, and I’m looking forward to setting my own pace again now that I am feeling a little better.
My focus then is three-fold in the short-term: completing the work currently outstanding in the Salon due to illness, and family crisis, finishing and promoting the Playbook because I desperately need to sell something if we are going to survive financially, and putting the site and store back together again after a kind of destructive madness took over me and had me dissecting my entire online life!
All this then to say that though I won’t be blogging much as is my traditional seasonal wont until the beginning of September, I am now getting back to work because it is what my soul is longing for, and as a wise man said to me a few weeks ago. our work is everything, the very balm that soothes our inner chaos.,
I hope that all this makes some sense to you,( though it will become clearer over the next few months) and that those of you have been kind enough to maintain your membership, will understand that though I might go all around the houses, I will never, ever let you down.
Brocantehome is for my always, and I hope it will remain yours.