A Game of Duck Duck Goose …

For those of you who may have missed them, here’s a selection of custom and gallery works that I shipped out during Fall / Winter 2019:

Over the holidays, after the last custom orders have shipped and my galleries are catering to their customers, I turn to my ‘turn of the year’ tasks – updating inventories, photo collections, blogs, websites – mostly the mundane behind-the-scenes stuff that helps keep my business going.

It’s time I spend getting my “ducks in a row” for the fresh new year…

This year, stuff happened, timelines got skewed, and my focus shifted to family matters. My diversion over the last few weeks has been in building a family history blog to honor parents, now passed…

During that process I discovered how useful tags can be – they’re like the new Search Bar but more visual. As a result, I figured out how to add a tag cloud to my online store. I also tagged my best sellers and deleted styles that weren’t of interest according to my analytic tools. If your favorite hat got deleted, let me know and I’ll add it back in. I also updated my Portfolios to include recent custom works, and added my UPS / FedEx shipping address to my Contacts page. Give the page a whirl and see what you think!

I’ve now racing to catch up (hence the Duck Duck Goose analogy), including eight customers patiently waiting for their hats, and three galleries waiting for restock. Soup to make, taxes to prep, cats to pamper, and all the other little birds of-a-yellow-feather hiding in the corners. Perhaps my cats can help with that…

“…here, ducky ducky ducky…”

In Memorium…

It’s been a month since I have written here. It’s been a very long month…

Family matters. Anyone who has moved a parent and taken over the management of their affairs, knows that other things get set aside. Because family matters.

As the eldest child, I took on that job when we moved our mother from her home of 50+ years in Yakima, to a nursing home in Seattle in August 2018. We had settled into a routine of weekly visits and mid-week phone calls to manage her finances and health care, when things turned sideways again late last year. She had not felt well over the holidays, and by Twelfth Night entered hospice care. She succumbed to pneumonia on January 15, just three months shy of her 90th birthday.

Creating hats during this period became evasive, so I turned to creating other things. As I did when my father passed in 2008, I dived into old family photos and journals as a way of keeping my focus on that parent during their final days.

The result is a new blog – Daveno Historica – which will be an ongoing project, in addition to Daveno Travels and of course, this website and its hat catalog. Obviously, I have more to say than a single blog will hold …

To those who have hat orders waiting and quotes pending, thank you for your patience. I am now getting back into my studio. To those who are waiting to see new works, I hope to meet those expectations in March-April.

My mother’s favorite hats.

When failure becomes success…

As an artist/designer, when your work becomes boring and sales slow to a trickle, you can either give it up, or shake it up. 2019 was that year for me.

In February when my little garden was encased in ice, I began work on a Firebird Hat, hoping that perhaps it would warm things up : ) The hat took about 3 months to complete, and the tail that I had intended to wrap around the cuff, ended up on a separate hat.

I entered the pair into the Betty Bowen Awards through the Seattle Art Museum in July, but failed to make it as a finalist. Success came later after two custom orders for the Firebird arrived in November and December.

The thing that felt like my biggest failure was my entry into The Met 500 Design Contest through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My Crow King Cap, based on a manuscript in their collection, placed in the top 40 by popular vote (out of nearly 200 entries) but didn’t make it to the final round.

I scaled this cap down to what is now my Three Crows Cap, for which I have shipped one custom order and have two more in progress. Failure at first can mean success later on! I also made one in a different color scheme for Tubac Center of the Arts, after finding that Blue Grackles are indigenous to Arizona:

Another failed entry in SAM’s Betty Bowen Awards was Raven Steals the Sun, based on a First People’s legend that I encountered frequent references to when I visited Alaska several years ago. Versions of this hat are currently available at Brookfield Craft Center, Peter’s Valley Gallery and Creative Minds Art Gallery.

The success to Raven Steals the Sun can be measured in its offspring of “Sun No Raven’ hats and caps. This custom order was made dazzling by a vintage button from a friend’s collection, and beads and semi-precious stones the customer supplied:

An even simpler version found its way onto a cap, which has already sold at Nature’s Kitchen, and for which I have a custom order pending. Success isn’t necessarily found on the first go-round of any given design:

Failure is not always the end game. Contests are a journey and not often the destination. Acclaim on social media doesn’t mean commercial success, except for when it does : )

As a new year and decade begins, so does my 20th year as a hatmaker and one-woman business. A lot of people have made that possible – the gallery owners and managers who represent my work; my patrons and collectors; my friends and colleagues who share my posts and hand out my business cards unsolicited. Every one of you has added to the measure of my success. Thank you all, for all that you do. Your support means more than you will ever know…