This post was originally published on April 18. 2016 on – it has been reposted here with permission. All photos by Sarah Beau Photo.

We’ve all had that day where it feels like absolutely nothing is working. You try one thing and it doesn’t work, so you move onto the next, and the next, and the next with no success.

Today is one of those days for me. I’ve been busy designing my spring/summer line and have been eagerly awaiting some items from my suppliers! After a quick meeting at the store and some last minute shopping for my upcoming markets, I came home to find one of my most anticipated packages had finally made it! I eagerly tore open the package only to be immediately let down – my supplier had sent the wrong size. Bummer. No matter –  I emailed them, they agreed to re-send my items and I moved onto the next item on my to-do list.

A new bracelet design! I’ve been daydreaming about this one for a couple weeks now – but when I put it together, the design fell flat. I figured, that’s okay, it happens. Experimentation is a huge part of my process as a creator. Things don’t always turn out the way you envision them. Back to the drawing board.

I decided to take a break from creating a check my email. I had a new message in a thread between myself and a client that I’m making a custom mala for. I open it to find that she had essentially changed her mind about the entire design and wanted to start again. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue, however I had already ordered a couple items in for her. I shoot her a polite reply back, letting her know that while we could make some adjustments to the original design, changing the design was out of the question. I’m a people pleaser, so to say no to someone, or shut down their ideas makes me extremely uncomfortable.

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My studio space shot by Sarah Beau Photo {}

After that I thought I would go back to my original plan of making jewelry tonight. I pulled out some cord, some beads and began to knot a new mala. Surprise – something went wrong. About halfway through I noticed one of the beads had actually swallowed the knot beside it, and when I tried to fix it, I just ended up with a stretched out thread.

At this point, I’m frustrated. You better believe it. Then it occurred to me that I was aggrandizing a bunch of little things. While replaying the day in my mind I realized that while I had a lot of small inconveniences, nothing seriously bad happened today.  Days like this can happen to anyone – and while they can set you back a day, they don’t mean the end of your career, business or life.

When you realize you’re having one of those days, just stop what you’re doing. Sit down. Take a deep breath. Make yourself a cup of tea, coffee, or whatever it is that relaxes you. Sometimes you just need a hot minute to calm down, refocus, and re-establish your goals. I heard once that you can have a fresh start at any given time. Close your eyes and take a deep breath – when you open them again, you’ve got a fresh start.

If that doesn’t work, take a nap. I swear by naps. Have a 30 minute power nap or go all out and sleep for a couple hours. When you wake up – bam – a fresh start.

Take time to think of the good parts of your day. Chances are, you had a few! I finished a huge wholesale order this morning, had waffles with my best friend, then had a seriously productive meeting at the store. If nothing else, you can take away a few good moments from the day.

If you can, work on something else. If you’re having trouble creating, maybe use the day to do some of the admin work you’ve been procrastinating on (anyone else? or is it just me?) Instead of continuing to mope, I decided to write this blog post, and catch up on my work with YYC Girl Gang. I might do a little knitting later. There are always other things to do. Even if they aren’t necessarily “productive” things to do (let’s be honest – I don’t NEED to knit right now), but if it means that you’re going to feel better, you do whatever it is you want to do.

In the end, I’m a little bit behind. I could have used these new items before I leave for Vancouver for Make It! show on Thursday, but I didn’t need them. I have a full inventory, and the spring collection will just have to wait a couple more weeks to debut. Despite being behind, I’m okay. I’m going to wake up tomorrow with an entirely new day ahead of me.

Just remember, the good and the bad days balance out. (Remember that time you were super productive and made 100 bracelets in one sitting?) We all have these off days, and instead of getting frustrated, take a pause – you’ve got good days ahead.


Nicole Bracey

Owner, Salt Water Tea / Co-Owner, Greater Goods / Vice President, YYC Girl Gang

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Photo by Sarah Beau Photo

Nicole is a Calgary artist with a BFA from the Alberta College of Art + Design in drawing. She can usually be found hunched over a desk making jewelry, pouring candles or working on the YYC Girl Gang Blog.  When she’s not hunched over a desk, you can find her serving tea and local goodies, in her boutique Greater Goods. In her spare time, she’s a shameless Netflix lover, knitter and crocheter. She has a fluff of a pup named Shyla and a boyfriend of nine years who’s okay I guess. 😉 /

@saltwaterteajewelry / @greatergoodsyyc