In the beginning of june Caro was one of the first summer visitors this year. I’ve known Caro for a while now, she was my colleague when I worked for the university and while we didn’t really chat a lot in the beginning (we worked at totally different places), this changed during the years. At one point I found out that she was a bookbinder when I was talking to my [nice] boss while we were discussing human resource related subjects. I believe we were discussing ambitions and growing opportunities within the organisation. The organisation in which I didn’t want to grow – I had other plans – and I believe that’s how my then boss told me  – with some disapproval and a light head shake – that there was another person in the organisation that had somehow the same kind of attitude.

honoriginal designs from carrecharlotte01That person was Caro, she was going to bookbinding school, which took 3 years. And that was how I got to know Caro a bit better. We were less alike than my former boss might have thought. Caro is for example very precise, I’m generally not. And we have many differences also when it comes to way we are setting up our businesses. I just jump deep and don’t think for a very long about how/when/what. Caro makes more conscious choices and thinks a bit longer about which direction she should go to. So while we were very much alike in the way that we didn’t want to walk in line with the masses, we are totally different outside this line of people. I guess that’s always the case with people. People that walk in a line are more similar amongst each other than the people that don’t walk on that line. 

Anyhow, later on we organised workshops together for our former employer, but also for me  – then – new, and now again former employer. Caro finished her bookbinding school and started making books and I started working for a new employer and for the biggest part stopped creating things. We kept in touch and our lives somewhat kept evolving in a slightly similar way. She moved to Berlin, while I moved to Grenoble. Both following our better halves that went abroad in the name of science. Caro quit her job with the move and decided to give priority to her own creative business, while I kept my job and more recently *coughs* lost it.

So here we are, we both are in busy preparation of a new chapter in our lives as (creative) small business owners. Something that we both are very excited in start doing. A new box that we will open and fill with special moments is awaiting us. We will hopefully be able to fill it figuratively with nice experiences, lessons, meetings with great people and other kind of rewards.

When Caro came here a few months ago she brought a box – a real one – for me that she made herself, filled with some amazing handmade stuff. A few days ago I opened it again and started playing with it and decided that this will be the box that I’ll keep for some special things that I make/get/find in this first year of being self employed #onthemountain . Happy things, since boxes are fun. I wish I started one at the beginning of my past adventure, I could have looked back into it and found many positive experiences, people I’ve met and many rewarding moments, that wouldn’t be blurred out by negative experiences. 

Looking back, my advise would be to everyone to start opening figurative or real new boxes more often in ones lives. And to keep on filling them with positive experiences for good memories sake! Just so you won’t forget. That’s it. Boxes start off positively and end positively. And you can close and open them whenever you want.

Maybe Caro can make all those boxes for us. Right?! Now you might be curious what was in Caro’s box for me? Tons of things! A little book she made, which has a little mountain and a house on top. I will use that book to doodle, to make some patterns – an only patterns book. I’m not ready to draw yet again, but doodling is a good start [I already started]. It also had a little bunting, which I will hang on our collage wall in our bedroom [I will show you one day]. A handmade stamp that represents a – growing – tomato plant! Seriously, genius right?! And two little prints of her son that carved out two stamps himself. Caro applied them to two sheets of paper. Beautiful! I will need to frame those. 

Below you can find some pictures, just to convince you how fun it is to open new boxes and notebooks. Let’s make a date that next year I’ll show you all the things I’ve collected in this inspiring box I got from Caro.

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