End Point — a Reflection
I suppose we all have to face ”end points” at some time in our lives.
Maybe it's the death of a loved one, maybe it's the end of a relationship, maybe it's the end of a job or closing down a business. Could even be something like the endpoint that goes with moving across the country, or moving to a foreign country and leaving behind something that was a central part of your life for a very long time.
I've had plenty of end points in my life, and they pretty much fit any and all of the categories I just listed above.
And so, I come to another end point.
After doing a bit of bookkeeping earlier today I decided to call it quits for a micro business I have had for many years (since 2006) called ”North Beach Treasures.”
2021 was just another truly miserable year for my little business, with sales dropping for the 6th consecutive year, and the end result underscoring what the tax authorities consider a "hobby" rather than a "business" for its inability to generate a profit.
I started ”North Beach Treasures” in the late fall of 2006, not long after having landed in this town following my cross-country move to Washington state from Texas where I'd lived for 25 years.
You see, I discovered that there were all kinds of ”treasures” to be found on the local beaches here; items washed up by the tides, and largely as a result of the fact that there had been a seaside trash dump for almost 100 years serving three local towns, until it was shut down in the 1960's.
The business started as just a fun sideline specializing in sea glass (as shown in the photos), but in time I discovered that there were hundreds of artists around the world — many of them Jewelers — who liked to work with ”found items.” One thing led to another and next thing you knew I was actually being a beachcomber for a living!
I ended up having about five really good years, during which I was basically engaged in one of my favorite hobbies while making a pretty good income at it!
Alas, the good times ended on account of that very destructive thing that seems to run so rampant in humanity: Greed.
Assorted pieces of beach glass
As the whole reuse and upcycle movement within the world of art kept gaining momentum, there also seemed to be more and more people out in the beach picking up the same found objects I had been searching for, for several years.
Add to that a few major newspaper articles around our region literally giving directions to our little stretch of beach, and things went rapidly downhill.
I remember one weekend I was off on one of my usual trips — about a 10-mile walk — and on a stretch of beach where I might encounter maybe one or two other people, I counted over 100 people, many of whom were set up for more or less an "industrial scale harvest," so I just sighed and went home.
At one point there was even one Seattle person who was offering guided tours of our best beachcombing spots to people daytripping from city and soon enough there was absolutely nothing left to be found.
In truth, my final decision wasn't based entirely just on the poor results, but also on the fact that I needed to renew my business license.
As it turned out, doing so was turning into a considerable hassle because I had moved since the original registered address for the application. Because the business hadn't really been very active for a few years I hadn't done anything to update some of the records with the state and and when I came to do so today it turned out that they had to send a proof of ownership letter to me (which was fine) but they could only send it to my old address, and I couldn't change that address without them sending a proof of ownership letter to me... at the old address, from where it would be returned.
I'm sure I could have worked around it by making a number of phone calls and been on hold for several hours and paid some extra fees... but at that point I found myself pondering ”is this really worth my effort?”
With some sadness, I came to the conclusion that no it wasn't. I'm not going to be finding enough sea glass and other treasures out there to make it viable, and ultimately, the "continuation" of my love of beach combing will be carried on by my painted stones.
And so, I say a quiet goodbye to North Beach Treasures. It was fun — and even quite profitable — for a while, but it has served its purpose and it is time for it to move on to the great business graveyard in the sky.
The photos used to illustrate this post are all of sea glass I found and sold, while the business was going strong.
Thanks for reading and have a great remainder of your week!
How about YOU? Have you had any "conscious" endings to deal with? Did the end come "naturally," or was it forced on you? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!
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Created at 20220107 18:43 PST