Margot Wistar Potter & The Impatient Crafter
FINALIST: Snapshots from the Life of a Woman of Substance

Hello my name is...

Margot Potter and I'm known throughout the 'craftiverse' and beyond as The Impatient Crafter™. I often joke that I'm either a Renaissance woman or a Jill of All Trades, depending on which day you ask me. I have a variety of 'jobs' I do every day that combine to create a career that allows me to mostly work from home and mostly make my own schedule. I say 'mostly' because I have to work with companies on freelance jobs that often have very specific and short deadlines. I enjoy this kind of work because it keeps me engaged mentally and challenges me creatively. I'm an author, freelance designer, writer, TV host, actor, vocalist, viral marketing expert, product designer and developer and work at home Mom. At any given moment I might be wearing one or many of those hats and my biggest challenge there is being sure I'm maintaining balance and also not neglecting my family. Because there are times when my deadlines for my many jobs all converge, there can be short periods of time where I'm working seven days a week. I've found the benefits of autonomy and self guided success outweigh the occasional 'back against the wall' weeks. I'd like to believe it's also showing my daughter that a woman can achieve success doing what she loves. It took me 40 years to finally get on a pathway of abundance and success and I'm savoring every moment of it!


I love the way my work is constantly shifting and changing. It's never boring. It's always forcing me to think on my feet and to look at the world creatively. I'm crafting my life and my success as much as I'm crafting jewelry and accessories and works of art. I believe we are all 'life crafters' and it's my real goal to share what I've learned on this journey with other women. I want to inspire them to see that we can do and be whatever we can imagine if we follow a few basic rules of engagement. 1. Do what you love. 2. Make sure you've got a true proclivity for what you love. 3. Make sure to tailor what you love to the prevailing market. 4. Keep your day job until what you love pays the bills. 5. Be flexible to allow for the shifts and changes in your dreams. It will probably not unfold exactly how you initially imagined, if you aren't flexible, you may miss out on valuable opportunities. In other words, be willing to take the journey, follow the road signs and be open to taking what appears to be a detour now and again if it shows up unexpectedly. Sometimes the detour is the true pathway to joy. Don't be too specific, but don't be too wishy washy. It's a fine line my friends!


Madge's Aha Moments


My life has been a series of aha moments, perhaps all lives are. As a child, I moved every few years and we had occasional home life turmoil that affected me deeply emotionally. I was often the 'new kid' and I was also an 'odd' kid because I saw the world in a way most of my peers did not at that age. That meant I had to create a rich inner creative life to counteract the feelings of isolation and loneliness and I had to get very good at making new connections. As a young adult, I had serious self esteem issues. I spent my twenties in a series of unfortunate relationships seeking my self worth in others. At the age of 27 I figuratively 'woke up one morning' and decided it was time to go back to college, truthfully this was more of an unfolding of awareness of a need to make sweeping change. I was so invested in the experience the second time around that I graduated Magna cum Laude as the outstanding major in my field. From there I attempted to go to graduate school, but the program I entered was falling apart and I had to walk away or go down with the ship. I opted for walking away. At the same time I met my husband, we got married, had our daughter and moved across state to open a retail Fair Trade Gallery. It was a beautiful store and we tried hard to succeed, but we were playing to the wrong audience. Our loyal customers weren't enough to keep us afloat.

The moment that lead me to this current career happened seven years ago. It began when my husband and I had to close our retail business and declare bankruptcy. Simultaneously I had to walk away from an on-air job that was paying a good percentage of our bills.


For the next year, I had absolutely no luck finding a new job, in fact everything I tried fell to pieces. Then I got very sick. I pulled myself out of the funk, refocused my energies and at that point, I began to become very creative about new avenues of success. I had to choose between implosion and the family who needed me. I concurrently felt a deep sense of purpose unfulfilled and a strong desire to shift that. I knew I was a strong, smart, savvy, talented, creative woman and I had everything necessary to succeed. If no one was going to offer me a job, I was going to create my own. I began to cast my line in a variety of directions and several bites led me to the concept of my first book and The Impatient Crafter concept. I queried a publisher and two weeks later sold my first title and from that moment on everything has unfolded with amazing serendipity, since then I've published five books in five years. I believe that's how it works when you head in the right direction.


Current Challenges

The current state of the economy is resulting in cut backs in my industry. Publishers are folding, manufacturers are cutting back on new products and budgets for designers, large and small retailers are struggling and it's a time of great challenge for every one of us. I'm working harder than ever to stay the course in the stormy seas and to keep being flexible. I believe this is a time of great opportunity, but that requires a vision and a passion and the ability to get that message out. I'm again in a process of reinvention and personal evaluation. Not only do I have to keep the faith while my industry is shrinking, but hold strong to my core beliefs in how success is created. This approach is working so far as my 'straw pile' is still quite large and I'm spinning it daily!


Investing in the Moment

I'm working always to maintain balance between my career and my real life. To me the most important thing in life isn't what we do, where we live or how much we acquire, but how we love and are loved in return. I have to make sure I'm not so diverted by the stresses of money and survival that I forget to connect with my daughter and family. Life is, as am I, a work in progress. We are all on our own unique path, with our own unique challenges and our own unique solutions. I believe it's not just about dreaming, it's about getting up every day and doing the hard work. The thing is, when you love what you do, the work becomes a celebration. I like to strive for a Zen like sense of being in the moments as they arise and finding the flexibility to shift with the only constant, change. I believe that the moment is ultimately all we have. The past is filtered through the lens of our skewed perspective and the future is yet to be determined, but if we live in the moment and embrace it fully no matter what it offers us, then we are truly living. I try also to maintain a sense of humor and embrace the beauty of imperfection, which is what my brand and my career is all about.