Thursday, July 25, 2013

I'm Back!

I am writing this blog installment on my iPad on our way back from the Chicago Gift Show (making the most of my time since I don't do any of the driving - thanks Barb).

I know it has been months since I posted any content here, but I have been feeling overwhelmed by all of the demands of running a business, well as, making inventory for the store, wholesale customers, retail craft shows and custom orders.  I'm tired just thinking about it.  And that doesn't even include time for any of the "social media" networking I'm supposed to do which includes this blog.

So, while riding today I've been searching the Internet for inspiration:  blogs to follow,  good stuff to tweet, Facebook pages to like, etc.  In the past several hours I have been to so many sites that I have lost count.  But this last blog has stuck in my head and I just have to share it you you.  Even if you don't have a business per say to run, Marie Forleo has a lot to say about getting things done.  Kids need cupcakes tomorrow and you have an 8AM meeting?  Son has soccer game and you have a presentation to prepare?  If this sounds anything like you,  you need to read Marie's blog.    


I had come to terms while we were away that I need to have a daily schedule.  I have already off loaded some of the social media work to, and they are doing a fabulous job with Facebook and twitter.  I have also given up some of the bookkeeping to my side kick Barb.  I also have a tentative schedule that I will be tweaking over the next couple of weeks in order to relieve the stress of never having time to be "creative".

I will let you know in the coming weeks how things are progressing.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I could be ready

The days are just whirling by.  Seems like just yesterday, but it has been 7 weeks since my knee replacement surgery.  Silly me!  I had to schedule surgery in the middle of the Christmas selling season so that I would be ready to go to Chicago (by myself) to do a wholesale show!  Our faithful assistant Mary Jane has been making chimes (shipped them last week.  I have been making table skirts and packing office supplies (will ship on Monday), all while trying to manage my pain medication to a reasonable level so I can function, not fall asleep, not be in too much pain, and be friendly to the customers.  Not too much to ask now, is it?  If I could just manage not to need a nap around 2PM, everything would be perfect!

We always think we are going to catch up and get so much work done in January and February because it is a slow time for sales, but it never happens.  We are appearing at 3 different wholesale shows and a retail flower show the first 2 months of this year.  And I wonder why I never have time to create new items.  My goal for this year is to set aside time to work on new items.

For anyone looking for encouragement and inspiration to get their creative juices flowing, I recommend following Tonya Davidson.  "Tonya Davidson is an expert art technique teacher, author, speaker, successful entrepreneur and mentor to those willing to take action. She is a master at teaching other Entrepreneurs how to: eliminate overwhelm, understand the ins and outs of business, format a strategy and implement marketing tactics to create a successful core business plan."

You can find her on twitter - @tonyadavidson
I wish you happy browsing and hope you find some inspiration on Tonya's pages.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I Could Live The Life

Happy 2013 everyone!

As I was perusing some blogs I came across a piece of artwork that spurred this blog post.  I tried posting the image here but it must be protected so here is the link and the blog entry is December 19, 2012.

Never in my entire life did I ever think I would be living my dream.  A self employed artist, keeping my own hours, making art, managing a store (with employees - yikes!), doing retail craft shows, filling wholesale orders, doing unique special orders, OMG, the list goes on and on.

Oh, I had dreamed of not working for a corporation any more, but could never figure out how to get out of the rat race.  But a stroke  good fortune and the support of my loving partner allowed me the freedom to get off the treadmill and onto the winding path of creativity.   Since 1999, I have taught decorative painting, sold my work at craft shows, edited a newsletter for an art guild, and changed my medium from painting to primitive dolls.  The flaw in this equation was there was still a full time paycheck ( and benefits) coming in through my partner's efforts.  My efforts alone were not enough to pay the bills.

While I was making the dolls,  we were offered the chance to learn how to make the wind chimes .  We jumped at the chance to learn something new.  We took what we learned, added our own twist and Tempest in a Teapot was born in 2001.  Lucky thing, since my partner was forced to retire from the corporate world and needed a job (no more steady pay check, but we still had benefits thank goodness).

We took the bull by the horns, placed one ad in a magazine, and next thing we knew, we had a sales rep!  Next came wholesale shows and dealing with galleries and gift shops.  Before we knew it, WE had our own gift shop.  It has been quite the wild ride and it's not over yet.  We never know what the next day will bring and we look forward to each new experience with great anticipation.

So, whatever your dream is, don't be afraid to desire it.  You never know when (and in what form) your day will come.