Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Lemons, Martinis, and Foul Mouthed Drunks

When live gives you lemons, they say make lemonade. I say, make Lemon Drop Martinis. And I've had a lot of lemons in 2010. The first lemon was tossed at me as a seed in January 2010. And the seed has grown into a full blown tree in the last few months. So I've been making gallons of martinis.
But unlike lies, deception and lemons, lemon drop martinis have a hint of sweetness. The rim of the glass is dipped in lemon juice, then in sugar. The combination of vodka and sugar makes the lemon not so tart. And I'm all for that.
I'm not drinking a lot of these martinis (just making and freeing), mainly because I'm not a foul mouthed drunk, like some people I know. But I do like to sip one at the end of the day ever so often. And definitely have one during my chats with Twitter buddies. But then I also like POM martinis, and apple too. The vodka smooths things over and makes foul, nasty things not so bad. But too much and the next day you are sorry. Not unlike a lot of other things that I've had too much of lately. Thank god I'm not a foul mouthed drunk. Sometimes I'd like to be. But I strive to be a better person on a daily basis, and being a FMD would defeat the purpose.
Besides, what do I have to be depressed about enough to need to drink too much? I have two successful businesses which I love, and that I strive to run with honesty and professionalism. I have employees that have been with me for years, because we work as a family. I have GREAT customers, who I enjoy getting to know, and have developed great relationships within this last few months. And my last marketing campaign was a huge success, bringing in several new retail stores that now sell our Mommy Jewelry along with other designs.
So I think I'll prune that lemon tree and make it a house plant. And I'll have a Lemon Drop Martini once in awhile, but not to drown my sorrows, to celebrate.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Passion & Luck

It's not often that a person finds their passion in life at an early enough stage to enjoy it. And to be lucky enough to make money while pursuing that passion is even more rare. Me, I have both.
First, I love to write, and for several years I was paid to write articles for a crafts business magazine. And it paid well. I love writing, and I learned from the articles I wrote.
At the time I was writing, I was making glass beads and selling them at bead shows and on my web site. I used what I learned to move of from just making beads to making jewelry and selling at art shows. I had quite a following after a few years.Each December I'd get to spend a week in Chicago (one of my favorite cities), and go to the theatre at night and see my loyal customers in the day time. Yes, the show days were long, but I loved working directly with my customers.
Then I once again used the research I'd done for my articles to move my jewelry business in another direction. I now sell wholesale. But in selling wholesale I had to learn a whole new lifestyle. I'd never done production work, and I had to come up with my own market niche to stand out from all the other jewelry. And I did.
I used sales reps to show my line and pretty much just worked in my studio.
But in all things, we move on. And I missed the personal relationship with my customers. So I'm selling retail and wholesale, and I'm selling my line myself. I mean who else is going to know my line as well as I do? And who would have more passion? Not that sales reps don't try, but with 20-50+ lines to rep, how passionate can you be about one line?
I just have my line to be passionate about, and I am. I love what I do, and I hope to never lose that enthusiasm. I thought it was lost, as I was burning out. But I realize I wasn't burned out, I was left out. I wanted to be a part of everything, and I missed the interaction with customers.
This year we have 4-6 trade shows planned, and I'm really looking forward to meeting current and future customers. And I hope I can give something back, by helping my customers better sell my line and therefore better their bottom line.
It is with utter passion that I built and designed this current line of jewelry. And as an artist that loves to draw and paint, I'm hoping to find a way to add that passion in a new line someday. For now, I'm happy. I've never been happier. I'm so very lucky.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Thank You

After a great year in 2009 I want to thank our customers. Without you we wouldn't have a business. We've enjoyed seeing how you present our line on your web sites, and in your stores.
We are expanding our line for 2010 and think you'll love the new pieces and fun/sassy sayings we've added.
In 2010 we are establishing our own sales office to give you better customer service, with well-trained employees who can answer your questions, and help you with issues, without having to make extra calls to get you an answer.
Customer service is very important and we promise to provide prompt, professional service going forward. If there is anything we can do to make selling our line easier for you, let us know. We love learning from our stores.
And again thank you. We are so excited to be going in a new direction in 2010.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

And thoughts for 2010

As 2010 comes around I'm reminded of things that kill us slowly. And one of those things is GREED. GREED is one of the seven deadly sins, and for a very good reason. Wanting money, a nice car and your dream house are the reason we work. And working for your money, profits, windfall is not greed, that is unless you prey on unsuspecting individuals or groups.
I want the American Dream too, but I'm not willing to grovel near the pits of hell to get it. And I believe people who prey on others for money, or fame, whatever, are doing just that. How can that person feel good about themselves, and do they even have any friends? Because if money, or prestige are the only things that are important, you'll sacrifice friendships, and possibly family to get there.
In my life I've worked hard, many hours each week, to get what I want. I've never preyed on the weak, or less fortunate. I'm the one who digs in my pocket for change to help someone out. I'm the one taking the hit in my pocketbook, so my customers don't have to. Though many don't even know it. Because in my life, I've only strived to be a good person, be a good business owner, and earn the money I make honestly.
I pity those who prey on others. It must be a lonely life when in the end all you have is your money to keep you company.
So remember in your daily life, and in business, do what's right. I mean do what's right for the other person, because KARMA is a very strong energy, and when it comes back to you, all will be good. When you go to sleep at night it will be with a clean soul. And in the end, not only will you have prosperity, you will have family and friends who love you. Really love you.
In my life, I'm lucky enough to have an abundance of friendship and love. And for me, as long as I treat others fair, that is more than enough.
When I go to sleep at night, I sleep well, knowing I lived well that day and didn't harm anyone by being greedy or unjust. I think that's why my business keeps growing, my customers are long term, and my friends and family are always there for me.
Live well my friends and do no harm. If not KARMA can be a bitch in the end.