Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday Trends - (kicking Take 10 Tuesday to the curb for a while)


When I did my first wholesale tradeshow last week I had a few buyers asking if I had any Mad Men kind of stuff. This genre is hot!

(and if you're thinking this trend has been hot for awhile now and I'm just late to the party - you're right, I am unfortunately one of those late to the party kind of girls - always have been)

Trend # 1 - The 60's are back with MAD MEN - This hit tv show centers on the character of adman Don Draper and his life in and out of the advertising agency.

It regularly depicts the changing America of the 1960's; the negative stuff - the sexism, the homophobia, the racism as well as the positive stuff - the kind of style and ritualized living that has gotten lost in the last few decades.

Think 3 martini lunches, hats for men and women, up-dos (uh, maybe not), dinner parties, brooches, delicate wristwatches, white gloves, pencil skirts and big high waisted skirts, too, the color salmon (I only like this color on my petunias, sorry) - think drama!

How and if you might want to work this trend into your own work is up to you.

Here's what a few smart peeps selling on Etsy are doing:

1. Cat Eye's Tote by LaLune Designs
2. Lucky Strike Magnet by Bauer Designs
3. ERIN Pencil Dress by SheByCindy
4. Vintage Window Chalkboard by Halfpint Salvage
5. Vintage Pearl Necklace at LeslieAnna
6. Sherry Truitt's Madison Avenue Map Necklace

(dresses on top of post available at Modcloth)

and my own (literal, I know) Mad Men inspired locket set.

(order one this week and I will refund your shipping charge - just note MAD MEN in the comments to seller section of your order)

Look for Trend 2 next Tuesday (hint- think leaping tall buildings in a single bound - sort of)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Creating a Sustainable Business - "where has this come from, what is it doing for me now and where is it going to end up?”


So, I have been thinking lately about product design and trends and delivering what people want (and what we want to make) in the very best ways.

I feel that most people really do not know what they want so much as they know how they want to feel and so delivering to their demand is really more about creating new possibilites for them and allowing them to feel good about their choices.

There is a design concept originating from Sweden called Lagom which means ”just enough”.

This feels like a very smart aesthetic for a time when 84% of us are inclined to buy less stuff and 72% of us are determined to remove the clutter from our lives. People don't want to just shop until they drop anymore; they want to experience the things they buy.

And this is really great news for the handmade movement!

This is just a brief introduction to a new series of posts about the sustainability of our businesses and our products. There is alot more to this sustainability business than the components of our work- although that plays a part for some of us- it is much bigger than this.

It is also about making things that matter (which they do when we put our heart into them) and making them to last and making the things that people want to hold onto and that will age gracefully (like us) - sustainability is personal.

(I am also starting a new Tuesday post called Tuesday Trends to focus on some design trends that we may want to take a look at for our own work, as well as the trends that the buyers at Pool asked me about last week.)

These 10 principles of good design written in the 1960's by Dieter Rams are still totally appropriate today and applicable to a great model of sustainability:

• Good design is innovative.
• Good design makes a product useful.
• Good design is aesthetic.
• Good design helps us to understand a product.
• Good design is unobtrusive.
• Good design is honest.
• Good design is durable.
• Good design is consequent to the last detail.
• Good design is concerned with the environment.
• Good design is as little design as possible.

I will be posting about sustainable design in terms of the environment (where does it come from, where is it going), innovation, emotions (why do we keep certain things and throw other things away without giving them a second thought?), aesthetics, authenticity (creating a history for our work) and multi use/compatibility and how this can all translate into sales and long-term customer relationships for us makers!


"you are awesome" (I want to feel awesome and I think my customers do, too) necklace by yellowgoat (who is currently closed due to an injury and we wish her a quick and complete recovery)

Rereading this post I'm thinking it sounds heavier and maybe preachier than I intended - sustainability isn't.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Swimming Lessons 2 - My first tradeshow, Miss Universe contestants are shorter (and skinnier) than they look on tv and when a breakdown breaks down

Yup- that's a DJ and a bar - I told you Pool is a cool show ------->

So, to wrap this experience up:

(as much as I can right now, because alot of buyers took my linesheets and postcards, so it is impossible to know at this point what is going to happen - it may take months to know the actual dollars and "sense" of all of this)

The show had changed locations this year and although it was still part of Magic (a huge fashion industry show)- Pool was a bit more out of the way for buyers this time, so that may have affected foot traffic (as well as the economy). People who had done the show before, told me the foot traffic this time was not as good. The management were great though (thank you Ashley!).

I met alot of buyers and got very helpful feedback that I would never get mailing postcards, etc. I have 14 new store accounts so far (and hopefully they will all be reordering!). My largest sale was $2200.00 and my smallest was $150.00.

I had planned on an $800.00 show special, but when my first couple buyers ordered more than that, I took the signs down and only mentioned it to buyers with lower order totals. Also, most shops wanted the items to arrive in October- with enough time for them to test them out before placing a holiday order, but so they wouldn't have to stock and pay for them right now.

I chose Pool for my first show even though it was a travel show for me for three reasons- 1. to see family on the west coast and 2. it seemed like a smaller more do-able show for a first timer and 3. I thought my brands would fit in well

The Miss Universe pageant going on at the same time, was of course a total plus for me!

(you may remember my summer obsession with the tiny tiara reality show tots and unabashed jealousy of their trophy collections)

The contestants were walking around the casino in little lines (maybe 10 to a pack) all day long. At 7:00 in the morning they would be in full make up and hair, in the highest, pointiest heels I have ever seen, smiling and waving at us everywhere.

They had little entourages that stood on the sidelines and wore t-shirts with their contestant's picture on the front and clapped and snapped pictures when their girl walked past. It just added to the whole surreal Vegas thing for me ...

I wanted my sister to wear a t-shirt with my picture and do the whole clap/snap thing for me, too, but she just wouldn't cooperate ... I think she is just a little bit jealous of my ability to do the windshield wiper hand wave so much better than she can.

WARNING HUGE - TOO MUCH INFORMATION - POST AHEAD - proceed with caution .. and coffee

OK- so on to the my break-down. Now, there is something at a tradeshow called drayage and this drayage thing is a very important thing to think about.

World English Dictionary
drayage (ˈdreɪɪdʒ)

— n
( US )
a. the act of transporting something a short distance by lorry or other vehicle
b. the charge made for such a transport


and I did think about it, but not too much ...

So, when you do a tradeshow and have more stuff than you can carry on a plane, obviously you have to ship your stuff to the show. I used UPS ground; it cost me $240.00 round trip for my boxes. I shipped them to the business office at the convention center at Mandalay Bay - where they charged $50.00 to store them for me for the week before the show and another $50.00 after the show to hand them off to UPS. I also brought an extra suitcase with show stuff at a cost of $70.00 roundtrip.

(I am not nitpicking pricing here, because I am willing to pay for the services I get, just giving you some numbers to float around in your head)

Now, this is where the drayage part comes in because you still have to get the boxes from the convention business offices to your booth and then get the boxes back to the business office at the end of the show.

Mine were heavy boxes and I really did have a plan to take care of this (I should mention that Pool provided a freight company to do most of this for me, but they seemed pricey on top of all my other shipping charges and I thought I could save a few bucks and do it another way).

But, my plan got a bit screwed up when I arrived at the airport with a 50 lb suitcase (the limit I was absolutely positive was the maximum, but I was absolutely positively incorrect because it turns out to be 40 lbs now - wth!) which I had to unload and get down to 40 pounds, so ... I unloaded the metal luggage carrier I had in my suitcase that I was going to use to pick up my boxes from the convention business center and carry them to and from my booth.

<-----these were my little freebie wine bottle stoppers, if anyone wants one pop me an email and I will drop a free one in the mail - our wine bottles always seem to end up empty - we never need a stopper ...


OK, so I got to the business office the morning of set up

(I should add that I called the business office on the day my boxes arrived to make sure they had received them, then I called them back and asked the guy to physically eyeball them and make sure the boxes weren't crushed, then I called them back and asked the guy to shake them and let me know if he heard any broken glass ... shipping test tubes is not for sissies ...)

and I asked the very nice guy at the counter if I could get my boxes delivered to my booth and he said "no, problem" - I gave him a map and my location and had my boxes within the hour ... so, this led me to "assume" (yes, I know) that when I needed the boxes picked up from my booth at the end of the show and brought back to the business office, exactly what I was doing right then but in reverse, it would not be a problem either ....

So ...

the morning of the last day I made two very early trips from my hotel room to the business center (through the casino, etc) with my empty boxes so they could store them during that last day, which they did.

That night, at the end of the show I went back to the business office to pick up my empties and asked the same nice guy at the counter how I could make arrangements to get the filled boxes back to the management office and he said "we don't do that- you have to bring them here." I asked if I could borrow or buy some kind of cart or handtruck and he said "nope". At this point I was just like, OK, I can carry this stuff myself.

(I have been doing Jillian Michael's kickbutt workout for 2 months, for pete's sake!)

"You can't phone it in Cat! Just do it!" --->

As I was leaving the business office the counter guy yelled to me "remember we close at 6" - I checked my phone and it was 5:15. I was still totally calm, after all I have packed up a craft show in 15 minutes or less many times.

Of course, usually after a craft show I am either - low on product because the show was good, or tossing the stuff into boxes because the show was not so good and I just want to get home. I wasn't packing the stuff up to mail.

(I should also mention that my sister, probably sensing some kind of nightmare ahead - or maybe just because she had to go back to work, had smartly left the day before and I was on my own)

I had to bubble wrap the test tubes (in used bubble wrap with the old tape still intact and if you have ever had to remove tape from bubble wrap you know how easy this is), pack everything up in pretty much the same way I shipped it so the box weights would match up to the return labels I had already purchased (again not an easy thing to do with my total lack of short-term memory situation).

(and you know how things never seem to fit back in their boxes once you take them out)

I could literally hear the clock ticking in my head. I then have to carry the 3 (two of which were heavy and one just awkward) boxes back to the business office ... through the crowds. The last box was 40 pounds, which still doesn't sound like that much to me, but trust me, it was ....

After I had shipped my 3 boxes and left the business services office at 5:59 pm I went back to the show to finish up. I still had way too much stuff left to carry back to my room in one trip.

But, I was determined to not walk what was probably 6 city blocks through restaurant lines and the casino back to my room more than once, so I totally loaded myself up with bags containing things like a metal magnetboard and a 30" corkboard, a box of jewelry and (heavy) linesheets, an awkward wheeled suitcase, a camera bag and my pocketbook stuffed with these huge bases for my floor banners (which I somehow could not fit back in the banner box for shipping).

I was kind of like a very polite homeless woman who had lost her shopping cart squeezing through the partying crowds saying "excuse me, pardon me" over and over again.

(by now you are probably thinking this has been 10 minutes of your life you will never get back but there could be a lesson in here somewhere for all of us, mostly me though)

I finally got back to my room, note- there are constant elevator lines at Mandalay Bay and no one wanted this shopping cart-less homeless woman in their elevator - so even that took me awhile - dropped all my stuff and collapsed ...

like totally collapsed. As in a great big sobbing pile on the floor. I called hubby who was watering the garden before bed and he said "just sit down and close your eyes and let me tell you what I am looking at" and he told me all about the tomatoes and peppers and melons and stars and I felt a little better.

I ran the tub and called room service.

When the waiter delivered the food, he asked me if everything was ok (yes, it was one of those big old ugly cries, that forces people to get involved even when they don't want to) and I said, "yeah, I just miss my family."

I ate dinner in the tub while watching Dr. Phil on the bathroom TV (and why, is Dr. Phil on at 8:00 at night in Las Vegas, just another strange backwards thing in my opinion) and trying to figure out what all these tears meant anyway.

My daughter called and asked how the break down went and I couldn't help laughing that my break down had created a breakdown - I mean, really wth, I have done much much, harder stuff than this, believe me.

Truly I blame Vegas

and time zones because I was waking up every morning at 4am wide awake

and the crazy constant stimulation that made me nuts. My next tradeshows will most likely be New York and San Francisco; both places I love, so hopefully I can break down the booths without breaking into the human equivalent of jello instant pudding.

I think my lessons are 1. better planning 2. I can't do everything myself 3. Vegas sucks

(I have heard from alot of people who love Vegas and I totally get that, but when a Jersey girl says a place is loud and kind of obnoxious, you have totally got to take that seriously - also you have to take into consideration that I never set foot outside Mandalay Bay, so it was kind of like living in a gigantic, crowded mall for a week)

oh, and yes, sisters are very, very important and can save your life (thank you Tori!).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Swimming Lessons - my first tradeshow, Miss Universe contestants are shorter (and yes, skinnier) than they look on tv and when a breakdown breaks down

Last week I exhibited at my first tradeshow - Pool in Las Vegas.

Pool is a very cool, cutting edge indie design show and branded as "the place to find emerging art & design driven trends".

The cash and carry section where most jewelry makers exhibit was full with jewelry when I applied, so I ended up in the next most affordable area called CO-OP (although, it is the most expensive per square foot piece of real estate at the show). My space was 6'X8' and really a challenge for me to work with.

I didn't have my space assignment (since CO-OP spaces are not numbered) until set up and was stoked to find I had an 'end' location. Although, the next day when the food area was set up my 'end' disappeared and I bordered the buffet line- I was still happy to have some extra inches for my signage and a little more room in my space (hoping everyone else didn't hate me for this).

The show opened on Tuesday at 9 a.m. (I set up the day before) and when my sister and I arrived at the booth Tuesday morning we already had a customer waiting for us. She wrote a $1400.00 order for her California store and my sister and I were thinking we were going to be super busy and write a million orders that day!

(we actually didn't have another customer in the booth for 2 hours)

The traffic was sporadic so I never really got into any kind of groove that day with my 'spiel'. I had planned for customers to sit down and pick from my lookbook, but they wanted to see actual products and were usually piling the things they wanted onto the table.

(the good news was that I had brought alot of product with me - way too much - but the bad news is that my linesheet pictures for the locket lids were too small for customers to decide without asking to see the real thing, so things felt a little chaotic)

I also have to admit (somebody smack me - ugh) that not once during the 3 day show did I ever say the words "can I write up an order for you?" which was, you might remember, along with my enthusiasm for my work, my entire sales plan.

Luckily, some of the buyers took matters into their own hands and said "let's write an order" or they just started telling me what they wanted.

I got great feedback from buyers and many of them wanted my display props which I am happily sending out with their orders.

Two words about Las Vegas - TOO MUCH. Too much going on, too much stimulation, too much cigarette smoke, too much ... of everything except the really important things like in-room coffee makers (what's up with that Las Vegas?), refrigerators where you can actually store things and keep them cold, a movie channel without a $15.00 charge attached to each movie.

Of course, Las Vegas did have ... men throwing escort cards at any man walking down the street, condoms in my room, a tv that reminded me everytime I turned it on that the title of any movie purchased would not appear on my bill, tvs in the elevators, a tv in my bathroom (which actually did come in handy the night of my "break-down" while I sobbed, ate cold french fries and watched Dr. Phil from the tub).

I will wrap this up on Friday. Research shows that the average blog reader spends 45 seconds reading a blog post, so I probably lost everyone at ... "the show opened" ...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Some Quick Pics from the Pool Tradeshow in Las Vegas ... or what happens there doesn't stay there this time

This pup is back!

I got home from the Pool Tradeshow in Las Vegas this weekend and can say for certain that it was an adventure and I am glad I did it.

Some things went better than I expected and others not so well - more on this later in the week while the suspense builds -

(I will say that I had a bit of a breakdown at the break-down and the Miss Universe pageant was going on during our stay, so my sister and I were really pissed that we had forgotten our sashes, tiaras and 6 inch spikes)

for now I have some catching up to do in the studio.

As far as the city itself goes, let's just say hubby is one step closer to getting me to move into that barn in the woods he's been dreaming on ...







Thursday, August 12, 2010

this pup is outta here ....

off to Vegas for Pool- back in 1 week folks - enjoy the last days of summer and rub your lucky pennies for me!

xo- Cat

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Whining Wednesday - without the actual ... well, whining

I can't really whine because I am way too much a glass half full

(with vodka)

kind of girl these days, so let's just call this a Wednesday fireside chat

(because it's Wednesday and hot enough to start a fire)


Chat 1 - My bud Sherry Truitt's excellent research into what does and does not work with our banner ad advertising "campaigns" has me realizing that I have not done any extensive research in a long time.

(maybe since I was a child when I put a wet washcloth on a piece of bread and lay it in the back of the broom closet to see if I could grow mold - I could - I also once took the telephone apart)

Remember when we did research instead of googling things? Now, we suspect that someone else has already done the research and it would be a waste of our time to re-search, so we search google for five minutes and either get our answer or give up.

But, Sherry has inspired me and I am going to research something .... not sure what yet, but the idea of little graphs and charts

(with maybe some action figures thrown in from my happy meal collection)

really gets my juices flowing ... it has to be something I can do in pencil, too ... I really need a reason to use my graphite.

Chat 2 - OK, so was anyone else stunned to see Nicole get voted off Work of Art?! I was speechless. I had to do a couple laps around my studio to make sure I was still on planet Earth.

Granted that nature piece was not her best work ... but still ...

Chat 3 - On Friday I will have my first acupuncture treatment - I am curious if anyone has done this.

My bud Kristen Tercek recommended a local healer she and her hubby have seen a couple times named Shelby Sickles. I am thinking with a name like that she has to be good.

<---- (kind of like these guys)

I will let everyone know how that goes. Have been having the tingling in arm and fingers and shoulder pain for a while again, so hoping this "energy reset" will help.

(editor's note- so after I wrote this I was warned about acupuncture bruising and have been thinking that bruises all over my neck before a show is probably not a good idea - maybe I will have to do a little research about this - better grab my Speed Racer action figure and a sharpened number 2 for this one ... )

Chat 4 - I am off to Vegas in a few days. My sister is meeting me there to help me at Pool and we have already decided that if we are going to lose money, it is going to be through shopping - hoping some of those cash and carry tables will have a minimum purchase of ... well ... one item ... - and not through a poorly played hand of blackjack.

(neither of us are gamblers, unless you count our willingness to use public restrooms and eat street food)

Also hoping that what happens in Vegas, doesn't stay in Vegas and I come home with a few new wholesale accounts.

Well, got nothing else. Busy making jewelry and packing things up and trying to stay cool through this hottest summer on record!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Take 10 Tuesday - the lazy-girl summer version where we get to 7 this week

1. Are you all in? over at Illuminated Mind

2. It's not time to scale back the gulf oil clean up - is it? over at TreeHugger

3. How much of yourself do you have to reveal to succeed? over at thinktraffic


4. An assistant orders a sandwich at D.A. Wagner

5. Carmen Torbus announces a scholarship contest

6. Brenda shares some tips for selling handknits on Etsy at Phydeaux Designs

7. Rachel's new blog is filled with total gorgeous inspiration!

8. 55 quotes to inspire creativity, innovation and action over at awake at the wheel

authenticity print by emilyleypaper

Monday, August 9, 2010

Enthusiasm is the beautiful beginning that changes everything ... hell, yeah

On Saturday night, after weeks of deliberation, I finally purchased Danielle LaPorte's Firestarter Sessions to see if they could get me a bit more "fired up" for my upcoming wholesale shows.

I scrolled within seconds to the following paragraph - in a 192 page ebook with maybe 350 (?) paragraphs. (HELLO!)

"Enthusiasm is the genuine Yes! that will uncork your genius, signal your muses to come down, and magnetize the resources you need to be within your reach. Enthusiasm is the beautiful beginning that changes everything." - Danielle LaPorte

If you know what I sell you can see why these words jumped right off the page and into my head and heart! KABAM!

It felt truly like a gigantic YES! from the universe just for me at exactly the moment I needed it (almost knocked me right out of bed).

(or am I like the guy who buys the red Honda and then sees red Hondas everywhere?)

Anyhoo, wishing you a week filled with the kind of magical synchronicities that will knock you right out of bed, too ...

lovin' this winking, gunning cat by retrowhale

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Finds - Inspiration is Everywhere!

These wonderful little totems from Donald Corey are designed to create a visual reminder of our goals.

The cricket represents 'Luck', the spider 'Power' and the lightning bug, 'Creativity'."

These pieces have me thinking of all the ways we can tell stories with our own work.

So, instead of calling that blue necklace we've been working on 'blue necklace' maybe a name like .. 'clarity' would allow our buyer to see how wearing our work can bring the ideals of our intention into their own life when wearing it.


Could these clothes hangers by Anna Thomas be any more perfect?
The simplicity and brilliance just takes my breathe away!

How can our own work shout something so amazing, so simply?

Damn that is a great intention to work on.

And how brilliant is this Red Bull "airdrop" freebie marketing campaign on this college campus?


This project was developed as an interactive experience.

The objective was to break the passiveness of the experience of free product samples and involve the students in an interactive experience where they would become a part of the campaign itself.

How can we make our own customers part of our campaign? This one has really got me thinking!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and remember that inspiration is everywhere!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Recycled Book Book-Rack DIY Upcycled Tutorial

By now I am sure you are thinking that I am obsessed with drilling into books, but I really do love my books and hate to put holes in them ....

(maybe I need a 12 step)

Here an old book easily makes a great little bookrack that you are going to love!

This also allows you to stand up some books on a shelf that may be a bit too narrow for them.

what you need:

a hard cover book that you have already read
2 hardware handles (not sure what these are called, I got them in the hardware store near the drawer pulls and hinges)
4 bolts
drill, drill bit that is larger than your handle hardware

1. measure your hardware and mark your drilling holes
2. drill slowly and firmly
3. drop in your handle hardware
4. bolt underneath and on top
5. add some books



And some amazing Etsy finds for you bibliophiles:


1. Leather Journal by Julie Boyles
2. Great Rules of Writing Wood Notepad by Quotes and Notes
3. Unblocked Tee by Citrus Tree
4. Keep Calm and Read On by KeepCalm Shop
5. Eco-friendly Chalkboard by HalfpintSalvage

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Take 10 Tuesday - the lazy girl summer version where we get to 7 this week

1. Carmen drops a love bomb (we are totally doing this!)

2. More Than Lemonade Part I and Part II- Sherry Truitt gets real on advertising - excellent

3. Why Entrepreneurs Need Community by Glen Stansberry for Awake at the Wheel.

4. step away from the karma, choosing not to get involved at Danielle LaPorte (this is a little older, but I just saw it - if you are not reading Danielle, you probably will be).

I had jury duty a couple years ago after getting out of it a few times

(a very hard thing to do here in New Jersey)

and I got to be the jury foreman - because I was sitting in seat #1 and the judge asked me a couple questions and determined I was not a total idiot (just a couple questions, so it was easy for me to fool him). It was nothing life or death, very cut and dry and only lasted a couple days and I loved it - a very interesting experience.

5. The cool kids and why that's a flawed idea by Sister Diane at CraftyPod

6. Sheena Iengar podcast on the art of choosing at TED

7. The Law of Anti-Attraction by Sonia Simone.

choose photograph by anwaar on flickr

Monday, August 2, 2010

Why The World Wants Needs Our Passion - the why of our business ...

"don’t ask what the world needs. ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - howard thurman

So, I truly, truly believe that it is the passion in people that draws us to them and draws us to the things they have created - our energy seeking out energy that makes us feel good - that makes us feel more alive -

the law of attraction thing that doesn't involve diamonds and maseratis.

As I get ready for my first wholesale shows I had gotten myself a bit stressed out about the sales part of all of this (and all the other parts, but this particular part at this particular moment).

I am not any kind of "sales" person in the sense that I can flatter, cajole or close the sale.

Ever notice how hard it is at a craft show to just say the words -"can I wrap this up for you?" ... ugh ... I used to be better at that when I sold things I didn't create.

I think the more personal the work we sell gets, the harder this gets for some of us.

As I am saying "can I wrap this up for you?" - I am hearing "do you like me?" - damn this stuff is hard)

Anyhoo, I realized just this morning that I have actually been looking at this entire situation backwards. The question isn't what am I losing by not having a salesperson and how do I bring that to the table - well, that question does need to be addressed and I will get to that one, but the bigger question is what advantage do I have as the maker that the salesperson in the booth next to me does not have?

Well ... I have the why of this whole thing because I am the why. I have the passion!

Now, how I translate this passion into actual words that will reach the other person - because I can't just jump around and act all ... well ... passionate ...

(this would probably get rather exhausting and might even earn me a quick trip to one of those famous Las Vegas institutions for people who are a little too passionate - like those prophetizing the end of the world on street corners or selling other things on street corners)

so I am thinking the key to all of this goes back to my why and connecting that why to those store owners who have their own whys for their own businesses.

For example I think that most people (when given the choice and the story - the why - the passion - of the maker providing that passion is about more than making money) want to buy handmade.

(and I should note I am not saying there is anything wrong with the maker wanting to make money too, of course, if we are selling our makings we want to make money, but a higher calling does create a higher energy)

And I think that most people want to buy sustainable, eco friendly goods provided that 1. they do not have to go to any incredibly heroic lengths to do so, 2. that you do not make them feel bad about not doing so - no green-guilt please, I just hate that and I'm sure others do, too and 3. that the items are truly cool and beautiful and not just "green". It isn't enough to be made from something already out there or something organic or something "green". It has to stand on its own two feet. My work does. So this is the kind of stuff I will be talking about with these store owners - why their customers will want to buy my stuff from them!

Oh, and I will be saying "can I write up an order for you?" or even better, if I am feeling very brave (please, please let me be feeling very brave) "did you want the show special or to choose your own selection?"

As a side note, well 2 side notes actually: I went to the chiropractor and he did an ultrasound treatment on my forearm/elbow area for tendonitis and it totally cured my posion ivy which just happened to be in exactly the same place on my arm for almost a month (in less than 5 minutes) so you may be reading about this in medical journals oneday.

(if there is anyone out there who reads medical journals and Olive Bites blog)

I should add that a friend had also given me Louise Hays book, "You Can Heal Your Life" . The book's suggested cause for poison ivy is “feeling defenseless and open to attack.” Her suggestion for a new thought pattern to cure this is: “I am powerful, safe, and secure. All is well.”

So, maybe the combination of ultrasound and ultrasound thinking has finally cured this thing.

Also has anyone seen an eggplant like this one - we have 3 of these growing in the garden - what the hell is going on with our eggplant?? (I added the rootbeer for a size comparison)

They look like some kind of genetic engineering experiment gone wrong- I wonder what Louise Hays would say about this?



mad, passionate love print by theloveshop and learn it print by iamserious both are available in their etsy shops