As usual, I woke up today to several emails. Like anyone who has a routine, going through them first thing in the morning is one of mine. I like to see what I may have missed during the night and see if there was any orders or things like that which need my immediate attention.
I like Google Gmail because it allows you to categorize your mail and add color coded labels on emails from people or places where you receive frequent emails from. For instance, orders from my site are one color, mail from here at LJ’s is another and so on and so on. That way, even with my aging eyes I can at least tell where the email is from all the way from across the room. As I write this, I suppose it is the epitome of laziness, but it is quite helpful when I am at the saw or something like that and I receive email on orders and such.
In any case, there were several nice thing in my email box that made it a good day already. I had a couple of nice newsy letters from friends, which always makes me happy and I had one email in particular from a customer who had just visited the site.
The customer wrote a short note just to compliment me on the site and the quality of my patterns there. He said he had been to many sites and that he really thought ours were some of the best out there. It was a short note, but it immediately put me in a good mood and made me want to do even better.
Funny how that works, isn’t it?
Those of you who read regularly know how much of myself I put into my work. To me, there is little better reward for it than making others happy and having them appreciate what I do. I know that I need to consider the financial aspect too, and I am trying to be a better businesswoman in that respect, but I can’t deny the warm and fuzzy feelings that envelop me when I read a note such as the one I received this morning. It is truly appreciated.
Besides that note, there were a couple of great letters from friends I made here on Lumberjocks. I love keeping in touch and getting to know people better. I have mentioned before that I can type pretty fast and that is a good thing because I wouldn’t be able to keep up with anyone if I didn’t. Besides these emails, I have friends from facebook and when I get the opportunity (which isn’t too often) I go into the forum here that is off topic to see what everyone is up to. I don’t usually participate much there because I just don’t have the time, but I read through nonetheless and it helps me to get to know the regular members a bit better.
Yesterday, I received a package from Hacksaw here on Lumberjocks. It was a small box that was simply full of beautiful layered pen blanks for Keith to work with on his lathe. He had asked my address and had said he had some pieces to send, but I had no idea that it would be such a wonderful array of cool wood. Just because. I want to publicly thank him for his kindness and generosity and also let him know how much it is appreciated. It is a good example of the kindness of people and how true friendships can be formed through places like this.
I can go on and on with stories of the many friendships I have made through this site, and I am sure that you have your own stories too. There are those who are skeptical about places like this and don’t believe that friendships can be forged from half way across the world but I beg to differ. We see examples of it every day and it really does enrich our lives and make us better people.
I just want to say that I appreciate all the wonderful friendships that I have made and let you all know how you have made my life better. You have all truly added happiness to my life with your many acts of kindness and supportive words and friendship. Thank you so much.
As far as work is going, I hit a good milestone yesterday in that I finished the first of the new series of patterns that I am working on. I say it is a milestone because getting the formatting and presentation how I want it to be was somewhat of a challenge on this one. Not that it is complicated, but just that I want it right.
I find that I am taking longer doing patterns these days, but I don’t think that is a bad thing. Once again, it seems that the more compliments I receive from customers, the better job I want to do. (Positive reinforcement in its purest form!) I also believe that selling so much more at the retail level has something to do with it too. It isn’t that I didn’t care before, but I find it especially important to have things as perfect as I can because I speak and interact with so many customers from my site and met so many of them at the show in March. It is a different mindset when I am able to put faces to my customers and know that there are really people out there who enjoy my patterns and use them to build the projects. I know that may sound ridiculous, but somehow when only selling wholesale, it tends to buffer you from the customers and it is a different feeling altogether. Does that make sense?
In any case, I find that the level of pride that I take in my work has skyrocketed in the past couple of years and the more customer contact that I have, the better. The feedback from them on my patterns also helps me tremendously to see where I could explain things clearer than I may have done so in the past. It is all good.
Today will be a full day of drawing again. That isn’t a bad thing though, as I enjoy that part of my job very much. Now that I have the first pattern in this series under my belt, I feel like I can make good progress with others in the same series.
Once again my head is exploding with ideas. I have a whole list of Christmas and fall holiday items that I want to make and I don’t know where to start. I just have to remember to take things one day at a time and make the best use of the time I have.
Thank you all again for your continued support. I really do appreciate your friendships and advice and it has made my life so much better by being here and getting to know you. I feel very fortunate.
“You can gain more friends by being yourself than you can by putting up a front. You can gain more friends by building people up than you can by tearing them down. And you can gain more friends by taking a few minutes from each day to do something kind for someone, whether it be a friend or a complete stranger. What a difference one person can make!” Sasha Azevedo
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"