While I am always grateful for the life I have and the people in it, there are some days when it seems quite overwhelming to me. I have wonderful kids, friends and people in my life who make every day good (they even make the not so good ones better) I have a job that I love which allows me to be creative and meet other creative people and share that joy with them. I live in a quiet, beautiful and peaceful place, yet I am still able to ‘visit’ and communicate with people all over the world, who not only inspire me, but also become good friends. I am a very lucky girl.
For those of you who read often, you know that sometimes I get all warm and fuzzy like this. I don’t always know what brings it on, but every once in a while I just take a step back and look in awe at my life and I feel so grateful that I have to say it.
Yesterday I posted my new patterns up on my site and at the various places that I have on the web here (Picasa Web Albums, Facebook, Scrollsaw Workshop, etc.) While I do this often, it is rare that I post to everything at once. Usually it is just here or there, but I was particularly proud of this project and I thought I would spend the time and do so. I also put out a newsletter to my subscribers announcing that the patterns were now available.
The response that I received was overwhelming. In all the time that I have been doing this, I have never received such a reaction to a mailing. Maybe it was the timing. Maybe the product. Maybe just a little bit of both. It was like all the planets and stars and sun were aligned properly and things just worked out.
I planned on doing some drawing for the rest of the day, but I am happy to say that I spent the afternoon and evening filling orders and answering emails and corresponding with my customers. It was great.
I really love my customers. I enjoy when they share their pictures and ideas and thoughts with me. It’s a part of the business that I don’t ever want to change. When I receive an order from my site, I am the one that sends it out. I know that many sites have the ability to be fully automated, and I do believe that my site is the same. If I wanted to change things, I could set it up where my patterns are uploaded as downloadable files (like I do for the free pattern) and the customers would be able to self-serve without me being involved at all. But I really don’t want to do that. To me, that somewhat de-personalizes (is that a word?) things and to me it would take away part of what I like about it.
I know that as I grow I need to figure out ways to do things more efficiently, and I think that in many aspects I am doing just that. But for now at least, I like that I personally fill each order and have direct contact with every customer that I have. I want to hold on to that as long as I can.
Yesterday as I was filling an order, I recognized a customer who has purchased some of my patterns before. As usual, I put a little personal greeting in when I sent her order. A little while later, I received a nice message back from her, including some pictures of what she has done with my patterns. I was thrilled that she had such fun with them and it made me feel good to see that she not only enjoyed them, but had several orders for the finished projects. This is one of my favorite parts of designing.
Here are the pictures Carol sent me:
The first picture is a variety of my embellished ornament designs where she embedded different beads and stones into the pieces. I think they look great!
The second picture shows how Carol scrolled names into the tops of the little sled ornaments that I designed to personalize them for people. She said she has many ordered.
I really appreciate when people share things like this with me. Sometimes they seem to be timid about it and say they hope I won’t be insulted because they changed the design. Nothing could be further from how I feel. I always am very flattered that someone would take the time to modify my designs to suit their own needs. Many times, seeing the different ways that they utilize the patterns also sparks some new ideas in me for future designs. It is all good.
So with that said, I just want to say ‘thank you’ again to everyone for all your support and friendship. Whether you are family or friends or customers or a little of each, I truly appreciate your comments and feedback and ideas. You just make me want to do even better!
Have a great Monday!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"