What a good day yesterday turned out to be. Not only did I get a great deal accomplished, but I also had several nice emails come my way as well. It is days like that which show me that we are on the right track.
I spent the bulk of the day working with Keith on getting the website updated again. I noticed that I am mentioning that more and more and it seems that we are updating things on an average of every couple of weeks. That is great because we find that it is much easier to do things that way than wait until there is a huge amount of information to present. I think two newsletters per month is an acceptable rate and our customers really seem to be happy to hear about what we have added on from one issue to the next. That way too, we aren’t overloading people with too much information at one time.
We are – as always – looking for ways to make our site look great and be really easy to navigate. With such a variety of work and a growing amount of patterns, this can be a bit of a challenge.
Naturally, there is a “Search” box at the top of the page so if people are looking for a particular themed pattern they can find it easily, but many people come in and just want to browse around to see what we have and we both feel that it is important that things are categorized in a way that makes sense.
There is also the issue of the painting side of things vs. the scroll sawing and woodworking side. Right now we have sub pages for the painting items, but as we grow we are wondering if it wouldn’t be to our advantage to have a separate painting site altogether. But this means having to not only pay the costs of the additional site, but also maintaining it as well. It is something that we need to decide soon, as that side of our business is growing and we hope it continues to do so.
While we think that it will soon be inevitable, we also realize that the longer we wait, the bigger we are getting in that area and the more work it will take to transfer everything to a new site.
In any case, everything is updated now and the newsletter is out and all is well. I even added the article that I did on Margot’s MUD (the texture paste that I used on the bell ornament pattern) which teaches step-by-step how to use the product. The ornaments are pictured below, and you can read the article HERE.
I had a couple emails in the last several days from customers that have said how much they enjoyed my painting and woodworking designs. My editor forwarded a note that was sent to her from a gentleman in England who had made some of our projects from the magazines and also was a customer of ours. He sang high praises as to our work and how he thought we added greatly to the magazine. I can honestly tell you that letters such as that are the best rewards that we could ever receive.
I also had an email last night from a woman who painted some of my Halloween ornaments and was looking for more designs. She told me how much she enjoyed them and it truly made me happy that she took the time to tell me. It is nice to know that people are beginning to seek out our work and it really does make a huge difference in my mindset. I always say how much I love what I do, but hearing how much others appreciate it too brings immeasurable satisfaction and makes me just want to do even better.
Finally, when I awoke, I had a wonderful email in my mail box from a customer who told me how happy he was that I included painting instructions in many of my patterns. While he stated that he felt many projects were left natural, he said how much he enjoyed painting some of them and sent me several pictures of our designs that he completed.
I just couldn’t stop smiling!
I suppose this answered the questions I may have had yesterday regarding if I was adding too much to my patterns.
All this shows me that we are on the right track and doing the right thing. After being told by the one wholesaler that our patterns were too long and that people didn’t want painting instructions and that it just wasted paper and made the pattern more costly to print, I think the above pictures proved them wrong.
I maintain that people DO want to try new things. At pennies per page to print, I feel that the minimal cost is well worth it if we are offering designs that people will thoroughly enjoy and maybe learn from too. I always felt that if the information were presented to them as an option, they didn’t have to do things that way if they didn’t want. But perhaps they did want to expand their abilities a little bit and try something new. That would be good for us all.
These examples of customer feedback were only from one day. I frequently receive many emails that tell me how much people appreciate our detailed instructions, along with our good service. This, to me means more than anything. It is the best reward I could receive.
I think I am on the right track. And I plan to keep heading in that direction. While it may not be what everyone else does, I feel it is right for us.
Who wants to be like everyone else anyway?
Have a great day!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"