Monday, May 18, 2009

Organization of Business when Travelling

I'm so excited to be attending the NorthWest Astrological Conference in Seattle, Washington, USA the 4th weekend of May, however I've been debating whether I should bring my laptop and jewellery and ship daily from Seattle, or to add a line to the automatic reply sent when a purchase has been made stating shipping will be an extra day or two.

I always wonder if it's worth all the fuss, especially since Canada Post is inconsistant at it's best! I will only be gone 2 business days so it shouldn't be an outrageous delay. What ARE realistic expectations?

Many shops at the local mall are open 7 days a week and 24 hour service in the comfort of your own home is the new way to shop, on-line. How much should I attend the shop, blog, twitter etc. Feasibly, I could tweet, blog, attend my shop and answer emails first thing in the morning, during the lunch break and of course in the evening. But, should I?

What will happen if I don't think MetalRocks for a few days? What I've learned from the internal debate is I really need a few days off from the shop. I hadn't realized how I have let it overtake my life, like my many other responsibilities. As a wife and mother, I multi-task all the time and I just added MetalRocks into that get-her-done thinking. I'm going away to enjoy my love of astrology AND to not have to think about cooking and cleaning for a few days. Therefore, it would seem to me, that leaving the shop alone for a few days shouldn't do any harm.

The MetalRocks shop I think will be ok, but the house, hubby, daughter and pets? Not so sure!! :-) I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Artist vs Business Owner

I'm trying to focus on creating this week and the universe provided the time with sales slowed to a snail's pace. It's a double edged sword; more sales equals more administrative work and less creative time and less sales equals more creative time but the bills don't get paid. Thankfully, I don't have to sell to pay the mortgage, however our family can't afford to lose money. A metal smith's overhead is high. The equipment is quite costly and metal is way more expensive than most stones or man-made substances many make into jewellery.

For the creative soul, it will always be, artist vs business owner. My suggestion is to allow for creative days by remaining flexible. When you feel those creative juices flowing and you've sketched out so many ideas but haven't actioned them because you are busy filling orders, that's the right time. You don't have to take out days on end, but at least one studio day dedicated to filling this void. You don't have to complete the pieces, just get a good start so your creative hunger is satisfied, or at least the edge is off.

Taking out a day for creativity or to feed the soul, is also a fantastic way to ensure your work doesn't grow stagnant with repetition and your customers don't wander away due to boredom. So speaking of fresh, today is my creative day, just for me. I always feel just a little selfish, but I usually get over it once the tools are in my hands. Off to the studio I merrily go!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fantastic Weekend and Now Back to the Studio!

Welcome, welcome, welcome. I had a fantastic weekend over in the big city of Vancouver! Always fascinating, over-whelming amounts to do and see, and a burnout when I get home. I think I slept most of Monday and when I was awake, well I wasn't exactly focussed.

I attended a workshop on the Hladina Method (see which is a marvelous body of work. I was surprised at the gentleness and effectiveness of method, plus that the results are staying with me. Historically, I'd go to a workshop and withing a few days all the work dissipates and I'm back to my same old stuff. Not so with the Hladina Method. I highly recommend it and have already booked more workshops to attend and hope to be certified within a year.

There has been a slow down in sales so happily I don't feel like I have to play catch up. Manila Tag would like more pieces and I'm working on it. I usually like to dedicate a day a week to the store, however this week I cannot. I've been away and my child, partner and the house need some attention, especially since I'm going to NORWAC (North Western Astrology Conference) in Seattle 2 weeks from today.

I did pick up a new mandrel in Vancouver and it's triangular. Totally cool! Now I'm busy making up Mind, Body and Spirit pieces. I especially like my new item, Mind, Body and Spirit meet Eternity which is pictured. Simple and symbolic.

Today, I've decided to do something nice for a stranger and I challenge you to do the same. I'd love to hear what you did for someone so please send me your story! I'll post mine too!

Lots of sports to watch while I'm in the studio. The Players Championship (golf), Canada plays in the Men's World Hockey Championship and the Vancouver Canucks play tonight as well! Phew, I'd better eat my wheaties!! Have a great day folks!!