Thursday, December 23, 2010

Well, apparently that old saying is true... just can't please everyone.

I just dealt with my first unhappy customer and it's hitting me hard. I have to admit I got upset and emotional at certain points, which I shouldn't have done, but it's difficult. I put a lot of myself into my work, even if it is just soap.

Fellow sellers, how do you deal with this? I'm looking for helpful hints because I'm struggling with it. I know I have many happy customers, many who come back again, so I know I shouldn't let one really displeased person get me down, but it is. It got sort of personal, sad to say, and it's getting to me.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Blessed be.

I know it's been ages since I've posted. Some of you may not even recall you follow this blog and wonder who the heck is showing up randomly in your feed. I'm still here, I just fail at using this and Twitter for sure.

However, I need to share something. My faith in humanity has slightly been restored thanks to a lovely lady and her blog. You may have seen something on Facebook about this as the link to her blog has been getting passed around (which is how I found out about it). It's The Blogess. She's done an amazing thing...networked those in need with those who can help. Complete strangers, giving during the time of year that is increasingly being known for it's selfishness and animosity (remember the guy who got trampled to death by holiday shoppers in Wal-Mart?).

Things have been really rough for me and my family, in ways I don't really feel comfortable talking about most of the time. Partially due to the fact that I hate to dwell on these things because frankly they just depress me. The other part is that I hate, absolutely HATE, to ask for help. It's a position I find myself in more and more and it's one that never gets less uncomfortable.

So when lovely people immediately contacted me to offer help, or bought things from my shops in response to my story, I was overwhelmed. I still get misty-eyed thinking about it.

So, just a few days prior to Yule, I may get my holiday wish after all. Which, honestly, was keeping my heat on and feeding myself and my pets.

Happy Holidays everyone, regardless of what you choose to celebrate, and know that there are indeed still good people in this world who celebrate this season of giving the way it was meant to be celebrated.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Holy neglect Batman!

Wow, I have failed miserably at keeping up with this blog. Did anyone miss me? I guess I just find it easier and more time-effective to use my Facebook fan page these days, especially since there is so much chaos in my personal life right now.

However, I am happy to say that I finally made a Treasury on Etsy. I've been a seller there for almost 2 years now, and I just never got around to it.

I am pleased to present: In Hearts and Minds

Please click on the link and take a peek! It showcases some of my incredibly talented friends. :)


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Buddha's Birthday

Yesterday morning I was fortunate enough to attend the Hanamatsuri ceremony at the Cleveland Buddhist Temple. Such a lovely ceremony that is in celebration of the Buddha's birth. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to take photos of the altar, which was stunningly decorated with daisies and irises. I paid my respect to Buddha by bowing and pouring sweet tea over the small statue enclosed in the lovely shrine, which is temporary and only used at this time of year.

For more information on this day, you can read up on it on this website containing information on Shin Buddhism.

I can't post any of the photos from inside the Temple, as they are for Temple use, but once they are up on the Temple's Facebook Fan Page I will be sure to post the link. :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

10 Great Reasons to Support Local Businesses

I realize there's a slight irony to this since I sell online, but there are some really fantastic reasons to support locally owned businesses over large chain stores. While the price tags may be a touch higher at your local boutique compared to someplace that touts "low everyday prices" ala Wal-Mart, the actual price of shopping in such places can be rather high, especially in the long-term. I won't go into an anti-WalMart rant (I am VERY against shopping there...for more info. on why, check out the documentary "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices"), but I thought that this list (taken from the book "Green Christmas: How to Have a Joyous, Eco-Friendly Holiday Season" by Jennifer Basye Sander and Peter Sander) sums it up very nicely. Their numbers are based on data from Chicago, but I'm sure that upon exploration, the same can be said of many communities.

"1) Keep money in the neighborhood. Studies show that Chicago-owned businesses circulate 70% more money back into the local community per square foot than chain stores."

"2) Embrace what makes us different." Shopping locally can help maintain a neighborhood's local character. Chicago is a great example of this. Each neighborhood has it's own distinct vibe, and local business capture that beautifully.

"3) Get better service." Frequenting a locally owned business can be a truly wonderful experience. It's more personal, and after a while, you build a meaningful business relationship with the owner(s)/employees. There's nothing quite like a big smile from someone behind the counter while they greet you by name.

"4) Create and keep good jobs. Nationally, local businesses are the largest employers and account for the majority of job growth." Locally owned business are less likely to outsource to another country. They have a vested interest in the community that they do business in, and oftentimes live in the very same community, or at least close by.

"5) Promote competition and diversity." Variety is the spice of life, and a bit of healthy competition can mean better products and service for customers.

"6) Less sprawl and environmental damage." A fair majority of locally owned businesses are in already existing buildings. For the small business owner, it's oftentimes more cost-effective to move into a place that is already built rather then clear land and build new. This is also great news for the local ecosystem since it means less disruption of the environment.

"7) Support community organizations. Nonprofits receive an average of 350 percent more support from local business groups then they do from non-locally owned businesses."

"8) Put your taxes to good use." Obviously, if a business exists in a community, then the taxes that business pays go back to the community. They also make much better use of public services in their area.

"9) Small changes mean big impact. An Austin, Texas study showed that if each household redirected just $100 of planned holiday spending from chain stores to locally owned merchants it would create some $10 million in local economic impact." The holidays are the biggest spending season, and what makes or breaks many businesses.

"10) Invest in the community." Again, local business people often live in the community they provide merchandise for, so they have an interest in the health of the community, especially economically. A good business person will support local efforts to improve the economy, as well as other important parts of their neighborhoods. It's just smart business.

I don't mean to knock shopping online in any way, but when choosing where to buy your goods (like groceries, etc), keep these things in mind. :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

It's always lovely to get attention for your work

It's happened twice this week! :) First, I made the front page of Etsy with one of my prints, and then I find out it's been featured in this lovely blog: Friday Favorites

I've been lax in keeping up with this blog, but if you're curious about what I've been up to product-wise, you can always add my Facebook Fan Page. I have a much easier time keeping that up-to-date.

I hope everyone is well!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring is on it's way!

Before you know it, tulips and daffodils will be pushing their way to the sun! I'm busy working on new items for my shops to celebrate the season, so be sure to check them. :)
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Signs of Spring

A selection of spring colors and items by the talented Etsy Chat Team

Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Etsy Shop!

I finally decided to dedicate an entire shop to my bath and body line! I hope this makes it easier for people to find me and shop.

It's very much a work in progress, but you can find Spooky Grrrl here.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm posting this for my reference...

...but there may be others who can use the information. I'm looking into products for a friend that are coconut free since her children have allergies.

Click here to see the post of coconut allergy information.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Helpful Website for Those Curious About Common Skincare/Beauty Product Ingredients

In my search to find information on good natural preservatives to use in my products I found a very nice website that is quite helpful. You may wish to take a peek. Remember that just because something is labeled "natural" or "organic" does not mean it really is either of those things. Labeling regulation here in the U.S. is not very good in my opinion, especially when it comes to personal care items. It's amazing what manufacturers can get away with! This is one of the many reasons I began making my own body butters, etc....I have much more control over what goes into my product and therefore onto my skin. I use all of the things I make, and I have some of the fussiest skin you can imagine. If I can use it then most anyone else can!

I hope some of you find this helpful. What we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put into our bodies. Our skin absorbs a great deal, so be good to it!

Click here to see the site.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year.

"Art is no recreation, it canot be learned at spare moments, nor pursued when we have nothing better to do. It is no handiwork for drawing-room tables, no relief for the ennui of boudoirs; it must be understood and undertaken seriously or not at all. To advance it men's lives must be given, and to receive it, their hearts." John Ruskin, Modern Painters, 1843

Wishing all of my fellow artisans a prosperous and happy 2010. :)