Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cajun Stitchery's 2010 New Year's Resolutions

It's a new year and we are back to work.  The theme is now Mardi Gras!  Unbelieveable, it's here again.  The Christmas lights and decor are put away and now I'm planning on Mardi Gras decor.  Purple, green and gold everywhere.  I liked the Christmas table so much that I want to decorate a Mardi Gras table.  Darn!  I should have gotten the gold chargers when I got the red ones.

Now that I have the Etsy website I have one pitiful post on there.  I need to fancy that site up and put more stuff on there.  The handmade part of Cajun Stitchery is going to appease my creative spirit.  I know, I know.  The embroidery work is handmade, too.  But the stuff I plan on putting on Etsy is not embroidery on ready made goods.  It's goods that I've made.  I've even entertained the thought of doing some papier mache.  I love doing papier mache.  It's so foreign to fabric.  It's a real diversity and diversity is a good thing.

Reflecting on last year, we sure did a lot of stuff.  We learned so much about many things, usually by making big mistakes that made us learn.  We purchased the Quicken program and learned.  We purchased the digitizing program and learned.  We sought professional advice from our wonderful business consultant.  We met a lot of wonderful people.  Oh, I hope we keep meeting more and more people.  And I sure need to get back to my Women's Business Luncheons.  We came from my mother passing away, me losing my job and our dog dying, all the way to owning a very viable business doing something that I love to do.  Wow! 

The hardest part has been managing my time.  I was so used to arriving at work at a specific time and leaving at a specific time.  I was very scheduled and regulated.  There was no running around during the day because I was at work.  Now we do open at 8:30 a.m. and close at 5:00 p.m., but unless we are expecting a customer, I may be in my PJ's until 10 a.m. and if we have to finish a job, we may be burning the midnight oil to get it done.  If I have something to do  for the Krewe, for instance, I can now schedule my days around the event.  If we want to go to, let's say, the Possum Festival, then we make sure our work is done and schedule a day off.  Ah, but that's a two edged sword.  I can get very carried away with taking time off to play.  Luckily, with my trusty cell phone, I never need to miss a call.  If I do miss a call, it's returned shortly.  I'm also able to take my laptop wherever I go.  We have laughed because my office is the laptop and a Wal-Mart bag that contains the paperwork of the business.  Everything is online or at least on the computer.  Sadly, we cannot carry Doris and Boudreaux around with us.

The next hardest thing has been sales.  As a paralegal, our customers/clients came to us.  Customers do not come to a retail establishment unless you go out and get them.  That means that someone needs to be out having lunch and meeting with people, socializing at parties with people, getting our embroidery out there for people to see.  That someone is me and it's not easy doing the sales end, the office end, and finding time to do the sewing, too.  I am blessed to have a husband who is truly my right hand and my heart.  He let's me do what I want and has learned to run Boudreaux as well as I do.  In fact, this past year I have watched George take Boudreaux apart and put him back together again.  I can take care of the business end while he is filling orders.  Insofar as the sales, it also doesn't hurt to have the friends that I have.  My friends are my sales team.  My friends love our work and are constantly testing me with new ideas.  Best of all, they are out there telling anyone who will listen about Cajun Stitchery.  We are truly blessed.

This year Cajun Stitchery needs to learn more about websites and enhance the Etsy site and the cajunstitchery.com site.  We need to fill in any slots in our day when the machine isn't humming with creative work that we can sell on Etsy or at the festival in the fall.  As funny as it may sound, we need to be more active, going out to parties and festivals, seeing what's new out there, what sells, and getting to know more and more people.  We also need to continue donating our items to various raffles and community groups.  So, there it is.  Cajun Stitchery's 2010 New Year's Resolutions.

As for me, same old resolutions that I make each year:  stop smoking and lose weight.

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