March 16, 2008.
After not one but two different companies approaching me about pimping....er, I mean recommending their products on my blog I decided this post was a must. I also had a very funny conversation today with another blogger about the things we had been asked to do from some readers...I figured it was time to say what I don't do. I had to get it off my chest. You know a "I don't do that...." speech, like the one in Sixteen Candles? Anyone...anyone? It went something like this:
Girl with pearls at Jake Ryan's party, "What? I'm sorry, I don't do that."
Friend with Jake Ryan's Mom's fur coat on, "Yes, you do."
Girl with pearls, "I know." [Giggling]
Caroline, Jake Ryan's girlfriend, sitting in hall with her hair shut in the door, "Come on. Trace. You guys.
Caroline whining, "Would you help me,please? Come on, you guys. I'm your prom queen."
Am I the only one who remembers that speech? Oh well, I am a Sixteen Candles Professional Movie buff. I am not sure that it has done me any good in life - but that is what I am envisioning as I write this. So, back to me and my list of things I don't do. I am going to list them here in case anyone has any questions for me. I will probably write my next post with things I do DO. You know just so you don't think I am totally negative Nelly and all.*
*For the record, these are things I don't do now, today. This does not mean I did not do them at one time or another. Truth is I probably did most if not some of these things. Okay? Just not anymore........well not today, maybe I will do it again another day, doubtful, but maybe.
I Don't Hand Paint My Tiles
I used to do this, years and years ago in a galaxy far far away - well actually it was my garage/studio and it was forever ago - five years, oh wait six and almost a half. No matter what it says all over the Internet, on multiple sites that sell my stuff, including a few interviews - I don't do that. No, I use my hand painted designs, and they are mine, mine, mine! I do all the designs, I do all the writing, the fonts - all me. I created them. We use another process to get the art on the tile - a better process than hand painting if you asked me.
I Don't Do Everything
I know it seems sometimes like I do, and I can look like the muli-tasker maven at times - but I am not. I have help and the most supportive, wonderful husband on the planet - sorry ladies he is taken. I have my parents that help with the kids and in the business. I have employees, I have cleaning people and a gardener. I do try and do it all, I do try and make it look easy - but I could not and would not have ever succeeded (or been sane) without the help I get. What I do do - I don't always do well either. I screw up, I fall down, I make mistakes, I cry, I yell - I am human. I am happy when someone tells me I am an inspiration, but I put my pants on one leg at a time also - and I clean the toilets too.
I Don't Work out of My Home
I am not a WAHM, I have an office, manufacturing, shipping department. These days with the Economy so bad not to say I don't wish some days it was still run out of my home. But, I am able to leave work at work. I do have a studio in my home, I do paint from home and do some work from home sometimes. I am still lumped into that WAHM in some newsletters and on some threads - I don't do that any longer (not that there is anything wrong with that).
I Don't Have a Million Dollars
No matter how many times I say this, or how many upset/angry sales channels claim I a "big time" now or the "you are soooo successful speech" I have to disagree. Just because I put on a good show, got some press and have an office space does not mean I am rich. I live in one of the most expensive states in the country - not because I am rich either. I live here because I love it here, my family is here and well it is what it is. I am not making a huge salary either. I shop at Target, my kids get jeans at Old Navy, I love a bargain and the word caviar is not in my vocabulary. I like to tell people just because you work at home or are a small business, does not mean you have to act small. Being professional, consistent and easy to work with have nothing to do with making tons of money - it has everything to do with being a smart business woman.
I Don't Do Mommy Blogger Product Reviews
I do not review other products, I never have and I never will. I am pretty sure about this one because I think my readers would scream fowl if I ever tried to sell them a fabulous scrap booking eggshell cutter. Pssst....I don't even scrapbook for that matter - did it too much in college - I will scrapbook when I die, or retire - whichever comes first. I do get emails and phone calls about companies saying they love my blog and hey shouldn't I, couldn't I and wouldn't I write a post about ____________ (you fill in the blank). The answer is no. And now I can send them to this post instead of the snarky/sarcastic answer I usually give them.
I Don't Send My Products to be Reviewed by Mommy Bloggers
This one is a tough one and before you yell at me.....please read on. I am not going to send my products to a blog to be reviewed any longer. I will send products to a magazine a newspaper or a TV Show, because they send it back. I have done review blogs in the past. I did a few, got no hits and no sales - no biggie, it was a little bit of press.
I have had my business for many, many years and I work with the best in the industry, not to mention a few celebrities that have my products. I do feel it is good to see the product and know the quality, however real press outlets do not order tiles with specific names and themes on them. I used to send out products willy-nilly. And then this happened:
I followed up on a query from a sort of well known blog for cowboy products. Got a request for photos and to send a Cowboy Name Plaque for her son. I made it, I personalized it, I shipped and I followed up with an email....I paid for it, oh I paid for it.
This was before Christmas, you know about the time the Economy and my sales took a flying leap off the cliff? You remember when my sales were so low I wanted to cry?? Remember? Well, I know from Fed Ex ('cause I am smart like that and can track things) that the plaque was received. I sent emails to confirm she received it - no response. I asked if my product would still be reviewed - no comment. I even commented on her blog - no response....oh wait that is not right she deleted my comment right after I left it.
I don't care if she hated my product, I don't care if maybe Fed Ex screwed up and she did not get it (I mean possible, doubtful but possible). What I care about is the non-response. She got a free product from me. I don't send out free products to just anyone.........Oprah yes - a blogger NO. She should say thanks but no thanks, or I hated it so I won't review it, I never got it, or better yet na-na-na-na I got a free product. Something, anything........
Ya, well get a free product from me once, and then the whole Ponzi Scheme is ruined for everyone. I do not agree with bloggers getting tons of free product. I do not think it is right. They are not professional journalist no matter how many readers or comments they have. I mean I want to yell out - really? I am guessing she thinks I won't call foul, or that I won't tell others. Worse yet um, I may not set the world on fire with my blog but come on - I have been in business for 6 years! I must be doing something right?*
*Please don't ask who it was, read between the lines, figure it out if you can. I won't tell.....well maybe I will, I have trouble keeping my mouth shut. Dang I am full of contradictions today. I just say to be very, very careful when sending out products to be reviewed.
I Don't Care......Okay, Maybe a Little
I don't care if you don't like my blog, I do not care if you hate my honesty, or the negative energy I sometimes bring to the table. I am going to do it and I am going to tell it as it is. This does not mean I do not have wonderful, fabulous and amazing days, but after all these years doin' what I do - some days are just crummy. I do write about both by the way. Running a business is hard and if can't stand the fire.....yep, get out of the kitchen.
I don't.......well okay wait I really DO care about what you think, and I do care if you like the blog. I do want comments, I do enjoy the banter, even when readers disagree. I do like the emails and I do hope I make ya laugh. However I don't and won't be changing my tune anytime soon.
I Don't Mind if You Ask Questions
I don't mind at all if you ask me anything about my business. Really, really I enjoy the conversation and if I can help - you know I will. I may not be able to answer all questions and I am not going to give away all secrets, but I will do what I can to help. Some things in life you do need to figure out on your own. As my mother told me, as I am sure others did too - sometimes you need to fail before you can succeed. There is no easy way, there is no magic secret and there is nothing wrong with asking. So, do go ahead - and ask....I don't mind.