July 27, 2009. August 9, 2009
"Hey Jamie, the Economy has your business way down, sales are 1/2 of what they were a year ago and you let go some employees, which means you are doing a lot of jobs you did not used to do. What are you going to do now?"
going went to Disneyland!"
Cue the song, "When you wish upon a star....." Fade out to Jamie and her family riding off happily ever after on Cinderella's carriage. Jamie (naturally) will be wearing a princess gown and or crown, waving her princess wand to the crowd. Ya, right....but I did get to go to Disneyland!
Not that we did not have a great time but Disneyland in the middle of summer is hot - which I knew, yes but I was hoping it was not
thathot. It was a great way to let loose, act like a child and um, well - let's just say I am really happy that I keep good care of my teeth and body and that I have some edumacation. If just one more lady (or man) came towards me in their scooter and tried to pretend they did not notice almost running me and my children over I was going to go rambo on their ass ahem....not really - but it was bad.
Everybody Needs a Break
Yep that's right, even in the worst Economy we have seen in years, or my adult lifetime (that I owned a business that is) we scraped our money together and went to Disneyland. We had not been in 4 years, and I
amwas excited. We closed down JPD for a week...no worries, we worked the weekend we get back to ensure everything ships on time, and we still ship when I am out of town (JPD is sort of like the happiest place on earth, I just sprinkle a little pixie dust around and magically everything falls in to place - snort!). Pssst....our shipping clerk and the woman that does our ribbons is not going on vacation with us - that is our pixie dust that keeps us afloat. Me loves them two people something awful.
I have not blogged in a while - a long while. No apology. Just a fact. I have actually been enjoying the summer and reading almost anything I could get my hands on. Twilight. Check. Jen Lancaster. Check. Julie & Julia. Check. Better Home & Garden, Sunset Magazine, Pottery Barn.Check, Check and well - just browsing.
It is funny my business books and my Entrepreneur Magazines have been stacking up, but I don't really care. We are coming up on year seven this November and truth be told I am not really in to reading anything about people in business. It has made wonder if the thrill is gone? I know it is not because I know everything there is to know about running a business - I am just not wanting to read about business....Maybe I will again, I am sure I will - but it is like, "Why bother?"
I started this JPD Facebook Fan Page a few weeks, or months ago - I can't keep track. I am not one to peddle it to all my friends quite yet, but I will once I get a handle on it and fix it up.
Designing a new website. It has been I think 5 years since we had this done - maybe longer. Last time we had a friend design it - now I am helping out. We need to do it, and it is not my strong suit at all - Graphic Design....not so much.
It's Christmas time again. I need to work on Holiday Products soon....
My kids had no camps, nothing this summer. We shuffled them around between my husband, my parents and many playdates. It was actually really nice and relaxing and we slept in more times that not.
Predicting the Future of the Economy?
So, I don't think that I am an Economist or a person that follows the stock market and predicts trends - I mean I positive I don't know how to do either of these things. However, something is happening at that has everyone (all 7 of us...or 8 if you count my husband, wait 10 woo hoo my kids worked today also) is starting to look up. Something is in the air or the money is starting to flow again.
And it Always Comes Back to Name Tiles
Seven years ago almost to-the-day (my daughter just turned seven) I came up with the first Name Tiles for her room...I know you have heard the storybefore. Blah, Blah our flagship product - nothing like it before, themes ceramic, personalizing a child's room. Any hoo, in the last two years our sales for this particular product have started to slip. And they really started slipping this year.
In a normal year and with hundreds of channels we would sell anywhere from 100,200 even 300 a week during the Holiday Months - Name Tiles that is. Hundreds of Name Tiles sold a week. This year - 26, 14 or the worst week ever 7 Name Tiles sold in a week after the first of the year.
Some people might keep this information close to the vest, not me. I have no problem admitting that our sales have been down. Some products have spiked, others not so much. I am more proud that we are still in business and seem to have weathered the worst of the Economy-Recession-Storm. Anyhoo....for about a year and a half we have noticed Name Tiles slipping, and slipping alot. Until two weeks ago.
We picked up a new store in the midwest and we had a big week.....well a big week for this Economy. We sold 99 Name Tiles in one week, all of a sudden sales were up. This week I think we were in the 70's. Our Birth Tiles and Name Plaques have stayed steady week after week - not great, but steady sales. The thing with the Name Tiles that makes this so relative is that they are our most expensive product.
The Name Tiles retail for $13.00 a letter, and we have a minimum of 3 letters.....they are an extravagant decoration for your child's room. Not crazy pained mural wall hanging for thousands of dollars crazy, but still our high end product.
This may be a fluke, this may turn right back around, wait or go bad next week - but for now I am taking it as a sign. Three weeks in a row of heavier Name Tiles sales....I think I may be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Also, I am sort of (okay really) proud of the fact that we have been able to survive on so little - I mean we are surviving this, and I am hoping we will come out of it leaner, meaner and a smarter business. And if that does not happen - I can always sell tile on the side of the road thing. Right? I am right? I hope....