July 12, 2010.
It has been a long, long....really long last six months at JPD. Just getting a new website up and running - even working with real engineers - is a ton of work. The designing, up loading, the writing copy, correcting copy, swapping out images - all of it hs been exhausting - and that is just added work on top of the every day grind of running a business during a Recession. And I have not even done most of the work. I have done my share, but not even close to the bulk of it.
Re-launching Jamie's Painting & Design
The relaunch is scheduled for just a few weeks away. I am optimistic that it will go off with out a hitch and we will have a smooth transition and make tons and tons of money and live happily ever after...........uh ya okay. Sorry, I wish I could just have all positive thoughts, write a mantra or post a fabulous affirmation on my mirror - but I can not, that is not me. I am not negative, I am a realist - oh wait maybe a negative realist, or a realistic negative person.....food for thought none the less.
Honestly, I am trying to just go with the punches and let it go, or just accept what I can not change. Life running a small business can be is very challenging. Sometimes to make myself feel better I make lists. Some lists are things to do, things I wish for or this list. This is all the sort of kind of annoying things that just happened to us these past 6 months. This list sucks.
Jamie's Top Ten List of Things that Sucked This Year
- The logo alone was a topic of debate for everyone and their brother to discuss. It had to be done, it was time. Oh hell, was it painful and I had to defend my choices, then I had to go and second and third guess myself. I like the new logo - we are going with the new logo......change is good I think, right? Yes - I mean YES....
- Finding the time to upload about 300 products, prices, descriptions and images to a new site takes a..........sorry was going to use some swear words, anyhoo it takes a very long time. Many, many hours in front of the computer just adding images to an excel spreadsheet took time.
- The economy is not better and times are still tough. It takes money to do things, lots and lots of money. We can get creative with financing, we can do much ourselves - but in the end nothing is free. Doing the whole "running a company on a shoe string" is not so fun going on year two of the never ending Recession.
- Just like that supplies can sell out. Our Children's China line is temporarily sold out as of about 3 weeks ago. The distributor is based in China, and China being China has not shipped any plates to the USA in like forever. They may not ever ship them again. One of our suppliers has refused to carry the plates, we found a new supplier that says they will be in stock early August. We are not sure that will happen (and of course this happened after we had uploaded all the China plates.....yep).
- The cost of our large ornaments and the drilling of them has made us re-think the product. With budgets tighter and trees smaller the big honking 6 inch 2 pound ornament was not cutting it. We decided to drop the product.
- Some of the press I got is gone....gone Daddy gone. It just does not exist on the web any longer. A few blog posts about JPD, an article I wrote that was syndicated across the country and my first product placement in a magazine. Those losses sucked, but the worst was my first National TV placement. Working with Warm Biscuit Bedding my Christmas ornament was featured on the CBS Early Show back in Christmas of 2005.....I accidentally deleted it off of Tivo.
- Some of our ribbon we use for our products has been discontinued- not a huge deal, but worth mentioning. Just go get it somewhere else you say? Not so easy, and not so realistic. When it is gone - it is gone. We buy our ribbon from a wholesaler, we have worked with this super big company for ages....I can't just run into my local fabric store and demand 15 rolls of a specific springtime gingham check ribbon.
- The crows ate our duck eggs, well not ours but these two ducks have visited me for the past four years at the office. The Mommy duck laid 3 eggs at the end of May in one of our flower pots. We were thrilled with the excitement of baby ducks this summer. Then those awful damn crows ate 'em.
- Our fridge in the break room is dying a slow death. It leaks water and the freezer section does not work any longer. You have no idea how cranky some people at JPD (that would be) will get without their Green Iced Teas frosty cold during a long work day.
- My laptop is also on it's last leg. Getting a new laptop is exciting - but paying for it, well I think I already mentioned how tight things were. I just can not bring myself to buy a new one till this one dies for real. I did buy a back up drive so that I am not losing anything....I hope.
Such is Life and There is a Silver Lining
A few weeks ago a friend and I were gabbing about life, kids, gossip - it was a run on conversation we were having when we had a few free minutes. And, as it always does with me, the conversation changed when she asked, "How is business?". I was honest, I was brutal and I did not pretend that we were bathing in hundred dollar bills and drinking wine out of golden goblets. As I was giving gruesome details about how much the business has changed I sort of had an epiphany. I thought that maybe this was just a bump in the road and maybe it was sort of a good thing.
It is no secret that for the past two school years I have volunteered my little heart out at my children's school. I have done what I would have once pointed and laughed at other Mothers for volunteering to do. I have loved parts of it, I have hated other parts. I have made friends, I have probably ruffled more than a few feathers.
But the point is I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to help out at school and spend countless hours with my children. Had business been booming I never would have ventured down this road. So after being totally honest about business I told her, "You know what is good about this? With our sales down, it gave me the opportunity to volunteer at school, something I never would have been able to do. I am not glad that things are slow, but I am glad at how I spent my time."Oh jeez, look at me now! I had go all positive energy mantra on y'all. Damn it, I guess I am more of a positive realist or a used to be negative now realist....who would have known?