Sunday, January 25, 2009


Last night I got the most wonderful feedback from a wonderful customer. She made tears come to my eyes talking about my customer service, my workmanship, the quality of my product. It was truly delightful!
Sometimes it's very easy, out here in cyberland, to feel isolated and, if sales are low, unappreciated. We don't see our customers. We don't talk to our customers much, unless we get emails but that isn't really the same thing, is it? It's so very important to us to get feedback that lets us know we are appreciated and that our customers love our products.
I put the very best I have into the jewelry I make. Sometimes I will take a piece apart several times until I get it just right. The customer doesn't know that. All she knows is that it's the right color or a style that appeals to her. She doesn't know that I had to make an extra trip to the bead store for two more beads so I could make it the perfect size, or that I spilled an entire box onto the floor and spent hours sorting through the assortment.
It immensely gratifying to have my customer take the time to tell me that she loves my work, appreciates my efforts and will return to buy again. And in telling me that, she's telling my other customers. They can look at my feedback and see that I will do everything I can to make it right for my beloved customers. And they are beloved. My customers are my friends. Especially the one who left me the great feedback. Thanks, Heather!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Busy Weekend

I finished the necklace for my wonderful customer and sent her pictures. She really seems to like it. I hope she does. I love making special things for my special customers.

I'm thinking of making some extra long earrings - 4 or 5 inches long. I keep seeing young women wearing them. The popular hairstyle right now seems to be that straight hair that ends just under the ears or maybe halfway down the neck and those extra long earrings look great with it. They're long enough to show even though the girls wear their hair in front of their ears. Is there a name for those long earrings? I think I'll call them Empress length. That seems appropriate. Maybe I'll have some listed on my Etsy site or in my Artfire store by next weekend. Let me know if you think that would be a good idea.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What I am Doing

Things are going well. I'm working on a lovely new necklace and earring set commissioned by a very special customer. I think she'll love it as much as I do. She's a special customer partly because all of my customers are special but she's a return customer. Plus she's very nice and I love to work with her. She always thinks she's being a pain by asking for things, but that's just silly. I love to make special orders that my customers will love.

Today I had my picture taken for the Food LifeLine newsletter as one of the volunteers connected with the law office where my daughter works. We gathered in an empty office in front of a window that looks out on the Space Needle and had our picture taken. If I can get a copy, I'll run it here. The people I volunteer with are lovely people and I'm so glad they included me in the picture.

Tonight, I'm putting together a package of some beads and findings and stringing material for an Etsy shop owner in Chicago. She is going to be organizing a group of inner city teen moms who will be starting a small scale beading business. It will help to teach social, computer, business, creative and financial skills to these young women. Isn't that just the best idea?! I went through my stash of beads and came up with a surprising amount of stuff to send. They will need an ongoing supply of things and, judging from the response she got on the Etsy forum, they will have it. I'm very excited for her and the kids and wish them a great success.

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Store

I decided to branch out and start a store to sell my photography! I don't know yet if I can put a mini store here, but at some point I will try. I already had a store on to sell jewelry, but I moved all the jewelry over to ArtFire and Etsy then set up with pictures. It's called Lella Rae 2. Take a look. It's hard to navigate around ShopHandMade, though. I can't seem to put in a link. And when I try the mini store it looks like an ad for SHM. I may be doing something wrong. Will keep working on it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back to Real Life

Back to work tomorrow. No more pretending I don't have to get up at 4:30 in the morning and don't have to go downtown. It's hard to do after almost two whole weeks off. The work will be piled up to the ceiling. It will be nice to see my co-workers, though.

Yesterday was volunteer day. That alone should make me grateful to have my job and be able to get up at 4:30 because I have to go downtown. We labeled and wrapped over 67,000 pounds of food yesterday which translates to over 55,000 meals for people in Western Washington. And still that isn't enough to feed everyone who needs to be fed. They always need more. I encourage everyone to, if not volunteer, then donate to the local food bank. A few extra cans of food or an extra package of beans or two costs very little when it's added to weekly groceries. Remember the letter carrier pickup of donations in May and dontate as generously as possible. It isn't wasted, believe me.

Here is my dream: Get up at 7:00am at the latest everyday and go for a nice, brisk walk. Come home and eat breakfast while I read the paper. Go into my studio and make jewelry for hours while someone else comes to clean my house. After lunch, run errands, but only the fun ones like going to the bead store to get new supplies or going to an antique store to find wonderful things to turn into jewelry. Okay, we can't all have our dreams. For now, it's just to sleep well tonight so I don't wake up too tired in the morning to go back to my real life.