Are you a fan of travel shows? What about home improvement? How about a combo of the two? Lately I've been living my fantasy life, giving my mind a … [Read More...]
So who cares if someone has the facts wrong? It sells loads of magazines and seems to promote lots of discussion boards as well.
I would like to address one issue…as a manufacturer we do pay LOTS of our own money to produce designs that we work very hard to create. We take on huge risks. It’s only through our own proven experience that we base our decisions on what and how much to produce. It’s not easy to get it right every time. It would be lovely to mass produce every design I create, however it simply isn’t viable. Although there may be several people who are interested in reproduction of certain items or other popular designs we’ve had in the past we need to look hard and decide what will actually sell a bare minimum of 2,000 sheets over a period of no more than 6 months as the shelf life of products is so limited.
The market is saturated with companies all producing paper designs, I no longer want to compete directly with a company that has an art "team" and countless dollars for marketing and exposure.
I do have convictions as a business woman. I believe in what I create, otherwise I wouldn’t do it, and I’ll certainly defend my ideas and creations. I work hard and pay lots of money to attend trade shows so I can sell my products. The fact is that I do not attend trade shows to meet with designers. It’s not being mean, or disrespectful, it’s just the truth. I go there to sell. That does not mean I’m rude to designers by any means. I will stand by my product if someone tells me out right that they wouldn’t ever buy it because it doesn’t meet their requirements. I wouldn’t be any kind of a business person if I didn’t support and defend my products. I’ve met lots of really nice designers, especially recently at the CHA in California, who were very pleasant and truly interested in learning about my products. I find it refreshing to talk to other people with similar interests.
I don’t claim to know what designers go through. I’m sure it’s tiring going to the shows trying to promote yourself when so many people aren’t necessarily there to talk to you. It can’t be easy, however just remember that the other person working the booth is speaking to you with their own history and their own convictions and they have every right to let their opinions be known. I can assure you, they know much more about their own company than you could possibly know by visiting their booth for 2 minutes. You’re in their booth, asking about their products that they have paid for with their money.
Facts…I know they’re boring…that’s why they don’t sell magazines or promote boards…
How other’s perceive our lives is truly a mystery. Yesterday when we were on our way to the GO station (the train that takes my husband into the city every day) we noticed a new neighbor hurrying to catch her bus. I had seen her before at the GO station. In the back of my mind I knew the "right thing to do" was to stop and ask her if she needed a lift. My husband who is notorious for not wanting to interact with our neighbors surprised me by saying we should stop and ask her if she wanted a ride. I said nothing but in the back of my head I felt a twinge of hesitation…something wasn’t quite right…but I said nothing since I felt guilty and didn’t want to stop this out pouring of generosity by Robert.
Now I’m not a "bad" person, but it has been my experience in the past that once you offer your hand people can sometimes ask for your arm, foot and body as well. We didn’t want to have to wait every morning to do "ride sharing". Our daily our schedules change and we never know when he’ll catch the train.
The woman…who I won’t name…was surprised and seemed hesitant to get into the car. I know I don’t look great in the morning but my husband was dressed in a suit and we don’t drive a super crappy car, but she took a chance, said, "Okay, thanks." and got into the back seat.
I keep lots of magazines in the car for when I’m waiting to pick Robert up from the GO at night so I’ll have something to read while I wait for the train to arrive. It seems it’s the only time I ever have to catch up on what’s happening in the industry. She noticed these right away and commented," Scrapbooking!" I asked her if she ever did it and the usual response came back, "oh I’d like to, but I don’t have the time." I said that I owned a company that manufactures scrapbooking products. Then she said that she now knew who she could come and borrow a punch from when she is making her cards. The subject turned to who works where and how her husband owns a theater group stays at home with their almost 2 year old very cute little girl. At this point I mentioned that I was also home based.
Then came the shocker….as this point we knew this woman all of…maybe 3 minutes…casually she said, " I feel great since we now know someone in the neighborhood. My husband often has to run errands during the day can drop off our very cute little girl at your house. Don’t be surprised if some large hairy big bear of a man shows up and drops off my daughter at your doorstep or asks you to go over to our house and look after her."
Okay…am I crazy or is that TOTALLY out of line? First I don’t know this woman, second I never once said I even had kids or for that matter wanted to look after hers…and third I’m assuming that since she thinks I "work from home" that is in fact a translation for "lazy bum who watches TV and scrapbooks".
After this startling news neither myself nor my husband commented. She must have felt a change in the air since she said, "oh it would probably not be very often, only in emergencies". Thankfully by this time we arrived at the station. We let her get out in advance. We commented on her outright strange and rude behavior after she had left the car. I was so taken aback that I didn’t even really know what to say.
That whole event was nothing compared to what Robert later called to tell me he overheard as he walked through the underground tunnel to the GO train. She was on her cell phone and could be overheard stating, "Scrapbooker stays home."
"Scrapbooker stays home."
Of course my husband knew just to what extent this would drive me crazy as I’ve been working all day, 16-18 hours a day for over two months now without stopping….trying to get remotely caught up on all the orders and deadlines I have for the business. We have gotten much busier since the show with the new lines and it is everything I can do just to keep remotely in control of all the work that needs to be done. Not to mention the fact that to grow the business I’ve been working hard every day for over 5 years.
I’m showing some of my working space here…3 computers…one for designing, one for UPS and the other for everything else. Files…boxes…inventory…accounting…advertising…promotion…customer service…emails…phone calls…all of it piling up daily.
All because as we all know…."Scrapbooker stays home."