Friday, October 16, 2009

What Do You Think?

Well, things have certainly changed quite a bit in my life in the past month and a half. My husband, who has worked from home for 4 years was forced to go back to work at a corporation. He leaves before I get up and returns between 8:30 and 10:00. My oldest went back to college and my youngest began high school. He plays football and comes home around 6:00.

There was a time when that sounded like a dream - oh to have time to myself... But having too much time puts a pit in my stomach. Hubby just went on a business trip across the country and he was gone for 4 days. I have had too much quiet time. Being an eternal thinker, quiet time can be dangerous for me. I have been contemplating "what to do with the rest of my life" for too long, now, and it is getting the better of me. I have felt happy, but "unwhole" for such a long time. It is all I ever think of. I know what I wish for, and I believe in dreams. I believe in making your dreams come true... I just don't know how to make that happen. I am not a go getter, but I have talents that I know have value. I just don't know how to sell myself. I'm not sure if I even have that desire. That is scary. My comfort level is in doing my craft, but not in the selling of it. I find amazing enthusiasm in being around others who share my passions. I'm just no good at being a one woman team.

One of the decisions that I have come to terms with is that I would love to work with other creative people. My energy swells. But with no degrees in anything that I ended up liking to do, I can't even send in my resume to the lowest level jobs. That is taking away my empowerment. I would love to work as a baker's assistant. A baker would be lucky to have me assist, but all of the help wanteds require years of experience as well as degrees. I don't even have retail experience. I could not even land a counter help job! What do I do?

If anyone knows of someone who is looking for a business partner for a home based baking business, jewelry business, knitting business, or any kind of crafting, please send them my way. I just want a partner. I need someone who I can bounce ideas and energy off of, and someone who is able to sell and create buzz. I'll create product 24 hours a day.

And another thing. I can't seem to decide if it is alright to be myself on my blog, or keep it strictly business. I'm a talker and a worrier, and I tend to write when I am upset. I just don't want to give the wrong impression.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Too Much Thinking...

I needed some time away. I had some thinking to do. I'm that kind of gal. Some things happened with my customers that put me in a spin. I know that I am supposed to be tougher. Believe me. My husband has told me that a time or two. He tells me that having a business is not an emotional journey. I don't know if I'll ever be totally there, but I am learning...one situation at a time.

It all began with an exciting order for 6 dozen cookies. They were for a party on the upcoming weekend. I am always honored when someone decides to choose my baking for their event. And when you are starting out, each event is an opportunity for others to experience your work. My customer paid for her order and told me that Paypal incorrectly put it through as a check. I was disappointed because that left me having to choose between waiting for her check to go through, which would put the order arriving too late, or trusting and coming through for her in a pinch. I made my decision, knowing the chances. I wanted to believe that no one would steal baked goods. Someone stole baked goods.

I won't bore you with all of the details, but it got more tangled as the days wore on and I shipped the order in a panic to please a customer. The next day, her check came through as bounced and I had to have USPS return the box to me. The cookies were all stale because it took so long. Oh- She closed up her account and ran.

In the week following, I had a few other shipping nightmares. My customers left honest, but not so positive feedback. I began to doubt what I am doing. Shipping these baked goods is very expensive and very difficult to pull off successfully. USPS really has no understanding for FRAGILE. Let me tell you. One of my mistakes was that I was wrapping my cookies so they looked nice. I am going to have to wrap them to stay in one piece. That means that baskets or platters cannot be setup and shipped. I have worked on other techniques and I can assure you that I have tried my best to fix the problem. I don't want to let the difficulties stop me from doing what I love. And I DO love baking for my customers.

So I have decided to crank the oven back up, take out the cookie sheets, and get baking again. I am trying to think of some fun ways to promote my shop :) I am going to think of it as a brick and mortar shop. I'll be having specials on certain days and flavor specials on other days. If you can think of a fun way to celebrate sweets, let me know! You just might find a few goodies on their way to you!