It’s that time of year when most blogs are doing their “Top 10 Posts of 2015!”
Here at Cheltenham Road the tradition is to review how Christmas kicked my butt.
I think that pretty much sums it up.
In truth, this year I had a pretty great holiday season (sorry).
I didn’t even injure myself in any serious way!
There were juuuuust a few hiccups however, and the major one wasn’t really my fault!
I’ll start with the minor hiccups.
I arrived at the Long Beach Patchwork show without……tables! I had managed to remember everything else, down to tiny slips of paper but forgot the tables that everything was supposed to go on.
OK, fine. Got through that.
All looked good for the Santa Ana Patchwork show Thanksgiving weekend.
I had a new booth set up that opened on both ends.
So one side could attract customers with Christmas stuff and coasters
and the other had Patent signs, Wine Charms and knobs.
In the middle there were trays!
Isn’t that kind of a fun way to display them? Tied to that grid?
You know what would have been more fun?
If I had remembered to bring the metal shelves that hook onto that grid.
The very next weekend was Unique LA. I had big plans! A whole new booth set up. New products! And, of course, four days to make all the restock of things that had sold in Santa Ana along with filling various store orders.
You see, in an attempt to be professional and relieve some stress I had hired someone to make the blanks for my HOME signs and candle blocks.
I was very grown-up about it. I did interviews and had the candidates make samples so I could check out their work.
One gentleman stood out. He was into the idea, his work was really good AND he looked a bit like Santa Claus. Awesome!
My first sort of “sample” order with him went really well. So I reordered and explained this was for the big holiday rush – my busiest time. He said he understood, took my deposit and all was good!
I took orders, planned and launched on new ideas and generally felt like the Crafting Magnate that I knew I could be.
On delivery day (shortly before Thanksgiving) he texted to ask if he could deliver the next day. I said “fine.”
The next day, around 11AM I texted to see when he was coming.
He texted: “the blocks are all done.”
I said “and the 24 HOME signs?” (that were due in stores in the next couple of days)…..
…..and that was the last I heard from him. He never again responded to texts, emails or phone calls and never delivered anything.
This created a bit of Dominos of Disaster effect. Suddenly, rather than doing what I’d planned to do I was scrambling to make 100 blocks and HOME signs.
Some of the stores got shorted on their orders.
New things that I wanted to roll out for Christmas just plain didn’t get made.
My new and improved booth plan for Unique LA got a bit watered down and I began a very long journey of three straight weeks of 18 hour days (and also a running inner monologue of yelling at my faux Santa Claus) .
The store owners were awesome (I really am lucky to be working with these people).
Unique LA went well and my booth, although not quite what I’d imagined, looked pretty good.
I created a center table and a little cash desk and a new display wall across the back. Sales were solid and people seemed happy.
I got all my Etsy orders out in time!
And collapsed on Christmas Eve.
And what have I learned?
I do want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you for hanging in there with me on my sporadic blogging journey and for all the awesome notes, comments and suggestions. Unless you blog you have no idea just how much all that means to a guy and I am so very appreciative.
Happy New Year to all of you!