Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

another year older

We’ve been busy of late, Gentle Reader.  Mostly the Mental Hamster getting into Olympic condition, but still.  Things did happen.

It was, in fact, my birthday last week and I decided this year a different attitude was called for.  No shopping or thing coveting transpired (aside from an ill fated attempt to buy a copy of Moby Dick online), and the Partner baked me a cake this year- I decided not to do it for once.  I relaxed into it all and rigorously chucked expectations and preconceived notions.  And? it turned out great.

Our social landscape has changed drastically since we’ve been up here.  Some of it has hurt alot, and some of it has just happened. There are definitely fewer people in our world now, anyway.  Since this is the case, and birthdays are of course, like many holidays, times when we can go overboard into the past OR the future,  I did not allow myself that lapse this go round.

And what happened was that so many birthday wishes and lovely things came to me that I was absolutely overwhelmed, with surprise and gratitude.  The day itself was interesting, too.  After a year of, essentially, armed struggle, I FINALLY got a doctor appointment for the Partner.  On, as it happened, my birthday.  I’d thought about just taking a thermos of wine with me to quaff while waiting, but realized that the Dog would be with me so I’d be attending to him, and he DOES jostle in a most Tiggerish way, so it would not be cocktail time just yet. On the trek to the appointment we saw two amazing things which gave us both a jolt.  One, a peacock unfurling his splendid tail and vocalizing in that unearthly way they have, in a horse pasture.  The other was by the creek, an actual bald eagle.  Those birds are HUGE.  I figured those were both really good signs.  Anyway we duly arrived at the appointment and I experienced a fair amount of unease because I really didn’t want to leave the Dog, by himself, in the car for over an hour.  Nor did I want to be unavailable for questions during the appointment, as I would’ve been outside with the Dog.  And you know what? They let me bring the Dog into the waiting room! (Is he small? they asked. Er, NOOOOO, I said. Is he a service dog? nodding their heads? YESSSS!) Where he was, for him, exceptionally good and brought a noticeable calm.  Maybe people were just stunned by his Handsomeness, but anyway. That was one of the most interesting things, really, because I could actually SEE people relax just looking at him- elderly, kids, and everybody.  So when the Partner came out and I said, did the doc tell you what the plan is? and he said yes and I said, do you remember any of it? and he said no….I just rolled with the calm.  SO MUCH EASIER, really than what I might’ve done before which would have been the usual balloon shrieking up into the corner and quietly deflating in irritated futility.

The appointment itself went very well, all the paperwork got wrestled to the ground and worked, which in and of itself is almost shocking.  All my plant seeds came in the mail that day, I got a few Big Things accomplished thanks to my friend and New York Marketing Guru and Cab Driver Extraordinaire, and learned something.  Which is this.

Not that it’s altogether easy at first, but.  If you really make an effort and focus, cast out the what-ifs and shouldn’t-I-be’s and all the things you know are lurking under your mental bed waiting to leap out and scare the daylights out of you? and just say, this particular endeavor will go well, the highest good for everyone in the situation is what we want, and you smile? It actually moves in the proper direction without any of the normal pushing and pulling.  The challenges are temporary, like everything is, even if there are as many of them as grains of sand, but the moment to moment beauty and rewards are somehow nonetheless quite indelible.  It’s possible to feel complete joy no matter what.  And when you feel that it somehow affects everyone around you.  It’s magic.  And that, Gentle Reader, is what I got for my birthday.  Best ever, really.

And here’s the cake- His first, I believe,  a caramelized pear/peach upside down gingerbread cake.  The sky’s the limit!

CAKE

As always, blessings and thanks!

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Won Ton W/rappers

Yesterday was a blur of difficulty, let’s just say.  Emotional instability reared its ugly head, dueled with logistical nightmares and potentially lethal snafus, skidded on muddy roads, and eventually baked cookies.  Today started off with telemarketing calls from the moon ( no, I didn’t buy any),  and then the real fun began.  My glass supplier called to say the jars I’ve used for the past several years and just reordered are no longer available.  Period.  Nyet.  Not making ’em anymore.  So, this is getting into real fun, here.  I make and sell a product that, up to now, has been a SPECIFIC SIZE, right?  Because I’ve used the same jars FOR A LONG TIME.  A jar is a stable little thing, isn’t it?  Who’d’a thunk that such a small thing could turn into such a big deal?   Except of course that it is always the things you don’t think of that suddenly afix themselves to your posterior with all the might of their pointy teeth and strong jaws.   Because, see, we have labels that have to be very specific about what is in the jar, including size/amount. The labels have to FIT a certain size jar.  Plus, it’s a certain price for a certain amount and size of jar.  So, basically, this jar isn’t a negotiable item.  We use amber colored glass and not clear or blue or green or purple  for preserving purposes;  plastic is of course totally out of the question.   Glass is essential, versus plastic, for preserving purposes and non-chemical contamination issues.  Why make an organic/biodynamic product and then package it in —– ? However much the petrochemical industry would like you to.  Heck, you can use the lotions that have all their petro stuff in them as preservatives, put it in plastic made from the same lovely stuff, and voila.  Toxic immersion, a concept we’re all swimming in.

My supplier was struggling to maintain composure through the many calls she had to make to tell people their orders weren’t going to happen. It made me feel terrible.   I called another source who reminded me that, as small businesses, manufacturers don’t really give a flying whizzbang about you.  They decide what to make, what not to, and you as the tee tiny business person out there get to, essentially, retool on a dime.  It took a huge amount of tooth gritting determination to keep my mind from completely exploding (again) when I think about the TOTAL FREAKING HYPOCRISY that is rampant, about “small business”, “job creation”, “support for entrepreneurs”, “getting America back to work”, blahblahblahblah….BLAH.   As a small business person, I have not found that support or help terribly available.  I couldn’t get a Small Business Loan at the startup because….I hadn’t been in business long enough.  I really liked that.  The bank wouldn’t lend me any money unless I essentially bought my car over again.  Once per car is enough, don’t you think?   I’d love to be able to expand and JEEZ, maybe even hire someone to help us.  That is definitely out there in fantasy land at this point, as the Partner and I toil on here in Biodynamic World.  But anyway.

I’m trying to maintain a calm, easygoing, upbeat attitude about all this.  It’s just change! A shift in direction! We’ve been thinking that we should raise our prices a bit.  The only jars I can find that are remotely acceptable now are  bigger than our current ones and a fair bit more expensive.  It makes sense to raise the price on something when you’re getting more of it, doesn’t it?   So we get to ponder this price point stuff too.  There’s a whole ecosystem for that, too.  At this point, my products aren’t expensive enough for people with  money to be too interested in them- they are lovely, they work, they’re good for you, but sadly no Swank Factor it would seem.  If we raise the price,  current customers are going to think twice, and we hope continue their purchases but after all.  Things are dicey and money is funny.   This is the life, Gentle Reader!

On a positive note, at least SOPA and PIPA, those two mutant darlings, are off the table at present.  Probably to be..retooled! and brought out again but nonetheless, something good happened there.  Tonight I’m making ravioli (hence today’s title),  another guided meditation to  keep everything loosely connected while we fly through the air hoping there’s a trapeze out there somewhere.  That tree branch I got stuck in last night wasn’t, in the end, all that comfortable.