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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Charity Craft Challenges and the Case for Sound Reasoning....

This is a tough time to own a small business. Two of my favorite crafty retailers just told me that they were closing the doors.  One was a customer and one was a Crafty Retail Rock Star.  The former had an opportunity to sublease her costly retail space and jumped at the opportunity to get the hell out.  The latter is closing the doors because the numbers just aren't working and she has done everything she can think of to make them work.  She is sad and frustrated but will not let emotions get in the way of sound business decisions, and sometimes the soundest decision is to cut your losses.

Man, Oh Man.

I know how they feel and I bet you do too.  We have either been there before, are sitting there now, or harbor fears that it could happen soon.    Let's face it....with the bleak national economic news pressing in on us from all sides it would be difficult not to have some concerns.

....and yet.....

I am ordering new inventory and adding fresh product lines.  I am developing a new line of kits and scheduling workshops.  I am planning for tomorrow.  While I am hopeful for the future,  momma didn't raise no fool.  A bad inventory decision is a bigger deal today than it used to be, so my decisions have to be more calculated than emotional.   I do a lot of research and ask too many questions.  I try not to make big decisions when I am rushed because mistakes are usually more costly than the time required to fully analyze the situation.  No doubt about it.... I am making inventory decisions very thoughtfully, and with much less exuberance than I did a few years ago.    There is big difference between "sound reasoning" and "reasons that just sound good"!  Today's financial climate requires that I remind myself of that difference on a daily basis.  So as I look to the future I try to work hard, employ sound reasoning, stack the odds in my favor, create, and, most of all... to pray.  After all, what else are ya gonna do?

IN OTHER NEWS

I am tickled pink and totally excited....the Etsy Craft Warrior Charity Site is officially up and running.

The CONCEPT
It is so easy to get caught up in the drama and tumult occurring in our little spot on the map that we can  forget to think about those who could use a helping hand.   I figured that  an ongoing Charity Craft Challenge would be a great way to combine work life with my desire to be of service to the larger community --- and the Craft Warrior was born.  The lady on the logo is my husband's Great Great Aunt Celia.   I never met her but I sure do treasure the picture...dour face, swollen ankles, bosom hanging low...I mean, what's not to love?  We tease my beautiful daughter that Aunt Celia looked EXACTLY like her when she was a young woman.  We think it is hilarious.  My daughter does not. 

...but I digress....

We announced our first challenge a few months ago and the deadline for submission was April 15.  Every artist who participated received a box of goodies from Aussie Threads and Fibers to use as a jumping off point.  The finished projects were donated and posted on the Etsy site, with all proceeds benefiting the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.  Wow!   I was humbled by the quality of work submitted.  We had a generous and very talented group of artists participating...including several national instructors and Swarovski Create Your Style Ambassadors.  The work is amazing and it is all available for purchase on Etsy.   Er......Did I mention that all of the proceeds are going to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation?
 
Yup...every cent.  

 Aussie Threads and Fibers will bear the Etsy expenses and fees. Please take a moment to see the terrific work and read about the talented creators of the "Pearls with an Attitude" submissions HERE .  After that,  head on over to Etsy to do some SHOPPING!   We priced every single article at the same low price to make it painless for you and profitable for the soldiers.  Let's raise some money for the families of folks who have sacrificed for our great nation. Make Aunt Celia proud!

Wanna participate in our next CRAFT WARRIOR CHALLENGE?  The kit is "TABAC TEMPTATIONS" and includes vintage and specialty coated Swarovski crystal, as well as some incredible beads and baubles.
Shoot me an email if you want to be entered into the drawing!  The finished project will be due on or before June 15.

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