feels like it will never end. This has been our worst summer ever! Dear Husband is stressing with work, I'm stressing over the business... and again, no summer vacation! I hate summer!
Tuesday morning, my dear husband awoke in the middle of the night with a stomach bug... it was ugly! My dear mother-in-law took care of the kids and my dear husband all day while I was working at the store. She even did all the laundry for me :). THANKS MOM!
So, more bad news and the inevitable may be coming sooner than I think. Tuesday, the store was quiet again... no visitors. I do not believe we will be changing our operating hours back from our summer hours. In fact, I think I may have to return to the "real working world" and keep the store open only on weekends if it can manage to sustain itself. Unfortunately, I am not intending on ordering any of the new releases this month. We simply cannot afford it. We are liquidating lots of paper kits on ebay as I speak. Most of our store and online store is already marked down 20-35%. My husband has asked me to keep it going until our 1 year anniversary in October. Honestly, I'm ready to bring it back home. The last 3 months have been very bad for the store... I honestly don't know how we have managed to stay open this long. Thank goodness dear hubby has been working lots of overtime because that is what has been sustaining the store's operating expenses.
And to top the week off... I found out today that our huge order of mulberry paper has been randomly selected by Customs to undergo an intensive exam. That meant holding our shipment in storage 2 extra day, and of course being charged for the additional storage time... plus the pallets. Apparently the warehouse in Philly that it was being held in is not a "Customs Approved Intensive Exam Facility", therefore they required the load be transported to another storage facility... WHAM!!! There is another charge! Come to find out that there are also additional fees for the "intensive exam"! Can you sense my frustration!
Normally our paper is shipped by air, but given the size of this order it was way to expensive to0 fly it here without having to increase the end costs. Taking the more "economical approach" seemed like the better option for us and our customers. Almost 3 months later, this has been nothing but a nightmare! I can't wait to wake up from it.
For those of you waiting for the color selection to return, we should be taking delivery late next week... so I've been told. Because of this delivery, we have not planned any store classes or crops this month. The size of the order is going to take up the entire back room until it can be inventoried and put away.
Some Good News... I'm just about finished with our "Beginner's Guide to creating with Mulberry Paper". A comprehensive tutorial on cd full of tips, tricks, and step by step instructions for creating Tear Bears. This kit will include my original pattern. You will be shocked at how this pattern is presented. I'm really excited about this and can't wait to get it all finished. I don't want to release our patterns without having the beginer's guide available.
The written text is in pdf and is already 20 pages long (in chapters) It will most likely be longer once I start adding all the photo illustrations. That will begin tomorrow along with a tutorial on eyes and eye lashes. I've had some set backs this week (obviously), so I am a little behind schedule. Several Beary Patterns are ready... we will have the original bear pattern available seperately and with the beginner's guide, plus some other patterns available. I will also be making examples for illustration this week. I need to make some bears that don't have clothes attached to them - LOL.
We are also going to be branching out into cutting files by the end of the year. I have created so many of them that I am crazy not to share them with everyone. The only problem... with all the cutting systems out there, learming this file conversion stuff has been a chore. I only work in wpc files. I think I have svg figured out. I hate hate messy cutting lines, so I have to clean them all up once I convert them. Although, I love technical stuff and playing with graphics, etc... so this is right up my alley.
Sorry for all the bad news, but there was some good news attached.