Monday, January 08, 2007

The Website is Progressing

Coffee in the New York skyline mug, iTunes is quiet (the dogs slurp chow in the background and the dishwasher swishes). Friday I redid the first page of my website! It's a start. One little step at a time. Over the weekend the office was cleaned and at 4:45 pm yesterday I actually began entering data into Quickbooks. And that's going to be my day, I'm afraid, apart from making the schedule for the next two weeks. Oh, I'll get a load or two in--maybe slump the current pieces for the Art Institute and redo another book project--but today is all about bookkeeping. And my back is aching already.

If I spent more time at the office desk I would invest in a good--rather than a good-looking--chair. Something ergonomic and contoured that doesn't go at all with the Craftsman Mission desk, filing cabinet and credenza. I am not even sure if it is a credenza as I don't have a clear picture in my mind of what a credenza is. It's furniture. It's in the storage family (like dressers) but it seems to me there is also an office component to it. I guess I could look it up in the dictionary, but, really, why spoil the mystique? Right now I have a piece of furniture in my office that I have tagged with a cool name. Why should I have to call it by the name it started out life with which is t.v. cabinet or entertainment center? Where is the romance in that? I added shelving inside and it has morphed into my idea of credenza.

OK, enough random chatter. The topic of the morning: retail. I did my inventory last week and I carry an *enormous* quantity of glass and frit. There are plenty of places that sell glass by the sq ft and frit by the lb, but does anybody do it by the sq inch and the oz? It would be trivial for me to sell that way online. I have long wanted a retail outlet but didn't want to be tied down to the set hours. Of course then there is the vacation consideration: I would need to hire someone to process orders while I was gone. Retail is worth more consideration.

Then there is the book. After it comes out this fall I am guessing I am going to get more requests to teach. I have always been reluctant to teach in my space because it is designed to be comfortable for me at 6 feet tall and most of my students would be shorter, but the book gives me a pre-done curriculum of up to 19 projects and techniques. Add to that I have enough kiln space to fire everyone's large projects at the same time and, well, it seems logical. Of course most people want to take classes evenings and weekends, and I am reluctant to give up that time (and Dave is more than reluctant).

But teaching ties to retail. If I teach, say, a fountain class I need to have all the supplies for each student to make the fountain. No use sending them all around to find the light and the pump and the fiber paper and the glass. And a screen melt class. If they want to continue making the projects at home it would be good for them to be able to buy a melt mold, screen, a screen frame, etc. easily and economically. Some of those I have made specially for me, and the company that makes them has indicated interest in wholesaling them to me for distribution. Other things--like the screen--are only sold in quantities which are too large for a hobbyist to want to buy them.

Hmm. Retail. Teaching. I think the idea of a business plan is not a bad one. Now off to face the finances.


Anonymous said...

Business Plans are a good thing!! Think twice about retail out of your house. (Check the city codes). Some cities won't allow it and others just tax the _ell out of you. Also sometimes it raises your property taxes. If its only a sometimes thing then you can get away with it. But the first time a neighbor complains, it gets messy. How far away are the tornados? We have wondered if they were close to you. Karen and Chrissie leave tomorrow for Fl shows. They are thinking of stopping by Atlanta for an IKEA shopping trip on the way back but wondered if it is a good IKEA? Is it? Good Luck with your business Plan and with tax preparation. I start tomorrow.

Jodi said...

You're 6-feet tall?!? (Sorry, I couldn't get past that).

Bill Paley said...

Any time you're ready to buckle down and do your financial work would be fine with your audience. Say, April? Maybe June?