Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Review

It seems like all I have to do to find myself in interesting times is to mention them. The events of the past four days that prohibited me from getting this post up as intended on 12/31 (though I am setting the effective post date as 12/31/09, we all know it's really 1/4/10 today) will have to wait till I get the backlog out. Here is the promised Year in Review for 2009 begun over a week ago and finished this am:

On this, the last day of 2009, I look back on the Interesting Times that made up the previous 364 days and I fervently hope for less interesting times to come. Here were the monthly highlights of 2009:

  • Todd joined me on the road to do shows
  • Did the Dallas and Atlanta gift shows for the first time
  • Got first department store client—and resultant headaches
  • Leased a permanent showroom in Dallas in Hemisphere Design Gallery
  • Decided to host a summer camp in the studio for 5th graders and up.
  • Signed up to attend BECon 2009.
  • Had to implement UPC codes for department store client and plan for EDI (electronic data interface) implementation.
  • Dave was laid off from CNN and took a new job for a significant pay cut … in Austin. (Since then CNN has experienced a 40%* drop in viewership. We do not think this is coincidence.)
  • Upped my liability insurance to $1,000,000 (at the behest of Hemisphere in Dallas).
  • Developed new small format glass and steel pieces for product line.
  • Did the Buyer's Market show in Philly-it was down 64% from the previous February.
  • Had my first full month of single-Momhood as Dave started work in Austin
  • Went back to Dallas for the real set-up of the showroom in Hemisphere (Dallas).
  • Redesigned the office and sorted seven years worth of business and personal financial papers
  • Invited to Bullseye's instructor workshop
  • Decided to begin selling supplies and teaching formally out of my studio
  • The crawlspace under the studio flooded and took out the hotwater heater in the process.
  • Attended a roll-up workshop from Johnathon Schmuck--the first multi-day class/workshop I'd taken in years (ever?).
  • Worked with the Waldorf School 7th grade class to make their big auction project
  • Decided to build my own hotshop for blowing glass at the studio
  • My storage facility in Las Vegas informed me that they had dropped my crate of glass after the last show, breaking much of the work I needed for the upcoming ACRE show.
  • Did the ACRE show: Worst set-up *ever* and sales down 75% from the previous year.
  • Postponed my planned summer camp till summer 2010
  • Picked up the furnace for the hotshop, tools, cullet, glass, etc., from Sara and David in New Mexico.
  • Began building the hotshop.
  • Attended BECon in Portland--met Cynthia Morgan in person... ooooooh!
  • Took the second class in forever--a casting workshop from Linda Ethier
  • Broke my leg tripping over the dog and had to have surgery and stay off of it for a couple of months...
  • The same dog caught my laptop usb cable with her tail, pulled it off the coffee table and broke it.
  • Headed back to Portland on crutches for the Bullseye instructor workshop
  • Went directly from the instructor workshop in Portland to the summer Buyers Market in Philly... still on crutches.
  • The summer Buyers Market followed the trend I saw at ACRE: tighter rules, pissier union workers for set-up, fewer buyers, fewer artists, less money (sales down 34% from the previous summer).
  • Got back to Atlanta and began the process of applying for an ARC (America's Recovery Capital) loan from the Small Business Administration.
  • Took my third class of the year/ever, this time on pate de verre from Delores Taylor.
  • The crawlspace at the studio flooded again--this time all the way to the top (over five feet of water at one time) and it took out the furnace this time.
  • Became the proud feeder/supplier (never "owner") to Ernie the Monstrocat--a by-product of my visits to Portland.
  • Opened Siyeh Glass Resource Center--an official Bullseye kiln glass resource center--with a weekend-long event.
  • Had the new Waldorf 7th grade class in the studio and the hotshop for a field trip.
  • Had my first-ever artist open house and holiday sale--Siyeh Sleigh Ride the First--at the studio with five other artists.
  • Launched the teaching component of the Resource Center with the first six-week-long beadmaking class.
  • Finalized the ARC loan (after a 105 page fax...).
  • Hosted Siyeh Sleigh Ride the Sequel--another artist open house and holiday sale.
  • Started hosting Date Nights in the hoshop--wine, cheese chocolate and blowing glass for two people for two hours.
Just listing it all has exhausted me. I'll further evaluate my choices and growth directions next post.

*Actual figure** should probably be researched by someone somewhere.

**Dave did the research and it's 30% of total primetime audience.


Bill said...

Clearly, you lead a boring life.

How is the leg?

Cynthia Morgan said...

Boy, when you finally decide to post, you REALLY post. ;-)

Welcome back. Come out for a visit and this time you really CAN stay in my stairs-enriched house.

maria said...

Glad to have you back.