Friday, June 25, 2010

Ups and Downs

Jessie is taunting me with her Rice Krispie bar. She keeps sneaking it under my nose, almost in reach of my teeth--but not quite. Oh the exquisite weight watchers torture. I think I'll console myself with another swig of Harp lager. My consolation music is "Delirious" by Prince.

Another day, another work week (at least the traditional Monday-Friday part) is over. As usual, we had our ups and downs.

Let's start with the biggest up--we have neon! Thanks to Brian Renoud--our torch instructor and boro/neon artist extraordinaire--we have bright studio green address numerals lighting up the front corner of our building. The photo above shows what they look like in full daylight--you should see the glow at night.

Adding to the up of the week, orders keep coming in and we have as much on the books right now in receivables due or orders scheduled for the next month as we did for August through December of last year. Whew. We may be rising from our slump!

Date nights, too, just continue to build with an increasing number of people interested in kilnforming dates. This weekend alone we have three glassblowing date nights and one kilnforming date night scheduled. In the marketing department for Date Night I got our follow-up letters created which include coupons for discounts on future lessons (or other date nights--glassblowing this time, kilnforming the next!). Now working on a database of attendees (and students from classes, and people who buy supplies) so we can make sure we completed all the steps for a successful date night from the initial booking notification to the follow-up email.

Finally, even though I have been a slacker about getting newsletters out and classes scheduled, I am getting people in for open studio. The first open studio I offered for kilnforming was project-based, priced by the piece, and all materials and tools were provided. It was really aimed at introducing children to kilnforming and enabling them to make little projects for gifts. Though I still offer that one, last week (because of a request for it) I also added a variation based on Bullseye's model. It is so nice sometimes to leave the thinking to someone else! Why invent the wheel when someone hands you a perfectly round one that works. I also have a torchworker interested in beadmaking open studio for next week so we need to finish the small renovation of the torchwork classroom.

The week also had its share of downs. Like many, I am struggling with UPS price increases--especially the $8.69 charge to schedule a pick-up. That is fine if I have several packages going out in a day, but if there is only one and the shipping charge on it is only $5.65, e.g., adding $8.69 is just too hefty a bite. So I experimented with the USPS free scheduled carrier pick-up. The first time--one package going out--was great. Yesterday--six packages going out (all small--all date night stuff so only 14 lbs total) the carrier was a no-show. Customer service at the USPS is really friendly, but incredibly ineffectual; (raise your hand if you would prefer surly and effective to friendly and useless). I put a note in the box to day to PLEASE pick-up the outgoing packages, but I am not holding my breath.

Another minor irritation in my week is a client that put in three PO's with me in May, and right after I accepted them all, sent me an email saying they would not pay for any more shipments that didn't come with artist info cards--a LOT of artist info cards. They kindly sent me a template and instructions for how to create them (if I didn't have my own). Their template came with a requested kind of paper, their logo on the front cover, their website address on the back, a request not to change the front or back, and room on the inside for the artist bio and photo... You know, if they want their own branding all over the marketing materials that go out, then they should produce it and pay for it. The style they are asking for is not expensive, but they have already asked to provide them with photos and bio information for them to use in their marketing materials. Now they are asking us to take the information they already have and use it to make materials that have their branding all over it. I don't think so. If I am going to take my time to create marketing materials for anyone, it's going to be me!

So I worked up the first version of the new artist cards for Siyeh Glass and Studio that feature just Todd and me (I will add Lee as soon as I have a good photo of him or great photos of all of our work to use instead of our mugs). I was just ready to pack them up and send them out when I realized I had made a typo. Be the first to identify it in a comment on this post, and I will send you a lovely little dish in "Peacock".

Now I need to get ready to open the doors for the day (this post started Friday night and morphed into Saturday morning) and send out the summer camp reminder emails for camp next week.

10 comments:

Julz said...

I would be delirious, not delerious, to own a piece of your work.

:-)
Julie

Anonymous said...

delirious
I am still amazed at your energy.

Nancy Goodenough

Patty Hulet said...

Love the card. On the info about Todd check the spelling for delirious. You and Todd must be delirious with the new cards.

Brenda Griffith said...

Thank you all for playing the How Badly Can I Spell Game! Congrats to Julie for acatching me first--please send me your snail mail addie and I'll zip a piece to you in the mail next week. :-)

judy said...

sorry, Julie, I found it first....but then I guess I am disqualifed cuz of some silly rule Brenda made up ! such is life ! the studio elf, Judy :-)

judy said...

I apologize, again, Julie.....I should of read all the posts first, then I wouldn't of teased you....seeing that Brenda replied to your being the first one :-)

Brenda Griffith said...

Oh please! Like you can't take home a peacock dish just for working here!

Bill said...

Notice that it's a peacock, not a peahen that she's offering. Peahens are too boring...

Brenda Griffith said...

In terms of color, the peahen is not as spectacular as the peacock. As in so many species the male is all sound and fury (and color), and it's the female that has the substance.

Dee said...

LOLOL so true brenda - now, about jessie and her teasing with her food - you could threaten to ban all such food if she is going to be so obnoxious with it ;)

now, enquiring minds wanna know how whupped you and todd are after day 1 of summer camp part 2...
;))