Well here l am again, slightly larger than last time l wrote (something to do with all that stressy chocolate munching) but up and about and getting things done.
There have been lots of orders from the Country Living article. Luckily l have been keeping up to date with my stock boxes (I try to keep ten of each item l produce in stock boxes so they are ready to sell) but these past few days l have been madly refilling some and firmly attached to my old Singer. Lately it has been Linen Bags and l couldn't resist doing a photo of them all lined up like some little terracotta army. There was a lovely photo of them in the article, and even tho they weren't mentioned by name or anything, they have been flying out of here. The power of the press l guess.
Another point on the stock boxes and keeping things in stock etc. I have had a lot of emails from trade this past week. I think l have mentioned this trade/not trade business in previous blogs when Jane was in the same dilema, but it is always a tad tricky. I have tried selling both to retail and also to trade at the same time. However to give trade their usual 50% discount it means l am either working for nothing or l have to up the prices for my retail clients, this is something l just will not do. I thought l had come up with a sort of compromise by offering trade 30% on a take it or leave it bases. Most chose to leave it and l can quite understand as shops do have their overheads etc to pay for, however the few that do still order l am finding it difficult to cater to now. You see l would always rather make things for people, whether they be friends or clients on the web site, in my minds eye they are people. This differentiates them from shops which l tend to see as a block, not really human at all. My little business is very much a people business and a doing it on a small scale scenario. I find being presented with a long list of 20 of this and 15 of that so very disheartening. Aside from the fact that it empties my precious 'stock boxes' in one fell swoop, l just don't like making things in batches to ship mout right away. oh l know l am being very small business minded here and l should be seeing the big picture and always trying to expand (well thats what the books tell me) but l would honestly rather expand to people who will write emails, phone me up, read this etc – those who are there and want a little piece of Dream Acres in their home. Am l being silly on this one, should l try to build my business on a more businesslike footing, or should l stay with the one-on-one scenario that l like and enjoy. Another problem l have with trade orders is stress – any of my friends will atest to the fact that l do get a tad stressed at times (yes even with all my lovely herbs around me l do go into that John Cleese/Basil Faulty overload on many an occasion) and l do find that being faced with trade orders for large numbers of items puts me under pressure. I don't like pressure and work with my sewing and herbs for the very reason that l don't want to be member number one million three hundred thousand and whatever- you- want-to-call-it in the rat race. This is one rat that doesn't like racing. But am l cutting myself off from good business here. I am in a quandery, but l think l know in my heart where Dream Acres stands, with its people who order online, by phone and at fairs. Those very people who take the time to chat, tell you a snippet about their lives and enquire after mine. They are grounding and uplifting all at the same time, which is just a little bit like my precious herb garden……