I am so over hearing, at the beginning of any new year, that we should all have fresh new ideas, or aspirations, or start a fresh journal, or just be "better somehow". Whatever! Were we really so "terrible" before the start of 2023 that we need to change our ways?
My business style has been compared to a slow-moving animal. As a friend always says to me, "I see you're off like a herd of turtles again." I do truly believe that slow and steady does win the race, and it's the small things you work towards that make the difference in the end. So I guess that makes me a Micro Doer? Or should I call myself a Tiny Believer? Maybe a Little Learner? Or all of the above? I believe that you should just embrace life at your own pace; and, as an entrepreneur, the only person you need to listen to is yourself. Especially when you "wear all the hats" like I do. This is NOT a race, it's a journey. And it's not about the destination, but the places you end up along the way that make it so interesting.
So, to start this new year, I would like to highlight some of the small changes (good and not my idea but necessary) that have recently become things in my LREJ world.
To start with, I was given an absolutely beautiful antique oak display case by a long-time retail client who is moving her gallery. It took quite a bit of muscle power and co-ordination to pull it off, but I managed to empty and donate my old display cases just as the new display cases showed up at my studio front door. It took ALL my boys (I have three), the gallery owner and myself to get them into my studio. That bottom case you see is solid oak and tons of glass - which translates into HEAVY! But as you can also see, it was definitely worth the effort.
Next, I decided to finally make a really small Love Knot pendant on an even tinier Italian-manufactured Rolo Chain and sell it as a set. Enough people asked me about, so I figured I should just do it. And I did. It is now available for purchase on my website here.
There is another change that I struggled to make, but finally had to go for it. Unfortunately, I had to cave to the recent - and ridiculous - rise in the cost of shipping, so I am no longer able to offer free shipping on all online orders. You will now be charged a flat $10.00 shipping fee, unless you choose the local pick up option, or your order is more than $250.00. The $10.00 flat rate only applies to orders less than $250.00. It's not what I want to do, so I tried to make it fair by just charging $10.00. If you've been to the post office lately, you know you can't ship anything anywhere in Canada with a tracking number for $10.00. So I am still absorbing some of the cost, just not 100% of it anymore.
Now that we are almost a solid three years into our pandemic lives, I've been devoting more time to my website and posting on Instagram. They really are the heartbeat of my business, and if you want to know what I am up to, the website is a great place to spend some time surfing around. Instagram is a good place for seeing what's happening - almost in real time - or real time that week/day you're scrolling through. I don't post everyday, but at least a few times each week. Come follow me @lisaridout.
Another big part of my web life is learning how to master Shopify. Through trial and error, I have educated myself more about the inner workings of my Shopify platform. Feeling confident and ready, I held my first EVER online sale to celebrate my 30th year in business at the end of 2022!! It was a grand success, and I thank everyone who participated and chose to purchase. Only my email subscribers were alerted to the sale. I did NOT post about it via Instagram. I wanted to honour YOU, my very loyal, long-standing clients with this special sale.
And now that Valentine's Day is just around the corner, I have added some new items to my website, including my Stitch Marker Sets for knitting and crochet. The sets include a stitch marker with a Artisan handmade glass heart charm, that can be removed from the stitch marker and worn as a pendant instead. Below is a set with the Aqua coloured heart.
I've also added the Small Twist Bracelet using that same Artisan-made glass heart bead as a bracelet charm. There are many other designs in my jewellery collection that would be appropriately themed for heart day. Any of my Love Knot series comes to mind, and I have a few pieces with Swarovski crystal heart elements worked into them. Valentine's Day is more often about fresh flowers, a box of chocolates, going out for dinner, or just spending time with those you love (even if in your world that is all about self-love). So however you celebrate, or not, be kind to yourself and those around you.
My ongoing personal self-love (isn't Valentine's Day everyday?) is my constant knitting I have on my needles. I truly do knit for myself, but that doesn't mean all the projects I complete are for me. I love the relaxing and meditative state I settle into when I knit. And I love the challenge of some of the projects I choose to knit. Here is a shot of a scarf I knit for a friend for Christmas, paired with one of my unique Shawl/Scarf Cuffs.
Right now, I am working on another Zick Zack Scarf like the one above, which will make an appearance at any of the Fibre Festivals I am participating in this year. For a complete listing of shows and events for 2023, please visit my Upcoming Events page. Most of them are my "wish list" of shows I want to do this year. I am applying to be a vendor, but I won't have confirmation until later in the year. I figure "what the heck", I might as well "think" that's what I'm doing, and hopefully it will come true!