Christmas is cancelled

20 May

The last of the crazy May order rush!

shipments

New rule:  My customers are going to have to talk to each other and stagger their orders so that I don’t receive twenty one orders all at the same time ever again.   I’ll distribute phone numbers, and you can all meet up for a nice cup of tea and discuss scheduling.  You’ll like each other, I promise.  You’re all really cool people.  OK?

Also, Christmas is cancelled.  It’s dead to me.

Most of my jewelry is made as it’s ordered, and each setting is unique to each piece.  This system isn’t a problem when orders come in at a steady pace.  At Christmas, though, it won’t be steady, and this recent rush has caused me to take a look around at how other artisan jewelers work, so that I can come up  with some good ideas of how I will handle my first big Christmas online.

I’ve noticed that other goldsmiths have only a few standard settings, and this allows them to offer the same setting with different calibrated gems.  Their ring collection, for example, might only be three different settings, but they are shown and offered with a variety of stones.  These artists can have the settings ready, and pop in whatever stone has been ordered.

While I can’t stand the idea of homogenizing my work, I think I’m going to have to work this method into my collection.  Just a bit.  This will allow me to have a group of settings ready for quick shipping, and then continue to offer my more unique settings, but make clear they will take longer. 

Right now, I state in my policies that most items will be ready to ship in 3-4 business days, and they are when I’m not swamped.  But twenty one orders in the span of several days will never, with God as my witness, be ready in 3-4 days.   I haven’t enjoyed failing my own policy, and as my business grows I need to find a realistic modus operandi which allows me to continue to be the artisan I want to be.  Raising prices would solve some problems, but I’d like to avoid doing that.

I was so flattered when Charlotte Parent’s online magazine named me Mompreneur of the month, but I really hope they don’t find out I have no idea what I’m doing.

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3 Responses to “Christmas is cancelled”

  1. nightman1 May 21, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

    The Christmas rush must have been very stressful. I believe I would have peaked out on the guilt-o-meter on that one–while simultaneously realizing that I just couldn’t do it any faster.

    Better luck next year!

  2. erin May 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    You wanna know who Christmas is cancelled for? This guy:

    • vakadesign May 20, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

      Wow. Where to begin on THAT one? Yikes. I can’t imagine WHY Christianity doesn’t look good to this kid.

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