Friday, August 29, 2008

Tales of Appreciation

Count your lucky stars – those are words to live by.
I have been very lucky for most of my life; I have faced obstacles, like everyone, but as a whole I have been very blessed. It is easy to take the people in your life for granted and not truly appreciate them. In the craft business, people are 50% of your business and sometimes it is easy to lose that focus.

The next time you are dealing with a disgruntled customer, think of all the wonderful loyal customers who deal with you again and again. Get to know those regular customers and value their patronage. It will soothe the sting of the irritable customer you are dealing with. Look at your friends who support your craft business. I know that I couldn’t run a successful folk art business without the help of my girlfriends. From buying my wares to helping me find one of a kind treasures to paint on, to passing my name along to potential customers, these women are invaluable to me. Turn an objective eye on your own family, just when you think you know why some animals eat their young, think of all the craziness that your kids put up with from you and your unusual business. My kids have helped me many times, packing up for craft shows, unpacking from craft shows, eating take out and not being too embarrassed by my “work clothes”. So when the craft season begins and they are asking you for the 100th favor, remember what they did to support you and your business.

The one person I appreciate most is my husband. He has been there from the beginning, encouraging me at the start and now being my partner in all my craft related businesses. It is wonderful that we like to spend so much time together, he works a real job out of our home, so we are together almost 24/7. He has a great eye for detail and loves to work with his hands; he is the production side of our businesses. I come up with the ideas and then turn over the sketches to him and he figures out a way to make them work. I have only stumped him once in 25 years! I guess I didn’t really stump him, I just didn’t like the options he gave me, drill a hole in the dining room table or cover the carpet with duct tape; I chose to take a different approach to that idea. He makes me laugh and he makes me want to pull my hair out, but I am sure I do the same to him. We are a team in the truest sense of the word. I appreciate his honesty and his hard work.

So the next time you get bogged down in your business, stop and think about all the people you appreciate; your family and friends, your customers, the UPS driver, the mailman, the Starbucks guy and the take-out delivery driver, we couldn’t do it without them.

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