Monday, August 07, 2006

Checks and Balances

The universe may not always send us what we want, but it always sends us what we need, and sometimes a little bit more to make us stronger.

-- Julia Butterfly Hill

A little topsy-turvy. Anacortes was the best sales for a show that I've done in my entire 10 years of doing business. By a lot. Which was fabulous. And scary. Because combined with the almost record-breaking Bellevue show the week before, I'm tapped out. I would really be enjoying this if I weren't fretting about how I'm going to swing the next few months. I'm so low in inventory. I've added that big Puyallup show in September, the month where I usually have pretty light shows and spend my time soapmaking like crazy in order to be prepared for the crazy-as-hell October through December Holiday rush.

Partly I'm just exhausted, and not quite recovered from the grueling marathon. But today was a huge challenge, just to get through the day.

I sold out of everything practically, and need to start from scratch this week, just to get enough inventory ready for Coupeville this weekend. I'm sure if I get a good night's sleep, it won't look quite so desperate tomorrow morning. But I'm still working through a few crises. Like the huge increase in olive oil I faced yesterday when picking up my order. The discontinuation of the tulip and pansy bags which I have had such huge success with. The end of the organza bags which make the perfect gift wrap for a single bar of soap, and have been so very popular, especially during the holidays. I haven't figured out how to work around those yet. Road blocks left and right. I can't even begin to describe all the other stuff I wrangled with today. Merchant account trouble, credit card dispute wrestling, online order circus acts, and customer service that wasn't anywhere near as helpful as it was last week.

I had to cancel the Tacoma Market this week. I'm sure nobody is really checking here. So I hope I don't disappoint too many of my loyal friends who are looking for me there this week, after two weeks away. I've never been this AWOL. Ever. And it's been 9 years at that market. I hope they still remember me. I have promised to be there next week. I have no shows the following weekend, so I shouldn't have any more crises. I'll bring whatever I can. But I will be there. I feel awful about it. But I'm just against the wall, doing the best I can to fulfill my commitments, starting with the most important ones, and working my way down.