Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Goodbye to Collage

Today is my last day at Collage - the little shop in Kirkland at Carillon Point. I'm headed in this morning to work my shift, but then pack it all up and take it home.

It's been a difficult decision to leave, because the gals there are truly wonderful and have been so supportive. But it's been a tough fit for me. The work shift requirement is becoming increasingly more difficult as I schedule more shows and try to keep up with the mail order side of the business too. I just keep running short of time to be in the studio making products.

And I realized that stocking a little gift boutique is not the same as stocking a show. Customers were looking more for gift wrapped goodies and specially packaged items to give as gifts. The plain old bars of soap were not as popular. Since that's what I do primarily, it was frustrating to see it sit there on the shelf, especially when I needed it at a show were I came up a little short on one scent or another.

I do like a challenge, and so I was constantly brainstorming a new way to do it, to make it a big success. Different gift sets, different types of bags and bows and packaging. Moving it around and bringing in new things. Making special little things just for the shop. It's been over a year and I finally just decided that I'm chasing my tail, running circles and not getting anywhere.

Oh, the sales weren't bad. They were fairly consistent and most customers seemed to enjoy my products there. But it wasn't quite reaching what I needed it to for all the extra effort and attention I had to give it. It was a special project, and I had to be honest with myself that it was a distraction to my regular business, rather than a bonus.

I need my time back. I need my mental (and physical) energies to be more focused on what I have committed to for the rest of the year. So I'm saying goodbye today. I wish them the best success in the future and hope to stay in touch.