Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Best wishes for a new year of perfect health, great adventures, much happiness, and all the best of everything!

Tonight we celebrate all the successes of 2012.  Tomorrow we start the new year off with fresh ideas, grand enthusiasm and big dreams.  I love New Year's and the chance to hit re-set and begin anew.

A champagne toast to you all - my friends and customers who have given me so much this past year. Big hugs!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Whoosh - it's over?

Wow.  Christmas already happened.  I truly intended to head over here and post Christmas greetings and stuff.  But the whirlwind of the holiday just blew me away and I never got to do it.  Like so many other things too.

It's such a gigantic race to get to the finish line with all the preparations done, and then poof!  The big event is over in a blink and lots of stuff just didn't make the cut.

We had such a lovely Christmas Eve with our traditional celebration of a Feast of 7 Fishes, although I secretly liked dessert more than the other stuff :)  Christmas Day was a flurry of unwrapping, a bit of relaxing and another wonderful dinner.  I can't believe it's all over now.  Except for the putting away.  Of course the clean up takes longer than the holiday itself.

I've got a bit of catching up to do in the studio.  More things that didn't quite get done before Christmas.  But I'm going to have a quiet week and start to put things back in order before getting back to work in earnest next week.  I'm bringing home all the inventory from the Bellingham and Warm Beach shows this week.  If I've got soaps leftover that are sold out over here, I'll get them back on the website immediately.

I hope your holiday was merry and bright, and that you got to celebrate with your very best friends and family.  I'm looking forward to the new year and another round of partying too!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Panic at the Post

Yesterday was the most panicked day of packing orders yet.  I thought last Monday was bad.  But yesterday by 5 o'clock I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  I worked my butt off from early morning on, and never seemed to have enough time to breathe.

So many packages to go out and boxes not even packed up, labels not printed - I was buzzing around here in such a state that I'm worried sick I screwed something up.  And the people who I was sending orders to are some of the loveliest customers on earth.  They all deserve the very best service and I'll be heart-broken if somebody got the wrong thing, not enough things, the box arrives a jumble, or what-not.

I did actually have to call my roommate at the final minutes to help me stuff boxes and work the tape gun, etc.  It was a mess here, like a tornado had gone through the studio, and then after that a bomb went off.  I can't believe I actually got the boxes through the Post Office doors at the 5:30 bell when they lock up.   I was driving like a maniac - but still had to stop for every single red light between here and there.

And then raced over to UPS with the other most hugest order, to wait in line for half an hour because everyone there is pretty much new to that place, didn't know how the counter works, and had a problem with their package.   People were all stressing out - the package was supposed to be delivered somewhere else, some other time, or at the store for pick up instead of on the truck . . . something and everything.  And the lady behind me was somebody's very lovely mom who was bringing her son's business packages over to be shipped and had never done it before, didn't have his UPS account number, etc.  I'm sure they sorted it out at the desk, but there was a lot of that kind of thing - wrangling out all the details and a high-level of frustration and panic in the room.  Normally I just breeze in and out in a few minutes with a bit of friendly chatter with one of my usual guys.  But yesterday . . . whoa.

Today there is more.  But not quite the same level.  Manageable.  It has to slow down any day now, right?  Please say yes.  I'm still not ready for my own Christmas yet.

Oh, and I'm back up to Bellingham tomorrow.  I'm actually not bringing up much more stock.  But a little bit.  A few more things to finish up the week.  If you need to shop for Soapworks products, there's probably more there in my display at the show than there is left here at the studio.  

Three cheers to holiday spirits.  The drinking kind.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Twelve. Twelve. Twelve.

Today is the most awesomest day of Dec 12, 2012.  I woke up a little after midnight last night, just to see if anything earth-shattering would happen at 12:12 am on 12/12/12.  Nope, nothing.  Sigh.  But to be fair, I don't even know if I was awake for that whole minute before falling back to sleep.  I've been so exhausted.

We're into sorta mid-December now, and I'm done with the new shows.  You can find my goods at the Allied Arts show in Bellingham still.  And at Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach Camp - in the Joyland Emporium shop.  But other than that, it's only mail order at this point.  And even that is getting short.

I heard on the radio that this past Monday was the busiest shipping day of the year.  And I know that it was pretty huge for me too.  FedEx did something like 19 million packages that day.  Mine was a bit less :),  but it took several trips from the car to the Post Office desk.  And I was completely cooked, trying to rush over there just before they closed with every last order from the weekend.

Some of the most popular soap scents are sold out at the moment.  This is such a big disappointment to me.  I tried so very hard this year to not have that happen.  But it does.  Every time.  No matter how much I make, it's always just not quite enough.  I made dozens of extra batches in the last few months so that I would have gazillions of bars of soap to sail through til Christmas.  And it didn't last.

I am still madly making soap every day and most things will be back on the site next week, but at that point, it's really a bit late to ship things in time for Christmas.  Sigh.  Well, I'll be ready for those New Year's orders, I guess.  But I truly need to already get started on producing spring scented soaps for the next newsletter at the beginning of February.

I'm thinking I might need to change my schedule a little bit.  It's all too squished together from Fall/September, Winter/November and then Spring/February.  As I said, I'm tired.  

But for now, it's back to more orders this morning.  And I'm headed up to Bellingham tomorrow with a ton of restock.  I know it's totally picked over and bare up there, but I just didn't have a single day to drive up last week since I was at Group Health.  So if you are waiting for goods, head over tomorrow.

And I'll take another moment today at noon to see what kind of magic might happen at 12:12 pm.  Maybe the universe slept through the midnight thing like I did.