Status Reports & Other Ramblings
(Smol Panther says "I HALP!" but her halping is very bitey.)
If anybody knows who's responsible for it being almost the end of January ALREADY, please let me know because I would like to file a complaint. I am pretty sure it's actually only something like January 5th but my phone and watch and computer and Alexa all insist that it's the 20th and I don't know how this happened.
ANYWAY. The end-of-year-clearance sale was a gigantic success (thank you all so much!) and I hope you are all enjoying your shinies! If they haven't arrived by now and you live in the US, please let me know so I can yell at the post office. If you're not in the US, probably they'll get there eventually?
I'm also having a lot of fun with the Pretty Rocks Club, and if you didn't sign up for that you can still snag this month's black sunstone - I think there are 2 or 3 left. The charoite for next month should be en route to me today, which is good because I'm actually hoping to get all of February's subscriptions made up by the end of the month...
...because on February 3rd I'm having surgery and I honestly have no idea when I'll be back at work. Might be a week! Might be six weeks! (It had BETTER NOT be six weeks.) My surgeon thinks it should only be a week or two given what I do for a living, and I'm getting everything set up so I can work from bed once I have enough mobility in my arms to be able to hold a pair of pliers again because this definitely ain't my first rodeo when it comes to working while recovering from surgery.
(For once it's a quality of life surgery rather than "oh how exciting, my body has found a new and creative way to try to kill me!" surgery, and strictly speaking it's elective although I DID NOT ELECT TO LIVE WITH ALL THIS PAIN AND I WOULD LIKE IT GONE NOW PLEASE. But all is well, I promise, and hopefully I will soon be in a lot less pain on a daily basis which means more workbench time so everybody wins! Except possibly your bank account. Sorry about that.)
I plan to have all pending orders shipped out by Saturday February 1st, at which point I will formally be on medical leave and the ABSOLUTE SOONEST anything MIGHT get shipped again is February 8th, but it could be longer. So if there's anything you've been eyeing, or any presents you need to order between now and March, probably you should get your order in sooner rather than later...
(Earring club subscriptions will probably go out a little later than usual for all of February, and there's a possibility that Pretty Rocks Club could ship late as well. I'm planning to teach the Tiny Evil Genius to pack orders today, so hopefully she can take over on getting subscriptions in the mail if I'm not back on my feet as quickly as I hope.)
I'll be focusing on subscription prep and getting orders out over the next two weeks, but new shinies should still make it onto the website as well - I'll be focusing on one-of-a-kind items, mostly pendants and earrings that can be shipped immediately without needing additional workbench time.
...and with that I'm off to one of the many VERY FUN (oh wait no) pre-op appointments that I have this week, because apparently a lot of poking and prodding is needed to make sure I'm not an alien or something? I'll spare you the details and instead leave you with a links to fun things that I've made recently from a batch of handcrafted Peruvian ceramic beads that have been entertaining me a lot:
We have officially reached the part of the year where retail workers everywhere just... flop. Which is why this week's roundup is actually looking ahead to things that haven't happened yet, because pretty much all I've done this week is sleep and eat. Yesterday I got REALLY ambitious and did my nails but then I needed an extra nap.
Firstly: the end of year clearance sale is currently at 35% off! No coupon code needed, the discount automatically shows up in your cart. Subscriptions, custom work, neckvines, intent pendants, and $5 earrings/pendants are excluded, but pretty much everything else is fair game. The discount will go up to 40% in the wee sma' hours of the 30th (by which I probably mean "around 9pm, because I'm old") and depending on how much sugar my muppet visitor (of "NO, K" infamy for those of you who follow either/both of us on Twitter) and I consume on New Year's Eve, it might go even higher in the last few hours of 2019.
Secondly: you have precisely, uh... *consults phone because what even is linear time* four more days to get in on the Pretty Rocks Club before subscription signups close at midnight on the 31st! If you miss the deadline or aren't into commitment, you'll also be able to purchase individual months for $30/$50 on the website once each month has been shipped to subscribers, but it's going to be pretty darn awesome so I highly recommend subscribing if you can fit it into your budget.
(Seriously, I shrieked when I opened the package containing the black sunstone I ordered for January. And then the short person came over to see why I was shrieking at beads, and then both of us were shrieking, and shortly thereafter I realized I made a major tactical mistake by inviting the muppety one to visit at the same time as these beads will be in my house and I'm hoping that maybe if I give her one of her very own to lick the rest will escape unscathed?)
Thirdly: last year I Did A Thing where people gave me a word or intention that they wanted to carry into the new year and I stayed up all night on New Year's Eve making those intentions into jewelry. I'm going to do it again this year, except without the staying up all night part. (See also "I'm old" and "pretty sure I will faceplant into a candle if I try") This year I'm calling it "As You Mean To Go On" and signups are now open! I plan to start working on these pieces as soon as I toss the muppet onto her bus on January 1st or whenever I wake up enough to be coherent, whichever happens first.
(I finally figured out how to easily organize signups into one place! This is going to make Instant Gratification so much easier in the future! Also wow I am slow on the uptake sometimes because Google Forms has apparently been a thing since 2008 and yet I have been struggling with how to centralize signups ever since LiveJournal died and this literally NEVER OCCURRED TO ME until about an hour ago.)
Fourthly... uh, I forget what this was supposed to be and I can't read the notes I scribbled in my planner. Hopefully it wasn't important?
Oh! Now I remember! It was the traditional Very Angry Cat In Santa Hat photo, because I originally meant to post this on Monday when that would have been vaguely relevant and seasonal. But here, have it anyway!
(No, there will never be a version of this photo featuring Smol Panther because I value my spleen. Slippers is dumb enough to have forgotten all about this by the time he was back inside the house. Smol Panther holds grudges until the end of time.)
(Stock photography is WEIRD sometimes, y'all.)
So over the weekend I took a look at my sales stats for the year, and I definitely did NOT get a little weepy I just have allergies, OKAY? I mean yes I'm on track to have my best year since 2007 (also known as the year when learned that I can NEVER EVER AGAIN have a studio space without windows because let me tell you spending every waking hour in a basement does NOT do good things for your mental health) and yes I have been seeing steady growth for the past few years and yes maybe I needed a handkerchief but DARNIT WHY ARE THERE SO MANY DUSTY ONIONS IN HERE?
...seriously, though, I am all up in my feelings right now, because this tiny little business that I started kinda by accident isn't just surviving anymore, it's THRIVING. There were a bunch of years when both the business and I were kinda barely hanging on by a thread, but during the divorce I dug my heels in and decided I was going to turn that around, and... here we are. Even in this absolute dumpster fire of a year. And I can't thank you enough for making that possible.
I can, however, start the end of year clearance sale much earlier than usual, and that's exactly what I'm doing today. Because one way or another I'm going to marking stuff down to get the inventory bins to be a whole lot emptier by the time we kick 2019 to the curb, sooo... I might as well let those of you who are still shopping for holiday gifts take advantage of the inevitable discounts.
As of now, just about everything is 25% off. (Subscriptions, $5 earrings & pendants, custom work, neckvines, and intent pendants are excluded, as are gift bags and earwire upgrades.) No code necessary, the discounted prices will show up in your cart automatically. At some point I'll increase the discount to 30%, then to 35%, and probably on the 31st it'll go to 40% because why not? I'll leave it up to you to decide if you want to pounce on your favorites now or take your chances that they'll still be there later...
And seriously: THANK YOU. I'm headed into 2020 with a whole lot of optimism and a super exciting new subscription program and a bunch of Mysterious Plans that hopefully I will finally be able to follow through on now that I'm on ADHD meds (*cough*TUTORIALS*cough*KITS*cough*LESSONS*cough*) and I really hope it will be a fantastic year for all of us.
(There probably won't be a lot in the way of new shinies going up on the website for the rest of this month because this week I'm focusing on getting orders out the door as quickly as possible - and by the way if you're buying Christmas presents the deadline is this coming Wednesday - and then I'll be shifting my focus to Mysterious Plans and getting the Pretty Rocks Club up and running and somewhere in there I plan to nap for about three days.)
[stock photo that is definitely not a photo of my desk because I don't have time to tie raffia around an artfully arranged vase of carnations and my planner is full of illegible scrawling and usually half-buried under a stack of bead cases and also is that sidewalk chalk in the glass jar? hastag aesthetic hashtag bossbabe hashtag WTF hashtag this is why I'm not on instagram]
Okay, I give up: I am just not good at Mondays. We're going to a weekly roundup, hopefully sometime in the first half of the week, but who knows? NOT ME.
- We are solidly into the ABSOLUTE CHAOS part of December (true story: I scheduled both a dentist appointment and a therapy appointment this week. Their receptionists both apologized for bursting into laughter when I called going HI YES I NEED TO RESCHEDULE FOR JANUARY BECAUSE I WORK IN RETAIL AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WAS THINKING) and if you need something custom for the holidays I need to know about it, like... today.
- Relatedly, holiday shipping deadlines are here. And I mean the part about the exorbitant markup on overnight shipping if you somehow forget about Christmas until the 19th.
- There is a brand-new subscription program called the Pretty Rocks Club starting in January and I am super excited about it! You can sign up for yourself or give it as a gift to someone else!
Earring Club gift subscriptions are also a thing! In 3, 6, and 12 month options! The first pair will be something sparkly, light, medium-length and goes-with-everything neutral unless you know their favorite color/stone; after that they do the preferences survey so I can customize what I make every month.
- If you're in the market for gifts and you don't know what to buy (hi, bewildered husbands and boyfriends!) you can always ask the recipient to make a wishlist! Or I can help you pick something out, if the recipient has shopped with me in the past or you can vaguely describe their taste in jewelry/clothing/pretty rocks.
- For those "okay so we're exchanging gifts this year GOOD TO KNOW" moments, it never hurts to have a stock of these and these on hand!
- ARGH Shopify if you could just stop logging me out while I'm in the middle of writing a blog post THAT'D BE GREAT, THANKS
It's Monday! There's a whole bunch of frozen white stuff falling from the sky and school is closed! It's $_WINTERHOLIDAY shopping season! It's... Instant Gratification Monday!
(OH HAI I have been prescribed a Ritalin and now I like exclamation points even more than I did before!!)
I've turned off comments on the blog because spambots were having a field day, so to place a request, you can email me (email@example.com) or Tweet at me, or leave a comment on the Facebook post mirroring this one, or send me a message on Facebook. (I don't recommend telepathy, though.) I'll do my best to keep track of everything; if I don't reply in some manner by this afternoon to tell you that I have your request on the list, feel free to nudge me, because let's face it, it's a big internet out there.
This is a choose-your-own-budget adventure; there is a $10 minimum and a $50 maximum and I'm happy to work with you to create something lovely at any point in that range. I'm good at finding ways to stay within any budget, so feel free to ask me for suggestions if you’ve seen a piece that you really love that’s totally out of your price range; I may be able to make you something similar with a less expensive stone or by simplifying a complex design.
Once your piece is done, I will give you a link to a reserved-for-you listing in the store. If you don’t like what I’ve made, you’re under no obligation to buy it - you just have first dibs on it. I do ask that you either pay for your item or let me know that it's not to your liking by Wednesday morning, please.
Caveats and restrictions: I'm unusually low on all wire except silver (but you can ask, I might have enough to make something) and I'm limited to the materials I have in stock (but since I stock over a thousand varieties of shiny objects, that's not much of a restriction) and I reserve the right to limit this to a maximum of 10 requests and 1 item per person so I can get through all the requests by the end of the day. If I don’t have the necessary materials on hand, I’ll let you know and we can discuss having me order the materials for you; that may involve a deposit and a significantly longer turnaround time.
Requests are open as of now and will remain open until approximately 6pm (eastern time) on or when we get to too many requests for me to finish today, whichever comes first. Tell me what you'd like and how much you want to spend and I will do my best to make it for you! I will be working through requests in a roughly first-come, first-served basis, starting around noon when I get back from giving a friend a ride home from dialysis.