Status Reports & Other Ramblings
It's been a long wait, but gift certificates are finally back. When somebody asks what to get you, the answer just got a lot easier - send them here!
Lots of new shinies just got added to the store! Roman glass in blues, greens, and amber; leaf pendants, pearls and shells, crystals, dangly earrings, and more.
Wyrding Studios is now up and running on an ecommerce platform called Shopify, which I hope will be a better experience for you as well as for me. In 2014 and early 2015 I used an ecommerce platform/marketplace called Storenvy, which had to be abruptly abandoned last week due to serious technical issues that they refused to address. I had already been planning to make the move, but not under this sort of time pressure; thank you for your patience during the unexpected downtime this weekend.
If you created an account on Storenvy, please note that those accounts were not (and can not be) transferred to the new system. You have the option to create a new account or to shop as a guest; creating an account will make the checkout process faster and also allow you to view your order history from this point forward.
I have moved all of the unsold 2015 inventory and neckvines into the new system, and will be transferring clearance items and coupon codes over the next week or two. Right now there are a lot of placeholder pages, and no links to either the 2003 - 2013 archive or the 2014 archive; I plan to resolve those issues as soon as I can. Miles is on school vacation all next week so my work time will unfortunately be somewhat limited.
Due to technical issues with our former ecommerce provider, I was forced to abruptly move Wyrding Studios onto to a new sales platform this weekend.
I'm presently in the process of moving inventory into the new system, and I have placeholder pages in place for most of the rest of the site. Thank you for your patience while I get everything back up and running!
I have decided that Wyrding Studios will not actively be participating in Black Friday this year. Instead, for the rest of the year, I will be focusing on offering a wider range of affordable items in the store, with occasional flash sales, coupon codes, and special offers via social media.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about this over the past few weeks, and this is not a decision I’ve made lightly. The short explanation is that Black Friday has become something that conflicts strongly with my personal values, as well negatively affecting my creativity and putting undue stress on my physical and mental health.
The longer explanation is significantly more complex.
Like most retail business owners, I usually see a substantial increase in orders between October and December. (The origin of the phrase Black Friday is sometimes attributed to it being the time of year when retail businesses tip over from running in the red to making a profit.) However, over the past decade, I’ve watched Black Friday creep earlier and earlier every year, put more and more strain on retail workers and business owners, and become more and more violent and mindless.
As a one-woman business, I have a great deal of flexibility about when and how much I work; I have to maintain a consistent level of inventory and keep up with website orders, subscriptions, commissions, and wholesale orders… but when I do that work is mostly up to me. If I want to start working at 2am on a holiday I don’t celebrate, it’s my choice to do so and no one else is significantly impacted by my actions.
But if I continue to participate in Black Friday, I’m tacitly involving myself in something that I’m finding more and more at odds with my personal ethics every year. As many of you know, 2014 has been a very difficult year for me. It has also been profoundly transformative. Some of you have probably heard me talk about my belief that tikkun olam - literally, “heal the world” - is part of the responsibility of being an artist. Part of that work is making the conscious decision to live as mindfully and compassionately as I can.
As Black Friday loomed every closer on my calendar, I found myself more and more uncomfortable with both the prospect of trying to take on the additional workload and the implications of continuing to participate in something that becomes more materialistic, violent, and disruptive every year. When I decided yesterday that I needed to opt out of it, it felt like a giant weight had dropped off my shoulders. For the first time in entirely too long, I truly looked forward to going into the studio today.
That alone tells me I’m making the right choice for myself. Whether or not it will be the right choice as a business owner remains to be seen, but I think it’s the only choice I can make in good conscience.