Sunday, March 23, 2008

I'm New At This, Be Gentle With Me

Well I've gotten this far.

Today is Easter and I made a promise to myself that I would do things today that I have been putting off. I promised a friend of mine (name dropping), Margot Potter a.k.a. The Impatient Beader that I would get with it and start a blog. So here I go.

I wear a lot of hats. I really don't know where I hang said hat. Along with all the family hats, i.e. wife, mother, daughter, friend etc. I am professionally a bead shop owner, instructor, designer, and writer.

I few myself as one of the luckiest people alive because I get to pursue my passion professionally. And not only that, but I am surrounded my my family 24/7 in this profession. My husband, Norm, works with me full time (yes, we still like each other.) My daughter, Nora (20 years old),helps run our shop. Nora's boyfriend,Drew, helps us at our trade shows and in the shop. My ex-sister in law ( long story), Tammy, is our shop manager and web master. Our change of life son , Chase, (4yrs old), is raised by the "village" consisting of all of us including my parents and my mother in law. I said I was the luckiest person in the world, I don't know if the previosly mentioned people share my enthusiasm or not. I often feel that I sucked them all into my personal black hole.

I think of my path to all of this as a beaders epic journey, hey, that sounds like a book title, hint hint. But I have to say, I don't like to limit my self to the title "Beader." This whole life style/hobby is so much more than just beading. We recently had a discussion in our family about what a "master" is, i.e. master silversmith etc. and Drew made the comment that maybe to be considered a master you had to pick one medium and really stick with it. I immediately said, "Then I'll never be a master." I have a passion to do more! That is why I am so drawn to mixed medium. The thought of getting to combine so many exciting mediums is overwhelming. And so many new things keep coming out. Well enough of that soap box. Moving on.

An interesting thing happend in our shop yesterday. A little back ground info here first. Our shop is just undr 4,000 square feet. It is divided into 4 sections. Generally there is staff in 3 of the rooms at all times, but there are times when a room may not be totally under observation. We also have a "make yourself at home" policy. I know that I personally don't like to be smothered by over helpful sales people, so we greet our customers, give them an over view of how our system works if they are new custormers and then turn them loose to enjoy. Well, much to my dimay, we have had to install security cameras. We've been noticing some things missing in the last few months. Getting back to the event of yesterday. We received a anonymous box containing almost $1,000.00 worth of our beads and a note stating that these items belonged to us and were being returned. This note indicated that the sender had an "illness" and was returnig items taken from us. This elicited mixed feelings in me. I was glad the person was trying to come clean and return stolen items. But I also felt betrayed and sad. The items taken appear to be things taken over a long period of time. So this person is most likely a regular customer that we have trusted to shop unaccompanied and at there own leasure. Did they return the beads because they want to do better, or are they afraid they have been caught on camera? Shoud we change our "our customers are our friends" policy and start watching everyone the entire time they are in our shop? Or do we continue with our open door policy and again believe that most people are honest and should be trusted? I would appreciate your input to this?
Kim

6 comments:

Margot Potter said...

Kim

Welcome to the Blogosphere!

Firstly, you are a Rennaissance Woman. This is what I call myself when I'm not feeling like a Jill of All Trades.

Secondly, it is sad. I had a bead shop with my husband. We also sold Fair Trade Handicrafts. I could not hire one person who didn't steal from me. So I had to stop hiring people. It sucks that people steal from you. For me, my store was an extension of my home. I was held at gunpoint and Drew's store in Pittsburgh when I was pregnant. It was terrifying. So yes, you need to be aware even though it stinks.

YAY FOR KIM! I will add your link to my blog and tell everyone to stop on by and see you!

GOOD WORK!

xoxo
Margot

Robin Beam said...

Kim!

Congratulations on your new blog! You'll be on a roll in no time. Anything I can do to help, please do not hesitate to call.

Regarding your store, I'll never forget a very well to do woman, professional position, was caught shoplifting. She was banned from the store. I later saw her at the local bead store and privately warned the owner...it's a shame, but it happens!

Inkingly,
Robin

Crafty Chica said...

welcome, chica!! looking forward to reading all about your artsy adventures! bee-u-tee-ful bracelet!!! and i can relate to your story too, at one point we hired "friends" to help us produce our art orders - only to find they were walking out with hunks of clay and such...it's hard to juggle it all, keep your chin up and let your art guide you thru it all!
peace, love, and glitter!
kathy :-)

Christina said...

Good luck with your new blog! I look forward to reading it.

KristalWick said...

CONGRATS KIM!

I too had gentle nudges about starting a blog from another unnamed favorite creative chik (www.KatieHacker.com) so I finally did it and it is a blast. Of course the best part I think is reading everyone’s blogs (Margot Potter STILL gets the most gold stars in my book!).

In the beginning I felt like nobody was reading my blog so I questioned it’s importance, then recently I got the sweetest comment which makes all this craziness sooooooooooooo worth it! So hang in and blog-away!

Bummer about the stealing. When I had my bead shop I found the shoplifting increased as the economy decreased. I even had signs around with humorous statements about karma and stealing. Still didn't work...

Good luck!

Very happy to have you a part of the blogster community!

Creatively Kristal

Rose's Collection said...

Welcome Kim!!

And I wish you all the best