Do you hear that sound of hammering, banging, and pounding? Do you smell the sawdust and fresh paint? Do you see the boxes getting unpacked and products being loving arranged on the newly built shelves?
That’s me setting up my new store.
Not literally, of course. I have no physical location or building. My store is an e-store, located only on the internet. But in my imagination, I am hammering, pounding, painting, building shelves, and lovingly arranging my products on the shelves.
My store is a WordPress website, but my Landlord is Bluehost. They connect my site to the Internet. Although I’m familiar and comfortable with regular WordPress features, I am not familiar with the business features so I have a lot to learn in setting up the business parts–like the payment and shipping options. I have to write a description of my business, FAQs, policies, and so forth. It also takes a lot of time to list each product. I have to take photos of my items and upload them, decided on pricing, weigh and measure items for shipping. I would like to make business cards to give to people I meet who are interested in my store. For example, when I delivered the last of the baby items to my customer at the hospital where she worked, people in the waiting room saw them and asked about them. I gave them the name of my Facebook page, but it would have been better to give them a card with the information on it.
I was contacted by a Bluehost sister business on Friday who said they will help me handle a contact list and form, newsletters, emails, and things like that. They will also help me with marketing tips. The guy I talked to said he would give a photo of one of my creations to their graphic design people to make up a logo for me.
There is a lot more to setting up a store than a person might imagine. My website is not yet “active,” but I’m working as hard as I can to set everything up so I can open its doors soon. I imagine myself standing in the middle of the chaos and thinking with excitement: “This store is MINE. It’s real.” It’s deeply satisfying.
I work on my store in between crocheting to fulfill orders. I just finished a Big Foot, Yeti, and Unicorn for a local customer. We will deliver them later this morning. As I finished up her items, she ordered more items. I am kept constantly busy.
On Wednesday another local customer who told me that her little grandson is having surgery on Tuesday. The hospital said he could take on toy with him so she wanted to give him a Torch Lake Monster. She lives an hour or two north of me but she said that she and her husband would be passing through my area the next day on their way home from out-of-state. I literally worked all night long to complete the monster. I think I finished it at about 6 a.m. Fortunately I had a Netflix series to keep me awake as I worked. When the grandparents called to tell me they were about getting close, I walked down the driveway with the monster. I didn’t want them to attempt to drive up the very icy driveway. As I walked home, I met EJ arriving home. He parked the Xterra in its spot and then walked down to wait with me. When the grandparents pulled up alongside the road, we handed over the monster. They said they tell everyone about my items, and they plan to order more to give to their other grandchildren. It’s quite fun meeting my customers and I feel humbled by their encouragement and support.
Later, the grandmother messaged me that her grandson loved his Torch Lake Monster, and she sent me a photo of her grandson with it. I love when my customers send me photos like this. It warms my heart to hear that my creations are loved.
Spring is slowly, slowly creeping in. Last week we had some warm days, and the snow began to melt.
There were even a few bare patches of ground around the trees. My chickens don’t like snow and they stay inside their coop all winter. I don’t even bother opening their little door anymore during the winter because they never go out. However, with the warmer weather, I went out and the door and some of them even ventured outside!
The next day we had more snow, but I see on the National Weather Service website that the temperatures are slowly climbing so I know Spring will eventually arrive. When warmer weather gets here, I will have to clean out the chicken coop, getting rid of the winter straw. I’ll also have to start working in the garden.
Ok, I’ve gotta run…