Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sweatshirt Shopping

I grew up in a very small town where everyone knows everyone (even if you don't think they do). One aspect of large city life that I have grown to love is the anonymity. I think once in 12 years I ran into someone I knew while running errands. Well, that was until tonight.

At about 9pm I ran to the nearest store for some infant nose drops (so hopefully the rest of us can get some sleep), which was a Walgreens. I was in the midst of working in my shop when I remembered the errand so I left just as I was with ink all over my hands from a cartridge refill gone bad, a badly stained sweatshirt and ripped running pants. I really couldn't care less about appearances, but that just goes to show that I don't ever except to see anyone I know.

However, while browsing the aisles, I heard someone call out "hello" from behind me. I looked back and reciprocated the greeting, but wasn't 100% certain who I was speaking to. I thought it was probably my neighbor, but because we are in the deep freeze otherwise known as Minnesota, I hadn't seen him face-to-face since about September or October. I quickly looked outside and saw his truck, which confirmed he was indeed my neighbor. At the same time I casually covered up my impulse purchase - a body waxing kit. I wouldn't want that along with my large bottle of children's Ibuprofen and bag of pretzels to give him the wrong idea about our evening life. I felt bad for him because based on his need for a prescription, 2 types of Robitussin, orange juice and Mentholatum, someone in his family was not doing well.

A few minutes later, we pulled up together into our respective driveways knowing a little more about our neighbor and waved to each other for probably the last time until May when it is safe to be outside again.

I don't know about hime, but I felt good knowing that it could be another 12 years before this happens again.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

So what was that number again?

I've been asked several times what I like the least about running my own business. It took me a while to come up with something. I mean, what is not to like. There's being able to type this in my underway at 10:15am and processing orders at 3am.

However, one thing finally came to mind. I have only had to do it twice that I can recall, but the worst thing you can make me do is to call a customer back and tell them that their credit card information has been rejected.

At first, taking orders over the phone was the thing I least enjoyed (and luckily 95% of our orders are placed online). Even though the customer had called me to place an order, I still felt weird when the conversation got to the point of asking for payment. I have since gotten over that and it is second nature, but what I still almost fear is when the credit card info they give me is rejected by our credit card processor. For various reasons, I almost always process the card several minutes after getting off the phone so if the card is rejected I would have to call the customer back (and then I hopefully remembered to get their phone number).

Even now, you will probably still hear a sigh of relief whenever a card is processed successfully.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Baby Hand Mold Instructional Video Demonstration

This quick video was made by a family member for one of our family run businesses: Casting Keepsakes. We hope it's a great compliment to our written directions and slide show photos.