ACRE is ON!!

Not much time to blog right now.  The American Craft Retailers Expo (ACRE) started this morning and runs through Monday afternoon.  This is my first wholesale show and the launching pad for my wholesale business.  Here’s a quick shot of my booth. Wish me luck.  I need all the positive energy and happy thoughts y’all can generate.

January 21, 2012

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Winter Bloom

The gorgeous African Irisis are blooming in my front yard right now.  These spiky green grass-like clumps have been none too impressive since they were planted last July when we updated our landscaping.  Apparently, winter is the big payoff for these guys.  From a distance, they just look like white flowers, but closer inspection reveals the yellow stamens and lavender shading in intricate designs.

Throughout the year, the yard will burst with bits of color.  Right now we’ve got these beauties, some lovely pink azaleas and the deep burgandy foliage of the Joseph’s Coat.  I’m so looking forward to the riot of fuschia blooms that will cover the flowering nectarine tree I can see from my office/studio window.  It’s such fun to watch this progression from little perch.

January 17, 2012

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So impressed by the USPS!

I had postcards printed to promote my jewelry business.  I’m mailing some out to potential galleries in advance of the American Craft Retailers Expo (ACRE) where I’m exhibiting next weekend.  I addressed a couple of them to myself, just to see how fast they would arrive and in what condition they would arrive.  I dropped them at the post office at 4:55 yesterday afternoon.  They landed in my mailbox in perfect condition at 10 am this morning.


Granted, the post office is just down the street from my house, but still.  I’m totally impressed that they can sort that mail overnight and get in my mailman’s truck for delivery the next day. Three cheers for the US Postal Service!!

January 13, 2012

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Personal recipe for happiness

I’m now in my second week of this newest phase of my life.  At the end of the year I made a major change by re-arranging my priorities to better fit my personal recipe for happiness.

I had been in my job as Director of Marketing for the National Mango Board (NMB) for five years.  It was a job I loved and thrived in.  I think I did some of my very best work ever while working for the NMB.  For most of my tenure there, I was also making art and jewelry in my limited free time.  As my passion for designing jewelry blossomed and I started selling my work, a tension set in between these two parts of my life.  The job required a great deal of travel, and the deadline pressure made for many long days at the office.  My brain was swimming with jewelry ideas that struggled to break through in the short time I could spend in my studio.  The tension grew.

About 18 months ago, I started daydreaming about my personal recipe for happiness.  I took off the filters of reality and asked myself, what would be my ideal career mix, if anything was possible.  I came to understand that I didn’t want to leave the produce industry or the mango industry entirely.  I love that part of my life, and the people I get to work with in produce are amazing.  Ideally, I wanted to make the mango work a smaller slice of my life, to give space for my jewelry business to thrive.

I pitched the idea to my boss of breaking off a portion of my job and doing it part-time as a consultant.  I would still be responsible for managing the NMB’s retail marketing program.  It’s an important part of the job that honestly never got enough of my attention when I was also managing all the other facets of the program.  Although it may sound cliche, I knew this solution would truly be a win-win.  I had to answer a lot of tough questions, but soon a plan was in place that allowed me to leave the full-time job at the end of 2011.

So now my life is a blended creation painted with a watercolor brush.  I work on mango stuff just about every day.  But I also work on my jewelry business every day.  Next week I’m exhibiting as an emerging artist at the American Craft Retailers Expo (ACRE), here in Orlando.  My plan is to focus on wholesale, rather than retail, so this show is truly the launching pad for my success.  I’m in that crazy, manic phase where even if I worked non-stop until the show, I still wouldn’t get everything done.  I’m having to get realistic about what’s most important, what’s a deal-breaker, and what can go on the optional list.  Isn’t that always the way?

January 12, 2012

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