Secrets to Success

It appears as though my mental health day, slowly but surely became a mental  health week. I guess I needed a vacation! ;) However, reading through blogs today and seeing what everyone has been creating, got me feeling antsy. I want to create something! So, looks like I'll be back to work soon... but it was a lovely holiday. :)

Awhile back I had ordered some natural, safe incense from a lovely little shop called Walk in the Woods. She's no longer on Etsy, but does have an Artfire Studio where she seems to do quite well (unlike my little shop! ;) Anyhoo, I recieved her package and it was like Christmas! Free gifts, lovely notes, business cards, you could tell that my package had been wrapped with loving care. I immediately thought, "I want to do that". I want someone to open their order from me, and forget they even had to pay for it! I want them to feel like little they received a gift, because I'm ever so grateful every time someone chooses Simply Smitten.  :)

This was a recent order, a lovely woman ordered this for her daughter for Easter, but couldn't wait, and gave it to her early! :)
 Each order I get receives extra special care and attention as I package it up and ship it out to its new home. I have several steps involved, and while my husband looks at me like I'm crazy, he can tell it brings me great joy. First, if it's an Inspiration Earth Friendly product it gets made fresh. I don't like to leave them hanging around. If it's a personalized clipboard, it gets a name added and the mod podge finish is applied.

I sit down periodically and made a whole batch of cards since they are a bit time consuming. That way I'm stocked up for awhile!
  Once the items are ready, I choose a free gift. I usually like it to match the order, so maybe a free chapstick would go with an eco friendly air freshener, or a handmade card with a clipboard. If I have a repeat customer, I try and give them something different as many times as I can! If it's a card, it gets wrapped in tissue paper and tied with a rafia bow.

Since I took this picture, both Taylor and I have ordered new cards!
 Next, I add in one of my business cards, one from Tay's shop, one from Jord's shop, another from Riley Mae's shop and one more from my mom's shop.

I print out an invoice and write a personalized note. Not just 'thank you', but a real note. After all, I've never met anyone who doesn't like getting mail!

After all the pieces are assembled, they get carefully packaged and boxed up. I tend to mostly reuse boxes, and so they aren't always in the prettiest condition. To spruce them up I wrap them in recycled wrapping paper, making them crisp and clean. Adhere a printed postage label, and it's ready to go.

I feel such a sense of accomplishment as I send an order out. Of course, I've already run through the entire order in my head (12 times) to make sure it's accurate! ;)
 So, it's always such great fun to come across another Etsian who approaches their business with the same care, and I have met several. Most recently I ordered my very first piece of artwork. I think much art is really very lovely, but it doesn't speak to me in a personal "I have to own that" way. The walls in my home are adorned with photos, or paintings my sister had done in high school, or various crafts I've tried throughout the years. I admire art in other peoples' homes. But lately, I've come across two most talented artists that have me swooning. One, some of you know, is Laurie from Primal Painter on Etsy. I did a feature on her awhile back and adore her work. In fact Laurie, if you read this, I'm reserving the crown chakra well in advance... ;) The second artist is Sara of Simply Sarafina . She posted a photo of a painting she had made for a Wine Gallery, a week or two ago. It spoke to me, I just had to have it, and I knew it would be perfect for my workshop. So we began to go back and forth, and she most graciously decided that the painting had indeed been done for me, and she agreed to sell me her work. Wonderfully, she shipped it out right away (another detail that I think is very important!), and in only a couple of days it arrived safely at my door.

The first thing we all noticed was how perfectly and carefully it was packaged. In big, bold lovely letters our addresses adorned the front of this most wonderful box. It arrived as I was getting lunch on the table, so to the consternation of my family, I decided to wait until after lunch to open and savor my "gift". Inside I found a wonderful little note, I read and reread the thoughtful, kind words she had written. In time I moved on to the painting (by now my family was getting stern with me!) Once again, most carefully wrapped, and with joy I slowly opened.

It was most perfect. The colors matched the blue in my workshop like it was made for it, and indeed I believe it was. The quote is something I believe with all my heart, and Scott and I used to listen to Jimi Hendrix while in high school, so it was also a nice trip down memory lane! Recently I turned my desk around to see more of the light, so there was a spot directly in front of me where my painting now hangs, to be admired often throughout the day. I've received compliments from all who've seen it, and I am deeply appreciative to Sara for agreeing to sell me this work of art.

So, those are just a couple of what I believe to be secrets to success. Attention to detail and postive energy go a long way towards making the customer feel special. And who doesn't love to feel special? ;)

I hope that you are all enjoying a wonderful Easter Sunday. The sun is trying to come out here, my fingers are crossed, it should be a lovely day! :)

Peace ~ Melinda