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The Art of Doing things Differently

The Art of Doing things Differently

Oh, and the anxiety!

I am a solo business.  I create everything on the Mystic Mermaid Facebook and Instagram pages.  I make all the jewellery and treasures you see posted and I work and live alone. 

I pack and send every single order, I take everything to the post office myself and I answer all the messages I receive myself.  Yes, it's just me!

I always am a little chagrinned when I see a comment directed at "you Mystic Mermaid people" as well, yes, that's me, but I am a person.  I created this business what feels like a lifetime ago and it has grown with me, with my own understanding of how things work (or don't) along with my own personal journey through healing.

I used to have my markets online where I would upload albums of photos and write long and involved descriptions and people would simply comment SOLD, I would invoice them, they would pay, I would ship.  I would spend up to two days taking photos of everything then another 24 hours prior to the event typing and then the event loading and relying on Facebook to put things in the right order.  I would then be exhausted but have to go through albums, do invoicing, making sure I was billing the right people for the right things, responding to messages and comments about whether I could make another, etc.

This is all in addition to having actually made everything prior to the market event.  It was like I was training for a 'marathon' every event, then running the marathon and there were so many things.  SO MANY THINGS that I had to put to one side during this process because I just simply didn't have time! 

I then realised I could no longer spend so much time sitting at the computer typing all those descriptions and then being at the computer loading everything and responding to everything.  My neck, shoulders and back in addition to the time they had spent at the studio work benches would ache for a week afterwards.

So I decided to try something different, LIVE market events.  I thought this would cut out all those hours of photography and typing, I can show things LIVE and talk about them, try them on for people, as I think it really helps to see jewellery on a person (except for earrings of course) and people could comment SOLD during my live event and I'd then do the invoicing afterwards.  And this was good, for SOME of my Clients.  For some, it was AWFUL, they did not want to sit and watch a video of me rambling on, waiting to see if there was something they might like to purchase, only to then miss out on it because someone's internet was quicker.

And I despaired.  When I am around crystals, I can NOT keep numbers in my head.  So I can say a price, pick up a crystal and then have no idea what the number was I just said.  So I have to write things down and I have to look things up, every, single, time because I am scared of getting the information wrong.

And this creates so much anxiety for me.  Then the invoicing is much more difficult as I often need to watch the video again, I have to refer to my notes, I have to make sure that during the event I have put the right person's purchases into the right person's 'basket' that I set up for them DURING the event when they first purchase something.

So I eradicated the photography and typing and introduced a personal increase to my own anxiety and a much more involved invoicing dilemma for myself and I lost some really, really great Customers who just couldn't participate in my market events in this way.

I have a fantastic store that I have created MYSELF. and my vision was that items that perhaps I didn't get to in the LIVE market events I could load up into the store and people could then shop at their leisure afterwards, problem was that I was so exhausted after the LIVE market that the thought of having to go and take photographs and write descriptions alone would exhaust me.  So I ended up having an amazing 'collection' of pieces that have just sat and gone nowhere, I would charge them on the Full Moon, and occasionally during meditation I would get an inkling of whom a particular piece might be for and I would contact them.  But this is no way to run a business.

I have been so INSPIRED by other business who have quickly pivoted due to COVID, changed how they can do things so that they can still make a living and sustain themselves through the crisis.  Pubs doing home delivery or drive through pick ups of their meals, brilliant!  I live in the Country so I know that this has been so important for so many, particularly the elderly in my community who have not been able to go out at all and are not internet (online ordering) savvy.

So here I am.  I'm about to do things differently, AGAIN.  I have a new concept in my head about how to run my LIVE market events.  Oh, did I mention that the event is TOMORROW and I'm so overwhelmed with anxiety about how much I have to do that I thought I might feel better if I wrote about it!  So that's what I'm doing, only I've decided to share my writing, thoughts, being, what's in my head and heart with YOU, in the hope that it will help ME bring together a plan of how I am going to photograph everything TODAY for the market, TOMORROW, load the items up into my store and so I will then just SHOWCASE them LIVE and people can then purchase the items directly from my store.

Did I say anything about ANXIETY yet?  I am overcome with it at the moment.  So here's my plan.  I am about to go for a walk to try and burn some of the Cortisol off that is coursing through my body right now and making my brain fog up.  Then I am going to come home, set up my 'market table'.  Bring all of the items into my office (where I have a light box set up, I climb up a ladder to take the photos).  Take photos.  Download the photos onto the computer.  Then write a SHORT description about each item with vital measurements etc. and PREPARE these so that they are ready to go LIVE to be able to be purchased from when the market starts tomorrow at 11:11am my time (I have a time/date planner in the event that shows people how this translates to their local time). 

People can then go to my store, I am planning on setting up a "collection" that specifically contains all the market items so that they are easy to find and will pin this link to my LIVE post and also put the link to this in the event.  

I just have to Do. The. Work.  Yes, I'm tired after all of the creating and we are having some rapid change weather here from beautiful days to overcast cold and gloomy and this affects my energy levels dramatically.  It also affects the light level in my office and will affect my photography, so I have had to learn to do with 'not perfect, but good enough' and hope that the photo "gives enough" to the person who is meant to be the keeper of the item, to catch their eye and heart.

I feel like I'm balancing on a highwire right now.  I truly am at the mercy of my internet working, Facebook cooperating, and my store loading things in the way that I expect it to (as it normally does).  Change is a funny old thing.  Some people will not like this, some people will find it so much easier.  I don't know who those people are yet, but already I feel sad for some and happy for others and I haven't even had one click on the camera yet.

So off I go, I'm going for a walk then coming home to "get stuck in" and when you see me LIVE on my page tomorrow showcasing my items that will be NEW into my store from 11:11am then you may understand if I seem a little tired...  Excited to show you everything, but tired.  And so very grateful for my pieces finding their new keepers and their homes.

So fingers crossed.  The Art of Doing things Differently is a balancing act between courage, risk and anxiety.  But it can also prompt a 'difference' for further changes which may mean I become one of those people who can 'pivot' and make changes that have a positive effect on not only my business but the people who support it.

If you have travelled this far with me through my ramblings in this blog.  THANK YOU!  Feel free to leave a comment, OH and to join tomorrow's market event (I've just hyperlinked it there) so that you will be notified when I come on live tomorrow. Please do come and say hello to me, don't worry, you can see me, I can't see you, only your name with a comment if you type something! 

Sea you soon!

With Much Love and an Ocean of Blessings

Jen xoxo

ps:  Oh it's the New Moon tomorrow too, so usually the day before the New Moon I feel a bit 'in the dark' but I also know it's the perfect time to start something New and for my beautiful Customers to find something New!  So let's see!