Is there as much excitement in the air for you as there is for me?
Winnie-the-Pooh says that it’s not the moment that you you’re eating the honey that’s the best moment, it’s the moment before you start to eat the honey; that moment when you savor the awareness of anticipation. That feeling, being aware of anticipation, is how I feel about this coming year. Exciting, wonderment, thrilling… all of these things combined.
New things coming in ceramics, soaps, and yarns: In ceramics, I plan on expanding my hand-built line that I started last year, bringing in a new crocheted doily design in the bowls and mugs, and expanding those also into soap dishes and candle holders. In soaps, I have three or four fragrances that I plan to bring in later in the year, but I did bring in over a dozen new fragrances last year so this will be the area that has the least “new” in 2014. In yarns, I plan on bringing in three new permanent colorways, at least two new yarn bases, and also – new as of today – spinning fiber. I also have three yarn clubs planned, the first one which starts shipping at the end of this week!
A few items will be phased out. In ceramics, if you see something is sold out but there is still a listing for it, I might just not be replacing it right away (ceramics is a slow process, and often I don’t make a replacement item until what’s listed has sold out). I had a few items (like the soup-and-cracker mugs) that I loved but weren’t very popular. As items like that sell out I’ll wait and see if there’s a call to bring them back, so if you see something that is out of stock definitely feel free to drop me a line and mention if you’d like it to make a come-back. In soaps, I have my eye on a few fragrances that aren’t as popular as others, and by the end of the year I may phase out about six or eight of them. In yarns, I’m phasing out six colorways (those have already been marked down on my website and added to the sale section) and I won’t be restocking them as they sell out.
As ever, I resolve to craft with mindfulness. Many of you already understand the nature of handmade objects. Crafting by hand means crafting slowly, taking time to pay attention to details and putting thought into everything, in many cases using locally produced objects or supporting other locally owned shops when purchasing supplies. Anyone can shop at a Big Box Store; if you’re reading this then chances are you care about shopping small, supporting individual artists and makers, and you care that the human being making your item took time and paid attention, put their heart and soul into what they made. And I do, trust me! A little bit of myself is put into every piece. That, I promise you, will never change.
I’m making a small change in custom orders: Previously I have had a posted time frame on custom orders, a time frame that I am sadly recognizing is unrealistic — every order is different, and different times of the year allow for more or less time to devote to them. Moving forward, all custom orders will be taken and discussed on a case-by-case basis; some custom orders might be able to be finished in two weeks, some may take as many as eight, depending on the intricacy of the order.
Communication is Key
I have my fingers in a lot of technological pies: It may be hard sometimes to know how best to get in touch with me if you have a question.Email is the easiest for me. I keep my email up and open all day (from about 8 AM to 6 PM) and I try to answer emails within about two hours if possible (barring days off, etc.). My office phone number (352-519-4593) goes directly to a voice message system, and I try to answer those calls within 24 hours. I check in daily to Facebook, Ravelry, andGoogle +, and while you can leave me messages on all three of those systems and I do my best to find and answer them…? Well, if you’ve ever lost track of a message on one of those platforms you’ll understand. If you send me something there, you may want to follow up with an email if you haven’t heard back from me within 24 hours!
A new horse in the HaldeCraft stable: I can’t thank everyone enough for their enthusiasm about my new product line, melding my love of yarn and my love of ceramics. You’re familiar with The Marie Collection, and this year will see a few new pieces in that, and also a new collection, The Grace. More on that in the coming months!
Soap for Good
Soap for you, soap for someone in need: I’m proud to say that earlier this year I began making quarterly donations of soap to a local Domestic Abuse Network. Once a quarter, for every ten bars of soap sold, I will donate a bar to Peaceful Paths (you can read my blog post here for more info). I’m gearing up to count what I sold from October-December, for my next donation, and will be talking about those numbers on my blog in about a week.
New this year: I’m starting the New Year off by putting more fiber in my diet. Specifically, Athena, a 100% Blue-Faced Leicester pencil roving, now available in four-ounce put-ups in my ten semi-solid colorways.
(See the entire newsletter, with pictures, here.)