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The generosity and kindness of others

You may remember me speaking about the local coffee shop and the owner allowing me to place a few bracelets at her shop. Today I stopped by and figured I would pick up the remainder of the bracelets as well as drop her gift off.

Maybe I didn’t speak of her gift. I told her the last time we spoke the least I could do would be to make her a bracelet of her choice. She picked a white and black two color with a pink ribbon. It looked really nice and I was looking forward to seeing what she thought of it. I mean really, she said she doesn’t want me to pay her for selling the bracelets, I’ve got to do something.

Well she really like the bracelet and I even made her a matching key chain. I hope she really enjoys them.

Back to the matter at hand. When I got there, she told me that she sold 8 bracelets and had just sold 1 key chain earlier this same day. I was very pleased that people seem to really like them and hopefully they will spread the word about them. Like I said I was planning on taking the remainder with me and she offered to keep them on her counter if I didn’t need them right away. I told her that I had a couple shows later this month but I didn’t need them at this moment. I think I’ll stop by in another week or so. Her generosity astounds me.

I hope to honor her and pay it forward very soon.

I’ll check with you soon, Constant Reader.

It happened again and again and again

I had told my friend that I had wanted to do the Breast Cancer walk as a vendor, but when I contacted the “Making Strides” group, I was told that they didn’t permit outside vendors, only their sponsors. Most of these were local and national companies, like General Motors, Kroger and a few local hospitals that deal with cancer research. My friend suggested perhaps this will be the way to make some sales without going through the big organization. I liked the idea.

Once I get in the shop I go up to my friend and introduce myself to the shop owner. She seems like a real nice, no nonsense lady and she asks right away to see what I’ve got. I take out a flyer and show her and while she is reading it I tell her that I’m not sure exactly what good it will do at this point with the Making strides for Breast Cancer Walk  coming up on the very next day. She agrees regarding the flyer and it seems like a light bulb went on and she has an epiphany. She suggests that if I’ve already got a few bracelets in the Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon theme, that she can put them in a jar on her counter. She then goes to the storage area of her shop and finds what looks like a two (2) gallon glass jar. We count out all the bracelets so we both know what we are dealing with and she puts the big jar right on her counter. She even tapes one of the flyers on the counter adjacent to the jar. I took out all the items I had at the time, 22 Bracelets and 15 key chains, all themed with the Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon.

I asked her how much I owed her for this wonderful generosity: NOTHING, is what she said. Amazing is about all that I can say to describe it. The suggestion by my friend and ultimately the sheer kindness of this shop owner just blows me away.

 

Until next time. I’ll see you soon Constant Reader.

ABC = Always be closing

The thought that came to my mind when the events I described in the previous two posts was that it is important to always be ready for the unexpected. This whole scenario was unexpected, but I was prepared. I made a lot of items for the Victory Biker Church Breast Cancer Ride as well as Breast Cancer Awareness month in general and the items that I had already completed worked perfectly for this scenario. I’m excited to see how things work out.

In addition to Always be Closing, I am working at thinking ahead as well. I have been scouring the local area for shows that we can do. The two shows that we did earlier, were great successes in my book. Not just monetarily but in terms of making contacts. With each show I got so many ideas about other designs and colorations to make. People were so helpful and I always make every attempt to utilize every idea offered to me. It is impossible for me to know everything and I truly depend on the help of others to point me in the right direction in many areas.

Next time, Constant Reader, I should be able to give and update on how the deal at the Coffee Shop went. Until then.

 

It happened again; just before the local Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk

Actually I couldn’t wait to write this post. I was so shocked at the events of earlier today that after it happened, I pulled out my journal and jotted down a few notes while they were fresh in my mind. What happened…well here goes.

I received a call from a friend of mine. I’ll leave her name out since I forgot to ask her if I could publish this story with her name and everything. She called and was wondering if I could meet with her. I didn’t have anything pressing going on at the moment and I told her that I could meet with her. The other day she bought a Gray and Pink Camo Breast Cancer Awareness bracelet for her son, so I figured she might want to exchange it fora different size. I do this for people that make a purchase from in person if their item is a regular and not a custom coloration that would be harder to sell to someone else. Many people have bought bracelets for other people and are guessing on their size. Most guess just about right but from time to time we have to do an exchange.

Well she did want to exchange for a Black and Pink Camo bracelet. She said her son thought the other one was a little too feminine. Before she left me she told me about the  Making strides for Breast Cancer walk and was going to a local coffee shop to meet with the owner. Apparently she would be working at this cafe on the next morning and she suggested that if I had a flyer that maybe I could speak with the owner and she could put the flyer up in her shop. Well that sounded like a good idea to me although I did wonder if this lady would like the idea as well as my friend. I told her I would meet her and this lady after getting my pack with a few bracelets and a couple flyers.

I walked in this shop and I really like how it looks. I had never been in this shop nor am I much of a coffee drinker, so this place was off of my radar. My friend and the shop owner are at the rear of the shop. The first thing that pops in my mind is Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote, “Do something everyday that frightens you”. I had no real reason to be afraid other than this is all new and unexpected.

Next time, I’ll let you know what happened from there, Constant Reader.

Jumping in head first

My wife, Amy, I heard her telling a few people a week or so ago that when I started doing the paracord bracelets, she thought it was just going to be a hobby. She said she thought it was a hobby until, she could see it becoming a business. That pleased me to hear her say that. Now on to the title of this post.

My wife, who has had many business aspirations but was pretty hands off on this deal for some time. I had shown my children, how to tie the basic stitch for a bracelet, but she didn’t learn until about two weeks ago. And boy did she learn. Once she learned that one, she wanted to know alllllll of them. I didn’t hold her back. Heck maybe she would be better at all the knots than me. Funny thing after she learned how to do all these knots, she had the same experience I did…confusion. Some of the knots are so similar although slightly different, it is easy to get them mixed up. That is why I primarily just worked on a couple of them at a time.

She has had some unique ideas of different paracord jewelry items that would be more geared towards women with a flair for the feminine. I welcome that especially since I probably wouldn’t go down that road anyway. She’s even kicked around the idea of putting something together here on paracordsandmore.com with these concepts in mind.

I welcome her input. She has always had a special place in her heart to serve women and girls and I think she’ll be well received with her designs. This might be an outlet that would work well for her in that regard. I’ll leave it to her to make any announcements. Maybe I can even get her to do a guest post here on TOTJ: Thoughts on the Journey.

I’ll leave it there, Constant Reader. Talk to you next time.

Our vending neighbors

As stated previously, when we pulled up and started unloading, we began getting a few strange looks from the vendor right next to us. We couldn’t see exactly what they were selling yet and I bet they were wondering, as I was, if we were going to be selling the same things at all. Eventually we both get our stalls set up and it’s obvious that their isn’t any conflict of us selling similar items.

I decided to go take a look at their items, since several of them looked interesting. I barely got to the second table and the guy starts talking to me. Well actually his 8 year old daughter does most of the talking. She was vibrant, animated and apparently a good salesperson according to her mom and dad. She even had a leather bikers vest, that she made sure to tell us about the details about. Her dad was also very open and interesting.

In time, my wife started talking to the lady (neighbor), his wife. My wife, Amy, is excellent at this and I often take pointers from her. She is so good at getting people to relax and enjoy her company that it amazes me at times. Before you know it we are talking with both of them, like we have been friends for a long time. We exchange stories about bits and pieces of our lives and they give all sorts of great tips on having a vendor type of business. I was taking it all in and writing down a few notes as well. We even gave them a tip or two of things they didn’t know about.

The event turned out to be pretty small. Apparently a few groups that committed to coming bowed out at the last minute. However it happened, we had a good time. It was really nice talking to our vending neighbors and we exchanged business cards and hopefully we’ll keep in touch with each other in the future. The members of the Victory Biker Church were so generous and gracious. We will definitely consider coming back next year if it will work for both sides. They truly really embraced my family and made us feel comfortable. Even if we didn’t own any leather biker vests. 😉

Talk with you soon, Constant Reader.

Getting ready for the next event

As I write this, it is just past 10:00pm and I’m putting items away from the  mock table display that I set up in our dining room. For the past week, I set up and made various changes to how our table will be set up on this coming Saturday. I’m not sure if I detailed it but we are doing an event at a local Biker church that is hosting a Breast Cancer Awareness Ride.

It really helped to have our first event to be relatively large, multi-day event. Not that it made this setup simple, but it is a lot easier to put things together for one afternoon than it is to make sure we have provisions and inventory for three days. I’m looking forward to seeing what this experience will bring. In addition to it being my first, it is the first event of this type for this church as well. We will all  be learning about the experience on tomorrow.

I always feel like I didn’t make up enough items. All day I’ve had to remind myself that we do have the ability to make up items for people and we can always either take orders, that can be fulfilled later or direct them to the website.

At the Back to the Bricks, there was one lady, that wanted a black bracelet with neon yellow stripe. We didn’t have one at the time and I encouraged her to go to the website and remind me that I’d spoken with her. I even measured her wrist so that we would be set on that end as well. I wanted to really help her out, but as I’ve said in previous posts, we were completely swamped on that last day. I just didn’t think it prudent to take an order and have no real time frame I could give her to return. In hindsight, I wish I would have taken her order. I could have made the bracelet, which I actually did, and sent it to her. I wish she would contact me about the bracelet. It’s not just about the money or the sale. I really like seeing the pleased look on peoples faces when they wear our items. Perhaps the universe will direct her our way. I really think she would love the bracelet. I do.

Next time, Constant Reader, I’ll tell you how things went.

 

It’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This is a new paradigm for me. At the same time it is something that I’ve had a curiosity and interest in. With this business, I have the perfect way to effect a little change and do our part to help those that have been stricken by this debilitating disease.

My wife grew up with a very close neighbor that died in her early thirties due to breast cancer. This happened over 20+ years ago and it still lives in my wife’s heart to this very day. I can imagine a few of you reading these words might have had similar situations with someone close to you. Be it a wife, mother, sister or close friend. It could have even been a man that was affected by the disease. I remember years ago, hearing of the actor, Richard Roundtree speaking on his struggles with the disease.

I feel honored to have an outlet where I feel we can do some good. During the month of October, with any paracord item sale with the Breast Cancer Awareness theme, we will make a donation to the Susan G. Komen, for the Cure Foundation. I’ve researched their website and find their work inspiring. So often, I’ve heard of the cliche of ‘giving back.’ It seems to be a code word to make people feel better about themselves if they have a measure of business and/or financial success. I look at it more as a transference of energy. With the good energy coming me, it is my responsibility to give it back out to the universe in any fashion that feels right to me.

Constant Reader, see where I go from here.

Delivery Day

Now onto the  first day I delivered a paracord item. I was quite nervous.

You know I’ve had three children with my wife, Amy. I’ve been in the delivery or birthing room when each of them took their first gander in this world of ours. Now I don’t liken having children to making a custom bracelet but it does have a few similarities.

  • Each has it’s own personality. Well sort of. Actually none are exactly alike. I digress.
  • You take your positive energy and enfuse it into the end product. Well I guess children aren’t products. Once again…I digress.
  • I had no idea how the new owner will like or dislike their item. I guess I have to digress again, because we don’t own children. Hmmmmm, moving on.

I guess all this ‘similar to the kids’ stuff is a bit strange, but if you’ve ever made something for someone else, you know what I mean. It’s just a little like a child being born.

I dropped off the bracelets. Well let me back up. I wanted to package it in some sort of way that would be better than re-using a plastic grocery bag. Solution=paper lunch sack. It’s crude and extremely Blue Collar, but I grew up in a Blue Collar General Motors town, so forgive me. The bag was a good size and I could write a short thank you not on the bag. I thought it gave a bit of a personal touch.

She really like them. She picked a red and black one to match her sister’s school colors and a neon pink color. I thought they looked nice and it was great that she agreed.

 

I’ll see you in the next entry, Constant Reader.