It has been very busy over at our house. Exciting things are happening. When you set up shop you never know what is going to happen. It is exciting when things do start to happen but at the same time it causes you to have to readjust your schedules daily and think fast on your feet.
I had placed ads on Craigslist for my husband’s guitar stands so that there was a way for local people to find us without necessarily paying the shipping through Etsy. Two connections happened from this.
First of all, Jonny, my husband, has been contacted by a music shop. They are interested in his guitar stands and want to have them in their shop …to display their instruments and to sell! They are the Kouri Flute Academy in South Burnaby and they actually just opened a second shop, Play Music Inc., on Kingsway in Vancouver. They are wanting to carry stock from locals in their shop …our kind of people! And, they are having a Grand Opening this weekend. You can find their website here and their Facebook page here . (If you are looking for a sale go see them Sunday and Monday). Jonny is working on getting some guitar stands made for them as I write this. I have to admit we were pretty excited when a local shop contacted Jonny to carry his stands. I had thought about approaching some independent music shops but hadn’t gotten that far yet. Even better when they come to you!
Secondly, Jonny received a custom order for a ukulele stand. The fellow’s ukulele was a little bigger than mine so he needed to make a new one up. We completely underestimated how long it would take to have it done. This was mostly because Jonny’s schedule was too full and we had a sick bug hit our household so he just couldn’t get to it. It doesn’t help that he works night shift because he can’t really be cutting wood and drilling in the middle of the night when he gets home. He finally finished it and lucky for us the person wasn’t in a hurry and seemingly still wants it. (They plan to come pick it up when they are in the area next week).
Jonny also loves to do landscaping and odd jobs so we put an ad up on Craigslist for that as well. He has also been helping out his sister and brother-in-law with fence building and what not at their house. Between the two Jonny hasn’t had a day off in over a month. He likes to keep busy but I don’t think he was expecting this! The goal is hopefully to become busy enough that he can give up his regular job which causes him all sorts of misery (except it helps pay the bills).
I, too, have been a little busy. I put an ad up on Craigslist for simple income tax returns. I have the experience and I have 15 returns that I am not using in the program I buy to do our taxes so I thought why not. We can certainly use the extra cash. I have had a couple of people bring their taxes. I must say it is a bit challenging to schedule the time in to complete them when you have a 3 year old and a husband who is working all the time. This is why I have had to say no to doing returns with self employment income. I just don’t have the time.
I also received a couple of custom orders. Yay, me! The first was someone from Craigslist (yes, I put ads up locally for my Etsy shop, too) looking for me to do a British Columbia flag just like my big British Flag. Yes, the big one! It was a challenge right from having Jonny track down the wood to use to designing and painting it but I finished it tonight, finally. I am pretty happy with it. I hope he is, too, when he sees it.
The second was someone from Texas who had seen my tea sign in my Etsy shop. She wanted to know if I could make a set of both tea and coffee. Another challenge. Jonny had done the edging on the original tea sign some time ago before we moved. He, of course, is super busy so we don’t get to talk often. I did manage to put my request in and with the help of the neighbour’s friend they got me pieces of wood of suitable length to make the signs and did the edging for me. I had a bit of a hard time in that I kept looking at the wood meant for the coffee sign and imagining that it would be perfect to put Jonny’s guitar stand shop name, JD original, on it. I guess it is true that the material speaks to the artist. In the end I made the coffee sign but only because I didn’t have another piece of wood I could use instead. I am pretty happy with how they turned out, too.
So, it’s been pretty crazy around here but fun, too. We have also been learning those lessons of a new business that you can only really learn once you jump into something with both feet. The important ones like how to not over schedule yourself and how to not under charge and how to not under estimate your time requirements. I am sure it will all become clear(er) with time and experience.