When Business & Emotions Collide

ON THIS LABOR DAY 2019

I have worked more than 40 years so far in my lifetime and it’s time to sit back in retirement and enjoy the fruits of my labor. For me that means painting at my leisure. Now, instead of picking up my paintbrush only on weekends and after hours in my “spare” time, in between raising kids, 2 careers, cooking and cleaning house, homework, board meetings and mandatory hours at work, I the freedom to paint, explore new techniques, show up when I want to, or sleep in if I so desire. And I get to work MY business full time (or part time) as I feel.

At my last day j-o-b, I wore as many as 10 different hats, juggling various tasks, taking care of multiple people. Today I am a one-woman show wearing just as many hats, juggling just as many or more tasks, only now I pour a lot more effort and passion into the roles I assign myself. I think any entrepreneur will tell you that passion plays a huge part in getting your business off the ground, expanding your business, running your business day-to-day.    

Fueled by my passion to keep this lil business of mine going in retirement, I created a new brand under the Handy Concepts umbrella: MOJOVE. Mojove was is to be my signature brand for art supplies, a small product line in addition to my paintings and services. I researched, tested and invested in an artist brush set as my first item to rollout, while planning the second and third items in the que. I advertised and marketed the product, created packaging, sold pre-orders, and my excitement grew. Then time passed, and more time. I contacted my supplier and was informed that the shipment was held up in customs. And more time passed. Back and forth communications to date has yet to yield a product and now my emotions are stepping on my passion.

You see, MOJOVE is an acronym I created to honor the 3 women in my life who mean the most to me. These women helped shape me, supported my dreams and pushed me to do my best, and who, I know, loved me unconditionally. So that brand is extremely important to me. It is intended to sustain me in more ways than a couple for the remainder of my life.

But as I post this, I am at the same time refunding money to customers who purchased pre-orders, suspending my advertising, removing “shop now” links from my sites and feeling a little defeated. Months of work and preparation and planning are now a learning experience. My feelings are hurt, badly, and I will spend this Labor Day somewhat wallowing in my emotions. I apologize to my customers for not delivering on my word. Somewhere in the US on an unknown tarmac there are more than 3500 Mojove branded paint brushes still hoping to find their way home.

In the interim refunds are on the way and also discounts should any of you want to get something in the future.

I still have my passion though, to keep me in the game. Mom, Joni, and Velda, I know you are with me, watching me, guiding me, sending me your blessings, pushing me forward.

– and tomorrow is a new day.

It’s Daylight Savings Time…

…KEEP SMALL BUSINESSES FROM GOING DARK

I overheard a conversation the other day between two gentlemen who were discussing the early demise of a neighborhood eatery.  Being familiar with the little shop I listened as one of the men regaled upon the other how the subject business was in operation for just a little more than a year before it folded.

The man commented on the amount of money and labor that was put into restoring the old building to its former glory, updating the interior and preserving the exterior. He spoke of the ample availability of parking and how nice it was to have that little family oriented shop in the neighborhood.

It was  shame that the shop had such a short-lived existence. How sad it was when it quietly closed its doors.  And after all that was said he admitted that he himself had never set foot inside.

At this point I stopped listening, reminiscing instead about a little art gallery that was located just down the street from that small shop, the only art gallery in town.  It offered a myriad of original jewelry, pottery, sculptures, photography and paintings ranging from $30 to $3,000 – a little something for everyone.  The gallery flourished for the first year and then put up a really good fight midway through the second year before it too succumbed to a failing economy.

I remembered also, how amazed I was at the number of people who stopped in during those final days to say, “I pass by here every day and this is my first time in.  Sorry to hear that you are closing,” or “I live just a few doors down but I’ve never been in,” and  “It was really nice to have a gallery in town, it’s a shame you have to close.”  “I’m so sorry I missed your artist receptions, I heard they were really nice.”

The shame of course is that those people who dislike big box stores and thought these small businesses were good for the neighborhood, those who looked through the windows but rarely or never set foot inside, those who saw the value after the fact, are the very people who could have made a difference.

Thankfully for that little gallery the “closing” was converted into a move to a new location.  We have yet to see our heyday as we continue to struggle to balance the scales between “need” and “want” in a tough economic environment, but we push forward and for now I still own the only art gallery in town. Check us out at www.handyconcepts.com or email us to ask about our payment plan or gift cards at info@handyconcepts.com.  We support the American Diabetes Association and the Disabled American Veterans by donating 5% of all art sales to either organization.

If there is a small business in your neighborhood give it a fighting chance before you allow it to go dark. The power is in your hands.

PS. Remember, November 30, 2013 is Small Business Saturday.