Monday, January 9, 2012

Tough Decisions coming my way!

I have some really tough decisions coming my way in the next few weeks. There are so many things going on in my head that it's hard to get it all out.  Most of my decisions will concern my Bead Shop. Over the last year I have become increasingly unhappy at my shop. It's hard to pinpoint at what point it started and why but I have just been really unhappy. I guess one of the main reasons for my unhappiness is the fact that I have taken on way too much. I run the shop, do the books, make samples and jewelry for the shop, teach classes, get classes together, do video's for online, write patterns, and help customers on a day to day basis. I am at my shop everyday unless something comes up. I guess that after 8 years I have just hit the breaking point and I have realized that I can no longer do it all. I have hired someone to help me out two days a week and I thought that it would help me out a lot but it really hasn't. No I shouldn't say that....It may help me but right now my eyes are too clouded over with unhappiness to see if it helps.

At least once or twice a week I come home and just have a good cry because I don't know how much longer I can take it all. I decided a few weeks ago that for me to be happy I need to decide what I like best about my business and run with it. I have reflected a lot over the last few weeks and I have decided that the thing I love most about my business are my online videos. I love to teach people to bead. Not just people but people who really WANT TO LEARN to bead. I get emails everyday from people all over the world thanking me for my videos and telling me how much they enjoy them. I can't even get my locals to say thank you and there's people that I have never even met thanking me for helping them learn. Not all of my locals are like that but many don't even care enough to come in and take classes or even come in and purchase supplies for our videos that they watch online. My videos make me money because people who watch the video's tend to purchase supplies from my etsy store.  I also list patterns that I write on etsy and they are great because they can be emailed right to the customer. I don't hardly have enough time to get patterns written right now and if I had a chance I could make good money with my patterns. I love to teach and I believe that's what I was put on this earth to do.

The store has been doing OK. I am still able to pay myself but the traffic seems to be less and less. My regulars who have been coming in for years are slowly getting busy with other things and I don't tend to see them as much. I have tried numerous things over the years to get new customers through the door and they have come in but not many stick with it over time. I have people who want me to teach them but they don't want to pay to learn. They want to bring in there own supplies and then get mad when I tell them that I will have to charge them a teaching fee. It's like a never ending battle with people. I sit all day with some customers and work with them only to have them spend $25.00. When I do this I loose out on time that I could be listing things on etsy or writing patterns, or making things for the store. Classes haven't been doing well anyways. I stress over getting classes ready and getting class schedules out only for no one to sign up or only 1 person sign up. I am out of idea's. I feel like i'm danged if i do and danged if i don't.

I have decided to make a few changes at the shop over the next few months to see if they make me happy. First of all, next month I am only going to schedule classes on Saturdays so that I have my week nights free to work on other things. If I don't feel like I'm getting done what I need to get done then I plan to change my store hours in the month of March. I am thinking of only opening Wednesday-Saturday. That way I have Sunday off and then Monday and Tuesday I can work on video's, writing patterns, or creating new projects. Then Wed-Sat I can spend getting things done at the shop.I may even get my Mother in Law to take over Wednesdays for me so that I can have another day to get work done from home. If by June I am still not happy I am thinking of closing my shop to the public and becoming an online seller. At least if I do this I can travel and teach classes elsewhere and not have to worry about missing a sale.

I don't know what the next few months hold for me but I just try to remember Proverbs 16:3 "Commit your plans to the lord and they will succeed." I read this quote out of a great new book that I am reading called Leaving by Karen Kingsbury. I went to the bible book store a few days ago and found this book and the cover looked interesting so i picked it up. I never get to read anymore so I decided to buy It and make the time to read it. It is quite refreshing to read a book that doesn't have a vampire romance or excessive cussing. If you get a chance I defently recommed this book. It's great so far!

Oh well enough with my ramblings. I just had so much in my head that I needed to get out.


middy255 said...

Hi Kelly, after reading this post I was kind of frustrated with your "locals" bc those of us that do not live in your area would kill to be able to go to your shop and take the classes that you offer, but I'm at least grateful that you do post videos online. You have a strong online following all over the world and I know most (if not all) would pay to take your classes in a heartbeat. How about doing a video on a class that you would normally teach at the shop and offer that option to us online viewers? I would pay the $25 cost (or whatever the cost of the class) of the DVD and I know that others that are in my situation of not being in the same state as you would also. I have made several pieces of jewelry from your videos but of course when I like a really intricate piece or a piece that is way beyond my beginner level I just shoot you an email with a jewelry request and have you make it for me:) In case I don't say thank you enough...THANK YOU!! I hope that you find the answers that will make you happy. And, on a more selfish level I hope that whatever you decide and whatever the outcome turns out to be that you will continue to be my personal jewelry maker:)

Stephanie in Texas

A Day in the life of Sutty said...

Kelly thanks for sharing your feelings. being happy with what we do makes a big difference and if you aren't happy then you need to find out what will make you happy and I know God will show you that. I appreciate your videos and everything you do your videos are why I now know how to bead thank you! Sue

Alotosmiles said...

In wanted to cry out of sympathy for you. I just found you. I am so excited to be able to learn to bead from your video's. I no longer watch TV (out of boardom). I watch and wait Patiently for the next video and drool over the earrings you have made so far this month. I pray for you, Best wishes with your dilemma.

Teri Casey (PSJ Designs) said...

Dear Kelly,
I'm sure that God will steer you in the direction you are meant to go. You are an amazing and gifted person. I have learned so much from your You Tube videos and hopefully you will continue doing what you are obviously so gifted at. But above all Be Happy!!!

Marla said...

I found out that I had cancer in Feb of 2010 and had the cancer removed in March. Here almost a year later I will be the first to say LIFE IS TO SHORT NOT TO BE HAPPY! I live in an area where my local bead store is Hobby Lobby :/ I would love to have you open up shop here in North Mississippi. I have ordered supplies from you from your etsy shop and I really enjoy your videos as well. You are a great teacher!!! Regardless of what you choose to do as long as you do video tutorials I will faithfully watch. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you are unhappy, but I can certainly understand why. I think that no matter what kind of a business you are trying to run, the problems are all very similar. My husband and I had a printing business for 24 years. Oh my! I could write a book!!

I just recently found you and your videos, and ordered my supplies from you. Might I say I've never seen such fast and efficient shipping!! Thank you so much!

You are such a brilliant teacher, is there a way you could have students sign up for and pay for classes on line? I truly wish the best for you and I know something will work out.

I have to post this anonymously because I can't figure out how to send it otherwise!
Rose Broadway

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelly..I am slow seeing this. I had seen where you made reference to needing to make some changes but until I saw this, I wasn't in the know! I had to take a second to write because I hated to hear how unhappy you have become. I though maybe hearing from the other side of the fence might encourage you. I have to tell you that you are the luckiest person to be able to own such a fabulous shop and do an art that I find so gratifying and make a living doing it. I would give anything to be able to be surrounded by beads every day and work making beautiful pieces and patterns. As a person who goes to an office and does the same old stuff everyday that involves little or no creativity or beauty, I can't tell you how lucky you are. I think you are just going through a phase and if you pray and give it some time, it will pass. Whatever you decide to do, I will continue to support the craft you have helped me learn to enjoy so much. I will see you on February 10. Susan Smith

Anonymous said...

My heart hurts for you, Kelly, and I truly hope you find the answer to bring happiness and peace. Having free time to fill your own buckets is so important for health and that inner radiance. Your talent for teaching clearly shines in your videos and I wish I lived right down the street to attend each and every class you teach! Your bead store would be empty of every single bead lol!! You're a very special person and like others have posted, I literally can't wait for each new video to see your sweet smile and enthusiastic instructions!! You bring joy to so many, may you find your own joy as you choose your path!

Anonymous said...

Hello Kelly pardon me for being familiar with you but i feel that i know you... At least i wish i did know you in person. After reading this post - which i don't usually take the time to do - i decided it is about time i come out of the shadow, would you like to know why ? Because I owe you so much. I could never thank you enough for what you brought to my life : 6 months ago i wanted to learn about beading and i had found your videos. So i don't take the time to read because i am too busy beading. Your video and your style of teaching is over the top. Keep up the good work and i hope whatever decision you take it works out for you. Since then i have got many compliments on items i made, thanks to you who taught me !!!! Laurence from Montréal

Anonymous said...

Please don't give up on us now girl:) I just found you on youtube and I really look forward each week to your next tutorial. I loved the outdoor introduction by the way. You looked happy in the sunshine. Anyway, I think you shine as a teacher. Too bad you can't get a TV shot like Nancy Zieman did with sewing. I'll keep tuning in. Lauretta from Washington.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kelly,

I just read your post and like the others before me have said, I'm so sorry to hear how you're feeling. I can somewhat relate. Eight years ago, I lost a job I absolutely loved and held for 24 years. I was unable to get back into that field for lack of a college degree, but, at the time I had one son grown and still living at home, one in high school and a disabled husband who had been self employed for many, many years. I had to have a job with benefits. After six months of unemployment, I was finally employed, but OMG I hated what I was doing. Everyday as I drove home, I kept telling myself I didn't have to go back. This probably went on for 3 months. I finally sucked it up and decided to bloom where I was planted. Long story short, eight years later, I'm still with the company (great company to work for) and have carved myself a niche position doing what I love - I absolutely love what I am doing now. I still hate to get up and drag myself to the office everyday because I'd much rather stay home and make jewelry or sew, but, once I'm there, I enjoy what I'm doing. There's much to be said about enjoying your work. I know my situation is much different from yours; I'm not self employed and other employees don't depend upon my continuing to operate a shop. But, please - do what you enjoy. I say this somewhat selfishly since I don't know what I'd do without her wonderful lessons. I just started making jewelry last year for Christmas presents. Many years ago I did some work on a loom and didn't enjoy it very much. Just to give you an idea of how much you have helped me, when I got started last year, around the first of December, I went into the only bead shop in my area. I was shopping and told the ladies there that I was just getting started and how I intended to make Christmas gifts. They kind of poo-pooed me and said I'd never get everything done by Christmas and I should just stick with sringing projects. Well, did I ever prove them wrong. I made three tennis bracelets, three of your flat spiral bracelets, and three others I found on other websites. And I haven't stopped since. I just got the supplies to do your double spiral (is that the correct name?) and I'm going to try the St. Petersburg next. I can't wait! I wish you were in Kansas City. We need a good bead shop. I have a confession to make, however, I don't even like to wear jewelry; I just like making it. I wish you were nearby. I won components from Swavorski (sic) in December and I don't think I'm up to the challenge. The instructions they provided are just illustrations and all the measurements are metric. It will make a beautiful necklace, but, I'm not sure I'm the one to try it.

Anyway, I know this is a long response. I'm now a single nester (husband passed away, oldest moved away and youngest presented me with my first grandchild in December). I am so grateful to have my job and my hobbies. Please, if you do nothing else, please find a way to continue teaching. Your teaching skills are truly a gift and I hope you will continue to share them with the world.


Sungleska said...

Just stumbled upon your post. I get that whole burn out thing. Think hard on it, then follow your heart. Life's too short to be unhappy. Thanks sooooo much for your wonderful videos!!! You have a real gift. Watching your vids, I am never confused, or lost. You are a great teacher!! Thanks again. :0)

Anonymous said...

Dear Kelly
Keep faith in the Almighty and He will guide you into hat is good for you.
I am a new beader who stumbled upon your videos online and am so happy that you are posting videos online for free.
I started to bead to relieve my tension.You were a great help.
Thank You.