It can’t possibly be true that I haven’t written a blog update since October 27, 2010… can it? I mean, that was last year. If my mother and the wordpress archives are correct (two sources that rarely ever falter), it has indeed been that long.
I should probably be ashamed of myself for so totally dropping the ball, er blog… but you know what?—I’m not. It would be one thing if I had been purposefully lazy and simply neglected the task, but it’s another issue entirely to be slave to a one hundred thirty two point To-Do list and only budgeted twenty four hours in the day. I mean, who thought up that rule? I’d also like to note that I asked the big man in the red suit to bring me a nap, sanity, and peace of mind for Christmas, but to no avail. It would of course be impolite to point fingers and blame good ol’ Santa for my lack of blogging productivity, but I can’t help but wonder if the extra sprinkle of sanity—and especially that nap—would’ve made all the difference in the world.
Therefore, if it would please the court, I would like to share with you photographic evidence of my assiduous entrepreneurship over the course of my two month lapse in blogging. Perhaps these pictures will serve to vouch for my hard work, and y’all will so generously cut me some slack and promise to read my future (more frequently occurring) blogs.
Ahem, if you will…
November 1, 2010—Shortly after my last blog update, my entire life was turned upside down in the most outstanding way possible! After two full years of hoping & wishing & dreaming & praying, Chuck (my stellar boyfriend) and I became the proud parents of a bea-u-ti-ful Bichon Frise puppy, named Doodle. For the last two months, I’ve been learning how to be a good puppy mother, which has been a huge task in itself. Doodle often visits Books by Design with me and has become quite popular among my customers. His manners are a work in progress, but geez—is he a cutie pie or what?
November 20 through 27, 2010—I took a little vacation from Books by Design in celebration of Thanksgiving. No big deal… just a little trip on a little boat to visit a few little islands.
December 1, 2010—The last month of the 2010 brought with it a plethora of activity. Books by Design took a colossal roller coaster ride. Sales had taken a notable dip in November and the trend had seeped into December despite my blue ribbon winning wreath and pretty, perky Christmas decorations.
December 16, 2010—Books by Design became FAMOUS in a small town!!! Many thanks go to Spencer Crawford at the Villa Rican for his wonderful article. (If you missed it, check it out here at The Villa Rican). I admit it was a little bit disconcerting to see my [pudgy, jogging-suit-clad, goofily posed] face plastered on the front page of the newspaper. And yes… I worried incessantly that the article sounded Debbie Downer on my part, BUT it turned out that honesty paid off! The people that came into the store & mentioned the article said it was a good dose of reality that helped them finally make the effort to find our little hidden boutique. The article (and its follow-up on the front page of the Times-Georgian that Saturday!!!) turned out to be an outright blessing as Books by Design had its Best. Week. Ever!
December 25, 2010—Books by Design contentedly spent its first Christmas alone. She sure did look pretty in the aftermath of that White Christmas.
The week of December 27, 2010—The end of the physical year brought about a time of reflection, inventory, and restock. Many apologizes go out to anyone who visited the store during that week—it was a complete and total wreck. That week we were proof that things have to get worse before it can get better.
During this week, I made a list of “goals” (or resolutions, if you must) for Books by Design that include but are not limited to:
- incorporate magazines into stock (check!);
- expand the children’s, young adult, science fiction & romantic suspense sections (check!);
- establish a special interest section including media-tie, graphic novel, and African American sub-categories (in progress);
- more consistent blogging habits (in progress);
- enroll in a merchant services program or aka: start taking credit cards (currently in progress to be implemented in February—HOPEFULLY);
- plan a half-birthday/six month anniversary/customer appreciation celebration for February;
- advertise more regularly as I find we have a pretty decent return on investment;
- design a t-shirt;
- join some sort of third-party association, whether it be the Lion’s Club, Junior League, or the Chamber of Commerce;
and The Big One…
- KEEP BETTER RECIEPTS!!! As a new business owner, I did worse with the whole receipt keeping thing than I did blogging if that tells you anything.
P.s. Don’t judge. It’s a LOT harder keeping up with those stupid little pieces of paper than you could EVER imagine. Not that I’m bitter or defensive about it.
December 30, 2010—The day when the bookshelves came down. Sigh. If you remember, Books by Design had homemade bookshelves to house the non-fiction section. In theory, they were a wonderful contraption that showcased my creative skills. In reality, they were a nightmare. The wood warped. The books were too heavy. People were all too tempted to pull the aesthetic, “supporting” books out of their place. Then one day, the temptation became too much for one blessed soul, and… the bookshelves came down.
As you all know, I love to tell a good story. And yes, I have a flair for the dramatic. But this wound is just a bit too fresh. Maybe one day I’ll be able to tell the story of That Fateful Day, but I’m just not there yet.
January 3, 2011—Books by Design returned to a sense of normalcy, albeit new and improved! Our new shelves are up and secured to the wall! We started our new store hours: Monday through Thursday—10am until 6pm and Friday through Saturday—10am until 4pm! Now we’re just in the process of cleaning up the back storage room… Yikes! The job of a small business owner is never done!
Okay. Okay. I know this blog wasn’t my usual jovial work, but I wanted y’all to get a sense of where Books by Design is coming from as we bridge the gap from 2010 to 2011. We anticipate a great, flourishing year—and we’re ready to get started back up!!!
… just as soon as this snow clears up!…