Letting Go

Letting Go

Letting go is difficult when doing so will surely result in the unraveling of what I've worked hard to achieve. This is  where I get stuck. Yet I know freedom comes not by holding on to what was or fear of what will happen. It comes from having faith that by removing myself, an opening is created to for a new possibility to occur.  I know whatever universal force is out there, it/he/she will not show up until I remove myself from a situation no longer supporting who I am.  

Failing

Failing(?)
 

One of our Sales Adivsors (aka "reps"), received the following anonymous email:

"As I am looking to 4th quarter and purchasing I continue to receive your emails in reference to new and "fresh" lines. I wanted to give you some feedback and hope you pass on to those who are accountable for these lines and emails.

I purposely have used my daughters email as not to cause any friction between us. I have and always will appreciate you, your effort and spunk.

My number one complaint these new lines are not at all gift items, they have no place in my store or any higher end stores. These toothbrushes, oils and lipsticks are high end pharmacy lines at best. My customer base is 25-50 and they have money and purchase any type of skin, and or body care from  reputable companies with experience. They are not feel good, give it a try and help others type of customers. They are high tech, quick paced and want what is proven and they do not care if they are dropping 300-400 on some fantastic skin product from Neiman Marcus.

I want new and exciting lines which bring in great buyers. Being a vendor in a high end arena I must have high end gifts, crazy as it seems silver serving pieces, high end throws, not the recycled type are big again. Expensive pillows, ones we sell for 150-200 range I can not keep in. Watches are big, what is old is new again. We have always stayed true to the Northwest and this has allowed us to flourish, and thrive. I want to let you know you are failing me my customers and yourself selling lower end products. Roost although has the look of the Oregon landscape it is not fresh, it is copied and replicated everywhere. Target Tjmax etc.etc.  

I am looking for lighting, throws, pillows, high end canvas bags, kitchen items bedroom and bathroom items which emote luxury. I want silver serving pieces, high end mirrors, beautiful picture frames, I want taper candles.  Many of the items of the pre-recession that sold the day I got them in, are making a comeback. I have beautiful young women coming in looking for the Shabby Chic, it is thriving again and they want it.. I have people who will buy regardless of cost and we are missing the sale. On line sales are flourishing because we do not have these lines any longer. 

In reference to the emails, your toothbrushes oils etc are not the first, the best or the greatest. Many are me too products. If you truly have a special line do the research and launch it, but selling a lipstick I can pull up and find 5-10 similar or the same is not good. The Barron Collection is failing, and I know in my heart I am one of your better customers, help me out."

The Barron Collection Ltd.'s mission is to promote personal self-expression. To understand what people are in need of expressing, I begin by asking "what is it people need at this point in time?" Once I assess the needs, I follow-up by asking  "what is the product solution?" Only then can I search for lines and products that speak to my perceived needs.

What I believe are peoples' most pressing needs are not the type of luxury this customer is describing. Luxury today is defined by products reflecting eco-consciousness and ethical practices. This is the type of luxury I too embrace. 

Health

Health

We have all heard (and perhaps have said) "the most important thing is health." But it's not until you or a loved one face health challenges that those words taken on full meaning. In an instant, grievances that may have existed instantly vanish. The thought of losing or the suffering of a loved one brings clarity that previously eluded us. It is a gift we're given and the good that come out of a sad and frightening situation. I hope I don't squander it.

Spring Cleaning Revisited

Spring Cleaning Revisited


As the end of Spring draws near, it's still a good time for Spring cleaning. No cleaning job would be complete without some time given to de-cluttering. But de-cluttering is not simply a matter of getting rid of things. As organizing guru, Marie Kondo advises, it's keeping only the things we love.

Uncontrolled consumerism is largely a result of not loving what we have. If we filter our purchases by asking ourselves "do I love this?" we wouldn't ever feel the need to de-clutter.

Make A Statement

IMG_2040.JPG

Make A Statement

Retailers use product to make a statement. Some, like these Oakland, CA merchants go a step further. Making a statement doesn't have to be political or controversial. The statement can be about anything that matters to the retailer. A retail store is a platform. Why not use it to educate and raise consumer awareness? 

RIP Chris Cornell

RIP Chris Cornell
 

I can't say I new much about Chris Cornell or Soundgarden until this week. Even so, Chris Cornell's death affected me as does the death of any great artist. Their words and images help us discover, define and describe our range of feelings. Musicians take it a step further. I believe their music engages our emotions more deeply. It taps into something primordial in all of us. I may not know a lot about Chris Cornell, but I know his music touched, moved and inspired many.

RIP Chris Cornell.

Doing the Impossilbe

Impossible.jpg

Doing the Impossible
 

Doing what we've never done often seems like an impossible task. -- until it's done. My mantra when approaching something new is "how hard can it be? Followed by "it can't be harder than (fill in the blank)." When I think of challenges I've overcome, it puts whatever I'm facing in perspective and it gives me the strength and confidence I need to get the job done. What good are life's experiences if they don't serve as a reservoir? This doesn't make completing the task at hand easy, but it at least enables me to get started. That's usually the biggest hurdle. Once I started, finishing is almost always a certainty. 

Commitment

Commitment

I'm either all in or not all. A lukewarm commitment would be a disservice to myself and others. That's why I am very selective about what I commit to doing. 

Spring

Hello Spring.jpg

Spring


According to the calendar, Spring is here. However, Spring is fickle. Just when you think the cold and wet days of Winter are behind us, there's a Winter reprise. That's one reason why Spring is my least favorite season. It's disguised optimism.

Account-ability


Ben Franklin.jpg

Account-ability

My afternoon is spent reviewing and categorizing expenses. It's all about the ability to account for every expense. It feels good to have things in order.

Eating


Eating

Stress eating. We've all done it and it usually consists of eating things or quantities that aren't good. Next time the urge comes on, I will remind myself that is eating well is a form of self respect.

Inspiration


Inspiration

I went to the New York show with the hope finding new products and inspiration and found both. However, inspiration came not from the show but visiting ABC Carpet and Home. This stores is a feast for the eyes -- and the soul. Never preachy, "In Pursuit of Magic" messages are sprinkled throughout the store and reinforced by products. ABC is not just a shopping experience. It is magic. 

Creativity vs. Competition


Creativity vs. Competition

I attended the Las Vegas Market and ran into other Principals of sales agencies in the Northwest. Some would call them my "competitors." I don't. That's not my world. I live in the world of creation -- not competition.

My perspective on the companies I represent and how I display and speak about them is my unique interpretation.  How one interprets ideas or products gives them a uniqueness. I've seen high-end products relegated to dollar bins countless times. Without creating a context to showcase products, they're nothing but worthless commodities. The key is to create an environment to support and romance products. The product alone seldom carries the day. 

In the world of creativity,  I don't have to look over my shoulder or worry about being "ripped-off" or "knocked-off." It's liberating.

Me Time


Me Time

Over the last couple of months, I've kidded y business partner about requiring his "me time." We all do, but I sensed he felt guilty about taking time for himself. Rather than to say, "I need some time for myself," he withdrew emotionally ever so slightly but enough for me to notice. He's not alone in feeling guilty about taking time for ourselves. I too struggle with taking time for myself. 

A few months ago I began a daily routine that includes reading, journaling, meditation and exercise. My "me time" has produced great results. It has actually given me more energy and stamina to face the challenges of work and family. A a little bit of "me" has translated to a better "we." If I'm OK, everyone in my sphere is better for it too.