Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Golden Rule

MC900436305[1] Yup, we have all heard of the golden rule: treat people how you want to be treated. My Dad used to tell me the rhyme when I was in school: “Don’t forget the golden rule, grab your books, and go to school.” The Silver Hook  operates based on my personality. How could it not, it is a one woman show? That is a perk of being self-employed. I have one life rule: create the world you want to live in through example. I could delve further into that, but this post is about the golden rule as that is the world I want to create.

When I am tired or stressed it is much more difficult to follow this rule.  Recently, I almost broke this rule. I received a generic unsolicited message on Etsy from someone offering their photography services for my Etsy shop. The “insert business name here”  section was left blank. If I wasn’t so much of a do-it-yourself-er I might have been tempted. Then I received an “oops I forgot to fill in the blanks” reply confirming that she is a real person. My first reaction was to ignore the message, or to send her an email about the Etsy spamming rules. But I took half a day to think about my reply.

Procrastination worked to my benefit. I looked at it from her point of view. I checked out her very new Etsy shop. She had recently discovered her photography passion. I understood she was targeting her ideal clients. She definitely wasn’t trying to annoy people with spam.

I replied honestly – I was happy doing my own photography, and I am not interested in outsourcing and increasing my operating costs. I also encouraged other venues of advertising her specialty: talking to small businesses and markets in her neighbourhood, or placing an ad on Kijiji. Shortly after I sent my reply, she sent me a message thanking me for the “gentle” refusal. I guess she had received some less pleasant  and discouraging replies. 

I understand how difficult it can be follow a creative dream. It is scary and negative comments strike deeply. I’m happy that I gave her encouragement to follow her passion. That’s the sort of world I want to create. Golden rule success.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Baby and Toddler Gifts – Pairing A Cute Toy with a Book

IMG_0611February 2012 has been my best February yet – and here I thought mid-Winter would be a slow period!  People have been falling in love with my creations. I love receiving feedback and hearing stories. I often hear that my toys make great teething products. I will have to trust  their experiences– personally I’ve never tested it myself.

Another bit of feedback I received was my toy caterpillar paired with The Very Hungry Caterpillar book, makes a great baby gift. If you live near Halifax, Nova Scotia, both items can be found at Fiddleheads Kids Shop, along with many of my rattles. My original inspiration for my dragonflies was to accompany the book The Dragonfly Door (winner of a Mom’s Choice Award). The book helps children to cope with grief and loss by telling the story of two water nymphs. Many of my other toys are from nursery rhymes. I always think of Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed while I am crocheting monkeys. And The Little Mermaid (along with The Last Unicorn and  Disney’s Robin Hood) was my favourite childhood movie.