Everyone in the house is still asleep (how can you sleep, people? there is food to be made! ha). Since everybody is still zonked out in bed, this is a good time to take a moment and reflect on the many things for which I am thankful this year.
“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” ~ Zora Neale Hurston (1903-1960)
First of all, what a difference a year makes. For those of you who know me personally, you know that the “wheels fell off the bus” last year on just about every front you can imagine. Disease, death, car accidents, job loss, job transition all factored into the worlds of the major players in my life. 2009 was rotten.
2010 has been an answer year, 100%, through-and-through, no doubt about it. Every bit of sadness and frustration and despair of last year was wiped away by this year’s growth, opportunity and optimism.
I”ll speak to some of this year’s happiness, as it pertains to Lucky Ginger Studio:
1. I am SO thankful for Debbie Hawkins of Lowcountry Home Decor and Gifts. Debbie is my Charleston, SC-based sales rep, my lowcountry angel. Debbie took on the Lucky Ginger Studio line the end of 2008. Early this year, she gave me a laundry list of images that she knew would resonate with her store buyers, and she asked if I could come up with them and work them into the product selection. I took a little photo safari in the spring, when that part of the world is ablaze in a sea of pink azaleas and rhododendrons. I captured everything she wanted: the flowers, the ironwork, the Spanish moss, the palmettos, even the alligators. And…she was RIGHT. Sales have increased dramatically this year – especially up and down the 17 corridor (which, I am sure Debbie could drive…even blindfolded). Debbie: Thank you!
2. My fabulous retailers. I know the past couple years have been tough. Client counts are flat or down. Customers are scarce, scared, broke. Yet, you store owners put on a brave, smiling face day in and day out and put some cheer back in the lives of the downtrodden consumer. It’s not 2006. We’re not lighting fires with dollar bills or buying fur-lined sinks anymore. Many of you have stayed with the “tried and true” products as you have been forced to become the Masters of Inventory. I am thankful that you took a chance on the Lucky Ginger Studio line, and I LOVE it when your re-orders come through! I also love it when you make suggestions for additions (go, Feathernesters and Nielsen’s Florist!) Your support has made an enormous difference to me. I was in retail for about a decade. I KNOW how much heart and heartache comes with the turf. Thank you for weathering the storm and being on the front lines of this “freak-onomy.”
3. I am thankful I stumbled on a few new shows, especially those managed by EMG. I do a handful of retail-style shows each year, not to compete with my retailers, but to test new designs and products that may earn a place in the wholesale line. It’s important to me to see how the retail buyer reacts: what colors or styles do they favor? what price point is reasonable? what are THEY looking to buy? I get more live feedback and suggestions at these events. Thank you! (and if you want to give me face-to-face feedback this weekend, please come see me in Booth 582 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center….)
4. “The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.” – Emile Zola
I am so very grateful for the gift AND the work.
May you and yours have a lovely Thanksgiving weekend. For what are you thankful?