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Anyone else getting a lot of orders after the new year?  

I'm so busy with orders my head is spinning!  I have open orders for tableware from 12 people in the last few weeks.  Mugs for teachers, tableware sets from coworkers, bowls from neighbors, people from Instagram of all places, I mean it's crazy!  I thought the holidays was busy, what's going on?  

I'm thinking people are anticipating tax refunds or something?  Never had them line up before it's great!

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Hooray for repeat business!

I have had a rush in that I've had stores to restock, but I'm not encouraging new orders at the moment, beyond a little online.

The whole last quarter is such a rush and there's so many hours put in, there needs to be some balance. This time of year I go back to more of an 8 hour day instead of running 12-14. I try to use January and February as time to put the studio back in order, work on new forms, and to restock my existing stores who are heavily picked over after Christmas. I've got one store topped up, another one will be ready to go after I unload the kiln next week, plus I'll be adding some things to my website for V-Day. Once I have that sorted, I found a travel mug lid that I think will be more forgiving than the fit-over-the-rim kind, so i'll be working on some to-go cups, plus some butter dishes, berry bowls for spring, and some things that customers were requesting a lot of in the fall. I have some glaze and slip testing to do as well for a comission. Oh, and show applications.

So it's more "idea time" for me than big sales right now. 

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49 minutes ago, liambesaw said:

Some who have purchased in the past and some who have gotten gifts made by me.  

hey I know you are eyeing making a switch to pottery at some point and it sounds like for good reason. No better way to make that a reality than  developing a steady stream of repeat customers. I would suggest taking some time and making sure you are getting everyone on your mailing list and maybe getting your website, Facebook etc in top form so you can keep the momentum going with kiln opening announcements and show notices as you start doing more of those. One thing in the past 6-7 years that has stood out to me is that low cost, moderately priced pottery is hard to build a sustainable business around. Side hustle, sure but a sustainable living wage business a lot tougher. I know some here do it but many of those potters have spent decades building up the volume they need. It just cost so much to live these days and a potter can only make and sell so much pottery. I have no idea what your prices are but since you are just getting started establishing you customers I thought I would mention it since obviously the time to establish a higher end product line is in the beginning .   

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On 2/10/2020 at 11:35 AM, liambesaw said:

Yeah i figure I'm still many years away from transitioning, unless I am forced to!  Hopefully as my work grows and matures, so will my customer base.  A lot to look forward to in the future

I hear ya brother. I'm going to be 60 in October and in IT that is really old. I'm getting up at 4 these days and and try to be in the studio working by 5:30 so I can get in a good half day before the day job. If I was the type that could roll out of bed and be pugging clay 10 minutes later it would add another day of studio time by the end of the week but I'm the sluggish, slow moving grunt that has to have coffee and build up momentum. 

Edited by Stephen
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2 hours ago, oldlady said:

stephen, just read something that recommends your kind of wake up slowly, sit slowly and begin walking slowly to help prevent strokes.  so maybe your (and my) habit of waking in stages is a good idea.

Does the same work for staying up late and slowly going to sleep?  I am on the opposite schedule from Stephen, I put the kids to bed at 9 and then I'm working on clay til 2am

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3 minutes ago, oldlady said:

you and i have the same nighttime habits, unfortunately, i also wake early and feel sleepy all day.  my world is upside down.

Same.  I wake up at 7 to get the kids ready and to school.  But I feel like 4-5 hours of sleep is just barely enough and I feel bad that I can't be productive in that time anyway.

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14 hours ago, liambesaw said:

Same.  I wake up at 7 to get the kids ready and to school.  But I feel like 4-5 hours of sleep is just barely enough and I feel bad that I can't be productive in that time anyway.

14 hours ago, oldlady said:

you and i have the same nighttime habits, unfortunately, i also wake early and feel sleepy all day.  my world is upside down.

Hey ya have to do what works if it's a business. Evenings would make more sense for me too and I could potentially get in more time because there wouldn't be a clear stop time like there is now. Since I work from home and start at 9 and end at 5, I could be in the studio a few minutes after I get off and start working but more often than not that didn't happen when that was my schedule and I was just dinking at the business here and there. A lot more planning than doing. I program all day and I am just exhausted at 5 and instead of heading straight into the studio I would just opt for down time with news, diner etc and then the 'object at rest tends to remain at rest' theory takes over and the evenings would often blow by without doing anything. 

Back when I started throwing I did it early before a commute and remembered that I did like it once I got into the grove so a few months ago switched. By doing it first it gets done and I find I like that quiet time of the day and tend to get a good nights sleep because I just relax early and mostly get 6-7 hours sleep. I also pretty much don't go into the studio on weekends and that keeps it from becoming a drag.

 

Edited by Stephen
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I might have to try that some time, I've just had this sleep schedule for the past 8 years because my wife and I trade shifts to avoid paying for child care.  Always been a night owl though.  

I went to school to be a software developer so I could work from home and do pottery, things didn't work out that way but sounds like the life, @Stephen

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5 minutes ago, Stephen said:

It is nice, didn't think I would like it at first but getting ready for and commuting back and forth to a job is a lot of time I can plow back into the business.

I had a remote php/laravel gig lined up and a senior dev applied for the junior position and beat me out, was sad.  Sadder still is he left after like 2 months.  Oh well, dentures and clay ain't bad, I live 3 miles from work so it's a real hellish commute :lol:

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