Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Testing the waters

The Barreness doing shock treatment

So yesterday I was tested, well, I was challenged for sure!
I mentioned before about these little trinkets I make; well someone decided they wanted to throw a wrench into the works and ask to be the only shop to carry my little trinket things.
I spent the day wrought with anxiety:
I had already delivered and committed to a shop, a new lovely shop, and this other well established shop was trying to take the monopoly over the whole downtown zone, and my abilities to sell anywhere else nearby too!
I felt stuck. I felt sad, I felt very UNHAPPY

I drafted several emails and went home still not sending a response. When I got home, I asked The Barren if I could read him what I had written, he said sure. I read what I had written out loud to The Barren- who was also sorting things in the kitchen. Then he said "I think you are imagining this, it doesn't sound so bad".  I about collapsed into a pool of tears! I took several deep lungfuls of air and visualized myself stepping back from the chaos that was swirling at my feet.
The Barren mumbled something about "I changed your mood, I think I made things worse."
At that I opened up, calmly but defiantly and said:
"I Feel like I was asking for your attention and you didn't engage in what I was saying and then when you did you defended the other person and not me. You are always suppose to be on my side." He was shocked to say the least, I mean he was rinsing lunch boxes and opening a beer and apparently Pandoras box too.

I told him I would no longer ask for his help on this matter, that I would figure it out on my own. "Please lets not talk about it anymore."

I took a few more gulps of air, changed into my pj's and plunked back onto the couch. Then I calmly turned to him and said: " I am not feeling very happy right now, I think what it all comes down to, is that, I don't want to sell to this shop exclusively." I started to laugh, at the sound of my own voice, and then mentioned to him, how silly this all was in reflection, I am freaking out over a small thing, a trinket.  " I am just so afraid of making a bad choice, the wrong choice, that it paralyzes me. In the big picture, this is not the end of the world. "
If I make a bad choice will you still love me?

I wrote this email response this morning:

Hello Shopowner,

I try and place my work in unique venues but, I make sure they are not the same types of stores.
I have committed with shop#1, so I am standing by that commitment.
They are close-by but, specialize in only handmade items.

At this time, I am not able to offer you exclusivity of the product.

I am sure you can understand that as an artist, my job is to get my work seen by many different types of viewers.
This is indeed a unique item for visitors and locals, so making sure that it is available to many different types of shoppers is paramount to its success.

I do hope we can still work together.
Thank you again,
The Barreness

After hitting the send button, I felt lighter, brighter and happier. I was standing my ground, being true to myself and honest about my feelings to not only the potential client but myself.


Mali said...

Sounds like a good way to resolve it. If the second shopowner doesn't accept your reasons, then it's their problem not yours. Because you would have felt very uncomfortable with going exclusive.

And once you sent the letter, I hope you allowed yourself to feel the tiniest bit of pride and joy that you are so much in demand!

Mali said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wolfers said...

It certainly feels lighter as I finished reading the post. I hope it all works out for you, after all it sounds to me, that you wish to be allowed to be open to opportunities and express your art as you should, without feeling pressured to only one option. :)

Megan said...

Good for you! It's hard to be a small business owner, especially I think for artists.

LaLa said...

I totally get the anxiety about the exclusive request. I get myself tied up in knots about decisions, especially when it involves saying no to something. I over-think it, and it sounds like that is what happened to you here (NOT a criticism!)

I am so happy for you getting it all figured out exactly how you wanted and the email itself sounds perfect - professional and positive, but firm about what you want. Super job. :)

Teresa F said...

jello from ICLW!!! Way to stand your ground! You have to be your own advocate!

Teresa F said...

Hello- NOT Jello! Geesh!

Nicole said...

i think you totally did the right thing. that seems like a bit of a crazy request. and i can only imagine how much anxiety that would have caused you! good job on working it all out so diplomatically and standing up for what was best for you!