prayers answered

I can’t believe I’m sitting with the last day of 2011…ready to literally leap into the NEW YEAR of 2012!  I can’t wait to see what unfolds in the coming year!!

The title “prayers answered” came to me as I was silently giving thanks for John Frisch and Leewood Press.  I knew in September and October when I was crazy busy putting orders together (doing fulfillment), that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with orders AND do the other things I needed/wanted to do to continue to grow the business.  I also knew that I needed to find a new printer.  As much as I loved working with Ken and the gang at H&H Imaging, I was paying a premium for digital printing.  It served me well initially because it allowed for smaller print runs.  Now I could see that my card business was viable as I continued to get new AND re-orders.  I needed to reduce the cost of each card and finding an offset printer would allow for that.  So when orders slowed down in November I began searching for printers and help with fulfillment.  I met with 3 different printers and for various reasons none of them seemed to work.  I also had tried solving the fulfillment problem by asking someone to help me put orders together.  She came over and I showed her what was entailed and we even put a few orders together.  We discussed how initially I only would need help maybe 2 or 3 days a week for 2 hours at a time or so.  I felt I had a solution.  A few days later I received an email from the person and she explained that she wouldn’t be able to help me as her husband had some health problems he was facing and she needed to be available for that.  I did understand and kept “praying for the highest good for all concerned”, my favorite prayer in the world.  I literally ran into Patrick from DODOcase one day while walking to meet another potential fulfillment solution.  This was a non-profit that shipped out product for various small companies.  The Non-Profit I met with didn’t “feel” right either.  I contacted the company Patrick suggested via email and heard back from them stating that they wouldn’t be able to meet till mid January.  Shit, I thought, I need to get this figured out before then so more prayers and trusting in the way the Universe works…

I was picking up an order of my new cards at H&H in early December when I broke the news to Ken that I had been looking for an offset printer.  I explained that I needed to lower my cost of cards.  He did understand and suggested John at Leewood Press.  So with that, I contacted John.  Prayers Answered!  I immediately liked him and felt that this could be the printer I was looking for…and then when I mentioned my fulfillment problem he said they could help with that too!  Bingo!  I hit the jackpot!!  John has not only met but exceeded my expectations (what one is taught to do in “Sales 101”) by having pricing for me when he said he would and returning emails.  I’ve met with him 2 more times and he continues to reassure me that we can figure out this fulfillment piece.  I realize I’m having a hard time letting my baby go…I don’t want to fill all the orders but somehow the knowledge that I’m going to pack up all my inventory so it can be transported over to his facility next week made me a bit wistful.  Yet I’m thrilled with knowledge that I’m taking a BIG step forward with this move.  And to know that I’m going to print thousands and thousands of cards at one time is another BIG leap.

I smiled when I saw that Leewood Press is located on Indiana Street.  I told John that I grew up in Indiana; he’s hails from Illinois, a fellow Midwesterner.  It all made sense…I owe Ken a big thank you for the introduction!

So I sit with the last day of 2011 giving thanks for ALL that transpired in this year.  For all the shows I’ve attended, people met, reps that I’ve contacted who have agreed to take on the line, stores that have purchased and the few workshops I’ve given, I’m forever grateful!  For recognizing that I have created a viable company that is allowing my “words and watercolors” to be out in the world “enriching and inspiring”!  For a phone call yesterday that affirmed my company will continue to grow little by little (someone who attended services at Grace Cathedral last week and who purchased my cards in their gift shop.  He called me to ask if I had a catalog I could send explaining that he is a volunteer at St. Margaret’s of Scotland church in Palm Desert, CA. …he plans to order my cards for their gift shop!)…Thank-You…Thank-You…Thank-You…

2012 Awaits!  I’ve attached one of my favorite paintings of Winter…It has been a Holiday card with Brush Dance and will be one of mine this year!


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