30 May 2012

Dragged into the 21st Century (and it’s not that bad)

Isn’t it amazing how a little bit of knowledge goes a long way?  And how people with that little bit of knowledge try to persuade the rest of us that what they do is a Black Art that only they can do, and you should pay them lots of money to do it for you?

And yes I did buy into that and believed that creating a website was dang hard and I would have to pay an IT professional a whole lot of money to create one for me.  Wrong!  In keeping with the recent development of Techno-savvy women helping me, the fabulous Kim from Catwalk Bengals (from whom we obtained Calypso), told me that she had developed her website herself.  Have a look – it’s a lovely site – www.catwalkbengals.com. 

So with Kim’s assistance I am now in the building and development stage of our own website.  And what do you know – it’s not so hard after all.  Once you’ve been pointed in the right direction with some handy tips it’s pretty easy and actually a bit of fun.  I’ve been taking yet more photos – not helped when I sell the stuff I’ve just photographed, but lucky we have plenty more on the way.  And I’m going to have to just get the site online with a selection of stock and keep adding to it every week.  If I wait until I have lots and lots of things photographed for the site then I could wait for a long time before having the website go live, so I’ll start off small and then grow it every week.  How excitement!  It will be happening in the next week or two.  You’ll hear it first here, naturally.

Meanwhile, things are really variable in the shop right now.  When we average out the month since we’ve been back from our buying trip it turns out every week has been excellent.  But that’s because some weeks were really excellent and some were just good.  The accountant says you’re supposed to judge how your business is going by looking at quarterly figures, or at least monthly, but I can’t help looking at them on a day to day basis, or at least week to week.  But such are the vagaries of retail that this approach will do your head in, so I decided to listen to the accountant – I know she’ll be amazed to hear this – and have looked at the Big Picture instead of practically monitoring things minute-by-minute.  And wow, that approach makes you feel much better because the Big Picture is actually pretty good.  So I shall stop sweating the minutia and look more broadly from now on – much better for my state of mind.

On the moggie front, I have now updated everyone except Mischka’s mug shots for the Blog and you can see what a lovely lot they have grown to be.  Mischka will be done later this week, once I can get her to stop being so schmoozy every time I go near her, and have her sit still for her portrait.  Her theory is that if you’re within paw reach you must be wanting a cuddle or to rub her belly or be sat on, so she obliges whenever you come near.  And that makes it quite a challenge to take her photograph with her sitting still and posing nicely.  But we’ll get there.  We continue to have heaps of fun with the Gang and are very glad to have these little creatures in our lives.  Calypso turned nine months old this week, and this appears to be the teenage stage for cats, so she’s going through an I’m a Big Girl Now and You’re Not the Boss of Me phase.  To which the answer is No You’re Not and Yes I Am.  Her attitude seems to be infectious, though, with all of them except Artemis getting a bit bolshie lately.  Even good boy Klaatu has had a rat in his head, with naughty behaviour in the shop and fluffing up and doing that archy-back sideways running thing that idiot cats sometimes do.  Still, it is funny to watch.  Artemis hasn’t been naughty, but has taken to chasing her tail in amazingly fast circles until she falls down.  Maybe it’s the change of seasons, or maybe they’ve all just got Full Moon Jitters.

OMG I can’t believe how long it takes to properly photograph and catalogue things for the website.  I’ve photographed quite a lot of jewellery today – or so I thought until I saw how much it actually came to on the site.  But as I said, I’ll put a selection on the website and just keep updating it.  This is the start of a new era for us, and we’re looking forward to it. 

And oh no!  Today I sold a giant French linen sheet that I had been using as a privacy screen in the shop.  I have walls of glass along two sides of the shop, and my desk is situated such that on Market Days the café next door has tables and chairs right next to me.  If I didn’t have my privacy screen I could practically join in the conversations of whoever is sitting immediately on the other side of the glass from me.  But some of these French sheets are big enough to turn into curtains, and that’s just what I did.  So then I sold my privacy screen sheet, but ha! I have another giant French linen sheet.  But oh no, I sold that today as well!  I’ve sold no sheets for ages (not helped by the fact that I didn’t actually display them for sale), but nonetheless sharp-eyed customers will not be thwarted so I sold two in one day.  So now I have to go ratting through my French linen box – first find the French linen box and then go ratting through it – to find a new privacy screen.  How inconvenient it is when customers buy your stock!

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