Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So much to report!

I had surgery last week to remove the cancer from my leg and it went well. They said that they got it all and that Menehune Man had better figure another way to fund his retirement besides my life insurance! (kidding) I still have a "crater" in my leg which I am referring to as Halemaumau, and I think it will take awhile for the scar tissue to fill in. But all is well. It set me back a few days on my schedule so I am once again playing "catch up". Did I mention that "catch up" IS NOT one of my favorite games???

While over on Oahu I decided to take advantage of being able to tour some of the wholesale fabric companies on that island and set up some accounts. With the 100's of yards of canvas and lining fabrics I use each year, it just doesn't make any sense to be paying retail prices. It is so funny how my mindset has changed in the past 3 years. I used to go to the fabric store and really feel like I was splurging if I said, "oh, go ahead and give me...*while biting lip*... 3 yards of that one!" Now, I just purchased 300 yards of fabric this week! I found myself saying, "well, that is only 600 tote bags...maybe I should get more!"

One thing that I am having a conflict over is that since I have gotten into corporate sales, I sometimes feel like I am a tote bag factory. Maybe that is because...I HAVE become a tote bag factory! Although it is nice having a large order and getting paid all at once, I really am missing being able to spend time making purses and design new bags. I have had to set aside my creativity for awhile and I am not loving that! So with that being said....I think that unquestionably, my word for the year must be....(drum roll please!)

I'll let you know how that goes.

I recently told a girlfriend that I feel like I am a circus act, juggling so many things at once and living in fear that one of the balls will drop. I have learned very recently that a couple of my accounts that I have been doing business with don't behave honorably. How very disappointing! In a way, that has been very liberating to realize this because in this next year, I have decided that I will concentrate on my loyal customers who value my product and pay their bills on time. I have also learned that I must include a few extra words in my contracts to protect myself. As long as we have breath, we should be learning, right? Well, I am learning a lot. And I must say that Menehune Man has been my hero this week. Knowing that I have been under quite a bit of stress in the past two months, he stepped up, as President of Sasaki Bags, and took over the task of collecting money that is overdue.

a hui hou!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Thanks for sharing

I just want to take a sec and thank everyone who emailed me with your best and worst of 2009. I have to tell you what surprised me most! For more than half of you who wrote to me, you listed both your best and worst as the same thing. I find that so interesting.

I guess that is really making lemonade out of your lemons! I think that shows such a positive outlook. AND gives hope that none of really know what the future may bring and maybe this path we are on will lead to much needed change for a productive and healthier life even though there will be bumps along the way.

So far, for me 2010 is starting off with a bang! We had New Year's breakfast at my mother-in-law's house. Menehune Man's sister made Ozoni which is a Japanese traditional new years soup with all sorts of ingredients for a healthy and prosperous year. I am not big on fishy soup...but hey! If it can't hurt...and might help....I'll try it! I even ate the squid!

Then the fun began. I got another corporate order that sort of popped up out of nowhere. They needed 100 bags in 10 days! So I spent the first week of the year working 15 hour days sewing coffee tote bags. Last January I only made 68 far this January I am at over 100 and the month is only 1/3 over! This goal of 2010 bags in 2010 may actually be a possibility!

Last Saturday I went on a buying trip. I spent 4 hours going from farm to farm and hand selecting my coffee bags. I actually love this part of my job. Reconnecting with the farmers and hearing what a great year this has been for their coffee makes me feel good. I really feel like a partner of sorts with them. I buy their bags which reduces their cost of doing business and makes for a larger profit margin. Then I make them into bags that I can sell at a profit to me and the world continues to spin.

I have also been on a mission of sorts. I am sorting out and tossing out! I just have had it with clutter so am going through each room, and closet with Hefty bags in hand! I may have to have a garage sale, but one way or another...this stuff is gone! I rearranged my living room, washed the windows and am happy to have at least part of my house organized and looking nice.

Usually at this point of the year, I have come up with my "word or phrase of the year". It is a little ritual of mine. In the past I have used words to inspire me throughout the year such as "educate", "organize", "gratitude" and "no!" In those bygone years, I took classes, created files, purchased bins, journaled, and said "no!" more. Wow, I loved the year of "NO"! This year, though, my desires surpass a one word theme for the year. I am leaning towards something like, "aggressive growth through controlled management". My real goal is to feel in total control of my business. I hate it when it begins to control me! Truthfully, that goal probably can be summed up into one word....It just escapes me at the moment. I want to have a schedule and plan ahead to avoid crazed weeks. I want to have time to go home to see my family, keep my space neater and have pearls on when my MM comes home (*kidding*). I would even like to take one day a week off with NO SEWING! *gasp!*

Oh...I am such a work in progress. I am 48 years old and still trying to "figure it all out". But, I am having fun...and I AM making some dreams come true. So thanks for joining me on my journey. Buckle up!

a hui hou