10.11.06

How not to set up a business

Sometimes I think my brain should be replaced by a large spongoid fungus...perhaps a giant puffball, or a morel...just lift this one out, it doesn't function very well, especially not nowadays, and pop t'other in. You can recycle the old one, if the council men will take it.
I am not very good at business-like-things. Dang me, it's not as if I had oodles of money to waste on stupid mistakes. I thought it was all going so well...my new cards uploaded to my printers and winging their way back to me, ready to be packed up and sent to happy customers everywhere. The first boxes arrived - very pleased. Very nice repro. Good colour matching. Glad I chose that font, it looks just right. The next batch arrived - very pleased. Very nice repro. Good colour matching. Glad I - oh. Bugger. Double bugger. Triple bugger in a marmalade sandwich. How the Devil did I manage to do that...


This finding coincided with a small painting commission, which just about covered the cost of reprinting the offending articles. Never let it be said that I aim to make profit where breaking even can be achieved. Now, knowing how popular the 'Three Kings' design is, I thought I'd be show some business savvy and splash my last pennies on getting 250 printed. We are talking very small print runs here, you won't find RFE cards in Clintons. And just 100 of Nellliephant, play it safe. Good, that's that sorted. I was a bit puzzled though, when only 100 'Kings' arrived, a week later. Maybe they were sending them in batches? Then a box of 250 'Kings' arrived too...I had of course, reordered the 'Kings' twice. Time to reorder. Again. So now I am just waiting for 'Nelliephant' mark 3 to come trumpety trumping through the jungle, as it were. How do I manage it? Am I some kind of genius?

"I know I left it here somewhere..."


So, as usual, my cash flow is pretty much stuffed, and we are foraging in the woods for firewood until my last cheque gets here, then I can buy a proper load from the men who cut down trees. Ah well, it gets us o
ut of the house; we LIKE the woods, hurrah! But I am about to sacrifice my best paintbrush to the Gods of illustration in the hopes they will send me a job.

Moaning aside, there have been some lovely pink fluffy moments...not least a kind fairy godmother putting in a large card order today, which has hel
ped enormously. (THANK YOU!) Times like this you realise who your friends are, and one day, with luck, I'll be able to see this as just a learning curve.
At last, after much mutual worrying, some SOSF booty has arrived...belated but enchanting, these teeny tiny origami cards, a little late for Hallowe'en, but it does not matter one bit. They are mind bogglingly bijou...



(Sooz, confess, you are only inches high, aren't you? How else could you get those little folds so perfectly creased?)

And after many weeks swimming their way round the globe, beautiful cards and fairy dust from sweet Miss Robyn, (you can breathe easy now MR, it arrived safely after all!)


So in the grand tradition of 'if life gives you lemons, make lemonade', I am off to make - appropriately enough - fairy cakes. With rainbow sprinkles. Next week is shiny new and waiting to be filled. Watch this space.

14 comments:

Soozcat said...

Mmm, fairy bread.

Aw nuts, it didn't get there before Halloween. If I'd been smart I would've sent the package a week earlier. Still, glad it got there in one piece.

Barb said...

It's a bit of a bugger when the gremlins manage to get their paws on the best-laid plans when we were hoping the fairies would be holding the fort instead. Times like this, I tell myself that things can only go up from here!

Anonymous said...

no, no, no, no, no ! ! :) ~ the faery bread recipe, well ~ that is my second little gift. the first one I sent, was sent at the end of Septmeber. 28th to be exact - I will have to tell you what it was ~ it was a handmade faery goddess doll - similar to my Gaia goddess - made specially for you plus a few little bits in the package. I am so, so sad that it didn't arrive. I will make another sometime soon and get it off to you. much love to you, my faery princess friend xoxo

tlc illustration said...

Hooray for fairy packages (Sooz is particularly good at those amazing origami cards, isn't she?). And speaking of cards, didn't your printer maybe notice that something was... off... on your order? Well, cut off the back piece and send lots of postcards perhaps?

Good luck with the job front. Wish I could share some of my workload with you... I think I maybe are drowning - on several levels...

natural attrill said...

Good timing for your fairy presents, they are lovely.
Now, for the nagging... have you followed up your promotional cards with phone calls, soon perhaps?
P.xxx

carolyn said...

My sons Godmother is the managing director of a card company, I'll mention you to her next time I see her. No promises, obviously, but hopefully she will at least take the time to have a look at your work.
Carolyn

Joanna said...

Poor you with the mistakes, I'm sure you can retrieve something my making postcards or something. I have learnt so much the last year or two with my cards. Had a good discusion with my printers about the colour of my last cards on Friday its been my most costly mistake. Hope you find lots of wood to keep nice and cosy, I'm in my brothers student flat (with rabbit) and its so much warmer than home!

Anonymous said...

oh sweet Gretel...the "when it rains, it pours" syndrome...with a little sprinkle of sunshine via your parcels! I just know the fairies are working over time to right all this...in the meantime...where do I order???
XOXO

PG said...

Thank you for your good wishes everyone, they really do help me in my puddle of self pity! I'm afraid that while I get a good deal from the printers, they are very specific that all proofs must be checked thoroughly, and the responsibility is mine...as Joanna knows from her mistake. They will make good postcards though. And I won't make the mistake again, I hope.

Lisa,:) I have put paypal buttons for the US on the RFE website, which is linked 'up there' to the top left, but do look at the postage as it can be a bit expensive. (I have had everything weighted at the post office, so it is correct).

Carolyn, that a is really kind offer, thank you. I am very pragmatic about these things, (it is a commercial world, after all), but so good of you to help. The more publicity the better.

Penny, no I haven't followed up with phone calls...I know, I am a rank coward of the lowest order. Publishers are always so busy though...and I feel like a nuisance.

CAS said...

Oh Gretel! Oh no! Still, as you say, they'll make nice postcards and hence provide publicity material you wouldn't have had otherwise. They are really adorable in any case!

Steph said...

This may be a really good thing that happened...at the last SCBWI conference I was at, one of the BIG pluses of sending out postcards instead of cards is that people (art director, editors) getting them do look at the artwork- they don't have to be bothered with opening and envelope...The elephant is a strong piece- I think it's my favorite...so, you see? A good thing!

lettuce said...

Thanks for the Xmas cards, I love them!

joanna said...

Oh, what a poo about that batch of cards; I know you'd already told me about it, but seeing them there the wrong way up makes for sad viewing!! I agree, postcards is the way to go :) I've just put in my Chrissy card order (via email) - I think they are adorable.

Connie and Rob said...

I just know you will get the job sent to you. Your talent is such a wonderful gift. Please take care.
Hugs,
Connie