Monday, May 18, 2015

ups and downs of retail

Remember when you were in high school and you liked someone and you anticipated them finding out you liked them...... and when they did find out they said, "no thank you."  Well you probably don't, but i had that happen to me quite a few times, and now it all comes back to me in my 30's....... and its in retail.......go figure.... 
 
I really don't like it, but i think i was being prepared for this in high school...So weird.  Mr. Know-it-All always says i have my heart on my sleeve (and he's right, just this once). i do have my heart on my sleeve with everything including my products and when ,your product is rejected, you feel rejected. But its supposed to be business and not personal, but oh is it so personal.
Here are my hands holding this beautiful widget that i made and you are rejecting it or saying, "no more orders for you, sorry about your bad luck."  It really hurts.  Maybe this rejection is preparing me for more rejecting in the future, Yea!
I love rejection......
 
You build a product, work on it with retailers for months, sometimes a year, get a few orders only to find out they don't want to stock it anymore.  That's a bummer. 
 
Sometimes the products are never accepted, other times they are and they last a short amount of time.  And every retailer is different and wants different things. 
 
All this to say..........
 
We made up a couple of new items that are yet to be sold but will be shortly........on our website:
 
These are canisters for the kitchen counter made with some beautiful knotty hickory.  I think they are quite fun, but the price negotiation with retailers will not be.......that's another post.

And this is a serving tray in the knotty hickory as well and i think it would make a great item for the kitchen counter but also even the coffee table. 
So now i need to get back to work and organize my strategies on how to get these out there to the retail stores....... 
 
talk soon......
your custom cabinet girl
 
 


Friday, April 24, 2015

breaking down brick walls


I have been trying to create new wood products for different retail companies but the answers are not always what i expect.  I might take a look at a companies website and think, "OK this is their style, i will create this."  And i try to find, create, and ultimately ask my dad to build a certain item.  Then you take photos and do "show and tell" and the response is not usually what you expect. 

Sometimes its, "great! just what i was looking for." 
And other times its, "that will not work for our line." 
And even other times its no response at all and you feel like you're talking to a brick wall.

Now, lucky for me i get to talk to my two little brick walls all day every day and they live with me too, so i don't really feel like having to deal with the brick wall people in the professional world.  But these people are alive and well and they're a big group of people on the Internet, living somewhere in the world. 
They're people who don't really know who i am and they just delete my email.
(How could they)!!??
Or they might just not like my product and they delete my email. 
(Still not cool).
Or my most favorite, "it costs too much, it won't sell!" 
(you mean it won't sell because you take my price and quadruple it)!!

I am manufacturing wood products in Lodi, California, (not the smartest move i have ever made), I'm not manufacturing in China people! 

So after someone finally talks to you and likes your product you get to....... (my first favorite part)!!

Wait..........to get the product approved
 
And you Wait some more........to get the price negotiated
 
And you Wait even more..........to get the order (my second favorite part)!

And you Wait some more.....................to get paid

All the while you try to get another vendor to like a new product and you start all over again. 

breaking down brick walls - one wood product at a time,
your custom cabinet girl

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

the abyss of inquiries, quotes, and hoping for response

In the world of marketing for your own buisness i find it daunting at times and extremely rewarding at others.  Lately i feel like my inquiries go into a black hole.
THE BLACK HOLE.............
This black hole is kind of pretty. I might want to go in there and with my pillow pet, blanket, favorite book, and take a nap.......


Which leads me to think the following;
 
1. Are my products not interesting enough for a response?
2. Did my email get into their spam? 
3. Do i need to call them up?  i really hate doing that......
4. What do i need to do to get attention?  i only have so many jokes in my aresenal of jokes.........
5. do i just give up now?
 
 
And then i read the sign in the office that Mr. Know-it-All gave me.
 
 
Then.........someone emails me back! They love my product and want to work with me.  And i feel like Sally Field who just won the Oscar and she says; "You like me!! You really really like me!"  After all this emailing and following up it just might be worth it.......
the marketing guru has rebooted herself!
your custom cabinet girl

Monday, March 9, 2015

crushing stereotypes

Its really fun being a girl in a cabinet shop. 
 
I get to work in the finish shop.......... 
 
 I get to work in the wood shop..........
 
 I get to work in the office............

 
 
But i bet you don't know how many times a week i get asked, "you work in the shop?"
 
Yes i get my hands dirty, and no i don't like it when the stain doesn't come off my skin or from under my nails.  I do love the physical aspect of my job, putting the wood away, moving cabinets from one building to another.  Delivering cabinets to the job site.  The thinking that goes on with creating a custom stain, or building a wood project, is just another aspect i love as well. 
Its been 14 years since i started working with my dad and learning about cabinetry, and i have so much more to learn.  Its amazing how much you can expand with knowledge in a trade and the new products and ideas you can try to make. 

We are expanding our line of custom wood products for the kitchen that will be available shortly on our website.  I will begin to post about each new product and i would love to hear feedback how the product will be helpful to you in your kitchen. 

until the next time when i get to work in the office and blog :)
your custom cabinet girl