When Susie and I have our heads together pouring over all the components for our Sun Catcher Pendants, we are usually looking for "multi-faceted glass" feature beads. I learned early on in our venture that Susie doesn't make anything with plastic, acrylic, or other man-made synthetic materials. The other end of the spectrum is crystal, specifically lead crystal! For our market, selling wholesale to retailers we are always looking for the best dollar value that reflects light.
Somewhere recently Susie began to research and investigate history and information on her favorite glassware pieces. In some cases she was shocked to find she had items of great value to the glassware collectable consumers. When she showed me what she was finding on 'thrifting' shopping trips, I caught the bug too.
For me personally I had a lot of memories and nostalgia from my own mother's china cabinet, and some from dinners and tea time tables at aunties and grandmas'. In India, where we grew up, the British had influenced and left many beautiful glassware dishes and vases for us to "look but don't touch".
The big question was if we wanted to add these beautiful pieces to our Jesmic Jewelry product line. I reasoned that because our main component in our collections of Sun catchers, pendants, key chains, bracelets, and earrings is glass, we could consider it. Since we are already set up as a business with all the regulations and processes, it was just a matter of deciding how to market and promote.
Our father, was fondly called a "jeweller and junk dealer" and we are fondly calling ourselves, "jewelry and glass dealers!" Check out the glassware on display in our studio up North at www.jewmicjewelry.com. Guarantee something will bring back a memory!
Yes, we've changed! It's called "Excellent in Simplicity". We have modified our line again to suit the making, selling, and buying process for Jesmic. Being willing to try something and market test it always means time and money invested in having something to work with.
When we first started out, because my client in the Fashion industry had approached me about Susie's jewelry making, looking for a line that was "Made Locally" we had that as our first thought. In fact, some of you know that our name, JESMIC is a combination of JES that stands for "Jewelry by Esther Susan", and MIC which stands for "Made in Canada".
Once we had the initial line produced for my client, we set out to feature our Sun Catcher Pendants and immediately thought of 'tourists'. We assumed that "made in Canada" was most important to this market because of purchasing souveniers while touring our nation. I had written an article "Treasures for Tourists" that got a lot of response for the magazine and resulted in business with Provincial Tourism in Canada.
From this and on location consulting with clients who have to set up stores for bus loads of tourists with a 'grab and go' process, I began to think of ways in which we could offer the right fixtures and tagging to make selling our beautiful Sun Catcher Pendants quick and easy. However, this resulted in what is seen as a 'dog's breakfast' and wasn't visually appealing.
We've gone from the confusing and very busy classified ad look to a more refined, simple, and beautiful "display ad" look. We feel this will not only appeal more to the market we are trying to attract, but will also make selling and buying them less complicated.
I'm not ready to take the daunting task of changing the entire website to reflect our new look and what appears to be a 're-branding' after barely one year in business. However, we are excited about all the prospects of presenting our new look and simplified line to our target market.
I love this map! It shows us connected with our neighbors the way you see it from a plane flying over. From "God's" point of view there isn't a border that would separate us other than the distinction of our nationalities... At Jesmic Jewelry we cast our net on the other side of the border and landed an agency in New England with fourteen seasoned reps that cover seven states with New York as one of them!
Years ago in my VMP consulting days, I was pondering the Biblical account of Jesus using his disciple's boat to cast off a ways from the shore and use it as a platform to teach the crowds on the shore. Afterwards, he tells Peter to 'cast out into the deep' with the intention to do some fishing. Peter complains and explains that there aren't any fish there to be caught. Jesus says to him, "Cast your net on the other side of the boat" which Peter does and catches a boat sinking, net breaking load of fish. As I pondered this I had a vision of the US-Canadian border. I felt in my spirit that I should maybe 'cast my net' across that border and do some promoting of my services in the States.
I put together a presentation folder, short listed contacts from industry trade magazine for Gift and Tableware Shows and began to call. The first thing I found out was that ost of the event planners had already chosen their speakers for the current shows. With my sales training, I then launched into, "If you can't be FIRST, be the BEST SECOND." So I offered to forward my materials and asked them two things:
1. IF your speaker cancels at the last minute, please call me. All the presentations
you will see in my media kit are ready to go. and
2. IF you wouldn't mind putting my information in your resource files for when you
are picking the next speaker, I would appreciate that.
I also found out that the average lead time to 'catch a fish' in this side of the boat was 12 - 18 months. So I knew that I had to have realistic expectations. I already had great references and testimonials from the Canadian side of the boat... so that helped. Sure enough the calls began to come in and the doors opened. Denver. L.A., New York, Atlanta... until the border crossing people decided my credentials didn't fall under the NAFTA agreement and I was sent back, missed my flight, and no one in the US wanted to risk that. End of the 'boat load, net breaking catch'... but while it lasted it was great!
Today we have another 'boat load, net breaking' opportunity and are excited to get everything in lace to handle the multi-currency and shipping. We are ready. We are excited and we have thrown our net on the other side of the boat and caught a couple of fish already. It's all good! LOVE out neighbors to the South!
When I was little, our parents, who themselves were artistic and creative, made sure we had crayons, coloring books, and the usual pencils and paper. I remember a day when I traced the image of Mickey Mouse from the cover of a coloring book and colored it in to match. I was really disappointed when I took it to my mother for some compliments and instead she said, "Well that's nice, Linda. But why don't you draw and color something from your own imagination?" That was the day I knew that no matter what I created, my mother would give more approval for my effort, then making a good copy!
Years ago when I was a guest speaker at a Home Show in the Yukon, I was given local VIP treatment and taken to the radio station to be interviewed. Based on the questions I shared that I was active in a women's organization through our church called Women of Worth. At the end when he asked me if I had a final word to share with the audience, one of their mottoes came flying out of my mouth and I said, " You're born an original. Don't die a copy." This was the ending to an interview about my staged seminar on faux painting at the Home Show with a local artist doing the hands on demonstration. The purpose of it all was to inspire the audience with ideas to consider for an original look in their home décor.
Our BLING THING aka Sun Catcher Pendants to hang or to wear are each an original. No two are exactly alike. The up side is that it keeps my sister, Esther Susan in her happy place making whatever her heart desires. The down side is that there is so much to choose from that shoppers are often falling in love with more than they want to spend! Our summer specials are promoting our BLING THINGS for Beauty and Safety on glass and screen doors, but it was really hard to decide which ones to pick for the promo and media share.
I don't intend to die a copy and whenever I'm tempted to be like someone else or do what they are doing, I stop and ask myself if it's going to make me a better 'original', or just a copy.
When I was a little girl, growing up in India, I used to sit in Dad's lap while he drove the Jeep and pretend I was steering. With hands bigger and stronger than mine, there was never a risk that I could take over the trip and guide the car. It's fun to see little kids stand in the driver's seat of a car and rotate the steering wheel back and forth, getting the feel of what it will be like when they grow up and really drive, beginning with a toy car or a bike.
Moving (usually in a forward motion) is the most important thing to note when beginning a pilot project or considering a project you've never done before. Plans are great. Proposals are a good guideline. But sooner or later you have to MOVE to
I love this guy, Trent Dyrsmid, in his YouTube video "How To Start a Business With No Money." ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2m6JkJvv4w ) He gives an awesome illustration of how steering works when you start a business... as long as you 'stay' in business! In Jesmic Jewelry we are just into our second year of business and have followed this steering several times to modify and adapt to find the right market for us and get the cash flow we need.
I believe that when you KNOW you are moving forward as a pilot project, then you don't have unrealistic expectations and are always on the look out for the signs along the way that tell you which way to steer.
At this moment, I am working with a group of challenged people in programs down town that help 'steer' them in the direction of their passions where artistic endeavours have been revealed. In the course, ARTiculum, we have spent six months in a classroom setting discussing the topic: "Concept to Market". One of the students who is blessed with great vision, ideas, and abilities, has so many projects and products that she is getting confused about what direction to take for the Market being organized for their 'graduation'.
In my effort to advise and help her, I suddenly had the thought... "Just make samples!" I told her it was all right for her to make whatever her heart desired at this point since she could just call them 'samples'. This would also be an opportunity for her to 'market test' at the Market where they graduate from the course. The stress and pressure was immediately relieved!
Now we are anticipating that she may have a plethora of items ranging from jewelry, to re-furbished boards on which to hang her 'samples' or the beaded scarves and it will all be part of her 'steering'. But at least she is moving forward. She will succeed.
Don't wait for someone to push you or tow you! Start moving on your dream NOW!
My grand daughter Nicole ( a few years ago) and our grand-dog Oscar. He might be little but his teeth are sharp and since there was doubt about giving him a treat he seems so anxious for... Nicole decides it's a 'Don't". Not even eye contact!
Many times in life as I face different things that require a decision and I can't decide on the spot, I remember this saying of Dad's. It really just means, "Wait!" or "Get some more information so you can make a good decision with confidence."
I have another saying on the heels of this one if someone is pressuring me to make a decision and I"m not ready. I just declare, "I'm deciding not to decide right now!" Some people get upset at this answer when they are in more anxiety about something than you are! But at least they have an answer... for the time being. And it also means, "Wait!"
Doubt is a funny thing because it means we don't have clarity or confirmation or consistency. For me in this situation I often try to determine if there is anything, no matter how small, that I CAN make a decision on, at the moment, besides deciding not to decide! Sometimes it means that I at least know where to take the next baby step or little bite out of the elephant.
If someone is pressuring me, I try to at least give some sense of WHEN I will decide, or WHAT information I need to remove the doubt! In circles of faith, believing what we can't see, we still need something to stand on to remove the doubt. A promise. A testimony from someone who has gone through the same thing, or in some cases a Plan B, or way out if the decision isn't the right one.
Giving myself permission to deal with the doubt before making a critical decision is the best way I know and to have my Dad's words echoing in my ear and to remember all the times he moved forward in faith, is to know that doubt can dealt with so the "Don't" becomes the "Do!"
Mom loved onion rings. So at a restaurant with some friends, she is given the whole order of onion rings. She had a saying, "Make friends before you need them." I objected to this thinking it meant you were just making friends so they'd be there IF and WHEN you might need them.
But she explained that when you are friendly all the time to everyone you meet sometimes you are that "friend" they need. Making friends in life lets us into the personal details of people so that when they do have a problem or a crisis we are more confident to step up and offer help.
We were always amazed at the people who showed up to help our family when we needed it. Most often it was those who were least likely, sometimes disables, and many times with the fewest resources of time and money! There is another saying, "A friend in need, is a friend indeed."
This can be applied to business too. It happens to a degree in networking when we pass off referrals to others and they in turn do the same when we are in need of good prospects. How many times when someone says to us, "You should go see so-and-so at this place or that..." And when we do, we find that having that introduction makes all the difference. In business we call that a 'warm lead' versus a 'cold one'. What our friend that recommend us has in common with the referral is usually the basis for beginning a good relationship.
So we hope we are making friends with you, if you are reading this and agreeing with this statement with examples of your own, either in your personal life, or that of your career or business. " Make friends before you need them?.... or just Make Friends... period!"
This is what I do in our small urban back yard. I have a comfortable place to sit in the sun with a good book and a cup of tea. I have some pots of plants with a nice mixture of greens and colors so I have something beautiful in my view.
I don't have the faith for the substance of enjoying flowers I have to plant from seed! So I go to the nursery where they have used their faith to plant the seeds, look after them, grow them up, and sell them to me. I feel like I've actually bought TIME.
Our summers here in Western Canada are so short, May to maybe September, so I want the biggest 'bang for my buck"! My faith is in the nursery and it's substance for everything that happens in my life.
Our cottage industry business, Jesmic Jewelry by Esther Susan, was born out of faith. If the definition of faith is "... the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things unseen", then Susie and I were on the right track when we decided to apply our experience to opportunity.
My faith comes from knowing that from whatever I plant, I will get a harvest. I've planted seeds and not all of them germinate. I make sales calls and not all of them 'germinate', but many do and then my faith is used to prepare samples and sales sheets for the meeting. My faith in planning comes from my very active, God-given imagination.
I know that with the right care and following good principles and my prospects buying process, I will reap a harvest. Not only for increase in cash flow, which every business needs, but also in making great friends and long term acquaintances with our customers. The testimonials, references and networking from these are like getting multiple harvests from a single plant!
All faith becomes substance. What you believe for, and take action towards, eventually manifests and you can then see it, touch it, feel it! Even as a little seed becomes a plant, or even a very large tree, our ideas, when sown into the right soil, actions, circumstances, or even Divine Appointments we didn't plan, turn into the substance that we hoped for! Where is your faith being directed today?
If you see our products and have faith to believe that they will manifest a profit for you from your market, then we encourage you to act on that faith and try our BLING THINGS to hang or wear! We'd love to hear from you! Check out those who have: Where to Buy One
Dad had so many jokes and he would tell the same ones over and over. Mom always laughed no matter what and the rest of us would just groan! "Dad, that joke's stale. It's now a groaner." Now days some of his jokes would be considered not 'politically correct' because of the references to different races or cultures.
Our maiden name was Gamble. So his favourite tale was to tell people that Mom took a Gamble when she married him! When I'm shopping, I like to look at the name tag of the customer service person and use their first name. They often look at me puzzled as if to ask, "Do I know you?" If it's a foreign name, I like to ask them how they pronounce it. We rarely ask people what their name means which is why researching names to get the meanings can be really interesting. And it's amazing how many times the personality of the person fits the meaning of their name.
JESMIC Jewelry was a challenge. My sister, our long time jewelry designer, wanted her name Esther Susan to be in the name of our company. When we investigated we found that JES Jewelry was taken so we began to look at other options. Our business was started because of an opportunity to create a "Made in Canada" line for a client of mine so one day I casually did the acronym and of course it spells M.I.C. Some pronounce it 'meek' and some 'mik'. Adding that to the J.E.S. made the complete word Jesmic and we were able to take it as a brand, domain name, and registered business.
My curiosity led me to research the meaning of "jes" as a word and it turned out to be a Greek word that means "majesty". Well that was delightful, since our BLING THINGS can represent a lot of majestic things, especially in all the light they reflect! We might refer to a magnificent stained glass window as "majestic" if we were standing in a cathedral seeing the details and colors come to life with the back light. The beauty of our Sun Catcher Pendants is that they reflect light from the front and all around which makes them 'majestic' even in candlelight!
When I researched the word "mic" that was even more surprising. It's a Hebrew word that means "who is like God"! Well, I liked that. It was just like God to orchestrate an opportunity that we applied our experience to. And it's tied to our faith and our father who was a preacher by profession and a jeweler by trade! We often feel that we are on a divine mission and following in the footsteps of our father in this industry. Like him we use our hands and tools to create beautiful jewelry. Unlike him we are giving up on telling lame jokes. Is business a Gamble? You bet! But each day brings us closer to making a 'name' for ourselves and the Jesmic Jewelry Brand. We love it that you are sharing this journey with us.