When all I have to do is design, I close my eyes for concepts, can come up with dreamily textured pieces.
I used to call myself a 'multi-tasking virtuoso': running a made-to-order bridal salon, a flower shop, a pret-a-porter boutique at Greenbelt 5 (Bonne Bouche), and for a year now my newest business baby is an booming online bridal boutique. By the way, I am also a family woman and a mother of three.
Recent events have pushed me to move my working venue from a commercial boutique to my airy private home. It got sooo crazy, especially when my business became running the store. I started accepting ALL jobs from walk-ins. This was not a good decision. I had no idea where they were from and what they were like! I became a maniac of perfection as to how retail processes had to be done. I even hired a corporate 'efficiency expert' to help me out. Despite my passion for good service, unfortunate incidents with retail employees have urged me to say: enough is enough.
I had a bright solution. bring back my operations home, which is right in front of my production area. No more transporting the clothes, no more alterations and requests lost in translation. No more hungry designers trying to sell their own goods to my clients.
Meanwhile, business wise, what gave me the courage to close the Oasis boutique is the fact that my firstname.lastname@example.org is gaining ground really fast!! It's mind-blowing. Within a year of doing e-commence I realized: this is so much more worth it and pleasurable! My brides now hail from Northern America, Canada, Australia, The UK, France, and recently Dublin. I will announce when my kick-ass www.michicalicaweddings.com goes live this month!
I must write about the three month night class at AIM called the Maven's Secrets class which was an internet marketing class taught by famed blogger Anton Diaz. I think this class changed my life. It shifted my outlook from offline, brick and mortar business to ONLINE! I met so many successful e-commerce mavens, and business people succeeding online. My classmates rocked too!
Back in my new home set up, I am relieved and liberated. It's as if I have a new lease in life. For local clients, I plan on only meeting my repeat clients and VIP's of years and years.
I'm still booked locally until December 2010 for about fifty weddings. I definitely will give it my all creatively and service-wise to these brides who have booked with me, because I made a commitment to them. I am also very big on commitment. As long as I have my signature on the dotted line, I will deliver. I will enjoy the process this time because I do not have to RUN a store. Hopefully after that I will be very scarce locally. The world is my market from now on.
It is time to enjoy my craft once again, not only for commerce sake, but for why I entered wedding design in the first place - for my sheer love of creating beautiful things from scratch. This time around, I am no longer a 'multi-tasking virtuoso - ' I am a family woman who happens to be a 'fashion e-tailer'.