Monday, December 31, 2012

A Creative Progress Report

Tablecloth detail Rayon thread hem
Digging into one tote of fabric, I came across these large samples from International Market Square. I obtained them, oh, a good, fifteen years ago, at least as the showrooms were letting go of discontinued samples. I picked these up, as I thought they were interesting fabric design concepts. The fabrics themselves are almost vintage.
Decorative rayon thread hem for tablecloth
 I began playing around with the decorative stitches on my sewing machine, which I rarely use. (the stitches, not the sewing machine, although, I could definitely use that more, as well) The top one, has a section of stitching that needs to be removed, as it didn't stitch very evenly. I decided to proceed on the first one with a very simple stitch.  The more complex stitches require the speed setting to be at the slowest.
Rayon Thread Decorative Hem
The rayon thread is some of the stash that I acquired a while ago. I have a fairly good selection of colors and love the sheen of the thread. To begin with, I basted in the hem of each tablecloth. The basting stitches will be removed and the stitch holes, should they remain, will be steamed out and the tablecloth pressed and hung on a hanger. The cloth above has the stitch length and width shortened up and mimics the small four-square design in the fabric. 
Decorative Stitch hem for Tablecloth #4

Thread matching was great fun, although, tablecloth #4 the sheen makes it appear more purple than I wanted. Again, the basting will be taken out and the cloths pressed. Some areas, the decorative stitching barely caught the hem, so I will have to hand stitch those in. They aren't as perfect as I would like, but, they are just fine for my everyday use. I can enjoy the beautiful fabrics on my table in the kitchen. In the next place, we will have a dining table. 
Preprinted Apron from Mom

I also cut out a preprinted apron that my mom gave me over Christmas. Technically, it isn't fabric, as it is preprinted for an apron. So I accepted it. The only thing I can make from it is an apron. I remember the rule, no new fabric until we move. (then I will most likely have to set a new outline for new rules, still no fabric for a great while.. there is plenty to sew over here)
Preprinted apron with lining and trim fabric
My mom also gave me this preprinted apron panel a long time ago. When I was working at Glad's I found the two fabrics that are pictured with it. The Rusty Orange color is the lining and the blue will be a narrow ruffle trim on the pockets and hem edge of the apron. This one I pre washed. The other apron panel I just cut. It has not been pre washed.

That is what I accomplished over the weekend. It has been very cold in the basement and isn't very inviting to go down there and work. Once I am down there for a while, it is ok. I would like to get to the bottom of at least that tote by the end of the week. Some of the other swinger samples from IMS, I have visions of making into garment bags.

Well, that is what I have been up to. Happy New Year Everyone, as we say goodbye to 2012 with fond memories and anticipate the of wonderful happenings in the works for 2013!! The future is ours! The mayans have let go.

There are no more predictions, we are now free and un-hindered to collectively and individually create our own destiny!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Creative Laziness

It is friday and I have been doing some reading for entertainment lately and just plain lounging around. Yesterday, I didn't even take a shower until after 5 o'clock. Some days are just like that. I think today might be more of the same. It is snowing outside and cold.

Downstairs, I have approximately four tablecloths with hems pressed in. I found several large pieces of fabric, two I gave to my sister, the colors match her house nicely. I don't know if she really wanted them, she didn't seem to know what to do with them. I kept one for myself and pressed hems in the others.

I may go downstairs and sew later this afternoon. The floor is quite cold down there, but once I start moving around it warms up ok. I would like to get the sewing done before the weekend and maybe sort through some additional bins.

My mom gave me a printed apron cloth. I like the colors and it will be good practice for designing my own.

A friend of mine and I are committed to entering 12 Spoonflower contests this year. They don't have to be consecutive, or even the same ones. We also agreed, we can collaborate on as many as we want (need) to, to meet our commitment to developing our creativity and practicing some new skills, while brushing up on some old ones.

Right now, I am warm under my blanket as I write this on the sofa. My body is comfortable and doesn't want to move to another location. This house is rather cold sometimes. We only have six months to go here in this little cottage by the river. I have already accomplished more things here than I did at the other house and I was there 11 years!

Writing this is helpful in motivating me to go and do something productive today. I may just go take a shower and head downstairs anyway. Playing with fabric is a fun and inspiring thing to do. I may get some things cleared out of the way and sorted. Yes, I have talked myself into it.

As I sit here writing, I think if the evenly pressed hems of the decorator weight cottons draped over my chair. There are four of them to hem. Some have narrow hems, some have larger hems.

And now, my mind wanders to a fabric I have had in mind for a kitchen curtain.  I don't have any cafe rings anymore, as the bedroom curtain used up the ones for the kitchen too. I don't feel like ordering another package, so I think I will sew eyelets in the header. Hmmm, another idea formulating. I can further develop it as I stitch in the hems and cut out the aprons.

There will be lots of goodies to post for monday, as today, there is a lack of imagery for the blog... but my mind is rich with visions, thank you audience.

What motivates you to take action on your creative visions? Do you have a process to get out of the Laz-ees?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Post Christmas Update

Happy Wednesday! What a weird week schedule and routine wise.... A nice break from it actually and next week more of the same.

Christmas eve was spent with my parents and my brother, at the Lake. Mom and Dad hadn't left for AZ yet. It seems mom's medical tests were odd enough that they wanted her to see a specialist and have other tests. That kept them home for Fran's passing. When mom went to the specialist, she said, she couldn't see anything out of the, my mom is fine and dad said they may as well spend Christmas here. Christmas Day we all went to my sisters to celebrate her Birthday and the holiday.

The two days were a lovely gathering with family, something we haven't experienced for many years. I am grateful, as I know many people are having a challenging time without their loved ones making the tradition more bittersweet.

My housemate, spent a lovely holiday with his dad and step mom, who also usually go south for the winter. So, he spent the days with his four boys and parents, having  a wonderful time.

They talked a bit about their excursions at auctions and such, they resell items. He was telling me they said they can find anything... I was thinking, to see if they could find me a dress mannequin. My adjustable one downstairs is fine for skirts and such, but she is much more flat chested than I am. So fitting that part of a garment is usually off. Not to mention just for inspiration and photographing garments I have.  I didn't mention it though.

After catching up on our holidays, he asked, "Have you been in your room yet?" What an odd thing to say and he asked again. I said, "No, I dropped my stuff in the kitchen, my room is messy right now and I didn't feel like going in there." He then stood there and looked at me from the hallway and I thought I better go and see what he was referring to.

So as I walked towards my room, I saw when I looked into the doorway....
Linen covered mannequin in beautiful condition!

I had to move her to the hallway for the photo, as yes, my room is still messy! But Oh, I was so excited to see her. Apparently my aunt had her in the hallway upstairs. He said, "Shelly would LOVE her!" So, she said, "Well, you should take her home then for Shelly." 

I called my aunt and uncle immediately. "I love her!" I exclaimed as my uncle answered the phone. I told him how thrilled I was to have her, and then he said it was my aunt's treasure, so I best talk to her. 

She was happy I was able to use it she said as she hadn't had a use for it for quite some time now. 

Now, to figure out where to keep her.... ???

Friday, December 21, 2012

Color YOUR New World... as YOU Like!

I am taking this opportunity to share my respect and appreciation for the father of another very dear childhood friend. His life's journey took him home on 12-12-12. May joy and peace be with all whose lives he touched.

It has been a week! (or two!) I have been playing in photoshop, working on the logo for the website. I finished it, and it just doesn't flow with the template I chose. So back to the drawing board on that one, maybe something rather generic, while I work on the real deal!

The past few weeks have been challenging, frustrating with a dash of irritation thrown in. Maybe it is just the energy of the 'end of the world'. So today, I welcome the energy of the NEW reality. One that is filled with love, compassion, and joy.

A reality where I create only good things for myself and my life. A life of happiness for the success and achievement for all. An environment of encouragement and empowerment is automatic. Where it is exciting and foolproof to follow your dreams,  to be inspired and passionate about the journey. Where every new idea reignites and fuels forward movement and progress. A reality where we all thrive.

A time when emotional support and healing is available to all in need. A time when we can see clearly our flaws and nurture ourselves to transform.  We willingly and graciously take responsibility for our own shortcomings and unconditionally love ourselves in spite of them.  In doing so, grant others unconditional love as well, in all that they are on their own path to their greatness.

A reality where we all live peacefully in beauty, creativity and abundance at no one else's expense, but rather live richly, with personal fulfillment and the highest good of all!

Yes! I photoshop-ed it! And it was FUN!!!!
Have a Beautiful, Creative and Prosperous New Age

Monday, December 17, 2012

Saying Goodbye to a Childhood Icon

Fran, me and my teddy bear

Saturday was the memorial service for a very dear and treasured family friend. 

My core family group was there. Fran became my mom’s first friend when she moved to ‘the city’ and married my dad. My dad had bought the little house across the street from her. We lived there until my parents bought the house in Coon Rapids, where my brother and sister were born. The little house in Fridley burned down several years back. 
Our 'Little house in Fridley'

But Fran and her husband still lived in their white house across the street. 

Fran led a simple life, but was by no means a simple woman! She kept an impeccable house, everything was picked up, clean and polished. She always did what she said she was going to do and she expected the same of others. She was full of questions and genuinely interested in the responses.  She loved Elvis’s music, soap operas and made Christmas decorations with yarn and plastic canvas. She called it ‘kin-nittling’.  These are the things I remember of Fran. 

She ALWAYS had a smile, except I remember a few times, when staying at her house and we were getting a stern talking to about something we had done that we were told not to do or say.  We didn’t get into trouble much. 

When I was a kid, I spent a great deal of time at Fran’s house, even after we moved from the ‘little house in Fridley’.  

We went there before dentist appointments, vacation bible school, after church. Every Christmas Eve, we went to Fran’s house before church. We exchanged gifts with the family, had Christmas dinner, went to church and then home (Santa came to our house while we were at church, he had to get to some people early as, the whole world is pretty big!) 

Together, our families went on annual outing to Como Park Zoo for a picnic and to watch the animals. 

Como Park Conservatory late '60's early 70's

Every friday night was groceries and gas night, dad would drive into Fridley to get groceries and put gas in the car, sometimes, we would stop in and visit Fran and her family. Fran has two daughters, both the same ages as myself and my sister. 

When I was in fifth grade, I started confirmation classes, at our church in Fridley. Every tuesday evening my mom went to Fran’s house while we were in catichism. For nine years every tuesday, my mom visited with Fran. Even though my parents had moved from Coon Rapids twenty years ago, my mom still visited with Fran on the telephone and exchanged notes through the mail, I believe she said they still talked every tuesday. 

My mom has never had a cross thing to say or frustrating disagreement with Fran. Both women are strong enough in their beleifs and respect each other and their friendship to let something silly get in the way of that. 

When my mom told me Fran was to have lung surgery due to her cancer, I went to see her, shortly after I found out. We chit chatted quickly, as she was about to leave for church. Then in the moments before I left, I went to her and we embraced, with tears in our eyes, I said, “ I love you and I am so sorry you are experiencing this! You mean a great deal to me.” She smiled and said, “I love you too and you mean a lot to me, too.” 

I didn't see Fran after that.  It feels to me, that I told her everything I needed to and I am confident that she knew. But in case there is any doubt...

 “Fran, thank you for being in my life, especially as a child, befriending my family and being there. Thank you for supporting the ideas that my parents had to create a life for themselves and my family.  Thank you for dog sitting our dog, providing consistent friendship and welcoming my family into your home, at a moments notice. Your generosity and well wishes did not go unnoticed. You have always held a special place in my heart, even when I didn’t see you, so there is no reason for that to change. However I am able to be of support and comfort those you leave behind, know that I will. 

Even though Fran has passed from living in her white house in Fridley, who she is lives in my heart and the values that she embodied are an example for me to look to for strength. 

I will miss you, 
Shelly Lynn

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Post 100- The story of the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

My Christmas Tree (2011)
Charlie Brown Christmas Tree (2012)
 Wow! This morning, I checked the blog stats and this is my 100th post! By 10:00 AM 10 people had already clicked on the blog today and 333 page views in the past month! Thank you and thanks for sharing! I promised to share the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.

A few weekends ago, HM and I agreed to put up a tree, as it looks like his boys would be coming here for Christmas. There are four of them. I hadn't been too crazy about putting up a tree, as the room is on the verge of bursting with the amount of furniture. There is seating for 6, if you like cozy.

It was proposed to move a chair or two out of the room, but then I questioned, where everyone would sit in the event, we had company? Great Tree Room, where is the Living room and where do we sit?

Then, I thought I had it figured out, I moved the end table from in front of the window and put it between the TV and the barrel chair in the corner, slid the TV centered on the side window and I thought I had it.. until the saturday we took my tree down from the attic. It is a 7 ft. scotch pine, with apparently a large diameter! We placed it in front of the window, dropped the branches and it came to absolute center of the living room. Clearly, that was NOT going to work.

At Thanksgiving, my mom was pushing Christmas Trees to me, wondering if I needed one. I love the one I have, it is perfect for the way I like to decorate them... Themed or not, last year, I had 900 lights. This year we were going to add one more string to make it 1000 lights! I declined, saying I didn't want to store another tree, wasn't sure yet if we were even going to put one up. (I am sometimes accused of being 'bah-hum-bug-gy') So be it, I also get accused of having a lot of 'stuff'. So unless, I am very inspired in the moment by something, I pass it by.

Well, I caved to the pressure that saturday and called my mom. I asked if she had a tree. (of course she did, before holidays in AZ, she had 7 trees in the house. No wonder my dad likes to go to AZ for the holidays, it is a lot of work!) She said she would ask my dad and send him up to the shed to get one for me.

The following Sunday, we had Christmas at my sister's and my dad could not get the little Charlie Brown tree out of his truck and into my car fast enough.  Last sunday, when the snow was falling (we got 10 inches here) I untangled the rats nest of lights on it, putting only two of the three strands back on and only one tote of decorations. The tree is maybe it is two feet in diameter, about six and a half feet tall and it fits PERFECTLY in the living room of our little cottage by the river!

The back yard in the snow... lots of snow!

outside in the falling snow

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I love what I do- Before and After photos

Today I had the pleasure to meet with some great clients to review an area rug design and finalize color specification.

They shared with me today how much they love their new spaces. As I looked around, I was overcome with a feeling of great success, not only in creating a beautiful space, but a space that is appreciated, valued and 'loved' by my clients.

It is such a privilege to use the knowledge and experience to enrich the lives of others.

To all of my clients past and current, Thank you for the opportunity to serve your needs and provide beautiful spaces beyond your expectations.

Here are a few before and after photos.....

New range, sink-After
Cooktop and sink-before

The floor changed from vinyl to 5" Hickory planks. The pot rack, which was located in the eating area of the kitchen was moved near the stove, where the cook is!

The countertop is recycled glass and resin, made locally here in Minneapolis. We selected an apron front sink to avoid wasted cutout materials.

The cabinetry is made to look like individual furniture pieces. There are three different colors of cabinet in this kitchen, the trim is yet another painted finish, all visible in this photograph.

The tile backsplash is tumbled limestone and glass mosaic. The backsplash goes to the ceiling to visually support the open corner behind the pot rack.

Wall oven and Living room doorway
The new wall oven and LR doorway

The doorway to the dining room was opened to the ceiling, creating a more open feeling by connecting the floor material as well as the ceiling. The doorways as well as the space between the counter and refrigerator were widened a bit, making the space more accessible.
Eat in area of Kitchen Before

Eat in area of Kitchen after

We added a built in cabinet with display tower in the corner. Accessorizing is still in process, artwork etc. is being determined for all of the wall spaces, kitchen, living room and dining room. Many family heirlooms are to be integrated into the wallscapes.

Well, that is it for Monday's posting on Tuesday morning. I will be back on Wednesday... to share photos of my Charlie Brown Christmas Tree...

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Pantone Color of 2013-a theory of healing and personal responsibility

These are my initial thoughts on Pantone's 2013 Color of the year, Emerald, and a link to their official site.

It is a good color (of course there is no such thing as a bad color, only bad color context)  and a color that doesn't surprise me in light of the shifting economically, politics and social phenomenon. We are in the midst of defining how technology and information will impact us. We see, the old systems don't work, people have access to more information, although it may not be consistent, we are able to do our own research, form out own opinions and speak our own truth. In these volatile times, balance and healing are essential to our growth.

All color is a vibration. Green is a color that has more distinctions than any other hue, meaning, we see a larger range of green than any other color. The vibration of Emerald is on the verge of neutral, having a hint of blue, making it a little cooler than true green; which is neither warm nor cool. When paired with blues, aquas and turquoise, its cool perception is greatly enhanced. Combined with yellow-green and yellows, it takes on a deep glow of warmth. A color that is healing, balanced, and promotes growth.

Green, a dominant color found in nature, is calming, lush, relaxing, fresh, new, transformative and life giving. In addition to these characteristics, Emerald is a color that evokes prosperity, abundance, a lavish color.

Green in general, is also a color associated with the heart center, it is a color that balances emotions. It is essential that we balance our emotions and allow ourselves to access our deeper feelings and core values around issues.

Pairing last years color, Tangerine Tango, with 2013's color Emerald, speaks to the green/peach combination that was popular for a time in the eighties. That was a color combination that elicits 'good behavior', it is traditional and well mannered. There is an unspoken code of etiquette, that is inherent in our deeper consciousness.

Let us not forget our manners and respect in creating our new reality.  Maybe by becoming more conscious of our own behavior in the process, putting our energy into being the best person we can be will accelerate the healing process. We must stop making everyone else the culprit for creating the situation we are in as a society. It is time to look at what our part in the mess was, what values did we promote and what values have we been living by?

After all, Orange is a color that brings our awareness to our relationships. In the chakra system, red being the color of the root or first chakra (survival and primal instinct) and yellow being the third chakra (sense of personal will and intellectual clarity) Orange is in the middle of these two hues, the color of the second chakra, (sexuality and relationships) Tangerine Tango, (which is to orange, off center slightly towards red, what emerald is to green, off center slightly towards blue) has us looking at our relationships, reflecting on how we relate to our primal instincts, our very survival. (Food and shelter issues)

With Emerald leaning towards Blue (in the chakra system, the throat chakra, communication) We now are healing our relationship to those areas, communicating our needs, growing stronger bonds to those things that we value as individuals and collectively. With the technology, many of us have found our voice.

Technology and specifically, the internet, is a venue to blog, to vent, to vet and to vote.. declare what we support, value, to research, to assess and analyze. It puts the power of information into the hands of every individual with access. It is up to our own consciousness (yellow, third chakra, intellect and personal will) to determine what we believe and support and what we don't. It is a place to assert our voice. We are moving into a society of transparency... we have to be ready for that. Forgive those who have transgressed, as we have transgressed against others at times. Get off of the soap boxes of righteousness and remember we are none, better than the other. Rather we are unique with our own passions, values and experiences.

Ok, now that I have caught my breath, what are your thoughts on Emerald? Favorite? Not so favorite? What other colors do you like to see with emerald? How did you feel about Tangerine Tango? Did you find yourself attracted to it? or avoiding it? If you used it, how?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rough drafts

As you can probably tell, most posts are written in the moment, journal entries, more or less. While others, are edited and more carefully written. (At least I hope you can tell the difference, as I review some things written 'from the heart' as opposed to things written 'from the heart and filtered through the head' I can see a difference.

I am playing around with new layout and content for the blog. Working on the website has influenced and honed my expression some and it makes sense that it would impact the blog.  Not to worry, if there was information that you really are missing from the pages they will reappear after some editing, formatting and overall improved presentation. This has been a practice blog for me. Just getting things out of my head, analyzing my process to optimize my self expression and accountability to getting things done. Not to mention, learning new technology.

It is a bit of a landing ground for the seeds of my ideas to be scattered on. Blogging about them,  is me nurturing and watering the seeds; actual progress, is the fruit of bringing the ideas into reality.  The blog is a documentation of the process, concept to creation, among other things. But I realize, the blog is really written for me and I am glad you are here. So far, many of you are a mystery audience to me. It is as if I am on a stage, performing in the dark. I don't know who is out there, listening and why. I can only imagine.

Another 'seed' I am throwing out there now is a book. Many, many people have told me I should write a book. As I share my passion for color, design, sewing, people tell me I should write a book. In smaller, intimate conversations, I share relating, spirituality and deeper perceptions which I have been able to tap into and enhance through my adventures in color, design and sewing and people tell me I should write a book. So, I am committed to writing a book. I can see that my passion has value to me. If sharing that has value for another, then it is essential that I share my unique perspective of this reality.

In a public venue my deepest core practices, beliefs and values, which all of my work is based upon, is not something  I disclose readily. But it is becoming more clear to me that people are interested in a deeper sense of existence. These are the people I want to connect with, explore with and create with.

The blog isn't going away, it is just going to take on a new look.  Things are going to get edited and expanded. I think a new mood is emerging...while this is still a blog for me, you the reader are required for my experience of it.

It would be lovely to get to know some of you.. I hope you come back for inspiration and not just to see what the crazy person in Minneapolis is ranting about today! Those of you who read regularly, what do you like about it? If you are new here, a moment to make a comment regarding what you would like to see is appreciated. I would love for you to come back. All of you, come back... and bring your friends.... now a sampling ...

A Color Post

Many people choose color by trial and error. When dealing with a consumer, I am not one of those people. In my experience with color, I have distinguished a working knowledge of how colors relate to each other from two dimensional to three dimensional applications. Proportion also is key in my practice of color specification and selection for finished projects. Today, I would like to address value and contrast and how it relates to color perception. 

I would really like to develop a class to illustrate these principles that people can explore and adapt to their field of interest.  As you can see, the post needs visuals and class exercises would definitely illustrate the points. I have done this in with several industries and community education classes in the past, but would like to create a basic workshop thaeally are missing from the pages they will reappear after some editing, formatting and overall improved presentation. This has been a practice blog for me. Just getting things out of my head, analyzing my process to optimize my self expression and accountability to getting things done. Maybe this blog is solely where I scatter the seeds... We will see how my self expression and creativity evolves from here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sales Defined

Here it is, my personal definition of ‘sales’!

When you hear the word sales, what comes to mind? 
For most people it is pressure, fallicies, misinformation, high prices, whatever it takes to get the sale. Maybe even a guy, in a plaid sport coat and trousers with a cigar hanging out of his mouth... typically on a used car lot? 

That is not what sales is. What that is, is called the business of conning and convincing. 

No, for me, my sales experience started in a local mall at the JoAnn Fabrics Boutique. (this was back in the eighties and the business model of JoAnns has changed a great deal!) I chose to work here specifically, because I love sewing. I learned in eigth grade how to do it and loved it!
So, every tuesday evening, I went in to speak to the manager, inquiring if there was a part time position available. I was confident about my skills/knowledge and loved fabrics and patterns!

Little did I realize, knowledge, confidence, passion and persistence were the keys to success in 'sales’. 

After about a month of me coming in, talking to her, looking at pattern books and perusing the fabrics (silks, wools and linens at that time) she told me I should really expand my search for a job elsewhere in the mall, as she didn’t have any openings available. 

I was crushed! All the way home, I was sad, frustrated and afraid. I had given no attention or interest to anything else! I was at starting over point again and I didn’t have a clue where else I would want to work or what else I would want to do.

Upon entering the house after a 20 minute ride home, there was a flashing light on the answering machine. I pushed play. It was Bonnie, the manager from the JoAnn’s at the mall, she said after I left, one of her evening part time people gave their notice and if I wanted the job, I could have it. I was thrilled. 

I worked the remaining 2 and a half years of high school and my first year of college at that location. In that three and a half years, I had the highest average sales ticket of the entire staff. I also at 18 started having a clientele seeking my ‘services’ at JoAnn Fabrics. Women would come in needing the ‘perfect outfit’ for an upcoming event and left with the best fabric choice, buttons, patterns and ideas how to make it unique to themselves and they sent their freinds in to work specifically with me. Evenings and weekends, they would ask for Shelly and leave with everything they needed to make the ‘perfect outfit’ for themselves. 

I knew how the fabric would behave, I knew the appropriate style of pattern for the different body types that came through the door, I questioned their skill level, I learned their personalities and knew which fabrics and patterns would appeal to them and they purchased them everytime! 

Sales is knowing the product, knowing the customer and presenting in a style of communication that the customer can understand. Knowing the customer is essential, because different people care about differnt benefits of a product. Share with them what is important to them. The next people in the door will have a new set of needs, perceptions and preferences. When you know everything there is to know about your product or at least where to get the information, you can give the potential customer all of the information they need to choose. 

The next step is to ask them to choose. This is not pushy, this is finding out for yourself if you have clearly communicated everything you could. If they say no, either, that product will not meet their needs or they aren’t clear on what they are looking for. Either way, it is in YOUR best interest not to push the product, rather ask questions to clarify for them and yourself what their needs REALLY are. 

If you know you do not have the product for their needs, let them know that. If you know who does, share that. People respect honesty and having the choice. I often shared other places people could find potential solutions to what they were looking for if I was not able to provide it. Many times they came back to me in the future, even though they could have purchased similar items from the other source. They said it was because they liked working with me, they learned a lot from me and trusted me. 

Later, as I went into home furnishings, I was working a saturday with the owner of the store. After navigating between 3 couples on various home furnishings items, all of whom purchased, I was putting away various samples when the owner asked to speak to me. I was nervous about getting feedback, if my being frazzled showed. It turns out, it didn’t, she said she was very impressed. She had never seen anyone 
‘sell’ like me. She said, “It was interesting to watch you with all of those people, you didn’t sell, you educated. Good job!”

My current product, design, ideas and experiences. That is what I sell, and I research everything I possible can about what I am presenting.  

Products are secondary, rather, benefits of what I provide. Some are available anywhere and do not require me to be involved in their acquisition. Although, in doing my research, for much of the product I work with, it is important that I acquire on behalf of my client. I know how to specify the endless details and the options accurately.  I have done a great deal to gain 30 years experience in these areas and sacrificed many things in my life. This experience is sacred to me and I work very hard and diligently to create something of value for my clients. 

I have come a long way from that 15 year old working at JoAnn Fabrics, but some things are still the same, I am passionate and love what I do. I can’t imagine doing anything else.