Behind the Scenes: Lessons Learned in Crisis
If the events of this year taught me anything, it's not to put all of my eggs in one basket, not to skate on thin ice, and not to get out on a limb if the said limb doesn't look sturdy enough to support my weight (and that's quite a bit of weight, trust me). Now, this doesn't mean one basket shouldn't have more eggs in it than the other, or ice skating shouldn't be done - period, or ambulance needs to be called every time I get out on a limb. Not at all!
Like any creative enterprise or any business, Buckaroo Bling and I have to take some risks from time to time, but there's definitely a limit to what I'm comfortable with. We all have our limits, red lines that we're not comfortable or willing to cross, and each one of us can only do so much or go so far before saying, "enough is enough." I do too. The first part of this year has helped me learn what exactly those limits and red lines are, and it taught me that some of them are non-negotiable (anything that clashes with my faith for example) and the others aren't set in stone.
I love what I do to design, make, and bring the bling to you, but there are some things in this process that I love more than others. So naturally, I've been putting more effort there - sometimes maybe a little too much effort or, to use the eggs and the basket example, some baskets had 10 eggs in them while the others barely had one each. Coronavirus scare showed me that wasn't a smart thing to do and taught me how to stretch beyond some of those self-imposed limits.
You see, in mid-March, I was supposed to be in Helena, Montana at Made In Montana Wholesale Tradeshow showing and selling new bling to store buyers from across Montana, the neighboring states, and Canada, and in August, I was hoping to be accepted to exhibit at Made In Montana Pavilion at Alberta Gift & Home Market in Edmonton, Canada. Coronavirus upended all of those plans. Helena show was cut down from two to only one day, and even that day was poorly attended. Edmonton show was cancelled altogether. So, my wholesale basket of eggs looked like it would be pretty empty this year. Retail sales "basket" had very few eggs in it too because Valentine's Day sales were not as good as I had hoped for, and Mothers Day sales were almost non-existent. With all of the live retail events for the rest of the year pretty much in limbo, I surely felt like I was skating on very thin ice. And that's when it hit me. If I want results, it doesn't matter what I like or don't like doing, as long as it doesn't clash with the values I hold dear. This strange time was the best time of all to try new things. So, I did.
Now, my wholesale basket of eggs no longer depends only on wholesale trade shows and personally following up with store buyers I already know. My retail basket doesn't only depend on my website sales and live events I participate in. What do I mean? See, I used my time being stuck indoors this spring to do what I wouldn't normally call my favorite activities: researching and reaching out to others for help. As a result, if you're a wholesale buyer, you can now find Buckaroo Bling on Boutiques Connection wholesale platform, and if you're an individual who just wants to buy a few pieces of bling at a time, you can do so not only on Buckaroo Bling website, but also in some of your local brick-and-mortar stores, at Rodeo Marketplace, through Western Wedding Magazine vendor portal, and at the Artists & Craftsmen of the Flathead website as well. This way, my proverbial eggs are spread out into several baskets, and that means the limbs I go out on and the ice I skate on won't be as thin as they used to be before the crisis hit.
And what does that mean for you, dear reader and customer? It means you'll have more places to buy Buckaroo Bling from, so you can choose the one that's most convenient for you.
So, whaddya say? Where are you buying Buckaroo Bling next?