Sunday, April 25, 2010

Creating Good Karma - AKA 'Why I love my job'

Kathy found La Muse on eBay as she was looking for Island Cowgirl merchandise. She contacted me in the middle of March to ask if I would ship eBay orders to Canada and if I had any other pieces that weren't on eBay. I introduced her to my website and we corresponded about what Island Cowgirl merchandise I could special order for her. After a couple of weeks I received the items she ordered, I packed them with lots of love and off they went to Edmonton. I could tell by our email correspondence that she was very excited to receive her treasures.

I always imagine that every package I send puts a smile on the recipient's face - most of the time I don't know for sure - but every so often I get a glimpse...

With work 'to-do' lists swirling around in my head I got up at some ungodly hour on Thursday morning. As I waited for the coffee to finish brewing I started going through my emails and came across this one from Kathy:

"Hello Debra,
Today was a great day!! My beautiful jewelry arrived from you. Thank you sooooooo much. I love each piece. I am a big fan of Island Cowgirl. The "Happy Heart" is perfect. I wear a lot of silver heart jewelry. The initial / heart charms pendant is very, very cute!!! I put it on with the pieces I was already wearing and it looked awesome, the layered look. It's still too cold here to wear an anklet, but I can hardly wait to wear it this summer or sooner!! :)

I love your personal touches and superb customer service. You have been wonderful to work with!! I must tell you that the inspirational "rock"...Life is Good...couldn't have arrived at a more perfect time. My life is hectic and complicated right now, due to my younger brother's passing last July. Sometimes when a family member passes on there is chaos and division amongst people and that happens to be going on in my life. So thank you for the reminder that Life is Good. I shall carry it with me as a reminder!

Until next time....take care.

P.S. Love all the inspiring words written on the outside of the package! Keep smiling and making people happy!!!!!"

Yes, Kathy - today IS a great day. Thank you for creating even more gratitude in my life. Namaste

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New at La Muse - Lolablue

About six weeks ago a woman came into my store, her name is Deidre.  She is a certified Washington DC tour operator who, until recently, lived in Florida.  Most of her business came from Florida and she would travel from there to here with each tour of students that she was leading.  She decided to move to the area since it would open up a lot more avenues of business for her.  Just last week she started as a tour director of our infamous Ghost Tours here in Old Town. 

As we chatted she mentioned a friend of hers named Jamie.  Born out of a realization of the amount of toxins used in commercial candles she set out on a journey to create an organic formula of high-quality soy and botanical candles.  Lolablue started out as a candle company and now offers natural sugar scrubs and hand-crafted soaps as well.

Deidre told me that Jaime was interested in expanding her reach beyond the Florida market and asked me if I'd be interested in sampling Jaime's products.  Since I have so many customers that have asked me to carry candles I readily agreed.

A few weeks later Deidre came in with some of Jaime's samples.  OMG!  Is all I can say.  From the yummy vanilla in the Angel Kiss candle to the earthy scent of her Amber Sandlewood soap - I was in heaven.  The final straw was when Deidre gave me a sample of Lolablue's Lavender/Vanilla SkyClad sugar scrub to take home.  Not only did the body scrub feel fantastic but the combination of the two scents is amazing - and it lingered all day long.

La Muse received its first shipment of Lolablue last week and we know it will fast become a favorite of our customers.  Lolablue is now available online at  Take an additional 10% through May 31st with coupon code 'may10.'  If you are not completely satisfied feel free to return it for a full refund - I am confident you will love it just as much as I do!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's a brand new day!

Spring is here.  The sun is shining, the birds are chirping (I know this because they woke me up at 2:30 this morning with their enthusiasm) and this blog is once again taking a new direction.  I started this blog on January 1 with the sole purpose of documenting random acts of kindness for 365 consecutive days.

I was doing pretty well until the beginning of March when my store really started to feel the effects of an unusually mean winter.  The DC area had it's snowiest and coldest winter on record and business at La Muse was suffering badly.  No time for the luxuries of writing, I needed to sell some inventory - and fast.  Hmmm, what to do, what to do?  Enter eBay. For the last month I have worked on learning a new profession - selling on eBay.  Equipped with The Idiot's Guide to Selling on eBay and all the knowledge of the world wide web at my disposal I got to work.  Who knew there was so much to learn?  I am still an eBay infant but I have managed to streamline some inventory thanks to the tremendous exposure the website offers.  Most things I've sold to this point have been at a loss but I'd much rather cash in old inventory and use the money toward spring merchandise than have it sit around for months to come.  I am optimistic eBay can become a revenue producing venue for La Muse so I'll continue to learn and keep forging ahead!

In this month hiatus from blogging I've learned a few things.  A)  Try as I might, I am never going to blog every day.  B)  Although practicing or documenting a different 'random act of kindness' each day is an admirable goal the stress I put on myself trying to achieve this daily is not well spent.  Sharing kindness should be natural, never stressful.  C)  There's other things I'd like to write about...and so I will.  In the not too distant future (maybe after I reach the eBay toddler stage, become YouTube proficient and learn something about the Twittersphere) I will end up purchasing Blogging for Dummies and see what I can do about upping the ante and wowing my wonderful La Muse customers.  Until then, if I can write something that makes you smile...they are words (or pictures) well spent.