From Broken Bricks

So, the day after my last post, I spent the majority of my time reading  comments and emails and just sitting back quietly and listening. I didn’t even knit. I was in reflection as I learned about what you needed from me, what you hoped for me, and for some of you, how I had failed you. Yes, most of you are so vibrantly kind and patient with me and for that I get to walk away from my work on occasion and feel thankful and joyous. But, there are some who are not at all impressed with me. I understand that and hold now grudge or ill will. To them I can only offer my forgiveness that things did not work out so well, wish you well, and proceed.

But, proceed I must. I can’t stall in a quagmire of disappointment. We learn, we grow, we move on. We correct our mistakes, take the lashes and thrashes that we are due, and then aspire to do better. We do not rest in the self imposed confines of bad reputation, where our only highlights are the memories of fonder days. Absolutely not. We move towards ideas of the future, of how to make situations and relationships better, how to correct what we may have done wrong, and build upon the broken bricks of our heartfelt mistakes greater foundations for the future. I did lose some customers over this. But, it was expected that I might. To them, I can only say I hope you find all the treasures and dreams you wish for in your life. I am sad that things did not turn out well for us, but I have to proceed….

Now, I did not just jump to this conclusion quickly. No, it was a day of sitting back and listening, or reading emails and comments. This feeling of clarity came after talking to my friend Giovanni in the Netherlands. We were finally able to skype, and for nearly 2 hours we had the best time talking and laughing. The first part of the conversation was spent talking about the issue at hand, but once it seemed it had been dealt with, and I knew what decisions to make, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and I was able to smile again, laugh again, understand that I should never take it personally, nor take myself too seriously, and enjoyed the rest of our talk, enjoyed meeting his wife, and thoroughly enjoyed time to myself away from some pressures. I certainly did need that. So, Giovanni! Thank you for the great talk! I look forward to our next one!

And to the rest of you that decided to stay, give me words of encouragement, and even dispute to others that said I wasn’t worth the trouble, you know that I love you. And I know how much you love and care for me. I know that for certain. And it is rather comforting, isn’t it? That in a society filled with doubt and uncertainty, miscommunication and whisperings, that I KNOW that you love me. Great Steven Wonder shout out in As: “Did you know you’re loved by somebody?” I never have to second guess it. \

So, let’s go forward now. I’ve heard, learned, and lost….now, let’s move forward and build.

IMG_0541IMG_0542 IMG_0543Here’s my bear for today. Made of that luscious lamb’s wool in a soft creme colour, a little bigger than the others, 12″ ready to ship with a signed card. I like the idea of this bear, coinciding with this particular blog, moving into the hands of a newborn. If you’d like to adopt him, click here.

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13 comments

  1. Gregory sending you much love and hugs. You need not ask forgiveness as there is nothing to forgive. You are a one artist operation knitting a homemade loveable bear! Best to you my friend!
    Love,
    Angela in Westport, MA

  2. I find it AMAZING that you can do 2 bears in 1 day! I’m a knitter & have bought one of your bears (worth the wait). Once he arrived, I bought the pattern to make one for my son. It took me 2 days to just knit the parts of the bear then at least 3 hours to put on his face and attach his body parts. Thank you for your video on how to do this! Hope you and Mario are well 🙂 Oh! and your bear is way better then my bear! Keep calm and knit on my friend!!

  3. Frankly, I think it’s awesome that you are managing to support yourself in a job you enjoy. We spend so much of our days “working” that if you don’t like that part of your life, you’re wasting most of it. Some people will envy you for it. Some will rejoice in every failure. Ignore them. They probably hate their jobs and wish they were in your position but can’t because (insert various excuses here). Let them go and move on to the positive people.

  4. Hello! I haven’t commented before bit I just wanted to say that I am sad that you have been put into a position where you are getting flack. You are sort of a victim of your own success. The trouble is some people these days get so caught up in the instant gratification society that we live in that they have forgotten that good things come to those who wait. You are a one man band who has discovered a brilliant talent for making items that people really want..that should be a good thing and people should enjoy the anticipation that comes with waiting instead of wanting it now,now,now. I have tried many times to buy one of your daily bears but I am always too slow! Maybe one day I will get lucky! I wish you nothing but good things and I really hope that any unpleasantness that you have unfortunately been on the receiving end of won’t deter you from your fab bear making. Take care. Debby

  5. It sounds like you’re in a tough spot… A hand-made business is a tough enterprise; no matter how heartfelt the product is, business is dirty. Unfortunately, money tends to muck everything up.

    Sometimes, people interpret “special order” as “special treatment.” If you have someone requesting a bear from you, they go on the list, but they’re not bumped to the top. You, first and foremost, have a commitment to yourself. Your second commitment is to your business and livelihood. Then those special customers who place special orders.

    I just want to tell you that your story is an inspiration to me. It is a shame that you’re facing sour challenges when your products are so sweet.

    Best of luck!

  6. Ever heard the phrase, “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all the time”? It’s quite true. I’ve worked in customer service/office management for 15 years now and some people are just mean and angry and miserable right out the gate and will never change. Fortunately, those people make up a very small percentage of any business’ customer base. You are a craftsman and quality work takes time. Most American’s today have little or no understanding of that concept or respect for other people’s boundaries… they want everything NOW and they want it cheap. It’s shameful.

    Maintain your pride in your work, charge what you’re worth, remember your journey, and steady your progress, and focus on the positive. And most of all, take time and care for yourself because that’s what matters most.

  7. Greg, I’m pleased that you have found peace with this. I was sending good thoughts your way that you would. I’m glad that Giovanni was there for you, and that you had a good chat with him. Now onward and upward. By the way, are you still looking for yarn (I realize as I type those words that this is probably a silly question, what knitter ISN’T looking for yarn!)? Please contact me if so, I may have some to send you, thanks.

  8. Keep going and thank you for being out there, being true to yourself and doing what you love. I will soon be ordering a bear, deciding what one is the difficult part! Denis x

  9. I’m excited but sorta disappointed that every time I click on your buy here link, the item is already sold out. Excited because you’re selling! Yay! Sad because I never seem quick enough to get one. That’s ok. You keep knitting. I will keep trying. I guess it means that my meant bear isn’t here yet.

  10. The people that special ordered a bear – did they pre pay for them or have to pay once completed?
    I’m thinking you make 2 of the ordered bears one day & then one ordered one random the next.
    Would that helps things to flow quicker?
    Even if you did that for just one week, you have 10 ordered bears completed in 7 days rather than 7 plus 3 random??

  11. I think you have a good system. My bear is somewhere in your to do list and as I said before it will be a nice arrival whenever it shows up. If I need one before then I will just have to buy one already made! 🙂

  12. If people are buying their bears from the blog link they should already know that it takes a month or more to get the bear they ordered unless it was pre-made. It’s not the first time something like this has been posted. You are doing the best that you can as one person to get the bears out.
    I’d also like to offer suggestions. Some have already mentioned that you should post how many you have in que to let those know that if they order one there are others to come. Also let them know how long, estimate, it will take to get to their bear. If you have 20 ahead of that one still say it should be a month before it’s something you can get to making. That gives you a little wiggle room. Tell them that if they have not received their bear or a message from you about delivery after 30 days to email you and you will promptly reply. If need be, create another email address specifically for those that haven’t gotten theirs yet. GET HELP. If you have more than 20 on back order, create a post that’s like a ‘Calling All Knitters’ for those that have your specific pattern. Have your friends work up 2-3 bears (giving each specific one the name tag of the last name of the person ordering for their privacy) and have them send them to you to be shipped out. Write a card with each one of those that due to the fact time was of the essence in sending their bears you asked for help from another talented fiber artist but you’ve looked it over and given it your stamp of approval. 🙂
    Another couple of things you can do is put the donate button in EVERY post. Copy and paste at the bottom of each one and say “As always, if you are unable to buy a bear now, if you are/have bought a bear and would like to do more or if you would just like to donate, I have added the Donate button below to each post.” Thank them, take your bow, etc. One more thing to try is update your About section. Tell everyone how long it takes, tell them what you said here … that you are doing one back order and one pre-made each day. Tell them it takes X number of days from the order to the mailing of each bear. And put another donate button in there too. Make it sort of a disclaimer. If at that point people say “you didn’t tell me I’d have to wait for my custom bear” you can say … it’s in the About section.
    I wish you the best of luck, I really do. There’s a lot of things out there to try and eventually you’ll hit that “sweet spot” where you can pop out new bears, two a day just for profit because you are caught up. Don’t be afraid to ask for help making them. Most people won’t even care as long as they get what they ordered. You’re not alone in this world of yarn so accept help. 🙂

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