New Year, New Blog Post, New Pricing

I’m sitting here in a dark room willing myself to NOT get sick. Again. For the third time in the past month. I’ve been sick more since my girls started preschool than I have in the almost 9 years since I met my husband. It was a germy end to last year and a germy beginning to the new one.

I had a to-do list a mile long today and it went up in flames by 9am. I can usually push through this kind of thing, but I spent the past few hours just trying to get warm so I finally accepted that I was going to get nothing done today. This blog post though … I’m mustering up the energy for that because I don’t want another day to go by with it still on my list. Lucky for you though, it might be shorter than it probably would’ve been if I were feeling better. ;)

This past six months brought on a lot of positive change. We went to Bend, Oregon for an extended stay and we weren’t sure where we would land when it was over. I closed my studio down before we left with the thought that even if we came back, the age that my girls are at made it pretty tricky on most days to stick to an away-from-home work schedule and I wanted to try out my home studio again. I will say that it’s actually been a great choice for me, even though I have less space now. This setup is temporary though, so I’m confident I’ll survive.

In addition to the closing of my studio, I also stepped away from Etsy. This was probably the biggest thing that happened last year. While Etsy was a great revenue generator, I didn’t feel a connection to it at all. My website is my story, my family, the reason I do what I do. It’s my heart and soul. Etsy wasn’t a place where (most) people care much about the “why” behind the business or the maker - they just have a lot of options in one spot and it’s easy to go there because of the Etsy name. Unfortunately, Etsy has become bogged down in the past few years with hundreds of re-sellers and thousands of mass produced goods that it makes it next to impossible to search and find genuine, handcrafted pieces anymore. Sad, but true. Not to mention the fees … oh the fees. I kept wondering how much it was actually costing me with the fees, time, and energy that it was taking away from pieces of my business that I would rather be focusing on.

I started closing my Etsy shop down here and there throughout last year so that I could focus solely on the website and my pop-ups. With my husband gone on wildland fires in the summer, trainings and overtime shifts fairly regularly, something had to give and of all the pots that I had my hands in, I was willing to cut Etsy without really blinking an eye. Yes, I had to consider the decrease in revenue - I do have a business to run, after all, and this income is how I contribute to my family’s finances - but I tried to look at it as paying for time that I could now focus on growth in other areas of my business. After my husband’s initial shock wore off lol, he agreed that I just needed to do what I felt was right and that it would all work out as it was supposed to. I planned to open up Etsy for the holidays, but didn’t and I’m so glad. I was slammed and could not have kept up with anything else!

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One of the things that we work really hard on is instilling a give-back attitude in our girls. The idea that we should always pay it forward and do things for others is a pretty big deal in our house. chip+chisel has afforded us the ability to give back in countless ways, most of which I don’t share with you because giving shouldn’t be about recognition. It’s something that we do because it feels good to help and we want our girls to see that. They know that daddy is a firefighter and helps people and they know that I love my job of creating special keepsake pieces of jewelry and connecting with my customers and the stories that they send me. They’re very different jobs, but both rewarding in their own ways.

I’ve had a couple conversations with my husband recently about the lessening of c+c expenses with eliminating my studio space and putting Etsy on the back burner to focus solely on my website. He knew that my goal was to take those things and pay it forward in some way. I’m sure it would make most business-minded people cringe, but it’s not all about money. Yes, you have your bottom line and all the numbers need to make sense in order to keep operating your business, but … I do love to give back and this is something that fills my cup. This is just another (different) way to pay it forward.

As I’ve done for quite some time, a coupon was sent with orders so that customers could enjoy future discounted purchases. I wanted both return AND new customers to be afforded the best pricing I could give, so I’ve taken into account the reduced expenses going into this year and kicked in an additional percentage of my personal profits to allow for an average price reduction on our listings of 15%. No coupon code necessary - the listings have been updated to reflect the new pricing structure.

You are important and my goal is to always consider how the changes I make affect you as a consumer. I wanted to take this opportunity to give something back to you - my loyal customers - as a way to say thank you for all of your support over the past 7 years. Every time you think of chip+chisel for gifts, share us with a friend or family member, comment or like our social media posts, share our products on your pages, you help us to grow and to be able to give back. You’ve given me the priceless opportunity to be home with my girls while doing something that I absolutely love. They get to watch me do something that my heart is heavily invested in. They’re by my side as I work and are with me on this journey as part of something that was initially built to bring them into our life. Do you know how amazing it is for me to see this all unfold and for them to grow up to know that YOU are the reason that we were afforded the ability to work to build our family? These girls and the love they’ve brought us is because of you. I think that’s pretty incredible.

As we’re already half way through the first month of the new year, I have so many new designs and styles of handstamped pieces in the works and am so excited to roll them out to you! I would love to know what YOU would like to see - no idea is silly and every single suggestion is appreciated. You can comment below, email them to me, or send messages through our social media accounts on FB and Instagram @chipandchisel.

Thank you in advance for considering my little business when shopping for yourself or others - you are beyond appreciated.

xo
lindsy

Beautiful Chaos

So yesterday was a bit of a whirlwind - who can relate??  If you could've seen me at the end of my chaotic day, you would've witnessed me walking in the door at almost 9pm, eating a heaping plate of doritos and avocado while standing alone in a dark kitchen ... i'm calling it a win because avocado is very healthy, my friends.  ;) 

After a rough first half of the day that included my phone dying, having to drag two little girls around while trying to get a new phone while being totally unprepared to be out and about for hours and hours (never good with kids!), then deal with all the hooplah that inevitably surrounds driving across the city to actually pick up the new phone ... well, I wasn't feeling super great by the time I got home. I missed out on hours of prep time and was totally frantic once I actually got into the studio. Life, right?  I was overwhelmed, super tired, and felt totally unprepared.  Don't you hate that feeling when what you really need is to be "on"? Seems like the two go hand in hand more often than not.  Well regardless of how I felt, the shoot (luckily) went off without a hitch!  The models (baby too!) were amazing, the photographer, Whitney Summers, was incredible as always, and to top it all off, we got super lucky with the lighting and a beautiful sunset!

These ladies made the jewelry look gorgeous and they did it all so effortlessly!  I headed home last night with a full heart, feeling so lucky to be surrounded by such strong and big-hearted women.  

I can't wait to share more pics with you guys along with some details about how I was lucky enough to have these ladies come into my life, so stay tuned!  

xo, lindsy

All the Pretty in a Cocktail

Spring brings the pretty floral feels to everything - cocktails included!  I was browsing Pinterest yesterday (getting sucked in as always) and stumbled upon some pretty eye catching adult beverage!  Guys - Kiwi Margaritas.  K I W I.  I have a real obsession with that fruit right now.  Click through for recipes and let me know if you run across anything else that looks amazing!

Now tell me those don't look (and sound!) absolutely delish?  This weekend full of sunshine is about to have me enjoying a little happy hour on the front porch ... what about you?  Don't forget to report back if you try one out!

Have a great weekend, friends!
xo, lindsy

 

Give Me All The Sunshine

We finally have a sunny day in the PNW!!  I'm soaking it up because it's back to grey tomorrow.  This may be the winter that sends me over the edge ... there's been way too much rain and way too many gloomy days. 

As a pick-me-up, I've been scouring blogs and Pinterest hunting for some spring-y outfits for new jewelry design inspo ... and as a result, I've got some cute new pieces coming your way!!  For now though, I'm just going to leave a few of my favorites right here ...

So, which one would you wear?

xo,
lindsy

Photo 1 || Jade Scott, A Spoonful of Style - I basically love everything she wears and she has the cutest kids ever! 
Photo 2 || Style Estate Blog
Photo 3 || Luvv It

Obsessed Is An Understatement

If you've seen my social media posts this past week, you already know that I am completely and utterly obsessed with this new design!  I love a lot of personalized pieces, but this one takes the cake. 

Now maybe you're wondering why all the love for this piece when I've obviously personalized bar necklaces before?  Well, I'll tell you!  The combination of this bar size with the tiny font is just FAB - couple that with the stacked personalization, right alignment and, well, it's beyond visually appealing to me.  If I could send one of these to every one of you, I totally would! 

The biggest bonus of this design is that it looks amazing with one, two, three+ names.  Dots between names are perfect separators, so you can fill the bar and it doesn't look crowded. Don't want to go with names?  How about dates, roman numerals, your favorite word, mantra or quote?  I mean, the options are endless.

 

I feel like the pictures just can't completely convey everything that I love about this beauty, but I promise that it will have you swooning!  Click HERE or on the images to view the listing for this piece.

How would you personalize your bar?

xo,
lindsy

Rise & Shine

My husband left for shift early this morning and since I was half awake, I decided I would get up and try to squeeze in some quiet time before the girls started stirring.  See now, usually when I do this, I swear they just sense that I'm up and they follow suit.  But not today!  I've been up for an hour and I haven't heard a peep from them.  So here I am, starting the day like old times and it feels UH-MA-ZING!  I even painted my nails.  :)

Before we had kids, one of my favorite things in the whole wide world was getting up early and enjoying a cup of coffee in silence while answering emails or perusing Pinterest.  Now I'm just excited when I wake up five minutes before the littles so I can have a moment to find my bearings and pour the creamer in my coffee cup before I hit brew (it just doesn't taste right when I pour it in after - anyone else?).

I'm definitely an early bird and I'm usually much more productive in the morning than at night.  So what are you - an early bird or a night owl?

xo
lindsy

Never Miss A ...

Life is busy.  I have two toddlers, a business, a home to maintain, a marriage to nurture, friends & family that I love to spend time with ... this doesn't even include all the other things that I enjoy like shopping, manis & pedis, happy hour, etc.  Those last few don't make an appearance on my schedule very often but I daydream about them regularly.

If you've followed me on Instagram and Facebook for awhile, I'm sure you've seen me mention barre3.  I am a die hard, totally committed, can't live without it, member and I've been one for five and a half years - yep, because it's THAT GOOD!!  But it's not just the physical results that I love, it's the mental clarity and all the feel good emotions that come from my hour spent in the studio (and they have a full library of online workouts if you don't have studio access!). 

Anyway, here's a mantra of theirs that has really been resonating with me ... "It's not about prioritizing your schedule.  It's about scheduling your priorities."  There's truth in that, right?  Well, I think so.  I've started scheduling my priorities to ensure that I'm really making it happen because when I do this, I consistently feel my absolute best and find that I'm much better for my family because of it - and yes, I schedule caffeine.

NEVER MISS A . . . W O R K O U T.  I schedule my workouts in advance and do anything and everything I can to stick to my schedule.  Like anything.  I go to barre3 4-5 times a week.  It's a must for me, a total priority.  We live in the pacific NW and it's grey and rainy a LOT.  The weather makes me feel totally blah and I need a regular pick-me-up!  I schedule my classes out 2-3 weeks in advance because, well I'm a planner.  And not only that, but I have ZERO excuse to not go if I already have it all planned out.  Sick kids?  I call a grandma.  Snowed in?  Bust out the snowshoes.  Okay, not really ... but I would if I lived closer! 

NEVER MISS A . . . S T O P F O R C O F F E E.  Everyday after barre, the girls and I make a stop for my caffeine fix.  If I'm not working out that day, I'll make a special trip out for it!  It's my guilty pleasure and I can't (and won't!) give it up.  My workout and those venti iced lattes and caramel macchiatos literally power me through my (sometimes very long) day so that I can wrangle kiddos, do my work-at-home mama thing, and maintain my sanity at the same time.  I fake being well rested with caffeine and I'm 100% ok with that.

NEVER MISS A . . . B R E A K F O R M I N D L E S S A C T I V I T Y.  Every night after the girls are tucked in, I get ready for bed (yes, at 7pm) and curl up for some time with a book, a magazine, my favorite show, Pinterest, Instagram ... you get the picture.  Something that I enjoy that doesn't take any effort or cause me to think too much.  I prefer an hour but even when I can't swing that big of a chunk of time, I take SOMETHING for myself.  This is my time to unwind after going nonstop all day.  I will ignore whatever I didn't get to during the day ... the dishes, the laundry, the toys scattered all over the house.  It will all be there the next day.

If there's one thing I've learned in the almost two years since having kids, it's that it can't be all about everyone else ALL the time.  I tried that for waaay too long and it left me feeling depleted and unfulfilled.  Not to mention, I want my girls to grow up seeing me do things that make me a better mom, wife, and woman in general not just running myself ragged everyday and not giving ME the time and attention that I deserve.  My family is my number one priority and at the forefront ALWAYS, but what I've figured out is that this doesn't take away from them at all!  Quite the opposite actually.  So, it's a win-win for everyone.

What is at least one "Never Miss Moment" in your day?  Or if you don't have one, what would you love to have time for? 

xo
lindsy