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!

f1d37bc51d324936b613fe21291521ca.jpg

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

Sometimes Mother's Day Hurts

Mother's Day is always an emotional one for me.  I started my day with some serious baby snuggles while we waited for dad to get home from shift and then I headed to Barre3 for a workout.  On my way home, I made my daily stop for coffee.  As I was driving on the freeway, sucking down caramel syrup and crying, I reflected on how painful this day used to be for me. 

The truth is, Mother's Day is such a joyous occasion for the majority, but for so many others, it is extremely painful.  Whether you're a mom in waiting, an angel mama, a son or daughter who has lost their mom, a mom who has lost their child - it can be a day that's extremely hard to celebrate.

If you've read our story or follow chip&chisel on social media, you know I've been vocal about our past infertility struggles and that I have a huge place in my heart for those traveling the road we found ourselves on.  That's why, even though I love to celebrate Mother's Day with all the love and laughter that my girls bring, my heart is still heavy for those that hurt on this day.

I came across this article this morning and it just hit home, so I wanted to share.  Reading always helped me during a very difficult chapter in my life, so if you're someone that could potentially benefit from a quick read as well, I wanted to pass it along.

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2015/05/09/for-those-who-hurt-on-mothers-day/

I know I'm on the other side of the struggle now and I feel truly blessed to have been given the two miracles that I call Addi & Livi, but the pain still feels fresh - no, it's not as intense as it once was, but I remember it like it was yesterday.  It's a different kind of pain now, more that my heart hurts for others.  I actually hope that I never forget these intense feelings as it was a journey that helped to mold me and grow my heart, if that makes sense. 

If you take this day to hide out in bed, know that it's totally okay.  I'm a very big "feeler of my feelings" (just ask my husband) ... there's nothing wrong with giving yourself time to feel and work through that.  When I used to have a hard day, I would set a mental timer - sometimes it was an hour, sometimes a full day.  I would allow myself that time to wallow, cry, and eat all the ice cream.  After my allotted time was up, I would dust myself off and turn my focus to something else.  I know that may not work for everyone, but it got me through some difficult times without completely falling apart.

If you're struggling today, I'm thinking of you.

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

Fri - YAY!

It's Friday, guys ... we made it!  Now let's celebrate!

I have three pairs of these gorgeous rose gold druzy studs ready to ship!  Gold bezel cup settings, $20 each, includes shipping ...

Message me via Instagram, Facebook, or the website with your email to claim!  Have a great weekend!!

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

Planner People?? Help!!

I think this must be some sort of record-setting week for me ... TWO blog posts??  Who am I??!!

Well, the truth of the matter is, since I've cut back in other areas of work, I have more time to focus on some of the things that have been neglected - and let me tell you, it feels good.  The biggest thing has been the mental shift, and it's so apparent how much I needed that!  I've been enjoying more downtime with my littles, relishing in the snuggles without feeling rushed, and just watching my babes run around all messy-haired without a care in the world ... I'm not constantly checking the clock, panicked about fitting everything in during the day or jamming my to-do list with a hundred things more than a normal person can ever get done in a day.  Nope, I've slowed down and I'm being very intentional about it (and if you read my last blog post, you know that's a big deal to me this year).

While I'm enjoying this slower pace, I'm definitely still working over here!  And I'm still a work-at-home mama which means my juggling act needs to be pretty dialed in if I don't want to squander away my opportunities to be productive.  We're trying out something new in our household and it will take some scheduling and organization,  but I think we may have found the solution to my issue of not being able to really work without interruptions and distractions.  I'm going to take two days each week (okay, I'm starting with half days because, if I'm being honest, it's hard for me to leave the girls all day long to go work) and head out to a coffee shop to get in some good hours of focused work time.  I did this last week and we noticed that there were big benefits ... I don't feel distracted the rest of the day by unfinished work, I feel accomplished at the end of the week, and I get a little break from my kiddos which I've learned is vital.  Plus, my husband loves being with them and getting quality one-on-two time with his girls, so it truly is a bonus for everyone! 

What I'm on the hunt for is something that will help us with scheduling and keeping track of who is where and when - basically a shared calendar app so that we can both see it, update it, and live by it.  I feel very fortunate for a flexible schedule, but I crave a routine - I function better that way.  So while I enjoy being able to move this/push that, I need structure wherever I can get it.  In order to make this work as seamlessly as possible, we both need to be able to access the most up-to-date info for any given day and our paper calendar at home just isn't going to cut it (even though I do love anything paper and miss the days of carrying a planner in my purse!).

Do you have an app that you use for this type of thing?  Something that works great for your family?  I know there are a bunch out there, but I'd love to try one that someone recommends. I'm open to ideas and would love to hear from you!!

For now, I'm off to play with this little Sheepdog (we are in the growing-out-our-bangs-because-a-trim-every-week-is-too-much-for-this-mama stage lol).  ;)

xo
Lindsy