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

Movers Makers Hustlers Shakers

Hi guys! I wanted to jump on here and spill my heart out before things get completely crazy next week and time becomes even more sparse than it already is.

Through social media, I see SO many friends, acquaintances, and people that I’ve never met prepping their small businesses for all the Christmas shopping that’s about to take place and I had to give a shout out and tell you how much I admire all of their hard work. The majority of these small business owners I follow are also mamas and I wonder every single day how they make it look so easy! I know better though - they are busting their booties and killing it because they’re passionate about what they do, and because, let’s face it - we kinda like the crazy and most of us have bills to pay. ;)

As a small business owner myself, I know there is SO much more to running a business than just making the actual product - the behind the scenes for artisans can be absolutely NUTS and more often than not, it’s a one person show. It.is.hard. When people find out that I work a lot in the local coffee shop (its become my home away from home), the response is always the same. “Oh?! How do you make your jewelry there??” I don’t. The jewelry making is only part of what I do. What I do involves soooo much more than that! Those that have a little business like mine are probably nodding their heads, right? There is so much that goes into it all year long, but especially during the holidays when demand is higher. You want to prep and plan as best as you can, but it’s really a guessing game and you’re often left scrambling to try to keep up. It’s nonstop trial and error. Committed small business owners get knocked down, then get back up. They feel defeated, yet they keep chugging along. They get stuck, but they somehow find a way to power through. It can seem like it would just be easier to throw in the towel sometimes, but the feeling is temporary and tomorrow is always a fresh start. I remind myself of this often.

small business

I ask that you look around you this holiday season and make a list of the small business owners you know that work tirelessly on their craft year round - how can you support them this year? Maybe it’s a purchase? Maybe it’s sharing their social media pages to your friends and family? Maybe it’s visiting them at a show/pop-up/craft fair? Maybe it’s just a like or comment on the products they post? As it becomes increasingly difficult to be seen on social media, every little bit helps and I guarantee we all appreciate it!

I am beyond grateful to all of you that support my small business as I go into my 8th holiday season! Not only do I help support my family by doing what I do, but this business is how my family is able to give back in the capacity that we do. You’re part of a bigger picture and I can’t express how much we appreciate all the things you do to support this! A special shout out to the other businesses in the community that collaborate with chip+chisel - StarCycle Felida, StarCycle Vancouver, Barre3 Camas, Sass Beauty - you guys have been so good to me and my gratitude runs deep.

A huge thank you in advance for considering shopping small with chip+chisel this holiday season - you allow me to be home with my babies yet still maintain (most of) my sanity with this creative outlet of mine. ;)

xo
lindsy

For more ideas on shopping small, here’s an article I read if you’re interested: https://www.tabithaemma.com/7-ways-to-support-small-business-this-year-and-why-you-should/

Hi, It's Me!

Hi guys!  One of the things I love about doing events & pop-ups is that I get to talk with people in person, ask questions, kind of get to know people a bit, and connect.  It's harder on social media because the vibe is more scrolling, less reading.  :)  With all the questions I get when I'm doing in-person events, I thought it would be fun to start answering them here on the blog and also try to share a bit more personally.  The connections I've made through the website and by sharing our infertility story have been amazing and my hope is that it will only continue!

So, if you know me well, then you probably won't find anything too shocking here ... buuuut, if you don't, well now you'll know a bit more about this person over here behind chip&chisel!   

#1 - I'm 36 years old and an aries.
#2 - I was raised by two amazing people, neither of them are my bio parents.  They are the definition of selflessness.
#3 - My husband Ian and I are celebrating 7 years of marriage next month!
#4 - I was married once before in my mid twenties.
#5 - I met Ian at the gym during my divorce - he was also going through a divorce. We thought the timing couldn't have been worse, but turns out, it couldn't have been better!
#6 - I never wanted kids before I met Ian.
#7 - We went through 6 IVF cycles to conceive our miracle girls.
#8 - I'm a firefighter wife and proud of it!
#9 - My husband and kids are literally EVERYTHING to me.
#10 - So are coffee and wine. 

You can find me here each week sharing answers to the questions I get and if you have something you'd like to add, throw it my way!

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

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

'Tis The Season To #considerkindness With Us!!

"No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted” -Aesop


It is the simplest of actions that truly have the most profound impact. All too often, we think it requires a tremendous amount of effort in order to make a difference in someone’s life. How often do we suppress our best intention to show a small act of kindness due to self-consciousness or (sadly enough) inconvenience? Conversely, how wonderful is an out of the blue phone call from a friend or a random act of kindness from a complete stranger? In a cultural climate where we’re too quick to build up boundaries, thoughtfulness can be a dynamic tool to soften hearts when we need it the most. 

With all the negativity surrounding our country’s current events, here at chip&chisel we want to inspire something we don’t see as often as we should- KINDNESS; an undervalued quality that can have a lasting and powerful effect.  

Thanksgiving just happens to coincide with our 5th anniversary, so we've decided to host a challenge that involves paying it forward and we want you to join in! We truly believe that kindness is life giving! Our hope is that we would see an altruistic shift through our intentional actions and that our communities would be a little bit warmer because of YOU! 

For 3 weeks, we will be hosting a kindness campaign encouraging individuals to consciously choose to #considerkindness! It will include opportunities for you to get involved with us as well as simply recognizing those people you know already killing it in the kindness department! Each week we will have a different theme and each week we’ll choose someone that we find most inspiring. YEAH- that means prizes. (sidenote: We believe that kindness is it’s own reward, but hey, we like prizes and especially giving them away!) Any time you’re part of something involving a thoughtful gesture or donation of your time either:

●     Post a comment on any of our #considerkindness campaign Facebook and/or Instagram related posts sharing your act of kindness

AND/OR

●     Post a picture to Instagram showing your act of kindness with #considerkindness and tag us (@chipandchiseljewelry

At the end of the week- we’ll choose a winner! And HOPEFULLY, what started out as a “challenge” will become part of a greater movement or more frequented habit in our lives!

For each comment on our social media posts, chip&chisel will donate one canned food item to the Clark County Food Bank.  For each photo that you post and tag @chipandchiseljewelry with #considerkindness, two canned food items will be donated.  If we repost your photo highlighting your act of kindness, you will also be given a $10 chip&chisel shop credit! Not only are you directly touching lives, but your simple act of kindness will also benefit those in need during this holiday season!

There are HUNDREDS of ways you could show simple acts of kindness, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

-Open the door for the person behind you
-Pay for someone’s coffee behind you in line
-Call your grandparents!
-Leave an encouraging note on someone’s car
-Put a few quarters in someone’s expired meter
-Babysit for free
-Host a festive holiday party to get in the spirit
-Bake a yummy treat for your neighbors
-Purge your closet and take a bag to the women’s shelter
-Leave an extra large tip for your server
-Send someone anonymous flowers
-Start a “things I am grateful for” discussion at Thanksgiving dinner!

So- let’s start now! Inspire one another! Sometimes all it takes is the action of one person to start a huge initiative. Wouldn’t it be so great if, despite all the negativity that threatens to take root, as a community, we would turn our focus and encourage one another to spread the love?? We know it’s possible and we can’t wait to see all the ways that, together, we can so easily #considerkindness.

xo,
Lindsy