Let your soul shine!






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    Back in the saddle again!

    I've had a long transition period, and frankly it didn't go as planned. 

    I thought "Hey, this is going to be fine.  I'm strong, adaptable, and not afraid of hard work.  I have a plan, an exciting future, and I'm happy about it. I've got everything under control."  Well, that's a laugh.

    As I watched my shop clear out of beads, jewelry, and even furniture, my heart was breaking.  My dream was ending, disappearing slowly before my eyes.  I had a difficult time as people came in asking for more discounts, more free lessons, and special deals for "good customers".   It's devestating, watching your love, your beautiful shop being trivialized as customers who rarely darkened my doors swooped in, taking as much as they could while begging for more.  Think about it for a minute.  Let it swirl around in your head, objectively. It's an ugly thought. I am not blameless, I've done it too, not realizing in the moment (who doesn't love a good sale, especially a closeout sale, right?) how hurtful it may be.  

    Consumers have been trained by the big box stores to wait for that sale to spend money. We know something different is on sale each week.  We can count on it as sure as the sun rising each day. We don't understand that while they're shoving coupons in our faces, we're being played. Their prices are higher, their products are lower quality, and we're acknowledging with the Pavlovian responses they want.  It's a truth that I struggle with like anyone else.  I'm on a budget, I use coupons. I get it, really I do.  I hate to see things like quilt shops, knitting shops, and bead shops, get crushed in the process.  It's all about the good deal, the cheap finds, and rather than shopping for what we need, we shop for what's on sale in the moment.  The creative shops that thrived not long ago are being killed, all for the sake of a precious dollar. 

    I am now in a better headspace, where i can more freely accept custom work and sales from those that appreciate solid, creative handwork and top quality beads and materials, while gently declining the work that I know will be bargained and full of hassle.  It's a relief, knowing I don't have to explain the worth of my work.  I understand I'll sell less, and it takes more effort, but it's worth it.  I'm worth it, my art is worth it, and I'm not afraid to say so any longer. 

    I love my administrative job at 171 Cedar Arts Center, which has already taught me many things and forced me to step up in areas that I'm weak.  I'm thankful for a supportive husband and family who loved me through this transition, and grateful for my friends, whether they listened to my constant whining and crying, or just sent a message saying "Hey, I'm here and I get it. You're going to be ok."   And, to the customers that truly cared about Soulshine Studio Bead Shop, I am indebted to you.  You made me smile, laugh and create every day the brick and mortar shop was open.   It doesn't get better than that, my friends. 

    You can still find Soulshine Studio jewelry, kits, and some beads and products on Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, and this website. I'll be out teaching in bead shops and retreats, and you can find me at art/craft fairs.  Always feel free to drop me a note at SoulshineArtist@gmail.com.  

    Let your soul shine, always! 

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