Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Let's Get It Started!

I'm more than fashionably late to the blogger party, but then again, better late than never.  I'm really doing this as part of my business website - I own a small jewelry company and am in the process of re-designing and re-launching our website and thought it might be fun to have a blog link as part of the new site.

So, here's a bit of info about me.  I'm 39, married, have an 18-month-old son and live in Southern California.  In addition to my jewelry business, I have a full time job at a large technology company.

I've always been involved with various crafts over the years (ceramic painting, cross stitch, embroidery, needlepoint, rubber stamping, etc.) but was always frustrated that there was nothing to really "do" with the finished products.  I'd already filled most of the appropriate wall spaces in the house with framed needlework and found that most people don't appreciate it as a gift - it's too "old world" or something. 

My job at the time was incredibly stressful and I finally decided a career change was in order.  So, I quit my job.  Brilliant maneuver.  Took me 6 months to find another one and I had a LOT of time on my hands during that period.  That's when I got hooked on a couple of craft shows on TV - Aleene's Creative Living and the Carol Duvall show.  THAT got me started with rubber stamping.  FINALLY...a craft where you could do something with the end product!  I had people wanting to buy cards from me and even referring other friends to me as customers.  It was so much fun!

Then it happened.  I started using a few beads here and there as embellishments on my cards and other stamping projects.  Then a few fellow stampers and I decided to get together at the Pasadena Bead Company and try to bead some simple bracelets based on some instructions from the internet.

And that was it...a bead obsession was born.  I started subscribing to bead magazines, researching techniques on the internet, attending bead and gem shows and making jewelry.  And people PAID me for it (and a heck of a lot more than for my cards!).  At the same time, my husband was trying to learn website design and offered to make me a website for my jewelry as part of his learning process.  Eh voila!  Silver Parrot Designs was born.

Things went relatively well with it until we had a problem with our domain name and had to change it to a .net instead of a .com due to hacker attacks on the original site.  Unfortunately, a lot of the business I had drummed up for the original site was lost when this change was made.  Then came a very difficult pregnancy with lots of complications, hospital visits and eventually surgery three months after my son was born.  So poor Silver Parrot Designs languished while I recovered from surgery, dealt with being a new mom and going back to work full-time at my "real" job.

But things finally calmed down (well, as calm as you can get with an 18-month-old boy LOL!) and I started getting a bit of time here and there to work on beading.  I re-organized and moved my entire workshop to a different part of the house to keep it away from prying baby fingers and that was a HUGE chore.  Then I went to work on new finished pieces to add to the website.

I presented them to hubby (aka the web guru) to be put up on the site only to be told that he'd lost interest in web guru'ing and would like me to take over managing the site.  Oh, and by the way, I'd have to learn Dreamweaver, Fireworks and something called "FTP" in the process.  WHAAAAAATTTTT????!!!!

After I recovered from my seizure, I dutifully loaded Dreamweaver and all that other crap on my computer and started to play with it and learn.  I did it grudgingly, but I did it. 

And now, the new Silver Parrot Designs website is just about ready to go live.  My goal is to get it up on the server this weekend.  I've been working off-line so that the old site could stay up during this time.  Adding this blog and link is one of the last pieces remaining to be done along with some re-scanning of of some of the inventory.

Even though running the website has taken time away from what I REALLY love (the beadwork!), I'm glad I did it.  I learned some new programs and I was able to fix a lot of little things that always bugged me about the old site but which I figured I couldn't complain about since I was getting all that webwork done for free :-)

That's it for now.  I'm off to lunch and some more work on the new site.  Stay tuned!

No comments: