Saturday, May 29, 2010

postheadericon Change is the ONLY constant

On Monday, 05/24/2010, the company that I worked for since 2004 decided to lay me off.  Bummer.  It was on one hand a relief, on the other a huge stessor.  I was relieved because I had really begun to hate my job as a manager.  It was hard to get 41 people to just do their job.  I definitely was becoming tainted and angry.  I believe all things happen for a reason, and I see the lesson in this is I was let go because I definitely would not have left on my own.  This job was the provider for my family's insurance benefits, so that was the stressor.

I looked for the good in this event and that is that I now have plenty of time to focus on cookies!  I spent all day Tuesday and Wednesday working on cookies and thoroughly enjoyed not having to rush or think about work.

There is a benefit for Sugar Beez in this little bump in the road for me...I have come up with some really great ideas that I will be incorporating into the business and website, so watch for those!  Such as a limited time special where you can purchase a $20 coupon which will get you $30 toward your next purchase! 

After almost a week of not having to deal with a stressful job, I'm relaxed, centered and focused again! 
Thursday, May 20, 2010

postheadericon 1000 cookies, 10 days - DONE!

We did it!  We met the challenge, completed not 1000, but 1002 cookies in 9-1/2 days.  We certainly had our bumps in the road on this journey.  For instance, these were cookies with graphics being printed on edible paper (with edible ink of course) made by a company with the initials of KK.  I have been a customer there since 2008.  But their customer service this last time was the straw that broke our relationship!

I placed a very sizeable order last week for this 1000-cookie order.  The cookie order was due to be delivered today.  I order Wednesday last week expecting my order would ship on Thursday and be delivered on Monday.  On Friday I still had not received my shipping confirmation from KK so I called.  I gave the young lady I spoke with my order number and she said "your order shipped yesterday." 

First of all, I put instructions in the "comment" section when I placed the order that if the order did not go out on Thursday I wanted to pay for 2-day shipping.  I asked the young lady if she would please forward me the tracking number.  An hour later I received the email with the tracking number and it showed my order did not ship until FRIDAY!  And it shipped ground with a delivery date of May 20!  I was very upset.  I called back and spoke to someone else who told me they were very sorry, but they could not help me!  WHAT! 

I tried calling UPS and they told me they had not even picked up the order yet!  WHAT THE HECK!  I called KK back and they said again, sorry, can't help you.  I was furious!  FUR-EEE-US!  I sent them a scathing email telling them I would find my supplies else where and that I would not order from them again!

So, I found Tasty Foto Art, read some positive reviews online and order from them, overnight shipping ta boot.  The cost was cheaper than the order I placed with KK and their lame ground shipping!  Sold on the price...

I received the edible paper sheets and ink cartridges from Tasty Foto Art the very next day as promised.  I was super pleased with their product.  It did not dry out like the other product always did.  It was thinner and had NO TASTE!  We were all amazed by the fact that this product had no taste...none!  So, to shorten a long story...I'm only ordering from Tasty Foto Art from now on!

After that fiasco we got back on track with production of our 1000 cookies.  We set goals on cookies to roll, cookies to bake and cookies to ice on a daily basis. 

Let me introduce you to my team of cookie elves...
  • Gina, my 22-year-old daughter who does it all, mixes dough, rolls dough, cuts cookies, bakes, frosts, bags, tags and bows!
  • Neva, my 20-year-old daughter who rolls and rocks!  She mixed dough and rolled and cut an amazing 300+ cookies in a day! 
  • My sister Tai-Lynne who is the queen of cornering! 
  • My daughters Kiona, Karyn and Kami for all their help bagging and sealing and building bakery boxes!
This was tiring, but a great accomplishment for...
Thursday, May 13, 2010

postheadericon 1000 cookies, 10 days!

Yep, you read it right, 1000 cookies, 10 days.  We can do it!  But we will be hairless, snarling beasts by the time the order is complete! 

When it is all said and done we will have used 30 pounds of butter!  And about 49 pounds of flour and powdered sugar. 

I can still recall the first time someone asked me to do 4 dozen cookies and I panicked!  Now, 400 might set me a flitter, and 1000 definitely will, but I know we can do it.  I love a challenge.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

postheadericon Bad weather, great baking day!

It is cold, rainy and dreary favorite baking weather!  And lots of baking to do!

We had a great Mother's Day.  My daughter Karyn got to be the cookie fairy and delivered bags of Mother's Day cookies to surprise women with sweet treats!  It was really rewarding and lifted my spirts!

I have a lot of cookies to get done and love losing myself in the task of decorating.
Sunday, May 9, 2010

postheadericon Moving beyond disappointment

I was so excited that this weekend would be the opening of my first retail experience.  I was taking over Smash Cake in Chicago and was very excited.  We had been planning and baking all week long, really looking forward to a Mother's Day opening. 

Yes, I was very scared too.  I worried that I would not be able to make enough money to sustain my family.  I could not afford to fail.  Failure would mean a very expensive loss for me, my husband and our five daughters.  But as the date got closer little things began to pop up.  These small things began to become very large things...and I had to make a decision to move forward with a bad choice, or cut my losses and get out while I still could. 

It was a good decision to back out, although it was very disappointing to everyone involved.  It meant some added headaches and expenses for everyone involved.  But if I had moved forward it was becoming very apparent to me that I would fail.  I did not have the mentoring support I thought I did and certainly didn't have enough money to make repairs to nonworking equipment and I would not be able to operate until those items were working.  Every day I postponed opening we would be hemorrhaging money.  I could not do that.

An opening I had been so looking forward to was not going to happen.  I had my first experience with very angry customers who did not care why I was not able to host their parties, had called into question my professionalism and had even gone to my blog and used things I said there against me.  I think the intent was to try to persuade me to change my decision by guilting me into hosting their party, or maybe it was just to embarrass me, I'm not sure, but it surely was not nice.

It has been three days since I made the decision to back out, and like I said on Twitter, sometimes good decisions disappoint, but a bad decision would have hurt people.

Lesson learned!