A New Way of Working in Uncertain Times
I'm writing in strange times, I very much hope that you are ok.
I've been wanting to write this for a while, but uncertain what to do. Now my decision has been forced on my by the new global situation (of which I shall not name - am I the only one with an inbox full of emails from every company with that word in the title and addressed to me by name?).
This email is really about Rachel Lucie Jewellery, not world issues.
Since last June I have been struggling with my health after some stressful life events over the previous 2 years, I succombed to a mystery virus which was first thought to be glandular fever. The jury is still out on that, but since then I have not recovered. I stopped making new designs and collections because I was so unwell, and concentrated on getting better, but no change has come. It seems I have developed ME/CFS, and I am waiting for official diagnosis from a specialist clinic. This seems to have kicked off previous endometriosis from which I have been in remission for a number of years.
I want to keep this brief, we all have a lot on our minds, and this email is good news - please read on!
I have been living in a downsized world for the past 9 months, and have already developed a low-key semi-isolated life here in the lovely Pennine Hills where I live. It's important that I pace myself and limit stress, but this condition means I am very up and down, and what seems a low key activity to most, may be too much for me on most days.
One of the side effects of ME/CFS is 'brain fog', that grey matter is just not what it was. I have not been working well and have on occasion recently let customers down with times and that's just not ok.
After a Christmas of no fairs, the first ever, and issues fulfilling orders at times I have been thinking I need to just close - but jewellery is what I do, and I'm not ready to relinquish my title! I have worked really hard over the last 11 years to build up some really loyal customers, and been lucky to be part of some touching personal moments in peoples lives.
Then things snowballed with recent world events. I thought, that's it - time to just close, you aren't working as you should and letting customers down is stressful and soul-destroying.
I contacted a few customers to let them know I was struggling with their order, and may be closing and the response was wonderful! They were so understanding, and I remembered why making jewellery is an important thing, how special the pieces I make are to people, and the personal events they mark.
Maybe not doing fairs last Christmas meant I lacked that connection I need to spur me on? Plus I thought several months of self isolation - I will need to make things and people's birthdays, and anniversaries will still happen, just maybe low key for a while.
So (and thanks if you are still reading!), I had an idea, and made a decision. From now on I will work in a different way.
- I will make still jewellery, and put it available on the website. Once it's gone, it's gone. I will no longer make to order.
- I won't worry about collections or names (shame, I normally love that part!), but there will be a limited and changing number of designs for you to choose from.
- I will make a longer dispatch time to make sure that I will always be able to post your jewellery on time.
- Everything you can see on the website right now is available to order now, and I will get new designs on as and when I can.
- Regrettably, this means I won't be doing special commisions for the foreseeable future
And lastly, I just want to thank all my customers over the years for your support and allowing me to keep doing what I do.
Connection, love and meaning are what's important, and by the wonders of the internet we can connect and still create special moments in our lives.
Please stay safe and well, and look out for your family, friends and neighbours.