Friday, November 26, 2010

:: thoughtful is the new black ::

"I'll give you all I can" by brandon christopher warren on flickr
so here's the thing: i'm not having a black friday sale. or a cyber monday one for that matter. i've hosted my fair share of very enticing sales in the past and without fail they have generated not one single purchase. no one has taken me up on my free shipping sales; no one has ever gone in on a 50% off everything sale.

that and i am so freaking annoyed by the barrage of emails and facebook posts i've received touting Specials! and Savings!

and honestly, as much as i rely on my customers for my family's actual livelihood (your purchases from my shop make a real difference in our lives, and for that i'm so very, very thankful to you), i'm just really turned off by the whole concept of black friday. the thought that companies lie in wait all year just itching to earn your big christmas-spending dollars on the friday after thanksgiving just makes me want to turn in my official entrepreneurial spirit card.

with each year that passes my gift giving becomes a little bit more personalized. something about the confluence of having children, and my husband taking a huge pay cut in order for us to move home to new york, and home ownership and, yes, being an indie business owner has just made me think so differently about the holidays and about gift-giving all year long.

the last year i shopped at a mall for christmas was 2006. i remember it well because i was in my first trimester with evan and the pregnancy migraines were so bad that all i wanted to do was walk and walk and walk because it sort of helped, so hubby and i hoofed it from end to end and back again at the local mall one november night (before thanksgiving, even -- my crazy-sick bubble-gum-sticky memory is pretty sure it was november 18th) and by night's end we'd covered most of our christmas list.

but since then i've taken a different tack: i buy fewer gifts, for one. i suppose i also make fewer, which is to say that i try only to make things the recipient will not only love but also use (or happily display, if display applies). i don't knit scarves for people who won't wear them, don't stitch pillows for people who won't put them on their beds or couches. maybe because i don't want anything extra around my own crowded house i just can't bring myself to give gifts simply for the sake of fulfilling a gift-giving obligation.

none of this is to say that i eschew traditional mall-type gifts if that's the kind of gift a person really wants the most. if my sister has been saving all year to buy a nook (the barnes and noble e-reader) then heck yeah i'll give her a barnes and noble gift card. but giving a barnes and noble gift card just because i can't think of what else to give someone? i just don't do that anymore.

and as far as my own shop goes? well, i guess i've just come to know that the people who shop from my store aren't shopping there because the prices are the cheapest or the sales the shiniest. they're not people who will see that i'm having a sale and just impulsively click "buy." they're people who want to give a friend something personal. people who can't resist buying that card that so perfectly sums up the state of their love for someone else that they must have it, minimal shipping cost be damned.

so i'm not having a sale. i do hope you'll shop at up up creative this holiday season if you think your gift recipients would love what you can get from my shop. if you'd like some gift giving ideas i can even help you out with those, and i'm always happy to do custom stuff if that's what you need.

so happy friday, black or otherwise.

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