Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A New Perspective & Some Perseverance

Japanese Proverb
Last week during an exploration of my new Vancouver neighbourhood, I came across a lovely store that captured my attention right away.  They carry whimsical Canadian labels like Pink Martini and Button but what peaked my interest is that they feature jewellery by local designers.

I've been toying with the idea of getting my jewellery into local stores for quite some time now but I wasn't quite ready to commit.  However, since I was new in town and eager to try something different, I decided to ask how a designer like myself could get my jewellery showcased in their store.  The saleswoman was hesitant at first but when I explained to her what type of jewellery I make, she kindly booked me an appointment with the store owner to show her a sampling of my wares to see if they would be a fit for the store.

I was ecstatic.  Only having moved the week before, I was already networking in my community and there was the very real possibility of having a physical location for my jewellery to be displayed that shoppers could easily peruse.  I excitedly called my Mom and asked if she could send my jewellery to me (since I did not have room in the 2 suitcases I had brought with me when I moved to Vancouver) and my jewellery was on the Greyhound that day.

The day of my appointment, (which was yesterday), was an ordinary, overcast day (typical weather as most rain weathered Vancouverites would say) but I was beaming with excitement.  I met with the store owner in the early afternoon and as I laid out my pieces on the wooden counter in front of her, I tried to simultaneously read her expressions to see if any of my jewellery looked appealing to her.  After I had finished my explanations and showed her all I had, she told me that while my jewellery was beautiful, it wasn't a fit for the store.

My initial reaction understandably was disappointment.  I had really looked forward to this appointment and was now watching the door of opportunity slowly closing in front of me and feeling like a little girl guide who failed to sell cookies to an uninterested neighbour.  But as quickly as I felt the sting of rejection, I felt the need to think of something positive and I started to focus on thoughts like, "It's ok.  I tried my best and this was just an experiment.  I'm going to take this as a learning experience."  And as I ran these words through my mind, I began to feel uplifted.  As my conversation with the store owner continued, she told me of another store that was in a nearby neighbourhood and to see if they would feature my jewellery there.  I politely thanked her for the meeting and walked back to my car.  I realized that although a door had been closed for me, there had been a window cracked opened and instead of heading back home, I plugged the address for the new store into google maps (another app I don't think I would function well without) and drove off to the next destination.

As I arrived there, I decided to turn down my anticipation a few notches.  I wanted to go into the store with curiosity instead of holding great expectations for it...treat it more objectively like an experiment.  I walked into the little boutique and was greeted by the owner warmly and told her I was interested in learning more about selling my jewellery at her store.  She eagerly looked at my jewellery and within 10 minutes, I had been invited to sell my jewellery just in time for the Holiday Party and Christmas Season.  As an added bonus, this store owner loves to help small businesses thrive and had many ideas of how she would like to introduce me and my jewellery to her clients.

I worked well into the evening last night designing, printing, and cutting custom tags for my jewellery and I'm proud to say that my jewellery has been dropped off and will be on display soon at the jewellery bar at Changes Vancouver! 

As I reflect back on this recent experience, I realize that it held two great life lessons for me.  The first is how powerful a person's thoughts are in affecting their perspective.  It was hard hearing 'no' at the first store I presented my jewellery to and I could have easily packed up, called it a day, and labelled myself a failure.  But as I explained in my intro post, I've finally began to grasp the importance of treating myself with kindness even when things don't always go as I've planned.  So, I decided to leave that store with a smile on my face and keep pressing on, which leads me to my second lesson: perseverance is worth the effort.  Like the quote in the picture above says, when you fall, get back up again and continue pursuing what you think is important.

So, if you've been feeling a bit down today, I encourage you to do 2 simple things:
1) Take a moment to pause and listen to the messages you're telling yourself.  If they're negative and defeating, try replacing them with kind words and a positive perspective.  As you practice this, it will become easier to do and you'll start to feel much better about yourself.
2) Look for the windows that have been opened for you.  You'll never know what opportunities lie ahead for you if you don't look up to find them.

Good night,

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