The Way. The Why. International Women's Day 2018.
Posted on March 08 2018
In celebration of National Women’s Day, we are here to share. Here to share some very real and raw information.
As you know, Michele F is owned and operated by women. Very womanly women to be exact-that is not grammatically correct but it really gets the point across. We are often asked where we come up with our ideas. The best way we can explain that aspect of our business is this: they are not so much ideas but more so visions. These visions appear in our minds and do so whether we are ready for them or not-Michele is often the most affected by this. We feel it is our duty to be a portal for those budding visions and see if we can bring them to life. Things often take weird turns. Things often spiral into something entirely different. Things often don’t translate the way we “saw” them. The absolutely beautiful thing about all those twists and turns however, is that what we are ultimately left with something tangible and full of “feels”. To see a vision come to life is fricken awesome. The excitement, pride, and thrill that comes from this is incredibly fulfilling-and kind of overwhelming. Visions transforming into tangible creations that convey emotion….like, does it get much cooler than that? WE think not.
Things that are hard for us: Polices, pricing, selling, and ignorance.
We aren’t your average businesswomen; in fact, we kind of suck at it. We don’t really care about the numbers and reports. We didn’t choose this career in the way most do. The lining of our pockets seems like less proof of success than the fulfillment we get from creating and sharing. We throw ALL of ourselves into creating and sharing that we don’t have the space for polices, pricing, and selling. We do have to do all of the above though and we somehow manage to get it done between the three of us. Don’t get me wrong on this omission, we do partake in (rather) normal business conduct and procedure- it’s just not really our jam. I am sure many of you have felt this working with us. We aren’t going to apologize but we will inform you that we are always actively trying to become more efficient.
Polices- ugh, can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Our goals with our set polices are: to be fair to both parties, to avoid negative interactions, and for things to run smoothly. Easier said than done. Here’s why: some people are jerks to work with and some people are lovely to work with. Jerks are generally the reason polices have to be implemented. So lovelies, maybe inspire the jerks to become lovelies. It drives us insane to have to enforce rules upon those who never break them. This is just part of business, however and so we deal with it. Kind of.
Pricing- Oh boy, this is a tough one. Art is subjective. Cost of materials, not so much. Cost of operating a brick and mortar store, also not so subjective. With that, when we price we literally have to calculate and balance all of the above. Some creations are more labor intensive while some feature more expensive materials. Our visions are also worth something-probably more than we account for. We take pricing seriously. We don’t just throw numbers out that suit us and we also don’t devalue the market of art and creations by giving pieces away. There has to be a balance. My grandfather said to me once that he preferred math and science because of the rules. He felt that subjects such as Engligh and music had far too much room for exceptions and lack of structure. He explained by saying that if you follow the formula properly, you get an answer that is absolutely certain. He’s not wrong but he’s not right. I often think about his outlook when it comes to pricing. What skews the formula is that art and visions are, as I said, subjective. They are unruly and full of gray areas. So, we put our thinking caps on and do the very best we can.
Selling- This is an interesting one. We don’t sell to sell. We don’t sell to line pockets. We don’t implement incentives or set goals. We just create and share in hopes that people pick up what we are throwing down. We’ve shopped a few (thousand) times in our lives and we’ve seen it all- as I’m sure you all have. You know when someone is working off commission, you know when someone has no idea what they are talking about, and you certainly know when someone is persuasively backing you into a corner. You know it because you feel it. We certainly have bills to pay and money to make in order to remain in business but here at Michele F, that isn’t the reason we sell. We hope our sincerity is felt. We like to refer to our customers as “organic”…we do not buy our page likes on social media nor do we spam people with heartless ads probing them to shop. We create. We connect.
Last but not least, ignorance. They say it’s bliss right? It certainly is for the ignorant one but it is down right offensive to the other party involved. “$100?! Wow, why is it so expensive?” That comment, and more offensive versions of it, flow from mouths very freely. It’s flabbergasting and hurtful to the person(s) who sourced materials, saw a vision, and then put the two together with their own hands. This goes for many types of businesses, not just handmade jewelry. Before you utter such statements, maybe pause and think…or ask. Ask so that you can learn and take something from it. Heck, one time I learned about pepper. Yea, like the stuff you sprinkle on your food. I will never look at pepper the same again. We all put weight and value into different areas: homes, cars, hobbies, etc. So, just because you’re experiencing an avenue that doesn’t hold value you to you, it probably holds a lot of value to someone else. I bet if you saw the process start to finish, that your negative connotation of price or beauty would vanish…along with the ignorance. It’s quite a beautiful experience to share and teach people about us and about our creations. When you can literally feel the ignorance and judgment fade, your heart sighs, and smiles.
I’d like wrap this lengthy bad boy up. This blog is real. This blog is raw. This blog is transparent. You heard the good, and you heard the bad. You’ll find both darkness and light in every aspect of life. Choose to honor the light. Choose to see the light. Choose to be the light. Thank you for allowing us to create and share. The love is real, people. The love is real. In conclusion, CHEERS TO WOMEN!