First it snows and then the sun shines. But it gets better. First, I guess, were the splendid birthday cards and calls, including the singing King family. Silly Facebook. I have recovered my business page, but I had well wishes galore through this medium including my favorite Peruvian exchange son from 22 years ago. To top it off was the presence of three special girls at the St. Luke's Christmas Tea to celebrate. Momma, Beatrice and Shiloh made a special trip, singing in the truck all 70 miles. Lew joined us and then we sent them back home to the boys with my veggie pizza and their carrot cake promise for the near future. But, there is much more.
Barney, our sweet neighbor, gifted me with my dear stitcher and his wife Bunny's Necchi sewing machine. She cannot use it in heaven. Neighbor Necchi had to be pressed into service with a cleaning and oil job since Nancy, the other Necchi, was grunting and groaning. She's having a well-deserved rest.
Eight more dolls to finish - one a day. Perhaps the prelude to this order frenzy was the request of embroiderer Eileen's five-year-old granddaughter. Karmen caught on to Eileen's excellence during a Nana Camp visit. She kept praising her. Then came the wish for a doll. Karmen and her daddy visited the website many times, many pages. The treasure could not make up her mind. Liked the unicorn doll (Stephanie) but also loved the swan eyes (Sandra). Nana assured her she could have both. But no, she wanted her doll to have one eye of each in pinks and purples. Done. Imagine the joy of Bonnie, Eileen and Karmen.
A highlight of the busy week was six-year-old Jack asked his mother if he could sew a doll with Bonnie while two of his sisters had piano lessons. Remarkable progress was made embroidering Tom, his doll design while little sister engaged Silvio. I can't wait until he comes back next week, nor can he.
Then comes a special request from the Manager of the Brochure Distribution Program for the Vermont State Welcome Center for a testimonial. I had a support of a special customer's letter of how she found us with our beautiful brochure at one of the Centers and had to come visit and meet the dolls. The bonus for Bobbie is that she and Silvio are now connected in a special way. The math proved the point: 47 percent of our 2013 sales came from the welcome centers and 53 percent is repeat and local customers. Remember we give a ten percent discount to valuable, returning friends. Well, the legislature is going to praise the Centers' staff just like we do.View image
I continue to be touched by the reasons one gives a doll to a person whether it is a mother giving her adult daughter an Anne of Green Gables because of her love of the character as a child or whether a customer is giving a sister-in-law or neighbor a Camilla cat because of their love of that animal. Lew loves my customer service having him photograph a doll ordered by a grandma to be shipped to the child at Christmas in another state so she can see it. And speaking of that, our animal, son, welcomer, trims manager, stitching buddy named Silvio is the hit of Lew's photography show here in town in the Whiting Library through January 31. Some winning shots are taken with his new portrait lens from Bonnie, and he will be thanked before year's end with a new Canon. He's a keeper just like Silvio and all you fans.View image
May your Christmas and holidays be filled with joy and good things.