At our fun marketing meeting last night, we had some startling realizations. The Sale Doll pageneeded a new look; so Lew took out his favorite new camera lens (I keep buying them for my buddy); and in one shot captured four dolls in the late afternoon sunlight. In the process of deciding the percent to offer off on Barbie Barrette, Missy, Autumn and Sharon, twelve popped into my head and into the journal. They will be 12% off, and with the 10% returning customer guarantee, you have a nice saving.
So far in 2015 I have sold 58 dolls to one dozen returning customers, plus two new ones, one from Spring Open Studio and one today. Some of these faithful customers have been coming for twelve years at least and some have purchased more than a dozen dolls--one sweet lady twice that number in one year! Let's talk about all these benchmarks. I will share here that I wrote 48 poems this summer, and we made about as many dolls in three seasons this year.
Our last Vermont Crafts Council Spring Open Studio was the twelfth year of participation and our last. We appreciate the staff at the Guilford Welcome Center who distributes our fabulous 12-cent color brochure, sending the new visitor to our bannered gallery doors. One parent told me her two girls were grappling over one brochure in the back seat asking "Are we there yet?"
A Dozen Cats Plus One Sew. There are a dozen cat-stitching buddies who have gone to God but Silvio rules here, as many of you know. There are about a dozen copies of the book left at $13 each, so if you haven't gotten yours, better place your order. I don't stop on the lucky twelve. Our fur mascot is now twelve years of age and has totally recovered from his episode with diabetes. All better after 100 shots over 50 days. Brandi, our fabulous vet, tested him the night he arrived to board while we visited daughters Kate and Kelly in Santa Cruz, CA, accompanied with Kelly's pie doll birthday gift. Not only did we rejoice over the wisdom to visit our girls at The Farm but also that Silvio lives on in good health.View image
I continue to add to the list that we enjoyed over a half dozen visits from Vermont Bike Tour leaders Pete and Scott and their bikers from all over the country, even some sisters from Alaska. Those Tuesdays mean a rise early, tidy and bake those dark fudge brownies, green cake or sour cream jumbles--to everyone's delight. Our shining light is hospitality and I share stories about the dolls and the visitors get a retired park ranger's view of our1844 historic stone house. They especially enjoy the family art.View image
Two stitchers, Eileen, the embroiderer and Katherine, the dressmaker, continue to please the doll maker and her customers for their fine detailed workmanship and devotion. I could not do it without these two. And then there is Lew who continues to market, photograph and love me and his dolls, especially Andro, our icon. I would add that there are one dozen dolls who have enjoyed multiple buys this year, foremost Grace, Mimi, Madelyn, Judy, Destry and goosey Gretchen.
We proudly gave about twelve percent in special gifts to local charities - Aaron, the fireman, Bunny's Girls and Camilla the Cat and her book. We supported the Chester Townscape Committee, with Lew's historic line art and our beautification bucket that welcomed those dozen returning treasures to Bonnie's Bundles Dolls. The only place besides the Stone Village we had a presence for two days was in the Fall Festival on the Chester Green -- our 39th year. I had the awesome pleasure to hug and greet about 100 Bundle owners, old and young, whose dolls live on. One lady shared that her Laura doll was just written into her will for her granddaughter who has wanted Grammy's doll forever! I cried, with joy, just as I do when I see you coming back to visit to add to your Bundle assets. Cheaper by the dozen? Probably!