Satisfaction. Say it slowly, emphatically: Satisfaction! There’s just something wonderful about that word. Something, well, satisfying! Every time I hear it, I can hear Mick Jagger singing in my head. I suppose that dates me, but oh well! Satisfaction is the word for today.
Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am always busy. I’m always doing, or making, or fixing, or designing something. I really like being productive. It’s very satisfying to me.
Years ago, I designed, assembled and sold cross stitch kits.
As such, I had a large supply of DMC 6-strand embroidery floss on hand. When I opened my store, I added those to the many things I sell. For a while, the hanks of floss sat patiently waiting to be wanted. Then this past summer, suddenly everyone was looking for floss.
I had around 70 or 80 colours and for anyone who knows about these things… that is a drop in the bucket of what is available. I told people that if they gave me a list of the colours they knew they would need, I could bring them in. But often, I see people who are traveling through and can’t wait for the special order to arrive. I didn’t think about it much until one day when I actually opened the drawers and realized that they looked barren!
I pulled out the DMC shade card and began cross referencing the colours that I have against the card so I could undertake an expansion of my stock. That was a long and tedious task. Then, feeling somewhat overwhelmed, I logged onto my supplier’s website. That was when I discovered that the shade card is only a fraction of the available colours.
If I thought I was overwhelmed before, then I’m not sure how to describe what I felt after this realization set in.
As always when I’m at a loss, I messaged my daughter (the one who makes my blog posts look fantastic every week). She suggested that there must be a list of the top 100 colours somewhere. Ummmm, why didn’t I think of that? Oh yeah, I was feeling overwhelmed and the frontal lobe of my brain was in shut-down mode. LOL
I contacted my supplier and asked whether it would be difficult for them to send me such a list. Much to my delight, Mari emailed me the details the next day. I printed it out and began crossing off the colours that I already have to determine what I should order. That was a long tedious process. The colour card where I had marked in my stock was not in numerical order; the top 100 list was clearly in a completely different order. But I got it done. Next was to go onto the website and place my order.
Did I mention that the top 100 is a drop in the bucket of the colours available?
I started filling in the order online. I was about half way through and was interrupted. By the time I returned to it, the site had timed out. ARGH!!! (Not the actual word I used, but well… you know.) So I started over. I was interrupted yet again. I got back to it in time and got another 20 or so colours in. I was interrupted again. It timed out again. DOUBLE ARRRRGGGGGGHHHHH! This whole starting over was a nuisance! I was determined that I was not going to let anything stop me from completing my task. I had a near interruption, but I explained that I would spontaneously combust if I allowed my page to time out one more time, and my very understanding customer happily browsed the store until I was done. I completed the order and all was good. Satisfaction achieved!
Knowing I would need some place to store all these gorgeous hanks of floss once they arrived, we headed to IKEA.
I found the perfect cabinet in “Alex”. Thanks, IKEA.
My supplier called me and informed me that a few of the colours were out of stock. I told them I really didn’t care as long as there were lots of them on their way to me when the time came. She laughed and assured me that there would indeed be lots of them. I felt a little bad for the person who got stuck with picking my order in the warehouse… but not that bad.
When the parcel came in there were a dozen each of 75 happy, pretty new colours that all needed to be entered into the inventory. WOOHOO! That was a long and tedious task.
But I got it done! That was very satisfying.
As the computers were updating my point-of-sale software, I set to constructing my cabinet. I’m not sure what time it was when my husband dragged me away and said it was time to stop.
After much pondering, I came up with a design for drawer dividers. I used a cool new product called Kraftex (which I’ll tell you about another day). I sewed one for each drawer. Then came the sorting of the rows and rows of boxes by colour families and sequences. We organized them all into the trays (and one of my old 3-drawer DMC cabinets). Then mom made a list of how all the colours were organized into each drawer. We printed out labels and stuck them onto the tops of the drawer fronts for reference. I ran out of label tape before I got the colour family names onto all the drawers, but other than that, it’s all done.
This took place over a span of about 3 weeks. Each and every step of this process felt like a big accomplishment. Often I could only get things done a few minutes here and there between customers. Throughout, I was viscerally aware of the sense of satisfaction that came with finishing each step. And now, I have a beautiful cabinet with around 144 colours of DMC floss for my customers to choose from.