For today’s weekly email, I am trying a few new things! First, I thought it would be fun to make my email a blog post in case y’all wanted to comment! As always, you are welcome to email me back or you can trying commenting below, either way!
Next, for this week’s launch, I am trying my own version of Jewelry TV, appropriately titled, The Pearl Girls TV. My first attempt is not perfect, I must admit. But, I am launching it anyway! Most importantly, the Buy Now button does not line up correctly. I edited the video and tried to upload again but, I don’t think YouTube liked that. So, bear with me! I had a lot of fun… With the exception of the first 3 versions of this video featuring me with a missing head! I found lining up my camera correctly very difficult!
This week I want to talk about boundaries. And I want to talk about them because 1) I hate them and 2) Because I am hoping you can relate! Finding my boundaries is tough. I am a super accommodating, let-me-do-that-for-you type of person. I like peace, I like harmony and I like a big belly laugh. Which can be tough when everyone is ornery. So, I avoid anger and angry people at all costs. And I will give away the farm if we can all just get along. Which, I am finding is tough in both relationships and business. But, thank you, Lord, for continually bringing me lessons which test my borders. This is my work these days.
It started, fairly aggressively, a few weeks ago. Our website went crazy and one of our necklaces was listed for the same price in both gold and silver. I had inputted the info correctly but it was outputted incorrectly. Well, wouldn’t you know a few orders came through before I caught it. Some customers understood that I could not give away $80 worth of gold for free, others did not. I chose to stand my ground. Old me would have given away the gold. New me was not willing to honor a website glitch. I could cancel the order, make the necklace is silver or accept payment for the gold upcharge. But, I couldn’t offer gold for a silver price.
Another lesson came in the form of a woman who had ordered stud earrings in a clip on style. My office manager asked me what the price difference would be. I told her the difference would be how much it cost us to buy the clip on findings. We would, essentially, pass on the extra cost to the customer. Unfortunately, she didn’t relay the message to the customer. So, when the earrings were complete and we called up the customer for payment, she was upset about paying an extra $15. I couldn’t understand why because I didn’t know she wasn’t told about the upcharge. When I spoke to my office manager and she told me she had never called the customer back, I decided to give away the $15 for free. That felt like miscommunication and that felt true to honor that.
The next one was a customer who lost an earring and wanted me to replace it for free. She ordered earrings from us six month ago and never felt like the back never fit right. Instead of returning them, asking for a replacement or reaching out to us for advice, she kept wearing them. We had no idea she was having trouble with her earring back. So, when her earring fell out of her ear six months later, she felt like it was our fault and we needed to replace it for her. I offered to sell her just one earring. I also offered to discount that one earring. But, this wasn’t enough for her. She was mad and she wanted a free earring. Now, this is usually my trigger. You are mad so I will fix it. But, this did not feel like my responsibility. In her defense she had gone to her local jeweler for a new earring back. But, since I knew nothing about it and over half a year had gone by, I told her I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to replace her earring for free. She ended the call very upset with me and has vowed to never be our customer again.
One fun part of my business is that I get to approve small discounts here and there. A new customer reached out wanting an extra 5% off for her birthday. I approved it! But, I told my office manager that we always have to put parameters on these special discounts! Trust me, I have learned this one. There is nothing worse than hearing, “But you said you would give me a discount!” “I’m sorry I don’t remember! When did I offer the discount?” “Oh, a few years ago…”
So, we set the coupon code at a two week expiration. After the two weeks, the customer asked for a 3 day extension. And after the three days she still didn’t order, explaining she was having difficulties with her health. I told her I was so sorry to hear it but she still had access to our WELCOME code, 10% off for first time customers. She didn’t respond so I assumed she understood. A couple of more weeks have passed and she has now emailed saying she is very upset with me and my timeline. I’m upset, too. I hate losing a customer before she even shops with us. I emailed her again offering to extend it one more time if she was willing to shop now. I told her I just couldn’t offer an indefinite coupon. Again, she has emailed and is very angry with me but again, she doesn’t seem ready to order.
I want to somehow find a space where I can offer something with love and kindness and not be left failing at everyone’s expectations, too. I currently have full shopping carts at westelm.com and worldmarket.com but the truth is I am not placing that order right now. And I know that the really great coupon will expire one day.
Anyway, as y’all know, we have the best customers ever. And I know that everyone is doing the best we can in life. I am sure my customer/not-customer is super frustrated by her health. And it is such a bummer to lose a piece of jewelry. And I hate thinking I got an over-the-top amazing deal only to learn that, no, I didn’t. I feel like I get it. I also know that to grow, I have to start really being true to what feels right in my heart, mind and body.
So, y’all tell me, how do you find your borders? How do you stick with them when all you crave is love and kindness. When you want everyone to feel good but when you want yourself to be included in that “everyone” category?
I would love to hear from you! And check out my new 5 Black Pearl Bracelet, my newest launch of Tahitian Black Pearls! Thanks for listening. Thanks for understanding my growing pains!
So much Love and Appreciation,
I am a modern day treasure hunter who travels the world for gorgeous pearls and amazing adventures. I own a pearl jewelry and jewelry repair business, ThePearlGirls.com, with a cute retail store in Athens, GA.