Newness and Finale – Another New Year

The last day of the lunar cycle brought the need to clutter clear.  Which also brought about the need to look forward and make some plans.

We did that over dinner for New Year’s Eve.  Cowboy Blues was a packed house and great music.  Not very often we partake in those kinds of events, but then we left early enough for two old people to return home and settle in for the night.    Coming home, the timing was perfect and I got great pictures of Lenza’s Light Train (watch for a post on the Gallery webpage).  The few booms at midnight woke us up, and the second batch kept my brain thinking so I got up for a short while to start the sleep cycle over again.

The first calendar day of 2014, today, will find us reprogramming the cash register and taking inventory.  Those acts of “Retailing” will reestablish balance and harmony amongst the rumbles of change.  Rumbles of a society very much undergoing change.

New beadtable view for Copper Raven

My new view – overlooking my studio retail shelves and a view of the highway
It’s a time of simplicity, less stuff, less concern about buying quantity and more interest in quality.  Retailing has changed so much over the past 51 years I’ve been doing it.  And resort area, limited season retailing is even more restricted and challenging.  It is all resulting in less demand.  Less demand means lower sales, slow to no growth and a small manufacturing community.  This results in every company from Walmart to my jewelry company, Copper Raven, looking closely at -needs, -wants, -desires, -requirements, and -dreams.  And all those areas need to be looked at and a prioritization made.

That proirity status will create a focus, a focus for my jewelry, a focus for Tracy’s photography, a focus for the Gallery.  It’s a good process and a healthy one that we do on an annual basis.  It provides us time to talk about what visitors bought last year and what they might purchase this year.  How the interest in souvenirs has changed, and what might interest them in the future.

As quality and not quantity begin to drive demand we’ll bring in items of function that will remind folks of their trip.  Photography is that functional and affordable piece of memorabilia that most folks can’t capture themselves.  They have snapshots to share but not print an 18″ x 24″ shot of the slot canyons, Powell Point or Lower Calf Creek Falls.

We’ve been blessed with wonderful customers and many new friends.  We’ll continue to change our gallery operation and spend more time visiting other stores and places for Tracy to photograph.  I’ll enjoy the opportunity to create double-wall Cherokee baskets and knit for the charities in need of baby items and hats.  “Busy Hands are Happy Hands”, my grandmother always said.

Basketry from Copper Raven
Double-wall Cherokee Basket with hand-peeled Cypress Bark
And over the course of 2014 we’ll get asked “how it’s going?”, “is it working?”, and “how are sales?”.  Our answer is usually the same, I’ll tell you more about it at the end of the year, after inventory, after reprogramming the cash register, and after we sit down New Years Eve to plan for the next year.
Thanks for joining us on our journey, we look forward to the coming year.

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