Rings were the first real jewelry item that I made and felt like I perfected. This, by the way, was about 20 years ago and long before you could jump on Google or YouTube to discover anything you wanted to learn. I had to sign up for an actual class, jump in my car and drive to a location!
Rings became my signature item. Early on in my first company, June Bijou, Real Simple magazine featured one of my rings in their Breast Cancer Awareness issue. Besides selling a ton – and I mean a ton of rings – I was able to donate more than $2000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation that year. Pretty cool for a pretty new, small business.
Over the years, I think I may have gotten burned-out on rings. I made so many, and they aren’t always the easiest to create. Rings need to be sized. If someone doesn’t know the actual size or provides the wrong size – or maybe I make the ring a little too big or small – then I have to do the whole thing over. It’s not digging a ditch, but sometimes it’s a hassle. (First world issues – I realize.) In any case, I’ve made considerably fewer rings with Soul Stonz.
The phone call that changed it all
A few weeks ago, a woman I’ve known since I first started selling jewelry called out of the blue and said she needed a rose quartz ring for someone. This isn’t that unusual, but people will normally just go on my website and select a ring. At the time, I only had a few rings on the site, and none were Rose Quartz. Because of our history, she probably knew I could make one.
A little backstory: the woman is a hairstylist in North Dallas. Twenty years ago, I met her while setting up my jewelry to sell in the same place she rented space. She agreed to trade a ring for a haircut as I didn’t have money for a cut and needed one badly. Teresa is her name, and she is one of the nicest, kindest people you’ll ever meet.
A week or so later, I made the ring, sent it off and followed up to make sure Teresa received it. Not only did she get it, Teresa said her stepdaughter loved it and kept staring at it on her hand. Now that made me happy!
Oh what a show
Fast forward a couple of weeks to this past Friday. I was setting up my booth at the Spring Flea Style Vendor Show. It was getting close to showtime, and I realized my booth was a train wreck. Boxes and bags were everywhere – nothing was organized. I thought I had more jewelry, but started feeling like my display was too sparse, and not full and vibrant enough. My worst nightmare is a skinny, sickly display.
In my head, I’m freaking out. I’m telling myself how unprepared I am, how everything is a mess, and how stupid I am to think I can do any of this. I’m berating myself on the lack of preparation and the general s-show that is this situation. At the same time, it just feels all too hard – I’m wasting my time and energy. I am a big stupid loser. And that’s the G-rated version. In real life, I swear like a sailor. By now I have actual tears in my eyes, and would like to just set fire to the space.
Somehow, I slowly start to pull it together. My mental dialogue continues and I ask myself, “what advice would you give to a friend right now?” This is actually the best thing to do when you’re in a bad spot. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a best friend or someone you love dearly. Generally, the way we speak to ourselves is not pretty. More than 85% of the thoughts we have are negative self-talk. It’s really important to try and remember to be nice to yourself.
So…my nice self says to my freaking out self, “Just clean up what you can, put things out, and you can rearrange later.” And that’s what I start doing. I manage to clean up the mess of empty boxes, unused displays and general excess, and start merchandising all the products. My panic is now about a 7 – down from 7000. I’m making progress, but I still don’t feel happy. That’s when I really put it all on the line and make a big ask of the universe: “This feels really terrible. I feel like I shouldn’t be doing this anymore. I’m going to need a pretty significant sign from you if I’m going to continue my business beyond this show.”
Shortly after, a very sweet girl buys a necklace, my first sale of the night. Hmm…OK…that’s nice, but one necklace? That’s not exactly a significant sign. So I reach out again, “God, I think I’m going to practically need a handwritten note to feel any better here.”
A few minutes later, another girl walks by, and I just know that I know her. As I say “I know you,” she smiles, pops up her hand and there is a rose quartz ring on her finger!
At first I was confused. It looks like my work, but I haven’t been selling those rings. But it really looks like one of mine. In about two seconds, I realize who she must be. She is the stepdaughter that Teresa ordered the ring for weeks ago. I was floored. I’ve never met her or even seen a picture of her. But I knew I knew her. She was just so familiar to me – it made me immediately approach her.
Her name is Rachel and she began to tell me how much she loves her ring and how obsessed she is with my jewelry. She’d just started to follow me on Instagram and saw that I was going to be at the show. Rachel grabbed one of her friends, and they drove all the way to Fort Worth to meet me and shop.
Alrighty then. This was a real sign. Rachel completely turned my day around, and my general state of mind. And let’s be honest, both were in the toilet just a few minutes earlier.
Things that really struck me…
- I could not get over the strong feeling that I knew Rachel. More than anything, that was so palpable.
- Teresa asked for a rose quartz ring – out of all of the many things she could have wanted. Rose quartz is a stone of love, most importantly self-love, which I desperately needed at the moment.
- Rachel drove all the way from Fort Worth to meet me. To see my work.
- She came at the exact moment that I asked for a sign – when I really needed the encouragement.
I’m still somewhat stunned about what happened. It’s one of those full-circle moments I’m going to try and remember when I’m feeling discouraged. I want to reflect back on how extraordinary it felt to make a request and get a response – a gift that could only be given by a loving force that conspires to encourage and uplift us all.
The moral of the story for me? Try to be kinder and talk more lovingly to myself – being awful doesn’t really help. Oh, and make a lot more rings, they’re magical.
Sending you good vibrations,