I'm still working on the website and it's looking good, but there are more things we're trying to do. We've got a Facebook and a Twitter account, and it would be good if I could post one thing everyday. I aim for at least twice a week though. We've launched a competition to attract more Facebook members, but this hasn't done much yet. A sale with some stock seriously reduced hasn't generated any orders yet either. The site always has someone online though, which is great. It's obviously a reference point. What I'm being paid though, makes it expensive advertising. Retail is not in a good place at the moment, so I'm concentrating on finding ways to promote the site and store. I am lucky I have friends who are happy to advise, it's a good feeling when our ideas are being affirmed. At the moment, it's all systems go for the Papercraft Show in Brisbane on the long weekend. I'm involved in some way with this too. It looks like I'll go down on the Sunday and help pack up. This will give the girls a break who are there for the Saturday and Friday. These days are so full on, but it's great exposure for Daisy's.
On the weekend we had another retreat. They seem to come around so very quickly. It was pretty special as Karen and I only get to spend one together a year. We sat together, and chatted and scrapped together for the whole weekend it was great fun. I tried to take care of her, and give her a break. She does so much for her family and rarely does anything for herself. I wanted her to feel like she didn't have to worry about anything for the short time that we were there. We had Alaine and Sheree and Kim on our table too, I don't get to see these girls often enough, so it was lovely to catch up. The retreats are so good for hooking up again with distant friends and spending more time with the ones who live here too. We always talk about a variety of subjects, and it's good to have that 'girl only' time.
It was a very relaxing time. I made cards and actually created by myself, not copying this time. It's like my head is clearer and the creativity has room to blossom again. It's Tuesday evening, and I'm happy with how I've recovered from the weekend with little sleep, although I've had a nap both today and yesterday. I'm lucky that I can do that. My sleep has been a bit disturbed still from the initial dose of medicine but thankfully isn't any worse with the increased dosage.
The happy time at the retreat was tinged with sadness on the Sunday morning. Alaine had a call that her poodle was having seizures. He was put to sleep yesterday. Such a sad day for her and her family. They have suffered so much of late, it's just not fair. Alaine is very fragile, and I fear that this is not good for her. She wrote and told me they are thinking of getting a new puppy. I know when Charlie died the idea of a new cat, was the furtherest thing from my mind, but I too quickly realized that having another pet to love and care for was going to be good for the entire family. Alaine and her family have made the same decision. I'm sure this new pooch will bring joy and love into the household again.
The website has been busy, as far as traffic to the site and it's generating traffic to the store, which is great. But we've still had no online orders. The retail sector is suffering at the moment, people don't have the extra money. I'm always very happy though as I go onto the site many times each day and there are always people online.
I've been doing a lot of reading and research this week, about ways to make our website more attractive, how to entice people to come back and also advertising. I've also been toying with the idea of learning web design myself. I've bought some Joomla videos and have watched those and was both sad and happy when I watched them. Happy because I knew almost everything that the movies showed and sad because I'd paid $10 to find this out lol...... Watching the videos amazed me as to how much I'd actually taught myself. There is still so much I don't know though and it really frustrates me. I find it easier fixing my computer than actually fixing something on the site. I often ask Kimmy, the girl who set it up initially to help me out. Thank goodness as she gets me out of strife some times.
I feel the site needs a point of difference. Our retail store has a huge point of difference, in the way that the girls are very helpful and friendly, the classes are fantastic, and the store has a real homely feeling with the urn that's always hot and the free home baking that's available for morning and afternoon teas. I think the site and online store needs a point of difference too. I need to talk to Barbi about this.
Barbi has her head full at the moment though with the upcoming show. This is a huge investment in both time and money. We'll be away on the long weekend, hoping to see many people and meet lots of customers, new and existing. On the Tuesday, I'll be heading back down to Brisbane with Barbi and Norma to do a Copic Certification Course. I'm very excited about this, can't wait to learn some techniques. At the end of the month we will be celebrating my Dad's 80th birthday. It's going to be an exciting day and I'm looking forward to helping my Mum on the day. We have to sit down and plan the food that we are going to have. In July we have two more birthdays, Billy-Joe will be 14 and Mickey will be turning 9. I am also teaching another photography class, which I haven't done in ages.