Well, of course, it all makes sense.... Who doesn't like coloring? But apparently many of us forgot. I think what is most interesting to me is the way they are being packaged as meditation/stress relief tools. Now, anyone who does any sort of craft project with their hands probably doesn't need the reminder that doing things with your hands is a nice way to focus on the task at hand and clear your mind of other things and also relieve some stress. Again, apparently more of us needed the reminder.
We have been very inspired to see the many different lovely coloring books that are coming onto the market. A friend of mine actually traveled to Paris at least a year ago and came home to tell me that the big thing over there was coloring books. Guess it took a little while to reach us. I honestly think that all publishers are scrambling to try and meet demand so it is not just reserved for me. That said, my former boss would have some basic calculations: how much you sold in 1 week times the number of weeks you have (before, say, Christmas) and that gives you a ballpark of how many you should order. Let's just say it is in the hundreds according to her math. Of course, that works better when it is just a single item that you are working with. Meanwhile we are faced with a tempting array of choices: nature, Bollywood, Paris, flowers, geometric patterns, folk art patterns... We just received some of the coloring books that we ordered in Atlanta so I've enjoyed about a week of not having my boss' voice yelling in my head about how I've underordered. In the meantime, I've got to sit down and do the calculations for Christmas.
I know, you didn't want to hear that word. Still, in my retail world, it IS Christmas, at least time to work on the budget and figure out what else we are missing that we didn't order in Atlanta or New York. Not exactly a sad task, though somewhat challenging as there is never really enough space for all the good things that I would order. As it is, things are feeling a little squashed in the office. We have been having a great summer so far - strong sales and lots of people coming in to the shop. We set a new all-time high the Saturday of the Art Fair, and broke that the following Saturday during Maxwell Street Days. Sachi and I are both teaching some workshops at the libraries in the next couple months, so there is some added clutter of workshop materials pulled into bins. I still have a little fantasy of a traveling bookmobile except with crafts. Then I wouldn't have to do all this packing and unpacking.
Speaking of unpacking, besides coloring books, other new arrivals at the shop include:
a further exploration of the mercantile/office supply/general store theme: office basics, including staplers and paper clips, with an Anthology twist, of course.
more mini memo pads from Japan, which caused one young customer to scold her friend: "OMG, why did you bring me here? I'm going to go broke!"
I've been working on some new designs in PhotoShop, including Christmas cards and a new print; while Sachi is going old school with hand-lettering and watercolors. She has a whole series inspired by one afternoon in Mineral Point.
And, it is getting to be calendar season. We still have a couple orders that we are waiting on but should have the full selection in about a week. We found some new planners this year so we have a bit more to choose from, including some that start with the academic year. I've got my eye on one in particular, even though it is totally impractical as I have barely managed to write in my thin planner, let alone this tome which I will be most likely to leave at home. Still debating about that. Maybe make it a visual journal?
and, of course, we both cringe and relish the national spotlight on Wisconsin's Governor as he runs for President. Sachi was inspired to make a card that pretty much sums it all up, a riff on his mistaken greeting to a rabbi, which may or may not have been sent, but which was discovered in the John Doe investigation, and totally explains why Scott Walker would want to do away with open records, given that this would have not come to light had we not been able to check in on what our elected officials are up to. Meanwhile, I'm working on a mini print. As with all things Scott Walker, it is mostly a question of winnowing out and refining the blunders. So many to choose from! Mostly I'm trying to make sure that people within two degrees of separation of me know why he is unfit for the White House so if you have anyone in doubt, feel free to send them my way.