I started my small online business in September of 2014. I was worried, frustrated, and somewhat confused about selling my handmade crosses online. I survived the first year and have enjoyed ever year since. The best part for me is the creative part of business. Unfortunately the other “stuff” (ie; finances, social media, marketing, shopping, ok maybe not shopping since it’s fun too) all come with the job. I have learned so much and have never been as frustrated with myself all at the same time. So much of what I have learned is from customers, other sites, competition, and trial and error.
I try to learn new ways of creating because I want to improve on my product and make the buying experience enjoyable for my customers. Today I took a trip down memory lane and looked over my past catalog. Yes, it took an hour. I have sold over 5000 crosses since my start in late 2014 and have made no two alike. My crosses are 100% one of a kind
So as I’m looking through I notice a few things about my designs. Maybe I have paid too much attention to my competition and haven’t always stayed true to myself. Is better always better? While trying to keep up with volume have I lost my nerve to be more creative? Is was worth the trip down memory lane. I learned something new today, to stop and think, “is this really my best?”
March, April, and May are busy months for me as are the holidays. My customers are loyal and kind. All of my family are buried in small country cemeteries or Catholic cemeteries. I realize that some of the larger cooperate cemeteries have strict rules on what you can or can’t place on graves. There are cemeteries that have timelines stating when how long grave decorations can remain on a grave. Here are some pictures of my husbands family graves this Memorial holiday.
Crosses are my business and also my passion as I create each one to be unique just as the person being memorialized is.
One night as I was working on a new cross I thought ” I bet the cross is the most recognized symbol in the world”
So I quickly took to Google to show myself how right I was. First let me say that humility is something that should be embraced when presented and appreciated until one leaves this earth. I often forget that I live in one small portion of this world and that there are many faiths, belief systems and customs in the world besides that of a Catholic American like myself.
The cross may be a symbol recognized by many but so is the Star of David.
The American Red Cross or that symbol used in war to mark the medical areas and are places where care and comfort are given may be the most recognized “cross” of all.
The peace sign and the Olympic Rings both made the top 10 most recognized symbol. I found that comforting in my mind.
The skull and crossbones were one from my childhood that were on many items in the bathroom and the kitchen. I was told to stay away from that symbol.
I also found that there were multiple combinations of symbols and logos mixed. The Golden Arches and the apple with a bite missing are very recognized logos but are they symbols? Not in my opinion but your viewpoint might be different.
Symbols come in different languages……
As well as different areas of study.
The cross may not be the most recognized symbol in the world which is not a big revelation, but what was most disturbing and revealing about symbols was that a symbol of hate was also in the top ten. I refuse to put a picture of the symbol on my blog. The symbol is a distorted red mark that one man used to lead others to kill millions of people for no other reason than hate for their difference to him.
As I said in the beginning, humility should be embraced and we should learn from our narrow thinking in all human relationships.