2014 was a pretty rough year... November 08 2014, 0 Comments

  When Foxwise first really took off, back in 2011, I was a one-woman show with over ten Etsy shops.  I stayed busy, but it was manageable because I wasn’t getting a whole lot of orders.  As things grew, I gradually began phasing out the other shops and narrowing my focus, but by the summer of 2012 I reached the point at which I had to either start turning away business, or hiring assistants.  As someone who used to be a single mom with a perpetually overdrawn checking account, the idea of telling something “No thanks, you’ll have to go give your money to someone else” gave me hives, so I started hiring assistants.
  The past two and a half years have been a roller coaster of an education on how to run a business.  I do not have a background in business – I was a drama major in college (seriously), and have never taken so much as a single economics or business course.  But hey, I had drive and artistic vision and a nest egg and lots of coffee – who needed business training?
  Okay, so as it turns out, a little training in basic economics and sound business practices can actually prove rather helpful when one is launching a new business.  And, too, having some managerial experience, or finding someone who does whose opinion you trust, is also helpful for a new business, in the same way that breathing is helpful for staying alive, or gravity is helpful for not zooming off in the general direction of the dwarf planet Pluto.
  If I hadn’t been lucky enough to come into a little money in 2012, I would most likely have continued to muddle along on my own, perhaps with an assistant or two here and there.  But I did come into a little money, and instead of hiring one assistant I hired several, and rented office space and bought tools and machinery and supplies and a truck and hired an accountant and a lawyer and incorporated and then started a second corporation and filed for nonprofit status, and then moved to a bigger office space and got more tools and supplies and a refrigerator and a heat press and some really cool domain names that I’m positive will come in handy some day, and then moved into an even bigger space and got more tools and supplies and—well, the thing is, it’s possible that I overreached just a bit.  Because while I was hiring people to replace the people that quit after calling me a crazy {insert epithet here} for expecting them to actually, you know, work, and buying new tools and supplies to keep up with the growing number of orders and the even larger volume of orders I could envision down the road, I had my Etsy shops shut down for alleged copyright infringement, and then discovered that our handstamped bracelets and such couldn’t be sold on Amazon because one has to get approval to sell in the jewelry category there -- we hadn’t, as silly as it sounds, realized this because of the way that selling on Amazon is structured.  And then I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder which leaves me technically disabled, except of course, if I get on disability then I can no longer work, and after two and a half years of drama and unpleasant surprises and unexpected lessons in human nature and psychology, I have an AMAZING crew of hard-working, loyal, brilliant, creative and deeply good people – and I can’t imagine my life without them, and I don’t want to give up on Foxwise when we are finally prepared and poised to have the best year ever.
  But.  While we have an amazing crew, and lots of tools and supplies (and coffee!), the one thing we no longer have is Rose’s nest egg.  Add to that the lost revenue from Etsy and Amazon (we do still sell on Amazon, but our offerings there are limited to non-jewelry items such as keychains and bookmarks), and we are perilously close to sinking into bankruptcy.  We lost money last month, and the month before.  And the one before that.  And some more before that.
  It has, of course, occurred to me to throw in the towel, wave the white flag, call it quits, etc, and if it were just me – well, in truth, if it were just me I wouldn’t need to throw in the towel, because my own overhead is very small.  I could continue making and selling jewelry on my own and I’d probably do just fine.  But Foxwise is about more than just making jewelry – it’s about celebrating all that is truly awesome in the world, the things which are mostly viewed as nerdy by the unenlightened, and it’s about expressing yourself and wearing your heart on your sleeve – or your wrist, or your finger, or attached to your keys.
  We want to do awesome, cool and unexpected (in a good way!) things, and we’re well equipped to accomplish them -- we just need to get the word out.  So tell your friends, coworkers, fellow inmates, neighbors, running partner or anyone else you happen to bump into during the course of your day, about this nifty little company called Foxwise and how we'll customize just about anything that can be worn or carried or set out to look ever-so-pretty.  Ads and social media are all well and good, but there's only so much we can do to  spread the word on our own, and without word-of-mouth we aren't going to grow as quickly as we need to.
  We have some neat things in store.  I hope you'll pop back in once in a while to peruse our offerings and see what we're up to.