Thursday, October 30, 2014

Welcome to the Holidays!

Is it really Halloween already? Boy did that happened fast!
Thanksgiving in 4 weeks and then the race to Christmas. 
Its not too early to think about your Holiday shopping and who on your list is an art lover, maybe even you!
I would love to see you purchase some original pieces. However, I also want to point out the great value deals you can get on With the mat and framing choices its very easy to create a nice finished piece. Pictured here are some framing and mat options, but you should go and take a look and play with the options yourself.  Its 
easy, just head over to my gallery and have some fun with it. Click on one one of the images, then choose "framed" print and try out the several mat and frame options there to see how they can make the print really pop out! Have fun. 

Oh, and if you'd really rather have an original, check out my Etsy Shop, or drop me a line.  - Michele

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In Defense of HallowThanksChristmas ©2014

My HallowThanksChristmas Hat

Have you been in a store lately? I was in the grocery store last week-end to pick up some supplies.  The Halloween items were already on sale for 50% off, and the Christmas stuff was huddled on shelves as if waiting in line, clamoring for their turn.
I see people making snide comments about this early Holiday Marketing. “Wait, we haven’t even had Halloween!” or “What happened to Thanksgiving?”  

On Facebook, I’ve seen posts that are crusading against it. The slogan is , IN SUPPORT OF FAMILY,  I PLEDGE TO NOT SHOP ON THANKSGIVING. Another one simply says, JUST SAY NO TO SHOPPING ON THANKSGIVING, and then, IF I'M SHOPPING, SOMEONE ELSE IS WORKING.

There is even an entire page on Facebook devoted to this crusade. It has over 70,000 fans, or what Facebook calls, likes.  On it people are leaving warning posts to not shop at Sears, Kmart, Walmart, and others because these places all open early on Thanksgiving Day for this annual shopping marathon.

Well my goodness, maybe some people are happy to be working and getting holiday pay for doing so.!

And maybe someone else is happy to have the time to shop on a day when their own work is closed.

Costco, one of the largest US retailers is not open on  “Black Friday”, the Day after Thanksgiving,  in support of this crusade. Do you know why it’s called Black Friday?

It’s called Black Friday because that is the day in the year when most retailers are no longer “in the red”, but go “in the black”. That means  they make a profit for the first time in the year. Amazing isn’t it? The year is nearly over and they just start to make a profit.

Personally, I like when the stores start filling with Holiday D├ęcor. I don’t even mind the snowmen and reindeer in line behind the pumpkins and turkeys.  It sort of gets me in the Holiday Spirit and reminds me that the Holidays are near at hand.  I like it even better when the online ads begin.

I don’t go into stores on the Holidays. I prefer to spend them with family and friends.  I did do it once. I was young and foolish.  I went to Toys R Us in search of a Star Wars ewok for my son.  After diving headlong through a crazed group of parents to reach my prize, I lost it to another mother who grabbed it out of my hands and then smacked me in the face with it. I decided not to participate in that kind of Holiday Spirit again.

I do however shop on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  I do it peacefully and comfortably at my laptop computer. I spend time talking with family or friends to find out how they are and decipher what they might need or want from these conversations.  Then I go on Amazon, Ebay, or Store websites and find it. You can find out so much more about many items online. The amount of information and customer feedback is incredible.  I also make a Christmas list of things I’d like and share it with family. So simple, no stress, and the choices are endless.

I especially like things being delivered to my home. In the old days, you called up the grocer and he’d deliver the items to your house.  Or, he’d have it ready and waiting for you to pick up.  Milk and Dairy were delivered most days. Word of mouth was the advertising then.  Mrs. Jones would let it be known when the Christmas Candies and Calendars could be ordered.  Your neighbor would tell you when the dairy had the new cheese ready, or that the butcher could now take orders for Christmas turkeys.

Today, thanks to the internet, we have even more options and word of mouth.  I can order supplies or gifts on Amazon and they are delivered in two days at no charge. I can share an item with someone in another state or country to see if it is exactly what they are looking for.  I can order a piece of art directly from the artist, or music directly from the musician, or send a gift card for someone to pick out exactly what they want. I can ship a painting to Italy for a Christmas present on behalf of someone who would never have known me except for the internet.

As an online retailer, I’m very, very fond of the holidays. People can ask me questions about my products and it gets emailed to my phone. I can answer them in my pajamas too and no one’s the wiser.  I can also process dozens of orders in a day without even lifting a finger because Amazon does all the work for me.  I can do it while sleeping, while eating, while painting, while…….oh, never mind, we won’t go there.

I love marketing and sales.  It’s courageous, creative, fun and very lucrative.
So, what’s wrong with all this over the holidays?  We all need or want various goods and services. Those who sell goods or services need to make them known and get them into the hands of customers. The engine of an economy is production and exchange, and without marketing, advertising and sales it wouldn’t get anywhere.  I say bring it on!, the more the merrier.

Don’t be afraid of a little holiday spirit.  
Have some fun and don’t be so serious!

And, let’s all have a very Happy HallowThanksChristmas!

© 2014 Michele Ross