November 21, 2012.
"At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret not spending time with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent." ~ Barbara Bush
I have had some good & bad times running Jamie's Painting & Design. I tend to like to focus on the good times (like most everyone) instead of the bad times. However, the bad memories, or bad times are just as much a part of my ten years in business as are the good times. Sometimes when things get really bad I start to consider closing Jamie's Painting & Design. Luckily, I never get past the question, "What the hell would I do?" As I hit my ten year mark this November I just can't imagine not working on and in this company. Next year, I may have a different take on the state of Jamie's Painting & Design, but for now all is good.
Sadly, that is not the case for all of my counterparts, competitors and friends. The last few years have been tough on the small business owner that makes children's products. I would say the problems started about five years ago, but I already touched on that - and who wants to go there again? Some companies weathered the storm, some closed, some licensed their work and some of us stuck it out. I don't know if it would have been better to close before the storm, or weather the storm only to close after surviving it - but we did what we thought was the best for our company at the time. Just this past week I have spoken to two other partners/friends that will most likely be closing their doors at the end of 2012 or early in 2013. This will probably not be my last post of this nature:
Say Goodbye to My Little Dish
It is with a very heavy heart and much sadness to report as of November 9, 2012 My Little Dish has officially stopped taking orders for their very popular Personalized Prayer Plates. Once those plates are painted and shipped to customers, the doors will be a closing and closing for good.
This was not an easy decision for them to make, nor was it one they ever thought would actually happen. After an incredible partnership with a large company ended, London Edwards was left with hefty obligations and wasted inventory. Her existing sales were not going to be enough to keep My Little Dish profitable.
London started My Little Dish late in 2001. It was soon after the 9/11 when like many Americans were craving traditional things in their lives, so was she. She wanted to find a way to appreciate the small things and create special memories for her children. It all began with an idea for a dinner plate.
London’s husband. Patrick, had received a set of hand made, personalized plastic plates as a child from a very dear aunt. The plates were being used by her boys and began to show some wear and tear. London adored the idea and decided she wanted to make them their very own plates to use and pass down. The original Prayer Plate TM was born. The hand painted adorable children's dish had a prayer inscribed around the rim. It was meant to teach children a variety of dinner prayers. The company’s original line proved to be a big hit among retailers and even launched a major licensing program with a national gift ware company.
I have written about London and our unique friendship in the past. I have written about our
numerous trips to Atlanta, when we attended for fun and when we exhibited and worked together. I have blogged about her success as a Mompreneur and I have even discussed her incredible luck (and talent) that landed her in the most coveted catalog of the Children's Industry.....Pottery Barn Kids. Ironically enough, that is one of my popular blog posts and every few months I still get a few random emails from small business owners asking me for the connection to get them into PBK (Connections I never had....it was London, not me with the connections).
"Sometimes when we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open." ~ Alexander Graham Bell
I started to write this post a few weeks ago, as I was in contact with London as she went through this major life transition. I have had a hard time trying to write what I felt and how I am guessing she felt during this tough transition. I hope I was able to help her as she set off on a new chapter of her life. I don't think this change will alter our friendship, as in the last few years we talked less 'shop' and more life. Our IM and texting conversations are less and our phone conversations are almost non-existant. But that does not mean that we are no longer friends, or that I do not think of her constantly and all that she has to wrap up.
As I was writing this post I was able to go back over my posts, her posts and smile remembering happier times. I also tried ot link to her website, but it has been pulled down already. For some reason that made me sadder, that made it real. So it is, one of my competitors, yet one of my best friends in the business is no longer making personalized ceramic plates with me. We have not spoken in a few weeks but word on the street is she is good with her decision and happy with what her future has in store. This makes me happy for her and hopeful she is satisfied with her decision. So, when we talk again we can focus on other things....like life and gossip and where are we going to meet in 2013.