It is one of my downfalls.....when stress hits I tend to get silent. It is a downfall in blogging, social media, and in real live relationships as well.
Needless to say, we have been a bit stressed around here.
In March we received an email from our jerky manufacturer that they would no longer be making our brand of beef jerky. We placed our last order and started saying some prayers. We contacted another meat company who used to make beef jerky but hadn't in some years. They said that they would be interested in entertaining the idea but would get back with us. (Boy am I making this very long story short!) We didn't hear from them for a week or so and we contacted them again. The guy asked if we could send him some samples of the popular brand of beef jerky. We did and didn't hear from him again. He was on vacation, out of the office, probably just avoiding our calls.
In the meantime we had to do something. We negotiated with our existing beef jerky manufacturer that we would be the ONLY people selling another brand of jerky that they have. It comes in a smaller bag, half the size of the bags that we are selling, and costs more than the bags we were selling. Not good, but we bought some and just had to deal with the cards that we had in our hand. It sold okay the next couple weekends. We were so glad that we still had our beef sticks that were selling well.
April came and at Easter we decided to head back to our old home town to celebrate the holidays with our family still living there and to get our stuff out of storage. We spent the last of our money to get there and rent a trailer to bring our stuff back. Unfortunately it was a bad move on our part. Well, honestly we aren't sure if it is a bad move or not. While we were home we went through every single box we owned. We put our hands on every single thing! We weeded out about 50% more of our stuff. Some was trash, some slated for donation, and the rest went towards a gigantic yard sale. We sold about $600 worth of stuff! Woo hoo! We thought we did pretty well. We also went through our furniture and cleaned out our storage unit that we were keeping our furniture in. We took a bunch of stuff to a new consignment shop that had just opened and was happy to receive our things.
We ended up bringing back only some things. Some basic furniture and some other items we had been missing terribly. We still have a truck load sitting back there in my stepmother's basement.
The end of April my parents moved down here to southwest Florida. Their house is in the process of being built and will look beautiful when it is done. In early May we went down to visit them. We loved the area and thought that perhaps we might want to live there too. It is a growing community and lots of new building is going on. We thought we would try to get a job there and then move.
We came back two weeks ago from our visit and immediately began putting in applications for jobs. We also didn't have any money to buy new product from our manufacturer and didn't have but $300 in product sitting on our tables. Luckily, a vendor we had been wholesaling to decided he didn't want to sell the product anymore and we were able to consign his product he had leftover back. Basically, we took it back and are selling it for him. He gets the amount he put into it and we get the profit because we did the selling work. Bonus for each of us. He gets rid of his product and we get product to sell.
We have also put our booth up for sale. We can sell the space and move to another area in the market and continue to sell our product. We are not excited about this but again, we are totally broke and need the money. We are willing to part with our best selling spot to make ends meet at home.
A week ago I got a job and began work. I am now working at a national chain store that sells craft supplies and home decor. It is part time and I have already put in 17 hours. I love it. I really do. I feel useful, valued (not that I am not valued at home or in our other business), and I love the store. I was already a customer there so I was familiar with the products, placement and the basic policies. When I applied and interviewed for the position apparently my interview went well because the manager decided to hire me for a different position I had applied for and gave me a 50 cent raise immediately! Double bonus!
And to top everything off last Wednesday we got a phone call out of the blue from the other meat manufacturer (the one we had sent the samples to and never heard back). They said they were in the development phase and about two weeks out on sending us some samples of their new jerky. WHAT??? We thought they weren't doing anything after not hearing from them for so long. So we are waiting on them to send us samples and we might be back in the jerky business after all.
So that is pretty much where we are and how we are doing. We are waiting on samples, broker than we have ever been before, late on bills, working a part time job, and putting in applications everywhere for anything.
I would love to say I am enjoying my time here in sunny Florida but right now.....not so much. We are at the end of our patience living in a 40 ft. trailer. It is still big enough for all of us but it is the little things. The water in the kitchen turns off when someone flushes the toilet. The lights go out when we overload the circuit breakers which doesn't take much to do, and everyone seems to be in each other's way.
And yes, I promise to post a bit more often.