First, I want to thank all of you who took the time to provide feedback in the survey! This was enormously helpful to me as I made decisions over the last few weeks about what to keep, what to change, and what to discard.
Today’s post is long, and contains three sections:
- A quick synopsis of the results
- A selection of the comments I received along with my responses
- New offerings and planned upcoming changes to current offerings.
Please feel free to jump to whichever sections interest you most!
1. How do you follow A Kintsugi Life? (check all that apply)
92% receive the email newsletter
14% follow on Facebook
All other options were followed by 3% (or less)
This is important context because it tells me the answers to the next question are focused almost entirely on the email newsletter. Since I share widely different types of things on different places, this is helpful to know what your answers are focused on!
2. What information do you want to receive from A Kintsugi Life? (check all that apply)
86% want New blog posts on kintsugi living
73% want Encouraging quotes and memes
56% want News about A Kintsugi Life
45% want Previews of the latest creations
34% want Sales and coupons
It’s encouraging to know that new blog posts are the thing people are most interested in for the newsletter because that has been it’s primary focus, so I’ll keep that the same. The desire for encouraging quotes and memes was a big surprise because I haven’t included that in the newsletter before! I’ve only shared those on Facebook and Twitter in the past, so I’ll need to look at ways to incorporate that into the newsletter.
Just over half of you are interested in news of what A Kintsugi Life is doing, so I will continue to include news in the newsletter when I have it. I currently only share previews of the latest creations on social media (primarily Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest), and it sounds like that meets most people’s needs since interest is fairly low. As expected, interest in sales and coupons is very low, so I’ll continue to try to keep that to a minimum.
3. If you receive the email newsletter, which frequency would you prefer?
69% Weekly (current format)
31% 1-2 times/month (no blog posts, only news)
It looks like the newsletter will stay weekly and will continue to focus on blog posts!
Comments (and responses)
I sincerely want to thank those of you who left so many encouraging and uplifting comments. Thank you! That meant so much to me and was a huge encouragement!
Among those offering suggestions that I thought it might be helpful to share and comment on, I heard the following: (my responses in italics)
There were a couple of mentions of more YouTube videos.
The YouTube video series I had been doing got very, very low views on both YouTube and Facebook. Given the amount of time they took me, I just can’t justify making more of them right now since there was so little interest. For those of you that did enjoy them, I’m really sorry!! I enjoyed sharing them.
I have these on the website, but I’ve never considered putting them in the newsletter. Given the relatively low interest among newsletter readers in the things I make, I’m not sure this would be a hit with many readers.
“Stories about other people and how A Kintsugi Life has helped them.”
I would absolutely love to have more of these to share, but I don’t get much feedback along this line to use. I’d even widen that to say that I love to hear stories about how kintsugi living in general has helped people (even if it’s not explicitly about me or A Kintsugi Life). I’ve tried hard to get guest bloggers, but I haven’t had much luck with that. If any of you would be willing to write a guest post on this topic, I’d love to have you!
“Smaller, minimalist, more affordable jewelry pieces.”
Unfortunately, there’s a limit to the size of stones I can effectively use. Once they get under 20 mm, the percentage of stones that survive the breaking process drops dramatically. The 15 mm heart pendants I make are the smallest things I’ve able to do. Given the high rates of loss and the fact that the smaller sizes often mean it takes more time to complete a repair since the tiny pieces are so much harder to work with, smaller doesn’t really correspond to cheaper.
Having said that, I suspect I have a lot more small items than you might think since I tend to emphasize the larger, more popular ones when featuring things on social media. To make it easier to find the smaller pieces, I’ve created a stone size filter in the sidebar (on a computer) or at the bottom (on a mobile device) for the Shop page or any of the Shop section pages.
“I would like shorter inspiration pieces that are quickly read vs long blog posts. Like quick doses of inspiration or reassurance.”
I’m not very good at writing shorter pieces, but this is something I can work on doing. Especially given the interest in quotes and memes, maybe I can alternate between my usual length posts and short pieces focused on quick encouragement. I’ll need to experiment with this and see what everyone likes best.
“Don’t forget us men.”
I’m trying on this one! The cuff link and tie tack section is obviously designed for men, and the key chains were added primarily to give a option suitable for men (although they work well for anyone). A fair number of the options in the Kintsugi stone necklaces section were also created with men in mind. If any of you have additional ideas for things that would be a better fit for men, I’d really love to hear them!
“Classes on how to do the kintsugi process.”
Most of the people who’ve inquired about classes are interested in the traditional kintsugi process, which I don’t do (since I work with stone instead of ceramics). When I’ve investigated holding classes before for stone, there simply wasn’t enough interest to justify the kind of time and expense it would take to host a series of classes. I do try to collect options for classes by other teachers on my Kintsugi classes and tutorials page, so I hope you are able to find a suitable class there.
A couple of people suggested the writing of a book on kintsugi living.
This is something I have a lot of interest in, but it’s been challenging trying to find the time to devote to it. I’m still hopeful that I can make this happen, especially as some of the changes I mention below start to take effect.
“I do not know if you sell your products outside America, so clarity for people overseas would be helpful.”
I do sell outside of the USA, and you can find more information about this in the FAQ, the Shipping policy, and in the description for each listing in the shop. I’m making the mention of this in each listing bold to help people notice it. Thanks for letting me know that you weren’t able to find it!
New offerings and upcoming changes
Part of my re-evaluation process stemmed from the realization that I am spending so much time keeping up with demand and managing all of the back-end pieces of running an online business that I’ve lost my connection to the people I want to serve and my desire to be a healing presence in the world. I miss that!
To free up more time for connection and service to others, I desperately need to simplify the rest of what I’m doing. In addition to the small changes mentioned above, I’m making two major changes in pursuit of simplification.
First, I’ve selected a number of styles that I am going to be discontinuing as soon as use up the remaining settings (or stones) for those styles. Here’s a sneak peek at the styles chosen (so far) for discontinuation. If you want a particular stone in one of these styles, make your request soon because these are going away!
Second, I’m slowly concentrating my focus on selling only through my website. This is a big risk since a significant percentage of my sales still come from outside the website, but it’s just too much work to manage multiple platforms (especially for one-of-a-kind pieces, like mine). For those of you that prefer other platforms, I’m sorry!
With the extra time I’m hoping to free up with the efforts mentioned above, I’m adding two new free offerings designed to generate more connection.
I miss doing my Friday Candles service, so I will be resuming that practice starting this week. I know people had strong feelings about this offering—some loved it, some hated it—so I’m going to make it a separate Facebook group. That way only those of you who wish to participate will see the weekly posts. To learn more, visit the Friday Candles page and join the group, if it interests you.
I’m also going to be starting a Kintsugi living online book club. There are so many wonderful books out there that have been an important part of my healing and learning to live a kintsugi life, and I’d love to have the chance to explore those with others! This will also be a separate group, and I’ll share more about how this will work, what our first book will be, and how to join next week.
Lastly, I’m also continuing to work on experimentation with new processes for my work in an effort to upgrade both durability and appearance. That effort is ongoing (since getting supplies in for some of my tests is taking longer due to COVID-19 slow downs), but initial results are looking promising! Watch for more news later as this is finalized.
Once again, thank you so much to all of you for your feedback and ongoing support! If you have additional comments, feedback, clarifications, or questions, please don’t hesitate to comment on this post, send an email, or comment on social media. I’d love to hear from you!
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