Sarah Graham Metalsmithing

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

See you tomorrow!

It is quite possible - indeed probable - that we will look back at this last year and marvel at the innovation that sprang from this extraordinary year - innovations that will make those of us who embrace them the few who actually prosper during a recession. I know this, so I have on my list of things to do: ‘Embrace innovation’ and ‘Embrace Change’. But you know how the big ones always linger at the bottom of list…the ones that you copy over and over from list to list, the ones that never get done. But today I am proud to say, I have finally embraced an innovation!

We are always looking for new ways to communicate - communication is a vital part of my every day. Did you know, my studio and business office are in different places – different cities in fact? if you didn’t, it is probably because Denise and I communicate incessantly. In fact, it is only a slight exaggeration to say we are on the phone more than not. It is astonishing, there for, that it has taken me this long to embrace the innovation that is Skype. After putting it off for, oh, two years, I finally spent the, oh, five minutes it takes to download the free software. I did it while I was at the airport on my way to a trunk show at Muse Gallery in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and that night from my hotel room I spoke to my husband via Skype with live video and drove my kitties crazy as they ran around the back of the computer screen wondering where the rest of me was.

Back in the studio on Monday, I put James and Denise to the task of comparing our current phone bills with the projected expense of switching all our phone calls to Skype (skype to skype calls are free, but you can Skype to and from regular phones, and even cell phones for a fee) and ordering me a video camera and cordless headset so I can roam the studio freely while talking on Skype. Denise, down in the desert, prepared her office to Skype as well.

Another weekend, another trunk show (this one at I. Gorman in Washington D.C.), another Monday back in the studio…and my Skype equipment arrived! Alas, it took me until Tuesday at 7pm to finally get it all set up, and by then Denise was long gone (one of our generous employee benefits – you get to leave work at a reasonable hour). But, it IS set up, and tomorrow morning Denise and I will be able to communicate all day long for absolutely free…and we will be able to see each other. “Is this the one they want ?” I will ask Denise as I hold up a pair of earrings to my video camera. “Is this the order you want these postcards in?” Denise will ask me, as she holds our latest mailing up to her camera. And, as soon as my stores and customers hook themselves up to Skype, I expect a lot of “Show me the one in steel…the one with a cognac diamond…the one with the bigger diamond!” as we enjoy the next best thing to a personal meeting! (Did I mention it is FREE???!!!! Can you imagine it? Employee trainings…live meetings with your customers…A visual to go along with your/my/their idea to customize the Caged Coral Locket using grandma’s gold and grandpa’s old ring and a diamond that desperately needs to be liberated from a ring that in its current form only brings up bad memories. The possibilities are dizzying!)

So, tonight, as I wrote my last e-mail to Denise to say goodnight, I embraced change once again by altering my sign off from the usual “talk to you tomorrow…” to the more precise “See you tomorrow”!

(Embrace your own innovation