Category Archives: work

Harbour Station booth photos and how your health plays a huge part in one’s sales

Sadly, I was sick all of last weekend and couldn’t talk or interact with people as much as I would have liked to when they were in my booth. After one minute of talking to someone I would start incessantly coughing and then have to leave the booth for water or my head was pounding so badly that I could barely manage a smile. I barely shook people’s hands and this really affected my overall sales. I made out OK, but in hindsight, being only 50% healthy at a very large and public sale is not a good thing.
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Everyone likes 25% OFF coupon codes right?

Black Friday Sale, Cyber Monday Sale, http://etsy.com/shop/jessicadoyle

UPDATE – the sale in now over.

From today until Cyber Monday, enter coupon code BLACKFRIDAY during check-out and you will receive 25% off your entire purchase excluding shipping costs. This is my biggest customer appreciation event of the year! And all products listed in my shop are in stock and ready to ship.

This sale is running in both my Etsy Art Shop and also on my special personal site, HandmadeCloud. The coupon code BLACKFRIDAY works in both shops. (Sale begins today and ends on Monday the 29th at the stroke of midnight EST)

HandmadeCloud Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale! artist Jessica Doyle

If I have entertained you, enlightened you, taught you something you didn’t know or even just made you smile with my art and writing over this past year, please do consider sharing the link to this blog post with your friends and family on your Facebook, Twitter or via email.

Thank you from both me and Missy the cat! Happy Holidays! :)

Wonderful Wine – remember that label I designed for Red Gate Run?

red gate run - custom wine bottle floral illustrations for red wine by illustrator jessica doyle

After a painfully long wait I’m finally able to see with my own two eyes what the wine label that I illustrated back in April of this year for Red Gate Run looks like printed and adhered to the wine bottles.

Christopher Plante, the Californian wine producer, bottled the wine this summer. But, due to strict export/import international duties on all alcoholic beverages that are traveling from the United States and into Canada we had to figure out another way for me to get these filled bottles of wine! A good friend, Cara was traveling to the State of Maine this month. She picked the wine up for me at her PO Box so that I wouldn’t have to pay the exorbitant duty, the small shipment would have accrued while be shipped across the border into the province of New Brunswick. Continue reading

On taking responsibility as a customer

Very recently, I began experiencing very slow load times, latency and hundreds of downtimes and on this blog and on HandmadeCloud both of which run on WordPress and are hosted with MediaTemple. The problems reached critical mass when I received an email from MediaTemple stating that:

Subject – Your Databases Have Been Auto-Scaled

Dear Jessica,
(mt) Media Temple’s automated MySQL monitoring systems have detected an increase in database activity for your Grid-Service (jessicadoyle.com). Your databases are now being served from a MySQL Burst Container to help your web applications scale during this surge in activity. These containers are a component of our MySQL SmartPool v.2 that allows your websites to instantly handle intense, temporary bursts of database activity.

And the email goes on to explain in further detail and ends with a short Q&A.

About an hour before receiving this email I noticed my uptime on Pingdom was awful for HandmadeCloud and then the site wasn’t loading at all. Then the auto-scale email came. I panicked and began frantically watching a customary search that I perform on Twitter to see if other MT customers were being effected with this, began contacting alternative hosts, posted in the MT support forums and opened a support request.

Things hit critical mass when MT suspended my account moments after giving my sites the extra juice they needed to keep going. I was dumbfounded and couldn’t understand how my sites were using so much *GPU when I was only receiving an average 500 to 900 visitors per day to both sites combined and was not bursted back in April 2010 when this blog was featured in an Etsy Finds email on the Etsy blog. During that six day period this blog received a whopping 20,000 visitors and it was not bursted into a container. Continue reading

On Your Customers Blowing Gaskets

Why does an issue have to reach epic proportions before a solution that was requested from the beginning and could have been implemented immediately when the problem first arose when the company or person who caused the problem was contacted?

It seems in this day and age the larger the company the more the problems and their customer service albeit great is not at times helpful.

I would never dream of trying to upsell a customer when they are frantically experiencing recurrent issues. I couldn’t imagine saying to Customer Bob after they wrote asking where their order was “Well, that happens sometimes, perhaps next time you should consider purchasing Express shipping. If you need any more help… just let me know.”

In this circumstance Customer Bob likely would have opened a claim with Paypal and perhaps began bad mouthing me on the internet about something that I have no control over which in this case is postal shipping times. Continue reading

Chasing the Dragon Illustration

chasing the dragon, illustration, winsor and newton watercolour, original, jessica doyle, addiction, sobriety, psychedelic

We chase dragons all our lives whether we are conscious of it or not…

This illustration holds more significance to me than perhaps any other drawing I’ve rendered over the last few years. Maybe I shouldn’t sell it It signifies the turning point in one’s life where one must move forward and discontinue past follies and experience regardless of how difficult the emotions welling up inside may be. It can mean leaving jobs, changing where one lives or even ending relationships and being financially poor and emotionally destitute until the change happens. Continue reading

On being a landlord

orchid, chinese lanterns, sunroom, saint john, NB, geranium, windows, sunnny

One meets all kinds of people when renting rooms in their home; pipefitters, programmers, boilermakers, university students, ESL students, vacationers, web designers, carpenters, mothers, fathers, safety inspectors, labourers, painters etc…

For the most part (99%), people are kind, pay the rent on time and do offer a smile and conversation when you meet them in the common areas of the household such as the kitchen, living room or hallways. But, occasionally, things go awry and people aren’t so kind and you begin catching them in lies and then you are left being owed $600.00.

More than anything, renting rooms in one’s home teaches you tolerance. It forces you to respect other people’s privacy and beliefs.

And every so often your spirit is tested and you are placed precariously close to losing everything you worked so hard for, to achieve. Continue reading