Today was the first day that I've made a batch of books since the beginning of April and while it was kind of like no time had passed it also felt weirdly unfamiliar and kind of daunting. The past 4 months though, as you know, have been wild and weird and full on and relentless. When I shut down I figured I could probably open up a lot sooner but there was just no time ever with kids home and no real routine to speak of. Things are slowly opening back up to almost pre-covid like conditions around here though. My kids started some care during the week and places are generally opening wth precautions in place. I am weary as hell of getting used to any of this, it all feels so precarious. Maybe because of the precariousness though, mixed with some distance from Mule Mother, I've gained a little perspective on the business and was able to think a lot about what is important to and for me, and what changes I've wanted to make for some time. Here are of the conclusions I've come to in the past few weeks:
Firstly- 10% of sales Mule Mother makes monthly will be donated to local Black and Indigenous solidarity funds. These are the first 3 that came to mind and what I'll be focusing funds on:
- The African Nova Scotian Freedom School-
-Treaty Truckhouse Legal Fund-
-Black Lives Matter Solidarity Fund NS-
I would encourage anyone reading this to click each of the links I posted and read a little bit more about each of these if you are unfamiliar and donate if you can. While these are specific to my area, I can almost guarantee that similar movements and actions are taking place in your proximity. White folks in particular, I encourage you to educate yourself about whose land you are on and also the history and current realities of the BIPOC people in your town/ city/ province/ state/ country.
Ill update the blog monthly (fingers crossed!) with where funds have gone that month.
Second- In thinking about what I sell and what things I really resonate with and others that I really do not the first thing that comes to mind is the Golf Log. Ive never been hot on it, I'm not a fan of golf and especially not a fan of golf culture or golf history so I've decided to stop making them.
I've also decided to stop doing custom work all together for the time being. Although custom work can be fun, it typically involves so much background stuff like extra emailing, sending samples and searching for special materials that in the end it ends up being far more than I could ever charge for one item. My goal is to keep my online shop stocked with lots of options that are ready to ship. This feels so much more streamlined and straightforward which is where I am aiming to be.
Finally this one has been brewing for some time and I have addressed it many times and still feel, bewilderingly, a bit trapped tbh... Like how is this still a thing? I've been trying to remove myself from Etsy for a few years now because increasingly I am not into the changes that have taken place over time. I have found it damn near impossible though to get the same amount of views and sales on my website as I do on Etsy. So I've been in this tricky situation where I am overly reliant on Etsy for an income and removing myself takes away the income stream that I need to fuel my online shop to get it going. Anyways, still working on that but all that is to say I would love it if you could browse/ shop on mulemotherbooks.ca rather than on Etsy. It draws more traffic to the website the more people seek it out and visit.
Some more changes also coming but wanted to get those out first. Cautiously relieved to be back in a lot of ways, and overall feeling a deep satisfaction about finally implementing things I've been mulling over for some time.