Let me introduce myself: I'm Janet Davis, an artist and entrepreneur living and working on the North side of Bonavista Bay, on the island of Newfoundland in Eastern Canada. There are many challenges to running a business here in my small rural hometown, and there are many wonderful benefits too. This blog is where I share some of those challenges and triumphs, and share what it's like to live in this part of the world.
This week in the studio, I’m still working on a special project for the Craft Council of NL’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. Here’s a progress shot… I should be able to finish carving today!
Madison & I printed a few mini-prints for two small online orders- these are drying, and will be sent to California and Toronto once they’re ready to go…
We’re absolutely loving meeting people in the studio at our busiest day of the year- I’m always impressed with how far away some people come from who have had Newfoundland on their bucket list for a while, and am equally happy to see our own folks supporting local shops like mine!
I’ve started taking my mornings off to catch up all the things I didn’t get done while I was sick- gardening, getting our house ready for visitors, a bit of house painting… But Madison is here to greet you by 10am, and I usually keep the shop open longer than our posted hours, doing the things that I can still do while it’s dark outside.
This week in the studio, I’m working on a special project for the Craft Council of NL’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. More info on this when I’m ready to submit the piece to the Craft Council Gallery! I’ve got a deadline of August 12th. Full steam ahead!
While I am feeling the effects of a COVID-19 infection that started around three weeks ago, I really am feeling much better, and am able to put an honest day’s work in, as long as I take a few breaks and remember to eat!
I am extremely thankful for every customer that has supported my small business so far this summer- it means so much, from every bookmark to every large piece that sells. Things are looking much brighter this week than they were last week.
This week in the studio, you’ll find my assistant, Madison, ready to help you 11am-6pm.
I’m still recovering from a COVID-19 infection, and really not feeling up to doing much work in the studio or at home. 5 minutes of trivial tasks wear me out, and I am going to the studio to do bits of work when a burst of energy hits me, but those bursts aren’t lasting long. Health guidelines tell me I shouldn’t be contagious now, two weeks after my first symptoms, but I do not feel recovered at all.
I’m so sorry for letting my guard against COVID down. This couldn’t have hit me at a worse time of year, and I’m trying my best to not feel sorry for myself as I’m missing out on so much that I was looking forward to. While my studio side of the business is open year-round, this is the time of year when I have the most foot-traffic, and any degree of success really depends on the next couple of weeks: the busiest of the year; I can’t help but worry about how this illness is going to affect my bottom line. Ah, the joys of entrepreneurship!
I will try not to worry too much, to try to aid in my recovery, and thank my staff for being able to carry on without much input from me right now.
Get your tickets in the ONLINE SHOP or at Norton’s Cove Studio in person or by phone 536-2533!
We have new products in our café gift shop, and a new face in our staff too! I’m pleased to welcome Marcus Waterman to Team Norton’s Cove! He’ll be working with Ted (The Kitchen Magician) for supper service Wednesday to Sundays this year.
Our new hours at Norton’s Cove Café, starting TOMORROW (16th June) are:
10:00 am – 8:00 pm
10:00 am – 8:00 pm
10:00 am – 8:00 pm
10:00 am – 8:00 pm
10:00 am – 8:00 pm
To make a reservation, please call 536-2633. Our first reservation of the day is at 10am, and our last is at 8pm. We don’t actually ‘close’ at 8pm- we just stop taking new customers then!
It’s gonna be a busy weekend! I’m in the studio working away today and Saturday, and Sunday is dedicated to training at the Café, meeting up with new employees, and getting the Café back to her sparkling self, ready to reopen on Thursday. I can hardly believe that summer is about to start! And we’re going to start it off with a bang!
I’m still packaging up product to send out to shops, and I’ve got a few more prints to pull before my orders are all full. We’ve also been updating our own displays, moved the coffee machine out of the studio, and we’re getting things ready to open up the café on the 16th! Lots to do! I can’t wait to order my first cappuccino and a hand-pie for elevenses two weeks from now! But for now, back to packaging squid!
We are printing and packaging Norton’s Cove Cards, Mini-prints, and Bookmarks this week at the studio. Order due dates are passing us by and we’re printing into the night to get it all done! We’re working on about half of the spring orders now, and will start printing all over again once these are sent out. This year is different than most because orders were taken in April at the Craft & Gift Wholesale Show instead of in February as usual, so I normally have an extra two months to work on those orders.
Packaging all those pieces: folding cards, stamping their backs, stuffing them into bags, adding tassels to bookmarks, putting mats on mini-prints & etc., can be tedious work sometimes. I love having visitors while I’m doing that kind of work to keep me company. Please do stop in for a chat. We’re open 10-6 Wednesday to Saturday.
We’re making plans for the Café: opening dates and booking bands and that sort of thing. There’s just three weeks left until the Café is in full swing- I can hardly believe it’s almost summer already! And yes, we are taking reservations for the full season already!
Blue-Green is the #printapalooza colour of the day!
I am blue, wishing it was green! There’s a bit of white winter weather out there today- nothing new- I expected exactly this, but it’s still disappointing to see the ground covered in snow again when the last little hummock was just leaving.
This time of year I’m dreaming of gardening and boating, and a spring snowstorm always feels like a big step backwards. We’ve been making plans to improve our deck space, and I’m really itching to get at that project! It’s already gorgeous in my head!
I’ve been listening to a podcast made just for retailers while going about my physical work cutting paper and printing and the like, and I’ve been really focused on planning for my business to grow this year like never before. Really spending a lot of time fine tuning things like work schedules, hours of operation, how to keep employees happy (including this CEO) and away from burnout. Every year I learn a bit more by reading and listening and making all the mistakes I can. Listening to this podcast, Creative Shop Talk with Wendy Batten, is kind of reaffirming much of what I already know, but really convincing me that I CAN have a successful business if I just apply all these things I’ve picked up over the years, really building on my self-confidence like I’ve never felt before.
One of those things that I’m very slow to learn is that I need to take better care of myself. In the past, I have let myself get so burnt out I didn’t think life was worth living. Then even when I thought I was doing really great personally last year, instead of taking the time off that I needed to deal with the death of one of my best friends, I worked myself into a panic attack, ruining an event for myself that I had looked forward to for weeks.
So… after 19 years of doing it all wrong, I’m going to correct myself. I’ve decided that while the Café will have the same hours as last year, my studio will change to match the Café, giving me two days a week when I can destress, enjoy the summer weather, sail, visit with friends, garden, just sit on the deck, and keep myself energized all through the busy season. 🤞