Tag Archives: disappointment

Flawed Design and Gracious Recovery: How Colette Patterns Fixed Their Oversight

Everybody makes mistakes. The real lesson reflects in how you deal with yours, and what you do to help yourself and anyone else affected by them. For this article, we’re touching on what happened after one business  realized that one particular product they’d already  shipped out had issues.

Colette Patterns is a popular website among dressmakers and sewists in the DIY crafts and hobbyist market.

The business, established by Sarai Mitnick in 2009, sells dressmaking patterns — and among their many relationship-building activities, hold sew-alongs with their followers,  doing the sorts of active communication you would expect of a company whose market is composed of people who like working with their hands — mainly DIY-enthusiasts, ranging fron beginners to expert sewists.

By giving their customers a chance to show off their work, talk to their peers about their processes, share and commiserate over their sewing flubs, and by providing an open platform for discussion, critique, and exploration, Colette has established a very good customer base.

They also do solid cross-promotion with their various partners, affiliates, and brick-and-mortar crafts stores, as evidenced by the many articles in their blog and in their online magazine, Seamwork.

Like proud parents with their children’s drawings and a big refrigerator door, Colette also has  galleries where subscribers can send pictures of their finished works, and host sewing challenges as well as having “featured seamstressess” pieces showing the many varied people who used Colette patterns.

They let people take an an inside look at their workings and see how things get done in the Colette Studio.

They also keep updating their tips on building a personal wardrobe.

They also solicit input and stories from their readers, conducting “Sew-alongs” whenever new patterns go out so people can follow step-by-step and see how it’s supposed to be done.

All these areas of sharing and interaction with their market has resulted in a vibrant community for Colette. They have 15,000 followers on Twitter,  16,000 on Pinterest, over 40,000 on  Facebook, and 55,500 on Instagram. Colette Patterns built a solid  support system in their niche with their  fans, followers, and customers  from all their consistent hard work.

A while back they posted an announcement to their website regarding a mistake in a new pattern that had already been selling for a few weeks, in response to feedback about the results of the patters from sewists who used it. Continue reading Flawed Design and Gracious Recovery: How Colette Patterns Fixed Their Oversight

Lessons From Leaving The Yellow Brick Road

09 November 2012, by A. Cedilla

When we talk of brains — you know, like someone being touted as being ‘the brains of the outfit’ or something similar — we’re talking about somebody who has has the smarts, the knowledge and the experience on tap when he needs them, and the eye to see how to use his resources to get things done. He knows the big picture and makes it happen.

“Brains” is vision in execution: the ability to extract useful knowledge from various knowledge sources and experience, and using that effectively to get the desired results.

And of course, there are other qualities we like to hear about and work towards calling our own. Like being someone having “nerves of steel”, or “the heart of a lion.” It feels kinda nice picturing yourself like that, isn’t it?

The thing in personal characteristics though, is that we’re socialized to measure ourselves against other people all the time.

From who gets the gold star to who brings homes the biggest chunk of bacon, we’re taught to look at other people as our competition, and to push ourselves and do better than them. Keeping-up-with-the-Joneses is a well-recognized phenomenon, and so is Beating-the-Joneses.

And when you fall into this tendency of thinking that what you have isn’t enough by itself — aughh, you’re just not good enough on your own — you get trapped into believing you have to look to other people to give what you lack, that only other people have it all together.

That’s giving your power away. Continue reading Lessons From Leaving The Yellow Brick Road

Old Henry Ford

26 February 2010, by A. Cedilla

Aside from taking his place in history as an industrial titan, Henry Ford left a lot of inspiring quotes, as well as an enduring legacy.

  • “It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.”
  • “There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.”

We all have dreams and plans for what we want in life, and how we want ours to turn out, but not all of us are putting ourselves out there — working and hustling to make our plans bear fruit, or turn our dreams into reality. I know this. You know this.

Doubtless we’ve all had grand plans that we drew up, all excited and eager, only to have them quietly die on paper, stillborn.

It goes like this: we’re intelligent enough and glib enough to come up with at least 3 reasons off-the-cuff on why it:  a) never happened, b) would never have worked out and/or c) was doomed to fail.

We ‘re crazy-smart that way.
Continue reading Old Henry Ford

Who’s Your Driver?

03 February 2010, by A. Cedilla

When we speak of someone being a driven person, it usually comes out in admiring tones. You can just imagine that look on a recruiting poster somewhere, someone with jaws clenched, his eyes burning with fervor and determination, and a look of steely resolve urging you to man up and get things done, yeah!

Or perhaps not. Another definition for driven is ‘obsessed’. A close relation is ‘hag-ridden‘. Ahem:

  • Tormented, harassed or worried.
  • Overburdened by fear or dread.

So, who — or what — is your driver?

See, when I think of someone being a driven person, what comes to mind is someone (or some thing) else is holding the reins.

Maybe that person has an axe to grind, or something to prove, or feels that he has something to make up for, but whatever the reason, it’s big, and it’s the one sitting in the driver’s seat.

If you feel that you’re a driven person, would you want that, to just be in the passenger seat of your life? Continue reading Who’s Your Driver?

Bridging The Gap 2

18 January 2010, by A. Cedilla

In part 1 we identified the Gap. Today we’re taking a deeper look behind the assumptions that people use to fill the gap, and then we’ll recommend a few things you can do to deal with these assumptions.

At the very heart of it, the most common root that leaves you despairing in the gap is: Your standards are set to unrealistic levels.

Your reluctance to adjust these levels just draws out the discomfort. The real-life results can leave you still dissatisfied.


Now, dissatisfaction is actually good. Dissatisfaction can spur us on to greater effort to change things. Dissatisfaction helps change the status quo, starts revolutions, makes improvements, pushes progress.

The dark side happens when you marinate in it, seething because the world will not fit itself to your ideals of how things should be.

Quick hint 1: The world came first, and it’ll still be here long after you’re gone. Stop beating your head against the wall. Continue reading Bridging The Gap 2

Bridging The Gap

15 January 2010, by A. Cedilla

What with all the advances in modern technology, cultural and social shifts, and the many freedoms that we have the luxury of taking for granted, with everything that we can do with these resources — why do so many people feel they’re not living the life they’re supposed to be living by now?

The answer lies in the gap between all your plans and your reality.

  • “This wasn’t part of the plan, dammit.”
  • “I coulda been a contender!” — Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy, On the Waterfront, 1954
  • “This isn’t what I wanted. I had so many plans, I never expected things to turn out the way they have….”

There is an inevitable gap between the Real and the Ideal, precisely because of what they are. Ideals live in a purely theoretical state. See the definitions we yanked from Wiktionary under ‘Ideal’ (More on this later.):

  • Optimal; being the best possibility.
  • Perfect, flawless, having no defects.
  • Existing only in the mind; conceptual, imaginary.

Real is sweaty, tiring and smelly. It is not a 3-D iMax full Sensurround experience you can walk away from.

It’s being here, all the time. And the realm of the Ideal is where we run to escape from the Real.

“When I loss weight, get promoted, get married, get divorced, graduate, see my name up in lights…then I’ll be happy.”

And when you do get those things, you experience a few moments of happiness…followed by a teeny voice that only pipes up when you take a moment alone in your head.

“That didn’t feel as good as I thought it would…or last as long.” Continue reading Bridging The Gap