Happiness Has a New Address – Tagged "Small Business" – Dulse & Rugosa
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    Survival Tips for This Terrible Horrible No Good Very F&*$ing Bad Year

    Survival Tips for This Terrible Horrible No Good Very F&*$ing Bad Year

    If you're a parent or teacher you know I've stolen the title from Judith Viorst's book and I hope she doesn't get mad at me but it's a perfect description for this year.  It's been a rough one but we are going to get through it just like Alexander got through his no good day.   And no, we aren't moving to Canada!

    Here's a few tips to help you and our world survive-

    • VOTE in every single election.  Have a plan for voting because as this year has shown us- guano happens!  You have to think beyond election day with an absentee or mail in ballot.  Even with the ballot- be prepared. 
    Have a voting plan- don't assume everything will run smoothly.

      Here are a few examples from my city.  Posted recently on social media was an alert that the absentee ballot required additional postage.  When the responsible citizen called city hall and inquired she was given the run around.  While the city had included some instructions the simple statement "Ballot MAY require additional postage" was too difficult to include.

      Another example, one election day was a "wicked pissah" it was pouring cats and dogs.  A couple was before me and it was quite a long walk to the entrance.  However, there was a nearby door but it was locked.  The man decided not to vote while the woman forged ahead.  He didn't want to get wet.  Shortly after the election, I went into city hall and spoke about the experience and how I witnessed a voter decide not to vote.  The city manager argued with me about the location of the door, blamed the closed door on petition signature collectors, "wah, wah, wah".  I pointed out I simply wanted access to voting to be accessible despite the weather.

      This examples are minor compared to what we are witnessing happening in other states.  Be registered to vote and have a plan for your ballot to be counted.

      • Support small businesses and sign up for their emails and newsletters.  The past few days amongst all the chaos has been stories about social media, particularly FaceBook and Instagram and the rise of hate speech and hate groups.  Large companies like Ben & Jerry's, REI, Patagonia and The North Face are participating in an ad boycott.   Hey, we get it and believe in #votewithyourmoney.  Most of FaceBook advertisers are small businesses like Dulse & Rugosa, who use the platform to reach a larger audience.  Especially if you live in a rural, low income area you need access to a wider demographic.  For businesses like us who want to vote with our money we need another way to reach our audience, a way that we can back with 100% confidence.  With the Covid-19 pandemic the other ways we typically reach folks are non existent, including our favorite markets.  So, please please join the mailing lists of small businesses you support.  Join our mailing list (and other's) so that we have an alternative way of reaching people and we can continue to stay in business.  
      Vote with your money

        Honestly working with both FaceBook and Instagram has always been frustrating and now its become downright painful.  Our best product to reach like minded people is our #resist creme.  However, we can't use this in an ad because it's considered "political".  #resistracism, #resistsexism, #resistwrinkles is too political but apparently the same algorithms that reject our hardworking creme introduce folks to hate groups.  It's a bit incomprehensible to us.

        Shop Your Values

        And frustrating.  We want to stay in business.  We want people who value diversity and independence to know about our handcrafted skincare.  Our business is more than simply selling.  We aren't perfect but we try to be ethical and fair.

        That's why we need you to sign up for our email list.  I know some companies flood your inbox with way too many emails.  Not us.  Currently we send about one email a month- almost always offering a discount, sale or give away.  We try to say thank you and not be too "salesy" but the harsh reality is that we need to sell our products to pay our bills and grow our business.

        So in order to survive this Terrible Horrible year- Vote, in every single election and Vote with your money.

        Sustainable Gifts for Super Moms

        Sustainable Gifts for Super Moms

        When you're thinking about zero waste gifts for mom, it's important to think about what your mom likes, enjoys and considers a special treat.  If at all possible, give the gift of you. It's important to VOTE with your dollars and support the types of businesses that you value.  Shop small, indie, farm and eco friendly.

        Read more

        Ideas for #OptOutside & Buy Nothing Day

        Ideas for #OptOutside & Buy Nothing Day

        Many years ago, when my family was the only year round family on remote Gotts Island I actually did "Black Friday."  Black Friday is literally going to a mall after Thanksgiving and buying stuff.  I believe it came about because I listened to a talk radio station out of Boston.  This is long before talk radio was so political, of course the station talked national and local politics but also covered many human interest stories, food, psychology.  For me, it was background conversation while I worked alone in my log cabin.  I'm sure I was influenced by all the ads for Black Friday- it seemed the thing to do.

         

        So we headed ashore- no easy task- involving boats and our car.  I have no idea what we bought.  Probably broccoli and other fresh vegetables.  It was crowded, we ate at a fast food joint and by the time we got home we were all cross and grumpy.  That's my one and only Black Friday adventure.

        This year, celebrate sustainably and slow down.  There is no need to pile the family in the car, deal with hordes of people to buy cheap stuff made in China.  There are so many other things to do.  

        #OptOutside was started by the outdoor gear company REI a few years ago.  They are closed for business the Friday after Thanksgiving.  REI's mission is to connect people with each other and nature instead of spending time shopping for bargains.  

        Another alternative to Black Friday is Buy Nothing Day.  This began in Canada to highlight overconsumption.  Instead of shopping the idea is to slow down and participate in a community event, get outside or even spend a bit of time doing what you love.  It's a perfect day for some self care. 

        Both #OptOutside and Buy Nothing Day are movements and philosophies.  We're a small business which depends on sales to survive.  We understand how complex the world and economies are.  We also knowing making choices about your purchases is a way to vote for the kind of economies and world you want. 

        9 Ideas for #OptOutside & Buy Nothing Day

        1.   Take a walk no matter what the weather is.  Bundle up, put on rain boots or rub in the sunscreen- just get outside.

        2.   While outside pick up trash.  There's nothing like picking up lots od single use plastic to help you make better buying choices.

        3.   Clean out a closet, cupboard or room and donate useable items to your local charity shop.

        4.   Write letters, postcards or call family and friends far away.

        5.   Make holiday cookies or gifts.

        6.   Read a book, play cards or do a puzzle.

        7.   Get some ART and visit a museum or gallery.

        8.   Dedicate some time to self care, give your self a facial, a hot soak in the tub or simply a bit of time doing whatever you love most.  

        9.   No matter how you spend the day- do an activity that nourishes you and helps your community and environment.

         

        Meet the Maker Movement

        Meet the Maker Movement

        We've joined the March Meet the Maker Movement created by English entrepreneur Joanne Hawker.  It's a chance to tell our 2018 business story, make some connections, build some social media skills and have fun.

        The challenge is very well designed and 2018 is the third year.  She like many creative entrepreneurs was in the social media/creativity rut.  A tough place to be!  She started a month long challenge to show the different aspects of her business and asked others to join. 

        At Dulse & Rugosa we split the business jobs.  Carly's is the actual maker.  She starts by growing many of our botanicals and harvesting seaweed.  She also makes by hand all our products.  Then she wraps and packages everything.

        Claire goes to markets, builds wholesale accounts, mails orders and is responsible for social media.  At times social media feels like "speaking to the winds"-one of our favorite quotes by Gott Island author Ruth Moore. There are so many mornings when social media posting causes stress and makes me late.  

        Joanne has taken care of "posting stress" with a series of prompts.  The prompts tell the story of your business.  

        Thank you Joanne and we can't wait to join others in building our creative community.  Here's the link to Meet the Maker -

        https://www.marchmeetthemaker.com