Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's been awhile

It's been awhile since my last post, I do apologize, it was not my intention to be away for so long.
I know there have been some concerns expressed as far as what is going on, did I jump ship, have I abandoned my shops, etc, so I wanted to take a moment to address those concerns to the best of my ability.

First let me say, that this last month or so has been very surreal to me. It has been hard to sit back and watch a company and brand that I worked so hard in the beginning to bring to fruition crash and burn. In many cases the negatives that I have received on Etsy could have been prevented had I done a better job (heck, had I even attempted to) communicate with my customers. I can't justify my lack of communication, and I am not saying it is OK by any means. On my end, I just shut down, completly. I shared my story last month about my battles with depression, at the time of my last posting I thought I was coming through the worst of it, but I was wrong. I'm not going to go into details, but let's just say I am not proud and it was not pretty lol.

My days consisted of me staying in my pajamas, sitting in the same spot on the couch all day, house a mess, food pantry empty, because all I could bring myself to do was play freaking bejewled on my phone (all day looong) or peruse facebook, or whatever other mind numbing task that did not require a whole lot of thought on my part. I knew I had emails to respond to, and if they happened to come in at the right moment then I would, but usually I would read them, sigh really big, and tell myself I would get to it shortly (only to keep putting it off). I know it sounds stupid, but the task, the simple task of responding to a simple email just seemed so daunting to me, at times it would make me feel phyically ill, like I wanted to throw up (even though most of the emails were not that bad or time intensive). It was just a mental thing on my end.

I knew I should be working on the last few remaining orders I had or working on new stock. Part of me really wanted to be working on these things, but then I would walk down to my studio stare around me at my supplies, suddenly I felt like a foriegner in a strange land. For the first time in a very long time, I had absolutly no desire to create, in fact the thought of pouring a candle or making a batch of soap physically repulsed me. So again, I would sigh, walk back upstairs and tell myself maybe tomorrow.

For almost a month this has been what my life has looked like. Don't get me wrong I would have some random good moments thrown in, heck maybe even a full day, but when they came I did not immediatly jump into email or the studio, because frankly it felt so good that I was afraid of suddenly losing that feeling (that sounds awful I know).

This entire experience has been frustrating for me, my husband, my family and friends and even more so my customers (who for the most part can't see me or talk to me and probably have no idea what is going on). All they know is what they percieve, and that is that I checked out, flew the coop and may never be back.

Yes my phone number (which is also my cell number) was changed, this was not malicious, simply the fact that we got new cell phones for Christmas and they required our service being switched to AT&T. Yes my website is currently down (I had it on auto bill with my hosting provider and simply forgot to change my credit card number to my new number last month). And yes I have rightly received negative feedback on Etsy - in 99% of the cases refunds have been issued or will be issued shortly.

And at some point I just stopped caring and instead decided to focus on my health. That may sound wrong to you, but for me it was what had to be done.

I am back now. Southern Alchemy may never be back at full scale like it once was, but I am back. I am aware I have several issues that need to be addressed and those will be first and foremost. I will continue to honor my committments to my wholesale accounts and existing orders (however at this time I will not be accepting new wholesale accounts) , I plan to participate in the markets this Spring/Summer when they start back up as my schedule permits . We may still offer products available online , however it may be a limited selection compared to what we once offered and may be only available at certain times.

What I have found is that while I usually love making candles & soaps, I enjoy it more so when I am able to do it at my own pace on more of a hobbyist level, so I will be scaling back to allow this.

It has been a strange, long and confusing path, but I feel like I am finally emerging with a better understanding of who I am , and what I am (and am not) capable of.

As always you extreme patience and understanding that you have shown to me is extremly appreciated.

In the interim (until my site is back up) the best way to reach me, should you need to do so, is:
or via Yahoo messenger : shopalchemy



  1. Hi there -- I was one of your Etsy customers who was frustrated about my order not being delivered. (I had actually assumed that some personal issues had come up - your feedback on Etsy was so overwhelmingly positive, and it just didn't seem likely that the delays were deliberate or malicious on your part.) You did give me a refund, which I appreciate. Anyway, I happened to check your shop and saw the link to this post. It's not an easy thing to talk about depression, and I want to say that I wish you the best and hope very much that things improve for you.

  2. Hi Marcee,

    Take care of yourself. I battled with depression for years and of course it is always an ongoing struggle. For two year it knocked me on butt. I would buy supplies basically every day to create and just couldn't create a thing. I shared my story here on my blog

    Take your time and get better. Work at your own pace while you take care of your health. I learned that if I can't be good for myself then I can't be good for any one else. ***Hugs***


  3. Marcee~ I had no idea until now what had been going on. Take your time, take care of YOU. I hope you are doing better and that some days will be better than others. I have family members who suffer from depression, and it's difficult for those who don't have it to understand what it's truly like. You are a strong woman for posting this, for facing it quite publicly. Just wanted you to know that there are more of us out here behind you than you know! Here if you ever need me.

  4. I was also one of your Etsy customers however I did not receive a refund for the purchase that I made and never received (after multiple attempts to make contact via Etsy and personal e-mail). I paid $35.60 USD and although I sympathize with the situation, I do not think that it is fair that it had a further reaching negative impact. Sorry for your situation, but it is never too late to make things right.