The Free Motion Quilting Project: Getting Back Up After Being Kicked in the Teeth

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Getting Back Up After Being Kicked in the Teeth

I have a special Light Up Your Life post for you today as well as a HUGE announcement!


Yes, getting that email was like getting a massive kick in the teeth. Josh and I were so shocked we spent a minute just staring at the computer screen. I didn't even read the whole email because I was so distracted with the paralyzing feeling of  absolute panic.

It was awful because getting an email like that felt almost like losing a job. It was as if our web developer had pulled the rug out from under our feet, suddenly undermining the years and work we've put into our business. We felt powerless over the situation, and that makes both Josh and me not happy campers!

Making Logical Decisions in Times of Shift

It's no surprise that making logical decisions during a time like this can be challenging. Panic, anger, frustration, resentment, stress - all my monsters were wide awake and ready to run the show.

But I stopped. For four days I stopped and didn't jump straight into the transfer. I shopped around for different website developers, shopping cart systems, and hosting services. I considered our options for moving to the other quilting website developer.

And the most important thing is Josh and I came together and honestly, and very logically, discussed what we wanted. I want to keep teaching in videos. It's so much easier now to plan and shoot videos with the Crafty Cottage and I'm dying to get started on next year's Mystery Quilt Along. My passion is still solidly rooted in quilting.

Josh felt much the same. We'd had the rug pulled out from under our feet and change was now forced upon us, and if anything this has reaffirmed our commitment to this business and to one another.

Working Through the Rage

The hardest thing to deal with during this transition was not the sheer massive amount of boring internet work - redirects, new page construction, image transfers, working with various tech support and IT people, etc. This is the fourth website I've built, and the third time I've transferred LeahDay.com. While it's a skill I have built out of necessity, I would honestly much rather be quilting than stuck on a computer copying and pasting pages, resizing images, and sorting product SKUs.

The hardest thing to deal with was my simmering rage. This was a change necessitated by an company who had failed repeatedly to fulfill our needs or respond to issues in a timely fashion. I knew within six months of transferring to this developer that they were both too small and too niche to be good for us, but once we transferred, we felt stuck with them.

To make matters worse, the acquiring company was deliberately vague on the details. Our sites would be maintained for a year "more or less..." but what was the cut off date? How much exactly would it cost to transfer my site, including all photos and downloads to the buyout company?

I was angry and frustrated, but mostly angry with myself. I had made the decision back in 2013 to go with this company after all. Who was more to blame than me?

Blame, anger, resentment - this is not how I wanted to feel. Early in the work on this new site, I knew I needed to get a hold of my attitude and focus on the positive side of this change. Yes, it was unexpected - Get over it - Pull on your big girl panties and get the work done!

Finding Space for Gratitude

It didn't take long for me to realize that feeling resentful and angry was only going to make this job worse. I avoided talking about the transfer as much as possible. When I allowed myself to vent my true feelings, I literally felt toxic with the bitterness in my words.

I decided to stop complaining and get to work. As the site began taking shape, I was able to test it and quickly became excited about the new features that were so easy to implement. I was able to streamline the shop, update the text, and make wide scale improvements on photos.

Seeing all this taking shape felt great! Here was a site I could be proud of, that I could control without middle men / young college grads who knew nothing about IT or online businesses, that wouldn't have all that red tape in my way between me and the site's administration. I slowly found space to feel thankful this catastrophe had happened.

We now have a new shopping cart system, an updated layout, and a gorgeous, bright design that will give you an excellent experience no matter whether you're visiting on your computer, tablet, or phone.

Even better, the management side of this website is going to be so much easier. Josh can print orders, calculate shipping, and send download links from one page, which is making his job so much faster and easier.

No, I wasn't expecting this to happen, but now I'm actually thankful. We have rebuilt our business on a stronger foundation that not only makes our jobs easier but will be able to grow with us in a massive way.

Please go check out the new LeahDay.com and let me know what you think!

Let's get moving, let's try something new,

Leah Day

19 comments:

  1. Take it from me, someone who doesn't like change...let alone forced change, I feel your frustration. But on a good note the new site is awesome, bright and very pretty. Easy to maneuver thur. Love it. And a big tank you for not giving up. We love your and Josh. Stitch on...

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  2. The new website looks really great! Sorry you had to go through such a huge, awful change though!!

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  3. My Mum always used to say "every cloud has a silver lining" sounds like you made yours shine well done. So pleased you both had the grit and determination to carry on.

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  4. A good attitude will get you through every single time. The first moments of your video encouraged empathy and brief memories of some of my own struggles. But, it didn't take long to realize you are all good. No need for a pep talk, nudge, or encouragement, just a pat on the back for a job well done. Spending your time working at what you love is the best gift you can ever give yourself. Congratulations on your new beginning.

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  5. Love the new site...easy to manage and looks great. Thanks for all you do for all of us quilters.

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  6. Good on you for finding a silver lining in a dark cloud! If life was easy then we woudn't grow as people and find out what we are truly capable of - all the best for your new adventures in cyberspace!

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  7. Leah, the new site looks wonderful!! Many, many kudos for pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and getting on with what needed to be done. That is HUGE!! And what a payoff! Perfect.

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  8. Wow, just when life seems to be motoring along fine...wham-oo. Woot woot on the new website, you two are rock stars!

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  9. PS the new site looks awesome on my iPad too.

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  10. The new site is AMAZING! Congrats to both of you for the new site and making it through this experience stronger, wiser, and ready to move on!

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  11. Dear Leah, 15 years ago I had to face a major change in my life. Prior to that I was an elementary teacher. I loved teaching. I had to take a medical retirement due to a bladder disease with a horrible name. With the loss of my career I had lost a major part of myself identity. I had been quilting already for many years before but a couple of months later I stated to get ideas for combining embroidery and quilting. So I started a small business creating patterns. I am still a small business as that's all I can handle. You are correct you do need to take a step back and take stock of your life when these kinds or curves get thrown in our paths. Keep up the good work! I am learning tons from you.

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  12. Looks way better, and i know Shopify is a much more stable platform.

    I learned web development much like you did, but wound up in a career at it, so I totally get it. :) I'm not sure I can count the number of times I've moved my own sites.

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  13. Will your blog be on the new site?

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  14. The new site worked well on my iPad so it passed the critical test!

    To echo Melanie's comment, will your blog continue to be here? And if so, can you link to your blog from Leahday.com?

    Your blog is the heart and soul of your business.

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  15. Moving on, getting better. Site looks great and I know many others were let down by this company and turned off by the overtaking company's tactics. Glad you're making lemonade out of the situation! (Never liked the "you just do your quilting, and we'll handle the scary technical stuff for you" kind of pitch.)

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  16. So sorry this happened to you all Leah. The new site is nice, pretty, and easy to navigate. Great job you did. Your passion for quilting/teaching is so admirable. Being a "newbie" quilter, I have learned a lot from you. Keep up the awesome work :)

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  17. WOW.....Just WOW!!! Your new home at Leahday.com is absolutely awesome!!!! Yes, it is unfortunate that you had to go through hardship, however, I think it was a good thing!!!!

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  18. Love your new site!
    So sorry you had to go through such a tough experience though.
    Thanks for all you do!

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  19. Love the new layout and color pallet.

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