“It’s okay to go now.”

Kindness Love Teamwork

The Universe can be a funny thing sometimes.  Things happen that hit you with a jolt you just never saw coming. This story is about marble stones but maybe just a bit more…

You may recall a while back Brenda shared the story of the marble energy stones and why we were discontinuing them in her post called It’s hard to say goodbye.  We had been selling out of them pretty steadily but still had three words left:  Love, Kindness, and Teamwork.  We were mystified that Love and Kindness had not sold out earlier, as they tend to be among our most popular words and we knew a corporation or school would scoop up those Teamwork any day.

We have found that sometimes our stones or tokens just need a little extra energy to make things happen.  It is a weird phenomenon around here but if some items haven’t sold in a long time and we talk about them or move the items around in the warehouse, they start to sell in the next few days.  Keeping this in mind, last week I moved the marble stone storage bins around, gave them a few extra pats and said “Alright guys, it’s okay for you to go now.”

This phrasing “It’s okay to go now” has really powerful meaning to me.  Nine years ago, I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer and near the end of her battle, hospice care was called in.  The hospice workers were like angels who knew exactly what my mother needed, but also what myself and my brothers needed in that terrible time.  In Mom’s last few days, one of the hospice nurses advised me to tell my mom it was “okay to go now” so she could be at peace and not worry about us kids.  It was absolutely the hardest thing I have ever done, but also one of the most freeing for both her and me.

So you see when I told the marble stones it was “okay to go now” I truly meant that it was their time to go out into the world and touch someone’s life, if even for a moment.

The next day we received an online order for 200 each of the Love and Kindness marble stones.  I did a quick count and called the customer to let her know that we only had 175 left of those two words and she was happy to take them all and substitute glass stones to make up the difference.  I finished the phone call and whooped with joy that we had sold out of two more marble words and were down to just one.

About 15 minutes later it dawned on me that I had given the marble stones my special little speech the previous day.  Isn’t it amazing that someone out there heard me?  Brenda asked if the customer had said what they planned to use the stones for.  Suddenly, the hair on my arms stood on end as I remembered the customer saying “We are a hospice care center and plan to give these out at our upcoming event to remember all our patients who have passed in the last year.”

Oh my Universe, I hear you loud and clear.

Now, about that Teamwork

teamwork
Our last few marble energy stones…

~Suzi

I might just need a hug…

We sell the word ‘Hugs’ in our glass engraved spirit stone line.  The word has been offered for a while now, and when we first carried it we sold them with pink ink instead of our standard black or gold.  It was the only stone we sold in pink ink – the color just seemed to fit the sentiment and the stones were very popular.  Ultimately, however, we decided to switch the ‘Hugs’ back to the standard ink colors to give the whole line a more uniform feel.

Recently a customer called and asked if we had any ‘Hugs’ left with pink ink.  She needed 5, but specifically only in clear glass with pink ink.  We had just gotten in a new shipment of stones, but I was pretty sure we had a few pink ones left on the very bottom of the bin.  I told the customer I would look for the stones, but couldn’t make any promises.

Trust me, unloading and sorting through 2000+ stones is not a daily occurrence around here, but I was sure there were some pink ones, and for whatever reason felt compelled to dig.

After pulling out all the stones, out came 7 clear stones with pink ink!  I called the customer and told her what I had found.  She was thrilled and said she’d take all 7.  Woo hoo…what a salesperson I am!  And while the sale wasn’t huge, she sounded so happy it was definitely worth the effort.

She then went on to explain to me why the stones were so important.  Having just lost her husband to cancer, she attended a meeting at the hospice for grieving spouses.  At the end of the meeting, the counselor had set out a bowl of our glass engraved spirit stones, so that each attendee could pick a stone to take with them.  Most of the stones were dark in color and as she looked through the bowl, none of the words seemed right for her.  She initially chose a blue stone with the word ‘Remember’ on it, and was getting ready to walk away when she swirled the bowl of stones one last time.  This time she saw some pink ink peeking out from the bottom of the bowl.  She pulled it out to reveal the ‘Hugs’ stone and started to cry.  She explained that she had gotten in the habit of talking out loud to her husband, knowing he could hear her wherever he was.  Just the day before the meeting, she had said to him “I wish I could have just one more hug from you.”  Finding the ‘Hugs’ stone made her feel that he was watching over her.  She immediately felt compelled to figure out where the counselor had gotten the stones and to buy some for her children as a remembrance of their father.

Hearing her story gave me chills and everyone I’ve told feels the same way.  I am so glad I took the time and little bit of extra effort to look through the stones and find those hugs for her.  I interact with our products everyday and continue to be astonished by all the different ways each item can touch someone’s life.

~Suzi

Finding the Key

Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing you will be successful.  ~ Albert Schweitzer

From my point of view, truer words could not be said.  I came across this quote yesterday as I updated our Desktop Gem collection and was astonished that I had never seen it before.  But then I thought, maybe I had seen it but at the time was just not willing to accept the words into my head and my heart.  Now I am ready. 

I have noted before that I love working here; I enjoy helping people, I get to bring my dog to work and we laugh at least a little every day.  What is not to love?  Before this job I was a full time stay at home mom and before that a real estate appraiser for 10 years.   Loved both of these jobs and both were right for my life at that time.  But was I truly successful or happy? 

As a real estate appraiser I thought of myself as ‘adequate’.  I am not sure rock star real estate appraisers exist.  I worked for a medium sized company and I was liked by the homeowners I visited. Then again, they were hoping for good news on their appraisal so maybe they just didn’t want to piss me off.  Anyway, it was an interesting job and it helped me grow my self confidence.  But I was not really sad to see it end.  

As a mom, I like to think I am pretty successful.  My kids are well adjusted, polite, and still speak to me.  I count that as a success!  I liked being a stay at home mom but when the kids both entered school full time I knew I would not be happy just being at home and decided it was time for a new adventure.

This job came into my life at just that moment, when I wasn’t even really looking.  The Big Boss Lady wasn’t really looking for me either, so maybe that is why it worked out so well.  I can honestly say that I am happy to come to work every day.  Sadly, I know a lot of people who can’t say that about their jobs and that bums me out.  I think I have found the elusive ‘key’.  Hopefully I can help turn that happiness into future success and growth for the business.  If not, I will still be happy…& successful! 

~Suzi

Hugs available here!

'Hugs' all around!

I recently started helping to answer the phones here at CourageInStone.com.  I had already heard a number of stories about memorable phone calls; some moving, some funny and some just plain weird and I’d think to myself, “Who are these people?”

My first phone order was a lovely lady calling from a farm in Georgia. In her thick southern drawl she told me how she’d been unsuccessful in seeking a stone with the word ‘Hugs’ on it that was small enough to fit in a pocket.  I told her about our ‘Hugs’ Glass Spirit Stone and her emotional response was very touching.

She told me how a family member had passed away and was buried with a ‘Hugs’ stone in his pocket. She wanted to give that man’s son a similar stone in memory of his father. The stone was purchased years ago and she hadn’t been able to find anything like it.  I could hear the relief and triumph in her voice as she told me “Natalie, you and I are going to make this happen together!”

As I took her order information she told me about the tiny town she lives in, her inability to use the internet and how the credit card she used was fifteen years old and she got it when she lived in Kentucky.  Even though this information was unnecessary I felt a bond form between us and knew this order would be memorable to me.

At the last minute she decided to order a second stone for herself. Woo-hoo! I doubled the order!  I knew the order was small but it felt huge since it was my very first one.  At the end of the call she told me she’d be checking her mailbox for it anxiously.

Later, when I was packing the order I thought about how much the small stone was going to mean to someone and I felt proud to be a part of it.

~Natalie

Packin’ and Shippin’ One Treasure at a Time

Natalie with her packing assistants.

When I tell people about my new job, the first thing I explain is, I work with two inspiring women and two adorable dogs. The choice to leave my previous job of twelve years was a momentous decision for me, and after two months at www.CourageInStone.com I know it was meant to be.

I am a business student and this job excited me for two reasons. Firstly, because it is an online company, selling worldwide, and that is the direction business is heading.  Second, my employer is a female entrepreneur who I can respect and look up to.

Once I got into the routine of packing and shipping, I have fallen in love with the products.  Sending out a small, inexpensive item which will end up as a cherished treasure to somebody in Australia, Canada or Great Britain or even just up the road, moves me daily. Received in remembrance, hope or love, that token or rock is priceless to someone.

I am very happy to be part of the www.CourageInStone.com team…a company to be proud to work for!

~Natalie

Definitions

in·spire

in·spired, in·spir·ing, in·spires

1. To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence.

2. To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion.

3. To stimulate to action; motivate.

4. To affect or touch.

5. To draw forth; elicit or arouse.

6. To be the cause or source of; bring about.

I love this word…Inspire. While it has many meanings, it is most certainly a verb, a call to action.   Whether you are inspired or you are inspiring someone else, the very sense of the word invokes emotion.

When I take orders here at CourageInStone.com, I often hear why people are inspired to buy our products.  We happily cover major events such as weddings, funerals, and birthdays. However, sometimes we get “just because” purchases.  A teacher buys her students tokens to build confidence for a big test.   A grandson wants to have a coin engraved with his grandmother’s favorite bible verse.   A mother needs a “God Bless America” token to send in her son’s Army duffel bag.   These are the moments when what they are buying and why they are buying it come together to inspire me,  and move me to tears (when I get off the phone, of course!) These moments leave me grateful to have been a tiny part of their plan.

Inspiration can come from so many directions, sometimes I don’t even see it coming…

~Suzi

Our new “Word Signs” – so cute and inspired…

Happy Autumn!  This time of year is always uplifting for me.  Oh, how I love the changing colors, cooler weather, the passing snow clouds followed by warm afternoons, and the delicious smells from the crock pot.  The earth’s transformation from one season to the next is amazing and inspiring.  We often times become stale and need a refreshing boost; the changing seasons brings a revival to our souls.  With this new point of view we feel motivated to complete tasks, set and achieve goals, chat with an old friend, do a good deed or two, whatever sparks the fire within.  Here at CourageInStone.com, we thrive on daily boosts.  Whether by receiving positive feedback from satisfied customers, sharing a laugh, enjoying a sweet afternoon treat, or just being surrounded by our products, we are feeling good!  With all this goodness new products are created…

 I am thrilled to announce the arrival of my latest project.  I have created a line of 5″x7″ signs designed to inspire and boost your day.  Small enough to hang anywhere and simply charming, these signs say what we often need to hear.  Check ’em out – let me know what you think 🙂

 Enjoy,

Danielle, in-house artist