It hardly seems possible that we’ve reached the end of August, right? Jeanne and I consider September, October, November, and December to be our defining months of the year, so GAME ON. We’ve been exercising our whisking muscles and foam rolling our pesky sciatic nerves, plus we’ve been working all year on baking more, working faster, and generally being smarter about what we do. I’m going to go out on a limb here and whisper “We are ready, fall baking season”, just in case the universe needs to hear it straight from us. Please insert inspirational Pinterest quote here.
Earlier this evening I was reviewing our month of August and comparing our sales this month to August 2015 (don’t be too impressed, I was also watching Toddlers and Tiaras while I was working on the math). We experienced 39% growth over last August. And while I don’t have an MBA and am generally riddled with self-doubt, even I can recognize that 39% growth is a serious achievement. And what makes that 39% so noteworthy is that I can’t really think of a day this month that completely slayed us (including $5 Friday…which was difficult but fun, and certainly not the most overwhelming day we’ve ever had). Obviously, we had some long hours and worked some late events this month that left us questioning all of our life choices…but that is pretty standard issue at PJP.
Which is just a long way of saying that for this moment right here in time, I’m going to declare to the World Wide Web that we are actually getting better at what we do. You heard it here first. Insert two inspirational Pinterest quotes here.
On Saturday, we are providing pies in various sizes to four weddings planned at venues across Boone County. Odds are that we will spend all of Friday night baking (as in ALL OF IT, including the 3 am part) and so everything I just said about being faster and smarter will feel just like a pipe dream (as most things do at 3 am). But that will be Friday. For today though, we are just holding on to the notion of 39%. In the interim, we will just be over here pretending to be legit experts. Ahem.
And wait, here’s a whole heap of truth for us all as we head into the next few months…
It feels like we have a number of projects in progress at PJP Buttonwood lately. But, I guess we wouldn’t be us if we weren’t trying to think about 1,537 things at any given time, right? Here’s a short list of what’s on our minds:
- Thanksgiving. We’ve set our hours for that week, laid some ground rules, and picked the pies we will be baking. Even that discussion left me feeling like…
- We’ve been asked to design a bra for the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center’s Artful Bra event in October. We are keeping the details of our bra top secret, but we named our entry “Over The Shoulder Pie Holder” and we laugh each time we think of it.
- We are working on fried pies for Roots and Blues. On Friday, we fried five or six different kinds and then made ourselves sick on a buffet of fried pie. (Really, you wouldn’t believe how delicious a fried chocolate pie is.) We love the concept, but frying on site isn’t very compelling. I fully expect Jason Isbell to find his way to our booth and it would be super awesome if I didn’t smell like Wesson Oil when it happened.
- We are working on switching our accounting services. That is super not interesting. But I can promise you that it is super tedious.
- We are working on finalizing the details of the Ikea trip. Payment is due by Friday if you plan to attend…(bonus points if you appreciate the Pulp Fiction version of John Travolta…)
For only the second time in PJP history, Jeanne and I took a day off completely from PJP Buttonwood on Saturday. After calculating our next free Saturday to be on January 7, 2017 (not kidding), we figured whatever happened in our absence this past Saturday couldn’t be any worse than working with the knowledge that we would be there for the next 19 weekends IN A ROW.
So we had a quick meeting and discussed the schedule and everyone seemed on board with the no Jeanne/no Rebecca plan. And as you might suspect, they all did AMAZINGLY WELL. There weren’t any problems, no calls with frantic panic in the background, or issues to resolve. We already know we have the best employees in the world and to be able to step away for a day to have a little breathing room from PJP Buttonwood was a gift we both needed…so thanks to Team PJP for handling it all like pros.
And without question, having two legitimate weekend days off left us both feeling rested(ish) and a little more creative than a normal Monday. So we waited for our regular Monday delivery of groceries and pie boxes and bags and then hauled out the Cricut and decided to stare down in an epic battle of will. The extra few hours of sleep over the weekend fueled the fire that we were going to successfully Cricut a project or go down trying.
After watching 31,000 YouTube videos, we unwrapped our sticky mat and got to work…slowly falling down the rabbit hole of “oh, let’s just cut one more thing”. One hour in and we basically wanted to print and cut ALL THE THINGS. (I think this is how addiction starts.) With each item that we printed and cut, we basically felt like Cricut rock stars…and we probably looked at 1% of what that machine can do. I can only imagine what a really talented person can do with it…(probably cut out a panel for the space shuttle and attach it with washi tape). But whatever, because we made a lot of things with our marginal skills…
I’ll be leaving the machine at home tomorrow, or we will have no real pies on the shelves to sell (but the word “pie” cut out on card stock in 12 different fonts). Unless Katie and Andrew and Sydney want to miss class to run the PJP show while we stay home and rest. And by rest, I mean print out stuff and cut it on our fancy machine.