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Our Summer Schedule

By Aislyn Bryan May 21, 2018 654 Views No comments

Here in the mountains, it's not quite summer yet but we're working on it. The aspens are leafing out in their lovely, lettucey shade of spring green and at least a bazillion chipmunks are in a perpetual state of joyful scurry in the forest around our house. At this altitude, flowers generally wait until June to make an appearance, but we know spring has arrived when we see a chipmunk.

This year, we're taking off the first week of June, the first week of July, and all of August... for merrymaking and whatnot. It's the best summer schedule ever, in our lazy, summer-loving opinions, but it does entail a little extra planning on your part, so here are the calendars showing our plans for every single summer day. For each and every day, you can glance at the schedule and instantly know 1) whether the website will be available for ordering, and 2) whether Gary and I will be at work in the shop, and make your plans accordingly. We're hoping this will make our time off somewhat less inconvenient.

Happy Summer!

-- Aislyn




Changes for the New Year

By Aislyn Bryan January 14, 2018 1172 Views No comments

Fifteen years ago, when we sold our very first rings, it was just Gary and me. We worked all the hours of the day, and a good many of the night ones, too, but we were having so much fun, it didn't feel like work. When our business grew so that there weren't enough hours to get it all done, we hired some nice people to come and help us everyday. That was great fun, too; busy and crowded, but so much laughter, so many good times. When the economy tanked and our business with it, one by one, we had to let all our nice people go. It was an awful time for us, we were so sad.

It took a good while, but over time we adjusted to the quiet and began enjoying our 'just us' days, like we did at the beginning. Now that the economy is bustling and our business with it, we're once again in the position of having more work than we can do. We've talked about looking for some nice people to help us, as we did before, but that conversation just made us both realize how much we like the way we work now... just us. So we've decided to go the other way. Instead of adding people to handle more business, we're going to squeeze our business down to what just the two of us can handle comfortably.

The first change is that we're going to focus all of our time and energy on what we actually do -- which is making rings -- and phase out everything that our customers can get elsewhere. That means that we won't be restocking anything but rings. As we sell off our stock of clasps, tools, etc., the items will just disappear from the website. Click CloseOut in the left menu to see everything that's going. When it's gone, it's really gone. (But we'll list resources so you'll know where to go look for it.)

Another change is that we've taken all the bronze and copper rings off our menu. Sales of those are so infrequent that our wire supplier doesn't want to make the wire for them anymore, and we can't make a case for why they should... so they're gone. We still have some wire so if you have a copper or bronze emergency, write and tell us what you need. We can probably still make it. Copper and bronze wire is still available in our store, as are copper and bronze clasps. None of those items will be restocked.

The biggest change won't happen til this time next year, but at the beginning of 2019, we plan to switch to a different business model -- business-to-business -- and stop accepting new customers, at least for awhile. The idea is that, since we can't accept all possible orders, since we have to disappoint some customers, better to disappoint casual customers who shop with us occasionally, rather than our business customers who are selling designs based on our ring sizes and who order from us all the time. If we have to prioritize, it must be in favor of those most loyal to us. So this is what we're going to do....

At the end of this year, we're going to sort our customers by their 2018 order totals. (The person who spends the most with us this year will be #1, the one who spends the next most will be #2, etc.) When the website changes to B2B in January of 2019, we'll keep open the accounts of as many of our customers as we think we can reasonably handle, beginning with #1. When we have as much as we believe we can do, we'll make a cut off point and close all the accounts after that point.

There isn't a way to keep from disappointing some people when we have to cut back our workload; disappointment is inevitable. What we can do, though, is make sure the process favors those who depend on us the most, so it's fair. Totals begin accumulating when our website reopens in January, and will be complete when we close the website for Christmas 2018.

Just think... this is our last year as the retail business we've always been... maybe our last year ever having new customers! Amazing.

It's going to be a whole new phase of the adventure. Happy New Year.

-- Aislyn


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

By Aislyn Bryan December 16, 2017 449 Views No comments

All the orders are shipped and on the way and now we're cleaning house and looking forward to decorating the tree, making cookies, and watching Christmas movies. (Especially our favorites, Die Hard and Love Actually). So much fun! So glad we gave ourselves extra time off to enjoy it all.

Happy holidays to you and yours and thank you for another wonderful year. We appreciate you all so much. ~hugs all around~

-- Aislyn and Gary

P. S. We'll be back January 15th. Meanwhile, you can reach us at contactus@urbanmaille.com if needed. <3 <3 <3

P. P. S. All of our information pages should still be accessible. (I say should because they have to be listed explicitly and I might have missed one or two. If I did, send me a note and I'll add it to the list.) Click the pages listed in the menu to the left and under the Info tab at the top right of this page. The archive links at the lower left aren't available so don't bother with those. Ok, bye.

Closed... but Still Working

By Aislyn Bryan December 9, 2017 1199 Views No comments

The deadline for ordering things we can get to you before Christmas has passed and now we're busy in the shop, getting it all done. If you have an order in the queue, our plan is to have it shipped out and on its way to you by Friday, December 15th.

If you're here wanting to place a new order, the next opportunity will be January 15th when we return from our extended holiday. It's a long time to wait but don't worry, we'll make it worth your while. ;)

You can reach us at contactus@urbanmaille.com if needed.

Merry Christmas, y'all.

--Aislyn

December 2017

By Aislyn Bryan October 26, 2017 1743 Views 2 comments

(Click News & Information, above, to see our holiday schedule through January.)

This is our December schedule. Note that the deadline to order MTOs (make to order rings) for guaranteed pre-holiday delivery passed on November 30th. MTOs include all rings made of exotic metals. all rings made of wire shapes other than round, plus all the outlying sizes of round rings. If you order MTO rings now, we'll fill the order if we have the wire to make them, but we don't have time to order and receive new wire. If we don't have the wire, we'll cancel and refund the affected MTO items and fill the remainder of the order.

All of our stock items, including most of our round wire rings in sterling, argentium and copper, are still available for guaranteed pre-holiday delivery if ordered by December 8th. The website will be closed -- as in not accepting any orders -- from December 9th until January 15th.

November 2017

By Aislyn Bryan October 26, 2017 1489 Views No comments

(Click News & Information, above, to see our holiday schedule through January.)

This is our November schedule. Note that we'll be closed for a week at Thanksgiving, but the website will remain open. And this year, the last day to order MTOs before Christmas is November 30. Remember, MTOs (make to order) rings are all rings made of exotic metals. all rings made of wire shapes other than round, plus all the outlying sizes of round rings. Anything in any of those categories that you're going to need before we return from the Christmas holidays in mid-January must be ordered in November. If you wait til December, it'll be too late. Heads up, everybody!

October 2017

By Aislyn Bryan October 1, 2017 1127 Views No comments

In a few days Urban Maille's Facebook page is going to disappear so I wanted to take a bit of space here to explain why we're wantonly deleting a page followed by more than 5000 of our favorite people. There's a bit of explanation involved, so feel free to skip down if you don't care about this sort of thing.

Gary and I are old school patriotic types who believe in old school free speech and the free market. We believe in defending to the end each and every person's right to speak their beliefs, even if we loathe what they're saying. Maybe even especially if we loathe it... because when people can speak freely, it's easy to see who they really are. That's where the free market comes in. We vote with our dollars and with our time and attention. We don't give any of it to people whose beliefs are abhorrent to us. Instead, we find like minded people and give them our business, our time, our attention, and in this way we vote for what we want to see more of and disregard the rest. It's a wildly effective system that's completely fair to everyone, suppresses no one, and allows for each and every person to reap exactly what they sow; a blissfully, perfectly, fair result that no form of censorship can ever provide.

Unfortunately, some social media platforms are trying to socially engineer us by deciding what we can see and what we can't. It's just a modern form of book burning, a concept unbearable in any form. The only power we as individuals have (or need) is that free market vote of money, time and attention, so Gary and I have made the decision to stop giving ours to platforms that choose to censor what we see instead of just giving us the tools to filter our own information as we choose. So... bye bye Facebook. It was fun while it lasted.

We've had a lot of lovely rain in the mountains this summer, so even though it's been cool since mid-August, the aspens are only just now turning from green to yellow and the ground is purple with asters well beyond the usual end of our summer flowers. It's hard to pick a favorite season when they're all beautiful but autumn is just special. I hope yours is just as lovely. Until next time....

-- Aislyn

 
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