Thanks for all the Love, or The Pre-Ski-Trip-Avalanche


I finally (finally!) got my prototype printable wedding invitation kit launched the weekend before last. This was an idea that had been knocking around in my head since October but for a zillion and one reasons (friends weddings, my own wedding, travel plans, my day job, social and familial obligations, getting the new site live...) I just hadn't gotten the chance to spend a consistent amount of focused time to get it designed, produced and launched.

After I put the final touches on the kit, and uploaded it to the site - which was a thrill since I can now display as many additional product shots as I want - I felt like a thousand pounds had lifted off my shoulders. It sounds a little 'woo woo' but bringing this set into the world felt like a birth, a difficult birth. I was alternately mad at the world because I didn't have enough time to work on it, or throwing silent psychological tantrums in the form of total foot dragging resistance when I did have time (like suddenly wanting, needing to watch every single Frontline documentary on pbs.org) But I slogged and pushed through all that and got my baby over the finish line.

As an afterthought, I shot an email over to the ladies at idiyblog, they had featured one of my earlier free printable wedding invitation sets. It seemed like maybe a good idea to actually let someone know that this kit was out there, and available for free, no less. I didn't get a response, so I figured my email landed in a long line of blog submissions. Then something funny started to happen.

I started getting emails from the site from people having trouble with the download - which I thought was weird, because I had tested it several times. When I went to the store control panel, and looked at the analytics, I almost fell out of my chair. In the course of 24 hours I had gotten over 2000 visitors (the site had been averaging 100 a day) and there had already been 1000 downloads. After looking through the order logs, I realized that download problems were occurring when more than one person tried to download the file at almost the same time. Idiy had not only ran a post on the kit, but How About Orange picked it up and then it trickled down into several other smaller blogs.

I stayed up until 3 in the morning emailing new customers zip files of the invitation kit. I felt like Dr. Frankenstein (probably not a good analogy) alternately thinking to myself  'It's Alive!, It's Alive!', 'it's working! it's working!' and  sometimes 'Oh my god. What have I done.' The last sentiment was partly because the next day we were taking off to Austria to go skiing and I was about to be without internet access for 4 days. Thank god for Google maps - we were able to punch in our ski Pension and see that that there was an internet cafe about a 5 minute walk away.

Although the download problem was an unwelcome SNAFU (which we still need to figure out a work around for) A lovely, lovely side effect was I got notes like these from people trying to download the product:

"Love this stationery suite!  I wrote about the kit on my blog"
"Thank you for sending the download! Everything is just lovely!"
"
Thanks so much for your help.  I love your stuff!"
"
Thank you so much!!! I love your designs... will definitely be bookmarking your etsy shop and site for future needs!!!"
"This wedding suite is gorgeous."
"
You're Awesome"
"
Many thanks & excellent work!!!!"
"If there is a way for me to download those beautiful invites  I would be over the moon!"

Not get all Californian about it, but I really felt like the Universe was directly returning all the love and effort I had put into this project, and encouraging me to keep going. It was pretty great.

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