PBN Blues Series: “The Ballad of Stagger Lee” by Mississippi John Hurt

It is time for another installment in our PBN Blues Series. I hope you are having as much fun reading it as I am writing it. It is also my hope that you are enjoying the music that accompanies each piece. So without further delay, let us get down to it.

There are big dogs, and small dogs, and dogs in between these sizes. But everyone accepts that at any given time, there is always going to be a dog that all the other dogs know that it is a bad move to engage or start any “mess”. It is a sort of survival instinct.

The same sort of survival instinct exists among humans, as well. However, we tend to not listen to our intuition as much as we should. Those of us who are in the magical and spiritual business world are notorious for ignoring that neck chilling instinct that says “time to go on home and sit back down”. The over inflated ego can buy so much trouble that an entire bank could not cash you out of debt.

A lot of bark for a small bite

Opal T. walks into your shop in a furious fit of anger. She paces back and forth in front of your candle shelves. A cloud of vape smoke is filling your small space, but you do not wish to agitate her further by being loudly vocal about it right now. She is an established client and peer, so you decide to wait until she is composed enough to speak to you in a coherent fashion.

CC0 Creative Commons

Opal T. steps to your counter and taps her impeccably manicured fingers on your glass display case top. Her braids are moving around like they have a life of their own, as she animatedly relates the details of her latest witch war with another spiritual worker in town. The woman in her tale is a well known, and respected, community member. She is also not one to be trifled with in any fashion. However, Opal T. decides that she needs to take her to task for publicly questioning her skills.

Now, this dust up is actually not that large of an issue. Besides that, the other woman was actually correct that Opal T. is not qualified to speak on the topic of the disagreement, as she is not an initiate of the tradition in question. In this case, it would be better that it be forgotten. You tell this to your client.

She is not having it, at all. She demands to make an example of the other woman by casting a hex at her. She asks for a consult regarding the most powerful spell component packages you carry. She wants to prove a point, very messily and publicly, that she can hold her own against this woman. She calls her a washed up old hag, and you laugh with her as you bag up her purchases.

She is unsure how to actually cast the working, however. She picks out a few books so that she can construct something at home. Her purchases seem very swayed by the publisher logos on the books, and not content. It does not matter to you. Money is money.

Opal T.  leaves with a haughty gait and a twinkle in her eyes. You count your day’s cash and get ready to close. For just a moment, you get the feeling that you just made a mistake. You brush it off, and flip the closed sign. It will be the last time for many months that you go home with peace of mind.

 

Get back on the porch

Opal T. walks into your shop in a furious fit of anger. She paces back and forth in front of your candle shelves. A cloud of vape smoke is filling your small space, but you do not wish to agitate her further by being loudly vocal about it right now. She is an established client and peer, so you decide to wait until she is composed enough to speak to you in a coherent fashion.

Opal T. steps to your counter and taps her impeccably manicured fingers on your glass display case top. Her braids are moving around like they have a life of their own, as she animatedly relates the details of her latest witch war with another spiritual worker in town. The woman in her tale is a well-known, and respected, community member. She is also not one to be trifled with in any fashion. However, Opal T. decides that she needs to take her to task for publicly questioning her skills.

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Now, this dust up is actually not that large of an issue. Besides that, the other woman was actually correct that Opal T. is not qualified to speak on the topic of the disagreement, as she is not an initiate of the tradition in question. In this case, it would be better that it be forgotten. You tell this to your client.

She is not having it, at all. She demands to make an example of the other woman by casting a hex at her. She asks for a consult regarding the most powerful spell component packages you carry. She wants to prove a point, very messily and publicly, that she can hold her own against this woman. She calls her a washed up old hag, and you shake your head.

You attempt to reason with her. After all, a disagreement is no more reason to do offensive work of a destructive nature than a laugh at a social faux pas. You also caution her that because she is inexperience in this sort of thing, it is not advisable.

She gives you an angry glare and storms through the book section. She is unsure how to actually cast the working, however. She picks out a few titles so that she can construct something at home. Her purchases seem very swayed by the publisher logos on the books, and not content.

Once again, when she returns to the counter, you caution her about making sure this is the route she wishes to travel.  She asks you to help her construct a cursing spell. As her peer, you do not wish her to undertake anything that would distract her from her usual practices. You also do not wish to become involved in a witch war. Lastly, through your knowledge of the parties involved, you have a strong feeling that she is about to get magically “mollywhopped” with extreme prejudice when she goes up against that other practitioner.

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You refuse to do the spell design for her. However you do sell the books to her. You are in business, after all. Your conscience is clear.

More importantly, you have successfully avoided involvement in a conflict that can cost you business. Never take sides in a public conflict. You are not a judge or jury. You are in the business of business.

You wait for the inevitable news of another witch war gone wrong. Shaking your head, you do a clearing of your shop and get rid of her energy. Some people should not be tried by the weak and ego-driven.

The woman she is attacking does not get involved in trifles, partly because all her enemies know better than to try her. She is the sort that should be left alone. She is merciless, as are most experienced elders with little patience. You anticipate that Opal T. is about to learn this the very hard way.

PBN Blues Series: “Michigan Water Blues” by Jelly Roll Morton

We return to our series for the Pagan practitioner with another PBN Blues Series installment. Did you miss us? We missed you.

*We would also like to remind you, Flint, Michigan still does not have clean water.

There are time when the only way to break a streak of bad luck is to shake it off and seek new places and faces. Changing the mind can change the world. But if roots are being done on you locally, booking a flight or hitting the road, may be the answer, if viable. In these circumstances, clients are known to come for insight and work to prepare their route and “traveling mercies”. As a business person, you want to retain clients, but you also want to be of service to them as well. How you handle referrals is delicate and important.

Public Domain

Traveling on, but not without baggage

Curtis L. comes to you with his “I just quit another job” shirt on his back, pressed and fresh. A customer from your early days of business, he has stuck with you for 20 years. Traveling where the work will take him, he drifts from town, and state to state. His flashy watch matches the shine in his eyes, and you anticipate new employment status, and newer lady friends, in some place at the other end of a tank of gas. You mentally prepare to gather his usual assortment of spell components.

Curtis L. surprises you this time, though. He tells you that this is probably the last time you will see him for some years. It seems that he has a job up  in Michigan, and a plethora of opportunities. He is asking you not for his usual small kit, but simply a travel protection root bag and the name of a good shop or worker in Detroit.

Now, Curtis L. has been as dependable as the rains in fall, and the earth underfoot. His regular business has often meant the difference between being able to be in the black at the end of a month, and counting a loss. His word of mouth also keeps a steady stream of wealthy ladies finding your shop and lining your cash register drawer. Even his church friends come for blessed Seals of Moses you get from Sleeping Gryphon.  Yes, indeed, Curtis L. is a valued customer.

For this reason, you decide to sabotage his move. In your opinion, the relationship is too beneficial to both of you. You decide to fill the order, but nullify it with your own work. You then set lights for his job to fall through before he has been there a week. You will break this man for both of your sakes. In your view, no other worker can look after him like you, anyway.

Public Domain

You smile, and lie through your Fashion Fair coral lipstick and tell him you know not one authentic practitioner, sorry. You wish him well and watch him walk through your door, knowing he will return a broken man. But you also know you will then keep Curtis L. just healed enough to ensure your prosperity for many years to come. With this decision, you now have changed the course of your practice, but you are fine with that.

 

Fond Farewell, with some stories to tell

Curtis L. comes to you with his “I just quit another job” shirt on his back, pressed and fresh. A customer from your early days of business, he has stuck with you for 20 years. Traveling where the work will take him, he drifts from town, and state to state. His flashy watch matches the shine in his eyes, and you anticipate new employment status, and newer lady friends, in some place at the other end of a tank of gas. You mentally prepare to gather his usual assortment of spell components.

Curtis L. surprises you this time, though. He tells you that this is probably the last time you will see him for some years. It seems that he has a job up  in Michigan, and a plethora of opportunities. He is asking you not for his usual small kit, but simply a travel protection root bag and the name of a good shop or worker in Detroit.

Now, Curtis L. has been as dependable as the rains in fall, and the earth underfoot. His regular business has often meant the difference between being able to be in the black at the end of a month, and counting a loss. His word of mouth also keeps a steady stream of wealthy ladies finding your shop and lining your cash register drawer. Even his church friends come for blessed Seals of Moses you order from Sleeping Gryphon.  Yes, indeed, Curtis L. is a valued customer.

Sixthandseventhbooks_fourth_seal_1880.png – Public Domain

You will feel the loss of Curtis L. both emotionally and financially. His custom and referrals contributed to the success and popularity of your business. He sees you as a trusted fictive family member, and you are honored to be held in such esteem. You hold his trust sacred, and it is with this in mind, you prepare with care his last package.

You are a member of the Pagan Business Network, so you know the way to find the people he needs to know and how to place him in touch with them. You also know that a quick free divination will aid him to avoid any unforeseen trouble with the new employer. You give him this free of charge.

With a final goodbye, you send an email to the businesses you recommended, with his permission, with an introduction. He will never forget you, and will no doubt continue to sing your praises. Word of mouth on social media makes his continued referrals very probable for local clients.

Curtis L. sends you a chat message three months later. He is doing very well. That last parting gift of Boss Fix was just what he needed to foil a coworker’s plot to undermine him. His new local worker has a great relationship with him, and you and she often refer clients to each other for online customers. His reviews on both your sites is like honey to bees. Your choice to give a hand up instead of a pulling back, lifted you both.

Public Domain

Looking at Life

Your honor and business reputation are your most bankable asset. Without them, you have nothing. There is no lesson greater than this.

To Drop Ship or Not to Drop Ship

I promised in the last article that I would talk about different selling platforms in future articles.  I will do that.  Today I am going to step it back a little bit and talk about one of the product sourcing options you will have.  You can make or purchase products to sell.  Both of those require an outlay of cash and a space to keep your inventory.  Another option is offering items from companies that will drop ship directly to your customers.

Here’s how drop shipping works.  You set up your shop online.  You sign up with a company to be able to sell their products.  You market and get the customer.  You collect the money and then order from the company and they ship directly to your customer.  When you order from the company you pay less than retail for the order and pocket the difference between what the customer paid you and what the company charges you.  Sounds great, right?

That’s the rosy side of selling product from a drop shipping company.  Let’s talk about some of the challenges.

Out of Stock – sometimes a product will go out of stock and take what seems like an unreasonable amount of time to be ready to ship.  In this case you are the face of the order.  Your customer may not be happy to wait weeks for the item to become available again and you are powerless to get the product any quicker for the customer.  Some drop shipping companies publish a list of out of stock items weekly to allow their client companies to make a note to not offer those items until they are back in stock. That is one of the best options.  However, it does take staying on top of those lists.  Most of the time you will not know an item is out of stock until a customer orders it and you try to place the order with the company.

Shipping Charges – it is important that your business model is such that you are charging enough shipping on the order without charging what might seem unreasonable to your customer.  If you are working with multiple drop shippers, you will run into orders that include product from more than one company.  That means you are paying multiple shipping charges on one order.  The customer is ordering from one shop and will expect shipping to be a combined shipping cost.  This is a bit of a balancing act.

Discontinued Items – you will need to stay on top of items that are discontinued from your drop shipper, so you can remove them from your stock.

So, when crafting your business model, you need to weigh the pros against the cons and address how you will deal with those cons before jumping in to offer products from drop shippers.

With all of this in mind the next question is “Where do I find all of these companies that will drop ship?”

 

I do not have a comprehensive list but can list a few here.  I would love to have a larger list so, if any of you have knowledge of any other drop ship companies please comment with information on them and we’ll add them to this list.

 

Arcadia Marketplace

This company carries candles, oils, smudge sprays and books.  They carry candles, oils, smudge sprays and some books.

Azure Green

One of the most well-known drop shipping companies offering Pagan type products is Azure Green.  Their product line includes statuary, books, decks, wands, athames, candles, herbs, gemstones, oils, jewelry and all kinds of other supplies and tools Pagans use.  There is a lot of competition out there selling Azure Green products.  There are also a lot of customers ordering their items from multiple sellers.

BadAssTribe.com

They sell a list of companies that will drop ship.

Charissa’s Cauldron

This is a shameless plug for my products.  I offer a drop ship program for the Charissa’s Cauldron brand products (Crystal and Flower Essences, Conjure Waters, Goddess Waters and Lunar Waters).  I will leave it to you to read the page that explains how it works.

NewAgeReseller.com

They offer a list of wholesalers that will drop ship for purchase.

StarLinksGifts.com

They sell spiritual jewelry.

SwordsAxe.com

They sell swords, knives, LARP gear and some other goodies.

WiccanSupplier.com

They offer a sizable catalog and will drop ship.

 

About the author:  Charissa founded the Pagan Business NetworkNorth Georgia Solitaries and sits on the board of directors for Universal Society for Ancient Ministry.  She co-owns Pagan Markets with Sadie Odinsdottir of Sleeping Gryphon and co-owns Silver Pines GiftsCharissa’s Cauldron and Kit’s Flea and owns Sacred Grove Radio.

Starting an Online Business – Part 1 – Selling Books on Amazon

Friend calling on the phone:  “What are you doing?”

Me:  “I’m working.”

Friend:  “Doing what?”

Me:  “Today I’m photographing so I can get more listings up.”

Friend:  “Ok.  I’ve got to run some errands so can I drop the kids off since you aren’t busy?”

 

How many of you that work from home have those kinds of conversations?   A little frustrating isn’t it?

Running your own business is not for the feint of heart.  It is not for someone that is easily distracted or for someone that wants to stay home and watch television all day.   You have to work the business for it to pay.  That means putting in full time hours listing, shipping, and marketing.

I run an online business selling goods.  I sell products I make.  I sell products I buy and even some of my art every now and then.

I thought I might share my business journey this year with our PBN News readers.

My husband and I get up every morning and check our online shops first thing.  If there are sales we print them out and work on locating and packing everything to go out.  He will run to the post office around lunch time.  That sounds great, right?  Wake up to sold product?

Let’s talk about what happens next.  One of the keys to selling stuff online is listing stuff online.  That requires photographs, descriptions, condition notes (we sell a lot used goods) and finding a good spot to keep each item so we will be able to find it quickly if someone buys it.

In our case, we sell books on Amazon and two Shopify stores as well as vintage goods on two Shopify stores, an Etsy store and an antique mall.  We also sell products I make on one of the Shopify stores and Pagan Markets (a marketplace for Pagan businesses).

This adds the complication of making sure that when an item sells we remove it from the other selling channels, so we don’t oversell.

I could fill up a book with all the little things we have to do to keep the business running and paying bills. So, we’ll start at the beginning.

Selling books on Amazon

Let’s start with Amazon.  We sell books on Amazon.  If you were going to set up to sell items on Amazon you will first need to know how much it will cost you so you can ensure that you are making money when you sell something.   Since we sell books I will be using details about selling books here.  There are other products you can sell on Amazon.  I will leave it up to you for those choices.

Cost to sell books on Amazon

If you only have a few books to sell the Individual Selling Plan would probably be the best choice.   The formula works like this.

+  Book Sale price

+ Shipping collected from customer by Amazon

Minus 15% referral fee

Minus $1.80 closing fee

Minus .99 listing fee

Equals the money you get from Amazon.

 

So, let’s say you have a $10 book with standard shipping of $3.99

The customer pays $13.99.

Then Amazon takes 15%, which is $2.10 in referral fee as well as $1.80 for a closing fee and .99 for a listing fee.  That leaves you with $9.10.

But wait!

You still have to ship the book.  Now you have the cost of the packaging if you don’t happen to have packaging to ship the book laying around as well as the cost of postage.

If you pay retail for shipping envelopes you can easily pay around $2.00 per envelope.  We have found that when we purchase our shipping labels through Amazon for media mail they usually run around $2.63 – $4.00 depending on the weight of the book.  That is cheaper than taking it to the post office and having them post it.  The postal service gives discounts to companies like Amazon to encourage us to all use printable postage from home so they do not have to staff the counter with as many employees.

So now your $9.10 has decreased by anywhere from $2.63 to $6.00 leaving you with $3.00-$6.50.

If you are only going to sell a few books these number might be the best for you.  Keep in mind that you don’t pay those listing fees until something sells so you aren’t paying up front for something that doesn’t sell.

For more information see Amazon’s Fee Schedule.

The next plan up for selling on Amazon is the Professional Plan.  This is the plan we opt for because we list hundreds of books.  This plan eliminates the .99 per book listing fee.  We pay $39.99 a month instead of the individual .99 per book fee.  So, if we sell 40 books in a month it is covered.  The rest of the numbers above still apply.

Listing Books

Now that you have chosen which plan you want to use it is time to list your books.  There are several different ways to do this but we will just go over the simplest for now.

The first step is to type in the ISBN code in the search bar on Amazon.  When the book comes up choose which format you have (hardcover, paperback, etc.) and bring up the offers that are already up on the book.  That will give you an idea of how much to price the book.  You want to be able to price it so it comes up on the first page of offers.  Mass market books will not leave any room for profit due to the .01 sellers.

Once you have decided on your selling price click on the “Have one to sell?” link just above the title and photo of the book.  This will bring up the listing page.

You will need to choose a condition.  This is very important.  If you mark the book in better condition than it really is a customer may report you and your Amazon seller account could be suspended.  We always opt for a lower condition if we are unsure.  We keep the Condition Guidelines handy when doing listings.  There is a special section on books at the above link.

There is a space for Condition Note – buyers are more likely to buy from someone that fills out this note.  Include any details you have about the condition of the book such as previous owner’s name written on the first page, some minor scuffing on the cover edges, page corners curling, etc.

Next field for individual sellers is the quantity.  Keep in mind the quantity is for that book in that condition.  If you have one in Very Good Condition and one in Acceptable condition they need to be listed separately and do not mix them up when shipping.

You can upload photos but there is generally a stock photo already up.  I generally do not add photos unless I am listing a book that is not in Amazon’s catalog.

Next you need to put in the price you want for your book.

The last line is the SKU line.  Because we have created an inventory system to deal with the thousands of different products we sell we put our own SKU in that section.  Many individual sellers do not.

Find a safe place to store your book so you can find it quickly if it sells.  There is nothing worse than selling an item and having no idea where to find it.  Amazon wants you to ship within 24-48 hours of the sale when possible.

When you sell the book you can print out the order, a packing and even purchase postage directly from your seller dashboard.

This concludes selling books on Amazon.  Stay tuned for segments on Etsy, Pagan Markets, Shopify, social media marketing, selling on multiple channels and more.

About the author:  Charissa founded the Pagan Business Network, North Georgia Solitaries and sits on the board of directors for Universal Society for Ancient Ministry.  She co-owns Pagan Markets with Sadie Odinsdottir of Sleeping Gryphon and co-owns Silver Pines Gifts, Charissa’s Cauldron and Kit’s Flea and owns Sacred Grove Radio.

Laura Perry Announces 2nd Edition of Ancient SpellCraft

Ancient Spellcraft
Does 16 years of experience make you better at casting spells? Author Laura Perry thinks so!
She has just released a newly revised and updated second edition of her popular book Ancient Spellcraft: From the Hymns of the Hittites to the Carvings of the Celts. The first edition was the first book she ever published, way back in 2001. Perry says she has learned a few things in the intervening years, and those tidbits make the second edition of Ancient Spellcraft even better than the first.
Cover of the book, Ancient Spellcraft, which has the title and author's name in red, and an old looking image of a woman in green and yellow robes in the center of the cover.
According to Perry, since 2001 we’ve discovered a good deal more about the ancient cultures the book focuses on: the Babylonians, Canaanites, Celts, Egyptians, Etruscans, Greeks, Hittites, Minoans, Phoenicians, and Sumerians. She has incorporated this new information into the book for your reading pleasure.
But more than that, Perry says she has learned a lot more about magic, from both successes and mistakes, in the years since the first edition of Ancient Spellcraft was released. So she has revised many of the spells and then tested them, or had trusted friends test them, to make sure they work well for you. The spells include the all-important subjects of protection, prosperity, romance, fertility, healing, and divination.

Read more

Pagan Vendors have a Marketplace of their own

Hold onto your cash registers, vendors, a new player is in town and is set to change the way you do you Pagan business. Pagan Markets is not only joining the selling platform game. With an expansive network of sellers and buyers, the previous blocks and purges that vendors have faced on sites such as Ebay and Etsy can be a thing of the past.

Sadie Odinsdottir, woman of a multitude of talents, was able to share her insight.

We are super excited about this new marketplace and we are getting a lot of support. I think the Pagan and Metaphysical community has been needing this for a long time.

Pagan Markets site image

The platform is welcomes services and products that are currently targeted for deletion by major corporations. Magic centered items, ritual tools, and other services find a home here. This is an innovative solution to an ever growing problem of sellers being forced to lose their inventory accessibility for their customers.

“Many have told me their shops are being closed without so much as notice,” said Etsy-seller Ashley Coulton, who is petitioning Etsy to rethink the policy clarification. “I do worry about the effect this will have on my business … I do believe the actions of Etsy are in fact, discriminatory toward Wiccan and Pagan faiths.” –Inside the (literal) witch hunt that’s devouring Etsy

In response to inquiries regarding the complaints of this nature, Etsy issued this statement:

“Etsy strongly believes in freedom of thought, expression, and religion, and we will never institute a policy that discriminates against sellers for their religious beliefs or practices.”

This policy change comes along the crest of a wave of other assaults on the businesses of the magical and spiritual business sphere. While the selling platform is one front, the industry also took a hit when microtransaction processor Square began removing and rejecting the sales of occult merchandise.

Square’s user agreement states that by creating Square accounts, businesses won’t accept payments in connection with a host of prohibited activities or items, including illegal activity, drug paraphernalia, “hate products”, escort services, and “occult materials.” – Witches Are Being Kicked Off of Square For Selling ‘Occult Items’

Businesses need the ability to process monetary transactions to survive. That is a simple fact. In order to thrive, they need consistent, impartial, and fair services that facilitate this. The growing movement toward classifying magical and Pagan spiritual services created a demand.

The Pagan Markets platform provides those services. Sellers are able to embed their shops into the site, have shipping fees calculated by the site, and utilize other features tailored to their needs. This could be argued to be a natural progression from the Pagan Business Network’s visions. Veterans to the cause of enhancing the success of Pagan business, Charissa Iskiwitch ,and her staff of makers and shakers, have a plan. They have the knowledge, networks, and contacts that give a depth and dimension to their experience that is uniquely suited to the task.

What sets u s apart is the fact that we have, Charissa, myself, and other, to help with the legalities of what can and cannot be sold in this kind of marketplace. As well as, the mentoring and assistance for new business owners. –  Sadie Odinsdottir

Easy to use instructions help even the novice internet seller set up their accounts. The embedding feature also allows for greater exposure of brands. In addition to these advantages, the site also has a support group on Facebook that allows for valuable tips and advice that make this a wraparound service.

Money is good. Manifesting money is better. Finding folks who can help you do that is priceless

But do not take my word for all of this. See if for yourself. Visit Pagan Markets today, and tell them Kenya Coviak sent you. That is always good for a smile.

 

 

Tips On the Go: Remembering to Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor

 

As a member of the local business community, I am often approached by friends and other business owners with queries on business tips, marketing techniques, and overall tricks of the trade to get their brand out there. Out of all the questions I’ve ever been asked –or have ever asked, myself!– the one question that I have found which provides the most insight into the very unique experiences each business owner has gleaned traveling their own paths is,

“What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given, or could ever give to anyone?”

The best business advice I have ever received is the best advice I could ever give. Ironically it has absolutely nothing to do with professional business techniques, management, or even PR.

Image: Charleston Gardens

No mater how much you have left to do ahead of you, pause for a moment to look behind you and cherish all you’ve already done.

Running a major event and everyone’s running around like chickens with their heads cut off? Pause, look around you at the success you’ve made, at the people enjoying themselves, and know that you (and your team!) have made it all possible.

Got a long list of items you’ve got to get up on your website, get bar coded, post the unique blurbs about every one, analyze the trends and the traffic to your site? — Stop, look at what you’ve already sold, what you’ve already done, and feel blessed to have done well enough that you have to put new product out so quickly.

So many business owners –both online and brick-and-mortar–, event coordinators, and traveling vendors get lost in all the chaos and upkeep, trying to keep up with the times and the rapidly changing economy. Not enough of us make the time to take a look at all we’ve already built.

After all, there’s no use in planting a garden if you’re not enjoying the view, right?

This is something I’ve learned the hard way over the years, and it has been a gainful journey.

 

PBN Blues Series: “Holiday” Madonna

We return with our series to a happy song with a not so happy scenario. Some ideas and holidays naturally lend themselves to be inspiration behind product lines. It has always been this way. People are attracted naturally to ideas that are grand and sweeping. This is a fertile method of catching the eye of a consumer and assuring recognition. Unfortunately, this is also a fertile ground for competition to become such that it leads to accusations of duplication. There may come a time when one of your professional clients comes to you regarding such an instance.

Deja Vu for two

Ariel S. started a product line of ankle chains and charms that she has named after Ukrainian Pagan festivals. They are entirely lovely and charming (no pun intended). She got the idea from a workshop when the last folk festival took place. With determination and care, she developed unique and beautiful creations that each had a tiny flower clasp made of porcelain that corresponded with the season. She enchanted each one and passed it through incense smoke to give a distinct blessing to each.

Ariel S. lived in a very busy area, with local shop keeps vying for new ways to draw business into their stores all the time. This time, she had her own winner. Business was booming and her sales were fantastic. Then she noticed that she began to receive word that another shop on another block has started making bracelets based on the Ukrainian observances as well. She was livid.

Image: pixabay

 

Ariel S. decided to confront the owner. In a whirl of skirts and fury, she swept into the shop and demanded an explanation. The owner, Libby T. met her with a fury of her own. After all, there was no reason that she could not take the same information that the workshop had provided and use it for her own creations. Competition was what makes the lifeblood of small business, after all. She pointed out to Ariel S. that her bracelets were her creation, and that no one had the right to prevent another person from using a common holiday name.

Image: pixabay

Slash and spurn

Ariel S. storms out and heads straight to your botanica. She walks up to you and very clearly demands a court case candle in crisp tones. She is going to sue Libby T. to make her give up any right to name her bracelets the same way she names her anklets. She asks your advice on how best to crush and disgrace her competition. In her eyes, they are copying her idea.

You provide her with a kit to utterly destroy the other store’s reputation. You also arrange for the local cultural club to have you come do a talk about the Ukrainian holidays and market your creation. You include essence of Bend Over mixed with Domination and Follow Me Boy in order to assure her an easier path to swaying the club against Libby T. Their newsletter is known to very well read, and you know this is the best way to achieve her goal.

She finishes her purchases and glides away reassured. You return to your reading of your novel.

Baba would not approve

Ariel S. started a product line of ankle chains and charms that she has named after Ukrainian Pagan festivals. They are entirely lovely and charming (no pun intended). She got the idea from a workshop when the last folk festival took place. With determination and care, she developed unique and beautiful creations that each had a tiny flower charm that corresponded with the season. She enchanted each one and passed it through incense smoke to give a distinct blessing to each.

Ariel S. lived in a very busy area, with local shop keeps vying for new ways to draw business into their stores all the time. This time, she had her own winner. Business was booming and her sales were fantastic. Then she noticed that she began to receive word that another shop on another block has started making bracelets based on the Ukrainian observances as well. She was livid.

Ariel S. decided to confront the owner. In a whirl of skirts and fury, she swept into the shop and demanded an explanation. The owner, Libby T. met her with a fury of her own. After all, there was no reason that she could not take the same information that the workshop had provided and use it for her own creations. Competition was what makes the lifeblood of small business, after all. She pointed out to Ariel S. that her bracelets were her creation, and that no one had the right to prevent another person from using a common holiday name.

Ariel S. storms out and heads straight to your botanica. She walks up to you and very clearly demands a court case candle in crisp tones. She is going to sue Libby T. to make her give up any right to name her bracelets the same way she names her anklets. She asks your advice on how best to crush and disgrace her competition. In her eyes, they are copying her idea.

You stand there for a moment, with your mouth hanging open in sheer confusion. You know both these ladies and cannot understand where this passion is coming from in this matter. You also know that flowers are a common theme in the culture’s jewelry.

Image: pixabay

You ask Ariel S. how she thinks that will fly with the ladies at the cultural center. They have spent several years in their mission of spreading knowledge of the joy of the culture and its preservation, and you fear she will make unnecessary enemies. You understand her anger, but caution her. The same anger she feels could be unfortunately turned against her if folks feel she is unfair. Many local shops use those names in the neighborhood for their other products.

 

Ariel S. reminds you that she did not ask your advice. You fill her order, and include a special gift of a flourite, rose quartz, and green kyanite necklace. She leaves satisfied. You say a prayer for both shop owners.

The lesson

Sometimes our clients are not in a mood to hear our opinions. It is important to know when to step back and simply provide the services requested. It is also important to advise the client of possible repercussions on a magickal and spiritual level when doing business in the realm of the spiritual. It is important to not take sides or become overly involved in disputes, but just as important to give wise counsel to your client.

 

 

 

Business Spotlight – Talking Stick Emporium

As a part of my exploration of Pagan businesses I want to share Talking Stick Emporium with you.  They curate products from businesses and bring them to you all in one place.  They have some unique and beautiful products.

Orgone Merkabas with Chakra Gemstones

 

Orgone Merkabas with Chakra Gemstones

“Merkaba, is the divine light vehicle allegedly used by ascended masters to connect with and reach those in tune with the higher realms. “Mer” means Light. “Ka” means Spirit. “Ba” means Body. It is the same shape as the Star of David.”

 

Pyramid Energy Generator - 7 Points

Pyramid Energy Generators with 7 points

4″ diameter
Pyramid energy generators can be placed around your space to clear, activate, transmute energy, for clearing and protecting.

Used for healing. Great for Chakra energy work. Place them over the Chakras or areas of the body where energy needs to be transmuted.
You can create energy grids with them or place around plants. Anywhere where there is a pyramid, energy won’t become stagnant.

River Keeper

River Keeper

A small hole in the bottom of River Keeper holds a cloth for collecting drops of sacred water. A beautiful way to carry the water essence from any sacred site or ceremony. Leave the cloth in place. As the water wicks into her body she holds the living vibration and magnetism of each place and experience. 3″ tall, comes with small messages including the words below, along with a blessing from Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers and instructions for collecting sacred water. Partial proceeds from the sale of this sculpture are donated to Grandmother Aggie.

All Bell Pine Art Farm sculptures are individually handmade with sacred intension. Designs vary on each piece.

Enclosed Card:”The water can hear you, bring your voice! Pour your heart into the river. Say “Thank you, I love you, I promise to care for you…
With purest intention, may all water be BLESSED, restoring it to life-sustaining balance. You are the river!”

Talking Stick Emporium is putting on the Harvest Moon Symposium, a journey to wellness and enlightenment in the Pacific Northwest in Elma, Washington, September 9-10, 2017.

 

An innovative approach to group advertising, the Pagan Shops Online venture makes its debut

There is a new game in town and it is shaping up to be something that will give value for Pagan vendors looking for cost effective advertising that is under their control. The Pagan Shops Online site is a collective of Pagan businesses and entrepreneurs partnered together to put out advertisements on-line in theme-common blasts. The campaigns are set at effective intervals wherein groups of businesses share a common ad space with an equally disbursed cost.

At this time, they are starting with Facebook social media advertising, with their sites on Google presence next. Communal cost sharing will allow them to reach more eyes than individual spots. It also ensures that sharing among the businesses is equally beneficial to all involved. Their page on Facebook will be a source for information and opportunities for membership in each month’s campaign.

One member described it best by saying:

The best Pagan shopping comes together for you in one place. Occult, Wicca, Witch, Conjure and Druid, products, services, and classes online serving thousands worldwide.

More information can be found at their site, www.paganshopsonline.com.