The best laid plans...
Or so the saying goes (or a reasonable facsimile thereof). As you all know, I was going to post the winners to the various contests yesterday. Because of all the problems with the servers and bugs, it's been difficult to get accurate printouts of who was in the shop. I still don't know who came in first, second, and third. I'll announce those three in the next day or two after Hubster gets everything working correctly. But I do have the winners of the other contests. Because of the problems on Saturday, I ran the hourly drawings from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Then I passed out on the chair. At this point, I've been up since 8:30 a.m. yesterday morning with only an hour's sleep. Needless to say, I'll be taking a nap after I'm done with this.
Before I announce the winners, I found out why things were groaning on the hardware side. We had 75,000 requests (you read all those zeros right) for page views on Saturday. I had no idea that so many people were in the shop (not 75K, but enough to ask for all those page views). It looks like the actual number is now over 1,000. At the same time. No wonder the whole thing bogged down. We're still not done with the actual counts because everything got messed up with the bugs. Hubster has now fixed all the bugs and is almost done with PayPal. That should be running by tonight. Then you may shop to your hearts' content and just pay for your purchases without having to ask me questions.
Speaking of questions or bug reports, I received over 200 emails on Saturday and yesterday, all of which I answered personally. My fingers hurt. And here I thought I would be able to knit all day. Ha! It's true that once you own a business, your own knitting time flies out the window.
In order to prevent server disasters, we've changed from sharing four servers with other people to having a dedicated server. That way, if something does go wrong, it's our own server and the problem can be fixed quickly. This also gives us a lot more power for those days when I have sales or updates.
Speaking of updates, the first one will be next Tuesday. Stitches West is this coming weekend, and then I head off to Folsom for prison day. I'll have everything ready to go before then so I can just plug it in and let 'er rip on Tuesday. As you saw from the list of vendors at the bottom of the home page, I have a lot of shipments still coming. I've received a few, but many more are coming. I've also added a few new vendors.
I want to thank all of you for standing with me and sending me encouraging notes on Saturday. I did receive a lot of hate mail, but it was from people I don't know or who came over because they heard about the shop opening. It got so bad that I was afraid to open email and made Hubster do it. He finally had to reply to some of the nasty ones because I couldn't deal with them anymore. But I've grown a new pair of balls and am back to my normal self.
For those people who made purchases over the weekend, you'll be receiving a free skein of yarn as my way of saying thank you for being so patient while we worked our way through all the problems. I value you as friends and customers (and want you to continue shopping with me), so it's the least I can do. I'll contact each one of you to let you know that you can run your purchases through PayPal as soon as it's ready. I'm boxing everything up tonight so I can mail it tomorrow if things go the way I hope they do.
Enough blathering. Time for the announcements.
For the number of vendors guess, there were two with the correct answer. I only counted vendors whose work I actually had up for sale; I have a lot more, but you would have no way of knowing all of them since they're not all listed. The answer was 21, and I let the computer choose between the two contestants. That person is:
Congratulations! If you'll send me your name and address at firstname.lastname@example.org, I'll get right back to you. Thank you to everybody who entered.
The $50 gift certificate went to Rabbitch.
There were five hourly drawings. The winners of those are:
If you would all please contact me at the above email addy with your information, I'll get your prizes out to you.
I did three surprise drawings. The winners of those are:
Again, please contact me.
Rabbitch was kind enough to offer a gift certificate for her shop. The winner of that prize is:
Please email me so I may hook you up with Rabbitch in order to claim your prize.
As I said, I'll announce the first three shoppers in the next day or two.
Congratulations to all of you!
Now I'm going to get mushy, so if you can't stomach the Queen Bitch doing that, skip this part.
I want to give you all a hug and a huge thank you for being there at the shop. It was overwhelming to see all my friends come out to support me. I sold quite a few things and am very grateful for having you as friends first, customers second. It was emotionally draining and offset all the nastygrams from people who couldn't get something to work. As most of you know, Hubster is bipolar; he needs to get eight hours of sleep a night so he doesn't go wacky. In order to get this thing off the ground, he's been working around the clock with only a few hours' sleep a night; that's not an exaggeration. He's risked going nuts again just to do this for me and to help all the indies I'm representing, as well as giving all of you a new place to shop and hang out. He's still sitting there on the couch right now, typing his little heart out to bring the PayPal interface to fruition. It's incredible to realize that he loves me that much, that he would risk his own health just to open my shop, to bring it all to you. I hope that you all include him in your prayers and send him a big thank you over the airwaves.
I hope that the shop met all your expectations despite the problems. I tried very hard to make it pretty and a fun place to shop. I have lots of new things planned for you and a lot of contests coming up.
I also want to announce that Brooke of The Painted Tiger is my signature yarn dyer. Congratulations, Brooke! She is busy dyeing the yarn as I type; as soon as it's ready, it will be in the shop for sale. She's put a lot of work and time into this yarn, and it's very complex; therefore, it will be a little more expensive than my other yarns. I think you'll find it worth the price, however. It's truly lovely and captures the essence of the shop.
I would also like to begin a stitch marker club. I've mentioned it before, but I want to make it a reality. I'm limiting it to 10 people; one lady has already signed up. Please email me ASAP if you're interested. The cost is $7 per month (including shipping) which gives you four stitch markers custom designed for the shop by Sheryl Bailey (Martina). Her stitch markers will also be up for sale in the shop, but the club markers will be unique.
I'm also holding my first contest. Ready? You need to write a poem about the shop. The prize is a gift basket of goodies. The deadline for the contest is March 1st. Please send all poems to me at my email addy, and I'll announce the winner here.
Thank you again for everything. You're the world to me, and I hope I didn't let any of you down.