Although my first instinct is to completely ignore your rude and uncalled for comments, I also want to be able to defend myself, or at least let my other readers know a. how this is affecting me, and b. how much the positive comments mean to me.
I think I owe it to them, especially after being so silent all weekend.
Typically, I try not to let things like this bother me- and I think that would have been the case, had it just been one comment. But to have several comments come in, from supposedly different people- it really caused me to think about what it is I'm supposed to learn from this, and evaluate my goals for this blog.
Seems that I have to first clear up the misconception about the Wikio list. I do not CREATE or INVENT the Wikio list. I am on the list, and Wikio asks me to show the sneak peek of the list on my blog every month. I have no control of being on this list. It's created by the Wikio team and is compiled by the number of incoming links from other blogs. I have no control over this. I am quite proud of being on this list, and see no problem with obliging when they ask me to share it.
Secondly, the trip that I took to Raleigh was not only a fun trip to be able to see my cousin who I hadn't seen for over 10 years, but also contained a bit of business. I was able to do some bead shopping, meet a business owner, meet a bead artist, and make connections. Considering this blog is a tool to promote said business, I really see nothing wrong with promoting a sale to go on a trip that 5 years ago, I would never have been able to go on. This past year, I have been able to travel to see and meet people in the beading business, because I have promoted my jewelry, worked hard at creating connections and personal relationships, and made money to be able to afford trips like this. I might remind you that I do also have a full time job. This isn't my only gig. I work hard at that job as well, but I certainly don't make enough money to be able to budget it for extraneous fun or business trips. The fact that you think it unprofessional to have a sale in my own jewelry shop, to go on a trip is completely ridiculous and I can't believe I am even having to sit here and explain myself.
As for the personal attacks, the "real" points that apparently I take advantage of people, taken things, asked for beads, asked for sales - I'd love to talk more to you about this in case it is warranted and I owe you some sort of apology. By leaving anonymous comments, you have closed that door for me, and so the conversation really cannot be had at this point. I think I've been pretty good about promoting other businesses on my blog. If you know me at all, which it's clear that you do not, you would know that it's the personal relationships that I've made, that are most important to me in this business. I try very hard to respond to every email, dote on every bead artist, and promote them in every way I can. However, I am not a robot. I am human. I make mistakes like everyone, and although I do not have children and that kind of responsibility, I am still busy working a 9-5 job, maintaining my home, my relationship with my husband, writing a daily blog, updating 2 online jewelry shops, maintaining my business. If I wronged you in some way, I feel I deserve enough respect of you contacting me via email so that I can deal with it in a constructive way. Leaving nasty comments on my blog isn't very constructive, if you ask me.
As for not being an expert at jewelry making or photography, you hit the nail on the head. I don't claim to be an expert. However, I have worked hard to get to where I am in making and selling jewelry. along with this, has come a nicely sized following on this blog...and a ton of emails and comments I never expected asking for help and how do I do what I do. Since the questions are repeated over and over, I find it's easier to do a blog post answering those questions on what works for me. Interesting that those are the ones with the highest viewings, eh?
So, the goal of this blog- essentially is
* my own personal journal where I can talk about things that happen in my life, on a daily basis. Like going on trips, meeting people, creating relationships with new friends. I love to buy beads, and am excited to share these purchases with you. I never intentionally show things I've bought on the blog, with the mentality to say "look at me, look what I can buy". I show these things because I want to share these things with you, share the excitement over handmade goods, and share my life here. What you see, is what you get.
* my other goal is to use the blog as a place to promote my jewelry business. An important thing that people like you seem to forget- this is my hobby. I already have a full time job. HOWEVER, in order to keep my hobby going, I must make jewelry, to sell jewelry, to make MONEY, to buy BEADS, to make jewelry, and so on and so on. The blog is a great place to show my jewelry, promote it, talk about beads, talk about taking photographs, show props for displays etc etc. Do I really need to explain this any more?
So my suggestion for you is, if you come to this blog, searching for things other than what I've listed here, expecting a different type of blog or expecting to see nothing personal, and nothing that concerns my jewelry business- [which makes me think "what's your ulterior motive??]
Then you've come to the wrong place and need to move on. You are not welcomed here. I don't want to read your bullshit, and I know for sure my readers don't want to read it either.
For those of you who left positive, reinforcing comments on my blog this weekend- thank you so so very much. I am glad that you find the content here inspiring, interesting, funny, and worthy. I appreciate every single last one of you from the bottom of my heart. It's so nice to feel loved. and also really nice to feel like you've got my back.
I have no intention of giving all this bologna another thought. I wasted an entire weekend fretting about how to respond this kind of behavior. I missed out on a nice visit with my friend Erin, who came all the way to NY to have a nice relaxing and fun weekend with me. I sincerely apologized to Erin- this is not what I intended for this weekend. And I am truly sorry.