Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Big News is.....




 I am no less than amazed by the sheer volume of support, kindness and compassion shown me by your numerous comments and  emails sent my way since posting about why I really began selling transferware yesterday and sharing some of the hardships my family has endured.  Thank you so very much.   I am richly blessed to be in the company of so many wonderful individuals, some of you living in the same city as I and some of you residing in other countries altogether.  wow, Wow, WOW!!!

So, did I leave you with a cliffhanger yesterday?  I suppose that if you are here now then perhaps I did.    Thanks for coming back because now I am ready to share my exciting news along with the details of a particular phone call that I've mentioned in my last two or three posts.



Two and a half weeks ago I received a completely unsolicited and  unexpected email from Beth Levison.  Beth wrote to me that she had stumbled upon my Etsy shop and "was immediately intrigued". 

Beth began her message to me with a polite introduction of who she was and what she does.  In case you don't know already, Beth Levison is a Peabody and Emmy award winning film producer and director with quite the impressive resume'.   She produced  HBO's 'Classical Baby Series' and recently produced additional HBO specials including the 2011 children's animated program 'A Child's Garden of Poetry' featuring classical poetry readings from some of the world's best known actors and actresses like Liam Neeson, Claire Danes, and Gwyneth Paltrow.  Next Spring (2013) HBO will premiere her upcoming special, 'Don't Divorce Me' where kids share their stories about the heartache and pain of divorce.   Beth also produced and directed a 24 part series for PBS entitled e2 which were narrated by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman.  In addition to producing she was also one of the primary creators of EGG, the weekly national arts show which aired on PBS.  She worked for Sundance Channel as the Senior Producer managing production teams all over the world, and has also worked at National Geographic Television, NBC Peacock Productions, ABC News, MTV,  has been invited to showcase at major film festivals including Toronto and Sundance and has just finished an independent feature documentary about ex-con turned spoken word artist, Lemon Andersen.  As if that were not impressive enough she also works for Etsy supervising video of production where she and her team of film makers create documentary shorts about unique spaces, makers and their creative process.  Some of the people they feature are Etsy sellers; some are not.  The lovely videos they produce have received millions of views, been reposted all over the web and have been invited to screen on television and film festivals alike.  

Take a few minutes to watch some of them. They are nothing short of first class, quality productions and each endears you to the subjects they choose to feature.  
Here are just a handful of my favorites:

No Place Like Here:Brazenhead Books: vimeo.com/26293855
Handmade Portrait: Liberty Cycles: vimeo.com/20789680
Handmade Portrait: Sophie Blackall: vimeo.com/36116772


In her message to me, Beth asked if I had done any custom wall decorations that were real stand outs to me or if my own home was filled with Transferware installations (you know it is!) and that based on my blog she had a strong sense that it was.  She said she was interested in making me the subject of one such video.

She scheduled a conference call with me for the following day and it began by her again saying who she was and what she does.  She was very specific and very plainly told me that she was just talking to me to see if there might even be some kind of story here.  I really thought that she was trying to let me down before I could get my hopes up about anything.  We had about a 30 minute conversation about my wallscapes, transferware in general,  and I shared some of the historical stories about patterns that I've shared here on my blog, etc. and so on.  Beth told me that she never knew what transferware was until discovering my shop/blog but immediately recognized that this was the term for the dishes her Mom had collected.   I agreed with her completely, as I learned in very much the same way what it was that I was collecting and had grown so fond of.  In fact, I frequently come in contact with people who say the same, or similar, thing.  

I was so afraid of being asked a question to which I had no answer to or did not know the answer for.  Fortunately, I did have answers to all of Beth's questions, and she was very detail oriented and inquisitive asking me where and how I did my research on transferware, about my sources, and so forth.  She told me that she had shared my shop with, I think, the CEO at Etsy or the person who heads up the Etsy blog...maybe both... but that they were blown away by my shop and inventory.  It made me feel so good to know that she was excited enough to have already been sharing her ideas about what she might do with me/my shop with other executives at Etsy.

Roughly ten minutes into the conversation Beth asked me how and/or why I started selling.  I can not quite explain what happened then...it was as if a flood of memories overcame me and I had to pause momentarily to regain control of my emotions as tears quickly began to well up in my eyes.   If I let just one tear roll... oh man, do the flood gates open...so I had to get control of myself and get it fast.  This was one of the most important and exciting phone calls I have ever had and I did not want to totally blow it by having a break down right in her ear.  I exclaimed to her, probably with my voice cracking,  that "I was sorry, and that I did not want to get emotional".   She responded immediately and assuredly by saying something to the effect that I in no way had to share anything personal like that and we could move on.  I said, "No, it's okay, I just had a rush of feelings come over me and I was reminded of really difficult times.  I then said something about how I started selling out of desperation and because we were having a hard time financially.  I told her that one day I just had a more than the usual bad day, that I was mad at the world,  and instead of trying to hold a garage sale I bought something for myself...you now know the rest of that story.  So the call continued with her asking me more questions and during one of my answers she basically interrupted me, though not in a rude type of way, by saying, "ok, let me cut to the chase.  I want to do this." and something like, " I want to feature you and I want to push this through and I'd like to do it soon with the holidays approaching. I'm thinking that I'd like this to air in mid November and it is going to take some quick, creative planning to make this work".   Her reaction really left me with the impression that she felt something that compelled her to choose me.   Honestly I think that my telling her the truth about how I started this whole thing may have been what she was really looking for...a real story behind a creative person with a very niche business.   She asked me to send her photos of the interior of my house, my wallscapes, my inventory...where and how it is housed, a photo of me outside of my house with either my kids or Shawn and relevant blog posts.  She said she needed it all by Monday morning and would be meeting with a team of some of the many creative people at Etsy to discuss the possibilities of this video.  I sent her everything she asked for including about 15 to 20 links to some of my blog posts.  

 By Monday afternoon I had gotten another message from Beth saying, "I think this is going to happen. Exciting"  and by Tuesday afternoon I was being vetted by Etsy's Trust & Safety team, their Marketplace Integrity team and so on.  My shop then underwent a critique which was really wonderful to have a professional go through it and tell me in all honesty what I need to do to make it look its very finest.   I'm going to have to do some cosmetic work there and have already made a few changes they suggested such as my banner...it's the pic I used in my post yesterday...just a shot of various colored borders...simple but to the point of what it is I sell.    Take a look at my shop and tell me what you think.  I am taking heed to everything they say!    Then...then...I got another email...the incredible one saying "it's a go" and that I should expect Tara Young, Etsy's in house producer, to be contacting me soon. 

So, that is my big news that I have to share.  I am going to be the subject of a docu-drama produced by a team of very skilled, talented, award winning people and in addition will be featured on Etsy's blog (pretty huge reader base) and on Etsy's front page which is seen by millions of people.  For me, this is the biggest thing that has ever happened for my business and I am incredibly, incredibly thankful and so very flattered that I have been selected for this feature.  

I have been working with Tara Young this past week (I am going to share more about this amazing lady to in a different post) and just got a message last night of things I need to do and prepare for... like a sit down interview...like create a wallscape with Spode Byron,...like pull a list of pieces she wants to photograph and shoot...and pull all of my hunt scene and turkey ware pieces and state in my listing of those pieces that they will not be available for shipping until after the 16th...they won't be available because they are sending a film crew from New York here one week from tomorrow.  They will be here for about 3-4 days, two days will be filming a sit down interview, a walk through of my inventory (which just might make you think that the film crew for Hoarders should have come instead), wideshots of my wallscapes and styling a turkey table with me.  So...


All I can say is
AHHHHH!!!!!!  
Yes.  I.  AM.  FREAKING.  OUT.



49 comments:

  1. Congratulations. Can't think of a better person to be featured!

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  2. That is so awesome! Congratulations!!

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  3. I am soooo happy for you!!!! Can't wait to see the final piece! Suek

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  4. Wow! Congratulations, Nancy! I am so happy and excited for you!

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  5. Wow! I am so excited for you, Nancy! I cannot wait up see the outcome of this but I sure it will be phenomenal. Good luck!

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  6. Congratulations seems such a simple thing to say for something so BIG to be happening in your life! What a wonderful blessing to have your little shopping venture turn into an income producing business and now this! Who knew??
    You have a wonderful eye for creating beautiful and different tablescapes plus such interesting stories about the history behind certain pieces. I'm always impressed and intrigued.
    I am so proud to say that I have purchased several pieces from such a kind person as you. Not quite knowing where all this leads to but I wish you great success in this new endeavor. What exciting times!!

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  7. I just knew, when I came upon your Etsy shop, you were amazing! This just confirms it. Congratulations and I'm so excited to have some of your pieces gracing areas in my client's homes.

    All my best to you!
    Wanda

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  8. I just knew, when I stumbled upon your Etsy site, that you were amazing. This just confirms it! I've loved adding your pieces to my client's collections and seeing them grace their interiors.

    Congratulations to you!

    All my best,
    Wanda

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  9. I don't think this could have happened to a more deserving person! Congratulations!!!
    Nancy

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  10. Great news! You will do great and I can't wait to hear more... Congratulations Nancy!

    Wanda

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  11. Wow. Wow. Wow. I only know you from our shared Okie roots and of course, your blog, but I feel like it could not have happened to a nicer person. You clearly deserve it with your abilities to do so much against adversity. How exciting to use the hunt and Thanksgiving turkey dishes for the show. That will grab everyone's attention for sure. Good luck this week. Enjoy it! Can't wait to hear more. Lori Lucas

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  12. I'm thrilled for you! We have a mighty God, indeed, and I see Him pouring His favor on you. You have a wonderful touch with your vignettes and tablescapes. I see a lifestyle book authored by you in your future...filled with gorgeous photos and amended with beautiful poetry...for which you also have an affinity. This is just the beginning of your talent and skill rising to the top. Congratulations...so well deserved. Cherry Kay

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  13. Hip, hip, hooray for you Nancy!!!!!! This is INCREDIBLY BIG news!!! I am so happy for you and proud of you! This is a wonderful opportunity for you, and I just know you're gonna knock 'em dead! Go for it, girl!!!!!! Congratulations!!! Now when I use the pitchers I won from you I can say, "This was a gift from a transferware expert who was the subject of a documentary by an award-winning producer & director!" My friends will think I'm something special! Good luck in the coming week as things start to really roll out. Have fun with it all!!!!!!

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  14. Nancy I am beyond THRILLED for you. You SO deserve this and I'm so excited to see all the future installment blog posts of the whole process. You bet this is big and I can't think of a nicer person for it to happen to. Enjoy every moment of it!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! N.

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  15. You know what!? YOU DESERVE THIS. I am beyond happy for you!! Exciting indeed. YOU GO GIRL!

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  16. Amazing, exciting, thrilling!! Congrats!!! They picked the perfect person, your knowledge and creative talents are the best!!! Enjoy this time and many blessings to come from it...hugs...cleo

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  17. Telling the truth about ourselves is a good thing. Look at what has happened to you by telling your truth!

    I can't wait to see the video about you. Congrats!

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  18. Telling the truth about yourself is always a good thing.

    I can't wait to see your story!

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  19. Oh, Nancy, I couldn't be more pleased and excited for you. Wonderful that your talents are being spotlighted in such a special way. No one deserves it more. I hope this leads to more great things.......perhaps a lifestyle book that features your beautiful tablescapes, wallscapes, and your poetry. Congratulations, dear friend! ~ sarah

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  20. You rock girl!! How fabulous, I am sooo excited for you, I'm even excited for been your blog friend and for knowing what transferware is and for learning so much about from your blog!! You deserve it, things as great as this, don't come just by accident! Like Sarah says, I'm sure it will not stop here...congrats sweet friend. Have a blessed Sunday and keep us posted!
    FABBY

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  21. I am so excited for you Nancy. Let those doors continue to swing open your way! I can't wait to see the finished project.

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  22. Congratulations Nancy. One of the best parts of blogging is seeing women like yourself building creative businesses. You have inspired me to look for my first peice of transferware. I can
    wait to see your video.
    Traci

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  23. Nancy, I'm just "Over the Moon" for you! How wonderful and exciting, you deserve this. Take in the joy, let it wash over you, savor it sweet friend :)

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  24. Hi Nancy,
    how very amazing and exiting. I am sure that will be an intersting time and I hope, you share some glimpses of the feature with us.
    Best greetings, Johanna

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  25. How fabulous Nancy, I'm sure your story will help and encourage lots of folk :o)
    I cannot imagine just how exciting this is for you!
    Looking forward to seeing the finished results :o)
    Rose H
    x

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  26. What wonderful news! A lot of work ahead, but it will all be worth it. Good luck!

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  27. wow.Wow.WOW! Right back....how increidbly exciting for you!!!!!! And so well deserved, so very happy for you, that your passion and talent is going to be shared with so many and I think your story adds so much to this story as well.............fantastic news! I look foward to hearing and seeing more about this exciting journey.

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  28. How exciting Nancy! I am so pleased they found you! I am with Sarah you could do a book with all of your beautiful tables and poetry.
    Sherry

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  29. Wow! Congratulations!!! You have paid your dues and now it's your time!!!!!!

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  30. Congratulations, Nancy! That is wonderful news! I have heard of Beth Levison, but I had no idea about the other things you mentioned about Etsy. You will have to let us know when we can view this video.

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  31. I'm so very excited for you!!!!!!! You deserve all this and more. I can't wait to see it all come together. WooHOo!!!

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  32. Cheers and happy dancing that this amazing adventure has come your way!!!

    We happened upon A Child's Garden of Poetry on TV one day earlier this year and immediately had to buy several copies - and we have no grandchildren yet (hopeful, tho!). A friend's daughter had a baby boy in June and that DVD was one of the baby gifts I sent. It is a treasure for young and older alike. Applause for Beth!

    Happy hugs!

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  33. Well done Nancy, I am so happy for you.
    Thanks again for all of your help with my collection.
    Kind regards
    Brigitte

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  34. There are so many reasons for me to become your follower - transferware, Etsy, honesty, excellent writing style, beautiful pictures and inspiration! Congratulations on this wonderful opportunity! "And, the truth shall set you free."
    Maureen

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  35. You go girl! You'll rock the audience with your personality and inventory! Can't wait to view this!

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  36. This is so exciting and you certainly deserve the recognition for your love and knowledge of transferware. Yay Nancy! Can't wait to see the program.
    Hugs,
    Babs

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  37. Nancy, I am really thrilled for you! It shows that honesty really is the best policy, along with being nice. Sounds easy, and a bit simple, but I always had a sense here that you were a nice, genuine person, and that kept me coming back again and again.So, it couldn't happen to a nicer person, and I'm thrilled for you! I hope it translates into lots of sales for you!

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  38. Wonderful! You have earned this. I think I found you when trying to find history on Transferware patterns. There are a lot of distracting sites wishing me to buy pieces they "might" get one day but yours hooked me right away. I wanted to learn as much as I can as a collector who is passionate about my collection. I love to look at your blog and then check out your etsy shop. Thanks for all the knowledge you share. AND thanks for your love of these great dishes. It is so evident in every post. Keep us posted on all the events coming up, I cannot wait to see the film.

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  39. Nancy, I am sooo happy for you! Congratulations! Now to those "friends" that didn't stand by you, I wonder what they'd have to say now? NOT that you're going to ask them. They're history. You so deserve this!
    Brenda

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  40. Speechless! That's wonderful news. I am so happy for you to have this opportunity of a lifetime. Get through this next two weeks then tell us all about it. I, for one, will be waiting breathlessly. Congrats.
    Susan (Tulsa)

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  41. Congratulations and well deserved. You are an amazing talented woman!!

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  42. I'm so very happy for you, Nancy. And your family as well! I subscribe to your blog because it is unique, and I love the information you research and share with all of us. Makes me look at and appreciate my few pieces of transferware all the more! Many blessings to you.

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  43. What an exciting adventure!! I am so proud of you - a fellow Tulsan - going national. I know it has to be a bit scary too but you'll do fantastic.

    Congratulations!!

    Judy

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  44. Nancy, what exciting news and I couldn't be happier for you! Congrats

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  45. Oh my gosh!!!!!! Good things always come to people who work with their heart I've always thought. Congrats.

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  46. Wow! This is exciting. Lots of work but it will pay off in the end. What a validation of your talent and hard work. That's a great photo of you by the way. I love the new Etsy header.

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  47. This is such wonderful, wonderful news, Nancy. I'm so very happy for you. I watched one of those videos and you are the perfect subject for their project. I hope it leads to bigger and better things for you. Please let us know when the video is available.

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  48. Nancy:

    I am so excited for you!!!This is amazing news!

    - The Tablescasper

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  49. Such an amazing story. Love this.
    So Congratulations to you for getting to do this, and what an honor, huh?

    I love the perseverance you've shown and the humility. It says a lot about your character and the type of person you truly are. Best wishes to you...
    I'll be watching this for the out come!
    Pat

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