In 2020, it felt like everything hit at once. The pandemic, creative burnout, and being a victim of my own success. I have amazing customers, and I love them. Things did so well from mid 2019 through 2020 that all I could do, it felt, in light of my other challenge and demands, was to make product and pack and fill orders, and sometimes I didn't feel very good at keeping up.
I was never ungrateful for so much business, and even now it feels scandalous to view this as a problem - a problem that so many shops and brands would kill to have. In reality a huge number of orders wasn't a problem at all; that keeps my lights on and feeds my babies. It's that the time and attention it required kept me away from the soul of why I do this in the first place - my love of perfumery.
I wasn't working on new fragrances. I wasn't pushing the boundaries of materials. I wasn't playing with my beloved customers and friends in my Facebook group. I wasn't even sending out my mailing list that's so big I have to pay for it because when I did, things would sell out so fast that hundreds of people would go to buy something only to be disappointed, and of those hundreds, at least a dozen or two would voice their displeasure.
I wanted to educate and entertain and share my love of perfumery by creating unique experiences for people, and it felt like all I could do was just piss people off. The vast majority of my customers are incredibly generous and sweet and supportive, but I felt that disappointment and took it hard, and amid a long string of health issues (I'm doing fine now, thank you!) and creative stagnation, I just...stopped. I couldn't bring myself to restock and start the cycle right back up.
While this was happening, I'd started Shop⛧Lucifer for The Luciferian Dominion and that was a slow trickle at first, but once it blew up in earnest, the same thing happend. I had to stop doing everything I enjoyed that made it successful and just try to keep from drowning in orders. Much like the previous marketplace project, The Poisoners Guild, this was a curated shop with multiple brands and vendors and soon the inventory swallowed my shop. I felt stuck for a long time.
Lee & Becki, two of my closest friends and partners in Shop⛧Lucifer and TLD generously offered to take over shipping and fulfilment for our shop. I packed everything up and sent it to them, and just like that, the thorn was removed from my paw and I was able to love again.
The really good news is that some of my last actions for the Fumery before my involuntary hiatus was to streamline virtually every part of my process. I developed a new incense processing system that increased my yield tenfold. Thanks to the generous advice of my dear friend and partner in crime, Caroline from Hexennacht, I learned a thing or two about filling and processing insane volumes of perfume. I have renewed shop help from my family.
I feel whole and ready to do my work. But I'm not going back to the old ways of doing things. I have much more efficient processes in place now to handle ever higher volumes. More importantly, I've rediscovered my love for perfumery.
And that's what I'm going to relaunch this brand around. I'm going to share my passion for this art with you. I'm going to share my love for the science behind it. I'm going to put out new kinds of content that I don't know that any indie perfumer is doing. I have absolutely everything I need.
I'm going to start at the beginning, with a new logo designed by one of my alltime favorite artistic partners, Kittie Peters. Don't worry, the moth isn't going anywhere.
I'm excited. I'm ready. And I truly appreciate your patience and support through this.