Did you know that January 24th is National Compliment Day?
When writing this blog post I did a bit of research into the effect that praise can have on you, and your overall mental happiness. It is something we are all too aware of at the moment, and trying to enjoy and make the most of our lives as they are.
I found out that, according to studies carried out using MRI scans to detect activity on the human brain, compliments and giving someone praise can have the same effect on their brain as giving someone a financial reward. And equally, that doing something good for someone else without expecting any financial reward can also affect the same parts of the brain.
I’m part of a group of creative businesses who sell online – they are mostly small sole traders who found that their businesses really took off online last year as more and more people did their Christmas gift shopping from small businesses. The postal service worked so hard to get deliveries made on time, but sometimes orders were late or got mislaid in the system. Some sellers have had lots of positive reviews, but the ones that will probably have the most emotional impact is that one negative review received (quite often to do with a situation that were beyond the sellers’ control). While people find it hard to accept compliments, it is often it is the harsh words that are remembered rather than the hundreds of compliments and positive feedback. That one little comment that gnaws away like a worm into your perfect apple of self confidence. I’m sure we all feel like that sometimes.
It is important to remember though, that while unkind or thoughtless words can cause pain, a few kind words can go a long way. For me, it is a surprise message from a customer with a photo of their purchase in its new home. A comment on a social media post, or a card from someone in the post for no more particular reason than just to say hi, a ‘oh you look nice’ in the middle of a Zoom meeting (little do they know that it is elasticated waist joggers and trainers out of view!!).
Reviews from customers mean so much, not just because it is good for the Etsy ranking algorithm or helps other customers make up their minds on whether they want to make a purchase but it really helps a small business owner feel a bit more confident about what they are selling, and gives them a boost if they are having a tough time.
I am so grateful to my customers who get in touch to let me know that they were happy with their purchase, and there are lots of different ways that they do it. If they can’t leave a review on Etsy because they used the Guest Checkout, then they email me with a photo of their lampshade or print in its new home, or they message me on Facebook or tag me on Instagram.
For National Compliment Day I’m going to be sharing some of my favourite purchases that I made last year from my favourite makers, and let people know that I think they are fabulous!
I love Julia’s ceramics, I’m starting to build up a collection of her blue spotted mugs and jars. One of my favourite things in the morning is to enjoy a fresh coffee in my mug. Julia also made a beautiful bespoke Rufus (my dog) and my mum’s siamese cats.
Victoria is a very clever leather worker, she makes practical leather accessories which are perfect gifts. I’ve bought key holders for most of the men in my life, and also a card holder for myself.
I’ve been buying Katy’s soaps online since Lockdown One, and I’ve had to keep purchasing. The soaps arrive beautifully packaged and I can’t decide whether I prefer the Lime Basil & Mandarin or Fig best. The scent lasts throughout the soap and is gentle enough for frequent hand washing.
Sarah not only has the heart of gold, but she also creates the most beautiful jewellery. One day I will get one of her Boulder Opal rings!
Lou is a printmaker who has an incredible output – I am in awe of how much she manages to achieve in a day! We bought some of her kitchenware linens for Christmas presents and they were very popular – great quality and lovely prints.