Friday, September 22, 2017

A Hurricane, A Broken Mug, and Etsy

Last week most of the world was watching as one of the largest hurricanes on record, Irma, headed straight for the Caribbean islands and Florida.
Since we have friends in the USVI, Puerto Rico, and throughout Florida, including my brother in Tampa, our concern, focus, and prayers for all in Irma's wake was intensely personal.

Fortunately, all our loved ones were safe, with only minimal damage, but the devastation throughout this region was massive, to say the least.

Just after the worst of it had passed, I heard a "cha-CHING" from my iPhone, signaling a sale in my Etsy shop. I looked to see what had been sold:
It was a vintage ceramic Telavera mug, made by a pottery in Mexico. Then I checked to see where the mug was going to be delivered: Florida!

As I always do, I contacted the buyer to thank him for his purchase, adding "The people of your whole state have been in our thoughts and prayers--I'm glad you have power.! I haven't heard back yet from my brother in Tampa or friends in Naples. Enjoy your mug--and the storm being over!"

He wrote back right away, saying "I hope your brother and friends have made it through Irma and you'll be in touch with them soon. Thank you for your warm wishes, While (our city) took Irma very hard, we were unscathed. Except for one thing...I did break my wife's favorite coffee mug in a moment of cabin fever chaos, hence this purchase."

After I'd heard from my brother, I wrote back: "Thankfully my brother and friends made it through Irma unscathed and the only real problem for them now is no power. I sympathize with you about needing to replace your wife's favorite coffee cup after having broken it!.... It reminds me of the time I sold an unusual glass bottle with a wavy top to a man whose wife was grieving over a bottle just like it that she had loved and that had been broken in a move. He was delighted to find one in my shop that he could surprise her with. Both of you: very thoughtful husbands! I hope she is very happy with her new mug."

After a few days had passed he wrote back again: "The mug is beautiful. She loves it. I'm glad to hear your brother and friends made it through the storm with minimal adversity. Many of us were so fortunate in how little impact we suffered. I suppose that really all of us who lived through the event were fortunate....Thanks again."

Exchanges like, this because of a sale (and especially under these unusual circumstances), make life as an Etsy seller extra rewarding.


  1. What a rewarding exchange for you, Kris. I can feel the warm glow from here. Bless everyone that endured Irma and hopefully they have minimal damage.

  2. I love communication with my customers! Some tell me why the purchase is special and who is receiving it as a gift. I hurried to ship a planter after the hurricane and the customer left a review thanking me for the quick ship "even during a hurricane!". My experience has been so lovely so far. Although I have one conundrum? I had a Chinese hand painted decorator plate, purchased, sent and then returned. No damage and NO communication from the customer. I sent her a convo asking what was wrong? She has not responded. Weird right? What would you do?