Thursday, July 29, 2010

On the Road again.. Peddling my wares

I am getting ready to hit the road.  Doing a sales trip of sorts. I have had a fantastic boutique/salon in Victoria approach me about carrying some of my jewellery.  Brandi Wein For Hair
Brandi did my hair for what was probably close to 10 years when I lived on the island (and when ever I can get back), she is an award winning hair dresser with the most beautiful boutique at Shoal Point. 
If you ever get the opportunity to get your hair done by her, you are in for a treat! AMAZING!

When I saw Brandi last weekend she loved my new 'Turq'ish Delight line and asked me to make a few pieces to display in her shop.  I have been busy working and making (my hands feel twice my age today) and am really happy with some new creations that I will be leaving in her shop next week.

I am also bringing some of my fingerprint jewelry line to display and sell in shops up and down the island.  I make anything you can think of out of silver that includes you and your loved ones fingerprints.    It is the perfect cherished keepsake.  My favourite of the moment is the military style dog tag on silver ball chain.   I am almost always seen wearing my two kids prints on a plain chain, it goes with everything, and they love to feel them as much as I do. 

So I am island bound, items to sell in tow and supplies to make in totes.. I am off.  If you have a boutique or shop and would like to try my stuff out, email me at 
and I will make sure to stop by and peddle my wares!

All the best!


Brandi Wein For Hair is located at: #15 - 21 Dallas Road,  Victoria BC

Monday, July 26, 2010

A delicate balance

Here I am in the middle of summer, working from home with a stay at home dad, and 2 pre-school kids which technically makes us a stay at home family I think. 
I have to be honest.. It makes for an incredibly difficult work environment.. Seeing them get ready to go to the pool, hearing the laughter of them frolicking in the sun, oh how I yearn to be with them.  I work in the morning, and in the evening except for busy days, then it's just a sh*t show...  but I have stopped on the weekends (except to sell, I'll do that night or day..).  A few months ago I found my life was being taken over by my business and I was no longer enjoying my life. 
Then I read an incredible book Women, Food, and God  by Geneen Roth.  I read the book and connected instantly.  It has helped with my relationship with food, but it spoke to me on a much grander scale.  I had the opportunity to step back and look at my life.  I realised that I not only used food to avoid feelings, but I worked to avoid feelings.  There was a line that said something along the lines of "you weren't put on this earth to lose the same 10,20, 50 lbs over and over".
My life's purpose is not to avoid my life with work.  I enjoy and love my job, which is why it is so easy to get lost in it.  I have the most wonderful life, I just have to stop and take it in. 
Since affording myself the "OK" to take a break in the afternoon and play with my kids, go swimming with my family, hold my husbands hand and go for a walk to appreciate all things around me,  I have found that I am happier, and have a deeper passion for making my business a success. 
If I am OK with enjoying life,  and my life consists of my job which affords me the time to be with my kids and husband.. I am going to work as hard as I can to keep this.  I just need to remember to take time to enjoy what I am working so hard to provide for.   I want this business to be successful and thriving and something my children can take over should they choose. 
My daughter and I on a whim going to visit family on the island

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Orchid

I have been "working" on my Orchid for months now.  I use the term "working on" loosely as I put 2 weeks work into it back in what I think was April, and on my final firing... It cracked and my heart sank.  I knew I could fix it and go on with creating my masterpiece.. But, it broke my heart. I put hours upon hours into making it and in one wrong move it was ruined.  The money..the time.. would I ever finish it?

Doing large intricate pieces are a passion, but rarely do I ever recover the cost of raw material, and the man hours it take to make them are purely for enjoyment..

The Pendant is a direct casting of a flower I have in my home. This is the sister flower from the same plant I casted from.

Today I started working on the pendant/broach again.  It feels good..and scary... So far I have used the Silver Orchid as a paper weight, and a prop for photography... Here it is before I started working on it again.. (In all it's prop glory)

Granted it is a bit hard to see the detail when it's draped in rubies... But there could be worse things to be draped in I suppose! 
So back to the passion project I go, perhaps one day soon I will blog with an update and a picture of the final product. 

The ruby earrings are available on line at:  Aly Dahl Designs

Friday, July 9, 2010

I repeat...Let it go Aly...

I feed off people's energy, I have always been in-tune with what's going on around me.  That is both a blessing and a curse.  If you are upset with me, or something is off in your life, if you are angry or sad, I feel it. I sometimes make myself ignore it, but it comes at an expense, I seem to take on people's emotions and problems and it makes it very difficult for me to function at my best. Even if I ignore it, I take it home and ponder your emotions while I toss and turn trying to sleep.  My friends call me sensitive, I say Empathetic..To a fault.

I find this my biggest down fall in creating the Aly Dahl empire...  I have a very difficult time differentiating myself from my business,  I take all comments to heart. I have been so lucky to have so many people write praising letters, emails, and voice mails after receiving their items,  but it's that 1 email or comment when someone says "it's too expensive" or "what will they thing of next" as though what I am doing is equivalent somehow to nutella swirled with peanut butter sold in the same jar.  It takes all my might to not explain that it is actually a very good price and all the reasons it is a good deal, I mean come on, I make it by hand, I buy top quality product...It's made in Canada... I use more expensive raw material that is in the end better for the earth because I care... But alas, I bite my tongue and know that they are simply not my customer. However,  I do re-think that one comment over and over and over again... and then as though the universe knows when I need a moral boost I receive an order from a wonderful customer.  They get it, they are looking for quality, being made in Canada matters, supporting the arts is important... They are my customer.  And they are by far the best customers to have.

After a few really unpleasant experiences with people trying to knock me down, be-little me, and that gross gut feeling when you feel your being taken for a ride.. I am slowly learning to be more assertive and to follow my gut.

After returning from Las Vegas I realized that my taxes were due in 1 week, I quickly started looking up accountants and found one that had a decent website and went in.  This man made me so uncomfortable, made me feel like I was the dumbest person to walk the earth and without his help I would fail as a person.  BTW my biggest pet peeve is scare tactic selling.. And as soon as he started down that path I felt like I was going to puke.  I tried to take my documents back and be nice saying things like "I think I better go home and sort through some stuff and come back".. To which he grabbed my stuff and said "No, we'll contact you if we need anything, come back in a week".   So I left.  Got in the elevator and called my husband,  Darren can be very wise sometimes. Perhaps it is because he has lived with me for almost 9 years.... He said the greatest thing ever to me
"Aly, if you don't go back up there and get your property you will spend the next week agonizing over this creep.. or you take 5 minutes of uncomfortableness and go back up there and it will be over, now go and get your taxes back."  That sunk in deep.. And so I did.  I got my stuff back, the creep yelled at me as I walked as fast as I could getting out of the office, my documents in hand.  I proceeded to get in the elevator, called an old friend Doug who is now officially the worlds best accountant friend to have.   Thanks Doug!  I got off the phone and started crying tears of joy.. and my taxes were filed on time.

Following my gut may not feel good in the moment.. but as soon as that moment passes, the next one is AWESOME... That feeling of  "I did it, I stood up for myself and I noticed". 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Being Sick and Being your own boss is not an advantage

After spending most of my adult life employed by a large company with fantastic benefits I got used to certain "perks"... such as sick days which entailed spending the day in bed watching cheezy soap opera's and wandering in and out of consciousness. 
I have had a wicked cold for the past 3 weeks, and instead of taking a day off, I worked through it.. I mean it was only a cold and how strenuous can taking pictures, doing book keeping, posting, updating, proof reading, developing packaging be? I mean I do 90% of that from my living room.
On Sunday morning I could barely get out of bed. This after 3 weeks of sore throats, coughing, sneezing, ear aches.. What the heck? Are you not supposed to get better with time? Monday was a little worse but I continued to work and by Tuesday I was sure I was dying.  By this time I am now sputtering like a lawn sprinkler with every cough and Darren demands I see the Doctor. 
So here I am working from bed with a bad case of bronchitis.
Work is busy this week which is fantastic, the new line is selling fast and of course my reports were due today.. And well when what you eat is determines what you make... taking a day off seems a bit nuts.
However I was successful in getting my reports in on time, updated my bookkeeping, paid some bills, photographed new pieces and updated my website most from the comfort of bed. 
Here is are links to the new pieces and the new line 'Turq'ish delight:
Silver Originals
'Turq'ish Delight

All I can say is.. I am so glad Darren is home right now so I have been able to be cuddle mom only, which I have to say is a slice of heaven..
Being my own boss may have a lot of perks, and I have never been happier, but I do miss the benefits of corporate world.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Best of Vancouver

I am so excited!!! A friend emailed me the other day and let me know she voted for me in the Georgia Straight Best of Vancouver.  That is a huge thing for me, the fact that while filling out 200 responses in the voting questionnaire I came top of mind when entering the jewellery/accessories box.

Which then took me to the next obvious thing to do.. vote for myself.. and then forward to the 275 people on my facebook friend list... and now.. here I am "Blegging" Blog begging..

It was never even a possibility that I would be considered or have the ability to be voted for... but alas.. here I am now, begging any and all readers to please go to: 
 And vote for me!  You do not need to fill out all 200 questions, just the ones you have an opinion about.

If you find it in your heart to vote for me, I would be forever in debted.   One of the other questions was for best Vancouver Blog and I put my vote to

If you haven't read it, Wendy is a great writer, is always positive and has great recipes and fun stories,  you can sign up to have an email sent to you daily.  It is how I start every morning. 

Another great and hilarious blog to read is
Unfortunately the writer is no longer from Vancouver otherwise.. it would have defiantly been a hard choice. 

I added a vote to the last page to "did we miss a category"  I added editor.. I have the worlds BEST editor, she is meticulous, friendly and offers awesome suggestions.  I have hired in the past and will only ever use her going forward:
 If you need someone to edit your website, book, pamphlets... she is #1 in my books :)

That is my shameless self promotion and promotion of what I find worth while reads. 
Have a great day!