This is a great time of year to look back on the past year and reflect on things. Let's face it, there are things that go right and things that go...well, not so right, for all of us. I choose to believe that there is a silver lining in everything and try to remember to look hard for that silver lining when things "head south". Sometimes it isn't until much later that we look at something that happened and say to ourselves "wow, good thing that happened because if it didn't I would have...or wouldn't have..." and something good eventually came out of that event.
This past year we sold more llamas than we ever have before. We sold two females and four males. (We sold all of the crias shown in the photo above.) One of the males was our daughter's so he doesn't even really count because he isn't even on the books here at the ranch, but that makes almost 17% of the herd sold! Our goal is to get back down to 25 llamas so we have a better chance of getting all the llamas halter trained and most of our males pack trained. It also helps cut down on the feed bill, which is a good thing in this economy.
My fiber sales were down this year compared to 2008 but with the economy the way it has been, that was really no surprise and I've heard that sales were down for most fiber artists this year. That's okay though because it has allowed me to have some down time and more time to knit, crochet and spin.
My custom orders this past year were the best I've ever had though, so that thrilled me. Again, slower sales otherwise allowed me the time to really throw all of myself into the custom orders when they came in.
We showed several llamas this year. We didn't show at all in 2008 because we needed a break after earning our Halter Champion award for Tempis Fugit in 2007 and our daughter's senior year in high school was 2007-2008 and there was so much going on. We did extremely well at the one and only show we attended in 2009. Kemui Yama took first place Adult Medium Wool Male, Grand Champion Medium Wool Male and Reserve Grand Champion Best in Show. He had never been sheared, groomed or trailered prior to the show so we were very proud of how well he handled everything. Decorus Domina (Baby Dee) took first place Adult Medium Wool Female and Reserve Grand Champion Medium Wool Female (second only to the Grand Champion Best in Show Female). Again, Dee had never been groomed or trailered prior to the show (I sheared her as a yearling but didn't groom her out).
And, this is the perfect time of year to look forward to the new year and set goals for ourselves and our business. Personally, I don't ever make any new year's resolutions for myself but I do try to reflect and learn from the past so I can set a better course for the next year.
In 2010 I would like to spend more time working with fiber and less time at the computer. I can eat up hours sitting here blogging, surfing the web, checking my Twitter and Facebook accounts, playing on-line games, etc.
I would like to sell at least 6 llamas again this year (we already have 3 llamas on reserve for somebody so we're already half way there!)
I want to spend more time working with the llamas and training the young ones to lead well and the adults to pack. I want to choose one male llama and start training him for performance so I can enter the performance classes at the LOCC Fall Show on Labor Day weekend this year.
I want to spend more time working with my horse, Maggie Mae, and start riding her this year. Maggie is a fabulous horse and she isn't the one with issues; I am. I took a bad fall from Tango in October of 2004 and have huge confidence and fear issues I need to overcome. I may enlist the help of a trainer this year, we'll see.
So, those are my goals for 2010. I will add to them as needed and alter as I see fit, depending on how things are going.
What are your goals for 2010?