Hi all !
 
First of all let me send my warmest wishes to you and yours for the new year.  May it bring you peace, health, love, and happiness.
 
As the title hints... with this new year comes new challenges for all of us.  Changes are never fun, and a little bit scary.  But changes also mean something new, something different.  Sometimes it is difficult to let go of the past to embrace the future.  But forward we must all go.
 
WHAT AM I TALKING ABOUT ?
 
I am talking about a situation that has taken us at AFFORDABLE DESIGNS - CANADA by surprise.  In the last few months we have seen our sales drop by almost 95%.  SCARY !   After 16 years of slow and steady growth we finf ourselves facing a surprising situation.  Trying to understand it, hoping it is just "temporary".  But also facing the financial decision that needs to be done because of it.
 
IS AFFORDABLE DESIGNS - CANADA CLOSING ?
 
No, we are not closing.  At least... not yet !  But we most adjust to the current isutation in order to survive long enough to see better days.
 
TO "ADD SALT TO THE WOUND"
 
While we were trying to figure out what was happening to the doll world we also had to adjust to a "new challenge".   There was a small fire at the building that houses our studio/storage.  Not in our unit but close enough to damage the electrical wiring that serves our unit.  For that reason we have three months to vacate the local and bring its content to a new location.  We have decided to downgrade to a simple storage unit and minimize our expenses.
 
WHAT IS OUR PLAN ?
 
At the moment our plan is to "ride the wave" as long as we can and see where it will take us.   We feel the current change might be due to the unstable political climate in the USA where 95% of our customers reside.  It may also be due to some changes in the doll world.  Such change happen regularly as some compnies close, new companies open.  Collecting habits change and people decide where there dolly dollars will go.  We still think the LEEANN DOLL LINE has its place, more than ever.  Good quality dolls, clothes, shoes and acessories at reasonable prices.  Our challenge will be to convice the collectors and find new ones.  Since AFFORDABLE DESIGNS - CANADA has never been a favorite in magazines/events we will need to find a way to reach out to collectors on our own.  Just like we have been doing for the lat 17 years.
 
Another plan is to liquidate the BEJU DOLLS department completely and concentrate our efforts towards the LEEANN DOLL LINE.  At the moment ALL BEJU DOLLS are being offered at 30% OFF ( almost at cost ) for a limited time.  That means AADI, BIJAN, CONG, EMILY, and LEEANN can be yours while supplies last.  There will be NO MORE PRODUCTION DONE of the RESIN DOLLS.  This is your last chance.
 
Once all the dust has settles with our more to a different storage facility we will also work hard at bringong you a lot more SEWING PATTERNS.  If only there were TWO OF ME and MORE HOURS IN A DAY.
 
ON THE POSITIVE AND EXCITING SIDE OF THINGS.
 
I am preparing for my ALABAMA to OREGON trip that will happend in APRI/MAY 2017.  
 
As you know LEEANN and LENNY are the souvenir/companion dolls for the OKTOBERFEST CELEBRATION event in Salem, OR on May 23rd.  The dolls are in the sampling phase at the moment and are FANTASTIC !  I always hoped to produce German inspired dolls and got my wish when we got invited to design dolls for this event !!!   The CHERRY CITY DOLL CLUB is accepting ATTENDEE/ABSENTEE REGISTIONS now.  Make sure to visit the UPCOMING EVENTS section of our website.
 
It also means I might be "driving by you" along my Alabama to Oregon trek.  I would be more than excited to stop and setup a "show and tell" display for your doll club/Leeann group.  All we need to do if find a time/place that fits both our schedule.  Just contact me to set it up.
 
Also on the exciting side of things LEEANN is getting some AMAZING STRAPPY SANDALS in about a month.  They are currently in production.  Many, many straps and a back zipper design... in five different colours.  Of course I will send photos as soon as they are in stock.
 
 
WHAT WILL TOMORROW BRING ?
 
I know "ALL WILL BE FINE"... for all of us.  Let's see what tomorrow brings.  Maybe this is just a "difficult time that will pass".  But always remember that one thing that will never end is OUR FRIENDSHIP.
 
Denis Bastien
www.affordabledesigns.ca
www.beju.ca
www.leeann.ca