under construction; last edit 4/28/20
Edit 5/19/20: I’ve updated this a bit and turned it into a page so it would be easily navigable in the sidebar, and I’ll be updating that page in the future rather than this post.
I’m putting something here because I need to address this up front, but this is still a draft/work in progress right now and progress is slow. One of the many things that’s changed pretty drastically for me over the past few years is that I now live in the absolute middle of nowhere, no kidding, just outside a small fishing village on the bayou at the Alabama/Mississippi border. You can get exactly one brand of internet out here, and it’s DSL, and it’s slow as shit, and it regularly goes out when it rains, when a truck drives over a cable that an animal dug up, or when you don’t hold your mouth right. So getting all this going has been painfully, glacially slow, and I can spend days at a time with no internet, worst case scenario.
Throw in a little global pandemic and the concept of schedule starts to look kinda meaningless after a minute. But I will come back to all this, for those of you it might have some bearing on.
A bunch of things, kind of all at once, that completely overwhelmed me and my ability to take care of myself and my family, never mind take care of my clients and customers. I’ll add some detail but try to do it succinctly in the coming days/weeks, but in the meantime, this post pretty much covered everything, though I have a few insights to add from just the last few weeks, too (warning: it’s very long). Might make for an informative “how not to run a business” or “how to crash and burn as a single parent” series down the road? Heh.
So the worst part of all is that some of you had orders and/or services in the queue when I had to pack everything up and move. And it was all packed up a lot longer than I could *ever* have imagined. I not only didn’t have my own roof to work under for a while – I didn’t have any roof at all. At least not until we literally built one with our own hands.
Losing my house and being homeless was ugly and awful and it kicked my ass and did a number on my head. And I was already feeling pretty done for after two years at that disastrous teaching job where they worked me to death, didn’t pay me enough to pay my utilities, and threw me under the bus at the drop of a hat.
I hadn’t found a magic bullet to raise the funds back up to refund you folks who had services pending, and I no longer teach or tutor or work in academia, and I’d convinced myself I could never show my “face” online again after everything exploded. But there aren’t a lot of jobs out here in the middle of nowhere, teaching or not, and you don’t usually get recognized and promoted posthaste to the C Suite with full benefits based on how well you dazzle with the broom or calculator or whatever, so I ultimately worked my way around to something like this:
Yes, maybe absolutely every single customer you ever had hates you now. Or maybe your perception and thinking have been skewed because you’re massively depressed because of numerous major life upheavals all kinda happening at once and things aren’t quite like you’ve made them out to be in your head. But you’re miserable hiding under a bed out here not doing work that feels particularly meaningful or that you’re particularly good at. And you aren’t coming up with the funds to pay back what you owe doing it.
So you should probably just face the music and let them tell you if they hate you and are coming by to throw rocks before you just decide that for them. And if Martha Stewart can get out of prison, do her mea culpa interview tour, walk out onstage onto a brand new show with an audience packed to the rafters, joke about being in prison, and start hanging out with Snoop Dog, well, you didn’t screw up **that** badly and you should really just suck it up and get back out there. (And as a friend pointed out, if somebody owed me something and disappeared, I’d rather dislike them while knowing they’re trying to do something about it than dislike them and feel like they crawled off the face of the earth and aren’t aware/don’t care that they owe me something.)
Y’all that i owe something to? I’m aware. I’ve thought about it at least twice a week for the past 3+ years. It weighs on me very, very heavily as the biggest professional failure I’ve ever managed. And I’m not even close to having it all sorted out, all the info located, and any means by which to wave a wand and fix any of it. But I’m going to even though it might take even longer than it already has, which is a really, really long time. I can’t live under that weight anymore and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna risk getting taken out by some global supervirus and never even managed to make it out from under the bed before I croaked. Going out with a whimper is just so not my style.
But there is a lot of paperwork to go through. I have only just now climbed out from the under the bed, so to speak, to start going through said paperwork, too, so I don’t even know the extent of it and how jacked up the records are.. It’s going to take time to get all the records straight. Beyond that, it’s going to take time to generate the funds to be able to pay back everybody I need to pay back, but I’m going to make it as right as I can make it and keep apologizing ’til I do.
In the meantime, if (for some reason I cannot fathom) you still want any of the products or services you’d wanted before or anything , I’ll bend over backwards to get you whatever you need, as that will be the fastest way for me to get right with you. Otherwise, there’ll be a plan and a timeline coming and I’m so very, very sorry and embarrassed.
What the heck is a Seraphin Station?
Seraphin Station is our farm / studio / workshop / home. A sketch of what we do out here will be emerging over the coming days and weeks as I populate this site and various platforms.
Are you still doing business as Karma Zain Spiritual Supplies?
I’m not sure about Karma Zain – somebody in Malaysia or something appears to have bought the domain name since it expired when I was broke and still hanging out under the bed. Plus I’d really rather not run that name up the flagpole until I can hold my head up and say I fixed my messes and made them right, even though it took me a few years.
I do still have a few things with Karma Zain branding, like some oils and incense powders that do not go bad in storage lol, and that’s the username on some old seller accounts that I’ll keep because why not, but Seraphin Station is the official deal these days. That’s the best email to contact me, too. (I didn’t check the Karmazain at gmail account for three years. Anything you send me there could get lost pretty easily! It’s total chaos in that account, really.)
Are you still making formulas/oils/etc?
A very few. As to how many more I may add back to regular rotation gradually as I can afford to buy the ingredients, I don’t know. I was carrying too much inventory for stuff I didn’t make very often before. I gotta cut down and not have so much money just sitting on shelves, and that means narrow narrow narrow.
For starters that means sticking to the basics, which for me are gonna be traditional rural Deep South bayou conjure, including work with the saints, and remembering the whole point was what made sense to use regionally and seasonally and wasn’t fancy stuff you could only get mail order. That means some of my Biblical oils with more obscure ingredients, like Song of Solomon, are probably off the menu for now.
It also means soaps and candles are probably off the menu, too. The costs of the ingredients have gone way up since I last bought them, I’m not sure I can purchase in the quantities I’d have to to be able to recover my costs yet, never mind make a profit, and anyway, when I started making them it was really damned hard to find them. You couldn’t go just anywhere and get a Road Opener soap or poured candle (not just a fixed vigil but a poured Road Opener candle.) But now you can swing a cat and hit a bunch of ’em — in fact, you can’t swing a cat without hitting a shop selling hoodoo stuff these days, seems like – so I’m not going to rush on getting them back on the virtual shelves.
And with bath crystals, if you have the oil, you can really make your own. And few people used powders all that regularly that weren’t raised with them, so they did not fly off the shelves. We’ll just see, I guess, as things unfold.
Can you make X formula still?
If it’s not listed yet at one of the shops, I probably don’t yet know or it’s in the “can’t afford to make it yet” pile. But if you have a request for something you’d like to see come back in rotation, by all means, please say so. If I’m not sure whether I can make it, I can move it to the top of the list to investigate. If I can make it and just need to order an ingredient, I can move it to the top of the list for ordering. Otherwise I might just throw darts to make up my mind what’s next, so speak up 🙂