By Guru Kirtan Kaur, California, USA
My husband is an artist and a vintage leather designer. We work together, making beautiful one-of-a-kind, handmade clothes and accessories. We are kundalini yogis and have a stable practice. I am a Kundalini Yoga teacher in Los Angeles.
Since our work is mainly with leather, we always struggle during the summer time. We have to come up with new ideas, but we survive thanks to our foreign customers, who are mainly Japanese. With the crash of the financial market, our business with the Japanese market slowed way down. With the decrease in work, my husband and I increased our yoga practice, and added a prosperity meditation (Har) to our daily sadhana.
As our practice increased, our yogic network of friends increased also. One day my creative husband presented me with a beautiful painting on the back of my sheepskin. Soon many of our friends requested he paint their sheepskins as well. Our leather business was very slow, but our yogic practice was growing. The more classes we attended or taught, the more orders for sheepskin designs we received. We decided to buy some sheepskins, close the store, and drive to New Mexico to our first Summer Solstice Sadhana Celebration.
We were very excited about our adventure; however, we still had to figure out how to pay the bills that would come in while we were away. As we prepared to leave, we received a phone call from Japan. A customer wanted to make an appointment to come to our studio. He would arrive in Los Angeles on the same day that we were planning to leave for New Mexico. He said he had sold some of our merchandise that had been consigned to him in the prior month. We were very happy. He was bringing the exact amount of money we needed to pay the bills for the time we would be gone.
We postponed our trip to wait for our costumer. We scheduled the appointment with him for the morning, and planned to leave in the afternoon for New Mexico. While we waited for him, we left the door open in our studio and we packed the car with merchandise and camping gear.
It was then that a couple walked into the studio, which is not open to the public (normally by appointment only). But we were there and the store had been prepared to receive our Japanese customer. So my husband and I welcomed this couple. Both of them looked very conservative compared with our regular customers, who are mostly artists, performers, vintage collectors, or in the fashion and music industries. This man was very excited about our work and started picking out a lot of items to buy. And I mean A LOT: leather jackets, bags, wallets, jewelry, accessories, t-shirts, rock and roll pictures, and statues. He was buying all this for his girlfriend and himself.
My husband and I experienced many different emotions, from excitement to disbelief and fear. This fellow was a first-time customer, a walk-in, without any references, and most unusually buying merchandise off the rack (most of our orders are custom-made). Something didn’t seem right.
The total amount of the sale was over $35,000! Talk about HAR HAR HAR! It was unbelievable. We had never, ever had a single customer buy this much retail merchandise. Until the deal was done, our minds were spinning, and we were both asking, “Is this really happening?”
The customer gave me a type of credit card that I had never seen before. I ran the credit card but and it was declined. I said to myself, “I knew something was wrong.” So our customer wrote a check. Again my monkey mind started going wild. He had to write two checks because he made a mistake on the first one. He seemed like he was writing a check for the first time in his life. He wasn’t sure how to spell the words, and his handwriting was pretty bad. Things were looking very strange.
I called the bank and spoke directly with the manager, who guaranteed that our man had plenty of funds in his account. We closed the deal. My husband and I just looked at each other, smiled, and murmured, “HAR HAR HAR.”
After the man and his girlfriend left, our Japanese customer arrived. He purchased some more merchandise. As soon as he left, we closed the store, stopped at the bank, deposited checks, and drove off super happy to New Mexico.
We had a fantastic, blessed Solstice. After solstice we decided to go to Costa Rica for a couple of days, just to chill and enjoy life! Wahe Guru!