Saturday, January 7, 2012

Some Shop Changes That Are Worth Noting

It's been around 10 months since I started D&R, and I've been loving it!
I've learned a lot since opening the shop, and since then my shop has evolved quite a bit. Here are some of the changes you may or may not have noticed since I started: 

1.  I no longer sell vintage items: 

I had fun thrifting items and selling them, but I decided I needed to focus my energy on the most important thing: Making things.  I still thrift and use vintage parts, but now I just upcycle in order to make a unique item of jewelry or art.

Also, figuring out shipping for large, sometimes heavy items was getting stressful.  So vintage items are no more! 

2.  Packaging oh Packaging: 

I'm sure every etsy seller or crafter in general goes through an ever evolving packaging technique.  One of my favorite things is packaging one of my new creations in a way that makes the entire customer experience feel special.  I get excited just thinking about a customer getting their package in the mail and unwrapping the goodies they purchased.  I'm constantly thinking about how to make this experience more special and attractive while also being functional so that I may provide affordable and safe shipping.  At the moment, i'm making boxes by hand, making designing/business cards on illustrator and printing at home and making little thank you cards to include with each order. I've been quite pleased with the results: 

As cute as I think this packaging is, i've decided to tweak it YET AGAIN. This is mainly because in order to save on packaging and shipping I like to use the small mailers, and these boxes don't quite fit inside them. Sooooo, long story short, i've developed (in theory so far) some new SUPER CUTE packaging, minus the boxes. Don't worry, I promise it's going to be cute, fresh and functional! 
I'm waiting on some supplies to come in the mail so that I can put this new packaging into action. One of the things I'm waiting for is my own personalized business stamp from 2Impress.  They've got great stamps for all needs and they work with you to get you the right stamp for you! Here's a proof of what my stamp is going to look like: 

I'm absolutely in LOVE with it, and I can't wait to set up the new packaging! I'll make another post once everything arrives in the mail! Also, i'll be including fun little gifts with each order from now on!  

3. Pricing: 

I'd admit I started out just guessing prices for the shop. I never calculated supplies, fees or shipping. I always wondered why it felt like my money would disappear as fast as I made it. Combine that with the fact that i'm a struggling college student and that this shop is currently my only source of income, the price adjustment had to be done.  I didn't think it'd be such a headache inducing task to figure out pricing, I must have read every article there was on pricing handmade goods.  The new prices take into account supplies, labor and fees. Hopefully it works out. 

4.  Production/shipping time: 

When I first started out, I indicated to shoppers that their items would ship out in 1-2 business days.  While this worked out well for a while, once the amount of orders began to rise a bit more, it made it hard for me to keep up. I'm still a full time student, so some nights I couldn't get to working on an order until after 11pm.  For now the production time for most items is 3-5 days.  Each order will most likely be sent in 3, and if i'm lucky, less.  After that I stil use the same low cost shipping method, which is USPS First Class.  Orders in the USA will arrive around 2 days after being sent out.  Although tracking isn't available for that shipping method, I usually add the estimated arrival date to the Etsy shipping notifications to give customers some peace of mind.  

5.  New products!!! 

Oh, the best part of all! I'll be adding new products on a weekly basis. What's great is that I'm learning so many things and making new things all the time, so stay tuned for new items as they are added. Some new stuff that's coming: 

Wood burned earrings
More rings!!! 
More plastic brooches with my artwork
Some feminist & queer themed items
Screen printed stuff!!! 
Hair pins

Anywho, this has been a superlong post. But its been so long, I thought it necessary to spill all of my thoughts. 

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