Friday, January 1, 2010

Testing the Facebook feed

I think I got things up and running so my blog posts directly to my Facebook Fan Page.  I hope so.

If you haven't already, please add me as a Fan on Facebook.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Goodbye Magnets - Hello Toggles

I'm sorry to announce I have decided to stop offering the magnetic clasps for my rosary bracelets in my shop.  Over the next few weeks I will be modifying the bracelets in my shop to have a toggle clasp only.

After two years of using different styles of magnetic clasps I have yet to find a specific style of that I am completely happy with. I have also had some customer complaints that some are too weak and come apart easily and some are too strong and stick to the metal findings in the bracelet.

I strive to make high-quality handmade items and send out only the very best to my customers.  I cannot, in good conciousness, keep sending out bracelets and hoping that they are just "OK".  When you get an email on Christmas day that someone's gift was unsatisfactory it breaks your heart.

The toggle clasps are easy to use and feel comfortable to wear as they weigh considerably less than the magnetic clasps. I find them visually pleasing and hope that my customers do as well.

I will keep a few extra magnetic clasps on hand for a couple specific customers who have requested them, but when my inventory goes down I will not be reordering more. These customers have been notified.

Today I will be removing the bracelets in my shop that have the magnetic clasps. I will soon change over to the toggle clasps and relist them when I can get new photographs prepared. I do have some new bracelets that are already made with toggles I can list soon. 

I hope this change will not be upsetting to my customers and that they understand that I am doing this in their best interest. I know I cannot please everybody all of the time but I am doing what I think is right by them and doing what's right for me.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Name those Saints! Get a discount!

A long time ago I acquired some digital prints of old prayer cards. The idea was to make some glass "marble" magnets using the prints.  The art was small in size and had no names or identification for the Saints featured.  Using my own research I was able to ID some of them, but some of them are still nameless to me.  I hesitated for a long time about posting the magnets for sale because I didn't know who they are. 

Someone out there has got to know who they are - and for that knowledge, you will be rewarded!  If you can name the mystery saints you can get the magnet sets at a discounted price!  $2 off for each Mystery Saint you name! Sets 1 and 2 have one Mystery Saint each. Set 3 has three Mystery Saints! That would be $6 off the price if you got all three!

Check out the sets. Send me a Convo via Etsy if you can identify one or more of the Mystery Saints and you will be elligable for the discounts.  You will need to include a picture or a URL to a picture to prove your claim. If they are a reasonable match I will discount the items just for you!

Set 1: Can you name the pretty little nun with the lamp?  Get $2 off this set if you can identify her!  See picture below. Larger pictures at the website.   Set 1 has been claimed by my Etsy pal SpoolofPlenty! She identified St. Claire of Assis as the Mystery Saint and gets the discount!  Congratulations!
(She's also working hard to find the other Saints too...can you beat her? )

Set 2: Who is that young man kneeling in prayer?  Get $2 off this set if you can identify him!  See picture below. Larger pictures at the website.

Set 3: This is the big one!  WHO ARE THESE SAINTLY PEOPLE???  You will get $2 off the set for each of the three Saints you can identify. If you can get all three you will get $6 off, making the price of the magnet set only $2 (plus shipping)!!!  So who are they?  See picture below. Larger pictures at the website. 

Set 3 has been claimed by SpoolofPlenty! She identified St. Monica, St. Stephen, and St. Maria Goretti! Congratulations! She gets this set for only $2!!!

(She's also working hard to find the last fella in set #2...can you beat her? )

I hope you folks have fun with this.  I am going to be thrilled to learn more about these Mystery Saints and very glad to give these magnets a loving home.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Craft Show Success - Accept Credit Cards!

One of the reasons my recent craft shows were such a huge success is that I have started accepting credit cards.  I had 16 sales through credit cards the other weekend alone. 

That's 16 customers who may have otherwise walked away from my booth. And in most cases my credit card customers purchased multiple items! They may have only had enough cash for a $5 item, but since they were using their card they scanned my table for more goodies to add.  My lowest credit card transaction was for $12.  My highest was for $65.

I'm starting by using ProPay. I researched a bit with my local credit unions/banks and found Propay's annual fee and per/transaction fees to be reasonable. You can find out a lot of information about the service on the Etsy forums. One of the best hints is that they offer a discount to Etsy sellers!  You get a Premium Plus account for the price of a basic account.  To acccess the Etsy discount, use this link:

Like most Etsy sellers using Propay, I got my "knucklebuster" from an Ebay salesman named Mr. Imprinter. I got a bundle that looks a lot like this picture. The imprinter is small and lightweight. It came with 100 slips. And they custom made a plate with my name, email address, website, and more info.  All items arrived in less than a week's shipping time.  I printed out my own "I accept Credit Cards" display for my table which included the CC logos in bright colors to catch customer's eyes.

Like with all things, please do your own research to find out what is best for you and for your store.  Talk to your local banks and credit unions. Some may provide a knuckbuster and slips to you. Some may charge monthly fees or rental fees for the equipment. Some may have higher/lower transaction fees. 

I also reserve the right to change my service and sing the praises of another credit card processer at a later date.  But I know one thing for certain...Accepting credit cards ROCKS! It's easy and not scary at all. I'll never go back to cash/checks only.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Last weekend's update - craft shows!

It has been a very long time since my last update.  There is A LOT of things I have been intending to post but have been busy with the Christmas rush getting some custom orders done and making new inventory to replace all the items I sold at the my recent craft show events. 

I was really blessed with fantastic sales at both of my shows last weekend. 

Saturday the 5th I was at JFK Catholic High School in Burien, WA. HUGE event!  They fill the entire gym and the entire cafeteria with vendors.  I was downstairs in the cafeteria and was concered that the traffic was going to be low since the main entrance to the event was in the upstairs gym.  Boy was I surprised! From the moment the doors opened to the moment the doors closed there was a constant flow of customers! I was working alone, without an assistant, so I was only able to steal away from my booth long enough to use the lady's room and get a bottle of water.

Because it was so busy I didn't have the opportunity to see any of the other vendors or do any shopping for myself. That's OK though because I made a lot of sales!  My best-selling items at the school were the cellphone charms.  I had less than 10 left when I went home for the day and spent the evening at home making more so I could have them for my Sunday show.  The purse fobs were also a big hit!

I have already told my best friend to mark her calendar a year in advance to come andhelp me next year at the JFK school show.  I would have loved an extra pair of hands to help customers because there were many times I was helping someone and had 2-3 other people needing help too.  I barely sat down the entire time. 

On Sunday I was selling at my church's, St. James Cathedral,  Avent Bazaar.  This is my second year selling there and the difference was night and day!  The church event was only 5 hours long but I made MORE at this show than I did at the school.  I was amazed!

The cellphone charms continued to be very popular.  Young persons, parents, and grandparents were all buying them up as stocking stuffers.  The bookmarks almost sold out completely - I only have 4 left when I packed up.  The rosary bracelets were also flying off the table.  As they sold I set out more until my bag was empty.  I think I had 6 left at the end of the day. 

I was completely blown away.  I am still on a high from the wonderful feeling of being so well received at these events.  Such nice customers, even those who didnt buy were fun to talk to.  I got a couple custom order requests and follow-up emails after the events were over. I am so very blessed!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rosary Winner!

CherryBlossomsDesign announced the winner of my rosary her blog last week and I almost forgot the announce the winner here!


The rosary has been mailed out and will soon be in it's new home in PA.  I hope it provides decades of love and joy. 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Giveaway.  Thank you also to CherryBlossoms for hosting it on her blog.  I hope to have many more Giveaways to come in the new year.  This was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The BIG craft show wrap-up.

First off, BIG THANK YOU to the EtsyRain team, specifically the organizers, for making this event possible.  It was my very first two-day show and it was exciting and challenging all at the same time. The show was a huge success for our street team and customers alike. You may be able to see in my first picture the line of people waiting outside of the venue for the doors to open Saturday morning.  It was cold. They were brave. And they wanted those awesome EtsyRain swag bags!

Secondly, thank you to everyone who has followed me here on my blog and on my Twitter as I frantically prepared for this show. Thank you for the tips and tricks I learned by reading all of your blogs and Twitters and Etsy forum posts. Thank you for your words of support and encouragement.

The show was a lot of fun. Stressful, but fun.  I got to meet some really wonderful people, both crafters and customers.  I got to buy some really cool things.  And I sold a little bit too.

This was a big risk for me - sticking my neck out into the "indie" community and trying to sell my Catholic goodies among all the fine and funky jewelry, knitted comfy things, hand-sewn clothing, soaps, and other goods made by our crafty community.  My products really speak to a small market of people - I know this and I embrace this.  So this was a real test to see if I could hold my own among them. 

How did I do? I know you only want to hear about the money.  lol  Well, I made back my booth fee.  That's about it.  But I did not walk away totally discouraged.  I was paid in compliments, smiles, and kind words. I got some great ideas on how I can branch out my offerings for future shows.  I made some friends and I got my name and my business out there.  Lots of business cards were taken. Some custom orders may be on the horizon. 

I have two more shows coming up this season.  Both will be a little more focused on my target audience (at a Catholic school and at my church).  And I hope to announce some exciting additions to my Etsy shop in the new year.