Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Countdown to Christmas Information and Rules

Due to having a full time job I will be announcing items via this blog. Each new post will appear with a link on my fan page and in the Blog tab on the fan page

*Updated 12/3/10

Daily Items:
Every day at 8am EST I will post a blog with a picture of the daily item and what the cost is, if there is one!

How to Enter:
In each blog post I will ask a question. To enter, leave a comment either on the blog post or on the fan page under the link to that days post. Only one entry per person per day. There will be no limit on the number of times you can win during the month of December.

Entry deadline:
All entries must be posted by 11:59 pm EST that day. The next morning I will post the winner of the drawing!
The winner will be drawn using random.org, I will put all names into a list on excel (as close to the order comments were left in as possible) and the number by you name is you entry number. I will post a picture of the name list and number generated to announce the winner.

All prizes will expire January 31, 2011.

Custom Items – Custom items are not ready to ship. You must provide me with the information required to make your item by January 31, 2011 at brandisboutique@gmail.com or a private message via facebook. Payment will not be due until your item is finished and ready to ship. At that time I will post a custom listing in my Etsy shop and send a link.

Ready to Ship Items – These will be shipped within 48 hrs of receiving payment. The items will be listed in the Custom section of my Etsy shop and a link to the item will be sent to the winner. Items that state “Ready to Ship” are for the exact item described. These items can be replaced with similar items in different colors and sizes on request, but will be treated as a “Custom Item”.

Gift Certificates – The winner will receive a code via email or private message. At this time to redeem a gift certificate you have two options. 1) Place your order and leave the code in the “comments to seller” section and you will be refunded. 2) Send me what you would like to order at brandisboutique@gmail.com or private message on Facebook and I will create a custom listing for you on Etsy with the discount already applied.

Coupons – Codes will be sent to the winner of the coupons. Discounts are applied before shipping. Some coupons may need to be treated as “Gift Certificates”, if this is the case it will be noted in the blog post for that item.

All prices listed will include shipping.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Happy Holidays and Good Luck!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Countdown To Christmas!

Starting Wednesday, December 1, 2010 I will be having a daily drawing until Decemeber 25, 2010. Each day around noon EST I will post what that day’s drawing is for and how to enter into the drawing. At 8pm EST entry will be closed and a winner will be announced.
Some prizes will be for discounts and others for free items*. Some items will be ready to ship while others will be customizable. All prizes will expire January 31, 2011.

Here is a list of items that will be up for grabs, in no particular order. Stop by daily to see pictures and prices!

Discounted Holiday Bow
Snowman newborn hat
Set of clips
Headband with bow
Christmas tree Clip
Snowman clip
Sports Hat
Free shipping
Newborn Black Poinsettia Booties
Gift Certificate
Holiday Bow tie Clip set
Holiday Butterfly clip
Butterfly, dragonfly, bee clip set
Crochet hat
Set of 4 bow tie bows
20% off any order
50% off any order
Puppy hat, blue
Leg warmers
Baby Slip Booties
Candy Cane clips
Hat with Changeable flowers

I will also be lifting the restriction of winning one prize every 30 days for the Countdown to Christmas.

*Shipping will need to be paid for free items, not to exceed $2.00

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! Growing up in my family Thanksgiving meant lots of cousins to play with and lots of yummy food. Until recently we would have 25 or more people for Thanksgiving dinner. I really don’t know how my mom did it without going crazy. I have a short story I’d like to share with you because it’s so cute and funny. My aunt actually wrote out the story and we read it every year because we still laugh.

Norman Rockwell's Cousin Reginald Catches the Thanksgiving Turkey (1917)
Copyright © 1917 The Country Gentleman and Curtis Publishing Company

Traditionally my Aunt and my mother would go out grocery shopping on Thanksgiving Eve. I have no idea why they waited until then, but they did. It had been a rather hectic week that year.  My younger sister, who was probably 6 at the time and my cousin who was about 8 wanted to help out their moms. They went to the kitchen and started putting the dishes in the dishwasher away. My father saw them in the kitchen and asked what they were doing. The kids said “putting the dishes away, but we can’t reach those cupboards, will you put these away please?” And of course my father did as they asked. He thought it was great that they were helping out, lets face it, no child likes putting the dishes away.

When the mothers returned home with their groceries the children were in bed and they set to work preparing food to be put in the oven the next day. As my mother was cleaning up she started rinsing the dishes to go in the dishwasher, hoping they would all fit because we needed all the clean dishes we had for the massive feast we were going to have. She opened the dishwasher and was stunned. She started saying “No Way! No Way!” My aunt turned around and asked her what was going on. My mother said “the dishes were put away.” My Aunt obviously thinking that was a great thing said “Aww I wonder who was nice enough to do that?” She guessed it was my father and set about refilling the dishwasher.

The next morning everyone was up early to prepare for the arriving family members. My sister and cousin were so proud of helping out that they asked my mom and aunt if they were surprised. My mom, who was so appreciative, said “Oh yes. Who turned on the dishwasher for you?” Knowing my sister and cousin didn’t know how to turn it on. My sister said “No one, we put them away. And Daddy helped with the high ones!”

This was when my mother realized that the kids and my father had put away dirty dishes!

We spent the next several hours clearing out the cupboards and washing every dish in the house! Now, we use paper plates!!!
Norman Rockwell, Ours … to fight for … Freedom From Want, 1943

Do you have a special story to share?  I'd love to hear it!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Having trouble finding a gift for that one person so difficult to shop for?

Check out the Treasuries on Etsy.com  You can find the treasury section on the left sidebar of the main page, or of course just click on the link above.

It's great because you can search for things like Fishing, Men, Travel, Stocking Stuffers, Fine Art, Cold and so on.  And the best part is you know the items are one of a kind because they are all handmade!

Happy browsing!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Boot Camp Week 7

This weeks blog had some great insights on advertising for the holidays!  Who knew how much thought you really need to put into it.  Advertising is harder than I thought it would be, but I love the challenge!

Making a Marketing Plan  isn't an easy task either.  Answering the questions was much harder than I thought it would be, but it made me realize I need to get an official plan in place to make this business to take off!  Now if only I could find a way to make more time in a day...

One way of promoting your products is with a blog feature.  Finding the right shopping blog for your products isn't always easy.  I will be featured in heartsabustin's blog this coming week.  I have also found CNY Etsy Team Blog that I think is just wonderful!

And of course I posted in the weekly thread.  You can still join the fun of Holiday Boot, here's how to catch up!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nice Things to Say

So part of the Holiday Boot Camp this week is to work on developing a maket plan. I'll get more into that in my Boot Camp post. The very first step had me stumped: How would other's describe you to someone you've never met? I am very bad a boosting myself up, so I asked a few people how they would describe to someone I've never met. 2 family members, a friend of about 10 years and a friend of about a year to get a good variety of answers and this is what I got:
Devoted to those I care about
Down to earth
Easy going
Good listener
Great mother
Hard working
Make people comfortable
Money concious
Smart (x 2)

Can you guess who said what? I was surprised at who said some of them.

All of these descriptions made me feel great! Do you know how people would describe you?
These are all qualities I would like my business to portray also. Do you think these qualities describe my shop? I think I need to work on some of them in a business sense, like being outgoing and maybe even getting a little more creative. I am definitely already working hard to make my shop a success and to get custom items completed as quickly as possible. I try to be money concious on all levels. I started this business because I thought the price of what I had to pay for these items was out of this world. I try to provide my items that are both reasonable for you, the customer, and for me to continue to provide new items. I am always up front with customers, if you want an item and I don't think I can make it, or I can't make it before you need it I will try my best to connect you with some one who can.

And lastly I do believe I am a good listener. Be it about business or personal topics I'm always here for people to talk to. I think having some one to talk to, even if you don't really want a response is an important thing in life.
Hope everyone is having a great day! Can you belive Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away?!?!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Busy Bee

That's been me lately!  Well this weekend anyway. 

I figured out how to get my daughter with never ending energy to sit and model for me.  I put in the Bee Movie and offer her candy corn treats when she thinks she wants to run around!  I know bribery is a horrible thing, but it beats having to pay to torture some other little girl!

After taking about 100 pictures and getting a few good ones I spent several hours editing and uploading them to my Etsy Shop.  When I took a poll the biggest complaint was that you couldn't tell how the item would look on a child.  I think most listings now have a pretty picture of my baby girl.

I still have some items that need to be added like hats and booties, but the items I have don't fit my little girl.  I'm waiting for a tiny model to torture for a little while!  I will be adding pics of the items soon though.

Also this weekend I made 2 new Christmas bows and some Christmas clips.  And I increased my inventory on turkey clips!  Oh and I made this pretty thing for my sister:

No my sister is not a dog!  She wanted it for her boyfriends dog!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Boot Camp Week 6

This week’s Boot Camp “Orders” seemed simple enough on the surface. But once I got going I found myself, yet again, realizing things I need to change.
Revisit Your Prices:
Because I obviously don’t want my customers knowing how I price things, I am going to leave the link to this article out. But it did make me realize that I may be under-valuing my products. Based on suggested pricing formulas my prices are about half of what they should be. And knowing this I researched similar items and found that I am generally in the same price range as other Sellers with similar items. You will be happy to know that at this time I do not plan to raise my prices.

Reading List:
Once again Danielle put together a great reading list. Thanks to her I’ve learned so many ways to improve my shop!

“Invisible Content Syndrome” – I definitely have it! And my guess is, it’s because I’m boring. The thing is, I don’t really know how to “spice up” crocheting and bow making. I mean in all reality Boot Camp is probably the most interesting thing I’ve had to blog about. Are you reading this? What kind of content would you like to see? Would you like to see my plans for how I want my business to grow? Do you want to know what new items I’m excited to start working on (that I some times never get to)? What do you want to know about me? Should I include stories about my family?

Customer Service - Whitney and I pretty much have the same views on customer service.  I think it's one of the most crucial parts of a business.  Even if your customer isn't 100% satisfied with the product they received, but they are with the way you handled the situation, they may still recommend your shop to others.  I know many times I've told people about great service, even though I didn't get what I thought I was getting.  Correct the issue the best you can.
Treasury Challenge - This is an adventure I'm about to embark on.  I'm very excited to get started making my first Treasury on Etsy and entering this contest.  Plus, it looks like fun!
Give up on Success? - Ok, that's not quite what this article is about.  My definition of success is being happy and comfortable.  And according to this article I am successful. 
Boot Camp Buddy:
This week Humblehome and I have been in contact quite a bit.  We decided to write our To-Do lists out and check in with each other to see how we are doing.  We also shared some of our ideas for items to sell during the holiday season and gave each other feedback.  Having a buddy has really helped me keep motivated rather than getting frustrated and losing momentum.  She keeps me wanting to work!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Contest

I am holding a contest for a 25% off any item coupon. A winner will be drawn Wednesday night around 8pm EST.

Enter by making a suggestion of items you would like to see in my shop this holiday season. Each suggestion gets you one entry into the drawing.

Suggestions can be Holiday theme, items you think would make good gifts, for children or adults, anything really!

Just leave a comment on this post or head on over to my Facebook fan page and leave a comment there.
Can't wait to hear about the creative things everyone comes up with!