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Sunday, September 14, 2014

It's Time to Chat!

I know I sound like a broken record but you all just keep amazing me with your kindness, support, encouragement, and friendship you extend to me and my little family. Thank you so much for all your Happy Birthday wishes from yesterday.  I couldn't believe all of the sweet messages!  I'm so lucky to have met each and every one of you on here. Thank you all so much.

I had a really nice Birthday.  Mike let me sleep in and I must have needed the sleep because I didn't wake up until 10:15am and I never do that.  He took care of everything around the house so when I woke up there wasn't anything that still needed to be done.  It was great!

Then once I got going he took me for quick lunch and we went out to see the car.  It looks so neat.  So much has been done. The engine is in.  It has power steering, the new shifter is in, the air conditioner is in the works, and the new wiring is all getting connected.  I will include some pictures I took yesterday at the end of this post.

After that we came home and I got to enjoy crafting for a while, that was really nice.  I haven't been doing as much lately, but that's going to change and things will be getting back to normal.  I really enjoyed working on an ATC that the video just went up on (Honey Bee ATC).  Then Mike took me to dinner at my favorite Chinese restaurant in the whole St. Louis area.  It's one of the few that is still a restaurant and not a buffet!  Then it was back home to craft a while longer.

It was a wonderful day, very relaxing!  Mike also bought me a beautiful new charm for my bracelet.  It's a "Love Letter".  I'll show it to you all when I get it soldered to my bracelet. It's the perfect charm, it has smooth edges so I won't catch it on things, and it's not delicate - because I'm hard on my charms!

Thanks to all of you the store is going so fantastic! At this rate it won't take long for this to become Mike's only job.  We thought it would take a year or more, but it doesn't look that way.  We plan to continue to add new items so the store can grow bigger and bigger. Our other plan is to take the store off of Etsy and have it be simply www.tupelodesignsllc.com.  When we started this, I immediately bought the rights to the name just in case we wanted to go this direction.  Well, after selling on Etsy for a while, it's clear we will need to.  The fee structure on Etsy is crazy high.  Here's a bit of how it works.  When we list an item, lets say a stamp set, it cost $.20 to list it.  Well that doesn't seem like much, but let's say we list 5 of them.  It's still $.20 at the time it's listed.  Then let's say someone comes along and buys one.  Well Etsy charges $.20 again to "renew the listing".  Now the original $.20 was to list it for 4 months, but apparently if someone makes a purchase of one it needs to be "renewed" for another 4 months, so you get another $.20 charge, plus you get charged 3.75%  of the price it was listed for.  It even gets worse - let's say we listed 5 stamp sets for $.20 and someone comes along and buys all 5 sets at one time - Etsy would charge 3.75% of the listing price on each one plus $.20 for each one to "renew" the listing - so we would get charged $1.00 for that on top of the 3.75%.   So, as you can see, Etsy takes a big chunk of the profit.  The only way to get away from all that and increase our profit margin is to go out and create our own site.  So, I think Mike will be doing this sooner rather then later!

I do all the product ordering and I've found a great deal of frustration trying to get various items from the distributors that are available to work with.  The original purchase of some items were fine, but it seems I bought them out of many items and they don't re-stock very quickly.  Meanwhile Mike has buyers wanting these items.  Well last night I went to re-order some other basic items that sell quickly, such as the Xyron Adhesive erasers, 3D Crystal Lacquer Starter Kits, and a few other things and now all of those item are out of stock with the distributors.  So, I decided the only way to do this is to go straight to the Manufacturers.  I stayed up until the wee hours applying for wholesale approval with the actual companies that make the items you all like to buy.  This will hopefully make it easier to keep the items in stock that you all want. I'm determined to keep the inventory up for you all and to continue to add more choices of the crafting supplies you all want. The Collall glue is going quickly.  Faster then I would have imagined.  I did order another 20 bottles which should be here pretty quickly this upcoming week, so that's good.  The Lindy's is on the way, as well as the new Tim Holtz Distress Stain Sprays. Those items should be in by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.  And, finally, the Scribbly Bird Stamp set will be here Monday evening. Many have pre-sold, but there will be a few available still.

A few of you have asked if we could get some specific items just for them.  We're happy to do that. So if, let say, you're an art journal style person and there are some stamp sets out there you want that we don't normally carry, let me now and I will be happy to order what you want.  We do that on a pre-order/pre-pay arrangement because of course the items are being purchased just for you, but we order them right away and can usually get them pretty quick.  There are only a few things we can't do this for, mostly they are Prima items, because they require we buy either 3 or 6 of the items.  However, if there is a special Prima item you want, please still let me know.  It may be an item we would love to carry in the store so it would still work to order it for you.  If you have a special request please send it to Mike through the Etsy store.  Just click on "contact store owner" on the left hand side of the store page.

Mike really is driven to provide a high level of personal service to you all.  Our goal is to have the items in stock when you want them, and to be able to do special orders for you if you need them.  Mike realizes the only thing he has to offer over any other store that sells craft supplies (and there are many) is his high level of service, and fair postage prices.  So that's what he's striving to do.  We so appreciate how many of you have given him the chance to show you what he can do for you.

Well today I get to celebrate my Birthday one more time at Mike's Mom's house.  It should be nice and relaxing.  I'm looking forward to it.  Its so nice she loves Tupelo so much and allows him to come along.  She just adores him. So that's where I'm headed after I get done writing to all of you here.

I miss blogging more with you all, but it was a little hectic at first when the store opened. Now that Mike knows how to do pretty much everything, I'll have more time back to blog, craft, and stay in touch. All of those things are so important to me.  PLUS it's about time for another "Flash Contest' wouldn't you say!  I have one in mind, so keep your eyes peeled!  LOL 

Well I better get going, it's so nice to connect with you all, and thank you all again for the birthday wishes, they really made my day!  Before I go, here are a few photos I took yesterday of the car, you won't believe the progress they've made!

Love you all!!!
Jane vv08






12 comments :

  1. Boy, your new ride is coming right along! Bet Mike is excited... Have a nice day at Mike's Mom's houses. Should be very relaxing for you. Wow, there is a lot involved in having an Etsy store. Love all your products, and really like when you do the videos of what the product looks like and how to use them. Think I am going to become the glue queen. Love the different glues. LOL! When I worked at school, my kids called me the "White Out Queen", I had every kind of white out there was.... Well, have a great day. Love your blogs...

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    1. Thanks so much Kathy, we did have a nice day over at the MIL's and now we are wrapping up a few things - queen of adhesives....lol you're so funny! xx

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  2. Hi there, you guys have really done a First Class job of how to please people and enjoy the whole process, although there is always stress involved you both seem good with it all. We sold on Ebay for many years so I totally understand the work involved. But you have taken it a big step farther and included the one on one with the people which makes it so much more rewarding for all. I admire you both for your courage and determination. Tupelo too for being a very well loved mascot. Happy Birthday again to you Jane. (Virgo through and through). Also big hello's to Mike and Tupelo.
    Take Care: Jacquie

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    1. Thank you so much Jacquie, it's messages like this that keep you going! I just read it to Mike as well and it made him feel good. Thanks again!!! xx

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  3. NICE!! The photos of the car are awesome! Before long you will be out cruising around town in it!
    Mike (and you) are doing an awesome job with the store. There is a big enough variety of items that everyone should be able to find what they need. I really like how you are keeping us up to date on the timing of orders and such/ It makes it easier to wait for an order to come in if you know that things are happening behind the scenes to get those items to us quickly! It is that level of customer service that will keep me coming back time after time.
    Happy Belated Birthday and I am so glad that I met you, Mike and Tupelo! (((hugs)))

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    1. Barbara, thank you for such a nice message! I really appreciate it. Mike is working hard at this and I'm trying to make sure we get the biggest variety we can for you all! Thank you for the Birthday wishes and we're happy to have you as part of our extended family on here as well! xx

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  4. I never knew how Etsy worked Jane, but glad you explained it. I think too that Mike needs to open a dot com store so you guys can keep the profit!! I mean that is the whole point of having the store so Mike can retire to doing the store only. I am loving how the car is coming along. I can't wait to see more pictures and hopefully pics of you and Mike in it!! lol I hope you had a great time at your MIL's celebrating your birthday!!! Glad you had a very nice and relaxing one my friend. Hugs, Brenda

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    1. Thanks so much Brenda! It was a really nice birthday weekend. With the store doing so well so fast it keeps us busy, but Mike is doing so well at it that I can really focus on the ordering part, which is fun to me. It's amazing how much business he is doing already. it's good he's still working right now so we don't have to pull any income from it, we can just keep buying more product. He's turning into a little magician in the basement creating places to put everything. He's really good at that. We can't wait to get the car back either! I miss it,, we only had it a short time and then it was gone and it's been so long, it doesn't even feel like we own it at this point, so I'll be glad when it's done. Have a good night my good friend! xx

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  5. The car is betoming beautiful!! It will be great when it is finished!!
    I didn't know how Etsy worked, and it isn't that easy!! It is not like a 'normal webshop! But i think you both do a very great job on your store!!!
    I hope you had a great day at your mother in laws house!!
    Xx

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    1. Thanks so much Mildred, we're trying very hard. Yeah I think Etsy will end up pricing themselves out of a lot of customers. We had a nice time at the MILs today. Tupelo had fun too! xx

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  6. so glad the store is clearing the way for Mike to go full time at the business, that's so great.!!
    Jane just remember how irritating it was to get out of the house and drive to the store only to find they didn't have any of the things on your list. Happen's to me all the time and i get so mad they call themselves craft stores. Then I'd have to go home and check numerous on-line stores, maybe having to order from several to get my supplies. That's just a crazy system and an issue I think CHA should have fixed for the consumers years ago...but guess we aren't that important as buyers.
    Now think about the stock and special orders Mike's store is willing to offer us.....see my point? We all really mean it when we say "Thank You"!
    This 1 stop shopping is going to spoil the crap out of us....hugs, deb

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    1. Thanks for noticing Deb! All the things you said are the reasons the store is being created the way it is. I can't go physically shop for very long. There have been many times I've needed something I should have been able to buy at Joanns or Michaels, and mentioned it to Mike. He would say, "I'll drive you up there tonight and you an run in and get (whatever)", only to run and find it was out of stock, or unbeknownst to me it would be a sale item and totally picked through with no choices left. Then like you said I would try to find it on line and rarely if ever have I found a place I could buy even three things I needed. I would be on Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, all over looking. I too hate that. I told Mike when he started you have to have a reason crafters want to buy their craft supplies they can get anywhere from you. I told him the only thing he had to offer was service. There's a lot of bad service and slow shipping out there, so I told him, if he catered to you all, and shipped quickly, he would win you all over and the word about him would spread. It made sense to him because he too is an online shopper. I'm so happy to get your message and will definitely be reading it to him.
      Hugs.. Jane

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