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!!!