Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Small Business Talk No. 1

I'm sure some of you have been wondering where I have been. Sorry! I do still think about and take photos for this blog- getting around to posting them is a different story. I have really fallen off ever since google reader disbanded. I miss it. I have not found any good replacement for it. Because of that, I haven't been reading the blogs that I used to subscribe to. I think that's also the reason for why I haven't been blogging. Anyway, I'm trying to get back into it. I recently got an email asking for mailing/packaging tips for selling online. This post is to answer that question more in depth.

I dedicate two days a week to packaging orders. I'm always trying to improve my overall shop, photos, descriptions, and packaging. {Side bar, if any of you have any comments or feedback, they are always welcome} Way back when I started and had an order a week, I hand wrote thank you notes to include in my online orders. As orders picked up, that became less and less realistic until one day they just disappeared all together. Last month I ordered a couple things on etsy. A week later, a very cute package arrived with a note. I was impressed. I love seeing what other independent businesses do. I decided that if I couldn't hand write a note to include with my orders, I could at least stamp one. To keep my options open, I purchased this Martha Stewart self inking stamp kit, which lets you trade out letters.

It comes with an alphabet, some icons, a stamp base, an ink pad, tweezers and a stamping foam pad.

I had to cut apart each letter individually; if I tried to pry them apart they would tear. Time consuming process and then you have a bunch of tiny letters all over the place.

Then I had to come up with what I wanted the stamp to say. "Thank you! Your business is so appreciated" didn't work, because there weren't enough s stamps. I texted Katie and she immediately came up with two other options.

My stamp was set and it was time to test it out. I just slid the plastic tray into the groves and then opened up my ink pad to slide into place below it.

It looked pretty good but those smudges around "is" and "so" bothered me.

I got my scissor bee precision scissors out to do a bit of trimming. This made me get inky finger tips.

But it was worth it! Now this note included with every outgoing order, and whoever packaged it can sign the bottom.

Some other tips that I've found useful:
-Find a reliable place to order supplies. If you don't have boxes, you can't ship your orders.
I order all of my packaging supplies (boxes, padded envelopes, clear sleeves, bubble wrap) from uline. 
-If you are unsure if an item is going to make it to the customer safely, do a trial run before you place it in your online shop. I send things to my sister and she tells me if they got there a) on time b) in one piece. It's great if you can try this with a friend out of town.
-Invest in a digital mail scale- this allows you to print postage from home and (hopefully) avoid those nightmare lines at the post office.
-If possible, include a little something extra. 
That's all I can think of off the top of my head- did I miss anything? 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Renegade Craft Fair - San Francisco

We are off the San Francisco! We are excited to be next to Homako and the LWA. Come see us this weekend!

More info here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Gifted No. 20

I was gifted a slim box wrapped in green tissue paper by my Mother in Law. 

You can probably guess I'm a sucker for cool wrapping- especially these shaped stickers. Well, I resisted long enough to take a few photos, but then I had to rip it open.

A handmade glass dip pen and beautiful green ink- c'est magnifique!

As soon as the summer craft fair season is over I am going to have fun with this.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Anthology Magazine

Do you guys read or subscribe to Anthology Magazine? I always get excited when I see it in my mailbox. I try to set time aside the day it comes, to go through it thoroughly. I was surprised and pleased to come across familiar faces. Clare  is an amazing woman and a wonderful mother. I just loved reading about her in the magazine, and seeing pictures of her beautiful home. I must admit I did feel like kind of a creep because I know her in person, but didn't know any of the info shared. I thought, why stop there? So I decided to send her and Ruby a letter, using their picture from the magazine, because, why not? I brought out my trusty envelope template kit but the size I wanted to use was too large for my piece of paper.  No big deal, I just taped the page to a bigger sheet of kraft paper and went to work.

I don't know about you, but I'd love to receive an envelope of myself in the mail. 

(Sorry if I creeped you, Clare! Love and miss you guys! xoxox)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Gifted No. 19

My birthday isn't until next week  but Allie + Mollye sent me a great birthday package early. So fun to receive an unexpected gift, especially a box full of presents.

I carefully unwrapped each item. I got: two nail polishes, lip balm (in a macaron case) Paris notecards, a funny cat poem book, and macaron chip clips. Plus, a really sweet birthday card. I love it all! I miss those two like crazy.

P.S. Are you signed up for the paper pastries newsletter? We are sending out the summer edition tonight- new products, upcoming shows, and a discount. Sign up here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

RSVP Mailing No. 2

The second RSVP mailing arrived in a clear envelope that gave a sneak peek of what was inside. 

Mini clips, mini kraft air mail envelopes

A vintage notebook and transparent air mail envelopes. I'm looking forward to putting these to good use.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Recent Finds - Paris

I'm sorry I have been so absent these last couple of weeks. I am trying desperately to catch up after my trip. And with two craft fairs coming up, I've got a lot to do. Anyway, I wanted to quickly share this tablet I found at Le Bon Marché, the world's first department store. They have an incredible selection of pretty much everything, and their stationery section is to die for. Le pli postal takes fold and mail to a whole new level. 

It is produced by Papier Tigre, a wonderful French stationery line, that I just discovered.

Every sheet is a different pattern, each one more wonderful than the next. I was so sad there was only one left, but I will enjoy getting to share these (in letter form) with all of my pen pals.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sent with Love No. 32

Since we were gone for a week I put my mail on hold. The day after we got back, all my mail was delivered. What a lot!

Small and large, fat and full, I got a ton of colorful envelopes with so many fun stamps and designs on them. I have the best pen pals!

Shoved in between the envelopes and some magazine pages, I found many wonderful postcards.

Among the huge stack of mail, I also had some packages. My good friend Lindsay got me a MUJI sketchbook, pack of emery boards, and really fun pet shaped notes.

She recently printed some of her photos as postcards. Gorgeous!

Donovan sent me a tin with washi tape and a typed letter. It arrived in a clear bag with apologies from USPS, because it got dented but everything inside was fine.

A brown 5 page letter from Kate in England arrived in fantastic green envelope with a beautiful black and white label.

So many fun letters to reply to :)

I didn't get this fabulousness in time but I will sure save it for my next trip.

Notes from around the States. Have you heard of Stuff in Envelopes?

I requested a letter about "PENPALS" and was delighted with the results. Go request one now!

all photos by Margaret Haas

Thursday, July 11, 2013

RSVP Mailing No. 1

When the ladies at LWA announced the release date and time of their next RSVP mailing, I set an alarm on my phone. I have missed out on every single one to date- so I wanted to make sure I didn't miss this one. I got it! I think i was the 6th one to purchase and there are only 10 sets per RSVP. The theme is airmail; this is the first mailing. And it's amazing. I'll let the pictures do the talking-

Thank you Kathy + Donovan, you guys are expert curators! 

If you're itching for some airmail goodness, you can find some here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Shop Update - Custom Hand Lettered Stamps

Introducing our updated hand lettered address stamps. I had a lot of fun with these. They were all designed with specific people in mind.

I am very pleased with how they came out!

Do you have a favorite style? p.s. enter BLOG at checkout for 10% off any order

Monday, July 8, 2013

Winner of the Mason Jar Crafts Book Giveaway

Congratulations to Sahar! Lauren will be in contact. Thanks to all who entered.

Paris via Instagram

Right before I left on my trip I got an iphone 5- and let me just say I am blown away by the camera on it. Even though I lugged my slr and 10 rolls of film over to Paris, I only shot 2 rolls! I'm regretting it, believe me. But I did get lots and lots of pictures with my phone. Above, the doors of Paris.

From left to right, top to bottom:

Victor Hugo's house, postcard writing, Parisian apartments
Instax photos, a gorgeous home, from our Paris window
Bike riding along the canals, MUJI, mexican food

From left to right, top to bottom:

The Paris Flea Market, Luxemborg Gardens, 2nd dessert
Metro, Lettres, Parisian Park on a quiet morning walk
Beautiful handle, Tony at the Eiffel Tour, Place de la Bastille  

From left to right, top to bottom:

A French box, Coffee and treats, Place des Vosges
A pink restaurant, Window Planters, a beautiful door
Croissants, A walk around town, The tower at night from Jardins de Trocedero

From left to right, top to bottom:

Lettering, Gardens, Tony
Saint Chappelle, Museum d'Orsay, Merci
View from Eiffel Tower, Norte Dame, Looking east from Eiffel Tower

We had such an incredible time! 
All photos taken with iphone 5 then edited with afterlight app.
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