Archive for the 'The Shop' Category

ID Pouch Prototype

I’ve had a lot of people ask me this year if I offer a clip pouch that will fit their license / ID / credit card. And while I have a pouch with a clip, and a separate pouch that will fit those things, I didn’t have a bag that fit the bill.

UNTIL NOW!

Whoa, look at that thing!

I usually place the zippers so that the metal stopped will be included on the bag. But for these, to make them as small as possible, I chose to forgot the metal stopper for precious extra millimeters of zipper.

They’re just officially launching TODAY and I’ve already had requests for the clip to be centered, instead of at the top of the bag. But I’m working out a second style with a window on the front, and might save the centered clip for those.

Look at that credit card slide right in! Licenses and IDs also fit! And business cards! As well as money, coins, chap stick, a spare key, and on and on and on :)

You can check them out here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTragicWhale?section_id=26935130

Please let me know what you think, and keep a lookout for updates on the window pouches!

By special request…

Historically, The Tragic Whale has been my creative outlet. And while I’ve entertained suggestions and occasionally taken on special orders, I’m mostly in this for me. I make what I want, when I want. I develop new items that I think are a good idea and at my own pace. And it’s worked out overall. But if I’m going to continue to grow as a business as well as a person, I need to be open to more of a push than just what I can give myself.

I started with a baby step earlier this year when I introduced PUL-lined bags to the shop. People have been asking for them for AGES, and in true-Kerry fashion, I waited until I was fully ready to explore this new and wild material. Why did I wait so long? I have no idea. It hadn’t previously worked into my “bigger picture plans” and didn’t seem like a good way to spend my time. That was 100% WRONG! The snack-size bags I’m making are selling excellent at events, and multiple people have asked to special order a print they loved in person but with the easy-to-clean PUL as a lining instead of cotton.

Another baby step is to buy fabric with the customer in mind. Why? Because they are the people buying things from me! This is a “Duh, Kerry!” moment, I know. A lot of people are asking about bee fabric, so I started scooping up every one I come across. They don’t last long in the shop and sell even faster in person, so instead of buying more bees after I sell out of all my bee bags, I’m actively seeking it out and consciously picking designs that I haven’t see elsewhere. The idea is that 1) I won’t run out and 2) I’ll have especially fun bees to offer.

My last baby step is to make more in prints I already have / self designed. My shark print is pretty popular and people ask for more size options. And I’m over here like, “Well I *had* that in a small and I sold it. So I don’t anymore.” But it’s MY fabric and the whole idea is to buy more when I need it. Why am I waiting to sell out before thinking about the next bag? I made some shark bags last week, and some sheep bags (which is another frequent request)! And I’m currently working on a restocking list for the designs I’m running low on.

What’s next? Well, these baby steps all come together to form a shift in focus for me. I’m planning to add a Made to Order section to the shop within the next year (probably sooner) where people will be able to select bag size, outside fabric, zipper color, and lining. I’ll only offer them in my own prints, because I can restock on fabric when I run low. I still have to work out some details, such as turnaround time and pricing, but it feels like a natural next step and I’m excited about it!

Have any suggestions? Noticed a change in focus in your life recently? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Aftermath of Pink Flamingo Day

I was invited back to Leominster’s Pink Flamingo Day this year and I went hard on bulking up my supply of flamingo-print bags. Plastic lawn flamingos are a pretty big deal around here because they were invented in Leominster, and just recently their production moved next door to Fitchburg.

Last year, I brought 15 bags with me. This year, I had 54! And because I didn’t sell 54 bags, most of them are now in my Etsy shop.

So if you’re in the market for a pink flamingo bag, I have a few different prints available in 7 sizes! Find them all here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTragicWhale

Little Gert Collection

It’s here! It’s here! The Little Gert collection is here!

Little Gert is my Gram, Gertrude and she actually hates being called, “Gert” (Gertie is ok). But when I saw singing about her breaking her hip one day, Gertrude was not rhyming with “hurt” so here we are.

Anyway, more on this gem of a woman. Born in 1926, she is older than packaged sliced bread. And she was born on the kitchen table because 1926 / hospital in town didn’t exist yet. She worked for the telephone company during WWII and was sent to California to help with the war effort. She has so many amazing war stories and she loves sharing them! JUST KIDDING. She has one single story and this is it:

“One time, we went out on the ferry and it was, oh! Just wonderful!”

In the early 90s when the telephone company was revamping their computer system, they asked if she wanted to take one of the old computers home. And she said (this is not a joke), “No thanks, those will never catch on!”

One time, she was on the phone with my dad and said, “Oh my goodness, you will not believe- the biggest bird I have ever seen has just flown into my yard. I, I can’t believe this. I have to go.” And then she called back to say that it was a trash bag.

In all seriousness, my Gram is fierce AF. Even though she broke both of her hips in the last year and had to move into a nursing home, she is still smiling, still happy, and still “accidentally” forgetting to use her walker (hence the second broken hip). She sits at the popular table at dinner, and stops to talk to every.single.person. when she’s walking the halls.

These pouches are based off of the birthday card I made her this year. I made a couple of different sizes, with a couple of different zipper/inside fabric combinations, and I have plans to add 3 more sizes in the near future.

And just until Friday, they are 10% in the shop! Find them here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTragicWhale?section_id=26337858

The results are in!

With a record-breaking 12 votes, and 100% support for free shipping, The Tragic Whale is moving to free shipping!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to weigh in on this!

This feels like a HUGE step for me, and the price differences see so drastic, but I just keep reminding myself that it’s only $2 and that I came to this decision with input from my customer base. Here’s to the next thing!

 

Free Shipping Poll

Please take the survey! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YX9YXMJ

With Etsy pushing free shipping, and with the USPS price increase at the beginning of the year, I’m considering offering free shipping. It currently costs $4.12 (+) to mail out a package, but I haven’t increased my shipping fees past $3 since shipping went up to $3 a few years ago.

I can raise my shipping fees up to $4 and take the loss of a few cents per order

OR

I can increase cost of my items by $2 and change shipping to $0.

I don’t want my price increase to be too dramatic and scare people away. But with an average order size of 1, it would decrease the overall price for almost my entire customer base.

Current-
Average item cost: $14.50
Shipping:$3
Average total: $17.50

Shipping increase-
Average item cost: $14.50
Shipping: $4
Average total: $18.50

Free shipping- 
Average item cost: $16.50
Shipping: $0
Average total: $16.50

Please take the survey! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YX9YXMJ

Inventory on Fair Days

Last year, I started deactivating the bags in my shop that I was bringing with me to events. I liked that there were still items in my shop to view, but that nothing could be double sold. But the process of deactivating 100 or so listings every week is time consuming, and then there is the matter of getting the unsold inventory back in the shop quickly. Sometimes I would removed sold bags throughout the day and reactive everything else right from my phone at the end of the event, but other times I wouldn’t get to it until the following Monday.

For this year, I’m going to test shutting down the whole shop just prior to the start of the event. I’ll hopefully have time during the event to delete sold items form inventory, and then reopen the full shop at the end of the day.

I’m thinking I’ll save time during the week on “Fair Prep” and will have more time for sewing and fabric design. It also takes significantly less time to press one button and reactive a shop than it does to reactive 75ish listings individually.

To combat people thinking that my shop is on a permanent vacation, I’ll add a note to the shop announcement explaining what fair I’m at, how long it is, and when to expect the shop to reopen with full inventory.

My first fair of the year is THIS SATURDAY! So I’ll have the first wave of research in less than a week from now.

How do you handle Etsy shop inventory when you have a fair or a market?


Hello, I’m Kerry! Maker. Sewist. Fan of all things bright.

November 2019
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

It's Fluff! Curious, master napper, likes to try new veggies.


%d bloggers like this: