Saturday, May 29, 2010
Saturday Shop: The Taffy Box
*** What is the name of your shop
The Taffy Box. I use to work in a school where I would bring my handcrafted jewelry items bagged and ready to sell to fellow teachers. I carried them around in an actual old cardboard taffy box from a beach vacation in north Carolina. They would often say "When are you going to bring in The Taffy Box again?" That is how I named my shop.
You can also find her here:
*** What do you create?
Hand stamped and personalized jewelry and accessories for the whole family from Grandparents, Mommy, Dad, kids, even pets!
*** What are your favorite materials to work with?
Sterling Silver, Copper, Gold filled
*** What are you working on now?
I am making a lot of cuff links & money clips these days for wedding party gifts as well as graduation gifts such as tie-tacs and necklaces for teens.
*** How long ago did you open up shop?
2007, but I really threw my heart and soul into it last year when I was fighting cancer. It is what kept me sane and focused on something I find enjoyable. In turn, I was able to really grow the business beyond my wildest dreams and quit my teaching job!
***Do you have another job aside from your shop?
I am a part time counselor with Network Of Strength's breast cancer hotline on an IP phone from my home, as well as a patient rep. for a chemotherapy drug company.
*** How to you advertise? Any tips in this area?
I do several giveaways per year at mommy blog type sites as well as advertising buttons on blogs of friends. I give my business card to everyone I see or talk about my business with. You never know when they might end up needing a gift for someone, and remembering me! I have brochures printed up and use those at craft fairs and shows along with photographs of my work.
*** What 2 things have you learned since starting to sell your items?
You can make most of the people happy most of the time but you can't make all of the people happy all of the time. For that occasional unhappy person, I try to not take it personally, and to learn from the experience. Then I move on. I do not dwell in the negative. I have also learned that it takes time to grow a business. I chose not to go into debt to grow my business but rather to let the business pay for itself and grow as I could afford to.
*** Show off your craft/work space
You don't want to see my craft work space! You would be shocked how messy it is. I am one of those people who can find anything I am looking for in my own mess. It consists of a small utility room in my basement, a table and several organizing drawer units and a covered pool table. I have yet to master the organizing part! My goal is to someday list and sell all of my stashed beads and supplies I will never end up using.
*** Do you have any method for pricing you would like to share?
I see what other items are selling for on line and try to be in the "range". Maybe a bit lower to stay competitive but I have also found that raising prices sometimes makes the buyers believe they are more valuable and they are willing to pay the higher price! Online sales work that way, since the buyer can't physically touch and feel the item, so subconsciously they base their idea of how valuable it is on the price. It's a combination of eyeing the competition plus my own cost and profit ratio too.
***Do you have any plans for your shop in the coming year/season?
I recently started using more gold fill and combination of metals such as mixing silver and copper, and I also bought a texturizing mallet which I would like to use to create some pieces that have more depth and contrast to them.
***Any funny crafty mishap stories?
Well, the mishaps happen from time to time, like a misspelled name and I always manage to catch it before shipping the item, but some of the funnier things that have happened are when in one day there seems to be a hot ticket selling item. I just can't hardly list them fast enough like the day when over 13 people ordered collar stays and they were 13 different customers from 13 different addresses - "Where are they finding me?" I would ask myself! That happened once with guitar picks too. I have no idea how it happens.
***Tell us one random thing about yourself that is not craft related.
I had four children born in less that 5 years. Oh yeah, and they were all c-sections. They are now ages 16 - 21