Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmasy Custom Order

As promised, here are some pics of the *adorable* Christmas order I worked on. I was so lucky to find these containers at a great price. Aren't they so freakin' cute? I made 5 in Gingerbread and 5 in Holly Berry.

Here's the Gingerbread:

And here's the Holly Berry:

I also made a few with this snowman container:


Eeek...I love these candles! I may end up buying a few more of these containers and making some for myself, especially since I haven't even started my Christmas decorating yet (tsk, tsk).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Etsy Design!

Phew! Finally, my Etsy shop's design is revamped! I just finished posting the updated images and my new logo and I think it looks great! (Check it out by clicking on the button to the left.) I am so in love with my company's new look...it's so me and perfectly captures what Candles By Nature is all about. I'm just ecstatic that it's all finished and now I can return to focusing on experimenting with new candles  ;)

I also took some time this weekend and set up a workspace in my apartment. You may remember that I was originally looking to set up a studio space in an extra room at the house where we rent. It turns out that some of the other renters use this extra room as a "smoke room" during the winter when it's too cold to go outside. Unfortunately, this was a deal-breaker for me--I can't make candles in a room that smells like cigarettes! So we ended up moving some stuff out of our living room to create a work space and I think this will actually work out even better than my original idea. I'll have lots of natural light to work with and I can still work right in my own home. I'll be posting pics of my new workspace soon, but it's definitely still a work in progress. I have lots of ideas to decorate my workspace and really make it my own...so excited!

Stay tuned for an update on my sweet new workspace and also some pics of an adorable custom Christmas order I'm working on!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks

I am SUPER excited for Thanksgiving. This past year has been really rough on my family for various reasons, so this holiday season will be especially important for us. I know we are all looking forward to being together and finally having a chance to treasure the good things in our lives, rather than focusing on the difficult times we've had during the past several months.

In honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I'm featuring some of my favorite pieces on Etsy that would certainly adorn my Thanksgiving dinner table if I had a bit of extra cash!

 First some lighting to create a cozy atmosphere...These would be perfect for some of my tealights!
Nature Inspired Candleholders by Prettydreamer

 I am in love with this felt pumpkin, it would add a little touch of whimsy to any harvest table.
Needle Felted Pumpkin Sculpture by Janice Cordeiro
Mmm...my mom's pumpkin pie would look perfect in this gorgeous pie plate!
Autumn Moon Pie Plate by Clay Coyote Pottery
 And these would be a great fit for hot cider or coffee with dessert...
Red-Honey Glaze Tumblers by Darshan Pottery

These napkin rings will bring a bit of nature indoors for your Thanksgiving dinner table.
Vine Napkin Rings by White Tulip
Ah, now I'm even more excited to dress up our Thanksgiving table! I wish you all a wonderful holiday, and I hope you take a moment from stuffing your bellies with delicious food and take stock of all the good things in this world  :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shipping Conundrum

So, I'm hoping you guys can give me some advice on determining shipping rates. It's easy enough for me to come up with a fair shipping rate for single item orders, but apparently the USPS rates get all wonky once the weight goes above a certain point. You would think that shipping two candles would simply be double the cost of shipping one, right? Nope...because that would just make way too much sense for USPS. Instead, it costs me about $2.75 to ship one candle within the US and $8 to ship two candles. What the heck?!?

This makes it a real pain in the butt to come up with shipping costs for my customers on Etsy. How do I explain to them that shipping is only $2.75 if you buy one candle, but a whopping $4 per candle if you buy two? It's normally the other way around...if you buy multiples, I should be able to offer even lower shipping per item.

Ah and I also forgot to mention the ridiculous rates for flat-rate boxes. My candles won't fit in flat-rate envelopes, so those are out of the question. They also won't fit in the small flat-rate box which is $4 and the medium box shoots up to $10! So...flat-rate shipping unfortunately is of no help in my situation.

As you can tell, this is really infuriating. I hate that I need to charge such insane shipping rates for my customers and I hate it even more that I'll need to charge them MORE in shipping per item if they buy multiples--it would certainly deter me from buying multiple items if I were a customer.

I know many of you also have shops on Etsy so I'm hoping you have some wisdom that you can impart? Pretty please? I really just want to make my shipping as fair as possible for my customers but the dang USPS is making that really hard to do. Anyway, thanks in advance for your help!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fall Festival and New Labels

Today was the Poughkeepsie Day School Fall Festival, and I must say, it was quite the shindig! There were a ton of vendors, live music, kid's games, great food, and a lot more that I didn't even get a chance to check out. The crowd was great too, everyone was super nice and loved my fragrances. I even met a woman who owns a local spa and is interested in using my candles to help create a relaxing setting for her clients. How sweet would that be?  ;)

Today has been a long day...we got up at 5:45 and just got home a little while ago. I am exhausted! So, without further ado, here is a preview of my brand spankin' new labels!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fall Festival!

If you're in the Poughkeepsie area, come check out the Poughkeepsie Day School Fall Festival! I'll be there selling my candles, along with many other great vendors. There will also be music and a petting zoo (which I will definitely be checking out haha). This promises to be a fun day for the whole family!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Check Out These Treasuries!

Phew, this weekend was insane. I left on Friday morning to visit family in Brooklyn (as well as friends on Long Island) and got back at about noon on Sunday. After sleeping most of the day on Sunday, I still feel like I'm recovering and it's already Monday haha.

I have a crazy week ahead of me, so I'm trying to muster up the energy to get started on everything. I did enjoy a bit of a perk-up when I found that my shop was featured in two Etsy treasuries:

Dreamy Gifts...

Holiday Shopping for the Knitter in Your Life

Be sure to check out these treasuries here and here. There's some really great items that are definitely worth taking a look!  ;)

I'll be back again later this week with another update on the craziness that is sure to creep up on me!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Snowy Skies

While sitting at my desk this morning, I glanced out the window only to find a steady flurry of snow falling. I had no idea we were expecting snow today so this was a real treat! There's nothing like being able to look out the window and watch snow fall during the work day.

This is the first REAL snow of the year. We had a bit of snow a few weeks ago, but this was full-blown snow today. Here's what it looked like at about 2 PM when I came home for my lunch break:

We now have at least 1-2 inches of accumulation, and the snow is still falling!

Needless to say, all I wanted to do the rest of the day was stay home, cuddle on the couch with my kitty and sip hot cocoa. I obviously couldn't indulge in my cuddles and cocoa in the middle of the work day, but that's the first thing I'm going to do after posting this! Wait, I lied...I have to work out first. Rats! I knew I hated exercise for a reason! haha.