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Learn how to turn your handmade hobby into a thriving business with Jess Van Den.
Ask the Makers ~ What Are You Nixing This Christmas?
We will be writing lots of posts in the future about what we’ll be doing to prepare for the holidays but I wanted to ask the makers: What will you NOT be doing this year that you did last year? The answers may surprise you.
As it stands right now, I will not be doing any holiday shows this year. The past three years I have done shows at the holidays but this year I’m in a new location and I’m not sure what the “scene” is like yet. So I’ve decided to just focus online this year and hopefully I won’t regret it!
This year we have my husband’s niece staying with us while she attends a nearby college – so my plan (and part of our deal with her) is that I get some cheap holiday labor out of it! I also plan to stick to store deadlines so I am not doing any wholesale orders after the first week of November.
This year I will not be offering holiday gift wrap. Sure, it was lucrative, but we now offer so many products in differing sizes that it simply slows us down too much to wrap up each order! Maybe next year once we have added another member to the Gingiber team.
Most years since I started Epheriell, I have actually closed my shop in mid-December, to forestall those last-minute orders that people sometimes place when they miss my holiday delivery order dates.
This year, I’m not doing that. I’m going to keep the shops open, and just plaster ‘holiday break’ notices everywhere! Since a lot of my orders are non-holiday related (wedding orders), I don’t want to cut customers off from me for those few weeks if they just have a regular order. It comes down to maximising order taking time – because I know my shop will be shut for 3 months next year, so I need to maximise revenue while I can before that big break!
This year, I won’t be letting things get too noisy around the holidays. I’m like Clark Griswold in that I always overdo it. “Never mind that I’m hosting the biggest sale of the year for my business, let’s invite 14 people to stay with us for Thanksgiving weekend too.” – True story. I’m going to make space for a much quieter celebration, and I’m already looking forward to it.
I will not be doing any ‘big projects’ (like overhauling my website) next year. Instead I will focus on producing and marketing more products as well as perfecting systems that allow me to onboard more help. I also hope to spend less time on scheduling social media (as the result of hiring a helper) and when I do engage it will be real-time. Finally I’ll spend less time uploading products to all my online channels (my own store, Etsy, etc.)
This year I will not be doing every single craft and art fair in the area. I’ve become very selective after crunching the numbers from last year. I don’t just want to cover expenses and travel; I want to make enough profit to cover all the hours I’ll be standing there. So as a result, I’m only doing 2 shows this year instead of 5. I’m also setting earlier deadlines for my wholesale shops because I really struggled with stocking them AND keeping enough stock for my shows at the last stretch of the holiday season.
What about you? What will you NOT be doing this holiday season?
Megan Eckman has written 146 posts in this blog.
Megan Eckman is a quirky pen and ink illustrator who never outgrew her overactive imagination. Her work merges the style of old fairy tale illustrations with modern fantasies.
When she’s not drawing (and giggling all the while), she can be found pacing her apartment writing more stories to go with her artwork.