Spring Bash day!

For the last few weeks I’ve been working to get ready for the Etsy Dallas Spring Bash. I have hand-stamped rows and rows of notebooks. I have used the changing table as a standing desk. I have stamped new covers to debut at the Bash.

The Spring Bash is today (April 26, 2014), and I’m so excited! Being a vendor at this event has been on my business bucket list for years. If you’re in Dallas, stop by The Shops at Park Lane and say hello.

20140425-233005.jpg

black

20121123-200026.jpg

This week has been busy for the shop. While everyone was out shopping this Black Friday, I was packaging and shipping notebooks. Yay!

And the lucky US residents who make their purchases today through Dec. 24, 2012, even get a chance to win an Etsy gift card thanks to my awesome team. Be sure to shop Etsy Dallas, y’all!

This is the 23rd of my November photo a day posts.

hello September, hello savings

Can you believe it’s already September? I’m celebrating by offering a special coupon code just for you, dear reader! You can save 10 percent in the shop all month with code HelloSeptember (no spaces). Why not get a jump on your holiday shopping early?

I decided to create this special offer after reading some very exciting news from Etsy. Fall 2012 is bringing Etsy Gift Cards. How awesome is that? Members will be able to purchase the cards with any US credit card and the recipient will get a special code they can use to make purchases at any shop that accepts direct checkout.

As an Etsy fanatic, I’m pumped about the gift cards. I can’t wait to shop with them myself. My husband will never have to wonder what I want for my birthday again.

Anyway, back to you. Remember to use HelloSeptember to save on your MadeByRori orders all month. The coupon code will expire at 11:59 p.m. (Dallas, Texas time, y’all) September 30, 2012. Etsy hasn’t given a specific date for the gift card launch, but I heard a rumor they will be available beginning in October. I’ll update this post if I find out for sure. It’s going to be a fun season for indie shopping!

what are your crafty tricks for packaging?

I love mailing out notebooks to my customers. I like to use rescued items to wrap my notebooks before I send them. For today’s shipment, I used some very pretty floral paper and some green twine.

That adorable button on the front was sent to me with an Etsy order I made a few months ago. I love buttons, but I have way more than I’ll ever use and I heart sharing. There are a couple post cards tied up with this notebook as well. Hooray for freebies!

I want people to feel special when they get an order from me. Sure, sometimes I don’t have enough rescued paper and have to send a notebook with just the postcard in a plastic sleeve. But I always package each item with love.

What is the cleverest packaging you’ve gotten in the mail? What are your crafty tricks for wrapping?

how do you use your downtime?

Summers are slow for many shop owners. So your business is slow. Does that mean it’s time to panic? Of course not. Sometimes it’s seasonal. If you own an ice cream shop, winter probably isn’t a peak time of year for you.

Don’t be a panic banana. (But you can buy him from House of Darkly.)

Ask any successful business owner and she will probably tell you her business has seen slow periods. And she probably makes good use of her downtime too!

Remember the busy part of the year? The time when you were scrambling to keep up and wondering how you would get it all done? Well, you’ve just been given a gift: spare time! Time doesn’t pay the bills, true. But time well spent is bound to pay off.

I use this time of year to stock up on packaging materials and goodies for my customers. I also use this time to catch up on reading, building connections and updating my shop‘s inventory.

Consider making a checklist. If you haven’t blogged for your business in ages, this may be a good time to start. Get a dedicated notebook and make a list of blog ideas. Create a media kit to build your business and expand your connections. Read up on helpful blogs and books such as The Seller Handbook and the Guide to Businessy Goodness.

This month, I took advantage of great sales from VistaPrint and MOO. I was super excited to get MOO’s sticker book. Stickers with photos from my shop? How perfect is that? I seal shipping envelopes with label stickers that also feature photos from my shop. I’ll never be too old to love stickers.

I send little extras to my customers – postcards, gift tag bookmarks, bonus notepads or some combination of those. I think opening an Etsy purchase (and all purchases, really) should feel like opening a gift. That’s why I use rescued tissue paper in a rainbow of colors and patterns to carefully wrap most of my notebooks. And I tie everything up with twine. I’ve stocked up on everything this summer.

This downtime has also been a source of inspiration for new items for my shop. And that inspiration is all thanks to these extra moments to read, recharge with naps, have conversations with awesome new (and old) friends, collaborate on new projects, etc.

How do you take advantage of your downtime?