Masons for the 4th of July

As a painter I love the American Flag. I have drawn and painted the stars and stripes many times. I have always had an

obsession with jars and now painted mason jars are a big part of my business. I have been meaning to a set of American Flag mason jars  for a while, a good long while. I put it off and off. I am busy I balance orders coming in with, promoting my business and making sure I spend enough time with my adorable son. And the then the 4th of July was coming. If ever it was time it was time. They were pretty simple to do: one jar all in navy with white stars and two jars painted white with red stripes. I discovered these wonderful metallic  blue lids that looked marvelous.

I painted some white stars on some blue heritage masons and made another patriotic set.  It was lots of stars and stripes over here. If you fancy them use code Pin50 for 50% off. Till next time Melissa.

What I learned from my year in business: Don’t give up, Ever!

I decided to start at the top and work my way up.

Sometimes things don’t work that way. Let me explain: I decided to make beautiful

furniture that I spent a lot of time on and wanted good money for.  I didn’t get the prices I wanted for my pieces. But try try try again. This is what I have learned from my year in being in business for myself. Don’t be afraid to take risks, learn from your mistakes and on’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up, ever!

I love my Etsy business at my online shop Caribbean Style Decor, my obsession with all things blue, white and shiny; that business is wonderful but erratic $200 one day no money the next day.  I am starting to save for a house I need a steadier source of revenue. I went back to the drawing board and looked the items that brought me the most money, my furniture. I stopped working on my furniture because I didn’t get the prices I wanted for the time and energy I put into refinishing and re-painting.  It is important to pay attention to what the market will bear. I looked over my techniques, I am a perfectionist, my techniques take a lot of time and are

exacting, one table took over 40 hours. I call that one “The Table”.

I sold my furniture in two places a local retailer and on Craig’s List.  I rethought everything and came up with a plan to make My Craig’s list prices profitable. I knew this retailer wasn’t the place to get the best prices for my pieces but they were easy to get into and to work with. I sold all the pieces I had consigned to them and working with that store helped me to figure out where my prices needed to be to sell.

I made up a new set of rules for myself. There were a lot of things I could do to save time and

still achieve the look I wanted. I would spend no more than 8 hours on any one piece. These adjustments would get my prices into the Craig’s list zone.

That’s fantastic news because I LOVE doing the furniture. I love taking furniture ugly ducklings and turning them into gorgeous one of kind pieces.

I have two chairs at home waiting to be worked on. Stay tuned. I’m back at it. …Melissa

The five dollar flat rate Box that Blew my mind

Actually it is Boxes.  But let’s start at the beginning. I received a very nice email from Salah Boukadoum a Dallas based entrepreneur asking me how I ship my items for my Etsy Shop. He is a very interesting person, google him.  I have very strong 50 shipopinions about shipping specifically about international shipping. I have customers overseas that want I my masons jars and vases but they don’t feel like paying $30 shipping for a $30 item. But I‘m getting distracted back to the email.  I replied to  the email with my opinions. He said something about his company 50ship.com selling boxes that were around $5 to ship. All I heard was $5 shipping. That’s what I am talking about.

But this is America the land of the catch. What is the catch? Do I have to buy 500 boxes for $1000? What is the real deal. I went to their website and this is where my mind gets blown. Salah had sold me on the concept:  boxes I can ship my goodies in for about $5. So I had assumed they sold boxes with pre-paid shipping. No…, they sold boxes that fit into the US postal service’s flat rate envelopes 25 for $20.50. That is completely awesome and this is coming at the perfect time. I have been  thinking seriously about my branding and looking for an economical way to make the packaging of my items uniform. Check out the magic box.

My mind has been blown because they sell boxes. That’s it, boxes. I was all excited about the concept $5 shipping and all I have to do is buy boxes. The product  is the idea plus the box, the box that fits into the envelope. Genius!

This would make a perfect movie scene, picture Tom Hanks before he hid it super big sitting in a board room table. He is young, earnest and vaguely wide eyed and is sitting with a box in front of him. Enter smug fat cat executive. “So tell me,” he says. “Why should I give you money for your new company?”  Earnest Tom says, “Boxes, our products are boxes.” “Boxes!” exclaims the fat cat incredulous. Hilarity ensues.

Check out 50ship.com they sell boxes they can save you a lot of money.

My masons will shipping in style…Melissa