Monday, June 23, 2008

Sarah & Abraham goes Hollywood

I received an order yesterday for 300 personalized thank you notes from a woman who's expecting her second baby soon and is planning on sending out 200 birth announcements. I mentioned it to my husband, Mike, marveling at how someone could know that many people and receive that many gifts. We received lots of gifts we didn't expect when our children were born, but 300??

Later in the evening, as I worked on the order, Mike suggested I Google them. It turns out the husband is a screenwriter & producer who has worked with lots of A-list celebrities! So as I printed and cut the note cards I kept wondering whose hands they'll end up in... very exciting!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sarah & Abraham signature gift wrap

I've been having to make so many decisions lately as I get everything ready for the photographer who will be taking the product photographs for my new website. On the one hand it's been a little overwhelming having to make so many decisions at once about the website layout, what products I'm going to offer, what options, etc. But it's also good to have a deadline. For example, when I started Sarah & Abraham I couldn't decide on gift wrap, so I ended up never offering it.

But now that I'd like to have a nice professional photograph of the Sarah & Abraham "Signature Gift Wrap" for my website, I finally made a decision. I'll be using these pretty blue stationery boxes (and matching wrapping paper for 8x10 prints) and gorgeous 1.5" chocolate brown satin ribbon. I think this is perfect for just about any gift giving occasion, and I'm so glad to have this decision behind me!

Friday, June 6, 2008

shop update

I've had several items lingering on my to-do list for the past few weeks, and I'm so happy to say that I've finally caught up on a couple of them. I've really needed to take some new product photographs, so while the kids spent the day at my mom's house yesterday I created over 50 new sample note cards, invitations, birth announcements, and return address labels (it's amazing what I can accomplish when the house is quiet!) Then today I photographed them and updated about half of my Etsy listings with new pictures.
Not all of the pictures turned out as well as I would have liked, but these are a few of my favorites.
I also updated my Etsy shop so that I have separate listings for several different types of invitations, and I created sets with invitations, thank you notes, and return address labels - I love when people order those things together!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

kiss and make up

Whew! The buyer who left the negative feedback has accepted my offer to send replacement note cards and used the "kiss and make up" feature on Etsy to change her feedback. I can't even tell you how happy it makes me to have my "100% positive feedback" back! Thanks so much for all of the kind comments and emails - I really appreciate it!

Monday, June 2, 2008

the downside

I've been trying {really hard!} to keep this blog positive, encouraging, uplifting. I've written a lot about all of the creative and talented women I've met online, the growing success I've had selling on Etsy since November, and how wonderful it's been to find work that's a creative outlet and truly fulfilling.

But to be honest, I've also had several bad experiences that have left me so disappointed, and today I just need to vent.

I've had spam posted on my blog with a link to a hard-core porn video (hence the word verification and comment approval). I've had people blatantly copy my designs (and my item descriptions along with them!) I've had some ridiculously bad experiences with USPS employees (too many to count!)

Then a couple of weeks ago someone posted Neutral feedback in my Etsy shop with a comment saying that she hadn't received her order yet. I had shipped it the same day the order came in and sent an email with the tracking number, which she acknowledged. I never heard anything else until I read the Neutral feedback. I checked the tracking number and saw that it had been delivered two days after the order was placed. But instead of contacting the USPS or contacting me, she just left Neutral feedback with a negative comment saying that it had never arrived.

Now why would someone do this? Why wouldn't she contact me asking where the order was? I would have gladly tried to track it down and/or sent a replacement at no charge. It made no sense to me and was very frustrating. My initial reaction was, I can't wait to get my own storefront website up and running so that I'm not subjected to comments like this that I can't remove from my shop.

And then today someone left Negative feedback, again without contacting me first to let me know they were disappointed with the product. Not to mention that her comment was that the product didn't seem professional... "Etsy: your place to buy and sell all things HANDMADE". Arghhhh!

Anytime someone tells me something was damaged in shipping or wasn't quite what they expected I ship a replacement at no cost that same day. I would have gladly refunded the purchase or sent a new product if given the opportunity. I'm not in this to make a quick buck or to try to deceive anyone. I'm trying to provide beautiful unique products that will bring people joy, and sell them at an affordable price. And this is the thanks I get?

Again, my initial reaction was, that's it, I'm shutting down my Etsy shop, and I'm done selling until my new storefront website is up. But maybe I just need to develop thicker skin and just keep moving ahead. I just can't help but wonder WHY someone would leave negative feedback instead of contacting me to express their concern. I can see leaving negative feedback if a seller won't work with you to resolve a problem, but I was never even given a chance.

Okay, I need to go work on something else and get my mind off this for a while... I hope to return with a more upbeat post next time!