Friday, June 27, 2008

Sweet Figments


I feel really blessed by the "blog love" of Sweet Figment for featuring my Organizer Clutch Wristlet (Lily Espresso). Almost consecutively, being featured...1st by Etsy Admin, and now by Sweet Figment.

Thank you so much! :D

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Etsy Finds: Compartmentalize



I was pleasantly surprised to receive a convo from Anda (Etsy Admin Staff) this morning, letting me know that they'll be featuring my 3in1 Organizer Purse in Wednesday's Etsy Finds, Etsy's daily shopping email. The Finds email currently goes to over 11,000 subscribers (you subscribe to them at http://mailinglist.etsy.com )

I was really thankful for the feature, and the exposure, and definitely quite excited that such a day actually came to me! I often read abt featured sellers etc, n wondered if I can ever get picked someday, hehe...

Although, this is not a featured seller article, its still worth a lot to me & my mom for all the hard work that we've been putting to make The Laughing House works :)

This evening, I was happy to see that the featured item, was alrd sold...YAY! And, viewership and enquiries to my items has more than doubled too! Another item was soon sold as well (note: these 2 items were one of our older inventory, and not made with the stylish/cute designer fabrics you see put up in my shop presently) So, it was really nothing short of a miracle for us.

Thank you so much Etsy, and especially Anda for the opportunity! 

Monday, June 23, 2008

Soap-ing Spree

Not in order: Citrus Lime & Sage,  Sage & Fig, Delightful Green Apple, Bay Rum Shea Butter, Pure Romance, Scrumptious Orange & Poppy Seed, My Sweet Child, and Almond Soap Bar. All of them Vegan Friendly.

I've been a Soap/Lotion fanatic from as young as 10yrs old. It was sparked off by a room-mate when I was 10yrs old,  who would diligently uses generous portion of lotion on her arms & legs after every shower. I'd look on, amazed at how her skin shone afterwards, and how nice she smelled ;)
Following that, each school holiday will see me go back to Indonesia (I'm originally from Indonesia who was sent to study in Singapore when I was 9yrs old) for a soap/lotion buying spree (for a particular Dutch Baby brand product Zwitsal, which was not readily available in Singapore at that time). That fascination with soaps & lotion, never wore off and continued into my adulthood. Each overseas holiday trip, or even a visit to  local Supermarkets here will see me spending hours and money buying back several bars & bottles of soaps & lotion. 
If my husband was with me, he'd always remind me, that we still have plenty of stock at home, and that they are heavy, hehe....a factor which I often failed to acknowledge, since I always assume he's the one carrying the heavy items ;)
Now that I've channelled a portion of my spending needs online, the experience just gets more exciting & warding off "temptation" now, a more challenging thing to do. As, I no longer have to consider someone else carrying the 'weight' of my soap bars, and...not to mention the myriad of choices with enticing pictures and a WOW description to bowl me over!

Here are my 1st batch of soaps I bought recently from Dennis Anderson, one of Etsy's popular (& previously featured) Soap Sellers. I've asked him for some advice on getting soaps for my son who have mild/moderate Eczema, and he (as well as many other sellers/sites) recommended Shea butter, and Olive Oil (ingredients in soaps) for their moisturizing & healing properties.
So, I went ahead and went for a swoop (for lack of better word) and got these 8 bars... partly cus of the descriptions, as well as colours/presentation of the pictures ;) I really cant wait to try all 8 of them all at once! hehe....

Btw, have I mentioned that I just bought another 7 bars from Yancey Candles? lol...I'll put up the pictures once they reach me too ;)  Oh, one more thing, I just realized Yancey's having a sale right now...go check her out if u r interested! (I've tried her Sweet Pea soap once, its one of the best handmade soap I've ever tried, smells heavenly, and lathers generously. The soap doesnt "chip" off, nor becomes soft and broken, but maintains its "firm-ness" till the end) Talk abt lasting perseverance...hehe...:P

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Promoting Together

I've been selling online for the past 1 year (almost)... and one of my earlier "struggle" in keeping afloat is: How to spread the word? I believe I have a great product, great price, and definitely... wonderful customer service *ahem* hehe...So, why arent my jewelries, & purse/pouch flying off the shelves? 


One of the key pointers my husband always remind me is : 
- Who are your target market?
- Are you reaching them?

I know the power of advertisement, but was quite reluctant to spend a bomb on some advertizing fees as I was still uncertain abt many things back then. It's only few weeks ago (yea...quite belatedly) that I found out, how affordable advertizing can be!

Whilst "blog-visiting", I often find myself fascinated by the square button flashy or cute advertisements at the side bar, and would click on them, leading me to some site/shop. And realizing that I'm someone else's potential customer, made me take a step backward and see things from the opposite viewpoint!

I started to place a bid on those ad space (on blogs that I find interesting, n well updated) and spent like $0.20, or not more than $1/ ad space! Now, I think, its money well spent! I like the idea, that those blogs will reach out to like minded ppl who'll be attracted to things/ideas I like, which I myself/my site/my shop represents :)

So, I decided to put up ad space on MY BLOG now :) as I believe in the power of promoting together...YAY! If you like my blog/shop/style, n find yourself interested in any of these category: (not in any particular order of interest or importance)
  1. - online selling
  2. - crafter
  3. - artist
  4. - stay home mom
  5. - jewelry
  6. - pouch/purse/bag
  7. - baby products
  8. - mom products
  9. - skin care products
  10. - earning money from home
  11. - christianity
  12. - art/prints
  13. - graphic design
  14. - daily muse/life/philosophy
  15. - photography
  16. - early childhood education
  17. - home based business
then, feel free to promote your site/shop/service on the ad space here in my blog, and see your cause/business grow together with mine! I'm currently actively extending my network slowly [ but steadily ;) ] through FLICKR, various forums, & networking sites such as Facebook, Friendster, Indiepublic, Spottt etc. I'm sure a collective momentum gained, will reap a fruitful harvest for anyone who cares to walk the journey together. Its definitely less lonely ;) not to mention, the multiplied FUN!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Last Batch of Custom Orders

I'm excited to finally receive our last batch of custom orders ;) Receiving the package from my mom yesterday, felt as though "I" am the one on a huge shopping spree..WOOHOO!!! haha...the fabrics are beautiful, and the finished products, simply AWESOME!
Well, that aside, time for more work now, as I need to get busy:
- taking their pictures
- editing, n adding to my FLICKR account
- contacting my buyers to let them know items are completed
- packing them up & sending them off to the PO, asap ;)


Here are 2 that I've managed to take a snap of this morning:

TLH's current Best-Selling item, the Organizer Clutch Wristlet, in Lily Espresso (One of my personal fabric choice from the last batch of fabric shopping spree)


This is a Mini Sling Purse (in Red Lily Manzanita), measuring 4x4" with a 44" strap. Perfect for a short trip out, and just enough to put some money, tissue, keys, lipstick, and your cell phone :)

Check out this space as I add on the rest of the custom orders. I promise, it'll be a feast to your eyes! :D

Friday, June 13, 2008

Skin Care Products for Kids with Eczema

My 5yr old son has been having mild to moderate Eczema for the past 1 year. To doctors and healthcare staff, its "Mild", but to us...its "Severe". We've seen how it flares up badly, n how he'll scratch himself till the rashes bleed, and some of his older "wounds" never healing properly, n getting infected all over again.


My husband was so worried that he wanted to bring him to the Skin Specialist directly. We went, only to be "counselled" by a nurse, that its considered mild, n its not so urgent that we have to see the specialist without appointment and be charged with an exorbitant fee (for not making an appointment). According to her, a GP (general practitioner) is more than able to treat his skin condition.

But we knew it wasnt so. We've brought him to a Paediatrician (PD) & GP countless times over the past year, only to be given steroid, creams, lotions, antihistamine etc, and the same advice : to keep him cool, n moisturized at all times. Now, living in hot & humid Singapore, this is a feat in itself, not to mention that the subject is an active, 5yr old boy! lol...

Hearing the nurse "belittling" the problem like that, kinda discourages me, even though I understand the logic, n theory behind her explanations. This prompts me to try out natural products!

Being part of the Etsy community, I decided to put up an Alchemy request, for "Skin Care Products for A Child with Eczema". I was deeply touched by the enthusiastic response, reason being...most of them bid, not to sell their products to me, but to give advice on what works for them/their kids, and links to sites they know of etc.

Here's some of what I've gathered, n I hope it'll be helpful for those of you who are in the same predicament as me, and trying to find alternative to scientific medicinal products, to natural products. 

:: Pure & Simple Herbal Baby Products & Gifts
:: Alabu Goat Milk Soap (I really like this site, n the testimonies given by their customers is really fantastic!!!)
::Tate's The Natural Miracle Conditioner

Thursday, June 12, 2008

1st Year Anniversary Sale (YART SALE!!!)


::: 25% off storewide (Prices are b4 discount)
::: Additional 10% with 3 or more items purchased.
::: Refunds will be made accordingly after payment.

I plan to go for a new "look" to kickstart my 2nd year at ETSY... so, check me out in JULY! I'd also like to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to all my customers for your continued support! ;) Pls drop me a line if you wish to be added to my quarterly newsletter for latest updates, sale & promotion.

Sincerely,
Winniel

Monday, June 9, 2008

How to measure your Bible

I've had several custom order for Bible Covers, & since I've not received any negative feedback abt them, I assumed that they fit perfectly. I'll always tell my customers, to measure the exact size of the their Bible, while we'll do the cover with the allowance needed to make a perfect fit.

However, one of my recent customer told me that her cover was too small, hm....that was indeed cause for concern! As I traced back my notes to her & vice versa, she realized that she gave me the wrong measurement. Well, it was a relief on my part knowing that the mistake wasnt ours, but this incident is one too many, & I've decided to put it up here, so that customers will know what is needed from them.

Generally, I'll need the measurement of the Bible in this format: 1. Length, 2. Width, 3. Thickness (in inches) The pictures below shows my standard hard cover Bible, which most of the Bible Covers in The Laughing House are made to fit.

Length: 6.25 inches (16cm)

Width: 4.20 inches (10.2 cm)

Thickness: 1.2 inches (2.75 cm)

And you'll get a perfect fit for your Bible! ;)

I hope this post will be clear & straightforward enough so as to eliminate any misunderstanding. As long as you follow these "guidelines" on measuring your Bible, you can rest assured that your Bible will cozy up snugly into its new cover for a padded plush feel ;)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bring Art Closer to Your Heart

I've been sending Hans (my almost 5yr old son) to the community club for holiday art classes, n thought I'd love to share the interesting items, painted, built & sculpted by the kids in that class ;)
Bottle Painting

Acrylic painting of Aboriginal Masks on Canvas




The white board at the entrance, showing pictures of some of the kids that attended the class b4

Hans (in red) playing with the plasticine that the teacher just distributed for everyone. The teacher (politely, short of complaining) told me everyday, that he has a very short concentration time span, n will start roaming around the classroom after a few minutes of being seated. 

It's quite a worrying trend for me, especially since he tends to be a bit "clingy" especially if the "transition" period into the class was not smooth. Fortunately, the assistant teacher has prepared some bits of snacks, n candies as part of her way to soothe & comfort "difficult" children. Hans, happened to fall under the category of children that can easily be "bribed" by candies/chocolates, anytime...hehe

The room from the side view :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

IT'S SCHOOL HOLIDAY!!! Time for...

I was pretty much dreading the month long school holiday (for my son who's in kindergarten) partly cuz my mom who was here to help out the past 2 months just went back, & my 18mth old daughter and I were down with flu 2 weeks ago.

Well, it has been more than a week now (into the school holiday) and it has been much better than expected! lol...perhaps it was due to some mental preparation, planning, & (slight) adjustment to my daily routines.

1st of all, I enquired for some holiday art classes at a nearby community club, & was pleased to have found a class that'll run for 2 weeks (3days/wk, 3hrs each) and timing is perfect at 930am-1230pm. It'll almost be like his school hours, except that its only 3 days a week, and for 2 consecutive weeks :)

He was happy to join as well, cus it means he'll have plenty of chance to paint (and mess up) which I dont readily allow him at home sue to several reasons.

Another adjustment is, WINNIEL, my online jewelry shop. I alrd have a hard time catching up, or finding peaceful, uninterrupted & highly inspired hours to create new pieces. So, I'll just take this easy, and opt for a break for the time being ;) YAY!!!! hehe...:P
But, I've alrd put aside 3 new Pearl Necklace designs to work on, incorporating fine silver pieces into them. I'm excited abt them, & cant wait to see how the finished pieces will look like!

The Laughing House, on the other hand is "narrowing" down on its "specialty" & I think it has finally found its "niche" (if u can call it that!) CUSTOM ORDERS has been our secret success there of late, so...while the current is strong, I'll continue to tap on that for now, while putting WINNIEL on hold for this month.

On top of all these, its really high time for me to organize my work table, drawers, beads & everything else. So, when my husband is able to take leave nx week, I cant procrastinate any longer, & seriously tidy up! Table, #1...followed by wardrobe. Its the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) now after all....haha...:D

Come to think of it, school holiday is really not such a bad idea after all! I'm enjoying it as much as my son ;) almost!

 
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