What’s the dealio?

Hi Lovers

So apparently people in the States go crazy after Thanksgiving and spend all their money on sales? Perfect timing for xmas shipping and the perfect time to finally try out the Etsy Coupon Code function right?

So if you’re from Australia use code FREESHIPPINGOZ50 when you spend $50nzd to get free shipping.
And if you’re from anywhere else use code FREESHIPPING75 when you spend $75nzd to get free shipping.

But what about the Kiwis?! You guys get free shipping on everything always now. Boom!

Don’t forget I can ship presents already gift wrapped directly to your recipient with a note from you. Just make sure you include all the details in the notes when you check out.

New Shop Things and Xmas Shipping

I’ve been temping again for the past month (with another month on my contract) in order to get some dollars ready for xmas and new years and all the fun things that happen without me when I’m not getting much money in. And as always the reality of being cooped up in a cubicle sent my brains into over drive and all I wanted to do was make all the things, and photograph all the things, and write all the things.

But I can’t do it all so I just made a few of the things:

Ampersand necklaces
Ampersand necklaces in Quicksand, Baskerville, and Futura fonts
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Creep

Bunting necklace
Bunting in pink white and blue

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Black bone bead necklace

3 finger ring
Faux 3 finger rings

There’s only one finger hole and the bar sits above your digits, way more comfortable and allows heaps more movement than a true 3 finger ring.
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Futura ampersand brooch

Heart brooch and ring
Heart rings and mini heart brooches

More things soon

I’ve got a few more new designs that need to be photographed and listed so look out for another update in a week or two. Expect bows and anchors and bone beads in more colours and ceramic hearts.

Xmas Shipping

Unfortunately my super dooper laser machine friend is moving cities in a couple of weeks so the laser cutter will be out of action for a while. I can still get things made but there will be a 2-3 week turn around instead of a week (max) turn around. This means custom xmas orders for pretty much everywhere need to be in by mid November! Not long! How is xmas so soon!?
You have a bit longer for jewellery in stock. Those orders don’t need to be in till the end of November if you need them to arrive by xmas.

Ozzies have till the around the 20th of November for custom orders and till December 9th for jewels in stock.

Kiwis have till the start of December for custom orders and till the 19th of December for everything else.

If you’re buying gifts I can send them direct to the recipient with a note! And even if you’re buying for yourself your jewels will be packaged with tissue and ribbon and love.

Lasers and Baubles

Since Asia I’ve finally had some motivation to give the jewellery business much needed attention. The brain elves have decided to get off their asses, of only for a quick walk around the block.

I’ve been experimenting with new designs and techniques, filling laser etching with colour and using multiple layers of acrylic. I’ve been cross stitching as well (but still haven’t found an appropriate pendant frame to make cross stitched jewellery, boo).

Here is what’s new in the shop (click the photos to see them on Etsy)
Lightning Necklace
Silver Mirror Ag Necklace
Cupcake Ampersand
Camera necklace

All the old faves are still there – unicorns, narwhals, cupcakes, and plenty of custom designs.

You better watch out, you better not cry

I can’t believe I actually have to start talking about this now, but giftmas is nearly upon us! In less than 2 months we’ll be gathering with our families and taking a break from our usual lives.

Being all the way down in little old New Zealand means that things can take a while to get to you, from me. So cut off dates from the Cupcakes and Mace store for shipping overseas is the 29th of November. If you’re wanting something custom made for a gift then you should let me know asap!

If you’re ordering from Australia you have till the 6th of December. And if you’re ordering from New Zealand you have right up until the 21st of December. Sweet.

Basically you only have THREE WEEKS. Get thee orders in my inbox!

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As well as all of the usual colour options I have silver mirror, gold mirror, silver holograph, light blue holograph, dark blue holograph, purple holograph, and red holograph available till it runs out. If you’re a blog reader you can have those colours for no extra as well.

Giftmas Orders and Paint The Town Red SALE!!

sale

Some of you may have already noticed there is a big sale in the Cupcakes and Mace store right now. For the rest of you here is your notification.

We have a whole heap of mostly red, pre cut jewellery sitting here in the Cupcake Factory. We’d prefer if they were sitting around the neck of you and your BFF though so we’re running a buy one get one free sale. We have scissors, narwhals, guns, seahorses, vultures, Darwin fish, cupcake rings, minicorn brooches, candy, and ghosts and you can mix and match.

The sale is on till it’s gone. The first 10 pictures below link to the sale items (up to the vulture), the rest are recently added pieces.

Cupcakes and Mace

giftmas-orders

Giftmas shipping. I know it’s early, but down here at the end of the world we’re so far away from you Americans and Britons that the shipping cut off is the 30th of November. There is a chance that orders after that will still arrive in time, but not a chance I’d take. Make sure you get in by the 28th to be sure.

Aussies fare slightly better as you’re pretty close, but your cut off date is still the 7th of December. Please try to get your orders in by the 5th.

Kiwis, you have until the 19th of December. Because we’re shutting up shop for the year on that day. We’ll be open for orders over the holidays but nothing will ship till we’ve had a nice long break and get back to Wellington in the second or third week of January.

Don’t forget we can cut other designs for you – you’re not limited to what is currently in the shop. Prices will be around the same as listed items.
If you order 10 pieces you’ll get 25% off everything (excluding sale items).
We also offer flat rate shipping, no matter how many things you buy!

C² Necklace Winners

You’re all winners. Unfortunately my empire building is not yet complete so my funds don’t stretch far enough to send something to every fabulous blogger and internet friend I come across. But a couple of lovely ladies will be getting something!

winnners

First off the amazing Sarah Hannah wins the randomly generated draw. Sarah Hannah said she’d like one of three choices “‘everything was beautiful and nothing hurt”, “death wears diamond jewellery”, or “team bubble”.

random number generator cupcakes and mace winner

Secondly we’d like to give a necklace to the ever stylish Ela for coming up with a fancy name to call these square boxes. We love C² (C squared), so thank you!

I’ve also contacted a fellow blogger about using her suggestion in the shop. If she decides to let us use her words we’ll let you know.

Send an email to [kim at cupcakesandmace (dot) com] letting me know what you want your necklace to say; which colour acrylic and chain you like; and if you have a sketch or some instructions on how you want the words set, which words should be bigger, smaller, on each line etc include that too. I’ll also need your addresses.

Secret Deals

We’re going to be offering create your own C² necklaces in the etsy shop, they’ll be $30 each, slightly more than the nameplate necklaces because there will be quite a bit more work involved. However, if you’d like to get your hands on one created especially for you before they’re even an option in the shop you’re going to get it for $20. Yep, early aaaaaaaaand a third off. This is for my readers only, and is available until the end of October.

Your necklace can say what ever you like. It can be cut in any of the colours we have. And you can either send us a sketch to give us an idea of how you want it to look or you can leave the design up to us. Send me an email referencing the secret blog deals and I’ll know what you’re talking about.

Photos of the winning C² necklaces will be posted when they’re ready.

OMG Shoes!

I could not believe my luck when a last minute (because I get up so late and am so slow getting ready) dash into town to have a quick shop started with picking up the much coveted Nike Dunk red and white check hi tops!

Not only were they $40 cheaper than when they first caught my eye Shoe Connection are also having a buy one get one half price sale! :D So The Boy got a pretty pair of shoes too and we both saved an extra $40 something each.

OMG Shoes!

These are my first pair of Nikes. :D

candy and monsters

This candy necklace is new in the shop. We’ve got a few new things up and a few more coming this week.

I also picked up the new Dan Brown – The Lost Symbol. I haven’t read an actual book in a while, keeping up with the hundreds of blogs I read is enough for me. I don’t care what people say, I like Dan Brown’s writing. It’s easy to get caught up in.

Pretty Shiny Things

We’ve been busy in the Cupcake Factory this month, adding a lot of new things to the store in an effort to give you something to look at for more than one minute! We’re going to continue adding new stock and designs until we reach at least 100 products so there is plenty more to come.

These are new products added over the last couple of weeks. Each picture will take you to the Etsy page for more photos and information. (And everything is less than $18 :D)



Cupcakes and Mace


COMPETITION – Cupcakes and Mace Nameplate Fonts

The biggest jewellery seller in the Cupcakes and Mace shop is the nameplate necklace. Any name you like (up to 9 letters included in the price) in any colour from our range, and a choice from two chains for just $25 USD.

People love them, they love that they are completely customisable, and that we can cut a shape out of many of the letters for no extra charge. We’ve cut cupcakes, hearts, apples, a bird and a skull so far. The biggest problem with customising these nameplates is finding appropriate fonts, most of the flicks in the script type fonts are too thin to hold it all together during a bit of wear. Our current default font is Courier New (#1 below), it looks good and holds together really well. We let people choose their own fonts too, but we’ve figured that people don’t like having to find out what they want by themselves, it’s much preferable to be given a short list to choose from.

competition

That’s where you come in. Have a look at the list below, and let me know your top 3 choices (in order of preference) in the comments. Your comment will get you in the draw to win your very own nameplate so make sure you use a valid email address! :D

Extra entries are available to anyone who spreads the word about the competition, just leave comment letting me know where you left the link.

The competition will close in 2 weeks on the 15th of July so get commenting.

Cupcakes and Mace nameplate fonts

My favourites are 5, 8, 1, and 3.

Ready to Craft

Carpe Diem - Seize the Day

Opening an Etsy shop can be as frivolous or intensive experience as you want it to be. It really depends on how serious the craft business is to you.

If you’re looking to make Etsy an important part of your business there are HEAPS of articles available. A simple Google search or even better a browse around the Etsy forums or The Storque will give you lots of information on every aspect you can think of. Following links from all of the posts currently out there will keep you occupied for days and I’m also more than happy to answer any specific questions you’ve got about the points in this post, or your shop in general.

With all that information on hand and your Etsy Sellers Handbook on the ready I don’t feel like there is any real need for me to go into depth about starting a shop. So here’s a brief guide to getting started with some of the lessons I’ve learnt so far.

What are you called?

First things first. Once you’ve chosen your product, and assessed if there is a market (knitwear FYI doesn’t tend to do well on Etsy, and there is already a saturated jewellery market so yours better have a unique point) you’ll need to pick a name. If you’re already an Etsy member and you signed up with a name that has nothing to do with your brand then you’re going to have to sign up again sorry. Hopefully you have a different email address you can assign your old login to so you can sign up again, if not you’ll need to contact Etsy direct to get them to close your other login. Login names can’t contain any spaces so if you’ve got more than one word in your name start them all with capital letters. It makes it easier to read. Mine is CupcakesAndMace.
Search around Etsy and the web to make sure you’re not infringing on anyone’s brand. Think of something memorable, easy to spell, and potentially a good search term. If you’re a blogger you’ll be familiar with this process as you would have had to do it when you came up with your blog name or domain name.

What do you look like?

Next you’ll need to create a banner and avatar. Along with your shop name and product photos these will be how Etsy users identify you and your brand. It’s better to use one of your best product photos as your avatar and not a picture of yourself. When you participate in the Etsy forum other members will see your picture and a great product shot might entice them to check out your wares.

What will you do?

Get your policies sorted before you start listing product. Which countries are you going to ship to, are you/can you offer wholesale and if so what are your terms, what happens if something gets lost or broken in the post, is insurance extra, how will you accept payment, when do you expect payment, can you do custom or altered pieces? There are lots of things to think about and you can’t expect people to stick around if you don’t have an answer for them.

Cupcakes and Mace Packaging

How will you present yourself?

Make sure you have your packaging sorted before you make your first sale. It needs to be sturdy enough to withstand the brutalities of any one of the worlds postal systems. Little known fact is that postal workers jump on piles of packages for fun. Make your package waterproof, address it correctly with a return address and include all necessary custom documentation. Don’t bow to pressure to fudge these documents because it could get you into some trouble.

What are you worth?

Pricing is very controversial but very important. I have a spreadsheet that I use to price my work and it’s something you should definitely think about too. It should take into account the cost of materials, packaging and fees. How long it takes to create, making sure to include time for taking photographs, trips to the post shop, listing the item and any other time you spend working. Multiply that time by your hourly rate. Add on your expected profit percentage. And you have your wholesale rate.
This is the rate you’ll sell to wholesale customers, people with their own business who will resell your items for profit. Standard practice is that wholesale is 50% of retail price, and wholesale customers will have to buy a certain amount from you to get the discount.
The wholesale rate is not the price you use on Etsy. You’ll need to multiply your wholesale rate by two to get your retail price. This is the price you’ll sell on Etsy for. Hopefully it meets current market expectations or is unique enough to sell at whatever price you’ve come up with. If it’s too expensive and you’re looking to make money you might need to reconsider your product, the materials, or the discount you give to wholesalers. Don’t ever sell yourself short though. Even if you’re doing this as a hobby remember that others are doing it for a living and if you undersell them too much they’ll get bitter.

How do I find you?

The title, description, and tags in Etsy are all very important as well. Searching on Etsy is defaulted to searching through titles and tags. Make sure your title is descriptive (but doesn’t look like a spammy list of search terms) and use all 14 of your tags! Use them, every time!

Oooo pretty!

The most important thing of all in my opinion is your photos. People like to buy things from professionals, if your photos look good they will automatically make your product seem more valuable and professional. Show your product from every necessary angle. You need to show the customer what they would see if they were holding your product.
Great photos might also get you featured in blogs, and on the Etsy home page.

Alright so now you know the basics, you need to go ahead and do it. If you have any questions or would like a post on a specific point of selling on Etsy let me know in the comments.