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Crafty1_AJ

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Crafty1_AJ last won the day on January 12

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About Crafty1_AJ

  • Rank
    Sleep, Eat, Post

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  • Website URL
    http://www.ajscountrycottage.com

Converted

  • Makes
    candles soap b&b
  • Location
    Missouri
  • Occupation
    chandler/soaper/B&B'er
  • About You
    Married mom of 2. Love to make candles, soap, and b&b items. Love cats. We have 2, plus a sweet dog!
  • Likes / Dislikes
    Likes ~ Colors: Cool colors and jewel tones. Royal blue, purple, teal, deep pink. Love vibrant colors. Scents: eo's, plus vanilla, citrus, spicy, bakery, fruity fo's. Hobbies: Flavored coffees & herbal teas, knitting & crocheting, reading, See's chocolate, and collecting cute Snoopy stuff! Love pillars w/ interesting textures / finishes and layers; love handmade lotions, creams & scrubs.
    Dislikes ~ Scents: florals; heavy perfumey scents; straight lavender (ok in blends though!)

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  1. YES, I am happy for the quieter months of January, February, and March. It does feel good to have a break after working hard for 9 months. I don't start up with my markets and shows again until April, so right now I am just focusing on website sales, local B&M shop sales, and restocking. Shelves are fairly empty of stock after the holidays. Yay! My cc sales are up as well. Used to be mostly cash, then about half & half. Now it's trending towards mostly CC's. I don't work another job -- this is it! My DD used to work in the biz with me, but she is done with college and left the nest, so now it's DH and me. We make a great team and have complementary strengths! He is super friendly and a great, personable, enthusiastic salesman. He makes lots of candles for us, packs orders, and helps with the muscle jobs in getting us set up at markets and shows. I still handle making some of the candles, all of the soap, and do most of the online techy stuff. I love having him on board.
  2. Another factor in burn rate is the length of the wick. It's hard to compare test burns unless the wick is trimmed to the exact same length every time. I'll admit that after years of test burns, I just eyeball 1/4" wick trims. But if the wick is accidentally trimmed too short, or left too long, you're going to get differing burn rates.
  3. You didn't mention what type of wax you were using with the LX, but I will tell you that ambient temps affect the burn rate of soy candles, IME. My house is about 80* F in the summer and about 68*F in the winter, and soy candles burn slower in the colder temps.
  4. We did have one screw-up. Things were so hectic at one point! So a customer got home to discover that she had the wrong candles in her shopping bag from us. Whoops. Thankfully, even though the show was 20 miles from home, the customer happens to live right here in our hometown, just a few blocks from the B&M where we sell our products. So we met at the shop and exchanged their candles for the correct ones they had purchased. Couldn't have been less painful. Super happy that if we had to goof up, it was to a local. LOL
  5. Did our last show of the year yesterday. It's a very good show for us -- an intense, but fun, one-day dealio. DH and I did not have time to draw breath for the first 3 or 4 hours of the show. We forgot to bring chairs, but it was irrelevant -- we were on our feet until the last hour. Had customers waiting in line to pay early on, mostly because we were only taking one CC at a time. But most of the time, business was steady and we didn't have to make anyone wait for checkout. Next year, I plan to have two cc processors so we can take cards independently. Anyway, I feel like it's VACATION TIME!! Still have lots of website orders to ship, so not totally out of the woods. But it feels so great to know I don't have to schlep any product, tables, shelves, etc.ANYWHERE until next spring!! Looking forward to staying indoors and working around home for a while, especially since we're getting a lot of snow today. So thankful that the weather came today and not yesterday! I sold a LOT of Christmas scents in both soaps and candles at this show. Sales were slightly better than last year when comparing raw gross numbers. I'm happy about that. I love "last minute" shows because people come ready to buy gifts. "Give me 6 candles, 3 soaps, and 8 lip balms for stocking stuffers." Yeah, we can do that!! Tossed a ton of empty boxes into the cardboard recycling bin on our way out the door. Felt great! We've done our share of so-so, blah shows this year, so it felt fantastic to have a winner and go out on a strong note. ETA: Oops, forgot to report what kinds of scents sold, which was kind of the point. We sold lots of classic favorites such as Christmas Tree, Cranberry, Cinnamon, Vanillas, coffees, etc. The good ol' popular ones that never seem to go out of style. Lots of herbals, fresh & cleans, and bakery moved. Even a few florals sold. But loads of Christmas scents! I was surprised because we typically don't sell a lot of Christmas scents this close to, well, Christmas. LOL
  6. I think it's due to the rise of mobile credit card processing. Just a few years ago, it was rare for a vendor at my shows and markets to take debit/credit. Now, vendors who only take cash are the exception rather than the rule, IME. My cash sales have steadily declined a bit, while card sales have increased. Sales overall have been steady.
  7. Nice! I love that turquoisy color. I wonder how this one compares to the Old Mill Sapmoss? That was one of the very first fo's I soaped...ah, fond memories! LOL It was a fast mover, but it smelled divine.
  8. I don't do eBay, so I can't tell you about that one. But here is a paste up from Etsy's fee page. Last line made bold and underlined by me: "Payment Processing Fees Online Sales. Eligible Etsy shops may use Etsy Payments to accept certain payments through Etsy (learn more about Etsy Payments below). Etsy charges a payment processing fee for each transaction through Etsy Payments. Payment processing fees vary based on the location of your bank account. See the Etsy Payments Policy to find payment processing fees by country. This fee is assessed on the total amount of the sale, including tax and shipping."
  9. Oh, and another friendly heads up. Square doesn't just keep 2.6% of the amount of purchase. They also take 2.6% of your sales tax collected.
  10. If you have orders over $100, Square will let you keep a bit more of your hard-earned cash. For orders under $100, PayPal Here is the winner. At exactly $100, they work out to be the same. (This is all assuming that you are tapping, dipping, or swiping -- not entering the cc info manually.)
  11. Looks like a rustic pour that was then grubbied and maybe even overpoured, then scraped. ?? Or perhaps candle paint was also involved. Definitely looks like a multi-step dealio!
  12. Yup, I just did a show and roughly 2/3 of my sales were Square payments. I should start offering a discount for paying cash. LOL
  13. Today, it's double batches of OMH and Creamy Shea Butter Soap, both of which I hate making. LOL Fast movers are not my cup of tea. The f.o. I use in my shea soap accelerates, but I can't switch. I also hate working with milk in soap, but I suppose I'll survive. Then I hope to squeeze in a couple of unscented test batches...experimenting with color.
  14. You can opt for wax embeds in candles. Wax chunks -- I've done those. They are cute and don't pose a fire hazard.
  15. That's great. I love it when that happens. I will get a slew of orders for the SAME scent/candle and eventually trace it to a blog post or favorable review somewhere. It's great. Ride the wave for as long as you can! Actually I have had a recent spike in orders for one particular candle, and I still haven't traced the source of the positive review yet. But I'm thankful for having to pour and ship this one more often than normal. GO man, go!
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