Sunday, August 31, 2008

I carved up the seat tonight and we sold another one that we happened to have in the shop already carved up. There is more good news. We managed to have a miracle bestowed upon us in the form of a customer who ordered the wrong size seat deciding to keep it and pay for a new one! This is a miracle for several reasons. one People either return the wrong seat and usually want us to pay for their mistake. Two: They usually want a refund or want us to replace the seat with the correct size for free. even thought the elongated sizes cost us more. Three, we usually pay to have the seat shipped back to them at our cost. sucking up any profit we might have gained from dealing with these people. The lady who purchased this seat was a first in every way. not only did she choose to keep the seat, she offered to pay full price for the more expensive elongated one. very nice. Good customers are very hard to find and they are very valued by us. Sometimes you have to run a business before you realize how difficult it is to come up with a fair price and fair customer service. So a "thank you!" goes out to our customer and the Almighty that helped us in the difficult month.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Only one sale again.

Sold an old seat today. Not the best start for the weekend then again it is labor day. Holidays give us trouble, it seems, because people are probably would rather enjoy the last days of summer than hang out shopping online. Well. I might wait for till tomorrow to get it carved. Hopefully we will sell a couple more so I can carve them up in a batch. Wish us luck!

Friday, August 29, 2008

One sale!

Sold one that we had in stock today! The good news is that we already had it made and I didn't have to re carve it. The slightly less than good news is that we only sold that one. Luckily, we were able to ship it right away.
In other news, Someone featured one of my seats in his "lets talk about it " page. was the location even though it expired almost as soon as I noticed it. Ah well they are always re listing things on Etsy so I hope that someone else will notice me and give me a bit of free publicity.

Two days no sales

Well it has been two days since our last sale and as usual we have to fight the overwhelming depression that eventually sinks in. Yesterday we ordered some more soap supplies and inspected our supplies that came the day before. We still required a mold, ( for the setting up of the soap and the cutting size) and a scale. Today we found one that as affordable and able to hold over 11lbs. Other than that , I took another stab at carving up some jewelry. Cheryl had a book with vintage pictures and I found one that I though would translate well into wood. It only took a couple hours and I attempted a couple others also but they had problems. ( my "turtle" was too large for the wood and my "dragon" started to crack.) I am happy with the fish though even if it does not look exactly like the one in the book. Cheryl likes it also and thinks we should make a mold of it for future resin jewelry. We'll have to see.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

One seat

Sold one seat today, Koala bears. I decided to carve up some pedants for Cheryl's jewelry store. I got some inspiration from one of her vintage jewelry books where they used wood to supplement the sparkle and luster. Now these are not my acorns, but this picture is similar to the one that inspired me. My acorns were made of some exotic dark wood. ( I'm thinking ebony) I don't really know because I purchased the wood at a thrift shop. The characteristics of the wood make it almost a nightmare to work with but it looks AWESOME! when sanded and polished. The wood is very hard ( I dulled up my chisel pretty good) and it has a resin that clogs up my bits and sanding paper. I don't have enough of it to make anything other than small jewelry items. So it's a nice thing to toy around with to see what I can do with it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Great Weekend!

Well, I don't know if the Olympics had anything to do with the slump in sales but this weekend proved most profitable. 7 seats sold! and several books to put some icing on the cake. Now, It is true that 7 sales is usually not that great for a weekend if we are talking winter months. During Christmas we can get an entire month averaging seven sales a day! But this is summer and sales usually trickle in at a slower pace. Some more good news was that I was able to replace my broken dremel with a new one! It's a model 300 which means that It has an adjustable speed control built in. Redundant in my case since I have a foot pedal. But is was cheaper than the 100 because someone had opened the box and apparently forgot to stuff all the "extras" back in. So it was a win win win for me . I got a more expensive Cadillac version of a tool for a about half the price. Proving that all those extras ( carrying case, unnecessary bits, flap wheels, etc. are all there to jack up the price. Well, not really if you're a first time buyer. But all I needed was the actually tool and nothing else. So I took it for a spin ( no pun intended) today and it performed as well as the 100 model in my opinion. Which is great. A couple other things to note is that it did have a nice comfort grip. I was impressed though, again, This is not a feature I will take advantage of since I use a flex shaft attachment.

The seats have a recurring theme as of late. They have all been similar and traditional to the old ones. that is rustic bear, moose, deer. Also palm tree has gotten a lot of hits ( I think we have sold 4 since I started this blog. Maybe folks are trending back to the traditional seats that go with their bathroom decor and shower curtain. The good news is that I have a lot of design from a year and a half ago. Rustics were very popular then but last year African animals and Tropical birds seemed to be In style. I took a quick snap shot of some sitting on my workbench before giving them to my "employee" for wrapping. (Just kidding, She's my wife wrapping up the orders. )

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympics over???!

Could it be that the Olympics were having an adverse effect on our sales? Maybe, All I know is that no one has visited ebay, etsy, or our website in almost two weeks! We sold three today however. So maybe the trickle is over and things will pick up. We need money and have bills to pay like everyone else. The seats are repeats so I just thought I would show this one off because I like it so. On another note, I took the old dremel out for a whirl carving the three seats from yesterday. As I figured, It's pretty much toast! There was no power and the sound lacked the same high pitched whine that my ears have so lovingly been deafened by. ( I do wear earplugs) I'm gonna miss that one and I hope I can get another simple single speed from Menards. Dremel has been phasing out there workhorses over the last few years for the very fancy smancy bells and whistles that are of no use to people like me. But they manage to get the price up from around $30 to about $70! I commend any sales strategy that lowers your bottom line and grows your profit. That is what business is all about! But I hate paying way too much for all the extra bits and gizmo's that I have no use for. I'd rather save the 40 bucks and buy the bits and accessories that I really need ( I mean, Really, Who needs all those cutting wheels? Who polishes brass rings with the little buffers? ) And that big ugly plastic carrying case. I throw them away as soon as I get them. you can never get your tool back in there after you pull it out and all the bits constantly fall out and all over the place. Don't get me wrong, I love Dremel, The have the best rotary tool that I have found so far for the best price. But I don't need to buy a new car every time the alternator burns out!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A slow trickle?

Well the weekend is upon us and We managed to sell two seats today. One we were expecting, but the other was a complete and welcome surprise. The bad news is that the brushes in my "newest" dremel tool are shot and had to be replaced today. When I took the tool apart to fix it I could see why the brushes wore out rather quickly this time, ( I had just changed them probably less than 4 weeks ago) It seems that you should change them out after 40 -60 hours of use. If this is the case, I should be changing them out every one to two weeks! ( Yes! I carve that much!) But since I have other things on my mind that usually does not concern routine tool maintenance, I simply wait for the tool to stop working before I crack it open, clean it up and replace the motor brushes. Well, I have discovered why the manufacturer recommends you replace them before this happens. It appears that the metal on metal contact has wore away the copper connections to form a nice groove. The replacement brushes are not made for this and are wearing away prematurely. So basically I replaced the brushes and got it working again, but the entire tool will now have to be replaced. The bright side is I like buying new tools ( who doesn't ?) I will probably save this one for spare parts. I'm one of those guys that hates throwing stuff away because it might prove handy in some future day. luckily brushes are cheap and my local hardware store carries the ones I need.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Slow Week

Well, today I carved up only two seats. Both were elongated which meant that I had to travel to another city to get them. The good news is that they were on sale And I was able to get three for the price of one! They were simple designs and I was able to complete them rather quickly. With the time I saved, I was able to help my wife with her batch of soap and some jewelry construction. I'm Hoping things pick up soon so I don't have to do something extreme to get noticed! It has been a very slow August. Perhaps our slowest in three years. I could blame the election year or the rising price of oil. I really don't know. There is always tomarrow and you never know what it will bring. The two pictures are not elongated. but there were the only ones I had the patience to find on the computer

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A New Beginning

Hello everyone! I have heard that I should be blogging. Basically to get myself out there and say A little about what I do and who I am. Since Im not really much of a reader and would rather not bore people with my first weblog, I'll try to keep it brief. I'll try to post a little everyday and keep people up to speed on various projects that we start. Thanks for reading. Hope I can keep you interrested


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