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Posts Tagged ‘etsy’

14816350415401270310962At last, we present the third and final entry in our Geek Merit Badge Action Sports Trilogy: the Paintball Warrior patch!

This three-inch circular patch, depicting a paintball gun in action, is a perfect finishing touch for your paintball team uniform, or can be worn on your civilian clothes to let others know you never outgrew your love of playing war with your friends. This Paintball Warrior patch is available for $8 on our web store and our Etsy shop.

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I know the title of this post sounds like we’re about to spotlight a bunch of our merchandise, but I want to actually use this space to not just encourage you to shop with small artisans this holiday season, but to offer some advice on how to do it wisely.

As a small artist, the holidays are my busiest time of year (along with Halloween). People order everything from big gifts to stocking stuffers from me, which is great, but people shopping in Etsy sometimes make things more difficult than they need to, for themselves and whoever they’re buying from, so I wanted to offer a few tips to everyone considering shopping small this Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/etc. I’ll start with my number one tip:

Shop early!

Like many Etsy artists and crafters, I make everything to order — which is to say, I generally do not carry an inventory of finished items that are ready to go the day the order is placed. It takes time to make things, especially if I have a lengthy production queue (which I do), and it takes time to ship things (more on that below). Waiting until the last minute with an Etsy shop almost guarantees you’re not getting your purchase in time to give as a gift, so make your purchases ASAP.

Read the listings.

Before you buy anything, take the time to read the listing thoroughly, because that will tell you how long it’ll take to fill an order and other useful bits of information, such as how the item will ship (First Class, Priority, etc.), whether you can upgrade to a faster shipping method, and whether it comes with tracking information — which I strongly recommend people pay for at this time of year, especially if it’s a significant order. Packages get lost more frequently during the holidays, so tracking info is a worthwhile added expense to guarantee that you get your goods.

Be mindful of shipping times.

There are two aspects of shipping time estimates: how long it takes the artist to get the item in the mail, and how long it takes the item to arrive once it’s been mailed. This link will take you to the US Postal Service’s schedule of shipping deadlines, but the TL;DR version is, if you’re a US customer and your order isn’t in the mail by December 15, it might not get to you by Christmas.

International customers have the added wrinkle of customs, which can delay a delivery by several days to a few weeks — and that’s under normal (non-holiday) conditions. If your order is shipping First Class and it isn’t in the mail by tomorrow, December 1, you might not get it by Christmas — and yes, Canada and Mexico, that applies to you too.

Don’t hesitate to contact the seller — emphasis on “hesitate.”

If you’ve procrastinated and you’re not sure whether your order will arrive for gift-giving, it’s perfectly okay to contact the seller and ask if an order placed that day would get to you by Christmas.

There are several caveats to this, the first of which is: ask first. Don’t make the purchase and then ask about shipping times, because that might end with you canceling your purchase and the seller having to issue a refund. Save yourself and the seller the hassle and ask before buying.

Next, as the buyer, you need to be responsive. Many times we’ve had buyers ask us if they could get something shipped to them by a certain date and we’ve said, “Yes, but you have to place the order today,” only to have the buyer dawdle for another day or two before making the purchase.

It’s okay to ask if you can have your order prioritized to ensure its timely arrival, but that doesn’t mean the seller will accommodate the request, at least not without charging some kind of rush fee.

Be understanding.

As they say, life happens. Equipment breaks down. Materials run out and can’t be restocked right away. The Post Office loses packages. You can do everything right and yet you still not receive your order in time, and while it’s understandable to be upset, a good Etsy seller will do what they can to make things right if the fault is on them, so if something goes wrong, reach out to the seller and calmly and politely work with them to resolve the issue.

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Quite a while ago, we introduced the Laser Tag Warrior Geek Merit Badge. This was intended as the first in a series within the Geek Merit Badge line, but an extremely busy show season kept me from getting to finishing of the other designs — until now!

airsoft-warriorThe Airsoft Warrior patch is for enthusiasts of the game, which is similar to paintball but uses more realistic-looking guns that shoot soft pellets instead of paintballs. Like all our Geek Merit Badges, the Airsoft Warrior is a 3-inch diameter patch on a khaki fabric, so it looks great on civilian clothes or on your airsoft uniform!

You can buy one for $8 plus shipping at our website or on our Etsy shop.

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babayagaFairy tales have been a part of my culture for centuries, since long before the Grimm brothers began collecting them and writing them down. They’ve changed — oftentimes edited by the Grimms themselves — and been re-told and re-imagined so many times it’s difficult to keep track of them all. And yet in each one, there are images and moments that are iconic, and which always stay with us, through all the re-tellings.

babayagarbThis design shows Vasilisa first arriving at Baba Yaga’s hut, ringed by its fence of fire-eyed skulls. It is available as a patch on our website and in our Etsy shop, and is available as a sticker and more on Redbubble.

Click here to buy one!

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bulldoglaptop1One of our customers loved our Bulldog Lover patch so much that she requested an enlarged version on a laptop bag, and we loved how it came out so much that we’ve decided to make it available to everybody! If you follow Storied Threads on any of our social media (and I hope that you do!) it should come as no surprise that the design is based on our own bulldog, Beatrix. We’re pretty big fans of bulldogs and their smooshy, kissable faces!

This bag is available in our Etsy shop and on our website.

Click here to buy one!

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2016-07-31 18.16.53-1

This gratuitous picture of Beatrix and Pippen is just here to catch your attention.

First and most importantly, we want to let everyone know that we are NOT going out of business. Storied Threads expects to remain in business for many years to come.

However, we are making significant changes to our business model. First, we are taking an indefinite hiatus from doing shows, including all pop culture conventions, once we have concluded our 2016 season.

The New England con circuit has grown a lot in the past few years, but we’ve learned that this is not a good thing. The region has become glutted with cons and these shows are tapping the same limited audience pool. We did more shows this year, which meant increasing our expenses and our workload, only to make the same revenue as in 2015. That simply isn’t sustainable.

This all fed into the other major factor in our decision. Running a small business is extremely stressful, and that stress has taken a toll on me emotionally. As much as I love my business and as proud as I am in all the work I’ve put into it, I realize that in order to keep it alive long-term, I need to step back from it a little.

So, beginning in 2017, Storied Threads will be an online-only business. We will continue to sell our products through our website and Etsy shop, we will continue to design new items, and we will continue to maintain and develop our shops at Redbubble and at Spoonflower. But moving to an online-only model means we only have to make items as they are ordered, which will greatly reduce my time in the studio. I will still manage Storied Threads and handle merchandise construction and design, while my husband will take over many day-to-day aspects of the business, leaving me free to pursue other opportunities.

This wasn’t an easy decision. The notion of simply reducing my commitment to my business often felt like I was failing or giving up, but ultimately I decided that this new approach would best balance my desire to maintain Storied Threads with the need to care for my emotional health.

Thank you to everyone to has supported me in this endeavor, and hopefully the day will come when I can return to Storied Threads on a full-time basis. Until then, please keep up with us on our social media accounts, where we will continue to keep you up to date on all of our activity, sales, and new items!

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BulldogLoverIf you’ve been following Storied Threads on any of our social media, it should come as no surprise that we’ve decided to make a bulldog design. And even less of a surprise that the design is based on our own bulldog, Beatrix. We’re pretty big fans of bulldogs and their smooshy, kissable faces!

This new design is available as a patch in our Etsy shop and on our website, and as a sticker in our Redbubble shop.  And Beatrix’s adorable face is available at Redbubble without the text on t-shirts, phone cases, throw pillows, and more!

BulldogRB

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