Friday, August 27, 2010

It's cool.

I've got this.

No. really. I mean I've got it all under control.

Noooooooo problem!

Day One - Saturday
Step 1 - Print packing slips at the end of the business day. Thank customers for their purchase and let them know on what day you will get your unorganized but very artistic ass in gear and ship them the items you so lovingly created and think of as pieces of your soul.

Day Two - Sunday
Step 2 - Next morning, pull stock, make note of what needs to be re-made and add items to packing slip.
Step 3 - Frantically search for thing you thought you had made but now can't find cause you probably gave it away cause you love all your customers so darn much.
Step 4 - Write thank yous, wrap items prettily, re-tie husbands bows when he isn't looking and double check items to packing slip orders.

Day Three - Monday
Step 5 - Pull up etsy and paypal sites the day after all items have been pulled from stock, double check etsy address with paypal address and confirm with customer if there are differences.
Step  6 - Spend 6 HOURS printing paypal labels and filling out custom forms for international orders. 
Step 7 - Cut paypal labels so the disgusting ebay word is lopped off and tape them to the bubble envie. Make sure the inked address is protected from water with clear packing tape.
Step 8 - Match address on packing slip to paypal postage label and pack orders. Make sure the envie measures over an inch because the post office can charge your customer for priority mailing if the package is under an inch. Curse the fact that bubble envies need to be purchased cause you were really hoping you could buy beads with that FLIPPIN $97 cost for a case of bubble envies and tissue paper.
Step 9 - Sealed envies (no business cards cause that saves the customer .25 cents per order and they are usually thrown away or lost in a drawer)  go into what we affectionately call "money bags" and travel to the post office that closes at 3:30 pm. (SHEESH!)
Step 10 - Go through sold orders and click the shipped box on the etsy invoice.
Start over for the next shipping day.

Our schedule;
Monday, Wednesday and Friday - Shipping
Tuesday and Thursday - Creating
Saturday and Sunday - Organizing and Preparing

No days off, but we eat all our meals together as a family, we drop everything if one of us gets sick or there is disharmony among us, we are here to answer questions from our kids or assist them with projects, prepare healthy foods and snacks from scratch, we hug and kiss over laundry and laugh during the tedious tasks, I can drive my husband to the doctors and watch my kids play with friends. We may not have a lot of money and time but we have peace and love and freedom.
I am so flippin happy. 

* If you are in need of bulk stocking of bubble envelopes, Uline sells them by the case for as low as .20 cents an envie. They are really fast shippers, too!  


  1. God bless a country where you can live off your own ingenuity, talent, and hard work, and being able to do it side by side? Priceless.

  2. and i am so very happy for you - those things are by far the most important...
    and as an aside, i never cease to marvel at the business side of you -

  3. Even though it may be tight financially, I am so happy for the women who find a way to pursue their art and their sanity AND can be at home for their husbands and children. Heel clicks for you for having it under control and living the dream!

  4. Peace and love and freedom is what it's all about! What a great life, I'd be so flippin' happy too :-)))

  5. thank you, thank you for posting this schedule..
    i just went padded envelope shopping, sticker shock at OfMx.. the Box Store, about half the price.i'm wondering if Sm's or Cstco might be better..or make my own with PE foam and reg.manilla envelope.
    PO guy( who is great) just told me about the depth of the envelope needing to be over 3/4" duh who knew..not me apparently.

    Plus an international customer informed me the package value needs to be $24 or they pay a huge tax to retreive their order..does anyone know about this? if so please fill me in.

    it's nice to have time to do the special meaningful things with family..that's really time well spent.

  6. Ah, yes, the shipping end of the business is pretty tedious and time consuming. On the other hand I don't think I could ever go back to work for someone else. It's so good that you can be there with your family and work with your husband.

  7. you are super talented, and def. got it together- this schedule looks daunting but I bet it works out just right for your family. that is the most important thing!
    I'll be anxious to learn about the international value v.s. tax question!

  8. I'm so happy for you Shannon, contentment is a wonderful thing.

  9. If a package is marked over $25, the customer is charged a duty tax for most countries.
    I have it written in my store policies that it is the customers responsibilities to find out what the duty fees are for their country.

    There isn't anything a seller can do once the package is held in customs waiting for the buyer to come pick it up and pay the duty fee. There is no way for us to be responsible for that part of the transaction.

    Most of my transactions to over seas buyers are marked sale, craft supplies, $20.

  10. God bless YOU, Miss Shannon!
    And I appreciate the tute on how to ship...since I am about to hopefully do the same.
    All good tips to know.
    And yes, I am willing to wait patiently for a little piece of your soul to come my way when I order it. It is soooooo worth it!
    Enjoy the day!

  11. Correction! Over $20 could be taxed a duty if marked on the customs form.

    Here is a form to refer your buyers to if they ask;

    Again, there is nothing a seller can do, but rather it is the buyers responsibility to find out what their possible duty fee will be.

  12. It's so nice to hear you are happy. I know you guys have been through some stressful times, and you deserve this!

  13. Whew!!!! I am tired just reading this but laughing with a happy heart that you and yours can do this with happiness and love! You are blessed all around!!! I am to for knowing you!

    Hugs to the whole family

  14. You are living the dream of independence from THE MAN, congrats!

  15. Wonderful! Good to have sales, good to work together, even though you have to 'retie his bows when he is not looking', good to eat and play together. Much happiness to you all.

  16. Sounds like you have it all under control and a good life/work balance! It's so important to be able to spend time with those that we love. So glad you are so very happy!

  17. Brilliant planning and organization!

    Sometimes the repetition in life can bring us comfort and joy.

  18. PS As an international customer (UK) I thought I'd let you know my experience of receiving orders from US sellers. If something is marked as more than £18 (I guess about $27?) it gets held up at customs and we then get a slip saying we have a fee to pay before they'll deliver. The tax is not usually a lot BUT the handling fee is, proportionally! I really don't mind paying the tax, just the fee to the post office. Who can be fairly rubbish over here, it has to be said...The local parcel office advised me to ask to have things marked as 'gift' as the non-taxed value is less(£36/$54??)...but I know sellers aren't always able to do that.

  19. I really enjoyed your list of the whole shipping process. I hope one of your children will grow into the assistant position very soon! Could be in charge of bow-tying, hmmm? Good job on a system that is working for you with the end result of family togetherness. So lacking today, like eating together, a lost art. Just so you keep making those fabulous pieces because each one shows that you have shared a part of your heart and soul. I've mailed jewelry in padded envies right from the p.o. and they never said a word about depth, so just wondering about all of that. Thanks for info!

  20. Swe-e-e-et! The insanity of life, when trying to make it all work for the best of your family and the creativity in your heart!


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