Does Christmas come to early?

It seems that every year stores start putting out their Christmas displays earlier than the last. Like the onslaught of Baby-Boomer-classic-holiday-hits start drifting through the background of any trip to the mall before we've even had our Thanksgiving turkey. As the signs of the upcoming retail insanity start popping up, people start complaining, "It's not even December yet! What is happening?!"

I used to complain about it too. I still get it, people want and need time to enjoy the fall. Halloween and Thanksgiving have their own exciting elements that lots of people love, and when Christmas starts taking over "too early" it can distract from the enjoyment of those earlier holidays.

My experiences over the last six years have drastically changed my thoughts about this controversial trend. Since my first holiday season with my own business back in 2011, the months leading up to Christmas have taken on a whole new emotional meaning. I was definitely not prepared for my first Christmas as a business owner. The shear volume of orders increased to the point that some days I was shipping more orders in one day than I had in an entire summer month. Each Christmas season I ship as fast as I can, and do my best to remain grateful for the work. It's like riding a roller coaster, or running a race, or maybe both at the same time. Now I find myself putting up shipping deadlines in bold black ink on my calendar. I do everything in my power to make sure that all of the orders are shipped out and able to arrive before the Big Day.

As the years have passed I also notice that people who weeks before had complained about Christmas coming too early, began complaining about how long it took for their online orders to arrive. After experiencing the physical and emotional toll that holiday shipping took on me with my own little business, I have fresh sympathy for what other business go through, big and small. 

The harsh reality is that time and space are real. While the Amazons and the Wal-Marts of the world want you to believe that a few clicks of a few buttons can give you what you want nearly effortlessly—it's just not true. There is a lot of effort that goes into it! I can only ship so many orders in a day, and even businesses far larger than mine all have their limits. The United States Postal Service can only process so many packages and letters in any given day, or hour, or minute. Those limits are tested every year with the pressure increasing the closer it gets to December 25th.

Whenever pressure increases, at some point something has to give. The way I see it, stores and online advertisers beginning the holiday push earlier is likely an effort to relieve some of the pressure that builds up later in the season. Just as there are only so many packages I can ship in a day, there are also only so many shelves that can be restocked, decorations hung, and transactions processed through a checkout in a store.

With all of this in mind, here is my plea: please be patient and be kind. The postal workers, UPS delivery folks, the people working in local stores, the artists selling things online, and so many other people that work somewhere in the retail system are all working ridiculously hard in the weeks and months leading up to Christmas. They all have their own families, their own shopping to get done, their own holiday parties to attend, and their own private lives with responsibilities. Be patient. Be kind. Consider supporting your local economy, or an independent maker when you're looking for gifts, and consider shopping early to help them even more. Because when it comes down to it, we're all just humans trying to make our way through this crazy world together.

Holiday Items 2014

It's been a busy year, and I'm looking forward to getting back into a more normal groove with less traveling! There's not very much time for rest, however, because the holiday shopping season is right around the corner, and it's time to get prepared! 

With that in mind, the two things I want to remind you of are...

Christmas Tree Sets:

 Medium Christmas Tree Set - Retail $30

Medium Christmas Tree Set - Retail $30

And Whisker Combs:

 Whisker Combs - Retail $10 each

Whisker Combs - Retail $10 each

Both make excellent gifts for folks who are usually hard to shop for. The whisker combs are tiny and make great stocking stuffers. The tree sets are lovely, simple, and pack flat for storage during the off season.

-Hannah

2014 Show Schedule

  • January Buyers Market of American Craft (Wholesale Only) - Philadelphia
  • January-February New York Now (Wholesale Only)
  • February 19-23 American Craft Council Show - Baltimore (Wholesale and Retail)
  • March 3-9 Philadelphia Flower Show
  • March 13-16 American Craft Council Show - Atlanta
  • April 10-13 American Craft Council Show - St. Paul
  • May 10-11 Art Star Craft Bazaar - Philadelphia
  • July 5 Art Star Craft Bazaar Pop Up Market - Philadelphia
  • July 18-20 Renegade Craft Show - San Francisco
  • August 16-19 New York Now (Wholesale Only)

2015 Show Schedule

  • January 16-19 American Made Show(Wholesale Only, previously BMAC)
  • January 31 - February 4 New York Now (Wholesale Only)

Mustache Combs - A Father's Day Hit!

 Grandpa's Whiskers Beard Comb

Grandpa's Whiskers Beard Comb

Sometime around the end of May I decided to make a few little combs that said "Grandpa's Whiskers" on them specifically for Father's Day. I thought it would make a cute little gift, and is just the sort of unusual thing that people like to find on Etsy. I was totally and completely blown away by the response that I got!

 

On one particular Friday morning I was woken up at 6am by repeated notifications of messages on Etsy. By mid day I had received more than 25 emails from people asking if they could have "Pop's Whiskers" or "G-Paw's Whiskers" or "Daddy's Whiskers" or "Pappy's Whiskers" or... etc. etc. I spent most of the day communicating with people and creating a list of special names that people wanted. Generally I don't take custom orders, but for whatever reason I decided to go along for the ride while I could. I found out part way through the day that Etsy had sent out a shopping email blast that featured my whisker comb as a trend for June. At the beginning of June my comb was also selected to be the cover photo of the "Gifts for Grandpa's" browsing section on Etsy.

 

The next two or three weeks were a blur of making combs, oiling combs, wrapping combs, shipping combs, emailing about combs, and dreaming about combs.

 Medley of Whisker Combs

Medley of Whisker Combs

It was a wild and crazy ride. I'm also proud to say that I managed to get all of the correct name variations to the correct customers! (Or at least no one told me that I got any mixed up)  Fewsh.