Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Shop Like You Mean It

My annual post to encourage you to shop small is here! It's not just something people say, it's really important to live it. Can you imagine what the community would be like if shopping was all Wal-Mart and Target? Ugh!

Collections By Joya
Buy jewelry or subscribe to a gift box, and a portion of the sale goes directly back to women's charities.
-They offer 20% off your first order when you sign up for their newsletter
-I bought several of their Perfect Layers bracelets for family and friends. For $29.95 you really can't go wrong.

Want to help a local artist or entrepeneur? Go to Kickstarter and search your city!

Shop Etsy for things made in and shipped from St. Louis! If you're not in St. Louis, you can find your city by searching it in the search bar, when your results come up, go to the left side where it says "refine your search" and it lets you enter "custom option" where you can input your city or zip code. Once that comes up, make sure you clear your city from the search bar at the top (you can leave it blank and hit search).

Some of my favorite stores in St. Louis are: Bowood Farms, Garden Heights Nursery, Geranium, Art Mart, Paper Dolls, Klutch, and all the antique malls like Treasure Aisles, and Warson Woods, and I can't wait for Lemon Gem to open.

If you're not going to shop local, at least consider supporting businesses that give back.

Feed Projects
Purchase of their products gives meals to children.
-Sign up for offers and receive 10% off your order.
-I love their products! I'm currently coveting this mudcloth inspired striped pouch for $35, which gives 25 school meals to children around the world:

More businesses that give back...
Puravida bracelets, lets you select which charity you'd like to support, and there are lots of options!
Skyline Socks sells socks with the skylines of major cities on them, and when you purchase a pair, it donates a pair for socks to someone in that city.
You may have seen Yoobi's bright, fun stationery & office supplies at Target, why not buy from them directly? For every item you buy, they donate an item to a U.S. school in need.

Spread the word! On social media use hashtags #shopsmall #supportlocal #giveback #buylocal #shopsmallbusiness #makingadifference

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Holiday 2016 Preview!

It may feel like I'm skipping over the lovely holiday for Thanksgiving, but I swear I'm not! Give me all the turkey, pies and root vegetables! I'm pinning away and actually working really hard on getting Halloween and Thanksgiving all ready. But the thing that's really on my mind, and all of our minds, is Holidays! Am I right? Who has started shopping for gifts? (Me.)  

Oh! If you haven't been there is awhile, I have a 99 CENT SALE happening in our Etsy shop

And now since you've made it to the end of this post - a reward for you! 25% off your order on www.sucreshop.com thru 12/15!! Use code WELCOME2017. Thank you for reading and supporting Sucre Shop!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Leaving Product Reviews

As a longtime Etsy Shopper and Etsy seller, I know how important it is to leave reviews. This isn't just for Etsy, it's also for eBay, and any other website on which a review made may directly impact the seller and their future sales.

My Etsy currently has 2017 reviews, and shows 5 stars for my work (yay!) but on occasion I get a review that makes no sense to me, and I just can't let it go! 

Reviews should be made on the following criteria: 

Is the item as described in and as pictured in the listing? 

Did your item arrived during the time promised? Optional bonus: are you particularly pleased with the seller, did you have a nice conversation or something?

Reviews should not be made based on the following: buyer failed to read the listing, and the item wasn't as expected, even though it was as listed. For example, a cup which has been purchased, which was listed as "small... holds four ounces.. perfect for shots", should not be given two stars and reviewed "it's small" by the buyer.

If you're going to write "super cute!" but only leave 4 stars, well, I want to know why. And so do other buyers. 

Thanks for being thoughtful! XO

Monday, May 9, 2016

Let's Be Patriots!

Time start planning those Summer get together! Thinking popsicles? How about stars, or some sticks that say BOOM and POP?

Thinking a set of forks/spoons/knives are best for your picnic? Order a combo or red and blue stripes.

For ice cream, you really can't do better than our red and blue striped ice cream spoons!
If you're looking for something a little less traditional, just have a look around and see what you like. There are plenty of options!

Monday, April 25, 2016

It's Getting Hot In Here

I know, I know, it's just Spring. But we can't stop thinking ahead, here's a little list of some of our favorite things, which you may be looking forward to also!
Be picnic ready with picnic plaid, eco-friendly disposable utensils!

Sweet colored popsicle sticks
The ideal music festival koozie!

There ya have it, the perfect picnic utensil, popsicle sticks so you can make fun treats, and one option for a fun koozie - music festival ready!

Looking for more warm weather inspiration? Our pinterest board is full of it!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Flood

Warning! This is not the light-hearted kind of post you are used to seeing on this blog. Since 2011 I have been running Sucre Shop, pretending (to some extent) that this is a big business, because I wanted it to be a big business. About a year ago, that desire to have a big business changed. I realized that I am not doing the things I like anymore. I felt a lot of pressure to grow, and to keep up. What started very organically, from an idea I had and selling in an Etsy shop, turned into trade shows twice a year which meant a huge investment and weeks away from my family. I don't regret the effort I made, I made amazing friends, meet great connections, learned about running a business. But it made me tired. Like, really tired.
And then a few months ago while I was trying to figure out what I want to do next, there was the flood. My beautiful studio, my dream creative space, the place I worked hard for and in, which was not in a flood zone, took on 3 feet of water when the Meramec river flooded on December 30. It was devastating to see the damage, when I could finally get in there 3 days later, after the water went down and the street became accessible. Chairs, shelves, product, paperwork... so much was ruined.
I had to empty the space so a clean up crew could come in and clean, and a construction crew could cut out the dry wall and do their thing before it became moldy. My friends helped. It was a huge job. It was heart wrenching in a way that is hard to explain. Like everything I've poured my heart into and worked so hard for was getting thrown in the dumpster. When it was empty, I walked away not knowing if I would ever be back.
This is just the beginning. By the end, the sandbags were stacked 6 high.

The truth is, I'm not a big business. I'm just me. There was a time when my product was handmade that I had 12 people on my payroll. But it just didn't work for me. There is a lesson everyday for the 5 years I've been doing this. One of them is to trust your gut to know when things aren't working *before* they fall apart. So, just me. And a lot of inventory.
The bottoms of the boxes on the closest table were under water. Everything in there was trashed.

You can see the bottom two buckets filled with water, to show how high it was.
My friends who helped me move packed things up quickly, and put the box wherever it would fit. I wasn't fast enough to run around and label everything, so I've spent the last several months searching for missing inventory, which I don't know if it's actually missing, or if it was damaged and thrown away. Everything was interrupted, again, in a way that's hard to explain.
Things were knocked over, and floated all around the studio. 
More inventory floating and knocked over.
I'm working now from a temporary space, and trying to rent out my pricey studio for the remainder of my lease. I've been rethinking everything, wondering about next steps, and how to move on with so many things that seem to be against me. Recently, things seem to be looking up! I am still working from a temp space, while paying for my pricey studio. But having some distance has actually been good, it's helped me remember why I got into business in the first place: because I love creating things and meeting creative people. 
If things are getting better, why am I writing this? Because being a small business owner is damn hard, and people deserve to know what we go through to make things work. Because Sucre Shop is me, and I am Sucre Shop. The ups and downs of the business are me; things I go through and things I feel. And as a community, I'm also hoping to have your support to make it through some of the rough times. Thanks for sticking with me!