Monthly Archives: December 2009

Post Christmas ONE DAY Give Away! Get your name in quickly! Winner will be chosen Tomorrow, December 26!!

Post Christmas ONE DAY Give Away:

Want to stock up on some adorable and eco chic Christmas items for next year…for FREEEEE?!?! If you answered yes, then make sure to get your name in for the Reclaimed Threads’ Christmas Clearance Give Away right away! This is a shot gun giveaway so it starts RIGHT NOW and ends tonight (Saturday, Dec. 26) so make sure that you sign up immediately for your chance to win! There are three ways to enter, listed below(just one day! Eeek! what a rush!).

WHAT CAN YOU WIN?! You can win a beautiful pouch bag made from reclaimed cotton and vintage ribbon. These pouch bags are great for gift giving, storing makeup or jewelry… the uses are endless! You also will receive THREE one of a kind reclaimed cotton/wool ornaments: a sheep, with embroidered “fluffiness” and button feet, a dove, a symbol of peace and love, and a stocking, made from repurposed wool and is perfect for a gift card! Both the sheep and dove have an “RT” embroidered into them for “Reclaimed Threads”. This give-away is worth $45! And you could get it for free, what could be better!

The Winner will be chosen tonight, December 26. If you sign up but do not win, do not fret! You can still take advantage of the amazing Post Christmas Clearance Sale is this Saturday, December 26- Sunday December 27, 2009 at www.ReclaimedThreads.etsy.com. You can buy all of your ornaments, reusable gift bags, reusable gift pouches, fabric bow pins and more for very low prices! While you are there, make sure to check out some new Reclaimed Threads’ tote bags! Enjoy!

Get your name in for the give away the following ways:

Guidelines: There are three entry options listed below, feel free to enter using all three! You may only submit one entry per option though. Meaning you can submit once using the first option AND once using the second option AND once using the third option. Now that is a total of three entries BUT there is a bonus entry for Etsians AND if you purchase ANYTHING from RECLAIMED THREADS today you get 2 extra entries. Good luck!

Options:

1. Comment to this post but you are only eligible if you fill in your email (it will not be published) while filling out the comment box.*

2. Become a Facebook Fan AND either: send me a message through my Reclaimed Threads’ account, or, Write on my wall “This is my Post Christmas Clearance Give Away entry!!!”* http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reclaimed-Threads/124143768096?ref=nf

3. @RECLAIMEDTHREAD “Please include me in your Post Christmas Clearance Giveaway for one of a kind eco-chic products!”on Twitter* (note that there is not an “s” in my Twitter name, this is intentional).

BONUS ENTRY If you are on Etsy, go to the Reclaimed Threads’ shop, www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com,  and “heart” it (make this shop a favorite of yours)! This you can only do once*

So now you have all the ways to enter so make sure you get your entries in quick!

About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur who combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form Reclaimed Threads.  Every item is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed/repurposed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of bags and products in her shop: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.

* If I am not able to get in touch with the winner  by Monday, December 28, 2009, 12PM EST then I will have to chose an alternative winner.

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ETSY SHOPPER: Last Minute Christmas Shopping!

Hello everyone and Happy Holidays!

Life is crazy and sometimes we either forget to shop for someone on our list or see something at the last minute that we think would make the perfect gift for someone that we care about. Whatever your reason, here are some great last minute ideas that can get you all caught up and ready to relax and enjoy free time with your family and friends!

Like everyone during this time of year, I am short on time so no wordy descriptions this time around! Just match the number on the picture with the number at the bottom for the name of the product annnd a magical link to the shops where you are sure to find even MORE great products and ideas!

1. FREE SHIPPING Forest Friends 8×10 Matted Recycled Collage Print Collection http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=35151548

2. guitar string earrings – Recycled teardrop http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=36854999

3. Silk and Organic Cotton Luxuria Sleep Mask http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=36855109

4. Flatware Silverware Utensil Pouch Case http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28948799

5. Funky Junq Recycled Aluminum Soda Pop Can Art Magnet A and W ROOTBEER PIG http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=36871407

6. Eye of the Tiger Neck Piece/Scarf/Necklace http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30766348

7. rose blossom felt headband http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23933043

8. MONKEY CUP COZY – Eamon – Reusable Coffee Sleeve http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21927891

9. Don’t Panic I’m Organic (Printed on a Soft Organic and Sweat-Shop Free Tee) http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32786314

10. Eco Friendly Recycled Map Bangle Bracelet – Chicago – The Windy City http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=36877390

11. SET OF 3 lavender sachets http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=36876772

12. Mama and Mee Pixie HoodE http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=35395637

13. Christmas Tree Gift Tags – 10 Total – Recycled Paper http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=36796359

14. Eco Friendly Wee Ones Bib Collection-The Purple Garden http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34342980

15. Rustic Reclaimed Fencewood Framed LED Candle Sconce http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34746456

PS here is a cute Treasury to check out! http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=100757

About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur who combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form Reclaimed Threads.  Every item is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed/repurposed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of bags and products in her shop: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.

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December 2009 Reclaimed Threads’ Business Update; Current Events, Lessons Learned and Looking Forward

Hello world!

I hope that by reading through what I have been going through the last few weeks. running my small business, that it will help anyone going through the same ordeals! If you have any suggestions, helpful links or words of encouragement never hesitate to leave a comment or email me! I love hearing from people and frankly have a few things I am struggling with and would appreciate all the help I can get!

Well, there has been a lot happening with Reclaimed Threads over the last month or so. While I was still in Pittsburgh (3 months total), I worked my butt off building up a holiday inventory that exceeded my expectations in terms of the amount I was able to produce while maintaining the high quality I demand of myself.  Now the challenge lies in my being able to continue being as productive at home (MA) where there are many more opportunities to socialize. I maintain optimistic though, now that I see what I am capable of!

Currently In The Reclaimed Threads’ Etsy Shop:

So about this holiday inventory I mentioned before… I have lots of Christmas products currently up in my shop (www.reclaimedthreads.ets.com)! I had such a great time creating unique ornaments, gift bags and accessories! Make sure to have a look, grab what you like and let me know what you think!

What Is Coming Soon To The Reclaimed Threads’ Etsy Shop:

I have about 20 bags of all shapes, sizes and colors as well as many (MANY!) more accessories finished a ready to be photographed for my Etsy shop. I was originally holding onto them because I had a few shows lined up and thought I would sell them there. This did not end up being the case (story to be shared under the “Reclaimed Threads Out and About” Section) and I am really looking forward to sharing them with a larger group of like-minded people through my shop! Make sure to stop by while you are finishing up your holiday shopping, you won’t be disappointed! My goal is to have all of these items in my shop by next Tuesday, December 15th.

TIP: I have become such a firm believer in setting deadlines for myself lately! It truly does help and when you tell your friends and family (and Facebook and Twitter followers) about your deadline then you are forced to follow through! If you don’t follow through then there is bound to be at least one person who says, I thought you said that you were going to have “X” done by today? I hate disappointing people and looking like a bad business person so this keeps me in line! I will say, though, that despite all of my planning I am missing a total of THREE Etsy Shopper Features that I had planned for the past two weeks and this week. But Thanksgiving, travel and settling back home really messed things up. I had only set loose deadlines in this case so now I am all about full disclosure and am going to put up some sort of schedule of upcoming posts in this blog so that I am locked in!

Material World:

I am soooooo happy that I found a great fabric supplier! Two actually and they have been right under my nose this whole time and I wasn’t even aware of them! There is a home consignment store in my town called Still Life (http://www.stilllifeconsignmentshop.com/) and they have a lot of fabric samples from stores as well as vintage fabric and yardage that people simply didn’t want. I want it though!! I am so happy that people are bringing these items here instead of just throwing them away!

Upstairs in the same building is a designer fabric store called Zimmans (http://zimmans.com/). NOTE: When you go to this website there is music that I can’t figure out how to turn off so be careful if you are reading this at work! haha but back to what I was saying, I was almost overwhelmed with the bins of remnants and bolt ends available here! I am a huge fan of when products, literally no matter what it is, are color coordinated. I got weak at the knees when I saw the rainbow of colors as I walked through the back of this store!

I am definitely going to become a VERY good customer of both of these businesses!

A family member also stumbled across an estate sale recently and found boxes FULL of vintage buttons!  So I have about 9 or 10 Ball glass jars full of buttons, I’m in heaven!

Reclaimed Threads Out and About:

Okay now to my big blunder of 2009. I had a  few shows the last couple of weeks but none were very fruitful. One was a holiday shopping boutique which was a lot of fun and I met many great people but traffic into the boutique show wasn’t very high so there weren’t a lot of sales. I also was at a flea market for two Sundays in a row but I had a sharp gut feeling when I agree to sign up for this (which is a long story in itself including my brother and his friend and all of us splitting a booth, which didn’t happen, etc) that a fleas market might be the most inappropriate place to try and sell handmade, one of a kind, high-end sustainable products. My gut feeling was right and I did not generate many sales but, again, met some nice people. One thing that I gained from both experiences, which I find indispensable, is face to face feedback on my products. I am thrilled to report that people’s reactions and comments were overwhelmingly positive! It makes me very happy and proud to have people, unsolicited, tell me how impressed they are especially when they are seamstresses and other handmade craftsmen which a few were!

TIP Through The Lesson I Learned From This Experience: From now on I am going to be photographing products and uploading them to my shop every week. This is no matter what events I have lined up because by hoarding my inventory for these shows instead of uploading them to my Etsy shop as well, resulted in my missing out on all the post-Thanksgiving exposure. This was poor planning, and in my opinion, plain laziness on my part because I was too naive in thinking that everything I made would sell at these three events. I have learned that you can never assume anything when it comes to how your product will do at a show or event.  It is alright to think positive but always utilize every tool you have available! I should have uploaded all of my inventory to my Etsy shop so that they would be there for people looking specifically for high quality, eco-chic handbags AND for people who left the show with my card and could have decided to check out the shop later that night and see if the bag they liked was still available, possibly even buying it then. Even though feedback was very positive, the flea market was not the place to sell my products, so I would have to advise everyone to be very careful as to what sort of places you try to sell your products. If it is obviously the wrong venue then don’t waste your time and money because both are valuable!! Woops! Lesson learned!

Katherine, What Else Have You Learned So Far About Selling Your Kind of Products (handmade, sustainable bags and accessories):

Over the last few months I have learned a few things about selling my products:

-Customers tell me that my Etsy listing photos do not do my products justice! When they receive their bag they are surprised by how nice it really is! I am still working on taking crisper photos that also give the views that replicate how people look at bags in a store: front and back, inside, over their shoulder, etc.

-Even though I am working on my photos in my Etsy shop, there is still nothing better then having people see my products in person. I sell more bags when people ask me to come to their house while they have company over than anything else that I have done. This has sparked two initiatives that I will be working towards in the next few weeks: I want to get my products into handmade and eco-conscious stores in my area and I want to make a game plan for how I would launch a series of Home Trunk Shows (or home bag parties) to decide if it would be “do-able”.

-People are very much into one of a kind bags but they really like to pick out their own fabric and design elements. I played around with the idea of doing custom bags but with my production crew being made up of me, myself and I, I just do not have the capacity to venture into something like this yet. I am considering making this an exclusive offer at house trunk shows as well as these parties acting as a chance to have first dibs on a selection of new products.

-I need to get more Press Coverage for Reclaimed Threads! I would definitely appreciate any suggestions when it comes to this topic! I love seeing my products reviewed by people and would like to continue with this as well as have features written about the company as a whole! Up to this point, I’ve relied on networking with people and them offering to feature me here and there. I appreciate all of this and am now aiming to be featured more often and by a broader range of media (blogs, magazines, newspapers and TV)! Who isn’t aiming for this?!

FUN FACT: I was going to be featured in the Unofficial Etsy Business Blog as a “green business” recently. This turned into Justine (the editor) asking me to become a contributor to the blog instead. So I will be taking the driver’s seat for a “green stories” series on her blog, this is coming soon and will be a monthly feature. I am working on the questions and finding people to feature at the moment. I will be sure to update everyone once the first feature is ready! I am excited for this, it will be a fun to be a part of what I think is a wonderful blog!

Well, this pretty much sums up my last month or so! I’d love to hear your feedback about my products, the progress that I am making and definitely any suggestions that you have about things that I should be doing that I am not! Thanks for sticking with me through this long update! Remember that you can subscribe to my blog and get updates without even having to think about it!

Best Wishes,

Katherine

About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur who combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form Reclaimed Threads.  Every item is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed/repurposed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of bags and products in her shop: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.

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