Friday, December 14, 2012

Renegade Craft Fair SF: this weekend!

It's been an incredible few weeks in Seattle & Portland. I'm taking this show on the road one last time. We plan to close out the year by leaving our hearts (and our candy) in San Francisco!

You'll find us in booth #85.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Shipping Reminder

I'm driving to San Francisco for the Renegade Craft Fair, so there's no shipping between December 13-17. Many items offer expedited shipping speeds if you need them. Shipping resumes December 18th, and December 20th is the last day I'll be accepting new orders before Christmas.

Thanks for your understanding, and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Introducing the Box Set - 22 Flavors

Customers sometimes ask for an easy way to purchase all 22 of our gourmet lollipop flavors at once. I'm happy to say this stylish box set successfully debuted at Crafty Wonderland last weekend (shown below) and is now available from This Charming Candy's Etsy shop too.

all 22 of our gourmet lollipops!
Lollipops are snuggled into a glossy white box with a clear lid, which is fastened with stickers. It's ready for gift wrapping, or for immediate installation in your candy drawer at work!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Portland Stockist: Presents of Mind

Lovely people of Portland, if you missed us at Crafty Wonderland -- or if you've already eaten all the lollipops you got there! -- never fear. Presents of Mind has been stocking many of our flavors for the past year and we delivered another big order to owner Seasons last weekend. Head on over to 3633 SE Hawthorne Blvd for your fix.



Huzzah!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Craft Booth Design, part 1: Checkout

This season, I was faced with different booth sizes in each craft show:
  • 8 x 8 at EtsyRAIN
  • 10 x 10 at Urban Craft Uprising
  • 10 x 5 at Crafty Wonderland
  • 5 x 10 at Renegade Craft Fair SF (i.e. the left or right half of a 10 x 10 space)
I worked with the super talented Matthew Parker (of Matthew Parker Events) to redesign my displays for maximum flexibility and am pleased with how it has worked out. We made three major upgrades and one minor enhancement for this year. This post is about the first major upgrade.

Dedicated checkout area
This summer at Renegade SF, I was impressed with the Poppyhearts booth design, particularly her dedicated, obvious, clear checkout counter. I've often struggled to manage the "back of the house" stuff in an organized way - like where to stash my purse, where to keep shopping bags for customer purchases in easy access, and where to keep my cashbox so it's not visible & in the way.

The solution was under my nose the entire time: I own a bookcase whose shelves fold up and whose sides fold around, so it packs flat. It's heavy though. My friend Heidi of Max & Co. Postcards kindly altered one of my custom TCC-pattern tablecloths from Spoonflower to fit snugly around three sides of the bookcase (the secret ingredient is Velcro to hold the cloth to the bookcase!) and voila! Here are some shots of it at home, where I was playing around with the setup:

The bookcase shelves are prefect for holding all the essentials during the craft show!

I've got Velcro tape on bookcase, and Velcro sewn in to the cloth. Perfect!

Matthew created a simple yet elegant sign for the front of the bookcase: lightweight gator board with a vinyl This Charming Candy sticker. It ties to the bookcase via black satin ribbon.A white tray provides additional privacy for the cashbox and is great for displaying credit card logos to reinforce the idea that this is where to pay for your candy. Nice, huh!

Here it is, in action, at Urban Craft Uprising:
This Charming Candy craft show checkout counter... 



... at Urban Craft Uprising. Setup still in progress at this point.
That final picture hints at what my next posts about this year's booth upgrades will include...  stay tuned!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Super Colossal Holiday Sale: this weekend!

I'm hitting the road! Portland, I will see you soon *MWAH*
Look for This Charming Candy in booth #221...


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Seattle Stockists: Tasty, Charly + May, Portage Bay Goods

In case you weren't able to attend the Seattle craft shows I participated in, fear not. Many shops in town carry This Charming Candy's gourmet lollipops! Recently I've had the pleasure of visiting a couple of our retail partners around Seattle to restock their stashes.

First up: Tasty Art Gallery in the Greenwood neighborhood! I was happy to get to see the amazing art installation for the Fairy Tales and Fables show. It's a great shop, one that is very supportive of alternative artists - and we're proud to be included there.

Lollipops by This Charming Candy, featured at Tasty Art Gallery
This Charming Candy lollipops on the counter at Tasty

Meanwhile, in the Queen Anne neighborhood at the top of the hill, modern gift shop Charley + May features an entire "candy bar" in one corner! Shop owner Lauren has assembled a well balanced variety of specialty, novelty, nostalgic, and local independent confections to choose from. And she tells me she's already got some devoted customers who keep returning for our lollipops. Yay!

Candy bar at Charley + May in Seattle, WA
The candy bar at Charley + May

Finally, we're thrilled to have a presence in the Fremont neighborhood, a.k.a. the Center of the Universe, at the super charming Portage Bay Goods shop. I love their tagline: "The gift shop for the thoughtful procrastinator!" This bright and cheerful shop even beckons to you on a rainy day, like the day I took this picture when I met shop owners Lauren & Shalene:

Portage Bay Goods now carries This Charming Candy lollipops
Portage Bay Goods stocks variety packs and individual lollipops, and about a bazillion other awesome things.

See our Stores page for more shops around Seattle and the US. Is there a store in your town you'd like to be able to buy This Charming Candy lollipops from? Mention it in the comments or send an email!
 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Urban Craft Uprising: this weekend!

As ever, we are so excited and proud to be part of Urban Craft Uprising.
See you there, tomorrow and/or Sunday!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Give Love, Give Handmade: this weekend!



Skip the mall in favor of unique handmade artistry... This Charming Candy's vivacious handmade lollipops & I will be in booth #233 in the upper level of McCaw Hall, today and tomorrow from 11 am - 5pm. I hope to see you this weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Craft Show Countdown!

ONE WEEK.... until etsyRAIN Handmade Holiday Show
Find us in booth #233 (upper level of McCaw hall)!


TWO WEEKS... until Urban Craft Uprising
I'm not sure if the booths will be numbered... but we're located very close to the concessions and restrooms.



THREE WEEKS... until Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale
Find us in booth #221!



FOUR WEEKS... until Renegade Craft Fair: San Francisco Holiday Market
Find us in booth #85, which we're sharing with our buddies from Ugly Baby, yay!



GET READY!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Holiday Ordering Deadlines

Ho Ho Ho! Yes, believe it or not we are in the thick of holiday shopping season. So it's time for us to communicate about making sure your candy arrives on time!

Special notes
This year I plan to drive to San Francisco for the Renegade Craft Fair, so I won't be doing any shipping between December 13-17. Shipping resumes December 18th for a couple of days. December 20th is the last day I'll be accepting and shipping orders.
USPS deadlines
All of the following dates refer to using First Class USPS service whether domestic or international.We offer shipping upgrades in most of our Etsy listings -- see the screenshots below -- so if you're procrastinating a bit, there's probably still hope :-)

Please note that shipping speeds are approximations based on USPS quoted delivery windows for each service; occasionally the acutal delivery speed exceeds the approximation if there are delays in the postal system -- Superstorm Sandy-sized or otherwise!

international shipping speeds
We offer 2 shipping speeds for international destinations - First Class and Priority

We offer 3 shipping speeds for domestic (USA) destinations - First Class, Priority and Express



HANUKKAH
To make sure that you order lollipops in time for Dec 8th (first night of Hanukkah), please observe these ordering deadlines. Thank you!
DOMESTIC (USA)
December 3, 2012

MILITARY (USA)
November 23, 2012

INTERNATIONAL
November 16, 2012

CHRISTMAS
To make sure that you order lollipops in time for Dec 25th (Christmas), please observe these ordering deadlines. Thank you!
DOMESTIC (USA)
December 19, 2012

MILITARY (USA)
December 10, 2012

INTERNATIONAL
December 3, 2012


Thanks so much! I'm looking forward to shipping candy all around the world again this year :-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How Did You Get Started?

I get asked this a lot... "How did you get started making lollipops?"

measuring the temperature of lollipop syrup
handmade lollipops require accurate temperature control

I love cooking, especially cooking for other people -- in fact, I once co-hosted a gold-themed dinner party in which each dish was embellished with one of at least four different edible gold glitters... but that's another story altogether.

I know that a lot of people are like me -- we relish good food; it gives us joy to share it. In that spirit of joy, I started making hard candy lollipops as a creative dessert to enjoy with my friends. Their delighted reactions let me know I was on to something. Soon I started sending lollipops as gifts to family and friends around the country; making candy became a fun way to cook for my favorite people, no matter where they lived.

Starting a candy business was a natural evolution. I know that my customers don't always have the time to create cool, unusual desserts for the people they love, but I can do it for them -- for you. Making you and your friends happy gives me great pleasure. Every day I'm grateful for the opportunity, so thank you.

xoxo,
Susan

Monday, November 12, 2012

Welcome Back, Teaberry!


When we rebooted the Adventurer's Pack collection in 2011, one of my personal favorite flavors stepped aside to make room for the newcomers (Black Pepper Melon, Tart Pluot, and Salted Anise). 

Teaberry is a bright, clean, tingly and fresh wintergreen flavor. I had a little extra room in the kitchen production schedule recently so I whipped up a batch of them. They're currently available by the dozen, and individually in Mixed Bags. If you've never tried it before, now's a perfect time!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Running a Creative Business Online

Little known fact: running a creative business online doesn't mean you get to spend all your days creating things! It involves loads of computer time.

This year, Etsy has released lots of great new administrative tools for sellers to manage their shops & listings. Keeping up with them can sometimes be a challenge, and of course tasks like improving your item titles and tags to stay relevant in search results, managing your shipping options, or understanding your traffic statistics aren't nearly as much fun as making new products!

Nevertheless, these activities are important for success, so I recently got together for a couple hours in a bring-your-own-laptop working meeting with a few of my buddies from etsyRAIN, the Seattle-area street team. It was awesomely productive and each of us had aha! moments in which we suddenly thought of important keywords we should be using for our businesses.

From left to right we've got: Heidi of Haute Goat Cashmere, Marlo of I Make Cute Stuff, and Sarah of Tutta Lou Press. That's my own laptop in the front :-)


Some lovely ladies of etsyRAIN, hard at work on their shops
If you've got friends who also run businesses on Etsy, I encourage you to get together and spend a little time actively improving your shops & helping each other out.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ref 74, Morrissey and me

This year, my fellow Washingtonians and I voted 52%-48% in favor of Referendum 74 to recognize marriage equality, allowing same sex couples to marry in our state. Not all results are in at the time of this post, but "cautious optimism" is the phrase I keep reading.

via http://www.facebook.com/WashingtonUnited
This morning I was reading this article in The Stranger, Morrissey and Me, and started to reflect on my own relationship with Morrissey. As you might already know, the name This Charming Candy is a nod to The Smiths' song "This Charming Man" and The Smiths have been one of my favorite bands ever since I first encountered them.

I grew up in suburban Philadelphia in a Catholic family. My only early memories that have anything to do with homosexuality involve my father sneering about Johnny Mathis crooning love songs to "his boyfriend". The sneering was a little confusing; after all, this was in reference to a Johnny Mathis album that was in our house, possibly on the stereo at the time of this remark. Best not to think too much about this unsettling topic, I decided.

A few years later, a friend introduced me to The Smiths. The more I listened to them, the more I liked them - that tortured, yet stylish alienation I heard in their music was a natural fit for a girl in her early teens in the late 1980's.

Morrissey's sexuality was the topic of rumors and speculation - I remember hearing phrases like "non practicing homosexual", etc. At the risk of sounding hopelessly unsophisticated, as a solidly middle class Catholic teenager, these concepts were new and strange and intriguing -- and mind-opening. He's the first celebrity I'm aware of, who I loved and admired, who I knew had atypical orientation, whatever it was. It may sound trite (like love at first sight...) but looking back I can see how valuable it was for me to be exposed to someone like that.

Now here we are -- 20-some years later, voting to approve marriage for any couple, regardless of their sexual orientations. While it's gross and offensive to put a group's rights to a popular vote, I'm really proud to have been part of this election.

Thanks for reading - normal candy topics will resume shortly :-)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Giving Up on Facebook?

Like many Facebook page owners, I've been disappointed with Facebook's recent moves to reduce the number of page fans who see your page's posts in their news feeds, and then turning around and pushing page owners to pay to restore their posts' visibility. Anyone who 'likes' our page can generally be assumed to be interested in what we have to say, but my post stats shows that 80-85% of them don't see our updates anymore and I have no idea who sees them and who doesn't, or why.

Broken on Purpose
It’s no conspiracy. Facebook acknowledged it as recently as last week: messages now reach, on average, just 15 percent of an account’s fans. In a wonderful coincidence, Facebook has rolled out a solution for this problem: Pay them for better access.

I fully understand that Facebook needs to generate revenue, and they have a really valuable product to offer: people and their attention. But I can't help feeling disrespected as a page owner and as a Facebook user. As a page owner I've worked hard to gain fans by promoting our page to people who've bought our candy, and furthermore may have already paid Facebook in the form of ads to acquire some fans. As a user myself, it's really frustrating to realize that my professed interests are sometimes being disregarded on grounds I can't figure out.

So now as a micro-business, I am starting to question how much effort to put into Facebook anymore. These articles resonated with me. What are your thoughts?

FACEBOOK: I WANT MY FRIENDS BACK 
At Dangerous Minds, we post anywhere from 10 to 16 items per day, fewer on the weekends. To reach 100% of of our 50k+ Facebook fans they’d charge us $200 per post. That would cost us between $2000 and $3200 per day—but let’s go with the lower, easier to multiply number. We post seven days a week, that would be about $14,000 per week, $56,000 per month… a grand total of $672,000 for what we got for free before Facebook started turning the traffic spigot down in Spring of this year—wouldn’t you know it—right around the time of their badly managed IPO.
 
[CASE STUDY] Is it worth paying to promote Facebook posts?
Since we can only play by the rules Facebook sets, occasional outlays of cash to help our posts reach more Facebook users should probably be considered part of the promotional toolkit going forward.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone! What are your plans? Tonight my doorbell will get a real workout. I'm looking forward to seeing the neighborhood kids & their friends in their costumes, and to seeing the excitement that candy gives them.  It never gets old :-)

Speaking of old... I just love everything about this photo of my younger brother and me with our pumpkins. Based on my haircut I'm guessing this is the fall I started Kindergarten, so probably 1978. Aww!

photo by Susan's mom :-)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Skip the mall and come to McCaw Hall!



Seattle: Your holiday shopping just got a lot easier and more awesome. Just four short weeks from now, the 4th Annual etsyRAIN Handmade Holiday show will be bigger and better than ever. More artisans are participating than ever before and we've got a gorgeous new location to boot. This Thanksgiving weekend, support small local businesses - including This Charming Candy :-)

What: 4th Annual etsyRAIN Handmade Holiday Show
Dates: FRIDAY and SATURDAY, November 23 & 24, 2012
Show hours: Friday 11am to 6pm / Saturday 11am to 5pm
Location: Marion Oliver McCaw Hall Lobby – Two floors of booths!
321 Mercer Street, Seattle, WA 98109

You can RSVP:
There will be 100 swag bags to give to our first customers through the door EACH day – a total of 200 swag bags – the most we’ve ever offered! So exciting!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blood Suckers for Halloween


"I vant to suck your blood..."
photo by Kevin Keeker

If your Halloween plans include vampires in any form,the seductive, deep red Blood Suckers will be a big hit (SugarLoco thinks so too!)

The cool, tingly flavor of anise invokes the vampire’s cooler-than-human body temperature… and the clean sweet taste of apple presents the temptation of eternal life that lurks in the vampire’s kiss...

If you plan to include lollipops at a Halloween party you’re throwing or attending, you should order from our Etsy store by tomorrow to ensure delivery in time for the 31st. Trick or Treat!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lion Baby Shower Theme

Our customer Sandy used lollipops in yellow, blue and orange (Pineapple Heaven, Blueberry Muffin and Tangerine Clove flavors, respectively) in an adorable lion-themed baby shower. She used wrapping paper to decorate a 4" Blumebox with the cake pop insert -- a product that we totally love for photo shoots -- and viola!

Photo and baby shower styling by Sandy


See all the decor and many more photos in her blog... Thank you, Sandy, for sharing your creativity with us!

Have you displayed This Charming Candy lollipops at a wedding, a Thanksgiving table, a birthday party or other event? We'd love to see your photos and, with your permission, share them. Drop us an email anytime.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Crafty Caravan is Today!

Just a quick reminder for Seattle people... the seriously awesome Wayward Coffeehouse in the Roosevelt neighborhood is hosting the Crafty Caravan traveling craft show tomorrow morning...


I'll have all of This Charming Candy's lollipop variety packs with me, plus Greatest Hits 2012. If you've got something specific that you want to be sure I have with me, drop a comment below or send email to thischarmingcandy@gmail.com and it'll be packed up and waiting for you!

Greatest Hits 2012
photo by Heather Immoor

Here's the full list of participating Crafty Caravan artists:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

When Good Lollipops Go Bad

If you're thinking ahead about buying lollipops for holiday presents or as event favors, you might wonder, "How long do lollipops last?" Sugar is a natural preservative (think: fruit jams, jellies, etc.) so in general, lollipops have very good shelf life.

They're naturally dairy-free and fat-free and they don't "go bad" in the sense of becoming spoiled or otherwise dangerous to eat. We ship them to you in a zip-top bag and you can expect them to last a few months at normal room temperature conditions. If you're getting them a few months before you expect to eat or give them, you could put them in an airtight storage container for some extra protection.

Eventually, hard candy pulls enough moisture from the air to begin melting itself. While browsing the photo archives for the Salted Caramel retrospective, I came across this beast from 2010:

Heat and humidity are the enemies of hard candy.
But stored properly they'll last for months in fine condition.
photo by Kevin Keeker

Startling, no? If I remember correctly, Kev & I were hanging out and decided to do an impromptu photo shoot outside so we could start to understand how to take pictures in that environment. All we had on hand were some very old models, at least a year old or more. Given that it's purple candy on a black stick, it is probably an early prototype of the Honey Jasmine flavor. It looks like not only has it been melting, it's crystallizing too - the sugar is reverting to a granulated state.

Tens of thousands of lollipops have passed through my custody since I began this business, and I really can't remember the last time I've seen a lollipop in such wretched condition!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Orange Lollipops for Halloween

Tangerine-Clove lollipops
photo by Kevin Keeker
There's no better Halloween lollipop in our lineup than Tangerine Clove. The look of the warm, pumpkin orange labels against the electric orange candy just screams "FALL", doesn't it?

And where any This Charming Candy lollipop really stands apart from mass-produced candy, of course, is flavor. A spike of aromatic clove really wakes up that tangy tangerine!

If you're planning to include lollipops in any of your Halloween fun, the U.S. order deadline is next Tues Oct 23rd. Trick or treat!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Grown-Up Trick or Treat


We had so much fun giving out lollipops last year, we're doing it again! Whether you're in costume or not, drop by our lollipop kitchen on Monday Oct 29 between 4-7, exclaim "Trick or Treat!" and pick out the sucker of your choice. Free lollipop! Because you're awesome.

We call it "Grown-up Trick or Treat" but all ages are welcome of course! It's important to encourage kids to enjoy quality flavors at an early age :-)

 
WHO: kids of all ages
WHEN: Monday October 29 from 4 - 7 pm
WHERE: 7533 Lake City Way NE, Seattle (at The Wandering Cafe)
WHY: did you miss the part above where it said "free lollipop"? 

Happy Halloween! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hockey Friday: Lockout Edition

Last night should have been the NHL season opener, but the current lockout has resulted in the first few weeks of the season being canceled. Meanwhile, many players are headed to play for various European clubs, including my Flyers' Danny Briere and Claude Giroux. Go Eisbaren Berlin! Sigh.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Perennial Favorite: Salted Caramel

It was our 3rd anniversary this week, as you might have heard... A lot has changed in three years, but one thing that's remained remarkably consistent is your love for Salted Caramel lollipops. "Addicting" may be an understatement, as we know many of you call them "Salted Crack"! Here's a brief retrospective of photos going back to 2009. Enjoy! 

A pinch of French sel de mer yields a lollipop that's rough and salty on one side, smooth and sweet on the other. From day 1, we loved showcasing the salt crystals suspended in the candy.


In 2009 and 2010 we were intrigued by allowing the lollipops to cast interesting and colorful shadows on whatever surface was behind them, like this textured wall. The above picture was among the first pictures we ever tried outside, and it also highlighted the silky smooth edges of the candy.

As we entered 2011, we continued our experiments with daylight conditions and tight cropping. This photo shows off the salty texture and the beautiful clarity of the rest of the candy -- clarity that comes from our small-batch methods.


In our light box photo sessions, such as this one from late 2011, we've always been partial to what we call "lollipiles" -- playful scatterings of lollipops askew in all directions.


In 2012 we started experimenting with lighting the lollipiles from below, a technique that yields some intriguing variations.

Salted Caramel's been a trendy flavor for a few years now, and at least from where we sit, it shows no signs of slowing. Viva Salted Crack!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

And The Giveaway Winner Is...

Congratulations to commenter #16, Morningside, who wins the This Charming Candy 3rd anniversary giveaway! Please send email to thischarmingcandy@gmail.com and let us know your shipping address.
random number generated by http://www.random.org/ 

comment #16 to the "We're 3!" blog post


Thanks to everyone who participated . It was so cool and inspiring to hear all the reasons you deserve a ten minute treat. And here's to, we hope, another year of ten minute treats from This Charming Candy.

Monday, October 8, 2012

We're 3!

This Charming Candy turns 3 today and we're incredibly thankful for you, our lovely and amazing customers. You're the ones who make this possible and who make it so much fun. Thank you!

To celebrate, we're giving away a Lollipop Collection of the Month, our six month variety pack subscription, to one lucky commenter to be chosen at random.

Variety packs by This Charming Candy
photo by Kevin Keeker

Our tagline affirms "You deserve a ten minute treat"; it's the premise behind This Charming Candy and it's why we love hard candy so much. All you need to do to enter the drawing is leave a comment answering the question: Why do you deserve a ten minute treat? You could tell us about a kind thing you recently did for someone, or name something that you like about yourself or that others think is charming about you... you get the idea.

Simply leave your comment to this blog post anytime before 9 pm Pacific tomorrow, Tuesday October 9 [UPDATE: post before 8 am Pacific on Wednesday Oct 10. Your comments are awesome so far! Please remember to sign your post somehow so we know who you are...]

We'll use the Random Number Generator to pick one lucky commenter at random to win a lollipop subscription! We'll announce the winner in a post on Wednesday October 10, so don't forget to check back.

NOTE: if you win, we'll ask you to send us an email message so that we can get your mailing address, because we probably won't know how to contact you otherwise!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Aqua Lollipops for Mermaid Birthdays

Earlier this year, we created a special aqua color for a mermaid-themed birthday party, which was designed and created by the TomKat Studio. By popular request, we've made one more batch of aqua lollipops, in two of our delightfully kid-friendly flavors: Bubble Gum and Blueberry Muffin.


{ party photos courtesy of The Tomkat Studio
and taken by Vicki Lynn Photography }
You, your little mermaid, and her mermaid buddies will love them! We probably won't have time to make another batch before the end of 2012, so once these are sold out, it'll be a while before they're available again.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Next Crafty Caravan: October 18th

Quick announcement for Seattle area folks - I’m part of a small group of local artists called Crafty Caravan. Most of us have shops on Etsy, and we have developed an intimate traveling craft show that will periodically do shows in a few local independent caf├ęs.

The next edition of Crafty Caravan is Thursday Oct 18 from 9 am - 12 pm at the seriously awesome Wayward Coffeehouse in the Roosevelt neighborhood. Any shop that takes inspiration from Joss Whedon's Firefly is ok in my book.

Crafty Caravan will be at Wayward Coffeehouse, Sept 20 and Oct 18, 9 am - 12 pm

I'll have all of This Charming Candy's lollipop variety packs with me, plus Greatest Hits 2012. If you've got something specific that you want to be sure I have with me, drop a comment below or send email to thischarmingcandy@gmail.com and it'll be packed up and waiting for you at the show.

Whether you're a parent looking for a bit of adult time or a regular haunter of coffee houses, we hope you'll join us for a morning of laid-back caffeinating (oxymoron?) and shopping.

Friday, September 28, 2012

What I've Been Reading

Two main topics worth sharing this time around, I think.

1) Etsy is the main selling channel for This Charming Candy, as you probably have noticed ;-) A large chunk of Etsy's original vision and mission is about enabling micro-businesses where the shop owner is the maker of the products that are for sale. Some of Etsy's growing pains deal with what they call having "production assistance".
Can Etsy Go Pro Without Losing Its Soul?
"While the site wants to remain an accessible entry point for newbies, it doesn’t want the narrative arc for successful sellers to arrive at the inevitable plot point: “And then I started a real business.”"
and
"A seller designing objects that others build is not an Etsy aberration—it’s a crucial part of Etsy’s envisioned future."
This Charming Candy currently has an Etsy-legal, properly disclosed, and I might add thoroughly kick-ass kitchen assistant. You can read a little blurb about her on the shop's About page.

2) A friend posted a pointer to an article about the importance of knowing under which conditions you might want to to say "no" to a customer's request for your business.
The Power of No
"It’s easy to feel like we need every single customer – but we don’t. We just need the right ones."
That article was written with product-based businesses in mind, but I think the principles apply to any company that cares about its brand. It reminded me of a similar post from about a year earlier, published by my friends at the
Dr. No: Embracing the most important word in business
"When you are truly hungry as a business owner, it can be tempting to see all food as nourishing. That project you would have turned down in the good ol’ days, suddenly looks pretty good. “Just this one time,” is what you tell yourself. But then another customer comes to you with a very similar request, inspired by the great work you did on that other project, and so you say “yes” again. Things start to feel a little better with a steady flow of work, and the money is coming in. But one day you wake up and realize that you aren’t doing the type of work that you really want to be doing, and you wonder how you got in this predicament. No amount of messaging can turn around perceptions, for your body of work has defined you."

Lots of food for thought.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Custom Label Service

Custom labels... they're not just for weddings anymore.

This summer we were chosen to create 2500 event favors for the Canadian Tourism Commission. Our Maple Sugar flavor was a natural fit for them, of course. They provided us with their logo design for the lollipop bag labels, and the final product looked great -- not that I'm biased or anything!

Canada: keep exploring
custom lollipop favors
photo by Heather Immoor
The turnaround time for custom projects such as this is approximately 5 weeks. This allows for time to update the designs to your specifications, and to get the labels printed and hand-applied to each individual bag before your candy is made to order. Otherwise, we'd be unwrapping and re-wrapping candy once the bags were ready - which would be not very efficient!

You needn't supply us with artwork if you prefer simply to update the text on our existing label designs. That's what the John Fluevog shoe company did, when they chose us to create favors for the opening of their company "Flueseum" in Calgary, AB. They selected Blueberry Muffin flavor, which they re-christened "Flueberry Muffin" for their party:

Photo by Heather Immoor
If you're planning an event for which you'd like to have custom lollipop favors, please contact us - thischarmingcandy@gmail.com - and we'd be delighted to work with you.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Halloween is Coming!

ghost plush doll with maple sugar lollipop
photo by Kevin Keeker
Boo! This cute little ghost is hanging on tightly to her Maple Sugar lollipop because Halloween is just around the corner, on Wednesday October 31st. Do you have your costume yet?

If you’re including lollipops at your party or for trick-or-treaters, the U.S. order deadline is Tuesday October 23rd.
The international order deadline is nearly upon us: Monday October 8. And of course, earlier is always better for international shopping, because packages can take an unpredictable amount of time to clear your country’s customs/import procedures.

Thank you, and Happy Halloween! Seattle readers, stay tuned for news about our adult trick-or-treat event…

Friday, September 21, 2012

Etsy Gift Cards

Have you heard? Etsy recently announced some pretty cool news. This fall, they'll begin selling Gift Cards that customers can use in any shop that uses Etsy's credit card processing system -- which we do.

If there's an Etsy addict in your life --ahem, maybe that's you-- consider getting her an Etsy Gift Card so she can go on a shopping spree through her favorites. If it were me, I might nab this travel mug:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/78471884/mr-t-tea-travel-mug-double-walled
or maybe indulge my out-of-control handmade bath & body obsessions some more:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/76518855/peppermint-patty-creamy-body-butter

The point is, a gift card lets you "treat yo self"!
http://www.etsy.com/listing/93454081/treat-yo-self-embroidery-hoop-parks-and