Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Birthday Party Favors

photo by Emily Ley
Check out this awesome birthday party that one of our customers gave her now-1-year-old son. Yes, those are a lot of our lollipops gracing the table, for both the kids and the adults. What a fabulous idea!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Greatest Hits Sale

photo by Kevin Keeker
This is just your friendly neighborhood reminder that we're having a sale on our Greatest Hits lollipops! They're 25% off their usual price, so go ahead and buy yours today.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Treasure Island Flea

I hit Treasure Island Flea yesterday - yes, I may have been scoping out whether or not it's a good place for us to sell our lollipops. (Apologies for the fuzziness of the photos - I only had my old-ish cell phone on me.)

The market is monthly at 1 Avenue of the Palms on Treasure Island in the Bay. I wonder how the street got its name?


It was mostly vintage sellers, and the handmade goods for sale were often upcycled. Booths were outside (with a chilly wind off the bay!) and inside (much warmer). There was even a balcony!


I loved the old school charm of this table and its accessories.


One seller was turning old, unwanted books into boxes. They were kind of cool.


And someone making typewriter-key jewelry.



In short, it seems like a fun place to buy some pretty cool things. If you're in or near San Francisco, I'd recommend checking it out.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How to Make Hard Candy


Susan came across this fun Science show about how to make hard candy. I'd recommend taking the 6 minutes to watch!

Friday, February 17, 2012

What Kate & Susan Are Talking About

It's been a busy week, so just a few links today.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Golden Treasure Inside

a screen shot of our treasuries
I like Etsy treasuries. What's a treasury? It's basically a grouping of 16 items around a theme - often a color, but sometimes something else. Color can be an easy way out - it's fairly simple to find a bunch of items that are the same color and look good together, like this treasury I created yesterday in about 10 minutes:

It can be harder to find a bunch of items on a theme. I have a soft spot for science-themed treasuries, like this periodic table of the elements treasury from awhile back:


Can you tell I enjoy making them?  It must be the librarian in me who likes organizing things. What can I choose today? I like looking a treasuries too, not for the shopping potential, but for the organizing principles behind them. What did other people think was interesting to group together? Why'd they do that? What makes this one unique? It's always easiest to find the most popular ones, so I also sometimes think about what makes one treasury more popular than another, but I find that less interesting (I have to confess).

Do you make treasuries? How often? How do you organize your treasuries? Do you look at treasuries? Do they help you make buying decisions, or do you just like to look?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pin-Up


Pinterest seems to be the latest and greatest thing these days. This is a small screen capture of our flavor boards - we group our pins around our flavors. That way if you really like something, like Salted Caramel, you can see all kinds of recipies and pictures of yummy salted caramel flavored things. Which isn't to say that we don't use it for other things too. We just try to emphasize flavors and food.

Are you on pinterest? If so, share your boards in the comments! We love meeting & following new people there.

Monday, February 13, 2012

You Ain't Got No Alibi!

photo by Kevin Keeker
If you are a regular blog reader, then you know that not all our lollipops end up looking good. The ones that are still edible, but are not quite up-to-snuff appearance-wise, end up in our Charm School Dropout packages. They're a random collection of flavors (though we do try to keep it to no more than 2 lollipops from the same collection in one package), thrown together when we get enough of them.

However, since, as you all know, Salted Caramel is so popular, we accrue Salted Caramel Charm School Dropouts at a faster rate. Every so often, it makes sense for us to put together an all-Salted Caramel package of said dropouts.

There's one for sale right now, in fact. It could be yours.

Friday, February 10, 2012

What Kate and Susan are Talking About

photo from Deep Freeze Spreads Across Europe on the In Focus Blog

What's this? Susan and I read and talk about a lot of articles over the week, some business related, some not. Susan had the brilliant idea of sharing them every so often. Here's this week's list!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

All Caught Up (Knock Wood!)

Thanks to a wonderful holiday craft show season, our inventory levels were pretty low to start 2012. We’d sold out of the Adventurer’s Pack and Spice Rack, and had barely any Breakfast Trays or Fruit Baskets. Many of our individual flavor dozens were also wiped out.

One of the realities of being a small-batch confectioner, but carrying 20 flavors year-round plus a few seasonal flavors, is that it takes a little while to recover from mass sell-outs! I hope for the rest of 2012 we are able to keep all products available at all times; we’ll see how it goes!

We got mostly caught up by mid-January but it’s taken until this week for us to have every single product back in stock at decent levels. The final laggard was Tangerine Clove, which is one of the flavors I made this past weekend:
003

Hooray!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pretty Cards by REDSTARink

We try to keep things charming, here at This Charming Candy. One of the ways we strive to do this is by including a brief handwritten note on a handmade card when we mail candy to our monthly subscribers.

Not being all that talented in the handmade cards arena, however, we enjoy supporting other crafters who do possess such talents. Browsing Etsy, we recently discovered REDSTARink, a shop in San Diego that makes paper goods in striking, modern designs. Just look at these gorgeous cards:
redstarink

Cards this lovely might even inspire me to write more interesting notes next time around!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Inspiration

SFEtsy had a meet-up last Thursday at the Tech Shop in San Jose. It was awesome because:
  1. I like meeting fellow small-business owners, and SFEtsy is a great way to do that!
  2. Tech Shop has SO MANY COOL TOYS.
Here are all the awesome and wonderful people I met. We traded Etsy war stories, treasury tips, info on how to analyze our traffic data, and work-life balance.
photo by Jen Johnson
This is an insanely huge quilting machine. You can get an entire bed-sized quilt in there! No more hassle with your own little machine.
photo by Jen Johnson

But this was the thing that had me oohing and aahing the most - a 3D printer. I've read about the awesome things that companies and people are doing with them, but I've never seen one in person before. They look so small and innocuous. But they're very powerful.
photo by Jen Johnson
In short, it was incredibly inspiring! I wanted to make all my own stuff by the end of the day and get to work on our Etsy shop. I can't wait for the next one.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Seattle Residents: Free Local Pickup

Last summer, we began offering a free service for Seattle customers. If you make a purchase in our Etsy store, you can have your shipping charges refunded if you elect to pick your order in person. All you need to do is send us an email or Etsy Convo to let us know you will pick up your order in person.

Pickups are at The Wandering CafĂ© in Seattle’s Maple Leaf neighborhood every Monday from 4-7 pm. We also have a few of our lollipop collections available for walk-in sales, if you’re feeling spontaneous!
The-Wandering-Cafe_byMaiLingSlaughter
photo from Maple Leaf Life

The address is 7533 Lake City Way NE – it’s at the corner of 11th Ave NE & Lake City Way NE.
The Wandering Cafe, 7533 Lake City Way NE
The Wandering Cafe, 7533 Lake City Way NE
We hope to see you on a Monday afternoon in the near future! Maybe even today.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Brain Candy: Savor Seattle

borrowed from Yay Today
I read about Savor Seattle's food-themed scavenger hunt (going on for all of February, a different prize each day), and I am totally intrigued. You get a clue from their Facebook and/or twitter account, and if you solve it, you win! I kind of want to try. In alllllll my spare time.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Few Words About Ginger

Longtime readers of our blog (hi mom!) may remember that Ginger flavors totally bombed at our first tasting party in the summer of 2009. In the spring of 2010, we made some small Ginger gem-shaped candies and embedded them in Coconut and Peach lollipops as a one-time batch for a client.

Ginger is one of the most common flavors that we get requests for. So when we started working on the Fruit Basket quartet last spring, we decided to give ginger another try. We tried Ginger-Peach and Ginger-Pear blends and included them among the 8-10 flavors we gave to our testers.

The feedback was a little more encouraging than it was in 2009. Instead of flat-out bombing, the ginger flavors were merely polarizing – they bombed with some people but were liked by others. That's progress, especially because we already traffic in polarizing flavors such as Vanilla-Cardamom and Salted Anise. Fans of those flavors love it and are excited that we make it. People who don't like them know to stay away.

Unfortunately for the ginger blends, though, there were five other flavors in the running that were more well-liked and more widely liked. So no ginger blends made it into the Fruit Basket. But the improved performance of ginger with our tasters gives us hope that we’re getting closer to having a ginger flavor we feel good about selling. Someday.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cherries Jubilee

photo by Kevin Keeker
Sometime over our holiday break, I stumbled on the Cherries Jubilee wikipedia entry. I knew it was a traditional, posh dessert from my parents and grandparents' generation, but I never knew this:
The recipe is generally credited to Auguste Escoffier, who prepared the dish for one of Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebrations, though it is unclear whether it was for the Golden Jubilee of 1887 or the Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
Escoffier! Queen Victoria! Who knew Cherries Jubilee had such a hallowed history? Certainly not me.