Friday, March 30, 2012

What Kate & Susan are Talking About

I believe that we've mentioned before that we're big Sherlock fans. And these otters that look like Benedict Cumberbatch are really funny.

The Complete Guide to Setting up the New Facebook Page Design. My takeaways? Publish more photos, and make sure you're pinning posts to the top of the page.

You did know that Etsy publishes some high level stats for the month, right?

How twitter can affect your SEO. SEO can be such a hard nut to crack. But I'll admit that one of my takeaways from that article was: delicious still exists?

One of the best things that someone pointed out to me this week is this: whenever you post a link on twitter, the text around it is the headline. So, how do you write a good headline?

Portraits on chocolate. Lovely.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Upside Down, or Right Side Up?

These two photos are the same, with one crucial difference: one is rotated 180 degrees. Is this the original? The text is right side up, certainly.

photo by Kevin Keeker

Or is it this one the original? More of the text is upside down, certainly.
photo by Kevin Keeker
Can you tell?

Easter is April 8th! All orders must be placed by March 31st in order for your candy to arrive before the holiday.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spicy!

photo by Kevin Keeker

photo by Kevin Keeker

photo by Kevin Keeker

photo by Kevin Keeker
I can't decide which photo of our Spice Rack lollipops I like best. Is it the green of the Vanilla-Cardamom? Or the in-your-face orange of the Tangerine-Clove? Or the brilliant gold of the Nutmeg Crème? Or the soft gold of the Salted Caramel? I just couldn't tell you.

Easter is April 8th! All orders must be placed by March 31st in order for your candy to arrive before the holiday.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Green

photo by Kevin Keeker

photo by Kevin Keeker

photo by Kevin Keeker

photo by Kevin Keeker
I still can't get over how lovely these Adventure Pack lollipops look, and how bright all the colors are. Love all these new photos!

Easter is April 8th! All orders must be placed by March 31st in order for your candy to arrive before the holiday.

Friday, March 23, 2012

What Kate and Susan are Talking About

photo by Kevin Keeker
Easter order deadlines are next Friday, if you're looking to include some lollipops in your Easter basket!

10 Things I've Never Heard a Successful Startup Founder Say (We've been enjoying a lot of the posts from A Smart Bear, like Don't Write a Business Plan and Intense Asymmetry.)

The lollipop thermometer.

Working on your photos? How to make a professional soft box for under $20.

One of the San Jose Sharks, Tommy Wingels, is nominated for the Masterson Trophy for his work in the You Can Play project, supporting LGBT athletes in hockey. Here's a You Tube video of one of the promos.

Susan's been listening to a lot of Magnetic Fields and Perfume Genius this week.

You HAVE TO WATCH this video about Mimic Octopuses (Octopi?). IT'S SO COOL.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's a Celebration

photo by Kevin Keeker

photo by Kevin Keeker

photo by Kevin Keeker

photo by Kevin Keeker


Let's Celebrate! It's all right.

I'll stop quoting song lyrics now, and instead ponder why the neon pink Bubble Gum lollipops look red with this particular lighting.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pretty Pictures, Indeed

photo by Kevin Keeker

photo by Kevin Keeker

photo by Kevin Keeker

photo by Kevin Keeker
Y'all, I am IN LOVE with these photos of our Fruit Basket lollipops. They're just so pretty and springy and Easter-y and bright and fabulous.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Papier-Mache Easter Eggs are Pretty

photo by Megan from Not Martha
I wish I was crafty. We're good cooks, but otherwise we support our local crafters by buying from them. I (Kate) wish I could sew or hand make more of things I use every day. I'll confess that we own a stash of plastic eggs because there's no WAY I could make anything nearly as cool as Not Martha's papier-mâché Easter eggs from last year

When I saw her post, it specifically stuck in my mind - maybe I'll try it next weekend with my 8-year-old daughter. Those eggs are pretty.

Easter is April 8th!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Introducing The Birthday Club

We’ve recently begun offering a twist on our gourmet lollipop subscriptions. So far, all of our subscription plans have assumed you’re sending lollipops to a single address. No more!
4 dozen Birthday Cake flavored lollipops from This Charming Candy
photo by Kevin Keeker
The Birthday Club invites you to choose up to four recipients of a dozen naturally gluten-free lollipops throughout the year. When you check out, enter the names & addresses and their birthdays, and we’ll take care of the rest!

By default, we’ll send each person a dozen of our wildly popular Birthday Cake flavored lollipops but you can specify whichever flavors you’d like to share with your loved ones. Maybe your sister’s a fan of Salted Caramel, your dad prefers Root Beer Float and your college roommate loves Tart Pluot. No problem! All you have to do is ask.

Best of all? By buying for four different people at once, you save $10 versus buying a dozen lollipops four times throughout the year. And you can cross a few gift-giving occasions off your list at once. Woo!

a pile of Birthday Cake flavored lollipops from This Charming Candy
photo by Kevin Keeker

Friday, March 16, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

This Charming Candy on TV

Back in November, I (Susan) welcomed Seattle Q13 reporter Kaci Aitchison into our rented production kitchen at The Wandering Café. We recorded it of course, and finally got around to posting the video on our YouTube channel. Behold!



I found live TV to be very nerve wracking and I really couldn’t remember anything I’d said after it was over! I was glad I remembered to mention Kate’s name and our free local pick-up service on Mondays at The Wandering Café. Every now and then I meet a customer who says he or she saw me on TV, and that’s super exciting!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Behind the Photo Shoot, Part 2

Previously, we showed how we’ve been using white poster board to reflect light on our gorgeous lollipop models. Today we’ll show you our no-frills lightbox and a new technique we used with it at our recent photo shoot.
lollipops and lightbox


This is an ordinary storage tub made of clear but lightly frosted plastic. We’ve taped white tissue paper across it and laid a pile of Tangerine-Clove lollipops on the tissue paper. There’s one overhead lamp. It might be hard to see, but there are two gooseneck task lamps clipped to the edge of the bucket and pointed up at the tissue paper from below.

This new rig allowed us to capture truly dreamy looking photos of the lollipops that show off their clarity because the light, even though it’s diffuse, can shine through them.

photo by Kevin Keeker
When taking pictures of the Blumebox with lollipops, we reversed the location of the gooseneck task lamps and put the Blumebox inside the storage tub. Kate had to hold the task lamps in place over the tissue paper, which made her arms tired after a while!

Kate and Kevin taking lollipop photos


photo by Kevin Keeker

What do you think of this technique? And do you like the pictures that we achieved with it? We’d love to hear suggestions for further improvement if you have any!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Behind the Photo Shoot, Part 1

From time to time, we like to describe our photography set ups. See how relatively primitive our 2009 process was, compared to our April 2011 and October 2011 sessions... Truly, no two photo shoots are alike. We keep evolving our techniques and we believe it’s reflected in the increasing beauty and quality of our photos.

Anyway, in that October 2011 session, we started using white poster board to reflect light back on to our lollipops. It enabled us to obtain awesome shots such as this pile of Salted Caramel lollipops:
Salted Caramel lollipops by This Charming Candy


This time around, we continued experimenting with the poster board by laying it down on the table and creating vertical and horizontal white surfaces:
IMG_0059


We also tried some nearly overhead photos, as shown in these next two pictures. Kevin got up on a stepstool and extended the tripod legs as long as they would go:
IMG_0057


IMG_0058


Keep watching the blog for more pictures and more behind-the-scenes from this session! If you’ve been along for the past couple of years with us, we’d love to know what you think about how our photos have changed over time.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dynamo Donuts: A Kindred Spirit

As you may have guessed from our recent photo-heavy postings, we recently had a lollipop photo shoot. For the first time since our photographer Kevin moved to San Francisco, I (Susan) flew down to CA for a visit.

One of the highlights of my too-brief trip was discovering Dynamo Donuts in the Mission district. Check out this flavor list!

Dynamo Donuts flavor menu


Yes, that’s my reflection in the espresso machine :-)

We restrained ourselves to ordering only three to bring back to the photo session: Apricot Cardamom, Chocolate Star Anise, and the Sticky Bun. They were delicious. I thought the cardamom and anise played wonderful complementary roles in their respective donuts, without being overpowering. That’s exactly what we strive for in our Vanilla Cardamom and Apple-Anise lollipops. Anise is the star in Salted Anise, so it’s not subtle there, haha.

3 delicious donuts


It’s always a treat (pun intended) to discover other independent, upscale dessert makers who take a similar approach to creating slightly unexpected flavor combinations. I hope I’ll get to fly down for another photo session again soon, and I definitely will lobby to try more of Dynamo Donuts… I see in their menu that they have a Pumpkin Nutmeg that I’m dying to try!

Friday, March 9, 2012

What Kate and Susan are Talking About

photo by Kevin Keeker

The ring that Susan is wearing in the above photo (yes, that's Susan's hand) was made by ALTernative designs.

Super Morrissey Brothers covers This Charming Man in Super Mario style.

The juxtaposition of the article we pointed to a couple of weeks ago about Valley Girl voices combined with this other article about young women being vocal trendsetters is, shall we say, interesting.

Pretty, pretty space photographs.

There's going to be another new Sherlock Holmes series? Susan and I LOVE the BBC version. We're not sure about this one, though Lucy Lui as Dr Watson could be nothing but awesome.

10 Branding Insights to keep your business moving forward.

An aurora and a volcano in the same photograph. No photoshop.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

All The Pretty Lollipops

About a week before our last photoshoot, Bloombox tweeted about a new display. It took us about 3 seconds to decide to buy one. We knew it would be perfect!

photo by Kevin Keeker

It holds up to a dozen lollipops, which was perfect for photographing our new 12 Mixed Bag lollipops offering.

photo by Kevin Keeker 

We also took a couple of photos with it holding just 3 lollipops, to see what other kinds of arrangements we could get with it.

photo by Kevin Keeker

In short: we're fans. They sell the boxes that the insert fits into in all kinds of colors, so you could totally use them for your next event!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

12 Mixed Bag Lollipops




All photos by Kevin Keeker
Look at all these beautiful piles of lollipops! We took them for our new 12 Mixed Bag lollipops Etsy listing, but they're also just fun to look at. I love how colorful and cheerful they are.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Shippppppping!

One of the incredibly important, but not very exciting, things that we deal with when running This Charming Candy is shipping deadlines. When do we have to have the box out the door to get to you by a particular holiday?

USPS is very good about making sure that we know that we need to get any package out the door a week before the holiday, for shipping within the United States. At Christmastime, they recommend allowing 3 weeks for international delivery. (I don't know if that shrinks during less busy times of the year, but that's my mental note: 3 weeks for anywhere outside the US.)

For your ordering ease (and because it's good for us to know ahead of time too), here are holiday dates (all US) and shipping deadlines for 2012:

Holiday Date US Shipping Int'l Shipping
St Patricks Day Mar 17 Mar 9 already passed
Easter Apr 8 Mar 31 Mar 15
Mother's Day May 13 May 6 Apr 18
Father's Day June 17 June 9 May 23
Independence Day July 4 June 27 June 10
Halloween Oct 31 Oct 23 Oct 8
Thanksgiving Nov 22 Nov 14 Oct 29
Hanukkah starts Dec 8 Dec 1 Nov 14
Christmas Dec 25 Dec 16 Dec 1

Friday, March 2, 2012

Eye Candy: Lollipop Corporate Logos

photo by Massimo Gammacurta
I found these AMAZING lollipops in the shape of corporate logos via Flavorwire earlier this week. I had a hard time choosing between featuring the Apple logo and the Disney logo. The artist has an 80-page book of these lollipops for sale. They're beautiful and amazing and impressive. Wow.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Old Labels

Check out these old school labels Susan found whilst going through some files! I guess we were trying to match the text to the lollipop color? You can see our current Blueberry Muffin & Pistachio-Marshmallow labels in our Etsy shop



Don't forget that our Greatest Hits lollipops are currently 25% off!