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

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

November 23, 2012

November 16, 2012

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

December 10, 2012

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.


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.

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?

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.