Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Website Changes!

Hi there and I am happy to see that you have decided to visit my blog!  So, go ahead and bookmark this puppy for later because it will be a fabulous source of all things Twisted Cow and if you look over to the bottom right all my favorite handmade related sites can be found there.  Handmade is a great way to "bring the pain" to those who try to "do one better" than you when it comes to gift giving.

I digress, the reason for this particular post is to tell you a bit about the changes that are coming up.  I have been looking at the current set up of my site so I will start there.  I will start with the most important change...pricing.

Pricing - Just to give you an idea of what goes in to pricing each item, pricing of my items include the raw materials (shipping or pick up costs are included), preparation of the materials (measuring, cutting, ironing, etc.), assembly (design placement and sewing), and packaging (logo engraving, tags, care hang tags, bags, loops, etc.), labor (time it takes me to create an item from beginning to end), graphic designs (picture creation, graphics cleanup, website postings, etc...).  An collar can take between 30 minutes to 10 hours to create depending on the design.  The more intricate Swarovski collars are done in 1 inch increments and have been known to take 10 - 12 hours to complete.
The prices of my raw materials has risen between 15 - 25% over the past two years and I have been absorbing the price increases in raw materials for the past two years.  I know it sounds a bit unwise in the realm of business, but trust me...I am not the only business owner that has chosen to operate this way.  The past few years have been terrible for the work force and business owners, but I truly believe that there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel for 2011 and beyond and it is time to make some price adjustments.

The price increase will be across the board but mainly it will be noticeable in the higher end items such as the Swarovski and rhinestone products.  Swarovski and Czech cut rhinestones cost have increased significantly over the past five (5) years and my prices are on lower end of the spectrum although my construction, materials, quality, detail, sizing qualifies for the higher end of the pricing spectrum.  There will be a 20 - 25% increase in pricing for those items. 

The standard collars and leashes with no embellishments...there will be a $1 - $5 increase in pricing.  Limited Edition section will see some decreases in starting prices but an increase in length pricing; however the overall price may end up being lower than it is currently priced. 

The home and office items such as mouse pads, coasters, key fobs, lanyards, etc...there will be a $1 - $3 increase per item; this will put me where I need to be with other high quality makers of these products.

As I said earlier, there will be some price increases across the board but I am just keeping up with price increases in materials and transportation.  I do apologize for the inconvenience.

Main Menu - I am going to try to rearrange and combine links to de-clutter the outward appearance of the site.  I think that a site that is too busy will cause some confusion thereby loss of sales, so the consolidation and clear product titles will assist you with finding what you want quicker.

Wholesale Program - As of now the Wholesale program has been suspended while I decide whether to revamp it or just get rid of it all together.  A decision will be made by the end of January 2011.

Subtractions - I will no longer be offering Swarovski encrusted Cigarette Cases, Mirrors, Business Card Cases, or Koozies.  The remaining blanks will be embellished and sold under the Discontinued Section of my website.

Additions - Well, since I  have been known to do the occasional necktie, bow tie, and such I have decided to offer them here as well.  They, like everything else, is handmade by me and the details are being worked out.

I am in the process of designing my own line of fabrics and ribbons.  This will be done for a variety of reasons, but mainly to offer some customization for my clientele.  There will be some price differences between my exclusive customizable fabrics and the mass produced ones.  Be on the look out for my designs in Feb 2011.

Misc - I am still threatening to make those belts!

The website is undergoing some changes as usual and once everything is done, the background will change signaling the completion of all updates.

thanks everyone and happy new year!