Friday, 5 November 2010

An Online Crafter's Guide to Surviving the Holidays

So the nights are drawing in, the adverts full of Christmas lights are on the telly and this afternoon I heard Christmas music playing in the local shopping centre. Yes It's that time of year again!This will be my third Christmas as in The Felt Menagerie and over the last 2 I have learned a couple of lessons that I thought might be worth sharing in my guide to surviving the holiday season and here they are in no particular order:

Launch your Christmas lines (if you haven't done so already) mine will be hitting the Felt Menagerie over the weekend, have you got your banner and avatar prepared? Do it now even if you don't intend to make you shop festive for a few weeks then it's just a case of changing it and you're ready to go!Sort out your packaging now and set up a packaging station, it's so much easier if it is all set out for you. Make sure you are fully stocked on tape, business cards, boxes, envelopes, shipping labels... what ever it is that usually goes into one of you packages.

Know the last posting dates, last date the UK post office will guarantee a Christmas delivery to the states from the UK is the 6th of December... that's only 1 month away!!! Do your customers know this? You'll need to make sure you let them know early so they can get their orders in! (you can find the dates for elsewhere here if you are UK based)

Preparing your parcels will always take longer than you think it will... and don't forget those post office queues make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to post things, if you do work another job like me (veteran bookslave!) try and avoid doing this on your lunch break... you still need to eat!

Enlist help... John is limbering up for his role over Christmas as Postmaster General as we speak! You can't do it all so even if you aren't getting help with your work ask your family to pull their weight a bit more and help with chores or enlist a pal to stick postage labels on things... I find bribing them with cake helps! Boy is Santa lucky to have an army of elves at his disposal!

Learn to say no... when is your cut off point for custom work? Set one and be firm about it... you already have enough on your plate!Look after yourself, wrap up warm, make sure you get lots of vitamins, make sure you get lots of sleep... set aside some you time because it will get hectic and even you, yes you, need to breathe occasionally!

Enjoy it!... ok it's crazy mad panic but isn't it every year? Find a way to make it fun because it will be over before you know and then you'll miss that buzz!
So now I'm of to put the finishing touches to my Christmas collection, maybe have a Baileys and a Mince Pie and sing some carols while I work....

10 comments:

AMIdesigns said...

All good advice, especially the bits about having enough packaging materials and setting a deadline for custom work.

Boo's Jewellery said...

Good blog and it's much closer than we think - especially for overseas sales. You already covered the comment I would have made about preparing your packing materials ready and getting organised - I've been gradually cutting bubble wrap and tissue the right shape and making gift envelopes etc. I always do this anyway, but increase quantities at this time of year and add more festive colours.

Donna Smith said...

Great advice, thanks! - I also find I am just getting over the bust summer and then Christmas hits! I like the idea having the avator ready to go.

Once Upon a Time in the North said...

Thanks for your great advice. You've made me realize just how close the big event is. Sort of can't wait and I secretly love being so ultra organized.....off to start!! Actually I do need to order new business cards. Cheers.

M.M.E. said...

Thank you. I can use all the advice I can get this year.

Pili said...

Really great advice for all the crafters and sellers!

And also for me, since I really need to get cracking on my lists of presents for people so I can buy with plenty of time to allow for shipping!

Kathy~Sweet Bird Designs said...

Great advice - I finally set up a packing station. It makes getting orders out so much easier. Your little holiday birds make me smile every time I see them!

Carmen said...

Fabulous advice!

Robyn Stewardson -- Focus on Art said...

Thanks for all the great tips. This will be my first serious crafting Chrsitmas and it's already making my eyes round at how busy it's getting.
Love the advice about enlisting the littlies for packaging. My eldest love recently enjoyed working with picking lists to get my calendars into bundles of orders (they have just been printed and the orders have been coming in since early October) until she was lured by the sounds of her dad turning on the TV!!
Will have to check down at the PO for the last shipping dates: something I never thought of!
THANKS so much.

Little Green Doll said...

ooohh! they're so beautiful!! so cute!! :)