Monday, March 21, 2016
Yes i created a store on Etsy, hell why not! I shop on Etsy all the time for cool original stuff that i know fellow craftsman have really put a lot of effort into. Its corny but it feels more intimate than Amazon or Ebay, not in like a hipster manbun kind of way, just that you feel someone will pay the price for something they know is made by a human that enjoys their craft.
Review of Etsy: Actually i enjoy it so far, nothing to create a store, minimal fees for posting with the ability to post pictures and great description and tag all the elements of your project to try and use keywords that will attract the broadest base to you. Ease of use with direct deposit setup and they can handle all the processing, shipping label, and invoicing that can eat up a lot of time and effort.
I sold a cherry and walnut challenge coin display 11x3in, finished with danish oil that really popped. Holds around 15-18 coins depending on size. Price $30. I've seen them for more and some for less but it was a pretty simple design, but i felt the choice of wood added a good touch to it. I admit i did wing the shipping of $10. When making the shipping label though USPS, which is about the only thing i'm not a fan of, because that is the only option they provide, you provide the box dimensions and weight and i was pretty spot on. Actually made a 1.85 on that. They also give you the option to create a free packing slip with the picture and personalized note if desired. They CC you and the customer on receipt and only charged 1.05 for the transaction fee, it varies depending on sale price but thats not bad at all, basically 3%. Original listing fee was only 20 cents with no charge for added pictures of products.
Even if i was selling my stuff at a flea market i would have paid more in gas to get there than what Etsy charged me for the whole process.
Overall pretty stoked about the experience i have some other items on there to for sale but i feel like it is a great conduit to get people to contact you about custom orders too.
Monday, February 15, 2016
Been a couple weeks since I've updated the blog. I realized I haven't shown any pictures of the shop setup. It seems half of my projects have been making benches or jigs just to be able to make projects. I'm pretty happy with my setup now, I can use my workbenches effectively without tripping over everything else. I have collected a good variety of tools now, the centerpiece is my Rigid surface planer but I also have all the basics including: Rigid miter saw, benchtop bandsaw, drill press, scroll saw, Skill saw table saw, and Bosch plunge router. Along with assorted sanders, drills, and hand tools and clamps which I have realized you can never have enough of. I posted some pictures below of my main mobile work bench and wood storage setup.
Saturday, January 30, 2016
I've been looking at items that are popular and have tons of ways to customize them. I decided to make a beer caddy with a bottle opener attached to the side. I went with pine first just to experiment. I bought the openers a long time ago off of eBay and painted them with metallic spray paint in a couple various colors.
I took some progress pictures of the build and posted below. I used a dowel rod for the handle and kregged the bottom piece for extra strength. I like the rustic look more than anything else so I used carpet tack nails to attach the side rails and went with Minwax Espresso stain and wipe on poly.
The dimensions are 5.5Wx8.5Lx12H. I had to make a spacer for the individual bottles so next time I think I will tighten up the dimensions. It was a good project and would really be easy to batch out a bunch with different handles or materials. I'll post some progress pics for the build but I posted some pictures already of the finished product.
This was a good build probably 2 or 3 hrs of work overall with an easy sale and plenty of customizations. I will have to test the waters about price but I have seen comparable ones run from $30-40. Another advantage that I have is there is the self help store on base that does laser engraving so customization would be very easy. Engraving squadrons logos or operational badges would be very cheap and add so much value to the product.
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Holy crap i made a website! One more step in the adventure of small business. I used GoDaddy.com to buy my domain name on the cheap. Pieced together a very simple site with a few buttons and a form for potential customers to make first contact with me about projects.
If you are looking into this as a tool it is really the way to go. I caught a special for a year so really it only cost me $1 a month. With the ability to add links to an eventual store and even to be able to do direct sales with Paypal this is definitely the way to go.
I can always edit and improve the site as i go and learn to create new things and features. I really recommend GoDaddy for anybody that is thinking about creating a website.
If you want to check it out: www.flyinggww.com
Friday, January 22, 2016
Dear Readers and Fellow Enthusiasts,
Sorry i have had this blog for so long before actually writing something into it. Life distractions and other priorities always seem to interfere with what i love to do and that is create things and learn new skills.
I got the woodworking bug from my dad who was constantly building things when i was a kid. Countertops, mantles, even building an addition to our home back in Oklahoma. I haven't had the opportunity previously to really explore the bug until i had a home of my own and the time/money to be able to afford the tools necessary to start.
Lately the ability to make and sell pieces have only expanded if you have the talent and ability to differentiate your work from others. I am still such an amateur as a woodworker but every success and failure leads to me learning new things and techniques. My salary doesn't allow me to buy whatever my heart desires so i must learn to use the tools i have to complete my projects.
My time is also precious i am active duty and gone 6-7 months out of the year and plenty busy in between the times i am home. My wife tolerates my hobby because she benefits also from my creations and knows that every man needs something to keep his hands occupied in his free time.
I have named my soon to be side business "Flying G Woodworks" i have gone as far as making business cards, a blog, and a dedicated email address. Beyond that i am keeping it pretty small eventually i will probably create an Etsy store but for now i am happy making things for friends and family. I have a degree in business so i do have somewhat of an idea of marketing, advertising, and pricing so i find that is an advantage of being able to get the most value out of my work.
This blog is made with the intent that others can follow and see the success's and failures of starting a small business especially when it is part time. I don't have the intent of this becoming full time but simply a motivation for me to create new things in order for others to enjoy them.
I hope to share more projects as they come along and pictures of projects already completed to give a good grasp of how far anyone can come if they practice there craft more and more. It should be an adventure so i hope some of you will come along with me.
- Andrew "Flying G" Giles