Well it has been two years since we became an official business. That’s a pretty big accomplishment because when we started we didn’t have a clue what we were doing. Honestly we didn’t have a plan at all, our business plan literally was to throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks. We bought a laser with a marketing plan of telling people we had one and then ask them to tell us what they want made. It was pretty primitive marketing research, but so far it has lead us down the right path. Most of the first things we listed on our Etsy page are already in the graveyard of inactive products because they either are too time consuming to make or no one ever bought them. We’re still finding our way, but it’s slowly becoming easier. We just wanted to offer our gratitude to our friends, family, and customers for all their support and encouragement. This is something that we love and it’s only getting better!
Normally we just scroll through any email sent to us from Etsy on how to “promote our store.” It’s not that Etsy doesn’t provide great services for sellers, but the rat race of marketing isn’t really our thing right now. Our photos are rough, our social media presence is pitiful, and we’ve been struggling to put together a 45 second Youtube video of how to install some of our products. This is just real talk, we’re a husband and wife who work as hard as we can to keep up with orders, raise our daughter, spend time with friends and family, and get enough sleep to function. That being said when we see tips on marketing we just kind of laugh. However, there was one article that Etsy sent us that is really exciting. They are announcing Guest Check Out! This is a big deal because now everyone can buy our items from our Etsy store. So many times people ask if they can buy from our website and we say you can use Etsy or Amazon and their faces sink. We can tell that either don’t know what that is or they don’t have/want accounts with those sites. Each time that happens we mull getting an actual website with an online store, but it’s just not on our radar. Now we can tell people they can purchase as a guest off Etsy and it changes the game. Check out (no pun) the link below and read more about it!
We were approached by the find folks who are organizing the Lebanon Brew Haha back in 2016 about possibly being a vendor at their 2017 event. They had never had craft vendors in the past, but wanted to give it a try for their next event. We’re always willing to give new things a try so we quickly said yes. We’re really looking forward to seeing being able to interact with some fellow beer/wine enthusiasts, listening some good music, eating some good food, and maybe sneaking away and sampling a few new brews. We’ll have a wide selection of bottle cap holders (including some new releases), beer caddies, bottle cap openers, and some signs.
We know we’re not the big draw for the event but still we want this event to be very well attended because in the end it’s about raising money for the arts. Buy your ticket ahead of time and save some money.
I had a friend who was interested in starting up a similar business ask me how we have gotten Little Fox Engraving to grow so quickly. My answer was simple, we never say no to custom requests. If one person wants something made bad enough to request it being made more than likely there is market for it. One of the trends we’re seeing is people asking us to put quotes or sayings on barnwood. Which is awesome because we love seeing old wood given new life. The picture below is one of our latest of these projects, it will be going into a baby’s nursery. If you have a saying or idea please shoot by us, we have a garage full of barnwood and our laser can cut any word in any font.
We mainly focus on the amazing craft beer boom that’s going on across the country, but there is also a pretty neat movement going on in the soda industry. Just like the brewers across the country there are small soda companies out there that are experimenting with flavors, natural ingredients, and old recipes. Our friends at Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop (www.grandpajoescandyshop.com) recently asked us to make them a bottle cap holder for their store. Their candy shop has a Willy Wonka theme so we did it in the Wonka font and it turned out great. This was a real fun project because I’ll admit I’ve become a bit of a soda fiend lately. There are often times where I want a refreshing beverage, but still have work to do with power tools for the evening, so now I keep some soda to go along with our normal stock of beer. It’s nice to have a local place to pick up drinks like Dang Soda, Cheerwine, Kickapoo, and many more (like over 100). We’re looking to do more with Grandpa Joe’s in the future! If you have a custom idea please let us know, we’d love to help bring it to life.
If you’re not the kind of person who just brings six beers to a party we now offer a fine wooden beverage holder that carries up to 15 bottles of beer. We started making these for our friends at Buckeye Craft Beer at their request. Usually we keep custom requests private, but we liked the crate so much we asked them if we could sell them on our site as well. We can put any company logo, home brew logo, or any type of text on these crates. They make a great gift for anyone who needs beer storage. Check them out on our Etsy Site.
It’s really no secret that we have a passion for customization. If it isn’t good enough that we can add personalized laser engravings on any of our items but then we were also offering 24 stain colors for our wood products. Well after a year and half in business we’ve been able to differentiate between the popular colors and the ones that haven’t sold at all. So this past week we sat down and figured out our most popular 16 stain colors.
The four most popular colors are on the top and then the rest of the colors are below. The hardest part wasn’t picking the colors it was replacing the picture and the drop down selections on Etsy and Amazon to reflect the changes.
The top stains for each item are listed below for reference.
Bottle Cap Holders – English Chestnut, Dark Walnut, Maple, & Red Mahogany
Beer Caddies – Ebony, English Chestnut, Red Mahogany, & Dark Walnut
Wine Boxes – Whitewash, Burgundy, Driftwood, Red Mahogany, & Honey
Hopefully this gives you a little guidance on picking a color for our products. If you ever have any questions please feel free to contact us at Littlefoxengraving@gmail.com.
We were sitting in a quiet moment on Christmas and realized that hundreds of people opened items we made. It is quite humbling to think that people like our stuff enough to give it as a present to someone in their life. It’s pretty awesome and we want to thank all our customers, friends, and family. We hope everyone’s Holiday Season is safe, happy, and healthy. As we look forward we’re planning on 2017 to bring us new product designs, better photographs of products, an updated website, and hopefully a new facility. All of these things seemed like a pipe dream, but now we’re dead set on making it a reality. Keep following and watch as two determined people continue their journey into the business world.
Joy and Peace,
Little Fox Engraving
Today is an important day of the year for our business and it has nothing to do with it being Small Business Saturday. The reason today is important is this is the day that we set the last day that we will take orders and guarantee that they will arrive to their destination before Christmas. Most of our products are custom and made to order the fulfillment issues aren’t as easy as grabbing an order from our stockpile and shipping it next day. In some aspects we can work ahead, but in most cases we wait for orders then make them. Which is why the deadline date is so important, we have to guess how many days ahead of the Post Office’s Dec. 20th guarantee ship date can we have everything done by.
So we’ll sit down today and pour over our existing orders, predict future orders, look at our advertising success, examine patterns on all of our selling platforms, and begin debating. Cara and I then each act like meteorologist from rival TV networks trying to predict a major snow storm. It’s an entertaining day and I’d be lying if it didn’t end with some drinks.
The normal consumer doesn’t think too much of these trivial parts of running a small business, but it’s a fun little tradition we have. Because once we set that cut off date (I predict December 12th) we have to make sure we can deliver to everyone who orders from us.
Welcome to the holidays
It was just a month ago that we were at the Sauerkraut Festival soaking in all the great things about fall and here we are prepping for this weekend’s Winter Market and Christmas tree lighting at Austin Landing. This is the second year for the event and we were lucky enough to be at the first one last year and it was a blast. If you have never been to an event at Austin Landing you are missing out. They really do throw a great party and this year’s tree lighting and winter market look to be nothing short of spectacular. We’ll be in the craft tent on Saturday, November 12th from 10AM – 7:30PM selling great Christmas gifts to all you good boys and girls. Come by and say hi and enjoy the atmosphere! The weather looks like it will be providing a little chill so put on your stocking caps, gloves, and coats and come out to one of the first official events welcoming in the holiday season.
For more information of events click on the link to their website Austin Landing Winter Market