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
Excuse us for the long absence between blog posts but it’s been a little hectic over the past couple months. When you’re a two person team sometimes it is tough to cover all the bases that you’re supposed to do when running a successful business. Over the last couple of months we have been busting our tails to get out orders, make stock, and try to live semi-normal lives.
Both the Holiday at Home and Sauerkraut festivals were a lot of fun to be at and we appreciate everyone who bought something from us or spent time in our booth. These festivals are a lot of work upfront, but then a true pleasure to be at. A big thanks also goes out to the people who organize these festivals and all the volunteers who help make them happen. They really are amazing in keeping all things organized especially the Sauerkraut Festival with over 400 vendors.
Now we’ve started the process of swapping out the shop fan with the shop kerosene heater and are prepping for all the Christmas festivals. We’ll have a full list once we finalize a few things and as always our Amazon and Etsy shops are there for anyone who wants to shop Little Fox.
We are quickly approaching our second year doing fall craft festivals. Granted this year we are remarkably more prepared than we were last year. After each show we’ve been able to refine our set up and luckily add things that make our life easier. From set up to tear down doing these festivals can be a grind both mentally and physically. The preparation of making inventory starts months ahead of time and then it all boils down to a one or two day window where you try to sell everything you can and then start the whole crazy process over.
Upcoming shows we are participating in will be:
Holiday at Home in Kettering, OH – http://www.holidayathome.org/
Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville, OH – http://www.sauerkrautfestival.com/
In these two shows we should have over 100K people looking at our booths so this will be really interesting to see how people like some of our newest creations. Then once these two are over we start the Winter/Christmas festivals that will bring even more work.
If you’re out and about at these events stop by and see us!
Dear Real Estate Agents,
We love doing work for you. In fact you are some of our favorite clients because you’re always looking for new ways to stand out in the crowded market. That’s why we want to work with you to come up with creating closing gifts. Below are some of the reasons why you should consider working with us:
We customize – It is hard to get more specific than the sign above. It is customized to the exact latitude and longitude point. However you want something customized we can figure a way to make it look good. Names, addresses, states, cities, dates, and more are all easily added to wine boxes, signs, beer caddies, clocks, and most wood items. We do not like stock items so even if you don’t see something on our Etsy site just ask and in most cases we can make it for you.
We can direct ship – People love getting packages delivered to their houses. You can’t tell me that when you’re at home and you hear the UPS truck come down your street you don’t sneak a peek out the window to see if it stopped in front of your house. Getting an unexpected package will help you stand out. Sure handing something in person is great but these people just spent an awful lot of time with you so spark their memory a few weeks after they move into their new home.
We will market for you – We include a thank you card in every package we send out, but if you are sending a gift we’d rather that message come from you. If you plan on buying items from us on an ongoing basis you can mail us your business cards, stationary, or any other swag and we’ll include it with the package. Those little details will really stand out to your client.
We offer a real estate agent discount – Message us ahead of time if you plan on purchasing multiple items and we’ll give you your own discount code.
If you nail your closing gift there will be something in your client’s home that will be predominantly displayed that will always have a tie back to you. Let us be your secret weapon.
Kevin & Cara Canfield
Owners – Little Fox Engraving
I have a love/hate relationship when it comes to beer caddies. First of all when I first saw one I fell in love the idea of carrying my beer in something so different. When we started laser engraving this was one of the first things I suggested we start making and laser engraving. After making the first one (took me over 4 hours) I was starting to rethink the idea as it was labor intensive. Then we started getting a few orders for them and then a few more. Each time we got orders I got a little quicker after building some jigs and coming up with a process. By the end of Christmas last year I knew I had to come up with a way of mass producing these items to make my life easier. After all each caddy is eleven individual pieces of wood and making the one by one is a big waste of time.
So in January I felt confident enough to set the goal of making 100 beer caddies in 2016 and at the end of June I am on pace to make over 200. Mainly because we have started offering them in packs of six for things like groomsman gifts, home brew gifts, or other type of group gift settings. What makes them appealing is that when you order them from Little Fox Engraving you get to create a custom design on both sides of the caddy as well as pick from 24 different colors of stain. We believe in making each order as person as possible.
If you’re ever in the market for beer caddies we can make you one or one hundred. Just let us know what you need.
When we first started I had two left over stains from personal projects in the garage and we started engraving with those. Then I discovered the Minwax section of the hardware store and that’s when it all changed. At first I added a couple of traditional colors like dark walnut and cherry, but then I found the color tinted stains. Long story short now we have 24 standard stains that we offer on any engraved wood item that we offer.
I have a lot of people tell me I’m crazy for offering so many options and to keep it simple but that’s not me. I don’t like things to be simple and will probably add at least six more colors to the mix by Christmas. We offer custom laser engraving and what’s the point of offering custom if you only have four color options? I want you to be able to match your colors for your home, your office, your favorite sports team, your college, or whatever else you want an item to match. That’s what is important to us.
Somewhere this weekend we realized that Little Fox Engraving has been an official business for a whole year now. When we started we basically just made an expensive gamble on ourselves that if we bought a laser we could figure out how to make money with it. When we started we had no CNC experience, we didn’t know how to use our graphic design software, and the woodworking knowledge we had was leftover from high school shop class 15 years ago. Over this year we’ve learned so much about how to do all those things plus run a business and it’s been a great start to the journey.
We just want to thank all our family and friends who have helped us out in lending their expertise and time. We also want to thank everyone of our customers for their support. Whether you’ve bought online, at a craft show, or at one of the stores that sells our items we really appreciate you. If there is ever anything we can do to make something for you we would love to as each time we make something we get better.
We recently added another wall at Antiques Village in Centerville, OH for our stuff. Now we’re at the corner of 4th Street an Market and the new location at 3rd St and Park Ave. This gives us an opportunity to feature more of our items in a less cluttered way.
Visit http://www.antiquesvillage.net for directions!
This is the time of year that “Save the Date” cards might be starting to pile up on your fridge. Soon the official invitations will start to trickle in depending on how on top of things the couple is. Once you send back that RSVP card indicating whether you’ll have a +1 and if you want the fish or chicken all you need to do is figure out what to wear and what gift to give.
Instead of heading over to Target or Bed Bath and Beyond up your wedding game to one of these personalized gifts. All you have to do is order them and give us a little information and the gift gets shipped right to your house. It’s a little more personal than getting a juicer.
If you like any of these ideas check out our Etsy or Amazon sites. We keep our overhead low (I mean you’re reading this on a free blog) so our prices are pretty competitive especially on the wine boxes. Email us at email@example.com if you have any questions.