Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Love isn't always Pretty


So sayeth the Treasury I created...lol.


But it is Beautiful, if I do say so myself. Check it out !





Who told them they could take a vacation?!?!

Ok, I know. Its the holidays, everyone deserves a break. But our suppliers are closed! And we need oil! and 4 ounce containers! and...and...and.... They're not going to be open again till Jan 2nd! Now what?

Ah well. We have just enough supplies to get out the orders we have right now. Then we're back to offering priority shipping upgrades to anyone who orders before the second. *sigh*

We definately need to start ordering our oils by the gallon.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm not a chocoholic or anything...

I don't think I can get away with that lie once people see my new treasury, A Hint Of Chocolate.


Dang it...now I'm hungry...
Be sure to check it out and click and pass on the comments and luvs!
-Misty

Poll Question: Layers or blends?

So Misty and I are still discussing ideas for new scents for the new year. We needed a replacement for a couple of the seasonal "dessert" scents. And she came up with Neopolitan (Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry in layers) or Chocolate Covered Strawberry (a blend of Strawberry with a hint of chocolate).

So what say you loyal readers? Layer, or Blend?

New Year's Specials!

Buy 3, get 1 free on our Whipped Body Frostings, Scrumptious Sugar Scrubs and Skin Softening Bath Salts!

Choose THREE of your favorite 3 oz Heathen's Hearth Whipped Body Frostings and get ONE FREE! You can find the Etsy listing here!


















Want Sugar Scrubs? Choose THREE of your favorite 4 oz Heathen's Hearth Scrumptious Sugar Scrubs and get ONE FREE! Find them here!
















Bath Salts? Choose THREE of your favorite 9 oz Heathen's Hearth Skin Softening Bath Salt Soaks and get ONE FREE! We have those here!




















We'll only be running this special through January 1, 2009.

Choose from the following scents:

Amber
Bedtime
Bath
Black Amber Musk
Blueberry Cobbler
Café Mocha
Calla Lily
Cedar & Saffron
Chamomile
Chocolate Mint
Chocolate Mousse
Citrus Amber
Cucumber Mint
Dragon’s Blood
Eucalyptus Spearmint
Gingerbread
Lavender
Lavender Mint
Lemon Cream
Mid Summer Night
Oatmeal, Milk & Honey
Ocean Breeze
Orange Cream
Pomegranate Vanilla
Pumpkin Pie
Sandalwood
Strawberry Cream
Tea Tree & Peppermint
Unscented
Victorian Rose
Vanilla

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's been a good day!

Aidan knows how to deal with pesky Clone Troopers!


Mom stealing some lovins!




Momma and Aidan being super silly, lol



Aidan getting bonked over the head!


The boys being weird...as usual!


Tyler showing off his matchbox cars and cell phone charm!


Tyler and Aidan opening presents from Santa.



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Twitterific!

I forgot to post this before...but we are now with the times and have a Twitter page...follow us!

http://twitter.com/heathenshearth

Happy Yule, Merry Christmas, Happy Festivus, etc, etc...

Argh, Grrr, and Damn it

I need to stop making impulsive chat room purchases. Well...actually, that's not true, because I've made a few of them and most of them are perfectly wonderful. It just so happens that my two bad experiences were also impulsive chat room purchases.

The hats. Ok, I still don't want to come out and say the seller's name, but really, I think most of Etsy has been screwed by this lady in the last couple of months. It's not hard to figure out. Over a month later and I still don't have my money refunded, though she did cancel the sale a couple weeks ago. Amy talked to her yesterday and she told her to send me a money order or I will file a claim with my bank (since I used my bank account to pay) and Etsy. She said she would be mailing it today. Guess we will see.

The fudge. I bought a batch of fudge from a seller in chat last week because she was running sale...and I love fudge, lol. Anyway, I received it yesterday. It was wrapped in a cellophane bag and put into a large manilla envelope. No box. No bubble wrap. No padding. It was melted, smooshed flat, and leaking out of the cellophane and envelope. I was not a pleased Misty, so I sent her a convo letting her know the situation, and she said that she would give me 50% off my next order.

What? Now, is it me? Am I just too demanding? Do I expect too much? We have had 1 problem with an order we sent out where the customer was not satisfied. We offered a full refund or replacement. That was the right thing to do, in our minds. It wasn't going above and beyond....it was doing the right thing. So...I get this fudge that in not even edible, and her solution to the problem is 50% off my NEXT order? It's not right.

I haven't replied to her convo yet, but I don't think I want to settle for just 50% off my next order because I don't think there will BE a next order. I would like to have a new batch made and sent to me in proper packaging, or have my purchased reimbursed, since I am going to have to throw what she sent me in the trash (after I have taken pictures of it).

Do you think I should just let it go? Or should I let her know I am not happy with her solution to the problem?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Call me Weird.

I should really stay out of the forums before coffee.

Yesterday there was a thread, I can't remember what it was called, or who made the comment (though I remember the avatar...anyway). But a post was made to the effect of (whine) "where are all the customers, I thought there was supposed to be a holiday rush" (/whine) and a reply was made that was basically to the effect of :

You'll always hear about how busy Etsy is during the shopping season, but those sales are for the select few, and you'll be left wondering why you don't have any. Welcome to Etsy.

Really? Is this how you feel about Etsy? And if so, why are you there? I get the feeling that this is just more of the same "Etsy isn't promoting enough, they're not bringing in new shoppers, Jewelry is too crowded, not enough categories", etc etc ad nausem crowd. But by the same token, this person was talking to a seller who had only been on Etsy since August. A jewelry seller if I remember correctly. One selling jewelry that looked a lot like 75% of the rest of the jewelry on Etsy, with decent though mediocre pictures, and relatively high (compared to the average item sold price of $15) prices.

And I wanted to ask (but didn't because I sooo know better than to comment before coffee, even if I do read before coffee) so many questions. Have you loooked at your pictures and compared them to other jewelers who are doing well? Have you looked at your prices (not per se to lower them, but look at the competition..if you are charging $25-30 more per piece than the competition, and the competition has better pictures to boot, who do you think they're going to buy from)? Have you advertised beyond whining in the Etsy forums about how low your sales are? Did you try? Or do you just want a pat on the head and a cookie to make you feel better about yourself?

Etsy is a business. Once again, I go back to the comparison, where Etsy is like a mall, and we're all shop renters. There are usually 5 jewelry stores in any given mall of semi-decent size. Sometimes more. Do you think the managers of those stores whine to the mall management about how they're not doing their jobs to bring customers in? Do you think they whine to each other about how unfair it all is, and how they shouldn't have to do the legwork for themselves?

No. I didn't think so. So... again, I reiterate, if this is how you really feel...why are you still there?

I think I'll leave my rant about the number of people in the forums this morning talking about how "its ok to break the law, because everyone else does it" and "rules shmooles, break them, every one else does and you'll never get ahead if you don't".

BAH.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Holidays are winding down.

Ok, so we haven't made it to Christmas yet, but as far as retail goes, the holiday season is coming to a close. Especially for online retailers.

Today is the last day to order from our shop and still have orders out by December 20th, which is the last day the post office says it will take packages and get them there in time for Christmas. We've had a couple wind up taking 8-10 days to get to their destinations. Everyone cross your fingers for us that our packages get to their destinations, in tact and in time for gift giving.

We were swarmed this year. Hopefully we'll be better prepared next year. But given the economy's recent troubles, the fact that we were a new shop (only active since August 1st), and we were relying almost solely on word of mouth, I don't think we really expected to be this busy. Merry Christmas to us. LOL.

So the calender is turning, as it is apt to do in retail life. Your landmarks are the Holidays. Christmas holiday is more or less finished. Next comes Valentines Day, then St. Patricks Day, then Easter, then Summer break...the dead zone of retail. Then we start the calender over again.

The tricky part of this I think, is that unlike other niche businesses, there are only so many holidays where bath and body products are good gifts. Christmas and Valentines day being the 2 big commercial ones (though anniversaries are spread through out the year). The rest of the year its all about matching the scents to the seasons. Trying to stay ahead of what people want, and giving them something new to try about every 2 months or so to try to keep things fresh.

So there will still be some playing with the other minor holidays, to see if we can find a niche market.... (maybe some beer soap for St. Patty's day?), but for the most part, I think our next move after Valentines day will be working out whether we want to continue changing our line up each season, or create a line of specialty signature scents that are ours and ours alone to keep our customers coming back - with periodic new product lines, and special short term scents to round it all out.

So what are your business plans for the new year? Are you still developing your brand? Do you know what your goals are for your business?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fairy Tales and Wishes can come true

I got another Treasury in Treasury West today.


It opened right after I read the following on etsy's forum: http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5956285&page=1


So... without further ado... Fairy Tales Do Come True:


Clicking on the picture or the following link, will take you to the treasury. Please give it some click love, as all of the shops featured are having a hard time this holiday season. Even if you can't buy from them, or don't need anything from them. Show them some support please.
Thanks!
~amy

Contest Winner!

*ahem*

Sorry for the delay folks, it got really busy around here. :o)

The Winner of our December Pick your Prize Give Away is 2Kute!!!!!!!!

2Kute, you may go to our shop and pick any 1 item, retail value of $10 maximum.

We will leave you a comment on your blog to let you know you have won. You may convo us through our shop at www.heathenshearth.etsy.com or leave us a comment in this post with your choice (and a way to contact you)!

Thank you to everyone for participating! Stay Tuned for our January Give-Away and future announcements about upcoming products!

Monday, December 15, 2008

We're Gaining in popularity it seems

It's been a good week. We were featured in the Expedited Shipping gift guide earlier this week, and today I discovered we have also been featured in the Gift Guide for Her.




There is a new site I found via the forum today, called Featsy. I haven't read up on it much, however, apparently it gives stats and data similary to Majaba.org. Yay! More things to keep track of. LOL.
Anyway. I haven't determined exactly what it means (I plan on plugging in random etsy shops to see if I can figure it out), but according to the site, we are in the 16th percentile (apparently for being featured) for the week, and in the 20th percentile for today (being in 2 gift guides).
How cool!
This is more good news for us, on top of.... We made it to over 250 Sales! It wasn't just a little over a month ago we were hovering around 50 sales, and even then we thought we were doin' pretty good. I mean, with hundreds of thousands of sellers on etsy, doing at least a sale a week, we thought was pretty great. Especially when we're up against some really stiff competition. Bath and Body is almost as competitive as jewelry (at least to me). Especially when you consider there are people out there doing the same things we are, who've been at it for much longer.
Now? Well I have to say I think its pretty awesome. Thank you Etsy Admin, for helping us reach our sales goals, surpassing them, and for doing such a great job running the site! We wouldn't be able to do this without you!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I gotta go, Mom...Santa needs me




I just love waking up to good news

We had a conversation from LuckyDogTreatCompany (check her out, she had lots and lots of yummies for your furbabies!) that one of our items made the front page this morning under Gift Guides! I looked at the Gift Guides and found that our Spiced Cranberry Whipped Body Frosting was chosen by Etsy Admin for the Expedited Shipping Guide! WOOHOO!



For those of you who may be interested, we've marked down all of our Holiday items (except for the tiny sets) by 25%! You can find them in our Holiday Clearance Sale section in our Etsy shop.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's almost Christmas!

Which means it's time to start making Christmas goodies! The first on my list was fudge...so today I whipped up a batch of Dark Chocolate Mint Fudge.



It also means I made up a new Winter Treasury today! If you like it, leave a comment to let me know and visit the shops I've featured :).


And last but not least, we are excited to introduce a new soap scent! Our Cedar and Saffron Natural Goat's Milk Soap is absolutely amazing!! I LOVE this scent! We have it available in 5 ounce and a beautiful GreenMan 3 ounce bar.



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Little Luxuries from Heathen's Hearth

Clicking on the title will take you to the treasury I managed to snag this afternoon. By pure luck I happened to click the treasury page just as it was opening. So since I had no real plans for a treasury (tell me Misty is not the only person out there who pre-plans these things...lol), I decided to do it a little differently.


Normally when I pick treasuries, I pick from people I know from chat, the forums, or here in our blog. Today, I made a random treasury from Pounce, "Undiscovered". None of the shops in the treasury have had a sale yet, so lets show them some love for the holiday, shall we?


Monday, December 8, 2008

I know...I'm bad

I have neglected the blog WAAAAY too much lately. Well, in my defense I haven't been neglecting the blog in favor of being lazy, lol. We've been crazy busy making and filling orders (YAY!) and of course the holidays coming up have kept us busy on a personal level.

So...what is new with our blogger buddies? I snagged a Treasury West today....

I call it Perfectly Peppermint...isn't it pretty?


We got our Christmas tree up and decorated Saturday and I got to listen to Bing Crosby while doing it...I love Bing. Almost all of our Christmas shopping is done and most of it on Etsy...woohoo!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I think I can... I think I can....

I've got almost all of my christmas shopping done! And... I managed to get all of the presents for my family so far 100% hand made! The kids, being kids, will be getting all the cool technogadgetry that can't be made by hand (video games, board games and etc). But all of the adults in our family are getting handmade gifts.

Obviously I can't divulge Misty's gifts since she reads, and participates in this blog. haha. (I've been uber sneaky with her gifts though. I've had all the people making her gifts give me custom listings with no pictures and no descriptions, so she can't figure it out till I give it to her.)

However,
Tony (aka Misty's man, aka The Hubby) is getting the following:
Fabulous Thor T-Shirt from Vemorlian From Misty:



A set of 2 candles in his favorite scents, 1 in Midsummer's Night, and 1 in Sandalwood from the fabulous BlissCandles (who follows our blog) From both of us:


And this most excellent homage to his worship of the Lucas Masterpiece from Munchey's from me:



Jason (Aka The B/F) is getting:

Another amazingly funny t-shirt from Muncheys, homage to our most unique relationship.


A candle from yet another follower of our blog, and lovely etsian, SweetSurrenderCandles
And an outrageous gag gift, in honor of his opinion on why brocolli gives people gas (think of popcorn... he is of the opinion that the little dark green leafy parts explode like popcorn on the introduction of stomach acid) From the hilarious shop of Dippylulu
I can't tell you what I am getting for Misty, as I said earlier. I will tell you, on the other hand, who is providing me with her gifts (since that much I can't really hide from her anyway).
Stop by and say hi to danilykewoah and ArtByDonnaRose. Thank you both for being willing to do not only custom listings, but to be willing to make those listings so "blank"...lol.
And of course, danilykewoah for being another Les Mis fan :)
All in all, I'd say our christmas shopping was a success this year. We didn't spend a lot of money, we managed to stick to our handmade pledge, support other etsians....and found perfect gifts!
This really long post brought to you by my mother. Who made me so crazy tonight (really really long story...) that I needed to cure my crazy with retail therapy!
Now everyone go shopping for soap! LOL Because our contest (found in this post) ends on December the 15th! Because everyone deserves to pick at least 1 of their christmas gifts!

I shouldn't blog when I'm irritated

But really, I can't help it. The Etsy forums are a joke. All people seem to do is bitch and whine and moan. "oh etsy isn't promoting, oh people aren't buying from me, oh the resellers are back..." Good lord, worry about YOUR shop and less about others. Maybe I'm too laid back, but I don't give a flying freak if something in another shop is mislabeled. I worry about what *I* am selling. If Etsy pisses you off, why the hell are you still selling on it? Hmmm?

The second issue on my plate of irritability is another seller. I will not name names or call out. But I have to get it off my chest. As most of you that read this blog are also sellers on Etsy and other places, answer a question for me. What is the most important aspect of your business? For us, it's our customers. We wouldn't have a business if it weren't for the customers. And our products.

We strive to do two things with our business...1) make the best possible products we can and 2) make sure our customer is happy with not only our product, but our service. Really, you could have the best, my amazing item in the world, but if your customer service sucks, I will never come back. That is kind of what I ran into with another seller.

She made an announcement in chat that her products were buy one get one free. She sells something that I've wanted for a while, so I jumped at the opportunity. My first red flag was her unhelpfulness when I was making the purchase and choosing colors. I was blown off. I should have canceled then. But, I gave the benefit of the doubt and finished the sale. A few days later, I checked out her shop again, looking for her shipping policies. I wondered when my items would ship and how they would be mailed. Her policy section was blank, so I sent her a convo. She never answered. Long story short, myself and Amy saw her about on Etsy in the chat, etc, in those few days...but no answer to my convo. FINALLY I got an answer from her yesterday saying my purchase would ship Monday, but if that wasn't ok, she'd refund my money. I politely asked her to cancel the sale an issue a refund.

Thus begins the BS. Excuses, whining, etc etc. An HOUR later, she finally agreed to cancel the sale and refund me (though I haven't seen the refund and the sale still hasn't been canceled). Seriously, the items weren't made nor shipped...she wasn't losing out on anything. But not only was her originial customer service below par (far far below) her whining and complaining has made her a person I will NEVER shop from again. She's lost my respect AND a customer.

I am just flabbergasted. Seriously. If it were me on the other end of the situation, I would have refunded it ASAP. Heck, I would have answered the convo as soon as I saw it and the situation wouldn't have come to a head.

Am I out of line being so peeved about that? Maybe I need to relax, I don't know. I just can't imagine treating one of my customers in such a manner.