Clutch-Me.Com

Learn. Make. Sell. All about clutches.

Quality Control procedures for my fine metal purse frames

I take great pride in making the highest quality metal purse frames on the market, along with the best customer service you will receive.

Here are my quality control procedure:

1.  A machine laser eye inspects each frame and rejects the ones that are defective.

2. An inspector at the manufacturer hand inspects the batches.  If the visual defective rate is higher than my contract states, the entire production is rejected.  (Not to worry, it’s all stripped, melted and re-used for a new production.  Nothing is wasted.)

3.  My sister, Y, and I hand-inspect each frame before it is sent out to you.

From orders of 1 frame to 500 frames … every frame goes through this Quality Control process.

Because I stand behind my frames 100% with a 30-day full refund no hassle guarantee, only the best frames go out.  Returns and exchanges due to defects could become costly.  And my defect rate is less than 0.01%.  Yup.  It pays to do it right the first time!

It takes about 2-3 hours to fully inspect 50 frames.  That’s why orders of 50 or more frames require a 48-hour processing time.   With all other smaller orders to do, when I get several of those 50-frame orders and I can get backed up pretty quickly.  It’s never taken me that long to send it out as 95% of all my orders are shipped out the same day or within 24 hours, but it gives us a cushion not to rush.

But after inspecting tens of thousands+ frames, I can tell you that mistakes do happen, though rare.  And it’s all about the lighting.  Too bright of natural light and you cannot see the “feathers” in the finish from the glare.  Too dim and the same thing will be missed due to poor illumination.  Holding it at certain angles will miss a pock or mark that is not readily apparent.  We can take up to a full 2 minutes to inspect each frame!

It is through these quality control measures that allows us to have the highest-end, best quality frames on the market.

January 31, 2011 Posted by | Helpful Tips | 3 Comments

UPDATE: Gutermann glue on RESERVED status

I am in the process of getting a couple of shipments by sea for the glue.  For those coming late into the blog, read this post to find out more about how I import it.

As per my previous announcement to you all, I am limiting my sales of glue until that shipment comes in.  Only single quantities can be purchased at this time.  I am RESERVING all remaining glue to handbag makers who are buying Gutermann glue to use with my fine metal purse frames.   You can only purchase larger quantities of glue when buying frames with the order.

Please convo me for a custom listing.

This ‘liquid gold’ is hard to come by and hard to import.  But it is so essential to my clutches.  I’ve tested many and have not found anything close to its quick setting properties and permanent adhesion. This adhesion is so critical when you’re handling clutches day-in and day-out.

Speaking of sticky … take a look at our latest snowfall in NJ.  It’s the third snowfall this month and, coincidentally, the third snowfall that my husband was out of town and missed out on the shoveling!  His timing is quite suspect …  😉

We dug just enough for the minivan to get out ...

Y was here to help me shovel out every time!!  She didn’t know it was part of the job-training … but when you own your own home business … hahaha 🙂

And speaking of Y, her flight home to sunny Florida was cancelled yesterday, which was also her birthday!  So she’s here, filling out orders, shoveling snow.  Kinda like Groundshog Day for her!

It is pretty though!  I hope this pic below inspires you.  Think blues, whites, silvers, bird perched on a branch there …  🙂

Snowy branches.

As always, I will keep you updated!

~Winn (and Y)

January 29, 2011 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , | Leave a comment

(Etsy) Feedback is a 2-way street

A kind customer just tapped me and said “remember that feedback is a two-way street”.

You all have been so wonderful in giving me positive feedback that has been timely.  I sooooo appreciate that.
And it’s time that I apologize for my extreme tardiness in doing the same for you!

I'm sawwweeee 😦

Next thing I know, 3 months have gone by and I’ve got close to 800 feedback to give.

How did I let this happen?

Well, I simply did not have the time.

The time I did have, I focused on:

*getting orders out the same day or within 24 hours (99% of my orders are out in this manner)

*answering convos and emails promptly (I spend about 3-4 hours a day on convos and emails)

*blogging marketing and selling tips and offering sales on my blog (depending on the topic, another 1-2 hours of research and writing)

*promoting and marketing my handbag makers via the Sellers page of this blog and my Facebook fan page. (My sellers have been their views gone up as well as sales!)

Clutches for sale by many handmade artisans-- just in time for Valentine's Day!

Which did not leave me with much time left … and the feedback was on that large pile of to-dos!

I wish this was my list of to-do's ... 🙂

But with my sister, Y, here helping me with the business, I’ve been able to tackle and do a better job of the “90% of the business”.

I just got done with the feedback pile!  *phew!*

With Y’s help, this will never happen again.  I promise to leave feedback promptly — within 48 hours.

Thank you for your patience in this matter.  You all are way too kind to not have tweaked my ears on this issue!  (It was a new customer who made that remark.)  Do yank my chain if I’m lax in anything.  🙂

~Winn

January 26, 2011 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | Leave a comment

SALE – the hottest thing on the clutch market!

Update on the business:

You all know that I am very transparent with my business to you.  I think it is this quality that I’ve come to earn your trust, your loyalty, and your continued business.

I am very disappointed to have to tell you that I am out of the antique brass and antique brass with loops.

Behind the scenes: When it was time to get them manufactured back in December (with the manufacturer that I had been working with in the Mid West) I had been in negotiations with the owner for several weeks.  And since he raised the salary of his workers to $15/hour, he had to raise his prices and was demanding $5 per frame.  That’s my cost.  There was no way I could produce it at $5 a frame and sell it at a loss.  I could not raise the prices to stay competitive.   So I went with a new manufacturer in January and the first production of antique brass was run and should be trucking to me soon.  I will have antique brass available for sale within 2 weeks.   However, I have to wait and see how this batch goes before placing an order for antique brass with loops.  The previous manufacturer strove for a 98% rate of accuracy — or only 2% defective.  But I will not know the actual defective rate of this new manufacturer until I inspect them.

I am as disappointed as you are. 😦  I really strive to have my stock ready for sale.  But this is just an unfortunate business decision that I had to make.  And it’s costing me time and money, but I think one that will better sustain my business.  I simply cannot raise the prices, and I simply cannot make them for more than I can sell them for and be competitive.  I still demand that my frames meet our Environmental Protection guidelines and that they have the special coatings that is trademarked to my company.  There are no shortcuts.

I hope you all understand the predicament that I’m in and I would hope to have your business once they are back in stock.  I expect to have the antique brass with loops for sale around the end of February.

So to make up for my misfortune and your inconvenience, I’m putting on a spectacular, unbelievable sale that will benefit you and your customers.

Please don't be offended... 😉

As I’ve been telling you all, the hottest thing in the clutch market is clutches with chains.  To help you to stay on top of this market trend, I lowered my prices on my frames with loops.  My frames with loops are lower than many sellers anywhere.

In addition, I am putting a tremendous sale on effective tomorrow 1/25/11.   I will have two kinds of frames with loops that come with bonus chains.

For example:

50 frames + 50 free chains (worth $74.99)

The 50 chains themselves, cost $74.99.  But order the 50 frames, and get (50) coordinating nickel-free clutch chains with lobster claws for FREE!

Again …

Apart from feeling that I want to make up for my running out of antique brass, this tremendous sale will allow you to offer what the market wants right now:  clutches with chains.

It gives your customers 2 looks:

  1. As a clutch to carry at the crook of your arm, in your hands actually clutching it (ergo a “clutch” handbag), under the arm pit when you need to use your hands …
  2. Or carry it with a chain when your arms are full.

This sale will be up tomorrow.

While this is NOT a replacement of the antique brass (nothing is), I hope that you will take advantage of this offering especially with the Spring collections coming.

If anyone wants to get first dibs on the antique brass that is coming in 2 weeks, convo me for a custom listing at the prices below and I’ll take 10% off the frames.  (I’ve kept the same price and volume discounts as before.)

Price/Unit Sale price
1 $6.50 $6.50
3 $6.00 $17.99
5 $5.40 $26.99
10 $5.00 $49.99
20 $4.80 $95.99
25 $4.68 $116.99
50 $4.26 $212.99
100 $4.03 $402.99
200 $3.52 $704.99
500 $3.25 $1,624.99

Please feel free to convo or email me with your comments or concerns.  As always, your comments are welcome!  ~ Winn

January 24, 2011 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS, WhileBabyNaps General Updates | Leave a comment

Shop transition: Shipping update and Marketing your shops.

As I prepare for my family’s move to Viet Nam for 3 years, I want to keep you updated on my business and what it means to you.

Per my previous post, my sister Y will be doing all the packaging and shipping from her home in Florida.

What this means to you:

*The shipping rates remain the same: I ship using Priority Mail flat rate so it’s the same cost as long as it fits in the small, medium or large flat rate boxes.

*The shipping time frame remains the same: As per USPS’s guidelines, Priority Mail takes 2-3 days nationwide.

You will get the same fine metal purse frames — with a 30-day full refund guarantee — for the same rates that you’ve been paying and within the same time frame you’re used to.

With Y here in the last 2 weeks, it has really allowed me to tackle my to-do list.  With the success of the WhileBabyNaps Facebook fan page, handbag makers who have posted their clutches are getting another venue for exposure.  In less than 3 days, I’ve had close to 6000 fan page views.  My blog views continue to go up with SELLERS page being the most searched page.  Call me biased (it won’t be the first time I’ve admitted to that so fire away! 🙂 ) but I really feel that my WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com Facebook fan page is really geared for the fans.  The more successful you are, the more successful I am.  I know that if I support you in your endeavor, I will get that support in return.

My favorite part about the fan page???  The comments that you are starting to post about each other’s creations.  I am so proud to see you all supporting each other.  Remember my post on taste uncertainty, I would love for the fans to come to know that this is THE place to go for clutches.  It increases your chance of having a sale then going it alone.

More clutches added by handbag makers -- getting ready for Valentine's Day!

In addition, Y was invaluable in providing me with the different national arts and craft fair directories that were presented in a previous post.

She’s already been a tremendous help and I feel strongly that it has allowed me to take my dreams of putting women in business to another level.  I’ve been getting some great feedback and I want to thank you, for your support.

Here’s one recent note:

You’re so sweet – thank you for adding the 4th chain to my order for free; that’s why your shop is so popular, Winn. You take care of all of us, even little old me, who just orders 5 or 10 frames at a time. I received very good customer service from my previous frame supplier, but you beat her prices, even with the loops, and your blog is a wonderful perk!

Take care and I hope to be adding my clutches to your Facebook page soon!

Patti

(http://www.etsy.com/shop/pattispretties)

So to Patti and all the “little old me’s”  out there, please know that my business depends on you and all the little old me’s!  I really try to treat everyone with the same amount of attention and thought — whether you buy 5 frames or 100 frames.  And as my customers, knowing how exacting you all are about having the finest frames 🙂  I know that you all take every sale of your clutches with the same care.

It’s this level of care that you will continue to see from WhileBabyNaps.

Thank you ~

Winn (and Y)

January 21, 2011 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | 2 Comments

Over 2900 Facebook Fan page post views.

Take a look guys!

These are the stats for Day #2 of my Facebook fan page:  http://www.facebook.com/WhileBabyNaps

Stats for day #2

With over 500 million worldwide Facebook users, I expect this number to go up much higher.
THANK YOU for becoming fans and passing it to your friends.  Thanks for the clutch handbag makers who have quickly and pro-actively posted their clutches (made from my fine metal purse frames)!  Whenever you have a new clutch, please feel free to post it on the wall.  The more eyes to see your clutches, the higher the profile of your shops, and the bigger chance of selling your handmade creations!
Take a look at the wall:

Some clutches available for Valentine's Day gift-giving!

Please continue to post your clutches that you think would make great gifts for Valentine’s Day.  Sell it!  Give those guys and gals a nudge!

January 19, 2011 Posted by | Helpful Tips, WhileBabyNaps General Updates | Leave a comment

WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com FACEBOOK Fan page is up!

Check it out ladies!

I listed Lena’s beautiful clutch creation with a direct link to her online store — in time for Valentine’s Day.

Attracting new customers looking for a special Valentine's gift!

Doesn’t this beautiful splash of red do wonders against the neutral page?  This fan page was live last night and we already have 23 fans as of this morning!  Only 2 more fans and I can secure a username rather than this lengthy URL:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/WhileBabyNapsEtsycom/175003999204242?v=wall#!/pages/WhileBabyNapsEtsycom/175003999204242

Handbag makers, get yourself on the page and list your clutch.  I’m happy to help!

January 18, 2011 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS, WhileBabyNaps General Updates | Leave a comment

Spreading the word about your shops on my Facebook page for WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com

It’s been on my list of to do’s but now that Y has been here to ship out orders, I’ve had some ‘free’ time to do some marketing.  And with a gentle nudge from one of my loyal customers to open a Facebook fan page, here I am with it started.

My overall goal for my FB fan page:

1.  Attract more buyers of clutches and pass on these referrals to my handbag makers bringing them more business.

2.  Continue to support my existing handbag makers by offering another avenue to promote their shops and artisans who make clutches using my fine metal purse frames.

3.  Continue to support women by offering a craft for them to learn quickly and with a low initial start-up, they can start making and selling clutches at craft shows and arts fairs to earn some extra money.

I just started it tonight and will work more on it tomorrow.  But I need your help!  (Geez, I sound like Dora the Explorer!)  🙂

*Will you please sign up as a fan? (I need 25 to start so I can secure my FB username.)

*Will you please help spread the word to your FB friends?

Please help me in this endeavor by becoming a fan and hit the thumbs up “Like” button: http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=900#!/pages/WhileBabyNapsEtsycom/175003999204242

WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com Facebook fan page!

I’ve got a shout out to sellers right on the page in the most prominent area.  There is a DIRECT LINK to my Sellers Page right here, which will send them directly to your shop.

This is another way I’m helping my handbag makers get exposure.  Sure, my frames are shiny and nice to look at on this Facebook fan page, but pics of your finished clutches will really stand out!

Please do the following:

1. Become a fan by clicking on the “like” button.

2. On the Wall, post pictures of your top-selling clutches made with my fine metal purse frames with your shop information today!  (Tell them where to buy your clutches.)

3.  Tell your FB friends and family, and ask them to become fans as well.

Thank you and as always, I welcome your comments.

~Winn

January 17, 2011 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS, WhileBabyNaps General Updates | 1 Comment

Empowering women and getting that in return in spades

As per my previous posts, you all know my views on teaching women a skill and supporting women.  I am fortunate to receive wonderful notes from many, but one recently just really touched my heart.  (I teared up telling my hubby about it!)  It really is an affirmation of what I work so hard to do.  And she got it.  She hit the nail on the head.

Prologue:

In our string of emails, she had mentioned that I was really creating a ‘movement’ with clutches.  I asked her what she meant by that.  This is her response:

************************************************************************************************************************************************

Hi Winn,

Okay, so why do I think this clutch thing is becoming a “movement?” What you are doing is really much more than just selling metal frames. You

are providing a career and a way to bring in income to many women who might not otherwise have a way to bring in money. I’m thinking about

single parents or mom’s who would like to make a contribution to their family’s cash flow. So, it really is about sustainability and empowering

women in the workforce.

It is very empowering to be able to make a product at home that is creative. If money is power, that is how you are “empowering” women. Also,

I think making clutches is sort of underground. There is not a lot of information out there on how to make them. You are changing this by

providing instructions.  When I show my clutches to people, some are mesmerized at how I could place a metal frame around fabric. They think it

is some kind of magic.

This is also becoming a movement because the next piece you have added is the “sellers” section to your newsletter/blog. This creates

another circle of connection between you and the sellers and their potential buyers. So, you are also creating marketing (and further

empowerment) for your Sellers.

Also, your very personal attention to me, and I’m assuming all sellers, is very personable. You respond quickly to questions or concerns,

fix problems that come up, are open to questions, etc. These qualities set you apart from other people selling clutches or from a corporation. This

is what people want today.

So, as you can see, the whole thing is very dynamic and quite powerful. I hope this makes sense and doesn’t sound like some crazy

persons rant! I have thought about this a lot and am glad I could explain it a bit.

Best!

Rachel

**************************************************************************************************************************************************

Just so you all know, Rachel — one of many amazing women that I’m privileged to be in the company of — is also a nurse!!!  She works 13-hour shifts … crazy hours!  🙂 I love my nurses (and teachers).   Rachel makes amazing handbags, shoulder bags and clutches.  Check her shop out (pennyroyalty.etsy.com) and see her design aesthetics and craftsmanship.

So thank you, Rachel, for being so supportive and eloquent.

Thank you all for making my work so enjoyable and meaningful.

~Winn

January 16, 2011 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | 2 Comments

Be on top of latest market trend – purse frames with loops and chains!

As mentioned briefly on my last blog post, the latest market trend that is just starting to hit the market is purse frames with loops to attach chains.

To help you be on top of this market trend, I’m offering new lower pricing on my nickel-free purse frames(TM) with EleganceLock(TM) with loops:

8x3 nickel-free EleganceLock(TM) with loops

Why it helps you:

*Expands your product line of clutches.

*Gives you a 2-in-1 look from one frame:  2 pics to show in your product listing, 2 unique looks to carry, 2 selling points to your customers

*Gives your customers 2 fashionable looks to choose from depending on her outfit!

The customer will feel like she is getting a deal with your clutch made from these frames.  Two looks for one price!

Unlike other frames with loops attached to the outside edge of the frame,  my internal optional loops lay down nicely on top of the inner fabric when not in use.  When the clutch is closed, it looks like the regular clutch with no-loop frame.

Internal loops

When the customer is using the coordinating chain that is attached to the loops, she now has a new function and look to her clutch!  My loops also give the customer the option to attach a ribbon or leather cord for a completely different look.

And the EleganceLock(TM) closure is a great closure that was designed to retain the neutrality of the frame (to keep the focus on your fabrics and not the frame) yet present a modern, sleeker look.  In addition, its ergonomic design is great for those who benefit from it’s flattened surface providing a better grip.  (Grandmas LOVE these frames!)

So check out the new lower prices on this frame and get on top of the latest market trend!

January 15, 2011 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , | 1 Comment

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