Clutch-Me.Com

Learn. Make. Sell. All about clutches.

We did it! 10,000th item on Etsy sold!!!

It’s been 12 years since I started my LLC and my businesses, and it’s been a little over 3 years since I’ve been on Etsy, but I just hit the 10,000th item sold!!!  We’ve got a winner ladies and gents.  I could not be any happier to celebrate this huge milestone with you all.  Details will come soon on the winner.  🙂

Thank you, thank you, to all.

Thank you, thank you, to all.

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April 7, 2013 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Who will be the winner of the 10,000th item on Etsy?

We are getting close!  A couple weeks ago, I wrote about our huge milestone coming up, and now we are on the cusp of having a winner.  Currently, at 9942 items sold, we should have a winner within the next week, unless my crystal ball is not working.  🙂

Can I start the countdown?

Can I start the countdown?

Whoever’s (whomever’s?)cart contains the 10,000th item sold, will get that item and the entire cart free, up to $100.00!  I’m curious to see if it will be a brand new customer, a woman who is trying out a new skill for the first time who will make a clutch for her friends, or if it will be a woman who runs her own business and needs to get some more frames to make clutches getting ready for Mother’s Day sales.  Not to slight my few but wonderful male customers, it could be one of them needing some more Gutermann glue to their clutches, too.  We will have to wait and see!

April 4, 2013 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Striving for the best Customer Service

Recently, Etsy came out with a new feature for sellers.  If you are an Etsy seller, you can see some key Customer Service Stats about your shop.  What I really like about this is that it allows you to see where you can improve on or where you can keep striving to maintain.  After all, people buy from people, and that is clear on a marketplace like Etsy where the focus is often on OOAK handmade goods.

I am beyond thrilled to see that from day 1 on Etsy (November 11, 2009), I (and Thy) have striven to be the best in Customer Service.  The following takes into consideration our entire history on Etsy.

This demonstrates our strive to give you the best customer service so you keep coming back!

This demonstrates our strive to give you the best customer service so you keep coming back!

That is not to say we don’t make mistakes!  We make plenty of mistakes.  We fall down and get scraped sometimes.  But we also get up and try harder to be better.  Thank you for working with us and letting us make it right for you in the instances where we do mess up.  Obviously, you know that it’s never intentional when we do get it wrong.  It’s this reservoir of good-will that we never take for granted.  🙂

So for you Etsy sellers out there, check out your Customer Service Stats to see the areas where you can maintain or areas where you can improve on.  This is a great tool and is worth your time!

~Winn

March 15, 2013 Posted by | Helpful Tips | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Printing Intructions for the Classic Day Clutch!

I was recently contacted by two kind customers who had problems with printing out the Classic Day Clutch(TM) template.  It did not print out true to size and scale than what was on the PDF file that they saw on the screen.  It printed out on a smaller scale thereby making the pattern too small for the 8×3 frame, although it fit perfectly for a 7 x 2.5 size frame.  It took me a while through several tech blogs and such but I figured out why it printed out on a smaller scale in some rare cases.  I went ahead and made the change for everyone just in case this happens to someone else.

Let me explain what happened in these two cases: Adobe did not process it correctly during printing and shrunk it to fit the page. My original file as seen on the screen when downloaded is the correct size and scale: however, when it goes to print it, it sometimes shrinks it. Funnily enough, Adobe does NOT do this for any of the other 6 templates — only for the Classic Day Clutch in these 2 instances! And furthermore, my own printer setting was on “Print as Image” so it did not shrink it for me. It always prints true when I print it on my printer so I did not “catch” it every time I printed this template out to sew and make my clutches. So all my clutches using the Classic Day Clutch template came out exact.

How do you prevent printing a scaled-down version?  (It is hard to tell that it was shrunken.)  Printing a PDF file as an image bypasses that processing by sending the printer a simple image of the document instead. To ensure the correct scale that is printed, please print the Classic Day Clutch(TM) via the following these steps:

With the PDF file open in Acrobat Reader or Acrobat, from the File menu, click Print.
In the Print window that appears:

>Windows: Click to check the Print as Image check box.
>Macintosh: Click the Advanced button, and click to check the Print as Image check box in the Advanced Print Setup window.

Click Print.

You can do this method to print out any PDF file if you want to ensure that it prints true to what you see on the screen.  I want to thank the two ladies for contacting me with this issue. By making these new printing steps for everyone, it will ensure that no one else will run into this problem. I am not sure why others, like myself, did not encounter this problem prior as it has never happened before. (?) I am not sure if the different Adobe versions or the different Mac vs. Windows platforms make a difference.  However, I do know that I feel VERY lucky that they contacted me!

I sell a lot of these kits because it's a good clutch, but also due to the photo.  It's a good angle and shows off the clutch well.

I sell a lot of these kits because it’s a good clutch, but also due to the photo. It’s a good angle and shows off the clutch well.

Thanks
Winn 🙂

February 18, 2013 Posted by | Helpful Tips, WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Luxurious clutches

Got someone on your holiday list that you really want to WOW them?  I would like to highlight two amazing craftswomen who make clutches and bags from scratch by hand, much in the tradition of Hermes.  Randi of HoldFasthandbags, and Laurel of DalleMieMani work with materials that are beautiful, long-lasting, and that takes a lot of skill to work with.   Their craftsmanship just puts me to shame, and I’m not at all embarrassed to admit that!  🙂

When I first saw Randi’s post and picture of her workstation, the way she crafts her eponymous bags at HoldFasthandbags brought to mind the workshops of Hermes.  Artisans there also make one bag from start to finish.  Much like Hermes, Randi doesn’t have a production line.  She designs them, sources her materials, and makes each one by herself start to finish.  You might not have the budget for the Hermes bag — I personally don’t know of anyone who does, and Oprah does not count as a personal connection — but you might have a budget for a HoldFasthandbag bag or a Laurel Dasso Leathers clutch.

Randi’s workshop:

Parts of a bag by Randi of HoldFasthandbags.

Parts and pieces of a bag from Hermes. Photo by John Dascoulias.

Retro Rockabilly clutch handbag.

Perfect clutch for winter! Pair with your best brown riding boots to amp up your outfit.

Another example of great craftsmanship. The lining is perfectly well-crafted. Not a wrinkled stitch in sight!

The second craftswoman that you should check out is Laurel over at her DalleMieMani shop.  As the sole person behind Laurel Dasso Leathers, Laurel’s work with this material is exemplary.  Laurel’s exquisite leathers remind me of the leathers of the Hermes bags, too.  She has quite the pick of the lot as she sources the leather herself and works with the best ones!  Laurel also has a sale until Thanksgiving Day (November 22nd).  To receive 15% off your order, use the coupon code HAPPYTHANKSGIVING at checkout.

Check on this picture to see more behind the scenes at Hermes and their leather artisans.

This luscious black leather clutch handbag is an instant classic.

This is made from tan cognac brown calfskin.  Scarf not included!

And the piece de resistance is this gorgeous, gorgeous one of a kind clutch handbag with a long shoulder strap.

Didn’t I tell you all the best women use my fine frames?  🙂  Just kidding, but I am so honored that these artisans continue to work with me for their purse frame and glue needs.  Please check out their shops for these clutches and many other wallets and bags.  You will love shopping there!

November 22, 2012 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

20% OFF total purchase – It’s on!

Thank you everyone, for your congratulations.  This is a gentle reminder that our sale has just begun for our once-a-year biggest sale as a thank you to our customers.  The sale ends on Nov. 11 , 2012 at midnight EST so please plan your purchases well.   Get your needs now during this sale to make your clutches for Christmas(!) offerings.  OMG, I heard Christmas music one week after Halloween at a DVD shop in Ho Chi Minh City!  Many Western traditions and culture have permeated the far reaches of the Earth.  I just can’t believe they had Christmas music before Thanksgiving already – in Viet Nam, no less!

http://whilebabynaps.etsy.com

http://purseframesoutlet.etsy.com

http://whilebabynaps.com   **Thy will refund 20% OFF total purchase + any excess shipping at time of shipping at my online shop.**
Our other sister is in town to help Thy out with the orders and so far, all orders have gone out within 24 hours!  Thank you for all the emails and notes that you’ve written in Note to Seller.  I think I’ve replied and thanked each one who wrote personally, but I didn’t want to go without saying thanks, again, here as well.  If I missed you, things are a little cray-cray around here — in a WONDERFUL and BLESSED way — but we are doing everything to get all orders out timely so you can get to the business of sewing and making!

Y is here helping with your orders …

Not helping with your orders? These 2! But they sure look cute! 🙂

 

 

 

 

November 8, 2012 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reblogged – Skull Ring Clutches

Check out these high-end clutches. I see these a lot in Asia.

Oh, Laurel (who commented below) made these for a customer who was vegan.   It was for her bridal party and they were admired by all!  Click on the pic to get to Laurel’s amazing shop.  She specializes in all kinds of sumptuous leather!

glitzgirlzglamourguide

Excited for my shipment to arrive! What’s an outfit without accessories?? Alexander McQueen really set the bar high with his line of skull ring clutches and since then there have been several designers to imitate the look. I ordered the orange skull ring clutch because a pop of color with the right outfit always stands out! It’s a cool and fun fashion accessory for an evening out and a definite conversation piece. 🙂 Thanks Berlue Boutique in Boca Raton, Florida (http://www.berlueboutique.com/)! Check out their site (great prices) and SUPER friendly girls! You can join their facebook page to keep track of the latest arrivals and they will ship!



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August 24, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Clutches everywhere … ?

Maybe it’s selective perception but I seem to be seeing clutches everywhere.  Granted, I am a bit obsessed with clutches.  My trusty camera finally died *wah wah* so I just started taking pics with my other not-so-new camera.  However, batteries are dead, wouldn’t you know it, so…..  I will post pics of the clutches in a future post!  Promise!

But check this out ladies.  I was just reading an article about how Gwenyth Paltrow is coming out with a Goop collection.

T-shirt for $90. Not in my budget … 😦

It was interesting because I’m always reading many many many things, never knowing where it’ll lead me.  On this occasion, it led me to her website goop.com, and I noticed that they recently updated the site.  Guess what they have for the shopping or “get” tab?  A clutch as the icon!

How awesome is that?  It kinda looks like a clutch made using my 4.5×3 inch nickel-free frame, doesn’t it?  🙂

My clutch tutorial was also recently reviewed and featured in another blog.  This time it was Jen over at BettyCrockerAss.  With that name, you know I’d like her anyway!  🙂  You should check her out.  She is a quilter extraordinaire!

You can check out her review of my tutorial.  Jen brought up an excellent point:  the corners were too pointy making the clutch more of an “A” shape.  As you know on pg. 13 of the tutorial, you can make the clutch fuller by cutting more off the ends.  You can square it off more to change the silhouette.  However, Jen did an ingenious alteration with the use of buttons.  I’ve since updated the tutorial with new measurements to make the clutch fuller and the update is up.  Go to this post and enter the same password that you received when you bought the PDF in order to get the update.  You have 2 options for getting the update this time:  just page 13 where the changes were made OR the entire updated tutorial.

Jen reviewed by purse frame clutch tutorial as part of Sara’s Purse Palooza 2012 at Sew Sweetness.   I was really honored that Jen reviewed my tutorial and added to it, and that Sara started this whole thing.  You should go and check out all the great reviews and free tutorials at Sara’s blog.

Sew SweetnessI will be back late this week with another quick post about the updated tutorial.  But in the meantime, for you early readers, you can grab your update now!

July 3, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clutches from HCMC, Viet Nam

Hi everyone!  It’s been a month since I’ve blogged, but as you all know too well, life happens.  🙂

It’s been a very, very busy time of the year for me and the family.  Two of my kids had their birthdays and that means me making egg-free cakes since my oldest son has an egg allergy.   I love many things about Ho Chi Minh City, my temporary home for another 2 years, but the one thing I detest is the shopping.  😦  It’s terribly inconvenient.  Just finding vanilla extract took trips to three different stores, and after giving up, my dear friend Dutch friend Zita had some to spare for me!  Thank goodness for friends and neighbors in this expat community.  Target and Costco would make a killing in this town.  🙂

Hayley turned 6! She wanted a princess castle cake.

I found tips from amazing bloggers on the Internet to make this cake.  I could not find any grocery stores that sold ice cream cones here!  My husband flagged down a street vendor who was selling ice cream and bought them off of him.  I made  fondant out of strawberry flavored marshmallows.   The best thing?  My son could enjoy this cake along with all the kids without fear of an allergic reaction.

Ethan (second from left) turned 10! He had a party at the house and invited 4 of his friends over for a swim party.

He finally outgrew the “theme” cake. Since one of his friends has an allergy to food coloring(?), his egg-free cake was plain with sprinkles to make the number. Simple!

I have also continued to do my weekly visits to my Grandma, who does relatively well for her old age.  I am very thankful for the visits and the many talks that I have with her.  Nothing brings me more joy than to see her smile, like she is in the pic below.  Her eyes absolutely light up when my kids are around.  Sometimes I go by myself, and sometimes I’ll bring one or two of the kids with me.  The bumpy trip in traffic has made my middle child prone to carsickness.  Noah hurled coming home from one trip and when Hayley looked over, she vomited as well.  Lucky for Ethan’s quick reaction, he bolted up and managed to avoid the calamity.  And he was seated in between them!

Ethan taking a nap at his Great Gram’s. 🙂

My Grandma’s health is off-and-on but not as precarious as she was last October.  She has a keen mind and still runs the show.  We try to make her comfortable and happy.  She only asks for visits and a little money to donate to the local temple.  She gives me fruit (mango, pomelo, guava) every time I come and visit.  She also tells me to stay out of the sun, which is quite impossible with three active kids.  Not to worry, I use SPF 50 on them and myself every day.

I had time to go to a trade show where local artisans showcased their talent.  I was most impressed by the emerging rice art displayed there.  Below are artwork made by a local firm that employed disabled people.  The director was a young lady who just recently graduated from university and started her own company!  Her employees use rice that has been roasted to different shades to meticulously create the designs.  The rice is adhered by a proprietary eco-friendly glue.  It was really striking artwork.  I was really impressed with this young visionary who found her passion while at the same create jobs for those who often have a next-to-impossible task of finding suitable employment.

The Mac Daddy – Steve Jobs.

Rice grains close up.

The eternal beauty of Marilyn Monroe.

An aficionado’s item.

Whatever little time I had left, I had to do more errands.  On a trip to get my daughter a toy cell phone for her birthday, I saw some cute clutches sold in local accessories shops in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.  They do not allow photography but I had to break the rule and whip out my point-and-click and snapped some candid shots!

Coin clutches at a local HCMC shop. The owl is too cute!

Fancier evening clutches at another shop.

The Union Jack one was awesome! Would have been great for the Diamond Jubilee.  The pleated navy one was very well made.

Completely adorable!  The owl here was a knitted design.  Genius!

School is out so I will be busy with the kids every day.  My youngest sister is also here visiting for 7 weeks so it’s full at our house.  I can only work once the kids are in bed at 8pm.  Most of you with young kids may be experiencing the same thing that I am:  how to keep the kids busy and how to limit their time on electronics!  We have a couple of trips planned:  South Korea for 5 days and the US (NJ, IL, IN, and WI) for 2 weeks.  I think the travel and jet lag will really age me and test my patience, but traveling is a nice problem to have!

Until next time, I will update the tutorial in some key measurements.  You already know how to adjust the measurements and how to make your own pattern from my bonus tutorial, but I will make a permanent change since I like the fuller look of clutches.  As always, I will let you all know about it here first.  So if you haven’t already done so, subscribe to get the email update when that happens.  The update will be free for all of you who bought the clutch tutorial.  For your convenience, it’s the same password as was sent to you when you bought the tutorial.

Lastly, I’ve had 5 versions of a clutch for the 12×3.5 frame but I haven’t found a way to make it easy to make, so it might entail a new tutorial for that size bag, altogether.  I will give it one more attempt before doing a whole new and different tutorial for that size alone.  I have been working on different patterns and sewing steps to simplify it while making the template printable from your desktop printer without any scaling.  Just print and go like the other tutorials.  I’m not quite there yet.

Until next time, I hope you all are having an enjoyable summer.  Remember to wear sunscreen!  🙂  ~Winn

June 17, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mother’s Day clutches

Check out my latest album.  This one honors the mom on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13th.  Other than this one special day to celebrate mom, we often hear “Hi, MOM!” when TV cameras hone in on someone who’s on TV for the first time.  Why is it that our first instinct when caught in the big lights of TV cameras is to wave and scream “Hi, Mom?”  I’d like to think that the excitement of the deer-in-the-headlights feeling takes us to our core, to what’s important, and in many cases it’s the mom.  🙂  Why don’t we say “Hi dad?”  We do, but just in the minority.  The majority amongst us have the most contact with their mothers and feel closest to despite dad’s increased involvement in child rearing.

So you all know I support and honor women.  Whether you are a mom yourself, or yet to be, or are perfectly content with being aunty, this album’s for you!  I’m sure you’ll find several clutches in here for your shopping list.

Mother’s Day clutches album.

As for me, I’ve got a busy week ahead with my husband on yet another business trip.  My oldest is turning 10 (egad!) on Friday and another birthday party to attend… then Mother’s Day.  My wish is to wiggle my nose so that all my bills are paid, my piles of papers magically fly into the right folders in the filing cabinet, and I have time to get a leg wax and pedicure.  I’m looking kinda like a … sasquatch.  TMI?  😉  Well, one of those wishes will come true!

Have a great week and Happy Mother’s Day this weekend to all the moms out there!

~Winn

May 7, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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