Clutch-Me.Com

Learn. Make. Sell. All about clutches.

Coming this week: PDF revision for the clutch tutorial – free update with your password

I like to think I’m ahead of the guys over at Rovio who make Angry Birds.  Do you know how they give you free updates such as “Ham ‘O Ween” as long as you purchased the original Angry Birds?  Except when it’s completely new and different, like Angry Birds Rio, then you have to buy that new game.

So where am I going with this, other than you all now know that I play Angry Birds?  Well, I just updated the clutch tutorial and wanted to let you all know first!  I’ll be back with a post when it’s updated on this blog, but it’s coming out this week.  PLEASE wait until I say “go” to download.  It’s not up yet so I don’t want you to waste your time.  🙂

The hard copies will not be available for another week.  We have to send it to our guy, a professional printer.  He uses 70# ultra-white paper.  His ink is incredible.  The booklet is so thick that we have to use a commercial stapler to staple it together!  Yes, every booklet is cut and assembled by hand.  As always, the tutorial and templates are formatted to be printed on regular 8.5×11 without any need for you to rescale.  You just click on the links, download and print.

I have been working really hard to incorporate some of the hints that I have blogged about here.  I have rewritten almost 80% of the entire tutorial and I have 95% new pictures that are bigger and more detailed.   What I’ve written in the new updated tutorial are basically the shortcuts and time-saving tips that I employ in making clutches myself.  I think they will help you.

What you will get with this update:

*Tips to improve your craftsmanship and productivity.

*2 options on how to make a clutch:  with a bottom seam (my favorite way), and without a bottom seam (makes for quick work and good for smaller clutches)

*A shortcut that will minimize the wrinkling of the fabric and allows for easier insertion into the frame

*Pictures on how to insert the frame

*Tips on what interface to use

Take a peek:

More pics, more tips, and learn how to make a clutch in 2 ways!

The new updated tutorial has also been formatted as a booklet as was before.  This was designed so that it will allow you to flip each page per step and not take up a lot of space at your sewing table.

How do you get this update?  If you bought the PDF tutorial, you were sent the password with your order.  It’s a really detailed (some say long-winded) email saying “Keep your password” as all updates to this tutorial and templates are free as long as you have your password and if you don’t have your password for any reason, it will cost you $5 to resend it.  So I hope you heeded it.

If your laptop was stolen (yes, that happened to a customer last week), it crashed and you didn’t back it up (PCs all the time…), you lost it or for any other reason, then order this listing shown here:

This is only for previous buyers who need their password.

These updates, revisions, and new templates are always free to you as long as you keep your password!  I am working on a template for the 12×3.5 size frame.  It’ll be a big bag – perfect for winter and overnights – and I’m trying to make sure the template can be printed out without any scaling on regular desktop 8.5×11 printer paper.  Quite the task since the 10×3 required splitting it into 2!  🙂

So be on the lookout and I’ll be back to give you all the “go”.

Warmly-

Winn

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February 20, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Selling your handmade clutches, wallet clutch, and reversible bag

Guess what I just read?  This just confirmed what I wrote last year in January!

So we all know about social media and many of you participate in several platforms such as Facebook fanpages, Twitter feeds, or your own blog.   Some of you have heeded my encouragement through many posts and have been selling your clutches at arts and crafts fairs.

So take a look at this:

Did you get that? It will explode!

Some things (e.g. your own app for your online shop) are neither cost effective for you nor will allow you to get your investment back given the small nature of your business.  However, Square via Squareup.com has a fast setup and offers you a free reader and a free app.  I do not get paid to promote this, by the way.  So what’s the catch?  As with any banking system, they get a percentage of what you get.  They get 2.75% of each transaction.  As you know, systems such as Paypal also take a transaction fee.  But the good news is Squareup.com has lifted the $500/month limit on the amount of money you can swipe and accept.  So this makes it worth your time to get this.  Those of you who will offer this at the craft/art booth will be ahead of those only accepting checks or cash.  Research has also shown that people spend more when using a credit card than they do when using cash.  In fact, one way that is recommended to cut back on spending is by using cash to pay instead of credit cards!  But with Square, you will give your customers much needed convenience.

Read this post I wrote last March about Business Tips for Clutch Makers talking about Jack Dorsey, founder of both Squareup and Twitter.

I’ve already gotten good feedback last year from those who used Square.  If you try it out at Spring craft shows, please let me know how it goes.  Be sure to put up the sign at your booth noting the acceptance of “Credit Cards”.

Have a great weekend!

~Winn

January 14, 2012 Posted by | Helpful Tips | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

20% off your entire cart SALE – Raincheck

WOW!  I can’t thank you guys enough for all the wonderful and heartfelt “welcome back” notes in via the convos and “Message to Seller” in your check outs.  Thank you, again, for the thoughts and prayers for our Grandma.  And thank you, for your loyalty during our shop closure to tend to our family.

Oh, thought you might like this pic of my son Ethan showing his Great Gram pictures of family on the iPad.  She was like “This thing takes pictures?  This records videos, too?  It must be really expensive.”  When I told her how much the iPad was, she said “I can buy a lot of land with that!”  🙂

Amazing to think what she has witnessed in nearly a century!

Many of you have asked about our 20% OFF total purchase sale and specifically taking rainchecks for items currently out of stock or sold out.  I wanted to clarify it for those still unclear.  Just like any brick-and-mortar retailer, I also offer a raincheck.  What does this mean for you?

*A “raincheck” is when you pay at a sale price for item(s) that are not currently in stock or are sold out due to the sale.  In other words, if the shop had those items, you’d be able to cart it out with you to the minivan (or insert cool ride you have here).  What, I’m the only with a minivan??  🙂  I digress … but since they don’t have said item(s) (not your fault) you still qualify for the sale price, but you’ll just get those items when they come back into stock.

*Sale ends at midnight EST on November 20, 2011.

*… BUT with Etsy’s convo system and the nature of the back-and-forth communication of custom orders, I am allowing for convos asking for a custom listing with details on what you want sent in by that deadline to qualify for the 20% off sale.  Even if we do not nail down 100% what you want, you will qualify as that was submitted before the deadline.  It’s as if you’re at the store and there are long lines and only 2 registers open, and you’re the 8th person in line with a cart full of things and the shop will close in 10 minutes.  But once your Custom Listing is up, you must pay within 48 hours or your order will be cancelled.  (We convo you with a link to let you know that your custom listing is up.)

I miss Target. I miss Costco, too!

*Your order will be shipped altogether in one shipment when they all come in. (4-6 weeks).  If you want to break the order up and ship them as they are available (same shipping options that Amazon allows), your shipping costs will go up accordingly.  Just let us know.  We will only charge what it costs to ship, not the time spent to ship multiple packages.

One more note, thank you for your loyalty and orders.  I want to reiterate clearly that this sale of this magnitude only happens once a year on the anniversary of my shop (11/11).  Under the legal guidelines, I cannot extend the sale to orders placed, paid or shipped prior to the sale, and it will not be extended past the end of the sale (barring the note about convos submitted by the deadline above).  If you have a Custom Listing that has been made per your request, please pay ASAP.  All custom listings not paid after the sale will be deleted.

Please keep in mind Christmas time and gift giving:  start making your clutches and have them ready to sell for Black Friday.  I would highly recommend planning your order and ordering what you need.   Remember that as long as they are unused and in same new condition as was shipped to you, if you have excess that you want to return or you simply changed your mind, I accept returns for any reason for 30 days.  You will get a full refund minus the shipping fees paid. Unfortunately, no exceptions can be made to the sale terms.  So please plan well and order OR convo us with what you need.

Now, once I get out from under this mountain of to-do’s, I will be shopping for fabric.  YAY!  Something to look forward to!  I will take pics.  I will sell the fabric.  I’ll get on it.  It’s on my list …  several of you have asked and I thank you for liking my taste!

~Talk soon!

Winn  🙂

November 18, 2011 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Twitter promotions

Hey guys!

Check out the Twitter wallpaper that I have up!  I will be rotating these with another set in a week.  All to promote my clutch handbag makers who use my fine metal purse frames in their craft.

I tweet about clutches.  Please follow to get the latest tweets!

All will be directed to the Facebook album that I created, which contains a direct link from the clutch to the clutch-maker’s shop.

If you are interested in becoming listed as a seller and get included in my marketing and promotions, please read this post.

Thanks and have a great week!

~Winn

August 28, 2011 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

End of Summer Clutches

Clutch fans … I’ve got another collection of beautiful, one-of-a-kind clutches ready for purchase from various clutch makers.  Posted at the Facebook fan page, you can click on the clutches that you like, read the brief description, and each listing has a direct link to that clutch.  Once there, you can shop around that seller’s shop to see her other handmade goods!  🙂  Look for the clutch listings where the frame is noted “Trademarks of WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com and Khuong LLC”.  You can be sure that you are buying the highest quality frames that are tested for lead.

Check it out!

One of a kind. One for you. One for your bestie!

These are made from clutch makers, all of whom can be found on the Sellers page.  They take custom orders too!

**For those of you who are currently listed as sellers, I will be cleaning up the list to update your banners and check out your shop’s inventory for more marketing, supporting and promoting.  With fall weddings, fall craft shows, and back-to-school time, I will be promoting your clutches so that customers (the end-user) can peruse and buy.  ALL SELLERS:  please be sure to note in new listings, shop announcement, Profiles, or Policies (depends on you and whether or not you buy from me exclusively) those clutches made with my fine purse frames that “this clutch was made with fine purse frames that are “Trademarks of WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com and Khuong LLC” or something to that effect so that the customers can find them!

Promotions on Twitter are forthcoming.

Advertising starts in September.

If you would like to become a seller, please read this post and convo me with the request.  I’m happy to add you!

August 12, 2011 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fabric shopping for fall!

With fall around the corner in the US, you might want to get ahead of the curve and get your Fall Collection planned out.  I see that many of you have already started your fall lines by ordering Gutermann glue and purse frames.  Next is the fabric!

As I’ve mentioned in my many previous posts, I will be looking for fabrics while residing here in Viet Nam for my short 2.5 years!  And good news guys … I’ve hit the mother-load!  Let me explain.

The traffic here consists of pedestrian, bicycles, automobiles, motorcycles, and about 50% of the entire traffic is motorbikes or motor-scooters.  They are not as powerful as the motorcycle, and are similar to the branded Vespas that you would see in Europe, for example.  This picture captures it all beautifully:

You've got it all in here. Loose rules that can leave you wondering just how everyone manages to make it from one side to the other!

That said, my husband’s employer provides our family with a rental car and driver.  There’s no way expats can take the test and drive over here (especially when we are only here for a short period of time).  In addition, vehicles are prohibitively expensive.  Whatever you would pay for in the US for your vehicle, double that price for here!

And to get to my original point of this post – the fabric – it turns out that our driver used to fix sewing machines and knows ALL the fabric mills in the city!!!  🙂

When the kids are attending school in August, I will be able to shop in earnest.  I’m so excited to see the silks, cottons, and hand-embroidered fabrics.  This place is Etsy come to real life:  all are handmade by artisans!

Here’s a pic I snapped of one fabric shop.  Look at the variety!

Every inch is covered with all kinds of fabric imaginable!

Like you going through the bolts at Joanne’s, I will have to dig through to find the designs and styles that are really magnificent and remarkable!  I generally hate shopping but I can spend all day looking at fabric.

Here’s how shopping can look like over here — barely enough room through maneuver through but it’s worth the hunt!

The bazaar! Shoppers are very gracious but the sellers are quite pushy! All Westerners and expats have virtual targets on their face$!

So head out and start your journey for fabrics for your clutches.  With new offerings for fall, this is a great way to freshen up your shop to prevent it from being too stale:  give your customers a reason to take another look!

1.  Plan out your Fall collection and colors.  Read Vogue, Marie Claire, Lucky, InStyle … any of the national magazines and find the trends that are being reported.  What clutches can you sell that will compliment your buyers’ fall palettes? Last I heard, lace is in for this fall.

2. Start your fabric search and look for the colors and fabric designs that you want for your Fall Collection.   Remember to save fabrics with big, bold designs for your bigger clutches and bags.  The fabrics with smaller motifs can be used for the smaller clutches, wallets and coin purses.

3.  Go back to your stock of fabric and pull from those any remnants that can compliment as well.  I only throw the smallest of my fabric away.   I keep it all!  I use the smallest pieces that I can no longer find for use in the Snappy(TM) Wallet Clutch:  the ID pocket needs only a tiny rectangle of beloved fabric!  I also use slightly bigger pieces as lining for my coin purse clutches!

4.  Lay out your frames and mix and match inner and outer fabrics with the different frames.  This allows you to visually see what your boutique or online shop will look like when you’re done.  You will see where you may be short on one size purse frame or short on a certain fabric, and you will have time to buy as needed.

Shops that have a cohesive and strong aesthetic really do well.  Shops that offer willy-nilly don’t do as well, because the customers get confused.  Brand identity is so important and critical to shops.  Shops that stick to what they are good at and that exhibit great craftsmanship do really well.

And remember to take good pics!  If it takes you 3 minutes to take a good picture of each clutch, remember that 2 minutes of 45 seconds of that should be spent setting up the shot: lighting, positioning, focusing …. and then snap!  I see lots of clutches that are shot poorly.  Why spend all your time and effort in making the clutch only to ruin the chances of selling it by having a bad photo?

For those of you who own your own boutique or sell in your local boutique, spend the time to have it displayed in a nice case with good lighting.  Have the display ones be the ones that customers can touch and feel and open, but be sure to sell them the unopened and tissue-wrapped one.  After the display sample has been handled, remember to wipe off fingerprints and lightly dust the fabric.

Hope your summer is going well!  Oh …. one last thing!  Pax is here!  He’s been here for a week and has adjusted splendidly.  Just like in NJ, Pax hops in the van when we go shopping!  (Pax gets to stay in the van with the AC on with our driver while the kids and I run in to get groceries.)  Everywhere we go, every day and every time that I walk him, he gets attention!  He’s a superstar here.  His breed (goldendoodle) is non-existent here.  I don’t even think anyone has even seen a poodle, much less a golden doodle.  So they ask:

*Is he a goat?

*Do you perm his hair?

*Where is he from?

The van is usually surrounded by 4-6 people looking at Pax!  I feel like I’ve got Lindsey Lohan or some other starlet in there!  🙂  LOL.  And everyone who comes in contact with him just loves him to pieces.  Everything just seemed to fall into place upon Pax’s arrival.  That loud sound of exhaling?  That’s me!  Here’s a pic of Hayley with Pax.

Pax petered out after our morning walk. It's cooler here than the current heatwave in the US! He loves lounging on Hayley and on the cold tile floor.

That’s all for now.  I’ll be back soon!

~Winn

July 24, 2011 Posted by | Helpful Tips, WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just listed: antique brass, Duskcoat(TM), Goldenlock(TM), and EleganceLock(TM) purse frames at PurseFramesOutlet

Happy Sunday to all!  Hope you are all enjoying this day and that it is beautiful wherever you are!

I will have several posts today because I will be moving all this week.  Craziness is sure to ensure and I want to make sure all is done!

This first post is to let you know that I was up til midnight posting all the PurseFramesOutlet FINAL SALE frames in the following styles and finishes.

Please check them out!

Antique Brass:

Upcycled antique brass 8x3 purse frame.

Duskcoat Gunmetal:

Upcycled Duskcoat Gunmetal(TM) purse frame

Goldenlock(TM):

Upcycled Goldenlock(TM) purse frame

Nickel-free EleganceLock(TM):

Upcycled nickel-free EleganceLock(TM) purse frame.

Thank you to all with your encouraging “Atta girl!” comments about this new upcycled venture for my frames.  For those who have purchased, thanks for the great feedback as well!  Though I may be established at WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com, when you have a new store, it helps to get feedback back!

Thanks and you’ll hear from me later today!

~Winn

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

Debuting new 8×3 Goldenlock(TM) purse frame with LOOPS!

By popular request, here is the new 8×3 Goldenlock(TM) purse frame – now with loops!

Check it out ladies!  I’m very happy with the warm – not brassy – finish, and this will coordinate with my Goldenlock purse chains!

These will be listed tomorrow for sale.

8x3 Goldenlock(TM) purse frame with loops.

Same Perfect Fit 6(TM) u-channel and sturdy kisslock balls.

Triplets! Nickel-free, Duskcoat Gunmetal(TM), and Goldenlock!

Great for your warmer fabrics and high-end custom clutches.  Great for the bridal market!  Be on the forefront and pare it with white!  Gorgeous!!!

June 9, 2011 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Debuting new 6×3 antique brass with loops purse frame!

I’ve been working on this finish and I got it!  These bigger sizes always pose a problem for the antique brass finish, but for those who have bought my 8×3 antique brass, this is the same finish.

It’s just beautiful!  Take a look:

6x3 antique brass with loops!

These will be listed for sale tonight or tomorrow!

Same style as my nickel-free 6x3 with loops! Same kisslock balls and Perfect Fit 6(TM) u-channel.

The whole family!  Note:  I am sold out AGAIN of the 8×3 antique brass.  I should have it in 3-4 weeks as I just procured the raw materials.

Antique brass in 8x3, 6x3 and 3x1.5. The 4.5x3 might not be too far behind ... 🙂

June 8, 2011 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WOW! You guys are quick! … Introducing PurseFramesOutlet.Etsy.com

Man, I did not know that WordPress also sends out an email on password-protected posts, too.  Sorry about that guys!

And boy, you guys are quick! 🙂

And no, the newest password-protected post will NOT work with your current password since it is a separate PDF tutorial that I’m launching with my new PurseFramesOutlet.Etsy.com business.

I just got done with the PDF tutorial and the templates for that.

As I’ve mentioned a while ago (OMG, I’m soooooooo swamped with the move and the kids), I am launching a new business.  It will be up within 2 weeks!  (Well, it has to since I’m moving out of the country and all…)  *hehe*  No pressure!

Here’s a sneak peek to you all first:

Introducing the new Snappy(TM) wallet clutch!

Q:  What is PurseFramesOutlet.Etsy.com?

A: It’s my secondary business that I’m launching that will allow me to up-cycle my frames.  These frames were from my sister shop, WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com.

Q:  What kinds of frames are sold at PurseFramesOutlet.Etsy.com?

A:  After years of inspecting for the finest frames at WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com, we have amassed a trove of frames that while the kisslock balls, hinges, and inner surfaces are still good, the outside surface has little marks that render them defective for our high-end line of frames sold at WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com and used by the finest clutch makers.  The cost to ship, melt, and re-work these defective frames were too costly on the pocketbook and environment.  We have saved them so that we can still work with a subset of these defective frames.

Q:  How have they been used before?

A:  Frames like these had been donated and sold at a discount privately for those in need (single moms, women who lost their jobs, women who were otherwise in need of side income but didn’t have the money).  We finally have enough to do this on a large scale.

Q:  Why can’t I buy your frames from WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com to make the Snappy(TM) wallet clutch?

A:  You still can, but why not pay a fraction of the full price for defective frames when you will not see the defects in your final product?  You pay less, and we get to up-cycle our fine frames with defects.

Q:  What else do I need to know?

A:  *They are all trademarks of WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com and Khuong LLC.
*They are NOT returnable to PurseFramesOutlet.Etsy.com OR WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com.
*They have all been tested for lead and they all have a proprietary 2-coat process that allows you to wipe off fingerprints easily.
*They were made in the same high standards, but had been weeded out for their minor defects from shipping or otherwise.

I am so thrilled to be launching this to you all first.  This new design will add another product to your lines of clutches.  It’s easier to make, adds another price point, AND….

*Lowers your material cost by having lower priced purse frames.
*Lowers your material cost because you can use scrap fabric from other projects.
*Lower your material cost because you can use the less expensive quilting cottons that are perfect for this project and are easily found at your local shops.

And lower material costs means a BIGGER PROFIT for you!

Thank you for your support of using our fine frames (however defective) because it also allows us to up-cycle these otherwise great frames.

So stay tuned!  It will launch within 2 weeks.  It will start shipping out June 21.  I will keep you posted and you will be the first to know!

June 7, 2011 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS, WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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