Clutch-Me.Com

Learn. Make. Sell. All about clutches.

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

11/11/12 – 3 year Anniversary Sale

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been on Etsy for 3 years (and that I’ve been in business since 2001!).  It’s really amazing that I still have many of the same customers that I’ve had since I opened on Etsy in 2009!  You have included me by sharing about marriages, birthdays, loss of jobs, new opportunities, illnesses, deaths of loved ones, and new babies.  You share with me your joys and sorrows as much as I share!  Let’s have some cake!

Can you believe that this is a cake? They don’t make them like this anymore …

I cannot have an anniversary to celebrate if I didn’t have customers … so as a thank you for your business, support, encouragement and loyalty, I am offering my annual sale of 20% OFF ALL items in the store.  20% OFF your total purchase.  This includes frames, kits, PDFs, and Gutermann glue.

How perfect are these cake pops??? Lots of other cake pops at the blog. Click on the picture for more.

Here are the Legal terms:

*Sale valid from November 8, 2012 – November 11, 2012 midnight EST.

*No extensions of this yearly sale will be made for payments/orders received after the closing deadline of November 11, 2012 midnight EST.  Get your orders in!

*Good until inventory runs out!  First in, first out.  If I run out prior to the end of the sale, you will be contacted and you can keep your order with the rain-check (see below) until a new production is done, or you can cancel the order.  Your anniversary sale discount will be honored at the SALE price at which you bought it regardless of price fluctuations in the raw metal prices.

*This sale is not retroactive on any previous sales or for any pending orders.

*You must enter code “3rdsale” at check out during November 8, 2012 – November 11, 2012 midnight EST and you will get 20% OFF your total purchase immediately.

*Due to the anticipated high number of orders in, please allow for up to 5 business days for your items to be packaged and shipped.  We normally ship 99% of items within 24 hours, but due to historical high demand during the sale, please allow us time to do final inspections, package, and ship your order.  If for some reason that it takes longer than that, we will let you know, but this window will give us time.  All orders will have the 30-days money back, full refund (minus shipping both ways) for any reason extended from the date of shipment of your order.

*For Custom Listings, just contact me at the shop and a custom listing will be done for you with 20% OFF and the correct shipping applied.  Please know that we only charge the true and correct shipping for all orders at all times of the year.

Two ways to contact on the Shop home page.

*If you don’t see a quantity or size listed, it means someone has just ordered it and it has not yet been re-listed.  You can wait until it gets re-listed, order it at my webstore or contact us through the shop home page or through any item and Thy can make custom listing for you.

Contact button available on every item’s listing.

*Sale applicable to frames out of stock but under production as rain-check items (see below).

Raincheck items:

*I just started another new production of frames in various sizes and finishes.  The list is quite big, but if the frames that you want are not in stock but is currently in production, we will extend the 20% sale price if you pay in full by the deadline of November 11, 2012 midnight EST.

*Rain checks will be shipped when your entire order comes in unless you contact us otherwise.  (Items can be shipped as they come in but you will charged shipping each time.)

*Due to the back-n-forth nature of conversations (emails through my Etsy shop), contacts requesting custom listings must be sent in before the sale deadline of November 11, 2012 midnight EST.  If we have your contact with a request for a custom listing with items needed and quantity in before that deadline, you qualify for the 20% OFF total purchase.  ALL payments for custom listings must be paid within 48 hours of the Custom Listing going up on Etsy.

Made in New Jersey!!! 🙂

We thank you, again, for your loyalty and support.  Work is never “work” when you are getting this much joy from servicing and interacting with your customers.  🙂

~Winn (and Thy)

November 5, 2012 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Starbucks follows Small Biz Owners with Square

Another huge company is following where small business owners have gone by offering Square at their locations!  Starbucks is the biggest company yet to offer mobile payments.  As you may recall, JcPenney‘s has just joined previously.
Read the entire article here:

Fall Arts and Crafts Fairs are right around the corner.  This would be a great opportunity for you to have this as an option for your customers to pay via their preferred credit card without any upfront fee since it’s free.  That’s a big help for  crafters, hobbyists, and small business owners.  To read more facts – such as how the average transaction is higher when using mobile devices, read my blog post here.
Have you tried it?  Have you found it helpful?

August 16, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clutches in Asia

As promised, below are some snaps of clutches from my travels.  The best of the lot is from the shopping mecca of Kuala Lumpur.  There was one store devoted entirely to clutches.  It was in every conceivable color and style, though leaning toward the evening and special occasion clutches.  I managed to snap two pics before being admonished.  Almost all stores have a “No Pictures” policy.  I don’t know why exactly because I adore their merchandise!

I must apologize for the poor quality of some of these pics.  As you might recall, my trusty old camera broke and I was using one of my much older back-ups.  It didn’t do well in florescent lighting and I could not get it to stay in focus unless I was absolutely still.  Guess a good camera is on my Christmas list!  Enjoy and I hope these clutches provide some inspiration!

I LOVED these wallet and coin clutches. The stripes and clear sequins were really cute!

This clutch is a cake! How lovely are these cupcakes? My 6 year old daughter would be thrilled to have these for her birthday party!

Leatherette clutches with embroidered musical motif at a mall kiosk.

Cute hand-embroidered coin clutches at an airport kiosk.

Hand-painted clutches of girls in hanboks at a Seoul, South Korea handbag shop. These were pricey but gorgeous!

Orange is a HOT color in Asia. I’m seeing everywhere, from Tod’s handbags, to Nine West shoulder bags, to this impressive boutique.

A clutch and handbag shop in KL, Malaysia.

I snuck another shot in before getting admonished for taking photos!

Clutches and shoes.

If you have any pics of clutches from your travels, contact me at my online shop or Etsy shop.  Would love to see them and I can post them!

 

August 10, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 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

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

“Go” – Updated Clutch PDF is up.

Ok, guys.  It’s up and running.  As per my last post, the updated PDF is up.  Again, this is FREE to those of you who’ve bought the clutch PDF tutorial before.  Please note that this is NOT free for those who bought different PDFs like the Reversible Patchwork bag or the Snappy Wallet Clutch(TM) as those are entirely different tutorials.

Click here to get to the post.  Enter your password and start your download.

Get to the latest PDF version through here! Enter your password.

With this new major update of the main tutorial, you will learn how to make a clutch with a seam (my preferred way that will show your great craftsmanship and will work with any fabric) and without a bottom seam (great for quick easy work or for non-directional fabrics).  It also incorporates a short-cut, an entirely different way to finish the clutch so that it will reduce the wrinkling and is a bit quicker to do when you are making a lot of clutches.  I also have pictures on how to glue it into the frame.

I spent over a hundred hours re-doing this.  This is all free to you as long as you have your password.

What if you don’t have your password?  (eg. computer crashed, laptop stolen, forgot to print out the email that was sent to you, emptied the email in your trash…) Please buy the $5 password resend listing at my shop and give me your original purchase date of the PDF and Paypal buyer account so that I know you had bought it back in 2009, 2010, 2011 or earlier this year in 2012.  If you cannot retrieve this, then you will need to buy it again.

Please consider this as fair since I’ve explicitly told you to keep your password.  I value my customers so much and spend so much time on this $8 tutorial without getting additional pay each time, so please don’t email me and say that it’s unfair that you have to pay $5 to retrieve your password especially when my email’s subject line is “PLEASE KEEP/PRINT! $5 charge to resend it in the future “. I do all this while my kids are at school and after I put them to bed at 8pm. Also, please consider the following:

*All other tutorials show you how to make 1 size clutch – I offer how to make ANY size clutch with 2 distinct tutorials for the same price.
*They only offer 1 pattern and I offer 6 patterns.
*They are priced $8+ and mine is also at $8.
*Other tutorials and kits prohibit you from setting up a shop on Etsy or go into business. Mine do not. In fact, I actively promote and try to find buyers for my clutch makers.

*I could’ve made separate listings and charges for every new template.  All other PDFs show you how to make 1 clutch in 1 size only.

*I could’ve made a completely new listing and charge for a new tutorial “Now learn how to make a clutch without a bottom seam” for $8 like other sellers have right now.

Every time I add new templates/updates, over 500 of you get on and download.  So there is value to what I provide to you far beyond the initial $8 that you paid for.

I still get customers who bought this $8 tutorial in 2009 when there were 3 templates. They got another 3 templates for free. Could I have charged them by making an entirely new listings for each one? Sure.  But I didn’t. They also contacted me with “What’s my password”?  I have sold hundreds of these. How do I know who bought and who didn’t? Sometimes, the person contacted me used their spouse’s Paypal account and I have to search for that. Before Etsy co-mingled the accounts, you would have multiple usernames and it was bought under a “purchase” account which was different from their “seller” account. Multiply this by 100+ people. Every time.

This is what I think my value is: it takes time for me to retrieve their records and then email the password. So it’s $5. It’s also a deterrent from all the emails that come because when people know it’s going to cost them $5, they’ll print out a hard copy and keep it. I’ve had people whose computers crashed, laptops stolen, email lost in the the junk mail, accidental deletions, you name it.

So, sorry that I’m on my soapbox.  I’m officially off.  🙂  Thank goodness:  it gets dizzying from the lack of oxygen standing up high on soapboxes!

I want to encourage you to try the tips and the “Shortcut” option that is in this new tutorial.  This is after years of making clutches…  Try it with just 1 clutch and see what you think.  Ever since I’ve done it this way, my clutches are not wrinkly and the bulkiness from the interface doesn’t affect how I insert it into the frame.  It goes in easily.  I love it.

I’m working on a template for the 12×3.5 frame that will print out – without scaling- on regular desktop 8.5×11 paper. This will also be free as long as you have your password. This will take a week or so. Why? I make the design, sew it, refine it, make new adjustments, sew that, refine that, and so on … and then rework the template to fit your 8.5×11 papers.  Who wants in?  🙂
Cheers and happy sewing!

~Winn

February 22, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

Back in Stock: 12 x 3.5

Hi!!!!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years!  🙂  We’ve had our first Christmas here in Vietnam and my 9-year old said that it was “the best Christmas EVER”.   We brought along our trusty Christmas tree from Costco (and all of our other furniture and furnishings) and put up stockings on our electric fireplace mantel.  It worked to preserve and continue our Christmas traditions.  The kids were worried Santa wouldn’t know where they lived in Vietnam (they assumed New Jersey was well-known by Santa and his elves) and the fact that we have no chimney for Santa … but thanks to Norad, Elf the movie, and some great books to help explain it all.  Oh, the magic of Christmas!

My kids on Christmas Eve.

During the holidays, International schools here let kids out for three weeks in order for expat families to return back to their home countries.  And since the kids and I only got here in July, we stayed here during the holidays.  After celebrating 30+years of snowy and cold Christmases in the Midwest and NJ, it felt really weird not having the cold weather for Christmas!  I’m sure that is nothing new to those in the warm climates though.

Here’s my family holiday card to you all.  E-card this year via Smilebox!

Hope your holidays brought you many smiles. Smiling's my favorite! Name that movie (super easy...).

So with 3 kids home, you can imagine what little work I’ve got done.  But thank goodness for my sisters, Thy and Y who have been working quite hard.  Thy missed Christmas altogether due to illness!  She’s on the mend but her little one who’s only 4, is just recovering from another bout of something!  I miss the cold but I do not miss cold & flu season.

Oh, I’m a couple weeks late and giving you the news but I just want to let you all know that the 12×3.5 nickel-free frames are back in stock.  This one is a bit hard to manufacture and carry since it’s our costliest frame with all the iron and the large surface making a superb finish harder to achieve.  But with winter here and winter bags, this large, heavy and sturdy frame is ideal for the big bags.  This frame has been used to make the bigger carry-all bag.  It can support leather, vinyl, upholstery-weight and other heavier fabrics.   I designed a wide u-channel to accommodate both the heavier, thicker fabrics and the fusible interface/fleece.  The walls of the u-channel were also designed to be higher.  Check them out!

12x3.5 nickel-free purse frame

My internet connection has also been very frustratingly troublesome.  I get very slow service and when I do, I get disconnected frequently.  I have a fiber line but it gets throttled due to the servers here.  😦  Makes for long hours and a low productivity rate.  Alas, I will be back to sewing once I clear out a few things off my desk!

So since the kids went back to school today (yay, thank you teachers!), I will be able to work more (yay, my sanity returns!).  Love my kids, but I miss working.  Miss you all!  Thanks for your messages!!

Hoping you all are healthy for 2012!

~Winn

January 9, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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