Clutch-Me.Com

Learn. Make. Sell. All about clutches.

Quick update!

I hope this finds you all well!  It’s been a crazy September and I cannot believe Halloween is right around the corner.  My kids have a week-long fall break coming up and we’re heading to Seam Riep, Cambodia for a 5-day trip to visit Angkor Wat and other temples.  I’ve been working on some videos and it’s been a hit or miss.  After seeing myself on camera, I’ve realized that I am officially middle-aged.  🙂

You have also been kind enough to ask about my grandmother and have sent wishes for her good health.  I’m happy to say that we still have her and she has more good days than bad days.  Her mind is still quite keen but her body is just worn out after being on Earth for almost a century.  Her muscles have long atrophied and she spends her day seeing the world from the vantage point of her bed, though she does get wheeled out to the front yard to see the world go by for 30 minutes a day.  It’s still the highlight of my week to visit with her and tease her.  She is very opinionated and can give the nursemaid and her grand kids quite a bit of grief like any cantankerous old lady, but amazingly, I’m the only one who gets away with ribbing her.  I will do just about anything to get her to laugh.
Here are some pics of our visit with her 2 weeks ago.  With so many kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids around, she got confused and asked if we were getting together because she was dying.  Hahahaha.  I told her “No, Gram.  It’s just lunch.”  🙂

My middle son also loves his Great-Gram, but is quite enamored with his DSI.

My 2 youngest ones: Hayley cuddling up with Pax.

Once Term 2 of school begins, it will a little quieter allowing me to get some more work done.  The electricity goes off and on about 4 times a day, a real pain when you are in the midst of working on the computer!  My internet connection speed is so abysmal that I do not get much done with my videos.   I just got an amazing blue miniskirt that I am wayyyyy too old to wear as a skirt;  however I got it because it was on clearance and for the beautiful fabric of overlapping sequins of various tones of blue.  That will be my next bag!  I think I’ll go with a cross-body.

Here’s a look at the beautiful sequins.  What do you think?

This will become my cross-body clutch to wear with my white pants, espadrilles, navy or red top.

I will be back soon with news about our annual Etsy anniversary sale.

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October 11, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Mobile checkout is hitting the masses

While on my whirlwind trip to NJ, WI, IN, and IL — all in 2 weeks — visiting family and friends, I ran across an article about mobile point of service devices being adopted by a major retailer.

Following up on my earlier posts on mobile point of service devices, such as Square, I mentioned that you can expect that the adoption of POS devices to ramp up quickly.  With fall arts and crafts fairs around the corner, you still have time to try out the free POS devices available for small business owners.  More and more customers will understand and have trust in the use of these POS devices.  Just this week, there was an article regarding Nordstrom’s and JcPenney’s using mobile POS devices.  They will still have registers for cash transactions, but you know that if Penney’s is going with POS devices, in this case the iPad to check out and phasing out most registers by 2014, then you also know that America’s checkout behaviors will change as well.

Click to go to the full article.

If you haven’t explored showing your clutches at Arts and Crafts Fairs, please check this post.  Check your local and regional listings for Arts and Crafts Fairs now in order to save by pre-registering.  Many have had great success showing their clutches at juried and non-juried shows.  It’s great exposure and you can use the photos to market your items.  One of my favorite recent photos of booths featured these beautiful bright and modern clutches.  Linda at Mi Casa Bella had lots of interest and sales at her booth.  I love the display and color layout here.  Linda has such a singular vision in her creative aesthetics.  If you have any photos of your clutches shown at a fair, market or boutique, send them to me and I would be happy to post them.

Mi Casa Bella has also been featured in several magazines. Head over to Linda’s shop and check out her renowned pillows and clutches.

Hope your summer is going great!  One more week and my kids are back to school.  THANK YOU teachers!!!  🙂

August 1, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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

#1 on Google for “Clutch Sellers”!

Hope you all have had a great week!  Some of you already know but I’ve just opened the shop to take orders.

Please note the shop announcement that Thy and her family will be back on the 25th and shipping will commence on the 26th.   Thank you very much for your loyalty!  I know there were many who waited until we opened the shop back up to place the order.  We didn’t want you to wait too long for your order so we shut it down for the week so there wouldn’t have too much of a back log.  She certainly needed the break with her family.  There are several orders in already so thank you so much for your confidence in my fine frames for use in your craft and business!

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.

On my link exchange, I realized that you may want links to your shops or other web properties — not necessarily blogs.  So if you want to do a link exchange with your shop or any web property, please leave a comment here, email me, or convo me.

Here, again, is my link info  if you have a blog:

URL:  http://clutch-me.com

Title:  All about clutches.

If you don’t have a blog, a link on your shop would work (thanks, Nancy):

URL:  http://whilebabynaps.etsy.com

Once you’ve put in my link, please contact me here and I’ll put your link in.

Though I have a niche market of clutches in the bags and purses category, I am the #1 US purse frames seller and I get inquiries on who to buy from.  Check out my #1 Google search result for “clutch sellers”.

I work hard to get to #1 so that my Sellers can get more views.

So if they are looking for a seller who sells clutch handbags, they are coming to my little blog.

I know it would benefit my blog to do a link exchange, and I know it will benefit you as well.  So I’m happy to add a link to your shop, blog, fanpage, blog store …   I hope all of you currently on the Seller page will submit yours!

Thanks

Winn

March 25, 2012 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS, WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Extra traffic to your blog

Anyone want to do some link exchanges?  I just revamped my blog’s sidebars and will be adding links via my blog roll.

Direct link to your blog!

If you are interested, please send me a convo or leave your blog URL in the comments here and I’ll add it.  Please give me your blog’s name and that’s how it will appear.

*Please use my blog info as follows to reciprocate and add to your blog roll:

URL:   http://clutch-me.com

Blog name:   All about clutches.

If you are a WordPress blogger, you can add blog links via “Links”, “Add New” on the main menu.  For it to show up on your blog, you will need go to Appearance > Widgets, and drag and drop the “Links” widget onto your sidebar.  You can watch a 2-minute video here.

By adding each other on the blog roll, I hope to drive more traffic to your blog and vice versa.  🙂

March 21, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Be Green with envy! Handmade clutches for you!

Here is a new album on the WhileBabyNaps Facebook fanpage.  It’s green for St. Patrick’s Day and would be great for a spring bag, too!

Check out my album!

All were made by Sellers using my fine purse frames.  If you are a seller whose clutch has been featured, please “like” the album and feel free to share on your own Facebook fan pages!

I’ve also done the same on the WhileBabyNaps Pinterest board.

Please click the "Like" icon if you like what you see!

Each of these clutches were also promoted via their own tweets on my Twitter feed.

I used this for my Twitter wallpaper as well!  Nice change from the red clutches from Valentine’s Day!  🙂

I get a lot of lookers from my Twitter feed who then go directly to either my blog or the clutch maker's shops.

I have found that promoting my Seller’s clutches at all 3 social media networks at the same time increases the exposure for my clutch makers.  It takes longer for me to do it all across all 3 platforms at one time but it is more efficient to also get it all done at the same time.

So if you are a Seller and have had your clutch featured, please spread the word and share the Facebook album, Pinterest board, or retweet my Twitter tweets.  Remember taste uncertainty and how research has shown that it helps you, the seller, to get more buyers when you are listed with other like-sellers more than if you are doing it alone.  Please read that post on taste uncertainty to get more info.

Thanks and I will be doing another spread for Spring 2012 soon!

~Winn

March 20, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Paypal is throwing down with Square — and YOU benefit!

Exciting news!  Paypal is going to introduce their own mobile paying device that will be similar to Square.  Please note:  SquareUp.com is the domain name that the company “Square Inc.” or “Square” uses.  SquareUp, Square Up, Square up, and Square are all used through the media interchangeably.  They really should just change their main domain to Square.com.  I don’t know why they are doing the reverse and directing it all to SquareUp.com … anyways … just my humble opinion.  🙂

It is not yet known what features it will offer beyond those of Square, however, Paypal will have a lower transaction fee thereby undercutting what Square is currently charging.

Will Square answer back by lowering their transaction charge rate as well?  It’s yet to be seen, but this is very good news for small business owners, mom and pop shops, and those of you selling your clutches at arts and crafts fairs and bazaars.  It will be ubiquitous and your customers will be able to pay you with their credit cards.  You will be able to accept credit cards easily without any start-up or ongoing maintenance costs!

Check out the article.

More companies offering mobile payment devices means lower charges you'll have to pay!

Since Paypal is the #1 online credit card payment processor in the world, this news is huge.  The public trust is there with paying via Paypal’s secure encrypted network.  So for Paypal to come out with this mobile paying device, the adoption rate will be high.  It will probably link up with your existing Paypal accounts and you’ll have all your payments at one source.  This is seriously going to effect Square and I anticipate them doing something to mitigate this.

If you haven’t used Square already – a free device – I would like to poke a hot poker and get you to try it out.  Did I mention it’s free?  🙂  You can grow your business and craft fairs, school and church sales, home hostess parties ….

Oh, and it’s free..  🙂

March 15, 2012 Posted by | Helpful Tips | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Etsy shop banner redesigned

I just redid my Etsy shop banner to match my web store.  I like this color scheme.  It works for me.  (I am going to miss those little munchkins that were on my banner shop previously though.)  What do you think of this new banner?

More changes are coming in store for the listings.  Some have been made but there’s much work to be done.  I wish there were other ways on Etsy to list my catalog of purse frames that makes it easier for you to navigate.  I will be working on them for the next couple of weeks.  I hope to streamline a lot of the listings since I have so many SKUs.  I hope that it will help you find what you need to make your clutches:  purse frames, Gutermann glue, or complete kits.

 

March 14, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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