Category Archives: 4 – Everyday Dragons

Micobusiness Dreams

Costing out the Plaster Magnets

Averaging Plaster Weights
Averaging Plaster Weights

Now that I have figured out the perfect mix to use when I’m making plaster magnets, it’s time to start figuring out their actual costs so I can get all the prices in the Etsy store updated! :)

Per my plaster mix experiment post 20ml plaster = $0.28

Since most of my magnets are tiny, my attempts at measuring how many ml of mix went into each were a dismal failure. So instead, I went with an average weight.

I piled a bunch of the casts onto a postal scale and then calculated the average. Once I’ve worked through all the bodies I have, I’ll make a few 10 item batches of each small mold to measure how many ml are used.

The kittenloaf used 20ml and the average weight is 0.7oz, so I’m using a 1oz = $0.40.

Magnets will be added as I work out the costs, so not all of them will appear here at first…

Continue reading Costing out the Plaster Magnets

Safari Ltd. Body Costs

Safari Toob Ponies
Safari Toob Ponies

On the same theme as the Breyer Stablemate body cost list, I’ve started tracking the various Safari Ltd body costs. I’m focusing mainly on the horses (of course), but there will be the occasional non-equine that sneak onto the list.

The world needs purple sparklewolves just as much as it needs blue horses, goldarnit! ūüėČ

While I buy most of my bodies from Michael’s¬†(because I have zero impulse control), I’ve use the Safari Ltd. website for pricing. I’ll double-check the next time I pick up some bodies and note if there is a difference, but I think they are about the same.

So behold, yet another public Google Docs spreadsheet!

Costing out the Wooden Magnets

Wooden Magnets
Earth, Wind, Water…. and Catnaps

As part of my shift from business to hobby pricing, I’m slowly going through the Etsy store (and my workbench) and calculating just how much things cost to make. After the model body costs, the wooden magnets were the easiest to do!

I buy my wooden cutouts from Michaels for the most part, however I have also found quite a few folks selling on Etsy so the below will eventually grow to include a longer list of forms. I will continue to update this post as I do different magnetsРif nothing else it works as a great cheatsheet when making new listings! :)

The magnetic tape I am using is this one from Home Depot (1/2 in. x 10 ft. Iron Ferrite Magnetic Tape¬†@ $3.98). Which breaks down to roughly $0.04 an inch. One 2.5 inch strip is enough to hold three pieces of paper and for most of the forms I’m using multiple strips.

Note: When I calculate the “x2 material” cost, I will round up to the nearest $0.50 to make the math easier.

I am not including the cost of paint, sealer, sandpaper, or brushes in this as those materials are included in the ‘plus a dollar’ that I am adding to the x2 material price to cover fees.

Continue reading Costing out the Wooden Magnets

Recalculating Stablemate Body Costs

Less Body Box, More Body Table...
Less Body Box, More Body Table…

As part of my swap from Business Pricing to Hobby Pricing I’m trying to figure out the real cost of the materials used to make everything in the Etsy store… and the horses seemed the easiest! (At least until I actually started putting the spreadsheet together.)

This post started out as a simple rehash/update of my earlier Stablemate Body Replacement Costs posts, but alas, my favorite Breyer Horse dealer Model Horse Collector is closing its doors at the end of this year.

So instead, I’m hitting up the Breyer website¬†for my body cost calculations. I’m sure there’s another hobby-based online retailer out there, I just haven’t gone looking yet.¬†If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to the spreadsheet! :)

To be a little more update-friendly I have created a public Google Docs spreadsheet that tracks the per body cost for every Stablemate item that Breyer currently has on its website. You can sort by mold and by price, so it’s an easy way to see what is available and the cheapest way to get it.

Well, almost… I’ve only included the ‘sets’ if it’s the only way to get the mold– there’s no point in paying $15.99 for the Barrel Racing set if all you want is the Mustang! (But sadly the¬†Peruvian Paso (G3) the¬†Deluxe Stable Set¬†is as cheap as it gets.)

I was going to include the Mini Whinnies body costs in here as well… but apparently they aren’t sold anymore? It’s weird, because I can find them online at various retailers, but the Breyer website has them all listed as ‘Retired.’

Hobby Pricing vs. Business Pricing

Net vs. GrossBack when I started my microbusiness I really disliked my day job and was looking for a way out. Now I’m in a job I love and as much as I love being creative, I don’t want to leave the rat race anymore. For a long time after I got the current job I held onto the idea that if I wasn’t still trying to run my hobbies like a business, I wasn’t doing it ‘right’.

This year has been a turning point against that mindset.

I took the plunge back in May when I decided to take my art and eBook adventuring back to a Hobby level. Then I won a thirty minute coaching session from T√©a over at Story Bistro and talking with her really cemented the fact that I’m doing this out of love instead of profit motive. (Not that the two are mutually exclusive!)

Continue reading Hobby Pricing vs. Business Pricing

When I Grow Up…

Martha Bechtel’s eBooks Smashwords
I won a 30-min coaching/strategy session in a random-draw survey contest over at Story Bistro and I find myself in the odd position of having to put some serious thought into my long-term business plan.

Or, at this point, my lack-of-a-business plan.

Martha Bechtel's Custom Model Horses Etsy

T√©a is an awesome person (check out her blog if you haven’t stumbled across it before!) and it seems the height of rudeness to head into a coaching session with “I have no idea what I’m doing, much less how to market it– HELP!” as my summary.

Although that’s probably more common than I’d like to think. I know from the comments section on her blog that there are a lot of folks like me out there… but they didn’t randomly win a coaching session and thus aren’t flailing around like idiots.

So it’s time to start hammering my nebulous ideas into something that can be described outside of my own head.

And that you can apply marketing kungfu to.


*rolls up sleeves and gets to work*

Baby steps (or: Etsy store reboots)

Empty Etsy Store
Behold, the desolation of Smaug– err, Procrastination!

I wasn’t paying attention and the last of my active listings in the Etsy store expired this month. I went to show a friend some examples of what a storefront looks like and the poor thing was sitting¬†there forlorn and desolate… this shall not stand! [insert dramatic pose here]

But the problem with dramatic reboots is that all of a sudden nothing I’ve done up to this point is good enough.

  • I need to take better¬†photos.
  • I need to touch-up existing paint jobs.
  • I need to redesign the shop’s categories to better handle my new addition to plaster and resin magnet-making.
  • I need to make a metric ton of new stuff so that the store has lots to choose from and people can easily find something that fits their price range and tastes.
  • I need to work out the Listing Rotations so there is always something new and the offerings are balanced between the categories.
  • I just generally need to be more awesome.

None of which actually needs to happen… I’m just caught up in that perfection’s dance where I can’t start any project until I’m 150% prepared.

Phooey on that!

Starting today there are only two requirements for listings going back into the store:

  1. I have unpacked the item and verified it isn’t damaged.
  2. The photos for the listing don’t have a datestamp on them.

I’m not going to make any sort of rules on how many things to ¬†post a day, or when to post them, or what categories need to be posted in what order. As long as they meet the two criteria above, they are going into the store.

And if they don’t, well that’s why the other post I’m writing today is ‘Finding Workspaces That Work’. ūüėČ