Category Archives: Microbusiness

I’ve moved from a true microbusiness to a hobby, but I’m still having fun crunching numbers to find material costs, looking into various marketing ideas, and other things business related. Older posts deal with taxes, and who knows, maybe in the future I’ll start the business up again!

Building a KDP Select Bookshelf

By | August 10, 2017
Chasing Kindle Unlimited KDP Select

Chasing Kindle Unlimited! (KDP Select)

I’ve been meaning to put together a prompt book (or two) for KDP Select, but they demand exclusivity and all of my previous prompt collections were made of things already posted on the blog. Even the new prompt books I had been working on were designed to be blog-friendly, so those are also out of the running.

What I do have is all of the old Custom Story Prompt books that I’ve never reused.

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Etsy Auto-Renewal and Other Broken Things

By | July 23, 2017
Etsy Auto Renewal Failure

Etsy Auto-renewal is full of lies!

Remember my grand plan about working with the Etsy listings so they would fall into a pattern of one listing renewing every day? Well apparently I should have done a little more research into the actual functionality of the aut0-renew first. *sighs*

The ‘auto-renew’ date is more of a ‘will renew within 48 hours after this date’ marker than anything concrete. Add that to the fact I’ll be focusing in on the body box trade for the next month and it looks like the ‘hands-free’ date of August 25th is a no-go. So… new plans! 🙂

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How to Make a Paper Gift Box

By | July 12, 2017
Handmade Cardstock Box for Magnets

Fair Winds and Following Seas– err, boxes!

Historically I’ve been bad about presentation when shipping things. Those who’ve ordered from me in the past know that my packing methods consist mainly paper towels and scrunched newspaper. So now I’m on a quest to make cheap boxes and upgrade my game a little! 🙂

My first thought was just to grab for a paper mache box or a white box just goes against the grain. (And I really don’t have the space to store a bulk order, nor the sales volume. Although this one is really tempting. *sighs*)

So off to the drawing board!

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New Etsy Goals for July

By | June 26, 2017
Etsy Historical View and Visits

2012 to 2017… and onwards!

July is another Camp NaNoWriMo attempt, so a lot of time will be spent writing prose… but I don’t want to let up on my Etsy improvements! 🙂

I’ve been spending a bunch of time reading up on the various tips and tricks for bringing in more traffic (and thus more sales). Thus far the one thing everyone agrees on is you need a decent number of listings that renew on a regular basis in order to rank well.

So for July I’m going to be focusing on a few things:

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Costing out the Resin Magnets

By | May 5, 2017
Fat Pony Magnets on a Postal Scale

Herds and herds of horses!

Now that I have a pile of resin magnets ready to go, it’s time to start figuring out their actual costs so I can get all the prices in the Etsy store updated! 🙂

Much like the plaster magnets most of my resin magnets are tiny, so measuring how many ml of resin were used is a no go. So instead, I went with an average weight of the finished magnets (minus the actual magnets).

To get the weight of each magnet I piled a bunch of the same casts onto a postal scale and then calculated the average. For those magnets that I have less than three of, I’m weighing them with other animals of a similar size.

Going forward I’m hoping to sit down and make a 10 item batch of each mold to measure exactly how many ml are used and get a good average weight.

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Rethinking Etsy

By | April 13, 2017
Etsy Shop Stats for May 2016 to April 2017

Long Time, No Traffic

I’ve been all kinds of horrible about adding new work to the Etsy and the statistics over the last year show that pretty clearly. I have the listings set to auto-renew every four months, but if I want more traffic to the store, I need to do more than sit back and watch.

Etsy listings last 120 days and I can (and have) set them up to auto-renew. This means instead of a full year’s worth of listing I only have to get four months worth (120 days) up and running.

I’ve got 47 to work this… so this will be a bit of an adventure! 😉

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Costing out Ground/Trail/Jump Poles and Cavaletti

By | December 30, 2016
Costing out Stablemate (1:32) Scale Cavaletti and Ground Poles

Costing out Cavaletti and Ground Poles

I’m trying to round out the Etsy store a bit, so I figure it was time to get the rest of the props ready to list… and right now that’s just the poles and cavaletti!

Which means I really need to start thinking of new props to try and build in 2017. *ponders*

Anywho.

I’ve gone over the steps of how to make Stablemate scale ground/trail/jump poles and cavaletti in an earlier posts, so all I’m doing here is a rundown on what materials are used and how much they cost. If you’ve read other ‘Materials Cost’ tag posts, you’ll know the drill. 😉

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Costing out Display Bases and Removable Fencing

By | March 11, 2016
Model Horse Removable Fencing

A fence for all seasons…

I’ve been slowly working my way through the items that are finished and need material costing before they can be listed to the Etsy store. Today’s victim– err, volunteer is the display bases and optional fencing!

I’ve gone over the steps of how to make the bases and how to make the fencing in earlier posts, so all I’m doing here is a rundown on what materials are used and how much they cost.

Once this is done I can finally get both the finished and custom order bases up and running! 🙂

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The Mini Whinnie Condunrum

By | February 23, 2016
Mini Whinnies Surprise Series 2 Pulling Draft Horse

Pulling Draft Horse

I love painting Mini Whinnies and have a small army of them in the body box waiting for new colors. But as always my fear of ‘painting the LAST one’ has kicked in and now I’m trying to confirm that I can replace anything I customize.

Times have changed since I last stocked the body box and Breyer Mini Whinnies are only available via the blind bag Surprise Series. This makes them both crazy expensive (compared to the old offerings) and impossible to tell what you are going to get. Looking at this year’s series and last year’s series it seems that only five of the adult molds are going to be available each year.

Yikes!

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Costing out the Plaster Magnets

By | January 28, 2016
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…

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