Category: Business

Holiday Surprise Boxes

Like many others, during 2020 I went down the TikTok rabbit hole. Around the holidays, I loved seeing what others were baking, how they were decorating their homes and what they were crafting. I also loved watching people open all kinds of different Advent calendars – ones with jam, cheese, wine, legos, toys, makeup – you name it and it came in an Advent calendar. One night a thought came to me… “Why doesn’t Gingersnaps have an Advent Calendar?” So early in 2021 I started making plans!

One point that was important to me was to make our “advent calendars” more inclusive – not just for those who celebrate Christmas in whatever form (birth of Christ or with Santa delivering gifts), but for those who may celebrate other holidays this time of year. So I wanted to specifically call them something different – and the Holiday Surprise Box was born.

For the first time this year we launched 2 Holiday Surprise Boxes – one with hairbows and one with scrunchies – each with 12 wrapped items inside. Each item would be made of materials not already offered in our product selection – new colors, patterns and fabrics. Any holiday-specific items would be swapped for more general patterns/colors for families who I knew didn’t celebrate Christmas to reflect their faith traditions. Each box would be packed with the same items in the same order, but with there only being 12 items the recipient could start opening the items at any time.

I set up a launch schedule that would allow me to make sure I had enough materials on hand and get the boxes out in a timely fashion. The boxes were announced in late July and more information was shared on social media in August. Orders were open during the month of September only. Then I used October and early November for supply ordering, making the items for each box and packing for shipping. Boxes were mailed on November 15.

I have started daily reveal videos (to be shared on Instagram & Facebook stories) to show off what products are included in each box this year. I do have extras of some of the pieces, so if you see something that you’re interested in but didn’t get a box please reach out and I’ll try to hook you up if I can. Any remaining pieces will be launched on the Gingersnaps website during 2022.

If you have a Holiday Surprise Box this year, please share photos/videos on social media and tag @gingersnapsbows/#gingersnapsbows! We’d all love to share in the excitement!

Thank you again for your support and I’m looking forward to making plans for our 2022 Holiday Surprise Boxes. To make sure you know when our 2022 boxes are available for order, join our mailing list here!

All about… the Sale page

Today’s post kicks off a series where I’ll talk about some of the behind the scenes of Gingersnaps Bows. I’ll give you the history and deeper insight into our products and explain some of the hows and whys of the business. Today I’m going to kick off by talking about our Sale Page.

The Sale page that’s part of the Shop menu is a new addition in early 2021. When I’m shopping online at different sites and retailers, no matter what I’m looking for if there is a sale page I’m sure to click over there also before I check out. To me, you never know what kind of hidden gems may be waiting for you there!

The Gingersnaps Bows sale page will generally have two types of items – those that are being discontinued and sample sale pieces. Once a pattern or holiday style has been in our rotation for a while, I’ll move it to the sale page when there are a few left to make room for new patterns or other holiday items.

Sample sale pieces are ones that I make when I’m trying something new, or using just a smaller batch of ribbon that I might have on hand. You’ll find these pieces have the same quality and finishes as our regular price pieces, I just have them to offer in smaller numbers. In some cases, there may just be 2 or 3 of a particular item, so if you’re interested in it when you see it, I suggest that you don’t wait to purchase.

For both the discontinued items and the sample sale items on our Sale page, when they’re gone they’re gone. These items are ones that I’m not planning to restock to make space in our inventory for newer items.

Happy shopping!

Holiday Shopping Update! – December 1, 2020

Tis the Season! For good reason the holiday shopping season got an early start this year and I am here for it! As a business owner and a holiday shopper myself, I love that business are offering their holiday products (and sales!) earlier than they have in years past. Gingersnaps Bows is no different – we’re a little over halfway through our holiday sale and it has many components. Here’s what we’re offering:

• 10% off your order of $10 or more with code HOLIDAY10 (includes free shipping)
• 20% off your order of $20 or more with code HOLIDAY20 (includes free shipping)
• A fun freebie in every order – including 5 Starbucks gift cards! (I used a random number generator to determine which orders get them)
• I’m also going to donate the amount of savings from every order to the Second Harvest Food Bank. Food banks around the country have been especially hard hit this year and this it hurts my heart to think of families without food anytime of year, but especially at the holidays.

Gingersnaps Bows has been featured in two small business gift guides this year!

First is one put together by Rising Tide – a national small business group for creatives. I’ve been involved with our local chapter – Tuesdays Together – for the last several months and I’m so thankful for their fellowship and encouragement every day. There are so many incredible artists included in this guide!

Rising Tide Gift Guide

Second is the Fig Bethlehem Gifting Guide. I’ve received the print edition of Fig Bethlehem for years and I’m always excited to flip through it to see what businesses and restaurants in my hometown have been featured. So when they reached out to me to be part of this guide I was beside myself! This guide contains photos and links to a wide range of Lehigh Valley small businesses and I’m so honored to be part of this group.

I’ve also done a fair amount of shopping from small businesses, and I’ll be sharing my purchases in my Instagram and Facebook stories throughout the next few weeks!

2020 Holiday Gift Guide – Gingersnaps Bows

Typically I’m a “the tree doesn’t go up until after Thanksgiving” kind of a girl. NOT THIS YEAR FOLKS! I’m down for all of the holiday cheer ASAP. My holiday candles are out, holiday soaps are in our bathrooms, and Monday the decorations will come out of their boxes in the basement.

To go along with that, I’ve already started holiday shopping for my loved ones. Gingersnaps Bows has a variety of pieces that will make the perfect gift for any girl on your list! Our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide highlights the pieces in our holiday collection, as well as suggests unique gift ideas that are sure to be cherished. Plus bows make great stocking stuffers and can be used to adorn the presents themselves!

I’ll be sharing more about these products and more in the coming weeks, and watch for our holiday sale announcement!

How and why I batch my work – October 27, 2020

I am absolutely the kind of person that thrives on a schedule and routine. As someone who deals with anxiety, having a schedule and a routine allows my mind to focus on what I’m actually doing rather than worrying about what’s coming next. And yes, surprises do happen in my days and I have learned/am learning to roll with things when they do. All of that being said, one way that I organize my tasks in my home life and my business is to use the method of “batch working” – grouping similar tasks to get them all done at one time rather than doing each when they come up. Here are a few examples of what that looks like.

1. Meal planning – I’m going to write a whole separate post about how I meal plan, but I’ve found that it works best for me to plan an entire month’s worth of meals at one time. I do one giant grocery shopping trip at the beginning of the month, and then each week I just pick up the perishables that I need.

2. Laundry – I find that there are two camps when it comes to laundry. Some do one load per day start to finish – wash, dry, fold, put away. I find that a little overwhelming, especially the putting away part. What works better for me is to do 3-4 loads in a day a couple of times per week, dump it all on the couch when it’s clean (what I lovingly refer to as ‘laundry mountain’) and fold it all while catching up on a TV show. I’m also at the point where my boys (ages 10 and 12) fold and put away their own laundry. I fold my daughter’s laundry and she puts it away, and the same for my husband.

3. Email – I read once that you should never even look at your email if you’re not prepared to actually deal with the messages. That was a game changer for me. I have turned off email notifications on my phone, and I try to only look at my email when I have time to respond, file, or deal with the information that the messages contain. I’m definitely an ‘inbox zero’ person – the only messages that sit in my email inbox are ones that contain info for upcoming zooms/events or messages that I’m waiting for a response on.

4. Small tasks/phone calls – Every day or every week (whatever your schedule demands) take a few minutes to make the phone calls that need to be made, fill out forms, place online orders, take care of returns, etc – all of those tasks that only take a few minutes each can be batched and knocked out all at one time.

Here is what batch work looks like in my business:

1. Making products – When I first started Gingersnaps Bows I would come up with an idea for a product, I would make one or two for photos, and then make pieces as orders came in. What a terrible idea this was! Now I make all of the pieces at once – I know exactly how many I have to sell and I can keep a better eye on inventory and restock supplies for a particular item quicker when it sells well.

2. Accounting – On the second of every month, I reconcile my bank account with QuickBooks, record my mileage for the previous month, and take care of any other financial tasks that need to be done.

3. Social Media – Once a month I put together a schedule of social media posts I’d like to share. When I’m really on my game I’ll use a site like Hootsuite to schedule all of them at one time, but most often I’ll sit down weekly to plan out the exact details of each post.

I like to batch my work because once I’m in the mindset of doing that particular task, it’s easier to do more of them. For example once my focus is on writing social media posts, I don’t have to switch quickly to also making products for an order and then to updating QuickBooks. Doing more of one type of task at a time will take me less time in the end. Having a routine and a plan for my days, spending my energy focusing on a batch of tasks rather than taking them one by one frees my mind for creative thought. Even though I have been working this way for a while, it’s still a work in progress rather an a work of perfection for me.

What ways can you use this method in your home or work?