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Made in the USA?

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Are your products or supplies made in the U.S.A.? Does it matter to you? Does it matter to your customers?  I’ve been noticing that vendors are advertising their items as “Made in the U.S.A.”, or “Made here in Indiana”.   While I’ll almost always choose an item that’s been made here rather than in another country, I’ve been wondering if it matters to anyone else. 
What do you think? Do you advertise your products’ origin?

Anyone Started on an Easter outfit?

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Ok, so I don’t do a lot of sewing from patterns. :-/ HOWEVER….I’m seriously thinking about making my daughter’s Easter dress this year. Am I crazy?
I’m thinking about using Simplicity 2683 or, perhaps Simplicity 4647. I also like McCalls 6062 (right).
Does anyone have any ideas for a novice seamstress who wants to make a simple dress that looks impressive? What should I look for in an easy pattern? Any fabrics I should totally avoid?
I’d love to hear if you’re making any Easter dresses this year! What patterns are you using?

Steps to Get your Items Ready to Sell

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Now that your inventory has arrived, you need to get it ready to sell!
First, Price:  Determine your selling price. I take the net price of an item and double it. If there were shipping costs, I take the dollar amount for shipping and divide it by the number of items that were shipped. Add that to the doubled net price to get your selling price.  It’s a totally psychological thing, but I like for prices to end in .95 or .99. I will often round up or down to that number so that it ends in that amount. :-)  You can also go to websites like www.etsy.com to see what similar items are selling for. It may be a lot more than what you came up with!
Next, Describe: I struggle with writing descriptions for my website. Your descriptions need to let your customers “touch” your items. They need to be wordy enough to be engaging, and detailed enough to answer all of their questions.  I like to have very illustrative descriptions, but writing interesting, detailed copy can be overwhelming. I’ve found that I can go to the company’s website to find the dimensions and details without having to wrack my brain. www.thesaurus.com also helps when I can’t think of the word I want, but know what I want it to mean.
Do you have a different way to determine your selling price? How about your descriptions? Do your product descriptions tend to be bare-bones or chatty?

Organizing your Inventory to Sell with Ease!

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Wow! We’re back from Market in Atlanta–and ready for a rest! Unfortunately, now isn’t the time to rest. Now’s the time to get organized! If you get organized before your inventory starts arriving, it’ll be a lot easier to *stay* organized for the rest of the year.
Get your filing system in order. I have files for expenses, sales, and new catalogs. If it’s a company I use a lot, I have a file folder just for them because updated catalogs can arrive with every order.
Don’t forget about setting up files on your computer also. You can use Excel or OpenOffice for spreadsheets to keep track of the money going in and out. Entering the data at the end of each month has been the best for me. It’s very easy to procrastinate about keeping up your records, but it’s much simpler to do it on a schedule. And don’t forget to backup every file!
Once your stock starts arriving, be sure to check your packing slips against what you received, and be sure to report any discrepancies. Put all of your paperwork in one spot so you can quickly find it when you need it!
So, do you have a good filing system? What works well for you? Have you ever tried a system that *didn’t* work?

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