My friend Mike just realeased the first episode of his new pocast, The Upload Podcast—”a conversation about creativity to help you move from dreaming to doing.” On the podcast Mike interviews creative entrepreneurs, freelancers, and side hustlers, and I was lucky enough to be his first guest! You can listen to the “Amanda Wright” episode on iTunes or on Soundcloud. Thanks for having me on the show, Mike!
If I had to pick a favorite kind of card to make Valentine’s Day Cards would be it. There are endless ways to awkwardly express affection in card form, and I love making them happen. Well, I’m in a little bit of a pickle. You see, I’m closing my shop for maternity leave in roughly 2–3 weeks and not reopening until February (exact dates TBD), so I knew I had to get my new Valentine’s Day cards done early if I wanted to get them out at all. So… here they are!
I know it’s annoying to see Valentine’s stuff in December, but I really wanted to make these happen—early or not—because they give me the giggles. Please forgive me! The complete Valentine’s Day collection is in the shop here. If anything strikes your fancy order soon before the shop closes up for baby time!
Happy Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday/crazy shopping weekend! I’ve got a coupon code for you—20% off everything at witandwhistle.com with the code YIPPEE now through the end of the day Monday. There are plenty of holiday cards to choose from, and in the past week I’ve introduced 16 new art prints! They’re each available in two sizes—8″x10″ or 11″x14″. I posted a bunch of them below, but there are more to browse in the shop!
A shop update for you today—new holiday cards are ready to go! I showcased them next to their original sketches below, so you can see how far they’ve come.
To get a jump on your holiday shopping, you can take 10% off all holiday cards (old ones and new ones) with the coupon code NEVERTOOEARLY until the end of the day Thursday, November 12th. (This coupon is only valid here at witandwhistle.com).
This post will bore you to tears unless you’re into this sort of thing too, but I wanted to put together a roundup of my favorite business tools. They make my life easier, so I think they deserve a shout-out. None of these businesses are sponsoring Wit & Whistle or this post in any way.
I use Wave for all my accounting. I’ve tried a lot of the other accounting software out there, and Wave was the best fit for me. It’s like a free, simpler version of Quickbooks. In addition to tracking my expenses and income, I send invoices to my wholesale customers through Wave. The credit card processing fees are reasonable, and I’m able to customize my invoices. I previously used PayPal for invoicing, but PayPal limits the number of products that can be saved in their system (so I had to type a bunch in manually for each invoice—ugh). In addition, Wave’s customer support has been great when I need help.
ShipStation costs me $45 a month, which is painful because I’m stingy about paying monthly fees. However, for me it’s totally worth it. ShipStation imports all my orders from witandwhistle.com and from Etsy to one place. Then it allows me to quickly print all the shipping labels at once, and it even compiles a list of the products I need to fill the open orders. After I ship, ShipStation emails each customer their tracking number and a little message from me with my logo to reinforce my branding. It automatically marks the orders shipped on Etsy.com and on my website—such a time saver. By the way, I print shipping labels on my loveable DYMO LabelWriter 4XL.
If you aren’t shipping a lot of volume, Endicia is a great tool for printing individual shipping labels. Endicia charges me a $15.95 service fee every month. I thought I would cancel it once I started using ShipStation, but I love Endicia for the wholesale side of my business. I use it to quickly get shipping rates when I’m sending out invoices, and then to print labels when it’s time to send out an order. It’s nice to have all my wholesale shipping history consolidated in one place in the Endicia mailing log. Endicia also works well with the DYMO LabelWriter 4XL.
MailChimp has been amazing for sending out email newsletters. It’s free up to 2000 newsletter subscribers. Beyond that it’s crazy expensive. Well I think it’s crazy expensive, but like I said, I’m stingy. I go through my email subscriber list and delete subscribers who have never opened my emails to make sure I stay under 2000. (MailChimp ranks your subscribers based on how often they read your emails.) Since my subscriber list continues to grow (thanks guys!) I’m going to try TinyLetter for my next newsletter. It’s a simpler email tool by MailChimp that doesn’t have as many features but allows you to have up to 5000 subscribers for free. I’m a big fan of simple and free.
Issuu is a digital publishing platform for things like magazines and catalogs. You can publish for free by simply uploading a pdf. I use Issuu to publish my wholesale catalog. It’s easy to update, which I do all the time, since I’m always cranking out new products and discontinuing old ones. Lots of shops and boutiques scour Issuu for wholesale catalogs, so I’ve gotten a fair amount of wholesale inquiries and new customers simply from having my catalog posted there. Pretty awesome.
What are your favorite business tools?