Status Reports & Other Ramblings
As pretty much everybody knows by now, I have all the short-term memory of a squirrel on crack, because brain damage and also AHAHAHAHA WHAT SLEEP. So when Facebook's advertising algorithms recently decided to show me a planner designed specifically for people living with chronic illness and/or executive function issues, I was deeply intrigued. And then I fell down an Instagram rabbit hole lined with washi tape and color-coding and I may possibly have invested in a rather large set of erasable gel pens which are DEFINITELY a legitimate business expense SHUT UP THEY ARE TOO and also this thing is impressive because a migraine took me out for a couple of days last week and I STILL got a lot done.
- A lot of what I made last week promptly sold (y'all are FAST with the clicking and buying) but a few pieces are still left, including a restock of the dainty sapphire pieces that went WOOOSH out the door the first time I listed them.
- Earring Club is running late this month, because I ordered something really really nifty for it but the package is currently in *checks tracking for the eleventeenth time* Germany, where it has been for two days now. *taps foot impatiently* If it doesn't get here in a couple of days I'll go to my backup plan and save this for next month, but I'm really hoping it does because EEEEEE PRETTY ROCKS.
- My birthday is Friday and I am turning a prime number! As is traditional, there will be a sale, and since I believe in celebrating birthdays for at least a week, it's starting now with everything in clearance being BOGO41%OFF (buy one, get a second item at 41% off) all day today if you use coupon code BIRFDAY1 at checkout.
- (Also a few things on the site might get marked down to $41 over the course of the week because why not.)
- Today's agenda also includes posting the new shinies that I didn't get around to photographing this weekend - including a spectacular pair of long dangly diamond and opal earrings that are one-of-a-kind, and a pendant with Victorian mourning glass and thermally-reactive color changing beads.
(actual photo of me trying to get anything done in the month of April)
HIIIIIIIIIIII so uh April happened? I don't know either. But hey, for once I got my taxes done on time, despite getting sick not once but twice this month. THANK YOU DARLING CHILD, but when I said "share that with your mother" I was talking about the chocolate, not germs.
I'm honestly not sure what happened last week, because it was school vacation week, aka the week when I resign myself to living in chaos and watching a whole lot of tv. Although now that I've gotten the Tiny Evil Genius hooked on Doctor Who, at least it's good tv? I am a more than a little concerned that her favorite character so far is River Song, though.
- I let the Tiny Evil Genius and her BFF put things on sale! They were mostly pretty sensible about it, but a few things got REALLY good prices because, well, they're 8 and 7 and they might have had sugar.
- I bought diamonds for the first time ever! Diamonds are super sparkly and I kinda want to put them on everything.
- I also got some labradorite and opal and moonstone beads for an earring design that I've had in mind for a while and the photos really don't do a very good job of capturing how nifty these are. (I wear my pair constantly.)
- There's still the better part of $400 available if you are a transgender/non-binary/gender non-conforming/etc person who would find a shiny thing helpful in exploring or affirming your identity. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me, I am loving getting to send things to people who couldn't otherwise afford it!
- I made a pendant called "D is for 'Doorway'" that may be one of the best things I've ever made, and I'm pretty sure it's actually a portal of some sort so y'know, wear it at your own risk?
- You can now get any pair of earrings turned into clip-on earrings, if you don't have holes poked in your head. In two varieties of pinchiness, even! (HUSH SIRI THAT IS SO A WORD.)
Probably some other things happened, but between the sudafed and the antihistamines and the cough medicine I am NOT all here today, let me tell you. But at least vacation week is over so the little plague-bearer is back at school with all her other germ-ridden friends and oh heck it all I'm just going to be sick forever, aren't I?
(Don't worry, I wash my hands a LOT, as my poor ragged cuticles can attest. Also I'm pretty sure germs can't survive for the length of time it takes the USPS to get my packages from point A to point B, and I promise I don't lick any of the shinies.)
SECOND UPDATE, 3/9/2019, 5pm: We are now sitting at a total of $585 in the fund, so I'm temporarily disabling the ability to add to it - let's get it spent down a bit! Keeping in mind that most of my items are $25 - $75 before the 50% discount, that's probably enough to totally cover the balance for 20-30 people, maybe more.
So spread the word: there are shinies waiting for people, totally free. Again, borrowing from Danielle: even if you just want it to wear around the house to help you feel more comfortable with yourself - that's totally okay. YOU ARE WORTHY.
(Yes, YOU. Also you. And also you, over there thinking "I should let somebody else have this because they need it more than I do" or "I don't want to be a burden" - there are lots of shinies and I can always make more. And yes, I do custom work, and you can ask for that too.)
UPDATE, 3/9/2019, 2pm: OMGOSH Y'ALL. Not five minutes after I posted this, somebody asked me to set up a "product" that people could "buy" to chip in on a fund for anyone who needs a little help to be able to take me up on this, and as of right now there's $190 in it and I've got a spreadsheet going. So trans folks, please don't be shy - people REALLY want me to send you a shiny thing! Have a look through the site, pick something out, and let me know if you can afford some/all of the remaining 50% or if you need me to tap the fund for the balance. I'd love to be able to put a bunch of packages in the mail first thing on Monday!
Yesterday morning I saw this post from Little Petal offering their dresses at 50% off to any trans women who wants to buy their first dress but can’t afford it at full cost, in honor of #internationalwomensday. (Do check it out, even if you aren’t trans, because they make SUPER cute geeky dresses with POCKETS!) I kept thinking about it all day, because it’s such a lovely thing to do, and last night I emailed Danielle and asked if she would be okay with me borrowing the idea.
She was all for it, so here’s a new WS policy!
If you’re a transgender woman or non-binary/genderfluid person who would like to start wearing jewelry to help affirm your identity, but money is an obstacle... your first shiny thing from me is half price. No questions asked. Just pick something off the website and then email email@example.com or send me a message, and I'll hook you up with a coupon code.
(If you can’t afford half price, message me anyway, okay? Knowing my amazing customer base, I won't be at all surprised if I end up with a "please send a shiny to somebody else" fund over time. EDIT: The very FIRST comment I got on FB was somebody asking me to make it possible for people to "buy" something and have that money go into such a fund, so I did that and people promptly started throwing money at me and as of right now there is $150 available so trans people who can't afford shinies can get shinies and I'M NOT CRYING IT'S JUST VERY ONIONY IN HERE OKAY?)
If you aren’t sure what you’d like to wear, or have any questions, just ask; I have a lot of experience helping people of all genders and sizes figure out their personal jewelry style. I can make necklaces and bracelets to any size, and I can convert any pair of earrings to clip-ons if you don’t have pierced ears.
The world is a dumpster fire, and this is something I can do to maybe make things a little better for some of the people who are struggling the most right now. So much gratitude to Danielle for coming up with the idea and for letting me jump on the bandwagon!
P.S.: Fellow cis people, some things aren’t for us, and this is one of them. I’m doing this on the honor system because I want to support my trans sisters/siblings, and the only way I’ll be able to sustain this policy long-term is if it’s not abused by people just looking for a quick discount. I know money is tight for lots of people these days, which is why I do at least 2-3 huge sales every year; you can also always set up a payment plan right from the website and/or snag a 20% off-your-first-order coupon code by joining my mailing list. Mmmkay?
Back when I first started WS, in 2005, I sent most packages with a 63 cent stamp on them.
(I also used to send my assistant to the post office IN PERSON to buy stamps, because printing postage at home wasn't really a thing then. One time she came back without any stamps because someone was trying to mail live chickens IN MANHATTAN and the line was ridiculous, but that's another story.)
Alas, those days are long over, and honestly, I probably should have raised my shipping rates quite some time ago, because I think the last time I adjusted them was, uh... 2010, maybe? Unless you count the time I temporarily lowered the free shipping threshold from $50 to $25, but I kept forgetting to put it back up to $50 because brain damage and OH LOOK A SQUIRREL and also that's kind of the opposite of adjusting to follow inflation USPS rate hikes.
(I could've sworn it used to be $40 but my shipping page says it used to be $50 so maybe I raised it from $40 to $50 at some point? I DON'T KNOW I JUST WORK HERE.)
ANYWAY. New rates went into effect a few days ago, and it's all horrendously complicated and based on weight and zones and moon phases and numerology and stuff, and while I COULD switch to a $299/month (no I didn't misplace a decimal) plan that would calculate exact shipping rates, I'm going to opt for "charge everybody a flat rate of $3.50" because that's easy and doesn't penalize anyone for the fact that I live almost as far east as it's possible to get without being IN the Atlantic Ocean, which isn't a good idea this time of year.
(Also I am finally adjusting the free shipping threshold, but only up to $35 instead of $40 $50, and I'll plan to lower it back to $25 a few times a year during sales because I can.)
AND OKAY, FINE, THE CHICKEN MAILING STORY:
When I first started WS, I lived in Inwood, which is technically in Manhattan, for the definition of "my apartment was 13 blocks from the Bronx" but STILL, it was in Manhattan. And one day I asked my assistant to go to the nearby post office to buy stamps, and she was gone a very long time considering the fact that the post office was four blocks away, and then she came back and apologized for not being able to get stamps because someone was mailing live adult chickens and nobody working at the post office knew HOW to mail a live chicken and apparently there was a line out the door and chickens running around pecking at people while the chicken farmer kept saying "THEY WON'T HURT NOBODY" and if your order was inexplicably delayed for a day back in 2006 NOW YOU FINALLY KNOW WHY.
(Also I just looked up how to mail adult chickens and if you're interested you can find all the relevant details in USPS Publication 526.4, which is immediately followed by the rules for mailing live scorpions WHICH JUST SEEMS LIKE A REALLY REALLY BAD IDEA WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT.)
We've now reached the part of the year-end clearance sale where I am VERY punchy from the combination of running my biggest sale of the year the same week my child isn't in school, culminating in a day when said child is hopped up on sugar and birthday sass. Which means... time for markdowns, obviously!
The sale runs through 11:59pm EASTERN time on December 31st, 2018. The coupon code you will need is BYE2018 and it takes 40% off whatever prices you see on the website.
Also, much as I hate to do it, it looks like I will be raising my shipping rates in 2019. I was able to eat the cost of the postage rate increases for the past few years, but I don't think I can do that with this next set of increases. I will still keep my rates as reasonable as possible and offer US free shipping on purchases of $35 or more (up from the current $25 minimum but still down from the original $40 minimum) and as always I'm happy to combine multiple orders into a single package whenever it's safely possible.
(So what I'm saying here is "go get yourself some shines now while you can still grab free shipping on $25+ orders, and hey, since everything is on sale, you might as well stock up! It's saving money, basically!" DID I MENTION THAT I AM PUNCHY?