Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A few news bits

In my slow plod to the finish line last week, I managed to teach myself a few new webmaster tricks. I'm starting to build a website for Collage, which we want to introduce any day now. But it's a collection of a whole bunch of people with their own ideas. And it takes time to get really super photos of every artist's work. So we're putting finishing touches on that this week. My hope is that it's done next week and we can start hooting and hollering about it.

But I figured out how to add the coding for maps in a web site. So I've added maps to my Shops section of my own site, which is a cool feature - and I hope, helpful for anybody who is interested in heading over to find one of the shops. All of them have the new spring stuff in them. Even D Avenue Nursery in Anacortes! Ruth had a rough time last year when her husband died suddenly, but her daughter has been helping get the place moving along, and they've added a little coffee counter in the gift shop, called Supreme Bean. It's still early for plants, but they are hoping that customers will stop in for quick visits even during the winter months - have a latte and pick up a little gift item (like a bar of breakfast soap, hint).

Product update: maybe somebody has wondered where in the heck the little lip balm tins have gone. Well, the story is that I have been carrying those little slider tins for years - but it's been a challenge to maintain a supplier for them. The first company I bought from went out of business. There was a small lapse and I found a new gal, but they were sort of expensive, far away and shipping was quite a bit of expense too. I continued to search for a better answer and finally found a (sort of) close by supplier who had much better prices. I kept going with them, but I was getting more disappointed with the quality - lots had loose lids or were dented.

So in late fall, I just decided not to re-order and try a whole new tin, packaging and look for the holidays. It was a bit of an experiment to see how that would go - everything from the process, to the look, to the cost, and how well they would be received. It was so-so and probably not long enough of an experiment. In the meantime, the supplier stopped carrying those sliding tins. Oh no, not again. The manufacturer had closed them out.

The last month has been a mix of searching high and low for the sliding tins, waiting to decide what I wanted to do, and just basically holding off on any decision for the moment while I worked through the big Spring newsletter push. The lip balms have been mysteriously absent.

Insert horn toot. I just found another supplier for the sliding tins. And they are even more local and reasonably priced. I have to work through a few leftover cases of old tins, and see if the new tins are going to be a bit better quality. But I've just ordered today and they haven't arrived yet. I'll do a little manfacturing mumbo jumbo here in the next few weeks - check it all out. And then I'm hoping to have the good old lip balms back in action by early March. Good? Yes? Anybody out there care at all? I haven't gotten frantic calls or complaints yet, so maybe you're still finishing up the eggnog stuff from November?