We’ve long advocated the twin concepts of diverse personal revenue and entrepreneurial independence when we’ve shared our personal goals and objectives. (And don’t just take our word for it! See our Work-Life Integration Resource Page for additional reading). Along the way we’ve shared our progress over the years in posts that are referenced at the end of this article. It’s time for another update, and we’re excited that it includes a couple of firsts for us!
After leaving traditional employment five months ago, Pete’s primary attention has been to grow our online stores. We’re proud of the fact that he’s achieved “Pro Seller” status on Zazzle, where we have our main retail presence: YourShopofShops.com. Recently, Pete won a Design Award in the political category for a bumpersticker, and his products are pretty regularly pulled out and featured by the company. Over the summer and early fall, Pete increased the number of products in our stores to just over 13,000, and sales for October were at 161% of the same month last year, and up 20% year to date. Additionally, at the end of October, we’d exceeded all of last year’s sales, with the lucrative months of November and December yet to occur, and 22 products sold for the very first time. If we were traditional retailers with a brick and mortar store (and thank God we’re not!), we’d be dancing in the aisles.
It is time, we agreed, for a Christmas Catalog. As is usually the case with small businesses, a great idea comes and needs almost immediate priority. This is one of the reasons I love working in an organization of two: you can pivot easily and punt a new objective into play by reassigning importance to tasks. Pete set out last week to make the catalog happen and put in 10 and 12 hour days to finish it. We think it’s beautiful, and we hope you like it, too! Click the image for an easy PDF download for yourself.
Forward Our Catalog via email to a friend or colleague.
Right in the middle of all the work for the Christmas Catalog, Zazzle rolled out some new products. We’d long awaited the opportunity to provide these items and Pete was just waiting to access his design skills in a new context. Here are some of our favorites. Check out the ornament, coaster and calendar categories in the store for more.
And, just because we love ya, here’s an early Christmas present: a $10 discount on your Zazzle order of $35 or more! Click this link to get it.
But wait, there’s more! 😀
One of the less prominent aspects of what we do is ongoing work for clients. Our longterm client, THE original basket boutique (OBB Gifts), is a global company (North America, Persian Gulf and Australia), whose franchisees provide gourmet gifts for business clients and individual customers. Betsy has designed an award-winning email newsletter subscription program resource for the company, and provides ongoing services as their Director of Communications and Global Development.
Recently, we’ve been involved with the rest of the OBB Executive Team in a re-vamping of the OBB franchise structure. This is a marvelous opportunity for would-be entrepreneurs – you literally deliver good taste and happiness! We’re proud to have contributed to these improvements by designing a series of free informational resources folks who are contemplating a career in the gourmet gift industry can receive by email. If you, or anyone you know, is intrigued by the prospect of business ownership with a more traditional model, check THE original basket boutique’s franchise information website out. Or order a yummy gift basket for someone special!
We’re continuing with additional projects for other clients, and we’re beginning our strategic plan for 2012 for additional aspects of our travel business, the online stores, and our valued clients.
But before the holiday season really heated up, we decided we’d share a bit of what we know by offering our first Local Workshop for new “Zazzlers.” This will occur here in the Minneapolis area on the Sunday after Thanksgiving (November 27) from noon to 3 pm. We’re very limited on space and as of this writing, we’ve got 3 openings left. If you’d like to start or continue down this particular avenue to residual income, email me: betsywuebker AT gmail DOT com: for details.
Thanks for reading. We’re grateful beyond measure for all these wonderful opportunities, thankful for each of you, and wish you the best as we begin the happiest of holiday seasons.