In December we were contacted by a Hospital in Arkansas to make 50 small cutting boards with their logo. They wanted to give them as gifts to their volunteers for their service. Although we were swamped with holiday orders, we opted to find time to do this custom order. In addition to it being for a good cause, it was also a way for us to look at how to expand our buisness into different markets. We would like to expand more this year into a Corporate Gifts market and give companies an alternative to the standard trophies, plaques, etc... . These cutting boards are 9" x 12" White Oak Cutting Boards with a handle. Take a look at how they turned out.... [slideshow]
This holiday season was hugely successful for us. I can honestly say we were totally unprepared, and have learned the hard lessons to be better prepared next year. When Cyber Monday came with an abundance of orders, we realized we had more than we could handle to fulfill orders in time for Christmas. One month out, we could no longer promise Christmas delivery. That was a hard pill to swallow, but we never want to make promises we can't keep. We aren't a Best Buy or a Macy's where we can afford to take your order and then send an email two weeks later saying "sorry, can't fulfill your order." We are small and every promise counts. We hope those of you that had wanted to order with us, but were unable to because of our Christmas cutoff, will come back for future gift purchases. That being said, we did produce some amazing gifts for people, a lot of which were customers own creations. I wanted to showcase some of these fun and amazing designs on our blog! These are just a few, and I will have more to show later.
I'll admit marketing and promoting has not been my strong suit. I wish I could just make my stuff and sell it without having to do a lot of other time-consuming tasks to get it noticed. I suppose I can count myself lucky that I have had the success I have had with very little effort. However, I want to do more. Knowing that, I realize it is going to require more effort and more time to get my stuff noticed on sites like this blog, Facebook, twitter, etc..., in order to get the circulation I am looking at wanting. Starting this week, I will start blogging more regularly to show not only our products, but about who we are as a team, what we stand for as a company, and what we want to become.
This week we were contacted in two different capacities that I think can take our little cutting boards into new arenas. First, we were contacted by a school that wanted to commission us to do a fundraising cutting board that was totally unique. When all was said and done we ended up agreeing to engrave a 12" x 24" by 1.5" chopping block made out of European Beech End Grain. It is a beautiful piece of wood. The engraving is one of a kind because we had each student in the class write their names down on a piece of white paper and then we transferred their own handwritten names onto the engraveable design. Here is the preview:
I can't even tell you how excited I am to engrave this and see all those little names forever engraved into a beautiful piece of wood. Some lucky person will not only get to have it in their kitchen as a useful tool, but also a memento and piece of art.
We also were contacted this week by a "marketing expert" who looks for items for her client ( in this case a Realtor) to buy special, holiday gifts for their clients. I know that's a lot of clients, but I think you get me. Anyway, she wants to buy 45 of our small boards (9x12) engraved with the Realtors logo, greetings, etc... . We are starting to see how these cutting boards could be used in a large-scale capacity for corporate gifts. After all, would you rather have a plaque, a trophy, another knick knack around the house from your employer or actually have something you can use? I think most would prefer the latter. We are going to be targeting some of our local Realtors to see if we can get anymore interest in that capacity.
This week, we also purchased our own web address for our humidor shop. Although we have had good success with Etsy and our humidors, we think that having our own website would bring in more business, especially with the military humidors. Our address is www.humidorengraving.com. Tony hasn't built the site yet, but once it is live I will post here with regular updates.