This last week we were noticed on a Canadian wedding forum, where one of our customers, LulieDecorDesigns, gave us a plug. We were caught off guard with the response. We hadn't really done too much research into shipping to Canada or elsewhere. I had read on some Etsy forums that for most sellers, Canadian buyers make up about 25% of their total sells, so I knew this was a market we needed to tap into, but wasn't quite ready yet. As they say.....when opportunity calls.... It was a bit of a scramble trying to find out the best way to ship to our Canadian friends. Unfortunately for us, a lot of our products make shipping internationally financially unviable. That doesn't mean people don't do it, but I think the overall cost is just too much for most. Our only reprieve is our small boards, 9 x 12, can fit in a USPS flat rate envelope and ship anywhere around the globe for $15. When it comes to the large boards, $38 was the lowest we could find. That $38 price is for up to 3 cutting boards which we can fit in a single flat rate box. It works for those buying multiples, but maybe not so much for the single board buyer. Prices have really gone up for international shipping since they got rid of surface mail and made all international shipping air mail. And for a small business like us, those cost really make it hard to hit that international market. Starting next week we will be offering Howard's Butcher Block Conditioner for sale at a price that is lower than you can find at your local Home Depot and other hardware stores. This is a product we use and recommend to be used regularly to maintain the boards we sell. Their product EXCEEDS the FDA's requirements for food safety, so we feel safe in applying it to our boards and recommending it to our customers. In addition, with the purchase of one of our boards, there is no additional shipping cost. We feel this is a great product to sell with our cutting boards as it provides the customer with what they need to protect the beautiful wood cutting board without having to go out and find someone who sells it at a much higher mark up.
We are giving away a freebie on a lifestyle blog! All you have to do to enter is go to the blog and leave and comment under our post ad here, and go to our Facebook page and become a fan of our page. You will be entered into the contest to win a free 12 x 15 white oak cutting board with one of our 9 design options!! Pretty great deal!
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.
One of the first cutting boards we engraved was bamboo. We really believe in all the superior quality offered by bamboo cutting boards. What are the reasons someone would choose bamboo over another wood or even plastic? We're glad you asked! Without further ado, here is the "Top Five Advantages" of bamboo cutting boards:
5.) Less Water Retention
Bamboo doesn't absorb moisture very easily. Since the water or juices from cooking or cutting are less likely to enter the board surface, the boards are less likely to warp or crack due to water separation.
Bamboo is more resilient to nicks, scratches, and dents than most hard woods. While bamboo is technically a grass, the wood that is harvested can reach up to 120 feet tall and 8 feet wide! On the Janka Hardness Scale, it rates around the top third of boards, beating out woods such as cherry, hickory, white oak, and brazillian redwoods.
3.) Self Healing and Easier on Knives
Because bamboo is made up of many individual strands of grass, they "heal" from scratches easier than many other solid wood surfaces, similar to how end-grain cutting boards perform. Since the knife blade is hitting these individual strands rather than a solid unyielding surface, knife edges take less abuse from bamboo boards.
2.) Bacterial Resistance
Bamboo doesn't retain bacteria easily. Most woods don't, but many studies have noted that bamboo tends to shed bacteria off of the surface better than most other hardwoods. This is because bamboo is a non-porous surface, this makes it easier to clean and safer for food preparation.
By far our most favorite aspect of this wonderful material! In today's age, we are all concerned about sustainability. Bamboo grows much faster than wood. While a fully matured tree can take up to 50 years to grow, bamboo can be harvested from three to six years after planting, making this material very renewable, and kinder to the environment.
We'd love to help everyone get a personally engraved bamboo cutting board to add to the beauty of your kitchen. Here are just a couple of some of our favorite ones that we've created for our customers!
You can order these bamboo cutting boards and other sizes by clicking on our Etsy store and personalize your own!