Alternate title for this post “How $9.32 And Twenty Minutes Saved My Sanity And Prevented Me From Pulling My Hair Out During The Holiday Shopping Craziness That Is Our Etsy Shop”. But I thought that might be too long of a title. Consider yourselves spared. But the nine bucks and twenty minutes was well worth it as we made/hung a drying rack for our Etsy shop stands in the Roostic office.
I kid you not, this thing has saved my life…every…single….(pause for ridiculous dramatic effect)….day. Let’s just say that for the past couple of weeks, no matter how many stands I make and list, they sell out. Instantly. And it’s making me crazy….er…crazier. Thus, our manufacturing volume is at an all time high. And with a product that requires a considerable amount of dry time (stain dry time and poly dry time), a drying rack was a must. BDR, that’s “before drying rack”, I left the stands on the desk to dry. This cut down considerably on the number of stands that I could make at any given time and also cut down on my packing space. BDR, I could probably only push through 5-6 stands in a day. But now…that drying rack holds 20+ stands so I’ve been upping my stand making capacity to 12-16 per day! Huge difference!
Anywho….enough numbers and quotas and such. Let’s get down to the how we did its. First up…Mr. Metal Conduit pipe. We picked up a super cheap piece of 1/2″ x 10′ metal conduit for $2.24 at Lowes. Given that this tiny bedroom of ours that we’ve turned into manufacturing space is only 10′ deep, it was a perfect fit. No cutting needed.
To hang Mr. Metal Conduit we need some nice long screw hooks. They needed to be big enough to not only hold the 1/2″ conduit but also long enough to screw right through the sheet rock and into the studs behind it. The drying rack was going right above my desk and my head so we didn’t want to run the risk of it crashing down on top of me. These 4″+ screws did the trick for a whopping $1.18 each also from Lowes.
To hang, we did a bit of stud finding and marking:
Pilot hole drilling:
And finally screwing the long screw hooks into place:
We butted the screws and the rack as close as possible to the slanted ceiling and the bead board since we were walking a fine “let’s squeeze this in between the door and the attic opening” line. Thankfully, the rack can be fully loaded with stands and both doors (the bedroom door and attic door/staircase) work just fine.
Obligatory full monty shot.
This project was one of those impromptu projects where we walked into Lowes knowing what we wanted to do but no idea how to do it. The metal conduit rod and the screws were a simple solution for the rack but we started to struggle figuring out hooks to hang the stands from the conduit. All the “S” hooks that we found weren’t big enough to fit around the conduit and none of the other hooks in the hardware aisle would work either. Enter the shower curtain hooks for $1.77 per pack of 12
We MacGyvered the snot out of those shower curtain hooks! All it took was a bit of bending and twisting with a pair of pliers to take the hooks from its original state (on the right) to a stand hanging hook (on the left).
The bulkier clasp part turned into the part that would wrap around the conduit pipe and the part that clipped into the clasp turned into the part that would loop into the wooden stand hang holes. Kind of like so:
I know this pic only shows the drying rack loaded up with a pair (aren’t all good racks made up of pairs?! sorry…couldn’t help it…I am a 12 year old boy…hanging head in shame) but you should see this thing fully loaded! It’s like I’m drowning in a sea of wooden cookbook stands!
So that’s our little ditty about
Jack and Dianne how $9.32 saved my life. Not really. More like improved efficiencies and made me a more productive small business owner. Now I can’t sit on the couch and re-watch episodes of New Girl while waiting for stands to dry. I liked self-employment alot better before the drying rack. That’s it, rip it out, it’s not vented! Random side note: “rip it out, it’s not vented” refers to one of our favorite shows “Holmes on Homes”. He uses that line ALL THE TIME but usually referring to showers and toilets that were installed incorrectly. Colby and I like to use the term…well…just about all the time about anything. #weirdos
Pssst…What have you spent your $9.32 on lately? Any thrifty projects going down in your neck of the woods?
Happy Thanksgiving from a couple of turkeys and a Goose:
May your stomach be bigger than your eyes as you wolf down all those Thanksgiving goodies! Hope you all wore your Thanksgiving pants….I sure did! Stretch pants for all!
We’re out and about, galavanting around Vermont spending as much time as humanly possible with our family. We’ll be back to a relatively normal blogging schedule starting tomorrow. In honor of Black Friday, I’ll have one ginormous gift guide post for you all. And being a full-time Etsy seller, of course every…single….item…on the gift guide can be bought on Etsy (note the dramatic pauses).
So happy Thanksgiving to you all! Enjoy your turkey and pie…we sure will!
Pssst…What are your Thanksgiving plans? Spending time with your family? Friendsgiving it up?! Watching reruns of Friends Thanksgiving episodes? The one where Joey gets stuck in the turkey is my all time favorite!
Fuzzy wuzzy was a bear…errrr…rug. Fuzzy wuzzy had no hair…errrr…bugs?! That kind of works…emphasis on “kind of”. But seriously y’all we bought a new rug for our living room and it is soooo fuzzy, cozy and awesome!
And so you can fully appreciate the new rug in the above “after” shot, here’s the obligatory “before” shot of our living room with the too small, not the right color, kind of disgustingly dirty, and not so fuzzy at all rug.
The old rug was a 4′ x 6′ and was definitely WAY too small for the space. It’s hard to tell in the above picture since it cuts off the rug, but it’s much smaller than the couch, which is a definite rug size no-no. One school of rug thought is that all couch feet should be able to touch the rug…and stroke it, caress it, and whisper sweet nothings to it. Are we still talking about couches?! And then the view of the living room from the parlor side of things:
But let’s talk about the rug a little bit and how amaze-balls it is in a bad infomercial kind of way. We have been passively shopping for a new rug for our living room space for a long time, pretty much since we bought the new couch last summer. Rugs for us are big purchases and ones we like to take our sweet time picking out. And since the living room has historically been the land of misfit furniture, it took some time for the room to evolve but it finally has. The living room space is really starting to come together and feel cohesive instead of a mish-mash of cast off furniture and accessories. So after we pillowed up, curtained up, and blinded up…it was time to rug up.
When I asked Colby what he wanted for a new rug in the living room, his only request was that it be squishy and fuzzy, the kind you can just lie right down on and make snow angels. Since Colby’s not one to EVER have special requests when it comes to decor (seriously…I asked him about nightstand opinions this weekend…and he responded with “you have good taste…I trust you…now go”), so I had to oblige on this one and found a super soft and squishy rug.
Throughout operation rug research I fell in love HARD with the West Elm Souk rug. So obsessed that I actually debated paying $899 for the 8′ x 10′. But I couldn’t do it. That’s more than what we paid for our couch and I could see it now…at $899, the rug would become a look-but-don’t-touch item in the living room. Considering we pretty much live in the living room, specifically on the couch, that wouldn’t be the most ideal situation. So then I came across the Marrakesh Shag Rug from Rugs USA. It had a similar look and feel as the Souk rug, just without the hefty price tag. This guy clocked in at $640 for the 6′ x 9′, which is still higher than I normally like to pay for a rug.
After showing it to Colby and making sure he was on board the Marrakesh Shag Rug train, I started to play the waiting game. Rugs USA is one of those e-tailers that ALWAYS has a sale or a coupon available. So I signed up for their email blasts and waited out for the perfect sale. I didn’t have to wait long. A few days later, Rugs USA posted a Halloween sale…meaning all rugs on sale, plus an extra 60% off, PLUS free shipping. Total end price for our rug…a whopping $167. Sold! We ordered it, it arrived a few weeks ago, and we finally rolled out the new carpet and have been happily squishing our toes in it.
And because a DIY dork’s work is never done, now that the new rug is in the house, I’m finally figuring out the finishing situation for the yard sale coffee table find. I’ve never liked its current shade/finish, it’s a little too on the bad orange side for me, and have been debating chalk painting it or applying PolyShades to it. But now with the rug in the room, I’m thinking PolyShades will be the winner in a dark, classic black shade.
We already have the stain. It was leftover from that time we thought it would be a good idea to stain the vanity (in the yellow bathroom mind you), black. It didn’t last long before it got painted white…it was a bit on the bumblebee side of things. But I think the black stain will be a much better fit on the living room coffee table since it would tie into the deep gray tones in the rug along with the gray couch.
In the end, after we PolyShades (totally a verb) the coffee table, and we don’t like how it turned out, we can always chalk paint it in the same finish as the side table.
Pssst…Who’s coming over to squish their toes in the new rug?! C’mon…you know you want to! All the cool kids pee their pants…I mean…squish their toes in the rug!
Starting projects…totally my jam…finishing projects…not so much. Please tell me I’m not the only one who is a stellar project starter but then lets them kind of fizzle?! Anywho, I needed to take some “workshop” photos for our shop listing on Scout Mob and our Etsy office space was kind of looking like this:
One of my favorite tricks of staining is filling all the nail holes with colored putty after staining but before polying. For most projects, this means you can pre-stain the wood, install it, then fill in the nail holes. The colored putty just melts right into your staining project and masks those nail holes like a champ.
Pssst…In another random exciting news, our Christmas tree is totally going up this weekend! Hootie hoo! Honestly, this is the earliest I’ve ever put up our tree (I’m usually a wait until after Thanksgiving is over kind of girl), but I just can’t help it. I’m itching to start decorating for Christmas! Anyone else have their tree up already? Or have been bitten by the Christmas bug?!
Bueller….Bueller….Bueller…..Anyone out there? Is this thing on?! Long time no blog post! Seriously…it’s been a month. I couldn’t even remember how to log into my blog it’s been so long! And the comments and the emails…goodness…I’ve got some serious catching up to do. So if you’re recently (and by recently I mean the last couple of months) left a comment, asked a question or sent an email, I’m just getting around to them.
But let’s cut to the chase and the big question on everyone’s mind (who am I kidding…just my mom’s mind), “Where have you been?!”. Let’s just say I haven’t been terribly good about balancing the day job, the Etsy shop, and life in general. So what did I do about it? I quit my job. Boom. I just wish I had done it with a little bit of flair (or twelve pieces of flair) like Marina Shifrin did in this video:
So now that I’ve dropped the bomb, here’s how this all went down. Since May, we’ve had steady sales on Etsy. From day one, we were selling enough product to make a decent living. It wasn’t quite enough to match my day job salary but it was more than enough to live. In the back of my mind, I knew running Roostic full time was a possibility in the not so distant future. So I worked hard, squirreled away most of our profits, and grew our sales to a point where our profits were outpacing my salary on a pretty consistent basis.
This was late September. Then crazy(er) things started happening. I was approached with wholesale offers on such sites as Shoppe by Scout Mob and Domestica, both offers I couldn’t pass up, and our products were being featured by such behemoths as Sweet Paul, Better Homes & Gardens, the W Network and more. Given that I was averaging about 4 hours of sleep a night (on a good night) those wholesale offers weren’t ones I could take on right away. Something had to go. And after much soul searching, a few tears, and a lot of discussion with Colby about whether or not this was the right decision, I put my notice in at work and signed the wholesale contracts.
November 1st was my last official day at my day job as the marketing director for NH Bragg and Sons (an industrial distributor…hence my love for tools). I’m not gonna lie. As much as I thought I was going to waltz out of there all ecstatic-like about my new adventure, it was bittersweet. I had been there for over six years. I grew up there. I finished grad school there, moved into my first big girl apartment there, met Colby there (not literally), got engaged and married there, and worked with some amazing people. I learned so much and really grew up at NH Bragg, as a marketer and as a person.
But I couldn’t wait to get going running Roostic full time. We had just started wholesaling on Scout Mob and had 125 orders in our first week there! Eeek! Not to mention a ginormous, 50 piece order to get to. Needless to say, we were busy. I spent many days and evenings hanging out in the basement sanding my fingers to the bone. And just when I thought we had caught up, and I could do my first load of laundry in over a month (don’t worry…I had clean underwear…Colby did a couple loads of laundry…although…folding is not his strong suit…he just dumped it on the kitchen table…where we got dressed each morning since that’s where the clean clothes were…I wish I was kidding), then boom, UPS broke all but 8 of the 50 piece RUSH iPad stand order and we had to do it again. Thus, the reasons for the radio silence this past month.
But we’re back, baby! Back in a
New York blogging groove! I’ve missed blogging…like MISSED IT, missed it. It’s the thing I like to do at night before bed to wind down for the day. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with a regular blogging schedule as we’re just getting into the big, holiday rush, but I’m going to try. I’m aiming for posting five times a week, Sunday through Thursday nights, like back in the good ol’ blogging days before Etsy came around. So stay tuned for more house project shenanigans. There may be a new rug situation we need to update you on, some new-about-to-die-if-I-don’t-water-them plants in the house, and a big ol’ kitchen remodel on the horizon. And of course Goose pictures…because what would this blog be without the Goose!
Pssst…Have I mentioned yet that I missed YOU GUYS?! Man have I missed you guys!!! And all your sweet comments!