“It’s wild how early you have to start preparing for the holiday season. We start planning and making pieces in the summer. Thinking about making mugs for Christmas while it’s July is definitely something we never anticipated! Right now, we’re making pottery to sell online and at a few craft fairs during the holiday season, and we’re also are in the midst of filling restaurant orders.” – Mallie Testerman & Stephen “Sven” Jobe, founders of Sven Ceramics
“We're planning a big production of all our products to ramp up our inventory. We’re also trying to come up with one more new design for the winter season. Fingers crossed!” -- Jane Lee, founder of Wildebeest dog accessories
“We just purchased a vintage caramel twist wrapper from the 1950s. We are also hiring people to assist with caramel production as one half of this partnership is having a baby. That will be interesting!” – Courtney Robinson and Celia Glowka, founders of Caramel Caravan
“Sales have really picked up in the last couple months, and we expect that trend will keep up as we enter the holiday season. So, we’re growing our operation with the addition of a new production assistant for all the work that happens in the studio, and we’re bringing in a few more people to sew on demand, too. Also, we’re about to launch our dream project! We’re introducing WOOLLYLAB – a digital customization platform for people to easily design their own high-end, handcrafted wallet. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, we developed a web app from scratch that allows customers to choose their leather wallet’s color(s), pattern, stitching and inscription. Importantly, these custom orders sync seamlessly with our production process, allowing us to turn them around in just 48 hours.” – Jeff Heil, founder of WOOLLY leather goods
“I’m planning ahead and trying to stick to the plan. I finished the majority of my calendering for the fall/winter season in late August and early September so I know what shows I’m doing and can plan out staffing, travel logistics and inventory. Each day, I have set tasks regarding production and am trying to spend at least four hours each day making jewelry. After that, it’s emails, social media, fulfilling online orders, running the shop and checking in with our partner school.” – Sarah Bayot, founder of Kicheko Goods
“I have just hired my first employee, and I am probably going to hire 1-2 more to keep up with the production.” – Janna Willoughby-Lohr, founder of Papercraft Miracles
“I have to increase my inventory, and now I’m realizing I have to increase staff, too. Predicting what I need and when I need it has been the second most difficult thing for me as I grow this business. In the past year, my business has grown so much, and I’m still learning what the inventory should look like from season to season.” – Andrea Cwik, founder of Bliss & Bale
“To have a successful holiday season, we are placing orders, setting budgets, calculating shipping times, managing social media and email marketing outlets and training employees! We are taking all of our Ohana-branded retail (apparel, hats, skateboard decks) online for easy purchasing, and we’re offering free local delivery during the season. We’ll also be adding our Ohana “experiences” (lessons and camps) to our website for purchase as holiday gifts. We love to host customer appreciation parties where we release our latest lines, host guests in our retail space and take time out of the crazy holiday rush to relax and just be.” – Arun & Anne-Michelle Frances, founders of Ohana Board Shop
Now it’s your turn
QB Community members, what steps are you taking to keep your business on track this holiday season?
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