Tuesday, February 28, 2017

True or False: Small Business Quiz! I double dog dare you to take the quiz

I'm sure you've all heard the phrase "shop small" ~ as it's becoming a trendy catch phrase, but the REASONS why we should ALL be supporting small business are even more important to understand this movement. To be honest with you, small business is BIG business when it comes down to it. Financial and business analysts agree on this fact. In the United States alone, there are 28.2 million small businesses operating at this given moment. Upwards of 63% of new jobs created last year were derived from small business. Let me break this down for you, Small Business Keeps America RUNNING.
3/4 of the nation's businesses are "SELF EMPLOYED" type businesses. Being self employed is not such a rare thing anymore. Long gone are the days of the "company man" who often worked his entire professional/working life for ONE company. Can you imagine, at any given time 28.2 million people that had a dream, and acted upon it?! WHOA...

These numbers sound great, however, it's a sad fact that MOST small businesses only survive 5 years, at most. They usually go under, close or morph into something else within those 5 years. That's an alarming number, if you do the math:
  • 28.2 million small businesses in the USA
  • 50% go under in the first 5 years
  • 14.1 million small businesses go the way of the buffalo on average between the 1st - 5th year. 
That is shocking, in my opinion!
That is a whole lot of dreams, goals, sweat equity and investments down the drain.

Why do half of these small businesses fail?
"When you consider how many small businesses surround you in your everyday lives, it is impressive to think about the amount of time, commitment and labor these hard working individuals contribute to make their businesses both come to life and stay alive. Yet, many Americans frequent chain stores without considering their local merchant or other small business options. Whether it's filling a prescription at a local pharmacy vs. Walgreens or picking up eggs and milk at a local corner store vs. your nearest Walmart, small businesses are too often overlooked for all the wrong reasons. Customers assume that pricing will automatically be higher at a small business vs. a corporate owned store,  as well as they dismiss the perks that many small businesses offer such as customer care, inventory assortment and community support. However, did you know that many of these misconceptions about small businesses are just that... misconceptions?" -Forbes
Let's talk about some of the misconceptions...

True or False: Stores do not control pricing of most products. Vendors do.
With some exceptions, stores primarily have no control over a product price but rather are provided a MSRP (Manufactured Suggested Retail Price) that tells them the price the product should be sold at. Over time, if the product doesn't sell or a store has a promotional event taking place, this price may be lowered. But generally speaking, vendors want their products sold at their suggested rate, therefore retailers are not encouraged to lower them unless it's discussed in advance - such as stores like Nordstrom do for their famous Anniversary Sale. Many small merchants, as well, also offer discounted items for special occasions - therefore not making this exclusive to big box stores. -Forbes
True or False: Inventory is not always more easily available at big box stores
Smaller merchants have the same access to vendors as big box stores do, therefore if you need an item and it's not available in their store, it's likely they can get in touch with the vendor right away and try and order it for you right away. Of course, there are always exceptions, but most small store owners are eager to go above and beyond in their customer service support and this is just one way they can do so for their customers.

True or False:  Customer service is more personalized, hands-on and noteworthy from smaller businesses.
 Again, there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking you should expect that a smaller business will deliver stronger customer service. Their personal commitment to their business certainly helps in these efforts, but even from their collective team - no matter how small or large it is - typically stronger customer care is experienced. Among the reasons why is that they have a more hands-on role within the company, therefore building a stronger sense of care for the job they do. Additionally, smaller companies are more flexible in their customer support - with a willingness to bend rules if necessary (such as alter a return policy) or deliver VIP treatment when least expected (such as home delivery for a customer during a rain storm). While every business is different, what also makes customer care among small businesses more valuable is just that - being different.-Forbes

Author's Note: I can not tell you how much I ENJOY going the extra mile for all of my customers. It makes me feel good to be able to go above and beyond for my clientele. I KNOW if I give extra care to each order, and customer, they are more likely to tell their friends and family about my small business (Goosie Girl) . Word of mouth advertising is simply the BEST form of advertising for a business like mine.Soooo many handmade makers & designers put so much care and attention to their products, and many have had their customers as REPEAT customers for so long, they develop friendships with them outside of work.

True or False: Different types of products, unique styles and customizations are more likely through a small business than a large business. 

Product diversity and options are often greater at small businesses vs. chain stores. Sure, a big box merchant may have a larger footprint in your local community, but that doesn't mean they have more variety to offer you. When you walk into a chain store, you know exactly what you will find. However, when you walk into a local business, you are often surprised by the inventory options. This is to a customer's advantage and is among the many reasons to frequent your local stores more often. And remember - just because a big box store is just that... bigger... doesn't mean they have more to offer. The assortment of inventory at big box store are just deeper, not more diverse. -Forbes

Where else but a small business which creates one of a kind, or small quantities of their products is it more possible to find something totally unique? We can tweak , personalize, and customize nearly anything you can imagine, it's just a matter of reaching out to the maker and ASKING. Our businesses depend on our abilities to offer awesome customer service, and willgness to give our clients what they're looking for. That is something a big box store CAN NOT and WILL NOT do.

The Gypsy Spoonful Marketplace is reeling with independent small business owners. We're a creative community, and we would like to ask for your support of our small businesses. The next time you're on an online shopping bender, or have a gift to buy, need something for a special occasion, we invite you to shop the Gypsy Spoonful Marketplace by Clicking HERE

Monday, February 27, 2017

Made on Monday----Meandering through All Things Handmade & Fabulous! 02/27

Every week, I get to browse through all the new listings on Gypsy Spoonful and I am in awe of all the talent we have.  Gosh, we are a creative bunch!  All our girls seem to really like a challenge and listed like crazy this last week.  So stick with me through Meandering through Monday--it may be a little long, but it is  full of fabulousness!

To find a specific makers listings, just click on their highlighted name and it will take you there!

We have a brand spankin' new maker listing this week.  Rose Petal Gifts is offering these printable candy bar wrappers.  Personalize them for a special touch or thank someone in a personal way.


Texas Loud and Proud is offering some unique new listings too.  These bun wraps are so fun and something I have never seen in my life.  What a creative way to accessorize your hair with pizazz!

Do you love leggings and want to support handmade?  Posh Playground Couture has these awesome leggings up.  Custom made in your size too!  Sometimes the teens and young adults are left out of the boutique world, but not here!

Cindy of Buttons 'N Bolts has been busy with her little quilting self this week.  Wow!!!  She has some of the cutest Easter theme table runners and some great quilts too.  And she even threw in a sweet little Easter peasant top too.  Check out that batik quilt!!  Swoon!!!!

Charms Couture has a super cute & super twirly dress up for us this week too.  Adorable owls and maximum twirlability too.  Your little girl will love spinning and twirling in this awesome little dress and it is on sale this week too!

Do you love unicorns like the rest of us?  Well The Day Before This Day has a super fun unicorn stuffie that will be a great addition to your collection.  She also has some fun coloring wallets.  These are great for long car trips or to have in your purse to pull out for a fidgeting toddler while waiting at the doctor's office or in the car line at school.  Buy one or buy multiples.  You won't regret having these in your life!  These would be great Easter basket stuffers too!

Bag Lady Am I has been busy this week pumping out the cute crossover bags.  And a cute Sheriff Callie dress too.  Heather is always up on the latest characters and popular movies and shows.  Check out her items for all your favorites.

Have you ever used handmade dish cloths?  Because if you haven't, you are missing out!  I am obsessed with them.  They have the best quality and scrubbing power.  Give a Yarn Crafts has stepped up the dish cloth game and created a set including wash cloths, a sponge, and a scrubby.  These would be a great housewarming gift, wedding present, Mother's Day gift, or a gift for yourself.   

Our very own Goose.....fearless leader and highly motivated entrepreneur even found time to get some new listings up (while trying to build a website and more) and WOW....how adorable is that flower hat???   Goosie Girl also has some more great nursing necklaces and sweet fascinators.  She even has a Belle fascinator if you are looking forward to the new upcoming movie.

Firefly Threads has a great variety this week.  Adorable Trolls hooded bath towels, more character popsicle pouches (to keep those little hands from freezing) and wool dryer balls.  Now what are wool dryer balls, you say?  That's what I said anyway!  Ummmm...I need these in my life!  They replace dryer sheets with all those chemicals and reduce drying time.  Yes, I totally need these in my life!

WeLuvDizne has a totally new product this week too.  Awesome headbands with crowns or Minnie ears.  These are great!  And she even has Beauty and the Beast theme ones too.  She also threw in a great Batman shorts set for boys.


I can't even explain to you how awesome Wonderfully Whimsical is.  You must check out her Alice in Wonderland bags!  Oh my gosh!!!!  You can see the quality of her work in the details.  She offers sling bags and wristlets and more.  Check out all her listings.  I'm sure you can find something you love!

Simply the Glitter is at it again with all her gorgeous upcycled repurposed jewelry.  I can't pick a favorite because she makes something cooler every time.  This week, I am drawn to her skeleton key necklace with the saying "dream as if you'll live forever" added in.  It is just stunning!

And here I am at the end again.  That's So Addie has some great new dresses for spring.  I relisted my Grumpy Cat dress, added in a soft Feathers flutter dress, and a sweet little Daisy the Cow peasant dress.  I have been busy catching up on my Dr. Seuss orders but am hoping to have a bunch of new spring listings up in the next couple of weeks.

And that concludes the New Listing round up for this week.  I hope you enjoy browsing through our listings.  All the makers at Gypsy Spoonful appreciate your commitment to supporting handmade, even if it is just a click on a link or a share to your friends.  Every little bit helps support small business.  Until next Monday......

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Designer Day! Week 5

Simply the Glitter!

Simply the Glitter is owned and operated by Michele Szot of Kenosha. Many of her pieces are vintage findings that she repurposes into beautiful new art! Since many of her pieces have a vintage history, some are flawed, however she does her best to describe the flaw within the listing.

Personally, I would find these pieces to be amazing in anniversary gifts or weddings! Does your grandmother or great grandmother have a piece of jewelry that is near and dear to her heart? I suggest contacting SIMPLY THE GLITTER to give it a new head start in life!

In addition to selling on the Gypsy Spoonful venue, Michele has a facebook page as well as Etsy.

Michele's prices are very reasonable for the work and love put into each unique piece, with them being 1 of a Kind! Average range is approximately $25-$52 with just a $5 shipping charge!

Her items are great not just for the weddings and anniversary gifts, but birthdays, thank you's or an I LOVE YOU gift! We all see the commercials for big jewelry companies, why give your special lady or man a piece that everyone else is going to? Want to REALLY be unique and different? Get a piece of wearable art from SIMPLY THE GLITTER! 

Contact: Simply the Glitter
Owner: Michele Szot

                         Simply the Glitter Gypsy Spoonful

Monday, February 20, 2017

Made on Monday----Meandering through All Things Handmade & Fabulous! 02/20

Wowza!  The talent of the Gypsy Spoonful Makers never ceases to amaze me!  We have so many unique new listings this week that I almost forgot to post the blog after I spent all my time Ooohing and Aaahing over everything.  I love scrolling through on Mondays and seeing all we have to offer.

So let's get this party started!!!
And remember to go directly to an individual maker's listings, all you have to do is click on their highlighted name---easy peasy!

Right off the bat, I saw we have a new (well, returning new) maker back with her adorable little dolls.  You can tell Avalon puts so much work into the details on these.  They will surely be an heirloom item to keep for generations.  If you look deeper into her past listings, you will find awesome stick horses & other animals too.  I swear I saw a stick dragon....WHAT????

Looking for an amazing St. Patrick's Day dress?  Look no further than this darling dress by Bagladyami.  Heather always has a great knack for creating fun character dresses to fit all themes.  After I started this post, I noticed she also has a super cute Sheriff Callie dress up so make sure you check it out too!

And you will probably need some matching St. Patrick's Day bows too!  Tawnya of Bows and More by T never fails to offer the best variety of bow styles.  From OTT big bows to my favorite---corkers.  

Daniela's Bow Shop stepped up this week with a darling Thing One & Thing Two bow.  Perfect for all those upcoming Dr. Seuss celebrations at school or Read Across America day.

I usually put myself at the bottom of the blog, but since I have a Thing One & Thing Two dress listed that would match the above bow, I thought I would mix it up a little bit.  That's So Addie has a bunch of new items up this week.  From unicorns to hedgehogs, from Finding Dory to Dr. Seuss, with some pretty little lovebirds and whimsical farm animals thrown in too.  

Next up is my girl, Goose!  She has been super busy working on our upcoming website but still found time to list these fun nursing necklaces (bright & bold colors to keep little ones busy) and that gorgeous headband!  Squishy baby alert!!!  Give Goosie Girl some love and go check out all she has to offer.

Torrey Hill Inc. is back with another gorgeous shawl/wrap.  She has been busy, busy putting out the products the last couple of weeks. Take a look at all her listings and I bet you can find something you love!

Karen of Layla and Stitch has been busy listing this week too.  She has some cute clothes for both boys and girls.  Check her out.

Michele of Simply the Glitter simply outdoes herself every week!  I love her repurposed jewelry so much!  Check out those pistol earrings!  The are gorgeous!  I just noticed she has another brand new necklace up this morning too.  Busy girl!

And last, but totally NOT least because her bags are amazing!!!!  (I hate putting people at the bottom.....I feel like a jerk)   Wonderfully Whimsical has a few new items up this week too. Keep checking back because I know she has more coming up.  Aren't her fabric choice to die for?  Just scrolling through her listings, I see Disney Villains, Mickey Mouse, Kentucky Derby, and Shopkins.  She has an impressive variety! 

And that concludes the roundup of new listings for this week!  As always, thank you for supporting small handmade businesses and choosing
Gypsy Spoonful.  (<--------click on that to go see all our listings.  These girls are listing faster than I can type....LOL)

We all appreciate your desire to help us achieve our dreams.  Until next Monday----toodaloo!!!!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Designer Day! Shops Week 4

Yves Treasure Shoppe

Welcome to Yves Treasure Shoppe! YTS sells some amazing hair accessories, blankets and ready made baby shower gift baskets! YTS currently has approximately 27 listings on Gypsy Spoonful! That's 27 various products to choose a gift!

Almost all of the listings come with FREE U.S. Shipping!

Baby Shower

Rubber Ducky, Flannel Washcloths and Reusable Baskets!
Comes in 8 piece or 11 piece sets
There is also a blue basket option!

Hair Accessories

YTS has several gorgeous bows and flowers to choose from! EVEN a cute headband HAT! You can use for dress up, play or photo prop!

Contact Yves Treasure Shop to Order!


Email: Yves.Treasure.Shoppe@gmail.com

Monday, February 13, 2017

Made on Monday----Meandering through All Things Handmade & Fabulous! 02/13

Goodness, these girls are keeping me on my toes trying to keep up with all the great new listings every week!  So many new items to browse through that I almost forgot to get my Monday post up today. From Narwhals to Storm Troopers and everything in between, you won't be disappointed with the variety we have on Gypsy Spoonful!
Click on the highlighted business name of each of our unique makers to go directly to their listings.

Hot off the presses and back in full force is our talented Wonderfully Whimsical!  Ramona has some of the most unique bags, backpacks, and wristlets listed and her quality is top notch!  Here are just a few of what she has to offer....ummmm, Narwhals!!!  Need I say more?

Firefly Threads popped in this week with the coolest invention EVER!  Have you seen her popsicle pouches?  So many character choices from Shopkins to Superheroes to Storm Troopers.  Keep those little hands comfy while they enjoy their cold treat!  She also has a fun listing for Wizard of Oz dress up masks this week too.  How much fun would those be to add to your dress up closet?

Have you seen the insane amount of talent that Debra Engelbrecht's Paintings has?  I can't paint a plain wall so I am always amazed to see gorgeous paintings that actually look like flowers and trees.  Crazy awesome!  Any of her pieces would be a gorgeous addition to your home decor.

Charms Couture has a cute listing up this week for a fun skater skirt featuring whimsical owls.  This is ready to ship in a size 4T and soooooo cute!  

This week Crafty Pink Tigers has up the cutest pair of crocheted Mary Jane baby shoes.  These would be a fun baby shower gift or to dress up your little bundle of joy.  

Goosie Girl has done it again with her BIG boutique bows in fun Irish/St. Patrick's Day prints.  They are so fun & unique.  Choose your hardware for a one of a kind custom look just for you!

This chevron elephant makeup bag created by Designs by Danielle would be a perfect gift.  Whether for a teacher gift, graduation, Mother's Day, or just for yourself.  I love it!

WeLuvDizne has a super fun Lion Guard dress up this week as well.  This one features Fuli and is ready to ship in a size 6 but she is always open to custom orders if you would like a different size.  

Cindy from Buttons 'N Bolts is back with a super fun listing for the boys this week.  She is offering a reversible apron for the little guys.  Batman on one side--Star Wars on the other.  I got aprons from Cindy for my grandkids and they are awesome!

Simply the Glitter is back this week with some gorgeous new jewelry pieces.  Her repurposed pieces are to die for!  Check out that Fairy Castle one!

Bows & More by T has an Over the Top (OTT) St. Patrick's Day bow this week.  Your little girl will be "Pinch Proof" sporting this adorable bow.

Yves Treasure Shoppe has been busy this week listing new singed flower clips and beautiful flower barrettes too.  Here are a few she has up but go to her listings to see the variety.

And again, here I am at the end......That's So Addie has been on a Dr. Seuss sewing binge this week.  I have a few other items up but check out all my ready to ship Seuss items if you are on the hunt for a cute dress for upcoming Seuss celebrations or Read Across America days.

And that should keep you all busy for this week!  
Thank you for shopping handmade!