At the beginning of every month, we post a challenge for ourselves and you! At the end of the month, in theory, we’ll post our completed projects (Jake and I are both doing one) and will have a link-up for you to share yours! The projects can be interpreted in any way you want. Interpret our challenge to do a project in crafts, photography, creative writing, home decor, technical gadgetry, cooking, or whatever you can come up with.
The November challenge was to get it done early. And we’ll be honest with you: we pretty much failed this one. In fact, we’re feeling really behind. Yep, some blog posts got scheduled (but not many). And some prep work happened. But we’re not as ahead as we’d like to be, for sure! Here’s a few things we did actually successfully do early in November:
I made a pizza peel! That means I’m 1/3 of the way done with pizza peel Christmas presents. I love working with my grandpa (Poppy) in his wood shop! There will be a full post on these sometime in December.
I made Fakesgiving in preparation for trying to make my own Thanksgiving from scratch sometime in December. I’m also happy to report that for actual Thanksgiving, we made everything we were supposed to make, got to half of the places on time or early (which is really good, for us) and Jake did not have to run to the grocery store last minute because I forgot something. That, folks, is called a win.
The main focus of the getting it done early, however, has been shop stuff. We were totally unprepared for the response our record bookends received last year, so this year we are prepared. We didn’t have to worry about our record stock, since we bought 4,000 records last year. But we did change up how we sell them: we figured out our problem areas from last year and fixed them for this time around. The big change is that we now sell them in categories. We used to just sell them by label color, but people kept requesting certain bands last year. We were as accommodating as possible, but we wasted A LOT of time looking for records by specific people. So we started pulling all of the recognizable artists from the record stock and listed those separately as mix ‘N match by artist bookends. We’ve had a little trouble with people thinking that they’re buying a pair when they’re only buying one, but we’re working on ways to make it even more clear. (Note to sellers: a lot of people don’t read the item description. Note to buyers: please read item descriptions.) We also added surprise me bookends (which are much cheaper than the other sorts), so we can have some pairs made up and ready to go without having to worry about customizing. This also helps us go through the record labels that have pictures on them or are duel colors.
The preparing has paid off so far. We’re able to work much faster, we’re much more organized, and the new types of listings are REALLY outselling the by-label-color listings. We’re hoping to take some more photos of a wide range of record label colors, and that should help that category along significantly.
We’ve also been prepared on the supply front. We bought a ton of boxes locally in bulk at All Packaging Co, got our shipping supplies ready, and stocked up on everything we needed for the holiday sale season (except for packing tape. We totally ran out of that in the middle of the night last week and I had to hurry to get some in the morning before USPS came to pick up our packages).
Lastly, we did get some of our other products updated early (mostly record notebooks) but we didn’t get the shop as packed with variety as we were intending, because things have been too crazy. But we’re just going with it and we’ll get new stuff listed as we can / if we can.
So all in all, we only did a FEW of the things early that we were intending to do, but some is better than none.
What did you get done early in November?
Check out our other monthly challenges and results here. And don’t forget to come back in a bit for the December Challenge!