The Story of a Small Business – Angelynn’s Jewelry Organizers Part 7

As of November 2017

It has been a unpredictable few years business wise.  I did introduce and re-introduce a total of 4 designs this year.  I am currently selling on angelynns.com, Amazon, Etsy, Ebay and Houzz.

See our New Products for 2017

Go ahead and laugh,  I just replace my flip phone with a smart phone in July 2017.  It is smarter than I am that’s for sure.  I have Facebook, mostly for family stuff but I do have a Business Page and Facebook Store.  I also have a Twitter account but really only tweet when I list new products.  I just got an Instagram a few weeks ago and have no idea how to use it yet.  My 1st post on Instagram is my only post so far, but it is an awesome photo of the sun-setting on our property.

Warehouse #1

In early January 2016 we were still coming apart at the seams even with the new warehouse #1.  I was praying about things and asked the Lord what if anything should I be doing?  Days later it came up in my heart and mind to build another smaller warehouse building simplified no water, heat AC etc just for storage.  I thought no way, not another expense!

2016 was a brutal election cycle year and it was very hard on the country and the hearts and minds of everyone.  Fear and uncertainty was everywhere.  Business was slow for both my husband and myself.  One evening as I was communing with God in my heart I heard “Get the building” I resisted the thought.  I heard it again more urgently “Get the building….. Trump is going to become President and you are going to need it”.   I thought “What on Earth does that mean?”  I told Robert my husband this the next day and little did I know that I would have to remind myself of what I believe God spoke to me over and over again.  I considered perhaps I was wrong about this and had my doubts.

Warehouse #2

In February 25,2016 I signed the contract for building #2, construction began some time in June and was completed and ready to be stocked in December 2016 right after the election.

October 2016 I had this weird urgency pressure thing happening telling me to get our house finished, with painting, repairs, flooring, lighting etc. to finish all the things we had started over the years.  I just assumed it was for my Daughter’s Wedding in November with family coming in from out of State etc.  We had used most of the house for our businesses, warehousing, offices and so on we could never update our home because you could not see the floors, that by the way needed to be replaced.  We had always said that would have to MOVE OUT to finish it or sell it.

Formal Living Room of our House – My Office and Storage

 

Formal Living after it was finished.

Below was our game-room and the kids old bedrooms looked about the same.  As the kids grew and moved out over the years, my business grew into their old bedrooms.  At this point more than 75% of our home was for business use.  Plus I was paying for storage of  inventory at local 2 personal storage buildings.  For what I was paying in rent monthly I could build and own a 2nd warehouse.  We never did really claimed business use of the home because of the tax code penalizing you if you would ever sell it.

The Gameroom at our House – Packaging Facility

It was backbreaking work, but I actually got the most important bedrooms done before the Wedding.  I could not figure out why I had such pressure on me to get it done, but every day for months all I did was fix things, sand, paint, texture, clean, caulk, remodel, work on the yard etc. with my husband trimming trees and doing repairs.

In April and May we finished the updating and remodeling and decided to move all my inventory out to the country into building #1 and building#2  which we packed to the ceilings.  By the time we finished working on the house it was brand new, and I mean everything was brand new and beautiful!  I am sure that is why it sold in June on the 1st open house with no agent, by owner and above market value, and of course God hearing our prayers and “bringing us the right buyers” for the “right price”.  Before closing we got rid of a lot of stuff, furniture, paintings, clothing you name it.  We gave it all away and closed June 30th and moved our life to the country.

 

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Stud Earring Holders, Ring Holders, Earring Stands and Necklace Displays New Products by Angelynn’s

Now in Stock

Almost all the model/names I choose for my products come from people I know and love or I just love the name.

I have created a new earring holder specifically designed for stud and small earrings and named it after my son, I did not want him to feel left out and he did not mind.

Introducing the “Luka Stud Earring Holder”.  Dimensions: 11 inches tall x a slim 9 inches wide (for narrow slim wall spaces) and is offset from the wall by 1 inch. 4 heavy-duty, easy to use Screw/Anchors are included that can be used on drywall, masonry, brick or plaster. Easy to install and use. Durable and sturdy and they will last a lifetime with proper use. It can be mounted on a wall, door, inside a cabinet or wardrobe or on a mirror using your own double sided heavy-duty foam tape.

 

Introducing our beautiful decorative “Calla Necklace Holder” named after my 1st and currently only Grandchild.  This necklace holder has scrolls on top and a weighted steel base accessory tray.  Necklace holder, bracelet stand, jewelry organizer capacity: Displays 24 to 72+ necklaces up to 24 inches in length (1 to 3 per hook). The 24 heavy duty well designed necklace hooks are well spaced and staggered up-and-down, in-and-out making it very easy to get and stay organized.

 

Introducing the “Ginger Earring Angel” named after my Sister in Law.  This earring holder is a fabulous companion to our Calla and Ava Jewelry Trees.

 

Our new 9 cone type ring display called “Susan Ring Holder” named after my Grandmother.  This item fits perfectly inside all jewelry holders that have a top accessory tray.

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Why manufacture in the USA?

I have had several customers contact me on why I manufacture in the US and use carbon steel and powder coat for the finishes on my products.  Here is a copy of customer email and my response.

Customer Email:  Hey there, I’ve been having some problems with earring holders and other metal holders in that they are reacting to all my stuff and tarnishing them or actually in some cases the gold plating is coming off. I was wondering how the powder coating measures up?

My response:  I have been selling my products since 2005 and the metal ones with powder coating since 2008 and have never heard of any problems what so ever. I use them as well and not had any issues. Powder coat is a baked on finish at 392 degrees, not a dip or paint. Check out this link:  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powder_coating

The powder coat basically seals the steel. Some jewelry holders made overseas etc. use mystery metal that use all kinds of scrap metals including, tin, copper, lead and other cheap metals and they usually dip or spray on a solvent finish which can cause metal on metal reactions.

FYI silver or gold plating is a very thin finish and there is usually a clear coat of some type on top of it. Also, I have found that if gold plating is on top of copper it will tarnish over time. If you clean your jewelry with rubbing alcohol it will strip the clear coat leaving your jewelry open to the elements. Use just plain soap and water or a jewelry cleaning product that does not have any harsh solvents in it to clean your jewelry.

There are so many reasons why I make my products here in the US using Carbon Steel and Powder Coat.

  1. Providing American Jobs is a big deal to me.
  2. I can oversee the manufacturing process end to end and make sure my products are made right.  This is so we can catch any issues like a product not being level or plumb and root them out when found.
  3. Carbon Steel is strong, clean, non- carcinogenic and pure.  Only use recycled or reclaimed sustainable materials.  What once may have been a steel car part has been cleaned, forged, melted down, pressed, cut, reformed, welded and powder coated to become a beautiful jewelry storage solution.
  4. Powder Coat is beautiful, durable and cleanable using plain water.
  5. No customs or import issues.

 

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Making high quality products that are Eco-Friendly right here in the USA!

Angelynn’s Jewelry Organizers only uses reclaimed or recycled mediums with only 1% maximum virgin material used for polycarbonate colorants if needed.

Reground Polycarbonate

 

We use reclaimed trimmings from other newly manufactured items

.

 

 

We use recycled carbon steel.  It begins like this.  Then it is separated, pressed, melted down, forged and extruded.   So what may have been parts of an old car wheel, oven or Cadillac has now become a jewelry organizer, earring holder or necklace rack.  Pretty cool!

Old Car ScrapSteel ScrapAppliance recycling

hot_extruding_processplate steel processing

Photos above are of the carbon steel being forged and processed.

The extruded cleaned, recycled steel comes out like this.

Steel Rod*******Plate Steel

Robert Anderson

Photo of my main welder Robert

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The Story of a Small Business – Angelynn’s Jewelry Organizers Part 6

2015 … very challenging, but a great year.

2015 Christmas was actually fantastic, and my inventory levels are finally where they need to be on everything.

I introduced a white-white powder coat finish to all my metal / US Carbon Steel products in 2015 with great success.  Adding white is a decision I made due to customer requests I have had over the years mainly for girls and teens rooms but lately I have been hearing from women as well who have carrara marble and white-white dressing rooms who would prefer white over the Satin Nickel Silver.  White was my 4th finish in addition to the current Black, Satin Nickel Silver and Rubbed Bronze for all our metal jewelry organizers, earring holders, bracelet racks and necklace stands.

I also brought back 3 colors for my Polycarbonate Acrylic Earring Angels, Pink, Purple and Blue these are in addition to the Clear, Frosted and White.

The money:  Labor, manufacturing and powder coat costs, selling costs, insurance and freight have gone up 16% to 25% over last 2 years. 

I really had no choice but to increase pricing on some products and to my surprise most customers have been willing to pay the increase because of the extremely high quality product I provide.  I love my manufacturing partners and they are so important to me and my success.  They are also feeling the still active recession that has not yet ended and in some ways has actually gotten worse since 2012.  Most small business owners I know say they are also dealing with the cost of doing business increasing exponentially and jobs being shipped out of the country.  What is so odd to me is that most of the media and politicians just ignore it when the country is hurting in almost every sector, I digress.

Anyway, I am considered retiring a few products over the past year because the cost to make them, receive them, ship them and sell them went up so much.  My loyal customers are the best and I am blessed to have them!

I also created several new products in 2015-2016, click link below to see them or shop with me at angelynns.com, Amazon, Etsy, Ebay and Houzz.

See our New Products for 2016

 

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Wall Earring Holders, Necklace Racks, Jewelry Organizers, Displays and Belt Holders by Angelynn’s

2016 New Products

I have created a version of my Accessory Angel without the top scrolls.

Introducing the “Hannah Earring Angel” and it will be a top half only, without the bottom necklace rack portion.  It has the same depth and width as the current Accessory Angel, but it is taller having a larger capacity of 61 pairs and also has a top accessory tray for even more storage and measure 14 1/2″ wide x 13″ tall x 2 1/2″ deep.

 

 

It is a complement to the Schelon Necklace Rack that is sold separately.  This is so customers can buy organizers that work for what they need for their own personal jewelry collections.  More earrings?  Buy 2 Hannah Earring Angels and 1 Schelon Necklace Rack.  More necklaces? Buy 2 Schelon Necklace Racks and one Hannah Earring Angel and so on, mix and match to fit your individual needs.

 

 

 

Introducing the “Fiona Necklace Rack” a smaller version of the Schelon Necklace Rack for slim, narrow walls measuring 9″ wide x 3″ tall x 2 1/2″ deep.  Great for smaller closets and spaces.

 

It is a complement to the Michelle Earring Angel below.

 

 

 

Introducing the “Carol Jewelry Organizer” a large wall mount earring organizer, jewelry holder & bracelet rack.  It has an accessory tray on top for small perfume bottles, nail polishes or other items.

 

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Introducing the new and improved “Laela Earring Angel”.  Completely redesigned with a larger capacity and a layout to accommodate those large and extra large earrings, hoops and even stud earrings.  It has 2 top end knobs for necklaces and a large weighted steel base that serves as an accessory tray.

 

 

Introducing the “Arinn Belt Holder”.  It may look a little odd but it works.  It is a uniquely designed wall mount belt organizer with a valet shelf. Specifically created to hold a variety of types and sizes of belts and made for women, men and teens.  Easy on easy off and easy to see what you have.  Most belt racks are cluttered with hooks too close together and you can’t see what is behind what and can’t hold certain types of buckles.  The Arinn Belt Holder displays 11 to 22 belts depending upon their width. If all your belts are 2 ½” wide this will display 11. If they are 1 ¼” wide it will hold 22 two per slot. Each of the 11 slots are wide enough to handle rolled or folded 12″ wide scarves, linked, chain, leather, braided, elastic, studded, D-Ring belts up to ¼” thick and even holds scarfs. The unique slots make is so easy to use.

 

 

 

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The Story of a Small Business – Angelynn’s Jewelry Organizers Part 5

2014  – A Good Year

November 2014 and many things have changed and I have made many adjustments and introduced 4 new designs this year.

Amazon thankfully is promoting and selling my products quite well and they make up more than 95% of my total overall sales.

Just a few months ago I adjusted my selling online.  I am currently selling on Amazon, Etsy, Ebay and Angelynns.com.

I redesigned my website and I love it.

In March we started building me a small warehouse in the country.  Since 2005, my warehouse has been my garage, living room, dining room, game room and every inch of my house where you could see the floor, plus this year I had to rent a space from Cube Smart to handle my stock.  I am hoping to get my house back in 2015!

My New Little Warehouse

My New Little Warehouse

The recession has gotten worse this year and sales growth month to month seemed to have hit a plateau.  My business is doing well in spite of it all.  No great strides, just unpredictable highs and lows, but they are averaging out okay.

Several of my products have been knocked off, by foreign manufacturers and they are selling them online and in stores, which does not make me very happy.  Some are identical and some are versions of mine.  Some have even taken my photographs and used them as their own.  All I can do is pray to God that they go away because I do believe they have impacted my sales growth along with the recession.  I can’t sue a foreign manufacturer plus there is more than one of them.  Shoot, Nike and Apple have tried to sue to no end or benefit.  The good news is that I do have an advocate and His name is Jesus aka Yeshua aka The King of Kings and I put my trust in Him.  I also have an issue with people selling my products online for up to double my pricing.  Which can be a problem if they purchase from Ebay (not me), Sears (not me) and pay $378 for something, then that seller buys on Amazon or one of my other sales sites to the customer they sold to.  Then once the customer gets it and perhaps realizes they might have over paid, do some research and then they return it and I end up taking not only the return as a hit but the shipping too in many cases.  I have researched this and it is indeed happening.  I pray to God this does not get out of hand and that it stops.  I am the only current legitimate seller of Angelynn’s Products, everyone else is illegitimate.

This year I phased out a few designs, production costs have gone up and were too high to be able to sell them good profit margins with the capacities they had.  My profit margins have greatly narrowed and this economy has not supported higher selling prices right now.

I sell nationwide and worldwide and even the worldwide sales have changed, I use to get a lot of sales from the UK, Canada, Brazil and Australia but not nearly as much in the past year.  Most of my US sales come from Los Angeles & San Diego California, Dallas, Houston & Austin Texas, Chicago and New York City, thankfully people who live in larger population cities are telling their friends.

For the most part I am merely found by people who search in the search engines for “earring holder”, “necklace holder”, “jewelry organizer” and so on and word of mouth.  I am no social media darling and I do not even have a smart phone.  I know and continue to hope that there are customers out there who will continue to love my products and let others know.  Yes, I do have a Facebook Page, Twitter 2 blogs and of course the sites I sell on, but I really don’t have the time or knowledge on how to use them all to their potential, they make my head spin.

Basically, things are good, no complaints, but sales could always be better.  Perhaps one year soon we will finally be able to take a vacation and get away from it all for a week or two?  God only knows.

Introducing my new “Nichole Earring Angel” (my sister) will be an extra large wall mount earring holder for hoops and extra long dangle earrings.  It will hold up to 105 pairs of large and long earrings.

2014  New Products

Nichole Earring Angel - Wall Mount Hoop and Long Dangle Earring Holder

Nichole Earring Angel – Wall Mount Hoop and Long Dangle Earring Holder

Amy Jewelry Tree - Bracelet Holder

Amy Jewelry Tree – Bracelet Holder

Gianna Jewelry Tree - Necklace Holder

Gianna Jewelry Tree – Necklace Holder

Isabel Jewelry Tree - Hoop and Long Chandelier Earring Holder

Isabel Jewelry Tree – Hoop and Long Chandelier Earring Holder

I am working on a few other products that have just completed the prototype.

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The Story of a Small Business – Angelynn’s Jewelry Organizers Part 4

January 2010

Christmas was the largest ever and I sold out of many of my most popular items before Christmas, it would have been double if my manufacturing partners would have delivered product on time.  One great thing is my return rate was really low.

I began ordering general stock.

February 2010

For Valentine’s Day sales were better than expected since my stock was quite low because of past due deliveries.  But things are on order and I was hoping to get my welders and metal workers back on schedule.  February 10th received some stock but, too late for Valentine’s Day.  Bummer!   Almost sold out of all of my Jewelry Tree C now called the Carol Jewelry Tree.   I hope the stock I ordered last year arrives soon.

 March 2010

The Accessory Angel stock is getting low …. time to re-order.   The overall design and layout will be the same.   I needed to revise the design for several reasons, I made in 2” smaller in width so it would fit on most customer’s wall space.  It was 16 ½” wide and the revised one will be 14 ½” wide.   The necklace hooks will be thicker to accommodate heavy necklaces.  The capacity will be a little bit less instead of 55 pairs or earrings with 29 necklace hooks; it will hold 48 pairs of earrings with 25 necklace hooks.  I ordered general stock 2 revised products JTA now revised and named Sharisa and the Accessory Angel and introducing one new product EATM now revised and named Laela Earring Angel a Contemporary Earring Holder.

 April 2010

I ordered more Accessory Angels, JTA/Sharisa Jewelry Trees and introduced a new product ATH/now named Schelon Wall Mount Necklace Rack for trial.  I have had some requests for something like this over the past few years, we will have to wait and see if IT shines!

Powder coat changes:   Instead of the Tuscan Bronze this run we will be using Chateau Brown.

The new revised Jewelry Tree A/Sharisa I just made the hooks thicker, the crossbar thicker and the knobs larger plus I added weight to the base.  This was because so many necklaces now can be quite chunky and heavy and these revisions just make Jewelry Tree A/Sharisa that much better!

May 2010

For Mother’s Day sales were pretty good with Sharisa Jewelry Tree being back in stock!  I was very concerned about lead times, quality control etc. on my partners end.  I started seriously looking for another one.

I finally received Jewelry Tree C/Carol in Black but the powder coat was actually flaking off.  So I had to send this much needed stock back to my Chicago Mfg. Partner.

Big Change in May, Hello FBA:  Amazon has contacted me several times asking for me to enroll in Fulfillment by Amazon, because of my feedback, return rate being so low, product reviews and customer service.  I was very hesitant in doing this, what if they lost stock?  What if it gets damaged?  What if, what if what if!  I was not sure how much it would cost me additionally and cut into my profits.  I would have to pay warehouse storage fees etc., and make less per item, plus they would have control over my stock (my seed).  When you build something especially from nothing it is hard to let go and trust someone to do what you have done so well and for so long to your high standards.

After careful consideration I decided to look into it because the packing and shipping is a very physically laborious job added to everything else I do:  keeping inventory, designing new products, quality control,  marketing and promoting, selling, answering emails, bookkeeping, customer service etc.  Plus I also run my husband’s business and all that entails marketing, customer service, scheduling, bookkeeping etc.   No wonder I get tired….

May 26, 2010I began FBA – Fulfillment by Amazon.  I had product freighted to me to unpack, inspect, make ready, re-pack, label and re-freight to Amazon Warehouses for them to do the customer fulfillment.  At this time the quality control issues I was having forced me to have to inspect every single product.

My Chicago Manufacturering Partner orders were taking over 9 to 12 months to complete. So I went to Chicago to have a face to face meeting about new products and current products on order, lead time and quality control.  I saw many of my orders cut but not formed yet.  They promised me 2 to 4 more weeks.  I did not receive these until November 2011.  It this time I was really starting to feel the constraints of people hired not doing their job as promised, just one reason why it is hard to let go and trust someone with you business and livelihood.

June 2010

While I was waiting for stock and it became apparent I needed to start ordering for Christmas since things are running so far behind.  They again made me promises that if I placed a new order I would get them in 6-8 weeks and with no other choice I had to place more orders with them.

At this time I was actively seeking to find my own welders and powdercoaters.  My hope and expectation was that it would arrive on time but not all at once because I of the net 30 payment schedule.

Amazon Fulfillment is working quite well so far, no problems.

I had to re-order Jewelry Tree C/Carol to make sure to have it in stock for Christmas; I did not receive this order until August 2011 and I lost placement visibility in search engines again.

July 2010

Amazon Fulfillment was underway.  Up until this time I had only shipped FBA the Polycarbonate Acrylic Earring Angels to test the program.

Jewelry Tree B/Betty and Ava and some of Jewelry Tree C/Carol finally arrived.  These were ordered the first week in January, taking over 7 months.

FBA, this is when the even harder work began to get the shipment ready for Amazon.  I needed to test the FBA program and so I jumped in and got started.

Working in my garage in the heat of summer and making my home a production assembly line was tough.  It was about 104 degrees with about 90% humidity.  I was working hard sweating in my garage for weeks on end, but with the hope that I was building some sweat equity.  Summers are brutal in Texas, and doing all of the unpacking, inspecting, make ready, re-packing, labeling and freighting is a major job.

Since I had no other option I had to re-order Jewelry Tree A/Sharisa and the Multi-Purpose Earring Angel with the same delayed manufacturing partner to make sure I would have it for Black Friday and Cyber Monday the busiest shopping days of the year.

 August 2010

Sales for August were pretty good all things considered for some reason this was my best month so far in 2010, I think it is FBA and finally getting some minor visability back.

Amazon from time to time offers free shipping, something I cannot afford to do, and super saver shipping which helps customers afford my products a little easier.  I am noticed a portion of the physical load started to lift for the first time since 2005 when I first started selling online.

 October 2010

FBA is going well, although it was a lot of physical labor to get it there.  I went to visit my manufacturing partner face to face to deal with the same issues and also for the 1st time met with a few welders and powdercoaters that I ended up hiring.

October Sales did start to slump because I was sold out of my 2 of my best sellers.  I kept pushing on through and working hard to stay positive!

What I am finding at this point is that I basically I work all year long for free and the Christmas Season is when or IF I make my profit.

 November 2010

The JTA/Sharisa had just started moving again.  Since, I was sold out for so long it was going to take some time for them to become visible again on the search engines.

My Christmas stock never arrived.  Major setback….promises broken by my manufacturing partners….stock was not here by Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

 December 2010

I did not have the stock I ordered in Spring or Summer 2010.  What limited stock I had completely sold out in early November.  So another year of Christmas selling out and being out of stock…..therefore losing placement in search engines….therefore when things are back in stock waiting 3 to 6 months to have visibility again.

December 5, I finally received my new Schelon wall mounted necklace rack

December 10, 2010 I ordered my new Sariea Earring Angel that were completed February 24th  just in good time just too late for Valentine’s Day.  They are doing a great job.

My early ordering for Christmas was to no avail.  I sold what I had and still was able to pull out an okay Christmas Season but not what I needed.  I knew I would be set-back for another full year until next Christmas 2011

Now looking forward to 2011.

January 2011

Christmas was a disaster in many ways.  I have been set back an entire year because of manufacturing delays.  It was more than I could tolerate.  Another year of being sold out of many of my most popular items before Christmas was so frustrating….products in demand…products that are selling even in this recession.

 February 2011

For Valentine’s Day I was still sold out of most items but 2 were here.  As it turns out the Schelon is a winner!  I made a few improvements to the design and and made them.

New hires to make my products but they are limited to what they can do.

March 2011

I was still waiting for stock I ordered last summer from my original partner in Chicago, they kept promising a few more weeks.

 April 2011

I formally requested to cancel the 4 remaining orders with partner but they would not cancel them.  I told them pick any date, any date, I don’t even care…… but whatever date you pick you must deliver.  They promised that they would have all my open orders delivered to me by August 1, 2011.  It did not happen it was October, but at least now I have some Christmas Stock for 2011.

May 2011

Mother’s Day sales were really great the best month of May ever!  Even though I do not have everything in stock which is amazing.  Amazon is a God Send!  I would have gone out of business by now if it had not been for them.

One Year with FBA:  Fulfillment by Amazon was flowing very well.  But this is the  time of year I basically work for free and wait to make my profit at Christmas.

I was working so hard and for the hours I was putting in it did not feel like I was making a profit and at times I would get quite discouraged.  Things were looking dim and I needed some encouragement.

Then I got it!  It was the very best month of sales ever for May!  I reason to continue to hope!

June 2011

Stock is coming in from both manufacturers.  Chicago’s quality was great just way to long lead time.   The new manufacturer had quality control problems that we are still working on.

The work is still very laborious for me, but in spurts when stock is ordered, packaged and shipped to Amazon.

July 2011

Hotter than you know!!!!  Hydrate and take breaks!  The sweat burning my eyes and my arms and back are so sore….but I have to get it done.  Unpack inspect, make ready, package, pack pallets and ship to FBA.

August 2011

Over 72 days of over 100 degrees most of which are over 103 to 105 degrees.  Working in this heat was horrible.  

September 2011

Seriously!!!!  It was still in the 100’s!  I finally completed re-packing to ship to FBA Warehouses.  Sales had dipped some and I was hoping this would not be a sign of the coming Holiday Season.

October 2011

Finally I received all some of my orders from June, July and September 2010.  I was hoping that I had not lost too much visability, but I did. I needed some more Christmas Stock in certain items I was hoping for this to be the year I would have almost everything in good inventory.  Now that some time has passed and I can see that even with the costs to sell, FBA, warehouse fees and freight etc. I am able to make a profit.

November 2011

Trying to gear up for Christmas but without 1/2 of my product inventory due to my old Chicago Partner that I had to let go.  Product missed Cyber-Monday and Black Friday, but I was still able to break sales records of previous years, quite amazing.  But it makes me wonder what would I have sold if I had all the stock I had ordered over 6-9 months ago?

December 2011

Christmas with FBA:  For this holiday season I did not have to physically work so hard.  FBA did the work for me.  I did not have to daily pack up product to ship to customers and cart it all down to the post office.  I was able to ship every other day from the other minor sites I sell on, so I had a bit of a break compared to Christmas’ past.  I think I may actually get some of my life back 🙂 while making a profit.

Christmas broke all records even though I did not have everything in stock.

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The Story of a Small Business – Angelynn’s Jewelry Organizers Part 3

 January 2008

I started pressing my manufacturers to use eco-friendly manufacturing using recycled carbon steel and reclaimed polycarbonate and that is how I currently manufacture.

More of my research found that the imported metal earring holder, jewelry organizers and necklace racks use mystery metal…a combination of copper, lead, zinc and iron and their finishes are cheap dips and/or paints some with cadmium.  My metal products are US Carbon Steel with a baked on powder coat a finish that will last a lifetime.

As I have sold out I improved every design, unfortunately the revisions made the manufacturing costs go up quite a bit, but I refuse to skimp on quality.

Even though most of my product line is upscale I did have the Polycarbonate Acrylic Earring Angel, something most anyone can afford.

June 2008

I started to sell on Amazon my entire product line but I was still doing all the quality control, receiving, shipping and fulfillment I did all of this until May 2010 when Amazon offered me their fulfillment.

 Christmas 2008

I was for the first time ever more than overwhelmed with sales.  I was happy don’t get me wrong, I was just so crazy busy that it took all I had to keep up and somehow I did it.

I almost completely sold out of all my Steel Products at Christmas, and all I had left were my Lexan Earring Angels and several dozen of mixed products.  This was my biggest sales month ever.

I sold and shipped over $20,000 worth of product in 30 days all by myself. Like I said I was crazy busy! Oh how I wished I could have kept that money… but I had to reinvest it in order to keep growing my inventory so I would not sell out and lose my placement in the search engines since this is how people find me.

I have been building search engine visibility placement only to lose it and start over again every time I sell out.  Then it takes 3-6 months to have great visibility for any given sold out product again.

January 2009

I took another risk by raising my minimum orders of the steel products and improving the designs again in this recession. This was my largest order ever for the necklace trees, steel earring holders and Accessory Angels.

April 2009

My stock is finally starting to coming in. Hallelujah! I have been out since Christmas.

May 2009

More stock is trickling in!  Items are selling too fast so I raised my prices to hold onto the stock I had just a little bit longer.

I began to realize that there was a need in the commercial/retail market for these items as well. Originally I was only thinking of jewelry organizers for personal home use, but now my business is growing and developing into another category the Boutique Jewelry Display Stands, which is great!

I decided that for future orders I would add a Satin Nickel Finish, Chateau Brown and perhaps a Mineral Bronze.

Milojo Productions launched a country-wide search for female inventors for a show to premier called “Homemade Millionaire” with Kelly Ripa on TLC in November 2010, hosted by Ripa.  I gave it a shot and tried out bringing my friend Rose for support.  I had 30 seconds to “wow them” but I was not selected, lack of a category for my type of product may have been a factor who knows because they also put me in miscellaneous.

 June 2009

Items coming in stock and running like a well-oiled machine.  I began ordering early Christmas Stock from Chicago.

 July 2009

Introduced EATS a Table Top Earring Angel, Jewelry A, Jewelry Tree B and Jewelry Tree C.  For this run I decided to improve it and revised them to have a weighted steel base that also works as an accessory tray.  This was a great design for home, retail or commercial use.

I continued to order more Christmas Stock.  I was spacing orders every 6 to 8 weeks so the net 30 invoice would not be due all at one time.

  September 2009

I do not want to sell out this Christmas so I ordered even more Christmas Stock from Chicago.  They promised it would be here by Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, but it did not come as promised.

I designed a new website, created a layout, color palette, searched on istock.com for the right photos, took product photos and did all the text work then hired a web builder to put it all together.  Angelynn’s Jewelry Organizers www.angelynns.com opened for business changing from http://www.earringangel.com.

I kept on working on new ideas and designs and I uploaded my first Youtube videos.

 October 2009

 

I received my 2nd run of the Multi-Purpose Earring Angels just in time for Christmas.  I revised them to have more necklace hooks and another design option, a contemporary/modern style as well as the vintage/traditional style.

Jewelry Tree A now called the Sharisa Jewelry Tree were moving fast, so I re-ordered and changed the design a little. I am hoping to not run out before Christmas.

There are many other designs in my head and on paper and I am looking forward to the day when I can get them rolling too.

Christmas 2009

Best Christmas ever!

However, I did sell out of quite a few products.  The new Multi-Purpose Earring Angels were a HIT!

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The Story of a Small Business – Angelynn’s Jewelry Organizers Part 2

 August 1994 until November 2004

Nothing appeared to be accomplished in an outward show.  I spent years looking for investors and came up empty time after time.  My invention literally sat on a shelf for a decade in my garage.

Earring Angel in Clear

Earring Angel – Pierced Earring and Body Jewelry Organizer in Clear

 June 1996

My husband & I made a decision to start our own electrical contracting business and opened Accurate Electric fulltime and my husband left Ericsson Telecommunications. Now with 3 small children and a new business needless to say the Earring Angel got pushed way back, again, we had to take care of the matters at hand.  My daughters began to believe in the possibilities as they got older when they understood what it was and how it worked, maybe because they used them too and gave them to their friends as gifts. I always thought SOMEDAY, SOMEHOW.

2000 thru 2003

I went to work full time nights and weekends as well as week days at Nordstrom in Frisco and became their best sales and customer service person for my department within the region in the first 6 months I was employed.  I received the Pacer Award.  Over the next 3 years I was a Pacesetter and trained staff.  I was the go-to person for customers that needed help especially if they were upset.  My numerous customer service letters were passed along and admonished by Pete Nordstrom nationwide.  In 2003, I was recruited to become a department manager and went through the training program; however I was also running my husband’s struggling Electrical Contracting Business being hit by the beginning of the recession.  I had to resign from Nordstrom to have the time to help save Accurate Electric and my children needed me.  I was working 7 days a week for 3 years out of the home and in the home.

Accurate Electric was doing well but began struggling after 9/11/2001.  In June 2003 we downsized to a nice home in Frisco, Texas.

November 2004

Over the years I attempted to get my invention moving again, but what could I do without any capital to invest?  Then one day a friend of mine caught me and questioned but really kindly scolded me and said “When are you going to do something with your Earring Board?”  I gave her my reasons, mainly money and the fact that no one was supporting the idea; I was always told it was a pie in the sky.  She shook her head and said “If it is God’s will, you should just do it” Then she asked to buy one of the last dozen I had left.  Thank you Jackie!  She gave me the push I needed.

 December 2004

I called California, and asked Chris at C& B Mold if he remembered me.  We had never met and had only 3 phone conversations 10 years prior.  He said he remembered me, “THE EARRING BOARD LADY”.  I asked if they still had the mold.  He said “Probably not, we moved to Monrovia a few years ago, and scraped a lot of old molds”.

I could not believe that my mold was scrapped and I asked him to check for me.  It took him 3 days of checking and then he called and apologized and said it was not there, that they must have scrapped it.  Disappointed, I thanked him for checking and wished him well.

As I was going to sleep that night I prayed and asked “Did they scrap my so mold?” I heard “No” in my heart, so I asked The Lord “Well then…. You know where it is, have your angels wake him up and not let him sleep and tell him where it is, Amen” and I went to sleep.

This is a fact the very next morning Chris called me and said “You are not going to believe this.  I could not sleep last night and then I remembered this storage building that was pad locked out back of our old shop in Azusa.  So this morning I went there and used bolt cutters to open it and guess what I found? Your mold!”  I was so excited!  I told him I would get back with him in a few days.

I thought now what?  A day or so later I was driving home when suddenly I noticed a sign that said Sunbelt Plastics right here in Frisco and it was walking distance to my home.  I went inside and told them about the Earring Board.  They said that they could make them for me using the mold from California.

January 2005

I called Chris and sent him all the documentation he needed.   He wanted to be the manufacturer but agreed to send the mold to Texas for me.  He said the cost to send it was about $225.00 for freight.   I did not have the money or any way of getting it.  We were barely getting by.  Again through divine inspiration I asked Sunbelt if they had a Yellow Freight account and if they got discounts?  They said yes and agreed to pay the freight and attach to my first order.  Yellow Freight picked up and delivered to Sunbelt for half the cost and they allowed me to pay net 30 with no money upfront for the first order of 1000 pieces and the freight.

 February 2005

I received my first stock and shipped my first EBay sale on 02/08/05.  Needless to say, I sold enough that first month to pay them in full with no problem and I have been making and selling them ever since.

I had originally named this item The Earring Board back in 1991, but when I went to purchase earringboard.com but it is was taken, so I had to find a new name.  I kept thinking “safe haven” for your earrings which lead me to Earring Angel because it works as a guardian over your collection of earrings keeping them up and out of harm’s way seen at a glance and tangle free.  I purchased the domain name http://www.earringangel.com which became http://www.angelynns.com.

Earring Angel “A Safe Haven for your Pierced Earrings & Other Body Jewelry”

Frosted Polycarbonate Earring Angel

 March 2005

I wanted to increase sales so I ventured into other products that I could buy at discount stores and resell them.  I didn’t buy an item to re-sell thinking of MONEY first.  I bought an item asking the questions, Would I buy it? What would I pay?

I researched on EBay items of interest to me to see what they sold for and kept notes so that when I went shopping I would have a guide. I bought only items that I myself would like to have, so selling something I loved would come naturally.  I purchased everything on a credit card and only bought items that could be returned if for some reason I could not sell them within 30 days.  Then my only loss would be my time and the listing fees that EBay charged, unless it was an auction item that I took the chance of listing low to bring in interest and found and there was little to no interest, this only happened once or twice no big deal.

I did my homework and it paid off.  Plus, another great benefit to selling other items is it brings traffic into your EBay Store and they end up buying something else too.

I sold handbags, storage boxes, cosmetic organizers and other jewelry racks.  I took risks but did my research first.  I listed items for auction on EBay at .99 cents to bring traffic and it worked and I had great success.

March 2006

I happened to be visiting someone in the hospital I was told by 3 different people “You are such an Angel, Lynn” I did not think much about it.  Then when I got home, days later, I was thinking of a business name…Earring Angel … Angel…Lynn… Organizers… Jewelry… Enterprises.

Angelynn’s was born as Angelynn Enterprises aka Angelynn’s Jewelry Organizers a better self-explanatory name updated in 2009.  Also, while I was visiting I saw these unique small antique Earring Trees in the hospital lobby gift shop/jewelry store in Beverly Hills.  I spoke with a very nice man who sold vintage earrings, jewelry and watches etc. but he also sold vintage earring trees.  They were so beautiful and unique, but very expensive.  I asked him how often he sold them or were they primarily for displaying earrings?   He said he sold them for over $100.00 no problem, so I told him I had a store in another state would like to sell them too.

When I got back to Texas he said he would let me know.  He gave me the importers name La Vie Parisienne so I got a catalog and started buying and selling them, which tested the demand for upscale high end jewelry organizing products.

March 2007

March 1, 2007 I applied and was accepted to interview for the Oprah Winfrey Show called The Next Big Thing, winners would be given the opportunity to sell on QVC.

It was focus time.  I asked myself “What is my best seller?”  Answer: The Earring Angel.   Of all that I am selling what do the customers love the most based on feedback?  Answer: The Earring Angel.   Are those sales growing?  Answer: Yes!  Then it occurred to me offer other colors of the Earring Angel!

At first I could not afford to have them made in other colors so I faux finished them by hand to test customer interest.  The faux finishes with the sponging techniques etc. was just way too much.  I enamel painted in Black, Bronze, Dark Bronze and Copper.  This allowed me to test metallic finishes before I went to the expense of prototyping a steel earring holder.

I spent so much time sweating in my garage sanding, priming, painting and top coating Earring Angels it was unreasonable but worth it.  They were beautiful and the customers loved them so I started considering steel earring holders.

During this time I scaled back selling all the other items i.e. handbags and alike, not because they were not selling, but because there is only 24 hours in a day.

April 2007

I went to Chicago for my interview with Oprah Winfrey’s The Next Big.  Winners would be given the opportunity to sell on QVC.

During my brief pre-screening they did not know what category to put me in.  I suggested home organizational product category but they said they did not have one so they put me in miscellaneous which I believe hurt my chances.

As I watched all of us in miscellaneous category isles not get the attention that other categories were getting I thought that they may have been looking for something really specific like kitchen gadgets.

I was not selected, however I learned a lot.  When the show aired several months later I saw the winners had invented kitchen gadgets, kid’s toys and home decorations and food.

 November 2007

November 20,2007, I filed for a Trademark “Earring Angel” that was published May 20, 2008.

I decided to staying within my category, jewelry organization and do more product research.  I purchased some ugly cheap looking necklace trees, bracelet racks and jewelry organizers to see what they would sell for.  I purchased these for $4.50 to $16.99 and to my surprise they sold for $45.00 to $60 my EBay Auctions.

I thought what would happen if I stripped them down and refinished them?  So I did just that, and they sold for even more!  These necklace holders were light weight, flimsy, too short for most necklaces and not designed very well.

I then was inspired to design my own.  I would make them more durable, prettier, more elegant, timeless and not so trendy”.  This is what I did!  After I designed one I hired a manufacturer to make me 75 of them.  They did an okay job, but I had to fix most of them they were not plumb.  After I fixed them and put them up for sale they did very well.

Angelynn’s First Runs of Jewelry Trees

I started drawing and redrawing 2 more necklace trees which lead to even more.  Then due to customer emails and my own ideas I designed my first table top steel Earring Angel and started selling them.  What is that saying?  Necessity is the Mother of Invention?  Well then… Function is the Father.

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