Monday, August 24, 2015

Farm Life

This summer is flying by, what with normal life, trying to build a house, and helping out on the farm with things like hauling hay and other fun stuff.

I've also been selling at a few local farmer's markets, which has been interesting. Not amazingly lucrative but it's been a good nudge to get a little more serious about the handcrafted natural salves and soaps I've been making.

I've got the Shafer Springs Farm site up and rolling now and we're also selling a few things in our Shafer Springs Farm Etsy shop.

I'd tried setting up a seller's account on Amazon and got 90% done before throwing the laptop through a window. The contrast between using Etsy (super simple and very intuitive) and Amazon (willfully confusing and Stone Age-y) to set up a seller's account to list and sell items could not have been more different.

Very excited that football season and cooler weather are on the horizon..I guess I'm a Vanderbilt Commodore fan again now that I'm back in Tennessee, which likely means a loooooonnnggg season ahead.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

How to Cook Bratwurst and Other Important Summer Topics

I'm not sure why I expect life to ever get less busy, as it seems to consistently trend in the more busy direction no matter what I do.

This spring has been especially crazy, as we're in the process of building our new house while trying to keep up with a two year old.

Not to mention keeping up with my various sites -- including an older domain that is going nuts traffic-wise as far as people wanting to know how to cook bratwurst -- as well as my fledgling beard balm empire and our raw amber teething necklace business.

I've been helping my dad and step-mom out on the farm which has been an experience in and of itself, as far as getting up to speed on the inner workings of goats and sheep.

I had the crazy notion that I might try to sneak off to Vegas to play in a smaller WSOP event but that will have to wait for another year.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Beard balm and hand salve

My first foray into selling stuff online was successful enough that I've launched a few more mini stores, including one for beard balm.

Making the products adds more than a few headaches (especially coming up with packaging and labels and sorting out shipping options and carriers and all that jazz) but the margins are far higher and it's nice to have more control over inventory.

The raw amber necklaces sell well but our supplier in Lithuania is a little hit and miss and often runs out of the styles we prefer, so it's been hard to keep them in stock on a regular basis.

As far as making salves and balms and what-not, while it sounds a little girly I'm actually enjoying it a lot.

Now that we're in Tennessee and living the farm life, we're looking for ways to eventually be self-supporting as far as the farm and the beard balm and hand salve are steps in that direction.

I'm buying all the ingredients now but eventually we want to grow and use what we can as far as natural ingredients like beeswax, lavender, and rosemary, so it's been kind of cool to play around with recipes to get down to something we're happy with that is crammed full of artificial chemicals and preservatives.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Amber teething bracelets and cooking bratwurst

I'm always amused at the random crap I find myself doing, such as importing raw amber teething necklaces from a guy named Tomas in Lithuania or creating a website devoted to how to cook bratwurst.

Both are still works-in-progress and just a few of the projects I have going right now, as far as getting back into the swing of doing keyword research and creating various micro sites.

I'm curious to see how the teething bracelet one pans out, as that'll be the first site I've done where I'll actually be selling products.

I imagine it'll be a nightmare -- and I'm probably a little late to catch the recent interest/fad in amber teething necklaces -- but it'll be a learning experience if nothing else. I'm not sinking a ton of money into inventory and taking more of a wait and see approach.

Still working out some technical kinks with the tactical scope site, mainly trying to get OutWit Hub configured correctly to scrape product prices correctly on Amazon on a regular basis.