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Last week, a friend asked me if I was making any New Year’s resolutions for 2014. My view of resolutions has always been the same: I don’t need a new year to make them. If something about myself is making me unhappy, I will work to change it whenever necessary.

However, given the holiday season Jac & Elsie LLC just went through, I think my little shop is in need of some resolutions. Because now is the time these changes need to be made. Or rather, over the next year.

In no particular order:

  • I need to fix the way I package orders. Right now, each piece is wrapped in a strip of bubble wrap before being packaged Tetris-style into a white envelope. During the holidays, when I’m packaging 10 to 15 orders a day, this is time-consuming and maddening.
  • Jac & Elsie friendship sets are made-to-order. That is primarily because I don’t want to have myriad chains laying around, thinking about getting tangled with one another into a giant knot of evil. However, that means when I sell 10 to 15 friendship sets a day — where each set comes with two or three, or more, necklaces — that’s 20 to 45 necklaces a day. Starting in September or October, I need to make copious amounts of Jac & Elsie holiday best-sellers. For now, those are keys, anchors, rock/paper/scissors, and cutlery.
  • Be more selective in terms of non-friendship set pieces offered. The one-of-a-kind pieces? They’re the fun stuff for me. They’re why I enjoy Jac & Elsie. The friendship sets are amazing because I love the idea of Jac & Elsie being a gift, but once I create the set at the idea stage and find the pieces to turn that idea into a product, there is little creativity to be had. However, those sets are the sole reason Jac & Elsie makes a profit. And yet, it is silly to spend copious amounts on items that won’t sell. So, in an attempt to balance what I find fun with what is simply a waste of money, I will try to scale back on the one-of-a-kind stuff. (It’s a struggle, to be sure. See bottom of post …)
  • I love my logo, my modern version of the cameo silhouette. My brother-in-law owns a title company, and I’ve been envious of his awesome mugs for years (they’re bright orange with his logo). I want some Jac & Elsie swag. Maybe mugs. Maybe T-shirts. I’m not entirely sure what yet, but it’s something I want to look into, even if it’s just to use as gifts. (This is ENTIRELY in the idea stage, for the record.)
  • Look into having some local stores carry  Jac & Elsie. I have a few items I think would sell well in stores.
  • Change my Jac & Elsie banner design. I’d still work the cameo, but I have a great idea for the rest of it.

There are a few other ideas I have in terms of merch, but those are the bigger scale shop-as-a-whole goals. It’s exciting, to be sure — both to think of Jac & Elsie expanding in 2014, and to look at the crazy success Jac & Elsie saw during the 2013 holiday rush. I was swamped and overworked and stressed, but my, how fulfilling, how humbling, how rewarding.

With that, I leave you with the first new items to appear in the shop since before the holidays. (I know I said I’ll make fewer of these this year … but again … this is the fun stuff!!)

Collage (1)Clockwise from top left: Vintage faux pearl and black gemstone waterfall earrings, carved jade bow necklaces, mica stone necklace, pink seaglass earrings