Oct 15, 2013

shop talk :: binder love

I'm not sure if it's the season or the pregnancy, but the urge to organize, pare down, streamline and even color code everything has been almost overwhelming in greatness these last few days. I've been organizing school papers into binders, setting up notebooks for everything from personal lists to work lists to blog lists and more, and I've been on a tear when it comes to the shop.

In the last few months I’ve slowly and quietly re-opened the She Makes Hats Shop, first selling just newborn hats and in the past few days slowly expanding my inventory to include hats for babies and children as well as adults. The shop operates on a one-for-one model – for every hat someone purchases, a hat is made and donated to a local hospital for a newborn in need. I love that I can earn a bit of side income for our family through the sale of something I love to make anyhow, but that I can also give hats to little ones in need at the same time.

I hadn’t thought too seriously about growing the shop or using it as a viable second income source, but as sales have made their way into my inbox and hats have made their way off the needles, I’ve been thinking it might be time to take this thing a bit more serious.

First on my list was getting my shop orders and donations lists organized. I love the office supply section of Target, which means I tend to just sort of pick up office supplies whenever I see something I love. This means we have far more binders and post-its and colored pens than one person could ever need, but it also means that I was able to get my entire Shop Organization Binder (tm) put together using supplies I had on-hand! So far, what's working is as follows:

>> In the front inside pocket I keep orders I've finished but haven't shipped yet. This fills up on the weekends, because during the week I try to print shipping labels and pack up orders as soon as they're off the needles!

>> Tab 1 is for "personal stuff". There's a few months of calendar pages there to help me remember life stuff and some paper for list-making.  

>> Tab 2 is for orders. As someone places an order, I print up two copies -- the first goes behind this tab, with the oldest orders at the front (so a new order will be placed at the back of the pile). When it's time to knit, I simply open up to the first order and get busy! When an order is done, I take it out of the binder and either print a label right away (during the week) or place it in the front pocket (weekends).  

>> Tab 3 is for donations. The second copy of each order goes here. As I make newborn hats to donate, I grab the right number of orders (one hat for one hat, not one hat for one order!) so I can thank each person individually! I post photos of the charity hats both here on the blog and on the shop Facebook page, and note the first name/last initial of each person who helped make one of these donation hats happen!

>> Tab 4 is sometimes full, sometimes empty. This is where I put special orders and projects. Look for Tuesday "ready to ship" sale invoices here, as well as notes on things I'm making for photographers (or shops!) in bulk.  

>> Tab 5 is currently not in use. I'm keeping it in the binder as a nice back page, although at this point I'm not sure I'll ever really use it! I've been using this system for just around 3 weeks now, and so far I'm in love with it! I can toss the binder in my purse (because my purse is ridiculously huge) and always know just what's going on. All my most important shop information is stored right there in one place, ready for me to make ALL THE ORDERS!

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