Tagged craft

The Whimseybox DIY + Craft Trend Report

Today we published the first Whimseybox DIY and Craft Trend Report. It’s a piece we’re excited to share and build upon in the coming quarters and years. We feel like we’ve got front row seats to the incredible diy/maker movement and have been looking for a way to start sharing more back with the community. Here’s what I said in the introduction:

At Whimseybox we eat, sleep and breathe DIY and craft, and so does our community. This, our first quarterly trend report, was created by analyzing the content posted, shared and consumed on whimseybox.com. We track every search, share, click and comment in our efforts to build the best place for people to find DIY inspiration and buy craft supplies online. Read on for a glimpse into what’s in, what’s out and what’s next.

I hope you enjoy it!

Hey, I made this rad bear water/wine bottle pouch!

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Any picnics or festivals in your future? Have a ton of those freebie flat plastic water bottles that everyone is slapping their logo on these days? Well then I’ve got a project for you! I sewed up this cutie in just a few fast minutes and even got to play with our new Circut Explore to cut out the cute iron-on bear.

You can find the full project over on Whimseybox of course!

Whimseybox Influencer: What It Is + Why It’s Awesome

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Last week I talked a little bit about the journey to creating Whimseybox Influencer and now I want to show off how it works inside. We’ve gotten a great response so far (thank you!) and are adding new bloggers every day. It’s really exciting to see people putting this to work for them and getting their feedback - St. Patrick is making updates and tweaks to improve the experience everyday. Here’s how it works -

Who’s It For?
Whimseybox Influencer is affiliate technology designed for DIY + craft bloggers and publishers. (We’re doing for craft what rewardStyle has done for fashion bloggers.) You don’t need to blog exclusively about DIY + craft, though! It’s okay if you like to post about craft along with other things like fashion or kids or food or whatever. It also works for larger publishers and websites (hey Martha, call us!). It’s not designed for any site that is exclusively about discounts, a site that doesn’t post original content or anything spammy. Our team reviews every site to make sure that Influencer is a good fit before we activate the account.

Why Would I Want To Use Influencer?
I think there are three main reasons that Influencer is awesome -
1. Create a new revenue stream for your blog - You’re already sharing projects and supplies, and you know people are buying supplies and making projects that you share. We think you should earn a commission when your post inspires someone else to make a purchase. It’s another way to support your creative work, and in these days of declining display ad revenue we think it’s a great additional revenue stream.
2. Show your readers what to buy - Not everyone knows their local craft store inside out. In fact, for many people buying supplies can be confusing and intimidating. (Why are there so many types of glue?!) I’ve found that often people want to use the exact supplies I used, and with Influencer you can easily point them to precisely what they need.
3. Learn what your readers like - We’re developing analytics features that we think you’ll love. Track what your readers click on and what they buy, and then later if you choose you can share that information with companies you might want to partner with. You’ll be able to tell them exactly how many views + sales your content created for them.
Those are the big three, but there’s more – we want to build a valuable network for Influencers. We’re featuring Influencer content on our homepage to show off your creativity and drive traffic to your sites, we’re profiling one Influencer every week on DIY5 and there’s much more. In fact, current Influencers should be watching their mailboxes next week… :)

How Does It Work?
Once you’re an Influencer you can share individual supplies or entire supply lists on your blog and we’ll automatically append a personal code so we can track anytime someone follows your link to make a purchase. One of the easiest ways to do it is by embedding a Supply List, which are simply lists of supplies that you create on Whimseybox. Embedding a Supply List in your blog doesn’t require installing any code (whew) and works just the same as embedding a YouTube video. You can decide what your Supply List looks like – a list, gallery or grid. Here’s a graphic that show what they look like:

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Making Supply Lists is easy on Whimseybox, but if you don’t want to use a list format you can also share individual supplies using an embed or a simple plain text link.

How Much Will I Get Paid?
Our current commission rate is 8% which is the best in the industry. (To compare, you’d need to sell over 1500 items/month on Amazon to match it.) Commission is calculated off of the total sale, not just the item that you linked to and our cookies last for 30 days which means that you’ll still earn a commission even if someone clicks through on an Influencer link but doesn’t make a purchase right away. Influencers can also see how much they can earn on each individual item by clicking on the Embed tab in the item – here’s an example:

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What Kind of Items Are In Your Shop?
We sell a wide variety of DIY + craft supplies from paint and paper to beads and baubles. There are currently thousands of items available on our site and we’re literally added hundreds more every week! If you can find it in a big box craft store, we can probably sell it. And if you need help finding an item, just ask or email Alison at alison@whimseybox.com! We’re here to help.

Can I Be Sure My Readers Will Have A Good + Secure Shopping Experience?
Short answer: Yes! Longer answer: Yes, and here’s why – at Whimseybox we manage the entire customer transaction from order to returns, if necessary. Customer service is our top priority and we take it seriously. We’re still a small company (6 full-time employees) so you can be sure they won’t be sent into any automated phone/email black hole. And we take security just as seriously. We selected Stripe to handle all of our payments and they meet or exceed every industry standard to protect your private financial data. (You can read more about that here.)

What’s the Catch?
There isn’t one – Influencer is free and easy to setup. If you want to give it a try, drop your email here and we’ll be in touch.

PS – I want to hear what you think! Love it? Hate it? Have questions or ideas? Leave a comment or send an email. We’re listening!

Craft Stores Are A Bummer – Why Michaels Should Look Like Sephora

I spend a lot of time thinking about where the craft industry is going and why I have an irrational amount of frustration, maybe even anger, at what it’s like today. Sometime in high school or college I realized that my love for crafting became uncool. While I didn’t really care either way, I still could never really understand why making things wasn’t cool… except perhaps when I set foot in a craft store. They might be convenient, they might have 40% off coupons all the freaking time, but big box craft stores are sure as hell not cool. Actually, I don’t even find them inspiring. (An epic feat of disappointment!) For me, the word that comes to mind when I think of craft stores is that they’re a bummer. So much opportunity, so many cool products, beautiful colors and materials all askew inside a box of fluorescent light, yellowed shelves and dingy linoleum. Don’t even get me started on the sample projects and sad free project idea flyers. Or trying to find someone to help when you have a question. Or the godforsaken ever-present lines.

Will craft stores ever be cool? Does it even matter? Maybe, maybe not. But they absolutely need to be inspiring. Why doesn’t  Micheals look like Sephora? (I’m calling out Michaels here because they are the largest, but it could just as easily be Joann or Hobby Lobby. They’re all the same in this respect.) Michaels Stores and Sephora, for the record, are similarly sized – both have in the neighborhood of 4 billion (with a B!) in sales. But Sephora’s owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH – they understand presentation-  while Michaels is (for now) owned by some private equity funds.

Wouldn’t it be great if walking into a craft store felt like walking into a Sephora? When I walk into Sephora I feel a little cooler and more stylish than I actually am. Wouldn’t it be great if when you were shopping for craft supplies you felt a little more creative than you normally feel? A little more inspired?

There’s such a chasm between the experience of DIY/craft online (beautiful + inspiring blogs and images on Pinterest) and the experience when you set foot into a big box craft store. Why is this? It’s one of the things we’re working hard to change at Whimseybox. While we don’t have physical stores (yet???) we want to make the experience of buying supplies online easy, inspiring and beautiful. We want you to be bursting with ideas, we want to help answer any questions you have and we want to make sure you don’t have to stand in line! We’re really rethinking the entire experience around craft supplies.

Next Up: The State of DIY and Craft Blog Affiliate Programs and Monetization

Here Come the Holi-DIYs!

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That’s a sneak peek of the first ever Whimseybox Gift Guide! It’s going out in the November boxes that are all packed and shipping out tomorrow along with some other fun goodies. (Want a copy? Leave a comment, I’ll send you one!) Last week we also launched our Whimseybox Holiday Page with our brand new gift cards (yay!), a limited edition collection of DIY ornament mini-kits and lots of other gift ideas for the creatives in your life. I’d love, love, love it if you check it out! We’ve been thinking about the holidays for quite a while – it’s a big time for retail in general, and especially for craft/DIY – but it still freaks me out how quickly it’s coming! We’ve put a lot of work into it already – in addition to adding gift cards we’ve also added the ability to ship shop orders to someone else (pretty standard nowadays, but we didn’t have it before now!), schedule delivery of an email gift (super handy) and choose different shipping options.

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Plus last Thursday night we co-hosted a holiday card making drive with the awesome ladies of Share Denver to make 250 cards for the clients of Boulder Meals of Wheels. (I was seriously amazed and the creativity of everyone who came! You can read more about it on the Whimseybox blog.) And on December 5th we’ll be hosting a DIY station at Eat Drink Create. Hope to see you there!

So there’s a lot of holiday happenings going on right now. I’ve also been tasked with sourcing all of the supplies for my family’s annual holiday ornament making project, so stay tuned to see what we’re creating this year. It’s a Kenney tradition to make a new ornament each year and for the first time in a few years I’m looking forward to being able to do it in person with my mom and sister this Thankgiving.

Happy holiDIYs!