Tag Archives: arts and crafts

Amazon Handmade

At the end of this summer, we will have concluded our third year of being in business as Paso Wine Barrels. As a tiny spec in the world of retail and not yet big enough for a storefront, we’ve tried to get our products in front of the public through a website and at arts and craft shows. We found Etsy’s online arts and craft site to be a decent way to show our wares to link-minded people, but poor customer service and in turn a battle with management ended our relationship. We’ve also used eBay and of course Google ads, but we hadn’t felt we were getting enough eyeballs on our unique wine barrel merchandise.

We seriously thought of more arts and craft and shows along with fairs and other types of festivals, however a road show that included 100 plus pound barrels being loaded and unloaded, didn’t appeal to us. And quite frankly, our sales online were easier and more profitable than selling on the road.

Amazon is by far the most powerful retailing entity there is and in part, I believed might have been controlling those eyeballs we needed, which may have been hurting our chances of more sales. Enter Amazon Handmade.

Amazon without all the costs

Essentially, it’s a online storefront for artisans and craftsmen to sell their wares through Amazon without listing fees. The reason for this arm of Amazon existing is probably to grab business from Etsy, which had the corner-on-the-market in the arts and crafts online industry.

They contacted me with an invitation, probably because I used to be an Etsy account, so we decided if you can’t beat them, join them. If you think Walmart is bad for small business, you ain’t seen nothing until Amazon gets through wailing on your ass – pardon my French. I wanted the monster on my side, so I signed us up early this year and within a month, we had more sales on Amazon Handmade than our website.

Here’s a fact or two to consider why Amazon can bring that kind of boost to sales. Over 50% of consumers say they do most of their shopping on Amazon, plus a quarter of a billion people are active users. Those are formidable numbers.

So you’re wondering if there’s a catch. Sort of. The downside to signing up with Amazon is quite formidable as well. Simply stated, Amazon makes more per item of what we sell than we do. Believe it or not, Amazon can get more than 50% cut of every sale. Acknowledging that isn’t the norm, still you can see why Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, is now pushing for the top spot as the richest man in the world.

So is it worth it?

For now, it’s worth our while because we can’t get nearly as many eyeballs on our arts and craft products for our own website, than what Amazon produces.

There are stories out there saying the behemoth that is Amazon, can be slowed down. That’s not our concern right now and though business kind of comes and goes, we’ve had pretty good luck with Amazon Handmade, which is saying something in these Great Recession days.

Time will tell how long this will last … but hey, in the meantime, check out our tiny Paso Wine Barrels niche on Amazon Handmade.

Cheers,

Daryle W. Hier

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Recycled Treasures – Take Two

At this time last year was a humbling experience with the loss of a dear friend, which caused us to bow out of what would have been our first show. However, this year, we will actually be at the first big arts and craft show at the Downtown Park in Paso Robles. Officially it is called, get ready: 8th Annual Vintage Sidecar Rendezvous, Recycled Treasures, Antique Motorcycles & British Vintage Car Club. Yes, that’s a mouthful. It’s on Saturday, April 25th between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.

We just call it Recycled Treasures and essentially it is an arts and craft show with classic motorcycles and cars (pre-1950s). Geared as a family event, there will be vendor booths throughout the historic park. The event is produced by the Main Street Association and their information booth will be at the park water fountain on 12th Street where Park Street ends.

The spring setting is idyllic and the show offers an array of wares including furniture, memorabilia, arts and crafts … and of course wine barrels. Yes, we will be there on the corner of 12th Street and Spring, offering Decorative whole and half barrels as well as used barrels including our popular half barrel planters – ideal for this time of year. We will also have individual staves available at a ridiculously low special show price.

This kicks off the arts and craft season for Paso Robles as well as for us at Paso Wine Barrels. The temps will be mild with a high of about 70, which is perfect for strolling through the Park Downtown. Wine country is bristling with activity this time of year with all the wineries blooming with refreshed vineyards. And remember, there are many tasting rooms surrounding the event.

So no excuses, come on out and don’t forget to visit us at our booth.

Cheers,

Daryle W. Hier

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http://pasowinebarrels.com/

PS: What a great event. We missed last years but this year, even with a somewhat blustery wind and on-and-off sprinkles all day, we had a terrific day and took several orders to boot. These events are a great way to view what we have. Hope to see more folks next time out.

Alzheimer’s Benefit Street Faire

The simple task of getting up on a Saturday morning and readying yourself to enjoy another California Central Coast summer day and stroll through an art and crafts fair seems trouble-free for most of us. And that’s what some of us will do this Saturday on August 23rd. However, for others, that simple pleasure will be ambiguous and confusing.

Arts & Craft Fair

There are many hideous diseases in the world and saying one is worse than the others is arbitrary at best. With that said, when you are sick with a certain type of ailment, you have the will and mind to figure out how to fight it. That’s not necessarily the case with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.

In the simplest context, especially with the late stages of Alzheimer’s your ability to think is essentially gone, as the disease has basically eaten away the brain and made the sufferer incapable of even knowing what’s going on.

Diagnosing dementias are key to knowing how and what to do to make life livable. And everyone should do all they can to find out whether they have any stages of Alzheimer’s. There are treatments and ways to combat the illness although there doesn’t appear to be a cure as yet. Vitamins, supplements, eating a certain way, exercising and keeping your mind alert and working, will all delay or nearly stop this insidious disease. Also, the caregivers along with close family and friends will eventually feel the brunt of this terrible condition.

I’ve been an Advocate for Alzheimer’s for the better part of two decades. I witnessed firsthand the debilitating effects of what dementias can do when my grandparents had differing types of brain diseases. The toll it took on them and the loved ones around them is heartbreaking, yet something folks need to learn about so they can better prepare.

Alzheimer's brain

That’s in part why we at Paso Wine Barrels will be taking part in the First Annual Alzheimer’s Benefit Street Faire. Part of our sales proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, which helps raise money for research at finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.

Now would be as good a time as any to help a great cause while getting that wine barrel you’ve always wanted. Come on out to Creston Village at 1919 Creston Road in Paso Robles – the event runs from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Saturday August 23rd.

Additional sources: Alzheimer’s Association

Mahalo,

Daryle W. Hier

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http://pasowinebarrels.com/