Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Brrrrrr…. Winter has definitely set in around central Ohio. We don’t have the snow yet, but the air feels arctic. If it’s going to be this cold, we really should have snow on the ground. Here’s hoping for a white Christmas this year.

While our Christmas orders are wrapping up, we’re thinking ahead for the next promotion. I’m considering multiple options that could tie into a January/renewal theme, a green/conservation theme, or just jump ahead and do Valentine’s Day. Either way, watch for our new promo piece to be unveiled on Dec 20th. Hint, we love suggestions!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oh, How My Wish List Has Changed

Once upon a time I dreamed of jewelry, a romantic vacation, or some personal and thoughtful little gift for Christmas (reality was more likely a kitchen appliance… I did mention this was a DREAM). After starting Trading Phrases, I’m now dreaming of more mundane things like a receipt scanner (ooh, organization!), or shinny new weeding tools. I’ll admit that the thought of the latest Photoshop or Illustrator are more thrilling than an iPod, and I’d be practically beside myself with a new wide format printer to branch out a bit with our product offerings. My stocking can be filled with new blades or cutting strips for the cutters, and I’d love a little elf to show up and update the colors on our designs on the website (the majority of our designs don’t have the latest colors—there are over 1000 to be updated, and I’m not going there right now). New vector art for more designs, a new font CD? Oh the possibilities are endless…

Of course the new kitchen appliance will also be lovely.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Burning the Midnight Oil

We’re burning the midnight oil around here. Orders are coming in, and everyone wants their items by Christmas. We’re keeping up with the demand, but a few goofs have slipped in (which means more work in the end). It doesn’t help that we continue to tweak our processes in the middle of everything, which makes everyone agree up front, and then slowly grumble when they realize that they have to change a time honored way of doing something. I never really understood why everyone loves progress, but hates change… We’re appeasing the crew with tasty treats (and pie, must keep Cody supplied with pie) in order to keep them going. They can’t complain if they’re chewing.

Orders are going out on time, generally one or two days after the order is received. Some schedules cannot be accommodated, such as the customer that ordered a design on Thursday evening and then was disappointed that she didn’t have it in time for an event on Friday. We’re good, but are not miracle workers. Perhaps if we could borrow a certain sleigh and team of reindeer for a few minutes…

Monday, December 7, 2009

Making a Stock Design One of a Kind

I love contrasts. I love shipping orders for snowmen designs in July, and for beach house designs in December.

Our designs give our customers a chance to create a design that is meaningful and unique. Color mixes that are edgy, an embellishment or two that add just the right touch, or mixing and matching a few words and artistic touches for a perfect one of a kind statement are all examples of how a stock design can be truly unique. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a few Valentine’s Day lipstick love notes to ship out…

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Free Designs... If You're Lucky

Have you ever heard the expression "Too much of a good thing?" Well we've got too much of several good things, and they're taking over our production space! We've got extra designs and we just don't have the heart to toss them out. Good designs. Popular designs. Designs that were cut in the wrong size, cut in the wrong color, or just cut when they weren't really needed. We've decided to give them to good homes. From now through Christmas, one free popular design will be happily gifted to a customer that orders that day. They are our gift to our fantastic customers, and we don't care one bit about re-gifting these little babies. To see what's being given away today, or to see which lucky customer won a prior design, visit our promotion page. For more gift ideas and inspiration, stay around and browse the site. Our designs are growing by the day!