Wow, it's a bit brisk out lately. Even by the normally chilly New Hampshire standards the past couple of weeks have been cold and there's even been a little snow of late - well, quite a bit of snow lately.
Usually I keep warm by keeping busy in the shop. This year is no exception on that front. In addition, however, I've been sharpening my pencil and working on new pricing for 2015. Over the last year or so, I've figured out how to do things much more efficiently in the shop and have been able to find a couple of new suppliers that have really helped me with my cost structure.
I started All Things Shaker with the intent of offering high quality products at average/competitive prices. Over the past couple of years I've bundled in shipping and tried to simplify the pricing structure - the net effect was that prices increased, with these efficiencies I've been able to pull prices down. Prices on the website are down about 10% from 2014. And, as always, if you order direct, domestic (continental U.S.) shipping is included in the price. (There will continue to be an uplift to shipping for international shipping.)
Too much fun making boxes in 2014, 10% off in stock inventory thru 1/31/15 online use 10%january15.
I'll have the workshop and showroom open this weekend from 9AM until 2PM. Not only will I have lots of product out on display, but there should be some production going on as well. Stop in and say hi, do a little holiday shopping and enjoy downtown Manchester.
If you can't make it, but would like to drop in give me a shout via email or on the phone and I'll make sure I'm here to show you around.
And remember our holiday specials below.
From now through December 24, we have the following special offers:
Coupon Code: holiday2014 gives you 20% off in stock products AND includes FREE SHIPPING!
Our exquisite Shaker boxes, trays and carriers (baskets), are made by hand from maple, cherry and black walnut using traditional early American craftsmanship. These woodenware items, available in sizes 0-12, are not only decorative but functional and durable as well. Most Shaker items have an oil finish, our handmade products are finished with three coats of hand applied oil and urethane. This type of finish doesn’t dry out, enabling our products to last longer and maintain their rustic look.
Whether used as a collectible, as giftware or for storage, our Shaker boxes, trays and carriers are unique additions to any home. Matched sets are available.
If the item you want for the holidays isn't currently in stock, we'll build it for you and do our best to get it delivered for the holidays but unfortunately we'll only be able to offer a 10% discount.
Happy holidays for the All Things Shaker family to you and your family. Have a great holiday season as well as a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015!
A quick reminder: - Wedding season s upon us. Since starting the business in 2010 I've offered a size #6 box as a "wedding box". My understanding is that this was about the biggest the Shaker's would have made and when doe especially nice (or fancy)it would have been a special box to hold memories and mementoes of the day. I have a limited supply of these in various configurations (available next week - after the finish dries). If you've got an August wedding coming up, give us a call soon - the production calendar is currently booked through the first week of August so if I don't have it already made an August delivery could be a challenge.
Wow! It's July and I'm just recuperating from a humid, stormy 4th of July spent on the Amherst NH town green. For the last 4 years, I spend a half day o July 4th demonstrating how Shaker oval boxes are made on the town green of my hometown. Well, it threatened to rain. And then it really came down in buckets, what a storm!!! Things were cut short due to the rain but as always it was a great time out on the green.
This year I offered my retail customers on the town green several specials that I've decided to extend to the websiteSpe
Special #1: through August 15, 2014 - 20% off orders of all standard products offered on the web. We'll ask for 50% payment at time of order and then build the product for you. We're a small operation but we'll guarantee delivery by November 15th. Think of this as Christmas (or Hanukah) in July! Get your gift shopping done early - even if it's for yourself.
Special #2: Order a Quilter's box by August 15, 2014 and also get a FREE size #2 matching oval box to hold your sewing notions (a$50+ value!). Again, delivery is guaranteed by November 15th.
Special #3: Order a Tailgate box by August 15th and get 8 napkin rings for FREE (a $40 value!!). And again, delivery is guaranteed by November 15th.
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Resellers/wholesale customers of All things Shaker - please log into the wholesale page to see some exiting updates.
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24 June 2012
Two weekends ago I was in Cranston, Rhode Island for Festival Fete ( www.festivalfete.com ) an arts festival with a good funky vibe to it. A great time, lots of awesome crafters and some simply wonderful people. While I was there I had the opportunity to talk with a crafter who used a Shaker box he made "ages" ago as his cash box...he, of course, carried his Shaker box around in a square Shaker inspired carrier that was inspiring to me. I've been thinking about using the stack of cherry sitting in the middle of the shop for just such a project - hopefully, by the New Year everyone will be able to see the progress on this endeavor.
Last week saw a few wholesale orders go out the door to retailers that for different reasons I'd like to highlight. First, we sent out our first order for the The Ball and Claw in Newport, Rhode Island. ( www.ballandclaw.com ) The Ball and Claw is on Americas's Cup Avenue in Newport and is home to the furniture built by Jeffrey Greene. As a "wood guy" I'm happy just to have All Things Shaker's products in the same zip code much less in the same store as these exceptional examples of American Craftsmanship. We also sent a shipment off to Mrs. June Hopkins at the North Haven Gift Shop in North Haven, Maine. Being an hour boat ride off the coast of Maine, I'm certain that this may be one of our harder to get to retailers. The store run by Mrs. Hopkins and her granddaugher has a strong focus on finding the perfect items for the guests and residents of the island. It might be a long trip but it's worth checking out www.northhavenmaine.org and thinking about a visit to the North Haven Gift Shop.
This past week has been full of market and competitive research. I've been out to Cape Cod, up to Canterbury Shaker Village and may still make it up to Maine and Sabbothday Lake in the next week or two to do a little research in their library at the Shaker Village. It appears that most everyone making boxes ( Shaker boxess, that is) these days is putting finish on the inside. To be honest, it looks nicer and folks are using these for food storage much less these days so the original reason for leaving the interior unfinished is mostly gone. For this reason, we've started putting a single coat of sealer on the inside of the boxes here. It looks nicer, and while I might be a traditionalist it's time to move in the direction that everyone seems to want. We can still do boxes for you that are unfinished on the inside, but standard boxes will have a finished interior from now on.
Well...the river continues to flow behind the mill building here. The last week of ultra-high heat (by New Hampshire standards) has seen the level drop; but it still moves on. It keeps me aware that I need to keep moving also. Lots of big boxes (8's through 12's) getting ready for the finish room and then off into the world.
Willis (sales and operations), Cara (operations and administration) and I (boxmaker) will be on the Amherst, New Hampshire town green July 4th along with Sumner Bennett of SB Shaker Box (he's also the resident consultant at All Things Shaker). Sumner and I are going to do some demonstrations on box making and generally talking to folks about the craft. Willis and Cara will be happy to sell some boxes and generally keep Sumner and me in line as much as possible. Late in July Willis and I head off to the Philadelphia Gift Show in Oaks, Pennsylvania. The gift show is open to wholesale trade only, but we're hoping to see lots of old friends there as well as meeting new ones.
Keep cool - a tough task for the last week. Now it's time for me to take the river's example and get on with things.
With best regards,
Boxmaker - - All Things Shaker
250 North Commercial Street
Manchester, New Hampshire 03101
Wow! It's alive. My web developer and his team always said I'd be the one slowing down the process...My mother always said I should learn to listen better...they were both right.
Kudos to bkj Productions out of Melrose, Massachusetts for getting this put together in spite of me.
I hope you find the website informative and that you can settle into a shopping habit with us - after all I am pursuing this as a business not just a way to stay out of trouble - contrary to what might be said by family and friends.
Last year was exciting.
- I made too much dust (way too much!) and had to move the workshop out of the basement.
- I found space and moved into the Waumbec mill in Manchester.
- I built "a couple" boxes and settled in....abondoning a reasonable business plan and charging head first into the fray.
This year has been a whole lot more exciting.
- Lots of new equipment.
- Lots of wood and more on the way.
- Wholesale shows (and now wholesale customers!)
- A web page/e-commerce site...this has been a much more "interesting" experience than anticipated. I was warned, I just failed to internalize what I was being told.
- Somewhat of a return to sanity as I'm back dusting off the business plan, developing measurements, milestones, etc.
I will try to keep you all updated monthly on what happens here in the mill. And occasionally some updates as to specials and new offerings.
Watch the Boxmaker's Choice area of the site for seconds that are available as well as more limited production boxes and other products. I've got some nice Black Walnut and some Spalted Maple that given a few moments to get organized and get started could turn into some pretty special offerings. I paired the Black Walnut with Birdseye Maple for a limited edition Mother's day run, its even nicer than I had anticipated.
Look for me (and maybe others) at Festivel Fete in Rhode Island, the Philadelphia Gift Show, and perhaps some other shows on the east coast.