Friday, 30 October 2015

Etsy Update: November 3rd

Good morning(-ish) everyone!

Back to work after a short little vacation - finally getting through my TODO pile that's been sitting on my desk since DN. It's nearly done, and I've got some fun ideas in the works for afterwards. ;)

Storenvy is still giving me issues, so my custom shop is still closed until they fix it. Looks like it's a bug on Paypal's end (seems Etsy is having issues as well), so hopefully they can sort it out soon.

inEssence Creations - MNF Butterfly Cardigans
Some of the cardigans for the update.

In other news, I will be updating my Etsy store on November 3rd at 10am (Toronto time).

This update is relatively small and will include MNF shorts and cardigans (both long and short), but I've got another in the works for skirts. :) There is a possibility of some other items as well, but not definite.

Hope everyone is doing well, and I'll post and update for the next re-stock soon!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Storenvy... Seriously?

warning: mildly ranty

I've been using Storenvy as a selling platform for quite a while because, unlike Etsy, it allowed me to customize my shop to fit the rest of my webpages. Some months ago, they introduced Stripe as a payment option. At first I thought: no big deal, another way for people who don't want to use PayPal to shop online. But when I went to set it up, the form was asking all kinds of invasive questions, like wanting my SIN. Umm... yeah, no. Thankfully, there was an option to just keep using Paypal and that was that.

Then they decided to only use Stripe for marketplace transactions. Okay... that sucks, but whatever, I'll just disconnect my shop from the marketplace.

A while later, they announced a 10% take from all marketplace sales. For reference, Etsy only takes 3.5% plus the 20¢ listing fee. Because I hand sew, I am undercharging for literally everything I make (I know... working on it), so 10% is a HUGE deal. It means I can't really do sales, ever, because I'm already losing the percentage I would discount things by, and it's just kind of ridiculous in general. Pretty glad I was already apart from it at this point.

Not to mention the incident where a large number of Stripe accounts got hacked.... Big confidence boost there.

A few days ago, (maybe 3?) I noticed a banner at the top of my Admin pages with a 'getting started' sort of vibe. Since I've been using Storenvy for a few years, it came off as a little weird. Noticeably, the two unchecked boxes belonged to 'Payments' AKA, 'connect to Stripe', and open 'Marketplace Store'. I understand where Storenvy is coming from as a business, they need people to use specific services in order to make money, but throwing the two part of their service I can't really use in my face every time I try to use my shop is pretty irritating.

At this point, my custom shop was still open, and everything was fine and dandy. Now, technically, my shop is closed for orders, but it's still online for people to browse. However, just now I went to change something in my HTML files and was greeted with a little 'your shop is currently closed' banner.

No warning. No 'you need to do x' emails or pop-ups. Just closed. And I can't open it up until I connect a payment option - thankfully Paypal is still listed - and seem to be allowed for marketplace use. BUT, from the way the 'get started' bar is organized, it's looking like I'll be forced into opening a marketplace storefront and taking that 10% hit every time someone uses that instead of my custom shop which I just cannot do. (ETA: Possibly I won't need a marketplace store?)

I'm not really sure what to do at this point. I've put a lot of work into my Storenvy store, and I would hate to lose all that, not to mention all the stats and stuff that have been collected. I've been having some issues with the usability of Storenvy for a while though... and this whole series of events has left a really, really bad taste. :|

I'll do some digging and see if it's still going to work for me. But until then just know I have nothing to do with the supposed 'maintenance' my store is undergoing. -.-

ETA: Apparently it is some sort of bug on Paypal's end. Hopefully it can get sorted out soon.

Edit (Nov 4, 2015): So it turns out that Paypal was not entirely to blame. I am on the list of countries not yet available for integrated payments through Paypal and I guess some kind of miscommunication happened there so no matter what I did it would have never worked. I'm really glad my shop was on hiatus through this nonsense or it could have been really detrimental. I bet a few people lost a lot of revenue because of this error. Hopefully it will teach a lesson to make sure they have everything straight before unilaterally requiring a feature.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

NYC and Big Ideas

This past week I had the opportunity to visit New York City for the second time. Last time I was there was a whirlwind of fabric shoppes and meeting people - feeling totally overwhelmed by everything going on. Last week was far more low-key. Since I'd been to most of the stores last time, I just visited my favourites this time around - getting some fabrics and trims that are impossible to find where I live, and of course the obligatory Liberty of London print, I always feel the need to pick up (This time it was Eleonara).

One new location from this trip was the Fashion Institute of Technology. I was far too intimidated to stop by last time, but finally plucked up the courage on my second day there. As it turns out, I really had nothing to worry about because most of the campus is not open to the public. I did, however, manage to visit the FIT Museum which had a 'Capitals' exhibit showcasing work from designers in world capitals. Their geography was a little suspect at times, but walking through the gallery was really inspiring. I even went back a few days later to see everything again!

On the plane back home I ended up watching a documentary called 'Dior et moi' (which is apparently rated R for reasons I don't understand)

It got me thinking a bit about the differences between commission work, ready-to-wear, and haute couture, and the directions I'd like to take with my little brand.

The last few days I've been trying to dig up some of my old sketches to see if any of them are feasible for the near future as a trial for doing some OOAK works. One of my New Year's resolutions for 2015 was to work on a special project, but that has yet to actually happen - they're all still largely in the planning stages, though I have collected materials for some.

I doubt I'll be able to finish one before the end of the year - they're all MASSIVE - but starting something is the first step to finishing it!