Blog

  • 2018: Significant 9


    1. Continued wholesaling to new brick & mortar stores— we're now in 14 states across the US! 
    2. Launched custom stamps and our first giveaway, with over 600 entries (!! still floored by that one)
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  • It's easier for me

    Side projects are very fun and A Jar of Pickles is mine! Since starting Pickles 5 years ago, I have been consistently working full time, but it's has always been extremely manageable even as Pickles grows. I am very fortunate, and I believe that it is easier for me than it might be for others.
     
             
    1. I have a job that I find creatively and intellectually challenging, so, though tired, I still come home motivated to explore my own personal projects. I really think an inspiring job stimulates pursuing side projects. I used to think that a chill job that utilizes less of your mental energy would save more for projects outside of work, but It’s a little counterintuitive in that those jobs are, yes, chill, but ultimately mind-numbing. 


    2. I was trained and continue to use the Adobe Suite (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, etc) for my career which helps me with Pickles stuff for literally everything, from Instagram posts to catalog creation to product photography. There are great online services that can execute these tasks for small businesses but being able to achieve this in-house (my small “house” of 1;) saves a ton of costs & time that would be spent on the logistics of outsourcing.
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  • Our wedding suite (on our first wedding anniversary!)

    Our marriage had its first milestone yesterday: our 1 year anniversary! Jeff and I took some time recently to reflect on our first year of marriage and relive our amazing wedding day— it has been the best & most fun year of my life. Marrying your best friend is highly, highly recommended:) Reliving the day prompted me to want to share what I designed for our wedding! 

     

    I had a lot of ideas and pins for our wedding board; it was hard to decide what route to take visually. I knew it would be pretty minimal but I initially didn't want to incorporate any of my little doodles and cartoons into the day- I wanted it to be plain and maybe a bit sophisticated and elegant. 

    Some of my initial designs:

    But then I thought about the theme of "us", as cheesy as it sounds, and our long journey to get to marriage. Pretty much since Jeff and I met in middle school, we were one of those forever on-and-off couples, filled with prom drama, fighting over 10¢ texts, and a lot of dramatic convos over the years. When we finally started for real dating, I spent sooooo much time reliving the fun/ sweet /embarrassing  memories. I started think of how we could incorporate these memories into our wedding and share them with the people we loved the most...

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  • My stamp obsession

    I LOVE stamps. I loved writing letters growing up and one of my favorite parts was going through my parent's forever stamp collection and choosing which one to use when I sent one out.
     
    This week I received the USA Philatelic Catalog, an official magazine by USPS that showcases all the gorgeous new stamp designs that season. It's one of my favorite things to go through the catalog and decide which new stamps to get for my collection. (I insta-storied it on Monday and longtime customer Diana from Etsy for Littles replied, “I feel like we are kindred spirits- I don’t feel like a season has started before I get the magazine!”) 
     
    My favorite from this season (besides the obvious Rifle Paper Co’s LOVE stamp) is the Bioluminescent Life collection— they have a shine foil to it and GLOW! 😍😍😍  
     
    You can read the whole catalog online here:
     
    Or request one to come to your mailbox from USPS here:
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  • My wholesale process thus far

    I keep wanting to blog as I'm learning more and more about the paper industry, but I just can't find the time. I'm going to make it a goal to do short blog posts that will document what I'm currently learning and not obsess about them being superbly well-written ;)

    Today I'm going to blog about my wholesale process: Getting retailers, invoicing, and shipping. 

    Getting retailers
    After spending months putting together a wholesale catalog, I ordered a couple hundred of them earlier this summer. They are GORGEOUS and I flip through them every so often when I need a mood boost. I am super, super proud of them. 

     

    After I printed the catalogs, I shipped them off in a neat little package, which included....

    • a couple business cards
    • a sample of two different cards
    • a handwritten note about how I found them, what I liked about their store, and why I thought A Jar of Pickles would do well in their brick and mortar
    • our catalog (of course!)

     

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  • Pop up shops: Facebook HQ, Morning Lavender, West Elm

    I've done 3 pop-ups in the last year in addition to the 5 craft fairs (I was definitely very infatuated with the idea of meeting customers and selling in-person, but the excitement has faded a little; it's pretty tiring to prep for the events while I'm working all week and then... work all weekend, haha.) Pop ups are a bit different from craft fairs; pop-ups are usually a day versus a whole weekend, you are one of if not the only small business selling product, and they’ll usually provide tables and/or displays. Way less tiring, but (usually) less revenue, as the customer base isn’t as large as craft fairs. 


    Morning Lavender
    I was asked by Morning Lavender, a bright and fun clothing boutique, to join them in their first ever Nor-Cal pop up last fall. The ladies of Morning Lavender were all so sweet and fun to work with, and the venue called Blu Bungalow in Cow Hollow was amazing.  They paired me with a roomy table draped with lace, in front of a nice brick backdrop, and I got to meet a lot of very well-dressed SF ladies all day and chat with them over sips of wine from Bottle Bracket.



    ​West Elm

    I’m very easily excitable, so imagine my reaction when I got an email from West Elm— I'm pretty sure my very loud squeal in the ramen restaurant I was eating in solicited quite a few stares ;) I sold on a holiday Saturday in December, where my forever-Pickles-assistant Jocelyn and I got to dream about our future houses while we chatted with holiday shoppers. We also met really fun dogs.

    For this pop-up, I gave away gift tags which definitely drew in customers. The most flattering moments were when shoppers picked up my cards and brought them to the register, thinking they were part of the West Elm brand…! 
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my small business

An attempt to document how much fun I have with my ever-growing side project