Baleia Blu Ceramics

Handmade by Adette Contreras in Brooklyn, NY. Inspired by a big blue whale and our little blue planet.

The Shop

The Shop

Home from TINSEL on the early side today and was working on our newsletter for a bit. Waiting on a few more pieces for that, so I decided to switch back to this site for a few hours this evening, since I'm eager to launch the shop. Sleep can wait.

The shop, the shop. That's what's taking me so long to launch the site. So many new things to deal with, and none of them are fun: figuring out pricing, taxes, shipping rates, hooking up PayPal, setting up email, troubleshooting, all that good stuff. As if managing DNS servers and changing CNAMES and A accounts weren't tedious enough. Why did I want to do this again?

Because... well, so many reasons, and that's a journal entry for another day. One of the reasons (the biggest reason, really) is that I want to be able to give back to the Philippines, even if it's just a small thing. A dollar goes a long way back home, and even small things can add up quickly. Anyway–that's an entry for another day, and my plans for Baleia Blu are big... blue-whale-big. So yes, let's save that.

Right now, I'm dealing with which pieces are going up. There are a few that are just one-offs that don't seem to fit in a "set." (I love sets, so I'm predicting that'll be a thing.) There are a couple of pieces that are from years and years ago, and now that I'm at this point where I'm putting pieces up on sale, I'm lamenting all the ones I lost in the clay studio because I wasn't good about getting there regularly. Sigh. All a part of the process, I guess. Then, there's naming. What do I name them? Am I really going to sit here trying to figure out a clever name for each one? The answer is hell no. Numbers it is. At this point, I figure I can name the series and number them from there, but I'm thinking I'll get tired of that at some point too. We shall see. The Ocean line is up front because I think the glazes turned out so beautifully:

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A few friends have already reserved some pieces, so putting up those little "sold out" signs was especially satisfying. Even though I've got 2 companies, and I've worked on plenty of e-comm sites, this is my first personal e-comm shop. Products! Pricing! Packaging! All of these have to be sorted out, and all of it takes time. For example, what's the right price for these pieces? Handmade pieces take sooooo much time. But, I'm still learning, so I don't want to charge too much for them. But, I want to at least make sure I'm not losing money by selling them (Shipping costs are crazy!). And, I want to also turn a profit, so that I can donate to ARK. Also, the dream is to be really, really, really good one day, so that I can sell pieces for a few hundred (casual), and then we'll really be cooking with fire. 

So yes, first things first. I think $30 per piece plus $9 shipping should cover costs like clay, firing, packaging, and shipping. Not sure if it'll cover class, but that'll be something to work towards, and I can crunch some numbers later–depending on how many of the pieces are sold and how quickly. Pretty excited to get these bad boys out into the world though, and there are 16 of them total, as of now. Here are more, scrolling down the shop page, with the Strata series at the end (planning on making more of those):

Debating whether or not to put the plates up, so that's something to figure out tomorrow.

And yes, I changed the global nav layout once again. The last (9) versions didn't sit well with me, and it felt awkward up top with the handwritten headlines (which I want to keep because it's so different than everything else I'm doing), so the global nav had to change. Whale logo mark in the middle; it's sitting better with the headers, so that'll do for now.

Tomorrow morning is my first class back after the hiatus. Probably should get to sleep then and must also remember to take process photos in the studio. Next to-do's for the site and the shop:

  • Source boxes, tissue, and all that (Have to ensure the pieces don't break...)
  • Buy a stamp of the logo for shipping packaging
  • Buy a stamp of the logo for foot of clay pieces 
  • Content calendar and vision for Insta account (Do I really want another Instagram account?)
  • Figure out what other links I want to include on site
  • Send "beta" to family/friends for feedback
  • Figure out Insta + Facebook launch posts
  • Launch (Eep!)
  • Sleep
Studio Time

Studio Time

Todo saldrá en la colada.

Todo saldrá en la colada.