Monday, February 28, 2011

Kelly & Don - True Love At Last

Our first engaged couple to be featured on the Sweet & Savory blog are from Kansas! It's with pleasure that I share a tidbit about one of our upcoming 2011 bride and grooms! 

Kelly & Don met and found true love after being set up by a mutual friend! Exchanging emails and phone calls from afar before meeting nearly (2) months later {sweet} was only the beginning for this couple about to say "I do." After spending a year commuting between Denver & Kansas, Don was SO excited that his true love was finally moving to be closer to him, that he proposed in the car after picking Kelly up at the airport!!! {awwwww, so cute} 

Take a peek at this adorable couple! Being food lovers & having a passion for caramels, it was an easy decision to select our Fleur de Sel caramels for their sweet treat to share with their closest family & friends this summer! I look forward to seeing some gorgeous wedding pictures this fall!

To purchase our Fleur de Sel wedding favors, take a peek here!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tax Time!!!!

When I started blogging, I promised a glimpse into my life running "The Caramel Jar" - well, {sheepish grin} here you go! 

Are you a small business owner that has a pile of receipts in a old shopping bag?? Need to rifle through tons of pockets, drawers and cubbies to find all of the relevant receipts?? Well this Caramel Girl has some work to do!!! 

I have never been known for fabulous organization skills in my personal life. Professionally, no problem! Well, this year, we grew so quick, that my personal paper organization skills swelled into my professional life. Instead of using Excel or Quick books, I have a pile of receipts that will make any accountant cringe. Seriously ;)

Tax time has come to haunt me now, so much that this weekend, my friends and I will be embarking on our first Team Caramel Jar beer & receipt collating expedition! Seriously! (3) lovely gals that help with some wrapping during Christmas & wedding seasons will be accompanying me along with my "Banana" bag {Banana Republic shopping bag} to the local micro brewery in Danville. {Side note, if you all have not been to Old Forge, you should stop by and try the micro brews & pretzels - DELISH!} 

If you have a funny tax time story, I'd love to hear it!  Please share in our comments section!

A slightly grumpy {only b/c of taxes} receipt collating caramel making girl.....

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Irish Anyone??

One of the great things about having a gift centric Etsy shop, is the ability to rotate my product line. Ok, let me rephrase! I stick to the basics...our caramels are delicious, simple and classic and this will never change! What I do rotate according to the Etsy Merchandising article each month is our themed packaging! Who knew when I decided to create The Caramel Jar that this adorable jar would bring me so many opportunities to market our caramel products! I love coming up with little ways to decorate the classic canning jar while keeping our tasty and classic caramels filled to the brim inside! 

p.s. did you know:

we ship & include gift messages
we ship in 3-5 business days (usually less)
we can ship directly to your gift recipient
we can be your one stop shopping for Christmas (it's never too early...)

So with great pleasure, I introduce to you, our fabulous St. Patrick's Day themed mason jars filled with yummy goodness. Each jar will come adorned with a hand cut and stamped"Thank You" shamrock (cute right??) Personal messages are always welcome and can be attached to each jar or wax paper bag. May your gift recipient feel like the "luck of the Irish" is upon them when they open up the box and see these little eco-wrapped and packaged caramel gems! (qualifies as a pot of gold right?? LOL)

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Colleen & Casey

Many may know that a gi-nor-mous part of The Caramel Jar's business is working with amazing bride & grooms to be! I've been fortunate to have 40+ bride/groom duos select our caramels as their wedding favors, wedding weekend welcome gifts (say that 3 and Grooms dinner favors! Each bride & groom has a unique vision for their weddings and I LOVE seeing and hearing about how each of them displays our caramels on their very special day! 

To kick off our wedding season, I'm sharing a little story about a recent bride/groom! 
Miss Colleen has been kind enough to share details of her DIY wedding with 
photography by Maebird and using many vendors on Etsy

Colleen & Casey were destined to be with each other, growing up near each other, attending the same church, high school & sharing friends/acquaintances they finally met, and found true love! After dating for 6 years, Casey proposed! Married six weeks later on December 11, 2010 and celebrating with family & friends after the new year, this couple had just a few weeks to plan this fabulous 
celebration that truly captured their spirit!

When I asked Colleen why she chose our caramels, this is what she said, "I explored the wedding favors pages for hours on Etsy but wasn't happy with the traditional things. I've never been a traditional girl.  I was happy to find that some Etsy sellers made edible treats, as we are foodies for sure.  Oh I was so happy to find TheCaramelJar!  I knew I wanted the Fleur de Sel right away. The caramels arrived exactly when she said they would and they were AMAZING!!" - awwwwww....(SWEET RIGHT?!?!)

So how did this fabulous girl use our caramels?? "I found an adorable, "Enjoy" stamp from Olive Manna which inspired me to put the caramels in simple, cotton draw-string bags.  I used a vintage tray that I already had and little by little, our entry table with our beautiful favors came together." (GORGEOUS~!)

Stay tuned for more fabulous wedding favor inspiration as I embark on our first "full" wedding season! 

Your forever faithful caramel making girl...

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Transform Your Shower w/Prunella Soaps!

So I'm kind of a picky and consider myself a very sensitive to smell kind of girl. I'm pretty much allergic to EVERYTHING, or so husband says, which also drives my pick-i-ness. But I have a small addiction, weakness really..., and sometimes embarrassing habit smelling minty soaps {yes, I've embarrassed myself at stores sniffing it...} Any kind of soap will do...minty shower gels, shampoos, and bar soaps alike. Well, you may all know that I recently transformed my day job to full time Etsy seller and figured, if people can find their perfect caramel on Etsy, then I must be able to find my perfect mint soap on Etsy!

I'm happy to announced, first time was the charm! {thank goodness}
Introducing my newest addiction! Prunella Soaps!!

Handmade, Vegan & Organic!!!!!

mmmmmmmmm....I tried their mint/poppyseed {brilliant exfolliant} soap this morning in my hotel {had brought the sample size} prior to attending the AWESOME Etsy Success Symposium! Let me say this, I've never wanted to shower again and again because of a soap! I'm dying to jump right back into the shower b/c it smells SO minty and left my usual winter dreary dry skin soft and silky! 

Great things about my purchase: 
a. I bought the sample sizes! Lots of them! 12 in all! YAY!
b. They came SUPER fast! I swear in less than 4 days I had SOAP! Love fast shipping! 
c. Eco, Eco, Eco!!! Organic soap & Eco/reusable packaging!

Why buy Prunella in the first place...ummm...Check out these adorable photos! So brilliant! 

Take a peek at this gorgeous shop today! 

Your forever faithful & very minty fresh caramel making girl...

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thursday Trivia! Promote Your Etsy Shop!

So a while back, I was bored on a Thursday, sales were lagging, so I thought, let's do a little Trivia on my Facebook page! I asked a question, everyone could post their answer as a comment to the question and the winner received a free "sampler" of my caramels!

Can I just say this was one of the most amazing things that I have ever come up with for my Etsy shop! Seriously! Nearly 100% of the winners have come back and purchased caramels from me, some of them have purchased in very large quantities. YAY! Who knew!!! 

Now I completely recognize that I have a special little shop that is very different than larger or more expensive items.  But, if you happen to have items like paper products, candles, soap, etc, I would seriously consider a little trivia for promoting your Etsy shop and building your viewership and engaged followers.

Why this worked? {I'd like to think that it's b/c they like my sparkling personality...haha} but perhaps it's because of these reasons:

Try before they buy! - who doesn't love sample Saturdays at the Grocery Store? Stew Leonards, special little grocery store on the E. Coast, you can literally have lunch walking from vendor to vendor in that store! 

A little bit of hype never hurts! - We have about 50-100 consistent viewers that pop in on Thursdays for trivia. Maybe they realize it's a sought after item and who doesn't grab and go when something is HOT. Nothing is "hotter" than yummy delicious caramels that are FREE!

People have had them and love them! - If there was a product that I loved, that I could have a chance at winning every Thursday, sure why not. I'll answer a silly Trivia question about how many pounds of wedding favors I shipped one week or which item I love on a certain treasury! Can't hurt right?? 

Would love to hear other fun promoting ideas that fellow Etsy shop owners have tried, successfully and unsuccessfully! And if you try Trivia Thursday, let me know, how it works for you! 

Your forever faithful caramel making girl...

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Multi-Tasking The Caramel Jar Way!

I have fond memories of holding a phone against one ear, interns at my door waiting for answers or new tasks to carry them from my doorway for a few hours, all while typing away on my computer. 

Ahhh....corporate/nonprofit multi-tasking at its best. I remember those interview questions when they are trying to figure out if you can balance a book on your head, talk on the phone, put out literal or real fires at the same time, all indirectly asking if you juggle 18 different tasks at once! LOL! 
My former life is nonexistent and here I am at The Caramel Jar redefining multi-tasking!

Do I miss it you ask??

Not a chance!!

Why not?? 

There is nothing more satisfying than knowing my daily multi-tasking juggle is going to bring smiles/happiness/delight to many many customer's around the country! It seems small scale in terms of juggling nonprofit board members, vendors for my upcoming events & writing meaningful proposals for million dollar grants that could change the lives of people around the world. 
But are those people really smiling because of me?? 

So what is multi-tasking at The Caramel Jar like??

Much simpler & smells so much better! LOL 

At one point, I had 3 burners working on my stove during the Christmas rush and all 3 of those would be going at once! Each burner would be bubbling away with the latest 
Fleur de Sel or Vanilla caramel flavors! 

The dishwasher is likely humming away, {more like grumbling!} and the computer is ALWAYS on! Seriously! LOL. I'll intermittently stir one pot, then the next and the next {prevents burning - yucko!}, 
while checking on convos and new orders coming in.

The pots of caramel have all been staggered to finish exactly at a certain time...the butter is melting, the caramels have just reached my {safe zone} so I can stop stirring continuously, and lastly, the first pot of the day is being poured out to cool. This rhythm of my caramel making day continues until all of the caramels are made, dishes are done and emails are answered!

{p.s. the only one standing in my doorway now, is my husband, 
a much better view than former interns - no offense!}

Your forever faithful caramel making girl...

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wedding Favors & Giveaway at Events by Sarah Elizabeth Blog!

You may know that The Caramel Jar has dug a little niche for ourselves creating wedding favors! Our Fleur de Sel wedding favors were so popular last October, that 31 bride/grooms shared our Fleur de Sel caramels with their guests in that month alone! {I seriously needed a vacation after that - haha}

Take a peek at some of our most popular wedding favors here: 

 Black Tie Wedding Favors! Perfect to indicate meal preferences!

With that said, I've partnered with several fantastic wedding event planners and have been featured on several blogs, with the most recent being Events by Sarah Elizabeth, focusing on weddings in the greater Philadelphia area! 

Events by Sarah Elizabeth has tried our caramels and shared a bit more about them on her blog. While you're there, take a peek at the fabulous wedding services she has to offer! 

p.s. She is also hosting a giveaway of our Fleur de Sel caramels! Perfect opportunity for a bride-to-be to sample our caramels!

Your forever faithful caramel making girl...

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