What do you get when you have too much desire to move to sit still for long? When your mind is always racing about new opportunities? When you’re looking for something to throw a lot of energy in to, allowing for distraction from reality? When literally every birthday party you attend someone says “do you sell these”?
Friends, what you get is an Etsy shop. Opened by me.
For the last five years, I have been making cloth gift wrap for our family’s gifting needs. After a few months of keeping the bags just among us, I branched out and started using them for all of our gift giving. The response was immediate, and people loved them. If you have ever thrown a party – especially a kid party – you know the immense accumulation of wrapping paper and gift bags that happens afterwards. The paper gets tossed (hopefully recycled), and then you’re stuck with a crap ton of Batman gift bags.
In addition to cutting down on waste, cloth gift wrap helps those of us who uh, struggle with wrapping presents. I once spent about 20 minutes wrapping a present that I assumed look perfect, only to have my friend who had been watching me say “would you like me to show you how to do that”? Sigh. My name is Sarah, and I am wrapping challenged. The bags allow me to shove a present in, tie the ribbon on, and call it a day. If you can tie your shoe, you can use cloth gift bags. Easy peasy.
A few years ago, a meme went around with a wrapped gift that looked like it had been thrown down 20 flights of stairs. It said “if it looks like a blind t-rex wrapped it, it is probably from me”. At least five people sent me that meme, knowing what a terrible wrapper I am. I laughed about it and said if I ever opened a bakery (love to bake, terrible at frosting) or an Etsy shop, I had found my name.
So folks, I’d like you to meet my Etsy shop, The Blind T-Rex.
I have had a bug up my butt to open this shop for years, but randomly decided like a week and a half ago that I had to do it now. The sense of cloth wrapping urgency overtook me, and I was unstoppable. Every spare second of the last 10 days has been devoted to researching, cutting, ironing, sewing, and posting to the shop. The learning curve has been interesting, but exactly the project I needed to lose myself in.
Not everything is ready to go. I ordered some coupon code cards, but they won’t be here until next week. The listed items probably are missing some details or boxes checked and t’s crossed. I’m still figuring out how Etsy works, and their (huge) limitations for how things are listed, especially if you want to offer a “customer chooses fabric” gift set. But, I wanted to get it launched a bit early, on the off-chance that someone might want to have gift bags shipped in time for Mother’s Day. As of now, I’m only shipping to the US. Once I get my “sea legs”, and if there is interest, I am willing to broaden my shipping policies. I also welcome special orders.
And as a thank you for helping me kick the tires and figure out the kinks, I’m offering you lovely readers a 10% discount now through May 12th. Simply use “softopening2017” at checkout to claim your discount. And yes, a soft opening is a term for a business that is trying things out to learn about what is working and what needs to be improved upon. It’s also the grossest business term I could think of, so you know.
If you are used to running to Target to get a gift bag and tissue, a cloth gift bag can offer you opportunities for fun personalizing. It can also be a bit of a sticker shock at first. But never fear, my fellow frugal friends, for Troy and I have created a handy how to guide to make sure that cloth gift bag is returned right back to you after you give someone a present.
Step 1: Give Gift
Step 2: Get warm and happy thoughts while watching your friend/family praise such gorgeous wrapping.
Step 3: Cross arms, narrow eyes, and “casually” mention that you always reuse the bag.
It works every time friends. Like a charm.
So, I’m going for it. I’m excited to try out something new and see where it takes me. I appreciate you all and your encouragement over the years to follow my dreams and put myself out there. We’ll see how it goes, and if things don’t work out, at least I have a crap ton of gift bags for the next 30 years! 🙂
If you’re interested, you can stay up to date on new bags that are being rolled out, by following The Blind T-Rex on Instagram. I plan to showcase new bags there as they roll out, and offer special discounts from time to time.