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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Polish American Community of Toledo Festival was last weekend. Always a crap shoot when they're held this early in the year. It's one of the smaller ones but they have treated us well for joining them in trying to re-establish the big party that was discontinued a few years ago. And they're some pretty good folks.

Friday nite and Saturday were totally awesome, but Sunday afternoon saw the skies open up hard and often ending things about 2:30 pm.

Anyway we sold 99 items off the racks and got 14 custom orders. Came home to 3 Etsy orders and had 4 more items sell off the Made in Michigan display. So I've been designing and starting to cut the custom orders while trying to sort and reorganize the inventory and dry everything out. Didn't make a whole lot of $$ but came out ahead after expenses. I kinda like being the big fish in a small pond.

They really liked the 38" sign I made for them. It got hung on the stage behind the bands. Then it goes to their HQ.

Got a couple months til the second biggest Polish Party in the Detroit area. Gotta do a bunch of cutting and hopefully get a few orders from the other venues in the mean time. A little here and a little there.
 

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Congratulations, John...especially for coming out ahead...

...keep 'em wantin'...
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Great job, John. I think you have that market niche pretty well locked up.
 

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You came out ahead, you’re having fun. Lotta people like to be in that position. I love seeing your work, keep em coming!
 

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HJ seems quite bizzie, which obv is a good thing and makes dollars.


Any thoughts of an Eagle Inlay? That background has some character
and possibly a lighter/diff color wood wood make that eagle stand out.
Dont forget about the eagle coasters.


That plaque looks really good.... thanks for the inspiration!
What lil time I get in the mornings on Carveco, im getting there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
HJ seems quite bizzie, which obv is a good thing and makes dollars.


Any thoughts of an Eagle Inlay? That background has some character
and possibly a lighter/diff color wood wood make that eagle stand out.
Dont forget about the eagle coasters.


That plaque looks really good.... thanks for the inspiration!
What lil time I get in the mornings on Carveco, im getting there.

The inlay thing is an idea to seriously consider. I'm just wondering if people will pay the added dollars to justify making it.
 

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Rick
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HJ seems quite bizzie, which obv is a good thing and makes dollars.


Any thoughts of an Eagle Inlay? That background has some character
and possibly a lighter/diff color wood wood make that eagle stand out.
Dont forget about the eagle coasters.


That plaque looks really good.... thanks for the inspiration!
What lil time I get in the mornings on Carveco, im getting there.
That’s actually a really good idea ,and it could lead to a lot more sales . Flood the polish community with the non inlay version first , then show them the newest addition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Too may Polacks to flood this, or any other area with anything made by a lowly old retired trucker puttsing around in his basement. But the principle is a sound one, if it can be pulled off. Time for Dr T to chime in.
 
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Chime in? Oh oh. I think you're doing great as it is. If you're happy with the sales you have, just enjoy it. If you want a full bore business, well, that's anothe thing entirely. I would consider offering the enlay as an add on. And what about a Polish Eagle family treasure box with the carved eagle OR inlay on the top? Painted versions in red and white with the eagle carved on top?

I do like the idea of making a version with a plaque on the bottom where you carve the family name in some kind of gothic lettering?

I'd go for adding embelishments to existing items. Step up the game a little at a time. I thought your large plaque as a game opener for Polish organizations is a great promotional method. How about having an itsy(?) shop with pictures on it and an easy way to contact you and order. You could use paypal for payment by CC, it turned out to be very easy to set up. The payment gets sent directly to your business bank account.

As a business, your expenses can be written off, including equipment, supplies, operating costs such as electrical, all travel expenses, etc. In my business, I use simple shoe box accounting. Keep it simple and really get to enjoy meeting all those great people at events.

Use the extra money to buy a much faster machine, using the same software so you don't have to relearn it. It will give you a little more free time.

How about a set of pictures and a little story about your Eagle business sent to Polish oriented publications and then posted on facebook in Polish groups, including groups for cities with large polish populations. Easy to research, and all of these are inexpenisve public relations methods that are very easy to execute. The nice part is that you can so a little or a lot, depending on what you're comfortable with.

There, John, remember that you asked for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
We think somewhat alike Dr T.

I don't want a "full bore" business again. Been there. Done that. Don't miss it.

I make many plaques with the family name carved on them. I clean up the Old English font somewhat and call it Old World. It's the most popular one by far. It relates to the old country.

I have a file for a box. Just have to put the eagle on it some way and tweak a few things. Haven't made the time to do it yet.

We already have an Etsy shop, have a Paypal account, take c cards, etc. The whole thing. Also have a website that needs a lot more (a whole lot more) development.

I'm married to an accountant (Controller).

My new machine carves 4 times faster than the original. I carve with that one now while the other does the smaller stuff and text signs. I also have 2 finishing stations and an account with the Post Office for easier label printing, payments, and shipping.

Next step is to get a company Facebook page, although I hate Facebook and don't want to do it. But it looks like I have to.

Plus I still dabble in the market a little and have to keep an eye on that.

All I wanted to do was have a hobby to keep busy in retirement.
 

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Use the extra money to buy a much faster machine,
There are diminishing returns with increasing speed for 3D carving. Adding a second machine would be more productive, if you have the room.

An inlay of that eagle would not be trivial. There's a lot of detail in that carving. To do that with an inlay would make it a multiple step process, with multiple or alternating wood species.
 
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