Archive for February, 2013

Prices Raised (a little)

Posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Unfortunately, we recently decided that our card prices needed to be increased a little because of higher than expected ink costs.  We use a high-end Xerox printer that uses solid ink cartridges, which look similar to curved blocks of colored wax.  Each colored cartridge typically costs about $100, and may last four months or so depending upon how many cards we print.    Our printer uses four colors, or four blocks at a time.

The cost of ink is our biggest expense in creating a card, followed by postage and then our 10% donation to charitable organizations. Envelopes, greeting card stock, website hosting (and domain renewals) and royalties round out the remaining costs.

Unlike most, if not all, greeting card companies, we donate 10% of each card’s sale price to charity, but this donation also makes our cards cost more.  However, as a Christian business, we believe donating 10% of our revenues is wise, and will lead to blessings down the road.

All of our cards remain priced below $3.00, and this includes the cost of postage, so we believe they continue to represent a great  value for our customers.  However, we’ve eliminated our $1.99 cards (except one) and have very few offered below $2.29 (or roughly $1.83 without a stamp).

To justify slightly higher prices, we’re going back through our cards to make our messages even better, and worthy of a higher price.  We recently did this with our Zig Zag (Adult Birthday) card.  You might take a look at the message in this card and let us know what you think.

Thanks.

Paragraph 7 of 8 (we changed our mind on posting this), and Story #3

Posted on Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

OK, we changed our mind and decided to post paragraph 7 of our second short story.  However, we won’t be posting the final paragraph (sorry), as you’ll need to buy that card, or the set, to see how this exciting story ends.

Paragraph 7

The visitor introduces himself as a former college classmate who is now pastor of a small rural church, and says he had wanted to stop by and see Sheep while he and his family were on vacation.  Sheep invites the pastor, his wife and their four small children into Sheep’s home.   After several minutes of small talk, Sheep, with a tear in his eye, asks the pastor if he and the pastor can talk privately in an adjacent room. 7

 7 Genesis 43:30 Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there.

Story #3 Ideas

We’ve not yet thought of story number three, though one idea is to have it take begin on a Monday, with Sheep having an interesting experience or encounter at work.  If you have ideas on what story three should be about, feel free to let us know.  If we use your idea, we’ll give you the entire set (for story 3) for free, and, credit your name on the back of each card in the set!

 

Short Story#2 – paragraphs 3 – 6 of 8

Posted on Sunday, February 17th, 2013 at 1:45 pm

After writing a short story about an exciting sheep race and incorporating it onto the back of seven of our greeting cards (known as our Set of Seven, with six paragraphs of the story shown in blog entries between July 14 and July 23, 2012), we have completed story number two.

In the first story, Sheep becomes motivated to enter into a 10K race known as the Good Samaritan Run, and he ends up (*****spoiler alert*****) winning it despite not having the fastest time.

The second story starts where the first one ended, and focuses on Sheep and his wife attending church and visiting with an old college roommate.  This story, which also contains an unexpected surprise, will be spread over eight greeting cards, which will be “rolled out” later this spring and possibly early summer.

Below is a sneak peak at paragraphs three through six of this second, exciting sheep story.

Paragraph 3

Leaving behind schedule, Sheep finds himself speeding on the way to church, and feels a little guilty for doing so. An old, beat up car in front of him is driving the speed limit, but too slow for Sheep. He decides to teach the driver a lesson by tailgating him for a minute, and then completes the lesson by zooming around him while honking his horn.  At the next intersection, Sheep takes a sharp turn onto a side street that leads to the church.3

3 Psalm 69:5   You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from you.

Paragraph 4

Arriving late to church, Sheep and his wife are escorted to a pew in front. After singing what seemed to be a dozen songs and listening to half of the sermon, Sheep’s eyes become very heavy.  Shortly after drifting to sleep, Sheep awakes to a sharp pain in his side from his wife’s elbow, and without thinking clearly shouts, “Amen!” Fortunately, his response came at the end of the pastor’s sermon, so others in the church didn’t seem to mind other than his wife, who turns to Sheep and gives him the “look.” 4

4 Matthew 26:43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.

Paragraph 5

Upon arriving home from church, Sheep’s wife spends the next hour in the kitchen preparing a big, Sunday afternoon dinner.  Sheep forgets to thank her for her efforts and how well the meal tastes, but Sheep’s wife doesn’t mind.   Soon after eating, Sheep’s wife washes the dishes, cleans the table, and sits down to cut out coupons from Sunday’s paper. Although Sunday is a day of rest, Sheep’s wife always has plenty to do.5

5 Proverbs 31:27   27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Paragraph 6

With a full stomach and the rest of Sunday’s paper in hand, Sheep is ready to relax in his favorite chair and take another nap, when all of a sudden the door bell rings.   He opens the front door to see the smiling face of a visitor, and then notices the visitor’s car in Sheep’s driveway – it’s the one he had tailgated and zoomed around on the way to church!6

6 Genesis 4:7   7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

To read the final two paragraphs, you will need to order the cards that contain these paragraphs, or better yet, you may want to order the entire set as a gift or to send to one family over time.

Short Story #2 – paragraphs 1 and 2 of 8

Posted on Sunday, February 17th, 2013 at 1:19 am

After writing a short story about an exciting sheep race and incorporating it onto the back of seven of our greeting cards (known as our Set of Seven, with six paragraphs of the story shown in blog entries between July 14 and July 23, 2012), we have completed story number two.

In the first story, Sheep becomes motivated to enter into a 10K race known as the Good Samaritan Run, and he ends up (*****spoiler alert*****) winning it despite not having the fastest time.

The second story starts where the first one ended, and focuses on Sheep and his wife attending church and visiting with an old college roommate.  This story, which also contains an unexpected surprise, will be spread over eight greeting cards, which will be “rolled out” later this spring and possibly in to early summer.

Below is a sneak peak at the first and second paragraphs of this second, exciting sheep story.

Paragraph 1

Sheep awoke from a pleasant sleep, but felt tired and sore after winning yesterday’s big race.  He looks forward to resting today and taking an afternoon nap – his usual routine on Sundays. 1

1  Jeremiah 31:26   At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me.

 Paragraph 2

After a quick bite for breakfast, Sheep and his wife hurry to get ready and be prepared for church. Sheep’s wife tries on her new outfit, and asks Sheep if she looks fat in it.  Although Sheep thinks she looks fine, he doesn’t know quite what to say, so he tells her that he needs to start the car in the garage since they are running late. 2

Ezekiel 38:7   “‘Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them.

 

4.5 minutes and saving money

Posted on Saturday, February 9th, 2013 at 2:04 pm

4.5 minutes is the average length of time a customer/visitor spends on our website.

6.5 is the average number of pages reviewed.

Our goal is not necessarily to increase the length of time, as we want our site to make it easy to quickly order a card(s).

On the other hand, if a customer orders more than one card, the length of time he or she spends would likely be higher.

To help customers benefit from ordering several cards during one visit, we offer discounts on small “bulk” orders.

For example, if you order 3-5 cards, you receive a 10% discount; 6-10 is 15%, and more than 10 is 20%.

These discounts may not seem large, but they really are, as we’ve already priced our cards low (every card is priced at $2.99 or below, and this includes the cost of postage to any location in the world).

What’s the bottom line?  Spend a little more time on our site,  order a few more cards, and you’ll save more money!