Puppy wheelchairs, prosthetics, and pizza in space. What do these things have in common? They’ve all been 3D printed. Once the stuff of science fiction (think the replicators of Star Trek’s Enterprise), 3D printing is rapidly becoming familiar technology for artists, inventors, and industrial designers. Although 3D printing is associated with creating a wide variety of things, it’s not necessarily associated with making beautiful things. One artist who’s working on changing that is Andrea Panico, maker of our Common Edge 3D Printed Initial Necklace.
There’s an exciting energy that runs through Jason Krugman’s workspace in the New Lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The open, industrial space fosters cross-pollination of ideas in an environment where science, technology, invention, and art meet. Nearby, an experimental collaborative of architects works on design and material concepts that seem drawn from science fiction—from mushroom bricks to human shelters made from cricket colonies. In the midst of this fantastic innovation, Jason and his partner, Scott Leinweber, created the Splyt Light, an innovative new lighting design that lets consumers build their own unique fixture from a kit of modular parts. We visited Jason’s light-filled space for a look at where Splyt was born, and a conversation about his work sculpting with light and finding ways to share that exhilarating experience with others. Continue Reading…
As the Senior Production Manager here at UncommonGoods, my job is to oversee the connection of design ideas with manufacturing resources to create new products.
Thomas Edison claimed that genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. From my experience, product development warrants a formula of its own. To carry an idea through to a finished product you should start with a spark of inspiration, then add in equal parts diligence and thoughtfulness, especially when it comes to sourcing.
I’ve pulled together the following considerations for responsible material and supplier sourcing inspired by my experience partnering with our makers on new product development. I hope these thoughts will help other small business owners navigate the rough waters of sourcing.
As a creator of original designs or handmade products you’ve tackled the most important part of your business, what to sell. Now you find yourself taking on new questions that may be harder to answer. You’re starting to ask, “Where can I sell my handmade items?” and inevitably “How do I sell my designs online?” We’re happy to answer your first question and encourage you to check out our submission page, but before you click that link, take some time to think about whether your product is ready for retail.
Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.
To celebrate Record Store Day, we offer this album of ten facts about vinyl, from shellac and slate disks to records in space to smuggled Soviet bootlegs. This post only scratches the surface, but we hope it helps you get in the groove to visit your local record purveyor on April 16th.
The early stages of email planning happen months before an email is sent. In the early stages of planning, our email planning team looks at sales, best times of year to feature certain types of products, search data, and what we are most excited about sharing with our customers.
We try to show the breadth of our assortment through our emails, but also work within themes to make each email interesting and unique. We sell a wide array of items, ranging across nine different categories, and we try to pick a group of well-rounded items that appeal to the different tastes of our customers. When we have category-based emails (a jewelry email, for example) we aren’t necessarily picking items to show the breadth of our total assortment, but we do try to pick items that will show the variety of our assortment within that category.
In 2016 two of our biggest initiatives are newness and exclusivity. In addition to our classic customer favorites, UncommonGoods is a destination for exciting new products. Featuring new and exclusive items in our emails builds excitement and lets our customers know that we’re not only a place to buy gifts, but also a destination for exciting new designs that often can’t be found anywhere else.
After taking into account the inventory availability of an item, we work on the aesthetics of the email. We want the items in the email to be compelling and speak to our customer while also being visually appealing. Just like a visual merchandiser would do in a brick and mortar store, we want the products that are merchandised in the email to work well together and contribute to the overall flow of the email.
We also feature maker stories in emails from time to time, and take special care when picking products to be featured alongside their maker. We feature artists who have a compelling story, but also who create products that sell well on our site. High sales tell us that people are interested in those products and may want to know more about the story behind them.
If you Drop Ship items for us, you are most likely familiar with our Drop Ship Extranet. We’re excited to announce that 2016 brings Extranet functionality for our warehouse vendors as well!
Manage Purchase Orders
You’ll no longer need to send multiple emails throughout the Purchase Order process! The Extranet will allow you to confirm purchase orders with the click of a button, or easily notify us if there is an issue that needs to be corrected. The Extranet will store all of your open Purchase Orders, allowing you to easily review all of the inventory that is expected or on hold for us.
Ship Purchase Orders
When you are ready to ship, UPS labels can be printed directly from the Extranet, or a freight request can be easily submitted to our freight coordinators. The simple forms will guide you through the process of providing us with all the information we need. If you ship your PO using another method, add tracking to your Purchase Order and send it to our system in one easy step.
Review Your SKUs
The Extranet includes a list of all of your active warehoused SKUs that are currently live in the UncommonGoods assortment, along with cost and discount information. We encourage you to review this information regularly and notify us when there is a change.
Update Your Contact Information
Did your warehouse move? Got a new PO Box for billing? Just log into the extranet and access the Profile page to provide us with the update – what you enter here goes straight into our system and your information will be updated instantly.
If you haven’t already, you will soon receive an email invitation to set up your password, and then you can log in and look around. If you don’t receive an invitation, feel free to reach out to your contact in the Purchasing Department and we’ll expedite it for you. Have questions? We’re here to help – reach out to your purchasing contact or email firstname.lastname@example.org.