Claremont Designs

The Shop Has Moved (and a Shift to Lamps in Inventory)

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It wasn’t quick and it wasn’t easy, but the Claremont Designs shop has made a 9 mile move. It seemed like it would be easy to move a 600 square foot shop… but 10 years of work (and sawdust), several pieces of equipment over 300 pounds, and a few projects that are perpetually WIP added to the complexity.

During the (extended) move time, the Etsy Shop has been on vacation mode. I’m sure Etsy has a better description, but it basically means my Etsy shop existed with nothing listed. It also means that all of my search rankings plummeted… After years of having several of pieces show up in the top 5 positions when people search for Edison Lamps, Claremont Designs is now not even in the top 50 (it’s probably worse than that, but I gave up on counting other listings before I found any of my lamps). Hopefully that will be fixed by the holiday season.

I haven’t made too much of a mess in the shop yet, so it’s still pretty clean. I’ve made 3 new lamps since the shop was setup, and I’m still happy with the level of cleanliness. Beyond being new and clean, the biggest improvement in the new shop is actually having some natural daylight and overhead lights that actually work. I hope that means that quality of furniture coming out of the shop will improve, but time will tell.

The other big change with the shop is that I’m going to transition away from only selling made to order lamps. I think that will improve options for both me and customers.

For me, I’m going to enjoy building furniture (and lamps) on my schedule rather than the (largely) unpredictable timing of lamp orders. I’m also going to start building lamps from wood that I think is interesting, as opposed to wood which is fairly generic. It might sound counterintuitive, but when building custom pieces it is not generally the best idea to use interesting wood. Interesting can refer to the color, the grain, the lack of uniformity, etc. The challenge when building custom pieces (when only interacting over Etsy and building to an aggressive timeline) is that it is usually safest to use lumber with consistent color and straight grain. Going forward, I’ll try to build more lamps that use “interesting” wood. We’ll see if customers want that… An example of one of the new lamps is the 3-bulb Ambrosia lamp below.

While I’m trying to do some more interesting wood choices, I also want to make sure that I build the lamps that customers have been expecting (and purchasing for the past few years). To start building up the inventory, I’ve built 2 single bulb lamps. One is in cherry and one in walnut. Over the years, walnut has by far been the most popular wood choice, but I like the cherry the best.

For customers they will get 2 big benefits. First, they will know exactly what they are buying. The pictures on the Etsy listings will now show them exactly what they are going to get. For customers that like the surprise, they can still order a “made to order” version of the lamp. But my primary reason for the made to order option is for customers that want to make some small changes to the lamps (e.g., different size, different finish, custom cords, etc.). The second big benefit for customers is that I can ship the lamps much quicker. I’ve listed the shipping times online at 3-5 days, but I’m hoping I can ship faster than that.

We’ll see how this all goes, but hopefully these changes will make the process better overall.

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