Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Shopping Cart!

So, as many of you know we launched our new website on Tuesday evening. We really wanted something bright and fresh with lots of bits to look at and poke around in. We’ve been talking about this change for about 10 months and have redid the site 3 TIMES – never quite happy with it before but now I’m super happy with how it looks. Brooke worked on it with Benjamin our programmer and it’s hosted on something called Shopify. Shopify is like a store set up and then you put your products in the store to sell them. It’s like Etsy or Big Cartel or countless other cart systems out there. We chose Shopify because it has unlimited bandwidth (very important when you have traffic like ours) and it has a really good ‘back end’ where we can keep customer records, easily see things like sales tax – stuff that makes running a business like this a lot easier. It also has a tech team that we can call if we run into issues – which is way different then if you have something built for you and you are sort of on your own. Anyhow, I hope and pray that this system works! This will be my 3rd cart system now … Bamboletta is tough on sites as we have a very ‘unique’ buying situation. Benjamin said it’s the equivalent of thousands of people all rushing into a store when it opens and all going for the same rack. There will be snafu’s, I’ve learned that this is inevitable with what we deal with, but I’m hoping Shopify can do the job well!

So, this is how the site goes down for when you want to buy a doll … (please note that this info is 99.9% accurate, I’ve had a few discrepancies with what I’ve been told from different Shopify people – apparently no one else asks such detail oriented questions about the check out. Someone today said ‘well, pardon me, but why does it matter?’ HA! I think Brooke and I almost fell off our chair!)

1. Choose ‘Shop all Products’ on the top (I’m sure that the Shop Our Dolls link on the left on the will be okay too BUT at the time of writing this it was a tad glitchy – Shop all Products is better right now)

 

2. Select the type of Doll you want. I’m pretty sure that can go directly to these links before the sale and hit refresh until we turn everything on, but, again – this is 99.9%. We tested and retested but how a site reacts under so much traffic is unknown until it actually happens.

3. I clicked on and found ‘Test 2’ – it’s EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for. Dream come true! I hit ‘Buy Now’ VERY quickly!

 

4. Okay now this is the VERY important part. Once you get here, you have the doll for 5 MINUTES – so you have 5 MINUTES to fill out your info and pay (BTW This is a time set up by Shopify and I can’t change it. If you are totally worried about being held up in Paypal then you may want to proceed and pay via Credit Card). You can go ahead and click ‘Pay with Paypal’ which, for some reason DOES NOT SHOW UP IN ALL BROWSERS AND COMPUTERS! Why? We don’t know and apparently no one has ever brought it up with Shopify before. They don’t take checkout as seriously as we do! If you want to PAY VIA CREDIT CARD, or, you don’t see that ‘Pay with Paypal’ button just fill out the info and…

** From Benjamin, our guy,  you should not click on the back button on your browser once you get to the checkout area. If you leave the checkout you lose your 5 minutes of hold time.**

 

** REVISION!** IF YOU HIT THE PAYPAL BUTTON AT THIS POINT YOU WILL BE TAKEN DIRECTLY TO PAYPAL. YOU LOG IN THEN HIT SUBMIT. YOU THEN WILL BE TAKEN BACK TO OUR CART WITH YOUR UPDATED TOTAL AND THEN YOU PUSH ‘COMPLETE MY PURCHASE’ **

If you didn’t hit the Paypal Button just go to Step 5!

5. Hit ‘Continue to Next Step’!  If you’ve changed your mind then please hit ‘Return to Store’ to release the doll. If you get here and do nothing then the doll will release in 5 minutes. This is good to know if you get to a page where it says  there are ‘Inventory Issues’ – it means it someone is checking out. If they don’t check out within the 5 minutes then the doll goes back into the shop. (SEE NUMBER 8 for more info on this – it what happens if someone is checking out with the doll)

6. Here’s where you fill in your Credit Card info and Complete your purchase. It doesn’t matter if you choose Paypal on this page or the above page. If you use Paypal, I’d probably hit the button on the previous page so I didn’t have to fill all that info out. That is IF you see that button in your browser. But really it doesn’t matter – I just hate filling in more info than I have too!

7. And VOILA – doll is yours! Shopify assures me that there are NO oversells but again, this is a very unique traffic/supply/demand situation we are in over here at Bamboletta. I’ll guess we will see what happens tomorrow with all those Little Buddies for sale but fingers crossed it all goes smoothly. Don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep tonight!

8. So, lets say you click ‘Buy Now’ on the doll you selected and someone is in that 5 minute checkout window. This is the screen you get. WHATEVER YOU DO DON’T HIT ‘APPLY THESE CHANGES’! Nothing bad will really happen to you but you will be put into a weird grey world (see 9. Pic) that does not link back to the store – even though it says it does.  So on this page please just hit ‘return to store’ or even the back button on your browser. We had a timer  built to tell you how long a doll will be still be in the cart but it’s currently disabled until we get it all smoothed out. Until then you can go back and choose another doll or keep trying to buy it until it may (or may not) release back into the shop. Once a doll is sold it will show as Sold Out.

9. This is what happens if you hit ‘Apply these Changes’ – you get this grey screen. If you press ‘Go back to previous page’ NOTHING happens and you keep on this grey page. Again, we called Shopify on this several times and they were a little shocked at our dismay over this. From what we’ve heard they are making a fix on this so you don’t keep looping in here. If you do end up here you have to go back to www.bamboletta.com. Testing on my browser hitting the back button keeps me on this page too 🙁 This issue single handedly kept me from opening up my Shopify store sooner but I’ve realized now it’s something with every cart.

 

Thanks so much everyone for your amazing patience and support during this. I know lots of you loved Etsy but with the fees charged it’s just not feasible for us to continue on there. We also really need a better admin side to things for business stuff.  I wish it were easier to get a doll and there weren’t web difficulties – it’s just so many people at one time! Thanks too for all the great feedback!

BTW – We still have dream dolls in the works. We made the form on our old cart and now we have to reconfigure it somehow here on Shopify – it’s a bit of a logistical headache. We just need to tackle our website first and then we move into Dream Dolls. I’m really looking forward to them and Rachel is excited to be the Dream Doll liaison!

xo

Christina

 

 

Barbara H. - October 18, 2012 - 7:02 pm

SOOOO excited for you guys as you enter into this new chapter! Hope everything goes smoothly tomorrow, but if it doesn’t, no biggie, you know we’ll all be back! Congrats to the gang on the new site! <3

Allison - October 18, 2012 - 7:07 pm

I have my store on shopify and LOVE LOVE LOVE the way it works and have NEVER oversold something (except for my error in counting 🙂 )… I get lots of traffic during uploads too.. not quite like yours, but I love it, and hope tomorrow goes well for you! 🙂

Allison

Monica - October 18, 2012 - 7:09 pm

You are amazing Christina. I’ve just loved watching your evolution. Keep up the amazing work! ♥

Jill Cruz - October 18, 2012 - 7:14 pm

Very, very cool. Congrats! It will be fine and we will all learn and keep coming back 🙂

Cassandra - October 18, 2012 - 7:19 pm

YAY and how flipping exciting! Thank you for blogginh this and I am super excited!
Good luck to everyone tomorrow and fingers crossed but I know this new system with rock! WOOT!
And hope you can sleep tonight Christina! 🙂 May it be smooth with Team Bambo tomorrow!
SUPER excited about the dream doll! 🙂

Erica - October 18, 2012 - 7:23 pm

Can we talk about how excited I am for you? 😉

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Staff Pick!!!

Hi Friends! It’s Thursday again…so crazy! I feel like every week I talk about time flying…but it does!  🙂  This week was our sweet Nicoles pick and she chose Waterlily, the pretty jointed gal with the waltermelon mix hair!

Clothing by: Nicole

Hair styled by: Brandi

Likes: Chocolate chip cookies

Dislikes: End of summer

Bff: Trisha

What Nicole says about her “I chose her because her hair reminds me of a watermelon!”.

Our upload is scheduled for tomorrow at 12pm pdt on our etsy site here. Have a happy doll shoppin’ day tomorrow friends! May you purchase the dolly of your dreams 🙂

xo

Brooke and Nicole

Sandra Egan - September 27, 2012 - 3:56 pm

i love her hair so much

Rickiann - September 27, 2012 - 5:23 pm

Two of my fave colors pink n green <3

Kelli M. - September 28, 2012 - 2:45 pm

Loved that color combo for her hair, too. 😉 Pretty!

Skye - October 5, 2012 - 6:43 pm

First off, Nicole has the most beautiful eyes!! Second, how do you stand all the cuteness without constantly taking them home? I could never work there (besides my lack of talent!) because I would be stealing every other doll. You would have to check my pockets each day!! <3

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Quick Post!

Hi Everyone!

Just a quick note that I’m moving Wednesday (4pm PDT) upload over to ETSY (rather than Big Cartel). I’ve been having some problems with Big Cartel and am going try this out on Etsy 🙂 Preview pictures are over on my Facebook Page. Please note that with Etsy you need to have an account set up before hand AND it is the first to check out – so there is NO cart holding. If you like a doll please check out as soon as you can 🙂

Also, starting in October – our Frocks will stock every WEDNESDAY (times will vary – please check our calendar for times!)

Thanks everyone!!
Christina and Team Bamboletta

Karie - September 26, 2012 - 10:53 am

What a pretty doll! My daughter would LOVE her! <3

Elizabeth C. - September 26, 2012 - 11:53 am

Adorable!

Mattie - September 26, 2012 - 12:42 pm

My granddaughter would love this doll! So cute!

Ana r - September 26, 2012 - 5:44 pm

So cute!

Nicole - September 26, 2012 - 7:38 pm

CUUUUTE!!!!!

Julie - October 1, 2012 - 4:03 pm

She’s beautiful!

Barbara - October 1, 2012 - 5:24 pm

Totally adorable! Would love to win this cutie-pie!

Lindsey Hollenback - October 1, 2012 - 5:32 pm

She’s so stinking cute, my daughter would LOVE her!!!!!

Alisha - October 1, 2012 - 7:12 pm

She is gorgeous! MY daughter would love her!

leah Coppa - October 1, 2012 - 9:02 pm

so beautiful!

Leigh Davies - October 1, 2012 - 9:19 pm

We have a 4 year old granddaughter that would love to have this Rainbow Beauty as a Christmas present. She is from a single parent home and this would be greatly loved by Sadie. Lovely dolls.

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Trying something new ….

If you want to skip this long drawn out saga ( I just can’t keep it short!) please just read the highlighted bits for the news 🙂

Hello everyone! As many of you who’ve been following me for a few years know the technological struggles I’ve faced in trying to sell my dolls. I started off on Etsy, which was great but then felt like it was time to move to my very own website – this is when I created bamboletta.com. It was so nice on there, I could keep track of customers (great for ease in tracking orders, etc), things like figuring out sales tax was a cinch – behind the scenes stuff that makes running an online business easier. After having my own site for a few years as my ‘popularity’ (for lack of a better word) grew so did the problems I encountered. First it was the overselling issues – it was not uncommon for many people to check out with the same doll. This was such a heartache for everyone involved – those emails I had to send telling people that the doll they thought they bought was a glitch was really sad. My hands would sweat and I’d go super pale before each upload – hoping and praying that there wouldn’t be any oversells. Then something else started happening – screens would freeze up on people, pictures would just go missing, dolls wouldn’t appear and people would buy dolls before they even went live. After some investigation it turns out that ‘malicious scripts’ were used on my site that essentially wore it right down. I had the most bandwidth possible and a private server yet nothing helped this stuff from happening. A very stressful time. You see, I really believe that the dolls find their homes. I like the idea that the doll finds their way to you – but what was happening , with the programs and such, well,  that was not the case.

Then I moved to Big Cartel – which has been really great so far. The tech support staff has been good – trying to help out with as much as they can.  Recently though we’ve been noticing dolls held up in carts (so, when someone has a doll in their cart they have 30 min to check out, which btw I can not change – Big Cartel has it set to 30 min) for hours at a time – sitting there. Unavailable to buyers yet not being bought. I am so sorry it’s been so hard to buy a doll – I just haven’t been sure on how to sell them sometimes. Believe me, I’ve talked to so many people about my situation. I can’t afford the $30k that comes with building a site from the ground up and mostly I can’t hire on IT people to keep track of every program or script that has been placed on my site. With using something like Big Cartel I have back up that can help out if something is going on.

Now, we do have something in the works with Shopify but there is a bit of a glitch that we are wanting to work out before we make it live. My move to Shopify is  so that I can get that ‘behind the scenes’  stuff I want in a shop.  Big Cartel just doesn’t have it. So, until we work that out we are still on Big Cartel – which brings me to my announcement …

We will now have TWO uploads per week – on Wednesdays and Fridays. We are varying up the times to be more accommodating for people. Now that I have Brooke to help out it’s easier for me to do the evening and later uploads! Love that Brooke! Dolls will still be shipped out each Tuesday like normal. Our uploads will be split in half so an upload will have 25 or so 15″ dolls, 10 (or so) LB’s and some baby and jointed dolls. The other big thing is that the carts will only be open for two hours then everything will be shut off. Dolls that are not sold or were held in carts will then be place on my Etsy shop. Randomly. If you subscribe to my Twitter or are a fan on Facebook I’ll drop a few hints. I did this as a trial thing last week and it went really well!

Also, the Frock Shop will be stocked up each Tuesday at 11am PST. It will be left open all week and orders will be shipped out each Monday (Tuesday if going with a doll). If we make a few items that we just can’t wait to show you we will put them up in the shop throughout the week. So, if you buy several items throughout the week we process them all on Monday so we ship them together and then refund you the shipping 🙂

I will have the month’s uploads posted at the start of each month – you can check here for the updates.

We just hope, hope, hope that this makes it easier to buy a doll. We have noticed that there isn’t as much of a frenzy during an upload which is great – it looks as though supply is meeting up with the demand! By October my group of 35 (!) amazing sewers, stuffers, dyers, seamstresses, knitters and crafts ladies will be up to about 100 dolls per week and that’s where we are staying at. I don’t want to get any bigger. The dolls still gets lots of hugs and love in the studio passed around from mama to mama – it’s a really neat thing.

One more thing – I’m thinking of maybe taking a waiting list .. maybe. What do you think? I’ve mentioned it before but the thought of it scared me. But, now I have Brooke and she is good at organizing stuff like that. She has no idea I’m writing this – I am SO going to get it tomorrow!! Haha!

Thanks so much everyone! Seriously, I feel so much love thinking of you gals on the other end of the screen clicking away trying to get a doll. And the joy I feel when someone gets one when they’ve been trying and trying, well, it’s really unique. Seriously, I have the best job in the world and I have you all to thank for that.

xo
C

Lea T - September 5, 2012 - 9:30 pm

YES on a waiting list!!! I already know I want to be on it 🙂 XOXO

michelle - September 5, 2012 - 9:35 pm

Love the idea of the waiting list. After 2 years of trying for an LB throught all avenues a waiting list would give me another chance. One day the LB will come to live with us. Now with 2 tries a week.. We love you Bamboletta.

Kristin Z - September 5, 2012 - 9:36 pm

Please give the waitlist a try! I would be more than willing to add my name to the very top of that list. 🙂

jennifer - September 5, 2012 - 9:42 pm

sounds good, but me on the wait list.

Morgan Nahanee - September 5, 2012 - 9:42 pm

You are such a thoughtful business owner. I can’t wait to be able to buy a doll from you and take a trip to the island to pick him/her up in person!

Ida Norwood - September 5, 2012 - 9:42 pm

Will this weeks upload of dolls be at 3:00 p.m. as stated on the calendar? ( I know thurs. your have a wee ones upload, just a little confused about Friday) Thanks!

Renea Pike - September 5, 2012 - 9:45 pm

Ohhh a waiting list would be amazing!!!

Ann k - September 5, 2012 - 9:49 pm

Thank you for giving consideration to a waitlist. I have 1 or 2 seemingly impossible dolls on my ” need to have” list.

Jennie - September 5, 2012 - 9:56 pm

well as always you’re so eloquent and lovely in your writing. Your love for the dolls and the homes they go to shines through your words. You’re amazing! and I’m sure like all your fans feel…Thank you for sharing and communicating the ins and outs.

Jennie

Tanya - September 5, 2012 - 10:01 pm

Great ideas. Thanks for trying so many things to resolve the problems. I would LOVE the waitlist idea!!!

Adam Patterson - September 5, 2012 - 10:19 pm

I really like Shopify,

I completed a site about 2 months ago and they have had great success. The support was wonderful, let me know if you need any help.

I had to overcome a few challenging issues as well with this site http://mychildish.com but anything seems possible 🙂

Good luck!

Lisa W. - September 5, 2012 - 10:22 pm

A waiting list sounds great!! You are such a sweetie, always thinking of your customers!

Claire - September 5, 2012 - 10:23 pm

I think a waiting list is a great idea!

Katherine G - September 5, 2012 - 10:30 pm

Yes to the wait list!!!! 😉

Theresa - September 6, 2012 - 1:38 am

amazing how much thought and consideration you dedicate to your sweet dollies finding their homes. and yes, would absolutely love to be on a waiting list for a Little Buddy girl 🙂

Abigail - September 6, 2012 - 2:15 am

A waiting list sounds great, my daughter is desperate for an ‘all coloury’ (rainbow) haired doll and this may be the only way we could land one!
I hope your new changes work out well for our business.

Heather - September 6, 2012 - 4:12 am

I agree a wait list would be wonderful idea to try.

Jennifer - September 6, 2012 - 4:21 am

Wait list? Yes please!! Everything sounds great!

Barbara H - September 6, 2012 - 4:31 am

All of the proposed changes sound well thought out and fabulous solutions to some ongoing problems. Love ya guys!

Brenda Bell - September 6, 2012 - 5:22 am

The new plan looks great, and I appreciate how you are having different upload times! So exciting. Lots of love xoxoBrenda

Michelle Schneider - September 6, 2012 - 6:05 am

I have yet to be able to get a doll. What is the process?
Thx, Michelle

michelle Yager-French - September 6, 2012 - 6:25 am

A waiting list for custom? Yes please!

Alma - September 6, 2012 - 6:37 am

Hi Christina,

A waiting list sounds great! I have been trying for a year and half for a doll with no luck. I’m not on facebook or twitter so I can never figure out upload times. It’s been stressful! Look forward to hearing more about your decision on the waitlist aspect.

Take care!

Erica - September 6, 2012 - 7:31 am

Great idea! I’d love to be on a waiting list as well ♥

Samantha W - September 6, 2012 - 7:40 am

Thank you for trying to make it easier for us to find our perfect dolly companions. I’ve been trying for about 9 months straight to get a Little Buddy for my daughter. I still really hope to be able to get one before Christmas but they just go so fast and I guess my Internet (or me, lol) is just not fast enough. A waiting list would be a great idea! I love what you did last week putting the dolls up on etsy that were being held in carts too. You are doing a great job Christina and your thoughtfulness toward your customers, employees and business as a whole is commendable 🙂

NAJ - September 6, 2012 - 9:32 am

A waitlist?? Yes, please!!!!

Leah Killian - September 6, 2012 - 9:43 am

I think a wait list is a good idea. I like that it is a bit more spread out.

It would be nice if all the LBs went up together on one day rather than spread- simply because it is going to bring it back down to more people going for less dolls. I could never cart one until you started bigger uploads. If 100 people are all going for the same 7 dolls again- it’s impossible.

I love random etsy shop uploads 🙂

Darice/Healing Gems - September 6, 2012 - 10:41 am

A waiting list would be great.

Tanya W - September 6, 2012 - 11:07 am

I always love hearing what you have to say C~ I think as a customer, we really have no idea of all the work that goes on behind the scenes in the shop!! You’ve made some great changes that I hope will make buying a doll easier on everyone (including you!). I love the idea of the frock shop being open all week too 🙂

jennJK - September 6, 2012 - 2:44 pm

i would LOVE to be on a waiting list!!!!! 😀

Jan Winters - September 7, 2012 - 10:33 am

I am really hooping that this works. I want a LB baby so badly.
I keep trying but by the time I click in everyone is in a cart.
Keeping my fingers crossed. Would really love to have one by Christmas.

Jan W - September 7, 2012 - 10:35 am

Oh yeah I forgot…….Pleaseeeeee do a wait list.

cara - September 7, 2012 - 5:30 pm

Love the waiting list idea! Sign me up! At this point I would love any LB to live in this house! 2 years & still trying! Thanks for all that you do!

Rebekah - September 8, 2012 - 9:34 pm

The changes sound like a good idea. I like the idea of a waiting list. I already have one Bamboletta for my daughter but I have 5 other children that need their companion too. We would love a to be on the waiting list if you start one.

Ying - September 11, 2012 - 8:35 am

I love, love, love the idea of a waiting list! I detest competition, so the idea of trying to pick out the doll of my dreams under time pressure and in competition with faceless others is totally off-putting. I read the blog because I love to see your dolls’ sweet faces, but I just can’t buy one under these conditions. Thanks for considering it!

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Please Help!

I received some very sad news today. One of Benjamin’s classmates, Zoe, was diagnosed with Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), also known as acute myelogenous leukemia. I am crying just thinking about this sweet and sassy girl and the journey she is about to go on. Jody, her mom, is an amazing lady – she’s a single mom who loves her little girl more than everything. Jody is a massage therapist and I often went to her for treatments and we would talk and talk about our kids – I just can’t imagine what she is going through. It’s all so much to take in. One day everything is ‘normal’ and then this. I’ve learned over the past few years how incredibly fortunate we are when things are ‘normal’.

So, Bamboletta community, I’m asking for some help here. I want to put a fundraiser together for Zoe and her mom while they go to Vancouver for treatments.  If you make stuff and especially if you make dolls stuff could you please donate an item or two for me to put into a fundraiser to benefit the Palfy’s? If you have anything you’d like to donate please email me at christina@bamboletta.com and I’ll give instructions on where to send items. Time is of the essence here though so I’d need them by Sept 15th. I’d like to get this up by the end of the September.

In the meantime, a family friend has set up this page for donations. If you can help, please do. So many of us can do something to help this mom out during this time – money is the last thing this lady needs to worry about right now.

In gratitude and love,
Christina

 

 

Jo Caller - August 30, 2012 - 10:41 pm

Christina I know exactly how you are feeling! I am a preschool teacher in Australia and recently one of my little munchkins was also diagnosed with Leukemia :(. It is extremely sad by he is being very brave. We are also in the process of organizing a fundraiser to support him and his family. Good luck with your efforts I know there are many generous people out there.

Many Blessings

Jo

Kate - August 30, 2012 - 11:25 pm

This is so kind and thoughtful of you. My father passed away from AML last year. It was awful and this family will need and appreciate all the love and support possible.

Jennifer - August 31, 2012 - 5:20 am

Tell my what you would like Christina (The stuff you make is better but i would be happy to help you.)…I will ship you some items for your fundraiser. Please email shipping info. Sending love and prayers for you, your son, and his friend and family.
– Jennie

Mama2Hope - August 31, 2012 - 5:29 am

I make cute little doll necklaces, I’ll send you some!

Leah Killian - August 31, 2012 - 5:55 am

That poor family. I’m e-mailing you Christina.

Darice/Healing Gems - August 31, 2012 - 7:26 am

This is just awful. Since I am in the US and can’t be sure something would get to you in time to auction I just sent a donation through PP.
My heart and thoughts are with this family.
Peace

Lisa W. - August 31, 2012 - 6:13 pm

Hugs, so sorry for the sad news. A parents worst nightmare for sure. Praying for strength, healing and comfort for all involved.

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