Thank you for a successful fundraiser for Philippine Red Cross. We raised $434.82!
I donated $217.41 from my sales through Shay's employer and they matched 100% of the donation. :)
The time has come, my friends -- the only time I have a site-wide sale in my shop! :)
10% off Ready to Ship bags
Use code: THANKS10 at jennyndesign.com
Or you can shop at my Etsy shop and the prices have already been discounted.
In addition, I will also be donating 10% of ALL my sales from Wednesday through Monday to Philippine Red Cross to help those affected by the typhoon.
Shay and I are alone this Thanksgiving, so we'll be heading over to Boston Market to pick up some Thanksgiving goodies, and then recovering from the coma with some late-night gift shopping and enduring the Black Friday madness. :)
Have a wonderful holiday, y'all!
p.s. Remember that my deadline for Made to Order bags is December 4th, which
is coming up soon, so get your orders in to ensure delivery by
I was out with my husband meeting up with friends a couple weeks ago at a bar when I realized how badly I needed a small bag to carry just my phone, ID, credit card, keys, and lipgloss. Sometimes, a girl just doesn't need to carry her entire life on her shoulder. This was one of those times.
Before you go thinking that I've never owned a wristlet, let me tell you that with the phones growing in size every year, my phone was just outgrowing the wristlet I was using for years. Hence my need to design something to suit my needs.
My Samsung Galaxy SIII is, by all means, not the largest phone on the market and it wasn't fitting in the wristlet I currently owned. With plans to buy the Samsung Galaxy Mega (which, according to my brother, who works at Samsung, looks like you've slapped a tablet to your face when you're talking on the phone, which is precisely what I like to look like when I'm walking around) I needed to design something that would accommodate women like me who want to carry our large phones in teeny-tiny bags. We deserve wristlets, too, right?!
(And if we're being super honest right now, I offered a wristlet bag 4 years ago but with my fashion sense evolving, I wanted to design something that reflected my current artistic aesthetic: simple, well-made bags meant for everyday use).
So here we are: a no-frills bag.
The Wristlet is a simply-designed, durable, and lightweight purse optimized for minimal baggage and maximal dancing for a night out on the town with friends.
It can even be used as an every day bag if you're a minimalist when it comes to purses. If you're a maximalist for baggage (like me), you can clip this cute little Wristlet in your larger bag (like the Archive or Ruche) for easy access to small items (i.e. makeup, coins, business cards).
Perk! You can also attach the bolt snap to the zipper pull to make sure your bag stays closed all night. (I know, right?!)
I hope you love the Wristlet as much as I (and some customers who have already ordered the bag) love it!!
It's that time of year, my friends!
If a bag from my shop is on your Christmas wishlist, please inform your gifter of these deadlines. Every year, I receive orders after the deadline because the gifters (not pointing fingers here, but they are usually husbands...just saying...) did not know about my order deadlines and their giftees received their bags after Christmas. Which is not nearly as much fun as receiving them ON Christmas.
Tell your husbands, ladies. Or you'll be angry at him on Christmas morning (but hopefully forgiving a few days after when you receive your lovely bag!).
Pro tip: Sync his Google Calendar with yours and you can add these deadlines to his calendar and yours. You're welcome! :)
Below are my deadlines for ordering your bag in time for Christmas delivery:
Made to Order
Domestic (USA): Dec 4
Military/International: Nov 20
Ready to Ship
Domestic: Dec 18
Military/International: Dec 4
Order by these dates (11:59pm EST) and you are guaranteed to receive your order by Christmas, otherwise I'll refund your shipping charges.
- Orders placed AFTER these dates will be delivered AFTER Christmas.
- I DO NOT rush process ANY orders as it compromises the quality of my craftsmanship (and we don't want that!).
- All orders will be shipped via USPS Priority Mail and Priority Mail International Service with insurance and delivery confirmation (tracking). Signature confirmation can be added upon request.
USPS Priority Mail EXPRESS shipping will be available starting the day after the Priority Mail Service deadline until:
Made to Order
Domestic: Dec 9
Military/International: Nov 27
Ready to Ship
Domestic: Dec 19
Military/International: Dec 11
Express shipping will be an additional fee of +$29 on top of the Priority Mail Service shipping charges.
Well, that was a really boring blog post. Thankfully, I only have to say this once a year!
I told you back in 2010 that I would post a recipe of my pho ga, so here it is! Over 3 years late! (I'm a horrible person, I know).
I make pho at least every other week. It's my go-to dish for cool weather days. It's also a great elixir after an inebriating weekend or for a case of the sniffles. It's a richly flavorful soup without that stick-to-your-ribs soup belly fullness. This soup will also perfume your entire home with the smells of Vietnam with the anise, coriander and fish sauce! I've never been to Vietnam, but I imagine it smells like pho.
As a child, my parents took my brother and me to eat pho at our family friend's restaurant once a week for the 8 years we lived in New Orleans, so I'm seriously fueled on pho broth. I'm also Vietnamese, so this broth literally runs through my veins. Fun fact: when I donate blood, I actually donate a bag of pho broth.
No joke, my husband told me I kind of smell like pho after a workout.
See. In my veins. And sweat glands. I do not lie.
whole chicken (organic is preferable)
ox tail (optional)
5 whole star anise
2 Tbsp whole coriander
2 Tbsp whole peppercorn
4-5 whole cloves
1 Tbsp Rock Sugar (1 Tbsp white sugar also works)
4 inch knob ginger root, unpeeled
1 onion, first layer peeled off, reserve ~1/4 for garnish
1 bunch cilantro, stems only tied with cotton twine, reserve tops for garnish
Fish sauce (I don't know the exact amount, I use this to salt the soup, so taste as you add)
Onion, sliced thinly
Green onion, thinly sliced (optional)
In a large pot, fill with water and bring to boil. Char ginger and onion either directly on fire of gas stove or broil in the oven, turning to char evenly (I use a toaster oven). You can lightly peel off some of the char, then slice ginger into large pieces and add onion (whole) and ginger to pot. Add anise, coriander, peppercorn, cloves, sugar, cilantro and fish sauce.
Add oxtail, bring to boil and reduce to simmer on medium-low until tender (30-45 mins). Remove oxtail. I save this oxtail to snack on another time with sauteed bok choy, or I'll use it in my bun bo hue soup another day.
Add chicken (breast side down to prevent drying). Bring back to boil, then reduce to medium-low and let simmer until chicken is cooked through (40-60 mins depending on size of chicken). Remove and slice or peel into pieces.
** Throughout the cooking process, skim off the foam and fat that floats to the top. It's important to keep the broth clear! **
Discard onion, ginger, cilantro and strain broth through sieve into container to get beautiful clear, yet flavorful broth! My MIL loves a little soft onion in her soup, so you can save this if you'd like.
While chicken is cooking, in a separate pot bring water to boil and cook pho noodles until done. Drain and rinse with cold water to remove starch and prevent the noodles from becoming a huge sticky mess. Set aside.
Combine sliced onion, cilantro leaves, green onion, some lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix and let sit and be merry. Set aside.
To serve, add noodles to the bottom of a large bowl, add sliced chicken and then the garnish. Ladle on hot broth and serve!
Everyone you serve this to will love you forever. At least until they're done with their bowl of pho and want seconds.
I sold out of the brown and beige tweed I used for the super-popular Traveler bag last week and the original vendor discontinued that fabric (I hate when that happens!).
Thus began the search for a replacement. I stumbled upon twill weave and plain weave twill. I was racking my brain deciding between the two. After 50 seconds of deliberation, I bought both. If I can't decide, it means I must have both.
I use this logic when it comes to pretty much everything:
Should I eat steak or sea food? That's easy - Man created surf & turf for good reason.
Should I get these heels in fuchsia or electric blue? I'll definitely need both.
Should I get plain weave or twill weave tweed wool? Must offer both.
And here we are, with two similar but not too similar tweed Travelers to choose. Which one will you choose?
(You could go with both. I would.)
Also, I'm starting to integrate my new and improved zippers with long pulls into all of my bags. The Travelers are getting them first! You'll notice the zipper pulls are MUCH easier to hold on to when trying to get into your bag in a hurry (or with lotion on your hands), and the zip action is MUCH smoother than before. Wee! :)
These zippers will be making their way into the zippered pockets in all the bags, too!
p.s. If I had 3 options to choose? Well, I'd never put myself in that situation (though we all know how I would make my decisions based on my little cardigan collection)...
Claire reached out to me about sharing some business insight on setting goals, standards and workflow processes for their Holiday Bootcamp series. This bootcamp is extremely helpful for new and veteran sellers to prepare their shops for the holiday season --so you can imagine how ecstatic I was to share some of my experience with selling on Etsy for the past 5 years!
If you're an online seller, and have 18 minutes and 3 seconds to spare, I hope you'll watch this and gain a little more insight on how to prepare for the busy holiday season.
If you're not an online seller, but you have some time to spare, I hope you'll watch it anyway because you are reading my blog anyway, and you might as well see what I look and sound like when I'm being interviewed (I use the word "like" like, so many times, ermahgerd).
Not convinced you need to watch this video? Maybe my husband's review on it will help:
"I watched this live and people were loving the advice! Lots of great questions from the viewers and interaction from new sellers.
I loved the the softer concepts too, like being confident about your craft when dealing with custom orders and remembering that the holidays aren't all about bagging the most cash - they're about candles and candy crush... I especially liked how well thought out your comments were without seeming overly rehearsed. I hope Etsy comes back to you many more times.
I prouds! You pays rents, thanks."
I'm so (!!!) excited, yinz guys*.
I've been wanting to makeover the Baby Ruche bag for quite some time. It was one of my flagship bags in my shop and the design has been unchanged for almost 5 years. Until now!
You hear this advice all the time on design shows: Be cohesive! Having a cohesive collection really allows a designer to become a recognizable brand, and I've been taking the steps to make my bags look like they were all designed and constructed by me. "But Jenny" you might say, "you ARE designing and making all these bags!". It's true! But I want them to all look like they are related. And this comes in the way I construct my bags.
Mushroom Taupe (it's back!)
When I re-launched the Clutch, I fell in love with the flap closure and I knew I wanted to incorporate that into the ruched bags. Somehow. I didn't know exactly how I'd do it without compromising the aesthetic of the bag. As an engineer and an artist, I'm always trying to find a balance in my designs that reflect both my personal artistic aesthetic while also maintaining high utilitarian value and functionality.
So I mulled over it while making that Backpack y'all love so much.**
Then, as I was browsing some cute vintage dresses at my friend Karen's shop, I saw something interesting in one of her listings. Her dresses were photographed with a "crinoline". I didn't know what that was, so I looked it up and I knew I had my Ruche bag redesign done.
You see, the original Baby Ruche design was inspired by the fusion of a bubble skirt (when it was all the rage) and a Chinese dumpling (when I was making them). (Can you see it now that I've mentioned it?) It was only fitting that I incorporate a built-in petticoat to retain its bubbly shape, which also gave me the mechanism to install the hardware properly for the flap closure like the Clutch.
I've renamed this bag Ruche (and the smaller version, coming soon, will be lovingly named Ruche Mini to stay cohesive with my Archive and Archive Mini naming scheme. More cohesiveness! Boom boom bam!)
My husband says he absolutely loves it --that's enough positive feedback to last me at least a week on my redesign launch high.
I hope you love the redesign as much as we love it!!
*While in speech, I have not changed my "y'all" to "yinz", I decided I should at least mention it once on my blog to show solidarity with our Pittsburgh home and all. But you may not see me typing that often. (I'm a Texas girl at heart.)
**You can take the girl out of Texas...