Tag Archives: unique Valentine’s Day gifts

Behind the Scenes at CookiePots.com

3 Feb
We attempt to stay ahead of the orders by "pre" building our Candy Bar Love Cakes.

We attempt to stay ahead of the orders by “pre” building our Candy Bar Love Cakes.

The only people that can fully appreciate how busy we get at CookiePots during the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day are current or former employees and my immediate family.  Just to give you an idea, we put up a preview of our Valentine offerings in mid December and begin getting orders as early as the first week in January.  Customers that have ordered in the past know that we only have “so much” of the romantic add-ons and if they want the best selection they need to order early. You don’t want to be the customer with her heart set on Chocolate Cherry Body Heat Lotion that is told we only have Watermelon left in stock!

We often compare the achy, totally exhausted feeling that we start experiencing around the 4th of February to childbirth because as soon as it’s over you tell yourself that, “it really wasn’t that bad” until you hit the next year and remember that  YES, it really was that bad!

The first tough thing is inventory.  Although we sell our “romantic” items all year long, we just don’t have the space for extra love lotions, racy games or dozens of handcuffs if they don’t sell over the Valentine’s week. So figuring out what will sell each year and what won’t requires me to be part magician and part psychic. I usually start by ordering slightly more of any of the products that sold out the year before.  This method isn’t fool proof but it usually is about right.  I then try to pick out at least 2 new items that I think will appeal to my predominately female customer base over Valentine’s season. I then have to make sure we have enough “sticks” for the cookies that we do for the bouquets and also the right amount and color of cellophane. And don’t even get me started on pots, shipping boxes, bubble wrap and packing tape.

bouquet-inventory

No matter how many Romantic Candy Bouquets we make ahead of time, we just can’t seem to keep up with all of the last minute orders!

Each year we also attempt to work ahead on everything that we can possibly do before hand.  We fold and tape up shipping boxes, we assemble “poofs” and wrap pots for the CookiePot Bouquets and we try to completely build those items that aren’t perishable such as our Candy Bar “Love” Cakes and our Stud Kits.  But even those have options that customers can choose so we can’t even finish all of those completely before the orders come in.

Since we hand write all the messages that customers leave on the enclosure (or POP-Up) cards, we can also do those ahead of time. I also remind my children and husband that they will be on call if we fall behind and need their assistance. This is usually met with a collective groan.

flash-me-1

There is no other special feeling like receiving a “naughty” Cookie Pot Bouquet.

And then there is the critical communication with our customers.  A lot of gals ask for delivery right on Valentine’s Day. This always leaves me a little uncomfortable because all of our gifts are delivered by Federal Express.  Now, considering all of the packages that FedEx delivers each day, they do an admirable job. But, and this is a big BUT, things can always get in the way.  Sometimes packages are put on the wrong truck, sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate and sometimes recipient’s aren’t home and the location is such the FedEx driver doesn’t feel comfortable leaving the package without a signature. These are all elements that can delay the delivery by a day.  For this reason, we normally suggest to our customers that we aim for February 13, and put a “Do Not Open Until Valentine’s Day” message on the outside of the box.  This way we’ve compensated for any delays that would make the gift arrive late.  We always feel that one day early is always preferable to any days late – especially when we are talking about Valentine’s Day!

And when it’s all done and a week has passed we tell each other that it really wasn’t that bad. Right!