I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and safe, peaceful New Year!!!
I have some news! As most of you know, due to some family/personal stuff I’ve had to go part time over the last few months. Since then life has become even more challenging and hectic, but I think I finally have a good solution. Are you ready?
Let’s talk SABBATICAL.
I don’t want to close my business, but I need to take some extra time to see if I can make things more manageable again. I need to find time for both my business and the other family obligations that have popped up recently. My goal is to keep Rosaries by Speziale open in the long run, so I’ve decided to take 1-3 months off now so I can figure out logistics and get a new system in place. Unfortunately I honestly don’t know how much time I will need so my plan is to play it by ear by taking 1 month at a time. That way I can reevaluate my situation regularly. In the meantime I will be posting updates on my Blog and Facebook page so you know what’s up and when I will be opening up full time again. I will also try to put banners on my store home page with links to the most updated information.
In the meantime I will try to keep as many “ready to ship” rosaries as possible in my Etsy store. For those who regularly buy rosary parts in bulk, please feel free to contact me directly. I will still place those orders for you, it just might take me a bit longer to get them to you especially with the supply chain issues we are having right now.
Please know this decision didn’t come lightly. Unfortunately, I no longer have the time to handle my average daily work load along with all the other obligations facing me right now, so I had to come up with a plan B. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this will cause.
Please remember beginning January 15th 2022, I will be just an email away if you need something. I will gladly help when I can, but if I am unable I will at least try to refer you to someone who can help in a more timely manner. OK?
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I won’t be available to take many phone calls, so email is the best contact for me right now. Thank you all for your support during this difficult time. I appreciate you all so much!!
I have decided to suspend my international shipping program effective immediately. With the rise of international tariffs, the constant increases in USPS shipping costs and our own goofy US sales tax nexus stuff, it is just too time consuming and complicated to keep up with. I’m sorry to say I just can’t afford the financial losses anymore. If things calm down or if more affordable options come along in the future I may be able to resume sales outside the US, but for now it is just too expensive and complicated.
As some of you already know things have been difficult lately. I have become extremely overwhelmed with Covid, homeschooling, personal stuff, and family stuff. Over the last few months it has become harder and harder for me to keep up with my business on top of all the other new challenges I find myself facing daily. Honestly I have been considering permanently closing my doors for the last few months, but the thought of it made me so very sad. 😦 So, after a lot of prayer and deliberation I have decided cut back on my hours and work part-time instead.
I don’t know for sure how long this will last. There are too many variables in play right now, but know that I will continue to do my best to fill all orders in a timely manner. They may not go out in 12-24 hours like before, but I’m hoping I can fill all new orders within a couple days or so depending upon circumstances at home.
Effective immediately, I will switch from my normal 30-50 hour work week to an every other day type of schedule. I will be working most Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If possible I will continue to check email and answer questions on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays but I will not be able to fill orders on those days most of the time due to other obligations. Sundays will be my day off along with other scheduled “vacation days or weeks” as needed.
For those who shop from my Etsy store, availability will be limited to custom rosaries and pre-made/ready to ship items. “Made to Order” rosaries will only be available on my website for the time being.
I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause, but my goal is to eventually move back to full time. I just don’t know for sure when that will be possible. Fingers crossed. 🙂
Thank you for your support. I have the best customers EVER!!!
Update February 15th, 2022: I just got off the phone with a rep at the department of revenue in Kansas and was informed they now have a small business friendly nexus rule in place. YAY!! I am in the process now of updating the store so that my Kansas customers can buy again!!
After doing my bi-annual tax check across the country I recently found out that Kansas is the only state in the union refusing nexus style regulations!
I know, it’s crazy, but any items sold in or shipped to Kansas require a sales license and payment of state sales taxes even if it is only $.10. WOW!
For perspective, all other states in the union have “nexus” laws which help determine which businesses are required to pay sales taxes and which aren’t. Simply put if you are a tiny online crafter like myself you aren’t considered large enough to warrant adherence to the local sales tax laws. For example, most states consider $100,000 to $200,000 in annual sales or 200 transactions annually enough to qualify for a nexus status significant enough to require licensing and the payment of sales taxes.
So I find myself in a bit of a pickle. I have looked into Etsy, but there is an issue there as well. Unfortunately I really don’t have the resources to keep up with multiple licensing and tax laws for multiple states. Colorado laws are complicated enough with all of our home rule cities and special districts and such. So here is my plan. 🙂
All orders to be shipped to Kansas will need to go through my Etsy Store (https://www.etsy.com/shop/RosaryStuff). Etsy has the resources to charge and pay the appropriate taxes for all of my Kansas customers. 🙂 This option works great for those purchasing rosaries, but for rosary parts things get more expensive. Etsy requires a fee of .20 + a percentage for each item sold. For example, if you need 25 centerpieces they are requiring me to list them all individually which means the price of a .65 centerpiece goes up to .85 each. That can be expensive when you are buying in bulk, so if you would like me to create an Etsy listing for you please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can discuss the details and how to move forward. You don’t have to be a member of Etsy to shop there, so if you have any questions or need help please don’t hesitate to let me know. 🙂
Please Contact Your Representatives: At this time I feel it is very important for my Kansas customers to contact their representatives to see if they can to a nexus program like the rest of the country. If they can change the laws to be more friendly to small business then I can start shipping there again.
I just got off the phone with the State of Colorado and found out that as of January 1st, the new sales tax laws are now in full effect. 😦
If you are in Colorado, please call your representative and request that in state sellers be included in the nexus laws applied to out of state sellers. This would allow small businesses like mine to sell in Colorado without having to worry about licensing, and complying with every home rule city, county and special district rule in the state.
So what this means is that I can only ship to customers with a delivery address within the city of Westminster in Jefferson County. The sales tax for all of my Colorado customers will still be 8.35%, but anyone outside the city of Westminster/Jeffco will need to pick up their items here or hire a delivery service to pick up and deliver on their own.
There is another option though. For those buying rosaries, I can list your item in my Etsy Store. Etsy will then pay sales taxes due to every home rule city necessary. If you would like to try this option, please contact me before purchasing.
Hey Everyone! Unfortunately I have bad news….USPS raised their rates again. 😦
The last couple of increases I paid myself, but this one is just too big. So unfortunately, starting today my shipping rates are going up a little bit. Honestly I’m not sure if this set of increases are permanent or temporary, so for now my flat rate 1st class US shipping will go up to $3.95 and Canadian shipping will go up to $13.50. Other options like priority and insurance have all gone up anywhere from a few cents to a couple of dollars. As usual, if you have any questions please let me know.
As more and more jewelry makers delve into the realm of rosary making it seems a good time to clarify the differences between American and Italian manufacturing. Many jewelry makers assume the same level of American quality even when purchasing rosary parts made elsewhere, but unfortunately this is not the case, so let’s take a peek at the differences.
Here are the basics. Foreign rosary parts have always been made differently from American jewelry components. It’s been that way for over 100 years. Jewelry components usually include features like thicker silver or gold platings, lead free pewter bases, and even solid sterling silver or 24K gold options. It is also very common for American rosary part manufacturers to use similar metals, which is why they are so much more expensive than their Italian and Chinese counterparts.
Most Italian rosary parts are made from a metal mix called Zamak which includes things like zinc, aluminum, magnesium and copper, but the exact recipe varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. For example, all of my suppliers mention using a silver “flash” plating on their silver tone parts. This type of plating is very thin compared to our American standard which is why some jewelry makers don’t consider it to be “real” silver plating and get very offended if you refer to it as such. Two of my suppliers also include small amounts of silver in their general Zamak recipe. Each manufacturer does something a little bit different. 🙂
Long story short, if Italian and Chinese rosary parts were plated with the American standard sterling silver or 14k gold, their cost would go up substantially. Affordability, durability and variety are what make Italian rosary parts so popular, but sterling silver or 14K gold they are not. This is why when talking about rosary parts you always see words like Italian silver plate (or tone), American silver plate, or Made in China. If you look for those specific identifiers, it will help you understand what the center or crucifix is made of. OK? 🙂
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. OK?
I’m finally in the process of updating pictures. YAY! If you are looking at an item and the picture is missing, just wait a minute or two and it will pop back up. It just means I’m in the process of adding the new images to the listing.
As before the images will be color coded to help make browsing easier. Italian silver plate parts will have a blue background. Gold plated parts will have a pink background. Sterling silver will have either a purple background or a purple bar across (I’m not sure which yet :)). American made pewter will either be white background or another color. I’m still working on those. 🙂
As usual, if you have any questions, please let me know.
Just a heads up to let you know I am in the process of testing the PayPal Express button located underneath the “Check Out” button in the shopping cart. It seems to be working ok now, so if you would like to use this to expedite your checkout, please feel free to try it. If you run into any issues, please let me know.
Phases 1 & 2 of the new store upgrade are now complete! YAY!! 🙂 All the pretty stuff is finally done!! Phase 3 will involve a lot of back end stuff including fixing that pesky PayPal button, retaking pictures, rewriting descriptions, SEO and adding more details to each listing. It will take a couple of months to get that part finished, so if you see anything wonky in the mean time please let me know.
Below is a picture of the new item pages. I was able to add a “short description” directly under each item title. Minimizing those and making them more concise will be a big part of Phase 3. Hopefully once finished they will help with any confusion regarding items used for custom rosaries versus items available for individual sale. If you have any questions or see any type-o’s or other errors, please let me know. 🙂 Thank you for your patience during this transition. It has been greatly appreciated!