It's been a few months since we had to shutter our brick and mortar store, and a lot has happened in the world of Restrained Grace since then - I'm long overdue for a blog update, but that's only because I haven't had the bandwidth to do everything I need to do to keep the business afloat, let alone write about it. But here we are in late October, and I'm writing an update!
I'll be real with you, sales are slow. They have been all year and it's no mystery as to why: sales are slow everywhere, because inflation and corporate greed is bleeding us all dry. It hasn't helped that Miss Tara and I have both been struggling through burnout, new motherhood, and disability while trying to keep things going smoothly during multiple ongoing global crises.
This fall, we had no other option but to let the rest of our in-person team go, we simply aren't making enough money to cover payroll, and we haven't for a while. So now it's just Miss Tara and me handling it all, with our long-time friend Eric still on the job taking care of our customer service.
The positive side of this slowdown, if there is one, is that I've had time to catch up on things that we've been behind on since 2019, and all of the pile-ups that accumulated when I became disabled and we had way too much going on. This month, I've been working on desperately needed updates for our website!
New and improved features and ongoing projects include:
- New filter options when searching and browsing allow you to shop by:
- Hardware color
- D/s role
- LGBTQ+ Identity
- Free shipping on all orders over $20 in the US & $150 everywhere else
- New lower prices on ultra discreet day collars
- Chain upgrade options are in the works, you can see a sample here
- Estimated delivery date displayed on every product page!
- Better product recommendations on product pages - we've got to set these up manually for every product but we love showing y'all what will match!
- Relaunching our wholesale program so you can find RG in your favorite local sex shops!
And that's just what I've been doing on the website... you should see how busy I've been settling into my new workshop space at home (my Sir switched offices with me so I could have more space!) and organizing and re-organizing all of our materials and inventory!
It's still a tight squeeze, because homes in San Diego are all unfairly small, but creative storage and organization is something my autistic brain loves. (The world is a game of tetris.)
Another big backlog project I've been working on for months is this massive ongoing sample sale! Silly me launched the sale back in September thinking we had everything ready to go - but it was only a small fraction of what we have available. That stack of storage bins in my workshop in the pic above? All of that is leather gear waiting to be added to the sale!
Along with all of this, I've been organizing all of our digital assets (photos, videos, and graphics) so I can approach marketing without feeling immediately overwhelmed, and instead come up with a game plan.
And last, but definitely not least, I've doing a ton of research with regards to product customization apps for our website - if you've ordered a mini collar or a framed collar tag in the last few months, you've gotten to try it out, too! My goal for our custom made products is that you'll be able to see all of your options in real time as realistically as possible while designing your own pieces - as well as increasing our customization options for things like shirts and phone cases! This is a huge project and one I foresee taking a few months, at least, because of the size of our product catalog. But it will be available on products as I set them up!
As we slide into the holiday season, I'm working on a lot of new ornaments and some personalized gifts - expect to see a lot of new releases in November and don't forget to get your custom orders in as early as possible to make sure they arrive in time for gifting!
I'll leave you with a little bit of emotional sadism:
Miss Tara and I are launching a vanilla brand in the Spring, and that's all you get to know about it for now! 😈
Expect more frequent blog updates now that I have semi-normal brain function most of the time! I've missed talking with y'all.
Oh, and happy halloween!!!