Hey folks! It’s finally time to order planners! As always, there’s a lot of info to parse through but I wanted to hit you with a couple of BIG points right out of the gate. 🙂
The shop will open on May 28 for orders. I’m still nailing down some details on pickup times and locations, but they will be updated by the time orders open!
I’m going to be experimenting a little this year with pickups. Typically I wait until early July and process all the orders at once so they’re ready right before pre-planning. With the expected volume of orders, I’d like to try to start my orders to the printer a little earlier. What does this mean for you? Not much! 🙂 My first order deadline will be earlier than usual. However, what I’d like to do is get some orders done early and get them to YOU early. If I’m able to do this, I will contact you as they come in.
I am still working on a location that will allow lots of traffic without charging a large fee to take up space for a few hours! 🙂 As of right this moment, I will do pickups in my neighborhood in Martinez, but I will update you if this changes. My current scheduled dates are:
- Saturday July 28 – 11a – 1p
- Monday July 30 — 11a – 1p
- Friday August 3 — 3p – 5p
School deliveries will be on August 1. Please note that I do not deliver to all schools. I usually deliver to a few schools (typically Grovetown Middle, Grovetown High, Columbia Middle, and Martinez Elementary) in Columbia County because there is a large number of orders from those schools. I cannot do home deliveries, and I can only offer a limited number of pickups at my house outside of the scheduled times.
Shipping vs. Rush
If you cannot arrange for pickup at one of the scheduled times, you must pay for shipping.
Please note that selecting 2 day shipping does not mean your planner will arrive in 2 days. I know it can seem misleading because large retailers such as Amazon will ship immediately after your order, thus getting it to you in two days. I am a small local business. 🙂 To make the most efficient use of my working time and to keep shipping costs low, I typically wait for a large batch of orders, then process them all together and order them from the printing company which is out of state. Therefore your planner may not even be printed until several weeks after your order, and has to be shipped to me.
Selecting 2 day shipping on my site means that when the shipment of planners arrives from the printer, I will then ship your planner to you with 2 day shipping. That fee covers only the cost of packaging and mailing your planner through the USPS.
If you need your planner much faster, you can pay for a Rush Order which allows me to print locally (not necessarily within 2 days), and add 2 day shipping to get it in the mail to you as soon as it’s finished. Please email me to find out my turnaround time for a rush order.
All orders will be placed through my Shopify store! I’m happy to answer your questions via e-mail but make sure your orders are placed through the store. This year I will not accept payment on delivery. Shopify is a secure merchant that accepts all major credit cards, as well as PayPal. If you have reservations about paying online, I understand. Please contact me ahead of time and I will work with you to arrange pre-payment.
Before going to the Shopify store, please visit this page to check out the options. There are a lot of options to choose from and it’s helpful to know what you’re looking at before getting into the actual order page. If you have questions you can always e-mail me.
The Big One
I’m a huge believer in transparency. There are some changes from last year’s options, and I want to let you know why. First, I have raised my prices slightly to reflect production costs. ($25 monthly, $35 weekly for standard teacher planners, with some variations in specialty planners based on relative size).
Second, the standard planners will have binding and covers like I offered in years prior to 2017. (Clear front, black vinyl back, black coil) For many of you, this will probably be no big deal, but I know some of you were really pleased with the changes last year and I wanted to explain why I’m changing again.
Last year was a bit of an experiment. I offered some different options on the planners, including laminated covers and heavy frosted plastic backs. I was able to offer these options because I purchased laminating and binding equipment and supplies, then did all the laminating, punching, and binding myself. (And by ‘myself,’ I mean with the help of some very generous friends and family members who answered my SOS in the final countdown when I frantically declared I couldn’t possibly get done in time!) I did this because I was unable to find a printing company that would do what I wanted at a comparable price to the printer I’ve been using.
Prior to opening orders last year, I did my research to determine the cost of these changes. I also did some test runs to estimate how long it would take to bind one planner and figured I could pull it off. Based on my work, the itemized cost of the supplies slightly less than the cost of having it done at the printer.
(Or so I thought.)
However, I discovered that 1) it in fact cost me more to purchase the supplies to do it all myself (due to one pesky calculation error) and 2) it takes a really long time to prepare hundreds of planners. If the growth of this little business continues as it has in the last few years, it will be physically impossible for me to get them all done if I’m doing it alone.
Therefore, I’ve decided to use the same binding options I have used in the past. The binding will be done by the printer before being shipped to me. The planners will still have a protective clear cover in front of your personalized cover, and will have a durable black vinyl backing, just as they have had every year except in 2017. These protective covers are approximately the same size as the pages. The binding will be black spiral coils instead of clear.
That said, I will still offer Laminated Covers for an upgrade fee. However, they will be a “snap on” cover. A very popular life planner brand called Erin Condren uses this style to make their interchangeable customized covers. Basically, I will punch the spiral binding holes on your laminated cover, and then cut a very small slit perpendicular to the holes so it can be snapped onto your coils. This method will still give you great looking laminated covers, and as long as you’re not grabbing your planner by the cover and flinging it around, they’ll stay put very well! If they come off, they can be snapped back on easily. If you’re curious what this looks like, check out this video!
If you’re wondering “why all the concern over some silly covers…” well, you may be right. 🙂 But I didn’t want to make changes silently and have anyone feel that they didn’t get what they expected, especially if 2017 was the first year you ever purchased a planner. I’ve always tried to be candid and realistic about my business, and want you all to be happy with what you get from me.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns or questions about this. Thank you all for your continued support and sharing the Sparkle Pop love!
I’m offering a number of specialty planners this year. Some have new forms specific to those planners, while others are just tweaked versions of the teacher planner. Based on custom work and suggestions by past customers, I am offering planners for the following:
- K5 Administrators
- School Counselors
- Office/Staff/PTO (Non Classroom personnel)
- Elementary Music/Specials
Some of these planners are only available in certain styles so I can gauge interest. (Of course, if you fall into one of these categories, you are more than welcome to order the regular teacher planner!)
I have also added two horizontal layouts to the teacher planner, as I have received several requests for a horizontal setup. 🙂
In keeping with my analysis of how last year went, I need to clarify one thing on custom calendars. I will offer the same provision that I did last year, which is that 5 orders from a school will waive the fee for custom dates. However, I need to clarify this. This must be 5 of the same interior style.
In other words – if you are at a school that I don’t currently provide dates for, you can get together with 4 (or more) other teachers to place your order. If all of you get a Monthly or Weekly Planner with the Arrow interior style, I’ll waive the cost of custom dates, because I only have to add dates once for Teacher #1 and can use Teacher #1’s file as a template for the others.
However, if your order is more like this, I won’t be able to waive the fee:
- 1 monthly with Arrow interior
- 1 monthly with Minimal interior
- 2 weekly with Curvy interior
- 1 hybrid
This is actually four different templates, and I have to enter those dates four times, as opposed to once in the first example. There’s no scaling or “saving time” in an order like this. Even though it’s the same dates, in terms of the time required, this is no different than 4 orders from different schools. Therefore, I cannot waive the fee.
If you’re unsure about whether your order qualifies, please contact me before you order. I’ll be happy to work through it with you and let you know if I can discount it.
Every year brings unique requests. If you have a request for a change that you don’t see covered in my documentation, please feel free to contact me. Below, I’ll address some of the stuff that’s come up. Some of these changes require an additional fee to cover the time required to make the alteration or the extra pages inserted.
- Remove existing pages you do not need
- Duplicate sections/pages you want to use more
- Relabel sections to fit your needs (for instance, I created a planner for a VP with six meeting notes sections for RTI labeled by grade level, so her pages said “K. Meeting Notes” etc.)
- Create a form that is similar to something you provide and make it fit the style and aesthetic of the planner (within reason)
- Insert your own files/forms if provided in PDF format
- Move sections (within reason)
I will not:
- Replicate an entire planner or style you find online
- Create numerous new sheets/forms
- Create a new font style for the interior (cover font changes are fine)
As always, please feel free to email me questions about what I can do.
Ready to Order?
I truly appreciate your interest and excitement – I smile every time I get a “when can I order my new planner” email! Please let me know if you have questions, and I’ll do my best to help you kick off a great school year.