Weeknotes #1

Now that Coastermatic has picked up a bit of momentum the time seems right to start documenting our progress. If you’re thinking about starting a similar coaster / Instagram enterprise, maybe this information will give some useful reference points, or atleast highlight how not to do things. In the style of many we admire, we’ll be writing weeknotes, probably on Mondays.

Until last week Tash and I had been pretty flexible on our roles, switching from graphic design to code to legal liaising, we’d split our time equally to work on whatever needed attention. This was great in the beginning, we both learnt about all aspects of the process, including a feeling for the pain points along the way. Since orders have started to pick up, we’ve decided it’s time to get more efficient. So now Tash is “head” of code and legal, and I’m focused on marketing and graphic design.

In other news…

Giftcodes

We launched giftcodes! We’re still wrapping up the user-buying portion, but we have the rest of the functionality in place to give (and receive) the gift of coasters.

Tech

Coastermatic.com is going through puberty. We started the migration process from Dreamhost over to Pagoda Box, a fancy new server, which allows us to scale more easily, and make our site more stable. This also involved setting ourselves up on github and starting to take version control a bit more seriously.

Legal / Tax

Tash spent a bunch of time on the phone with the Department of State getting our legal stuff ship shape. We met with a nice accountant. We’re now learning about the wonders of Quickbooks.

Marketing

We met with some familiar, and some unfamiliar faces to chat about Coastermatic. We’re quickly learning that communicating the weight and feel of stone is difficult via the web, so I’ve been carrying around a stone coaster in my pocket wherever I go. We’ve also been thinking about some alternative approaches that may put a different spin on things, I’m excited to explore these once I’m done writing this post.

I also had a good chat with Jeff at PSFK, who kindly featured the interview on their site.

Craft Fair

We had a stand at Artists & Fleas in Brooklyn on Saturday. We take “curated sets” down which we sell as is, on top of advertising the customised service which people can make through our site. Last time we learnt how people don’t want to go through a complicated process of choosing images while at a craft fair. The lessons seemed to have paid off and we sold out of our panaroma series.

Social Media

With the launch of giftcodes we now have the ability to give away coasters, so we’ve been playing around with that. Throughout June we’re randomly selecting someone from our Twitter & Instagram followers every Friday, to give the gift of coasters to. This has been fun to come up with ideas for. The post below shows our first randomly selected winner.

If you’d like to be in with a chance, simply follow us on Instagram or Twitter. If you follow us on both, your name will appear twice in the draw.

We took Sunday off.

Phew.