March 27, 2015

I Added a Staub Coq Au Vin Dutch Oven Cookware Piece to the Collection … and I Blame Susan of Between Naps on the Porch

Williams-Sonoma and other retailers continue to plot against me by having more unbelievable sales during the six-month life renovation project.  After the Mauviel copper pots, the Ruffoni pots, the cut lead crystal, the barstools, the Edwardian sofa and reading chairs, the tea makers, the coffee machine, the espresso machine, et cetera, purchased mostly over the last month, another 25% off sale was announced on cookware and these beautiful $280 Staub Coq au Vin enamel Dutch Ovens went on sale for roughly $165 with free shipping after applying the stacked discounts.  It doesn’t get much better than that if you are buying direct from an authorized retailer.

Staub Chicken Dutch Oven in Green

I almost picked up a red version of this exact Staub Coq Au Vin dish a year ago during a trip to the Country Club Plaza Williams-Sonoma but these things are heavy and I was going to be walking around for a few more hours so I put it on the “get to that one of these days” list.  Then, last Christmas I considered getting them as gifts for a few people but wasn’t sure if they would appreciated for what they are so I went with a different plan, buying bottles of Creed to give away, instead.

It’s been backordered until January 6th but I got the price locked in and that is around the same time much of the furniture arrives.  

I Blame Susan of the Between Naps on the Porch Blog for This

You know who I blame for this (I’m half joking)?  A woman named Susan who runs a blog called Between Naps on the Porch, which I read.  I came across awhile ago and started thinking, “there is no reason we can’t make the regular family dinners this well run”.  She has a thing called Tablescape Thursday.  For example, this is one of her dinner settings for a Valentine’s Day get together.  I appreciate that attention to detail.  I mean, look at what she did (click the picture to go to her blog and give her traffic and advertising profit, please.  She deserves it!).

Susan's Valentine's Day Tablescape

Click the picture to visit Susan's Between the Naps on the Porch Blog. She runs a great site. This is one of her dining room designs for a Valentine's Day dinner.

(On a side note, I was impressed by the business acumen behind her blog.  She has it setup to not only direct sell advertising, but also boasts contextual advertising code as well as affiliate referral relationships.  I hope she makes tens, or even hundreds, of thousands a dollars of year from it.  It appears as if she is monetizing her fan base very well, while providing tremendous value to them.  It is a triple win – for her, for her readers, and for the companies she features.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a company to run.  I’m cranking up “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by the Beatles on the speakers and going to be productive.     

  • KansasKate

    Did you get the magnetic is trivet? It’s one of those “why didn’t I think of that” items. 

    • Joshua Kennon

      I did not.  I need to look into that.  I’m so behind that just trying to manage all of this is becoming frustrating.  Williams-Sonoma has pushed back the estimated delivery of my Mauviel professional copper pot set until late February, though they are trying to see if they can round up a set earlier than that from one of the West Coast store districts, and a few minutes ago, I found out they are pushing back the delivery of this Staub pot for another week or two.  The inventory situation is inexcusable.  Half of the stuff I ordered back in early November and December still hasn’t shown up because corporate America is hoarding cash and underinvesting in inventory levels.  

      The past few nights, after finishing everything else, we have been going through thousands and thousands of art options.  I’m so tired of looking at paintings, prints, lamps, pillows … the home projects need to get done.  Now.  It is no longer fun.  This is work.  Coordinating cashmere pillows with picture frames and sculptural torch lamps is fun for the first month.  Even two.  Now, I’m just done.

      • KansasKate

        +1 on inventory situations this winter. 

        Good luck with the art. Of my modest collection, some are pieces I’ve purchased but I didn’t really shop for them. Normally, art seems to find me when I’m least looking for it. 

  • Karina A. Fogliani-Ahmed

    I wanted to ask you about what you say
    about this blog “Between naps on the porch”. I also have a blog
    but I’m not able to control it as much as I would like to. You mention
    here that you are impressed by “the business acumen” of Susan’s blog,
    where she has it “setup to not only
    direct sell advertising, but also boasts contextual advertising code as well as
    affiliate referral relationships”. Can you explain this a bit more
    in layman’s terms? Also, how do I get mine set up like that?

    • Joshua Kennon

      It appears as if she has created a situation in which her blog is creating a self-reinforcing virtuous cycle of goodness.

      1. She writes about products and designs in a way, with photographs, that appeals to a large audience.

      2. She then has related links on her site (it appears as if it is a combination of direct sold advertising inventory, and contextual ad services such as Google AdSense), generating cash for her

      3. She has affiliate programs in place so that if you follow a link to, say, Amazon, for a product she talks about, she is getting, in many cases, 5% to 10% of the sales price on anything you buy from there over the next 60 days

      4. Her site is large enough that manufacturers now are willing to send her free goods to review on the site or use as she sees fit, lowering her cost of creating new content. In some cases, these goods are available as give aways and discount codes are given, as well.

      5. She has people willingly submit their own content, increasing the appeal of her site, and thus her power to profit from #2 and #3.

      If her page view estimates are accurate, and she is not earning at least $4,000 to $10,000 per month in after-expense liquid cash profit from that site, she is doing something wrong. By all accounts, it appears as if she is doing it correctly.

      In layman’s terms: She created a site that reinforces itself, then used those ever-expanding page views to join affiliate programs (such as Amazon) that give her a cut of referrals, direct sale advertising (she agrees to put a banner ad or link on a site in exchange for cash), and contextual ads (like Google AdSense that display rotating advertisements based on Google’s inventory, which pays her cash). Affiliates. Direct Sales. Contextual Ads. The three should be a money making machine for her.

      Her next step should be to release books that allow her to keep 65% or more of the retail rate (e.g., iBooks or Kindle). After that, if it were me, I’d design products myself, source them from China, and sell them on the blog. That woman has everything in place necessary to transform the site into a 7+ figure net worth from it alone. It’s the lowest hanging fruit I’ve ever seen online. Maybe she already has. If she hasn’t, maybe she isn’t interested in doing so. I have no idea; I don’t know her. These are just the outside observations of someone who has been successful in that area. Heck, if it were me, I would then use those profits to open a retail store with an online division that sold other products to the readers. It is a shame if she doesn’t get very rich off the excellent content she provides.

  • peterpatch79

    I saw a similar one of these at a discount store while visiting Buffalo NY a couple of weeks ago. I remembered seeing your coq au vin version on your blog. $89 seemed like a really good deal so I bought one, if you wait long enough you’ll get your price I guess :-)