Update: Snapmade! We Approve

I’m thrilled to write that Snapmade has exceeded my expectations, and proudly I will say it’s worth giving the site a chance, designers and customers both. Kat and I will try to help their business grow by creating a store, and a line of products.

Originally, I had my concerns that the business wasn’t legit, for several reasons:

  1. Maintenance problems halted me from navigating the website, which is an indication the server is slow, unresponsive, or the coding is wrong.
  2.  The site claimed to accept PayPal payments, but until a purchase is made, from start to finish, I don’t assume anything’s true. I had to make a purchase before promoting my store.
  3. Snapmade’s site has been up and running since 2001 which means they’ve had a lot of time to work out site kinks, yet they still do what amateurs do, like the funky customer reviews (my red flag went up), and broken links which take you to error pages in Chinese. I have no bias against Chinese manufacturers, in fact I love them, but the problems my English-speaking customers may have is worth noticing.
  4. Snapmade has no known credibility. There are only a few people who are Snapmade designers, as can be seen from their website – it’s full of empty pages, upon empty pages, where they simply have no products from a lack of designers.

On the contrary, the simple facts Snapmade had a guest checkout and such cheaper prices “ruffled my feathers” as the saying says. It made me interested enough to give them a chance. Their products are manufactured and shipped from China, so they take two weeks to be delivered to the door after the online purchase is made, which is fast considering the journey.

But now, I can proudly tell you! My trust for them has grown after seeing the jewelry I ordered. Look, aren’t they just gorgeous? The quality of the items, the chain, the pendents, and the design printed:

 

First Product Display July 2017 (IMG_2549, smaller)
The only thing I can see that some customers may not like, is the glossy look the design has when the light shines on it, but indoors it isn’t noticeable. It looks like the above picture.

When my package came, it came about 3 days after my Zazzle order arrived, which is fine. I ordered from Zazzle and from Snapmade the same night, to compare the shipping schedule. Ha, it’s funny, after it arrived I asked Kat, “is it old-fashioned to be OK with a package taking 2 weeks to arrive?” She bluntly said “Yes” and that was the end of that. Ha, ha. Yeah, I’m old-fashioned…. but you have got to give the big wide globe some slack! The little parcel soars and rides across 7000+ miles to get to where I am! It’s not like we have teleportation …yet! Ha, ha.

But it got me thinking. If the owners of Snapmade need anything to succeed, it is designers, which is what I know about them, because as Sannly Huang on Facebook asked me, at the beginning of this year, can I join them (me, a designer) to help their business grow. So… if what they need is designers, why wait? My talents are meant to help, not be hoarded. Let me seize this day and start trying the best I can to help this year be the year Snapmade finds success. If it doesn’t work out, that’s part of being compassionate and helpful; I can move on like I have before. No pain, no gain.

So we have started, but that’s all right now. If you’re interested in seeing it, our shop is titled “ChicAmi” and we only have a few products. So far, the shop looks kind of basic, the design, and a little lacking. However, I promise the charm bracelet is a steal (great quality for low price!), and the rose necklace is a romantic addition to your indoor formal attire. You can see that for yourself (from the pictures)! Plus, the star bracelet makes a good friendship gift. Their prices are affordable, and I get way more royalty than I do on Zazzle for my work, which is the upside for me.

The three products shown above are the only I’ve bought so far; if you want to buy them, too, please head over to the store at this link -http://www.snapmade.com/mystore/ChicAmi – and if you can, use the Microsoft Edge browser, or ask the support chat for help if you have any questions, because the store is a bit sensitive which browser you use. I used Chrome at first and had to ask the friendly customer support why I couldn’t load my order. The chat answered responsively, and was a cheerful service which I recommend.

So… yay! That means Snapmade gets our stamp of approval!!!

Stamp of Approval

 

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Girls with Swords, Week 3

For my birthday earlier this month, Lacy bought me a book that I’ve been wanting: The Art of War.  It’s said to be a great book, used by successful entrepreneurs  to improve their skill.  But as I read it during this time while I’m also studying Girls with Swords, I find we can apply it to Christian living, too.

“To all nations war is a great matter.  Upon the army death or life depend: it is the means of the existence or destruction of the State.” Sun Tzu in The Art of War

The existence of God’s Holy nation – Christians from every part of the world – depends on how well each of us prepares for our spiritual battle.   If we stand ready to fight against the spiritual enemies who wage war against us, we will be able to persevere and protect our people from the enemy’s attacks; but if we stay ignorant and in denial of the war around us, Satan will easily overpower us and cause the people of God to stumble and fall away.  War is a great matter, whether we stand in the offense or in the defense; we have to be ready for the battles ahead.

If the world hateth you, ye know that it hath hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, A servant is not greater than his lord. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” John 15:18-21  (ASV)

This week, the Girls with Swords chapter focused on how we might be heroes just like the men and women spoken of in Hebrews 11.  Through faith, we can face the enemy and stand bravely for Christ.  With God as our power, we can be superhuman.

It sounds unbelievable; but don’t be fooled by Satan’s lies against this concept- you really are the hero of your own story.  The moment you chose to be baptized, you became an enemy of Satan, and all the angels in heaven rejoiced (Luke 15:3-10).  If you haven’t chosen baptism yet, then Satan’s legion of demons fight every day to keep you from making the decision of accepting salvation through Christ’s resurrection.  While God wants no man to perish but all to have eternal life through Jesus Christ (John 3:16, 1 Timothy 2:1-6, 2 Peter 3:9), Satan wants quite the opposite. “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16), but Satan wishes that all people shall perish and none have eternal life.

Once you accept your role as hero, whether you perform amazing miracles like the hero Captain Sullinberger of the US Airways flight 1549 or you’re just a forgotten survivor, victim of life’s worst events the way that Chuck Noland was in the movie Castaway, you are a hero in your own story and Satan is trying to bring you – as a Christian – to ruin.

“Reacting does not equal choosing. Fear will drive you to react, but as you become more skillful with the sword, you will choose your response with the intent of honoring your Father – rather than protecting yourself.” -Lisa Bevere, from the Girls with Swords Fencing Manual

The best way to choose your response with an intent of honoring God instead of fearing the enemy is to prepare for the attack and be ready for whatever will happen.  To be ready, we must put on the proper armor so that we will have the protection that God provides us.

“He who does not know the evils of war will not reap advantage thereby. He who is skillful in war does not make a second levy, does not load his supply wagon thrice.”  Sun Tzu, The Art of War

If you don’t spend your time preparing, then the enemy will have an advantage over you and you won’t have enough “supply” -strength, knowledge, and will- to fight back.  On the other hand, if you prepare for war and grow skillful with the provisions that God gives you through Scriptures, then the enemy cannot surprise you with an attack that you didn’t expect.

Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us six articles of protection that we should wear in our fights against Satan.  We should never be found without them, unprepared.  Our enemy is always on the prowl (1 Peter 5:8), and will pounce the moment we set our armor aside for a moment of rest.

Heroes may feel afraid of something, but they trust in their power, whether its the power of their sword, or their own [superhuman] abilities, or something else. In [Christians’] case, God is our power.  -quote from Kat’s fencing manual

God is permitted to do what he wants with me, because I have no idea who I am anymore. I mean, if my ideas have to “be scrapped” before God can place me in his own, then let it be so, because my plans are void almost like a money check when it’s VOID. So Lord, I permit you. -quote from Lacy’s fencing manual