Que Linda


Shawna Ohm

Dollars and Sense, Y'all

Shawna Ohm

Pricing is a bitch.

When I first started this company, it was super easy to price things. I just put my supply costs. I didn’t build an inventory, I only took a token fee for labor, I had no overhead and so on.

But as the company has expanded, the one consistent piece of feedback I’ve gotten is: More new designs! More new products! We like what you’re doing, give us more!

This means trying to balance the risk of inventory and labor intensive projects with the business model: I refuse to take a any cut of sales for Que Linda, and I’m not going to do this to get rich.

Enter: Casting. Some of the custom, hand-hammered metal pieces we’ve done have been incredibly popular. These are cheaper to do when you make a model of the piece, and then have it cast professionally. This allows you to consistently replicate a product with less work. It also means you’re paying a one-time cost for a mold (shout-out to Carerra Casting in NYC for giving us a discount)… and the labor and metal costs of ever casting. Metal, like any commodity varies in cost. And depending on the type of metal the weight and cost can fluctuate a bit, too. Plus we do have to work some price in to pay for the mold.


Which is to say pricing gets a little more complicated. I’ve tried to be as true as I can to the details but with some costs fluctuating (like metal prices / not knowing how many pieces we’ll sell to know how to accurately price in the molds), I’ve started adding in approximate labels on some of the costs. This is because these are, to the best of my ability the approximate costs.

I keep detailed records and receipts of these things, and am happy to nerd out on the details and open my books to any and all who are interested. But since I’ve always been very transparent with customers, I didn’t just want to start throwing an “approximate” in there without an explanation.

#TheMoreYouKnow … right?

Now… get back to shopping!

October: I love/hate you

Shawna Ohm

Since 2012, I have hated October.

My mom died early in the morning on October 18th.

Now, when the air changes in the fall, I immediately remember everything about that period of slow decline and mourning. And because it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, pink ribbons remind me at every turn, just in case I happen to forget.

This year was particularly bad. The political discourse around the Supreme Court was some of the most vitriolic I’ve ever seen. We were gearing up for a knife-fight of a midterm election. For the first time since 2009, I deactivated my Twitter account. For the first time in my life, I stopped reading the news. (I am a former journalist. I really love the news.) This year, my day job and personal life were added sources of stress.

But then, there’s Que Linda. My forever silver lining. Que Linda had amazing October. We:

  • Kicked off talks with a few potential partners: New artists who may sell with us, new stores that might be feature our products, and more. Stay tuned!

  • Donated to Breast Cancer Research Foundation on double-donation days, giving our gifts a major boost.

  • Launched an in-store location, placing a pop-up display at Dollop Coffee Shop in Chicago.

  • Had highest monthly sales to date … which means our biggest charitable donations! We’re still tallying a few things but it’s looking like ~$500 for the month. To put that in perspective, our average price point is below $20.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes, from the artist Renoir. In old age, plagued by arthritis, he could barely pick up a brush. Someone asked him why he still endured the pain of painting. He said:

“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”

I’m sure I will forget soon about the 60 hour work weeks, the heart break, and the politics. But I will not forget these milestones in the life of this company, my passion project. And the future is even brighter.

We kicked November off with a trip to Paris and are back in the U.S. refreshed, rejuvinated, and ready to help you give charitable, thoughtful gifts this holiday season. GET READY!!!

Thank you for your support!

Let’s keep saving the world.