Hey guys, we're still here! October 8, 2019 14:47
Hi again everyone,
We've always preached honesty in our brand, so today we're here again being honest with you. First, the question that everyone has been asking us: yes, we are still here, and yes, we will still have 2020 planners (*collective sigh of relief!*)
For the majority of this past year, we've been hanging on by a thread. The truth is, we're incredibly busy. We have shared before that we are both married, we each have 2 kids, and we each work full time jobs. UPstudio is a passion project, with its main attention given during our free time. But lately, neither of us have had much free time. Turns out that having young kids, jobs that we care about doing well, and maintaining any kind of a life is hard. So hard, that we've had conversations about where UPstudio is and how we can feasibly maintain it.
We've entertained the idea of simplifying our lives by having one less job, but when we boil it all down, we still really care. We care about customers asking when the next planners will be out, those sending comments or suggestions for improvement (we're still listening!), and we also want to keep up with this company we built from the ground up that's steadily growing each year. We didn't work this hard to give it all up. We're not going anywhere.
So, please forgive us for the late release of planners this year - they are coming! In an effort to get planners into users' hands as quickly as possible, we are offering pre-order sales for 2020 Weekly and Monthly Planners, and to sweeten the deal, we're offering 15% off of all pre-orders with the code 'FINALLY'. They are available now in the shop.
Look out for the next blog post sharing updates of changes included in the 2020 Monthly and Weekly Planners (if you didn't believe they could get any better.. you'd be wrong!) In the meantime, don't give up on us - we're still here and working hard to make the best and most flexible, simple, adaptable planner you can find.
Reduced Shipping Cost for Planners October 18, 2018 08:46
Each year we attempt to take a step back and put ourselves in your shoes and ask questions like: would we buy this product for the list price? would we spend that much on shipping?
Last year, the cost of shipping that was charged when a customer purchased an UPstudio planner was the exact cost of flat rate shipping from USPS. We looked in to all options for shipping to get the best rates, with the required insurance for all purchases to make it to customers quickly and efficiently. We have this same conversation with USPS every year in order to make sure we understand any changes that may have been made. Like we said, last year we charged shipping at the exact rate that USPS charged, which was $6.85. This year, prices for the same shipping were raised to $7.15.
We feel comfortable with the price of each planner based on the quality of the design and construction ($40 for the Weekly and $32 for the Monthly) but honestly we would be a little hesitant to spend $7.15 on shipping. So we decided this year to cover some of the shipping cost for you so that the cost of shipping doesn't deter you from purchasing one of our products. The updated shipping costs are reflected at check out. To put it simply: we decided that a single planner shouldn't cost more than $5 to ship, and we'll pick up the bill for the rest.
When we shop online, a lot of the final decision lies with the total cost, and shipping can make or break that decision. If you feel the same way that we do, we hope that this helps you to take the leap when purchasing a planner!
note that $5 shipping is limited to US customers only, for any UPstudio Planner
2018 Planner Price Drop! March 22, 2018 05:00
If you were waiting to pick up your 2018 planner, you're in luck. 2018 UPstudio Planners are now $30 (available in grey), and 2018 Scratch and Dent Planners are only $10! These slightly imperfect planners are still 100% usable (we are just ultra picky) and now a STEAL! Get yours today!
2018 UPstudio Planner Price Drop February 1, 2018 05:00
Even though a planner is used all year, it is considered a seasonal item due to the need to only purchase it once a year. That means that come February, it's officially the off-season for planners, and prices drop. If you've been holding out on buying one, now is the time to get yours for a reduced price!
2018 Planners are now just $36, and 2018 Scratch and Dent Planners (slightly imperfect but 100% usable) are now $20. Gray is available in both options, and satchel in scratch and dent only. Grab one while you can and start planning the next 11 months!
Flash Sale, Charity, and Holiday Shipping Deadlines December 14, 2017 03:30
Some big ticket items today on the blog!
FLASH SALE! Free shipping for everyone with code STJUDE.
And not only do you get free shipping, but we will be donating 15% of your order to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. St. Jude is an amazing organization, with a mission to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Learn more on their website.
The flash sale and donation period ends at 12pm on December 15th, EST. Shop now!
We are super excited that Christmas is right around the corner! If you're planning on an UPstudio gift beneath the tree there are some shipping deadlines quickly approaching. We ship everything USPS (United States Postal Service). We have added multiple shipping options to check out. In order to receive your package by December 24th you must place your order by:
- USPS First Class Mail : December 18th
- USPS Priority Mail : December 19th
- USPS Priority Mail Express : December 21st
Make sure to pay close attention to the option you choose at check-out to make sure your items will make it in time!
SALE! - Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday November 22, 2017 00:00
We are truly thankful for so many things in our lives, but from a business perspective - it's all about you. We wouldn't be where we are, or have grown so much without the support and business of our customers. In order to say thank you, we are celebrating all weekend long -- and earlier -- with sales! Enjoy 20% off your entire online purchase Wednesday - Monday with code SALE20.
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are our Super Bowl. UPstudio is a small, local, online store, with a seasonal feature product. These next 2 months will be our busiest, and it's all because of you. We are excited to officially kick off the holiday shopping season and hope you are too! THANK YOU for your continued support.
Small print: Sale lasts from 12:00am Wednesday, November 22 - 11:59pm Monday, November 27. 20% discount applied to pre-tax and pre-shipping cost.
PLANNER FLASH SALE! May 25, 2017 03:00
This year has flown by! Can't believe Memorial Day is this weekend and June is right around the corner.
We hope you have a great holiday weekend as we all take the time to remember and appreciate all of the men and women who have sacrificed their lives and for those who bravely fight today for our country.
To sweeten the holiday fun, starting today and continuing through Monday May 29th at midnight (EDT) you can purchase a 2017 UPstudio Planner for just $10! What a steal! For an even better deal you can purchase a planner with a minor imperfection here for only $5. No coupon code necessary.
More than half off with more than half of the year remaining!
We don't have very many planners left, so purchase one while you still can!
2017 UPstudio Planners on Sale! February 23, 2017 05:00
Have you been holding off on getting your 2017 UPstudio Planner? Well the wait is over, because all planners are on sale! The already competitive prices have dropped 25% which means that the 2017 Planner is now just $30 and the 2017 Scratch and Dent Planner is only $15! With 10+ months left in the year, these prices are a steal. Head on over to the store and get one (or two or three!) today!
Don't just take our word for it, check out this great review of the 2017 UPstudio Planner (for more reviews, click here):
I absolutely love the UPstudio 2017 planner! I just received it and I already started using it to plan ahead for next year, as well as using the December 2016 monthly layout the provide. I was drawn to this planner at first, because of the binding. It it great, and feelshe really strong. A plus to this particular sewn binding is your planner opens flat, even in the beginning months (I've come across other sewn bound planners you have to hold open). I also love the 2 ribbon bookmarks. It is very helpful having the integral tabs printed on the edges, very helpful finding the pages you want (this is also better than most sewn bound planners as those usually do not have tabs and it the do, they are cut in and the edgesemester tent to curl or tear). I love the goal sheets before each month (sort of wish they were gridded) and I also love all the grid paper in the back. I also absolutely love the weekly layout. It's perfect the way it has sections for appointment and we'll as 3 separate sections for different tasks or whatnot under each day. And the elastic bandd closure is a must! I really love this planner and I cannot wait to continue using it for all of 2017. I cannot wait to see what the 2018 planner will look like! On a side note: customer service rocks. I had a slight error in check out and I emailed them and they responded to me and fixed the problem within minutes! I definitely recommend this planner and this company!
2017 UPstudio Planner : Scratch and Dent Sale February 2, 2017 05:00
Some of the 2017 UPstudio Planners arrived with some imperfections. All of these flaws are aesthetic and do not render the planner unusable in any way. Snag one of these imperfect planners for $20 while supplies last! Benefit from our printing/delivery/storage issues with this great deal!
Examples include but are not limited to:
- Minor scratches on cover
- Slightly bent cover corner
- Binding adhesive remnants on cover
- Over or under zealous with the deboss stamp
- Corners of pages not cropped perfectly
- Small marks on edge of pages
Imperfections vary, we can not guarantee which you will receive.
(PS... if you've got a coupon code lying around, you can combine that with this amazing deal!)
New Products - 2016 Spring Release! April 7, 2016 08:00
While you were out on Spring Break we have been hard at work behind the scenes to release new products, and are thrilled to share them with you today. Get ready, we've got some really exciting stuff! The shop listings are filled with a lot of information, but we'll give you the highlights of new products below. Everything you see on the website will be available at upcoming shows and pop up markets, including the Pink Social Girl Tribe Spring Pop Up in Charlotte on April 16 (we hope to see you there!)
Drumroll please...Planners and Calendars
I know what you're thinking: old news, right? We'll release 2017 editions later this year, but while we still have some 2016 styles in stock, our prices have dropped AGAIN! Planners are now $15 and calendars are $5!Vintage Products
This is not a surprise as we've been advertising them on social media and had a previous blog post about them, but we want to stress that we're getting new items into the shop frequently, so make sure to check back on the website for what is available! We'll post on social media too, so follow us on Instagram (@upstudionc) and/or Facebook if you want updates. We are absolutely swooning over this adorable umbrella.
Hopefully you saw the poll that we launched and voted for your preference of sticky or non sticky for notepads. Sticky was the official winner, so these beauties can now easily stay wherever you want them - on the refrigerator, in your planner, taken to the grocery store, on your bathroom mirror, etc. The dot pattern can be used as a grid for list making, bullet journal style listing, or an impromptu game of dots (anyone else remember doing this on long car rides?) Side note: check out this life changing sticky pad tutorial from Elite Daily on how to remove a sheet without the sticky side curling up. So helpful!
Chick Flick Catchphrase Pencil Set
We loooove this new set of pencils because these lines from movies really speak to us. One, all these movies are classics that we've seen countless times, but even out of context, you know exactly what they're referencing. We wrote down every quotable quote we could think of and picked our top favorites. Girly themed movies won this time, and we think it's perfectly appropriate for our #girlboss business. (We'd love to hear your favorite and if these resonate with you!) #illhavewhatsheshaving
The line of Everyday Cards has also been expanded to include 4 new designs. Highlights of these new cards include small images on the opposite side of the card, as well as some more occasion-specific cards instead of generic designs. Each one is still all-purpose and BONUS - now you can purchase cards individually! (Side note: did you know that April is National Letter Writing Month? Snag a few of these and send out some overdue notes to friends or family!)
Last but not least are journals. Heavy linen paper covers in the Arrows design protect your choice of either blank pages or dot filled pages to jot down lists, sketches, bullet journal lists, meeting notes, or whatever your heart desires. All internal pages are top quality for whatever use you choose. The best part is that these are perfect bound and lay flat!
We hope you are as excited about these new products as we are! Let us know your feedback - what are you most excited about? What Everyday Card is your top pick? Do you prefer dots or blank pages in your journal? What's your favorite quote from a classic chick flick? What product do you hope to see next? (Don't worry - we're already working on new ideas to come out soon!)
Lessons Learned: LLC or S Corp? March 17, 2016 08:00
Lucky for you, a St. Patrick's day FLASH SALE is currently going on in the shop. 2016 Planners are only $10.08 and 2016 Typeface Calendars are only $5.04. Snag them for yourself and a friend while supplies last! Enter discount code LUCKYME at checkout. (On our website you can only use one discount code at a time. So those pesky cents are a result of us wanting you to be able to purchase both a planner and calendar in one haul!) Sale ends at midnight tonight EST (3/17)!
Last week, thanks to Becky, we had a "really personal" blog post. Don't know about you, but I enjoyed it, the honesty, the vulnerability, and I really needed that reminder, I am never alone and I am not in control!
So, I've been slated with following that act with a technical lesson learned, so definitely a change in pace, and probably SUPER boring for most of you. But again, to the person that finds it helpful, you are very welcome!
Once you've decided to take the plunge and start a company one of the first things you have to do is make your company "legal". In order to do that, you have to decide what type of business or structure you will have. For a small start-up company like us it really boiled down to a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or an S Corporation (S Corp) (the two most popular organizational forms today). Today I'll discuss the similarities and differences between an LLC and an S Corp.
Let us first say that choosing the type of structure (LLC, S Corp, or C Corp) for you company is confusing at best. There is no right answer, the question is what is the best fit for your company now and what will set you correctly regarding your future goals. Each state might also have different rules that come into play. That's why you'll want to get some input from a respected accountant and/or attorney to help aid your decision. We are just sharing what we have learned along our journey (please correct us if anything we have learned is incorrect).
Lets get this party started with some definitions..
LLC: A limited liability company (LLC) is an unincorporated association, a hybrid entity that combines the tax flow-through aspects of a partnership with the liability protection of a corporation or a limited partnership.
S Corp: Named after subsection S of Chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code. An S Corporation is a special hybrid type of entity, the S corporation elects to have a different tax treatment than its traditional C corporation cousin. For most purposes, an S corporation is not a separate type of corporation. An S corporation operates in the same manner as a regular corporation except it typically eliminates the the risk of double taxation.
Corporation: A corporation has a legal status or existence that is separate both from the individual(s) who forms it and its owners (stockholders). The objective of incorporation is to create a separate corporate entity with all of its attendant attributes, such as the independent right to own corporate assets. Income is taxed at the corporate level, and, if dividends are distributed, at the individual level as well (where the risk of double taxation comes into play).
Similarities between an LLC and an S Corp...
- Both are separate legal entities created by a state filing.
- Both provide liability protection for their members/sharholders. This means your personal assets will be protected against debts, losses, and any court rulings against your business. You can't be financially responsible for more than your investment in the company.
- An LLC and an S Corp are both pass-through tax entities which means the income, losses, tax credits, and other tax items of the business flow through to the shareholders/managers and no income taxes are paid at the business level.
- When first registering your company in the state of North Carolina it costs $125 to register an LLC and an S Corp. However both require filing of an annual report, $25 for an S Corp and $200 for an LLC in North Carolina. So an LLC costs more to maintain. Not sure how that shakes out in other states.
- S Corps require a little more paperwork and are a little more difficult to set up.
- To raise capital, corporations often sell stocks. LLCs can only sell interests in their company.
- S Corps have strict rules for how to remain compliant. Required formalities include: adopting bylaws, issuing stock, holding initial and annual director and shareholder meetings, and keeping meeting minutes with corporate records, etc. LLCs only have recommended formalities. In fact, with an LLC Operating Agreement you can essentially create the management structure of your choosing.
- An LLC beats an S corporation for flexibility in allocating percentage of profits or losses among the owners.
- LLCs are not recognized outside of the United States typically.
- Non-U.S. citizens/residents can be members of LLCs; S corps may not have non-U.S. citizens/residents as shareholders.
- S Corps can only have 100 shareholders, LLCs have no limitation.
- The owner of a single member LLC doesn't have to file a tax return for the LLC, as they only report the activity on their personal tax return.
- Single member LLC owners are required to pay self-employment tax on income generated in the LLC.
- The key advantage of an S corp is that it offers tax benefits when it comes to excess profits, known as distributions. The owner can be treated as an employee and paid a reasonable salary (tied to industry norms). FICA taxes are withheld and paid on that amount. Then, any remaining profits from the company can be distributed to the owners as dividends, which are taxed at a lower rate than income.
- LLCs have more flexible tax reporting options. S Corps must file taxes as S Corps, as an LLC you can elect to be taxed as an S corp while retaining the structure of an LLC.
Based on all the facts above we chose to be a Partnership LLC but elect to be taxed as an S Corp.
- By default since we are an LLC with more than one member we are treated as a partnership LLC. No choice there.
- We don't have anything squirrely going on with our percentages, everything is 50/50, gains and losses.
- We don't plan to find investors any time soon (especially not from overseas).
- We get the flexibility of how we want to organize our company.
- There are less formalities and paperwork associated.
- We can still choose to file taxes as an S Corp so we get the tax benefit listed above regarding additional profits. (Note: in order to be eligible to do this you have to meet some of the requirements of an S Corp, see the instructions for further explanation.)
Two final lessons learned (very fresh.. we learned them this week... and it involved a last minute dash to the post office)...
- LLC tax returns are due by April 15th. S Corp tax returns are due by March 15th.
- If you are an LLC electing to be taxed as an S Corp you must file Form 2553 (instructions) by March 15th of the year the election is to take effect. Example: to effect your 2016 taxes (to be filed March 15th, 2017), you must file Form 2553 by March 15th, 2016. There are some special circumstances, and there is relief if you miss the deadline (all is covered in the instructions link above).
Resources to Learn More:
- LLC vs. S Corp - Which Business Type is Right for Me?
- LLC Electing S Corp Status -- The Best of Both Worlds
- LCC vs. S Corp
- What business type is right for you?
- Should your business be an LLC or an S Corp?
- A Comparison of the Limited Liability Company and the S-Corporation
Resources in North Carolina to Set Up Your Business: