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Saturday, March 17, 2012

smart phone apps for dollmakers

I have been using a smart phone for several months, now. I had to get it for my "pony party" job. (I host parties for kids, with a stable of ponies that are dressed in costumes I designed!) I can take a credit card over the phone, (typing in the numbers) and in person, I can swipe the card with a little 1-inch-square thing that plugs into the top of my phone (in the ear jack). I've been so impressed with it, that I was hoping to use it or something like it for my doll business.

I can see myself at a NIADA conference, taking credit card payments using this... Or doing a street fair, a farmers market, a craft fair, etc.

I got a Paypal debit card (even with my bad credit!) because I use and have used Paypal for all my online buying and selling. It is just wonderful to have a separate business account. It really helps at the end of the year, to know how much I've been spending and making on my own business. So, I was hoping that Paypal would get an app I could use with my smart phone... And now I see they have one on the way! I am so excited about this! I watched the little video they had on their website, and it looks like it will be even more helpful than the one I'm using.

So, here's the info. The app I am currently using is from Square Up. You can download it for free from the iTunes App store. It works with any smart phone, where you can use the screen to sign, etc. It works really well with my iPhone, which I got from AT&T, because I can be on a phone call, put it on speaker, and just tap the Square icon to start typing in the info they are giving me on the phone. Really handy!!! I say get AT&T for two reasons. You can talk and surf at the same time (what I just described) and you can get refurbished iPhones for just a penny! Just go to AT&T and look for phones. Looks like they are not even charging that penny. You can get some for free. Square Up is here. Or you can do a search on your smart phone at the App Store. Paypal has the news about their app on their sign-in page. Click on "Learn More." to watch a video and sign up to be one of the first to get the new app. These are really handy ways to accept credit cards wherever you are! The Square app is free, and so is the card reader. I don't have details on the Paypal app or card reader, but if they want to stay competitive, they'll offer it for free.

Check this out, ladies! And if you have some feedback about either service, or want to recommend another one, please feel free to do so here!


  1. Hi Noni,
    Do you then pay a % to the credit card company?

  2. Yes! There's always a percentage, and sometimes a "per use" charge. Thanks for bringing that up, Lucy!

    Paypal has been below the amount other credit cards charge, so I'm hoping there app will also keep them competitive. Square up has one percentage rate for swiped cards, and a higher rate if you type them in. This is pretty standard. I've always found that being able to take credit cards raises my income so much that the percentage I pay to them is WELL worth it.

  3. hello. I have been looking for your Baby Hugs & Bear Hugs for quite a while now but can't seem to find them. I taught beginning doll making while I was in S. Korea using the patterns because they were simple for the Korean military wives to understand. That was many years ago & I've gone to the many times & have mailed requests to the address listed but no response. How can I get copies of these patterns to teach the young girls (& boys) in my church? thank you.

  4. Send me your email address and I will send you the doll and bear pattern via email. I'm happy to send them as pdfs to anyone who will use them to help children. Email me directly at: to receive a pattern.
    Thanks, and God bless you!