I met Lexi the author of Glitter Weddings and Glitter and Pearls at Alt last January. She and her husband where just the cutest couple! I think her multiple websites are so pretty although I am not sure how she manages them considering she is also a part-time attorney too! She does a feature called Tuesday Shoesday on Glitter Weddings, how fun is that? You can search the posts on the site by color, THAT ended up eating some of my afternoon. Then I popped over to Glitter and Pearls where she recently featured her own wedding. Had to laugh, she and her husband who are from Miami had a beautiful event in Maine…in OCTOBER and they were cold. Yes, Yankees call it “sweater weather” but if you are from Florida it will be really tough! What I loved the most is that brides, including Lexi are really marching to the beat of their own drummers being stylish on their own terms. How about these ROCKIN’ shoes Lexi sported??
An etsy shop got popped into my email this week via an art group that had nothing to do with art but everything to do with a fun designer who creates all sort of fabulous fun attire! Alexandra King designs really darling clothing and vintage inspired cocktail and wedding dresses…again for a bride who wants to have her day reflect HER! Sorry, we love you Mom, but it is her day after all. How about the beading on the shoulder of this gown? Fun! Fun! Unique! Short or long dresses, bright shoes, oxfords, I am happy to see brides breaking out of any constraints that might not make them feel the most like themselves on their big day.
You are going to love this one! Vana Chupp is the owner of a fast growing online retail shop Le Papier Studio. Originally trained as an architect, Vana had some other passions hidden inside her and in 2008 inspired by her first baby, she launched her own business. She specialized in charming, intimate silhouettes and I just love how she started with one idea and has managed to successfully expand that idea into a multiple product line. You are going to like her story!
Hear how she balances time customizing her products, how she started on etsy, left etsy and why she went back. She also discusses how she garnered media attention. Interesting! You are going to like her no nonsense advice. Now she has 2 little ones at home to inspire her but how does she manage all that and business too? Watch the interview and see what she has to say! Too funny!
She is also the author of 2 books published by Chronicle, Pretty Paper Parties and Silhouette Art. Vana is sweet enough to give a copy of her book Silhouette Art to a lucky listener! Just leave a comment below to enter and if you would like to have 2 entries counted you leave a comment and you can tweet the link to this interview! Yippee!
The giveaway will close by 12pm EST Thursday April 20!
Here is a fun Mother’s Day gift idea!! Personalized jewelry for mom or for yourself! It’s a unique way to keep everyone close to your heart Love it!
Here is a peek inside her book, be sure to comment to win!
Here is a Spring exercise that you don’t have to put on sneakers to do, hooray!
Let’s ask the question:
What are you really selling?
I think sometimes people may overlook this fundamental part of their business. When I work with clients, I enjoy trying to get them to push past themselves and their preconceived notions of what they think the “should” be offering. Sometimes we can fall into the trap of offering our genius in the easiest form, sometimes we even get a tad lazy because we may not want to really think about WHY someone is making a purchase from us.
We forget that consumers have more options now than they have ever had before. It pays to shift your framework on your offerings and put yourself in your customers emotional shoes. It may be just the difference of why someone would choose what you offer over someone else.
Your services as well as your good need this exercise…so no skipping out.
Take the tulips above. Why would you buy them?
Maybe you chose them because they remind you of a set of your grandmother’s dishes.
Maybe you bought them because they represented Spring and warmth even though it is still quite chilly outside.
Perhaps going into the florist and picking out something that will only last a week symbolizes a bit of decadence for you during a hard week.
You may have picked them up as an inspirational jumping off point to create something new.
Now apply the emotional response that someone may have to your own offerings or services?
Ask yourself these questions:
Are you selling assurance? Do you clients know that they are getting your absolute best work that will always be on time?
Innovation? Do people think what you offer is coming from an innovative and uncommon mind?
Prestige? If your name or brand is attached to a project, will that alone add value?
Maybe it is knowledge, someone might be buying a bit of your personal perspective and wisdom.
You might be selling comfort or even joy, helping someone tap into the secure feeling of childhood or an exuberant feeling from their past?
By asking yourself these questions, you maybe able to help pinpoint what offerings make sense for your brand as well and to how and where you put your marketing efforts.
The tulips inspired me to add another design to my upcoming scarf collection.
Last night, I went to the car dealer with Tom so he could buy a new car. My marketing Master husband bought the new Subaru Crosstrek not only because it was a good solid car (a lot of cars are good solid cars) he responded to their advertising campaign! Their commercials have a young puppy hopping into the back of the Crosstrek and then it shows the dog growing old with the car as the car ages. Warmth, puppy. Joy, dogs make people happy. Assurance, this car will grow lovingly old with you just like your dog will. Dogs! They even have looping dog advertisements on a TV in the dealership. He could have bought any other sporty small SUV but in the end he went with the “dogs” and the emotional response that it gave him!
I recently contacted Claudine Hellmuth to see what she was up to! I see her tweeting away all the time (how does she find time?) She was such a fun and warm interview! If you haven’t watched this episode yet, be sure and watch it. Claudine is a hardworking and talented artist. She is down-to-earth and smart. If you don’t keep up with her, this is what is is up to:
“What new for me since we last chatted is that I started offering printable and digital kits in my Etsy shop! After working on boxes and packaging for my line for HSN I realized how much fun I had designing whimsical little boxes in the shapes of cupcakes, ice cream trucks and my favorite – the retro oven. I’m also looking to expand to translate some of my scrapbooking products into digital kits as well. It’s been a ton of fun working on my store and I have big plans for many more kits! https://www.etsy.com/shop/claudinehellmuth“
“I have a new online class coming up this summer.The class with be all super fun mixed media techniques. We’ll be doing 25 techniques in 5 weeks. Each week I’ll have 5 videos covering the techniques and I’ve got a wonderful group of contributing designers to show some fabulous inspiration about what you can do with the techniques. I’ll be launching all the details in May so stay tuned!”
Oh and look at these cute paper dolls sets! She gives instructions on how to personalize the paper dolls, clever!
Have you heard the news? Geometrics are back. With major fashion houses basing entire collections around strong geometric shapes, it is enough to make my son’s crusty geometry teacher very happy. Ok, I have met her and happy is a stretch, let’s say surprised. Here are some of my favorite interpretations this week:
Lux geometrics! Who knew a square could be so lovely? And is that bag trompe-l’œil? Loooove it.
With the new Kate Spade Saturday line, your dress can match your coffee, your phone and your pillows. That could be quite an optical illusion. I may need that cup. Would it wake me up first thing in the morning or confuse me?
I think I may prefer the softer side of geometrics from Uimi Knits and a really cute pillows I found one the blog Ellen’s Album.
And then there is my really soft version of watercolored geometrics! I am not normally one to paint in the lines! Painting simple geometric shapes is an assignment that I created for the watercolor class that I teach at Nicole’s Classes. It is good practice for getting comfortable handling a brush with paint on it. It also incorporates glazing techniques. Somehow this reminds me of ice cream cones. Yum. Spring diet not going well. What do you think of this trend? Classic? Fresh? Modern or yawn?
I was so excited to meet Barrett Ward from FashionABLE. Barrett and I started our conversation when I entered the design contest that was held in conjunction with the One Campaign and the Alt Summit conference. As I researched what FashionABLE was all about, I knew he had to come on and share his story and the story of all the women that are helped through this business. FashionABLE is an accessory company and non-profit working hard to rehabilitate and train Ethiopian women to lead sustainable lives for themselves.
You know I love a story that changes lives and this is certainly one of those stories! Purchase one of these beautiful scarves and you are helping women rebuild their lives. It’s a powerful concept! With features on the Hallmark Channel and the Today Show, Barrett has had a hard time keeping them in stock. Fairly made, fairly priced and beautiful, what is not to love? Be sure to watch to catch a glimpse of the “Everything” scarf that I designed. It is in the works!
When Barrett and fashion stylist Amber Lehman (check out her site here) came on there was a terrible storm in Nashville as we recorded and the connection was shaky at best. At first I was freaked outI, I so badly wanted to share this business with you all. Then I put my thinking cap on and asked if they had any photos from Africa that I could lay over the video interview. They sent me so many and I LOVED them all. Be sure and watch to see the shots of the women working as well as some of the gorgeous scarves that they have created.
The brand new Genet scarf will be available for presale this week (over at LiveFAshionABLE.com) for Mother’s Day. You may have to keep an eye out for it. Barrett talks about the contest design winner, Janette Crawford in the interview. Very exciting! This bold black and white scarf makes a bold year round statement. Better grab it fast, if you hesitate it will sell out!
I was recently in search of a baby gift for Linda’s new baby boy. Linda Tieu is my talented web developer and she creates such cute art, I knew this gift would have to fall into the uber cute category. Here are some options that I considered! I ran across this squishy plush elephant from Jellycat while I was in California. Adorable! I want one! But could bring myself to stuff this sweetie into my suitcase, let alone put him in a box (how would he breathe?) and ship him to Italy!?
Then I remembered these cool moccasins from Susan at Freshly Picked. Darling business! I want a pair of these too! I even saw that she is having a 24 hour metallics sale this coming Thursday if you have a fashionista baby you need to buy for. Metallic leather baby mocs, tres chic!
Since this baby is living in Italy, I thought a scooter set was just the ticket! I love this pants and top set created by Carol from Bye Bye Birdie. Her shop is full of cute thing soft organic cotton clothing and stylish little booties, perfect for the jet setting baby!
Turns out my instagram photos were looking a bit theme like, I have turned into Organize Girl. I need a cape! I am on a march to take back my schedule. One of the things that I don’t mention a lot online, is the elaborate scheduling I do with my son. His father, my ex, is a pilot and from month to month we work around his flying schedule. This has caused much consternation and gnashing of teeth over the years. Finally and I mean finally, I shrugged my shoulders and gave up the fighting about having my schedule with my son revolve around the ever changing schedule of an airline pilot. It is what it is and I was wasting too much “time” stressing about it. It does, however, play into today’s video. I am quite used to working around everyone else. After all, I have been doing it for years. Being too flexible was starting to work against me.
In today’s video, I finally and I mean finally, am at the point where I am listening to my own “working rhythm” and setting up a schedule that works with how I like to work. It has been so freeing! A novel idea. I asked myself why I have not done this sooner. I think one of the reasons is that when you work for yourself, you almost don’t see the need to adhere to such a choreographed work week. What I realized is that if I am going to work on opportunities like I talked about here, then I need more structure. I also realized if I was going to take care of myself, find time for play and not be one giant mom-mobile, then I needed to set a schedule and stick to it as best I could.
Here is a tip:
I have told clients in the past to set a definitive set time each week to do the things they don’t “like” and then set up a reward afterwards. Maybe you don’t like, shipping, spreadsheets, reaching out and making calls. If you are a small business owner, you are going to have to do somethings you don’t “like.” I say put it on your weekly calendar, give yourself a reward for accomplishing it and then it becomes a habit. If your rewards include martinis or shopping then be aware-that might be come a habit too! Ack!
Don’t let important to-do’s fall out of your eye sight, don’t miss opportunities because you are too busy wandering aimlessly through your week. Channel your inner parent or teacher and give yourself some structure. Structure that YOU put in place. It is working for me. Last week, I completed everything on my list for the day and didn’t even know what to do with myself, ha! It was liberating! Let’s take back our time!
PS: Check out the new plug-in that we added that “resumes” the video where you left off even when you click off the page. Talk about liberating!!!