Monday, August 30, 2010

mary, mary: handmade business tip #2

i know you doubted whether or not I would ever revisit this,
but HERE I AM!
back with tip # 2 for growing your business.
this tip came about in conversation with a sweet friend. i couldn't believe it when i found out she a little shy about using this practice in her own business. i mean really, the girl is gooooood. so, i share with you what i shared with her.

handmade business tip #2: 
sell yourself
you heard me right.
there are 2 ways that i get the word out about my business EVERY single day.
1) I rarely leave the house without wearing my own product
2) every email i send has a link to allora handmade and the queen bee market
now, these things may seem simple. they may seem obnoxious to some who are nervous to put themselves out there. here's how i see it:
i am my own best advertisement.
i can't tell you how many people have stopped me in a store to ask about my products.
i can't tell you how many people (even close friends and family!) didn't know i had a shop until i added it in my signature. so, let's break it down.
1) wear/use your own product:
I can't emphasize this enough. Don't feel silly being a walking advertisement! How can you expect other people to want to wear/use your product if you aren't willing to? Here's the deal. The hardest part for me in the beginning was knowing what to say when I got a compliment. Because the compliments will come, no doubt, but using them to your benefit is entirely up to you. I was terrible at this in the beginning. Someone would say "your headband is adorable!" and I would bashfully say "thanks!" and just hope they asked me where I got it. Until my other great friend and I were shopping at a local handmade boutique and people kept asking about my necklace. Each time someone complimented me she was quick to say "she made it! isn't it cute? Here... take her card." I was amazed. It was that easy! Suddenly my customer base became every one I came into contact with. Now, when someone compliments me I say "Thank you! I made it!" Plain and simple.
sorry for all of the lame pictures of me. i'm trying to make a point here. don't make fun.
 You don't have to sound like you are bragging or self-promoting, just stating a fact. Now, it's important not to be obnoxious and go around starting up a conversation with everyone you meet by saying "Hi, don't you love my _______? I made it and I sell them if you want to buy one." Goo. Awwwwkward. Please don't do that. Just fess up to the fact that you are awesome (without saying so) when they compliment you and you'd be surprised how many friends and strangers turn into customers. And carry your business cards ALWAYS. (you carry them, right??)
Ok, moving on.
2) If you don't already have a signature on your email, stop what you are doing right now and get to it!! It is so easy (just hunt around in your settings and options) and will only take a minute. I am constantly emailing. By adding my signature I am sending each message with an invitation to view what else I do. Mine is simple and looks like this:

no biggie right? But people tell me all the time: "Hey, I didn't know you owned your own businesses! I love your stuff! I checked out your links!" Easy peasy. Doesn't get easier than that.
Hopefully you are already doing these things and I am not telling you anything new. Because this tip is by far the easiest way to grow your business. Constantly expose people to your products!
Now, what are your favorite ways to self-promote?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

still recovering

please excuse the lack of regular posting.
still recovering from our trip.
and missing that sweet ocean.
(and friends and family, of course)
don't you just love this picture?
i love it so much.
oh those boys were so happy running down that pier.
especially after having taken a sweet ride on the train up to oceanside.

i am in a bit of a funk - trying to pull it all together.
you know.

all good and exciting things, but my brain isn't used to so much activity.
ahhhh, vacation was nice.
the recovery? not so nice.
i feel like i'm swimming in honey. you know that feeling? just me?
ok, i'll stop complaining.
here's to getting it together!
(any tips for the post-vacation-blues?)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

have i told you...

have i told you i'm a crier?
big time.
happy cries. sad cries. angry cries. you name it, i cry it.
i like to blame it on my mom. yes, i'm a second generation cry-baby. i see other people crying and i start to cry.
i.e. i cried watching food network star sunday. {pathetic? yes. true? also, yes.}
anyhow, this week has been a week full of tears.
happy tears.
hubby finally met up with us here in san diego.
sat on the beach watching my boys play with their dad.
went to disneyland with my own kids for the first time ever.
i tell you what, it's been a good week.

Monday, August 16, 2010

giveaway week over at 30days!

remember the awesome act of generosity i was the recipient of a few weeks ago? well, this week is the week it all comes to fruition. mique has worked her little tail off to have a giveaway every hour on the :30 (get it? 30 days? she's too cute) starting at 10:30 am TODAY! so, be sure you hop on over there SEVERAL times this week and enter yourself to win some amazing goodies from some amazing (AND generous) shops. love them. i'll cross my fingers you win something lovely!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Queen Bee Market!!

Some of you may know that my other love is the Queen Bee Market - a unique handmade show that my sister and I started this past spring in San Diego. Well, our next show is just around the corner - November 12th and 13th to be exact. We have just started accepting applications for first time vendors, and are so excited to have so many returning vendors. The November show is going to be If you are interested in participating, or if you interested in being a sponsor  (which means prime advertising to an awesome audience of handmade artists and customers), email me at Or if you're just cool-like-that and love to spread the word, we'll take that too! 
Yay for handmade!

Monday, August 9, 2010

ummm... i'll take one of everything please!!

aren't these appliqued pillows by honey pie design to die for?
i'll bet you can guess which one is my favorite. (mustard anyone?)

Friday, August 6, 2010

summer. breathe in. breathe out.

am in the land of sunshine and smiles (aka san diego.)
am happy as can be.
am soaking in time with my boys.
and relishing in moments with mom and dad and fam.
am trying hard to relax.
am breathing deep.
am getting some good old fashioned vitamin d
and hoping to be filled with enough ocean air to last until november.
am missing my other half.
a lot.
am hoping for disneyland, the zoo etc.
but also wanting to just chill.
am working on recognizing the joy in motherhood
and storing away the smell of sunscreen on babies
and the pitter-patter of pride when old friends tell me my children are beautiful.
am grateful for a chance to recharge
and excited for this shift in perspective.
no orders. no appointments. no deadlines.
just me and my boys.

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less”(Anna Quindlen, Loud and Clear [2004], 10–11).