Tag Archives: small business

Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday – Where to Shop & SAVE!

So, if you’ve watched the news or have been on any social media site lately, you’ve probably witnessed, and possibly participated in, the disappointment many have felt toward the companies who have decided to open, and even have mega-sales, on Thanksgiving this year. So, if you’re looking for a way to encourage big businesses to allow their employees to spend the day with their loved ones on Thanksgiving, the obvious choice is to not shop there on the holiday.

You can even go a step further, though, and not have to sacrifice awesome discounts and deals, by supporting local, small, and/or handmade businesses! You see, there’s this nifty day beyond Thanksgiving and Black Friday called Small Business Saturday, on which small businesses around the world participate in giving Black Friday worthy deals to their customers. To top it off, most of us small business people have websites and online stores, and can participate in Cyber Monday, a day when we can all stay in the comfort of our own homes (and, let’s be honest, pajamas,) and still find good deals on merchandise that we may not have been willing to fight the crowds for during the big, in-person shopping extravaganzas. The best part is that if you buy from small businesses online, you’re more likely to find more unique and personal items, and you can still have a less stressful shopping experience while you help your local economy thrive.

As for us, we’ll be offering 20% OFF your entire purchase from Saturday, 11/3, to Monday, 12/2 in our Etsy shop! Simply enter EFWHolidays at checkout to receive your discount. Not only that, but most of the members of our Etsy Fort Worth team will be offering various discounts or free shipping, too, and we’re all using the same discount code to keep things easy. Click the image above to view a list of the participating shops, and their special offers.

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We wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving, and a happy holiday shopping experience!

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Chelsea

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Important update on the Martha Stewart American Made competition.

American Made

I have to say, I’ve been a bit obsessive about the voting on our nominee page for the Martha Stewart Living American Made competition. Lots of refreshing, friends. We’d been receiving around 100 votes a day thanks to our wonderful friends and family, until the weekend hit. Saturday was the most exciting day yet! My regularly schedule pleas on Facebook were heard, and we accumulated the largest amount of votes in one day yet: 440. I think I had heart palpitations every time I saw the numbers jump.

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Those of you who know us or follow this blog know that there have been plenty of obstacles on this journey my mom and I have been on, starting a small business together. There have been plenty of health struggles along the way that have gotten in the way of us being able to do shows and list regularly in our Etsy shops. It’s been the support from our Etsy Fort Worth team, our family, our friends, and our small group of loyal customers that has kept us going.

Our competition in this particular contest is big. We’re competing in the style category, and that category is filled with not only clothing and accessories, but bath and body and cosmetic products. The largest number of votes to beat so far is 4446, and that’s just in our category! After the first round of voting, the nominee with the biggest amount of votes from each category goes on to compete for the grand prize. So, we were excited to learn that the deadline for the first round of voting has been extended another week and two days. That plus the increase we’ve seen in our votes gives us a little extra boost of hope that we can give our competition a run for their money! In this case, the grand prize is $10,000 … can you imagine what we could do for our business with that kind of money?

So, please keep voting, and sharing our nominee page with your friends and family! You can join us on Facebook, or just go straight to our page here. Go back every day to use your 6 votes. You’ll be supporting small, local, handmade business, and you’ll be entering yourself to win prizes from MSL every time you vote.

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Chelsea

 

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We need your votes!

It’s that time! We entered this year’s Martha Stewart American Made competition for the chance to win anything from a gift basket full of goodies to $10,000 for our business and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to New York for the expo to display our work. You can go directly to our profile here:

I’ve had a late start reminding everyone of the competiton, because Mom’s been recovering from a knee replacement. It’s been almost three weeks, and though they made mistakes at the hospital with her medications, and she’s had a bad reaction to the pain meds they prescribed her, she’s finally feeling better and on her way to rehabilitation! We’re both excited to start building up our business after a long road of health struggles and other obstacles, and look forward to having our own studio workspace together.

We’ll keep you updated on the voting process, and if we win, we’ll share every step of the way with you. Please share the link to our profile with your friends – thank you for voting!

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Chelsea

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Make It Monday – Martha’s American Made Awards

If you look to the right of this post, below the photo of me looking very colorful, you’ll see a new button that looks like this:

Martha Stewart - American Made 2013 - Nominee Badge

Yesterday, a friend from our local Etsy team, Etsy Fort Worth, shared the link for our team members to nominate themselves for Martha Stewart’s Made In America Awards. The finalists from the six categories will receive an AM gift basket, and will be featured on the site and on Sirius radio. The first prize winner receives $10,000 to use toward their business, and a trip to NYC!

All you have to do to enter is click the green button on the right (or the picture below,) check out our profile, of course, and click the “nominate  yourself” button at the top right of the page. You’ll select your category, add any photos, videos, and links you’d like to share, then write a short bio about yourself/your business, and answer a couple of questions. You can save a copy of your profile before publishing it, and once you publish, you can edit your profile if you notice any mistakes or something you may have left out.

A sneak peek of our profile!

A sneak peek of our profile!

 

Voting starts August 26, so be sure to add our profile to your favorites list for later! Mom is looking for a house right now, and we’ve been planning out our studio space (who cares about the rest of the house, right?) So, if we win the grand prize, part of the money will go toward renovating one or two of the rooms to create a space where we can make and market together, and where we can invite customers to talk about custom orders, and host fittings for models. We are in serious need of a collective, designated space for our work, so that we can collaborate on projects, and store our supplies in one space. I’m especially excited to designate an area for taking photos, with different backdrops and a light box, without having to take it all down and reassemble it to save space in our current, small apartments.  

Of course, if we don’t win, we’re just excited about the opportunity for free exposure. By creating our profile, we’ll reach potential customers that haven’t heard of us before, who’ll visit our Etsy shops and other links, and get to know us better. If you or anyone you know has a handmade business, take the opportunity to put yourself out there! It could be craft, design, food, gardening, or style related. Nominate yourself (or make them nominate themselves,) because you never know who’ll fall in love with your product.

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Chelsea

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Thoughtful Thursday – Branding: Lots of words and a little math

As a small businessperson, I sometimes feel a little bombarded by advice. Usually, it’s a different version of the same information, or an article about something I already do without really thinking about it, so it can feel redundant. I don’t stop seeking out those “business for dummies” kinds of articles, though, because sometimes you come across one as good as this:

http://diybusinessassociation.com/gobrandyourself/

In fact, I’m finding this site has a lot of well-written, easy and fun to read, legitimate information for entrepreneurs.

So, this particular article discusses the 20/10/4 method, which, simply put, means you come up with 20 words or short phrases to describe yourself, then narrow that list to 10, then, finally, the 4 most important words on that list.

Now, even if you don’t own a business, this is honestly a pretty cool exercise to try out to help you figure out who you are and what you want to present to others. Obviously, we’re all complex people with different aspects of our lives and personalities, so the list may change depending on the context (social environment vs. work environment, for example,) but it’s worth the effort.

I won’t re-hash what’s already been written – I encourage you to visit that link up there – but I will share my 20/10/4 journey with you. As a self-proclaimed eclectic, it hasn’t been easy, but keeping our first shop, Buy Me Love, in mind, that narrows it down some. It starts with these words:

artisan
crafty
persistent
detail oriented
eclectic
geeky
classy
theatrical
thoughtful
optimistic
sweet addict
open minded
wordy
eco-conscious
animal lover
planner
tactile
creature of comfort
introvert
friendly

Then it goes a little something like this:

artisan
crafty
detail oriented
classy
theatrical
thoughtful
sweet addict
open minded
eco-conscious
friendly

In the end, though …:

artisan
classy
theatrical
eco-conscious

So, my personal brand is a theatrical but classy, eco-conscious artisan. I can’t wait to share this exercise with my mom to see what she comes up with, and to use the exercise to brand our newer shop, JuJu Eyeball. I’m sure we’ll come up with all kinds of fun words for that one!

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Chelsea

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Etsy 817, Meet Etsy Fort Worth (And Happy Easter!)

EasterBML

Happy Easter, everyone! However you’re celebrating today, or if you’re just enjoying a nice spring day, we’re wishing you a good one filled with family, friends, and peace.

There’s big change going on in the Etsy team world this season. (Appropriate, huh?) Our local Etsy team, Etsy817, and another local team, Etsy Fort Worth, have decided to merge! This was a compliment to our smaller, newer team, to have Etsy Fort Worth, a group that puts on a large annual show and has a huge following, show interest in us. It’s also practical, seeing as our team leaders were planning on implementing some new team guidelines that Etsy Fort Worth also had in the works, and several of our team members were already a part of EFW. We’ll be working together to create a more active team collectively, and to promote handmade and vintage in the Arlington, H/E/B, and Fort Worth area, which covers a large chunk of Texas, y’all. We’re having our first meeting as partners in a few days, so I can’t wait to meet some new faces and talk about the game plan.

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To learn more about Etsy Fort Worth, visit the website: http://www.etsyfortworth.com/

Like I said, we’re all about promoting handmade and vintage, so if you have a website or an Etsy store you’d like to share, be sure to list it on this week’s linkup post!

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Whatever Weekend: In The Works

As I worked on finishing the letters for my friend’s little girl, I realized that we haven’t listed much in our shops lately! So, finished and listed a hair clip in our JuJu Eyeball store:

Click on the image to view the listing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As my hubby would say, it’s made with my two favorite colors: sparkly and shiny! I covered a plastic skeleton hand in blue glitter, made a couple of pinwheels from green tulle and black lace, and cut/formed shapes with patent leather ribbon and added an ostrich feather. Viola! Super lightweight and super fun to wear.Now, back to the letters, here’s what the progress looks like so far:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apologies for the crummy images – I’m definitely a fan of natural light as opposed to flash. Anyway, a fairytale princess theme with lots of pink and a dash of sparkle equals four year old heaven (I hope!) I’ve said before that I’ve never considered myself a painter, but I think I’d like to take a class to beef up my unexistent knowledge of mixing, highlighting, shadowing … because I’m just making it up as I go along. Although I am pretty happy with the results as is; it’s hard not to be proud of completing something of which you have little to no history or skill.

Finally, happy Father’s Day to all you dads and single moms out there! (Single moms wear the dad hat, too, you know.) I hope it’s been a wonderful day, and I wish everyone a fantastic week!

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Chelsea

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