Enjoying The Journey

Welcome to “The Beauty is in the Blooming Blog Tour”

Find more posts from about living in the now HERE

BeautyBlooming_500px

Awesome Picture Created By Melissa @ Print Therapy

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”
― Bill Watterson

 

Melissa Wert at Print Therapy wrote a wonderful blog post recently about enjoying the day to day journey and process of life.  We are so consumed by how much better life will be once we reach our goals that we never appreciate the steps we take to get there.  She summed it up very eloquently: “The Beauty is in the Blooming”.  Her beautiful words inspired me to create this free printable for you (I have it hung in my office):

 

 

The Beauty is in the Blooming

 

Click Here to Download (.jpg)

Click Here to Download (.pdf)

 

Since starting my creative business I have definitely noticed a shift in my priorities and that needs to change.  I taught myself to crochet, began creating some awesome stuff and decided I wanted to turn my hobby into a business.  It is something I enjoy and do well.  Once you make the leap to creating a business everything changes!  I can’t tell you how much time I spend reading and learning about creating a successful creative business.  On top of that I have to set goals, market, promote, and connect with others.  I spend much less time actually creating my items than I do selling them.  (I really do love the business side though).  I am so focused on having a successful shop and blog that I forget how much I love crocheting and writing.  From now on I am going to stop and enjoy each step of the journey!

Please remember to stop in over at Melissa’s blog and read her wonderful post (I know you’ll love it)

 

Are you rushing towards the finish line?  Do you wish you were enjoying the journey more?  How can we make sure that the joy of our hobbies doesn’t get lost in the pursuit for success?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

 

Summer Creative Bucket List

Between the warming weather and reviewing April Bowles-Olin’s 101 Creative Habits (which you must check out)  I have been inspired to spend my summer creating and trying new things.  Warm weather gives me much more flexibility and inspiration for making and creation.  You can find supplies all around whether it is leaves, pretty feathers, or beautiful flowers.

I have an ongoing regular “summer bucket list” so that I make sure I don’t forget any of the fun things I want to do but here I am sharing my “creative bucket list”.  These are a few of the things I want to do to work on my creative process and keep my inspiration nice and sharp.  The first one is mine with the activities that I want to accomplish.  The second is a free printable for you!  It is blank so you can use my ideas, check Pinterest, or read the article mentioned above.  Enjoy and make the most of your summer!

Summer Creative Bucket List

 

To Download Your Free Blank Bucket List Click Here

Creative Bucket List Blank

To Download this Printable Click Here 

I would love to hear what is on your “creative bucket list”.  Please share in the comments!!

 

 

 

 

 

3 Steps to De-Clutter Your Brain

Declutter Your Brain

After reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done I was inspired to get my “To-Dos” in order.  It is amazing how much peace this has brought me.  Getting all of these nagging things out of my head has really cleared up the space I need to create!

Check out my post here:

3 Steps to De-Clutter Your Brain on Oh My! Handmade Goodness

Blog Post Planner

After spending the past week on Pinterest and what seems like 90% of the blogs in the universe searching for the perfect free blog post planner I came up with my own.  I have certainly found some really great planners, checklists, and schedules but none of them were just right (think Goldylocks here…).  So here it is!  Feel free to download and share! (If you share please please link back to this though).   Blog Post Planner

Click here to download this lovely blog post planner

Are You Putting Your Best Foot Forward?

Putting Your Foot Forward

 

Online businesses have become increasingly popular over the last few years.  With this increasing popularity the average person now has the opportunity to become a business owner from their own living room.  Social media and the ability to communicate at lightning speed has helped fuel small online businesses.  Anyone with even a small budget can use social media to market themselves and connect with their target audience.  The internet has made the world very small and almost anyone you connect with could be a potential customer.  Every time you have an interaction online you are representing yourself and your business and possibly gaining a customer or turning someone off from your business.  There are thousands of articles online about how to market yourself through social media but people seem to forget that it can sometimes be the littlest interaction that will have a huge impact on a customer (whether they are your “target” customer or not).  So with everything you type, post or share with the community think of whether you are putting your best or worst foot forward.

  1. Ways to put your best foot forward and build positive relationships:
    • Always be respectful!
    • Be friendly, encouraging, and supportive
    • Offer valuable feedback and insight
    • Share your expertise and help others
    • If you like what someone is doing, share it with others!
    • Connect with others and meet new people
  2. Ways to put your worst foot forward and turn off potential customers:
    • Forget that someone may want to purchase from you someday
    • Be rude, snotty, or stuck up
    • Spam by only promoting what you are selling
    • Asking people you don’t know to promote you for no reason
    • Only talk about yourself, all the time
    • Worry so much about your competition that you have no relationships

Please remember that even when you aren’t talking to someone in a business conversation it is very easy to look up who you are and find out what you do.  I wrote this post because I had a negative experience with someone online, looked up what they sold and realized that I loved what they were selling! I would have been a potential customer!  All because of their interactions online they lost money because they assumed I wasn’t their target audience and they weren’t marketing to me.  Has anyone ever turned you off from their business because of an interaction you had before you even purchased from them?  Did you have such a great interaction with someone that you researched them and became a customer?  Do you have any other advice for creative entrepreneurs?

Oh My Handmade a Creative Co-op

AnnualGeneralParty_Banner

I recently joined and participated in the Annual General Party for a great website called Oh My Handmade.  This is a wonderful group of people including makers, entrepreneurs, marketers, writers and more.  We are all sharing in resources to help one another achieve our goals.  It is so refreshing to find a supportive group of people with all different kinds of skills who are openly willing to share their skill set.

The Annual Party includes a giant survey of what a co-op of creatives would mean and how it could best be created for the community.  I encourage anyone who creates or is starting a small business or blog to not only check out the website but join the community and share your thoughts in the survey here.  The purpose of this event is to create a vision for the cooperative by getting many opinions and creating a plan to achieve that vision.

You can always find fun activities to learn about your co-makers and become involved.  The forums are a great place to meet people and share what you know!

 

Join the conversation and learn about this community of awesomeness: Oh My Handmade

Crafting Amongst Friends & My First “Rush”

http://happycoupleshop.com/2014/04/28/crafting-among…-my-first-rush/

Things are getting very exciting around here.  Its official!  My crocheted crafts are sitting in a store, ya me!  I live in New Hampshire and am soo excited to announce a great new store called Crafting Amongst Friends.  This a great little shop that features all kinds of local crafters.  This is one of those stores where you will find all those great little items that you will never find anywhere else.  From décor to jewelry to apparel and purses, they offer something for everyone!  Interestingly I heard about them from my hairdresser sister who gets all of the gossip in town.

As someone just starting out their handmade business this opportunity is very exciting for me.  I have had an Etsy shop since December and while I know that I desperately need more listings (which means more time to make) I haven’t had a lot of success.  I am determined to spend the next few months filling my shop with lots of goodies for summer, weddings, and babies.  Unfortunately none of this will happen until I have some more time to create, in about a week after finals are over.  But believe me you will be seeing some very cool things in the “summer line”.

In the meantime though my very favorite creations are being consigned in this beautiful new shop.  Seeing my items in a store is just about the coolest feeling in the world.  Now I see where the entrepreneurship “rush” and excitement comes from.  I highly recommend checking this place out if you are in the area.  Not only can you get some very cool and unique things but you are supporting your local artisans and community.  Check out Crafting Amongst Friends on Facebook or stop by at 16 Opera House Square, Claremont, NH.  You can find my Etsy shop here.

What gave you your first business “rush”?  Have you ever consigned your crafts?  How did it work out?  Please share!

10 Resources for Etsy Sellers

http://happycoupleshop.com/I have spent the last few months learning everything I can about running a small business and specifically an Etsy shop.  I am a new Etsy shop owner and I make crocheted items and you can visit it here.  I never could have dreamed how much information there is out there and how much there is to learn.  I made this list to compile some of my favorite resources in one place for anyone out there who is looking for the same information I was.  All of the links and articles included come from websites that are full of great articles and information.  I included them because they are informative, helpful, and going to the article will lead you to even more help.

7 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Etsy Shop:  This article simplifies how to use the world of social media to your advantage in a specific way.  There is a really interesting 5-10-5 rule that will help you allot your time online efficiently and give you a more solid promotional plan.

Planning for Positivity in 2014: There are some great free printables included here but overall it is a very helpful post on goal setting for your business.  There are some ideas on goals to get you thinking and a great goal setting system.

Starting an Etsy Shop: 8 articles you must read when setting up your shop.  This post includes a ton of great resources and will help direct you to where all of the great information is on the internet.

20 Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Etsy Shop:  These ideas are very creative and again there are very specific ideas to help boost your sales.

Handmade Success: This is a great overall website including many resources and articles for all things Etsy.  It also includes resources for blogging and crafting.

Ready for Etsy Success?: Straight from the Etsy Seller’s Handbook this is another goal setting blog.  Having goals is so important so you know where your shop is going and can plan how to get there effectively.

Selling Handmade: Packaging Your Etsy Product: Often overlooked in the selling process, packaging is an important way of leaving a lasting impression with your customers.

Etsy Success: 4 Things to Do Now: Not only are there links to other articles here, there is a simple list of how to get great sales!  This is also a blog straight from an Etsy team of sellers who know what they are talking about.

Back to Work: Tips to Improve Your Etsy Business: This is a great article for a brand new seller or someone who wants to take their business to the next level.  It focuses on the basics that you may be neglecting and includes other things you may not have thought of at all.

10 Tasks To Do in the Quiet Months: Every seller has a slow period and instead of panicking this post gives some insight into how you can use the down time to your advantage.

5 Things My New Etsy Shop Has Taught Me

Since I wouldn’t have started a blog if I didn’t open an Etsy shop I felt it appropriate to describe the learning curve of the past few weeks. It has been about a month since I opened my Etsy shop, The Happy Couple shop. One of the reasons behind the shop is that I was laid off from my job. So for the past month I have spent A LOT of time learning how to promote my shop and at the age of 27 re-learning the social media scene. I consider myself to be relatively young and feel that I should know all there is to know about the way people interact on the internet. I couldn’t have been more wrong….
5 Things My New Etsy Shop Taught Me
1. The first thing I learned from opening my Etsy shop is that you can’t just throw some items up on a website and wait for the money to roll in. It is about building a shop that has a presence all over the web.

2. I learned that I needed to start a blog!! Although I did learn this early on in the process I also have been procrastinating this step out of fear, public humiliation, failure, the list keeps going. But here I am so please give me a chance before you tear me apart (I hope if you are reading this you are not here to rip my ideas apart though).

3. SEO is very important but no one really know how it works… I have read tons and tons of articles on this topic and they all stress the importance of using the “right” keywords in the “right” way but they also say that the “right” way changes so often and the search engine robots are so sneaky that there really is no cut and dry method.

4. A view on my Etsy shop does not equal money in my bank account. This has been one of my most frustrating first lessons. I am addicted to watching my “shop stat” and I get so so excited when someone views my shop or my listings but then I still have to stare at that big fat zero under orders. It is still a bit of an ego boost to know that someone I don’t know somewhere in the world is taking the time to look at something that I so proudly put my love and time into and created!

5. I was completely on top of social media when Facebook first came out. Now, so many years later, I am learning everyday about new websites for social media and a lot of new expressions and terms. I am currently reading 301 Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Your Marketing by Catherine Parker (look for a review in the near future). This book has been invaluable to me so far in teaching me about social bookmarking (which I had never heard of) and the ins and out of the sites I already knew something about.

So while this has been a learning process I am very much enjoying it and can’t wait to see what comes up next.
What has your creative business taught you? Please leave a comment below.

%d bloggers like this: