Happy Spring!

March 20, 2012
Can you believe it? Spring is already here. And even better than that - it was 80 degrees in Nashville today! I can't get over how warm it has been everywhere! I have a feeling we are in for a very hot summer, but that is quite alright with me as long as winter is long gone! I have a pretty short post today but I just wanted to let everyone know that we have received the My Animal Alphabet books! We will begin shipping tomorrow for those of you who pre-ordered. For the rest of you, you can still order a book! Order one here! :)

Love you! Hope you enjoy the rest of your evening! :)

Happy Weekend & a Button Baby Giveaway on Bump Smitten!

March 16, 2012
Happy Friday! I am so glad the weekend is finally here, but as always it will go by super fast because I have lots of stuff to do! I just wanted to pop in and let y'all know, Button Baby is giving away a Bump Smitten inspired bib over on their blog today! Head on over and enter for a chance to win! It is super cute, as visible below! :) Enjoy!

Photo via Bump Smitten

AH Inspired | A Workshop to Inspire & Grow Your Creative Business

March 13, 2012
Photo courtesy of Sara E Rose Photography

Happy GORGEOUS Tuesday y'all! I don't know about you but the sunshine is so good for my soul and I have been in a great mood all day long! I'm just going to go ahead and apologize for the lengthy and almost photo-less post, but there is just too much I have to say about what I experienced!

On March 3rd, I had the opportunity to attend the AH Inspired workshop here in Nashville. It was put on by Amber Housley who, by the way, is amazing. She is so full of helpful information and so willing to share it with anyone who will listen. I don't know if you know this or not, but that is a rare thing to find. If you are able, I highly suggest you attend this workshop. Vote here on where AH Inspired should go next.

Amber spoke on many different topics such as things she would tell her former self, branding and marketing, and business operations. The wide array of topics Amber touched on really got me thinking in all sorts of directions. My mind has been going a mile a minute ever since the workshop - in a good way, of course! Amber challenged us and not only spoke on helpful topics but also made us stop and think about what she was saying in terms of ourselves and our companies. One of the main things (there are way too many to name here) I took from Amber was figuring out who my ideal client is. Sometimes I forget that my ideal client isn't myself. She may be parts of me but not all of me. I am working towards nailing down exactly who this said client is and I know it will make a lot of future business decisions easier. She also had us write down our purpose. I actually am pretty happy with what I came up with in the 5-10 minutes she gave us to do so: To help people celebrate life's moments, both big and small, with style, personalization, and without breaking the bank. That right there, in a nutshell, is what I want to do. What I love to do! I still have some tweaking on the actual phrase but overall I'm pretty happy with it! Along with Amber there were 4 other speakers, who were all amazing as well.

Kelle Boyd of Ann Kelle spoke on facing your fears and working past them. Hearing someone I admire and look up to name some of the very same fears I feel myself, was extremely eye opening and helpful. A lot of times we feel like we are the only person on the entire planet that feels the way we do and although deep down we know there probably is at least one other person who feels that way, it is very easy to feel all alone. Hearing from her just reinforced for me that I need to "protect my dream" and not let anything stand in my way. 

The other night my aunt and I were talking and she said she knows that I will make my dreams happen and I won't give up when others might. It brought me to tears to know I have someone who believes in me even when I don't believe in myself. I am so lucky for my family - they are my biggest cheerleaders!

Sara of Sara E Rose Photography was a doll. She was so genuine and seriously brought the whole room to tears. She spoke on the importance of having a mentor and someone you can trust in the business. That was one main thing I think I gained from this workshop - a sense of community. As I said before, my family is so supportive and they are my biggest cheerleaders but they don't always understand what I'm talking about and sometimes you need an unbiased opinion. Someone to tell you like it is and not just tell you they love everything you do because they love you.

Courtney Dial of Pizzazzerie (among other things - you can keep up with all of her endeavors here.) spoke on social media and gave us lots of resources for us to take advantage of. I am pretty tuned in to social media and am usually on top of all the new stuff that is out there, but I definitely took a lot away from her and have started using social media in new ways. Let's just say that I updated my LinkedIn profile for the first time since graduating college and have been super busy "researching".

Jessica of The Budget Savvy Bride (she also is an Independent Stylist for Stella & Dot) spoke on getting published and gave lots of helpful tips for pitching yourself to blogs or publications. For some reason I never think about being published. I think one huge reason is I'm scared of rejection or not being good enough. She made the whole process seem a little less scary and has got me thinking of new ways I can put myself out there and be featured. Jessica also got me thinking about my elevator pitch! There have been countless times when someone asks me what I do and I have the worst pitch of all time. In fact, I wouldn't even call it a pitch. I am proud of what I do. I love what I do. I should be able to explain it quickly, simply, and with passion.

Every single one of these inspiring women was so helpful and such a key part in my growth. I can't say enough how thankful I am for people like them who are willing to share their knowledge. This post doesn't even begin to do the workshop justice. I put it off for a week and a half because I wasn't sure how to quite put it into words. Seriously, every day since the workshop I have thought about it, what I learned, and how I am going to turn it into action steps for my business.

Beyond the speakers and the material covered, I was introduced to 20-something other creative and motivated women with big dreams of their own. It was so refreshing to be in a room surrounded by people who just get it. They understand what it is I'm trying to accomplish. They understand the hardships I come across. And most of all they understand how it feels to work for something you want more than anything. I am so thankful to have a network of women I can keep in touch with and cheer on and who will in turn do the same for me!

It was awesome! :)

SCD & Facebook Timeline

March 7, 2012
My current Facebook Timeline cover photo.
Well, I did it. I switched over to timeline. But only for my business account. (Everyone page will be switched over on March 30th, so I thought I better go ahead and get used to it!) I still am not totally won over by the whole thing (it looks a little cluttered for my white space loving heart), but it does offer features for fan pages that are beneficial, such as:

  1. Cover photo. This is really awesome to highlight products or current happenings around the shop right off the bat. It's the first thing visitors will see, so make sure it makes a good impression. A good size for a cover photo is 850 x 315 pixels for those of you looking to make your own cover photos.
  2. Messages. This is probably my favorite feature. Now people can contact you directly through your fan page. Before they had to look up your personal Facebook and message you that way or contact you through your website. This makes is simple, quick and easy for someone to contact you who's come across your fan page.
  3. Highlight posts. This is great if you are featuring a giveaway or having a sale happening and you want to make sure everyone who visits your page sees it. After posting, click on the pencil at the top right of your post and select 'pin to top'. It will stay at the top of your page for 7 days (even with with an orange ribbon in the corner) so visitors know it's something special.
  4. Feature posts. Click the star in the top right of the post and it will expand said post to the width of your screen. This tells your visitors that this is important and this is something worth taking the time to look at.
I'm sure there are many new things I'll learn along the way, but for now I'm happy with it. I am however, holding off on switching my personal page over until they force me. I just am not sold on it for that purpose. But as is with all Facebook changes, we adapt and wet get over it. Because, after all, it is a pretty amazing FREE resource.

Weekly Wrap Up | Amber Housley Inspired Workshop

March 2, 2012
Shortly after registering for the AH Inspired workshop, I received this postcard in the mail from Amber. As if I wasn't already positive I had made the right decision to go and oh so excited, this was just the icing on the cake. My love for stripes and this quote (I've been working on a handwritten turned digitized version for quite some time) sealed the deal. I have a dream, I have passion, and I have something very big that I am working towards. I am so excited to go to this workshop (a workshop to inspire and grow your creative business) and be surrounded by 24 other talented and driven women. I am ready to learn and soak up as much information as my brain will allow, because I am determined to make the things that set my heart on fire a reality.

Although I am so excited and ready to dive in, I am feeling a little fear. For some reason in the last year or so, I have become less confident in myself and my work. I am working on it - and have been making steps in the right direction, but fear can be paralyzing and I hate that I let it defeat me every once in awhile. I also can't believe that I'm nervous to meet new people. I was Most Outgoing 2004 (thank you Valley View yearbook) for crying out loud. How am I possibly nervous about that? Anyway, say a little prayer, friends, that I open my heart and mind and I am just ready to learn, ready to improve, and ready to take the steps my company needs to get to the next level!

And not that I have been posting all that much lately, but in case 
you missed the whopping 2 posts I shared this week, here you go! 

1] I only have 1 month to go before I am 26 on the 26th! & finish the 26 tasks!