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Avie Paper Products

I meet a lot of people who have websites or shops on sites like Etsy and DaWanda but they do not have a business card. Let’s all work together to change this okay? Maybe indie artists and designers feel uncomfortable passing them around but really it’s how we can maintain contact with those we meet on the street. Don’t be shy! It’s okay to be proud of your business and to share what you’re doing that makes your little heart sing and beat extra hard!

I think women tend to hold back a little sometimes, don’t you? Maybe the idea is that? offering a business card comes across as desperate or aggressive perhaps? Do you think that this is the case? I don’t believe so. I think people want to know who we are and how they can reach us after the conversation if they need to. Most of us are so forgetful and busy that cards actually help us to remember prior conversations. Many times I’ve had great conversations with people and days later wished I could remember their name but because they didn’t give me a business card and my memory failed me, I was unable to get in contact with them.

When I spoke at the DaWanda blogging event a few weeks back in Berlin, lots of people asked me how to offer a business card in conversation without coming across a bit arrogant or pushy. I advised that you can simply hand someone your card after an introduction is made and say, “If you’d like to stay in touch or reach me online, here’s my card”, and that’s pretty much it. I find only about 40% of those I’m meeting in Germany who run a small business online have an actual business card. Many at the DaWanda event did not have a card and I wish they had because I met so many that I would have loved to have looked up online now.

Don’t have business cards… Now to get to the real meat of this post. How to change that for $15 or less! :)

Meet Avis Wampler who runs Avie, a small paper goods company. Avis wrote to me last week to introduce her paper shop but I noticed that she contacted all the blogs so everyone wrote about her at once. I thought since she must have gotten hit with a lot of orders and traffic that I’d wait a week and blog about her today. Time to share her with the decor8 audience. :)

What I like about Avie’s shop is that she creates quick and easy calling cards that you can hand out to those who ask you where they can find you or the things that you make online.

No name, no mailing address, no phone number, no problem… Just your website. Once there, people can find all the rest of that information anyway. If you don’t have a business card this is your chance for only $15. Remember if you don’t talk about (and share) what you do no one else will, right?

She also stocks cards that have more information on them like the Bright Type Calling Cards and the Birdie Cards. I like how crisp and clean they are.

There are also pretty 2009 calendars if you aren’t currently looking for business cards and graphic notepads… Too cute. Avie we love your shop!

(images from avie)

Posted in etsy, furniture, small business, stationery on October 10, 2008

Boston Magazine: West Newton Tudor Love

Lovely Boston home

Posted in uncategorized on October 10, 2008

Anthropologie Videos – Creepy or Cute?

I was just checking out the Anthropologie stuff for Autumn ’08 and came across these videos… I have to say, while they creep me out I do like them. I understand the need that a business has to continuously churn out new and innovative things to maintain a fresh look, but I wonder what your thoughts are in their new approach to product marketing on their site. Take a look here and tell me what you think. I like Spectra (it’s like Etsy!) and Look Closer is nice, but the Master Pieces videos… Hmmm… It is creative though!

I appreciate how Anthropologie works hard to stay fresh for us as we are always demanding something new and this gives companies a lot of work. One thing I would love though, that Anthropologie is not doing, is I’d like to see them roll out videos where customers can actually LEARN something… Like feature a series of DIY videos that show you how to make certain displays that you see in their stores for your home. They have so many cool installations that they churn out, window decals made from fabric, glass bottle light fixtures, etc. that I would find something like that not only inspiring but educational which may make me return to their site as often as they posted new videos. In turn, I may shop their site more.

Another idea I’d love to see: Interview the various designers behind their products and take you into their ateliers and show them at work. This would make the customer feel much more attracted to the products I think. I am under the impression that a lot of us see Anthro as a big box retailer more and more as they are becoming somewhat of a Starbucks (on every corner) in the states and this could be a potential negative for them. I adore Anthropologie, but not many are aware of where the boots and bags and clothing really come from, who designs them, etc. I’d love to learn more about where these products are coming from and the passion behind them…

I would also enjoy a series of videos that show you how to do something creative with products they carry in your own home. That would be helpful, like how some cool shopper in say Chicago used a pair of pillow shams on clearance and turned them into art or made some fun handbag or sewing machine cover out of it. Or how a girl in Kansas has a rad collection of teapots and used only the lids to create some funky art installation on the wall in her home. You know fun stuff like that… Show how customers are using Anthropologie products OR how customers could use them in fun and interesting ways. Teach us creative recycling. That way if you do get an item home and in 6 months you’re sick of it you may look at it in different way and use it as something else instead of boxing it up in the attic or eventually throwing it out. Creativity is inside of us all, some in larger doses or closer to the surface so to speak, but it can be taught, trained, sharpened. Have a series of videos that does that for Anthro customers so that shoppers develop their eye, taste, and start to think like a stylist. Isn’t that what we’d all love? To jump into the mind of a stylist for the day? Which leads me to think: Would you not LOVE to see them host lectures or DIY projects or indie art shows in their actual retail stores? A bit of an Anthro-university.

Of course, and I’ve been saying this for a few years, but I want them to roll out a book SO BADLY that it hurts. I’m dying to see them showcase the ‘best of the best’ displays in their stores with a How To guide teaching how we can do something similar in our home. How inspiring and useful would THAT be?

We are in real need of books that show creative artistic projects like that, and we’re also in need of books that show us how to style a room or create arrangements on tables, style bookcases, etc. I’ve had it with seeing books that show the same thing over and over again, we all know how to stack books, arrange them by color on a bookcase, top a stack of books with a pillar candle or OH MY GOD a shell. But what about giving us tasteful, yet useful and artistic ways to display the things we love in our home that isn’t Pottery Barn perfect but also isn’t tacky? Anthropologie Styling Tricks. Wouldn’t that be a dream book?

Care to comment with your thoughts on the Master Pieces video, what books you’d like to see that are missing, videos you’d be interested in watching or anything related? I enjoy hearing your thoughts, as the post I wrote about Wallpaper Borders yesterday inspired so many fantastic responses that I want to know more and more what you are all thinking out there… I want you to feel free to share your thoughts anytime you’d like because you may think that I am here each day to inspire you but oh no, it’s the other way around – YOU inspire ME tremendously. So thank you for always sharing and linking and being a special part of this blog.

Posted in Books + Magazines, Decorating Tips, reader questions on October 10, 2008

This Weekend: Boston Handmade!

Boston Handmade Market: Sunday Oct. 12th!

Posted in uncategorized on October 10, 2008

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

eCourses:

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