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New Business Cards By INK + WIT

Looking for snazzy business cards that make an impression? One major bullet point that was top priority on my moving list of Things To Do was to order new business cards. I have no clue how or where to do all of this abroad so I figured it was best to get it out of the way before I leave, plus I ordered them in time to share some with my friends stateside so that they have my new address. I decided to leave my phone number off of them, no one calls me anyway unless they know me, most new contacts shoot me an email. Would you like to see my new cards?

My New Business Cards

A little background on the design: this time I wanted to go for something less traditional than the standard format, so I opted for a 3×3 format on delicious thick white paper, letterpressed in aqua, so that receivers could enjoy the whole tactile sensation that I love so much about letterpress stationery. Plus this will fit into a European wallet quite nicely as they tend to be wider and shorter to accommodate the Euro bills. I also wanted to bring in the butterfly and add some type of pattern to give it personality.

One of my leading ladies, Tara Hogan from INK + WIT, designed these cards for me. Tara has been my official go-to-girl for business card design from the start because she consistently does such gorgeous work for me and work is done quickly so I never have to wait. If you want some pretty business cards definitely contact her — she’s great and I love her minimalist modern design, it’s clean and professional without losing the cuteness factor that I’m such a fan of.

Thank you Tara for your beautiful work!

(image: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in small business on July 22, 2009

Spring Cleaning & Secrets of Simplicity

I’m reading the final chapter this week of Secrets of Simplicity by expert organization queen and author Mary Carlomagno and as soon as I’m finished I’m going to start reorganizing my house and I plan to sell a bunch of things over on eBay — I have wayyyy to much stuff and really need to downsize and clear the clutter. I feel bad that I will be getting rid of so many things but I’ve learned from Secrets of Simplicity that my need to hold on to certain things is crazy, especially when I yearn to live in a clutter-free environment. Of course, I can’t live without cherished items around, but I can live without the piles of magazines, the collection of lamps and chairs and ceramics and art that I’ve collected that honestly, I really have to personal attachment to any longer.

office

{book from amazon, office products via knock knock}

Of course, I’m not getting rid of everything I own, but I’ve decided to clear out my storage room located in the attic of my home and sell everything on eBay, through a series of tag sales, and on Craigslist. What I cannot sell I will donate to charity just as I did last Spring (this is an annual cleansing activity for me, though this year is the biggest one ever!). It’s my May must-do project and Secrets of Simplicity is helping me to get there emotionally and spiritually so that I can take this healing journey of saying goodbye to all of this stuff. Though it is beautiful, too much of anything is never good. I know the feeling of joy that will sweep over me as I say goodbye to the final box carried out of my front door will be worth it all. Yippie-kay-yay! Two spaces in my home that I can’t wait to purge — my walk-in closet, my office/craft room and my bookcase.

I found this cool site today called Knock Knock while reading Victoria’s blog and I love all of the office products here. I will be needing lots of file folders and other miscellaneous storage for organizing, so I’m definitely bookmarking this site. I’m going to order the Personal Library Kit because I loan out books so often that this would help me to keep track of them. Plus, in this economy, I think good friends should be encouraging one another book to borrow things from one another now and then. Especially novels. I am so tired of buying them and then what? I will never pick up the same book and read it twice. I’d much rather loan it out or swap it with another novel from a girlfriend.

What about you? Have you read Secrets of Simplicity? Are you doing any Spring cleaning at the moment? How are you handling it emotionally? What are you currently trying to take control of in your home – clutter, a reno, DIY project, cleaning?


Posted in small business, stationery on April 09, 2009

Creativity Series: Just Do It! {6}

Are you ready for the topic of the week in our Creativity Series? This one hits close to home, in fact this was the most challenging post of the series for me to write — just thinking about the topic gave me deer in the headlights syndrome. Have you ever heard of analysis paralysis? This is what we’ll be discussing today, it’s a good one since lots of us struggle with it. Let’s talk about what analysis paralysis is and why it’s the quickest way to pour cold water all over that creative spark of yours.

First, what is analysis paralysis? Well it’s not some catchy word from Dr. Phil. It’s a condition that many suffer from but thankfully can be treated. Here’s the Wiktionary definition, “Analysis Paralysis– The condition of being unable to make a decision due to the availability of too much information which must be processed in order for the decision to be made.” In other words, omg too much information!!! You can’t make progress because you are brainstorming, researching, talking about, fine tuning, studying, and forum posting the life out of your idea. In the end you don’t do it. Sound familiar? Perhaps it’s a cop out, a cover, a mask because the more you are learning you can justify to yourself (and your friends) why you haven’t actually done it yet. Hmmm. Let’s illustrate.

Example: You want to sell your handmade scary monster dolls online.

Positive and practical next step: Spend a reasonable amount of time researching websites, pricing, competition, etc. Set priorities, carve out a plan, take it one step at a time. You may decide to open a small shop on a site like Etsy, Folksy, Dawanda, 1000 markets, etc. to see how you do and grow from there. Think about what you must do in order to get started, list your priorities first and stick to those action items. I find it best to work on the must do list and save the future maybes list for after you get started. Some find that lots of research, work, etc. is better conducted after the idea is launched.

The Analysis Paralysis way: Spend an unreasonable amount of time researching websites, pricing, competition, etc. Look at competitors thinking their work is somehow better. Explore every single website ever invented on planet earth to see where work should be sold. Then explore Mars. And maybe the Moon too. Next, proceed to get all stressed out over the potential that the idea could be stolen once it’s online. Worry that no one will like you. Worry that some kid may swallow your doll and die, you will get sued, and your life will be ruined. Read tons of books, blogs and websites on how to launch a small business online. Start thinking that maybe you should also sell your t-shirts and gocco prints. Start researching gocco paint and where you can purchase it for the best price. Spend more weeks on that. Then realize you really only want to sell your dolls. End result: months and months spent over analyzing everything and in the end, you still have no idea what website you want to go with to sell your dolls. Or worse, you see dolls much like yours in a brand new web shop that people are literally going bonkers over, they can’t keep ‘em stocked, and you think you are a total loser for sitting on the idea for so long. You’re not a loser, you are just giving something that doesn’t require so much legwork way to much time to cook. Newsflash! You may be over cooking your idea.

I have this crazy expression that I use when I’m deep frying the life out of an idea. Stop drop and roll with it.

Have you stopped the flow of ideas before you were able to get started by over-analyzing everything? While it is a proven fact that creativity comes more naturally for some than others, I whole-heartedly believe that if you pursue your creative side and just GET STARTED then remain consistent, determined, and positive, you can find greater joy, increased self-worth, and success in your ideas.

You don’t need to learn everything before you start something. If you want to start selling your art prints, open a shop on a site like Etsy.com for instance and start putting your work there and build. Take a few business courses or talk to friends who have experience to share. Drop over-thinking every minutiae.

Here’s the exercise for this week. Grab some paper if you’d like or comment below.

1) List a few things that in the past you have over analyzed to the point of either a) Not following through on the idea or b) information overload stressed you out so much that the finished product wasn’t nearly as good as it could have been had you not over analyzed things.

2) List a few things that you want to do going forward that you see yourself already over thinking to the point of becoming uninspired. Maybe it is a bedroom that you need to decorate? An interest in taking up crochet? What is the real reason behind not actually DOING it?

3) Review your list and decide for yourself that you will no longer charbroil your ideas. Believe in the fact that you are worthy of selling those scary monster dolls online, that you will make mistakes along the way and that’s fine (all successful people have and continue to make mistakes), you will deal with copycats and jerks online, you will have some unhappy customers, but know that you are worthy enough to have success, money, honor, even a loyal following of fans… and that the bad is worth the good. And just DO it. Take the first step and then think about the second one.

Think all successful businesses are born from an elaborate business plan? Read my first post on decor8 in January 9, 2006. Does THAT sound like a girl with much of a plan?

(image by holly becker for decor8)

Posted in real talk, small business on February 19, 2009

Crafty Home Studio Space

Speaking of spaces where women create, Tamar from Nest Pretty Things in Vermont contacted me over the weekend with photos of her newly designed arts and crafts studio – it’s full of positivity and warmth! I’ve been thinking about having my own room again dedicated to creative pursuits, an idea that I plan to put into motion in the months ahead. It also means I will have to move but I’m okay with that because I’ve realized that I can no longer accept my current space as being sufficient enough. It’s not, I need the space. I work from home, it’s important to have plenty of room for the many projects I have my hands in right now. I fantasize about how I want my dream room to look, I can see it so clearly… but until I can touch this dream I’m living through others, planning, thinking, and saving money!

Do you currently have a “you” room in your home? If so, would you like to link to it below in the comments section? If you do not, tell me about your dream room or point me to a photo of it online. I’d love to see and exchange some inspiration today! You can see more images and read about her studio space here.

Thank you Tamar for sharing!

(images from tamar at nest decorating)

Posted in Home Tours, inspiration, small business on February 09, 2009

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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