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How do you feel about your blog?

This is such a fun topic, I just have to ‘go there’ since so many of you blog — either about design, work, to push along your business, or just personal stuff meant to share with friends, family, and the innocent bystander. Show of hands here. How many of you fell upon a blog with photos of kids, dogs, and a complete stranger dancing around in her union jack panties and thought, “I wish I could blog like that” (I dream of blogging with complete freedom and wonder how so many actually can.) So I ask you fellow bloggers, what does your blog mean to you? How does it make you feel to have one? Do you wish you could voice your REAL opinions sometimes? Or are you doing that already?

JoshuaInk asked this question back in ’05 on his blog, so I’m not some amazing conversation starter, I credit JoshuaInk on this one. From his blog — “Do you get jitters, or excited before making that controversial post you know is gonna stir things up? Do you feel disappointed when a post you thought would be popular only gets a few comments? Do you have little traffic and if so what keeps you motivated? Do you have a lot of traffic, how does that affect what you write? Is your style to stick to work issues only, or do you get personal and why do you do it that way? How do you feel when someone posts a comment you’d rather delete? Or in the grand scheme of things do you really, deep down, not give a flying {bleep} about any of it? Are you really able to be honest about how you feel about your blog?

Think about it. And let me know. I’ll do the same. Meet me in the comments section below.

(image of book, No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 Ideas For Your Blog)

Posted in inspiration, small business on April 12, 2007

Shop Girl: Foot Traffic – How To Reel ‘Em In

It’s important to continue the Shop Girl series, at least until a point is reached where the book can be closed and we feel ready to venture into other important topics (email me offline with your thoughts, please!). In the past, when it comes to owning a small business, we’ve discussed: How Do You Stay Alive? and What Can Shop Owners Do To Attract Loyal Customers?

Beverly Hills bridal + evening gown boutique, Monique Lhuillier Salon, incorporated Alena Hennessy’s Birds in Flight to create a beautiful window display at their 9609 Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA address. Would this window catch your eye?

So let’s chat a bit about store displays, signage, and how to create a sense of excitement on the street that will draw in foot traffic. Store Owners: Is it all about location, or do you snag and drag in your customers through email, word of mouth, signage posted around town? How much importance do you place on your window displays?

If you do not own a store, but love to shop indie… Shoppers: What counts when you’re out and pass a storefront? What lures you in? Any tips you can give that can help shop owners become more successful in attracting customers is always welcome.

Ideas: Host a workshop or a guest speaker, place plants in urn planters or flower boxes around the front door, lots of signs announcing a One Day Sale, signage showing that the store window was pulled together by a designer or art school that made local news, good music (I heard the Amelie soundtrack recently coming from a store and HAD to go inside)… Can anyone think of what attracts them?

(images from alena hennessy)

Posted in small business on April 03, 2007

Tupalo: *New* Network for Indie Stores + More!

Do you Tupalo? You should. It’s a new social mapping network for indie culture, with a focus on mapping mom ‘n pop boutiques, indie book and record stores, hair salons, nightclubs, and cafes.

Users can search, add, rate, review, and tag location around various cities worldwide, including Berlin, San Francisco, Chicago, and more – with new locations being added daily. Tupalo is hoping you’ll spread the word about their community, so please visit them online and spread the word!

Posted in Arts + Crafts, small business on March 22, 2007

Shop Girl: What Can Shop Owners Do To Attract Loyal Customers?

For the next few months, decor8 will feature a Shop Girl series, posts that randomly pop up from time to time about shop ownership – brick ‘n mortar and online stores – to gather the perspectives of both owner and customer alike. The goal is to collect ideas that will help small business owners stay afloat which will make our shop experience as customers, a richer, more interesting one that fills more than just our bags, but may even help us meet new people in our community, learn about interesting artists, and walk away feeling refreshed and inspired.
The response from Shop Owners How Do You Stay Alive?, blogged on March 13th, resulted in some informative comments that extend beyond the typical ‘great post!’ that you usually see on blogs. If you haven’t already, please read the comments, enlightening to say the least. Shannon, from the blog Make It, brought up an interesting point that I’d like to get your opinion on.

Shannon said, “I love hearing of small businesses that also hold art/craft exhibits. Doe and Rare Device are two stores that do this very well and not only do they get great publicity from it, they support small artisans and give people another reason to visit their shop, even if they don’t feel like shopping. Small businesses need to think of creative ways to get people into their stores (classes, book signings, cocktail hour). Here in Boston, Magpie just reopened in a larger storefront with a temporary art exhibit as well.”

So readers, shoppers, friends of independent boutiques… What do you think? How can shop owners attract a loyal following? If you owned a shop, what creative ideas would you use to attract customers? What would you like to gain from your shopping experience?

(images from doe, dear, and rose + radish)

Posted in small business on March 20, 2007


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