Collection: We've Moved New Address Labels

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Get Better Results From Your Online Business

You are probably well aware that there are many entrepreneurs sharing and promoting the same kind of business and products as you. While promoting your company you have likely seen many of your own networking colleagues tweeting out similar items or content to yours. Most are offering the same services, similar designs, blogging about their shops, offering tips and so forth. Building an online business is hard work, I know that first hand. Keeping up and realizing all of the changes that seem to come faster than lightning is a tough reality. 

You've probably heard this before, I know it's nothing new but there are still many perks and freedom that come from running your own online business. I mean seriously, being able to work from anywhere in the world is a huge deal. If you're traveling you can work while your away.  A new setting or funky cafe that you find yourself in can do wonders to inspire and give you fresh ideas to work with. Making money passively while you sleep and travel is pretty awesome. 

Be authentic, those that come to buy from you want to know the real you. Customers buy from someone they like or feel they can trust. Let your own style and personality come through, people are  drawn to authenticity.

Get as specific as you can with your target audience. This will make your marketing a lot easier. Create a clear and concise brand and market it to the best of your ability. 

Websites can get cluttered and jumbled pretty quickly when you start adding widgets and plugins. This can be confusing for many people and can make them leave your site without giving it fair game. Create a solid foundation and build your site so customers can navigate through it with ease. 

Entrepreneurs know that there is never an end in sight as far as building and marketing your business. Every day is a new day, a fresh start to keep working hard as you promote your business in a professional way. Always keep working your goals. Perseverance is necessary in the online world. Everything takes patience and as you build your business you will need an abundance of it. Don't give up, keep learning, educating yourself and stay focused. Good things will come. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Online Business Interview With Bebop's Place

It's great to learn and share with other business owner's. Today I am sharing with you an online Q and A interview with another Zazzle designer. She does beautiful photography work for her shop. I am sure you will find it inspiring. Interviews are a nice way to see how other artists or entrepreneurs conduct their business. 

1.What is the name of your business? 

Bebop’s Place

2. What inspired you to start your own business?
            I am a passionate amateur photographer. Mostly I photograph the wild natural beauty of rural upstate New York where I live.  I wanted to share my work and it seemed that offering my images on Zazzle products would be a good platform.

3. Can you provide me with a description of your business?
            I have a print-on-demand shop on the Zazzle website.  I fit my images to the huge variety of products offered by Zazzle.

4. What are the advantages of this form of business ownership?
            I love the idea that I am free to create the images and that Zazzle does the actual manufacturing and distribution.

5. How do your customers find your products? 
            I wish I knew!  I assume that they search the Zazzle website directly or through search engines.

6.  Where do you get your motivation when things are slow?
            Slow sales can be discouraging but my motivation really comes from the creative process and that keeps me going.
7. Is there anyone that you look up to for business advice?
            The Zazzle Forum is really my only source for help and advice.  We all share our knowledge and encourage each other.

8. Do you do marketing for your business? 
            I do have several blogs that I post my products to but that is really all.

9. What will you be focusing on for the upcoming holiday season?  
            Probably my favorite product line is my calendars.  I truly enjoy curating my work into specific thematic material.  I am hoping they will be popular this year.  Here is a link to my 2018 collection of 12 page calendars:
 Here are a couple of products that I like from Bebop's Place

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Touch of Glitter Never Hurt Anyone

It's been proven that glitter is the perfect accent for any wedding or black tie event. There are ways to use a touch of glitter either in small understated ways or if you desire in big elegant ways and really make your celebration feel designer. Take some inspiration for those designer celebrity weddings. Adding some shiny sparkle can really make a reception or event extra special. 

Perhaps you might choose this look for your invitations and stationary items and then just add a touch of it to your wedding decor. Glitter comes in almost every color under the rainbow so you can choose to use traditional colors like gold or silver or find a totally different shade that you love. 

I've been trying to figure out how to create designs using glitter and sparkles for awhile now and I just figured out a way that I could make these backgrounds and use them on my store products.  So you guessed it, I've been busy creating all kinds of glitter images for wedding products like invitations, RSVP cards, champagne or wine labels, wedding stickers and other unique items that I thought looked really elegant with the faux glitter images.  I've also been playing with different shades and colors to make gorgeous products for you. My most favorite color so far is rose gold which also happens to be an on trend wedding color right now and can be paired nicely with a bolder color as well. It also looks amazing with Pantone's color of the year is 'greenery'.  You'll find this new shade of green popping up in everything from wedding bouquets to bridesmaid dresses. 

 Purple Faux Glitter Wedding Set

 Rose Gold Faux Glitter Wedding Set
 I'll be working on some more designs for the Christmas season. It's good to be designing holiday items so that they are ready to sell a few months ahead as many people begin to shop earlier and earlier every year. So let the designing continue... 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Small Business Interview with Tanya Draws

Interviews are a great way to learn about people and their businesses. I don't know about you but I get inspired by those that are creative and work hard to have their own business.  Every couple of weeks I will strive to have a guest interview on my blog featuring either an artist or someone with an inspiring online business. Hearing how others conduct their company or design their work can give us ideas and help motivate us during those tough times. 

Today I am sharing an interview with you from a talented designer. 

1. What is the name of your business?
Tanya Draws

2. What was your motivation to start your own business?

I started this as a way to motivate myself to create more art, and to teach myself new skills in design. I had been pursuing freelance graphic design at the time, and thought designing the products at the print on demand Zazzle could be a great creative outlet. When people started buying my work, I knew it could be something more! I’ve been designing patterns and drawing ever since.

3. Can you provide me with a description of your business? 
I design cute, quirky and decorative patterns and illustrations for clothing, home decor and stationery. I create gifts that can be enjoyed by people of all ages - from animal puns, to decorative patterns that look great in the home. 

4. What are the advantages of this form of business ownership 
What I love about this form of business ownership is that I can focus on designing and do not have to worry about shipping products or stock levels. Its also purely online so I can really work on my shop at any time, anywhere.

5. How do your customers find your products? 
My art can be found at the online print on demand marketplaces Zazzle, RedBubble and DesignByHumans under the shop name Tanya Draws.

6. Where do you get your motivation when things are slow? 
When I’m slowing down creatively, what helps me is to go shopping! It sounds weird, but browsing a retail store to see what items they have in stock and what kind of colours, styles and designs are popular for the season is inspiring.

7. Is there anyone you look up to for business advice? 
One person I really look up to for business advice is my sister! She is younger than me…  but she goes shopping way more than me, and always knows what is popular. :) Her great eye for style and her love of awkward humour has definitely impacted my shop!

8. Do you do marketing for your business? 
I do mainly social media marketing for my business. I can be found on twitter and Instagram! I also have a blog to showcase my work. 

9.What will you be focusing on for the upcoming holidays? 
For the holidays, I’m working on building up a collection of Holiday themed stationery & photo greeting cards! I’ve also got a bunch of holiday themed patterns in the works that I hope to add to my shop in the next few weeks. 

10. Is there anything that you struggle with in your business? 
My biggest struggle has always been keeping my self doubt in check and maintaining a balance between being critical of my work, and striving to improve. I know that I’ve grown so much as a graphic designer and artist in the past 3 years and part of that is because I see things I could have done better in my work… however sometimes I can forget this and be too critical! As creatives, I think this happens a lot. Its important to see where you can improve but its equally important to keep the things you like about your work in mind, too.

I hope you enjoyed learning about Tanya Draws. This is one of my favorite patterns that she has created. You can find it on many different products in her shop. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Reasons to Love Fall

The leaves are beginning to change colors and subtle hints of the fall season are starting to appear. Fall is by far my favorite season of the year for so many reasons.  The spring season is not far behind but during the fall months I revel in the crisp fresh air as I take walks and feel the crunch of fallen leaves beneath my feet or feel the gentle wind on my face as I take a bike ride. Autumn has a particular beauty to enjoy. 

I find this season to be one of fresh beginnings, letting go of the lazier days of summer and setting new goals and getting back into more structured days. The evening sets in sooner and it feels okay to go to bed a little earlier when it's dark outside.  

Another one of my favorite things about the fall season is everything Pumpkin. I know, but seriously I love pumpkin pie. My husband and I have to limit ourselves to one a month or we would find ourselves eating it every weekend and that would definitely blow the health goals. Tis' the season of pumpkin loaves, muffins, pumpkin lattes and even pumpkin scented candles. 

Fall is also the season of cozy over sized sweaters and boots of course.  No more sweaty summer days of melting makeup and flat hair. Pretty fall colored clothing and makeup can give you a new sense of freshness. 

The autumn season also lends itself to comfort food. Time to make some hearty lentil soup and enjoy warm muffins with a hot cup of coffee.  Things that can be made in the crock pot like tasty chili's also make me think of fall days.  Last night I made one of our favorite recipes and this one is super easy.  It's called Zesty Bean Dip and this recipe only uses 4 ingredients and whips up in no time. If you want to try this recipe just click on the link. It's so yummy. 

If you decide to make this recipe leave me a comment and let me know how you liked it. 

Time to get busy and work on some new designs for the upcoming holidays. I hope you take time to enjoy some of the many great things about the fall season. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Designs By Shell Interview

Ever heard of giving yourself an interview? I thought this was interesting in that it would answer many questions and perhaps help me to continue to work on and create new goals for my business. In doing so it may inspire and shed some light on how you conduct your own business and why you are in the place you find yourself. 

Let's Begin:

Designs by Shell - Digital Designer 

What was your motivation to start your own business? 

I have always been interested in art and drawing since I can remember. Always doodling on scrap paper when I had the chance and I loved to color as a child too!  This was probably the beginning of my inspiration. 

I had always talked about being able to work from home, although this business came after my children were all grown. 

One day my husband came home from work and handed me a 'Wired' magazine and said "there's a company in here called Zazzle that does Print on Demand and you might enjoy designing on their products." 

I did some research and looked into the company and decided to open an online shop and try my hand at designing and to see if working from home might be an option for me

What is your business about?  

My store's name is Designs by Shell.  I create designs for stationary items, gift items and apparel. I began using a paint program on my Samsung tablet and this is where I draw and create my designs. You may notice I also have photography images on many items and these are all my own pictures as well.  I draw many whimsical items but also like to create chic stylish designs for birthdays and weddings as well. 

Where is your business based?

The company Zazzle is based in San Hose, California. I personally live near Vancouver, B.C.

Tell us About Zazzle, the Print on Demand Company?

This company is a huge online marketplace for designers to sell their art. As a designer you publish your products on any of thousands of products that are available and set your royalty rate. All of the processing, payments and shipping are done by Zazzle. This allows artists to focus simply on designing and leaves them free of inventory. 

What has been the most effective way of customers finding your products? 

Social media and through several of my own websites has so far been the most successful method of sharing my products and designs.  Driving traffic to my website is still challenging and something I work on everyday. 

How do you stay motivated through the tough times? 

I love to be active so usually a good bike ride or fitness walk gets me rejuvenated and ready to work again. 

Can you offer any advice for other entrepreneurs? 

Stay the course. Be a 'fearless' learner. This was some great advice given to me and has helped me dive in when I felt like I didn't have the expertise or knowledge on hand but found out that I could learn. You will make mistakes but that's okay, shake it off and keep moving forward. 

What are the advantages of this form of business ownership? 

Flexibility for sure. Setting your own hours. 

What is the most challenging part of your business? 

I would have to say the marketing is the hardest part. SEO is challenging as Google is always changing the way sites are ranked. Marketing takes a consistent effort and time.

Well I hope you find this interesting and perhaps motivating too! When you have drive it's amazing what you can do! 

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Just for the Fun of It Phrase Origins

Have you ever given any thought to some of the funny quotes and phrases we use and where they originated from. We were talking about this with some friends last night and it got me to wondering about some of the sayings that we tend to use and may not really know the origin of how they came about. So just for the fun of it I thought I'd look a few of them and share my findings. 

Let's start with a popular one:

"You're pulling my leg"  - means to tease someone or mislead them.  It was rooted in the criminal world when thieves would trip or pull people down by their leg in order to rob them. This is one of the more common story versions that is shared or believed about this quote. 

Never look a gift horse in the mouth - As horses age their gums recede and it makes their teeth appear longer.  Checking a horses mouth before buying it was a common practice, perhaps it still is but this is where the phrase comes from. Although this was considered offensive just like now if you received a gift from someone you wouldn't ask them how much they payed for it. 

                                  Maybe it goes for Zebra's too! 

Mind your P's and Q's -  There are a few different thoughts on this one but the most common seems to be referring to minding your pints and quarts. A British saying that perhaps started in English pubs meaning to chalk up your tally of drinks on the slate. A bar tender may have used this to say to a patron if they were getting loud and considered to be drinking too much. 

Once in a Blue Moon - You may be know that a blue moon is referred to as the second full moon in a single calendar month and it's super rare.  Thus the saying 'once in a blue moon' refers to something that doesn't happen very often. 

Sleep Tight - dates back to the time when mattresses where made with ropes and each night before bed the ropes needed to be pulled tight to ensure a good sleep. 

Crocodile Tears - When someone is crying superficially or falsely they are said to be crying crocodile tears. The myth dates back to the 14th century when it was believed that crocodiles would shed tears when they killed their prey. 

There's some food for thought. Interesting to look into some of the common phrases that we toss around so easily.