Collection: We've Moved New Address Labels

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. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

You Can Always Do More Than You Think You Can

Have you heard this slogan before? You can always do more than you think. This can apply to many areas of life such as our business or work, learning new skills, reaching diet and fitness goals or perhaps training for something.  

Recently on a little cycling holiday with my husband this became a motto that played on my thoughts as I climbed high hills and rode long, long stretches on my bike. Words from my husband 'you can always do more than you think you can', he was right! ( I know, right!) 

The first two days of riding we spent in Marysville, U.S. biking the Centennial Trail, perhaps you've heard of it?  This was pretty easy riding, mostly flat paved trails that weaved  through lots of trees and greenery, an Art Walk and places to stop for a coffee or lunch break. We rode the trail in two parts, day one we rode 59 km and day two we cycled 69 km. Had lunch at a unique old garage style eatery with the best old fashioned milkshakes ever. We came across a festival at Lake Stevens and stopped for coffee's and a short walk out on the dock. 

On our relax day, we drove about an hour and caught the Whidbey Island ferry to Langley, Whidbey! We arrived at our AirBnB around 2pm and once we got settled we took a stroll into the little town of Langley and bought a few groceries at an organic market for our place. A quaint little studio room. The perfect size with a lovely deck to relax on in comfy Adrirondack chairs. 

Day four was a long bike ride around a section of the Island called the Langley Loop. One in particular hill called French Hill, was pretty long. Many rolling hills and scenic glimpses of the ocean as we rode along. A total of 53 km this day. Harder than the first two days. 

Day five we loaded up our gear and bikes and drove to the other end of Whidbey Island. Oak Harbor, where there is a Naval Base situated. We began cycling around this area going up and down hills and windy roads. We stopped at a beautiful beach area and sat looking out at the ocean as we ate our lunch and refueled for more cycling. The longest hill of our journey came up at Strawberry Point Rd. Repeat 'slogan'! I just kept pedaling and made it to the top without stopping or whining! lol! All together we finished off our ride doing 35 km for a grand total of 220 km for our cycling vacation!  Feeling fit and happy we made it back home! 

So whenever you think you can't do something just keep pedaling so to speak, you can always do more than you think you can!