We’re In a Treasury!

InALather (a fellow INCrowd-er) has put together a fabulous little treasury and included my Thank You Card – International! How nice!

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Happy Christmas!

So Christmas has now come and gone and the new year will be here before we know it so Happy Christmas!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that Santa was good to each of you. My family and I really enjoyed our entire last week. The hubby and I took off work starting on 12/24 and was off the remainder of the week. There was lots of turkey baking and turkey eating and there’s nothing better than those leftovers!

Brady celebrated his first Christmas which was probably far more exciting for us. He got a number of things but his big “Santa” gift was a little Kawasaki four wheeler that is a one-button operation and goes 2 mph. It is so funny watching him be such a big boy! Somehow, he’s learned how to get on and off of a little psuedo-motorcyle which just baffles me. At first, he was a bit hesitant to do anything with it and after about a day, he’s your regular, everyday Evil Knievel! Sometimes he’ll just cruise along as cool as can be, then there are times that he likes to stand up on the side rails where his feet go and ride standing up. Just cracks me up but at the same time I’m screaming to my husband, “Babe, be careful! Slow him down! I don’t want him to crack his head open!”

As for KC (Keepsake Couture) business, I have slacked a little bit on it due to the holidays. I need to finish up some new planners and get them listed in time for the new year. I have to confess, though, that I’m so hooked on doing all this digital stuff that it has really taken me away from the current projects I have with KC. I got the Adobe Creative Suite recently and have been dabbling a bit with Illustrator and Photoshop and it is addictive. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do something with all this “dabbling” and add some new things to the shop!

Happy, happy New Year to all and thank you for a wonderful year!

Happy Father’s Day!

I am so lucky to have so many wonderful dads in my life! For starters, I have been daddy’s little girl for as long as I can remember and my dad and I have always been really close. Then I got married and got a wonderful father-in-law with a heart of gold. And then this year, my hubby celebrated his first father’s day and he has deserved every bit of love he’s received today and every day.

When I celebrated my first Mother’s Day last month, the hubby and I made a rule that our Mom’s / Dad’s Day gifts will always be under $25, which will hopefully encourage us to be creative with Brady. So for his Father’s Day gift, Brady and I worked on a little video with pictures and video clips with a voice over of me reading our version of “I love my daddy because…” (All done my trusty Mac, by the way!) Needless to say, Justin absolutely loved it and even squeezed out a few tears. Success!

Take 5 – Macaroni and Glue

Macaroni and Glue’s stationery is fun and fabulous! With styles that range from feminine to classic, there’s something even for the most particular of card buyers. Kelly, the artist behind all the fabulous greeting cards, announcements, and invitations gave us a peek into her world with a Take 5 – check it out!

1. Tell us about yourself and your shop.

My name is Kelly Drill and I’m a stay-at-home mom, political activist and habitual entrepreneur. Since leaving my corporate job to stay home with my daughter, I’ve done everything from designer clothing resale to multi-level marketing. I’m happy to say that I finally feel at home with what I’m doing.

Macaroni and Glue has been around for a little over a year and started completely as a fluke. I’d been making handcrafted gifts for friends and family in an effort to save money after leaving my job and made a set of thank you cards for my sister’s baby shower. People seemed to love them and pretty soon I had several orders for custom invitations, announcements, note cards, etc. Just from friends, family and referrals, I had more than enough work to fill all of my available free time. I was having so much fun designing that it never really occurred to me that I’d started a business.

My sister came across Etsy and it seems to be a perfect fit – it offers me an online storefront with a minimal investment, allowing me to focus my resources on advertising and pursuing business opportunities off Etsy.

In addition to my Etsy shop, I have a portfolio on Trunkt.org and several of my note card sets and greeting cards will be available at Flourish Boutique in South Bend, Indiana – grand opening in June!

2. Where would you like your shop to be in 1 year? In 5 years?

I don’t have a particularly aggressive one-year strategy since my first priority right now is being a mom to my two-year-old. In the immediate future, all I ask is that I break even financially and continue to see growth in my design work. At the end of my first year, I hope to have established several wholesale relationships and to expand my presence in brick and mortar shops, both locally and beyond.

Ultimately, I would love to transition Macaroni and Glue into an online boutique that features an eclectic mix of emerging artists and designers – that’s the five-year plan.

3. Looking back, if you could do anything differently in starting your business, what would it be

I would have started it sooner!

4. What is a typical day in the office like for you?

Complete chaos. Literally.

In addition to my rambunctious preschooler, we have a black Lab puppy, I provide part-time childcare in my home, and I’m the Fundraising Chair for my local Democrats group. I wake up between 4 and 5 a.m. every day just to have a little bit of quiet time in which to (hopefully) be creative.

Beyond that, all my work is done in “stolen moments,” those few and far between times when no kids are awake, the dog’s not destroying anything, and there’s a little bit of time before dinner needs to be ready. And an amazing amount of my work is done via my beloved iPhone.

5. As a seasoned entrepreneur, what advice or words of wisdom do you have for those that are just starting out?

I say this all the time and even struggle with this myself, but I think it’s really important to know what you want from your business and to tailor your shop-keeping activities accordingly. It’s better to do one thing well than to do a thousand things badly, and it’s easy to get caught up in all the hoopla and try to stretch yourself too thin. You don’t have to belong to every street team, be on every social networking site, go to every craft fair and have shops on five different craft sites. Just do what you do, present it well, and then develop a cohesive plan for sharing what you do with others.

For more on Macaroni and Glue, check out the blog and shop!

Take 5 – Blaze Danielle

I found out about Blaze Danielle’s amazing artwork while visiting other WordPress blogs and I’m so glad I did! Her Etsy shop is full is beautiful prints of different characters, animals, and scenes. Check out the fabulous interview with this talented artist!

Tell us about yourself and your shop.

My name is Blaze Danielle Robertson and I am a junior in college majoring in illustration. I decided to start my store at age 20 so that by the time I graduate, I can have a little launching point for freelance illustration and a foot in the art world. My shop is currently all illustration prints, however it’s going to be changing soon – at least there will be more types of goodies! This summer I am happy to say that I’m going to do Etsy full-time! Expect big things from the Blaze Danielle Etsy store! 😉

I have been creating ever since I can remember. There is even a home video of me painting with watercolors when I was three and it made me just as happy as it does now! I remember sewing aprons in first and second grade during “choice time.” College has just focused my excitement, and has taught me how to use my talents.

Where would you like your shop to be in 1 year? In 5 years?

In one year, I will be graduating and to be honest, I really hope to immediately shift into being a full time artist. This is a high goal, but I hope that my shop will grow in the next year so that I can ultimately jump head first into the art world, paying the bills one print at a time. 🙂

In five years, I hope to be a successful Etsy seller and perhaps on my way to publishing some children’s books. I’d like to be working from home and creating every day.

My dad has given me great advice that has stuck with me: “When you do what you love, the money will come.” I think this is exciting and I am willing to work extra hard to do what I love.

Looking back, if you could do anything differently in starting your business, what would it be?

Looking back isn’t that long ago for I just opened my shop this past fall. However, I wish I had participated in the Etsy forums earlier! There’s so much help and support over there. A beginner can find a lot of encouragement and many friends just by striking up a conversation.

What is a typical day in the office like for you?

I am currently in school right now so I try to make time for personal art whenever I can. I even have specific “studio days” when I dedicate a whole free day to art time. This summer, I plan on blogging in the morning, painting in the afternoon, and crafting in the evening! I am excited to see how it goes!

As a seasoned entrepreneur, what advice or words of wisdom do you have for those that are just starting out?

I would advise to make personal studio time and to stay disciplined with making art. Take many walks, think out ideas, journal down your inspirations, get excited over little ideas, protect those ideas, make the most of studio days, get involved in your Etsy community, and self-promote!

To find out more about Blaze Danielle, check out her shop and blog!