Three Ways to Make Your Home Office a Happier Place + a Giveaway

Business Woman Working Planning Ideas Concept

Business Woman Working Planning Ideas Concept

This is a guest post from Cassie Boorn of Maker Mentors. Maker Mentors is a free community designed to help creative entrepreneurs build a business they love.

I have worked from home for more than five years. Working from home can give you tons of flexibility and control over how you spend your time. Working from home can also be intimidating and incredibly lonely. It is really hard to think of yourself as a professional when you are sitting at home all by yourself creating work that you hope everyone else loves as much as you do.

Staples reached out a few months ago with interest in collaborating with the Maker Mentors community. Staples is committed to making the tools and supplies business owners need accessible to everyone. I have always been a huge fan of Staples, and immediately said yes.

The easiest way to start feeling more like a professional and less like an imposter is to invest in your home office. You do not need to spend thousands of dollars to create a great workspace. Creating a happier home office can be as simple as a quick trip to Staples, and done with a budget as small as twenty-five dollars.

I came up with three totally affordable ideas for making your home office a little happier. And! Staples is going to give one lucky reader a $50 giftcard to revamp their home office space.

  1. Host a Brainstorming Session

Hosting a brainstorming session by yourself sounds a little crazy, but it is actually a lot of fun. I host a brainstorming session once a month, and use that time to map out a plan for building my business. Schedule some time on your calendar, pick up some supplies and make your monthly brainstorm session an occasion. I recommend large drawing notepads, sharpie markers in all of the colors and a big desktop calendar.

  1. Stock Up For the Season

Winter time gets really dreary and everyone gets sick and you never seem to have what you need on hand. It is really easy to get discouraged. (especially when you have to run out last minute because you don’t have the supplies you need.) I usually go out before the winter season starts and stock up on all of the little things that will help me get through winter. Some suggestions? Hand sanitizer, hot tea, cough drops, candles, cold medicine, vaporub and a cozy lap blanket.

  1. Connect with Friends & Clients

There is something really special about getting something in the mail, but it’s rare that I have all of the supplies I need to actually send a letter in the mail. Pick up some pretty note cards, fancy pens and stamps. Keep them on hand and surprise your friends and clients throughout the year.

Do you have a tip for making your home office a happier place? Leave your ideas in the comments for the chance to win a $50 Staples Giftcard.

Giveaway ends Friday, October 30th at midnight (CST). Winner will be announced on this post the following Monday.

***Shannon is the winner! I will get in touch with details. Thank you to everyone who entered. I LOVED your comments. Stay creative!***


Cassie is the Visionary behind Maker Mentors as well as the Founder of Modern Thrive, an online platform designed to help you figure out what you want to do with your life. For the past 5 years she has been a writer and entrepreneur, managing online marketing programs for some of the worlds largest brands. Cassie is passionate about connecting the right people together to help them make amazing things happen.

cassieboorn  |  instagram  |  twitter

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The New Way I Am Helping Creatives

IMG_0416 (1)Do you remember when I told you I was creating a magazine? The inaugural issue launched! This passion project has been amazing.

KERRY magazine uses real women as models, supports small businesses, encourages you to feel beautiful as you are right now and even has a printable worksheet to help you go after your dreams!

Click here to read the FALL 2015 issue!


p.s. I will be working with Maker Mentors and the Academy of Handmade soon to continue my work with creatives too. Exciting things to come!

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30% off – 1 week only!

thankyousaleI want to thank all of you for the support you have given over the years so for the next week everything in my Etsy shop is 30% off. Woohoo! You can choose from:

The Etsy Kit 5th Edition

The Etsy Business Planner

Rejuvenate + Create: yoga for creatives

The Complete Success Kit 1

The Complete Success Kit 2

Todo lists

Just use the code: 30LOVE

This sale will end on Monday July 20th at midnight (PST). Please get in touch with any questions!

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Saying Goodbye To Handmade Success


After thinking long and hard I have decided to move on from Handmade Success. I started working here as a virtual assistant and then quickly became the blog editor back in 2010. I have loved every moment! I took the whole site on myself in 2014 and updated the Etsy Kit earlier this year. I have known for a while that I have wanted to combine my experience on the blog with my 10+ years as a yoga teacher. I did that for the first time creating “Rejuvenate + Create: Self-Care For Creatives” ebook and absolutely loved sharing from that at the Movers & Makers Summit in February of this year.

That trip to Charleston started a flood of ideas and I have just been so excited to take them on! I joined Marie Forleo’s B-School and have been working on www.KerryBurki.com and sharing here for the last couple of months. I revamped this site and was so excited about the new look.

I realized that I need to bring all of my efforts and ideas under one umbrella. They don’t all fit under Handmade Success and I think it is time for me to close this chapter so I can start writing my next one. I have started taking steps to create my dream life based on my experience as a yoga teacher and working with creatives. I want to help others move forward and create their amazing lives also.

This is what I have been up to:

  • Monthly challenges on my site and in my Facebook group – these will help you release stress, bond with others and feel good about yourself.
  • Working one-on-one with people offering a custom yoga sequence, breathing techniques and affirmations to help them get unstuck and become more creative, productive, confident and happy. Stay tuned for a special offer!
  • Self-image magazine project combining photography and handmade this summer!
  • Self-Care For Everyday – 4 week course that will teach you how to take care of yourself in small but meaningful ways throughout your day. Coming September 2015 online.
  • Speaking events both in person and online.

I am sharing these so you can see that this change is a positive one! I am sharing so can get these out into the world and out of my head. Some of these are things we might be able to work on together.

  • If you want to see more of what I have been up to then go to www.KerryBurki.com – I just got professional photos done to that will be up there soon. SO exciting!
  • If you need a little boost in your life then sign up for my newsletter so you can get my Optimizing Your Day For Awesomeness guide: http://eepurl.com/oBDFb
  • If you want to stay in touch on social media the follow me here: Instagram  – FacebookTwitter

I will keeping the Etsy shop because I stand behind everything in there. You can also expect a 4th of July sale too!

I don’t really feel like I am saying goodbye because with social media I know we will be keeping in touch. Everyone I have met here has been so amazing and supportive! Thank you so much for being here!

p.s. If you know anyone who might be interested in buying and taking over the site just send them my way! kerry@handmadesuccess.com.

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6 Ways Pinterest Can Boost Your Handmade Business

Okay, pop quiz: Which social media platform has the most potential to boost your handmade business? Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest? Something else?

Well, answers may vary, but my vote goes to . . . Pinterest! If you haven’t already set up a Pinterest business account for your handmade biz, you SHOULD!

Here are 6 reasons why:

6 Ways Pinterest Can Boost Your Handmade Business

#1 Pinterest allows you to show your products to more potential customers.

If you haven’t read this article from the Pinterest blog, you should. According to a recent survey conducted by Millward Brown Digital, 93% of the survey participants stated that they use Pinterest to scope out products to buy. And 87% said that they purchased a product, thanks to Pinterest. That’s some powerful statistics right there, folks!

Pin your products to Pinterest directly from your Etsy shop by using the “Pin it” button, or pin product photos that appear on your business blog. Choose photos that show your product “in use”: display your product with minimal props to show the size of the product and possible ways to use it.

#2 Pinterest helps you show other products that complement your product(s).

Here’s a fun idea. Create a Pinterest board for each of your products (or product categories). Pin images to that board that coordinate with your product(s). Think of colors, patterns, themes, etc. that complement it. Name your boards “What to Wear with _____ (your product).” Mood boards and/or color scheme boards are fun ways to showcase your product(s) as well. This technique can help customers imagine themselves using your products and could potentially increase sales.

This type of board would be great for including upselling images, too. See this post for additional information about the upselling technique.

Polyvore is another fun tool that allows you to create product collages.

#3 Pinterest enables you to answer your customers’ questions or solve a problem that they have.

An easy way to do this is to add some text on top of a product photo. For example, if you sell handmade scarves, you could create a Pinterest-friendly image that includes your product photo with the words “5 Amazingly-Easy Ways to Tie a Scarf” on top of the image. When the Pinterest user clicks on your image to read how to tie a scarf, they will see your scarves and perhaps make a purchase (now or in the future).

The key to this technique is to link the person to your blog, where you have step-by-step images of the scarf-tying process and then a link to purchase your scarves online. If your Pinterest image just links to your online shop and not the 5-step tutorial, people who clicked the image will not receive what you promised. And believe me, unhappy people don’t make good customers.

Tip: Use a tool like Canva or even PicMonkey to add text to a photo.

#4 Pinterest provides links to tutorials and tips for great product photography.

We all know how important great product photography is for a handmade business, right? Create a secret board and pin articles to read now or later. Search for pins about:

#5 Pinterest helps you find creative, new packaging ideas.

Handmade sellers are (or should be) always looking for creative, memorable ways to package their products. Pinterest is filled with great ideas for beautiful packaging. Create a secret board and pin to your heart’s content! Visit the board again later when you need some packaging inspiration. Possible ideas to search for are as follows:

  • items to include with your product in your shipping box (tissue paper, filler material, etc.)
  • creative labels for the outside of the box
  • pretty thank-you notes to include

#6 Pinterest inspires you to create new product designs.

Handmade sellers are always looking for ways to keep up with current trends, patterns, colors, etc. for future product lines. Pinterest is a great research tool that can help you with that! Keep your inspiration board secret if you’d like, and fill it up with images that might be potential design ideas for later.


How else have you used Pinterest for your business? We’d love to hear any strategies you’d like to share! I hope you’ll try some of the techniques mentioned in this post, and see how Pinterest can boost your handmade business!


Julie Corbett – On The Dot Creations

On the Dot Creations features handmade creations and shares biz tips with those who sell them. Check out Julie’s free video series3 Reasons Your Product Photography Might Be Turning Customers Away, or her brand new online workshopDIY Product Photography.

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