Nov
24

Holiday Stress? Yoga For Creatives Ebook is Here to Help!

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I know the crazy holiday season is already upon us and I hope you are not too frazzled. I planned on releasing this Yoga For Creatives ebook in the new year but as I put the finishing touches on it I got to thinking about how this time of year is when you might need these tips the most. The book is filled with small actionable yoga stretches, breathing exercises, daily intentions and relaxation techniques geared towards creative entrepreneurs. I want you to be able to open this ebook, choose one thing to do and be feeling a little bit better. So, if the description below sounds good to you be sure to pick up your copy to help you navigate the holiday stress with a little more ease.

Do you have a hard time fitting self care into your creative routine? There are a lot of highs and lows that come with being a creative entrepreneur and those can affect you on many levels. That is why I created the Yoga For Creatives ebook and printable.

This book is an easy way to start bringing the following into your daily creative life:
- yoga poses
- breathing exercises
- intention setting
- relaxation techniques
This book is designed to help you:
- create a daily self care routine
- decrease stress
- increase positive energy
- relieve tension
- make room for more creativity

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Included in this book:
- 2 short yoga routines for morning, afternoon and evening
- 5 breathing techniques
- 9 daily intentions
- 2 relaxation techniques

These can all stay in ebook form or be printed out.

The yoga poses are very simple and are more like stretches. They are not intended to be difficult. I chose specific ones that can be easily done to bring awareness to where your body is carrying tension and to begin to release that tension.

I made this ebook to help you shine! I want you to feel your best and be able to handle the highs and lows of your creative life with a bit more ease and confidence. I look forward to you delving into this ebook and can’t wait to hear how you like it!

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First Review:

“I love the highlighted headings, simple and very effective, good idea!! I am not a yoga person yet but I have been doing the breathing techniques and that was reinforced by your words in a wonderful way. I have been wanting to go at my own pace with yoga for a while so this book looks like it could really help me do that.”

- Bette of theIDEApath on Etsy

 p.s. I have already had requests from friends and other creatives to add audio and video to make it easier to follow along and you can expect those in 2015.  Also, I have been working with creatives since 2006 with Waste Not Paper, Green Paper Company, Artisan Markets and here on Handmade Success. I have also been teaching yoga in Chicago and Arizona since 2004. You can feel confident in the intentions and knowledge that went into the making of this ebook.

xo,

Kerry

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Nov
21

Small Business Love: True Beauty Brooklyn

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In celebration of Small Business Saturday, Handmade Success has partnered with jewelry designer Maya Ahluwalia, the creative force behind Crusoe Jewelry, to profile one of her favorite small businesses that she works with, Brooklyn-based boutique True Beauty Brooklyn.

Graham Avenue, the wide avenue that runs through East Williamsburg, Brooklyn is quickly becoming a retail destination to rival the bustling Bedford Avenue to its west. One of the most recent additions to the area is the charming organic skincare and gift boutique True Beauty Brooklyn.

When one walks into the side door of True Beauty Brooklyn, it’s akin to walking into a friend’s apartment, albeit an extremely chic and well stocked friend. Rather than a traditional store where the merchandise is robotically stacked on the shelves, the product at True Beauty is artfully displayed on tables, laid out on trays and tucked into boxes. The intimate approach to shopping is exactly what owner Elizabeth Taylor had in mind when designing the store. As noted by Elizabeth “I wanted to create a space that was beautiful, educational and welcoming that was more like going to your best friend’s apartment than going into a shop.”

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While building her own organic skincare line through craft markets and traditional retail stores, Elizabeth found that it wasn’t growing at the pace she had anticipated. In New York, Elizabeth felt there was a lack of stores dedicated to the growing market of small batch organic skin care and beauty products like hers. Her collection, like many others, was often relegated to a small apothecary section in clothing or gift stores. Elizabeth opened True Beauty Brooklyn to bring together her favorite niche, locally sourced brands like Hi Wildflower Botanica, Woods Organic Botanicals, Mullein and Sparrow and Goldie’s Natural Beauty in one curated space where customers could “touch, smell and test against your own skin rather than just blindly purchasing online.” True Beauty Brooklyn recently brought in accessories, including locally made jewelry and scarves to round out her offerings.

Elizabeth purposely sources local brands for True Beauty Brooklyn to support designers, artisans and creators that have dynamic, high performing products, but don’t have the right platform to expose their brand. As a small batch producer herself, Elizabeth believes “there are strength in numbers and by working together, we can build our community.” Most of the brands carried at True Beauty Brooklyn were brought in by word of mouth, through friends of friends, or just people popping into the store.true1

Her advice to designers that are pitching stores is to take a personal approach. “Someone once said to me that the best way to make a sale is to make a friend and I think that that is true. To put a face behind a brand and to hear their story is what sells. People love a story and they come to my shop because they want their products to tell a story. If they didn’t, they would shop at Duane Reade.” And to be persistent and to not get discouraged if you don’t hear back from a story right away. “Sometimes people don’t get back to you because they don’t like your product, sometimes it gets lost in the hecticness of running a business. If you don’t hear anything back the first time, don’t be afraid to reach out again. You will probably hear many no’s before you hear yes, but you have to keep pushing and believing in yourself and your brand.”

For 2015, True Beauty Brooklyn will expand to offer all natural spa services with licensed esthetician and herbologist Melanie Herrington, as well as host community events and workshops to educate on the green beauty industry. True Beauty Brooklyn will continue to expand its assortment and offerings, creating a personalized, tailored shopping experience for the community.

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Maya Ahluwalia — Crusoe Jewelry

Maya Ahluwalia is the designer behind Crusoe Jewelry, a fashion jewelry line inspired by nautical motifs, but interpreted into stylish designs for the fashion-forward consumer with an appreciation for quality with an artisanal approach. that appreciates quality. Each design is hand-crafted in her Brooklyn-based studio.

In addition to creating Crusoe Jewelry, Maya is a marketing consultant with expertise in jewelry, fashion and luxury. Clients include Michael Aram Jewelry, Shawn Ames Fine Jewelry, Wells House Bed & Breakfast, and the LOU Lookbook App.

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Nov
19

1st Annual Handmade Holiday Gift Exchange

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I just love seeing so many handmade items on display in stores and online this time of year. I had been thinking about making special packages to send to some creatives I know and decided I want to include you in the fun too! Last year we did a holiday card swap here and this year I am stepping it up to handmade gifts. I want this to be a fun way to share something handmade and to meet fellow creatives. I do hope you will join in on the holiday fun! Details below:

Handmade Success Holiday Gift Exchange:

  • You can choose to send a small handmade gift or a gift handmade by an independent artist and/or one sold at a local small business.
  • If you have a business feel free to include a business card.
  • Email me at kerry@handmadesuccess.com with your name, address, business name and social media links by Wednesday, December 3rd at 7pm MST.
  • All cards must be mailed by Wednesday, December 17th 2014.
  • Let me know if you would like to mail internationally.
  • Feel free to share photos of gifts you send and receive on social media (use the hashtag #HSholidaygift). I will share them here and on social media.
  • I will email everyone their exchange partners on Monday, December 8th!
  • You can keep it simple or maybe share a bit about yourself or share a bit of encouragement and/or inspiration on a card (which can just be a simple note).
  • Most of all, have fun!
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Nov
17

Your Best Year 2015 Planner is Here!

Your Best Year 2015 Planner by Lisa Jacobs

Hello and happy holiday season to you! It’s Lisa here, and I’m excited to announce the second annual release of Your Best Year: Productivity Workbook and Creative Business Planner. I shared this tool last year on Handmade Success, and I’m so grateful to be back with the 2015 edition.

Your Best Year 2014 sold thousands of copies and I received a lot of feedback on the first version. I heard you! You wanted less calendar, more exercises and prompts. Check! You wanted a more affordable printed version. Check! In addition to all of your glorious reviews, there were a few things I wanted to improve to make the planner more functional and motivational. 

I know you’re going to love Your Best Year 2015! Want a sneak peak? Click here for a video walk-through featuring all the new and lovely details.

As part of the final draft, I do a proofread and practice through all of the exercises to make sure they flow the way I want them to. In a few short pages, this text had me seeing life more clearly and breathing in huge sighs of relief. It’s been awhile since I’ve had this deep a reflection, and I went from stressed and overwhelmed to incredibly grateful for all that blesses my Life.

By page 30 I was so lost in the exercises, I forgot that I was proof-reading! It’s a planning and review machine. Seriously.

Before You Begin

I just love to start a new year with a clean slate, don’t you? I’d like to leave you with an excerpt from Your Best Year 2015 by prompting you to create a 15 before 2015 list! 

  • Consider what you need to clear out of the way before you can really get to work on next year’s big goals.
  • What unfinished business needs to be attended to so you can end this year with a clean slate?
  • Which projects need more research, or simply let go of, so you can make room for more of what you want to enter your life?
  • What or whom do you need to say “no” to right now?
  • Which people, activities and events do you want to be present for with the rest of 2014?
  • What would have to happen in this last quarter to make 2014 feel like an absolute success?

Use your answers to those questions to help create 15 goals you’d like to complete before 2015 (here are mine). Then, get your copy of Your Best Year 2015: Productivity Workbook and Creative Business Planner to make the most of the year ahead. Here’s to your success! 

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Lisa Jacobs — Marketing Creativity

Lisa Jacobs writes Marketing Creativity for fellow creative spirits who aim to build a career with their own two hands. She leads group webinar programs and offers one-on-one coaching designed to help you get paid to be … you.

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Nov
14

Stress-Free Holiday Selling: The Mega-Ultimate Planning & Marketing Strategy Guide

Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and we know you have enough on your plate as a handmade seller, even before the holiday madness starts. The little elves over at MadeFreshly want to make your holiday selling season jollier and smoother so they made this free, downloadable–even printable “Holiday Sales Guide”.

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This holiday planning guide will leave you knowing how to:
  • Create promotional material that converts
  • Promote your sale across all platforms (before and during sale)
  • Time your offers (with day-by-day example sale templates)
  • Be customer service ready
This guide also includes:
    • Holiday Planning Checklist for marketing strategy
    • Promotional Content Calendar

Download your Free Holiday Planning Checklist and Promotional Content Calendar Now! 

Let our tried and true tips make this holiday time less stressful and more organized…all you have to do is read and apply what you’ve learned. Afterward, you’ll even save yourself enough time to leave Santa and his reindeer some cookies and carrots…or crafts. Here are the key strategies laid out simply in MadeFreshly’s Mega-Ultimate Holiday Planning and Marketing Strategy Guide. The full article contains all of our useful advice but if you’re busy crafting and short on time, below is the condensed version of our sales guide. Read ahead to get ahead because your holiday selling season can’t afford to miss any tip here.

Before The Sale Be proactive, not reactive when it comes to preparing for the holiday sales season. Choose the deal you’re going to offer

  1. Define your profit margin
  2. Decide how much you can afford to discount

    *Bonus tip: This is a great time to get rid of excess inventory! 02_discounts1 Marketing Channels to Promote Your Sale Your promotional material or creative has two main goals:

  1. Lay out all sales information clearly
  2. Create a sense of urgency and desire

Focus on your strengths and make sure your promotional material is consistent and creative.

Channels to promote your deals:

Homepages/landing banners: Include promotional material on your own website so customers know there is consistency between internal and external marketing.

Social media platforms: Promote on any and all social media sites to get the most eyes possible checkin’ out your one-of-a-kind deals.

Send out an email newsletter: Copyblogger lays out 37 tips for writing emails that actually get opened and read. Check out MailChimp too and have your newsletter emails automatically distributed.

Promotional blog posts: Spark customers’ interests with a blog post showing the usefulness of your products and then mention you’re having an awesome sale coming up. Remember, customers want to know your product can solve a problem and make their life easier!

How to Create the Right Copy and Images for Your Promotion

When writing your copy:
  • Include a discount code
  • Be clear and specific
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Include a link with a Call-to-Action

    Here’s a great example of a promotional image with copy included: 07_SimpleBoldEnticing1 Make sure: -The image is clear and eye-catching -You include text, but not too much -Has a Call-to-Action: “Shop Now” -The image is the right size for each platform Here’s a cheat sheet for social media image sizes: social-media-image-size-cheat-sheet Part of the excitement of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping is because of the limited time deals. Make sure you stress that element of “limited time” in your creative.

If your deal is for a limited time, shoppers won’t want to miss so make sure you stress the urgency of buying NOW.

EXAMPLE:

“Black Friday Sale!”

75% OFF FROM 10:00AM – 12:00PM

65% OFF FROM 12:00PM – 3:00PM

50% OFF FROM 3:00PM – 10:00PM

The Most Important Part of Your Promotional Creative That You Probably Don’t Know About

If you don’t get anything else out of this section, make sure you remember to carry your creative consistently throughout the entire promotional process.

How’s that for alliteration? Consistently Carry Creative

Customers go through a 5-step process when deciding to take the final purchase plunge. Your consistent copy needs to meet them at every step and encourage them they are making the right choice. decision-making How to Time Your Holiday Deals-From Beginning to End

Not sure what deals to give on which days, or how to market them to get the most out of your sales? Not to worry, here are example sale templates you can use to guide your sales. Remember, your deals could be slightly different depending on your profit margin!

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale 09_BlackFriCyberMon1 Right upfront, your best holiday deals should be especially focused on Black Friday and Cyber Monday because that’s when you’re going to generate the most money. But whatever you do, don’t offer the same deal every day…you want to lead customers with a sense of…wait for it…URGENCY!

Black Friday

Marketing: Again, urgency with your ads and deals are key. “60% OFF or BUY 1 GET 1 FREE” are always great to use.

Your second best deals, after Cyber Monday, should be marketed today so make ‘em worth the virtual trip to your store!

marketing01_blackfriday1 Saturday

Marketing: You know what I’m going to say…urgency. Let your customers know today’s deal won’t be as good as tomorrow’s so they need take advantage of today.

“25% OFF” is a solid deal…it’s less off than Black Friday but more discounted than Sunday. marketing02_sat1 Sunday

Marketing: Get your customers excited for Cyber Monday with some well-thought out promotional creative. No one likes a tease…but a little something to look forward to never hurt!

FREE SHIPPING ALL DAY goes a long way. marketing03_sun1 Cyber Monday

Marketing: Today is the day to finally let it all go. Let loose and offer your best deal of the season. Be clear and direct…you want customers to understand exactly what and how great your deal is.

“70% OFF TODAY ONLY” is an example. marketing04_mon1 Tuesday

Marketing: Include one last deal that rounds up all of the customers who weren’t able to catch your Friday through Monday deals–20% OFF gives them a chance to still save but not get the same bargain as the weekend shoppers. marketing05_tue1Christmas Sale

A FREE SHIPPING deal is perfect for your ecommerce shoppers who missed the Black Friday/Cyber Monday craze.

      • Decide your cut-off date on offering free shipping so your customers can receive their gifts in time for Christmas.

10_Free-shipping1 New Year’s Sale

People celebrate the new year like it’s a holiday, so why not ring ‘em in with a deal? 10%-20% OFF should be enough to get them to your store. marketing06_ny1Be Ready For Questions

People always have questions so be ready to happily answer. That little extra customer service turns first time customers, into loyal, repeat ones! Common questions:

  • How long will my product take to ship?
  • Will it ship internationally?
  • What’s your return policy?

Get Planning Now for a Stress-Free Holiday Season!

I know after reading these tips you’re eager to know more…and there is more! Download our Promotional Content Calendar here that will help you lay out your marketing plan for November and December. All you have to do is cut and paste your copy and images. Start planning now and you’ll be totally prepared for the holiday craziness that is about to ensue! Get even more detailed marketing strategy in the full article here: The Mega-Ultimate Holiday Planning and Marketing Strategy Guide (With Snowflakes On Top).

rachelmadefreshly

This is a guest post from Rachel at MadeFreshly: Rachel is the resident Content Fairy at MadeFreshly, the ecommerce platform that makes your passion pay off. Click here to get her actionable tips and inspiration for entrepreneurs every week!

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