Sign up for our newsletter + get your Using Positive Affirmations in your Business mini-kit!!!

INSPIRATION + SUPPORT

Take 5 Minutes To Rejuvenate This Holiday Season

rejuv

Right now we are all in the throes of the hectic holiday season! Some may be loving every minute of it and others may be overwhelmed and ready for it to be over. Either way we all have only so much energy to get through the day. Usually we hit a wall and just can’t imagine how we are going to find the energy to continue on for the rest of the day or evening. Often we have plans or orders to complete or errands to run so lying around on the couch is not an option.

Here is what you need to do to tap into some extra energy:

Put Your Legs Up

Sounds simple, right?! It is!

  • You can do this on your bed or on the floor.
  • Sit sideways with one hip facing the wall. You can be about 6 to 12 inches from the wall.
  • Gently lean back on your arms and swing your legs up to rest on the wall. How close you are to the wall will vary depending on height and flexibility.
  • Once your legs are up you can let them relax a bit.
  • Find a comfortable place to put your arms (hands on belly, arms over head, arms out to the side).
  • Based on your flexibility, you might like a pillow or blanket below your lower back for support.
  • Relax your shoulders and the muscles in your face.
  • Close your eyes and breathe naturally. Try to relax your body on each exhale.
  • If you are really tired you might want to set an alarm so you don’t fall asleep!
  • Rest here for 5, 10 or 15 minutes.
  • To come out of this position, you can slide gently off your support, bend your knees towards your chest and roll over to one side. Stay here for a few moments and relax.
  • Gently lift yourself up to sitting and enjoy your renewed energy!

Benefits:

  • Relieves tired or cramped legs and feet
  • Gently stretches back of legs
  • Calms the mind
  • Boosts circulation to the upper body which helps after sitting or standing for a long time
  • Increases energy
  • Helps you feel refreshed when you are tired or stressed

You can do a variation of this by lying on the couch with your feet elevated. If you have any eye or neck issues you might want to talk to a doctor before doing this exercise.

No need to worry about your long to do list anymore! Your body has what it needs to keep your business going. You just need to take 5 minutes to let it do its work!

p.s. For more tips like this to help you boost your energy and nurture your creativity be sure to check out my latest ebook, Rejuvenate + Create: self-care for creatives!

Announcing The Movers & Makers Summit 2015!

away-with-usDo you crave time to escape the hustle, reset your focus and bring new life to your business plan? Do you yearn for opportunity to enjoy new ideas,  gain a fresh perspective and create a deeper sense of connection? Do you want to get away from it all to bring clarity to your vision and seek guidance for your big leaps?

If you said yes to any of the above then you will be thrilled to hear about The Movers & Makers Summit! What started as a small idea last year has been slowly cultivated into a 3 day event taking place in 2015 in South Carolina. I have been working with Lisa Jacobs of Marketing Creativity, Bonnie Forkner of Going Home To Roost, April Bowles-Olin of Blacksburg Belle and Paige French of Paige French Photography to create an event that is geared towards supporting artists, designers, shop owners, service providers and solopreneurs in the creative industry.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to be a part of this retreat! We all spend so much time on our own learning from our mistakes, working on our businesses and planning our futures. I love the connections I have made online and want to deepen them in person. Let’s come together to share guidance & support so we can create strength & confidence in ourselves & our businesses.

What to expect:

  • Honest and transparent presentations from experienced leaders in the industry
  • Availability to the speakers who present. We’re not just talking at you. With only 20 people in the room, we’re there to discuss, exchange, interact and engage
  • Tips, tools (in the form of handouts and takeaways) and resources that will help you take your career to the next level
  • Direct feedback: get your burning questions answered on the spot
  • Professional head shots and images that will enhance your blog or website.
  • Space in between our scheduled presentations for impromptu, rut-busting discussions; the workshop will be customized according to you and your needs

Details:

  • We’ll be in the city a day early for a walk through Charleston city market and a city meet & greet (February 27). Attendees are invited to join us.
  • We’ll workshop Saturday and Sunday in a private, oceanfront home (February 28-March 1)
  • Meet your hosts and presenters by visiting this page
  • We only have 20 seats available, and we expect to sell out early
  • Early-bird tickets go on sale Monday, December 28
  • Visit our Getting There page for information on Charleston, SC and to book your stay

See all the details and sign up for our waiting list!

ocean

I hope you are excited and know you might have a lot of questions so feel free get in touch in the comments or email me at kerry@handmadesuccess.com. Looking forward to seeing you oceanside in 2015! XO!

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

yfc3

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

yfcetsy2

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!

 buynow

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

Now Is The Time To Start Your Handmade Business!

How many times have you heard  “Did you make this?  It is so cool!  I would totally buy this from you!”  But you just kinda laugh it off and mumble something about maybe someday.  What is really holding you back from starting your dream handmade business?  Here are some of the things that held me back and may be what is plaguing you too…

unnamed-2

1. If I start selling, this won’t be fun anymore.

Actually selling is really fun because you find the people who REALLY like your style and appreciate your hard work. If someone is willing to buy something from you (who is not your mom, your sister or their friends!), that person likes your handmade item for it’s handmade quality and beauty.

2. No one will buy my stuff…

To tell you the truth, listing something online does sometimes take awhile to find the right buyer. But they will get there eventually. It took about a week for my first owl pillow to sell on Etsy and that was years ago when there were not as many options. I was so happy! Some of my early owls sold within hours of being listed (yippee!), but others, that I thought were really cool, took months.

Selling at a craft show can also be hit or miss. The biggest challenge there is finding the right show for your crafts. My second show, I almost sold out of my handmade goods. It was so exciting!  But, my first show, I DID NOT SELL A SINGLE ITEM. In my defense it was pouring down rain outside so the show wasn’t very well attended, but my neighbors sold plenty of their painted snowmen and teddy bear ornaments. I almost quit that day but another vendor encouraged me to find a different audience for my more unique items.

unnamed-3

3. I don’t have enough experience.

It’s true that you can’t sell sloppy stuff and you don’t want to build that kind of relationship with your customers either. But, there is something that even a beginner can master pretty quickly and then suddenly POOF! You are not longer a beginner. Find something you love to make and master it. That will be worthy of a sale that you can feel proud of and your customer will be happy with the quality.

4. I don’t have time!

If you want to have a handmade business, you will need to punch the clock and go to work just like every other job. It doesn’t have to be 40 hours a week but a few hours a couple times a week to work on your craft is crucial. Talk to your family and help them understand that this is something important to you. A few years ago, when I finally asked my husband to drive my kids to preschool so that I had 3 solid hours of work 3 days a week, it made a huge difference in my business. I committed myself to work and it was a huge boost to my morale and my sales. The same thing can happen in the evenings – tell your family you work on Tuesday nights from 7 to 11 and then go to work without excuses.

5.  I can’t use the computer and I don’t have a good camera…

Yes, you can! The computer can be a challenge, but things have gotten so much easier. For an Etsy shop (or any online marketplace like Goodsmiths, Artfire, Dawanda, and Bigcartel) you can easily purchase ready made banners and set up like this so you can just get started.  Or, you can also enlist the help of a tech savvy teenager like I did! Also, an iphone or a simple point and shoot camera can take product phones with good natural light and a little help from free photo editing software (like http://www.picmonkey.com).  Think of ALL the people who have done this before you and know that you can do it too!

unnamed-4

The point is to begin. Begin and be gentle with yourself. It can’t be perfect right from the start. Being a perfectionist at the beginning of starting a business can seriously slow you down! You will make mistakes but people interested in handmade goods are inherently kind and forgiving. They know you are not Saks Fifth Avenue and they are not looking for that kind of shopping experience. Take those first hard steps and then the next steps will be so much easier. Before you know it, you will working that job you always dreamed of!

virginiabio

Virginia Lindsay — Gingercake Patterns and Design

Virginia Lindsay designs sewing patterns for Gingercake Patterns and Design.  She loves the to sew practical, fun, and stylish things!   Several of her patterns have been published by Simplcity and she has also written 2 books. Sewing to Sell ( to be released in Nov 2014 ) and Fabric Stash Cuties:  Pretty Little Birds (to be released January 2015).

Get Started! An Inspirational Desktop Wallpaper Just For You!

yeardesktopSMALL

Hey makers! After our conversation here last week I thought of the quote above and thought we could all use it as a reminder. So many things need to be taken care of as a business owner and sometimes we allow so many things to stand in our way. I hesitated so many times pushing the purchase button on Spoonflower when ordering the fabric I designed. I even cancelled an order because I wasn’t sure of the type of cotton I picked. Geez! Now I am wishing I ordered it as soon as it was created. I chickened out signing up for a sellers permit with the state and city over the summer only to finally do it this week and find out it takes up to 4 weeks to process. Again wishing I didn’t wait. I am not being too hard on myself and realize that I am learning a lot on the way but I am ready to bust past fear and doubt with you so that a year from now we are enjoying our success and working on new projects for our amazing businesses!

1600 x 1200

1680 x 1050

1366 x 768

xo,

Kerry

To Download: Just click the link and it will take you to the image. Some computers will allow you to right click your mouse and give you the option: “Use Image as Desktop Picture.” On my computer, I have to save the image then I can right click the icon to get the option of using it as my desktop picture. Or you might have to save the image to your computer and change the background in your computer settings.