Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Schedule Resolutions for a New Year So You Truly, Tangibly Accomplish Them

I've finished my blog editorial schedule for 2017 and I'm working on a schedule of tasks for the rest of the year, too. With a retail store you have to plan out your seasons and promotions ahead of time AND I'm resolving to travel + just live next year, so 2017 will have to be THE year of strict planning. But it should be for every creative business. Creative people tend to be less left-brained and go by whims, myself included, but successful businesses that hit sales goals are well-planned.

Here's how I'm breaking things down into small tasks and scheduling this year.

Step 1) Identify your big overarching goals for the year

I read once that setting two big goals for the new year and then breaking those down into action steps makes it easier to hit resolutions. My first big goal is about increasing our profit, yep, the goal for surely every business!

Step 2) Divide the big goals into smaller "themes" for each month

So if my first goal is to increase profits, what steps do I need to take each month to get to the bigger profit?

January: Fully Scheduled & Organized, Website Fully Online
February:  Getting Wholesale and Consignment in Order
March: Start of Spring Promotions
April: Etc.

Step 3) Then divide those into goals for each week and then each day of the week

January Week 1 theme: Website and promotions

January 2: Publish the new website, promote our art walk market
January 3: Newest products uploaded to website
January 4: Art Walk market day downtown

Step 4) Focus and finish those tasks quickly so we can move on to the "fun" stuff.

Sometimes a strictly scheduled day feels like it's suffocating your creativity. But when you get in the habit of finishing your hardest, ugliest tasks first-thing you're liberated to work on other creative things the rest of the day. It takes some will power and routine setting but it's wonderful once you're in the habit. I still love listening to rain to help me focus.

Step 5) Think Seasonally

It's hard to plan ahead for a year in advance, you think you'll never want to do those tasks when the time arrives and you'll want to switch it up. Thinking seasonally (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) keeps it fun as you plan. What fun things do you want to make for each season? What kind of promotions can you come up for them? What type of matching blog posts?

Are you doing anything planning and scheduling craziness for the new year? I adore the proverbial fresh slate it brings, I'm going to go crazy cleaning, organizing and planning every damn thing possible for the next couple of days!
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Monday, December 26, 2016

2016 in Review: Things Learned, Accomplished, and Discovered


2016 has been one of my most eventful years. This year I:

  • Finished certification in Reiki and Aromatherapy healing, found spiritual rituals that click 
  • Taught dozens of people on rituals and techniques for improving health
  • Sold hundreds of wares and connected with hundreds of people
  • Sold at dozens of outdoor markets, traveling around Florida for some of them
  • Donated sold and disposed of very likely hundreds of personal items
  • Ended CRAZY up-and-down partnerships and from there...
  • Saw my new business grow leaps and bounds, did LOTS of outdoor markets and from there...
  • Grew our brand to the point that we could expand into our first little brick and mortar store!

This year I discovered:

  • My path as a healer in the community and beyond selling essential oil and herbal infused products, something I've always been drawn to and now work full-force on
  • That I'm a designer at heart and need to hone and practice that skill far more often
  • That I need to be in my community and with friends more, and work less
  • My "Style" through LOTS of ruthless editing, always under development 
  • RE-discovered some lost confidence as a maker and business owner
  • That I don't have to be everything to everyone and TRYING to do that is fruitless
  • Finally, near the end of year, though it still needs lot of work, how to run a business with a boyfriend, delegate more, and not kill each other! (We're still together, our relationship survived the whirlwind year!)

2016 has been a year that moved slow AND fast in some ways. Time "slows down" when you have lots of new experiences and there's been plenty of those this year. New classes, lots of selling at outdoor markets, wild partnerships that didn't work, dozens of mistakes, lots of little and big victories. It's crazy to look back at even February because I'm a completely different person than I was at the start of the year.

I know 2017 will be even better, we're already planning and plotting and I can't wait to keep improving and making things happen! How was this year for you?
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My First Christmas Tree and Decorations: Nostalgic Attic Christmas "Shopping"

This year my plans to create some gorgeous new-aged themed ornaments may have been derailed by an evil cold from hell. Regardless, I got some decorating in before the cold was at its worst. I'm not the biggest Christmas person, Halloween is my holiday, but this year for the first time we got a Christmas tree. I was invited to my mom's attic to pick through the nostalgic ornament that weren't on the tree to put out for our first time fully decorating for Christmas in maybe 6-7 years, haha!

I'm calling this year's mismatched modge-podge tree the "nostalgia" tree. All of the ornaments ae from the 80s and 90s.

This creepy christmas glitter clown was my mom and dad's first ornament 36 years ago. I don't know what possessed them to buy it but I've always been fascinated by it as a kid. Yep, I'd spent what felt like hours looking at our ornaments and the blinking lights on the tree.

My parents had super long strings of light they weren't using so I strung them all over the hilariously now-kinda-empty (all the stuff's in the store, even our table's chairs, haha! more on that later) apartment. They had some colorful ones too that I'm going to hang on the store windows soon.

And then this god's eye! I miss making these. So funny I'm still attracted to that color pattern, I have 2 things in my closet with the same exact colored stripes!

We kind of wanted a real tree but we hate for it to go to waste so we got real wreathes on clearance. The scent brings me right back to the years I helped my mom sell christmas trees in a garden center. Pine as a tree or essential oil is still one of my all-time favorite scents anytime of the year. I need to fix the bottom stocking, they were both gifts from AJ's mom last year, she made them out of wood!

In the end "nostalgia" tree is doesn't match or make sense but it's composed of handmade and other randomness from Christmas past, and that's the most important part. Now that we have our first "big" tree I'm looking forward to some ornament crafting every year.

And THIS one can look forward to knocking things off the tree! I'm lucky she has no interest in climbing it.

It's nice to document this Christmas in particular with a new store and routine. A cold hit the house and we're working like crazy. AJ has the night shift and I'm at the store during the day so I joke we're like "ships passing in the night" (it's not that dramatic, haha) and we're on a pretty damn strict budget because I want to put as much money a possible back into growing out business, but it's new and invigorating and crazy in those your-definitely-growing ways. I want to spent the year casually looking for more vintage Christmas so next year's decor is gaudy and crazy in that 60s-70s awesomely kitschy way!

I hope your holiday isn't too hectic and that you're enjoying downtime and not catching the ick that's going around! I'm taking the 23rd (Friday) off to go to St. Augustine and a white elephant party with AJ (our first day fully off together in months) but I'll be at the store on Christmas Eve if you want to swing by for any last-second goodies, I have all the body care goodness you can imagine. The deodorants/toothpastes/personal care kits and even the bulk buy herbs have been popular this season. (The store's at 2726 College St. Jax, FL 32204 - call 904-660-8328 if lost)

Otherwise I'm signing off until Monday the 26th with my crazy schemes to take over the world! Just kidding, new years is one of my favorite holidays so I'll be reflecting on that.

/Comments Off but follow along on Instagram / Facebook or e-mail with any questions or comments :)
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Friday, December 16, 2016

DIY Retro Apothecary Herb and Tea Wall : Bucket List Dream Accomplished!

It's finally done! I put so many hours into making our herb wall! I think I've wanted my own giant wall of herbs to play with since early childhood picking and smelling herbs in my mom's garden. The desire grew while doing herbalism training.

We're still adding all of the bulk-buy herbs and supplements we have it stock but it feels so good to have all the ones I've already finished on the wall and labeled.

I was going for a simple, clean, vintage apothecary look for these. Each one is loaded with information on each herb, it was a nice refresher to look up everything about each one again.

And now a behind-the-scenes look at the mess of making them! I designed the labels in photoshop and them up with the paper cutter so everything was very uniform.

And then I replaced the sticky notes on top of the jars (ha!) with the beautiful new labels! Random fact, you have to put the scientific of latin name with herbs because they all have so many common names, the latin name is the only way to know which one it truly is.

And then I realized the jars didn't have proper branding on them so I made some custom black labels for the tops.

Our class space/herb wall is still in its infancy but it's so nice to have the first big step done. We're going to have containers on the bottom people can buy for making their own products, herb tea blending classes, and I'm going to pre-package some of my own tea blends for common ailments like colds, headaches, anxiety, and menstrual issues. There's already been a very positive response in the community for our bulk-buy herbs and custom blending/product making, it's so nice to help people get better with gentle, healing herbs! If you want to buy some of the herbs online go here we kept our prices affordable while selecting organic, high quality herbs.
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Monday, December 12, 2016

My Current Favorite Artists and Art Print Wish List for our Local Herb Shop and Home

Beautiful art on the walls is the homiest things to be, perhaps besides natural textures like woods and textiles. I love our decision to paint the walls of our store white but it needs some color and handmade charm! As part of my resolution from last year I've been spending more time trying to curate my "style" as a designer/writer/brand-maker and framed art on the walls has a "vision board" affect for me helping me arrive at the right stimuli.

Yes I over-think everything, here's a smattering of art prints from Etsy I really love and want to invest in for my new space! And my empty now-empty home space!

1) Laura George Rich in ritual, symbolism and the connections between people with a consistent color palate throughout, I want a piece by Laura above our herb wall because herbs themselves are folkloric with ritualized and symbolic use. We've passed them down through the generations, using them is getting back to our roots.

2)Ashley Ronning Illustration I love the space and botanical themes in this art, perfect for a shop that makes plant-based medicine. I'm normally not a pink fan but there's something soothing about the shade she uses.

3) Pam Wishbow I love the blocky textured look of these art prints and zines and the witchy/occultism themes. They remind me of Weidman prints.

4) The Dancing Cat Beautiful animated linework and poses, as whimsical and random as the real cuddly critters in our lives. I picked the cats around the fire pieces because the maximum coziness factor.

5) Little Truth Studio Nature theme art with a painterly look that's colorful and positive, what's not to love about it? Too charming, I want those vibes in my life.

6) Scout & Whistle I've admired this shop for years, I'd love one of each of everything in the shop please! I'd especially like a large one of those gorgeous, graphic, colorful gemstone prints.

7) Ybryksenkova Mood and color tone define the pieces in this shop. With detailed patterns in the prints a unique style and a lot of emotion you can see why her prints have become so popular.

8) Native Bear An accurate reproduction of those blocky, earthy designs from the late 60s early 70s with a modern bohemian twist. I adore everything she makes.

9) Moon Menstrual Calendar The one truly "practical" item on the list. So gorgeous. I love everything else in the shop too and the earthy/woodland/boho aesthetic.

10) Steph Buscema may be my favorite artist in that 60s neo-rockabilly colorful vein. I'd love a mini gallery wall of some of her Halloween pieces. Again I'm stretching here to fit in the studio because, you know, witches and herbs. Her work is so charming and reminds me of beisley holiday decor, something I'd love admiring all-year round.

11) Littlelow I love the bright clean look of this artwork. I want the print selected mostly as a personal reminder! And positivity on the walls is good luck in my book.

12) Matou En Peluche Such style! Soft in a vintage art deco style and cat-based, every piece is gorgeous.

If you have any art piece/print suggestions let me know in the comments! Are there other amazing places to buy prints and originals from artists? Do share those, too! What's your favorite in the pieces above, if you can possible pick one?
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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Life Lately: Adjusting to Store Life and Markets and Events this Busy Holiday Season

Life has been full and busy around these parts. So much to do, so little time, but also so excited to do it all! Here's some behind-the-scenes peeks. Of course I didn't leave out the inevitable messes!

So funny story, the co-owner of my building is a compliance officer for signage for the city! So I feel lucky that he let me put out my little temporary "sandwich board" solution. It's an extra vinyl sign I had that I painted with chalkboard paint to put outside out door. It doesn't erase well but it works for now!

I'm enjoying the hell out of my time at the store. I feel INCREDIBLY more productive with an organized, dedicated workspace. Above is an atypical scene from one of my late-night working sessions. It all ends up tidied up again but theres my usual gotta-make-a-mess-to-work creative-person clutter.

Shot I took in the craft store, I'm getting into some herb gardening, ornament making, I love DIY, need more time!

I'm working on a post about how to use the KonMari method practically for business that helps me control this process that I'm excited to share soon. It's step-by-step in real-time. I used to condense a massive amount of business goods to one shelf AND rid myself of a big box of paperwork I'd accumulated.

I'm still squeezing it freelance work whenever possible. Above is a photo from CoRk Arts District's Open Galleries.

I was asked to be their official photographer for this year's open studios and it was blissful to get lost in artist's workspaces again. Can't wait to share more photos!

Between doing outdoor markets, organizing, set-up  and other in-store necessities I'm still making a lot of our natural body care wares. The long-requested pain balm line above was so fun to make and label! In the bowl is our AMAZING smelling all-natural deodorant, we still have a 100% success rate on that. We have to start recording these testimonials, oh the marketing is my job too, the work never ends! But I love it. I'm trying to outsource most product creation to my mom who's also a clinical herbalist.

Tonight I'm trying to (finally) finish the sampler sets of all our lines and samples to drop off around town.

I still feel lucky to be able to do all this at my pace exactly the way I want to. I feel so drawn to art and small business again, like an even bigger and refreshed enthusiasm if that was even possible! Above is a shot from a St. Augustine trip with friends where I refilled on inspiration.

By the way if you're even down in St. Augustine the Kookaburra has amazing coffee! I can't wait until AJ (or "the poor beleaguered boyfriend" as I refer to him to others) finally has a night off from the demanding night job so we can go to St. Augustine and see the Night of Lights.

I keep reminding myself to work hard in concentrated bursts so I can have more personal time to recharge, travel time, and time with friends and family! Hell I'd even love some personal crafting time, I miss that. I'm starting by giving myself a semi-day (ha) off to hit the flea markets, thrift and just hang and catch-up on normal life things. It's definitely that time in my life where it's time to work really hard and keep developing our rapidly growing creation, but I want to remember to savor the season and everything around me while I'm at it, too.

How's this holiday season been going for you so far? We're already so far into December!
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Friday, December 2, 2016

The Most Amazing Atomic Era Revamped RV of Vintage Beauty You'll Ever See

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Tiny House Festival in St. Augustine. My friends and I didn't expect the huge assortment of tiny homes that were on display! There were amazing converted buses, campers of all shapes and sizes from different eras, there was even a yurt! Going through my photos I realize I took 352 photos! I'll be back for a second post on this event, but first, take in the dedication that went into creating the mid century modern dream camper below!

I love how it's filled with vintage finds and sticks to a consistent teal / yellow / red color scheme.

Astro Boy! Of course I love anything with even an inkling of robot goodness.

And I'll take one of each of these. Me and toys, I'll never grow up.

Those kitchen canisters bring back memories of vintage selling, I loved that kitchenware. These red ones with the flowers are very pretty. Love the moon pies there, too.

And you can't go wrong with vintage Life magazine, cameras, and coloful fiestware.

And this was just 1% of an magical day of looking at Tiny Houses! We didn't even look into everything they had. I'll be back to the next one for sure!

Let's move in!
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