Thursday, April 13, 2017

Market & Event Selling 101: How Do You Know You're Ready to Start? Let's Sell!

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Selling your wares at outdoor markets, expos, and events can take your business to the next level. I started "officially" selling my natural body care products around March 2015. We kept adding events and pop-up shops wherever people would let us; you have a spot, we have a table! This helped us grow our business from a traveling pop-up shop to having our own brick and mortar location! And we're not stopping our traveling herbal pop-ups anytime soon! It's a keystone for our business and we've gotten really good at it, learning the pitfalls and ups-and-downs the hard way the past couple of years.


In this series, Market and Event Selling 101, I want to share tips on how to be successful selling at markets.

First things first, how do you know you're ready to set up at one? It's not as hard as you may think. You don't need fancy signs, table cloths and dressing, props, labels or anything of the sort. You just need...

1) Product Made: Whatever you're selling needs to be done BEFORE you start. I know this sounds like a no-duh, but a lot of beginners (myself included, 10 years ago!) sign up for markets and then try to hustle to make products to sell quickly right up to the deadline! I've used markets as deadline makers, but only when my work is at least half-done and I know I have what I need to finish! Take your time, streamline your wares, whatever those may be, before even thinking of signing up. Take as long as you need.

2) Abundance of Products: Of course there are exceptions, like if you're at a book sale and just need to sell a few of your self-printed books at $50.00 each to make a profit, but in most cases, you need a lot of stuff on that table to do well! Do your inventory and make sure you have enough to make a profit after fees, gas, food, and all other expenses.

3) Basic Signage and Cards: You DON'T have to be fancy or expensive here. I've seen people do well with hand drawn signs on wood, chalkboard, etc. You can hand-write or stamp cards and those will work fine, just be sure to have both to take advantage of your event for marketing purposes.

An under-awning event (yay, no tent needed) we traveled 5 hours for! We made it compact for that purpose. You'll learn to switch things up depending on where you're setting up.

4) Newsletter Ready to Go: Markets are the #1 way we grow our newsletter list. Make a sheet so customers or would-be/future customers can sign up.

5) Basic Table and Cloth: All you need is one table and cloth to cover it to get started. If you're going to be in the sun a canopy tent or even an umbrella may be needed. If you can't afford a canopy some markets offer rentals, have extras, or have space under trees or awnings where you can set up so call and ask in advance for that information.

6) Optimism & Happiness: You may not sell a single thing your first time, in fact, that's pretty common! Each market is an opportunity to learn what people respond to, what they like and don't like. Don't go in looking to sell or looking at people simply as dollar signs. Just go in happy that you have an opportunity to put your wares out there. Take note of people's advice or how they respond and make real connections.

EDIT #7) Have Prices of Every Item on Your Table: Have signs with pricing for each item on your table and/or go the extra mile and also have them on your products. People don't like to ask for pricing and will sometimes just leave out of frustration if you don't have all prices clearly marked. Thanks for this important reminder in the comments everyone :)

These six tips I feel are all you need to start selling at outdoor markets, expos, and pop-up events. Of course it gets more detailed from here and we'll go into that in future posts. Do these events for the experience, learn and grow from it and improve each time! If you go with the expectation to sell out you'll be disappointed, go in only with the expectation to proudly display your best work and have fun and you'll be a success!

Any basics tips for beginners if you're a seller? What about advice for us sellers as frequent shoppers? Let's discuss in the comments!
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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Biz Behind the Scenes: Collecting, Crafting, and Getting Caught Up + Re-Inspired

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March was a month of ups-and-downs for sure, mostly emotionally. But by the end we got through it and again I feel 100% inspired and ready to make like crazy; my favorite thing to do! I'm writing a little series on how I got through the hard shop start-up time. 'Til then, here's some behind-the-scenes of what I've been crafting and getting up to with business and life.



I'm back to vintage collecting! It's a blessing to look at vintage from the perspective of being a collector again. I'm hunting online and at few (VERY few, I don't let myself hunt too much, on an early-start-up budget) flea markets and yard sales for late 60s-70s groovy bits for my home and shop. I'll share some thrift hauls soon. (You can see a preview of it above with that gorgeous shag rug I scored!)


March was another busy season of markets and big store sales. I got backed up and stressed at some points but now I'm getting ahead and making the changes needed to keep my sanity. My new intern and employee are really helpful here, it's fun to work with my new age herb-loving co-workers! Tara, my new helper, is a talented artist, I'm looking forward to some chill drawing and crafting nights at the store!

Just a tiny smattering of our adorable customers from the store & at marketplaces.
With new helpers we're getting more sales and I'm getting more items on our Etsy shop

Speaking of markets, I'm excited that we got accepted into Renegade Craft Fair in Miami! I've admired the artisans in Renegade for years and I was thoroughly surprised to be accepted into a marketplace with some many polished, creative business owners. In my head I'm always thinking of my work needing improvement and not being good enough so it was a nice pinch of validation to get in, I was expecting a rejection e-mail. If you're in or near Miami come say "Hi" :)


All accomplishments aside, I let another month go by without many travels or tours of nature and that is going to stop now. (Although we did get to an orchid show and saw the amazing Shadaowland at the Florida Theatre.) We're scheduling time for trips this month even with more markets coming. It's one of my personal priorities to be OUT in the world and not just cooped up inside and I'm doing what it takes to make that happen this month.

*And speaking of vintage, if you sell vintage frocks and/or baskets in particular, but vintage anything from the 60s-70s please e-mail me or leave your link in the comments (a lot of readers are vintage shoppers) so I can browse your wares. Also please do let me know if you're interested in selling vintage clothes with me? I'm on the fence but I'm too exhausted to teach workshops at the moment (just being honest with myself, finally, haha) so I have more retail space to fill up and I'm passionate about vintage clothes. And I'm also looking for teachers for workshops (creative, holistic, anything, if you've got a workshop, I've got a room!) so hit me up if you're interested!

How as your March? April's already turning into a good one where we're sitting. I actively post behind-the-scenes peeks on Instagram here & here
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Friday, March 31, 2017

6 Basics Tips for Preserving Your Energy as a Creative Entrepreneur: Personal Care

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Do you ever feel like you can't do a single thing more with your work because your energy is depleted? Or worse, out of ideas? Have you ever found yourself unable to focus, instead clicking down the internet rabbit hole for hours? You may have accidentally depleted your well of creativity. Like any other part of your body it must be cared for and nourished. There are many techniques for healing creativity but I wanted to focus on the basics I've learned not to neglect the hard way during these busy start-up hour times for me!


1. Stay Well-Fed and Hydrated, make it a PRIORITY!

I cook my meals for the day ahead of time (simple one-pot stuff) and make sure I have enough for the work day when I leave. I have it pre-portioned so I can nibble every 2 hours to keep my metabolism (energy!) revved up. I drink lots of water between meals. As for sleep, I

2. Also make SLEEP a PRIORITY!

I open my store at 1pm so I can SLEEP as late as I want. I also keep my phone far away in the living room so it can't wake me, NO call is so important that it should interrupt my sleep. The emergency will still be there when I wake up! As someone with anxiety-related sleep issues (I'm learning my nervous system is hyperactive so when I have something exciting coming up the next day I won't sleep and adrenaline will keep me running full speed for a while the next day, aah!) I know the study that hypothesizes lack of sleep impairment is on par with being drunk is true! I have certainly been so tired that doing normal things like standing and tying my shoe laces is challenging. Protect your sleep, don't work into the night, you will be more productive because you will have been coordination and cognitive function the next day!

Kawaii little lunches throughout the day, balanced carb/fruit/protein ratio, thanks personal trainer boyfriend for making me keep that in mind >:P haha

3. Use Your Intuition and SAY NO, if Something Feels Remotely Wrong, Don't Do It

When you run a successful creative business people will come asking for things left and right. This is good, it shows you're growing and getting yourself out there. Creative can be kind and sensitive making it hard to say No, myself included. But I've learned to protect my energy, we have a finite amount, you cannot say yes to everyone and every opportunity. Protect your energy first and foremost, if you want to do something but a voice somewhere is saying it's a bad idea, just DON'T.

4. Stick as strictly to your work hours as possible

This one is hard! Sometimes you have a deadline and have NO choice but to work. Other times you're so crazy inspired you're tempted to use that creative energy and go with the flow. I urge you though to just write down the inspiration and to-dos it requires and get to it the next work day. There's lots of evidence to suggest humans work better in shorter, harder creative bursts. Stick to your work hours so you can make time for the next important energy-regenerator.

My retreat in the treeees, I can't wait to get back to The Hostel in the Forest every the moment I leave it. 

5. Schedule lots of fun trips, outdoor time, and recharging time with friends

Creatives recharge with outside stimuli and new adventures. Schedule something new and fun at LEAST weekly. It could a new local museum show, a road trip, whatever it is, go enjoy it and get that creative energy recharged!

6. Exercise, move 'til you sweat daily

I HATE the gym I will confess. Dragging myself there sucks. There first 10 minutes or so sucks.  But you get an energy rush that'll last all day and feel SO much better when you get it over with. The endorphins give you a creative high! Plus, it just makes you feel healthier and more accomplished overall. Switch it up to keep your easily-bored ADD brain happy. I do weight lifting, cycling, yoga (when I wake up early enough!) calisthenics, jogging and even some basketball. The first couple months of the shop opening I worked too much and didn't hit the gym and I definitely felt that decrease in energy, do it to keep that circulation going and keep it fun!

* * * 
All of this may seem like common sense for non workaholics but it's always nice to have a reminder. The 5 tips above are your bare bones essentials for keeping your creative energy going strong. Of course expect more specific and detailed exercises in the future!

I'm sure I left out plenty of basics, do you have anything to share on how you preserve your creative energy and stay inspired and productive? Do let me know in the comments.
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Friday, March 24, 2017

Herbs 101: How to Use Your Loose-Leaf Herbs for Healing + As Medicine + For Fun

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Here I am writing from my dream shop and I have a dream-wall of herbs to the right of me exactly as I imagined them, plus more on the way! I have a few regulars who come and buy herbs for healing at home. These well-researched visitors don't think beyond tea, so store visitors without herb-knowledge are completely clueless. I didn't realize building my "wall" would result in constantly hearing, "So what is all that, is that tea? What do you do with those? What is this place?! Are you a witch?!" 





Tea?! No, my children! Use your...IMAGINATION!


There's an astounding array of ways to use your powdered and loose-leaf herbs! More than I learned after 2 years getting certified on clinical herbalism and from a lifetime of tinkering with them! I'll be experimenting with ways to use them for a lifetime, but here are my favorite ways to use your herbs as plant medicine (and fun!) as of now: (Listen to this as you read!)


Healing Edibles
1. Powdered: grind, stir 1/2 tsp (to start) into water & drink
2. Syrup: Cook into syrup, cold/cough fighter + supplement
3. Tea Blend: Get creative and mix and match for flavor profile & medicinal benefit
4. Spice Blend: Powdered or not, again, mix & match for a blend that heals and flavors beautifully
5. Fermented: Ferment an herbal tea blend for a probiotic & healing herb boost
6. Edible Herb Oil: Infuse herb into oil for flavor and internal healing
7. Electuary: Stuff your local honey with herbs, the constituents go into the honey, take as needed
8. Herbal Vinegar: Stuff your vinegar with herbs and use for a daily health boost
9. Bitters: Herb infused alcohol. Flavor drinks/coffees + as medicine. Mine are a best-seller.
10. Soup Mix: use herbs as your base for a soup mix, yummy and healing.
11. Root Beer: Root beer was originally made from sarsaparilla to heal tummy troubles. Play and make different fun blends that heal with herb roots and parts!

Just some of my herbs are on Etsy, I'm adding more to Etsy and my local shop all the time.

Skin Healing
12. Poultice: A maceration of herb applied directly to a wound to heal or pull out poison
13. Face Scrub: Make a blend that's skin-healing, rub it on yo face!
14. Face Mask: Mix a blend with a mud mask
15. Herb Oil: Infuse your herb in oil, the oil absorbs the constituents, put the oil on the skin for healing
16.  Lotion: Use the herb oil in your lotion recipe for extra skin-healing lotion
17. Hydrosol: Collecting the herb vapor, higher level stuff, but the result is very healing herb water

Wound Healing & Medicine
18. Salves / Balms: Infuse your herb into your oil, blend with wax to make your salve or balm
19. Tincture: Infuse your herbs in a base of alcohol, glycerine or vinegar, take by dropper as needed
20. Pills: Grind your herbs and put inside capsules
21. Bath Salts: Add herbs to epsom salts (calming) you absorb the constituents through your skin!
22. Decoction: When you boil rather than gently infused your "tea" blend, reserved for the tougher plant parks like barks and roots


My joke with customers is that they can take red pill with me and see how deep the rabbit hole goes by signing up for my classes. You can add essential oils to these mixes to compound them, combine the methods to make new substances, there's so much you can do with herbs! As evidenced by my serial career and hobby hopping I'm a creative busy-brain that thrives needs new stimuli and creativity to thrive and in this career I have boundless ways to play with plants to make beautiful healing goodies. Add that left-brain research to the right-brain label and packaging design aspect and my mind is happily and well-fed.

Playing with herbs can be a hobby, a way to keep your family healthy, a way to restore your health and energy, whatever you want it to be. And it's a hell of a lot more than just tea! I hope you'll take the red pill with me as I share tips and tricks on how to use the over the coming months.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Simple Zodiac Choker DIY: An Elegant, Simple Design for Everyday Wear or Gifting

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I made it a resolution to do as much crafting as possible outside of work, but crafting for work is so fun I haven't let myself do any personal crafting yet! So instead of a for-home craft (those will come) I'm sharing something I really enjoyed making to sell at my local shop at while traveling at expos and outdoor markets and event: zodiac chokers!


I bought the zodiac sign charms on a whim, I'd fallen in love with the 70s style images on each one and finally had a vision for how to use them. It's so easy to make similar charm-chokers of your own.


Materials: Charms, Jump Hoops if charms don't have them, Faux Leather Cord, Jewelry Pliers



You charms may come equipped with jump hoops, mine did not. Hopefully you're just hooking one jump hoop on to your charm. If you're making these as merchandise like me you may spend over 12 hours WITH the help of a paid employee to get 'em hooped, haha! (So worth it, though!) (I have a tutorial on how to close a jump hoop here.)


String your charm onto your cord.


 Then tie the ends! You can get creative here and glue beads, add extra charms to ends, whatever you like! I wanted to keep mine minimal and let the charms really shine and just closed mine with knots.


One of my favorite parts of making new merchandise is designing the packaging! This is the live view of my desk right now, I'm taking a break to wrap some of these up between working on websites then fitting them neatly in their protective plastic sleeves. I can't wait to premier them at our outdoor market tomorrow but you can see them on Etsy too!

These look really good on, go with many outfits and they make excellent customizable gifts for friends, too.
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Friday, March 10, 2017

Designer Travels: Jacksonville Florida Downtown, Hidden Industrial Chop House Peeks

My favorite part of traveling is gathering that delicious new stimuli. It's essential to the being of a creative person! And luckily, it doesn't have to be expensive at all. Just "traveling" and exploring new things in your neighborhood or back yard can be sufficient. I recently had the opportunity (as a member of USGB) to tour a historic building in my city. Located downtown, it's undergoing renovation to become The Cowford Chop House.


View of the back of the Florida Theatre from the rooftop of the future Cowford Chophouse


View of the building from the outside.


I love seeing spaces in states of decay and/or being rebuilt. The foundations are inspiring, you imagine the possibilities.


It's fascinating to see this space in that transitional state of what it was and imagine what it will be.


And fun to see downtown from this high vantage point, too!


...as well as spires on a rooftop that have been struck by lightning dozens of times over the long years since this historic building's construction.


This inspires to get to doing a little more urbexing and historic site hunting. The texture and juxtaposition of greenery and urban decay in these old buildings is beautiful to shoot, but it's also a peaceful way to soak in some inspiration.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February Behind-the-Scenes: Business and Life is Moving Crazy Fast, Need Nature

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Another month of 2017 FLEW by, it's almost scary how fast! I was looking back at posts and the last Business/Life lately update feels like just yesterday!

Customers and events like crazy all February. I appear so infrequently in the blog that I'll point out that's me in the first shot in the yellow dress. This month I made a point to casually snap photos of more customers and visitors.

This month we did 7 expos, had some big in-store sales events for Valentines Day, and added a LOT of new products to our shelves and line-up.


I'll be teaching a workshop at our local public library's new "maker's space" in March and behind-the-scenes I'm working on workshops for or store and behind.

It's exciting to be in a time where people are going back to their roots, looking for natural ways to heal. There is SO much interest in what we're doing right now, it's hard to keep up.

All the growth is exciting but as I look back on this month I see I didn't give myself time to slow down and take it in.

Photos from a recent walk at our local arboretum with Jill, maybe the only time walking outside all month? Other than to work, of course!

I need to really photography milestones (and not just quick shots for social media), take time to celebrate them, take time to be in nature, walk, mediate.

It's been non-stop work for me, a problem I let myself get into that constant-work rut constantly.


I hope to make Spring a season of springing forward and working hard on the business, but in shorter bursts so I get to what really matters: Traveling, relaxing, just living. I'm proud of the work we've done but my nerves are shot from it too, give me your healing powers, nature! I can't wait to fit in some quiet making/journaling time for March.

*First shots in this post from my Body&Soul & Blog Instagram accounts
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

DIY Boutique Shop or Outdoor Market Chalkboard Clipboard Signage: 2 Steps

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Running a boutique and traveling frequently selling wares requires lots of sign making on my part! I'm often adding new goodies to our line up and I used to photograph them and make custom signs for every new item. My intention was to hang them from the clipboards I used in this DIY but, adding chalkboard paint to them makes these clip boards more multi-purpose. I can clip a sign back over them if desired, and they work as versatile signage in the meantime! 



Making these is so easy! You just mark off where you want your sign to be, marketing it off the same length on all sides in my case for a clean consistent look since I'm hanging by side-by-side.


And then I just painted them! I painted two thin layers of chalkboard paint and it works beautifully! I used a flat matt Waverly brand chalkboard paint. I got my clip boards from the dollar store but you can order them in bulk for less online and in a greater variety of sizes, too.


For the artists in the audience (or better letterers, you can tell my my perfunctory writing here lettering in chalk is not my thing!) this would be a cute way to art pieces to any room, I could see kids having fun with a wall of these in a nursery.


And I could see hanging one of these by your desk or in the kitchen to use as a TO-DO board, memo board, or a place to draw or write different mantras or different inspirational quotes. The clip board is utilitarian, modern and clean-looking and they have build-in "hanging" hardware at the top!  Have fun customizing your own, you can paint the board, use colored chalkboard paint, the sky's the limit with customization!
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Friday, February 17, 2017

Raw Vegan Heart-Healthy Oatmeal Cookies: Three Ingredients, No-Bake Treats

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So while we're on that self-care kick...what better way to take care ourselves than with a bowl of cookies! That will improve your health! Loaded with vitamins! And still tasty! This is my version of raw vegan heart-healthy oatmeal cookies.


These are awesome to take with you as "energy bars" to work, they're super portable and have a great balance of carbs and protein to keep you energized throughout the day.

Ingredients:

1 Cup Pecans
1 Cup Oatmeal
1/2 Cup to 1 Cup Dates, keep adding them until your "cookie dough" holds together
Optional: Cacao powder, cacao nibs or cinnamon - I added a bunch of cinnamon to this batch


Directions:

Add your dates to your blend or food processor first. I use my vitamix blender and LOVE it but any blender or food processor will due. (For raw vegan food creation you can't beat the vitamix or blendtec line, though. Just from my experience being full raw for a while and working in a raw vegan kitchen for years. Nope, not sponsored by either anymore!)


With my vitamix I only process for a few seconds before the "dough" is ready, it should look like above. Crumbly, not too wet, not too dry.


After that you just shape into bars, flat cookies, hearts, whatever would make it fun to carry these with you or serve up to friends and family. (Or gobble them all yourself. No judgement here.)


(Or gobble them all yourself. No judgement.)

I prefer raw desert making to baking because it's lighter, healthier, nutritious and you basically can't mess it up. Too dry? Add more dates? Too wet? Add more oats. You can also add raisins, cranberries, cacao nibs, different nuts, protein powder or supplements like maca or spirulina, no limits! Have fun playing with the recipe!
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines Day Freebie For You: The Self Care Checklist. For Keeping Your Sanity!

My job selling healing herbal and aromatherapeutic wares has taken me on journeys around Florida to different new age themed markets. A recent series we were in, Mind Body Expo, had a presentation and free consultation with a life coach that left me feeling inspired to make changes with my life. Too few of us spend enough time on self-care and mindfulness. I made myself a checklist as a visual reminder to put self-development, care, and free time first! Of course I still haven't, but it's a work in progress and I'm getting better!



I'm going sell these cute little guys on mini clip boards at the store but I want you have this one for free!


Happy Valentines Day! Comments are off so I can work on some catch-up and...let's say the buzz word again...self-care!
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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentines Gift Giving Wish List for Him, Her & Both: Natural, Artsy, Hippie, Indie, & Fun

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Valentines Day is a Great Excuse to support small businesses and artists. (Like I need an excuse. I love shopping small!) Here are some items and brands I've been loving lately. I'm throwing in some of our goods because I work long hours perfecting them and know they're badass, of course!

And BY the way I just put the discount code "GoHeart" on our Etsy Shop. Our Aromatherapy Inhalers sets (for headaches, focus, anxiety, sinus relief, energy & sleep), mini & large gift sets, cocktail bitters sets, black soaps, chakra line & $5.00 gemstone necklaces are really popular!

1. Mehanik Adjustable Wooden Desk Lamp perfect for his desk via Paladim
2. Faux Leather Slim Men's Waller with Money Clip sleek, portable, suitable to most tastes via The Gifty Room
3. Portable Record Player a beautiful vintage number in forest green via Attic Fantastic
4. Men's Grooming Set Our much-loved men's grooming kit, people come from far and wide for the deodorant! via Body&Soul


1. Panty/Cami Set P anties so cute you must go out sans pants to show 'em off. All day. I dare you! via Tatiana's Threads - this art deco black lace number is gorgeous, too
2. Hand on Coral Silk A simple, classic piece with a unique handmade look via datter
3. Black Pantry/Bra Set via Econia, I'll take one of each of everything in this shop, please. This Red set is good for v-day
4. Kitty Oil Burner I use mine for herbs & sage via ZenibasAttic
5. Wild Woman Vase filled with flowers or not, handmade pottery, vases, ring-dishes, these are appreciated gifts that we often wouldn't buy for ourselves via LisaJunis



1. Natural Care Sets A popular choice at my shop, always loved by the recipients Body&Soul
2. Wooden Desk Caddy Practical & beautiful for the workaholic in your life WoodDesignUSA
3. Cocktail Bitters Set I sell these like crazy, they come with a chart for their widely varied uses ! via Body&Soul
4. His/Her Glow-in-the-Dark Undie Set because! glow-in-the-dark! And I don't think I've EVER seen his/her matching undies? Take couple matching to the next level in crazy! via Make it Good Apparel
5. Pocketbook / Wallet Keyboard hand-printed keyboard wallet checkbook, lots of good stuff in this shop via Quiet Doing

V-Day gift set here & in our local shop


*Nope, NOT paid to promote anything in this post. Again of course Body&Soul is mine, tested by many & used by myself daily too ;) If you're local swing on by the shop (2726 College St. Jax, Florida 32204) for a plethora of handmade local goodness for loved ones.

Shops I Like with Guys/Gals Goods for Gifts: SimkaSol | Pam Wishbow | Maiden Voyage | Fennec Design & Woah these personalized enamel necklaces are beautiful! Get 'em with your S/O's initials.

See you next week with a last-second DIY for Valentines Day, too! For my fellow last-second gift-givers!
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Thursday, February 2, 2017

January Business Behind-The-Scenes: Busy, Rough, Productive, Whirlwind Year Start

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The motto for January has been, "It'll get better!" With life and business we're at that painful growth stage. This month we did 7 outdoor markets, two of which took five hour drives to and fro to get there. We drove through a deadly tornado through one of them to get home. (Yay, I'm alive typing this, let's count that blessing! I've never seen that much lightning in my life it was like being in that red spot on Jupiter.)

I've got lots of behind-the-scenes of those markets/expos/events on Instagram they were so awesomely varied and uniformly not without their stresses and fun moments. I got free Reiki healing at one, still another was in a dark club downtown and I was asked to set up in front of the DJ's speakers! Did well considering the circumstances!

By the way, these soaps smell AMAZING! I just finished shrink-wrapping them.

This month I learned the hard way to heed the advice of many a book I've read on running a retail store; you simply cannot do it alone! I was trying to create and formulate our herbal products, work on the e-commerce and social media, make high quality e-books and blog posts, run the shop daily, do expos and outdoor markets and local workshops and classes....nope! Burned. Out.


This week I hired my first part-timer helper (my friend Lia) and hell yes, I feel like I'm going to be so much more productive and actually earn more along the way, being able to actually do my marketing duties for the business. I get asked about not having our proper website up so much, so glad to get work on that and much more!


Above is a little behind-the-scenes peek at our first workshop at the studio. I did a "plan the new year with good intentions" freebie and encouraged the bringing of snacks. I made our herbal chai blend and stove-popped popcorn with our immunity-boosting spice blend and it was well-loved :)


The workshop turned into a bit of a venting session and it gave us the idea to actually have a "stitch and bitch" type women's venting session. My friend Patricia (who rents our class space to take clients) is a mental health counselor and she's planning to host group therapy sessions as well.


At the start of our workshop I had everyone draw a card and did a reading on it for their year. Mine was the 3 of cups upside down which can mean isolation from others. I spent a lot of January working late nights alone at my shop. I'm feeling a touch of relief already being able to make a list of things to delegate to my first helper!


Now Body&Soul is a group project with AJ, me, Lia, Patricia and my mom. It's a staff of varied talents: two certified herbalists and aromatherapists, classically trained chef, master's level therapist, and a certified fitness trainer. I'm one of the herbalists/aromatherapists but you can throw in multi-business starter marketer/website maker-person too. It's a dream team! We're already planning loads of fun workshops and classes to go into 2017!

We managed to fit in a MUCH-NEEDED one-day-and-night stay at My Favorite Place in the World, The Hostel in the Forrest. I can't 'til we fit in a longer stay! This was our treehouse this time (Elmos) & our view from its balcony.

So there's a peek behind-the-scenes of this business and a little bit about how I learned to let go and delegate or lose my damn mind! Each product I make is therapeutic grade and takes multiple steps from research, to formulation, to label design, to packaging and shrink wrapping, it's a lot! But it's also so satisfying. Now I need get home and rest so I can feel energized enough to tackle my blog editorial calendar too!

I hope your new year's been off to a good start. As always if you have tips of productivity I'm alway all-ears for them, we still need all the help we can get and I am taking applications for interns if anyone locally would love to learn lots of skills in a fun, amazing-smelling workspace! (E-mail me here.)
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