Life, Career and Running a Business

Focus on what gets done and not what did not.

Last month I had the opportunity to be interviewed for podcast with Carry On Friends.  I’ve done many interviews before, but this was by far one of the best ones that I’ve done.  What’s different about this interview, besides for it being my first podcast, it was probably one of my most open ones about my family life, being an entrepreneur while still working in the corporate world and advice on how I run my business.  I was very grateful for the opportunity and definitely think it’s a great listen for anyone who’s an entrepreneur or thinking about entrepreneurship.  Click here to listen .

 

 

 

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Liebster Award…My Nominees Are…

Liebster Award First I want to thank beautywiththeblogger for nominating me for a Liebster 🙂  Go follow her blog! RULES:

  1. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the 11 questions that the person who nominated you will post.
  3. Choose 11 new blogs with under 200 followers for their Liebster Award, notify them that they have been nominated, and think of 11 questions for them to answer!

11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I’m organized when it comes to everything except for my digital life (emails, memory sticks, cloud storage…it’s a mess–I’m working on it though)
  2. If you’ve given me a card at any point in my 34 years of existence for my Birthday I still have it..I save ALL my cards.
  3. I love dark chocolate, wine, almonds and avocados.
  4. I’m a tea and coffee drinker…love the smell of fresh brewing coffee.
  5. My sister and I have the same birthday- 4/11 (no we aren’t twins).
  6. Not a morning person and very much a night owl—I like quiet mornings, however, that’s a little hard in a household of 5 plus 2 dogs.
  7. Good listener when others need to talk and I’ll even help you find solutions to your issue.
  8. I’m pretty easy going, but it’s a pet peeve of mine when people waste my time.
  9. Still learning a lot things when it comes to my spiritual journey–but hey aren’t we all?!
  10. I’ve discovered how much I love audio books on my daily commutes–thanks to Audible.
  11. I speak to my mom every single day.

 

Questions from BeautyWithTheBlogger

1) What has been your Summer go to fotd?

LOL..this could either mean Face Of The Day or Food Of The Day–I’ll answer both.  Natural, moisturized with a light colored lipstick and maybe a little mascara, for “food” fruits (berries or mangoes)

2)Do you wear your hair more up or down this season?

It’s down during the day and by evening when it’s gym time it goes up.

3) Who is your favorite blogger?

I have so many that it’s hard to pick, my top 3 are Design Sponge, Designing An MBA and I Spy DIY

4) Are you Happy you followed my blog? Lol

Yes!  You are so cute!

5) Do you enjoy blogging more than any other social network or not really ?

I have my days.  I use to try and post something everyday and then I decided to scale back and post quality content over quantity.

6) What is your favorite song?

Once again I have one too many.  New school Nico & Vinz–Am I Wrong, Old School Sade–Smooth Operator

7) What is something you always wanted to do but never did?

Visit Africa–I still have time to do this though.

8) DID YOU SEE PRETTY LITTLE LIARS TONIGHT

I didn’t actually, but my husband has been telling me that it’s a pretty good show.

9) What’s your day to day skincare routine?

I use to be a product junkie (maybe I still am), but I discovered Om Botanical products at a Health Foods fair and it’s been one of the best products I’ve used to date. It’s all in one cleanser, toner and exfoliator are great I do a facial steam and mask once a week.

10) What do you like to do most in the summer ?

Beach and pool–although I haven’t gotten a chance to do either one since summer started 😦

11) Are you having a good day? I hope so

Every day God wakes me up and allows me to experience is a good one I’ve come to realize.  I have my health, family and friends–everything else is meaningless without those 3 components.  Life isn’t always going to be easy, but I’ve learn to find happiness in something each day- my 100 Days of Happy on Day 31 so far.

I NOMINATE THE FOLLOWING BLOGS:

Milk Baby Love

Beauty on a Beer Budget

Anna Amelie

Picky Little Peach

The Wandering Sheppard

Single Mama, One Income

Say No To Food Waste

Style Observatory

The Future Dub Project

Jewels & Jules

The Foolish C.E.O.

I’m LOVING the names of these blogs I nominated!

 

11 Questions to Answer

1. What’s your main reason for blogging?

2. iPhone or Samsung or Neither

3. What’s your ultimate favorite vacation spot?

4. What book do you recommend I read next?

5. What’s your favorite summer cocktail (it can be virgin or not..your choice)?

6. What food do you like to eat while sipping on your favorite cocktail?

7. What’s your favorite accessory or jewelry piece to wear?

8. What’s your favorite holiday?

9.  Morning riser or Night Owl?

10. Social Butterfly or “Please Don’t Talk to Me”

11.  What’s your pet peeve?

 

What’s New with The Pink Locket?

Check out our newsletter this month on the good stuff we have going on!

http://bit.ly/MFGq5t

So You’re Fed Up….Now What?

I’m in an inspirational mood today so, this post can apply to anyone because at some point we’ve all gotten fed up. The type of “fed up” I’m referring to is the frustration of getting up every day and doing an occupation that you either have no interest in or no passion to pursue. This type of frustration is common among many people, even those who may not admit it themselves or anyone else for that matter. The big question is, “What are you going to do about it?” Now that doesn’t mean, just quit your job abruptly, but if you have a dream that you want to pursue, you should have a plan to make that dream become a reality.

Most people don’t really know how I started up The Pink Locket, but really it came from love of creating things, especially wearable “art.” At the time I was re-locating to Atlanta and just landed a job, but at the time our family was operating on a one income household. I figured I had nothing to lose and saw The Pink Locket as an opportunity to do something I loved and make a little extra money. That was 3 years ago. Now if someone asks me, they’ll get a different response. I now see it as an avenue for many different things. I see it as a brand, a business and a passion and this is just the beginning.

So what’s your passion, what is it that you really want to do? How are you going to get there? What’s the plan? What are your goals that will enable you to pursue your passion and make a living off of it? Are these goals measurable? What do you need to alter in your current lifestyle, so that you’ll be able to pursue this passion? I know these are a lot of questions, but these are the same questions you should ask yourself every day until you are doing what you love. The one thing I do know is that life is too short to be doing something you just don’t love.

What should I delegate?

This is a relatively common question for many entrepreneurs, whether they are artsy or not.  In the beginning, as entrepreneurs we try to do it all from designing our logo to designing the actual product. This often leads to wearing ourselves thin not to mention spreading our time over many different duties.  However, there comes a time when time management is of an essence.  Lets face it, most entrepreneurs in their start up phase are still working a full time job, have a family, need their “me” time and not to mention just regular run of the mill everyday duties.

Time management is a key element to any successful business, whether big or small.  Sometimes, it is necessary to delegate tasks to others.  Okay, so as a startup you don’t have anyone to delegate things to right?  Well, let’s look at your marketing efforts.  You think you’re doing everything you’re supposed to right? You have a website, a blog even a Twitter and Facebook page.  Those tools can be helpful, if you know your market.  That’s where a freelance marketing specialist can help.  Fees may vary, but someone who specializes in this area could really help you make your time more effectively spent.  Maybe your even looking to re-design your logo, well why not seek out a graphic designer who can help you with that.  It’s all about working smarter and not necessarily harder.

Stanford University has a great podcast series called “Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders” on iTunes.  One of the series called “Unlearn Your MBA” David Heinemeier Hansson discusses starting up his business, spending only 10 hours a week. Now he stresses that during those 10 hours you must be productive, but it can be done.

OMG…Changing Up Your Pricing

At some point, all business entrepreneurs go through this.  The ultimate pricing strategy, asking yourself “is my price too high or too low.”  While there’s no easy answer, more so it’s a “refining” process.  This is something lots of indie designers go through, we keeping doing it until we get it right!  I’ve gone through it many times with The Pink Locket before I got it right.  Here’s a great article from Craft MBA on pricing, hope it helps.

What Works for Me…

This post today is dedicated to my fellow artsy, handcrafters out there who create nothing, but beautiful art pieces (in all forms), especially to the who’s “Art Work” is their bread and butter J

I’ve been an independent jewelry designer for some years and have been on Etsy for about 2 ½ years.  I remember when I first started out, I thought OMG…trying to grow as an independent designer is a lot of work between designing and just the business aspect by itself.  Fortunate enough to have a background in business, certain things came easier than others.  I remember looking through the different shops on Etsy and thinking, “Why in the world don’t my pictures look like this?” I even began to blame my camera. Then I realized after doing my “photography” homework a few simple changes and much practice did some good!

OLD

OLD

Recent

Recent

Over the years I began to take note on the items that became popular and sold, whether they were on Etsy, at craft shows and/or custom request.  Here were some things that I found really helped me out over the years, hopefully they can help you to.

Social Networking Sites

I know I know, you’ve probably heard this soooo many times. In fact, you may even wonder if the time spent actually helps improve your bottom line.  Here’s my take on it, it’s a tool that if you use it the right way is a superb channel to brand yourself.  Now, I’m not saying to go out there and sign up for every single social networking site available—that’s just plain ol crazy!  Start with this, who’s your demographic, audience AND niche? There are many different social networking sites out there and you need to find out which ones your “audience” is hanging out on. And update is regularly!!!! Which brings me to my next section…

Niche

Some of you are probably saying what’s the difference between your niche and audience? Your niche is basically your focus and the audience is who you are trying to reach.  Not sure who your niche is? Well let me help you.  Take a look at your sales over the past few months, who were the types of customers that purchased from you? Based on what you know, where do they live (city, suburbs, rural—not sure google their zip code), what exactly did they purchase from you?  If you need to drill deeper, use Survey Monkey to conduct a brief survey.  Speaking of which leads into my next section…

Hot Sellers

Take a survey of what actually sells and what doesn’t.  Have a product that has been sitting for a year, well is it because of price or does it just not appeal to your niche? Produce more of what actually sells.  Now I know, you want to keep that “unique” creative appeal and not create too many replicas of one thing.  Well, maybe you can tailor it slightly different.  For example, below is a clutch that I posted on my Etsy site at the beginning of November and it sold on Cyber Monday after it sold I received 5 emails requesting that I create additional ones like this.

Brown and Cream Foldover Clutch

Craft Show 101

My husband can attest to how many craft shows I’ve done, to only come home frustrated, tired and only selling a couple items.  My advice is to be selective in which shows you participate in.  You want to participate in shows location wise that are directed to your target audience. Ask yourself this– how much promotion is being done by either the show promoter or the venue that’s planning the show? What’s the crowd type that will attend, are they artsy, conservatives, young, etc;

These are just tidbits to get the juices flowing and thought process rolling.  After all, hard-work is must, but sometimes it’s about working smarter not harder.