Monday, August 17, 2015

Conveying a Clear Brand Message

I'm currently finishing up my last course for my Marketing Strategy Certificate through Cornell. This particular courses stresses the importance of brand message.  I've been taking this opportunity to update my Etsy shop and make sure that with the new formatting of the site, all of my information contributes to continually promoting a clear brand promise and successfully establishes my positioning in the market. 


My shop's announcement
My shop's about page
I've included the two images above to illustrate my attempts to give similar information and communicate a clear brand message across my Etsy shop.

As small business owners and makers, we don't have huge marketing and advertising teams to maintain this consistency for us, so it's important to keep up with it ourselves. For many of us, we ARE our brand and it can be a challenge to make sure that we are not just putting everything that we love out there. Tied to this concept is the need to keep our image consistent across all of social media. I've been using this opportunity to do that! Little things like using the same profile picture(s) and repeatedly using the same key words and phrases can really make all the difference.

Below is an example from my Instagram. I use the same profile picture as my shop (I also use this one on Pinterest), which is a picture that clearly conveys what I make. The pictures that I post on Instagram further back up my brand promises, for example, showing custom items that I have made.


My business Instagram

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Crafting Bonanza and Other Updates

A lot has happened in the last few weeks since I've posted! It's crazy how quickly time flies. One of my best friends from college got married this weekend to a super nice guy at this beautiful venue near Orlando. Now they're honeymooning at Disneyland and not gonna lie, B and I are a little jealous about that part.

Pavilion on the Lake in Tavares, Florida, where my friend got married. It was beautiful! Image via venues.puffnstuff.com

I've been busy working on lots of orders and projects! I really need to get better at learning to balance my crafting/production time and my blogging time.

I LOVE paper flowers and I know I want to do them for my wedding, so when my bride Stacey asked me to experiment with making giant paper roses, I figured it was as good a time as any to jump in to that. I love how my first one came out and I love the medium! I used the Green Wedding Shoes tutorial and the Martha Stewart flower template.


My first attempt at a paper rose! Via my Instagram.


It really has been a crafting marathon bonanza at my house these past few weeks. In addition to paper flowers, I made boutonnières for a groom in Canada. I love how they turned out!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Happy Bastille Day!


Bastille Day always brings me happy memories of summer travels in France and sitting on the banks of La Maine River to watch the amazing fireworks display at the Chateau d'Angers.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mini Travel Tuesday!

I'm so close to being done with my marketing certificate... I'm on the 6th course out of 7! It's been fascinating and I've learned a lot, but I can't wait to have more time to focus on blogging again! In our course discussions this week, we've been talking about introducing products to the international market. It made me think of when I was in the UK (exactly 6 years ago!!!) and without my Mountain Dew, I had to switch to Fanta Orange. I bought a bottle from a street vendor and got a Russian version instead! I wanted to bring it home, but alas, there was absolutely no room in my luggage!


Fun memories!

-Robin
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Creative, Personalized Cake Topper Options

I am so, so excited for this post. I've got some fun things in the works and I can't wait to share them with you all.

Up until recently, cake toppers weren't something that I'd thought about a whole lot. But after painting an adorable pair of peg people cake toppers for my own someday wedding, I thought, "hey, this is really fun, I'd like to make more of these." So the wheels in my head started turning on how to start making this a potential product for my shop. Around the same time, Patience Brewster contacted me about collaborating to show you all some awesome options for cake toppers. So now my head is full of all things cake topper-related (haha) and I can't wait to show my readers some creative options!


Not so long ago, it was really hard to find any kind of cake topper that reflected who you are as a couple, especially if you're a person/people of color, a same-sex couple, or even just wanting something a little different. Thankfully, that's changing and there are so many more options these days. Instead of a traditional one piece cake topper, I love "cake toppers" that are separate pieces, allowing couples to chose different figures representing their personalities, physical features, and gender.

Hand-painted Peg People Cake Toppers

I'm so excited to debut this new item for my shop! These adorable peg people are completely customizable: hair color, skin tone, eye color, clothing, veils, and gender.



You can also go with tall and short, like I've done here or both tall/both short. Or if you've got children you want to include, the parents can be tall and the kids short. All kinds of families and couples should be able to have cake toppers that reflect themselves!

These are the cake toppers that I made for my wedding, using blank peg people from Dandelionland. She makes some of the most adorable personalized wooden cake toppers.

I'll give them clothes when we get a closer to an actual wedding date and know what we're wearing!


Ornaments as Cake Toppers

I don't know that I would have thought of this right off the bat on my own, but after talking with the folks at Patience Brewster, it got me thinking about what awesome cake toppers ornaments can make. It's the same general idea, choose two separate pieces that represent you individually as a couple and bring them together as one awesome cake topper!

Patience Brewster makes whimsical ornaments based on her drawings. So cute and playful!

Here are some of my favorite combinations of ornaments for cake toppers...

Boy/Girl of the same kind of animal (or Girl/Girl, Boy/Boy)
Two different kinds of animals that represent you each individually.
How about some cute little elves?!
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A New Rug for the Living Room

When I got my house 3 years ago, I bought a new rug for the living room from Rugs USA. It's great quality and I got it for an insanely low price (I think it was about $125). I still love this rug and it's a great striped pattern, but I've been noticing lately my living room is a little too bright and energetic for where I'm at in life right now... I'd really like something a little more soothing. I think the floors have a lot to do with this. My wood floors have a very strong red-orange undertone and fairly bold grain pattern. I'd love to change them out someday, but that definitely won't be happening anytime soon. Sadly, I think my beautiful rug also contributes to how visually busy the space feels. So, right now, I'm dreaming of something a little more sedate for my living room rug.

My living room, as it looks now.


I'd love to get another rug from Rugs USA, since I really love the prices, quality, and selection...

This is the rug that I really like. It got great reviews, but they say it's a little silvery. Not sure that a metallic will help my problem...

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day! I put together some Red, White, and Blue wedding inspiration for the occasion! Summer's around the corner-- already here in Florida, let's be real-- and red, white, and blue would be an awesome summer wedding color scheme, especially for July.

All images via Pinterest. Check out my board for all sources.

Patriotic pretty things and weekend fun times are all well and good, but let's not forget the real reason for Memorial Day, to remember those who gave their lives for our sakes!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Updates

I'm a blogging slacker. Like I've said in most of my last posts, I've been so busy lately that I haven't been keeping up with the blog as much as I'd like. I'm taking my marketing courses and doing a lot of new training at my day job. I've also been busy getting this beauty out to a bride-to-be who's using it for an engagement shoot:


I love that idea of using an alternative bouquet for an engagement shoot!


We also got to go on a little mini-getaway when I got a surprise day off from work! That was nice and much needed. We stayed in Ellenton, FL and did a few things around town in Bradenton (where I grew up!)... it was a really a nice little break. We also went to The Dali Museum in St Petersburg to see the Dali & da Vinci exhibit (going on through July 26). Bonus... on Thursday nights, it's only $10 a person to get in! If you've never been to The Dali Museum, you need to go... just the building itself is worth the trip!

Atrium of the Dali Museum, photo by me.

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