Posts tagged Emily Jeffords
How to Start a Shop: A Totally Useful Interview with Four Entrepreneurs
Ever thought of starting your own shop? Read this first - advice from four amazing entrepreneurs.

Ever thought of starting your own shop? Read this first - advice from four amazing entrepreneurs.

Have you ever thought of selling your creations? Maybe having your own store? I am excited and delighted to try it for myself, and I'm a strong believer that in starting a new journey you need to talk to those who have gone before you.

And so I asked four of my favorites over for a virtual coffee.  Meet Lacy, founder of Madre Beads, a hot new boutique with non-toxic wooden jewelry for kids and women. And Kim, creator of Design Life Kids, a fast-growing treasure trove of hip and hot fashions for your home, your children, and yourself.  Meet Emily, painter and creator of Emily Jeffords Studios, a beautiful escape from the mundane where you can find original paintings, prints, and creative consultations. And finally, Gilit of The Bannerie, maker of glittery, fun-filled messages for all your celebrations.

1. What prompted you to open a shop?

I love the wide variety of inspiration in these answers! Where would you find yourself?

GILIT:

Sometimes everyone around you sees something about you before you do.

In this case I had been told for years that I should sell my stuff and start a business, but how intimidating does that sound? In the months before I started, my daughter was home with me, and the jobs I was looking for needed someone to work nights and weekends. I wasn't willing to do that anymore. I needed a job, I have a strong drive to create, and I've always dreamed of having my own shop. So I did it.

LACY:

As a mom of three, I was continually frustrated with the jewelry options for mothers. Nearly all of the jewelry I had wasn't baby-friendly. Sharp metal certainly didn't belong in in my baby's mouth, and everything else I had hurt my neck when she pulled and yanked at it. I started playing around with some designs and did a bunch of research to find the best baby-friendly beads and finally came up with a concept I loved. Now, I make playful jewelry that moms can wear with the comfort of knowing their babes can enjoy pulling, tugging, sucking and chewing on it, too.

See more beautiful artwork at EmilyJeffords.com

See more beautiful artwork at EmilyJeffords.com

EMILY:

I opened my Etsy shop right after my college first art show.  I had a nice body of work built up from my college days and needed a place to document, share, and send it off into the world.  

KIM:

I wanted to fulfill a dream after the loss of my husband.

I wanted to set an example for my girls to make the best of this life we have and not be afraid to go after your dreams no matter how hard they seem and how much work it might entail.
Find the hip and the modern over at Design Life Kids.

Find the hip and the modern over at Design Life Kids.

2. How long has the shop been open? What did you sell initially?

LACY:

My shop has only been opened for less than a month!

GILIT:

It's going to be a year! Initially I was ALL over the place with every banner that I ever made and with anything that anyone asked me for even when I didn't want to make it. I always felt it wasn't the right move, but it took time for me to figure out what was the right move, which was to brand and focus.

KIM:

I opened DLK on October 1, 2014. I focused mostly on children's clothing and a few toys but have expanded into a fun collection of modern housewares and decor!

Fresh messages in all that glitters are the specialty of The Bannerie.

Fresh messages in all that glitters are the specialty of The Bannerie.

3. How did you get the word out about your shop?

EMILY:

After my first baby was born, I was a stay-at-home mom, loving every moment, but I felt that I needed a challenge. I decided that I would create a painting-a-day and sell the paintings in my Etsy shop! Back then, Etsy was a much smaller place. I also blogged every day, showing my work to my natural market and reaching a few new people. This circle grew and became something small, but very supportive.  

LACY:

I began spreading the word about Madre Beads on Instagram. For the first few months, I gave sneak peeks that I hoped would lure customers in. I think the anticipation really got people excited!

Find fabulous wooden beads like these at Lacy's new store, Madre Beads.

Find fabulous wooden beads like these at Lacy's new store, Madre Beads.

GILIT:

Definitely though my blog and Instagram. That plus Pinterest are my biggest referrers,

Free social media is a small business owner's best friend!

KIM:

Instagram was my support system and has become my best way to reach customers. Having a consistent aesthetic and being authentic has always been important to me there.

 

5. What's the best advice you can give to entrepreneurs considering starting a shop?

KIM:

Start small with inventory. It's better to sell out than it is to sit on it. And breathe... being an entrepreneur really requires passion and dedication, but it's really an awesome experience if you can keep it fun.

EMILY:

The best advice I was given as a young artist, counting every single penny: Invest in photography.  You can do it yourself, and you can totally DIY good styling, but invest time and thought in the execution and money in a good camera.  Photography sells online. 

Give your work the credit it deserves! 

LACY:

Plan way in advance and do your absolute best. I have started other small business before, on a whim, with no plan or purpose in site. As you can imagine, those businesses didn't do so hot. With Madre Beads, I took my time. I did research. I learned from my mistakes. I got feedback from friends. I made surveys and asked questions. I worked hard to develop my brand, even before I began making all of my products. I'm always putting myself in the customer's shoes.

"If I saw this photo, would I like it?" "Would I buy this?" Would I pin this?" "Would I give this as a gift?"

GILIT:

JUST DO IT! It's so easy to get caught in the planning and research stage, but go for it! You don't even need to publicize it right away. Take your time, get it set up, and slowly start spreading the word. The more you do it, the more confident you will feel (hopefully!)

Also, be prepared to work hard. It's not like being your own boss means you get to stop and have coffee whenever you want, it means you are in charge of EVERYTHING.

Even if it feels like you don't have a minute to breathe, or you won't be at your best, remember that you have to take care of yourself first and foremost.


Thanks so much, Lacy, Emily, Kim, and Gilit!! I loved hearing the origins of some of my favorite shops.

What advice would you offer?

xoxo, MJ



Emily Jeffords: 12 bloggers

The final four of the 12 Bloggers of Christmas (an annual tradition on Pars Caeli) are the ones to watch for 2015. I'm highlighting some of their goals and new adventures for the new year. If you're not already following them, check out their sites for beautiful and inspirational posts.

   I've blessed to call Emily my friend. She's a talented painter, writer, photographer, and mother. She has an energy and a peace that come through in her  blog  and her  artwork . And it's contagious in all the best ways. She turned 2014 on its head with her commission and series work. Be sure to follow her on  Instagram  to see works in progress and to hear about shop sales first.

 

I've blessed to call Emily my friend. She's a talented painter, writer, photographer, and mother. She has an energy and a peace that come through in her blog and her artwork. And it's contagious in all the best ways. She turned 2014 on its head with her commission and series work. Be sure to follow her on Instagram to see works in progress and to hear about shop sales first.


Beautiful Hello has changed so much in the last year.  I’ve begun blogging a lot less but writing more meaningful and thoughtful articles. My hope is for Beautiful Hello to be a place for people to get to know me and my artwork, but also to be a huge resource for artists and creatives. I talk a lot about creativity and entrepreneurship  and the philosophy behind why we do what we do. I write when I’m really feeling it, and it’s so much fun!!


If you're looking for a great resource, check this out.

One of my favorite gift guides features only hand makers, independent artists, small shops… beautiful and quality goods that are sustainable and meaningful. Art can be so hard to buy for someone else because of the price tag, and this list takes that concern out off the table.


What blogger would you like to send a little extra love to?

I'd like to hug for joy Ez Pudewa, writer of Creature Comforts Blog (which is TOTALLY beautiful and wonderful).  Ez listened to her passions, allowed them to shift and grow, and has decided to move away from blogging 100% and into the sweetest business with her daughter, Kaia.  They launched Petit Pippin last year, and it’s totally and completely adorable. 

Go Out on that Limb: Alt SLC Reps
Photo via Justin Hackworth Photography

Every time I look at this picture, I grin. I grin that big, full-face, cheek-aching grin as seen above (me in stripes). I remember this moment vividly as my new pals and I sipped cocktails on the roof of (just to name drop here) Omnimedia, AKA Martha Stewart's HQs. This was a day in June 2013 known as AltNYC, and it was 24 hours of amazingness in NYC that changed the trajectory of this little blog.

Those ladies - Emily, Paige, Theresa, Ellen - are my people. They are the kind of fountains of spunk, creativity, and heart that you want to bottle up and take with you everywhere. We had a grand adventure in NYC. We were all incredibly appreciative of the opportunities that Alt Summit laid before us, and we had a few (million) ideas on how to make this goodness happen again...

To make a long series of emails, excited phone calls, and FB exchanges succinct, I gathered this group together (+ one Sarah of Sarah Hearts!) to build on an idea I had. If you've spent any time here at Pars Caeli, you know I am all about community and lifting each other up - and we translated that into a kickin' proposal that we titled Alt Ambassadors. We sent it off with a wing and a prayer (and a whole lot of "please, please, please") in August.

Fast forward ----> New Year's Eve. Ellen sends me a very exciting text that she's received an email from Gabrielle (cofounder of Alt) that Gabrielle would like to welcome us to AltSLC as Alt Representatives.

WHHHHHAATTTTTTT!

Sorry - disbelief, shock, and sheer joy jammed my neurons and made me unable to think. I had a whole lot of "did that just happen" moments, and then we got the gals together to figure out details. And here's the skinny:

Ellen, Emily, Paige, and I will be acting as Alt Representatives during the SLC conference. We'll be offering the warmth of the collaborative spirit of Alt and connecting new and experienced bloggers, answering questions, and being the ladies you can turn to when you have THAT ridiculous question that you really don't want to have to ask someone else like: where do I pin my business card or where are the sponsors I want to see? It's an incredible opportunity for the four of us, and we are honored to take on this new role. We'll be assisting speakers and greeting creatives in each breakout session. If you are headed to the conference, please come find us - we want to meet you and give you a hug (and tell you that, yes, that outfit is just the right look for the day, you are brilliant).

To get that community vibe going, please follow the Pinterest board that I've started for AltSLC. This board will definitely evolve in the next days to include all the speakers, sponsors, and attendees we can find! We hope it can be an amazing resource for you and also all the others you want to connect with during the conference. All of the Alt Reps can pin to the board so feel welcome to grab any of us to get yourself pinned! I've preloaded about 75 of us that I could find...maybe you're already there... go check!

 And, well, here's the moral of the story for me.

If you have an idea, or if you have a gem of an inkling of an idea, go after it. Try it. Connect with others who can make it happen! Sometimes crazy, amazing things can happen when innovative, intelligent people are listening.

2014 is going to be the year of going after your dreams or thinking up those dreams that you've been pushing off to the side for way too long now.

Please forgive all of the exclamation points in this post!!! I am pumped about this opportunity to work alongside so many people that I respect and admire - and also I get to go to some drop-dread awesome parties in the mix. Wahooo!

xoxo, MJ

P.S. If you're interested in following our journeys in this new experience, follow the hashtag #altrep, because it will likely make you laugh and we are all over making up hashtags. (Runner up hashtag name? AltSaltShakers)

P.P.S. Today's #30Sketch goes with it all: