Another year, more changes!

Ok...so I've managed to let almost two years go by without posting to my blog!  I am so sorry!  Life has definitely been crazy in a good way since my last post.  The biggest change being I got married on New Year's Eve 2010!  And with that marriage has come more changes.

I left my position last week with my sister's business and will now be working with my husband full-time.  He is a tax preparer and has decided after several years of working for someone else, it was time to have his own office/business.  So after meeting me and realizing that I brought the marketing/encouragement/business knowledge he didn't seem to have to the table, he took the leap and we will officially open our business next week! Check us out on facebook at www.facebook.com/wellspringtaxservice if you are looking for fast, reliable tax preparation! We work with clients nationwide!

So with these changes, I have found myself getting back in to some of my old habits...such as jewelry designing and putting my marketing skills back to use!  I hope to get this blog back up and going a little more than I have in the past and also hope to help handmade businesses, such as yours, with business marketing reviews.  I'll share more details about this later, but when I offered them before I was overwhelmed with helping create/design new marketing materials for handmade businesses! 

For now you are up to date and I promise, I'm back and will be posting more often!  Thanks and have a very blessed and wonderful new year!


WOW...Long Time...No Posts! Will you forgive me?! :-)

I can't believe I haven't posted a blog since September of '09.  My apologies to all of you who are followers.  I never intended for the delay in posts to my blog, but a lot has happened the past few months...all of which has been good, but has kept me away from writing!  If you don't mind, I'll share a little of it with you and bring you up to date and share some thoughts about the direction of my blog!  :-)

At the end of September, my sister and brother-in-law approached me about coming back to work for them.  Their new business venture (one year old at the time) had taken off more than they expected and they found the need to hire help.  With having worked for my sister in previous years with her business (resume writing) and learning/knowing the new business venture from evenings of helping out when I could, I was their first choice when it came to thinking about hiring an employee again!  It happened at a great time for me because the current position I was in was becoming a headache for me and I wasn't enjoying the work anymore.  So when they called and asked if I was interested, I immediately said yes and found a new job doing what I enjoy doing....being creative, helping others, assisting businesses with marketing products/ideas and more!!  And being able to do that with family on a daily basis makes it even better!!  :-)

I continue to have my jewelry business and it is doing really well for me.  I did two celebrity gift opportunities last year and as a result, received another call a few weeks ago to provide 26 pieces of jewelry for the 2010 Oscar Nominees/Presenters who will be staying at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills during Oscar Week in a couple of weeks! My online store continues to do well for me and I enjoy the business as much as I ever have!!

The focus of my blog has always been about helping handmade businesses with marketing/advertising ideas. That will continue, but not on this blog.  I will be closing down this blog in a few weeks.  I encourage you to follow me at http://zonezmarketing.blogspot.com/.  I want to continue that focus...providing more of a general marketing/advertising direction for all business types.  With my current position with our family company, we work with small businesses every day on creating marketing materials, promotional products and much more and we are constantly staying current with trends and ideas that are the latest in helping your business stand out in a crowd.  

I hope that you still continue to follow me on my new blog and share it with others as a tool to help grow and find new ideas and ways to promote your business, whether big or small!  :-)  I appreciate you reading and following and hope my posts have been a help in some small way over the past few months.  Stay tuned for more to come and a new look to our blog in the next few days/weeks ahead!  

I would love your feedback/thoughts on the new changes and let me know if you have any questions or suggestions about topics you would like to see covered here!  

Many blessings and best of luck to each of you with your business endeavors!



Getting Ready for the Holiday Rush!!

The Holidays are rapidly approaching! For those of us in the handmade world, there's no time to waste! We need to make sure that we are ready for the upcoming rush of buyers who will start shopping with us via our on-line stores or visiting us at a local craft/art shows!

Below are a few tips that I try to do in starting my planning for the upcoming holiday rush. I thought I would pass this info along to you so that you can start your planning as well!

1. Sit down and think about what products you want to offer, especially those in the holiday line (if you offer themed products). If you've offered holiday themed items before and found them to go over well with your customers, be sure to offer those again. Also, be sure to create new holiday items for those who are return customers looking for something new!! Spend time on designing and creating these items...the extra time and attention to details in these items will be important to buyers since many of these items will be given as gifts to friends and family over the next few months!!

2. As always, market and advertise your business!! You can't wait until the middle of November or first part of December and try to get your business noticed for the holiday season. I am already getting requests and orders from people who are starting their buying early to help spread the cost of the holidays out and not get hit real hard with all the buying! START NOW with your holiday advertising and products! I bet if you take a look around at the big retailers, the Christmas sections are already starting to appear!! ;-)

3. If you don't offer gift certificates or gift cards, consider offering these! You can quickly make your own! I have found this to be a great addition to my store since some customers were having a hard time picking just the right jewelry out for their friends and family. The gift certificates allow them to give a gift, but allow the receiver to get something they want!

4. Make sure your store is stocked and ready with a big variety of items. More choices is always best this time of year!! Also, assure your customers that you can work with them to create the best gift and assure them that you can meet deadlines, etc., that they might have or need. Be flexible, patient and understanding of your customers. It will go a long way during the holiday season!! Also be sure to have plenty of shipping supplies on hand. Running out and delaying the shipping process during this time won't be good for your business.

5. Relax, have fun and try not to get overwhelmed and lose the spirit of the holidays! We know it is can be a difficult time of the year trying to keep up with everything and meeting customer demands. It is a stressful time for our customers as well in trying to find the perfect gift. Offering good customer service will no doubt win you a repeat customer.

The items listed above are just a small list of things you can do to get ready for the rush of holiday shoppers that are about to hit us! Getting prepared early will be a good gift to yourself!

Until next time...Blessings! ~ Dawn


Give To Get...Have You Considered It?

Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to provide 65 earring gift packs to be put in the celebrity gift bags for the world premiere of Tyler Perry's new movie "I Can Do Bad All By Myself," which will be in New York City next week. In case you aren't familiar with Tyler Perry's movies, he writes and produces his own material based off the character of Madea (who Tyler himself usually plays!). "Diary of A Mad Black Woman" is probably the best recognized movie he's created!

When I got the email from the PR agency handling the event and got their request, I was overwhelmed with excitement, but then overwhelmed with the task as I have had less than 48 hours to design, create and package all these gifts to ship in time to NY for the event!

In talking with some friends and colleagues, their immediate response is "how much are you getting paid for that?" And when I tell them nothing, they all but yell at me! But I'm completely content with it! Here's why...

I am getting the opportunity to put my jewelry in the hands of celebrities and some potentially amazing customers for a very small investment. I am also getting the opportunity to say that I've had my jewelry included in celebrity gift bags for a world premiere movie event. Both of these opportunities for some businesses will never happen or would cost businesses thousands of dollars! So why wouldn't I take this amazing opportunity and have fun with it and promote my business?! I'd be stupid if I didn't!

So if the chance to give your handmade goods ever comes up, take the opportunity!! Whether it is on a local scale for a charity auction or on a bigger scale like for a movie premier...take it! You don't have to do it all the time, but it does make for some great PR and usually only costs you a few dollars and some business cards!

Give a little to Get a little...consider it for some great PR for your business!!

Until next time....Blessings!! ~ Dawn


Facebook Does Make a Difference!

I had read several posts on various craft forums about using Facebook to help promote your business. I read good posts and bad posts. Still I wasn't sure if FB would do much for my jewelry business, but I thought I'd try it. It wasn't going to cost me anything and it was easy to use!

My on-line store is done through Etsy and recently they added a feature in which you can publish your new listing to your FB page instantly. I've been using this feature and it has really helped gain exposure to my jewelry. I have over 300 Facebook friends so when I add a new items to my store and then in turn publish that info to FB, I am getting another great advertising tool for FREE!

By adding my listings to my personal FB page as well as to my FB business page, I am creating more exposure for my jewelry. Since adding my links to my personal FB page, I have gained more sales and have opened my jewelry line to an entirely new audience that otherwise might not have seen my jewelry. Friends and family who didn't know I had a jewelry business now do and they in turn have been sharing my links with their friends and family!

So when someone asks me what I think about using FB for business, I say definitely use it. It has opened doors for my business and helped me reach more customers!

Let me know how using Facebook has helped your business! And if you want to add me as a friend on FB, feel free, the link is on the side of the blog!

Until next time...Blessings! ~ Dawn