Creative Business Tips

31 October 2013

Product Prep for Christmas

We are officially on the downhill towards Christmas with just under two months to go. Although, for creatives taking part in the multitude of markets from now until then – it might feel like the uphill towards the end of the year! In the past I have shied away from seasonal products. I love Christmas, but not the kitsch that’s associated with it. I did learn however, that there are ways to add some seasonal cheer to your product range, without decking the bells with boughs of holly. In today’s business related post I discuss a few options for you to consider. If you have some time and energy it isn’t too late to embrace the festive season through your creative business.

A Few Tips for adding Christmas Cheer to your Products:

Don’t over invest:
You might want to rush out and stock up on all things seasonal, but don’t over invest. Decide on a select few items or products to add a seasonal feel to.

Look at trends and adapt them adequately:
Throughout the year you have watched trends develop and in turn introduced some of these trends into your product line. Don’t ignore these when adapting your products for seasonal sales. Take a look at shapes and colours and see how these can be adapted for a seasonal twist.

Create a seasonal version of a bestseller:
If it sold well during the rest of the year - why not add a small update. Could it be an updated colour, pattern or detail, if so update the product and sell it as a limited edition piece.

Market the items adequately:
Market items as seasonal or for Christmas. This way buyers are aware of this addition to your product range and are more likely to buy it in the lead up to December 25th.

It doesn’t have to be traditionally Christmas inspired or kitsch:
Remember seasonal can be a shape, pattern or colour update. It need not be green and red.

Start early next year:
Add it to your goal list to keep your eyes open for inspiration which could lead to next year’s seasonal bestsellers.

What if I'm afraid to try these ideas?
Make items to order, but be aware of your turnaround time.
Think of a seasonal product to add to your current range that you can create for special orders. You can create a sample and take orders accordingly. You can control the quantities you are willing to take orders for. It means you can ask for a deposit to cover costs and not take away from your other earnings.

Perhaps you feel like the ship really has sailed and the time for designing and creating new products is over. 

Here are a few ideas to add some cheer anyway:

A gift wrapping service or limited edition packaging:
Package sold items in Christmas or seasonal bags or add a gift tag to existing products. These can be added as a freebie or charged for at a small additional fee.

A novelty freebie:
Add something that is seasonally inspired for free. A small candy cane or loop of beautiful Christmas ribbon.

A limited discount:
Offer a special discount to inspire early shopping for Christmas.

Group deal or product pairing:
Pair products together or package them as a special Christmas deal. For example pencils with notebooks or gift cards or tags with products.

Show how current items can be used:
Take styled photos of how your current products can be adapted to be creatively gift wrapped or used. For example if you make small porcelain bowls show them being used for Christmas pudding or star earrings being worn for Christmas celebrations or what about lovely stationery packaged as a craft kit.

Good luck! I hope you have insanely fantastic seasonal sales!
Thank you so much for reading - I really appreciate each and everyone of you!

Image via Tiny Me (be sure to take a look as it is a lovely download).

Happiness through Creativity

29 October 2013

Staying Positive
There is a great deal of stress and negativity in the creative world at the moment as we see ideas being taken, people picking sides and creatives being forced into battle. Having said that, I just wanted to share two beautiful pieces of inspiration to remind us about originality and also to stay true to why we do what we do - because we love it! Sending some positive vibes out there to those who are locked in battle, as well as to those who feel defeated or low! Stay focused on the good and stay creative. Today could be a good day to pass on some encouragement, give a compliment or say an extra special thank you - you might just take the first step towards changing the world or at least someone's day!

I have a great new business related post ready for tomorrow and don't forget you can still enter the Skinny laMinx lookbook giveway. Also... be sure to sign up for the Blogger Secret Santa on Sunflowers and Spears. Have a wonderful and super creative Tuesday!

Stylish Halloween

26 October 2013

Do you celebrate Halloween and is 'celebrate' the right word? In South Africa it hasn't always been a big deal. As kids, my friends and I watched far too many American movies and we convinced ourselves to attempt to get dressed up, but the offerings of canned food, R5 coins and many an unanswered door didn't quite fulfil our American trick or treat dream! It seems that Halloween is slowly, but surely creeping to our shores. We are more connected to the rest of the world than ever before and I feel as if Halloween is on steroids this year as the influence spills into TV shows, and everywhere I look. If you can't beat them - join them! With this in mind I thought I would look for some stylish Halloween DIY's to banish the kitsch and embrace a bit of the spooky!
Your Halloween DIY List:
12 Stylish Halloween Projects
DIY Chevron Pumpkins
DIY Faux Milk Glass Pumpkins
Inspiration for Halloween Sweetie Table
Free Printable Halloween Tags and Labels
Halloween Inspired Drinks Trolley Arrangement

Durban Digital Day

24 October 2013

Have you got your ticket?
I am really excited to be taking part in Durban Digital Day on the 31st October at Colombo! I will be part of the blogger panel which includes eight of us for a Q&A, plus tip session. The day is set to be fantastic and full of learning. I am looking forward to really listening and applying the teachings and tips from some of the other speakers. If you are in Durban and in creative business or anything that involves social media and being online - then don't miss out. Read more here and see the agenda here. Tickets are for sale here.

Skinny laMinx Lookbook & GIVEAWAY - CLOSED

22 October 2013

A Colourful Celebration
Skinny laMinx needs no introduction around here! Heather and her wonderful team have recently launched their new lookbook for 2013/2014 and it's a work of art. The layout, products and images are inspired and beautiful to look at. My favourite theme is Acid Pastel, as I'm sure you might have guessed. The sweet pastel tones are sharpened by zesty acid brights and the result is a colourful celebration. I really love the High Heels Postcard Set and pretty much everything else on offer.

Skinny laMinx is celebrating the lookbook in style and giving away a hamper of Acid Pastel inspired products. The winner can look forward to receiving:
2 x 50x50 Cushion Covers: Solid Orla in Strawberry and Woodpile in Spruce
These bright beauties add up to a total of R600 and are sure to bring some summery cheer to your home.

  • Take a look at the Skinny laMinx lookbook and tell me which item in the Acid Pastel range is your favourite.
  • For an extra entry share the giveaway on Twitter / Facebook - don't forget the link to the giveaway and please @ me (NadiavdMescht)
  • Don't forget to leave a comment.
The winner is Tana Goosen! Congrats! Please get in touch to claim your prize. 

This is a local giveaway (South Africa) and entries close on Tuesday 5th November. Happy browsing and good luck!

Must-Save List

21 October 2013

Things that are worth saving for...
I am currently saving for a little year-end break, so no online shopping allowed! I spotted a few things including some faraway finds and a few local lust-haves that are extra difficult to resist. These are perfect items to inspire you to save your pennies for a bit of year end spoiling, alternatively it might make your credit card cry! Sorry in advance!

1. > Flow Magazine: Did you buy the issue of Ideas Magazine that included Flow? It's a beautiful magazine with a variety of different stories, features and inspirational images. See more on their site.

2. > Joie d' Vivre Camera Strap: In my case I need the new camera to warrant the beautiful strap, but that's for another day and another list. These locally created straps are different and beautiful. Visit their site for the details.

3. > Peek a Boo Ribbon: Ebony and Ivory never disappoint and this ribbon is the perfect selection of ice cream shades. I simply must-add it to my wrapping supplies! At only R40 for five metres - this is one we can buy sooner rather than later.

4. > Masking Tape from Marks: Doolally Daisy sells this tape from Mark's in Japan. I do love a quality tape!

5. > Paper Pastries Pen Roll: Love is an understatement for how I feel about pretty much everything from Paper Pastries! This roll is the ideal letter writing companion. From what I recall they don't ship to South Africa, but I could be wrong.

6. > Monocle Daily Diary: This diary will surely make 2014 a wonderful year! It's another product from Mark's in Japan for Monocle and the minty green one is my favourite.

7. > Elephant Shoe I Love You Box: Stationery in the post...every month! Yes please! This is such an awesome idea.

8. > MT Casa Tape: I love this 50mm width for crafting rather than decor. Washibug has a few rolls for special request orders. 

I hope you have a great Monday!

Joburg Workshop Dates & Details

17 October 2013

Hooray, I am coming to see you!
Pop the champagne and throw the confetti! Jozi, it's finally your turn for the workshops! I am so excited to be bringing both the Beginners and Intermediate workshops to you. I have partnered with a range of wonderful sponsors and I am working to add even more!

The workshops are aimed at creative business owners in a variety of fields from photography and design to crafters or even bloggers. If you have your own business and want to learn and prosper, then the workshops are ideal for you. The topics range from social media to creative marketing ideas and there are two types of workshops – one for beginners and one for intermediates. The Beginner’s Workshop is ideal for business owners who would like to learn the basics. The Intermediate Workshops are for those who are in the industry and on the right track, but would perhaps like step it up a notch.

The workshops stated in Durban with sold out dates and an amazing array of creatives joining in. All the past attendees have given wonderful reviews. Creatives who attend can look forward to a day of learning with practical examples and case studies of successful businesses. The day is the ideal platform for networking within a creative environment. All the courses include a delicious lunch, snacks, a really lovely goodie bag and a host of giveaways from wonderful brands.

Let's not delay - here are the dates and details...

Date for Beginner's Workshop:
Thursday 21st November 2013
*scroll down for course topics

Dates for Intermediate Workshops:
Tuesday 19th November 2013
Saturday 23rd November 2013
*scroll down for course topics

Venue: Clico Boutique Hotel - 27 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg

Times: 09h00 - 17h00

Cost: R1000 per full-day workshop.

To book your spot: Email me ( or call me 072 093 7730. Please add which workshop you wish to attend, along with which payment option suits you.

It is going to be a wonderful few days! Don't miss out!

How do I know I am a beginner? 
If you know social media is out there, but you don't understand its relevance or how it ties into your creative business.  If you find Twitter to be a mystery and think Facebook is annoying, then this is the course for you.  Sign up to get a user-friendly understanding of social media and creative business.

The Facts:
The focus will be on getting you acquainted with social media and how each platform is different, as well as how it works. We will cover Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, along with the difference between a blog and a website. I will also touch on creative and useful tips to progress and grow your business.

What does your hard earned money get you?

Creative Goal Setting:  How to achieve your business goals and dreams by setting them out in a manageable and measurable way.

The Importance of Branding:  Why is it essential for your creative business and why you should invest in it.

Social Media:  The difference between the various platforms and how to use them for your business, including content and tone along with why they are important. We will break them down from logging in, to actually using them in a practical way.

Online Planning: How to plan what to say and when to say it or share it on social media.

Blogging:  An explanation of what blogging is and what its relevance is to your business.

Question and Answer Session:  A time for you to chat to me about your problems, new ideas or even plans for your business.

Resource List:  My preferred suppliers and how they can assist you.

In addition you will receive a delicious two course lunch, snacks, the chance to mingle and make new friends as well as network. A beautiful goodie bag is also included!

How do I know I am intermediate? 
You already have a blog or understanding of social media. You enjoy being online and want to grow your business even further.

The Facts:
This workshop is aimed at creatives who are ready to expand, grow their business and blog readership. You would like to get an even better understanding of the various tools available to you.

What does your hard earned money get you?

Creative Goal Setting:  How to breakdown and achieve your personal and business goals.

Creative Branding:  Tying your brand and business together as one. We cover the essentials of what creates a good brand.

Blogging Tips:  Planning, scheduling and basic creative tips for putting posts together.

Social Media Tips:  We will focus on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and how these can work towards generating blog readers and in turn more sales and opportunities.

Creative Marketing Ideas:  Fun, cost effective ways to generate interest in your business or blog.

How to Approach the Press:  Want to have your products or blog featured in magazines? I will give you the tips you need, from what to say to how you to say it.

Question and Answer Session:  A time for you to chat to me about your problems, new ideas or even plans for your business.

Resource List:  My preferred suppliers and how they can assist you.

In addition you will receive snacks, an amazing two course lunch, the chance to mingle and make new friends as well as network. A goodie bag bursting with wonderful surprises will also be waiting for you!

I look forward to meeting you, helping you and offering you an amazing day of learning!

I also host workshops in Durban and in 2014 I will be in hosting them in Cape Town. Email me for details or to be added to the mailing list.


14 October 2013

You might have seen that things are in the process of changing around here. Just a heads up that I am working on a makeover, which I am sure is quite apparent when glancing to the right. Posting will be back to normal soon! In the meantime I hope you approve!

The Life of Torie Jayne

11 October 2013

Inspired Organisation

Torie Jayne looks like one of those girls who wakes up bright and early with a cheerful song in her heart, you know those organised types who have all their Christmas shopping done and never run late! Her incredible attention to detail in her home is so inspiring and when I need to tidy up, clean or reorganise, her photos always add a bit of elbow grease inspiration to my efforts! Enjoy these lovely snippets of her home and visit her blog and Flickr for loads more. Happy Friday!

101 Moments of Joy & Inspiration

09 October 2013

A Bright & Happy Book
In today's post we find some beautiful inspiration via a book called 101 Moment of Joy and Inspiration by Meredith Gaston. I think at this time in the year we really need to top-up on some happiness and encouragement - I know I do! Inspiring words coupled with bright and happy illustrations spread across many pages! You can't help, but feel joyful with these cute characters staring back at you. Meredith believes 'Our thoughts shape our worlds' and the book has been created to cultivate joy within your own life! You can read more about the book via this Q&A or delve inside the book here.

Lark Store: Australia

08 October 2013

Swoon & Covet
I've been following Lark Store on Instagram for a while. I recently decided that I needed to see what this beautiful brand was all about! Well... 'OMG' is the appropriate reaction! They have delightfully delightful things for sale! The shop was started in Australia and is currently moving around and has 'popped-up' in Melbourne's Fitzroy. Their website is also the perfect example of what online design should look like! I won't babble on any longer, but please go and take a look at their exciting and beautiful product selection!

This Weekend

04 October 2013

My Plans...
If you love all things creative and beautiful then you really can take your pick this weekend! The weekend kicks off with the miss+meisie popup event at Colombo. Expect to see a range of wonderful objects, art and don't forget to join the workshops! Read more on their Facebook page.

Saturday is jam-packed with I heart Market, the second day of the miss+meisie event and the launch of the I Love Pop-Up Wedding Fair! Wow - how exciting!  I will be popping into each, but I will also be working at the wedding fair. I am helping out Woodnewz and I will have a few of my corsage brooches for sale too (just for those who miss their I heart Market fix). If you are in the area on Sunday, do come and say hello! *Details listed on poster above.

Motex Label Maker Giveaway CLOSED

03 October 2013

Hooray! A Giveaway! Giveaway is now closed.

You might recall my Motex label maker review last month and I know some of you subsequently invested in your own pink piece of crafty heaven. Love Letters Stationery is kindly giving one away! How exciting! I found some lovely pictures via Pinterest to share a few of the fun things you can do with the Motex should you win!

  • Please like the Love Letter Stationery Facebook Page
  • Once that is done, please leave a comment telling me what you are going to label with the Motex label maker.
  • Please Note: Comments on my blog are moderated, once posted it won't appear until I have approved it. Just making sure you know as often I get told that the comments don't work.
  • This is a local giveaway and entries close on the 10th October.
Good Luck!

Pretty images via:
Dubbeldjes en Kwartjes
Post Fabriek

The winner is Megs Hartwig! Congratulations! I am sure you are going to treasure this prize! Thanks so much to all of you who entered and of course a HUGE thanks to Love Letters Stationery for the prize!

Hello October

01 October 2013

A Pinch & a Punch for the 1st of the Month
I can't quite fathom that today is a new month! I am sure we all feel the same, the year is flying by! Yikes! During my creative business workshops, we discuss and learn about planning and mapping out creative ideas, blog posts and social media to ensure that you use your time wisely. Fathima from Happiness Is, creates these beautiful calendars each month and they are just perfect for getting started and ensuring you reach your business goals in October! Click here to download this cute and useful one. Happy planning and posting!