Boutique Karma

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Treasured “Coffee and Donuts” May 13, 2011

Welcome to a delicious treasury by the wonderful Celia of GlitzGlitter:

‘Coffee and Donuts’ by GlitzGlitter


Industrial Salvaged DONUTS …

$850.00

French Press Coffee Love Ori…

$35.00

The scent of rain – Fine art…

$30.00

Latte for your thoughts -ca…

$30.00

Vintage California Modern Sa…

$8.00

Tea and Cake – Print

$18.00

vintage 1940s PEKOE FOR 4 te…

$10.00

Vanilla Honey Cappuccino Soa…

$5.50

chocolate chips cookie

$9.00

Cuppa 3-Balm Gift Pack

$10.75

Big Black Cardigan

$125.00

silver flower bordered glass…

$12.50

vintage mutzig framont coffe…

$37.00

caffeine necklace – an elega…

$85.00

Reusable Coffee Sleeve – Str…

$5.75

Bun in the Oven Baby Shower …

$22.00

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

 

Link Love – Crafting in Color Street Team May 1, 2010

As a seller on a few different venues I have the wonderful experience of being a part of some excellent teams. Today I want to share with you the Crafting in Color Etsy team.  This team boasts of bringing some color to the Etsy world (which is sometimes quite taupe). Monthly we have a theme challenge, we support each other through tweets, Facebook, a google group and other fun ways (last week we had a mini Treasury East challenge). Our blog now has just shy of 300 followers (and that isn’t counting people who regularly stop by). I love this team and enjoy all the connections I’ve made with the members. With this team I feel I’ve found a great supportive base and love promoting all their gorgeous items.

Do you craft in color? Maybe you should stop by and look into becoming a member!

Are you a lover of all things handmade and love a splash of color? Stop by and see what the team has to offer and while you are at it maybe vote in one of our challenges (my stuff is BoutiqueKarma *Wink*)

Here’s a glimpse of what the CIC team (crafting in color) has on their blog:

Crafting in Color Wheel - April 30th 2010

Treasury East Challenge - Voting ends Tuesday May 4th. Winner wins bragging rights!

May Theme Challenge - Pets! All team members are welcome to submit an entry into the contest. Winners win an Etsy mini on the sidebar for the month of June.

 

Biz Works – Determining my Core Values April 22, 2010

Last week I missed my 3rd installment of my Lounge of Commerce 7 days to Awesome weekly feature – did you miss it? Did you notice I was MIA? Well over the past week since I missed my feature I’ve been thinking about it and feeling bad that I dropped the ball. I work on each post for BK on the day it is to be posted, which is not how it should be done – most bloggers are days ahead if not weeks. I’ll be a procrastinator probably to the end.. this is my Achilles heel.

So here we are on determining my core values – Beth of the Lounge warns not to be phony and to be true to. She gave a huge list of different values and asked to circle the ones we hold true to our own values. Here are the one’s that I felt reflected me (in no particular order):

Accessibility, Community, Honesty, Loyalty, Nurturing, Pleasure, Personal Growth, Beauty, Pride, Variety, Earth friendly,  Simplicity, Sincerity, Support, Tradition,

Now I’m going to use these words (or some of them) in a series of statements that reflect the intrinsic values of Boutique Karma:

1. I believe in offering a variety or items of beauty, while nurturing a customer base through accessibility, honesty and support.

2. I believe in Personal Growth while continuing in family traditions of sewing and quilting.

3. I believe in taking pleasure and pride in my work.

Words left out: community, earth friendly.

I believe in a sense of community on many levels: I shop local whenever possible, and over the past year my local has grown to a world wide market of some fabulous sellers. My twitter group has also become very much a part of my virtual community. It is very important to me, and I just couldn’t fit it in.

Earth friendly – this is also a very important core value of mine. However, I could have put it in my core values, but I honestly feel that sporting a reusable sleeve may be eco friendly, but purchasing that coffee in a disposable cup daily is not very friendly. It goes against the same value I would be touting. I love them because they are cute, fashionable, eye-catching and as a side note better than the cardboard or double cupping.

I feel that I am running my business in line with these values: I am striving to improve my knowledge of my craft, I push myself personally to better myself, I feel that I communicate and try to cultivate a connection with other artisans and my customers. I offer a simplistic line of items with a huge variety of beautiful fabrics to choose from. I hope my ideal customer would appreciate and identify with my core values.

Are you a small biz? Have you checked out the Lounge of Commerce yet? Head over there and settle in and let me know what you’ve learned!

 

Link Love – VaBeachQuilter April 17, 2010

You have to love Kim of VaBeachQuilter, she is the guild master of the Artfire guild ‘Shops With Less Than (10) Sales,’ she runs a blog of the same name and tirelessly promotes members from this team via twitter, blogging, chatterbox threads, facebook fan page and various other means of promotion. She helps our smaller shops by pointing out ways that we may have overlooked to help get traffic come to our shops.

Aside from guild master and mentor she is also a brilliant quilter and business woman. She has sold a number of quilts for local MLB players and their family and even sold a custom quilt that was mentioned in an article by Seth Livingstone, a reporter for USA Today.

She lives her craft by working and teaching in a local Quilt shop. She’s been machine quilting for 10 years now, predominantly machine piecing, but she does some hand piecing as well.  Her items are all gorgeous, and let me tell you, there is NOTHING like snuggling up with a quilt while watching your favorite tv show or even better (if you are lucky enough) to sleep under one at night. As the daughter of a quilter, I can really appreciate all the hard work that goes into one.

Kim a wide assortment of other items:  table runners, notekeepers, wallets, gift/business card cases, hand-pieced wool items, baby/toddler items, and so much more. I just love her adorable VeeBee Creatures.

Here’s a selection of some of the goodies you will find in her shop – please stop by and show her some link love!

Crazy Log Cabin Quilt

Plum Centerpiece/Placemat

Olive Floral City Quilted Tote

Vee Bee Creature

 

Montage Monday – Maple Syrup April 12, 2010

Sugaring Off at the Sucrerie de la Montagne in Rigaud Quebec

Yesterday I enjoyed a fabulous time at Sucrerie de la Montagne in Rigaud Quebec. It was a timeless Quebecois experience of traditional yumminess: French Canadian pea soup, fresh baguette, sausage, Canadian back bacon, tortiere pie, omelette, sausage, ham, mashed potatoe, pancakes and a maple sugar pie. Did I mention there was a pitcher of pure maple syrup on the table and tire sur la neige (maple taffy on snow) outside?? Ok, there wasn’t any snow left on the ground and it was on crushed ice, but it’s always a fan favorite! There was a traditional live music, my daughter danced, and there was a horse drawn hay ride around the property. It was so pretty and fun, we have a great time at this location every year when we go.

Today is items that remind me of my maple syrup induced hangover, all the beauty and aroma minus the calories:

Maple Oval Lip Balm - One Tube by longwinterfarm

2 oz - CANADIAN MAPLE - BLACK Flavoured Loose Leaf Tea by IvyKeep

Maple Syrup Tree of Life Necklace by oneSeptember

MAPLE Bowl by Tellicoturnings

VANILLA MAPLE PECAN 20OZ SOY BLEND CANDLE by LLcandlesandgifts

 

Crafty Friday – April Showers April 9, 2010

Bumbershoot. Earrings. by clevergirl

april showers may bring flowers by calobee

PLAYING IN THE PUDDLES - Red White Umbrella - Nickel Free Stud Earrings by TheFlibbertigibbet

Reusable Coffee Cuff - Spring Showers by boutiquekarma

Rain Cloud Artisan Sterling Silver Necklace Labradorite Iolite by popnicute

April Showers Letterpress Notes, Set of 5 by paperlovelypress

Puddle Jumping - Guinea Pig with Umbrella and Raincoat Art Print - 8 x 10 by WhenGuineaPigsFly

 

Biz Works – Week 2 – My Ideal Customer April 8, 2010

So my week 2 (or your day 2) of the Lounge of Commerce’s “7 days to Awesome”  has me looking inwards to find my ‘ideal’ customer. The people I see myself reaching for with my products. For the sake of this exercise I’m looking mainly at my Cafe brand of the Boutique Karma line, although I’m sure I could stretch most of it to my Spa line as well.

Who is it that I see buying my stuff? Why does it matter? Why not just put myself out there to everyone? Someone has to bite right?? Ummm… not really. If I spread myself to thin I may never be able to make a connection with the people looking for my mug huggers, coasters or reusable coffee cuffs.

So with Beth from the Lounge of Commerce and her fabulous list of questions I ended up with the following notes about my ideal customer:

She is between 20-35 years old, of any marital status. She lives in the suburbs with a 25-45 minute commute she makes a modest income with a little bit of wiggle room for some perks for herself. She probably spends 30 -45 minutes online in the evening checking her email, Facebook, digg and gossip websites. For fun, she enjoys going out with the girls for coffee or dinners – to catch up or escape the kids for some ‘me’ time.

Why would she want my product? She likes having a little slice of personal heaven – Her morning cup of coffee is hers, to sit and enjoy it in the morning with a fun Mug Hugger is another way of showing that there are certain things in life that are still all about her. By stopping through the drive through for her regular double-double she slips her cup through her coffee sleeve, she keeps her fingers cool while driving with that hot, hot coffee and when she gets to the office it serves as a fun accessory setting her apart from others. Yes, there is the eco-friendly issue of the coffee sleeve (she likes to brag about that), but if truth were told it serves more a style thing, let’s be honest, if it were all about saving the earth she would pour her coffee in a thermal tumbler instead of burning the gas in the drive through and wasting paper product daily on the takeout cup.

What excites her? Well, she enjoys taking time to herself, it could  be going for a walk, sitting on the balcony with her feet up reading a book, bubble baths, massages.. if she’s a mother these moments are few and far between, so she takes it very seriously. What scares her? She hates how as she gets older her responsibilities change and she finds it much more difficulty to find that time for herself.  This is why the moments when sipping her coffee or driving in the car are so precious to her.

Aside for online here are 10 places she may enjoy shopping:

gift shop
at a small coffee shop boutique
health food shop
farmer’s market
small indie shops
chapters indigo
the center kiosks of the mall
garage sales – you never know when you’ll find that gem
consignment shops

oh should I add she may be a compulsive shopper for low ticket items, my cafe line of products falls right into her fun budget of $10 or less (in fact even with the shipping included)

Aqua Reuseable Coffee Cuff in Wishing Flower

 

Biz Works – Week 1 – My Brand Personality April 1, 2010

Looking over the past year that I’ve been with Etsy (yes this year has FLOWN) I’ve changed, updated and worked on branding, but only to my tastes and with very little thought to fashioning a ‘brand.’ Just making cutesy icons and banners that I liked the style of. Reading over the ‘Taking Stock’ section of the ‘7 Days to Awesome‘ ebook I’ve realized the following things:

– my blog color scheme is cold, it does not reflect my personality or the feel of my products. My products are homey, cozy, feel good products and the blog works against that energy

– I need to work on getting some sewn in labels for my goods for a few reasons: brand identity, professionalism, and to allow customers to later find me again

– I have no cohesive branding: I am a coffee cup, a lone tree, a crayon roll up – I have to get it together.

– I want to ditch the tree banner & avatar (having problems with that one – my coding is for the coffee cup but the tree is haunting me on my blog)

– My packaging has to change: I want to use PLA Eco friendly flap bags, if I want to promote many of my products as eco-friendly, they should be packaged as such

– My shop is becoming to diverse in products, I want to separate my cafe line from my spa eye pillows into two different shops

… and all of that just from reading the first part of the chapter!

Now I suggest you head over to the lounge to play along for the next section: Homework! Beth put it all together in a really fun Glamour magazine style ‘who are you’ kind of questionnaire to get you thinking of your branding. So fun.. here’s what I’ve found out:

I love the color green, and most of my favorite places, vacations, and hobbies involve escape/comforts, and my favorite shopping place is fabric shops. How do those things come into my branding? Well – on my business cards my Boutique Karma title text is all in green and it should be as well in my banner. My products are all comfort/escape products. What better than the comfort of a cup of coffee in the morning or escaping a rough day with the relaxation brought upon by an aromatherapy eye pillow? The fabric shopper in me chooses the fabulous fabrics you see everyday in my shop – beautiful, trendy, gorgeous fabric. All of which I wish to keep.

The actual homework section of the chapter involves giving your company a distinct personality –

I am at a loss on how to describe what follows, I just urge you to check it out. I’m a little shy to share with your my scribblings and brainstorming. Maybe I’ll take a photo. All I can say is that I’m seeing my brand clearer than ever and if I were to describe it as a place it would be:  Central Perk Coffee shop – comfort amongst ‘friends’.

 

Crafty Friday – a touch of the Irish part 1 March 12, 2010

I’m a huge fan of St. Patrick’s day and used to make sure to be at the parade every year. Even in bad weather, or cold conditions I’d be there. Since having wee ones I haven’t been back as often. I think the last time I was there, my husband and I were part of the parade and I had a wee one in my belly. Walking down the street, handing out candy was a difficult waddle let me tell you.

This year on parade day I’ll be throwing my little guy his 2nd birthday party – sadly I’ll be missing it again. I’ll be showing my colors over the next week and flaunting my Irish heritage with green clothing, accessories and constantly sporting my Mug Huggers and coffee sleeve in my St. Patrick themed fabric.

While surfing through hundreds of items for this edition I found so many items that I wanted to showcase. So I decided to split up this ‘Touch of the Irish’ edition into two parts. I’ll post some more on Montage Monday. Enjoy – I know I did!

Jean Organizer Magnet- St Patrick Shamrock by sesideco

LUCK Clover - Scrabble Tile Pendant - Fun Affordable Gift - Inspirtational by jessejanes

Green Heart Felted Soap - Lavender Green by therainbowroom

Lucky Green Clover Shamrock Tea Cup Greeting Card by shesbattydesigns

ST. PATRICKS DAY SALE --- Silver Clover Necklace by DistinQue

Olive Floral City Quilted Tote by vabeachquilter

Happy - Go - Lucky Hairband. PERFECT FOR PADDY'S DAY by TanyaMac

NEW Nagy in apple green -medium- by bayanhippo

Coffee Cuff - Lucky Clover by BoutiqueKarma

0-3 Months Boutique Baby Pixie Newborn Infant Emerald Green POLKA DOT Hand Knit Hat by deusprovidebit

Lastly – you must check out this last body butter if only for its fabulous & unique description. I had a lot of fun when I read it!

Irish Promise - amazing body butter for St. Patrick's day by swanmountainsoaps