Boutique Karma

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Tweaking Tuesday – Earth Day edition April 20, 2010

Ahhh.. lets take a break from my incessant ramblings about weight loss and efforts to get healthy this year (sol far non of it has helped at all). Lets take a few moments over our morning coffee to reflect on how we can tweak our habits in order to help mother earth – for ourselves, for our children and so on. Sometimes all it takes is little changes in our day-to-day lives (tweaks even) to make a huge difference. I’ll be honest here, there are many ‘green’ tweaks I can still do in my life, but over time I’m becoming more earth friendly.

Here are my top five tweaks for today and they are pretty easy too:

1. Stop buying individual servings sizes of food – this is a huge pollutant with all the extra packaging. Instead buy mini Tupperware (you know what I mean) or even eco-friendly reusable bags and portion it yourself.  You’ll even save money!

2. Enough with the plastic water bottles – I still see them everywhere and it drives me bananas: they are bad for the environment and you. Instead buy yourself a reusable plastic water bottle or a stainless canteen

3. Get out of your car to buy your morning coffee, especially if you are on your own. There is no need to run your car in the drive through lineup creating a lot of unneeded pollution just for a double double. (or god forbid you are one of those ordering a couple dozen donuts with specific types). Save the drive thru for the ones who need it. (I do when I have my two wee ones with me, but I’ll even skip my cup of coffee if the line is more than 1 deep)

4. Turn off the lights when you leave a room (tv too!), this will save a lot of energy. It should be a habit to develop, just flicking the switch. I’m not going to discuss those long-lasting lightbulbs here, because they also contain mercury which isn’t so eco-friendly.

5. Choose items with less packaging – putting the pressure on manufacturers to stop with the over packaging of our toys, food, everything. I know they all want to stand out on the shelves, but when I can fill my garbage and recycling bin after a children’s birthday party you have to admit things have gotten out of control!

What tweaks would you like to add?

Here are a few Eco-Friendly related items:

Reusable Sandwich Bag - Aqua Dots by MamaMade

Trees Cutlery Wrap by TheStraightStitch

Pretty Water Bottle - Patty Young Humming Birds White by PrettyNPreppy

Yum in a Cup - Knitted On-the-Go Cup Cozy by KnitStorm

Spotted Owl Mug Hugger by BoutiqueKarma

NEW Organic COFFEE VANILLA CINNAMON vegan all natural votive soybean candle pure essential oils eco friendly earthy spa aromatherapy by Lilsprout

Lilac glassine-lined MERCHANDISE BAGS, recycled content -- 4 3/4 x 6 3/4 -- bulk, 50 bags by greenBubble

Eco Friendly Seeded Soap Boxes by yummysuds

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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

 

Boutique Karma – Cafe Collection January 31, 2010

Spotted Owl

Over a year ago, when I first contemplated opening shop I was knitting (something that seems so far off recently), and I was making different colored coffee cuffs for my trips into the city. I was so excited by this idea that I wanted to share them, and when I saw the price sellers were offering on Etsy I decided this idea was ludicrous and went on to offer different things. Along came my other lines: casserole carriers, crayon roll ups, coasters, eye pillow & bobo packs.

Many people who follow me on twitter or know me in the ‘real’ world will know that I LOVE coffee! I’m sadly addicted and dependant on the drink. I’m a slave to my fabulous coffee maker and in moments of crisis I will trudge through the drive through (or brew some in my Tassimo). Yes, I did separate coffee maker from Tassimo. I have a wonderful grind & brew machine which make glorious coffee.. my Tassimo is a nice quick fix/latte maker. This being said ‘make what you love’ kept nagging at the back of my head. So over the holidays I had made these cute coffee cuffs for friends & family to go with their Christmas gifts and I’ve had these Mug Huggers in the plans for such a long time that I decided it was time to launch the Cafe Collection line.

The coffee cuffs are a beautiful way to accessorize your take out coffee in the morning (noon & night). They are an extension of your personal style, keep your hands from burning, and a green way of doing away with the disposable paper sleeves certain companies use or double cupping from other competitors. Most of my coffee cuffs will only be available in my store once, they are made from the last piece of material after cutting my eye pillows. Less waste = greener studio.

My Mug0-Huggers are so cute & fun. I’m so happy with the finished product. There is an inner lining of Thermolam batting to keep your coffee a touch warmer and your hands warm nice and comfortable. They secure through the handle using a small and discreet elastic with a vintage button.  I’m purchasing buttons upon availability at http://www.enfo.etsy.com an organization selling items to help low-income families in their area.

Lotus & Leaves

Daisy Dream

Spa Roundabout

Gothic Weave

Remember – all items are available at my Artfire & Etsy stores for your shopping convenience!