Friday, June 23, 2017

Catching Up and Heading Out - Junkie Fest



We are headed out to our very first card retreat that I have not hosted!  The Stamp Junkies are descending upon Gina K's, Village Paper & Ink in Wisconsin for a ton of fun, lots of laughs and some major card making.  On today's episode, we talk about getting ready for going to a Retreat, supplies to bring and how I created my amazing lists!



SHOW NOTES

What to Bring - Check out our Preparing Your Go Bag podcast for more detailed information

Be Courteous - Use a purse hook to hang your Bunkie Bag from the table so it doesn't take up so much space on the table.


My List



Isn't this just the cutest?  List with the envelope pocket

List is 5" x 2.75"
Envelope Pocket is 3" x 4"

Supplies Used

Lavinia Freya's Fairy House Stamp
Brutus Monroe Clickable Letter Stamps
Gina K CardStock
So Suzy Stamp Peacock Plumes Ink Bites




Don't Forget


Next week is our last week for our Planner Series, to be eligible to win one of our 9 fabulous prizes, please head on over and leave a comment on which Planner option is your favorite!


Thanks to Our Sponsors


My Sweet Petunia





Paper Clip Planet









Thursday, June 22, 2017

Jessica Marie Design - Custom Printable Planners


Welcome back to Week 4 of our Planner Series with Jessica Marie Design.  Jessica designs and creates Printable Planners that you can simply download and print or if you need something custom, she can design planner pages that work for you and your needs.  I have been using Jessica for several years and she never fails to wow me with her ability to take what's in my head and make something invaluable for my planning needs.  Plus, she shares with us a few of her planner hacks on how YOU can decide which planner is best for YOUR lifestyle.




SHOW NOTES


If you are having a hard time figuring out the type of layout that works best for your lifestyle, Jessica recommends downloading sample planner layouts, use them for a week and see which one you prefer before purchasing a planner.

Try Jessica's Free Downloads



Jessica's Favorites

Favorite Paper to Use to Print - Cardstock
Favorite Planner Layout - Business Daily Planning Page


Favorite Printable Design - Colorful Stripes and Confetti



Favorite Printable - Password Log Page



Suzanne's Custom Printables

Podcast Planner Kit



Where to Find Jessica Marie Design

Etsy Shop
Website
Facebook
Instagram


Thanks to Our Sponsors


Quo Vadis

Paper Clip Planet


Monday, June 19, 2017

MIHM - Katy Weade from Blitsy



It's Made It Happen Monday with Katy Weade co-founder of Blitsy!  Today we talk with Katy on how Blitsy came to life, how to get your products onto their site, secret of something super fabulous coming out soon and where Blitsy is going in the future!



SHOW NOTES

Main Focus of Blitsy 


  • Buying Guides
  • Loves to work with Brands to get their products out to the world
  • THE destination for shopping and learning

Katy's Favorites


Where to Find Blitsy


Want to see if you can get your products carried on Blitsy?  

Email: support (at) Blitsy (dot) com

Blitsy Secrets

Oh, you're going to have to listen for those!

Let us know what your favorite part about shopping at Blitsy is!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Importance of Listening to Your Customers



Listening to your followers and customers is an integral part of the success of you, your brand and your business.  Understanding what they want and need will help to garner their loyalty and allow you to grow and continue to to offer value added content and products.  Find out the importance of listening to your customers and followers in today's podcast.


SHOW NOTES

Why You Should Listen

"Not listening to your customers is equal to not looking at your fuel gauge before heading off for a road trip."

Case Studies

@KreativeKymona Instagram - Did You Know? Series

  • Customers asked she provided
  • Value to the consumer and manufacturer
"Not only does Kymona's series benefit her followers, but the companies whose products she was featuring also found value in her Did You Know? series."
  • MISTI
  • Mini MISTI
  • Memory MISTI
"By listening to her customers, Iliana has made not only a fabulous tool, but better business decisions because of the feedback from her customer."

 Paper Clip Planet

  • Quality over Trendy
  • High quality, long lasting signature toppers that will satisfy her customers
"Annie chose to listen to her brand and satisfy her customers with their need for quality versus trendy products."

 Store Owners

Stamp Companies

  • Get your designs ready now for the holidays
  • Launch your holiday stamps in September/October

Crafters

  • Know your market, your customer and the theme
  • Think logically

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • What do your customers want?
  • What would they like to know?
  • How will they find, identify and know you?
  • Why do they want what you have?
  • And if they don't...what DO they want?
"Sometimes it is about satisfying the customers you have versus finding ones who want what you offer."

Links Referenced

Kymona Tracey
Justine Hovey
My Sweet Petunia/MISTI
Paper Clip Planet
Price. Market. Sell.  Your Handmade Cards Online Class

Sponsored By

My Sweet Petunia

My Sweet Petunia
My Sweet Petunia




Thursday, June 15, 2017

Decorating Your Planner

 

 Welcome to week 3 of our Planner Series with Audra Bolster from Kindred Stamps.  Today, we are exploring the reasons behind decorating your planner, supplies available and best inks to use.  When I think of decorating a planner, my brain immediately goes to "personal planner" and certainly not one for business.  However, seeing the need for business stamps and direct sales planner stamps, Audra designed several planner stamps to fill that need.  They are great for small businesses, direct sales, Etsy shop owners and so much more.


 

SHOW NOTES

Why is decorating your planner so popular right now?
It adds uniqueness to your planner and you can add whimsy by stamping and coloring. -Audra Bolster, Kindred Stamps
Types of Planner Stamps Kindred Stamps carries
Kindred Plans Vacation


Kendra's Personal Favorites

Best Ink - VersaFine Pigment Ink
Favorite Planner - Erin Condren
Favorite Planner Stamp Sets - Small Business and Unicorn  


What You Need to Get Started

  1. Your favorite planner
  2. Bag for all of your supplies
  3. VersaFine Ink
  4. Favorite Pen
 

Where to Find Kindred Stamps

Website Facebook Facebook Group Instagram


Thanks to Our Sponsors

Quo Vadis


Paper Clip Planet  


Ice Pops

Planner Inspiration











 

Monday, June 12, 2017

MIHM - Ashley Shelly



We are continuing with our Planner Series theme in today's Made It Happen Monday podcast with Ashley Shelly Trotier from Ashley Shelly.  Ashley creates some fabulous planners that are designed to help you "create your best days".  Today, we hear the story behind her business, the planners she creates and the products she has coming out in the near future.


   


SHOW NOTES

The Ashley Shelly Planners are created by Ashley Shelly to help people "Create Your Best Days".  Each planner is printed on 80lb bright white paper, perfect for decorating and using all year round, plus she has her special 'Creative Spread" to help you find your focus for the month ahead.

 


 She also carries


Ashley's Favorites

Favorite Pen - Le Pen & PaperMate Ink Joy .7
Favorite Notebook Cover - Ombre Pineapple
Favorite Part of Owning a Business - Allows her to create her best days


 

Where to Find Ashley Shelly

Website
Facebook
Instagram

Friday, June 9, 2017

Finding Time to Create


Let's face it, we are busy people.  Life has a tendency to get in the way, responsibilities pile up and time flies by.  What we want to do doesn't always match up with what we have to do, but what if you were able to combine creativity with something you MUST do?

   

Show Notes

If you are short on time available to you, think about your creative flow and crafting habits:
  • Do you need time to gather supplies?
  • Does it take you 30-45 minutes perusing Pinterest for inspiration?
  • Is your craft space needing some major clean up before you start?
If you are struggling to find time, think about what would best serve your times and needs:
  • Do you need pops of creativity?
  • Would you prefer large chunks of time to create?
  • Are you constantly on the go and need something portable?

Links Referenced

Kelly Creates
Kelly Creates Facebook Group
Rhodia Bullet Journal
Bunkie Bag


 Sponsored By My Sweet Petunia and the MISTI
 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bullet Journaling with Helen Colebrook from Journal with Purpose




Welcome to week 2 of our Planner Series!  Today, we are talking with Helen Colebrook from Journal with Purpose and how she uses her Bullet Journal to plan her days.  When I first found Helen on Instagram, I was completely enamored of her simple layout style, the way she combined work with home and her blog post on Using Your Bullet Journal to Get More of the Good Stuff Done.

I have always wanted to use a bullet journal since the first time I saw a picture of my friend, Krys Salvetta using hers.  After my interview with Helen, I am happy to report that I finally bought not one but TEN bullet journals, I am seriously addicted. During our interview with Helen, she takes us through what she loves about using a bullet journal for her planning, how she stays organized, tips and tricks and some of her favorites.


 

SHOW NOTES

The Bullet Journal is referred to as an "analog system for the digital age" by Ryder Carroll, the creator of the Bullet Journal.  According to Helen, she loves its simplicity, because you can use it anyway you want.  If you want to just use it for lists, keeping track of your schedule, using it as an art journal or a combination of all the above, the bullet journal is a true reflection of you.
It's peaceful, not a chore. Helen Colebrook - Journal with Purpose


Helen's System

Check out how Helen uses her Bullet Journal with her Traveler's Notebook. Plus, her fabulous Tip-in card that she uses for her main goals for the week.


   

Traveling Bullet Journal

See the pictures of the Traveling Bullet Journal, the spreads from the people involved and where it is now.  Traveling BuJo Updates You can also search for #thetravelingbujo on instagram.  


Helen's Favorites

Favorite Pen - Staedtler Multi Pigment Liner Favorite Ways to Decorate - Washi Tape, Planner Stickers and doodling Favorite Use - Gratitude and Memory Pages  


Important Tips from Helen

Use your last page in your Bujo as a pen test page to make sure it works nicely in your bullet journal.


Recommended Supplies

Rhodia Bullet Journal - Heavier paper and allows for more art journaling, watercoloring, Tombow Dual Brush Pens work GREAT!  (Personally, I like the A5 size)


   

  Staedtler Pigment Liners - great for writing, but also for watercoloring and using with Tombows


Links Referenced

Using Your Bullet Journal to Get More of the Good Stuff Done
Traveling BuJo
Ryder Carroll
Ninja Traveling


Where to Find Helen and Journal With Purpose

Blog
Instagram
YouTube
Pinterest


Thanks to our Sponsors




Quo Vadis

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

AFCI - Importance for a Mid-Year Buying Event



On last week's podcast, we talked about the importance of planning for the holiday's.  Today, we have Keli Bell-Cole from AFCI talking about their mid-year buying event!  AFCI and SPC have put together an amazing event for those retailers who need to get ready for the 3rd and 4th quarters.  Hear about the Mixed Media Event, how to attend and the benefits of going from Keli.  Find out how I epically failed the first year our shop opened for the holidays.  (It wasn't pretty!)  The Mixed Media Event is an intimate buying opportunity for retailers ONLY.  This is your time to build those relationship with your vendors and distributors.


   

Show Notes

What is the Mixed Media Event?
Mid-year buying event for retailers to order their 3rd & 4th quarter supplies for their shops.

When is the Mixed Media Event?
July 17th - Education
July 18th - 20th - Show Floor
Salt Palace Convention Center
Salt Lake City, UT

How do I register?
Head on over to AFCI.global and click the registration button.

Mixed Media Event is free for all SPC and AFCI members and $35 for non-members
Can your business afford to not be ready for the holidays?
Benefits from a Mid-Year Buying Event Keli explains how a mid-year buying event helps retailers with planning and the mindset of getting ready for the the last half of the year.
Third and fourth quarter sales can make or break a business. Keli Bell-Cole, AFCI
This is an intimate and exclusive buying event for retailers.  Not only can shop owners purchase inventory for the holiday season, but you can take advantage of the education program and build relationships with your vendors and distributors.

Important Links Referenced

Hotel Registration - Deadline June 16th!
Education Program
Register for the Mixed Media Event
Become a Member AFCI

Contact Information

For questions regarding the Mixed Media Event call Keli Bell-Cole - (201) 835-1202 or email her at kbell-cole (at) afci (dot) global

Call AFCI directly - (201) 835-1200

Friday, June 2, 2017

When Should Your Business Start Planning for the Holidays?


Depending on your needs and motivation, starting your holiday planning now could be instrumental to your success.  It doesn't matter if you are planning your holiday cards, classes, getting items ready for craft fairs, designing stamps for holiday releases or purchasing inventory for your shop.  Proper planning is critical for you, your business and your customers.  In today's show, we go over the critical timelines for stamp companies, shop owners and crafters when it comes to putting together your holiday plan.


   

Show Notes

Stamp Companies
  • Contact your manufacturer now to find out about lead times for manufacturing
  • Submit your Christmas designs to your manufacturer now!
  • Get the stamps to your Design Team and industry influencers no later than the last week of July
  • Release Christmas/Holiday stamps beginning to mid September
Shop Owners
  • Attend AFCI's mid-year buying event in July
  • Order your holiday inventory ASAP
  • Create Christmas cards for Christmas Card Classes in September
  • Consider hosting a Craft Fair 101 Class in September
  • Order more MISTI's
  • Post cards for the Christmas Card Class on October 1st
  • Schedule your classes for beginning of November
Crafters
  • Work on your plan for the craft fair season; how many cards, the styles and how many fairs you want to attend
  • Start working on your themed cards now
  • Put together a timeline for working on the cards
  • Have all themed cards finished by September
  • Work on Christmas Cards starting in September and October
  • Have all cards finished by mid-October
  • Put finishing touches on booth design
Regardless if you are a stamp company, shop owner or card maker, your success boils down to planning.

Links Referenced

MISTI
AFCI Mixed Media Event
Price. Market. Sell.  Your Handmade Cards Class
Need our help?

 Our podcast is sponsored by My Sweet Petunia and the MISTI.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Why the Hype - Planner Series

*Please find our new home at www.YourCreativeFocus.com our podcast has moved!




Welcome to the first of our new podcast series!  Every Thursday, we are going to be bringing you a new episode featuring the current month's focus topic and talking to key influencers in the industry. Plus, as an added bonus, we launched our new members only "Focus" Group on Facebook!  We are quite excited about the changes and we hope you enjoy this month's Planner Series!


 

Show Notes

Throughout the month, we are going to be discussing the different types of planners and helping you determine which one is best for you and your needs.  Planner styles include:
  • Bullet Journal
  • Decorating Your Planner
  • Printable and Custom Planners
  • Traditional Planners
While you listen to each week's episode, answer these 3 questions:
  1. What do you need your planner to track for you?
  2. How big do you want it?
  3. How much time do you have to invest in planning?


Planner Giveaways

We can't launch our first series without some prizes and our amazing sponsors have been extremely generous in what they are giving away!
 (3) - Rhodia Black Webnotebook Dot Grid (bullet journals)
 (3) - Quo Vadis 2017-2018 Scholar Weekly Planners
 (3) - $15 Gift Certificates to Paper Clip Planet

All you need to do is leave a comment in the show notes for our Planner Series on which style of planner works best for you.  Our winners will be announced on our podcast blog, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter accounts on Saturday, July 1st.


Featured Guests

Helen Colebrook - Journal with Purpose
Audra Bolster - Kindred Stamps
Jessica Marie - Jessica Marie Design
Laurie Huff - Quo Vadis


Sponsors

A huge thanks to our sponsors for helping us put the series together!  Be sure and check out their sites and all they have to offer for your personal planning needs!


 



   Quo Vadis

Monday, May 29, 2017

MIHM with Sally Harris from 100 Creatives



Sally Harris from 100 Creatives is participating in #the100dayproject on Instagram and for her 100 days, she decided to create a podcast so she could interview 100 creatives in 100 days.  For someone who has never produced a podcast before, this is an incredible feat and she is ROCKING IT!  Hear about her 100 Day Creative Journey, what she plans on doing after her 100 days are up and what she likes most about her new endeavor.


   

Show Notes

 
I can't believe that I got to interview:
Elise Blaha Cripe - @elisejoy on Instagram

What's in store for 100 Creatives after #the100dayproject is over?

 *Spoiler Alert!  She is coming back!

Sally's Favorites

Some of my favourite guests so far:
 Augusta of Felt Happens (Episode 10) 
 Jen Blanco (Episode 16) 
 
These ones are upcoming:
- Crystal Moody (Episode 25)
- Mary Purdie (Episode 30) and Deandre Purdie (Episode 31)
(Coming Soon - June 5 and 6) 
 
I'm really enjoying these podcasts at the moment:
Side Hustle School with Chris Guillebeau
Young House Love Has a Podcast 
I really love interviewing our guests and I was not expecting that.

How to Find Sally and Her 100 Creatives Podcast

100 Creatives website
Instagram @100.creatives

Friday, May 26, 2017

Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Please note: The So Suzy Podcast is now Your Creative Focus and can be found on our new website here.

 

There is a happy little place in all our hearts that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  We feel safe.  Possibly mildly confident in our complacency.  No fears of failure.  Just happy contentment.  This is also referred to as stagnant or perhaps you would prefer comfort zone, because it sounds happier.  And truly, finding and having a happy place or comfort zone, can be quite wonderful.  

However, if you never leave that place of safety, will you ever grow?  Will you ever find true excitement or happiness? By challenging yourself or taking risks, you push yourself to learn, grow, become more successful and more confident.  Sure, you may find failure along the way, but without failure, do you ever really learn how to become a better you?



   


Show Notes

Sometimes our lowliest times bring about our greatest achievements.


Stories of Inspiration Referenced


Rags to Riches Story of JK Rowling from Business Insider 
 And yes, it is pronounced "Rolling"...I did do my homework.  Check it out here

The story of how the MISTI received her Patent
Teresa DeWitt-Pierce reflection on what she learned from the Mother's Day Blog Hop


Links Referenced


Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
MISTI by My Sweet Petunia 
How to Be On a Design Team Online Class   



 *Your Creative Focus Podcast is sponsored by My Sweet Petunia and the home of the Most Incredible Stamping Tool Invented (MISTI)

 

Monday, May 22, 2017

MIHM with Denise Nichols from Simply Charming Everyday

Welcome to Made It Happen Monday with Simply Charming Everyday! Before we get to our interview, we have some exciting news to tell you about over on our NEW site!!  Please head on over and check it out.  You can even listen to the podcast on our new home.  =)

Tomorrow, we will be rolling out a special podcast episode explaining all of our changes and the why behind them.  (Which is truly EXCITING, if I do say so myself.)  In the interim, feel free to check out the new site, wander through our pages, see some of the cool features we are going to be rolling out and follow us on our new social media sites. As for right now, what do you say we dive into our latest guest and her story on how she Made It Happen!


 


Meet Denise Nichols

Denise is the owner, maker and designer for Simply Charming Bags.  These hand sewn beauties hold everything from your latest crafting project, to your MISTI collection and so much more.  Since the age of 10, she has been sewing doll clothes, dresses, quilts, Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, Prom dresses and most recently her famous Bunkie Bags and MISTI Zip Pouches.  Hear about how she got her start, the bags she designs and the new products she has lined up for 2017.


 

How a Jar of Spaghetti Sauce Can Inspire a Bunkie Business

It has happened to all of us at one time or another, our hands are full, the plastic bags are overloaded with heavy cans and jars and at the worst possible moment, the bottom gives out and your food scatters, rolls and shatters.  Personally, my focus would have been on the fact I had red sauce all of the side of my brand new white car.  However, Denise focused on HOW to make sure it would never happen again. Hear how a spaghetti sauce parking lot massacre inspired the Bunkie Bag!


Denise's Favorites


Favorite Child...it wasn't my brother, Jake.  =)
Favorite Fabric - Cats in a Garden
Favorite Bunkie Use - Back porch living


Simply Charming Bag Styles


Bunkie Bag Junkie Bunkie - Made Exclusively for Stamp Junkies Facebook Group.
Designed by Kim Gausman ZumMallen-Pietruszewki

MISTI Zip Bag
Mini MISTI Zip Pouch
Creativity Tote
Equipment Covers


Where to Find Simply Charming Everyday


Website
Blog
Facebook
Instagram


How Do You Bunkie?


If you would like to see how others are putting their Bunkie Bags to work, please check out the special Show Us Your Bunkie Blog Hop we have going on.  Don't forget to tell us how you use your Bunkie Bag in the comments below.  We would love to know what you keep in yours! Let us know what you think of the new site and name and make sure you check in tomorrow to find out what inspired the new site.

Until next time,

Happy Stamping!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Preparing Your Go Bag



Being prepared for an emergency situation is so important, especially when that emergency is an impromptu card class or a last minute girls get-a-way weekend.  Which is why having your crafty "go" bag always prepared is essential for your well being!

On today's podcast, we discuss what a "go" bag is, what to use for your "go" bag and items to include.  Plus, we discuss the key elements to take into consideration when you are either planning or attending a class or retreat.


SHOW NOTES

Top 5 Items to Include per our special Facebook Group

  1. Adhesive
  2. Scissors
  3. MISTI
  4. Paper Cutter
  5. Foam Tape

When Planning a Retreat or Class, Keep These Things in Mind
  • If travel is involved, supply all sharp items; scissors, paper cutter, craft knife, etc.
  • Do not require big and bulky items that attendees may have to put into checked luggage
  • Let attendees know what you will be providing so they can plan accordingly

When Attending a Retreat or Class, Keep These Things in Mind
  • Your space will be about the size of placemat, do not overdo it
  • Use a Purse Hook to hang your bag from the table
  • Bring your Mini MISTI versus your Original
  • If using a MISTI, replace the stamp to the original acrylic block and make sure it's straight
  • Be prepared to share
  • Label all of your supplies
  • Do not bring valuable or sacred items
  • Be responsible for your items

My recommended "go" bag supply list for card makers
  • Adhesive
  • Mini MISTI
  • Embossing Buddy
  • Mini VersaMark pad
  • Pick Me Up
  • Glue Dots
  • White Gel Pen
  • Pen to sign back of cards
  • Bone Folder
  • Wipes
  • Sponge
  • Distress Tool
  • Scissors
  • Dimensionals or Foam Tape

LINKS WE REFERENCED
SPONSORED BY

MY SWEET PETUNIA