Tag: goosiegirl

What Is Your Holiday Decor Style?

The time has come. Halloween has flown by like a ghost slipping in your window. Thanksgiving is over and the leftovers are finally gone. The time for decorating for Christmas is finally here! I don’t know about you, but I use this time to do a “Fall Cleaning” and as I clear out spaces to … read more

crochet dishclothThe time has come. Halloween has flown by like a ghost slipping in your window. Thanksgiving is over and the leftovers are finally gone. The time for decorating for Christmas is finally here! I don’t know about you, but I use this time to do a “Fall Cleaning” and as I clear out spaces to make room for new holiday decor. I can clean under and in between easier before I put new things up. There is just something about the last big clean when you throw open the windows and it is kind of cold in the house but its ok because you are busy.

This Crochet Dishcloth Set of 3 by Just Bobbin Along measures approximately 7” square, though some may be slightly larger. This set contains 1 cream colored, 1 brick red, and 1 smokey blue. These dishcloths are the perfect accent for your kitchen. They are a soft 100% cotton and stand up the the toughest cleaning jobs. They are versatile- being found in the kitchen, bathroom, and used around the house for dusting. These dishcloths are sturdy and economical.  They make a great housewarming gift or holiday gift. Then again, you may not be in the mood for cleaning.

 

 

 

When I Said I Was Cleaning What I Really Meant Was I Was Polishing Off 2 Glasses of Wine by D84 Digital is a Machine Embroidery Design that is a  5×7 Hoop Size.  Please note that this listing is for a digital file, not a completed product. You will need an embroidery machine to use this file. Check to be sure we offer your needed format before purchasing.

After cleaning and moving things around, the tree can go up and the real decorating can begin. In my house we have to go through a couple of days of debate. Real or artificial? I want real. We usually have artificial because we do have the darn thing packed away. It is interesting to see among my family and friends who puts their holiday decorations up the same way every single year or do they try to change it up some. I know some that literally buy new everything every year! I go for a happy medium. I love all the decorations that I already have but I like to add something new every year to help me remember each year.

Christmas Snowflake Card GarlandDo you get a million holiday cards but struggle to find a place for them all?
Do you use scotch tape to adhere them to the wall, only to have them fall off every 5 minutes? Do you wish you had something that helped display those wonderful cards you get every year? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then the Snowflake Christmas Card Holder Garland by A Crafty Mama Company is just what you need. Not only does it give you a way to display all those wonderful holiday cards you receive during the holidays, but it also doubles as beautiful holiday decor. Just over 5′ long you can display garland just about anywhere inside your home. Around an entryway, hanging from your mantle or even your breakfast bar, or simply hung on a wall. No matter how you display this piece, it is sure to make a beautiful addition to your holiday decor. Garland includes 9 snowflake clips for attaching holiday cards or pictures and is approximately 64″ long. Snowflake clips are adjustable and can be moved.

 

 

 

 

 

merry be your christmasIt’s coming! The most wonderful time of the year! Get an early jump on your decorating with this beautiful barn red sign. Perfect for your mantle, hearth, or front porch! This Christmas sign stained in a barn red, is handcrafted by Meesh’s Pieces. It has been sanded, stained, and then sealed. The lettering is permanent vinyl. There’s no hardware on the back so you can choose how to hang it or just prop it up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crochet Gingerbread House Home Decor

Crochet Gingerbread House Home Decor

This adorable house is on a foam board base and frame and covered with crochet walls and also crochet candy, windows, and doors by Barbs Yarn Gallery. The base measures 9″ square and the house is 8 1/2″ tall. You never have to worry about this Gingerbread house spoiling.  It will also make a great centerpiece decoration for your holiday table. Or sit it on the mantle of your fireplace. It also looks cute on a windowsill or any shelf and end table. Simply store it away and bring back out for next season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This adorable Gold White Poinsettia Hair Clip will add just the right amount of holiday cheer (and sass!) It was designed with pin ups in mind, but it would be pretty for any style you rock. This piece is a beautiful accessory and will add such a gorgeous touch to all the holiday outfits and dresses for sure! This GoosieGirl original design is one of a kind and won’t be re-created so you’re assured of an absolutely unique hair clip. It is ready to ship, and shipping is included in the cost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collection of bright holiday papers

This “Happy Holiday Digital Paper Bundle by Dancing Kelpie is is a great way to ring in the holidays! Ready to download and print, It is great for scrap booking, wrapping paper, cards, decals, mugs, home decor, signs, the sky is the limit! Use them as a background for your website, or even as planner page backgrounds. There are SO many ways to use these digital papers! This holiday bundle includes Three Buffalo Plaid tree papers, Three holiday colored stripe and plaid prints, and two happy falalala llamas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand painted glass Christmas ornament, Mistletoe Kisses 007

Hand painted glass Christmas ornament, Mistletoe Kisses 007

 

Alcohol Ink Hand Painted Glass Christmas Ornament by Studio 1153. Art for your mind, soul and spirit. Each glass ornament is hand painted and unique; no two are exactly alike due to the design process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see more holiday décor HERE!

GS Handmade has an amazing holiday season and you are not going to want to miss a bit of it! Get connected!

Subscribe to the newsletter or sign up for text alerts HERE! Make sure to join our Facebook Group too! That is where the magic happens.

A Little Thanksgiving Contemplation

Thanksgiving truly gets the short end of the stick at my house. That makes me a little sad because fall is my favorite time of year. I miss it, honestly. When I was a kid it was a big deal at my house. That one holiday alone was worthy of a complete family reunion with … read more

Thanksgiving truly gets the short end of the stick at my house. That makes me a little sad because fall is my favorite time of year. I miss it, honestly. When I was a kid it was a big deal at my house. That one holiday alone was worthy of a complete family reunion with aunts, uncles, cousins and a mountain of mouth watering foods. Times have changed though and the way it worked out for me was if I wanted my children for Christmas, I had to let my ex-husband have them for Thanksgiving. Well, there went Thanksgiving because there was no way my children would be anywhere but home in their own beds on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. My two younger children didn’t care or want some big turkey dinner and we had moved away from most of our family. My idea of what Thanksgiving was completely fell apart and I never really got it back. Although, I might make up for it with going a little overboard with the whole Christmas joy thing, but I don’t even care.

Fall is still my favorite time of year and I love to decorate for the season. I think its the colors that get me. The rich, dark greens and reds and oranges make everything so elegant and pretty. If you are not super busy with Thanksgiving festivities, it can be a good time for a little self care too. Gear up for the month of December and all the craziness that brings. Take a nice, quiet break to catch up on things and think about how you would like to end this year and begin the new one. Don’t forget to take a moment to remember all the people and things you are thankful for in your life this year.

Whether you do the huge family Thanksgiving or spend your time reflecting, GS Handmade has plenty of Thanksgiving items to help you enjoy your holiday! Take a look!

 

ThanksgivingGive Thanks Apron
This festive Thanksgiving print will make you the hit of turkey day! I can already smell the turkey wafting through the house can’t you?? Stuffing and buttery mashed potatoes on the side. What’s for desert? Pumpkin pie with whip cream, of course!
Custom tic tac toe gameThanksgiving Tic Tac Toe
This Thanksgiving tic tac toe game will keep the kids entertained quietly without paper or computers. This is a great travel game, adorable and affordable party favors, or for keeping kids entertained during weddings, church or long car rides! The bag can be personalized on the back. The set is made with natural stone and comes in a 6″ X 5″ cotton drawstring bag and has quantity pricing.
sharing plate blackThe Sharing Plate
This is the one plate you don’t have to worry about being returned when you bring a plate of something to share to a get-together.It is a beautiful way to keep the sharing going on and on. We write our name on the bottom of the plate with an arrow for the next person to write their name. That way all that have received the plate can see how far it has traveled.The plate itself is white and sentiment color options include gold, black, red, silver, purple, green, blue, orange, yellow
Thankful Wreath
This big and beautiful piece is one of a kind and ready to ship, it will not be recreated exactly so you’re assured of an original design. All of your autumn guests will ooh and ahh over the sheer beauty of it, you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood for sure. It’s time to level up your fall decorating game, and add a Goosie Girl original.

 

By the way, who saw Frozen 2 today?? Check out our blog post Frozen 2 : Reviews , Chat and Quotes plus product showcase from GS Handmade for all things Frozen!

 

GS Handmade has an amazing holiday season and you are not going to want to miss a bit of it! Get connected!

Subscribe to the newsletter or sign up for text alerts HERE! Make sure to join our Facebook Group too! That is where the magic happens.

 

 

 

 

It’s my favorite season … Football Season! + Inspiring Quotes By Famous Football Coaches

From the desk of Goosie It’s football season y’all! My favorite season of all! Time for tailgating, spirit wear, and those after the game bonfires too. We are a huge football family at Goosie’s house! Both of my boys have been playing since they were in kindergarten, my husband coaches and I am a faithful … read more

From the desk of Goosie

It’s football season y’all! My favorite season of all! Time for tailgating, spirit wear, and those after the game bonfires too. We are a huge football family at Goosie’s house! Both of my boys have been playing since they were in kindergarten, my husband coaches and I am a faithful fan.

I sat down this morning with my coffee in hand and thought of a quote I’ve memorized (from the great Mike Ditka, *of course* lol) and it struck me that perhaps, our Gypsy Blog readers might draw some inspiration from quotes from some well-known football coaches. I mean, it IS their job to motivate, isn’t it? When you’re a micropreneur, it’s hard to stay motivated and on task every single day. Football coaches teach, mentor, and they encourage their players so if it works for them, it should work for us as well, right? Let’s give it a shot, what’s the worst that can happen?

If you find this blog inspirational or have a story to share, please drop us a comment and let us know! This is one of my favorite quotes from famous football coaches :

Speaking of football, I thought I’d also share some of the awesome handmade football themed products from our makers’ shops too, I mean, if you’re here for football coach quotes, you might dig these things as well! Remember, handmade quality is always the best quality you can get your hands on… and all of our makers are vetted for their quality and trustworthiness~ and you will NEVER pay extra for basic US shipping either. No order minimums, we pinky promise!

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Featured Items : Down On The Farm

Featured Items : Down On The Farm

The Gypsy Spoonful featured items of the week have been chosen! We’d like to ask you to join us in congratulating those who are featured! When selecting these items, we went with a “Down On The Farm” theme! Isn’t it fun!? The first item is a super cute mini backpack in supple corduroy and has … read more

The Gypsy Spoonful featured items of the week have been chosen! We’d like to ask you to join us in congratulating those who are featured! When selecting these items, we went with a “Down On The Farm” theme! Isn’t it fun!?
The first item is a super cute mini backpack in supple corduroy and has adorable tractors , you can see this item here: https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/product/kids-tractor-backpack-green-corduory-by-julies-homemade-jems And you can visit Julie‘s shop, here: https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/vendor/julieshomemadejems
   
 
The next item are whimsical and relaxed fitting Farm Boxer Shorts, what a riot, I love this fabric. They’re ready to ship too! How cute are these? From Lisa, you can see this item here: https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/product/ready-to-ship-size-4-toddler-loose-fitting-cotton-boxer-shorts-red-barn-and-farm-animals-gift-for-little-farmer-future-farmer-on-muskrat-creek and visit her shop here:
 
Take a peek at the next item, a great tote bag for farmer’s markets, trips to the library or to slip your tablet in and get moving for the day! Farm Fresh eggs bag is created by Michelle and you can see this item at the link below the picture. It’s sturdy and durable and will last a very long time. Farmhouse style is so in, it would be a lovely gift too, wouldn’t it? 
 
Giddy Up Little Chicken! The next featured item is a stick pony BUT it’s a chicken! I love this, what a great idea for a toy that will provide hours upon hours of open-ended creative play. I love the bandana print comb on the top of it’s head! This was created by Misti and you can see this stick chicken here: https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/product/chicken-stick-pony-ride-on-toy-by-houkreative-creations
and you can see all the super fun and whimsical other ponies and play food in her shop here: https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/vendor/houkreative/
You’ll never pay extra for shipping at Gypsy Spoonful, it’s ALWAYS included in the price you see. Happy Shopping!
Join our Facebook Group to see our creative community in action, and if you like what you see, fill out an application to open your own small shop featuring your own handmade items.
Business Builder Blog : Creating a multi-faceted marketing approach for your small shop

Business Builder Blog : Creating a multi-faceted marketing approach for your small shop

Business Builder Blog : Creating a multi-faceted marketing approach for your small shop</font color> Written by Heather aka Goose, Owner/Founder of GypsySpoonful Just an FYI, marketing and promotion for us at Gypsyspoonful;  isn’t just about actual advertisements, that’d be boring! We’re not boring here, we’re fun!  So, what we do here at GS is multi-faceted, … read more

Business Builder Blog : Creating a multi-faceted marketing approach for your small shop</font color>
Written by Heather aka Goose, Owner/Founder of GypsySpoonful

Business Builder Blog : Creating a multi-faceted marketing approach for your small shop

Just an FYI, marketing and promotion for us at Gypsyspoonful;  isn’t just about actual advertisements, that’d be boring! We’re not boring here, we’re fun!  So, what we do here at GS is multi-faceted, as it should be. A good advertising and marketing plan for any business should include a multi-facted approach. Never, ever put all your eggs in one basket. If something happens , you’re screwed. Always , ALWAYS, have a plan B, and C, and D… way to reach potential customers.

I always suggest to all of our new members that they should open an account and have a presence on all of the major social media platforms (for their small business at least) .

Those platforms I suggest are as follows:

Facebook (a page AND a group)

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

MeWe (new)

AllSocial (new)

(I also suggest Redditt and YouTube if you want to be super efficient)

Gypsy Spoonful’s advertising & marketing efforts attempt to cover all of the ways that have potential to reach our market. The reason I believe in a multi-faceted approach is because not everyone is on every social media platform like you.. some might prefer one over the other and if you’re on all of them, you cover all your bases and reach different people on each one.

Here’s a sample of what a good multi-faceted marketing approach looks like:

  • Email campaigns (we do a monthly newsletter plus weekly themed email blasts)
  • Blog Posts, not just to promote our products or shops, though that’s important~ but it’s always important to provide useful content to your blog readers as well)
  • Link exchanges with other bloggers and websites, the more incoming links you have, the greater your rank with SEO
  • Social media (+ boosting some posts) on all platforms
  • Display advertising on niche and specialty blogs
  • Press releases to niche blogs, magazines or newspapers
  • Networking with other small businesses where there may be customer cross-over
  • SEO efforts
  • Paid and non-paid advertising campaigns
  • Submitting articles as guest blogs, or serving as an expert or interview source for other blogs, publications, podcasts etc
  • Google & Bing ad word campaigns (and pay per click ppc programs)

Except for the paid ads and boosting social media posts, the other bullet points is what is considered guerilla marketing, organic marketing, and viral marketing.

There are several books that I have found extremely helpful over the years for organic and viral marketing, and I always suggest them to my fellow small business owners, and to our blog readers, here’s that list:

These are great tools to put in your small business marketing aresenal: (these are NOT affiliate links, so if you buy them we do not make any money)

  1. Guerrilla Social Media Marketing: 100+ Weapons to Grow Your Online Influence, Attract Customers, and Drive Profits
  2. Guerilla Marketing Remix
  3. It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you
  4. The No B.S. Guide to Brand-Building by Direct Response: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Plan to Creating and Profiting from a Powerful Brand Without Buying It
  5. The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, Newsjacking, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

Do you have questions? I’d be happy to answer them, drop us a comment and we’ll comment back below. Intersted in becoming part of our handmade community, and having your own handmade small shop? Apply HERE for a shop.

 

Keep an open mind quote

New Opportunities Await : Refreshing business model, Gypsy Spoonful is a pioneer in the handmade world

New opportunities await</font color> “To the untrained eye, a geode looks pretty much like an ordinary rock. But a trained geologist knows that inside the geode there is a beautiful crystal lining. The story is the same for those who refuse to examine new possibilities because their minds are closed. Life’s greatest opportunities, like the … read more

New opportunities await</font color>

“To the untrained eye, a geode looks pretty much like an ordinary rock. But a trained geologist knows that inside the geode there is a beautiful crystal lining. The story is the same for those who refuse to examine new possibilities because their minds are closed. Life’s greatest opportunities, like the geode, often come in ordinary packaging. Do not allow yourself to become such a creature of habit that you simply go through the motions and let life happen to you. Just taking a new route to work, putting together a jigsaw puzzle, reading a newspaper instead of watching television, or visiting a museum at lunchtime will stimulate your thought processes and may help you open your mind to new possibilities.”

-Napoleon Hill

Keep an open mind quote

The past 10 days I’ve been busy, busy, busy recruiting makers for Gypsy Spoonful. We have had 25 new shops join in that time. I am so thankful for these new members for keeping an open mind, and listening to what Gypsy Spoonful can offer them. I’ve probably contacted hundreds of people telling them about the opportunity GS holds, many didn’t reply … some did reply and weren’t interested, but I tried to remember, that’s most likely not even about what I’m “pitching” to them.. it could be that they are in a difficult season of their life, or it could be that they’re undergoing some business or personal challenges right now. I truly believe that those who are meant to be here, will be here, at exactly the right time. We’re not for everyone, but we are for the RIGHT people.

 

It’s a very exciting time for Gypsy Spoonful.. we’re kicking it into high gear and taking this bus to the next level.

Are you a maker/designer/artist/crafter/sewist/quilter/painter or other type of creative entrepreneur? Check out what we believe about handmade and what we believe about small business in America.. if you vibe with what we’re all about and our business model, then please, fill out the application and we’ll be in touch

Check it out here

Just like Napoleon Hill said in his quote as outlined above, just keep an open mind, this could be the best thing that has ever happened to you personally or professionally, but you’ll never know if you shut down the very thought of it. Just be open to being open is all we ask. We know that new opportunities await, if you’ll just open the door, and apply.

 

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

~Seneca or SemiSonic , Closing Time

Truth be told..We are NOT Etsy, we don’t claim to be… and in all honesty, we don’t want to be Etsy.. they’ve lost their way which is definitely disappointing~but I digress… GypsySpoonful can most definitely offer you things that Etsy can not.

We can give you a FOCUSED market that is ONLY looking for handmade items~ not vintage, not supplies… they appreciate handmade and all the good things that encompass it.

We can give you a supportive, community of makers where we help each other, cheer each other on, support each other and encourage each other.

We believe in community before competition. Yes, there may be makers that make similar items in our ranks but we HELP each other, rather than COMPETE with each other. You will find no other selling platform with a hands-on admin team that mentors and teaches shop owners. I guarantee it.

We are SERIOUS about selling and making money with our shops and handmade products, the positivity is not pollyanna or apple pie in the sky, it’s genuine, authentic entrepreneurs who are hustlers but are not cut-throat and back stabbing. It’s a very refreshing business model that you will NOT find anywhere else.

We will welcome you with open arms and meet you where you’re at, no matter what your business goals, dreams and strategies may be.

Give us a shot.. have an open mind… and check us out. You’ll be happy you did, I think!

xo

Goose

Goose, Owner/Founder GypsySpoonful

 

 

 

 

 

Owner/Founder GypsySpoonful.com

5 Reasons To Shop Small : A List By Gypsy Spoonful

There are a lot more reasons than just 5 to shop small, but here’s our top 5 picks. To shop the marketplace, go HERE  See our creative community in action in our Facebook Group Open a shop of your own, apply today!

5 reasons to shop small

There are a lot more reasons than just 5 to shop small, but here’s our top 5 picks.

To shop the marketplace, go HERE 

See our creative community in action in our Facebook Group

Open a shop of your own, apply today!

Willow and Sage Magazine: Your source for DIY bath and body product inspiration

For the last year and a half I’ve really enjoyed this magazine I stumbled upon one day. It actually had a small hand in my initial interest in learning about creating bath and body items. I don’t even remember where I found it, it might have been Sam’s club (we go there a lot). I … read more

For the last year and a half I’ve really enjoyed this magazine I stumbled upon one day. It actually had a small hand in my initial interest in learning about creating bath and body items. I don’t even remember where I found it, it might have been Sam’s club (we go there a lot). I glanced through it and instantly was drawn to it. This magazine is called Willow & Sage. As stated on their website-

Willow and Sage Magazine

Willow and Sage magazine is filled with more than 70 unique recipes, uses, and beautiful packaging ideas for homemade bath and body products, paired alongside stunning, Somerset-style photography. In addition to showcasing natural bath salts and soaks, soaps, face masks, chemical-free make-up, lotions, sugar scrubs, how to use essential oils, and more, Willow and Sage features refreshing new layout designs that include hand-illustrated tips and educational information, such as eye-catching infographics and the benefits of specific ingredients. Also, if you’re looking for the perfect homemade gift idea, for any occasion, each issue provides DIY inspiration for creative packaging and the most unique gifts or spa bundle

Willow And Sage Magazine

The Willow And Sage Website is equally dreamy


The magazine is a quarterly magazine that starts in Feb. It’s an odd start date but when you look at lumping Jan into the winter issue, it makes sense. I totally understand doing the issues to follow the seasons, but it kills me to have to wait so long between publications! I usually go read it within the first two or three days, but definitely within the first week. It’s always interesting to see all the different ideas brought forth by other creators. I also enjoy the packaging ideas, bundle ideas, and ingredient spotlights. It’s a good way to learn about new benefits as well as help me with potential trend ideas. I have definitely used some of their ingredient spotlights to help focus on what ingredients to highlight to my customers.

So, if you’re looking for a beautiful magazine with a lot of fun diy ideas I would definitely give Willow & Sage a look. A quick side note is, many of the submitted recipes do not have preservatives in them therefore will not last for more than a few days or so.

Written by GS shop Owner, Rebecca Reynolds of JMaeHandmade ,  Stop on by her shop and take a peek at her awesome handmade bath and body products, and Heart her shop while you’re there!

JMaeHandmade Bath And Body Products

Sears Catalog

Black History Facts: An Unlikely Game Changer

I recently ran across an article on Facebook and wanted to share, (I could not find the original poster but tried) .  I found it very inspirational as I learned more about how the Sears Catalog allowed African-Americans, during the dark times of Jim Crow~ access to goods via mail delivery that they might not … read more

I recently ran across an article on Facebook and wanted to share, (I could not find the original poster but tried) .  I found it very inspirational as I learned more about how the Sears Catalog allowed African-Americans, during the dark times of Jim Crow~ access to goods via mail delivery that they might not have had access to previously~ also at a more affordable, fair price (white owned businesses often gouged prices for Blacks which was totally wrong and unfair to offer the same product to different groups of people for different prices!) This sort of reminded me of how the internet has begun leveling the playing field for people of all types, cultures and colors.  I couldn’t help but draw the conclusions and I thought there are some similarities here. Drop a comment and let us know what you think.

SEARS & ROEBUCK: BLACK HISTORY FACTS

Company History:
With a network of more than 870 full-line department stores and 1,300 freestanding specialty stores in the United States and Canada, Sears, Roebuck and Co. is the world’s fourth largest retailer. For more than a century Sears has provided consumers with top brand names synonymous with durability and quality. Craftsman tools, Kenmore appliances, Diehard car batteries, and WeatherBeater paint are a just a few of its most recognized products; Sears also provides a variety of competitively priced apparel for men, women, and children featuring its own brands (Canyon River Blues, Covington, TKS Basics) and such staples as Levi’s jeans and Nike athleticwear. A newer addition to its empire came with catalogue and online retailer Lands’ End, acquired in 2001.

Black History Month: Sears Roebuck Was A Game Changer

Humble Beginnings: Late 1880s to 1914

Sears bears the name of Richard W. Sears, who was working as a North Redwood, Minnesota, freight agent for the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad in 1886 when a local jeweler gave him an unwanted shipment of pocket watches rather than return them to the manufacturer. Sears sold them to agents down the line who then resold them at the retail level. He ordered and sold more watches and within six months made $5,000. He quit the railroad and founded the R.W. Sears Watch Company in Minneapolis.

Business expanded so quickly that Sears moved to Chicago in 1887 to be in a more convenient communications and shipping center. Soon customers began to bring in watches for repairs. Since he knew nothing about fixing them, Sears hired Alvah Roebuck, a watch repairman from Indiana,

A shrewd and aggressive salesman–a colleague once said of him, “He could probably sell a breath of air”–Sears undersold his competition by buying up discontinued lines from manufacturers and passing on the discounts to customers. At various times from 1888 to 1891, thinking himself bored with the business, Sears sold out to Roebuck but came back each time.

In 1888 the company published the first of its famous mail-order catalogues. It was 80 pages long and advertised watches and jewelry. Within two years the catalogue grew to 322 pages, filled with clothes, jewelry, and such durable goods as sewing machines, bicycles, and even keyboard instruments. In 1894 the catalogue cover proclaimed Sears was the “Cheapest Supply House on Earth.”

The relationship between capitalism, white supremacy and civil rights is a fascinating one marked by boycotts, sit-ins and bus rides. All of these activities are centered on access to money and markets.

African-Americans who lived in the rural South during Jim Crow usually had to buy goods on credit from local white store owners, who would often gouge them. Then came the Sears catalog. It sold everything from clothes and furniture to cocaine. But it also gave black consumers access to goods at national prices. The enterprise was so successful, store owners would organize bonfires and burn the catalogs to avoid losing their black customers.

Sears Catalog

The company changed its name to its current form in 1893, but Alvah Roebuck, uncomfortable with his partner’s financial gambles, sold out his share two years later and remained with the firm as a repairman. Sears promptly found two new partners to replace Roebuck: local entrepreneur Aaron Nusbaum and Nusbaum’s brother-in-law, haberdasher Julius Rosenwald. The company recapitalized at $150,000, with each man taking a one-third stake. The company continued to prosper; when the cantankerous Nusbaum was forced to sell out in 1901 after clashing with Sears, his interest was worth $1.25 million.

There was little harmony between the two remaining partners, Rosenwald and Sears. Sears believed in continuous expansion and risk-taking; Rosenwald advocated consolidation and caution. Rosenwald also objected to his partner’s fondness for the hard sell in the catalogue and advertising copy. Had the Federal Trade Commission existed then, some of the company’s advertising practices probably would not have passed muster–but it should be mentioned that Richard Sears invented the unconditional money-back guarantee and stood by it.

In 1905 construction began on a new headquarters plant on Chicago’s west side to consolidate all of the company’s functions. To help raise the necessary capital, Sears went public in 1906. Yet Wall Street was leery of the incautious Richard Sears and he resigned as president in 1908 when it became clear he was obstructing the firm’s progress. He was appointed chairman, but his heart was never in the job and he retired in 1913, never having presided over a board meeting. Sears died the following year at the age of 50. Near the end of his life, he summarized his career as a merchant: “Honesty is the best policy. I know, I’ve tried it both ways.”

New Leadership and Growth: 1915 to the Late 1920s

Sears was now Julius Rosenwald’s company to run and he did it with such skill and success he became one of the richest men in the world. Sales rose sixfold between 1908 and 1920, and in 1911 Sears began offering credit to its customers at a time when banks would not even consider lending to consumers. During this time the company grew to the point where its network of suppliers, combined with its own financing and distribution operations, constituted a full-fledged economic system in itself. Rosenwald’s personal fortune allowed him to become a noted philanthropist–he gave away $63 million over the course of his life, much of it to Jewish causes and to improve the education of Southern blacks. As a result of the latter, he became a trustee of the Tuskegee Institute and a good friend of its founder, Booker T. Washington.

The depression of the early 1920s dealt Sears a sharp blow. In 1921 the company posted a loss of $16.4 million and omitted its quarterly dividend for the first time. Rosenwald responded by slashing executive salaries and even eliminated his own. He was also persuaded to donate 50,000 shares from his personal holdings to the company treasury to reduce outstanding capital stock and restore the firm’s standing with its creditors. Sears thus weathered the crisis and benefited from the general prosperity that followed.

In 2018,Sears filed for bankruptcy after 132 years in business. Louis Hyman, an author and professor of history and consumerism at Cornell, wrote a compelling thread on Twitter that explained how the Sears catalog empowered black consumers during Jim Crow. Mr. Hyman walked me through some of these ideas in the interview below, which has been edited.

Back When Sears Made Black Customers A Priority: An interview with Louis Hyman by

Lauretta Charlton

By Lauretta Charlton

Your thread sort of positioned Sears as a radical commercial entity during Jim Crow.
A huge theme in my history of retail class is Jim Crow. Access for black people to competitive markets is pretty radical because a lot of the history of the relationship between black people and capitalism has been a monopoly relationship. Sears is not the story of would-be radicals trying to overthrow Jim Crow. It was about people trying to make some money, which is radical in a certain way, too.

Q. It seems easy for Americans to forget this kind of history.
A. I was really touched that so many black readers connected with this history. People were sharing their stories about their grandparents and the way in which they felt connected to people under Jim Crow. Obviously people recognize that being followed in a store today is not the same as Jim Crow, where if you step out of line or do the wrong thing you and your family could be murdered by the Ku Klux Klan. But I think the larger point is the exhaustion of having to deal with racist store owners, whether it’s the 1900s or 2018.

Q. What is the equivalent of consumer empowerment for people of color today?
A. It’s tricky. The thing about Jim Crow is that it’s not about shopping, it’s about white supremacy. Not in the sense that we understand it today, but in a very transparent way. That’s the difference. I think today the feeling that you can be who you are and buy what you want was most clearly expressed through trans people who are able to buy what they want to wear, even if it doesn’t fit people’s expectations for their bodies.

Q. Do your students think capitalism can be a form or empowerment for people of color?
All of my students feel like the ability to buy something is a pretty foundational right in our society. They’ll say, “Oh, maybe you people don’t have a right to a job, but I should have the ability to shop.” And when they see how that plays out in different ways for African-Americans, for women, gay people, it is pretty remarkable.

Q. Are your students thinking about things like wealth distribution and race?
A. Of course! What I like about it is I get the future ibankers of tomorrow who are like, “we need to have more efficient markets that are neoliberal and are not discriminatory.” And then you get the students who are on the left who are like, “we need to have a basic income, and capitalism is racism and racism is the patriarchy.” I like to have those students in conversation because I feel like that’s the conversation we need to be having.

Q. What kind of blowback did you get after your post?
A. People said that I argued capitalism is anti-racist, but that’s not true. All I’m saying is that in this one particular instance, this catalog helped some people in this way, and it’s an interesting way to understand the complexities of capitalism, particularly Jim Crow capitalism. It’s always surprising to me that white supremacy and consumer capitalism squared off. And in some small measure, white supremacy lost. And that’s really incredible because white supremacy was so powerful. It was this powerful organizing principle in American politics. That’s fascinating.

*sourced, not an original written piece, added comments here and there HLK

The making of a mogul : Building Your Brand, Inspiration from Kevin Durant

The making of a mogul : Building Your Brand, Inspiration from Kevin Durant

There’s a story behind the small black triangle forever imprinted on Kevin Durant‘s wrist. Like the rest of his tattoos — “Maryland” (his home state) across his shoulder blades, a portrait of Tupac on his leg — the ink is an attempt to grab hold of a moment in time and mark it as meaningful. … read more

The making of a mogul : Building Your Brand, Inspiration from Kevin Durant

There’s a story behind the small black triangle forever imprinted on Kevin Durant‘s wrist. Like the rest of his tattoos — “Maryland” (his home state) across his shoulder blades, a portrait of Tupac on his leg — the ink is an attempt to grab hold of a moment in time and mark it as meaningful.

The triangle tattoo is a symbol of the friendship between Durant, his business partner Rich Kleiman and their friend Charlie Bell. A few years ago the three men were hanging out, talking about the incredible possibilities in front of them, and someone thought it sounded like a good idea to get tattoos commemorating the bromance.

It feels a bit quaint now, even to them. Aww, friendship tattoos. How cute!

“I wouldn’t get most of the tattoos I have now,” Durant says with a smile. “But that’s why they’re cool. I got each of them at a point in my life I was feeling something I wanted to remember.”

Kleiman laughs and points to a Chinese character tattooed on his arm.

“Like, this means ‘patience,’ ” the 41-year-old executive says. “Could you imagine if I went in somewhere now and was like, ‘Yeah, what up, my man? Could you give me the Chinese symbol for patience?’

“The guy would be like, ‘OK, midlife crisis. What up, Dad?’ But when I was 19, in Miami, I’m like, ‘Yooo, give me “patience”!’ ”

We’re sitting at a shady table at the cafe atop the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. The Warriors have the day off after a win over the Lakers, and Durant and Kleiman are making the most of it. There was a morning meeting with Brat (a company that created a network for young YouTube stars), this lunch interview, house hunting in Beverly Hills in the afternoon, then a red-eye flight to Washington, D.C., to attend the opening of College Track, which prepares high school students to apply to and graduate from college, at the Durant Center in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Life as a two-time NBA Finals MVP and budding entrepreneur can be a little like taking a speedboat down the chocolate river in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — sensory and experiential overload around every turn.

“My platform is hoops,” Durant says. “Billions of people are watching, so why not leverage it to do the cool stuff that we like to do?”

As one of the best basketball players on the planet, Durant can meet anyone he thinks is interesting, invest in any company he digs and get into any event he wants. Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey? He flew in for Durant’s birthday party this year. Apple VP Eddy Cue? A huge Warriors fan whose company just greenlighted a scripted show called Swagger based on Durant’s experiences in AAU basketball. David Geffen, Oprah, Diane von Furstenberg? Durant hung out with them at Google’s invite-only celebrity camp at the Verdura Resort in Sicily the past few summers.

His world is wide open — and so the challenge for Durant and other superstar athletes-turned-business moguls isn’t just in finding the time to take advantage of the exclusive opportunities in front of them but in searching for the right reasons to do so.

The making of a mogul : Building Your Brand, Inspiration from Kevin Durant

A great brand is a lot like a great jump shot: The best ones appear effortless. And yet, underneath the surface, years of sweat, grind and refinement have gone into it. Athletes used to wait until they were done playing to start building their businesses off the court. They’d let their teams or agents with dozens of other clients handle their marketing. Even back then, they knew they were leaving money and leverage on the table. But who had the bandwidth to build out a portfolio while playing?

In the business world, that’s called a market gap. Customers want a product that doesn’t exist yet? Somebody should go create that product.

In this case, first a superstar athlete such as Durant had to believe he was capable of building his own brand while playing. Then he had to figure out how to do it.

Earlier in his career, Durant says, he mostly just wanted to do what he saw other superstars do.

“‘Gatorade, I need that. McDonald’s,’ ” he says. “I need a trading card, Upper Deck, because I’ve seen other great players do that.”

“You also thought your off-days had to be completely filled,” Kleiman says from across the table.

Over the six years they’ve been working together, Kleiman’s job has been to help Durant be purposeful and intentional about his projects and to take advantage of the creative freedom Durant’s considerable platform has afforded him.

That filtering process can be dizzying for a curious soul like Durant, who readily admits he’s still searching — and probably always will be — for what he wants to be. So a few years ago, in one of their daily deep dives, Kleiman laid it out: “You need to understand that this part of your life should be enjoyable.”

Durant had spent too long trying to fit the model of what he thought a superstar athlete “should” be doing. Just do what feels right or fun or interesting, Kleiman told him. Maybe one of his investments will turn into the next Vitamin Water or Beats by Dre. Maybe it’ll just be a cool experience to look back on. Maybe it’ll flop. But if a startup company presents a product Durant or Kleiman would use himself, or its founder had a certain je ne sais quoi they both connect to, that’s what guides them.

Take Postmates. “I’m hungry one day,” Durant says. “And Rich was like, ‘Yeah, [this company will] bring you food from any restaurant.’ I’m like, ‘They’ve got an app like that? Can you call somebody up there? We need to get involved, because we use this s— on a day-to-day basis.’ ” Soon after, in June 2016, Durant and his team bought a stake in the company, which reportedly had grown tenfold by a valuation this January.

There’s a more rigorous evaluation process after that initial spark, of course. Durant says he likes to study the industry and how a company has grown from its early stages of development before he invests. But if there’s a guiding principle behind the extensive portfolio they’ve assembled, it is to follow and trust Durant’s curiosity.

So far they’ve invested in some 50 companies, ranging from the cold-pressed juice company WTRMLN WTR to an autonomous drone company called Skydio. There’s an equity partnership in the headphone company Master & Dynamic. And starting Feb. 11, there’s The Boardroom, a six-episode series on ESPN+ and multiplatform media brand in which Durant, Kleiman and ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Williams talk with players, industry executives and insiders from the worlds of sports, business, media and technology about how the culture around sports is changing.

“Me and Rich always had these times where it was just him and I, brainstorming,” Durant says.

So why not turn those conversations into a show?

“It’s like Sports Business Journal but for fans,” Kleiman says. By now he’s got this pitch down cold.

“I was watching sports last year, and there was a headline about an investment that Kevin had made. Then a headline about a Liverpool investment that LeBron had made. Then some Yankees highlights.

“When I was 14 years old, I would have been so confused about why the investment stuff is in the middle of these highlights. But in our world now, that’s way cooler than the other stuff.”


There’s no job description that can capture what Kleiman does for Durant. He’s his business partner in Thirty Five Ventures, the umbrella corporation for their production company, Thirty Five Media; the Kevin Durant Foundation; and all of their investments, endorsements and business partnerships. He’s the first or second person Durant speaks to every morning, depending on how early Durant’s brother, Tony, and baby nephew FaceTime him. He’s definitely the first person Durant calls if anything ever goes wrong.

It’s more than your typical manager-athlete relationship: By all accounts, this is a genuine friendship. They refer to each other as “my best friend” and sometimes even “brother.” When ESPN shot the photos for this story, Durant preferred to share the stage with Kleiman and Williams. Yes, some of that is because they’re promoting The Boardroom together. But it’s also a reflection of just how close he and Kleiman are.

At first glance, it’s an unlikely pairing. Kleiman grew up in New York City, attending a private high school that was a member of the Ivy League Preparatory School League. Durant grew up in an impoverished area outside of DC, often taking public transportation for several hours a day to get to and from one of the three high schools he attended.

Kleiman is boisterous, excitable and intense. He has a ton of friends, sleeps with his phone on, spends hours every day workshopping ideas at home in what he calls his think tank. Durant is sensitive, creative and thoughtful. He has just a few close friends from his youth (he was too busy with basketball), spends his off-days exploring restaurants in San Francisco or record stores in Berkeley, and talks wistfully about driving his 1969 Volkswagen bus to Mexico for surf trips.

Durant had already worked with two other agents before he started working with Kleiman in 2013. But they quickly found a professional and personal synergy.

“We just met at, like, the perfect point,” Durant says of the former music industry manager he has empowered to run his business empire. “We both hit our peaks at the same time.”


Picked up from ESPN , I thought our readers would draw some inspiration from this well-written article. Photos are property of ESPN.

Be intentional

Being Intentional: Doing the RIGHT thing vs. the EASY thing.

It’s an add to cart kind of day! The best way to start your day is to be INTENTIONAL. Yes, kiddies, that’s the word of the day.. Intentional… What does that mean exactly? in·ten·tion·al inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/ adjective 1. done on purpose; deliberate. 2. done with purpose; intended Let’s take a look at what that means in … read more

Be intentional

It’s an add to cart kind of day! The best way to start your day is to be INTENTIONAL.

Yes, kiddies, that’s the word of the day.. Intentional…

What does that mean exactly?

in·ten·tion·al
inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/
adjective

1. done on purpose; deliberate.
2. done with purpose; intended

Let’s take a look at what that means in the context of the “support handmade” and “shop small” movements.

The easy thing to do when you need to buy a gift is to run to your local retailer and pick up a gift card for another retailer, most likely a chain store, or corporately owned restaurant chain… Everyone likes gift cards, don’t they?

The easy thing to do when you need an outfit or accessory for a special occasion is to go to the mall, and look around until something “speaks to you”… or go to the closest big box store and find something there, right?

Well, I am here to tell you that the easy thing is not always the RIGHT thing to do.

doing the right thing

Being intentional in this context is about doing the RIGHT thing, not the easiest thing. Every single dollar you spend is a vote for the type of world you want to live in. Do you really want to line the pockets of CEO’s of fortune 500 companies? Do you want to give that CEO that extra vacation … OR would you rather know that your money is giving a little boy little league, or a little girl dance lessons? Would you rather see a small family be able to go out and see a movie together? or would you rather give that big box store’s corporate management team a big fat bonus when they’re already raking in the cash… or would you like to know that your purchase MEANT something to ONE work at home mom or dad?  I’d sleep a lot better at night if I was MORE intentional with my shopping dollars. Sure, it might make some forethought and planning out to buy a birthday gift for someone from the Gypsy Spoonful marketplace, and it may just be easier to grab that gift card from your local pharmacy store.

Gypsy Spoonful has 165 independently owned & operated small shops~ each one representing a very hard working mom or dad, or a student working their way through college, a person who has a disability and may not be able to hold a traditional job, a homeschooling parent who wants to be home with their children and teach them while also working and adding to the family income. EVERY single sale matters in the life of a VERY REAL person. It makes a difference in their household.

Doing the right thing is not always easy, but it is ALWAYS the right thing to do.

Shop the Gypsy Spoonful Marketplace Now

Check out what we believe about handmade, and small American business, if you vibe with what we’re doing, and you’re a maker/artist/crafter… apply to open a shop HERE . 

Want to see our community of makers in action, and get to know the person who owns a shop? Join our Facebook Group. You can also request a custom item on the wall in the group!

Hustle: Do you have it? What does Hustling Mean To You?

The definition of hustle varies with different individuals. To some, its the art of working extra hard to meet your goals while to others, it’s a lifestyle you live by every day. As they say, the end results justify the means. We asked CEOs what hustle means to them and here are the responses. #1- … read more

The definition of hustle varies with different individuals. To some, its the art of working extra hard to meet your goals while to others, it’s a lifestyle you live by every day. As they say, the end results justify the means.

We asked CEOs what hustle means to them and here are the responses.

#1- Powering through the hard parts

Thanks to Jake Jorgovan, Lead Cookie!It’s not about working nights and weekends forever, that just leads to burnout. Instead hustle is about working those nights and weekends when it’s necessary to get over that next hump. Too many people confuse hustle with being a workaholic. You simply can’t stay in hustle mode for your entire life. There are seasons for hustle, and there are seasons to focus on your personal life. It’s important to understand that balance.

 #2- GSD’ing

Thanks to Spencer Chambers Hustle to me is summed up in what I like to call GSD’ing. What is GSD’ing you may ask? In appropriate language, this means Get “Stuff” Done. Work hard, never take no for an answer, make things happen, etc. It’s a really simple concept, but it takes hustle to truly execute and get stuff done on a daily basis.

#3- Simple

Thanks to Taran Ghatrora, Ellebox!Hustle to me is having a clear vision and an unbeatable work ethic to get there. You can’t get stuck in the planning phase or in overthinking.

#4- Executing things

Hustle is the ability to execute steps forward on ideas using discipline to motivate you, instead of inspiration or whim. Your idea is pretty much shit, unless you actually execute on it and do the thing.

Thanks to Ben Woods, Weathered Coalition!

#5- A number of things

Hustling is pursuing your passion when others aren’t. Hustling is saying no to happy hour to work on your business. Hustling is waking up every day at 5 a.m. to write a new company blog post, answer emails or listen to motivational videos. Hustling is spending most of your days alone because you are fervently working to grow your business.

Thanks to Zondra Wilson, Blu Skin Care, LLC!

#6-Having grit

Hustle means having grit. Sticking to it and getting things done while thinking strategically and being engaged. Hustling is about being effective and following through. It’s about the process — start to finish. Be strategic, savvy, and execute. It’s a go-go-go, get it done mentality.

Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation.com!

#7- Performance and productivity

For most entrepreneurs and small business owners, hustle in its most literal sense means that you have to perform and be productive at a high level each and every day. If not, your competitors are likely to get a leg up on you. In a more subjective sense, hustle is a term used regarding a side hustle, which is how many of us get started. If you can find something to do in your spare time which generates income for you, there’s nothing to say that it can’t eventually turn into a full-time position and career for you.

Thanks to Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers!

#8- Motivation and persistence

Thanks to Tom Szaky, TerraCycle!To me, hustle is motivation and persistence. It is being motivated by the word “no,” or the desire to do something others think is not possible. It is thinking big and not settling for anything less than great. Mediocre will not suffice. When TerraCycle first started about 15 years ago, we sold organic worm poop fertilizer. Selling to mom n’ pop stores would’ve been easy, but I wanted more. I wanted to see it on shelves in big box stores so I called relentlessly, no matter how many times they didn’t respond. Finally, we got a meeting and a short time later our fertilizer was on store shelves. Today, we no longer make the fertilizer and TerraCycle is known for recycling difficult to recycle materials. We operate in 21 countries and were just qualified by the SEC for a Regulation A offering which enables any level investor to purchase shares of the company. The capital raise will be used to acquire businesses, allowing us to continue to innovate ways to solve some of the world’s biggest waste problems. Thinking big and persevering despite the no’s in life is my definition of hustle.

#9- Making things happen

It takes drive, creativity, energy, passion, chutzpah, and resilience. As the founder and CEO I know there are going to be times when doors close or I have to pivot to turn my vision into reality. If it were easy someone would have thought of it and done it before. If you are committed to making your dream come true you have to hustle. No one else wakes up every day thinking about your business. It is on you to hustle. If you want it more then you just have to work harder and hustle to make it happen.

Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!

 #10- Solving problems

Hustle is a term that gets thrown around a lot by entrepreneurs, we say with pride that we worked 14 hours a day for the last week. I’m working on being more conscious of framing my relationship to the word hustle, I now relate it to resourcefulness. When you’re running your own business, a lot of different things come down the pipe, and you’ve got to be able to dig deep and have a high capacity for problem-solving.

Thanks to Justin Shaw, One & Zero!

#11- Hard work

Hustle is working day in and day out even when the results aren’t showing. It’s doing all of the work when you don’t feel like it or you’re stressed. Hustle means not complaining and putting in the hours no matter what because you’re dedicated. In business, it takes a long time for the fruits of your labor to show their effects. I believe you have to be willing to work very hard now for rewards later. That’s what hustle means to me.

Thanks to Carmine M, Pierro Shoes!

#12- It’s everything

Thanks to Rune Sovndahl, Fantastic Services!Business and hustle go hand in hand when being an entrepreneur and it can be fantastic, but also really challenging at the same time. What is “hustle”, you may ask? It’s everything. To me it is breathing, living and feeling the pulse of the business. It’s about making constant growth sustainable. Hustle is about a constant state of peak performance and ability to find the positive in every situation. It is also used to remind one that good things don’t come to those who wait – it comes to those who work hard, sleep and breathe work, and deliver. No matter what type of problem is thrown at you, you have to keep hustling!

#13- To keep moving

Hustle to me means rolling with the punches and never giving up. When your business or your professional career there are going to be low times, failures and even lull’s. You need to make sure to keep working through these times. This is where most people give up and try something new. Have faith and believe in yourself. Hustle your way through these hard times.

Thanks to Garrett Smith, Pitch + Pivot!

#14- Several things

Being the Executive Director of a very small nonprofit, hustle means something very different to me than how the average CEO probably sees it. For me, making as many connections as possible and going to as many networking events as possible are critical. I also need to be fearless when it comes to asking people, companies, and organizations for support and resources for our organization whenever we need it. Hustle also means having my elevator pitch down to a science, so I can easily and efficiently sell our organization to potential new supporters and partners on the spot. For me, hustling also means keeping in touch with connections even if you can’t work with them right away, because you never know if they might be able to help you later on, or who else they might know who might be able to help you, too. Additionally, being ready with a list of things you need assistance with – and being ready to vocalize that list of needs when opportunities arise – is definitely critical to hustling, as is working all channels available to you (like using social media for instance) to crowd-source resources and connections that can benefit us as well.

Thanks to Melissa Norden, Bottomless Closet!

#15- When you say, enough talking – it’s time to do something

Your business began with a dream, that dream morphed into a vision which then becomes a goal. The world is full of dreamers. You have to do more than dream and believe; you have to have a shared goal and hustle to reach it! We teach our team in our EntreLeadership classes to clearly define dreams, visions and goals, share them and share them with their teams. Hustle happens when the team fights and claws together to get there.

Thanks to Dave Ramsey, Ramsey Solutions!

#16- Making it work

“Detroit Hustle” is a known state of mind in the Motor City, where my outdoor advertising agency is headquartered. To me, hustle means always making it work and never giving up. I’ve worked essentially 24/7 since starting Brooklyn Outdoor 5 years ago and I wouldn’t change it for the world. My days are jam-packed with meetings, conference calls, and tight deadlines. I think the most important part of the hustle is being invigorated by hard work instead of feeling drained.

Thanks to Candice Simons, Brooklyn Outdoor!

What does hustle mean to you? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join

(courtesty of CEO Blog Nation)

Blogging

WAHM? Not Blogging? Top Ten Reasons You should be!

Blogging According to a recent U.K. survey, bloggers have ranked as the third most trustworthy source of information, following only friends and family. That’s right — bloggers are trusted more than celebrities, journalists, brands, and politicians. Here are the top 10 reasons blogging can help promote your handmade small business: Top Ten Reasons You Need to Be … read more

Blogging

Old fashioned camera

According to a recent U.K. survey, bloggers have ranked as the third most trustworthy source of information, following only friends and family. That’s right — bloggers are trusted more than celebrities, journalists, brands, and politicians. Here are the top 10 reasons blogging can help promote your handmade small business:

Top Ten Reasons You Need to Be Blogging!

When I network with small business owners and online marketers, I often find myself asking them if they’ve launched their blog yet.  Adding a blog has so many important benefits and it’s no wonder that huge corporations and megastores are also getting into blogging. Especially for the micropreneur however, blogs have several distinct advantages. Here are a few.

1. A blog is search engine food! Google and the other big search engines love content and a blog can help you get free search engine traffic. Recently search engines are giving more weight to blogs because they want to offer the freshest, most relevant content to internet searchers.

2. Blogs create community. Because they are interactive, a blog draws people back to your site again and again. Your visitors will read your post then leave their comments, read comments left by others, and come back to see how the conversation is flowing. Blogs are much easier to manage than message forums too. With RSS (Real Simple Syndication), people can subscribe to your blog feed and be notified automatically when you update your blog.

3. Blogging puts you in control of your site. Posting to your blog is as easy as typing an email or a word document. Why pay a designer to add a page to your website when you can update your site whenever you like, easy as pie? You can blog as often or as rarely as you like to serve your particular needs.

4. Blogs help you grow your bottom line. There are many ways you can add additional monetization streams to your blog so you can make more money in your business without working harder.

5. Your customers love blogs. They can ask you questions, read info about your products and services, and share their opinions. Generally, it can feel more interactive and personal to readers and potential customers.

6. Blogs help you know your target market. As you observe who is leaving comments on your blog, you get to know your market better. This education helps you be a smarter marketer.

7. Conduct market research. A blog is an easy way to conduct surveys and polls to help you get inside the mind of your customers. This information is invaluable to you.

8. Blogs help your customers get to know you. A blog gives your customers a chance to see your personality shine through. People buy from people they like!

9. Blogging is fun. I’ll admit it, blogging is addicting once you get going! There are so many benefits to your business. What’s not to love?

10. As a small business owner, you have a limited marketing budget. Blogging is a free marketing tactic – it only costs you a little of your time.

Old fashioned camera

 

Here’s a helpful resource list for bloggers

It’s always a great idea to mix a little personal / lifestyle with your business to keep readers interested~ so here’s a list of suggested blog topics to get you off to a great start:

Blog Ideas

Like what you’ve read? Please join our facebook group  and follow our facebook page

 

Fat Quarter Shop: Coupon Code Inside

uh-oh… Did you HEAR that?! It was the sound of your fabric stash expanding! If you’re addicted to fabric, like I am, then you don’t NEED another excused to buy more, but I’ll give you one anyway! …’cause I’m an enabler like that! How does a 10% discount sound on ANY order through The Fat … read more

uh-oh… Did you HEAR that?! It was the sound of your fabric stash expanding!

If you’re addicted to fabric, like I am, then you don’t NEED another excused to buy more,

but I’ll give you one anyway! …’cause I’m an enabler like that!

How does a 10% discount sound on ANY order through The Fat Quarter Shop?

Yep, we’re all about saving our members and followers moolah, so use coupon code: gypsy at checkout

The Fine Print: (coupon code exp. 6/25/2017, can only be used 1 time per customer, not applicable to gift certificates or sale items including flash sales.)

Want to save more and see even more super-dee-duper deals I’ve secured for our members? Head on over to our Tribe page and take a look… It’s chock full of friends, supporters and sponsors of Gypsy Spoonful just waiting to have you stop by! Click HERE

Entrepreneurship Ain’t For Sissies

I’ve often said it takes a special breed of person to be an entrepreneur. Being your own boss, starting your own business and growing that venture will test you to every limit you have. Personally, it will either make or break you. In the boutique and handmade world, we see trends come and go, we … read more

I’ve often said it takes a special breed of person to be an entrepreneur. Being your own boss, starting your own business and growing that venture will test you to every limit you have. Personally, it will either make or break you. In the boutique and handmade world, we see trends come and go, we see hot products everyone wants… supply and demand ebbs and flows, but what makes a small or micro-business be able to stand the test of time?

I’ve personally been the owner of my own small business ( Goosie Girl) for almost 14 years now. The Wall Street Journal reported in September 2013 that 56% of Americans thought that they were capable of launching their own company while 9% actually took the plunge and took steps to start a business. Against this backdrop of optimism and confidence stands another set of sobering statistics that outline the causes of small business mortality. Small business failure rates vary, but from 50-70% fail within the first 18 months.

To gain insight to the contributing factors to business mortality, researchers at the University of Tennessee studied failures of thousands of small businesses and attempted to identify the primary culprit leading to demise. They grouped their findings into broad categories but “drilled down” within each to identify root causes of failure.

The leading cause of business failure was determined to be “Incompetence”. Fully 46% of failures could be explained by this broad-brush term. The specific behaviors that underlie this headline, however, are fairly specific and revealing. These include:

  • Taking an emotional approach to pricing
  • Non-payment of taxes
  • No knowledge of industry pricing conventions
  • No knowledge of financing requirements and conventions
  • No experience in record-keeping
  • Living beyond the means of the business
  • Lack of planning

Next in line as a primary contributor to business failure was “Unbalanced experience or lack of managerial experience”. This condition explained 30% of small business failures and was manifested primarily by poor credit-granting decisions.

Eleven percent of failures were attributed to “Lack of experience”. Specific shortcomings that proved lethal included the failure to maintain adequate inventory, no knowledge of suppliers and wasted advertising budgets.

*Source http://isbdc.org/small-business-failure-rates-causes/

The point is that few entrepreneurs, especially first time entrepreneurs, are ready for what comes at them from a people perspective when building a business. In order to succeed, they need to be able to step outside of their comfort zones and reinvent themselves – finding the courage to do things they never thought they’d have to do, or that they’d be capable of doing. I have often said, in business you must constantly reinvent yourself, or find new products, or find new ways of doing the important things which keep a small business afloat such as promotion, networking and marketing.

So how can entrepreneurs get out of this conundrum and learn to reinvent themselves while at the same time reinventing their business?

  • The first step is two-fold: recognizing that reinventing yourself is just as important a task as reinventing your business. Then, once you’ve convinced yourself of the imperative, doing an inventory of your challenges. No one likes to admit weaknesses, but just as you look for the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) in a business deal, use that same rubric on yourself. Where are your blind spots? What do you struggle with? Be honest.
  • The second step is to assess your own personal motivation. You’ve done your personal  analysis and find that you struggle with sales, or networking or at delivering bad news. The next step is making sure that this is something you actually care about improving. What’s in it for you to get better at this? Will it help your company grow and thrive? Probably. Will it help you become a more effective businessperson? Will it help you achieve your goals and ambitions? Definitely. Embracing your internal motivation is an essential step for making anything happen, especially personal transformation.

  • Finally, the last step is to beta test your newly reinvented self. Try out the new behavior. Look at how others do it, and ask friends for help. Maybe even enlist the help of a coach. If beta test number one doesn’t work, try again. Tinker with the behavior, or try it in a different setting. Remind yourself of your motivation to go out there and do it, and just like you’d beta test and improve a product, do the same with this new version of yourself.
  • *Source: Linked In Article by Andy Molinsky

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take

there are many reasons to tweak your business model–or to try out a whole new one–that make perfect sense. If you do it thoughtfully, it could be the best business decision you ever make. ~ Entrepreneur Magazine

If this information has urged you in the direction of reinvention of your small business,and tipped the scales for our readers who are makers looking for a new venue, such as Gypsy Spoonful here are the top three tips on HOW to do it sourced from Entrepreneur Magazine and some experienced business coaches such as Karyn Greenstreet, a Philadelphia-area small-business coach specializing in self-employment and business reinvention as well as Steve Strauss, a business speaker and author as well as a columnist for USA Today

  1. 1. Know When to Make a Change : Timing Is crucial. The first step is deciding if it’s the right time for a change. (Every.Single.Day. I receive applications from makers wanting to abandon the venue they are currently selling on and joining up with Gypsy Spoonful. A popular marketplace has definitely changed, and many are jumping ship. If it’s working for you, I’d advise to keep selling there, but NEVER keep all your eggs in one basket. A variety of marketplaces are GOOD to reach different customer bases. By all means, if it’s not working for you anymore due to policy change, lack of support, mass produced or imported items being sold on the same venue and undercutting your pricing… then it’s time to move on. We are entering a new season for handmade~ and the time is ripe for a marketplace solely dedicated to handmade goods.)
  2. Decide What You Want
    After the decision is made to change, you need to decide what type of change is necessary to meet your goals. “Once you decide there’s something you can do better, you need to decide whether to make a little tweak or a major overhaul,” Strauss says. “You have to decide what’s best for your brand.  (Learning a new craft and/or adding a new item to your product line up can bring new life to your handmade microbusiness. Once you decide what it is you truly want out of your business, It is so true to say “Entrepreneurs have more ideas than they have time for. The absolute first stage is deciding to cut off all those other ideas and focus on one. Making a decision to make a decision is the hardest thing for entrepreneurs to do.” Once you have clarity on your goals and values, making a decision should be easy. (We often ask potential new members to read what Gypsy Spoonful believes about handmade, and small business, and doing business in America before committing to applying as a maker. You can see this our ideals and values by clicking here.)
  3. The next step is something every business owner should be experienced at–making and following a business plan. “You need to act as if you’re starting from scratch,” Strauss says. “You need to think it through thoroughly, figure out who the competition is, how you are going to beat them and what the costs are. Strauss and Greenstreet suggest sharing your plans with other business owners or a mastermind group. “Entrepreneurs tend to rely on intuition a lot, but you need to make sure other people think your plan is a good idea,” Strauss says. (This is why Gypsy Spoonful has been built around the concept of “community”, we rely on our “mastermind group” to support, share and build each other up. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely venture, if you are in community with other like-minded small business owners, it makes it more enjoyable, less stressful and you can learn from other’s successes and mistakes as well).

“Business owners sometimes need people to bounce things off of to keep them from going off in crazy directions,” – Pamela Wilson

During the transition, you’ll likely be running two shops at once as you phase out the old business model and ramp up the new one. “Sometimes reinvention means running two businesses simultaneously for almost a year,” Greenstreet warns. “It’s overwhelming, and business owners are often so excited about the new model, they want to let go of the old model. It’s like going through a long divorce before committing to a new relationship.” The solution is to create a detailed exit strategy. (Gypsy Spoonful doesn’t want to be the only venue you’re a part of, we just want to be the best and favorite one 😉  )

Entrepreneur’s article suggests to : “Be transparent through the whole process with vendors, customers, employees and, most important, your family. Give everyone notice that changes are coming, when they will happen and what it means for them.”

If it’s time to reinvent your business and switch venues, and hop aboard the NEW home for handmade, we encourage you to go through the application process: Get the process started here

 

 

 

May The 4th Be With You

Gypsy Spoonful is celebrating international Star Wars Day in style! Where else but a small business such as the shops owned by a Gypsy Spoonful independent maker who creates one of a kind, or small quantities of their products is it more possible to find something totally unique? We can tweak , personalize, and customize nearly … read more

Gypsy Spoonful is celebrating international Star Wars Day in style!

Where else but a small business such as the shops owned by a Gypsy Spoonful independent maker who creates one of a kind, or small quantities of their products is it more possible to find something totally unique? We can tweak , personalize, and customize nearly anything you can imagine, it’s just a matter of reaching out to the maker and ASKING. Our businesses depend on our abilities to offer awesome customer service, and willgness to give our clients what they’re looking for. That is something a big box store CAN NOT and WILL NOT do.

May the 4th Be With you all! We have items you can not find ANYWHERE else on the internet. All of our maker’s items are made with the utmost attention to detail and skill. You definitely can’t beat a handmade item’s quality, when a maker creates an item by hand the piece is excellent quality. It will last much longer than a mass produced, factory made item. The care that is given to each piece when a maker creates things in small quantity raises the bar for all products. When you shop the maker’s of Gypsy Spoonful, you’re supporting a small business owner with dreams and hopes that stretch the galaxy!

Luke, I am your father!

Bathtime just got real my friends! Take a peek at this hooded Darth Vader Bath Towel from Firefly Threads

Click on the picture to visit this listing

Everybody’s new roly-poly favorite ! A BB-8! Grab this chunky bubble gum bead necklace before it’s gone!

Click on the picture to get all the details and to see this item created by BuildABraceletBeadDesigns :


 

Your little Battlestar Baker needs this awesome apron, dontcha think?

Click on the pic or visit all of SewingAtTen’s listings

This skirt is on sale TODAY! Snag it before the price isn’t $15 anymore! What a GREAT deal for such a CUTE skirt!

Click on the picture to go to this listing from PlayPatch

Rey is in the house! Click on the picture to check out this embroidered hooded towel from JustBobbinAlong

This BagLadyAmI bag is so amazing, not only is it the trendy cross-body style, it’s got so many details!

Click on the picture to see it now

We’re glad you’ve joined us for our May the 4th product showcase. The Gypsy Spoonful Marketplace is reeling with independent small business owners. We’re a creative community, and we would like to ask for your support of our small businesses. The next time you’re on an online shopping bender, or have a gift to buy, need something for a special occasion, we invite you to search for what you’re looking for by clicking HERE

 

 

3 Things You NEED to Know About Shopping on Gypsy Spoonful

Things you need to know about shopping Gypsy Spoonful: 1.We have 40+ independent makers. They design, create and sell all of their wares BY HAND. There is nothing mass produced, everything is MADE IN AMERICA. There is NOT one thing imported. When you buy something, you are supporting a REAL person with dreams, hopes and … read more

Things you need to know about shopping Gypsy Spoonful:
1.We have 40+ independent makers. They design, create and sell all of their wares BY HAND. There is nothing mass produced, everything is MADE IN AMERICA. There is NOT one thing imported. When you buy something, you are supporting a REAL person with dreams, hopes and goals. You’re not funding a corporation or conglomerate, or a super rich CEO lining their pockets. Your purchase helps support a work at home mom and their family incomes, your purchase may buy dance lessons, swim or piano lessons.. pay for cheer competitions, or let a mom take her kids to the movies… or in some instances, this may put FOOD on the table for a family, it may pay the light bill or car insurance. Shopping Small puts real money into the hands of real people, it also puts money back into local economies in towns all across this great country.

 


2. We have fully automated, secure checkout. We have encryption that is fully safe, all forms of payment are accepted through our checkout system, each transaction is safeguarded and you have automatic protection built into each purchase. Our site is locked down like a motha… haha… Active McAffee, GoDaddy and iThemes Security 24/7 ~SSL certificate and monitoring. We lock up your info like Alcatraz and we will NEVER share it with ANYONE.


3. We believe in handmade and the people that MAKE. We are a curated site, meaning we don’t accept everyone who applies to open a shop. We have screened and vetted each and every maker~They each go through a rigorous application process with lots of grilling by our admin team. We look for stability, professionalism, quality of product, honesty and trustworthiness.  (Want to apply? Go HERE: and click to JOIN )

Those are just the top 3 high points of what my vision has brought to life… There are a bazillion other reasons to shop Gypsy Spoonful but these are some key points


Thank you for believing in the “vision” of a completely handmade marketplace like nothing you’ve ever seen before. We’re about community before competition.#GypsySpoonful #itsLaunchDay #SHOPPING #handmade #sewing #crafting #customboutique #boutique #grandopeningtoday #bethereathighnoon