Tag: gypsy spoonful

Bread Machine and 4 Bread Mixes Giveaway from the Prepared Pantry on the GS Blog

Enter to win a bread machine and 4 mixes from the Prepared Pantry.  Just by entering the contest, you’ll get $60 in coupons plus an emailed cookbook! Enter Here

Enter to win a bread machine and 4 mixes from the Prepared Pantry. 
Just by entering the contest, you’ll get $60 in coupons plus an emailed cookbook!

Enter Here

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.

Another Year of Shark Week Comes to an End

As another year of shark week comes to a close, how are you feeling? Did you get enough shark week? How does this year compare to previous years? Did you have a shark week party? Loving it and wanting more? Well, here it is! Shark Week originally premiered on July 17, 1988. It has been featured … read more

As another year of shark week comes to a close, how are you feeling? Did you get enough shark week? How does this year compare to previous years? Did you have a shark week party? Loving it and wanting more? Well, here it is!

Shark Week originally premiered on July 17, 1988. It has been featured annually since then. It was originally devoted to conservation efforts and correcting misconceptions about sharks. Over time, it grew in popularity and became a huge hit on the Discovery Channel with a lineup of new shows all about sharks, including the theme week’s first original movie.

“Capsized: Blood in the Water,” based on a true story, stars Josh Duhamel as the captain of a yacht that capsizes in a Florida storm as its crew is chased by sharks. Capsized: Blood in the Water‘s ending provides a follow-up on the lives of Brad and Deborah following their rescue. After five days without food and water, the sole survivors were picked up by the Russians on October 28, 1982.

One thing that hasn’t changed this year is the shark week parties that are happening. There is one woman that does amazing drinks every year for shark week! Check her out HERE!  Don’t forget the kids! Need fun and food for the little ones during the party? Check THIS out. Looking for more activities for the kids to do during shark week?  Check out this great list HERE for more fun! Speaking of fun, Gypsy Spoonful shops have some great shark items too!!

Like the Crochet Shark Hat Custom Made by A Fairytale Moment

Shark Crocheted Hat – Made in all sizes
Processing time is 3-5 days
Made of 100% cotton yarn.

Shark Hand Sanitizer Holder by Wallowa Wonders

Shark Hand Sanitizer Holder

Do you feel the need to sanitize your hands often when you are out and about?  After touching those shopping carts at the grocery store?  On vacation and need to clean up before lunch?  Working with little petri dishes of germs (AKA kids)?  Great for nurses, teachers, daycare centers, and just about everyone.  Shark case is created with easy to clean vinyl and attached to a key ring and lobster claw to attach to your purse, back pack, diaper bag, or even to a belt loop in a pinch.
Each holder includes a Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel.  Hand sanitizer scent will vary depending on availability. Holds 1 oz. sanitizer from Bath & Body Works or Purell bottles too.

 

Shark Menstrual Pad
One 10 Inch Moderate Flannel Core Reusable Eco Friendly Mama Cloth Tie Dye

One shark pad. This is the 10 inch shark pattern from Happy Hippo. Top fabric is soft woven cotton that I tie dyed myself. Inner core is four layers of cotton flannel for moderate flow. The back is teal blue woven cotton.
These have a hidden waterproof layer of PUL.
Each pad will be a bit different due to pattern placement on the fabric. Selection will be random.
All pad orders come with a drying strap.
Good for your health, good for the environment, good for your budget.

 

Scrub Tops “Sharks in the Water” Medical Shirts

Custom made classic V-Neck Scrub Shirts especially tailored for Men & Women, RN, MD, PA, Vets, School Nurses, Lab Techs medical professionals by ScrubLub

Watch out for JAWS! Can you believe it’s been 40 years since the original movie?? Custom made, Unique, Fun-printed, Classic V-neck SCRUB TOPS to bring out the smiles and the kid in everyone around you!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See all items tagged “Shark” HERE

By the way, in case you missed it, we just finished up with a FLASH auction in our Facebook Group! Great deals and it was a blast! Don’t miss the next one! Get in the group to join all the fun!

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

Make it a Handmade Summer

Make it a handmade summer this year! Summer is truly a magical time of the year in such a different way then the winter season. While winter is filled with the wonders of the holidays, summer’s magic is more about the breeze in your hair and a connection with nature. It brings to mind state … read more

Make it a handmade summer this year! Summer is truly a magical time of the year in such a different way then the winter season. While winter is filled with the wonders of the holidays, summer’s magic is more about the breeze in your hair and a connection with nature. It brings to mind state fairs and 4th of July fireworks, picnics and swimming holes. Summer seems to bring out imagination and play and gives you a little more time to be laid back and fun whether you just have a short vacation or the whole summer off. Let Gypsy Spoonful add a little handmade to your summer to make it even better with some of our amazing summer items.

Storm Dragon Stick Pony toy by Houkreative Creations

Storm Dragon Hobby Horse

Storm Dragon stick pony is a one of a kind handmade ride on toy for kids.

Storm Dragon stick pony is a one of a kind handmade dragon hobby horse.  This dragon stick horse stands about 36 inches tall. Storm Dragon has purples, blues, and greens and is accented with gold swirls. Kids will enjoy riding around on their dragon exercising their bodies and imaginations.  Storm Dragon stick pony comes with an adoption certificate.  Our stick ponies ship with in 2 business days via USPS priority for quick delivery.

 

 

 

 

 

Sea Turtle Blanket Made to Order by APLCrafts

sea turtle baby blanket - aplcraftsBaby sea turtles, the ocean, and a dolphin. What more could you ask for in this gorgeous beach scene in a baby blanket? How about size? I believe that baby blankets should be something that a child grows with and has memories with. That’s why my baby blankets are sized larger than typical baby blankets. At approximately 40″ x 46″ there’s nothing small here.

 

 

 

 

Mermaid Crown for beach wedding or mermaid photo prop by Goosie Girl

Mermaid Crown

Goosie Girl is pleased to present Mermaid Dreams~ an original Mermaid Crown sized for tweens-adults. This piece is one of a kind, and won’t re-produced exactly so you’re assured of a one of a kind creation. It is ready-to-ship and would be IDEAL for a photo prop or beach wedding. Created from hand-painted and glittered authentic seashells and two types of starfish~ it’s embellished with amazing beads, strung pearls, silver chain and iridescent flat-back crystals. It ties in the back of the head with coordinating purple organza ribbon

 

 

 

Pokeball Popsicle Pouch Freeze Pop Holder by Firefly Threads

Little ones will be able to hold their freeze pops or frozen yogurt easier with this popsicle pouch!  Great as a party favor! Additional quantities are available upon request. Please order with plenty of time for crafting and shipping to ensure proper delivery if you have a deadline approaching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citrus Mouse Ear Headband Set Machine Embroidery Design by MGE Designs

Citrus Mouse Ear Headband Set Machine Embroidery Design Digital DownloadCitrus Mouse Ear Headband Set Machine Embroidery Design Digital Download. All designs have been stitched out by testers. Size: Ear 3.40X3.60″, Bow: 3.25

 

 

 

 

 

 

See more Summer items on Gypsy Spoonful HERE

Handmade Products

The Spring Auction is in it’s final hours!

The Gypsy Spoonful Spring auction is close to wrapping up, don’t miss out on an opportunity to snag some great bargains on over 150 awesome handmade items. Everything for Easter Baskets, Mother’s Day, Graduation, and to get your Home and Garden all decked out for the impending warmer months! Spring is such a promising time … read more

The Gypsy Spoonful Spring auction is close to wrapping up, don’t miss out on an opportunity to snag some great bargains on over 150 awesome handmade items. Everything for Easter Baskets, Mother’s Day, Graduation, and to get your Home and Garden all decked out for the impending warmer months!

Spring is such a promising time of the year, re-birth and re-growth is at the forefront, and when you shop with any of our 100 small shops, or bid on an item in our auction.. you’re making a decision to start a new~ shopping with us is an opportunity to live the handmade life, unapologetically!

Handmade items are the BEST quality you can get because they’re made individually, one at a time, by the maker’s own two hands. They’re not mass produced in a factory under bad working conditions, and rushed timeframes and deadlines. Each item is lovingly created with all positive vibes.

Join our Facebook Group HERE

Take a look at our auction album here and place a bid today!

(To bid, just comment with your highest bid amount and you might win!-it’s so easy peasy!!)

 

 

 

The Psychology of Smell by Rebecca of J Mae Handmade

Scent is a powerful tool. Between my interest in psychology and my use of fragrance in my bath & body products, I decided to compose a post about the psychology behind our sense of smell. Our sense of smell, or olfaction, is very important to our every day life. We use it distinguish thousands upon … read more

The Psychology of Smell

Scent is a powerful tool. Between my interest in psychology and my use of fragrance in my bath & body products, I decided to compose a post about the psychology behind our sense of smell.

Our sense of smell, or olfaction, is very important to our every day life. We use it distinguish thousands upon thousands of different scents. It can warn us of danger, such as spoiled food or an unseen fire, as well as inform us of something good. Many times our sense of smell is an instinctual or subconscious power. Did you know that it goes into a deeper subconscious level than you may sometimes realize? Complex emotions and memories can be triggered by a simple sensory cue. From the smell of coffee taking you back to Sunday afternoons in your Grandma’s kitchen, to the smell of leather taking you back to your first competitive horse run. Smells are very closely tied into our memories.

Many people undervalue the power scent can have. Fragrances have the ability to bring forth both positive and negative psychological states of mind and reactions in just milliseconds.  People may not even notice when buying something such as a lotion that they gravitate toward fragrances based on their personal experiences. The more vivid the memory/emotion attached to a fragrance, the more preferred it is and more likely it is to be purchased by said personThe Psychology of Smell

So why are scents linked in with our memories? It is said to be most likely due to our brain anatomy. When scents come through your nose, they are processed by the olfactory bulb which runs along the bottom of the brain. The bulb is connected to two parts of your brain that are involved in memories and emotions, these are the amygdala and hippocampus. Smell is most strongly associated with memories and emotions because they run through these parts of the brain, whereas our other senses do not pas information through these parts of the brain.

While most scent associations are based on your personal experiences and history, there are some cultural smell-related perceptions. For example, North America and Europe heavily associate lavender with being calming and citrus with being bright and invigorating. Meanwhile, Japan associated jasmine with relaxing and rose water as energizing/happy. So some of these things are a learned subconscious (or even conscious) response to fragrance.

Essentially, fragrance is a huge driving factor in our every day life. If it brings bad memories, we avoid it. If it brings good, we flock to it and surround ourselves with it. Whether it boosts our productivity or helps us to relax, we use scent to shape our daily life all the time.

Who Made Your Clothes?

Who Made YOUR Clothes? Fast Fashion Facts

Who Was It That Made Your Clothes?. Do You Even Know?! That’s Ok, most people don’t know who made their clothes. Unfortunately in the world of fast fashion, where clothing is made to be easily accessible, short-term and disposable, people don’t always truly know WHO made their clothes. The sad fact is that fashion can … read more

Who Was It That Made Your Clothes?. Do You Even Know?!

That’s Ok, most people don’t know who made their clothes. Unfortunately in the world of fast fashion, where clothing is made to be easily accessible, short-term and disposable, people don’t always truly know WHO made their clothes.

The sad fact is that fashion can come with a very high personal cost to the people that create it, and also to the planet.

What can we do about this alarming trend?

Don’t buy it! Mass-produced clothing is not the best quality, nor is it the way to reflect the values YOU hold dear. Society is consuming fashion at a rate like never before. We call this monster: fast fashion.

Fast fashion is the phenomenon we use to describe garments that go from design to store in a quick flash; sometimes within the space of a week! As the price of fashion dives lower, and the accessibility of new trends increases, fast fashion is being put in the spotlight.

Sad Facts about Fast Fashion:

  • Eighty billion pieces of clothing are consumed globally every year.
  • The US spends an estimated $2.6 billion on Halloween costumes every year: worn for one night only.
  • 250,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves in the last 15 years due to the stress of debt they accumulated through buying genetically modified cotton seeds to keep up with demand.
  • The wages of workers in garment factories overseas can be as low as $1-$3  a day.
  • Some overeas clothing factories use forced prison labor to make the clothing
  • Some clothing factories use child labor (sequins and beading can be an indication of this)
  • Fast fashion giants actually make clothing to fall apart: they are obsessed with the bottom line, so will do anything to make you buy more clothes.
  • Using the restroom during a 10-hour shift in a garment factory can cause a major uproar from managers.
  • Fast fashion brands put out new collections every week or month to make it seem like your wardrobe is all off trend. This is the reason you sit and stare at your full wardrobe thinking you have nothing to wear

The fast fashion industry is shocking. When you look at the facts and figures, it’s hard to swallow.Change isn’t going to happen from walling Just like building a house, avoiding fast fashion is easy when you have the right tools in front of you. Head to the Gypsy Spoonful site, we are completely transparent, and when you buy clothing from one of our small shops you will know EXACTLY who made your clothing and don’t have to worry about the circumstances it was created under.

The 100 Handmade Shops of GypsySpoonful

See our handmade community in action in our Facebook group

Shop GypsySpoonful.com
Join The Conversation and let us know how you feel about Fast Fashion. Was this the first you’ve heard about this?
http://facebook.com/groups/gypsyspoonful

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

Business Builders: Time Management

Business Builders: Time Management

Business Builders: Time Management When you run a small shop, it’s hard to find time to get everything done in the day. However, here are some tried and true tips to help you make the most of the time you DO have. Be as productive as possible instead of spinning your wheels.  Don’t fight your … read more

Business Builders: Time Management

Business Builders: Time Management

When you run a small shop, it’s hard to find time to get everything done in the day. However, here are some tried and true tips to help you make the most of the time you DO have. Be as productive as possible instead of spinning your wheels.  Don’t fight your body clock. Don’t try to become and early riser if you have a history of being a night owl. And don’t stay up late to get stuff done if you know your mind and body shuts down early so that you can get up as the sun rises.

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in the day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

Don’t fight your body clock. Don’t try to become and early riser if you have a history of being a night owl

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible. It may be helpful to journal your energy level for a few days until you figure out when you find yourself the most productive.

 

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Sources: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/dont-fight-your-body-clock.html, https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/dont-fight-your-body-clock.html
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

Noveenna

Noveenna : Designer Showcase – She made it to the Hall of Fame!

“If  a girl says not to get her a birthday present that means get me a birthday present and make sure it’s jewelry.” ― Kami Garcia, Beautiful Creatures I don’t know about you, but there are a certain few people that I need gifts for throughout the year for Christmas or birthdays, and don’t forget … read more

“If  a girl says not to get her a birthday present that means get me a birthday present and make sure it’s jewelry.” ― Kami Garcia, Beautiful Creatures

I don’t know about you, but there are a certain few people that I need gifts for throughout the year for Christmas or birthdays, and don’t forget Mother’s day, yet I was continually struggling with finding the perfect gift.

I try to support indy, small shops at every moment I can, because handmade and supporting family-owned business is important to me. So I felt right at home on Gypsy Spoonful. I also think it’s awesome that shipping is never extra on GypsySpoonful. It’s always included in the price so there are no yucky “surprises” with exorbitant shipping fees at checkout.

While I was bopping around on the site, checking out shops, I stumbled upon Noveenna . She creates breathtaking, handmade JEWELRY and she’s our featured  Gypsy Spoonful shop of the month

Sometimes you just see a piece of jewelry and think of a person instantly, I sure did this when I came across her shop. I have a wishlist made on Gypsy Spoonful and I’ve been adding a bunch of her pieces to it. (Make a Wishlist on GypsySpoonful too.) What I REALLY like about her jewelry is not only does it look incredibly well-made and awesome quality, but that there are matching pieces in a collection. I can buy a beadwoven collar for Christmas for my aunt, and buy a coordinating cuff bracelet when Mother’s day arrives.

Noveenna

I have a hard time mixing and matching jewelry and I like to wear earrings, necklaces and bracelets (all 3) when I go out or get dressed up. This takes the confusion out of it for me. With coordinating pieces, it’s a breeze to accessorize an outfit without worrying that the earrings might not go with the necklace. Check out her mambo mauve collection by clicking HERE. , It’s so hard to pick just one favorite collection, I also have a soft spot in my heart for her Starlight Memories collection, so vibrant and cheery!

Noveenna

Another awesome thing about her designs, is that her jewelry is the type that you can wear to a variety of outings, or for everyday wear. Some are more statement pieces, and some are more casual. All of them are very versatile and not too over the top. They’re subtle and demure, and her color combinations are way cool.  Many times when I find a style or type of design I like, I like to have a few pieces in this same style, that’s perfect for shopping Noveenna’s shop. If you like the beadwoven collar style necklaces, there are several pieces , each in a diferent color combo that she names.  I suggest, the next time you need a gift, or want to treat yourself, you check out Noveenna’s shop on GypsySpoonful.

Noveenna

 

Drop us a comment and let us know what you thought of this blog! Join our Facebook group so you don’t miss any news about the shops of Gypsy Spoonful.

 

 

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.

Gypsy Spoonful Celebrates Small Business Saturday

Tis’ the Season to Shop Homemade Over 110 small business shop owners join together this holiday season on Gypsy Spoonful to offer you incomparable one on one service for all your holiday needs. From gift giving, home décor and special holiday clothing, Gypsy Spoonful shops are filled with over 6,000 quality, handmade items and all … read more

Tis’ the Season to Shop Homemade

Over 110 small business shop owners join together this holiday season on Gypsy Spoonful to offer you incomparable one on one service for all your holiday needs. From gift giving, home décor and special holiday clothing, Gypsy Spoonful shops are filled with over 6,000 quality, handmade items and all are offered with FREE shipping.

The celebrations have already started around Gypsy spoonful and there are many other upcoming fun ways to explore new venues and support small home businesses all while staying close to home and enjoying your holiday season with just a little bit less stress this year.

Gypsy Spoonful is hosting EARLY Black Friday Flash Sales all weekend long this weekend! You can join the Facebook group and find links to their flash sale items here http://bit.ly/2Qsvs9i. Or, add a little fun to your shopping! Take a look at the Thankful for Handmade Page here http://bit.ly/2AYA9m1. Everything you need for fall fashion and accessories, Hostess Gift Ideas, as well as decking out your home for Autumn and the guests that will be visiting for Thanksgiving gatherings. We’ve also got fun for the kids with a graphic design competition, a fun word search, and a coloring contest too.

 Additionally, Gypsy Spoonful has 3 upcoming events for you to mark on your calendar. Small business Saturday embodies what we are all about! Hosting games, giveaways, contests and flash sales ALL day long. The Rock The Sock Event will run for 11 Days from Nov 26 – Dec 6. Stuff the Stockings Like A Boss And Put Santa Out of A Job This Year! Flash Sales, Small Items and/or Small Budget Items that Will ROCK THE SOCK! Finally, the Holiday Auction kicks off at 6pm cst on Friday and bidding closes 8pm cst on Monday.

Gypsy Spoonful is Creativity in Community and we can’t wait to get to know YOU better. We aren’t just a shopping venue, we are a community~ building relationships between makers and admirers. Makers supporting Makers, sharing our experience, strength and knowledge. We believe in the foundational principle that each of us can make a difference in the life of another person/family by being intentional with our shopping dollars.

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If you would like more information, please contact Heather Kavolino at GoosieGirlboutique@gmail.com.

Dorcas Reilly

Dorcas Reilly : Who is she? and Why Are We Thankful For Her This Thanksgiving?

It started with a call from the Associated Press and a question: What’s a good recipe for a vegetable side dish that features common pantry products? It is the dish everyone is expecting on the holidays, and it is so easy to make, you can serve it any day. If you plan on eating green bean … read more

It started with a call from the Associated Press and a question: What’s a good recipe for a vegetable side dish that features common pantry products? It is the dish everyone is expecting on the holidays, and it is so easy to make, you can serve it any day. If you plan on eating green bean casserole this Thanksgiving, the memory of it’s inventor will live on. Created by Campbell Test Kitchen Manager Dorcas Reilly in 1955, its creamy, smooth sauce and un-matchable flavor combined with its simplicity makes Green Bean Casserole so appealing. Just six ingredients and 10 minutes to put together, this family pleasing side has been a favorite for over 60 years.

In 1955, the AP, like other newspapers and magazines of the time, was running a feature of an easy-to-make Campbell’s Soup side. The question came with a caveat: the recipe had to be built around green beans and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, two items most Americans regularly had in their homes in the ’50s.

The request fell to the Campbell’s Soup Co. test kitchen in Camden, N.J., an arm of the company that focused on coming up with recipes for its products. Dorcas Reilly, a supervisor for Campbell’s home economics department, was tasked with leading her team to figure out what could be done. The group would test and grade recipes repeatedly. Only a perfect score would qualify it as ready to go. In November of that year, Reilly and her team settled on what would be first known as “the Green Bean Bake,” an easily adaptable six-ingredient recipe of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper and French fried onions that takes 10 minutes to prep and 30 minutes to bake.

dorcas reilly

Photo Credit: Campbell’s Soup

“We worked in the kitchen with things that were most likely to be in most homes,” she told NPR in 2015. “It’s so easy. And it’s not an expensive thing to make, too.”

During a time when many women were homemakers, Reilly embarked on a career at Campbell’s Soup in Camden, New Jersey.  She worked in the test kitchens, where she and her colleagues brainstormed recipes that used Campbell’s products, and then did blind taste-tests. The test kitchen employees rated a recipe on a scale of one to ten, tweaked it if necessary, and then submitted it to headquarters for approval. When Campbell’s started to put Reilly’s recipe on the cans of its cream of mushroom soup in 1960, the popularity of the dish hit new heights. More than 60 years since the dish was invented, green bean casserole is a Thanksgiving staple, with an estimated 20 million-plus American households expected to serve it this year, according to Campbell’s.

Dorcas Reilly

Throughout her life, Reilly, a culinary trail blazer during a time when women were often on the sidelines in corporate America, remained astonished at the success of a dish based on green beans and cream of mushroom soup, one referred to by Campbell’s as “the mother of all comfort foods.”

“We all thought this is very nice, etc., and then when we got the feelings of the consumer, we were really kinda pleasantly shocked,” she said in a Campbell’s promotional video for the dish. “I’m very proud of this, and I was shocked when I realized how popular it had become.”

Reilly, an influential innovator of beloved comfort food in the U.S., died on Oct. 15 of Alzheimer’s disease in Camden. She was 92. A visitation and celebration of her life will be held on Saturday in Haddonfield, N.J.

Rest in Peace Mrs. Reilly! We will all remember you this Thanksgiving as we take a big scoop of our favorite comfort food, We’re all thankful for you and your recipe!

Dorcas Reilly

photo credit: https://www.nj.com

*Source: The Washington Post

What’s the takeaway that we can learn from Mrs. Reilly?

1. Sometimes we can think we are just “doing our jobs” but to other people, it may make a big difference. This lady invented a recipe that was just a day on the job… but 60 years later, here we are, blogging about her and being inspired by her. Her recipe has been on a kabillion soup cans since 1960, everyone knows what “green bean casserole” is.

2. She was a team leader, and when talking about the challenge, she never took all the credit. She always said “we” when speaking of herself and her team. The TEAM was important, each member of the team contributed something, and she never lost sight of that. Although Reilly cooked up the recipe, she does not take sole credit for it.

“It was about the team working together,” she said. “I didn’t do it; we did it.”

3. Sometimes things start out small, and we never know how they may end up… I’m sure when Dorcas Reilly went to work that day, she never imagined her recipe invention would be called the “mother of all comfort foods” … She didn’t give up though, she stood by her work, and her work spoke for itself in the end~ gaining fame across the country. Keep your chins up, and keep on doing the “little things” that you may think are unimportant… you never know how they may end up in the long run. Dorcas Reilly was quoted as saying, “It was such a rewarding feeling when your recipe was published,” she added. Further stressing the importance of sticking with it, and following your ideas through to fruition.

4. She was a pioneer of sorts, in post World War II America, more than most women became homemakers. Dorcas pursued a college education. In the early 1950s, there was a cultural shift; a post-war wave of consumption was prevalent in America. Marketing departments of major companies were pushing products heavily, because Americans were spending more and the economy was flourishing. Campbell’s in particular published their signature recipes (all whipped up in the test kitchen) in ads, newspapers, magazines, and on their product labels. When Reilly’s green bean casserole recipe appeared in print, it took off. Some say its popularity was initially due to the fact that it used ingredients that were typically found in American pantries; others say that the flavor alone skyrocketed it to fame. Regardless, it was a dish that was being prepared in countless American homes.

5. The Campbell’s website boasts new, more modern spin offs of the recipe, and even more current versions but there is never quite anything like the original, is there?  This reminds us to appreciate the original, to respect the creator of the REAL recipe, and give credit where credit is due. This reminds me of handmade vs handmade knock-offs… what once was a totally handmade market (not mentioning any names) that is flooded with mass -produced goods masquerading as handmade… being produced in overseas factories and imported. Nothing is as quality as handmade, nothing can capture the attention to detail that a handmade garment, sign, purse or home decor item can. One person working on one piece at a time, paying attention to the details, giving the customer one on one service and customer care.

Small Business Children’s Artwork Contest Open NOW

The biggest and best day of the year for small business is almost here.. and we’re SO excited to announce an opportunity for your child to SHINE! Gypsy Spoonful is pleased to present our FIRST annual Small Business Children’s Art Contest We believe in encouraging children’s creativity, and we also believe wholeheartedly in small business. … read more

The biggest and best day of the year for small business is almost here..

and we’re SO excited to announce an opportunity for your child to SHINE!

Gypsy Spoonful is pleased to present our FIRST annual Small Business Children’s Art Contest

We believe in encouraging children’s creativity, and we also believe wholeheartedly in small business. Marry the two and the idea for this awesome contest was born!

Living a creative life can inspire us to continually live better, create more, and be more true to ourselves and our visions. It can also remind us to nurture our children’s creativity.

Who: Children Birth-18 years., Age Groups of 0-4 years, 5-8 years, 9-12 years , 12-18 years. (1 grand prize winner, and 1 consolation prize will be awarded to one child in each group).

What: Have your child color, paint, or draw the most fantastical, creative Christmas/Hanukkah/Holiday or winter scene and incorporate the idea of “small business” in the artwork somewhere/somehow  (Santa runs a small business with the help of his elves, afterall!)  Take the best quality photo of the artwork and then add it to the thread in our Facebook Group .  Please include child’s name and age in your comment when you leave the pic of their artwork on the thread. These must be added to the thread prior to Saturday, November 17. One entry per child, please.

What Next? The Gypsy Spoonful admin team will put them into a photo album in our group and open up the album to voting on Saturday, November 17. Tell your friends and family about your child’s art contest entry and have them help you by voting for your child’s artwork.

How To vote: Voters must join our Facebook Group . Instruct them to go to your child’s entry, then voters must like AND comment on your child’s artwork entry, Voting will close on Small Business Saturday, November 24th at 8pm cst. 

Like buttonThe artwork with the most votes /likes will win We will announce the winner Monday, November 26th at 8pm cst.

Prize: A prize package will be awarded to the winning artist worth over $100 from select Gypsy Spoonful shops, and one consolation prize per age group. (if there is a tie for the top 2 grand prize winners, we will host a run-off vote)~we’ll also have a surprise for the parent/grandparent that enters the child’s artwork.

The small shop owners of Gypsy Spoonful will use the winning small business artwork to promote select holiday events, and your child’s artwork will be in the spotlight all season long! The winning artwork will also appear on the Gypsy Spoonful blog announcing the winners.

By entering this contest, you agree to allow Gypsy Spoonful use your child’s art on social media promoting the event as well as in future promotions.

Join our group and join in on all the fun!

 

Theordore Roosevelt The Man In The Arena quote

Motivation Monday Overcoming Obstacles in Entrepreneurship

There is an old saying: Champions don’t  become champions in the ring- they are merely recognized there. That’s true, if you want to see where someone develops into a champion, look at their daily routine. Former heavyweight champ Joe Frazier stated: You can map out a fight plan or a life plan. But when the … read more

Overcoming Obstacles in Entrepreneurship: A Lesson From Theodore Roosevelt

There is an old saying: Champions don’t  become champions in the ring- they are merely recognized there. That’s true, if you want to see where someone develops into a champion, look at their daily routine. Former heavyweight champ Joe Frazier stated:

You can map out a fight plan or a life plan. But when the action starts, you’re down to your reflexes. That’s where your road work shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, you’re getting found out now under the bright lights.

Boxing is a good analogy for developing bossbabes because it’s all about daily preparation. Even if a person has natural talent, they have to prepare and train to become successful.

One of this country’s greatest leaders was a fan of boxing: President Theodore Roosevelt. In fact, one of his most famous quotes uses  a boxing analogy

Theodore Roosevelt

THE MAN IN THE ARENA
Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”
delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910
download PDF of complete speech

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

*TR (Teddy Roosevelt’s nickname) was known for regular boxing and judo sessions, challenging horseback rides, and long, strenuous hikes. A French ambassador who visited Roosevelt used to tell about the time that he accompanied the president on a walk through the woods. When the two men came to the banks of a stream that was too deep to cross by foot. TR stripped off his clothes and expected the dignitary to do the same so taht they could swim to the other side. Nothing was an obstacle to Roosevelt.

Of all the leaders this nation has ever had, Roosevelt was one of the toughest-both physically and mentally. But he didn’t start that way. America’s cowboy president was born in Manhattan to a prominent wealthy family. As a child he was puny and very sickly. He had debilitating asthma, possessed very poor eyesight, and was painfully thin. His parents weren’t sure he would survive. When he was twelve, young Roosevelt’s father told him, “You have the mind but you have not the body, and without the help of the body, the mind cannot go as far as it should. You must MAKE the body.” and make it , he most certainly did. TR began training every single day physically, building his body as well as his mind, and he did that for the rest of his life.

Roosevelt didn’t become a great leader overnight either. His road to the presidency was one of slow, continual growth. He improved himself and in time, he became a strong leader. Roosevelt’s list of accomplishments is remarkable. Under his leadership, the United States emerged as a world power. He helped the country develop a first-class navy. He was that the Panama Canal was built. He negotiated peace between Russia and China, winning a Nobel Peace Prize in the process.  On January 6, 1919 he died in his sleep. Then vice president Marshall said,

“Death had to take him sleeping, for if Roosevelt had been awake, there would have been a fight”

When they removed him from his bed, they found a book under his pillow. Up to the very last, TR was still striving to learn and improve himself.

*Source: Leadership 101 by John C. Maxwell

Slow and Steady Wins the Race Quote

What are the takeaways we can learn from Roosevelt that may apply to our lives as Entrepreneurs?

1. Be FIERCE : obstacles will come, it’s how you approach those obstacles. Are you going to say , “It’s too hard, we can’t cross this stream, it’s too deep” and turn back? Or will you strip naked and lead the way? Nothing in life is easy. Entrepreneurship isn’t for sissies. You have to get in there, roll up your sleeves and be FIERCE. Are you stronger than the obstacles in your path?

2. Even a great leader like TR started off small. He wasn’t expected to survive from his own parents! If that’s not a kick in the teeth, then I don’t know what is! Of all people in the world, you want those who love you and you share your life with to believe in you and your dreams, it’s hard when you don’t get the support you’d like. But what did TR do? He set out to prove them wrong. He was CONSISTENT, he worked towards his goal of strengthening his body every.single.day. Consistency wins the prize in owning and operating a small business. Many times it can be isolating, people in our family would rather share a celebrity’s status or meme on social media. Your loved ones may shop at a big box store rather than supporting your small shop.. you can’t control other people, you can only change how you react to them. Seek out OTHER support from friends, or like-minded individuals and other small business owners. The community at Gypsy Spoonful is a great source of strentgh, knowledge and inspiration for me everyday. I am so thankful to have people that cheer me on and totally GET what I am trying to do with my life. Everyone starts off small, it’s up to YOU to seek out ways to grow and learn new things to embolden your entrepreneurial spirit.

” slow, continual growth.”

3. The mind and body combination is important, It was once said by Henry Ford, “Whether you believe you can or can not, you’re right” . Your mental attitude determines your outcome most of all. TR blazed a trail where no one dared to go before. He traveled all over the world pursuing adventures. Each trip, each adventure prepared him for the next one. He built knowledge upon his experiences. We all fail and fall short, just like the man in the arena~ but do we get up again after we get knocked down? or do we stay down? A product might not sell, a promotion may flop… KEEP LEARNING, learn from your mistakes and build on that. Go forward with the ideas of what went wrong and how to overcome that in your future small shop “adventures”.

If you are looking for a creative community where you can find limitless support from like minded creative folks, and you feel you’ve got a great product to offer the world, Gypsy Spoonful is seeking new shop owners, please go to this page and read what we believe about handmade and how we do things. If you vibe with what we’re doing, please fill out an application. We will be screening and vetting applicants for 2019.  Go HERE

 

 

New Shop: Wicked Rose : Wire Wrapped Jewelry, Made in the USA

Thursday’s thoughts turn to a new shop, Wicked Rose, Who specializes in wire wrapped pendants and other jewelry. Click on the pic to view this gorgeous Texas red jasper wraped tree of life pendant. It’s not only beautiful but the jasper has beneficial properties as well, it’s great for healing from illness, strength building and … read more

Thursday’s thoughts turn to a new shop, Wicked Rose,

Who specializes in wire wrapped pendants and other jewelry. Click on the pic to view this gorgeous Texas red jasper wraped tree of life pendant. It’s not only beautiful but the jasper has beneficial properties as well, it’s great for healing from illness, strength building and more. Red Jasper is known to enhance strength and energy. It also helps recovering from physical illnesses, is useful in generating muscle tissue and can enhance the effects of exercise. Red Jasper effects the first and second chakras. Learn more about red jasper here.

This blue wrapped agate pendant is so beautiful! The pattern of stripes in the agate is amazing. This would be such a perfect holiday or birthday gift! Click on the pic to view it in her shop.

Rose’s Wicked Wires has a passion for nature, and especially rocks and she wants to share that with you. Every stone in her shop is unique and wrapped in high quality non tarnish wire.

To visit her shop, click here to see all of her beautiful designs

Craftivism

Craftivism : Alive and Well At Gypsy Spoonful

Craftivism ‘Buying and selling directly from the maker challenges the all pervasive corporate culture that promotes profit over people” Are YOU a craftivist? Not Sure? Read on! Gypsy Spoonful is built upon a solid foundation of: empowerment support education and craftivism We believe being Intentional with your shopping dollars can make a very real and … read more

Craftivism

‘Buying and selling directly from the maker challenges the all pervasive corporate culture that promotes profit over people”

Are YOU a craftivist?

Not Sure? Read on!

Gypsy Spoonful is built upon a solid foundation of:

  • empowerment
  • support
  • education
  • and craftivism

We believe being Intentional with your shopping dollars can make a very real and very strong impact in a REAL person’s life. Buying directly from an independent crafter/artisan/sewist helps support local families and economies.

people have grown tired of so-called traditional ways of activism~They are looking for a way to connect and deepen their understanding of things. Yelling doesn’t change things, but dialogue does.

Because it is possible to go beyond banners, email petitions, and chants as ways of fighting for a cause you believe in. …This is less about mass action and more about realizing what you can do to make things around you better. This is about doing things intentionally in order to learn and better process the happenings in this world. This is about creating dialogue with others in the hope for positive change. “

-sourced from Craftivism.com

Many of our makers not only support their families by the products they create, many help others with their time, skills and talent also. This is ALSO Craftivism in action.

By advocating the use of creativity for the improvement of the world, craftivists worldwide taught knitting lessons, sewed scarves for battered women’s shelters, and knitted hats for chemotherapy patients. In a world that was growing increasingly large and unfamiliar, craftivism fought to bring back the personal into our daily lives to replace some of the mass produced. In promoting the idea that people can use their own creativity to improve the world, craftivism allows those who wish to voice their opinions and support their causes the chance to do just that…but without chanting or banner waving and at their own pace.

-Betsy Greer,
“Craftivism.” Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice. 2007. SAGE Publications.

 

Further Reading:

To discover more about the Craftivism Movement, please look HERE

The True Cost of Disposable Clothing Article

Making The American Man Documentary (Trailer) – Currently streaming on Netflix

Be Consistent

Consistency is the Money Maker in Small Business

Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. Nothing is truer than this in small business. It doesn’t matter if you sell handmade products, direct sales products or pizzas at the corner store. You can’t just open the doors, put up a sign and expect the people to pour in to buy your goodies. … read more

Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. Nothing is truer than this in small business. It doesn’t matter if you sell handmade products, direct sales products or pizzas at the corner store. You can’t just open the doors, put up a sign and expect the people to pour in to buy your goodies.

You have to market your business. You run ads, offer sales and coupons, restock and reevaluate inventory and share on social media. Anything to keep putting yourself in front of people that will eventually lead to sales, hopefully. If your business is not seen, you don’t have a business and you are not going to succeed and grow.

How you choose to “grow and show” your business depends on the type of business it is and where and how your target market will most likely find you. Your personality is also a factor in your marketing efforts. For example, going live on Facebook is an excellent tool to build relationships with your potential customers. You can answer questions, share your product and interact with people in real time. But, if you are like me and you can’t stand the thought of being on camera and can barely stutter your way through it, this is probably not going to be a technique you use much.

Marketing has a rule called the Rule of 7. It states that a prospect needs to be exposed to your message at least 7 times before they will actually take action. In today’s digital age, I would venture that this number may be increasing. The reality is that it is more difficult now to get your message seen in the overwhelming amount of information available now to the everyday consumer.  You need to leave an impact and you need to show up.

Regardless of how you promote your business, the one thing that I and most other small business owners have found, is that to put and keep your business marketing efforts on the right track, you have to be consistent. Now, that does not mean that you need to be doing it constantly. Just consistently. Regularly. If people are used to seeing you post weekly, post weekly. If you can do daily, even better. Here is what does not work. Binge marketing for 3 hours one day and then doing nothing for the next 3 days. It may seem like you are getting tons of work done but a very limited number of people are going to actually see all that effort.

I have to admit, consistency is my biggest downfall and what I have to work the hardest at myself. A couple of years ago, I thought I had found the perfect answer to staying consistent on my social media when I found one of the scheduling platforms that have started to pop up everywhere. While they are definitely helpful, I found that they are not the perfect solution for me either. First, you still have to set up all the posts. You are still spending the time to craft the text and find the perfect image. Second, you still need to spend time tweaking your posts for the various social media and monitor the posts for engagement. Bottom line to me is yes they are an excellent way to cover certain times but you also need to continue to post in real time so that you stay current, trending and let your personality shine through.

Models Vs Mannequins, the great debate rages on

Guest Blog Post: Thomas Kragelund is the CEO and founder of Pixelz, a leading product image solutions partner for internet retailers, bloggers, designers, photographers and webmasters worldwide. He has been working in ecommerce for the last 15 years While using professional models is a great way to showcase your products, it isn’t always cost-effective. The best … read more

Guest Blog Post:
Thomas Kragelund is the CEO and founder of Pixelz, a leading product image solutions partner for internet retailers, bloggers, designers, photographers and webmasters worldwide. He has been working in ecommerce for the last 15 years

While using professional models is a great way to showcase your products, it isn’t always cost-effective. The best alternative options are amateur models and mannequins.

When deciding between amateur models and mannequins, you’re largely factoring a risk/reward scenario, ongoing costs, and how much you’re willing to manage people.

Models, even amateurs, are more desirable because a live body helps a customer relate to your product and adds a higher degree of professionalism, but it can also make for an unpredictable process. Mannequins are great because they’re affordable, consistent, and easy to work with.

Let’s take a step-by-step look at how you can create quality DIY product photography with amateur models and then we’ll go over the advantages provided by mannequins.

DIY Product Photography with Amateur Models

If you want to take a professional-looking product photos with amateur models, follow these seven steps:

1. Cast a Model

If you’re going to use an amateur, there are three primary factors to consider: Your comfort level with the model, their long-term availability, and your apparel’s fit. It doesn’t matter how attractive your model is if your dress is dragging on the floor because the model is six inches too short to properly fit it.

models vs mannequins

Image credit: Pixelz

Comfort level: Communication is important and the easier time you have communicating your vision, the more efficient you will be when shooting. Also, the mood in the studio comes through in images: If you and the model are frustrated and unhappy, you’re not going to get good photographs.

Availability: Plan long-term. If you want a consistent look, especially since amateurs introduce more body type variation than professional models, it’s beneficial to use just one or two models throughout your photography. You will also find that later shoots become more efficient as you and the model increase your comfort level and understanding of each other.

Fit: How does your product look when worn by your model? Focus on the product’s appearance and make sure it’s flattering and requires as little adjustment as possible—you don’t want to create wrinkles because you’re pinning excessively to compensate for a poor fit. Sizing is key. Pick one size and use that same size throughout your photography for a consistent appearance and a more intuitive understanding of sizing by customers shopping your site later.

2. Setup Your Studio Space

Select a space that allows your model to move freely when following your instructions, but don’t choose an area so large that your model might wander out of frame. Designate specific backdrop boundaries to help herd the model and aim your camera.

Your exact equipment will vary depending on your needs and budget, but as a starting point a white backdrop like a roll of seamless white paper or a sheet is always a good idea. White backdrops are required by many ecommerce marketplaces, simplify post-production, and are easy to light in session. If you’ve never set up a studio before, here’s a guide to how to build your own photo studio on a bootstrapped budget.

Be sure to use a tripod. Camera stabilization allows for longer exposure times, improves consistency, and saves you time between shots because you don’t have to readjust your camera’s aim. The result is usually a sharper image and more of them.

3. Shape Your Light

Renting or buying lighting equipment is a big decision and a critical step when capturing product images. Lighting equipment is expensive, so take your time and invest wisely. It may not be necessary to buy equipment: If you’re not going to use a piece regularly, consider renting.

The most common product photography setups use 1-3 continuous softbox lights or 1-3 external speedlights and umbrellas. If you’re in the market, here’s a shopping guide for product photography lighting equipment.

When positioning your lights, try to mimic the softness of natural window light. Continuous softboxes do so automatically, but speedlights may be too harsh and direct even with umbrellas. If that’s a problem, angle your speedlights to either side of the model and bounce the light off nearby walls, like in the image above.

Test out your lighting setup and experiment with different options—but do it before the model arrives so you don’t waste valuable photoshoot time.

4. Position Your Model

When your model arrives on set, it’s time to communicate your vision and position them in frame. The simplest way to position them is with a classic “X marks the spot” approach. Tape an X on the floor either directly beneath their feet, or closer to the camera but in line with where they should stand (so they’re not constantly looking down). The X creates a target for the model so you don’t have to constantly ask them to move.

5. Shoot with Wide Framing

Leave space on all sides of your model when capturing the image. If you’re going to be selling your product in multiple marketplaces and channels, they may have different requirements for cropping and sizing. It’s much easier to crop down to someone’s standards than it is to try and scale up.

Even if you intend to crop out faces, arms, and legs, always keep them in frame. Again, it’s much easier to edit something out then to add it back in—if that’s even possible. You don’t want to have to reshoot.

6. Give Direction

Stay positive and build up your model’s confidence. Remember that they’re an amateur and that you want to shoot with them long-term, so help them realize their potential.

Give the model the instruction they need to help you fulfill your vision. Be clear and precise: For example, if you want the model to look in a particular direction, tell them to look at a specific object instead of pointing. Keep poses simple, so that you don’t distract from the product or lead your amateur out of their comfort zone.

7. Post-Production

After you’ve captured your images, it’s time to optimize them for the web. You can edit the images yourself with this post-production guide, or you can outsource the labor to free yourself to focus on the creative aspects of your business. At Pixelz, for example, we offer a feature-rich and easy to use interface for creating specifications, uploading images, comparing before-and-after images, and rejecting images that don’t meet your standards.

The goal of image editing is to help you create high quality and consistent imagery. Steps like removing the background will create a professional impression by cutting away your DIY studio and also minimizing file size, speeding up your page loading time. Consider using post-production to make lighting adjustments, touch up skin, remove wrinkles, straighten your product, and perform cropping and resizing.

So that’s how to stage a photoshoot with an amateur model. Now, let’s take a look at mannequins.

The Case for Mannequins

stylecampaign burberry mannequins

Image credit: StyleCampaign

Even for high end fashion brands, mannequins are a budget conscious product photographer’s best friend. You can buy them for anywhere from $60-$600, depending on your needs, and that’s it. There’s no overtime, no rate hikes, and they’re always available for reshoots.

Those are the most obvious differences, but there’s more.

Mannequins Make Product Fit Easy

Whether you’re dealing with a professional or an amateur, you need to spend time when casting a model, have them try on your clothes and see if you like the way it looks. You can improve fit with styling, using pins and clips and other techniques, but you need a good foundation to build on.

Alternatively, with a mannequin, you may only need a few moments of browsing online to find the perfect one. Finding the right fit is simplified when you can click around and see exact measurements. This is especially true if all your samples are the same size and you only need one mannequin.

You’ll have less flexibility with posing, but your mannequin won’t complain about being poked or prodded while you’re styling it.

There are many types of materials mannequins are made from, but none is necessarily superior to another. It’s about a different kind of “fit” here; make sure your mannequin style matches your brand.

Branding Possibilities

Mannequins don’t communicate branding as completely as a fully styled model, but they’re not a blank slate either. We can use Anthropologie as an example; until about two years ago, they used mannequins for most of their ecommerce images. Here’s how they used to look:

anthropologie mannequin

Image credit: Anthropologie

It’s clean, vintage, and subtly decorated by a knob at the top. You don’t want your mannequin to be distracting, but anything that’s being seen by a customer should reinforce your brand positioning. If you’re bohemian, use vintage mannequins. If you’re modern, get something more sleek.

There’s also a 3D technique that’s growing in popularity: the invisible mannequin.

If you want to remove all distractions while still demonstrating fit, you can use the invisible mannequin effect. With a little planning and Photoshop know-how, you can create the effect in post-production yourself. If you don’t have the time or the desire to do it yourself, you can offload post-production to a company like Pixelz.

invisible ghost mannequin

Image credit: Pixelz

An “invisible” or “ghost” mannequin image is basically a combination of two or more images. Your product should be photographed as normal, and then repositioned in such a way that any portion that was originally covered by the mannequin can be photographed. Later, the photos are combined into a single image. For more detail, read this invisible mannequin guide that will walk you from basic principles all the way through post-production.

Which Should You Choose?

Models are essential for projecting a professional standard, while mannequins are cost-effective and consistent.

Many boutiques and brands with limited budgets combine the two with great success. You may want to consider shooting a lookbook with professional models, and using those images throughout your store for branding. You can then use amateur models or mannequins for product images.

A mixed approach will give you the best of both worlds without forcing you to choose between branding and your budget.

What have your experiences been like with models and mannequins? Do you have any tips or questions? Let us know in the comments below!


shopify-author Thomas Kragelund

About The Author

Thomas Kragelund is the CEO and founder of Pixelz, a leading product image solutions partner for internet retailers, bloggers, designers, photographers and webmasters worldwide. He has been working in ecommerce for the last 15 years.

Look What the Weekend Brought to Gypsy Spoonful!

This Weekend on Gypsy Spoonful We have had so many exciting new products listed over the weekend. Here is a just a small sample of some of the new things we added the last couple of days! click on the highlighted shop name to go directly to their shop and browse around! –   These … read more

This Weekend on Gypsy Spoonful

We have had so many exciting new products listed over the weekend. Here is a just a small sample of some of the new things we added the last couple of days!

click on the highlighted shop name to go directly to their shop and browse around!

 

These unique puzzles from Stitcharella Designs have 7 pieces and are deceptively challenging for children up to approximately age 6. There is something about the type of puzzle that really challenges their way of thinking! Each puzzle is machine sewn and hand trimmed. Puzzle measure 5″ x 7″. Each puzzles comes with a puzzle board with a pocket to keep all the pieces together and easily tucks into a diaper bag or purse and can be pulled out for occasions like doctor appointments, restaurants, or in the car!

 

 

 

 This necklace from Noveenna is beaded with seed beads in the color mix of red, yellow, blue, green, copper and crystal cubes. Necklace length is 33¾ inches.

 

Girls Reversible Mermaid Unicorn Apron

This Girls Reversible Mermaid Unicorn apron from Sewing At Ten will fit a child size 3-6.  It has an elastic neckband and velcro at the sides.  It’s so easy for your toddler to slip it on all by themselves.  This cute little apron is a Mermaid print in colors of teal, pink, yellow, etc. and a touch of glitter for extra specialness.  There’s a bright pink polka dot pocket to hold their goodies.   A mini whisk is included with the apron for mixing up all kinds of treats!

This Yard Yahtzee set from Woodburning by Seth includes five large hand cut and burned dice, bucket, and 12 score cards. The score cards are in two sets of 6 for two different games to play. They have been hot laminated so they can be reused with a dry erase marker. Each of the dice measures 4″. Score cards are 8 x 10 in size and are easily readable. Bucket color will vary depending on availability. This game is a perfect addition to any family barbeque, party or get together.

MIdnight Rose Knot Dress

This Midnight Rose Knot Dress from That’s So Addie is a stunner!  Gorgeous midnight rose print features soft cream and light yellow roses on a stark black background.  This could easily go through summer and all way into winter as a unique holiday dress with various layering pieces.  Perfect to wear alone on hot summer days or layer over a tee or peasant top when it is cooler. Bodice is fully lined with knot straps that are fully adjustable. Skirt is super full and finished off with a coordinating hem.

Royal purple faux lace baby shoes by ruby dew designs

These fancy little baby shoes by Ruby Dew Designs are a beautiful royal purple with black lace accents in a size 5 (4.75″ sole length), are perfect for most beginning toddlers. Enclosed elastic keeps them on active feet, soft fleece interiors keep them comfortable and toughtek grip bottoms keep little ones up and moving.

 

Stay updated on everything Gypsy Spoonful by joining our mailing list HERE!

** This Friday**  Join our awesome shops, on July 20th, Search CIJ for all of our Christmas in July items! Snap up some handmade awesomeness.
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Heads up!! Mark your calendars!! The Gypsy Spoonful Fall Auction is coming! Save the Date! Aug 3-5, kicks off on Friday at 6pm cst! Our auctions are always AWESOME! Sign up for a reminder text message a week, a day and an hour before it kicks off! Sign Up Here: https://gypsyspoonful.com/market/text-message-sign
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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!

Social Listening

8 Social Media Tools to Protect Your Reputation and Influence Conversations

Social Listening The most important social media conversations about your brand usually don’t involve you. It happens all the time. A customer fires off an angry complaint. Someone shares a problem that your products can solve. If these conversations don’t mention or tag you, how are you supposed to hear about them? Social listening is … read more

Social Listening

Social Listening

The most important social media conversations about your brand usually don’t involve you.

It happens all the time. A customer fires off an angry complaint. Someone shares a problem that your products can solve. If these conversations don’t mention or tag you, how are you supposed to hear about them?

Social listening is a technique for monitoring social media conversations to uncover new opportunities for your business.

With social listening, your business can identify these key moments to engage with users directly and sway their conversations in your favor.

To help you monitor conversations about your brand and transform them into new opportunities for your business, we’ve put together a collection of the top tactics and tools for social listening and media monitoring.

What Is Social Listening?

Social media is a sea of information. Content often dominates feeds, but human interaction is at its heart.

With social listening, you can track existing conversations to find opportunities for your brand to jump in and engage with prospects and existing customers. These organic relationships are the backbone of sustainable, ongoing social media growth and building a dedicated fanbase for your business.

Discovering the opportunities to build these relationships with your customers goes beyond the messages that show up in your business’ Twitter notifications. Social listening is a way for your business to monitor digital conversations at scale, saving you the massive amounts of time and effort that would be required to sort through the noise manually.

Social listening tools track posts based on keywords and phrases relevant to your business to help you find conversations that you aren’t a part of, but should be.

Why Is Social Listening Important?

Social listening is a key tactic for creating a comprehensive social media marketing strategy. It gives you an up-close-and-personal look at your customers and reveals new ways for you to connect with them and build content that reflects their values.

These raw and unfiltered conversations can provide you with a wide variety of insights about your audience. Here are the primary benefits of using social listening for your online store:

Address Indirect Complaints

In the heat of the moment, when customers are most frustrated, it’s understandable that they might not tag your brand while typing up a passionate complaint, especially since only 30% of tweets about brands actually tag their official usernames.

Unfortunately, without using a social listening tools to monitor social media feeds, these complaints would normally go unnoticed—unnoticed by you, that is.

The risk here is twofold: First, your customers will not get their issues resolved. If you can’t see their complaints, you can’t address them and help them have a successful, positive experience with your products.

Second, an unchecked complaint can spiral out of control online, fostering negative sentiment towards your brand. Not monitoring social conversations can leave your business in a vulnerable position and without the appropriate tools to protect itself. Whereas a proactive, social listening-powered approach will help you transform complaints into lifelong customers.

The key to delivering a stellar customer service experience with social listening is to go above and beyond in your response. Your customers don’t necessarily expect a resolution to their complaint since they haven’t tagged your business or product, so you need to go the extra mile to surprise, delight, and win them back

Uncover Unique Opportunities

On the other hand, social listening can also present new opportunities for your brand to create custom social media content and build relationships with your audience. By tracking keywords that are relevant to your brand, you can reach out to new customers in their moments of highest intent.

Here are the different kinds of keywords that your business should be paying attention to:

  • Brand Keywords: Words that are specifically associated with your business, including your company name and any common variations or misspellings. For instance, if your company is called Waterfall Skincare, you’ll want to track “Waterfall Skincare”, “Waterfall Skin Care”, “Water Fall Cosmetics”, etc.
  • Industry Keywords: Words that describe the kind of products or services that your store sells. For instance, a t-shirt store would track words like “clothing”, “t-shirts”, and “apparel”.
  • Location-Specific Keywords: If your business has a physical store or targets specific locations, be sure to track hashtags and keywords that are popular within the city, state, or country that you’re focusing on. For instance, a company selling Chicago souvenirs would want to track the most popular keywords within the Chicagoland area.
  • Negative Keywords: These keywords are ones that you don’t want included in your tracking. If your industry or brand name is commonly associated with non-relevant conversation topics, you’ll want to filter those out. For instance, if you sell dog toys, you’ll want to add “children”, “kids”, “babies”, etc. as negative keywords, so that you aren’t tracking conversations about children’s toys as well.

With social listening, seemingly unrelated conversations can suddenly become chances to impress new customers and engage with your current fans.

spotify twitter social listening

Image credit: Spotify on Twitter

Spotify, for example, was able to jump on this tweet despite the fact that it didn’t actually tag their Twitter account. Their response was simple and witty, humanizing their brand and making a personal connection with a loyal customer.

hilton suggests social listening

Image credit: HiltonSuggests on Twitter

Hilton has dedicated an entire Twitter account to social listening with Hilton Suggests. The account monitors keywords around the names of cities with Hilton hotels to respond to questions about dining and entertainment recommendations with suggestions for local hot spots.

Finding these moments is a three-step process, involving the collection and monitoring of conversations, followed by the analysis of these conversations to determine the intention of the speakers, and then, finally, outreach.

Intention is determined by context and context shapes the way that you should engage with the speakers.

  • What is the emotional sentiment of the conversation?
  • Will the speakers be receptive to your interaction?
  • Is this a relevant opportunity for your brand?

These questions will help you narrow down the context of the conversation and determine how your business should engage, whether that means joining in on a joke or suggesting your product as a solution to a problem.

Get Unfiltered Feedback

Want to know how your customers really feel about your products? From their biggest pain points to their favorite features, social listening gives you direct access to real, honest feedback.

The information that you pull from these interactions is highly valuable for designing better products in the future and improving your current catalogue. Pay attention to what your customers like and don’t like about your products. Try to understand their frustrations and the challenges that they run into.

Remember that negative reviews and comments aren’t personal attacks, they’re opportunities for your business to get better.

If you’ve just launched a new product, you can discover any shortcomings early on by monitoring social conversations. This can get you in front of negative reviews before they start rolling in and help you improve your current products for future customers.  Source Kevin Donnelly, Shopify Blog

If you’re looking for a place to sell your handmade products, check out this page, and to see our community in action, and how we suppport each other in our handmade community, join our Facebook Group.

Gypsy Spoonful Has Been Busy!

 Whew! So many changes around Gypsy Spoonful, lately! Not only are we on fire with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items but we have had a lot of changes made behind the scenes to make your shopping experience even better! We hope you love the updates and make sure you take a minute … read more

 Whew! So many changes around Gypsy Spoonful, lately! Not only are we on fire with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items but we have had a lot of changes made behind the scenes to make your shopping experience even better! We hope you love the updates and make sure you take a minute to visit these amazing new shops.

click on the highlighted shop name to go directly to their shop and browse around!

 

This handmade large agate stone necklace from Sparkles is approximately 18″ long and has a large, beautiful blue and black agate teardrop stone with “ice cube” glass prism blue beads. It comes with a sterling silver hook and eye closure.

Plaids and Polka Dots Girls Clothing Boutique  has this one of a kind patriotic dress. It comes in a size 7 and it is handmade and ready to ship! Cool and adorable for any 4th of July activities!

 

I Love Puppies book pouch pillow from  The Teacher’s Nook is a custom made pillow case pouch that fits an included 16×16 inch pillow insert. The opening holds several books or small stuffed animals to snuggle with.  Avid readers can take this pillow with them anywhere.  Great for travel or just bed time reading.

The Dark Mark Wallet by Fandbags is a fun way to show the darker side of your personality without doing any real harm. It features 5 card slots, an ID window, money pocket and two small slip pockets. It is a bi-fold wallet made with Cork Leather.

There’s nothing cuter than a baby in patriotic attire. Made in the USA American Flag Baby Bodysuit by JenODesigns is available in gray or white, solid or glitter.

Made in the USA baby bodysuit

Cute 4th of July custom dog collar for dogs who like to celebrate from Pet Kneads .  This 1.5″ wide collar represents the American flag of red, white and blue with stars and stripes.  100% cotton fabric is lined with interfacing AND polypropylene webbing for extra strength and durability.  Aluminum side release buckle.  Nickel slider and D-ring.

 

 

This neat little illusion is hand burned using Pyrography on a 1.5″ pendant by Rebel Heart Art come with an 18 inch cord necklace. Each piece is unique, no two are alike! With only one available, this will make a great one of a kind gift!

This gorgeous hand-painted glass ornament disc from Younique Ornaments features flowers bursting with color from pink to purple to aqua accented with silver. Painting is on one side of the ornament so that the colors are reflected through the back.

 I hope you have enjoyed some of our newest shops and will keep coming back to see what we have to offer.  We have been adding new members every day so as they are listing, they will be featured here as well.  If you feel like you want to be a part of this amazing journey with us, feel free to apply

Happy May Day and Mother Goose Day

May Day is an American tradition that was originally an ancient Pagan holiday celebrating the start of summer. Over the years, it also evolved into a day to commemorate the historic struggles of the labor movement and the 1886 Haymarket Affair that occurred in Chicago. May Day is traditionally celebrated with lots of flowers and … read more

May Day is an American tradition that was originally an ancient Pagan holiday celebrating the start of summer. Over the years, it also evolved into a day to commemorate the historic struggles of the labor movement and the 1886 Haymarket Affair that occurred in Chicago.

May Day is traditionally celebrated with lots of flowers and dancing, planting trees, making a May Pole or making a May Day basket filled with goodies and leave them at friends and neighbors doors. It’s kind of fun because you get to play ding dong ditch em’ but leave them a little gift to make them smile.

This cute little basket of flowers 3D art from Paper Pixies Designs would be great to make a card for that special someone or to include in a May Day Scrapbook page.

Basket of Flowers

Need a gift for someone you love? This Mason Jar Rustic Farmhouse Tin Table Top Centerpiece from Shutey’s Bottle Shack Home Decor is so adorable it is sure to make anyone feel like Spring is in the air.

Sunflowers

Today is also Mother Goose Day, which honors the imaginary author that wrote a collection of fairy tales and nursery rhymes still loved to this day. In 1987 Gloria T. Delemar founded Mother Goose Day.

Mrs Brittons Creations has the perfect addition to any baby’s nursery. This 7 Point Star Baby blanket makes me think of wrapping up all cozy. I can just hear Twinkle, Twinkle little star in my head.

MrsBrittonsCreations 7 Pointed Star

MrsBrittonsCreations – 7 Pointed Star Blanket


Of course, here at Gypsy Spoonful we like to call it Mother Goosie Day to honor our fearless leader! If you missed the post about our very own Heather Gray who founded Gypsy Spoonful, you can check it out at here!

Hope you have a great May Day and Mother Goose Day!

Make sure you join our group on Facebook group so you don’t miss the Gypsy Spoonful Summer Auction starting May 4 at 6PM. Join here.

Gypsy Spoonful is Growing Again!

Gypsy Spoonful is exploding with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items that you are not going to find at any big name store! You are not going to want to miss taking a minute to visit these brilliant new shops. click on the highlighted shop name to go directly to their shop and … read more

Gypsy Spoonful is exploding with exciting new shops filled with unique, trending items that you are not going to find at any big name store! You are not going to want to miss taking a minute to visit these brilliant new shops.

click on the highlighted shop name to go directly to their shop and browse around!

Every little girl’s favorite teddy bear should have this sweet dress! Pick up the pattern to make for all the little girls you know at Pickle Toe Patterns. Now you can make clothes for those stuffed animals, like Build-A-Bear and even some Waldorf dolls/animals.

Since we are apparently skipping right over spring this year, it the perfect timing for this cute, little pineapple summer dress from Sew Cute Custom Threads. It would be great for the beach and so easy to just slip on and off over the head quick. Many fun designs to choose from in this shop!

pineapple

This fun Mother/Daughter duo shop offers fun, little bath products that seriously, look good enough to eat. Eeray Bath Fizzies are made from real, natural ingredients that will leave you feeling hydrated, soft and smooth. Treat yourself!

Strawberry Sugar Scrub

 

Busy Crow Studio has added their own type of eclectic charm to Gypsy Spoonful! With exquisite attention to detail, this shop will be the perfect place to go when you are looking for gifts for that “hard to buy for” person. You know we all have at least one of them in our lives.

 

Gypsy Spoonful is so excited to share Napies Daydream items with you. Artwork with character and depth that will just seem to come alive on your walls and in your home.  I dare you to keep your hands of this. I would just have to touch it.

From art deco to jewelry, Salt Works brings some brilliant polymer clay works to our marketplace. These little dragons are just adorable and they offer super colorful necklaces with the amazing beads they create! Perfect for bringing a little whimsy into your life.

I hope you have enjoyed some of our newest shops and will keep coming back to see what we have to offer.  We have been adding new members every day so as they are listing, they will be featured here as well.  If you feel like you want to be a part of this amazing journey with us, feel free to apply

Meet Our Makers – Heather aka Goose- Gypsy Spoonful – Goosie Girl

Heather aka Goose Maker of Goosie Girl, Creator of Gypsy Spoonful In part of celebrating the upcoming, one year anniversary of Gypsy Spoonful we bring you our “Meet Our Makers” blog thread. I feel the best maker to kick off with is Heather (aka Goose) the founder and creator of Gypsy Spoonful. Who is Heather? … read more

Heather aka Goose

Maker of Goosie Girl, Creator of Gypsy Spoonful

In part of celebrating the upcoming, one year anniversary of Gypsy Spoonful we bring you our “Meet Our Makers” blog thread. I feel the best maker to kick off with is Heather (aka Goose) the founder and creator of Gypsy Spoonful.

Heather maker of Gypsy Spoonful, an inspiration to entrepreneurs every where!

Who is Heather?

I asked Heather to tell me a little bit about herself, and although she is VERY passionate about business, I managed to get this bit of information out of her.  🙂

When I’m not working (which is never ha ha) I love to spend time with my sweet man (soul mate, love of my life) and my kiddos. My oldest is on the autism spectrum (Kayla 22). Then there is Matthew (18), a senior in high school and an amazing athlete and lastly, Jack, who is in 7th grade and a comedian. I also have 3 dogs (animal lover) and I love to garden, and do home improvement/decorating projects. I love life and love to laugh and have fun, I’m a free spirit that would just die if I had to work a regular 9-5 job ever again in my life. A cubicle would be a death sentence for me, if I’m not creating, I am not happy.

Heather decorated her home coffee bar with some sweet handmade decor listed in one of the shops on Gypsy Spoonful. 😉

 

Heather tells the story behind Gypsy Spoonful

I asked Heather where the inspiration to create Gypsy Spoonful came from? Even though we were holding the interview in the board room of all instant messaging, lol, I could tell her fingers lit up with excitement!

I’ve established myself over the years by designing original boutique accessories and photo props~ it all started with one bow for a cheer team wayyy back when my kids were little and it took off…

I started with a shop on eBay and migrated to Etsy,  before people even knew what Etsy was… then went to my own site, and my friends who were still designing started telling me they were looking for a new, completely handmade place… so I went to work and created a brand new site. We have really big plans for it, but there are two hard and fast rules… nothing mass produced, and nothing imported… like supplies or knock-offs masquerading as handmade products.

The beginning…

We began selling on a blog in 2016, and it grew like wildfire, we soon outgrew the blog postings, and everyone said they wanted more… a dedicated marketplace where each person could have a shop, and set things up the way they wanted to for their businesses. About 10 months later, after trial and error and baptism by fire, I had built the Gypsy Spoonful website.

New beginnings…

We launched, April 30, 2017, and there’s been no stopping us ever since. We had a vision, and the “founding members” who started on the blog with us believe in it and helped it grow, and we’ve been growing every single day. In the last 11 months, we’ve grown to 127 shops with 8 pending.

There are no monthly shop fees. There are also no listing or renewal fees. Listings run forever, although we encourage people to re-list items to keep things fresh. If a product does not sell, you don’t pay a dime. If it sells, there is a small fee of 3.5% (the same as Etsy) plus the normal PayPal fees of course. We also have instant download for patterns, ebooks, embroidery files (that you create).

Our sales started rolling in the first week we were open! We have such a GREAT core of members. We believe in community over competition, and people before profits.

Gypsy Spoonful – The New Home of Handmade

Heather’s skills and knowledge are an asset!

I have been in business for 14 years, and before I was doing this, I was in advertising and marketing so I am very active networking, marketing and promoting the site, both through paid and non-paid means. We want our members to grow their business and reach new markets, so we teach/mentor and support them by doing little “boot camps” on social media marketing, helping them with SEO (search engine optimization), and teaching them tricks/tips/advice we’ve learned over the years~ I have 2 wonderful admins and between the 3 of us, collectively, we have 30+ years of online selling experience with handmade products.

Gypsy Spoonful is, indeed, a dedicated marketplace where each maker can have a shop, set things up the way they want to, and where you feel like family!

Who was Heather before Gypsy Spoonful?

I was a maker before GS, just like all of my friends~ I was creating and selling handmade photo props, boutique accessories and writing pdf patterns/ebooks. My business is GoosieGirl.com , and I have been blogging on my blog there for ten years. In my past life, I was in advertising and public relations as well as law enforcement.

Heather’s handmade shop on Gypsy Spoonful; Goosie Girl.

Unicorn Headband created by Heather – Goosie Girl (click photo to purchase)

Heather’s accomplishments

I asked Heather what she felt her biggest accomplishments are. Her responce is what made me an official Heather Goose fan!

I am a published author and small business expert cited in many online publications and magazines. I’ve also designed for several a-list celebrity clients and their children over the years. I tell you this, not to toot my own horn but because I want you to know this has been my life… it’s not a hobby, a side gig or some flash in the pan idea I have had. I love handmade and everything it encompasses. My passion is empowering other women to be successful and help them achieve their dreams and goals. I have a passion for empowering other women who own small businesses.

Heather as a child

I was curious where all Heather’s passion and inspiration derives from. So I dug even deeper into her past. I asked her what is her fondest childhood memory? You will want to keep reading to know all about this sweet story!

I loved playing dress up and having tea parties with my Grandpa. (I lived with my grandparents growing up). My Grandpa would come home from work on the train every night. When he got home, he would play tea party with me. I’d dress him up, put his hair in rollers, and serve him pretend tea while my grandma was making dinner. Fond memories. I was also very close with my cousins.

Goosie Girl Click photo to support Heather as Goosie Girl