Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Operation Fancy Wall :: Office DIY Project

While I've mentioned it a few times in previous posts, I realized that I haven't actually posted any pics or blogged much about Kalico's new office space! After working in my home office for the first 4 years of business, this past Fall, Kalico branched out and moved to an office space in Historic Downtown Frederick, MD. Check out a few of our before and after shots on our Facebook page. (PS-have you liked our page yet?!) Last week, I was able to complete the first of many DIY projects for the office. We'll call it Operation Fancy Wall. Here's a recap of the process, note how it is very similar to our design process:

1. Inspiration: I had fallen in love with this wallpaper by Brocade Home (which apparently doesn't exist anymore) on a recent trip to NYC. Unfortunately the wallpaper was very expensive and hard to install due to the metallic silver back.

2. Problem Solving: After doing lots of research (different possible wallpapers, wall decals, and fabric), I decided fabric would be the easiest and most cost-effective approach, while still maintaining the original look I was hoping for. So, I found a fabric swatch I liked the best, figured out the amount of fabric needed (even accounted the fabric repeat for the pattern…what a pain!), and then placed my order via fabric.com.

3. Application: Once the fabric was in, I recruited the help of my very handy husband, and we installed the fabric. Honestly, the fabric was hung just using a staple gun, and the fabric pattern was lined up "by eye". Then we applied a white trim around the entire wall to give it a finished look and to help hold the fabric up. Here's the before, during, and after look:

All in all, I love the new look of our office! And I love that I was able to do it ourselves (and by me, I mean my husband did most of it—Thanks Jimmy!), for a much more cost-effective price. Plus, it will be much easier to take down should we move office spaces. What do ya think? What was your latest office DIY project?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

That's Pinteresting

Kalico's junior designer, Jen Tyler, has recently joined Pinterest users of the world!  We decided to turn her new found hobby (ah-hem, time sucker, procrastination enabler) into a great resource for marketing research and design inspiration. (PS-Jen would NEVER uses company time to do a little pinning, unless the job called for it—I'm sure of it! I think?) At any rate, here's some of Jen's most recent finds:

Lately, I’ve been doing a little research on the newest social media trend Pinterest. For those of you unfamiliar with Pinterest, it is a virtual pinboard that allows you to categorize and share things you find on the web. The cool thing is how easy it is. By creating topic-specific boards, you’re sharing the things you like with others in an aesthetically pleasing way. You can also view other user’s boards and search for specific topics, products or ideas. But, as much as I like to spend hours of company time looking at all the uses for a mason jar, Pinterest actually does have a great marketing application.

Pinterest has recently been driving greater traffic to websites than LinkedIn, Google Plus, Reddit, and Youtube — combined! That is some serious traffic that is just waiting to be tapped into. For business owners it can be used as a tool to promote new products and as a way to interact with potential and existing clients. There are many strategies of exactly how to accomplish this. In fact, there is a whole Pinterest Board on Marketing with Pinterest. However, there are a few strategies that I found particularly hit home:
  • When you set up your Pinterest account for business’ make sure to connect your Facebook, Twitter, website, etc. Making this connection adds social media icons under your profile picture that link to your Facebook and Twitter profiles.
  • Come up with creative and interesting board names. This is more likely to grab a viewers attention.
  • Tag other Pinterest users in your pins by using “@username” in your descriptions. Network with other professionals and vendors in your field by using this feature.
So, you can see that Pinterest has infinite potential when it comes to business. You may already be using it to get your ideas into clients heads. How is it working for you? How do you apply it to marketing your business?

While both Jen and I have personal Pinterest accounts, we’re also considering creating a business account for Kalico. Let us know if you’d be interested in us adding this social media profile! And if so, what would like to see us pinning?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Holy Learning Batman!

Holy Learning Batman! So, last week I went on a learning binge—Wordpress Seminar on Wednesday, Time Management webinar and Creative Women roundtable on Thursday, and a Business Owner's Virtual Conference Friday through Sunday!

My brain is filled to the max! And you know what? It feels good!

As a business owner it's always a good idea to continue learning about your field (or related fields) as well as your business in general. It's how we grow and become better business owners—more crafty in our field as well as more savvy with our business. BUT—it's really hard to take the time out from all our daily duties and just focus on yourself (well, I mean focusing on yourself, which will in turn enrich your business).

I'll be honest (and to any of my clients reading this—I love you, I really do!), but it was so nice to take time out from answering emails, returning phone calls, putting out fires, etc. and just sit for an hour (or 2, or 6) to simply focus on learning more. Sure, I try to read up on daily industry news, but it's always something rushed, squeezed between this or that task. But, after taking actual time out to focus on something new, I feel more inspired and amped up than I have for several months! I like the feeling.

So, I am going to set a goal to do a minimum of one educational event per month, will you do the same? What are some of the most recent (and/or rewarding) business/educational events you've attended?