Posts made in November, 2014

Hello, and welcome to #ThinkCreateReflect, where we take a break from our busy lives to do some thinking and making toward the future of our businesses.

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Today, as most of you probably know, is Black Friday – and that means tomorrow is Small Business Saturday. So we thought we’d take a minute to post the following question:

How can you support the small businesses in your area this season?

No business owner can live as an island all to herself – even if we sometimes wish we could. The truth is, your business can thrive, grow, and just be better as a result of the collaborations you enter into with other small business owners. So this Small Business Saturday, our challenge to you is to find a way to support a small business in your area – or, even better, to try to forge a new collaboration!

Some ideas:

  • The easy one – buy something from them tomorrow!
  • If you sell handmade goods, try finding a shop in your area that might like to consign them or wholesale them.
  • Find a business that provides a different product or service from your own and see if you can team up on an event (say, find a bakery to bring cupcakes sell in your booth at your next craft fair, or a graphic designer to design the art work for your next logo product).
  • Use your blog, website, or brick & mortar store to advertise for the small businesses in your area – it doesn’t have to be formal; just a list of their shop names might do a lot to bring traffic to their stores tomorrow!

small business saturday

As a community of Makers, we’re stronger when we work together. What can YOU do for that community this weekend?

photo credit: Peter Blanchard via photopin cc

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#MakersWednesday: Of Creatures

#MakersWednesday: Of Creatures

Posted By on Nov 26, 2014

Hello, and welcome to #MakersWednesday, where we come together as Makers to celebrate the work of our hands.


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This week I’ve actually got a finished project to share! Most weeks I show off the projects I’m currently working on, but I thought this time I’d showcase a finished item – my Of Creatures hat by Caitlin Ffrench. I spun the yarn for this hat and used a button out of my stash to finish it off. I’m not a fan of the way the original styling shows the button on the side, so I wear mine to the back.

fall hat top-horz

I think it’s a great way to celebrate the season – now if Autumn would just fully arrive in Tennessee so I can wear it!

What are YOU working on this week? Share it with us on social media and tag it #MakersWednesday!


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During this time of the year, many of us reflect on the things we’re most grateful for in our lives. As a small business owner, I hope the customers who support your business and provide for your livelihood are pretty high on your list! If they are, don’t you think this is the perfect time of the year to express that gratitude to them in some small way?

Here are some ideas to help you out with that.

showing gratitude to customers

Ways to express thanks to your customers:

  1. Freebies – Everyone loves to get something for free, especially during the time of the year when most of us are saving our pennies in order to spend them on gifts for other people. Offer your customers something for free, such as a free printable download or a free pattern. You could even share a favorite family recipe with them! To make this a business-savvy giveaway, offer the freebie only to people who give you something in return: give it to your newsletter subscribers or e-mail it out to anyone who makes a purchase before December 15. That way you’re giving something to the people who directly support you and your biz.
  2. Add-Ons – For everyone who makes a purchase between now and the holidays, include a miniature surprise add-on. Upgrade the size of the item they purchased for free, toss in a free sticker or lollipop, or give them a sample-sized version of one of your other products. This little touch given as a surprise may just buy you a return customer for life.
  3. Discounts – One way to show your customers you care is to give them a discount! Offer a coupon code on your website, or e-mail it out to your newsletter subscribers. Another option is to include a coupon with everyone’s order, offering them a discount if they come back again. The coupon doesn’t have to have a high value on it in order to show someone you appreciate their business.
  4. A Simple Note – If you normally package orders with just an invoice or packing slip, consider writing a little note of thanks to go with each one this season. A simple, hand-written word of gratitude makes a big impression on your customers. If you get too many orders to hand-write a message to every person, have thank-you notes pre-printed and simply sign each one (or have one of your employees do it; the important thing is that it’s a real signature from a real human being). Your mother will be so proud of you.

What’s YOUR favorite way to show appreciation for your customers? Share it with us in the comments below!

photo credit: jDevaun.Photography via photopin cc

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It’s Friday, hooray! With the holiday season fast approaching, we thought it might be fun to show our spirit all the way down to the tips of our fingers. Who’s with us?

thanksgiving nail art


Here are some tips for your fingertips this holiday season:

  1. Go with warm neutrals. From taupe to espresso, any shade of brown will look fantastic on your nails this season. This is a classic and simple look for those of us who don’t have the time or the inclination to spend 2 hours doing a manicure. For a twist on this look, add a bit of sparkly glitter polish just to the tips, nail beds, or one accent nail. Find this look here, here, and here.
  2. Turkey Time! If you’re really inspired, add a painted turkey to one or all of your nails. This look takes a bit more time to pull off, but the effect is adorable. For a great example, click here, here, and (for a Minion-takeover version) here.
  3. Falling for Leaves. If you want to go with the season but not necessarily paint your nails for one specific day, how about autumn leaves? There are some great examples of leaf and tree designs here, here, here, and here.
  4. Geometric beauties. From polka dots to plaid, painted nails with texture or trim are just the ticket this season. Perfect polka dots look great here, while these chevron nails are sure to please here.

Want more inspiration at your (and for your) fingertips? Find our “Nails are Art” Pinterest Board here, and follow along!

photo credit: Marciaaa. via photopin cc

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Hello, and welcome to my favorite day of the week …

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This week, I decided to start a new quilt project. This one’s just going to stay home with me and brighten my day, keeping my family warm in the process. I’m making a Scrappy Trip Around the World, following this tutorial.


A photo posted by Jessica Cook (@storiedyarns) on

So far, I’ve gotten my fabric strips together and I’m busy assembling them into the beginning stages of the blocks. It’s not much to look at at this point, but it’s going to be awesome!

What are you working on this week? Snap a photo and tag it #MakersWednesday on Twitter and Instagram so we can see it, too!

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