DIY: How To Transfer Images to Fabric at Home

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Time to start being more active around here, don't you think? My last post was -god knows when- but I have to admit I have missed a lot DIY blogging! 
Mostly because you have an idea - you implement it - the end!

Running a handmade business (for those who don't know me I'm a jewelry designer over here) is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. As much as I love making and crafting, there are times that I really feel fed up of the repetition it goes into making the same designs over and over again.

DIY blogging is a lot more exhilarating in that sense. You put all your creativity to make something beautiful ONCE. No need to split that creativity in 100 pieces.

Anyway! My point is that SKILLSHARE gave me the opportunity to channel the DIYer inside me again and I'm very happy about that!
I did a tutorial video of how to simply transfer images on fabric easily :)

You can customize anything you want -- from pillows and bags to clothes and napkins!
Let your imagination and creativity go crazy and have fun!!

Oh and the best part is that the results are perfectly washable too!

One last thing; my tutorial is open to skillshare members only BUT I have an awesome offer for you.
If you click here you will receive TWO WHOLE MONTHS fo' freeee & you're free to cancel anytime within that period SO you can just watch the hell our of the Premium videos online for two months and then unsubscribe.
No harm whatsoever to try it out, right??

See you there <3

Develop a Solid Brand Identity without Breaking the Bank

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Making a decision on becoming serious about your creative hobby by opening a shop might sound extremely exciting, but you know that it can be extremely daunting as well. Many people, including me when I started, tend to believe that everything needs to be perfect before launching your shop. Guys, I’m telling ya…they don’t. Oh, wait….ABSOLUTELY, they don’t. Is that clear enough? 
Almost a year ago I gave an interview and when they asked me about how I got at this point in my career I said “Luck and mistakes”. And that’s it. Amazing? When I started, two years ago, I didn’t even know what an infopreneur is, let alone I thought of searching on “How to Open an Online Shop” on Google. Now that I think about it, I clearly remember having 20 tabs open in my browser, all from other Etsy shops -the ones I admired the most- keeping notes on every little detail I could identify as useful. 
This guide is exactly what you will need – and exactly what I wish I had a couple of years ago – in order to develop your brand quicklyefficiently AND affordably before launching. So, let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

BRAND NAME

All businesses need a name. That’s obvious. But, what’s not very obvious to some people is that the name plays a rather small role in the overall success of your brand. Try to remember of your last purchase through a platform such as Etsy, Amazon or Ebay…yeah, you probably don’t remember the name of the shop. You most likely stumbled upon the product, bookmarked it and returned to buy it. I’m not saying that the name should be insignificant to you, pick something you like and you resonate with. 
What we want? simple, short, elegant and easy to pronounce. Think of an anagram of your name, or your pet’s name. Or invent your own word, how cool is that? Don’t spend hours on it though! And you know why? it is also possible that someone else got it first. And when that happens (I really wish you that it doesn’t) you will feel terrible. Guaranteed!
Before launching my shop I already ran myLifebox as a blog without its own domain* (of course someone had already bought it) so I went for my-lifeboxblog.com….how messed up was that? Then I started dreaming of launching my jewelry line under the name myTreasurebox so it would be Life=Lifestyle Blog / Treasure=Jewelry! Wonderful right? I might have spent a whole month on thinking everything through. So you realize that when I saw that the names were taken I was so bummed out. Don’t fall in that trap. The name doesn’t matter. Think a few, check if they already exist and choose the one that doesn’t. Also, please don’t go for numbers or extra letters that don’t make sense, i.e. myLifebox64. Not good πŸ™‚ 
* PS: it won’t hurt if you check whether your name is available as a domain too, you’ll soon need a website/blog, don’t you think?

DO I NEED AN AMAZING LOGO ?

Now that’s a hot topic! I’ve seen many of you obsessing over your logo and ,ok, I kind of get it. Been there, done that. But I’m pretty sure that it is really early to either spend money for a fancy logo designed by a professional, or, as a matter of fact care so much. Don’t get me wrong. I really pay attention to the details and I do believe that a nice logo and an overall brand appearance will make the difference. I’m just saying that you don’t have to break the bank to do that. There are dozens of amazing websites out there that will generate a logo for you. Some of them might ask for a minor payment but still, no need to spend a lot. 
And here I will tell you a secret…. GO FOR SIMPLE (again!). 1. many people get frustrated by overdesigned, way too colorful/fancy logos 2. simple logo = more room for your actual products to shine!! 
One of my favorite and most inspirational infopreneurs I know, Regina, highlights the importance of “Staying Scrappy” in your business and I couldn’t agree more. Running a creative business will teach all sorts of new creative skills – logo designing included, at least for now πŸ™‚
By the way: Next week’s post will be all about How to Create your Logo without spending a ton of money, so stay tuned! AND if you download the free worksheet at the end of the post you will earn a great bonus preview of that!

WE ARE VISUAL ANIMALS: the importance of PHOTOS 

Now…if you MUST hire someone, let it be a photographer. I really believe you can do it yourself if you are willing to devote some extra hours to it, but you should definitely have really good photos of your products and there are several reasons for that:
  • when people buy something online they want to be sure that what they’ll get is what they saw on the pictures. Therefore, you should take a good close-up photo of anything that might interest your customers and makes your products unique. You also need to pay attention to the scale/sizes of the items. Of course you know how big they are but a photo can be very confusing, thus you need to find ways to indicate their scale. 
  • it is also a matter of safety for you, because if someone feels fooled when he gets his parcel expecting a huge thing and receiving a tiny thingy instead, he will most likely leave a bad review – and you don’t want that!
  • GOOD PHOTOS WILL DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOU ! I guess you get that. Good photos that are easy on the eye will draw the attention of potential customers, pinners and bloggers. The more likeable the photos the more shareable they are. And you want that! 
But, something you need to understand is that again you don’t need to exaggerate. Don’t go overboard and hire the best photographer, book a studio and a couple of well paid models to do your photo shoot. Of course, when your biz grows enough you’ll do all that. There is a right time for everything. But spending that much money on something that isn’t giving you back is not a key to success. 

KILLER PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS

Hello hello mr. Writer πŸ™‚ Were you good in essays in school? No? bummer! It’s never late tho! OK, kidding. BUT you neeeeed to have good descriptions of your products. Again. Many. Reasons. 
  • safety: as mentioned above, you don’t want to leave any gaps open, misleading your customers. Here you can describe in detail every little detail of your item, making it even more appealing. 
  • SEO SEO SEO: everything on the web need to be SEO friendly. Use your descriptions to do that by adding all the necessary keywords that might a potential customer use in Google Search in order to land on your shop. 
  • people relate to stories. If you have a little behind-the-scenes story of the product to share, then do it! 

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DETAILS

I already mentioned the word “details” many times. But the little branding details are what will make your business stand out. Use your imagination to find ways and make people buy from you. What would make someone buy something like my product? What problem am I solving by offering my service? What would make me feel special? Are some of the questions you should answer to yourself about your brand, product or service. 
I know it is a lot to ask but you need to find all the little details that will make you unique and different from similar creative business owners. I will brainstorm with you, OK?
  • add a handwritten thank you note inside the envelope
  • design and use special packaging
  • add a small gift inside the package 
  • offer a discount coupon for their next order 
  • offer customizable products
  • develop a story, share it and help people relate with you! 


People Buy from People. That’s what Personal Branding is all about.
— Braid Creative

This quote sums up all my favorite things about being a Creative Entrepreneur. You have always to remember that behind your brand identity is a person, you, that actually adds value to your business. You are the core of your company and you are the one owes to be seen and credited. Feel free to make mistakes and use your own voice until you figure out what truly reflects your taste and personality. 
Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to download your FREE WORKSHEET so you can start working on your Business Branding now πŸ™‚ In essence, it is the absolute mini-guide that will help you through all the aforementioned topics PLUS a great BONUS CHEAT SHEET on how to create your own logo πŸ™‚ yeah yeah! 

Is Your Office A Mess? Some Clever Tips To Banish The Clutter Forever

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Are you half buried under a pile of paper right now? Are your feet tangled in a thousand cords running underneath your desk? If the answer is yes, then it sounds like you need a bit of help tidying up your office.
It’s nothing to be embarrassed about.πŸ™‚ been there, done that! The worrying thing is when that mess becomes chronic, unmanageable and gets in the way of your work
I know that when my studio is messy I first need to tidy it up and then I am good to go to start checking things off my to do list. 
So, do not fear my friend!! The following is a list of clever ideas to help you banish the clutter in your office forev-uh.πŸ˜‰

hide the unessential

Duh! You don’t need everything you have ON your desk. Period. Think carefully about the objects that you actually need. The ones that you don’t use often, but still need to be around for once in a while, can go into drawers, boxes, shelves or whatever you have that can neatly hide all the unessential. Often we build up piles of clutter because our brains trick us into thinking that all the stuff we have is important. It’s not. And the moment that we have a clean desk, the brain starts to focus on the more important things.

Tame Cables

Modern offices are chock full of electronics. And, as anybody who has ever managed PC cables will know, there’s A LOT of them. Printers, chargers, HDMIs, you name it.
Managing cables in your office is important for a couple of reasons. The first is safety,obviously. Cables shouldn’t be weaving their way around walkways. Duh x2! That’s a surefire way to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit (yeap! indeed things like that haaaaappen).
The other issue is just the mess and the effect that this has on your psychology (which is a biggy, don’t ya think?) You can take cable management to the next level with a few simple tricks. Cheap cable management options are available at IKEA. These often hook onto the back of your desk and look a bit like guttering. Affordable AND convenientπŸ˜‰

Call In The Pros

Sometimes your office is grubby. And for that reason, you’re less inclined to declutter and organize. What the point of doing that when you’re left with something that still looks bad?
This is where office cleaning services come into their own (yes they exist and save lives). Pros are often able to do a much better job of cleaning than you would be able to do by yourself. They’ll get your office looking better than you could’ve ever imagined. And then you’ll have more incentive to sort out the rest of it. It’s hard to be bothered when you don’t have any pride in your environment.

Get A Different Perspective

Being in your office all day, every day often makes it harder for you to see where your trouble spots are. This is where taking your own photos of your office can really come in handy! A photo will give you a new perspective on your office space and show you where your trouble spots are. And then you will figure it out so much easily! yupπŸ˜‰
Hope that helps! What are your neat tricks on decluttering your office?

How to Stay Focused when you Work from Home

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Are you wondering how you can stay more focused when you work from home? Whether you’ve decided to work from home every day of the week, or just a few, having a neat environment around you is of high importance. And I know because I’ve spent hours and hours working from home, either while studying or while not affording renting a studio for my business (you can read my previous post about my workspace in Greece here). And boy it was challenging sometimes. You know, being able to wear your yoga pants all day is not always the best. I know however that if I learned something from all this, is how to f***ing stay productive and efficient while working from home. And here’s my takeaway: 

Follow ‘the bedroom’ rule

What is the bedroom rule, you ask? It’s the rule that in order to have a long and fulfilling night’s sleep, you must keep the bedroom for only two activities. Namely intimate activities and sleeping, of course. This means no TV’s to watch movies, and no taking your paperwork to bed with you.
The reason is so that space remains sacred; you only relate being in the room to the proper activities, and nothing more. Well, the same rule should be applied to the room or space from which you work at home. Keep it solely for working. No browsing the web listlessly, no novels or movies. Keep the space sacred for work. The benefit is two-fold. Firstly, your brain will know it is supposed to be working when you’re in there. Secondly, you don’t get sick of the space because you’re spending too much time in there.

Set your rules

Having your own rules about working from home, like the one above, are all well and good. But what about rules for everyone else? If you live other people they need to know the guidelines. These might be things likes; don’t disturb me between 9 am and 11 am every weekday, unless it’s urgent. Or; no using my desk for random activities. 
But even if you live by yourself, setting rules about your workspace is the most important thing. What I did and hasn’t served me very well in terms of productivity is that I was always having lunch on my desk while watching “How I Met your Mother”. You see where’s the problem, right? If not, let me elaborate.
Don’t mix activities because then at the end of the day you won’t be able to remember whether you had a productive day or not. If you want to watch an episode of anything while eating, go to the kitchen, your living room, you name it, but get the heck away from your desk πŸ™‚

Make a schedule and stick to it

When you work from home, you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck. Not literally at least! Maybe just via email. You also don’t have colleagues to cheer you along, or to provide light relief after finishing a hefty mornings work. This means you have to maintain your own discipline to get things done. You can do this by keeping schedules, but being sure you stick to them. A monthly calendar 2016 is a good starting point. Also have weekly planners so you can divvy up your jobs even more clearly and in a more detailed manner. Be sure to keep both up-to-date. Calendars and planners without info and deadlines in them are about as useful as no calendars or planners at all.
What I do is that I have a physical calendar that I always keep with me and then once every a couple of days I go through my digital calendar too and check whether they are in line. That helps me a lot because I don’t feel constantly depended on my phone to check my appointments or to-do lists.

Keep your desk & desktop tidy

A tidy desk equals a tidy mind, right? Right! Keep your workspace as clean and tidy as you would if it were being inspected every day! That means no clutter, no mess, and whittling down the items you actually need close at hand. 
If you are a designer, let alone a crafter, like me then probably you will create messes pretty much all the time. And I know this is part of the fun. But working from home means that when you “leave” work you stay there. Which literally means that you need to deal with your mess 24/7. No good. 
So do yourself a favor and clean up after you. πŸ™‚
Now that we addressed the perks of having a tidy desk let’s talk about your desktop? Your computer or laptop’s desktop that is. If you have your files and documents all over the place, it can really slow you down. It is also a sure-fire way for important things to get accidentally lost, or permanently deleted. Keeping everything into neat and tidy folders will also mean you don’t have to waste time looking for it when you come to need it. On the topic of important documents, make sure they can be accessed online, so you can continue working when traveling or away from home.

Make it cozy

For me that’s by far the most important thing. That has literally saved me at times where I was feeling completely lost and uninspired. Personally I feel amazing in places with natural light, nice plants of fresh flowers and coffee πŸ™‚ So what I do is that I do my best at making my working space as close to that as possible. You might not have always natural light pouring in from the window. Especially if you work long hours and the sun is not up anymore. But you can always take care of all the small details that will make you feel more comfortable while working. Having your favorite mug next to you, good music, some nice candles and fresh flowers and boom! 
So what are your tricks to keep you productive while working from home? Tell me all the secrets!

Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe SS ’16 (+free printable checklist)

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Since April is just around the corner, it is about time to build our Spring/Summer Wardrobe, don’t you think? I know you’ve been waiting for this post a long time and I’m sorry if for some you it comes a bit late. You see…I live in the Netherlands and it is not more than a few days that the weather has started to show Spring signs, so it was really difficult to me to shop lighter clothes while wearing my warm sweater. Anyway, my Minimalist Wardrobe for the two coming seasons is ready and below you’ll find everything I think it is absolutely necessary to have in order to rock. ;)
So, I’ve talked again in the Fall/Winter Minimalist Wardrobe post on how helpful it is to have a Capsule Wardrobe, both in terms of time and money saving. But let’s recap for a moment…

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.
— joshua becker

REASONS TO DEVELOP A MINIMALIST WARDROBE

  • you’ll save time: chances are that every morning you spend too much time deciding your outfit
  • you’ll save money: even if you buy only costly pieces, you’ll find yourself saving money because you’ll buy less often and spontaneously
  • you’ll gain confidence: since your clothes will be chosen one by one, based on what is flattering your body so you will never have to worry again in the middle of the day whether you’re dressed nicely or not

BASIC RULES / GUIDES

  • buy only what you really love: G O L D E N rule. Guys I mean it. Don’t ever buy something just because it is nice, or you like it, or it looks ok on other people. Spend money only on stuff you fall in love with. The ones you cannot imagine your life (outfit) without. 
  • choose quality over quantity: of course we all have bought the 5$ t-shirt we randomly found at the market, but when it comes to basic pieces that you’ll want to keep for years, it is better to choose the best you can find. 
  • go for flattering not “in fashion”: the core of a minimalist wardrobe is exactly that the pieces are neutral, more or less monochromatic – so if you mix them all up you’ll still look pretty amazing – and basically and most importantly s u s t a i n a b l e. So, it is way better to invest in things you look confident wearing and buy fancy accessories and jewelry to spice up your outfits and feel “trendy”. 
Since this is our second round of building a Minimalist Wardrobe some of the pieces below will already exist in your closet…which is GOOD because you’ll need to spend less in order to make this one. Also, as you might have noticed, our wardrobes are not seasonal but biannual which allows us to start buying now and gradually build our wardrobe. Chances have it that you won’t need your swimsuit yet, so you could probably leave that purchase for June for example. That way you can save money and avoid spending a ton at once. 
Below, as usual, you will find my 34 pieces wardrobe for that period. Most pieces are either the exact same I own already or the ones I’m planning to buy within the next months (hello espadrilles from Anthropologie). If you are interested in any particular item, just click on the photo and you will be directed to the product’s page.


Also, you can download your own printable checklist that will help you develop your Wardrobe. Again, I’ve left a few extra empty lines so you can add your favorite pieces that might not appear in my list!  
I hope this checklist helps you streamline your wardrobe and make it as amazing and functional as you want :)

GET YOUR LIST HERE

Ensure your Jewelry Business is a Success

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There’s a lot more to running a jewelry business than meets the eye. If you have a passion for beautiful pieces, then you may be thinking about launching your own jewelry business. However, before you do, it’s crucial that you know how to make a success of it. As I have been running my own company for a while now, I thought that I would share all my top tips for success with you, here:


Ensure the jewelry is of a high-standard


If you’ve decided to launch a jewelry company, it’s crucial that the jewelry you sell is of a high-quality. Obviously, if, like me, you design and create your own jewelry, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you’re going to be relying on another company for your products, it could be. It’s important to think about the type of products that you want to sell, and where you’ll source them from. For a high-quality range of jewelry, check out https://elf925.com and have a browse. Think about the types of customers that you’ll have, and what types, style and price of products would be ideal.


Know how to market your brand


Another essential factor for business success is knowing how to effectively, market your brand. This means working out all the best ways to get the word out about your products to your target customer base. For all the best advice about marketing your company, check out http://jimsmarketingblog.com/. If you’ve got experience in the marketing sector, this shouldn’t be a problem. If not, you may want to consider outsourcing the task. When it comes to making a success of your company, your marketing is the most essential thing. So if you want to ensure that your business is a success, it’s crucial that you invest in it. Unless you have worked in marketing before, it’s probably best to outsource all marketing tasks to a specialist company. This might be a little pricey, but the long-term results will make it more than worthwhile.


Decide how and where you will sell


Another question that you need to ask when it comes to how successful your business is, is where do you plan on selling. Do you want to launch a store where customers can come and try your jewelry on? Or, would you rather sell your jewelry online? While selling online is easier and cheaper, sometimes having an actual store leads to higher profits. It’s just a case of thinking about the way that you want to run your business, and which is the best option for you. While some business owners prefer to run a store, others like to sell solely online due to how much easier it makes things. If you don’t want to have the commitment of having to open up and run a store each day, selling your products online is a much better option.


There you go, all my top tips for ensuring that your jewelry company is a success. Take this advice on board, and you can make sure that when you launch your company, it’s as profitable as possible.


Minimal Home Gift Guide

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As we are approaching the holiday season, with many of you already enjoying Christmas decoration at your places, it is about time to start crafting our gift lists. I know as a fact that many of you are kind of obsessed with finding the perfect gift for your loved ones. I know I am. But, let’s face it, it is kind of overwhelming too. And many times we end up buying a random thing because we couldn’t find the “perfect” gift.
I have realized, after many years, that one of the best ways to make a good gift is to buy something for the other person’s house. Really. 
That being said… here are 6 amazing potential gifts I found on Etsy:
What’s your “go-to” gift? 

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