I’ve been on hiatus. Did you miss me? I’ve missed you. Dearly. Grandly. With fervour and might. In the depths of my longing I’ve dreamt of you. You with your bright potted plants, your white walls crisp as thirsty canvasses and most of all, your inspirational resourcefulness, originality and unwavering determination.
You are my muse.
And, that is why I’ve been hibernating. I’ve been reconnecting with authenticity, mind bending the fuck out my company’s purpose and digging into all those tangled roots and waves to culminate a mission that not only feeds my own desires but also serves you, my delightful friends, with only the most useful tools, topics and talents for your business and art.
That being said, Stylings + Stories is undergoing a complete overhaul. We’re talking new branding, new website, new services, new everything. I appreciate your patience through this process and hope you will stay in touch to tell me what you most need for your business.
The focus here is drifting away from the intensity of marketing as essential to your success and reaching towards a steadier, more thoughtful approach to marketing as a tool to connect with your audience and express your art. I’ll still be providing the same sincere marketing services in the form of copywriting, editing, designing and consulting but up here on the blog you may see less urgent telling and more reflective sharing.
If you haven’t already, sign up below and I’ll keep you in the loop.
I turned 27 yesterday and I must say I’m liking this year so far. I’ve been reminiscing my 26th year and thought I’d share 26 things I learned before my 27th birthday. I’m not sure I’m much the wiser, but I’ve definitely made some exciting experiences happen, met loads of cool folk, and taken in a few life observations. Here they are.
1. How to run a business.
2. How to spin + twirl like a dancer.
3. Beach volleyball is the best kind.
4. I can withstand a 9-hour hike.
5. Say yes.
6. You have to ask for what you want. (Or, simply take hold of it.)
7. Stretch + moisturize every day.
8. Eat a salad with every meal.
9. You just gotta write (or whatever.)
10. Just try.
11. I designed an agenda.
12. I wrote an eCourse.
13. There’s tonnes of time, and so little too.
14. The people make all the difference.
15. Don’t say yes to everyone.
16. Over drinking isn’t fun anymore.
17. Talk to strangers.
18. Go to the doctor.
19. Make the best of it.
20. Perspective is key.
21. We all need someone to tell us the truth.
22. There’s no problem that can’t be solved (or mended quite nicely at the very least.)
23. Enjoy the luxuries.
24. We’re all doing our best.
25. You don’t have to go it alone.
26. It’s time to move on.
Let’s face it. We’ve all got a love/hate relationship with our computers. We love the ease and comfort and innovation they provide in our daily lives, but we loathe the addiction, the tasks that chain us to the screen, and even the black hole of social media and pirated films that deliver such delight in our boredom.
But let’s accept for a moment that sitting at our desks encompasses a large portion of a daily to-do’s. This reality comes with a number of health risks like sore backs, neck discomfort, __ eyes, and anti-social tendencies.
That’s why I’ve created this list of wellness activities for desk workers. It’s got your typical stretch exercises, but I’ve also sprinkled in a couple new ideas I hope help you with your desk worker wellness.
1. Stretch it out, baby.
It’s so important to realign your joints, especially when you’ve been sitting at your desk all day. It only takes ten minutes a day, minimum, to make a difference. Here’s a great video I like to use to stretch out my neck. Warning :: be extra gentle with your neck because these stretches go deep.
2. Work it in, honey.
Getting exercise has huge benefits, not only for your desk wellness, but your overall health too! There are even a few exercises you can do at your desk. Here’s a video for those of you who have an exercise ball. But if not, don’t fret because this website has a great collection of other videos you can try.
3. Talk it on, darling.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in our online duties and dismiss the importance of human interaction. This is especially apparent for online entrepreneurs who can get isolated if they don’t make an effort to reach out. If you want, you can set up a weekly inspiration meeting or accountability check up with a fellow entrepreneur. Or, if you’re in an office, take a couple minutes to have a chat with your coworker. Ask them what they’re working on or how their weekend went. You may even solve a problem together!
4. Eat it up, chicken.
To refuel your energy, keep a stash of healthy snacks close at hand. I’m talking trail mix, fresh fruit, veggies and dip, or even some instant oatmeal. It’s easy to dip into the candy dish at that 3 o’clock lull, but do your body some good with a nutritious complement to the sugary sweets.
5. Walk it off, kitten.
My last tip for wellness activities for desk workers is simply to get outside and walk it off. Breathe in some fresh air and get your legs moving a bit to wake up your body, mind, and soul. All it takes is 5 minutes!
So there you have it! Five wellness activities for desk workers. Which is your favourite?
I first got into burlesque a couple years ago when a friend of mine invited me to a class. Since then, I’ve met a bundle of beautiful, talented, and super fun ladies who also love the tease! So, meet Ariel Helvetica, a burly instructor at the Vancouver Burlesque Centre (VBC).
Ariel has a lifetime of dance in her background and before she got into burlesque, she performed in a can-can line. Now she’s teaching a weekly burlesque-ercise class where you plié till your thighs burn. She also teaches a few progressive classes that go more in depth into technique and choreography. Needless to say, she’s awesome.
Now that I’ve told you a bit about Ariel, here are a few things I’ve learned from her since our little coffee chat at Matchstick Coffee in Vancouver’s Chinatown.
Get a Mentor
When I asked Ariel for her top advice for newbie burlesque dancers, she said, “get a mentor!” When Ariel first started out she learned a lot from a fellow VBC instructor, Burgundy Brixx. Sometimes when we’re beginners at something we forget to allow ourselves to learn from an expert. At least that’s how I feel. I want to be an expert right away instead of enjoying the process of getting better. Ariel also uses a Vancouver-based coaching service, which looks + sounds pretty awesome!
Come to Class
Showing up and doing your best is the most important thing you can do when learning a new skill or following your passion. Ariel is a bundle of enthusiasm and she encourages her fellow burlesquers to come to class to have fun, meet everyone, and get better. It’s great advice + by following it, I even got to perform recently. See below for the proof!
I asked Ariel if she had any embarrassing moments when she was first starting out, and it turns out she did. In one of her first burlesque performances here in Vancouver, one of her pasties flew off mid-routine. Instead of running off stage, she made a quick cover up with her boa and kept going, kept dancing. The show must go on + despite any mishaps, you must too.
It takes courage to follow your dreams. It also takes courage to switch directions when those dreams evolve. That’s what Ariel did when she decided to move to Vancouver. She’d been dancing full time and wanted a change. So, here she is making waves + being bold. Keep in touch with her on Facebook to find out what she’s up to next!
That’s all about Ariel Helvetica. What do you think? Did you learn something new? Wanna shake + shimmy too? Leave a comment and let us know.
Hey Beauties. I have something super cool to share with you today :: Indigo put together a one-week-only sale for people wanting to get different viewpoints on being as productive + mindful as they can be that you can’t miss.
Basically the Magical Productivity Blog Bundle is a power package of four brilliant e-products (at a $202.84 value!) that allow you to become a more magical business person, see the behind-the-scenes of a successful business, have every resource you need for getting started with blogging, and learn about minimalism + how you can bring some of the concepts into your own life. And, the whole bundle is just $77.50 until Sunday July 27th at midnight.
Pretty sweet, no?
Indigo included my eBook, Blog Babe :: A Toolkit for Brilliant Blogging, which I am super tickled about!
So you’ll get that, along with all this other mighty useful stuff ::
- Becoming Your Own Heroine by Xandra Burns ($8.84)
- Power Play by Amanda Genther ($50)
- Bewitch: Cast Your Spell + Get the Customers You Crave by Kris Oster ($97)
All for the low price of $77.50 (saving you 61%!).
I’m always on the lookout for the best marketing campaigns that work. Whether it’s a social media challenge, a thoughtful print ad, or a witty catchphrase. I love it all. But, the following 6 best marketing campaigns take marketing to a whole other level. See for yourself.
6 of the Best Marketing Campaigns I’m Totally in Love with
1. Spring Advertising for VanCity Housing :: Vancouver, BC
I first heard about Spring Advertising’s campaign for RainCity Housing on VanCity Buzz. The clever benches turned home for the homeless instantly captured my attention and brought a tear to my eye. What a beautiful campaign that provides a much needed service in this rainy city. It’s one of the best marketing campaigns I’ve seen in Vancouver.
2. Wild in Art for National Literacy Trust :: London, UK
Keeping in the theme of benches, here’s another one of the best marketing campaigns, this time in London, England. I love this marketing campaign because not only does it raise awareness for literacy, but it supports the arts and employs local artists to display their talent across the city. The collaboration between the National Literacy Trust and Wild in Art has 50 benches sprawled across the city. You can even take one of their 4 walking tours to see them all!
3. City Studio for Keys to the Streets :: Vancouver, BC
Have you ever wanted your life to be a musical? Well it can be with Keys to the Streets! There are 10 pianos scattered across Vancouver this summer + you can find them on their nifty map and even bring your own accompanying instruments. Love it!
4. Molson Canadian Beer Fridge
Never been happier to be Canadian. Need I say more?!
5. Pharrell Williams 24 Hours of Happy :: International
The song alone makes you grin, but the 24 hour music video is so endearing, I love it. It’s never been done before + got people talking all over the world. You just wanted to keep listening to see what the next video would be like. Plus, it’s one of those catchy tunes that you can listen to over + over again and not get sick of it. At least I never did!
6. Grey Group Spain for Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk
Only for Children was another one of those campaigns that tugs at your heartstrings. To adults the billboard is just a normal advertisement, but to children (+ short people), the billboard shows a child abuse hotline to help kids in in those abusive homes. It’s a neat idea, but I’m curious to know how effective it was for the kids who need it most.
Those are 6 of the best marketing campaigns I’ve seen lately. What do you think? Have you seen any creative marketing campaigns lately? Let me know in the comments below.
Meet Kerri Pfeifer, creator + owner of Rogue Florist. She’s all about changing the Vancouver floral scene to showcase our beautiful local foliage. Kerri Pfeifer is that gal behind the garden. Read on to find out her favourite floral scent, her top advice for new entrepreneurs, and her silly embarrassing moment when purchasing wholesale flowers for the first time!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself? What do you do? What do you love?
I was raised in a remote community in the interior of BC, off the grid and without a television. My sister and I spent a lot of time outdoors, which is where my love for plants and nature came about I’m sure. Now I live in Vancouver with my lovely boyfriend and our two cats. We like to travel around BC when we can, go for bike rides, and hang out at home. I’ve also been taking photographs semi-professionally for ten or so years, which I still love.
2. How did you start Rogue Florist? What inspired this lovely business?
I got into flowers rather by chance, when I took a seasonal gig at a busy florist in Kitsilano through a temping agency. I fell in love with the atmosphere, the people, and most of all the flowers. The owner really inspired me as one of the hardest working women I’d ever met, and I jumped at the offer to join her team full time after the holidays. After a few years with them and a few workshops and classes (both local and international) I wanted to delve into developing my own style, and that’s how Rogue Florist was born.
3. What’s your favourite part of your work + your business?
My favourite part of Rogue Florist is showcasing the abundance of beautiful local foliage and flowers that are growing wild all around us here in Vancouver, and all over BC. I love to surprise people with the use of a weedy green that they might see everywhere and not look twice at, but when brought into focus in an arrangement just shines. It’s also a comfort to know that this element of the design is not being shipped from the furthest reaches of the world to get here!
4. Do you have a favourite flower or favourite arrangement?
This is probably the hardest question for any florist to answer! I think my favourite flower to look at is a garden Rose, preferably growing with its thorny stem tangled amidst all of its little rose-y companions… My favourite flower to smell is Yarrow, which grows everywhere around my hometown and embodies the scent of summer, and my favourite arrangements are those that are heavy on the use of greenery.
5. What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs?
While I am still learning a lot myself, the best advice I could give is reach out and ask for help. I’m not very business minded or even great with numbers, so I got a lot of help from a friend with experience in grant-writing and business planning. Something else I would add is try to relax and give yourself a break. I was way too hard on myself for not 100% succeeding (monetarily) with my first big venture, and stressing yourself doesn’t help. Try to focus on the good things that came of it, and remember that great things take time. Baby steps!
6. What are your favourite places in Vancouver anyone can go?
I really love to visit Deep Cove. The landscape seems completely different, as it looks down the Indian Arm and you can’t see any typical Vancouver landmarks. It really feels like you are on a Gulf Island or the Sunshine Coast. Which, by the way, are also very nice places to visit around Vancouver. Also, within Vancouver, I like to visit Queen Elizabeth Park (and the Bloedel Conservatory) and Van Dusen, for their impeccable gardens.
7. What’s in the works for you in the near future?
I have a few weddings coming up this summer around Vancouver, so I’ll get to travel to some nice destinations, which is always exciting. I’m especially excited to do the flowers for my good friend Tyra’s wedding in Squamish!
8. Are there any upcoming events, shows, conferences, festivals, etc. in Vancouver that you’re excited about?
I am looking forward to attending the Farmacie 3.0 event this summer, which I will also be doing the flowers for. Britney and her team have such a great vision, and I am completely behind the charity Fresh Roots, which will be the full benefactor of the profits.
9. Can you tell me one silly, inspiring, embarrassing, or noteworthy story about when you were first starting out in your business? Any mishaps or interesting things that happened?
When I first started buying wholesale flowers, I had no experience at all with how the process went. I clutched all of my precious bunches to my chest for a long time before noticing everyone else’s handy carts, and walked right past the counter that prints invoices to the cashier, who informed me I had to backtrack and have an invoice printed before I could pay. When I got back to the invoice counter, all the attendants were laughing and clapping. I laughed too. It was a bit embarrassing, but I wanted to learn so badly that it didn’t really matter.
Did you know email marketing can mean more money in your pocket? With a thriving email list you can attract more dream clients, turn current clients into repeat clients, fill your programs, and book yourself out months in advance.
That’s how Ashley Wilhite does it. And, guess what! She’s hosting her Explode Your List sessions this month! I wanted to share this program with you because not only does Ashley have a really unique strategy for building your list so that it feels totally authentic and natural but working with her is a total breeze you’ll love it!
Once you have a solid subscriber base, with the help of Ashley’s super awesome program you’ll be able to speak to your fans + let them know about your sexy sweet promotions! Here are 4 ways to use email marketing to your advantage and start a launch with your list.
1. Fuel Anticipation.
The first thing you’ll want to do is fuel some anticipation for your launch. Send a letter out to your list letting them know what you have in store for them in your launch. You could even offer them a special bonus for being such loyal fans.
2. Build Buzz.
Use your email list to build buzz around your launch. Ask your subscribers to spread the love by including click to tweets + sample social messages for them to share on their networks. You could even host an Instagram/Twitter/Facebook contest to make sharing fun + prize-full.
3. Spread Free Content.
Spread free content on your list to show how expert you are in the field you’re in. Many entrepreneurs use video tutorials or free worksheets to entice new subscribers and reward current ones. This strategy gives them a taste of what’s in store for your new program.
4. Share Key Information.
Use email marketing to share key information about your program with your list. This could be frequently asked questions, case studies, testimonials, an outline of the program, or any other information that potential new customers would want to know before buying.
Those are my 4 tips for email marketing during your launch. What did you think. How do you use email marketing to launch your programs + products? Let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget, if you want a thriving email list, sign up with Ashley to Explode Your List!
Meet Citizen Grace. Citizen Grace is a Vancouver-based online retail shop started by Shannon Heth + Christina Heemskerk. Their style is so lovely. I met Shannon at her Midtown Experiment pop up shop + had to extend an interview invitation. Read on to find out their must have items for summer + their biggest bit of advice for new entrepreneurs!
1. Tell me about Citizen Grace. What is it + how did it get started?
Citizen Grace is an online Fashion Boutique featuring woman’s clothing and accessories – It all started over some wine and a conversation about what we wanted our life to be like and what our passions and dreams were and this is when Citizen Grace was born.
2. Can you speak about the connection between fashion, personal expression, and self love? How do you embody this philosophy in the Citizen Grace brand?
There is something amazing that happens when you get dressed in the morning, It sets the tone for your day – your attitude, your confidence, how the world looks at you. Fashion really can be the basis to start your day. If you put on a great cut power suit, you go into that meeting and you own it; You walk in with confidence and people feed off of it. If you feel saucy but want that effortless french chic vibe, put on a great boyfriend jean, a great simple t-shirt and a sexy heel with a statement necklace and the world wants to look and talk to you. It changes how you feel and the way you move within the world. It really is powerful, you can be who and what you want to be.
3. What’s the biggest challenge you have to owning your own business? How do you overcome it?
When they invent about 15 more hours is a day we will be golden! Time is one of the largest challenges we face. It takes time to make anything great. Also you have to learn to wear many hats…Coordinator, Art Director, Accountant, Account Manager the list goes on.
4. How would you each describe your personal style? What’s your favourite thing to wear right now?
Christina: I THINK that Im a simple chic kind of girl. I love a great jean, simple shirt, a blazer – and pop it with an interesting heel (like a color or a print) and top it with mosly basic bangles and simple necklaces. With that said… I have fed off of Shannon’s more edgy style and Im more and more drawn to more statement items like all over print and a more statement necklace.
Shannon: I love the edgy look mixed with simple. I look in my closet and I see A LOT of black, grey and white. This is when you can make it fun though and add a fun print bootie or an awesome heel. I like to try new things out though and mix it up a bit so right now I am loving the bright spring colors like our neon ‘The Only Way’ skirt and our ‘Spring Wave’ dress by Mink Pink.
5. What’s your favourite Citizen Grace piece right now?
Christina: I am majorly in love with our new resort Maxis. I’m pretty sure that Ill be pulling out my ‘Shannon- inspired’ hippy side all summer, bare feet and body jewelry.
Shannon: Oops, I already answered that question haha Other then the items I previously mentioned I am loving the look of the shirt dress. We have the Twisted Theory shirt dress that is gorgeous navy and white… it’s so simple and can be worn to the office or it can be toned down and worn in bare feet in your backyard.
6. What are your different roles in the business? Do you each wear different a hat?
Shannon runs the admin day to day stuff and manages our interns that work with us. Christina is the creative side of Citizen Grace; She does all of our graphic design and runs the show at all of our photoshoots. When it comes to buying we both do this together… it’s fun because we both have different styles and taste in pieces but that’s what makes us who we are because it’s a collective of different styles that makes our pieces so unique and different.
7. What advice would you give someone who wants to start their own business?
Find a great Business Partner… Its like a marriage (you will spend more time with them than your own partner) you need someone who compliments you, encourages you, but brings you down to earth when you have flown into the clouds with romantic and lofty ideas – but works with you to try to come up with a realistic way to make it happen. – A solid business plan is pretty important too, but the first it the utmost important… Dreams can bring you pretty far.
In my just over a year in business, I’ve learned a few things about how to launch a new product. I’ve gone from wingin’ it to actually planning a thoughtful campaign to gain momentum for a new product. Here are my top 3 marketing secrets for how to launch a new product.
How to Launch a New Product
Marketing Secret 01
:: Have a focus.
If there’s one major important, super essential marketing secret I’ve learned about how to launch a new product it’s to have a single focus. Just one. Don’t confuse your readers with multiple disjointed campaigns, just give them one option, like signing up for your launch list to get free content. I made the mistake in one of my launches of offering too much free content + creating several different lists that didn’t connect. What I should have done was create a couple really stellar freebies + offered them through the same opt in.
Marketing Secret 02
:: Share free content.
Something that the pros have taught me about how to launch a new product is to give away free content. My favourite way to do this is through webinars or tutorial videos that share advanced tips on a related topic. Like Marie Forleo’s business tutorials for her B School launch or Hilary Rushford’s style tutorials for her Style & Styleability launch.
Marketing Secret 03
:: Get ‘em on your list.
Like I said in my marketing secret 01, you should have one focus for your launch. And, if you can make that focus be to get potential customers on your list, then you’ll be golden. Use that free content to attract your readers onto your launch list + use that list to sell them your new service or product. Of course, you’ll want to build momentum outside of your list as well, but these customers are ones who have taken the time + trust to give you your email so use it wisely.
So that’s how to launch a new product. Do you have another marketing secret you want to share? Leave a comment and let us know.