Friday, December 27, 2013


Linking up as usual for FIVE ON FRIDAY with a few of my favorite ladies!
/// ONE ///
If you follow me on facebook or instagram you may already know this but in case you don't we are having an INSTASALE over on our @shopdbn account. They are all perfectly perfect prints {say that five times fast} that are a good deal to a nice home. I have been posting daily, but today is the last day!
/// TWO ///
Did you read yesterdays post? A few of my bloggy friends and I are starting a new thing called My Favs on Thursdays and we would love for you to come link up! Read all about it in yesterday's post.
/// THREE ///
Have you heard of it is really simple to use and I love getting emails when people are talking about me. I found out about it here on Paige Simple's blog {and hopefully she will get a notification that I am talking about her!

/// FOUR ///
Consider me addicted to Shelly B Orignials skirts, I ordered another less than a week after getting my first one in the mail. Check out her shop here 
 image via her shop
/// FIVE ///
A little over 2 weeks ago, we discovered Cam has a gluten intolerance, and we have been gluten free ever since. It is hard, but we both feel much better especially Cam and I have lost about 5 pounds so that is a total plus! If you are gluten free, or if you are trying to cut it out follow my gluten free pinterest board here

See you Monday for a full week of AWESOME.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


So excited to start a new Thursday tradition with some of my favorite blog ladies. Every Thursday we will be sharing a new FAV each of us have anything and everything will be talked about. Feel free to grab this image and team up with us! Just leave your blog post in the comments.

This week is all about my new FAV Etsy shop for unique jewels, My Sweet Nomsa. I met Ashley the designer a couple of weeks ago when we did the Athens Artist Market and I instantly fell in love with her style. 

Everything in her shop was right up my alley, so I purchased a few things I couldn't live without.

This adorable citrus yellow earrings are not anything I would have bought normally {I am normally a strictly studs girl} but something about the color was calling my name and I had to have them.
And I had to have this bracelet as well, this color seems to complement everything in my closet, and I love the way it fits me perfectly. Match. Made. In. Jewelry. Heaven.
This mixed metal necklace is the perfect everyday piece and looks great layered. This was picked as a surprise by Cam, he always does a great job.
The quality is great and the designs are perfectly simple. PLUS everything in her shop is 20% off right now so it is the perfect time to TREAT YO SELF.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


As I sit here, a pile of orders next to me, while Cam makes another run to the dreaded post office, staring at my sticky notes filled with things I can't forget I get so easily overwhelmed.

So, I decided to do what I do best, something that I feel like doing so I can concur the things I have to do. I like to keep my desktop wallpaper pretty simple {because my desk area is already such a mess} so here is your motivational thought for the day...

Nothing is too hard for you to handle. YOU GOT THIS.
& then I turned it into a cool wallpaper for everyone to enjoy! Hope it brings a smile to your office.
Just right click the picture below {control + click on a mac} and set it as your wallpaper.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I have been wanting to start a FAQ series on all of the questions I get asked as part of Tip Tuesday for a while now, since shipping is the number one thing I am getting asked about {especially this time of year} Let's start here -

... isn't it just paper"
... if I'm not going to get it overnight"
... it just seems like a lot"

Although I feel like we do a really great job of keeping it reasonable, I realize that people don't ship stuff as much as I do. So keeping this all in mind, here is a breakdown of what exactly your shipping covers {at least when you buy from us}

THE PACKAGING /// We want your package to get there in perfect condition! So we buy special bags that won't hurt your art prints or invites, and keep them safe and dry, and boxes for the stationary.

THE SHIPPING ENVELOPE /// We want to make sure that your package gets to you in perfect condition, and so do you! So we make sure we are shipping in non-bendable envelopes or tubes. Even when we use Priority Mail packaging, those stamps are a little more expensive to compensate for the fact that the box was free.

THE STAMP /// Did you know that even though we ship in an envelope, because it's non bendable and rigid we have to pay the price of a package? Not to mention, when was the last time you went to the post office to ship something? It is EXPENSIVE, and then we like to pay for tracking so you can watch your package travel to you, and a little for insurance so we can replace it if anything happens.

THE TIME /// It takes time to pack things with care, and anyone who is doing this as their full time business needs to make sure they are getting paid for all of their time. Also they may have to take info account any employees they have helping with their packing.

THE TRIP TO THE POST OFFICE /// Then after all that is said and done, you have to take into account the trip to the post office and the time it takes to stand in line and get your packages checked in. Occasionally we schedule pick ups, or just drop the packages off. But this time of year is so busy, if I don't ask for them to be scanned, they won't do it.

I hope this helps explain why people have to charge so much for shipping! There are lots of factors to consider!

Monday, December 16, 2013


This weekend we participated in our very first craft festival. The Athens Artist Market and after weeks of prep and a few late nights, I am happy to report it went amazingly! The full booth pics are on the camera, and I don't feel like uploading them right now, so here are a few snapshots from the booth.

We picked up these adorable chairs from Target because they really complimented the whole design of the table really nicely. Then we used little pieces I have been collecting like my wire basket and vintage paper cutter to add some dimension. Cameron built the display and used some of the leftover pieces of the wood to build us some sign stands. 

My amazing sister in law made us this adorable business card holder, and we got loads of compliments on it so thanks Jenn!

I have a "W" Zinc Letter from Anthro, and when we were designing the both we knew we had to get them for the booth. {Only 2 customers tried to buy them haha}

Some of our lovley customers flipping through and telling us how much they love everything.

We really had an amazing time! Special thanks from Cameron and I to Kelsey & Meghan for being our lovely assistants, and Cassidy & Mackie for coming and helping as well. We couldn't have done it without you! Can't wait until we can do another this spring. If you are local comment with your favorite Spring festivals so we can look into them.

BONUS I made some great new friends check out Ashlee's shop My Sweet Nomsa, I basically spent everything we made at her booth.

Friday, December 6, 2013


Um.. is it Friday? This week is kicking my but in the best possible way. Thanks to everyone who ordered over our Black Friday - Cyber Monday sale, all of your orders have shipped! Now here's my FIVE ON FRIDAY!

/// ONE ///
Just giving you fair warning if you live in the US! The sooner the better, because the post office is not as reliable as it is most other times of the year, and even then it isn't the best! This week we are cutting it close for Canada, and it is probably a little late to make it to Australlia in time.  

/// TWO ///
 We are in full on prep mode for the Athens Artist Market we are going to next weekend! December 14th and 15th, if you are local we would love to see you there. It is free and there will be lots of great handmade vendors there. Including one of my favs Sailor Studio
Check out some of our new cards that will debut there...

/// THREE ///
It is my 100% belief from working in retail and then now owning my own shop that this time of year, you either have the best, sweetest customers you will ever have or they will be the WORST. It can be very hard to be focused on the task at hand, getting orders out to the people who have already paid for your services. Etsy sent out a great email that had some great tips that are really helping me out Just in Case: Resolving Disputes Through Communication if you are an Etsy seller, READ IT.

/// FOUR ///
I am thinking of doing a 2014 wall calendar and I need some advice. Where do you hang your calendar: kitchen? office? What color combos are you loving right now?

/// FIVE ///
 The best purchase I made on Black Friday were these slippers from Gap. I basically haven't taken them off since then.

See you next week! 

Thursday, November 28, 2013


It's time for some deals! Here is what you can get from Designs by Nicolina this Black Friday - Cyber Monday!

No coupon codes needed, just shop till you drop! And stop by my instagram for a special extra deal everyday for my followers only! You have from midnight on Friday to 11pm Monday night (Eastern Time) to get these deals, stock up for gifts and get something for yourself too!

Here are some great deals from some of my favorite handmade shops!

Visit Icing101's Shop Here
Get 10% off your entire purchase with code MERRY1

and she also has an awesome art shop she just opened, visit that here, get 15% off your purchase with code MERRY13

Visit 17th Avenue Designs Shop Here
From Friday - Monday Get 15% off your entire purchase using the code HELLOHOLIDAYS15

Visit Delovely Designs Shop Here
Use the code GRATEFUL20 for 20% off your entire purchase


Visit Jenny Penny Designs Shop Here
Black Friday - Cyber Monday get 15% Off your purchase with Coupon Code BLACKFRIDAY2013

And she will also have a few select listings that will be Free Shipping!

Visit Handmade Escapade's Shop Here
Katy will have a selection of ready to ship items DEEPLY discounted visit her shop for more info!

Visit Addielou Bags Shop Here
Use the code BLACKFRIDAYAD 25% off sale for Black Friday and free shipping for cyber Monday


Visit AllisonLeAnnDesign's Shop Here
Use Coupon Code "GOBBLEGOBBLE" at checkout to receive 20% off any purchase from the Allison LeAnn Design Etsy Shop. (This includes everything... all instant downloads, customized digital designs, printed wedding invitations, and anything else in the ALD Etsy Shop!


Visit Bebe Blue Paperie's Shop Here
Get 15% off all prints purchases, from 11/26/13- 01/01/14. Coupon Code HOLIDAYS15

One last tip, and then I will send you shopping! ALWAYS check the sellers shop banner, current sales will usually be posted there, or on one of their social media accounts, check it all to get the best deals!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

TIP TUESDAY #24 /// Handmade Gift Tags

As the rush of the season sets in, don't forget to say thank you to all of your customers! They decided to shop with you, now make sure they know that you appreciate it by enclosing a little note.

I designed these cute little printable tags to add to your orders.

You can find them them here in the DBNGraphics shop. They are available for instant download, and with your purchase it comes in two sizes. You can print as many times as you need, and there is the perfect spot on the back to write a personalized note in with their order.

If you purchase, I would love to see what you do with them! Share them on instagram @nicolinaw, and #designsbynicolina

Monday, November 25, 2013


I love creating custom logos to fit my clients brand. If you don't already know Katy (read her blog here) she has become one of my great online etsy/blog buddies. So when she came to me to help her with a fresh new logo I was so excited.

Most of my custom work starts with at least a sketch. Sometimes the final product doesn't exactly turn out like the sketch but it is nice to take pencil to paper to get some ideas out. This also got Katy so excited about the project!

I sketched her famous 'Katy hair' on my iPad using Paper53 app, then sent it to my computer, and did some graphic design magic to make it look how you see below!

I knew I wanted to do some contrasting typography, and now her blog & etsy shop are coordinating! Using her favorite color, purple!

It inspired her to remake her blog with a more simple design, and I am loving it! Head over and check out her shop here /// and her blog here /// tell her Nicole says HI

Interested in a logo? Send me an email designsbynicolina{at}gmail{dot}com

Friday, November 22, 2013


As usual linking up with Darci over on The Good Life Blog, for Five on Friday!

/// ONE ///
In case you missed my mini freakout on fb and instagram, my 'A party without cake is just a meeting' - Julia Child art print was featured AGAIN by Better Homes and Gardens, Style Spotter blog read here.

/// TWO ///
It is already getting nuts around here, and from talking to all my Etsy buddies, the rush is on! So place those orders soon. My personal deadline is December 18th, but the post office isn't reliable ever this time of year so the sooner the better. 

/// THREE ///
Have you heard about Goldie Box?
They are the toys for girls that are 'more than just a princess' they have an awesome product with a great message, and you should take a min out of your day and go vote for them here because they are in the running to get their commercial to play during the superbowl!

/// FOUR ///
Next week on the blog I want to do a post with Etsy Shop/Handmade business Black Friday - Cyber Monday specials. If you want me to include you, send me an email! designsbynicolina{at}gmail{dot}com

/// FIVE ///
I bought this shirt last night at Gap and I kind of love it
You can see it here, if you have a Gap card you get 50% off your entire purchase {40% off online if you don't} so I also stocked up on tights because I love theirs the best!

What are you all up to this weekend? Make it a great one!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


It is coming on the 4th anniversary of starting DBN {this January} Which I think is pretty crazy. I started with very little experience in anything really. I was 19 years old, my only previous work experience was babysitting jobs, and a very small amount of retail. I was one month into graphic design school, so basically I knew nothing, and I came across Etsy while looking for something else. 

I am a firm believer that trying, failing, trying again and succeeding are better teachers than any school you could attend in the world. If I hadn't messed up a gazillion times at the beginning I would have no idea what I am doing now. I have always been a jump in and figure it out later type of person, and my Etsy shop hasn't been any different. 

I sold only digital invites, until enough people wanted prints. Then I ordered them from vistaprint, until I could afford a printer. When my first printer broke in the middle of printing 175 wedding programs we got Amazon Prime and overnight-ed a new one. When my packages were getting bent we figured out new shipping methods. It was all this messing up that led us to where we are today, over 5,500 sales and both of us going full speed ahead.

So I guess the moral of the story is, instead of giving up when the post office looses packages, a customer leaves a bad review, you print the wrong art print and send it all the way to Australia and have so send a new one. Don't give up. Just stay with your problem until you find a solution, you will be a better person for it!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Now that we are officially a two man team read part one here I have so much more time to devote to blogging and working on branding for etsy shops, blogs and small businesses.

{SIDE NOTE} I don't offer blogger templares because code is hard and confuses me greatly. With all of that being said, find your framework somewhere else, and I am the gal to help you make it your own.

Here is a great example of that with my friend Jennifer over at the Brandied Pair, I designed her header as well as her blog signature. 

Have a project you want to get a quote for? Please feel free to email me over at, we would love to work with you! You can also view more examples in our portfolio by clicking at the top of the page.