Tuesday, April 30, 2013

{TIP TUESDAY #7} BE NICE

Today's Tip Tuesday is going to be short and sweet because I have a lot of orders and emails to get through today {and failed to plan ahead a whole lot this week}

It's all about being nice!
 



Everyone is busy, and I feel like the busier we get, the less importance we put on slowing down and being NICE. It takes 2 seconds to make someones day better or worse.

Believe me, I am not saying that there isn't a time or place to call someone out on something that is an issue {I have left seller's negative feedback, and sent my notes of disappointment} when the time called for it. But take a day, really think about it and then  if you still feel like you need to say something do!

I think this is especially an issue online. You can't see an Etsy sellers face when you send them a nasty message, you can't hear a blogger's voice when she responds to your negative comment. Think before you type. It goes back to the whole if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all. Who do you think you are helping with your negativity?

Here is the #1 rule that helps me deal with not nice online
>>> If you are nasty or mean, your message/email/comment gets answered last, your temper tantrum is not going to make me want to work faster. 

So take an extra min, say what you need to say but say it nice! You will be happier and so will everyone else around you!



Monday, April 29, 2013

DIY PROJECT - CUSTOM GIFT WRAP

Happy Monday | It is DIY day over here. This weekend I went to a super fun graduation party for a gal I have known since she was little {on a side note I am feeling super old} I bought her a little something off of Etsy from ElizaJay Charm {shop them here} 

When I got ready for the party on Saturday, I realized I had nothing to wrap her box up with! So I looked around my studio and got creative! 



My box I wrapped was little, so I just used a sheet of 8.5x11 paper and had plenty left over, but you could also use a 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper. You don't want to use thin paper but not too thick of a cardstock or it won't bend well when wrapping!


>>> STEP 1 <<<
Design your paper! I used word {but you can use any word processor or editing software} I used her first initial, but you could type a message, or just use some clip art.
Once you have it all designed print it out!

>>> STEP 2 <<<
Wrap your gift like you would any other. Smaller packages can sometimes be hard to wrap so I used some cute glittery washi tape to make up for little imperfections. You could use some funky scissors to cut to add some flair as well.

>>> STEP 3 <<<
Finish it off with a bow!

Your gift will stand out from the crowd and even a small little package will mean so much!



Friday, April 26, 2013

INSTA-FRIDAY!

{Happy Friday Guys}
I would like to give myself another pat on the back for week #2 of Monday - Friday blogging! Writing down my blog ideas as I think of them and scheduling my posts when I have some extra time. Also yesterday, I blogged at the chiropractor using the BlogGo app {get it here} I highly recommend it! I had taken a pic of some samples at my house right before I left and wrote and posted about it in the waiting room.
Today is Friday which means it is INSTA-FRIDAY which means you get to take a peek at our week! I had deadlines to meet - baby showers to go go - froyo to eat - & margarita's to drink!


>>> 1. Some sneak-peeks into the new designs coming early May - folded Thank You Notes
>>> 2. I wasted some time designing a lock screen for my Sis, myself, and a new cover for my facebook timeline cover
>>> 3. Stopped at a garage sale on our way to run some errands and picked up this awesome vintage alarm clock {which we looked up and found was made between 1946 - 1956} the glass is broken but the clock actually works! It will be awesome on our new mantle!
>>> 4. A pic of me with one of our oldest friends Niki at her baby shower, she lives in VA now and we miss her! It was so fun to get to meet her sweet baby Asher!
>>> 5. We tried a new froyo place by our house that opened up a few months ago, and it was delish! {confession: we may or may not have been once more since then}
>>> 6. We celebrated a little mini-versary on the day we got engaged you can read about how he popped the question here
>>> 7. Another sneak-peek at the new recipe cards coming early May!
>>> 8. Wednesday was a rough day! Talk about needing a margarita, thank goodness for Ladies Night $1.99 ritas at a local Mexican resturant
>>> 9. Oh Ryan Lochte, I am a HUGE reality TV junkie {housewives, duck dynasty, bachelor, you name it} but I just couldn't make it through this show. The moment you said you love the attention but you feel bad for your friends who aren't as popular you lost me. Also... they are making fun of you and you don't know it. I feel bad for you... stick to the pool and stop doing interviews and don't stop letting E! take advantage of your confused state. :(

Want to follow the fun? Follow me @nicolinaw on instagram!

{PS} as I was typing this I checked my facebook and spotted this recipe from my girl Aimee
I think you need to make these this weekend, they look AMAZING!
GET THE RECIPE HERE


Thursday, April 25, 2013

NEW THINGS!

Today's late post is brought to you by something super cool! I had to run out and get some samples of new things to come at DBN!


In the past - we have done all the printing in our in-home studio office. But the love of our thank you notes is getting out of control! So due to high demand we have found an awesome local printer (YAY FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES!) to help us out with some of our most popular designs!

We will still be printing all of our customized items in our home studio but the new flat thank you notes • folded thank you notes • and recipe cards will be printed locally! They are going to be printed on beautiful quality paper (thicker and better than before!) and they will come with envelopes made from recycled paper!

A few of the designs still need a bit of tweaking and another round of proofs should get us there! 

We hope to have the new designs in the shop by early May!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ELLE & L - BRANDING MAKEOVER

Let's talk about a sweet little shop named Elle & L! Designer Faith named her company, that hand makes adorable purses, wristlets and more, after her daughters Elle and Lainey. When she came to me her designs were adorable but her branding was lacking fun and style.

Check out her Facebook page and Etsy shop before...


Faith gets so much credit for doing this herself! It is very hard to design for yourself {even graphic designers hire people sometimes to help them with their branding}

She needed something fun and creative that showed off her style, and helped her stand out from the crowd. She is not one for bubble-gum pinks and prefers a natural color pallet. Here is what we came up with...


We used the tagline from little to lady because she wanted to focus on the idea that she has designs for every age and style.

It was so fun to work with Faith and we were both very happy with the end result



Interested in giving your Etsy Shop / Facebook a facelift? Send us an email!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

{TIP TUESDAY #6} - HOW TO SHOP SMART ON ETSY - PART 2

Today is PART 2 in my How to Shop Smart on Etsy series, and it is all about FEEDBACK how to leave it, and how to check before you buy. Checking feedback may help you in deciding whether or not to place an order with a seller.



1. HOW TO CHECK FEEDBACK
Before you purchase it is very important to check the seller's feedback - whether they have been selling for a short time or a long time you can check there % of feedback here
Sellers are given a feedback number {that is the number of people who have left them feedback from any sale, or purchase} and a %, a % gets assigned to each feedback left depending on if the feedback is positive, neutral, or negative. That way even if a seller has gotten negative feedback once or twice they can re-gain 100% status if they have enough positive to even it back out.

Click where is says feedback to get a more detailed view of things.
From this view you can see how much was POSITIVE - NEUTRAL or NEGATIVE, you can see I have 1 Negative feedback {a customer was angry that her package was sent to the wrong address, the situation was resolved and it was the fault of the USPS, not my own but she left Negative feedback none the less. 

You can even go back and read the comments a buyer gave about specific items. This is especially important if you are ordering clothing and might want to know about fit ect.

If a seller is new, they might not have much feedback - but don't let that discourage you from placing an order! Contact them with any concerns, and then be sure to leave feedback when you get the item - they need it!

2. HOW TO LEAVE FEEDBACK
If you ordered something and love it, sellers want to know! Take the time to leave a note, and let them know how much you loved it. I read every single feedback comment and it always makes my day! If you had a bad experience, I recommend contacting the seller to give them a chance to correct the situation before you leave negative feedback. Always give people the benefit of the doubt before you leave them bad feedback. With that being said, IF you contact the seller and you still feel it is necessary to leave negative feedback, by all means do so! Just leave a DETAILED message in the comment box as to why to help future buyers :)

Sometimes, Etsy reminds you to leave feedback in the top of the page when you log in. But if not...
 
If you have any further questions just leave a comment and I will answer! 
Are there any other questions you have about shopping on Etsy? I will be glad to answer them in an upcoming Tip Tuesday!



Monday, April 22, 2013

THIS DAY IN HISTORY - APRIL 22, 2010

On this day in history, I went to work like it was a normal day.

But it was far from normal. There are lots of details that go into this day in our history so I will start from the beginning. There was a ring, rose petals, lies about where he was all day long {blew me off for lunch because he said he was getting a hair cut}, and he had our friends there to take pictures of the whole thing.

Cameron and I had been dating for a little over a year, we were friends first and have known each other for what seems like forever. On April 22nd, 2010 he pulled off the only thing that has ever really surprised me in my life {I am a find the hidden presents, skip to the end and ruin it for myself kind of girl}

When I left work with my friend Jenn {I thought we were just going to get some lunch} I thought 2 things: 1. Why is that person taking pictures? and 2. What am I stepping on? It seriously took a good 30 seconds for me to realize the photographer was Jordan {Jenn's fiance}, that he was taking pictures of me, and that I was stepping on a aisle of roses and petals sprinkled from the door of my work all the way down the sidewalk.


All the way down stopping at a vintage trolley that I have always wanted to have at my wedding. The trolley was holding a very nervous Cameron who was holding a little gray box...


The doors to the trolley opened and with a song playing, Cameron stepped out and got down on one knee.


And I said YES!!!!


Then we all hopped on the trolley and took a ride around the downtown area I worked in, and took some pictures around town.


After taking some pictures we met our families for dinner. It was the most beautiful day of my life. I cannot believe he surprised me. I had no idea, it was just a typical Thursday when I went to work, and my life has been different ever since, in the very best way!


Saturday, April 20, 2013

PIXIE POUCHES + A GIVEAWAY!

Happy Saturday Guys!
I am posting on a Saturday to give you an awesome giveaway from a great girl who opened her shop to help her follow her dreams!

Here is Christine's story:

"I started selling my Disney character inspired scarves this past summer when I was looking for something fun to keep me busy after our wedding, before our last year of graduate school started up. It has always been my dream to work at Walt Disney World in Creative Costuming, and as my husband and I will be graduating in May, we decided that this summer we would pack up and move to Orlando to pursue my dream (my amazing hubby is incredibly supportive!) - I have been saving the money I make from the scarves to help fund this big adventure. Well, my dream came true last week as I was offered a Professional Internship at Walt Disney World! Since I will be interning full time, I am sad to say that I will be closing my etsy shop PixiePouches forever. It has been an amazing ride, but it's time for me to refocus on my dream. If you'd like to purchase a piece of the magic, my shop will continue to take orders until May 15th.
Thanks for the magical journey!"


So let's help Christine with one last push before she closes her shop to move on to a new dream! {and you can say you helped a Disney Castmember make their dream come true which is pretty cool!}

Please check out here shop here!

And here is what we are giving away... The Disney Pocahontas Inspired Scarf Necklace!

FIND MORE INFO ABOUT THIS HERE
Here's how to enter! Giveaway runs from 4/20 - 4/28 and the winner will be announced on Monday, April 29th!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks for entering!

 

Friday, April 19, 2013

INSTA-FRIDAY

Happy Friday all! It is Insta-Friday over here where I share some of my happenings over the last week! Check out what I have been up to! Want to follow along, find me at @nicolinaw and see everything that goes on with me...


>>> 1. Showing off my new Rifle Paper Co. iPhone case! I am totally in love with it! You can shop for it here I HIGHLY recommend they are very good quality. I got the one with the inlay, and it is very protective!
>>> 2. Check out our DIY project, we are only on part one but I am so excited to finally have something set up above our mantle! We still have some work to do on it, and once it is all done I will share it on the blog
>>> 3. Sending one of my new blog buddies one of my 'Hey Y'all' prints - you can shop for it here in my shop
>>> 4. Bought some adorable new curtains at Target! I love how the yellow feels like the room is filled with sunshine - I had a coupon and they only ended up being $43 for the pair! They also match my pillows perfectly {also from Target} Find them here or in Target stores
>>> 5. Our Signature Thank You Notes are such a hot seller right now! Coral + Navy ones heading out to a bride for her wedding thank you notes! Shop for them here

Thanks for checking out Insta-Friday!
Don't forget to follow me @nicolinaw for more fun!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

NEW ART PRINT - A SMOOTH SEA NEVER MADE A SKILLFUL SAILOR

Happy Thursday everyone! There is a new product now available in the shop! In two beautiful colors: Blue + Mustard. The anchor is hand drawn by me along with stylized typography that makes it very unique!

'A Smooth Sea Never made a Skillful Sailor'

Available in 8x10 or 11x14 | shown in Blue
Available in 8x10 or 11x14 | shown in Mustard


Available in my Etsy Shop here in 8x10 and here in 11x14 , we would love to know what you think! Any other colors we should add to the shop?


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

OFFICE IDEAS

With DBN rapidly growing our office needs are changing. Cam is helping me more and more with printing, order forms ect and we really need to be in the same room, using the same printers. Not to mention the desk we got from ikea 2 years ago is on it's last leg {We only spent $60 on it so I guess sometimes you get what you pay for} Plus our office chairs are not comfortable for long term sitting.

So I have been doing a lot of office furniture browsing! Any excuse to window shop and browse pinterest I will take! New desks + chairs here we come!

Follow my OFFICE INSPIRATION board on pinterest for more great ideas!


I love the idea of putting 2 orange ones back to pack in the office or lining them up against the wall. The walls in the office are a shade of pale aqua so the orange would look great against it! And I think the Bubble Camel chair is my favorite. What do you think we should get?


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

{TIP TUESDAY #5} HOW TO SHOP SMART ON ETSY! - PART ONE

Selling on Etsy has been amazing for me, I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a creative outlet to sell through. During the 3 years I have been selling on there lots of things have changed to improve both the seller & the customer experience.

No matter how many improvements Etsy makes I still get lots of the same questions over and over again. Those questions have inspired a new series: HOW TO SHOP SMART ON ETSY, welcome to part one!



Sellers put LOTS of time & effort into making their shop customer friendly, you just have to know where to look. Before you purchase there are 3 things you should ALWAYS check! This will help with any confusion you might have about your purchase, what might be expected from you the customer and when it may arrive.

1.  CHECK THE POLICIES 
Each Etsy shop has to set up their polices for how they run their shop, each one is unique, and a lot of important info can be found there. You can check a seller's policies by going to their shop home page >>> on the left side of the page >>> under SHOP INFO you will see POLICIES


Inside of policies you will see listed a lot of the questions you might need answered payment info, shipping info, return policies ect. Before sending the Etsy seller a message, check the policies! Your question may be answered!

2. CHECK THE SHOP ANNOUNCEMENT
The shop announcement can be found on the top of the shop's home page. Under where the seller's name is listed will be a darker box that you can click in. Lots of sellers list their business hours, current turnaround times for orders {it is much easier to edit this section than to edit listings individually} AND sometimes... the seller will list any current coupons/specials going on.


3. CHECK THE ITEM'S DESCRIPTION 
Most questions you might think of can be answered by reading the item's description. Click on an item and read the whole description - make sure that you don't need to send any info to the seller before your order can be processed.

In the case of my thank you notes seen below... you can see that I need the color choices from the customer. But the arrow is pointed to the MOST IMPORTANT THING!


Under where it tells you the item ships from it will give you the ready to ship time frame. Now you know when you can expect your item to ship. And shows your shipping amount underneath.

THEN if you have any questions click the blue contact the shop owner button. Then if you come to the seller with a question you will know what you are talking about and they will be happy to help their very knowledgeable customer!

Those 3 things will help you be a better buyer on Etsy!


Monday, April 15, 2013

HAPPY MONDAY & CUSTOMER LOVE

HAPPY MONDAY EVERYBODY!
First of all I would like to give myself one GIANT pat on the back because I blogged Monday - Friday last week! My first full, totally uninterrupted week of blogging. Despite loads of work, and a few things going cray cray around the house I stuck to my plan and got it done!

& now for some customer love!


This picture comes from Bethany, and I just love how she DIY'd her art print to hang in her daughter's bedroom! {Bethany has an Etsy shop too! Check her out here <--- perfect for the Disney lover in your life!}

She purchased an imperfect art print from my Facebook page {like me if you want to get great deals on imperfect art prints too!} And added wood pieces to the bottom, pom poms on the corners and some ribbon to hang! What a whimsical way to display the art!

Do you have a DBN art print that you want to show off? Send us an email! We would love to see!



Friday, April 12, 2013

INSTA-FRIDAY!

Busy week over here at DBN filled with custom orders, meeting local peeps to drop off invites, and the yellow fog that is all over the state of GA right now {not super fun!}

This is what my week looked like this week ....

>>> 1. The hubbs and I took a trip to Uline where we order all of our packing supplies from, they happen to have a warehouse about 20 min away from us and it saves us $50 in shipping
to go pick it up
>>> 2. Tried sockbun curls for the first time {a little late to the trend I know, but my hair is finally long enough} after the frizz died down from when I first unraveled the bun, I liked it!
>>> 3. My view on Wednesday morning, including my favorite Anthro mug. Cam was at the Fire Station and I had both computers up and running to print orders, PS if you are an Etsy seller and you don't have that nifty little Dymo printer you are wasting a lot of time, it is expensive but totally worth it!
>>> 4. Took some cuties to visit Cam at the Fire Station while they are on spring break, they had a blast!
>>> 5. Rocking my adorable Horse Feathers Gifts silk wrap bracelet, I adore all of their designs!

Want to follow me on insta? Just search @nicolinaw



Thursday, April 11, 2013

LINKING UP - It's a Bloglovin' Blog Hop!

As a new blogger I need all of the help that I can get! I was so happy to have found this awesome resource for bloggers!

FIND THEM HERE
This blog, run by a group of bloggers, features tutorials, tips and tricks for running a blog. They have also started this great bloglovin' blog hop to help you find new blogs and gain followers. I have discovered a bunch of great new blogs to follow and can't wait to link up every Thursday!

CHECK OUT THE POST ABOUT IT HERE
If you are a fellow blogger, head over and link up! If you are a lover of blogs, head over and discover some great new ones. Bloglovin' is a great place to follow all your favorites {especially since google is getting rid of their following tool on June 1st} If you stop by, tell them Designs by Nicolina sent you!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

SOUTHERN SAYINGS - Handwritten Mason Jar Art

Can we just talk about how adorable these new designs are?!



Buy them all separately{Hey Y'all 8x10 or 11x14} {Oh My Stars 8x10 or 11x14} {Bless Your Heart 8x10 or 11x14} or get a discount when you order them all at once! {SET OF 4}

I absolutely love using my hand-lettering in designs. It takes longer, but adds a uniqueness to the design that can't be copied! You won't find these designs anywhere else! They are perfect for any Southern Belle and would look adorable hanging in a kitchen!

We would love to know what you think!