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.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


For the majority of Etsy sellers, the next month and half will be the biggest of the year. And for lots of handmade businesses the shopping season has already started! Here are some of my tips to get more sales!

5. STOCK UP - you know what your customers love, stock up on whatever supplies you need to make or sell your most popular items. People always wait till the last min and you want to make sure you have what they want ready to go.

4. ENCOURAGE EARLY SHOPPING - regularly update your customers via your social media of your turnaround times to encourage them to purchase early! You can easily schedule posts for your twitter and facebook pages, and I love using instagram and pinterest as well! Set your deadlines for December 25th delivery now, and then you can edit them as needed as the date approaches. Running a special for Black Friday / Cyber Monday is a great way to do this. I recommend using it is a huge time saver!

3. PICTURES - make sure your pictures make you stand out, show off your packaging if it is special for this time of year and make sure you let people know your procedures for gift tags ect, a lot of people ship directly to who the gift is getting sent to

2. RESPOND QUICKLY AND EFFICIENTLY - I know you have a lot going on this time of year, but so do your customers. They might send 3 shops similar questions and I can assure you the first to respond in a professional manner is going to get the sale! So make sure you are responding to your convos and emails as quickly as you can, it will make a great impression and will help you get the sale

1. ASK FOR HELP! - Your family and friends may become your holiday workers if you don't think you can get it all done in time. Don't be afraid to ask!

Monday, November 18, 2013


I don't know about you, but our friends are sprinkled all over. Some live near, but most live far away. We all lead crazy lives, and it gets hard to stay in touch. Of course we have wonderful technology to keep updated with them but nothing is better than slowing down and having a little chat.

So here's to sending some love and arranging a cross country cocoa date with someone you love and miss.

Send a little Starbucks gift card along with the card, and arrange a facetime or skype chat. It will be just like old times.