Archive | Entrepreneurial RSS feed for this section

Quick run girlfriend . . .

27 Aug

vintage-beach-women

Only four days left on my crowd funding campaign! So far (thanks lovely contributors) we’ve raised nearly $250 towards a $1000 target. For those of you unfamiliar with my campaign here’s a quick run down, for the last two months I have been trying to raise a small amount of capital via crowd funding to produce a range of beautiful natural organic baby blankets. It’s been a very hard decision to settle on just four organic cotton fabric designs and I’ve changed my mind a few times when my choice was out of stock. I think now I’ve finally made up my mind with the four below!

Updated Fabric Selections_1

There’s only four days to till the deadline on the 31st August and lots of lovely rewards left for you to choose from. There is a new reward starting at only $1 which will get you a warm virtual hug from me. If you would like to choose another eco friendly reward, I have seven others to choose from.

I HEART YOU!
I’d like to celebrate and embrace you – my wonderful future customers – by thanking you in advance for being part of the growth of ‘Rock Ribbons’.

I have a wonderful collection of amazing rewards, stuff you can’t get just ANYWHERE else. Gorgeous handmade eco friendly items like natural glycerine soaps with essential oilshoneycomb and beeswax candleshandprinted linen tea towelscotton turkish bath towels and of course the lovely organic cotton and natural bamboo fleece blankets.

Warm hugs to you all
Deborah

Beautiful Bamboo Blankets Babé – By Deborah Batchelor

Advertisements

Ten tips on how to develop your own creativity in a world of conformity

3 Aug

Creativity is our ability to take elements from our world and arrange them into something completely new and unique. It begins with an idea in our minds and ends with a tangible product that other people can see for themselves and experience. Culture, art, science, and technology are all products of our creativity and imagination. Every progression in society started with an idea, and through work and determination was made into something that had a real impact on our civilization.

Ten tips on how to develop your own creativity in a world of conformity

If individuals always conformed then society would never grow and improve. Therefore, creativity is not only healthy and necessary, but also an act of rebellion. It goes against the norms – by definition – which is why being creative often takes guts. Creativity is therefore not as simple as taking walks through nature or long baths or singing in the shower, it is an arduous and sometimes painful process of self-awareness and self-discovery.

In this world of conformity, it’s not always easy to find your own voice. However, there are fundamental ways we can try to break free from the herd and think for ourselves:

  • Create more than you consume. Creative people create, and they create a lot. They are usually more concerned with their own ideas than trying to mimic what other people are doing around them. Try your best to create more than you consume, and you’ll be much more likely to find your own unique style and craft.
  • Draw inspiration from everything. If you’re a musician, don’t just be inspired by other music. Find books, movies, people, and nature to inspire you as well. The more sources of inspiration you have, the more your ideas will stand out from the same old crowd.
  • Seek new experiences. A creative person lives life to the fullest. They are open to new experiences because they are willing to step outside of their comfort zone to learn new things and gain new perspectives about life. This gives creative people a richer palette of experiences to draw from in their work.
  • Have a way to record your ideas at all times. Creative minds are constantly buzzing with new ideas. It’s important to always have a way to record these ideas in the moment – whether on a notebook or an audio recorder or a cellphone – otherwise many good ideas will pass through our minds and be quickly forgotten.
  • Find an environment that works for you. We are very much influenced by our environment, so we can improve our creativity by keeping our work surroundings fresh and stimulating. If your workplace gets stale, try re-decorating it by putting posters on the wall, adding plants, a fish tank, new gadgets on your desk, or whatever. The key is to make your environment work for you and reflect your personality and creative mission.
  • Encourage feedback and criticism. Creative minds are secure enough with themselves to encourage feedback from others. They don’t do it to look for social approval, but to test the strength of their ideas and change them when they find possible issues and drawbacks. A big part of the creative process is adapting our ideas to the tangible world, so being open to feedback and criticism is a crucial step in making your ideas a real possibility. Listening to feedback isn’t conformity, it’s learning.
  • Spend time alone and reflect. Self-awareness is an important facet to creativity. And spending time alone with your thoughts and feelings is an important part of developing this sense of self-awareness. The more aware you are of your cognitive and emotional processes – how you think and feel about the world – the more you can apply this self-knowledge to your unique creative process. All creative people are comfortable spending time in solitude every now and then.
  • Take an idea to the extreme. We can learn a lot about our craft by trying to take an idea and apply it in an extreme or exaggerated way. John Cage took music to its limit when he wrote 4′33″, a composition made up of complete silence. Ideas like this help us to think outside the box. They inspire us to take a concept and use it in an unconventional, never-before-seen way.
  • Put a limitation on yourself. On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes putting limitations on yourself also forces you to be creative in unconventional ways. For example, give yourself a specific amount of time to write a song, or paint, or make an important decision. This restriction can motivate you to finish a creative product without over-thinking it – and the results can be surprising. Sometimes creative people get trapped in the paradox of choice, where too many choices paralyze the creative process. But putting a limitation on yourself can help overcome this roadblock by forcing you to be creative with what you have.
  •  Don’t take yourself too seriously. Creativity is hard enough when we have to overcome the judgements of other people in society, and the pressures of conformity, so don’t make it worse by being too critical or judgmental of yourself. A lot of creativity is an outcome of playing around, having fun, and not taking yourself too seriously or letting your ego get in the way.

There is no simple formula for creativity. Do what works for you and what fits your personality. No one else in this world can truly tell you how to be creative, because you know yourself and your own ideas better than anyone.

Credit: ‘The Emotion Machine’ by Steven Handel

I saw this article last year on ‘The Emotion Machine’, it inspired me so much that I had to repost it and I hope you enjoyed reading it too? Please feel free to share it with your ‘creative’ friends.

Warm Hugs
Deborah

I’m making it ‘Pozible’!

10 Jul

What is ‘Pozible’, I hear you asking?

Pozible is a crowdfunding platform and community-building tool for creative projects and ideas. It was developed to help people raise funds, realise their aspirations and make great things possible.Crowdfunding with Pozible is a way for motivated makers to access funding beyond ‘official’ channels by talking directly to switched-on consumers, fans, peers and like-minded strangers.

How does it work?

Pozible provides the platform for project creators to present their ideas to a connected audience, worldwide. If people love what you’re creating, they can support it by pledging money.In return, project creators offer rewards matched to the level of funding commitment.Pozible can also be a gateway for discovering and supporting inspirational projects and thinkers directly. By becoming actively involved in bringing more attention to bold new ideas, art, products and the talented people who conceive them, project supporters become a vital part of a true creative community.

I’ve created a ‘Pozible’ campaign and I need your help.

BEAUTIFUL BAMBOO BLANKETS FOR BABY!

When it comes to gifts and essentials for those tiny bundles of joy, you need something really special. It has to be beautiful, colourful, unique, natural, durable, washable and above all super soft. And I have an idea for a lovely product that will meet all those requirements! I would love (with your help) to produce a range of organic cotton and natural bamboo bassinete blankets and cot blankets for retail and wholesale. These beautiful blankets will be double sided for warmth and comfort, with snuggly thick bamboo fleece on one side and certified soft organic cotton on the other.

To produce and purchase materials wholesale to make my cuddly, eco friendly and organic blankets I need to raise funds of about $1000 and that’s where you and ‘Pozible’ come in. 

Pozible Image

– Easier on sensitive skin
– Naturally deodorizing
– Antibacterial
– Anti-pilling
– Provides thermal regulation
– Warm and Lightweight
– Superior washing and durability
There will be four retro and whimsical patterns to choose from suitable for both boys and girls, Chevron Blossom, Chevron Mint, Salutations and Story Book.

 

x1127b_FairyTales_500.jpg.pagespeed.ic.oDIZk4MMRX

1124_Salutations_500

chevron-repeat

chevron-repeat

I need you!

I have BIG plans for my small eco gifts and home wares boutique but I know I must take one small step at a time to succeed. And I’m sure with your help, I can do just that!

I heart you!

I’d like to celebrate and embrace you – my wonderful future customers – by thanking you in advance for being part of the growth of ‘Rock Ribbons’.

I have a wonderful collection of amazing rewards, stuff you can’t get just ANYWHERE else. Gorgeous handmade eco friendly items like natural glycerine soaps with essential oilshoneycomb and beeswax candles, handprinted linen tea towelscotton turkish bath towels and of course the lovely organic cotton and natural bamboo fleece blankets.

Warm hugs to you all
Deborah

My ‘Pozible’ crowd funding campaign
Follow ‘Rock Ribbons’ on Facebook
Shop for handmade eco friendly unique gifts and home wares

Are we all, just a little bit {creatively} mad?!

22 Feb

I originally saw this wonderful article on a website I love called ‘The School of Life’ and it touched such a creative nerve, that I just had to share it with you all!

Why is creativity often linked to ‘madness’ and why do creative people cause so much frustration to everyone around them?

Why do they keep going to extremes?

Why can’t they just be like normal people?

Highly creative people have unique vulnerabilities and sensitivities – ways of thinking and temperament that need to be understood and managed – for them to not only stay creative and productive but also stay healthy.

The creative mind is wired with the ability to feel with great depth and passion.  Creative people often experience the world in a way we call skinless – as if they lack the protective shield and instinctive filtering that we normally use to cope with the barrage of sensory information that comes at us all.  Without good strategies for managing this hypersensitivity, instead of creativity – the result can be a plunge into the emotional depths.

Along with skinlessness and rapid fluid thinking, creative people often have natural highs and lows, of mood and energy.

Rather than trying to live a normal or balanced life creative people can learn to embrace the highs and lows – and begin to see their lives as being like the tides. The challenge for the creative is to learn how  to navigate the tides not struggle against them or get stuck.

5 Principles For Living With A Creative Mind

1. Affirmation

Creative people need a lot of encouragement. As confident as they may seem, they are also full of doubt. Affirmation helps to buffer the skinlessness of the creative person. It needs to be at the forefront but it also needs to be real. No fake compliments please.

2. Permission To Fail

Unless you are willing to fail you will never be creative. Much of the creative process involves exploration, discovery and a willingness to “go where no one has gone before” – so although failure does not equal creativity – failure and learning from failure is a part of navigating the tidal creative life.

3. Fear Kills Creativity

Creating an environment of anxiety does not promote creativity. Fear automatically inhibits the fluid nature of creative thinking – to make us focus on a threat. While you might think fear is a great motivator, it only motivates certain kinds of responses. Originality is not one of them.

4. Room to Explore

Creative people need room to explore. An essential part of the creative (fluid) thinking process involves the search for new ways of seeing things, or new connections between old things. This often comes from what seems like ‘random’ activity like going out to new places, and seeking out new experiences. Don’t discourage curiosity.

5. They Need To Belong

Creative people need a community of like-minded types because they can often feel like they don’t belong. Creative people tend to be quite tribal . . . musicians like to work with other musicians, dancers with other dancers and so on. Find a tribe. 

brain,color,imagination,creativity,colourful,art,brainstorm-7c6fc3d21551e01f7804e2e675f2a63e_h

Image courtesy of  Yasmeanie on Deviantart Picture.

New products in store :: Handmade Moroccan Quality Leather Ottomans

18 Jan

These handcrafted Moroccan leather footstools are a must-have for any room of your home and our now available on pre order in the Rock Ribbons store. I have one in every room of my house including the bathroom because you know someone always wants to chat about something when you are trying to relax! These authentic leather ottomans have so many uses around your home, they can be a footstool or used as extra seating, from the living room to the bedroom to the kids playroom.

Rock Ribbons Moroccan Pouf

Each one of these leather poufs are individually made by artisans in Morocco and ethically purchased using fair trade. After sourcing and buying the goat skin, it is cut and hand painted or dyed, then sent to the outskirt of Marrakech to be stitched and finished with silk embroidery by local Berber women to show off expert craftsmanship and a result that is durable and will stand the test of time. There are five people involved in making each pouf and it takes up one day to complete it.

They are all wonderfully unique, with subtle variations in the colour of the leather and will look beautiful and last for many years to come. Below are all the colours I have in store but if there is a colour you love and you don’t see it here, please send me a message and I’ll see what I can do!

Pre order you favourite colour now for just $120 and save $30 off the normal retail price! And to save even more, don’t forget 10% off your order just click on the coupon code box at checkout.

Meaningful gifts for thoughtful people by Rock Ribbons.


Rock Ribbons Gold Moroccan Faux Leather PoufRock Ribbons Dark Blue Moroccan Leather PoufRock Ribbons Moroccan Grey Leather PoufRock Ribbons Hot Pink Leather Moroccan PoufRock Ribbons Lilac Moroccan Leather PoufRock Ribbons Orange Moroccan Leather PoufRock Ribbons Pale Pink Leather Moroccan PoufRock Ribbons Pistachio Leather Moroccan PoufRock Ribbons Silver Faux Leather Moroccan PoufRock Ribbons Bright Blue Leather Moroccan PoufRock Ribbons White Leather Moroccan PoufRock Ribbons Yellow Leather Moroccan Pouf

How to make money on Etsy

20 May

Etsy is the ideal marketplace for artists to sell their hand-made goods. Here are tips from many of the site’s profitable sellers on how to boost your visibility and number of sales.

Last year, Etsy sold $180.6 million-worth of goods. The Brooklyn-based team behind this online marketplace for handmade crafts is helping many sellers profit handsomely by offering them a platform to sell their merchandise. Some aspiring entrepreneurs have even quit their day jobs to pursue their Etsy “store” as a career.

In April 2010, the number of items sold on Etsy totaled 1.3 million, and the statistics have been increasing exponentially since its inception in 2005. Though Chen and other profitable Etsy sellers believe the site isn’t for everyone, they offered these tips to help you boost both visibility and number of sales on the popular website.


How to Make Money on Etsy: Be Different

Etsy currently boasts 400,000 active sellers, which they define as individuals who have sold goods on the site within the past year. With such a high volume of goods for buyers to choose from, it’s crucial that the product is high quality and most importantly, unique. 

Ryan Aydelott and Josh Saathoff, owners of the Etsy store Isotope, have sold almost 9,000 of their quirky t-shirts on the site since they joined in June 2007. They too stress the importance of having a different product that really stands out. “Find a niche, even if it’s rather esoteric,” says Saathoff. “Don’t try to cater to everyone. From a design perspective, whenever I try to design for a specific audience it doesn’t work.”


How to Make Money on Etsy: Killer Photographs and Detailed Descriptions

Like any e-commerce site, Etsy buyers are generally purchasing items sight unseen. They’ll be shelling out money for the product before they get the chance to try it on, touch it, or smell it – which means photographs and product descriptions need to be spot-on.

Elle Greene, who runs AustinModern, a Texas-based vintage furniture store on Etsy, says photography and descriptions are a crucial part of her business. In Greene’s experience, catalogue-style photos, which may work well on some sites, aren’t met with much success on Etsy. “Etsy is very focused on photography. I’ve learned more about editorial-style photography from my experience on the site than I could have ever imagined.” 

Greene says photo and prop stylists frequently peruse the site and look for not only a beautiful photograph, but also as much information about the product as possible. AustinModern’s descriptions include the product’s dimensions, weight, materials, condition, history, and more. Greene must have the right idea – her pieces have been featured in magazines like Elle Décor and Architectural Digest.

While many Etsy sellers can’t afford to hire professionals to shoot their products, there are a ton of great resources on the site itself. Etsy’s blog features sections like “The Seller Handbook” and “Your Shop 101,” in addition to hundreds of forums that provide sellers with photography tips and tricks. Some sellers even recommend bartering goods in exchange for the services of a photo-savvy friend or Etsy member.


How to Make Money on Etsy: The Art of the Listing

A lot of strategy goes into the way items are listed, how often they’re listed, and the number of items an Etsy store has at any given time.  

Ryan Aydelott of Isotope says that the item’s title is of the utmost importance. When an item is listed, it can be marked with up to fourteen search ‘tags’ that allow the item to be searchable for potential buyers.  “The tags have to be relevant. If you try to cast a huge net, you get bad results, but when you’re very specific and descriptive, you’ll have better luck,” Aydelott says. In his experience, shorter titles are better than longer ones.

Elle Green of AustinModern agrees. “Rather than naming the product, such as calling a hand-crafted peice of jewerly the ‘Elizabeth Ring,’ describe what the product actually is,” she says. “Think about how people would be searching for it. There are so many incredible things on that website that are not being found just because of the way they are named.” For example, a good title might be ‘Purple Gemstone Ring Set in Sterling Silver.’

Both Greene and Aydelott say that the number of listings, and how often you list, really depend on what type of product you’re selling. According to Aydellot, having 50 to 100 items in your store at a given time is optimum. “Statistically, people browse through two to three pages of listings (each page features about 20 items),” he says. “So 60 items is about all you’ll have the chance to get their attention with. If you don’t give them what they want within the first 60, you’ve lost them.” Sellers have also found that if you only have a few items in your store, people won’t stay to click around.

Greene says that the way Etsy’s search function is designed, the most recently listed items show up in search results first. “If you listed something three months ago, it will be at the very back of the search results, even if it’s the exact thing that someone is looking for,” she says. Greene tries to list two or three new items each week, though that number might be more ideal for a furniture store, than say, a jewelry designer.


How to Make Money on Etsy: Get Involved

Many Etsy sellers find it beneficial to become a part of the Etsy community. Chen receives a flood of messages from eager new sellers every day asking for advice. She says that the majority of questions she gets can be answered by simply browsing though the forums, blogs, and threads on the site. Aside from offering a wealth of useful information, forums and blogs help new sellers gain exposure to their peers. 

There are even self-organized groups of sellers, or Etsy “teams,” that are formed based on geographic location or a common interest. They facilitate things like taking out joint advertisements or attending local craft shows, and also provide sellers with a sense of community. Here are a few examples ‘Down Under Street Team’ (DUST) and BrisStyle Etsy Street Team.

Aydelott and Saathoff, in addition to thousands of other Etsy sellers, say their Etsy experiences have been incredibly positive. “It’s a great springboard and an incubator to test out a concept. Small crafters are going to learn customer service, business management, photography, and so much more,” Saathoff says. “It’s truly an entrepreneurial bootcamp.”

This article first appeared in Inc. Magazine May 11th 2010 and is written by Lindsay Silberman