Friday, August 30, 2013

September Free Gift W/Purchase Preview

So if you read the previous post, you know starting September 1st I will be offering a FREE gift with purchase. Of course there will be a different free gift for each shop.

I updated the previous post regarding With Envy Parties. I will be offering a specific free gift with purchase depending on the item you purchase. 

The last Friday of each month I will preview the freebies for With Envy Paper & With Envy Parties. 

Here is the fine print before the preview :) 
This is a monthly freebie, if you happen to purchase from me more than once in a month I will only send the freebie in the first purchase. Please save the file to your computer as soon as you can. Once the month is over that item will no longer be available as a freebie. Freebies are bound by the same terms of use as all my other products. Please review TOU included with the product or in the respective shop.

 Ok on with the show!!!

I was inspired by this color palette from Design Seeds and I knew instantly what I wanted to create. Free set includes 6 clipart images, measuring 6" at their tallest or widest points, 300 DPI, PNG & JPG included. Also (4) 12"x12" digital papers, JPG files, 300 DPI, not textured.

Fall is approaching and as much as I love the sunshine of summer, I do love the coziness of fall. I created a Patterned Pumpkin transfer design. The design measures 6.5" wide by 4.58" tall. Mirror image also included. PDF file. Print on iron-on paper, sticker paper or cardstock. Can be used for shirt/onesie designs, bag designs or using the guidelines it can be cut used as an 8"x10" art print.

Hope you enjoyed the preview! Start shopping September to get your hands on them :)
Have a GREAT Labor Day Weekend!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Savings & Freebies Ahead! UPDATED 8/29

**Read Below for update on With Envy Parties free gift with purchase**

Oh September is right around the corner!! I don't know in general why I'm excited, my daughter has another year before kindergarten so there really aren't any big milestones (well she is turning 5 but she isn't leaving me for the big school just yet). I think I'm excited because September is kind of the start of holiday time in a way. Especially for a business owner people start buying for Halloween in September (or before) so you have to be ready. 

I'm excited for what this time will bring and I'm hoping it helps to increase my ability to continue on this self employment journey...fingers crossed!!


With September comes LOTS of new products and also LOTS of ways to SAVE and get FREE stuff. I'm a frugal person in real life, so I am one who loves a good sale or freebie, so I like to pass that on to you. 

With all the new I decided to breakdown how things will work starting Sept 1st. I'm hoping you guys will like these opportunities.


*I already posted this on Facebook and its in full swing at With Envy Papers. I updated my coupon codes and replaced my Buy?Get? promotion with a straight discount depending on how much you spending. The discount goes up to 50% off your order if you spending $40. 

*I will be adding something similar to With Envy Babies starting September. 

*Currently at With Envy Parties, you receive 15% off your order if you purchase 4 or more pdf files in a single order (party collections count as 1 pdf). Also there are discounts for purchasing multiple pdfs of a particular item. These promotions won't change.


*For With Envy Paper & With Envy Babies I will be creating a Monthly FREE item with purchase (different item for each shop). I will preview the free item on the last Friday before the new month. So this Friday I will be previewing the Free items for September. 

Free items will be emailed to the email address you have connected to your Etsy account, unless you specify otherwise, If a file is too big to email I will send a link to download. 

*I decided to change the way I am doing the free gift with purchase for With Envy Parties. Because of the varied nature of the products I thought it would easier to have one set free item based on the item you purchase. For example, if you purchase any invitation from my shop you will get a free thank you card. Each listing will list the item you get for free. 

*Free item will be emailed, all free items are digital items.

*As I create new items for the holidays, I will be doing a giveaway for Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day etc. (not sure about Thanksgiving yet). Because I sell 3 different types of items, each giveaway will have 3 prizes and 3 winners. The prizes will include my newest Holiday themed items. 


*I am part of the Etsy Digital Designer Team. Its a great group of designers that either create digital items or use digital items in the creation of their products. I love this group, everyone is sooo talented and helpful. I have learned so much since joining earlier this month!
The group has several promotions that I will be participating in and most result in free items being offered by myself and lots of other designers. 

Currently there is a Monthly Color Challenge that I participated in. We are all given the same color pallet and we can create items for our shop, or freebies, or both. I am doing both. I missed the first one which is wrapping up now but Septembers theme is Back to School. I created a paper pack and alphabet set (took forever but love the result). I also created a freebie which I will reveal along with all the other designer's items on Sept 1st or 2nd (I can't remember the exact date). 


I will also have random sales and offer random freebies when the mood strikes but I wanted to at least share the concrete ones for you guys. I will tweak and change things if needed or if interest changes. 

Also check out my new FREE ITEMS Page here on the blog I will be listing all the freebies I offer there. I am still working on adding everything. 

Also I have a Freebie section on the FB page with FB exclusive freebies!

Happy Wednesday!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thoughtful Words

img source
Ok to be honest when I first saw this quote I laughed to myself because of course its easy for Oprah to tell me about wanting what I don't have because she can buy anything she wants. And then I laughed because when I see Oprah I think of "Ofrah", because that's how my dad pronounces it for some reason and its like nails on a chalkboard...but back to post :)

That being said this quote really sticks to me. Being happy with the good things in my life and trying not to focus on what I don't have is something I work on constantly. 

But really when I think about all the good in my life, it doesn't hold a candle to most of the superficial wants of my life. I bet you'd find the same if you take the time to look :)

Fine Oprah I tip my hat to you (if I wore hats that it!)

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

I like reading blogs about people who are similar to me, whether it be family make-up, sense of humor, business owner or people who I strive to be like. I like following people's lives and journeys (I have always been a nosy person so I think blogs feed that for me). But sometimes I have a hard time because a lot of what you read is "the good". Now don't get me wrong I love reading the good things happening to people but sometimes when that's all I read I start to wonder if maybe I'm doing something wrong, because I can tell you straight out it ain't all good over here!

I promised you I'd share the good, bad and ugly regarding my self employment journey and I will keep to the promise. One because sometimes its therapeutic to get it all out and maybe there is someone like me reading and getting a full picture might be helpful in itself.

Well the good, as far as my actual business(es) go, things are going well. May is still the most profitable month but since summer is generally a slower time I have been really impressed with my profit and things are picking up. With all 3 shops combined I am on track to either tie May or beat it. I feel like I am more organized with my business and although I feel like I'm constantly flooded with ideas or things I need to get done I feel like I'm getting on top of it and not feeling extremely overwhelmed with it all.

And the bad, I am struggling with the balance. I am struggling with being a mom, a stay at home mom, a work at home, need to clean the house, need to pay attention to my babies, need to engage with my husband, need to finish these orders, need to get more items in the shop, need to sleep, need to eat mom. Ever since I started my shop back in 2009 its been a balancing act. Now that I stay home with my kids during the day its becoming beyond clear that I'm not good with the balance. Its hard because my kids totally recognize the LARGE amount of time I spend on the computer and they are not fans. Well my daughter doesn't mind as long as I'm making something and she can watch but anything else she has no interest in and my son despises the computer. They don't understand what I mean when I say I'm working. They don't understand that if I don't "play on the computer" we don't eat. At the same time I hate that I spend so much time on it too. I keep telling myself it will get better and I am working hard to be computer free for the majority of the day except for snack/meals where they are otherwise occupied anyway. I'm trying really hard to make the couple hours I have in the morning and then the time after they go to bed, my main work time. I'm at least trying really hard in my head to at least remember that I need to clean up every once in a while...WORK IN PROGRESS!

And the ugly, its been a rough mom week, way too much time inside my head, way too much time dissecting and focusing on where I fall short. When I'm in that place it may start with one thing but I end up focusing on everything I do wrong or have ever done wrong. Its not a nice place to be. I have been on the verge of tears for several days. I don't cry often (with the exception of tv shows, movies or sad commercial), but sometimes I just know the stress has built up to where I just need a good cry. It hasn't happened yet, which just leaves a stressed, sad person. Sometimes you can be surrounded by people but still feel lonely. Part of writing this was to at least get it out there and hopefully move past it.

I just keep telling myself, everyday is a new day and it will get better...

Monday, August 12, 2013

An Attempt At Organization

I thought I would share my attempt at getting and staying organized.

I am not a very organized person in general. I tend to be the person that knows what I want and what I need to do but with so much to do it all just kind jumbles around in my head. I constantly feel like I'm going a mile a minute and sometimes I get freaked out when I think of all the things I'm probably forgetting about throughout the day.

But with 3 shops and the busy season approaching I took this weekend to try and get organized!

My original monthly goals jotted down on random paper.
I'm a list maker, I love lists!! I don't always finish things on my list but I its less stressful to see it all written out. Each month I make a list of goals and each day I make a list of what I need to get done that day for the stores. But I tend to write these lists on whatever paper I have around and I didn't really have a central place for business related things. I have a little notebook where I doodle and jot down things for my business but its not really anything structured.

 So I decided to make a business binder. I am using it to house any important business information. Some of this stuff is also on my computer but I am really still a "paper" person and I like having having a tangible resource.

I just used a green binder I already had and printed the cover for it.

The central part of the binder was my production calendar. With 3 shops each sealing somewhat different items, I wanted to make sure I knew what new items I was rolling out and when. This helps with my to-do lists each day, prioritizing the random ideas for new items that pop in my head all the time and also helps me figure out how much time I can carve out for the fully custom items and when I need to take a break from those.

July 2013
At the beginning of the year I purchased this set of editable printable home organization items for Happy Organized Life. I use them for personal budgeting and meal planning. They are super useful and since I already had them I use the monthly calendar for my production calendar.

They do come in cute colors but I tend to print any non-product related items in b/w to save ink. I also choose to hand write my stuff, just works better for me. She does offer a full set of business organization sheets as well!! I tweaked it a bit (as in I just crossed out the labels for the side columns and wrote over of these days when I have time I'll make it fancy...but really I'm a no frills kinda girl!). On the right side I list what items I want to add that month, what items I am working on to release the next month and then a few items that if I have time throughout the month that I can work on. Then I just fill in the calendar. I write down the date of the release and then I just jot down the days I plan to actually create the items and if they need prep before listing.

 I am a visual person so its nice to see it all together. I plan a few months ahead at least to plan out what I want to roll out that month and when it gets closer then I actually will pick the specific dates and start the work. Next for each day I have a place to write down tasks for the day. Next to the task I also list the project they are related to and the due dates, just keeps me focused. I don't list a lot of tasks simply because I also have orders to work on each day that vary regarding the amount of time so if I get done with everything and still have time I can look at the production calendar to figure out what I can work on. I try not to over book myself.

Tasks for last week

Goal Sheet
Another big part of the binder is my monthly goal sheet. Really its just a bunch of bulleted lines. Before I would just write a list of what I wanted to accomplish that month. But recently I have really tried hard to connect my goals with what I ultimately want for my shops. So now with each goal I also leave room to write down action plans to achieve the goal (for example: I have a goal of increasing sales, so action would be to advertise on blank website etc). I like to also write or at least think about how this goal is going to impact my business. I want to always be thinking about providing the best service and  growing and making sure that is where I am putting my energy.

The rest of the binder is just financial stuff (I print my orders each month just so I can refer back and I print out an overview of profits/losses each month. I also have space for business forms, worksheets or articles but I also keep these on my computer as well.

Its a very simple, no frills system that just helps me not feel so overwhelmed by the ideas in my head.

How do you stay on top of it all?