Dressing Up for Spring :: Crochet Skirt

IMG_6742Can it be any nicer out?? This warm weather makes mw wish I could just live my life outside. I love that both Salem and Boston are very walkable cities with a lot to enjoy outside. There is nothing better than feeling the cool breeze on your face a nice warm day.

IMG_6756

No, I did not crochet this skirt. Believe me, I wish I did. I love the built in slip that makes the skirt a little more “user friendly”. I’m always afraid of being a little “exposed”, so that helps the fear. There are a lot of quotations in this little blurb…

I like that this skirt looks dressy, but it’s incredibly soft. The Rocksbox jewelry adds some extra sparkle. I love trying out new styles with Rocksbox.  Want to play too? Use code: salemstylexoxo when you sign up :)

IMG_6764

IMG_6753IMG_6746

Shirt :: Theory

Necklace :: Perry Street c/o Rocksbox

Earrings :: Loren Hope c/o Rocksbox

Ring :: Jules Smith c/o Rocksbox

Skirt :: She Inside (similar)

Purse :: Louis Vuitton

Shoes :: Marc Fisher

 

The Cup Cozy Takeover

I am always stumped about what to make during the warmer months. While I am stocking up on fall and winter items, I love the idea of having something fun for summer! This year I decided to make iced coffee cup cozies and I love them. I started making them in different sizes and so far they have been loved! I definitely call this one a success!!

   Photo by Kerrie

IMG_3017Photo by Linda

Photo by Stephanie

Photo by Kayte

Photo by Emily

 

 

Want one of your own? pssst…. Right Here

Etsy Seller Interview :: Kathleen Rose Amor

FullSizeRender (5)

Meet Kathleen from KathleenRoseAmor. Kathleen is using her Etsy shop to make a positive impact on a child’s life. Here is her shop story. Enjoy! <3

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy? 

I started my etsy shop when I moved away to college! I was really home sick being so far away so I was knitting and crocheting all the time. I ended up with so many scarves that I thought it might be a good idea to start selling them. The first few months on etsy was a flop for me because I really didn’t know what I was going. But I learned!!

Where does your inspiration come from? 

My inspiration comes from all different cultures! I love to travel and see what others are wearing in different countries.

 How does your personal style influence your business? 

My shop  reflects the items I myself would wear! I usually gravitate towards darker colors but I have requests so often for bright and cheerful colors, so I started to incorporate those colors into my shop also!

FullSizeRender (4)

 

What has been you biggest accomplishment so far?

My biggest accomplishment so far is being able to support my sponsor child, Mary, from my sales! I support her through Compassion International. She lives in Meru, Kenya and I was able to visit her during Summer 2013. I shared with her how I worked to get the money I send to her. It helps with her education, clothing, and helps her to purchase farm animals.

 What are your toughest challenges selling on Etsy?

My toughest challenge with my Etsy shop right now is that I am working full time while trying to build my business. I would love to get to a place where I don’t need to work outside the home.

What tool or app do you think helps your Etsy shop the most?

I think Instagram is an app that helps me the most with my Etsy. I created one separate from my personal account so I can promote my Etsy items and daily photos of my creations. I think this has helped me be more creative and has gotten my name out more!

FullSizeRender (2)

 

What words of advice would you give to new Etsy sellers?

My advice to new etsy sellers would be- Be patient when you first start out. There are thousands of sellers on etsy and it may take awhile to get views. But keep at it. Also, don’t try to do it all! My main product is knit and crochet wear. So I try to just do that instead of adding antiques and vintage items or sewn items. Sometimes I want to but I know one area would lack. It’s best to stick with one theme.
FullSizeRender (3)

 What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future is to expand so that I can sell items in Boutiques around Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. I want to be able to take a break from work and focus on expanding my Etsy shop!

Be sure to check out Kathleen Rose Amor:

 https://www.etsy.com/shop/kathleenroseamor


FullSizeRender

Etsy Seller Interview :: Nata Burgos

Passport Wallets
For this Etsy Seller Interview, Natalia from Nata Burgos shares her story. I met Natalia through a team on Etsy. Teams are a great way to connect to other Etsy Sellers.

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy? 

After having my products displayed in brick and mortar shops for over two years, I decided it was time to gain courage and start selling in an online showcase like Etsy. In 2010 I created my shop, but I started working seriously on it in June of 2014.  All things happen for a reason and I believe that between 2010 and 2014 was a time for learning and evolving with my products. I really like being on Etsy because it is a marketplace with thousands of visitors from around the world and lots of hard-working and creative people, offering beautiful things.

Where does your inspiration come from? 

I love a lot of things and people, so I have several sources of inspiration, tropical and bright patterns with plants and animals are a soft spot for me and I also appreciate classic and sleek lines. My mother is a massive inspiration too, she is a professional dressmaker that loves fabrics (just like me) and she has taught me lots of details of the sewing business.

Journeys are another wonderful inspiration, I travel as much as I can. It’s refreshing and incredibly exciting; I usually come back with new ideas and materials!  I like to make accessories that remind me of faraway places with a personal twist, the desert, the sea, the forest, the mountains, the crops and food, the culture, are an amazing uplift in the moment of getting new ideas.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

How does your personal style influence your business? 

My personal style is colourful and flowery. I think that I try to transmit that feeling to my business. I love to send out handwritten notes because I really want to transmit warmth and joy. Many customers buy my items as gifts so I think that transmitting positive feelings is a good thing. Giving and getting presents is supposed to be an exciting and bonding act-I want to enhance this for my customers.

 

What has been you biggest accomplishment so far?

My Etsy store has been a pleasant surprise for me. Right now I have more than 50 sales, I never thought that I would get going with the shop. But now my biggest accomplishment is being able to work creating products that I love and getting things in order, because I have this feeling that I was pretty messy before setting the shop seriously. It’s been a wonderful lesson of hard work and patience. I feel really pleased because I have sent products to places like Singapore or Iceland. I never thought that things like this would happen.
Bowties NataBurgos

What are your toughest challenges selling on Etsy?

I think the biggest challenge on Etsy is getting people to see you because many sellers make wonderful things everyday! Other personal challenge for me is…photography! It almost makes me cringe, it is not so easy for me, but little by little I´ve been improving because it’s absolutely necessary in an online shop.

What tool or app do you think helps your Etsy shop the most?

The help that you can get from hard working teams is very valuable. Certain teams have been extremely useful, every now and then questions pop in my mind and having the possibility to ask a seasoned seller is enlightening. I am really grateful with those sellers that dedicate time to help others, that is awesome.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What words of advice would you give to new Etsy sellers?

Read, read a lot, Etsy has a lot of interesting and useful material. Practice taking lovely pictures, if you can’t get it right practice more or get someone to help you. Work with your shop and offer excellent customer service. Customers must be taken care of so give them the attention they need. Give you buyer options, make them participate…and be very patient.

 What are your plans for the future?

I must say that until the moment I leave this world I will continue sewing, so I guess it´s part of my future. I want to expand my wallet range and strengthen my waist bag line. My shop is rather new so I am trying to test what kind of products are working better so I can focus my efforts in a better way.

In the long term I want to develop on my own website outside of Etsy, right now it seems a bit tricky to me, but I hope I can get the right help soon.

Be sure to check out Nata Burgos:

 https://www.etsy.com/shop/NataBurgos

Wallets

Mint Crochet Two Ways

IMG_6460

One thing about Boston is that even though it is finally getting warmer, the breeze off the water can create a chilly wind that requires some sort of jacket. Even if it’s supposed to be a 70 degree day, I try to always bring something with sleeves with me, just in case.

IMG_6476

I honestly didn’t mean to match my cup cozy to my shoes, but with my love for mint green, I guess it was inevitable. Funny thing is, they’re both crochet! I bought these Toms last year when I said “mint green and crochet??? SOLD!” and I am obsessed.

My favorite part of my outfit is my necklace made by Holly. Holly is a Boston Blogger and she is an incredibly talented designer and maker. I linked to her shop below, you should check it out!

IMG_6468

IMG_6481IMG_6474

IMG_6479

IMG_6444

Cup Cozy :: Salem Style

Jacket :: Free People

Necklace :: Shop Holly Dolly

Top :: Zulily

Skirt :: Peace Love World @ Bloomingdales

Shoes :: Toms

 

IMG_6443

 

Podcast Spotlight :: Elise Gets Crafty

IMG_3079 The thing I love about these podcasts is that they recommend other podcasts! Through this community of creatives, I have been able to find even more great podcasts to listen to to and from my day job. I also love listening to podcasts while crocheting or working in general on the shop.

Elise Gets Crafty is by Elise Blaha Cripe of EliseJoy.com. Elise has been blogging since 2005 and she has owned an online shop since 2008. Needless to say, she knows what she’s talking about!

Elise and her guests discuss a variety of topics that appeal to the creative entrepreneur, such as business, blogging, and managing it all. She also discusses motivation and how to avoid getting creativity burnout.

I particularly enjoy this podcast because it feels like Elise is speaking directly to you (even though she’s talking to thousands). Her tone is very genuine, and you can tell that she believes what she says and implements her own advice to her work. Elise’s transparency makes her podcast a great resource that you can trust.

Check out Elise Gets Crafty. She’s on a break for this month, but there are plenty of episodes to listen to so far. Catch up on her past seasons and check out new episodes when she returns July 1st, 2015.

Walking on Clouds

IMG_6527How is your week going? Mine is a little crazy busy, but that’s how it goes! The weekends are spent house hunting, which provides little relief from the week.

I was glad that the weather was a little bit chilly so I could wear my new hat I bought at Kayte’s Free People event. I love this style of hat, but didn’t think I could pull it off. Well being around a group of enablers friends, I decided to go for it. Avoiding a hat seems so silly now. I also scored this cute T in the juniors department at TJ Maxx. I love the message of it. I know it’s just s juniors department graphic shirt, but the idea of being at peace with yourself allowing you to love others seemed deep. Am I thinking too far into this? Most likely, yes.

IMG_6514These little flats from Fit In Clouds are awesome. I wore them all day house hunting last Saturday and I’ve been wearing them when I commute to and from North Station (about a mile walk each way). They’re so much better than the sneaker alternative and the fold and fit right into a little bag that you can pop in your purse. I especially love the “ahhhh” feeling I get when I slip them on after being in heels all day.

IMG_6500IMG_6489IMG_6507
IMG_6483IMG_6526

Hat :: Free People

Shirt :: TJ Maxx

Sweater :: Aqua

Jeans :: Rock and Republic

Purse :: Tory Burch

Shoes :: c/o Fit In Clouds

Breathe in Peace, Breathe out Love

IMG_6517

Podcast Spotlight :: Brilliant Business Moms

IMG_1241

Podcasts are an unbelievable source of inspiration and information. I keep finding podcasts that I cannot wait to listen to. I get really excited when I see the little red notification that there is a new episode. Today’s Podcast Spotlight is on the Brilliant Business Moms.

Brilliant Business Moms is a podcast created and hosted by Sarah Korhnak and Beth Anne Schwamberger. Sarah and Beth Anne are sisters who are both mothers and entrepreneurs.

 

Sarah and Beth Anne share their own business experiences and  interviews of other “mompreneurs” as well. Brilliant Business Moms is a friendly podcast that makes intimidating business topics more approachable. Some of the topics are but not limited to: branding, SEO, strategy, and Instagram marketing. I love that everyone is willing to share what works and what doesn’t work for them in their businesses. Each episode is packed with great and relevant information that is honest.

At first I saw the title and thought that the podcast wasn’t for me since I am not a mom. I’m glad I gave it a chance, because the lessons and messages from the moms and their guests can be applied to more than just motherhood. The schedule the moms works around mimics my schedule with balancing a full time job. I can relate with having to work on my business in the morning, during my lunch break (or a child’s nap) and at night when I get home.

 

Check out the Brilliant Business Moms and “head out there and be brilliant”.

Business Lessons I’ve Learned :: Bookkeeping Tips

 When I first started Salem Style, I knew that there would be some business-y things I would have to do, but I had no idea how much it would really be. I was treating my business like a hobby. I thought if I just sort of kept track of money I spent and earned it would be enough. I was wrong. At the end of my first full year in business I noticed that my little spreadsheet did not add up to what I actually had in my account. Going back through 12 months of transactions was tedious and frustrating. I knew that my bookkeeping needed a makeover and this is my advice:

Categorize your expenses

It’s not just sales and purchases. What are you material costs? Shipping costs? Packaging supplies costs? Etsy fees? Transaction fees? Did you collect sales tax? Did you track miles for any events? These are all key categories to keep track of and will make tax time a lot easier. I was able to figure out I was losing a lot with supplies and shipping supply costs. It helped me decide to see alternative products.

Get a separate account for your business

Originally I was just using a PayPal account to keep everything separate. But then when Etsy rolled out Direct Checkout, I wasn’t sure what to do. I linked my personal bank account at first and found out that it was very confusing. I applied for a separate bank account at a local credit union and collect all income and process transactions through that account.

Track sales and expenses regularly

And I mean at least once a month. Make keeping track of your books a good habit. If you are in a busy time, try and track expenses once a week. I know during crunch time it can be the last thing that you are thinking about with processing and shipping out orders, but keeping track of where you stand will help in the long run. Plus, it will take less time the more often you keep track. I have often found that my missed transactions and expenses occur during the beginning of December.

Find a great software

All of this can be made easier with a great software what keeps track of all of the cash inflows and outflows for you. This will especially help if you are planning on doing offline sales, or using your own e-commerce platform. A cloud based platform seems like a great option because you can access your information from any device. With FreshBooks, you can keep track of invoices and expenses to keep better track of your cash flow. One great benefit is if you are invoicing something, it will let you know when your customer has viewed the invoice, so you can be sure that they got it. Sign up today for a 30 day free trial!

I hope this tips have helped give you a fresh look on bookkeeping for your creative business.

This post was a collaboration with FreshBooks. All opinions expressed are my own. Post contains affiliate links. 

 

I Got It From My Mama

IMG_6277

No seriously. This skirt? I got it from my mama. My mom is fantastic with the sewing machine and makes lots of clothes. I was incredibly excited when she said she would make me a maxi skirt! I even had the chance to pick out the fabric myself. This skirt is incredibly soft and comfortable and it is so special because me mom made it just for me.IMG_6272I tend to wear a lot of black, so I love that this skirt is black but with a pattern. I wanted to keep it simple with a black top and layered necklace. It also makes the aquamarine bag really pop!

IMG_6259IMG_6306IMG_6271

Glasses :: Warby Parker

Necklace :: Macys

Shirt :: Banana Republic

Skirt :: my mom :)

Bag :: Tory Burch

Shoes :: TOMS

IMG_6292