Shopping with Purpose

We all need to shop on occasion for a gift or to replace a worn out pair of sneakers.  This post is about encouraging you to think about being more intentional with your purchases.  There are a lot of companies out there who support great causes but, few who make it their mission to change the world.  You won't find many "sales" from these companies because there is a bigger picture than the bottom line of financials.  These companies are changing lives and they are giving us the opportunity to do the same.

Three of my favorite companies to support are:

SEVENLY

.

www.sevenly.org

One Week//One Cause

Each week

Sevenly

features a new shirt specially designed to support a different cause. 

World change is how they roll

.  100% of the funding goes to the cause (not operational costs) which is pretty fantastic if you ask me.  They are doing good everywhere.  They have supported organizations who focus on sex trafficking, autism, down syndrome, hunger, cancer, adoption, clean water, homelessness, eating disorders, education, child soldiers, and so many more.  If you have a cause near and dear to your heart,

Sevenly

has most likely supported it.  The reach of the

Sevenly

movement is across the globe and in many ways, immeasurable.  I also need to mention that the clothing designs are fab-u-lous.  I love the work of

Drew Milton

and his stuff is printed on

Sevenly

shirts which makes me happy.

TOMS

.

www.toms.com

One For One

With every purchase of a

Toms

product, a child in need will receive.  There are over 50 countries where

Toms

has connected with Giving Partners that assist Toms in developing products to meet the needs of those less fortunate.

I LOVE my

Toms

.  They are the most comfortable slip-ons I've owned in a long time.

31 Bits.

www.31bits.com

Fashion For Good

Jewelry.  Beautiful, handmade jewelry.  I was introduced to 31 Bits by my friend,

Katie

last year.  I bought a necklace from her party and it is one of my most favorite pieces of jewelry.

Every time I wear this necklace, I think about the hands that made it.  The hands that rolled each piece of paper to create these beads.  The hands that strung them all together to make this necklace.  The hands that live across the world from me.

31 Bits

has created this amazing opportunity for Ugandan women to make and sell their jewelry.  not only does

31 Bits

bridge the gap between our worlds but, they are teaching these women a new way of life.  They support these women in all realms of life... health, business, community, finances, and education.

I am sure there are other companies out there who focus on being world changers.

If you have a favorite company that you support, let me know about it in the comments section!

Why Pinterest is good for my business.

Pinterest has revolutionized my home decorating, fashion wearing, gift wrapping, food making, art inspiring world.  I have always been a visual person and Pinterest speaks right into that on so many levels. There are some nights I will "Pin" for hours and other times, I pop on there for an idea and I'm off to attempt a project.  There are very few people I know who have not heard of Pinterest but, on the off chance you haven't been over there... check. it. out.

I am finding more and more ways to use Pinterest as a tool for my design business.  Here is a list of ways Pinterest has worked its way into my business plan:

 

1. Style.

When my clients go to my Pinterest Boards, they can get a pretty good idea of what my general style reflects.  Its amazing when I take a closer look at my boards and see similarities mirrored from pin to pin.  This also gives my clients a sense of who I am.  When working closely with a client, I believe it is so important to build a relationship more than just business.  I'm not asking every client to be my BFF, but I want them to get a tiny idea of what inspires me.

 

2. Design Funk.

Let's face it, there is no way I can be 100% creative every moment of the day.  Ask any designer and they will tell you that we can get in a design funk.  Artists need to be inspired!  On many occasions, I have mindlessly scanned through pages of pins soaking in the creative genius of others.  This is an extremely motivating process.  When I see a beautiful work of art or perfectly designed graphic, I find myself snapping back and wanting to create something beautiful.  Clients can't wait around for me to sulk in a funk, they want results.

 

3.  Communication.

Communication is key to me understanding what my clients are needing for their projects.  I get clients who come to me and say, "create whatever you want, I don't care, just make something great."  I also get clients who know exactly what they want but, have a difficult time communicating what they see in their vision.  Then there are the clients who have no clue what they are looking for, a blank slate.  I encourage my clients to create a Pinterest board and start pinning things they find appealing.  It doesn't have to be a specific theme or item but, just begin to pin.  When we step back and look at the board they have created, my designers eye can see what style, colors, and design elements that client is drawn to visually.

 

4. Colors.

When you begin to break it down, there are many different shades and variety of colors!
Do you want Kermit Green or Seafoam?
 

Color selection can play a very important role in determining branding, website appearance, and logo development.  Colors can reflect moods, feelings, and impressions.  Choosing the perfect color combination can be tricky.  There is a huge difference between a client who says, "I want blues and greens" and the client who states, "I would like tiffany blue and lime".  I have set-up color boards and refer my clients to browse them when determining their color palette.

 

5. Private.

There is a way to create private boards, pins that only invitees are allowed to see.  What a great tool for me to upload my clients projects so they can see the development of their design.  It is also a place where I can upload images and pin things I want my client to see.  Its private but, I can move things out of the private board and into my public boards when I'm finished.  I love this tool!

 

6. Marketing

I can pin things directly from my blog or website.  This allows me to share projects and designs that I have created which can drive traffic to ink & mouse. What an affordable marketing tool this has become for me and many other businesses.  I don't have a physical product, each project is unique, so Pinterest allows me to share my art/work with individuals across the globe with the click of a button.

T A L K   T O   M E :
I would love to hear how you use Pinterest!  What is your favorite thing to Pin... recipes? fashion? crafts?  Share your Pinterest link in the comments section, I'd love to see your boards.
(Pinterest has established a new set of rules for businesses, here.  I honestly haven't explored that realm yet but,
I plan to see how it will work for me in the near future.)

Have a fabulous Friday and if you were looking for something to do tonight... your welcome.
http://pinterest.com/cares

New Years Mobile

I woke up this morning to my Jellybean asking to create a craft with me... I adore this girl, she speaks my love language. We retreated to her room to dig through her new craft supplies and craft idea book. We came across a sun & star mobile and decided this would be a fun craft! As we were gathering our supplies, she comes up with this brilliant idea to make it a New Years mobile. This was such a fun and easy craft, I wanted to share it with you. I will do my best to include the step-by-step so you can create this project if you'd like.  This craft is so flexible!  You could spell out Happy New Year or shapes or do a countdown like we did.

New Years Mobile
SUPPLIES NEEDED:
  • heavy paper (construction or scrapbook)
  • string (ribbon, twine, yarn)
  • wire clothes hanger
  • cardboard paper towel roll (we used a wrapping paper roll cut in half)
  • marker/pencil
  • glue
  • glitter
  • hole punch
  • scissors
STEPS:1. Draw numbers/shapes/letters onto paper and cut them out.

2. Use glue and glitter to decorate your cutouts. Let them dry completely.
TIP: use a deep box to sprinkle your glitter on your shapes, it will save you some clean-up time after the crafting is done!
3. While waiting for your cutouts to dry, pick up the cardboard roll and cut down the center of the tube.
4. Punch holes on one side of the tube. This is where you will hang the cutouts so you will need to count how many holes you need.

5. Feel free to decorate the tube!  We added a touch of glitter but you can paint it or let your little one color it with markers.

6. Cut your string.  Feel free to make them all the same length or add various lengths to give it a more whimsical feel.
7. Knot each piece of string so that the knot is larger than the hole punch.  Pull each piece of string through a hole in the roll.  The knot should keep it in place.
8. Slide the roll onto your wire hanger and twist it around until your holes are at the bottom.
9. Punch holes into the top of your shape (numbers, letters, etc) and thread the string through the hole.  Tie another knot.
10.  Hang your mobile in a breezy place to watch it dance.
 I hope you enjoy this craft.  Feel free to share it with your friends.  Happy New Year!