Posted in Clutter / Hoarding, Goals, Growth, Happy Planner, New Office, Organization, Seasons, Uncategorized

Sunday – Planner Day

Last year I wrote a Blog about my Happy Planner.  If you don’t know what one is, just Google it.  When I did my blog, I thought they were sold specifically at Michael’s.  In the last week, I’ve seen them at JoAnn Fabrics and was told that select ones are 70% off at Target.

I was a planner gal way back in the 1980’s when you actually mail ordered these books.  The company (At A Glance) would mail you next year’s in October, along with any other type of sheets.  It was very business-like.  No stickers.  It was a 5 ring binder that totally organized your business life, and let you squeeze in a bit of your personal life.  You literally had only 3 choices of leatherette colors.

Today there are so many types of planners, that you can find one to fit any lifestyle.  I chose The Happy Planner for quite a few reasons.  The first was that I could make it any way I wished.  You can simply slip sheets in and out to organize it the way you wish.  You can focus on a year, a month, a week or even a day on one sheet.  There are many sticker books available on just about any subject you can think of as well as page markers, craft tape and other accessories.

I have chosen to focus a week at a time, on 2 pages.  I also insert a blank page in between so I can journal daily.  Each Sunday, I take time out to organize the upcoming week.  It takes about 30 minutes, and saves me a lot of time and anxiety.

First thing I do is decide on the week’s theme.  The stickers you buy, along with the crafting tape help you do this.  I focused on Being Grateful with my religious sticker pack and coordinated the colors (orange this week) with crafting tape.  I like writing with gel pens, so I use a color that is highlighted in the tape (brown this week).  It just so happens that all are fall colors.

After setting my week up, I look to see what this week’s activities are.  For instance this week, my husband has a meeting this Tuesday night which means we will need to have a crock pot meal that is ready as soon as he gets home.  I have appointments on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning, so my meal prep will need to be done in the afternoon. I have found that deciding on your menu not only takes a lot of stress out of your week, but on busy nights dinner can be so easy.  This week I learned I should also look at the weather when deciding on a meal, so my family isn’t eating mexican soup when it’s so hot and humid!

This week, we’ll have hot beef sandwiches, pork chops, leftovers (garbage night), Chicken Legs and 3 cheese Zita (meatless Friday).  I make sure that Monday is easy and I have all of the ingredients for it.  I make a list of items I will need throughout the week and will pick them up Tuesday, on my way home from Mass. No extra trips needed.  No panic when 3pm hits and I don’t have dinner figured out. No missing ingredients or substitutes.

I realize that I am able to start dinner much easier than women who work outside the home.  By planning, shopping for ingredients, and crock potting on busy nights this helps whenever you are able to be home and start a meal.

Lastly, I make attainable goals for the week.  For instance, Laundry and light house cleaning is in my planner each Monday.  I make easy goals for my business on Tuesday – Friday. All work will need to be done in the office due to the heat in the attic.  I don’t think it’s too far out to think that I can have a prototype cut out by Friday afternoon.  I write that down and decide what will need to be done Tuesday-Thursday in order to attain that goal.  After writing that down, I literally have my week planned, right down to the last entrée.

The first time, it might take a couple of hours to complete all of this in your planner but it is well spent. If your life is chaos and you’re constantly on the move, a planner can make life so much easier.  If your kids are older, you can encourage them to tell you each Sunday what activities they have.  Don’t forget your husband’s schedule as well. This keeps chaos to a minimum if the whole family.

So the next weeknight, you find yourself standing there at 6:30pm with nothing defrosted and your child informing you he has a game at 7pm…. Remember that all of this could have gone better if you just taken 30 minutes and organized it in your happy planner.

 

 

 

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Posted in Growth, Happy Planner, New Office, Seasons

The Heat is Back

No, it is not Indian Summer here in Central Illinois.  We were getting spoiled with weather in the 50-70 degrees; and, windows open day and night.  I shouldn’t complain as I’m not in the path of Hurricane Florence.  I just prefer the winter over the summer.  The more snow we get, the happier I am.

I’m obviously NOT working up in the attic today and I missed going up there in the early morning, when it was cool.  I had an appointment this morning, then travel to the next town to go grocery shopping.  I live in a small town that is without a grocery store, so I travel about 10 miles to pick up some items needed for dinner.  While there, I met up with friends and had lunch at their local fast food joint.  By the time I got home, the attic was way too hot.

I worked a bit on my office.  After a while, I needed to change gears.  I realized I had never pulled out the instructions on the Vintage Simplicity pattern.  It was as I thought.  One of the possibilities does not have ruffles, so I can use that for my male or uni-sex aprons.  The instructions are easy and straightforward.  Ditto for the instructions on the adult bib patterns.

I looked at the menu on my calendar.  Then I realized when making it up, I assumed the weather would remain cool.  85 degrees and we are having mexican tortillini soup, cornbread and….wait for it…..Pumpkin Bread for dessert.  It’s mid September, the leaves are falling; and, not too early for fall favorites.  However, it doesn’t fit with the weather and the central air running.

It’s Friday!  What are your plans for the weekend?  We are babysitting our son’s dog (grand-puppy) and I’ll continue purging the office.  I’m determined to have it done before Friday of next week, when the heat is supposed to finally break. After that, I can start designing my first prototype apron and bib!

Everyone have a great weekend and we hope those of you affected by Florence are safe and you receive all assistance needed.

 

Posted in Growth, New Office, Sales, Seasons, Social Media, Time Management, Uncategorized, Virtual Assistant

What Must You Do Before Starting a Home Business?

I was recently listening to several podcasts by entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck and found there were a few steps I never completed before starting my previous business.  I thought I would share a checklist that I will try to complete before opening my next business.  The items listed are not in chronological order or in order of importance.

  1. Do the research!  With my previous business, I headed to Ebay to check and see the median price for a pair of used Levi jeans.  This was something I felt I would have great access to at various thrift shops. When researching this business, I have been using Etsy and Pinterest to pinpoint the one Alzheimer’s fidget craft that will make a profit and fill a need.  Fidget mats seem to be a saturated line of fidget crafts.  Cuffs, Pillows and Aprons are not as prevalent.  The first two are small which would have a lower price point and a higher gross profit.
  2. Create a business plan! How much cash will it take to make a number of prototypes?  Do you have the equipment needed to complete the task?  If not, add that to your list of expenses. Will you need some classes or training to make your prototype?  You will be competing against masters of a craft.  What  what will make yours different?
  3. What type of business structure?  There are people and research you need, to plan for before opening.  You will need an accountant to at the very least, file your taxes.  Do you need a partner, in order to complete a quality product in a timely manner?  Do you need a source of funding in the form of a partner?  Do you need a virtual assistant to do the mundane and repetitive activities?  Can you survive financially creating and running this business on your own?
  4. Where will you purchase your supplies?  If you are very lucky, you have the needed supplies to create your first prototype.  If that is not a possibility, can you purchase items from a thrift store, garage sales, a warehouse or a discount retail establishment.  Do not cut quality standards in order to get the lowest price!
  5. Social Media is your Friend! You don’t want to be “that person,” on Facebook asking friends and family to purchase.  You need to get the word out.  Develope your own business Facebook page.  That is free and the cost to boost exposure is minimal.  Start an Instagram account.  Create a Twitter account.  YouTube is a very popular place to get the word out.  Last, begin a SnapChat Account.  If you are not knowledgeable about these platforms, get on the internet or ask your kids for direction.  This is something you need to land on both feet running.
  6. Find some Office Space!  It is very tempting to say you’ll simply work on your laptop from your bed!  What a life!  You’ll go nowhere, quickly.  Can you clear out a closet and begin with all of your equipment stored and a small space?  Can you to take over the corner of a room?  Can you take over an empty bedroom and totally devote this space to your business.   It is so important to separate your business from your personal space in some meaningful way.  You will burn out and be overwhelmed if your house is filled equipment and supplies.
  7.  Make a Portfolio!  This might be as simple as ordering business cards, letter head, thank you notes and envelopes.  You might need a resume and a or presentation of some kind to show possible partners and investors.  Be sure to do this before you open as you will be very busy creating and you need to be prepared for your first sale!
  8. Decide on an Opening Day! Nothing is worse than beginning without a goal.  Okay, maybe opening without all of your ducks in a row.  Either way you will be overwhelmed and disorganized.  Make sure the date is far enough in advance, but also timely.  If your product is Christmas related, you may need to hold off a year as

This is by no means a complete list of things to do before opening your business.  Hopefully, this will trigger your creativity or even help to provide some additional steps that you had not thought of.

Posted in Inventory, New Office, New Year, Sales, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

It is beginning to look like an office.

When looking for an office to move my Reseller business into, I had three requirements

  1. I wanted it on Main Street, in the small town I live in.  It was important to me to help revitalize the central part of our town.
  2. All utilities included.  It is important that my office expense would remain the same each month, as my income isn’t.
  3. Storage space and packaging space was more important than the size of the office.  In order for this business to grow, I must have a place to store at least 2,000 items

As you can see from today’s pictures and previous blogs, this particular office had what we required and more.

The large french doors coming into the office from the terrace bring in a lot of sunlight.  We’ve put a futon as well as a TV with a Fire Stick.  It gives it sort of “waiting room” look.  Truth be told, it’s a place to ‘dump’ items that we’ve sourced and waiting to be sorted!  Looks can be deceiving.

The long countertop with the cupboards underneath is our packaging station.  I would love to get a Dymo printer, but we will be sticking with the dinosaur inkjet we presently have.  The wall hanging above is an inked tapestry from India.  It matches the colors of our business logo.  Nice thing to have to brighten up the room and your eyes naturally go to it when you enter the room.

The other picture shown is the kitchen.  It really is beautiful though we didn’t need anything as extravagant as this.  I jokingly said we should rent it out to Tupperware or Pampered Chef representatives in the evening.  I found a larger inked Indian Tapestry with greens and grays to complement the slate floor.

As of tonight, everything in the office is on hold.

I will be leaving town in the morning, by train, and be in Michigan’s Capital.  No, it is not Detroit.  I’ll give you a hint, it is below the middle knuckle of the mitten.  If you are from Michigan, you’ll understand.

Stay tuned and I’ll explain tomorrow why!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper

Now located at 108 South Main Street in Farmer City, IL

Posted in Inventory, New Office, New Year, Sales, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

It is beginning to look like an office.

When looking for an office to move my Reseller business into, I had three requirements

  1. I wanted it on Main Street, in the small town I live in.  It was important to me to help revitalize the central part of our town.
  2. All utilities included.  It is important that my office expense would remain the same each month, as my income isn’t.
  3. Storage space and packaging space was more important than the size of the office.  In order for this business to grow, I must have a place to store at least 2,000 items

As you can see from today’s pictures and previous blogs, this particular office had what we required and more.

The large french doors coming into the office from the terrace bring in a lot of sunlight.  We’ve put a futon as well as a TV with a Fire Stick.  It gives it sort of “waiting room” look.  Truth be told, it’s a place to ‘dump’ items that we’ve sourced and waiting to be sorted!  Looks can be deceiving.

The long countertop with the cupboards underneath is our packaging station.  I would love to get a Dymo printer, but we will be sticking with the dinosaur inkjet we presently have.  The wall hanging above is an inked tapestry from India.  It matches the colors of our business logo.  Nice thing to have to brighten up the room and your eyes naturally go to it when you enter the room.

The other picture shown is the kitchen.  It really is beautiful though we didn’t need anything as extravagant as this.  I jokingly said we should rent it out to Tupperware or Pampered Chef representatives in the evening.  I found a larger inked Indian Tapestry with greens and grays to complement the slate floor.

As of tonight, everything in the office is on hold.

I will be leaving town in the morning, by train, and be in Michigan’s Capital.  No, it is not Detroit.  I’ll give you a hint, it is below the middle knuckle of the mitten.  If you are from Michigan, you’ll understand.

Stay tuned and I’ll explain tomorrow why!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper

Now located at 108 South Main Street in Farmer City, IL

Posted in Inventory, New Office, New Year, Social Media, Sourcing, Time Management

Moving Day!

Here in Central Illinois, we have had high humidity along with heat.  I prefer snow and cold compared to the sauna-like atmosphere.  You literally feel as if you are melting as you get into the car.

Yesterday we began moving into our new office.  We had spent the time, since we signed the lease last week, scrubbing, cleaning and planning where we would put furniture.

We had also hung a few items on the wall; bright colored materials, positive quotes and a few relics reminding us WHO was in control.

As the morning went on, it was not the physical act of moving, but the heat that wore us out.  Rome was not built in a day and neither would this job.

Currently, Jewels for the Pauper is physically in my home, in the new office and tomorrow will be in Michigan. It could be worse.  I’m not sure how…. bit it could be.

We did have a bit of fun while moving.  Photography props can be placed in the passenger seat and you can watch people’s reactions as they drive by :). Then there are the neighbors who look out their windows, wondering if I am moving out.  Hard to say what was funnier!

Tomorrow, I catch a train to Michigan for even more adventures.  Stay tuned!

 

#JewelsForThePauper

 

 

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper