Monday, May 28, 2012

Pillows at Warrenton's Spring Festival

I recently had some items selling at the Warrenton Spring Festival in my mom's booth for her shop, Sherrie's Stuff.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Post Inspiration

Source: 5 Elements that Distinguish Successful Entrepreneurs, from Endeavor's Dubai ISP

My sister has been talking to me a lot about coming up with a business plan and figuring out how to make a successful interior accents line. Sean Gardner, a social media consultant, (@tomorrowknight) tweeted this article and I thought I'd share for others and even as a reminder to myself. I've learned much from his tweets and recommend following :)

5 Elements that Distinguish Successful Entrepreneurs

1. Find the best advisors no matter what it takes. Endeavor CEO and co-founder Linda Rottenburg, said it best when she said, “stalking is underrated.” Do whatever it takes to find the best people you can who will listen to you and provide feedback. As mentioned above however, at the end, the decisions will be yours to make, and sometimes you’ll need to simply ignore other people’s views.

2. Have a clear strategy. As an entrepreneur, you should know where you want to go. Even if it’s a very rough sketch, try to have a roadmap of how you hope to get there.

3. Be willing to listen. That is, be open to hearing what critics have to say, because it might just be the advice that will save your company from going bust. Being defensive might shield you from a single conversation, but you might be blinding yourself to vulnerabilities that might actually exist and expand with time. As one panelist said, “we have two ears and one mouth, we should listen more than we speak,” following with the idea that no matter what position one is in, we should be open to debate, as we tend to learn more from people we disagree with.

4. Differentiation is key. Hassab Medical Labs of Egypt and Baydoner, a restaurant chain in Turkey, are two examples of businesses that were able to differentiate their product from the competition in their local markets with simple yet novel techniques. Hassab did this by employing a doctor on-site who could provide lab patients with traditional medical checkups at a reduced fee. Baydoner did so by adding an extra layer of service to the traditional mall food court experience, having waiters serve food, and limiting their menu to a single main item- shawerma. Arif Naqvi highlighted the importance of this added value, complimenting a Mexican company for creating a standard product with a unique twist. To position your company in a way that is different (and hopefully better) than the pack will likely make it sustainable in the long term.

5. Execute impeccably. If you want to thrive, you must execute well. For example, 4E, a soap manufacturer, distributor and Endeavor candidate company in Mexico, succeeded in winning orders from industry heavyweight Wal-Mart, among others, by being an extremely reliable supplier in a market of unreliable suppliers. As one panellist said, “McDonalds wasn’t the first restaurant to serve hamburgers, they just did it better than anyone else.”

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The First 70

Absolutely gorgeous footage. And had no clue about this! Heath Hen Films


It seems that everyone is crazy about making smoothies these days, and something new to me is kale being used in them. The good ol' veg was introduced to me by my mother, maybe, 2 years ago on either Thanksgiving or Christmas when all of the goods come out. I've never heard of kale being used in, well, anything until recently when I read of kale smoothies and wasabi-soaked kale chips. My frown turned upside down eating these, as my tear ducks were triggered by the thin crips and my face scrunched in response but the feeling was eradicated by deliciousness! Anyhow, I was around many adults this past weekend and food came up often. Discussions moved from who uses what ingredients in what, calorie intake for the day, butter being made of plastic, "don't use that, use this," global food markets and their size and cost of produce, eating bread, not eating bread, "no pancake batter in my omelet, please," and more. It was somewhat overwhelming and annoying to myself and my cousin, who is a 19 year old male still enjoying the free and questionable diets offered by college dining halls. I wont lie--I miss those days! As much as the urge to yell out "JUST EAT!" tempted my tongue while listening to the convos, thinking back on them now I'm realizing that I cant be ignorant to the issue. Although I may feel a budget and lack of time hinder my pursuit of becoming a partaker in food consciousness, really it just comes down to laziness. JUST EAT has not helped anyone's diet in America today. JUST listen. JUST learn. Just do. These will be my new ... to-mottos when it comes to food. Note: This illustration was originally created for an article in Northern Virginia Magazine found here.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Illustrated and crafted ladybug place mats

It's taken me some time to complete these but they're finally done! I made this ladybug fabric and cut the pieces too small for its original purpose as pillows and could not figure out what to create with them. I'm sure there were several things I could have done but decided to make some place mats. After sewing them into circles they were looking a bit bland so I added the loops around the edges. To complete them I created a personalized tag with my logo on it. The fabric is cotton and the loops are made out of thread. $8 each.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012