They say everything old is new again. This is true for fashion, music, design and interiors. Lately we’ve been noticing (and loving) the resurgence of 70′s inspired crafts – namely woven art, macrame, yarn and string art. It’s not just for your grandmother’s rec room anymore.
Macrame, Yarn and Woven Art
I was first turned onto the macrame trend a few years ago when I was planning my friend’s baby shower. I’d stumbled upon this kooky, yet incredibly cool looking owl macrame piece at a thrift store and immediately knew I had something special. Since then, the woven arts have really taken off (again).
Artist Mary Anne Moodie is really leading the trend with her amazing woven tapestries. And there are tons of amazing artists on Etsy and DIY ideas on pinterest as well. Here’s just a smattering:
I recently made my own string art creation at a cool crafting spot – Upstairs Circus – here in Denver (more on that later). Despite its delicate appearance, string art is actually pretty easy to create. Just grab a glass of wine, a hammer, nails, and string. Viola! Art!
Have you tried any of these 70′s inspired craft trends?
Have you seen Showtime’s new documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously? If not, stop what you’re doing and get yourself to the nearest television or computer – stat!
A beautiful and ground-breaking piece of cinematography – poignant storytelling, a stellar team of A-list celebrities and scientists, and scare-the-crap-out-of-you science – Years of Living Dangerously explores the human impacts of climate change on Americans and others around the world.
From the jungles of Indonesia where palm oil (which is literally in EVERYTHING) is killing the forests, which in turn is causing enormous amounts of greenhouse gases, to Hurricane Sandy, to the forest fires in California… it shows our planet, and the interconnectedness of all these un-natural disasters.
You’ll be moved to tears and hopefully, to action.
Sara Hasstedt and I became social media “pen pals” a few years ago, while I was still living in San Francisco and long before we both had baby girls. Now that we live pretty close to each other in Colorado, and both have little gals of our own, we’ve had the chance to start daydreaming about coffee dates and playdates. Me? I’m also dreaming about a family photography session with this talented lady. Read on to see why this SpitfireMom is on my get-to-know-ya-better list.
Sara is a Fine Art Wedding Photographer specializing in sun-kissed outdoor weddings for feminine, playful and feisty brides. She’s also a work-at-home mama to a baby girl who just had her 1st birthday. When she transitioned into doing weddings full time over three years ago, she had in mind that she wanted to build the kind of business where she could be a work at home mama full time, but not having any kids at the time, she wasn’t sure how this would work logistically. She shared a bit about how it is working.
When she’s photographing weddings, her husband is at home with their girl since the majority of the weddings take place on the weekends. Thankfully, his work environment is pretty flexible and allows him to work from home for those times when she might have to travel during a weekday for a shoot or wedding. He works nine 9-hour days which means he takes every other Friday off of work and gets to be full-time daddy for the day while Sara gets to focus her entire day on work. She said that, to be honest (because that’s what SpitfireMoms do), one full day every other week is not a lot. Ideally she would love to have two full days a week to solely focus on work uninterrupted and they are moving toward figuring out how to make that a possibility.
Here’s what Sara had to say about being a SpitfireMom.
What’s your daily routine?
For right now, my weekly schedule looks *roughly* like this:
|6 to 7:30 A.M is Me Time. I drink coffee and read, while snuggled up under a blanket on the couch. If baby girl sleeps past 7:30 then I will head to the computer and start the day by returning emails.
7:30 to 1 P.M. is Mommy Time. My daughter and I eat, play and then maybe meet with friends for a playdate, go to story-time at Barnes & Noble, shop at Nordstroms and Target (we do this more than I’d like to admit), attend orchestra concerts, or go to the baby gym. When we return from our outing we then eat lunch and read books. Nap time is at 1.
1 to 3 P.M. I have Work Time. This is when I have client/vendor calls, work on emails, cull and edit photos, post to social media, update my accounting books. I generally can’t get anything super creative done in this short time frame so I focus on tasks with predictable timetables that I can fit into this narrow window.
|3 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. Back to Mommy Time -snack, play and prep dinner. Then 4:30 p.m. 7 p.m. Family Time. I will sometimes put another hour of work in during this time frame since my husband is home at 4:30 but I prefer not to do this every night so we get to spend some time just the three of us before Ayla is in bed at 7:30.
8 P.M. until 10 P.M. is Creative Work Time. I use this time in the evening to put together blog posts, plan styled shoots, and just dream and plan since I have fewer distractions at night. I try to not post much to social media (and sometimes do social-media-free weekends), and I don’t respond to emails after 5pm Friday until Monday morning/afternoon.
How does being a mom influence your work?
Being a mom has required me to be more disciplined and scheduled with my time, which are two really beneficial things when running a business! I work with such limited time frames now (unless I want to spend every weekend behind the computer working, which I don’t) so I have really had to look hard at my workflow and put better systems into place. I am not doing less work now, I am just wasting less time with systems that didn’t work or that required more time and effort to do the same job. I have become better at goal setting as well and working toward making dreams realities instead of getting too caught up in just dreaming.
Something that has been really challenging since being a mom is the comparison game. Not with other moms, but with other photographers in the industry who are single, or maybe married but don’t have children yet. I have always said I want to build my business to serve my family and not the other way around, but sometimes it is hard to not feel like I could be doing more, should be doing more, because so-and-so is doing this, that and the other thing, etc. etc. Sometimes social media has a way of glorifying the “busy,” and when that happens, I tend to forget what my priorities are.
Family is the most important thing to me, and it always has been. It is really sobering when I think over the past 13 months and how much Ayla changed and grew in just one year! In only a few more years she will be going to school full time and then I will have a full 5 day work week back, and I’ll be missing these crazy days when I had her at home with me. I know it will be a short time when she will be at home with me, and I want to make sure I cherish this season instead of wasting it away with a comparison.
We know a SpitfireMom like Sara has tips to share, so we asked for her best time saving trick:
For me, something that saves me a TON of time is shooting film instead of digital. I switched back to film a couple of years ago for many, many reasons, including color, how it captures light, its dynamic range, the softness, etc. etc. But beyond that, I switched because I knew that it would save me from spending hours upon hours editing behind my computer screen. I now can spend more time on marketing, blogging, being inspired, and even take days off to spend with my family, instead of having to spend 20+ hours editing every wedding I photographed. I want to be a photographer, not a photoshop editor, so while I do end up doing some editing and retouching still, it requires far less time than it did when I was shooting digital.
Also, my husband bought me a Keurig for Christmas! Sure, French press coffee is fantastic, but seriously, who has time? I like to have several cups of coffee throughout the day so having a Keurig has seriously saved me at least 45 minutes a day that I used to spend prepping, using and washing my French press. Best investment ever.
What’s one thing you haven’t figured out?
Scheduling phone calls with clients or vendors has still been a tricky process to figure out. I don’t like scheduling calls during naptime since, as most mamas know, naptimes can be unpredictable and just when you are thinking your baby is a solid 2 hour napper, you schedule a phone call and 10 minutes into it your baby wakes up crying. I end up doing a lot of my calls or vendor meetings in the evenings which has been working out well for both me and my clients. It’s also not difficult to have my husband work an afternoon from home, or come home early from work so that I can schedule a call, but it just requires more advance planning that what I was used to before we had Ayla. It’s not an ideal system yet, but it is getting better.
Do you talk about your kids with clients or potential clients?
This is something I only recently came to terms with! Only a day after bringing our baby home from the hospital, I answered a phone call from an unknown number at 8pm. My girl was ready to nurse and she was crying and here I am answering a phone call from a super sweet bride who wanted to talk to me about booking me for her wedding! I had to be honest with her and tell her that I just had my first baby 5 days ago and that I would love to talk to her, but I needed to schedule a different time to do it. She was so gracious and understanding and ended up being one of my most favorite brides of the season! It has been a learning process ever since then.
Just in recent months I feel like I’ve come up with more of a “policy” of what works for me. I used to think that if I didn’t tell clients that I had a baby then I was being dishonest or acting ashamed or embarrassed to be a mom (which is obviously not the case). It’s difficult because it is one of the most significant and miraculous things to ever happen in my life so it’s natural to want to talk about it. But I’ve since decided to not be super public about my mom life in relation to my business. I came to this decision because I want to make sure that my “brand presence” that I put out on social media and in interactions with clients and vendors is one that brides can easily connect with. For most brides, myself included 6 years ago, being a mom is just NOT on the radar when you are planning your wedding! It’s a “someday” sort of thing.
The only exceptions I really make to my “policy” is when it comes up out of necessity (as was the case with the bride who booked me 5 days after I had Ayla-thanks Morgan!), or if a client asks me directly about that part of my life or otherwise brings up the topic. I do share little snippets of my personal life on Instagram since I think it’s one social media avenue where people want to see a little bit of the “behind the scenes” from a business as well. I know other people who do things very differently than this but I’ve just found this to be what works best for me and my brand.
And, if you’re a mom entrepreneur and just found out your expecting, Sara says:
Congratulations! I mean, what else would I say? She’s growing a little miracle and that is the most precious gift! I would tell her she has SO much joy to look forward to, she can only begin to imagine. :)
Sara, if only two happily married mamas could get married again and again (and again). You’d be booked for these two SpitfireMoms’ multiple weddings in a heartbeat. We love creatively-minded women who manage to think in terms of systems and flow and process. It’s the only way the juggle & hustle works.
Heidi & Julie
Know a fabulous, creative mompreneur? We want to hear about her (or YOU)!
It’s no secret that online shopping is rocking the retail world. Nowadays, people enjoy partaking in retail therapy from the comfort of their own home. Plus, online shopping means no parking, no lines, and no pants are necessary! However, it can be a bit overwhelming at times. There’s just so many online shops, so how are you supposed to know if you’re missing out on some hidden gems? Well, there are definitely hidden gems around, but fear not, because that’s why I’m here.
Today I’m sharing seven sites that I think you should be shopping from. Some of them are shops that have a bigger purpose besides being a rad online store, some are eco-friendly businesses that are trying to better our globe, and some are just sweet nooks of the internet that I think everyone should get their paws on. So, without further adieu, here is where I think you should be doing some of your online shopping:
The story behind Elephant Landing is one that needs to be seen and heard. It’s a beautiful tale of a husband and wife who ventured to India over 10 years ago to start up a training centre where they taught women how to sew. When these women finished the program, they were gifted their own sewing machine which provided them with the means to create goods to sell and earn a living. Fast forward 10 years to Elephant Landing. Each of EL’s pieces has a story and a purpose. This online shop is full of beautiful textiles and patterns – it’s a must see; even if it’s just for the story. Some of my favourites are this pillow and this throw.
CBG is a company after my own heart. Their products are wild, adventurous and outdoorsy – in the coolest way possible. It’s the perfect place to go online shopping if you’re in the market for cozy pieces to pair with jeans and sneakers. I’ve recently purchased this t-shirt, this patch and this fleece jumper. Plus, their kids’ stuff is super cute!
EcoDiva is the perfect place for online shopping for those who are eco-cautious when it comes to their beauty needs. Or, you know, if you’re just in the market for some really great beauty finds. With a wide range of eco-friendly products, you’re bound to find something that will quickly become a favourite in your makeup bag – I’m sure of it. My favourites are the One Love Organics products.
Pronounced “ee-ah”, Oia Jules is this beautiful shop created by the just-as-beautiful Jessica Schricker. Described as “laid back glam”, Jessica hand makes each piece – and trust me, when you see the pieces, you’ll be in awe! Though the aesthetic is consistent, there really is something for everyone and every taste. I’ve been a big fan of Oia Jules for some time now, and I promise you that these pieces will quickly become favourites amongst your jewellery collection. Plus, considering Oia Jules’ success and the quality of the products, the prices are amazing! Some of my favourites are this bracelet, this bangle, this hand chain, and this necklace.
Ok, if you haven’t at least heard of Lush by now, where have you been?! It’s this beautiful shop filled with organic, recycled and deliciously scented bath and body goods. Everything Lush stands for as a company is to be admired. They implement multiple recycling programs, they stay green with everything they create – from packaging to the products themselves, and with products like their Charity Pot (which is one of my faves), they’re constantly giving back to the world. Now I know the store itself can be a bit much for some people, you still have access to all the goodies online! I highly recommend you check out their bath bombs, their shower jellies, and their fresh face masks.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a good cup of coffee. Like, I’m not one of those people who needs coffee to function, but I’m always up for a tasty cuppa jo (black, extra hot, please!). So when I came across PT’s Coffee Roasting Co, I was thrilled. Their fair trade beans are sourced from all over the globe, and PT really strives to make a difference in the world with their ethically sourced products. You can meet the farmers that they buy from, you can learn about the whole process – from farm to cup, and you can read about what they stand for all over on their website. Seriously, it’s good readin’. A couple of the beans that I have tried (and loved) are this one and this one.
Herbivore Botanicals is a jackpot of an Etsy shop. Seriously. Their products are all 100% truly natural, and their branding is something I gush over on a regular basis. Their products are beautiful, the concept behind the business as a whole is admirable, and this online shop is bound to have you scrolling through their products wanting everything. I have a list of a few things that I’m dying to try, but what I have fallen in love with is their Pink Clay products.
I love finding new hidden gems amongst the world of online shopping. So if you have any go-tos, make sure to let me know!
With a four year old and a four month old, I’m always on the lookout for unique kids toys. My son has lots of cars, trucks, superheroes and the like, but sometimes it’s just nice to get back to basics. So when Uncommon Goods asked us to try out a few of their toys from their kids gift collection I knew Evan would be more than happy to give them a test run.
Stack & Scare Block Set
I think I loved this even more than Evan did. He loved making monsters and robots, I loved the bold colors and modern, graphic style. Bonus? Made in the USA and with non-toxic inks.
Pallina Dropping Ball Game
I’ll admit, this one was a little hard for my son to grasp the concept of. The object of the game is to remove your color sticks from the basket without letting any of your color balls fall. The winner of the game is the player who has the most balls in the basket by the end. Evan was just excited to pull the sticks out and drop balls (either mine or his). There was a lot of “haha I wins!” going on.
Extreme Stunt Wall Coaster
We are in the process of setting this one up in our playspace downstairs. First, can I just say how exciting it is to say “playspace downstairs”??? After years in a tiny apartment it’s exciting to actually have room. But I digress, I’m pretty certain Evan will be down right giddy once this toy gets installed. I like that it was developed by a “12 year old marble run guru”. In the meantime, here’s the wall coaster in action!
This post was sponsored by Uncommon Goods. All opinions, photography and styling are my own.
Design is something that we talk about a lot on Spitfiregirl, and we love doing so. However, there seems to be something that can so easily be overlooked and almost forgot about – the importance of effective copy. Now before I dive into this post, let me just tell you about what copy is. Copy is the wording throughout your business, your profile, your website, etc. It’s the (hopefully) well thought out words, sentences and paragraphs, and it is one of the most important aspects when it comes to selling yourself as a professional.
So, as a copywriter myself, I feel an obligation to give you a little disclaimer:
If you do not feel that producing strong and effective copy is something that you can do on your own, reach out to a copywriter who will help you out. It may very well be some of the best money you ever spend on your business (no matter how large or how small). And I can promise you that effective copy is something that you, a business owner, need.
However, for those who feel like with a little guidance they could rock their copywriting, then get ready to get your hands dirty. Today we’re chatting how you can achieve the effective copy that your business needs.
1. KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO
What good is it coming up with all this copy if it’s not going to reach your “target audience”? Before you start writing, get into the mind of whoever it is you want reading your copy. Speaking like a middle-aged male lawyer will do you absolutely no good when you’re trying to capture the hearts of your fellow ladies between the ages of 18 and 30. My biggest trick with this one is to get as specific as possible with who it is you want to be targeting and really just focus on that specific individual.
2. KEEP THE TONE IN SYNC WITH THE DESIGN
Copy and design go together like milk and cookies; like chocolate and peanut butter; like Bonnie and Clyde. Together, effective copy and well thought out design can make the deadliest combination (in the best way possible). If your design is fresh, fun and airy, try and make your copy similar to the feel of that design. Effective copy and beautiful design really are the face of your business, so make sure they make the impact that you’re looking for.
3. KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET
This is a lot harder than it may seem. I am so very much guilty of just running wild with my thoughts, and throwing them all onto a page and calling it copy. I can promise you this, no matter how lovely your copy is, nobody wants to read pages and pages of it. If your audience wanted to read a book, they’d pick up a book. You, however, have a job to do. You need to get your message across in a short, sweet and concise manner. Target in on the most important message, and really make a powerful statement with your copy.
4. ASK YOURSELF “SO WHAT?”
If at the end of your copy, your audience is still saying “So what?”, I can guarantee you that you have some loose ends. When someone finishes reading something, they should feel enlightened and intrigued. They should definitely not be walking away (or clicking away) asking “So what?”. So to avoid having your readers asking themselves this, make sure you keep writing, editing and rewriting until you’re sure that people will be left saying “Wow, that’s amazing. Let’s find out more.”
5. HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR READER
This kind of ties in with tip number one, but this is probably the most important tip out of them all. Having conversations is what humans do. It’s how we interact, it’s how we communicate and it’s how we learn. When you’re writing, write as if you’re having a conversation with your ideal reader / potential client. Sure, you could bust out the thesaurus and make all the wording sound shwanky, but I can promise you that you will loose the interest of those reading very quickly. Simply put: Keep it interesting, keep it relevant, and keep it easy to ready.
These are only five of many tips for achieving effective copy, and I’d love to hear any of yours, if you have some copywriting tricks up your sleeves. Also, I’d love to know, what are some of your biggest struggles with creating copy? You never know, I may be able to help a sister (or a brother) out. I mean, it is in my job title after all.
Spring has sprung, and I am loving watching the new season grow with each passing day. But what I’m loving even more is all of the pretty things that are filling the windows of shops (or, you know, the windows of my internet tabs). The colours and styles of spring are so happy, so light, so fresh, and so lust-worthy. However, the last thing you want to do is break the bank by splurging on all things new & spring-esque. But what if I told you that you can treat yourself to some spring goodies without splurging? Well, it’s true.
Here are some things that I’ve been loving this spring. Some are old favourites, some are new finds, but all are – get this – under $10!
1. Digital Copy of Darling Magazine 2. Sephora nail polish 3. Body Shop Body Butter 4. Trinket bowl 5. Lush bath bomb 6. Tote 7. Etsy print 8. David’s Tea loose leaf tea 9. Lush face mask 10. Steller app
New finds, new products, and new favourites are a great way to welcome spring, so I hope you’re able to find some new goodies amongst the collection above. Remember, 10 items under 10 dollars!
What are you loving this spring? I really would love to know!