BlogHer Sponsor Love: Hanlon Lain Photography

One part of BlogHer that is so incredibly important, I’ve learned, are your media cards. These are the cards that you give out to literally every.single.person that you meet at the conference.

How do I want to represent myself as an artist and blogger?

What do I have to show for myself?

How do I want others to see me?

Well…I knew that my very first step was to call on Hanlon Lain Photography and talk photo shoots with Laina.

We started talking inspiration, the message behind Sweet Stella’s, and what I was hoping to gain out of a photo shoot. We talked models, horses {yes…horses}, fields of clover. We talked journals, sculpted wall art, paintings and garlands.

We have a really amazingly beautiful photo shoot planned featuring Kassidy, who modeled masks for me this past January.

It’s going to be inspired by Kassidy’s background in dance, more specifically in ballet and will feature not only my work, but that of Atutudes Handmade Tutus.

Laina is a master behind the lens. I am confident that she will capture the movement not only in a very still piece of art (my journal), but in the surrounding and environment that we are going to shoot in. Her style absolutely shines through in every shoot that she does and I cannot wait to see what comes of our photo shoot for BlogHer!


Website

Mompreneur Monday: BellaGrey Designs

Happy Monday everyone! Do you know what's right around the corner?

Valentine's Day!!

What better timing to introduce you to this fantastic Mompreneur, Jennifer Kirlin from BellaGrey Designs! With super cute invitations, cupcake toppers, printable, tags...you name it and she's got it for you! There's even a free Valentine's printable at the end of the post!

What do you do?

I create custom party decor


Link

How do you maximize your time as a busy mom running a business?

I get up early to start my day, get the kids off to school and then work like crazy until I pick them up. I try to spend most of the late afternoon with them. Once they are down for the evening, I'm working again. I work when I can, for as long as I can.


What do you see as your greatest challenge being a MOMpreneur?

Drawing the line between time devoted to BellaGrey Designs and time with my family is really hard for me right now, because I'm constantly "working" in my head, thinking of new designs o
r colors I can use.



What advice do you have for other moms looking to start a business?

If you truly believe in yourself, then you have to believe all of your hard work will pay off. Sure some days you'd like to throw in the towel, but you just persevere. One day at a time.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Yes! I've created a beautiful Valentine's printable...free to download
here!




Talk-To-Me Tuesday: Getting Launched

I am so over-the-moon excited to announce that I've been launched by the amazing ladies over at launchHER.

When Tracy contacted me about a month ago, I could hardly keep my excitement in. Was I ready for this?

For those of you who don't know, launchHER is pretty huge within the women entrepreneur community. They are a supportive group of women who promote and love other women owned businesses, and they chose me. Me. {queue fainting}

I jumped at the chance, and feel so incredibly blessed to have been chosen. Huge huge thank you to Tracy for taking notice of my shop, and for loving why I started it {what feels like years ago now...a whole other lifetime}

Head on over and give it a read!

Special Post: Chinese New Year SALE!

That's right folks! In honour of a very special dragon in my life {my Dad} I've created an Etsy coupon code for you!!

At checkout, enter DRAGON15 for 15% off your entire Sweet Stella's order! This includes all regular prices and sale items...and even custom orders placed before January 28th!!

That means you could get this gorgeous journal for only $8.50 (reg. $26.99!)



Just in time for Valentine's Day!

Don't delay! The Dragon sale will be over January 28th! Happy shopping!

If you need a custom order, please don't hesitate to contact me at shannon@sweetstellas.com

Special Post: Mask Photography

Welcome to a special post!! I am over-the-moon excited to show off the images that Lainie from Hanlon Lain Photography shot on Monday with our model Paige!

Here's a peek at our session!!








So a few things jump to mind here...

gorgeous model! Paige is one of my Mama friends...our boys are just 3 days apart!

amazing photography and backdops! Lainie has a knack for finding these crazy locations like abandoned {and semi haunted} farms

definitely hosting a GIVEAWAY of a custom mask! Stay tuned for details FRIDAY!!

Have you worked on something crafty....scrappy...that makes you happy?? Link up at Crafty Scrappy Happy (that's me!)!

Photobucket

Y3W Friday: TAG Twitter Party!

It's nearing the date for the Nomination Twitter Party for The Artisan Group!!



July 14th, 8pm EST marks our second Twitter Party, where tonnes of handmade goodies from incredibly talented artisans!

Remember...

- Follow @sweetstellas, @atutudes, @ajsweetsoap
- Follow#artisangroup
- Answer trivia questions asked by @atutudes. Correct answers will go into a draw for prizes (drawn by random.org)
- Engage in fun chat with @ajsweetsoap about your favourite shows, actors and moments!
- Stay up to date on the latest happenings by following @theartisangroup
- Winners will be announced on Twitter, and reposted here on July 15th!

The prizes have grown since our first twitter party, and we are incredibly excited to announce our line-up for next week!

Sweet Stella's, photo memory box
Beez Kneez, stationary
Tina Dean Designs, wristlet purse
13 Black Cat Designs, handpainted necklace
Studio827 KC, journal
LCVintage, vintage jewellery
Ilene Price Design, notecards
Aromatic Health Shop, choice of one product from her shop
Nathalie Girard, Open Pinch Hoop earrings

And back by popular demand....bonus questions at the end!! 3 awesome prizes will be up for grabs from Beez Kneez, Sweet Stella's, and Helena Pion Photograhy!

See you on Twitter!

MOMpreneur Monday: Activate Encourage WAHM Showcase

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend! It's back to the grindstone for me this week, working on custom birthday orders, wrapping up things for the Emmy's and creating some gorgeous journals for my Etsy shop!

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Melissa, crafty mama behind Serafina and Stella, and mastermind behind Activate-Encourage WAHM Business Showcase!


I started the WAHM business showcase mainly because I feel like, at times, mothers that balance work and family don't get the recognition they deserve. I wanted to provide a thriving environment that allowed optimum exposure with minimal investment.

Alot of moms I had spoken with relied solely on Facebook and Twitter networking for their success, and never considered looking at other ways to promote their business.
When they is not alot of extra income set aside for advertising, it becomes a struggle to take it your business to the next step.

Every month we offer 15 bags, filled with items that our WAHM vendors have chosen to contribute. Each month has a specific theme and the contents of the bags reflect that!
We charge a fee of $5 per month for our Monthly Sample Bag contribution. That's less than 0.40$ per bag for exposure!

Each bag is posted on the 21st to be available for purchase. We require your goods/marketing material to be delivered or dropped off the 15th of each month.

Upcoming Themes

July-Summer Colours
August- Back To School
September-Halloween
October-Thanksgiving
November-Christmas

We are also having a Limited Edition Wedding bag for the month of October!

Also, each month, one member is chosen from that month's contributing vendors to receive a sample bag for free!

We are now filling for August Back To School bags but still looking for a few interested vendors for the July bags! We also provide vendor bags to different events in and around our community. We provide this service free of charge. We recruit vendors on an ongoing basis to fill these bags.

What's great about their feature vendor bags is that you can participate as often as you'd like! Sweet Stella's will be contributing to the September Halloween, November Christmas and October Wedding bags! It's such a great way to test out some new products, get feedback from your target market that you might not have been able to reach out to previously, and build your network.

Interested in collaborating with Melissa? Flip her a quick email at activate.encourage.showcase@gmail.com or stop by her facebook page and link up your own fanpage!

Emmy Given Wednesday: Missed Delivery

I have news!!!

I was talking with my buddy Adam at Curry's yesterday, and he let me know that I should be receiving all of my journals...tomorrow (as in, today!)

Well..we had a bit of a late night last night. Owen didn't get to bed until nearly 9:30 (he's usually out for the count by 8pm after some solid playtime in the bath {his favourite}), and when I woke up at 9:30am...there wasn't a sound to be heard from his room! Yay for sleeping in...but then the doorbell rang, and I was not in any shape to go and answer.

So I found this



I am so excited for 4:30 this afternoon when I can do to the Purolator depot around the corner and pick up the journals!!!

Then tonight...painting!

I painted two on the weekend, of a different shape and brand that will not be going to the Emmy's but will be available for One-of-a-kind and custom purchases, and it just felt good to play with the paint! (Sneak Peek tomorrow!)

Once the 10 are completed for the Press Bags, and 1 for the display table...my items can be shipped to the lovely ladies of The Artisan Group.

Yahoo!

Emmy Given Wednesday: Packaging

Do you know what this past weekend marked? 3 months until all of the members from The Artisan Group who are participating in the GBK Productions Emmy's Gifting Suite have to have all of their gifts to the event coordinators.

3 months

OH GOSH!

Am I ready? Well...I'm close! Yesterday, I finished of #75 of my 100 NoteStacks...well...at least the fronts. I still have to trim them to fit into their cello bags, stamp the backs with my Sweet Stella's custom stamp, bind with ribbon and tie a business card on.

They'll look like this



From there, they'll be put into eco-friendly cello bags from Nashville Wraps, and sealed with a custom Sweet Stella's sticker...and then they're ready to go!





I toyed with the packaging options quite a bit. Canvas bags that I could paint on...paper bags that I already have an abundance of (anyone need custom treat bags??)...organza bags...

So, why cello?

Well first and foremost, I wanted the recipients to see my product without having to take the effort to unwrap it. I don't want to chance that they won't even open the bag if the knot is too tight, or they simply just don't have the time. They will be able to see my product and art for what it is right in their hand, and they'll be able to see my website address from the back should they flip it over.

Trying to be strategic with my packaging and marketing, especially with the hand painted journals that will be going into the press bags and on the display table.

The cello bags that I chose are eco-friendly, which makes me really happy. They're high quality and look fantastic!

My goal for this weekend is to get those 75 Stacks packaged, while I decide on what image to stamp on the last 25.

Stay tuned for next week when I reveal the four Emmy Stack designs!

Emmy Given Wednesday: Eco-Friendly Twine

Happy Wednesday!

I'm having a bit of a late start to the day, but now that I've been able to wrap my head around a few things, including a press interview and photo shoot, here's this weeks installment of Emmy Given Wednesday.

As soon as I jumped in with hands and feet to The Artisan Group, immediately I started thinking about packaging. As I told Kyle from Metro News London, this is just as much about setting up a strong brand as it is wowing celebrities with my products. This is it...this is what my heart craves and what I was meant to do with my insanely overactive imagination.

Thankfully, TAG has a great group of supportive artists so it is easy to get great packaging recommendations.

Here is what I settled on...




Eco-friendly recycled twine and cello bags! I adore it, and feel great knowing that it's made of recycled materials!

My new business cards came in early this week as well, and fit perfectly with the packaging!



My husband made a strong push for colour on both sides, and while I will hate to admit this, he was right.

The business cards will be tied to each notestack with ribbon, then put in the cello bag and tied with twine! I couldn't be more pleased, and now that I have packaging for the 100 Notestacks figured out, I can focus on packaging for the 10 handpainted journals.

I've ordered the journals, picked my heavy body paints, and am sitting on pins and needles for the shipments!! I can't wait to get my brushes out and create some really awesome functional art!

Oh! And don't forget about the TAG Twitter Party taking place on May 11th! 1 Week from today!

Thankful Thursday: Picnik

I know that it's still Wednesday, but I'm really hopeful that the weather will cooperate tomorrow and I'll be able to get out on our favourite trail for a nice 10km walk in the morning, followed by a lengthy banner-creation session when Mr. O has a nap in the afternoon *fingers crossed*

Recently, I've been incredibly thankful for Picnik.com

I don't necessarily use to to edit product photos or things like that, but I do use it to design lovely things like...Photo collages for promotional listings, silent auction donations and charity events







New business cards for the Emmy's







front








back


I really enjoy the soften feature, where I upload my logo and soften the entire picture, then write on the top on it in black font for a custom listing






The versatility of the program is outstanding. In addition to the soften feature, you can put your pictures into black and white, sepia, tone up or down certain colours, concentrate on one colour or another...the possibilities are endless!

For a MOMpreneur who needs to keep overhead down, it's a great program and has really simplified graphic design for me! And...keeping processes simple is something I am incredibly thankful for!

Emmy Given Wednesday: The Artisan Group

I said on Monday that there were some great big changes coming up at Sweet Stella's, and that Wednesday was going to change to be allllll about the Emmy's. Well, today's Wednesday and you're in for a treat!

Last week, I was on twitter just looking around, and found a post by my pal Kristal from Atutudes was tweeting about The Artisan Group and how she was going to be giving things away at the Emmy's.

I wasn't too sure what to think, but shot caution to the wind and contacted The Artisan Group.

This is when my life as a MOMpreneur changed...overnight.

I started messaging back and forth, then emailing back and forth with a wonderful woman named Valerie. She took a look at my Etsy shop, and fell in love with these












Customized Board Books

We got to emailing further, and I sent her photos of a new product that I've been working on, NoteStacks













I'd be lying if I didn't take a moment to say that I was absolutely shocked when she said that she loved them and thought that they'd be the perfect addition to The Artisan Group's SwagBags at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards in the Gifting Suite. I'd be lying if I didn't note that I had to take a step back and think Who...me? My stuff? Ya, right!

But...it's true!

So here I sit...a very thankful and very humble artisan, who is going to have my lovely NoteStacks featured at the Emmy's. THE Emmy's....as in the McDreamy-Don Draper-Dexter-Addison and Sam-BarneyStinson-Cam and Mitchell EMMY's!

For the next few months, I will be featuring some of the other artisans from our group, giving shout outs, and showing you the production of these custom NoteStacks, the packaging, new business cards...the whole kit and caboodle!

Until then...who are you most excited to see walking down the red carpet? What would YOU wear to the Emmy's? Stop by my facebook wall and post a picture to enter in my Emmy Given Wednesday photo contest...and a chance to win a $45 credit to Sweet Stella's!

MOMpreneur Monday: Change is Coming!


Welcome to the beginning of your week!



I don't know about you, but around here...there are some huge changes coming, including new business cards, new logos and slogans, and new exciting events that I'm taking part in!


Mondays will still be dedicated to MOMpreneurs, and we have a new one to shout-out to today! Tuesdays will still be How-To Tuesday...including a fun and easy way to dress up your kiddo's Easter basket


Wednesday...oh Wednesday will be exciting! Each and every Wednesday I will be blogging about the Emmy's.


That's right folks, the EMMY'S! (and since I like to keep you in suspense...more on Wednesday!)


Thursday's will remain thankful, and Friday's will still be about my three words.


Now! Onto our MOMpreneur for today, Creative Designs by Toni!


What do you do?


I create one of a kind, handmade gifts.


Why do you love it?


I love being able to create something special that they will love and will be displayed in their own home. Plus, I get to work from home with my 2 little boys.



What advice do you have for other MOMpreneurs?


I would just say to be patient and really have a plan. Nothing happens overnight. But remember, family comes first.


Thanks, Toni!!


You can visit Creative Designs By Toni at her website, and become a fan on facebook! You can also read Toni's creative blog here!

Special Post: Hippity Hop!

Don't forget to go on our Easter Bunny hunt and comment on the following status on our facebook fanpage! Hippity Hop, the Easter Bunny has been here...can you find him?? Comment on this status where you found him, and 5 lucky winner will be drawn at random to receive 20% off their next order! (yes...this includes custom orders!) There are low entries so far, so chances are good that you'll be selected to receive the special promotion!!

Whimsical Wednesday: Auction Promo!

Happy Wednesday! We're half way through the week, and one step closer to the weekend! Yahoo! Anyone have any exciting plans for the weekend? We're hosting a dinner party on Saturday evening for my best girlfriends....all fondue! Totally inspired by Jenni From The Blog, who loves the Melting Pot. Cheesey goodness, healthy grapeseed oil and four (yes...4!) different types of chocoalte fondue, including Toblerone! Mmmmm! Drooling yet?? Today's post is all about an auction that I'm participating in. Danielle's Sweet Treats and Chocolates over on Facebook is hosting a 200 Fan Sping Auction and Giveaway! It's so easy to participate! First, like Danielle's page Second, go to the album that I've linked here Third, read over the rules and post agree if you agree to the terms of the auction Fourth, look through the goodies that are up for auction (at amazing prices, I might add!) and decide what you'd like to bid on Fifth, get bidding! The auction will be opening on April 12th and will run until April 14th! That's only TWO days of bidding people!! Start scouring the items now to get ideas of what you want to bid on! Oh...and Sweet Stella's has some really awesome items in there, too. From favour pouches, baby food journals and treat flags, that are all ready to ship to the chance to bid on a CUSTOM party package...how could you go wrong!!

Special Post: Facebook Fanpage Promo!

Hippity Hop! The Easter Bunny has hopped on over to Sweet Stella's and has left his mark on one of our pictures! Can you find it? Comment on the Easter Bunny Status where you found him, and 5 lucky people will be drawn using random.org to receive 20% off their next order! And yes...this includes custom orders! If you've been wanting a party package, tooth fairy box, treat flags or banner...now is the perfect opportunity! Happy hunting! *contest runs April 2, 2011 until April 15, 2011*