It’s hump day! You know what that means. Another small business feature! I am SUPER excited about this week! Little Headfeathers has the most adorable headbands and hairbows from infants to adults. From polka dots to pom-poms, you name it, she’s got it!
I was fortunate enough to get one of her Gold Medallion Lady Lace headbands and Ivory Pom-Pom headbands and they are SO fun! One adds some sparkle, and one adds some sass (okay – they both add sass). Definitely check out her Easy shop and pick up one of her “headfeathers” – they won’t disappoint!
So y’all can get to know Maja (the fantastic & super kind owner) a little better, she has so kindly answered some questions!
Karen: Have you always lived in FL? If not, where were you raised?
Maja: I was born and raised in Germany. After finishing college, I needed an adventure and that led me to the United States and eventually into the arms of my now husband of almost 4 years.
Karen: What inspired you to start making headbands / bows? How long have you been doing so?
Maja: Since becoming a mother I have always played around with the idea of having a little business of the crafty kind on the side. When we moved to Florida 6 months ago, I had no friends and therefore a lot of time on my hands and that was when I decided it’s now or never. I love being a stay at home mom, but I needed something that was just for myself.. A little escape from the everyday craziness… Something that I could be creative with. I started making bows for my daughter for fun and one night it just clicked and I found my calling. Four weeks later (November 2014) I opened the shop and it’s been a blast!
Maja: Honestly, I love them all. I take a lot of pride in making my products and I don’t sell anything I don’t really love. If I had to choose I would say it’s my latest addition “The Lady Lace” line. That’s three headbands made for adults only (see the silver medallion Lady Lace above and here.)
Karen: What product has been your best seller?
Karen: What are your goals/dreams/hopes for your small business?
Maja: My goal is to team up with small boutiques and sell my items through them as well as online. I want to stay a small business and keep hand making every single
item because I truly enjoy it!
Karen: What do you love to do outside of your small business?
Maja: I love being a mom and spending my days with my daughter. Making bows and headbands is my hobby so other than that I enjoy coffee dates with friends, constant Target runs (because I could miss out on a sale), Sunday brunches with my little family, and redecorating my house (over and over again).
Karen: Do you have any other favorite small businesses, either locally or through Etsy?
Maja: I am a sucker for small businesses and I try and shop small whenever can. I currently enjoy buying handmade children’s clothing but I can’t say that I have a favorite shop. Also, I am currently eyeballing your coasters! They are lovely!
I love how passionate Maja is about her small business and about small businesses in general. I think having that passion and support system is very important when trying to start-up and grow a small business.
We also share a love for Target, redecorating, and coffee. I hope one day we cross paths. Until then, best of luck with your shop!
Hello friends! Hope you all had a great weekend. I know I did! Steve and I went down to Dayton to visit his alma mater. Friday night we went to a couple different spots and then just took it easy knowing that Saturday would be a little more eventful.
Saturday, Steve took me on a tour of campus & what a nice campus it is! Even though I didn’t go to Dayton, it made me miss being back in college. After the campus tour, we headed to the Flyers basketball game (vs. St. Bonaventure – Flyers won!) where Steve was entered into a shooting contest to win diamond earrings. And guess what!?!?! He didn’t win. But I’ll give him an A for effort (but seriously, why didn’t he win?!) After the game we had some drinks with some friends up on the Flight Deck. I’ve gotta say, UD’s arena is a pretty great college arena.
Saturday night we went to Warped Wing Brewery to taste some of their beers and brought with us some Smokin BBQ (looks can be deceiving with this downtown gem). It is one of the coolest breweries we have been to. It is in an old warehouse/manufacturing facility with just a bunch of long tables to sit at. You feel like you are sitting in an actual brewery and not some fancy tasting room/restaurant. I tried the 10 Ton Oatmeal Stout – it is high in alcohol but the taste is amazing!
After dinner and beer tasting, Steve took me on a
bar crawl walk down memory lane. We went to a few local watering holes and then called it a night!
The weekend flew by, but it was a ton of fun. It was great seeing some of his friends and having a weekend free from obligations. Next trip – the honeymoon! Counting down the days.
What did all of you do this weekend? Take any trips? Have any special Valentine’s Day plans?
This week we featured an AMAZING jewelry designer, Belvoir Handmade. We sent Ashley a few coasters that featured her business logo. It was the first time we decided to do this, and I was so excited to see how they turned out!
Ashley made it easy by having a super cute and fun logo to start. We then browsed some of the photos she has on her website to get an idea of her style. Gold glitter. Definitely gold glitter.
The end result?
I think I like it. We are now going to start taking orders for these. All you need to do is send us your logo in any format, and we will transform it into a set of four waterproof ceramic coasters to set your
glass of champagne cup of coffee on!
It’s almost the weekend – which brings us Valentine’s Day! I’m looking forward to a fun weekend getaway in balmy Dayton, OH to watch the Dayton Flyers take on the Bonnies and visit one of Steve’s best friends, Jose. Sounds like a romantic getaway, right?
Because I’m so excited for this weekend, I am going to giveaway a set of our gold glitter coasters!! These can be done in any state with a heart over any city, so whoever the winner is, I will get these details from you!
How to enter:
Last day to enter is 2/14/15.
Winner will be chosen on Sunday, 2/15/15.
It’s hump day, friends! Enjoy yourselves. And enjoy the feature that I have for you this week! I can’t tell you how excited I am about Ashley’s company – Belvoir Handmade. I discovered her bangles when I was perusing another blog, Bliss & Bellinis (love this blog!!). I saw that there was a giveaway for these Belvoir bangles and I had to investigate further.
After reading Ashley’s bio, I found out that we had a few things in common! First, she went to college in Cleveland and we graduated from college the same year. Turns out, we know a few of the same people! Second, her business is named after a street she lived on (during college) and mine is named after a street I lived on (after college)! We both went to fairly small Jesuit schools. I decided to reach out to her and get some more info! Here is some further insight into Belvoir Handmade and the owner, Ashley.
Karen: How/when did you get started in making bangles and what inspired you?
Ashley: I started Belvoir in January of 2014. I actually saw similar jewelry in a store and thought I could make it. Once I started wearing it, people were asking me where I bought it. I had some free time and the business side really interests me, so I decided to develop a brand and website to start selling the jewelry. It was a spontaneous idea that I decided to try without any set plans. I spent some time researching and launched my website in May of 2014. I also had a photo shoot this past fall with Eva Lin Photography. It was a blast and I believe her pictures really helped to develop my brand. I’m so excited to hopefully do another shoot with her in the future!
Karen: Are you currently making jewelry full time? Do you have a storefront or is it just online?
Ashley: I work in marketing at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation full-time and make Belvoir jewelry for fun. I sell mostly online and I have a few boutiques that carry them.
Above – The Bella
Karen: Where are you from, what brought you to JCU, and why did you name your business Belvoir Handmade?
Ashley: I grew up in Pittsburgh. When I was in the process of choosing a college, I knew I wanted to go outside of Pittsburgh but still be close enough to come home if I had to. I was also a tennis player so it was important to me that I could get a good education and be able to play varsity tennis. I loved the campus and community at John Carroll — it was one of the best decisions I ever made and probably the four best years of my life so far. I ended up naming Belvoir Handmade after one of the streets near John Carroll that I lived on because I had such a great experience. I also believe I learned that a lot of the skills I needed to develop Belvoir Handmade during my time at John Carroll.
Karen: I noticed that some of the names of the bangles are inspired by JCU buildings/dorms. What are the other names inspired by?
Ashley: I chose to name each bangle after different memories that I have. A lot of them are named after John Carroll landmarks and streets in the area. The other ones are named after places where I’ve vacationed. I love the ocean so they’re all places near the beach.
Karen: Do you have a favorite?
Ashley: It’s hard to pick a favorite. I’m constantly getting new beads from different stores across the country so they’re always interchanging. I love to build new stacks and pick a few that match my outfits. If I had to pick, I have been wearing The Sanibel (shown above), The Tradition and The Marco a lot recently.
Karen: What is your top seller?
Ashley: The Dolan (shown above) is a top seller because it’s so classy and it’s always available. The Marco and The Sanibel have been top sellers recently too. Most of them are sold in gold wire, but I also offer silver wire to fit everyone’s style!
Karen: What are your hopes/dreams/goals for this business?
Ashley: Honestly, I never could have imagined that Belvoir Handmade would have grown as much as it has so far. It continues to amaze me everyday and I love watching the orders come in to see which state they are from. In the busy weeks, I’ve had to recruit my family to help. This year I hope to expand the products that I sell and have them available in more boutiques. I hope that it continues to grow as I push out new marketing ideas!
I have to say, I am super impressed with Ashley and how amazing her business is after just over a year of opening! She is extremely talented, has a great eye for fashion, and is surely a person to follow as she grows her business. I hope that one day we meet, but until then, I will purchase her products online!
Make sure you check out her website (including pics from that amazing photo shoot she mentioned!) and pick up your favorite bangle today! There are so many to choose from, I know you will find something that fits your wants and needs. I have The Marco above and I LOVE it!!
Happy Monday to all! I hope you all had a fun weekend. I know I did!
Friday night, Steve’s best man came in town (Steve’s Cleveland bachelor party was Saturday) so we grabbed a drink and watched the Dayton game. It was pretty low key, but that was fine by me!
I also was able to get the desk together for the new office and the area rug came (see the pic above)! I must say, Wayfair shipped those items so quickly I was astonished. The desk was promised in 2 days, but arrived in 1! You should definitely consider shopping through them.
I am loving the girliness of the office (don’t worry, Steve get’s to have his man cave in the basement). The mirrored desk and pink rug are so fun, and they inspire me to make more fun, girly projects (like the mug shown above)! There will definitely be more things popping up in the shop in the coming weeks. What do you think of the gold heart mug? Should I add it to the shop?
Saturday I had to work at the bridesmaid store – which was fine with me since my bridesmaid dresses finally arrived! Can’t wait for everyone to see the wedding pictures. I think they are going to look great on all of my bridesmaids!
Saturday night I went to a fundraiser called Brews and Prose. The Brews and Prose program brings writers, poets, etc. of all kinds to Cleveland to take part in a speaker series and for other events. Various major publishing houses have picked up on this series and want their writers to be involved – another major thing happening in Cleveland! So I was able to hear from two amazing writers. And enjoy some great beers from Market Garden Brewery. Win win. These events typically occur the first Tuesday of every month in the basement of Market Garden. If you are in the area (or not), you should plan on attending the next event!
Sunday was spent mainly on the couch with Steve (believe me, he needed it). But it was nice to relax and watch the Cavs win. We also have been re-watching House of Cards in preparation for the next season that will be released at the end of the month.
What did you guys do this weekend?
So Steve and I both love coffee (especially a hot cup o’ joe during these freezing Cleveland days). Can’t go a morning without it (is that sad? maybe. but there are way worse addictions out there – or so I tell myself). We have recently been trying a bunch of new kinds (usually whatever happens to be on sale at the time) but I will fill you in on one of our faves , my favorite coffee shop and a few of my favorite mugs that you just might want to scoop up for yourself as well!
The mug shown above is one of my FAVORITES from Charm and Gumption. This cute mug is perfect on the go! They have such an amazing Etsy shop (click on link above to view). You are sure to find something you love!
One of our favorite coffee brands is Boston Stoker. They are based out of Dayton, OH and have GREAT tasting coffee – and amazing flavors! Some flavors include Crazy Caramel, Snickerdoodle, and Hazelnut. You should order yourself some to try or go visit one of their locations in Dayton, Centerville, Englewood, or Columbus! Steve and I will be in Dayton for Valentine’s Day – I’m hoping we get a chance to stock up!
This mug from Ashley Brooke Designs is another one of my absolute faves! Everything she does is so cute and fun – I can’t handle it! I have my eye on about ten of her different products. I keep adding them to the cart, then reconsidering, and then saying welllllll I don’t REALLY have to heat my house or pay for electricity right?! But then I figure Moe the pup would be pretty cold and probably start walking into things so I used my better judgment. One of these days, I’m filling up that cart and clicking “submit order”. Just you wait.
Lastly – one of my favorite coffee shops – Civilization. It is located in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, and boy do they have a wide selection of flavors! Aside from being a great coffee shop, it is in one of my favorite neighborhoods – added bonus! Tremont has so many small boutiques, business, and restaurants. I love ’em all! If you are ever in Cleveland, be sure to check this place and this area out! They also are part of Cleveland’s bike share program which is just phenomenal if you ask me. Why drive when you can bike?!
Hi friends! Today is my first installment of Weekly Feature Wednesday. Each week I will feature another small business that I admire. I have received so many kind and supportive words from other small businesses / Etsy shop owners. Supporting other small businesses is what I am all about – not to mention, I love learning more about different crafts other than my own!
For our first feature, we have Made in Mechanicsville – an amazingly talented duo down in Mechanicsville, VA that makes gorgeous, budget-friendly, fashionable jewelry. I myself have a pair of their Lark studs and I LOVE them! They started up their small jewelry business in 2014. If these are their products coming out the gate, I can’t wait to see what they make in the future!
The following is a little more info on their business and a glimpse into the lives of Lauren and James.
Karen: Where are you originally from and where do you currently live?
Made in Mechanicsville: We live in Mechanicsville, Virginia which is about 15 minutes from Richmond, the capitol. I am originally from Jeffersonton, Virginia. It is a small, rural town outside of DC. We had one stop light! I was raised in Pittsburgh, though and have only been in Virginia for about 12 years.
K: How long have you been making jewelry and what inspired you to do so?
MM: I have been making jewelry for about a year. I started just because I love jewelry, especially earrings. My best friend sold Silpada Designs for years and I became sort of addicted to jewelry shopping. I was inspired to start making my own out of love for working with my hands and needing a creative outlet from my day job. I am also sort of a natural born entrepreneur.
K: What is your favorite type of jewelry to make?
MM: Earrings! Although I am loving stamping metal and cutting leather. There are more necklaces in the works at our studio.
K: What are your goals / hopes / dreams for your business?
MM: Ideally, I would love to see our business grow and make an impact on our small town. We are a town with so many creatives. I want to inspire people to stay local rather than feeling like they have to be in the city to succeed. My hope is that we keep on getting more creative, better at our craft and use what we earn to help others in need. I want to light a fire in this little town! (Figuratively, haha.)
K: What do you like to do for fun outside of jewelry making?
MM: We love spending time with our two rescue dogs, Peppoe and Willie and our families. I also love traveling, going to church, working out and a good glass of wine. Also love me some Netflix.
K: Do you have any favorite jewelry designers?
MM: I love Ivanka Trump and Kendra Scott. Both women are incredibly inspiring and have gorgeous jewelry. Locally, I love Kristy Santelli of Drift/Riot. Nancy Stewart is a glass bead maker and her stuff is fabulous – Hot Flash Glassworks of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Lauren is super passionate about her small business and about keeping things local. I would have to say we have that in common!
Use the coupon code BLOGLOVE for 20% off any order in their Etsy shop!
A big thank you to Lauren & James for allowing me to feature their beautiful work on my blog!