Holiday Prep for Small Business : Steve McKenzie’s + Staples

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Jill of Steve McKenzie’s helps customers complete their holiday wish list with custom postcards & a desktop poster.

I am back again to help you prepare for the upcoming holidays with Staples Print and Marketing Services! This time with my favorite partners in crime – Steve and Jill McKenzie, of Steve McKenzie’s . This super chic gift boutique and interior design studio is located on the trendy Westside of Atlanta, Georgia. Steve is a seasoned professional with vast experience in business.The truth is that you should be preparing for the holiday season now if you own a retail store. Steve and I are here to walk you through three great promotions that you can easily achieve with the help of Staples.

It’s no surprise that I enlisted his expertise once again. You may remember him from last year. Of course he knocked it out of the park again. Steve and Jill are a natural choice because Staples Print and Marketing Services has been their go-to resource for years.

This year we wanted to be extra creative; wait until you see what we have up our sleeves. With the help of Staples, we could be creative and make our holiday promotions super cool.

Steve and I created three impressive store programs with Staples. If you’re a small store owner, listen up. Steve and I have some very important information to share with you to make you look like a total pro during the holiday season.

Holiday Program 1: Partner with Your Vendors and Create an In-store Event:

Steve created a tabletop program that offers beautiful product at a savings. To enhance the promotion, Steve and Jill ordered banners with exclusive imagery they got from a vendor. Be smart: your vendors have beautiful images, and they want you to use them. Steve uploaded the image to a Staples Print and Marketing banner template, added some clever copy to it, and voila a stunning banner to drape in your window.


A tabletop trimmings poster hangs in the window while a smaller version beckons guests to the display. 



Tabletop trimmings post cards are available for shoppers to easily see discounts.  

To support the event even more, Steve ordered table top signs and postcards that customers can take with them. The flip side of the postcard has all the items listed that will be discounted in the promotion. I love the catchy tag line “Tabletop Trimmings”.

Holiday Program 2: Create a Holiday Event for Customers

The idea of a workshop for the holidays is fantastic. Steve has had great success with conducting classes over the past year. He and Jill decided that a Holiday Gift Wrap Workshop would be a fun way to mingle with customers while teaching a skill. Serving nibbles and drinks while doing a craft like gift wrapping is a super way to get to know your customers. Here’s how Steve and his team put the whole thing together:

Steve designed a great postcard invite that he turned into a poster for his store. He framed a poster and placed it on an easel. A fantastic way for customers shopping to note the event and register to attend.

The postcard/invites are also placed on a display table that Steve set up in the middle of the store to showcase the event. This display farm table will serve as the actual wrap desk during the event. But he placed it in the middle of the floor a few weeks before the event, all set up to rally interest and conversation before the workshop event.

On the night of the Wrap Workshop, Steve and Jill will provide the paper and the ribbon and string and demonstrate wrapping techniques. It’s a super way to bring everyone together during the most wonderful time of the year.


Steve & Jill created a 24×36 poster with Staples Print and Marketing Services for their window display.


A framed poster gives customers directions while a custom postcard added to each shopping bag promotes the party. 



Program 3: A Comprehensive Gift Certificate Program and a Wish List Program

Sometimes gift certificates can look ho hum. Steve came up with the brilliant idea of using an invite template from Staple Print and Marketing Services to create a very stylized gift certificate. Check out the beautiful gift certificate he created. Sometimes it’s the little touches that make such a big difference.

The wish list program is a great way for you as a retailer to help customers get what they want during the holidays. Steve and Jill came up with this beautiful sign to promote conversation with their regular customers. This wish list service is an extra touch that will separate you from the rest. Your customers will love this easy way to share what they love in your store. Here’s how it works: customers fill out this card, on the card they write who you should contact, and you take care of the rest. It makes gift giving easy.


Branded tape measures make cute takeaways for shoppers who complete a wish list. The wish lists are customized rack cards from Staples Print and Marketing. 



Gift cards created using Staples Print and Marketing invitations are branded with the store’s logo & address. 

3 Great Tips from Steve

  1. Use your vendors for beautiful imagery.
  2. Create holiday events that your customers want to attend.
  3. Make sure your gift certificate program is as comprehensive as it can be. Be creative and use an invite template.

Products used in today’s post:



  1. Custom Photo Postcards 2. Custom Photo Banner 3. Custom Party Invitations 4. Personalized Tape Measures 5. Custom Rack Cards 6. Avery Round Labels 7. Custom Posters

Photo credit: Annette Joseph

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Make your holiday home beautiful with Ikea winter holidays

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Decorating for the holidays at IKEA means pretty and on trend decor. Since IKEA does not break the bank, you can change it up every year, add to your classics, and decorate all the rooms in your home.

I am obsessed with these whimsical garlands. They also work perfectly draped down a table for parties, or suspended over your party table. Think creatively when shopping for holiday decor.

I love using wrapping paper for table runners and every year IKEA comes out with the prettiest collection. As you know, I am a slave to great wrapping paper, tags, ribbon, and decorative tape.

I use some sort of IKEA holiday wrap all year long; the modern Scandinavian designs are always so delicious.

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If you crave something more traditional,  the traditional wrapping paper with Scandinavian influences are equally delightful. Red is laced throughout the collection along with classic patterns like evergreen trees and garland prints. IKEA offers a decorative array of holiday products that will inspire you. Ring in the holidays with style and affordable decor. Happy Holidays and let the decorating and wrapping begin. xx

photos courtesy of IKEA

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Entertaining with Ikea for the Holidays


Ikea Sometimes holiday entertaining can feel stressful. The holiday season is hectic. All we want to do is spend some time with family and friends celebrating, but the idea of putting together a gathering can seem a little daunting. In my book Picture Perfect Parties, I teach you how to produce your own gatherings like a pro. By being prepared, organized, and thinking ahead, you can make party planning an easy and creative endeavor.

My friends at IKEA always have a great assortment of “Party Pantry” essentials making entertaining with IKEA easy. It’s one of my favorite go to places to prop shop and to stock my own “Party Pantry.” Basic yet festive is the key in putting together a fantastic assortment for your collection.

Check out these beautiful flutes; gathering them on a tray would be beautiful. Add a sprig of rosemary to some sparkling Rose with a few pomegranate seeds, and you have an instant holiday cocktail. Next, place a warm round of Brie cheese with french bread and fig spread on an IKEA sparkly tray, and you have a party just like that. Remember parties do not have to be complicated if you have the right essentials like flutes and trays.

Head over to IKEA and stock up for your holiday gatherings. Think ahead and parties will be a snap.

xx, Annette

photos courtesy of IKEA

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Holiday Gift Wrap Program Staples Copy and Print makes it easy!

Staples Holiday 2015 It’s always great during the holidays to find a store that has beautiful holiday gifts, but more important for me is a beautiful in store holiday gift wrap service. It’s these special touches that make me go back every year to shop for gifts for the holidays at a particular store.

When you’re a small store owner, branding is very important.Branding is the only thing that sets you apart from the crowd. Branding and customer service. A great way to combine these two important concepts is by having a beautiful gift wrap program in place. It is a wonderful way to service your customers and make them come back again and again. If you have a gorgeous gift wrap program in place this time saving service will have your customers coming back year after year.

Put a branded gift wrap program together with your partner Staples Copy and Print. Everything you need to create a one of a kind gift wrap program is at your fingertips.

I suggest you pick wrapping paper, ribbon, bags and branded stickers to put on every single gift you wrap.

Staples Holiday 2015

At Staples Copy and Print , you will find gorgeous and affordable products to put your holiday gift wrap program together. Don’t forget the custom Stickers!

Taking care of your customers’ gift wrap needs makes your store look amazing. After all, you’re offering a service that will make their life easier. You’re creating a loyal customer base with this simple service.

Remember gift wrap is not only for the holidays, so make sure you have a branded program in place for all year.

Nothing beats great customer service, remember this small touch and it makes a huge difference in the big picture.

Staples Holiday 2015

Order now and make your holiday season the best it’s ever been.


1. Holiday gift tags 2. Grosgrain ribbon 3. Floral wrapping paper 4. Gift bags

This is a sponsored post all opinions expressed are my own.

Photo credit :Me

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Small Businesses you can Throw the Best Holiday Party Ever with Staples Copy and Print!

Staples Holiday 2015 Staples Holiday 2015

Throwing a holiday party for your clients at your place of business is always a great idea. The end of the year is a great time for client appreciation.

Now’s the time to start thinking about your holiday party. Planning your party in advance and ordering custom decor and invitations plus discounts cards should be on your to do list this week. Planning ahead will make putting your holiday party together go smoothly. As a party expert, this is my best advise. Think ahead and put together your party plan with Staples Copy and Print  .


Staples Copy and Print has a great selection of custom decor. Don’t forget to make sure you put your logo on everything!  Design everything from invitations, banners, even discount cards (which BTW, is a great gift for customers). Make sure you hand-out the discount cards at your party.

Staples Holiday 2015

Refreshments are key, so serve nibbles, and maybe even a signature cocktail. It’s always a nice touch. You know how much I love a great party! With the help of Staples Copy and Print, you can brand everything. In store make sure you have the registers open, so customers can shop during the party. You should have someone gift wrapping, too (more on a Staples Copy and Print  branded gift wrap program coming next week). This way, customers can get holiday shopping done and use their discount cards on the spot.

Now hop over and check out the fun party touches at Staples Copy and Print. Order your branded invitations and banners, and don’t forget your discount cards.

Celebrate the holiday season with your customers with help from Staples Copy and Print.


This is a sponsored post all opinions expressed are my own.

1. Holiday banner 2. Bumper sticker 3. Invitation 4. Postcard

photos via: me


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