Tag Archives: small business

Announcing our Los Angeles Workshop

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Many of you have been requesting a stateside workshop, and I am happy to deliver that to you today! If you follow along on social media or get my newsletter, you may have already heard that I’m partnering with fellow stylist and social media expert, Anne Sage, for a strictly styling and social media branding workshop in Los Angeles, California, January 28-29, 2017.

Anne is a veteran workshop instructor; she has taught with me in Italy the past 2 summers. You’ll love learning from her and creating with us. We’ve created a weekend workshop filled with collaboration, information, and of course, fun.

If you’re ready to take your brand or blog to the next level, this workshop is for you! Students will hone their skills in styling for the camera, gaining an understanding of the foundational tenets of composition and how to apply them when crafting professional quality images. The workshop will also provide strategies and best practices for making your brand shine on social media. Not to mention you will meet like-minded individuals, make new friends and find your best creative self, all while having a great time.

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And did I mention our fabulous setting?! The Los Angeles workshop will take place at Light Lab.

This workshop will gather at Light Lab, a groundbreaking photo studio and events space in L.A. Founded in 2016 by photographers Caroline and Jayden Lee and author/stylist Anne Sage, Light Lab is a supportive and inclusive space for creatives of all kinds. It’s a dream! Full of light, funky furnishings, and loads of texture. 

The best part is this workshop is taking place just before the renowned blog conference, Alt Summit in Palm Springs. Why not make a week of it? Take our workshop then head down to Alt (I’ll see you there!).

Space is filling-up quickly, so don’t wait to sign-up; we have very limited spaces available.

This would make a great gift, too! Treat yo self! Email me with any questions…

xx Annette

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Starbright Farm Maryland Style + Photo Workshop

Maryland Workshop

When I asked my dear friend and talented photographer Helen Norman if we could do a workshop together at her farm, Starbright Farm, imagine my joy when she said YES without any hesitation.

Starbright Farm, is a magical location. Helen and her family have lived there for close to 20 years. This stellar place is located outside of Baltimore. We decided that the end of September would be the perfect time to teach and photograph all over the property.

We could not ask for more ideal weather. This farm to forage workshop was amazing as all the food and the props were locally sourced. In fact, they were all picked right outside the door of the picture perfect barn where all the styling and photography lessons were conducted.

Maryland Workshop

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Our group, as always, had the most interesting people in attendance. I am often asked who attends my workshops. This time we had a fine art still life painter, a chef, an interior designer, from Wyoming an artisan manufacturer, an small boutique owner, a lifestyle blogger, a photography student, and serious hobbyist photographer that was an ex-CEO of one of America’s major corporations from California. Everyone was delightful and by the end of the weekend, we were all good friends. Honestly the best thing about my workshops for me are the new friendships formed, for attendees and for me.

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We had gorgeous vegetables to work with. Helen has a veggie farm as does her brother right down the road, One Straw Farm, one of the nation’s first organic farms. We were able to pick everything right from the garden for our shoots. Truly a fantasy for a prop / food stylist.

img_3167-690x518 img_3162-e1474978561445 img_3163-e1474978577846 We had a Farm to Table dinner to welcome attendees on Friday night prepared by Chef Denny from James Beard Award Winning, Woodberry Kitchen. Needless to say it was spectacular!

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Maryland Workshop

Thank you to all of our attendees for making the weekend so special for me. Helen, you are the best, and such a gracious hostess and an amazing photographer and teacher. Thanks to FJ who I met when he was Helen’s assistant many years ago. Although you no longer work side by side, it was fun having you join us and offer your vast technical knowledge and support.

Maryland Workshop

Starbright Farm is a gorgeous location; make sure to watch their progress as it will soon become the “it” location for weddings and events. Fingers crossed Helen will have me back again for another Style + Photo Workshop…maybe in the spring?

Maryland Workshop

Until then follow Starbright Farm and Helen on her adventures.

Join me in Italy, too. Helen will be teaching a Workshop in June 2017 at the Fortress in Tuscany. Come along… what are you waiting for?

xx

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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. 

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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:

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  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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Preparing for the Holidays with Steve McKenzie and Staples Copy and Print- THINK LIKE A PRO.

Staples Holiday 2015

Steve and Jill Mckenzie are pros all the way. They’re seasoned retailers always thinking about how to make their brand shine, so when I asked Steve if he used Staples Copy and Print for his home furnishing store’s needs, without missing a beat he said, “Yes, we have been using Staples Copy and Print for years.”

I thought it might be fun to help all of you specialty stores out by showing you how to brand for the holidays by photographing Steve and Jill’s store while they prepared for Thanksgiving.

Lead by example, right? Here is one of the best examples I have seen of customizing all the elements that will make your holiday season great, and your customers feel special. All while promoting your strongest category at the perfect time of year.

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Steve McKenzie’s was Voted Atlanta’s Best Tabletop in Atlanta Magazine, so you can imagine that table top products are a huge category for them. Steve and Jill ordered everything custom for their 2015 Thanksgiving promotion. They decided to set a beautiful Thanksgiving table in the front window, then hang a custom banner over the table to highlight the display.

Staples Holiday 2015 Staples Holiday 2015 BANNERS- POSTERS- POSTCARDS

Postcards were sent out to their mailing list announcing new merchandise with a Thanksgiving promotional discount offered on all stock.

Notice that the banner and the postcards have the same graphic. Reinforcing the graphic, whether it’s a photograph like this one or your logo, shows you’re a pro.

* Note the photograph is of a dishware line featured in their store. Staples Holiday 2015 GIFT WRAP- STICKERS- STAMPS-RIBBON-BOXES

Customized gift wrap is as easy as a sticker or a stamp. Don’t forget it’s the little touches that make all the difference in how your small business is perceived. I love the use of the bakers string to tie up small boxes and the S sticker on the bright orange bow makes for a beautiful and coordinating holiday wrap program.

Staples Holiday 2015 Staples Holiday 2015 GIFT CERTIFICATES – GIVE AWAYS

Gift certificates and functional take always, like this logo tape measure, are a great way to promote your business and give customers a treat. Having custom gift certificates with your logo is an important component, and this gift certificate with the pretty logo represents the store’s aesthetic.

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Steve and Jill do a really great job. They have shown us that it’s as simple as putting your logo on everything you order from Staples Copy and Print. These touches won’t break the bank and will increase sales during the busiest time of year. Thanks Steve and Jill for showing us how you use Staples Copy and Print to make a statement in your beautiful space. xx Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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1. Custom Photo Banner 2. Custom Photo Postcard 3. Kraft Paper Boxes 4. Orange Satin Ribbon 5. Orange Baker’s Twine 6. Custom Stickers 7. Custom Gift Certificates 8. Custom Tape Measures

If you have a store and use custom Staples copy and print to make a statement, please share your photos in the comments section below; we would love to hear from you!

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

Photo credit: Me

 

 

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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.

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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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