Tag Archives: steve mckenzie’s

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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Style+Photo Workshop at Steve McKenzie’s :: Why you should always stay a student

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Hi Everyone! It’s Nicole, Annette’s web manager and friend. I’m thrilled to be sharing my latest Style+Photo workshop experience with you. Back in the fall, I attended my first style+photo workshop with Annette and Christina Wedge at the helm. I learned so much, but I knew there was a lot more for me to wrap my head around.

When Annette invited me to her latest workshop at Steve McKenzie’s in Atlanta (one of our favorite shops), I couldn’t say no. At the previous workshop, I was really focused on styling. Even though Annette is sweet and says I have a great eye, styling is something that’s always been intimidating for me.

However, with Annette’s incredible teaching methods, I found myself learning so much so fast. From color triangles to making just small adjustments, I was able to start to understand the secrets of being a stylist.

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So once I had that under my belt, I knew it was time to focus on my camera. Friends, my camera is something that I’ve been trying to master for years, and I have come to understand that really, it will always be a learning process…and that is OKAY!

At this workshop, I spent time really playing with different settings on my camera. I really focused on understanding what ISO, aperture, and shutter speeds mean and how with each adjustment I make, there is an adjustment to how the photo appears. I would guess a certain combination and take a shot, and then I would try another combination and take a shot, and so forth. (see the vast difference below)

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The result was a series of photos that went from dark to bright, and I was actually able to understand what each change meant! I am so excited to learn that I can change the brightness of my photos without having to edit in Photoshop. Major time saver. And even better? My photos improved a ton.

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Which brings me to my next point. It is really hard to grasp all of this information the first time around, especially when you’re taking pictures in a photo-rich, captivating environment surrounded by new friends. If you are able, I would plan to take Annette’s workshops more than once…and not just twice…three or even four times! Each time, you’ll hear something you didn’t hear before, and you’ll understand something different about your styling techniques or you camera.

Ultimately, stay a student, and keep learning well beyond the workshop. Practice might not make perfect, but it definitely makes improvements.

xo, Nicole

Photos via: Nicole Letts

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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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Steve McKenzie’s :: A Home Store with Heart & Soul

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Hi Everyone! Nicole here, Annette’s web-manager and friend. You might remember me from my post about being completely awestruck at one of Annette’s photoshoots back in the spring.

While Annette wraps-up her amazing summer in Italy, she asked if I would go on assignment for the blog and write up a little something about one of my favorite home decor shops in Atlanta, Steve McKenzie’s. The chance to gush about beautiful art, furniture, and home accessories? Say no more because I’m in!

Steve McKenzie’s is owned and operated by husband-wife duo, Steve & Jill McKenzie. Serving as an interiors and lifestyle store in Atlanta’s blossoming Westside Design District, Steve McKenzie’s is home to beautiful Grange furniture, art and prints by Thimblepress, ceramics by R. Wood, and much more. In fact, Steve McKenzie’s recently became the exclusive showroom for Cotton & Quill. Not too shabby for a shop that only opened in 2012; they clearly have the eye for design and the longevity to last. This well-curated space is not only showcases high end brands, but also has a special place in its heart for local southern makers, making it a dream to explore and get lost in.

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Of course, I would be remiss not to mention that Steve is a brilliant artist and the man behind much of the art in the store, along with his own line of textiles carried exclusively at Steve McKenzie’s. Jill and Steve have this whole co-owner thing down to a science. When in the store, it is truly evident that they work as a partnership as Jill admiringly describes Steve’s artwork while making each customer feel right at home; she’s a true southern hostess.

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Not only does Steve McKenzie’s feature the very best in home decor, but they’re also embracing the community and lending a little creativity to Atlanta. Partnering with local artists and creatives like BlackCatTips, Steve McKenzie’s offers Saturday morning Kickstart Creativity classes regularly. On August 29th, they’re helping everyone get ready for Atlanta’s upcoming Beltline lantern parade. For $30, you can join Xavier Neuner, the shop’s resident paper and party expert, get all of the lantern supplies you need, and enjoy a little creative class to jumpstart your weekend. Buy tickets here.

If you’re in the Atlanta area, be sure to visit my friends Jill & Steve at Steve McKenzie’s. You’re bound to find the prefect hostess gift, some stunning art, and books you just can’t live without.

xo, Nicole

photo credit: me portrait found on Erika Ward’s blog

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