Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Poodles and Pompadours Launch Etsy Shop - Handmade Pet Bowls & Treat Jars

Hooray! I finally did it. After weeks of illness, I finally knuckled down yesterday and uploaded the first few of our handpainted pet bowls and treat jars to our Etsy shop. How exciting!

Have a look at the products below, and you'll find the link to buy them under the pictures.

What do you think? What other designs would you like to see?

I've got lots more products coming soon!

Buy Me!

Buy Me!

Buy Me!

Buy Me!

Buy Me!

Buy Me!

 

Buy Me!

Buy Me!

Buy Me!

 

Hayley xo

 

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Back to Work: Recovered from THE LURGY

Hi everyone,

Just a really quick note from me to say sorry for not being around for the last 3 weeks or so.

I was very ill as I contracted viral meningitis and some other nasties afterwards due to complications from the illness. I'm recovered now, although still feeling very tired and not 100%, but I'm back to work.

Bambi and Bear were very good and gave me lots of snuggles to make me feel a bit better.

I know things have taken a bit longer to launch than I would have liked, (Poodles and Pompadours was originally meant to launch in December!) this is for many reasons but mainly due to a big problem with one of my previous ceramic suppliers that I had secured, illness, over-ambitiousness and sometimes just me dropping the ball and not doing as much work as I should have been doing over the Christmas period.

I'm going to be making a much more conscious effort over the next few weeks to make sure the online shop is launched as soon as possible.

I've made the decision to launch one product range at a time, rather than trying to do it all at once, as this has been what has been holding me back. The first products to be launched will be my hand-painted pet bowls and treat jars.

I've also learned that being a perfectionist is sometimes not a good thing. I've been putting of launching until I had every aspect of the shop completely perfect, but I've learnt that this isn't really realistic, and I just need to bite the bullet and press the "publish" button on my website.

I'll be setting up my Etsy and Folksy shops first and adding the pet bowls and treat jars there, and then adding them to the website afterwards, so keep an eye out for the links.

I look forward to showing you a preview of some of the designs later on this week, but for now, it's back to work for me. I've got 3 weeks of emails and admin to catch up on!

 

Love,

Hayley xo

 

Friday, 8 February 2013

5 Things About Bear

1. He's The Easter Bunny

Well, not quite, but we did get him on Easter Sunday so he is our special little Easter bunny.

2. He was almost called Elvis.

He was almost called Elvis, as he does this funny thing where he curls one side of his lip and looks like The King, but Bear suited his personality better as he's a big baby, and I wanted both my dogs to have Disney related names so we went for Bear instead ( There was a Disney film called Brother Bear released in 2003. Although I've never actually seen the film I did see it being animated when I went to America a few years ago so we thought it was a good fit, and he looks like the little brown bear cub in it. We also call him Pooh Bear all the time, after Winnie the Pooh)

3. He's a Big Baby

I think you would be hard pushed to find a sappier dog. His sole mission in life is so get an many cuddles as possible, and he doesn't discriminate.

4. He's a nuisance.

His second favourite hobby is to annoy Bambi by constantly sitting on her head. He's also a little fatty so I can't imagine it would be very comfortable for her. Poor little monkey!

5. He's a country boy.

Bear was born in Shropshire and we made the 8 hour round trip in one day to go and get him. Needless to say, the ride home was a lot more fun than the ride there...

 

Click here to learn 5 things about me and Bambi.

 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Tattoo Tuesday: Sarah B Bolen, Black Mirror Parlor, Berlin

Sarah B Bolen

Black Mirror Parlor - Berlin, Germany

Fichtestra├če 25, Kreuzberg, BE, 10967

All images copyright Sarah B Bolen

http://sarahbbolen.com/ - blackmirrorparlor@gmail.com

 

 

Monday, 4 February 2013

Self Employed Secrets: Branding YOUR Small Business The Right Way.

Branding for your small business is one of the hardest things to get right, as it develops over time with your business, and the image you might set out with in the beginning will probably be different to the branding that you end up with in 3 years time. People and businesses grow and evolve - that's a good thing!

When I started my first jewellery business, my brand grew so much in such a short time that it was virtually unrecognisable!
Branding encompasses so many different elements of your business look, but essentially it's there to represent who you are as a person, and who you are as a company. YOU ARE YOUR BRAND! Scary thought right? Embrace it.

Some of you will be thinking "but I'm just me, I'm nothing special. Surely I can't compete with all those other brands and sell my products solely based on my personality? Right?"

WRONG.

Take a look around the room. How many more Yous are there in that room? None, right? No go outside. Anymore Yous hiding around out there? Do you spot another You out walking your dog? Doing some shopping? Going to work? No. Of course not because YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE.

You are unique, special and one-of-a-kind. You are your brand.

Time and time again I see people with small businesses who fall into the trap of trying to create a brand based on what they think other people will like. They create a false persona based in what they think is fashionable or "in" at the time. Yes, other people will be the ones buying your products or services, but they won't be buying from you if they can get the exact same service, from the exact same brand (or so they see it) somewhere else.

Don't try to be anybody else.

Trying to be something you're not is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when running a small business.

My brand is based around every aspect of my daily life that I find the happiest, and most fun. I've chosen the things that bring me the most joy and based my brand around that: my dogs, tattoos' 1950's style and my 2 favourite colours: pink and green.

I didn't decide to do it because I thought it was on trend, fashionable or the new thing of the week. I did it because it's what I've dreamt of doing since I was a little girl. I did it because I love it. I did it because I want my brand to be an extension of me.

I was wearing headscarves, dying my hair crazy colours and rocking leopard print even when I was 10 years old. My favourite film as a child was Grease and I know it word-for-word. I've even had 5 copies of the film because i watched it so many times that I would completely wear out my videos and DVDs. I would put on my black leggings and training bra and strut around the living room in my Mum's high heels with a lolly pop stick in my mouth pretending to be Sandy and singing my little heart out. Since the moment I first saw that film, 1950's fashion has been ingrained into my brain and I've sought it out (sometimes more subtly than others) in everything I do.

If you're setting up a business, and giving it a 1950's or "vintage" branding because you think it's popular now and it's an easy way to get people to go to your website and buy your products - It won't work. You won't be able to keep up the persona for as long as your business needs you to, you're less likely to have consistency throughout your brand and your products, and people will see right through it eventually and your business will feel inauthentic. Just don't do it. Save yourself a lot of time and effort in the long run but setting out to create a brand that truly represents you and your personality.

Write down a list of the 10 most important things in your life, your favourite things, things that make you happiest and your favourite colours.

Next write down a list of everything that you want for your small business. What do you want to achieve with it?

You branding has to correlate with what you want to do, otherwise you won't be believable and you won't get to where you want to go. There's no use jumping on the newest hot trend because you think it will make you some quick money, you have to believe I'm what you are doing and it has to be intrinsically part of your lifestyle.

If you base your branding for your small business around things that you genuinely like, and traits that are genuinely a part of your personally, everything will be a lot easier. You won't have to think about your branding too much as it should just come naturally and freely to you. After all, you don't spend hours trying to think of your favourite colour do you? You just know it. And if you create an authentic brand based on what you love you'll just know that inside out too, without having to think about it too much.

In summary: if you're looking to create a brand for your small business, the main things you should do are:

  • Don't try to be anyone else.
  • Be yourself - and be a true representation of who you really are. People will see straight through any gimmicks or inauthenticity.
  • Base your brand around the things you love.
  • Incorporate your personality into everything.
  • Be your brand. Embrace it.
  • HAVE FUN!

 

Hayley xo

 

Friday, 1 February 2013

Dog Owner of The Month: Little Miss Maxi! From Bella Belle

This months Dog Owner of the Month is LittleMissMaxi aka Maxine from Bella Belle

http://bellabellex.blogspot.co.uk


 

P&P - Hi Maxine! Tell me a bit about yourself...

I am currently unemployed due to illness but was previous working my way up the racks in the worlds of retail which I really enjoyed (most of the time).

I have been taking ballet lessons for 20 years but have also had to take a break from those recently.

I now spend most of my time shopping for lipsticks or blogging about lipsticks at

http://bellabellex.blogspot.co.uk


P&P - Ooh I love a good lipstick. Especially red! Tell me a bit about your dog...

My dog is a 2 year old Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Bichon Frise) called Paris and we live with my Mums 2 year old Border Jack called Bella.

 

P&P Cavachon? Was there a particular reason that you chose this breed?

I had never heard of a Cavachon before but I went with my mum to view our new potential family dog (Bella) and I absolutely fell in love with this tiny bundle of fluff with huge brown eyes. It was love at first sight.

 

 

P&P - What is the most enjoyable thing about having dogs in your home?

A dog can read and react to any mood. Happy or sad they are always there for you and you just can't beat a puppy cuddle.


P&P - It's so easy to think of all the benefits of having pets but what do you find most challenging about having a dog?

I think keeping up with training can be quite difficult, especially if the dog is slightly slower to learn. It is all about persistence.

 

P&P - What is your most favourite thing to do with Paris and Bella?

I love curling up in bed with my dog. She is very affectionate and loves my bed almost as much as I do.


P&P - Cute! If there was one piece of advice that you could give to anyone thinking about getting a dog, what would it be and why?

I think it would be to definitely think about it for as long as possible and visit the dog plenty of times rather than rushing in to taking it home the first time you see it. Dogs are a HUGE commitment and you need to factor in that unfortunately things can go wrong. Can you afford vets bills? Can you afford training?



Some great tips Maxi! Paris is so cute.
If you want to look at some more cute pictures of Maxine's doggies and keep in touch you can follow her blog at http://bellabellex.blogspot.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @LittleMissMaxi