Archive for Business

Planning a Fabulous Killer Event

Planning any event takes time, precision, planning, logistics, help and execution.  Usually, guests just don’t see the details of how an event gets put together.

All the energy it takes to make it a memorable, flawless event is absolutely exhausting but totally worthwhile when you see your guests enjoying themselves and hearing about the rave reviews afterwards.  But how to you get there?  Where do you start?  What is your budget?  What are you celebrating?

I’ve have a few tips on what you need to get your creative juices flowing.

  1. Start with a theme.  Sit down, buffet, picnic style, casual?
  2. I’ve already mention this, but what are you celebrating?
  3. Recruit help that you trust … you just need 1 or 2.  The more the merrier.
  4. Color scheme – very important.  It will be the foundation of how you decorate the create the atmosphere.
  5. Food – another important item.  Keep it simple though.  Potlucks typically don’t work.  Bring an overall food theme to the party.  pasta, Mexican food, seafood … you get the picture.
  6. Location location location
  7. Guests guests guests
  8. Number number number
  9. Think of your party flow from start to finish.  Write the details down and run it through your mind.
  10. Put all this on paper.  Chances are you’ll miss something and you’ll chance it when it’s on paper.

Happy planning!

Mac Cutting Boards at SobeWFF

Two years ago this month, our small company went to Miami, Florida to be in the South Beach Food & Wine Festival SOBEWFF.  What an experience!  We were completely star strucked!  We met famous celebrity chefs such as Guy Fieri, Geoffrey and Margaret ZakarianAarón Sánchez, and much more!  We had no idea what to expect.  We spent our time and energy putting together custom engraved cutting boards with their logos for celebrity chefs to take with them in hopes for some recognition.  You can call it a marketing for us.  It was a stretch.  After all, we’re a “mom and pop” small business with ambition to grow like all small businesses.

How did it go? Well, we didn’t hear from anyone really in the months to come.  We gave away our boards, met these wonderful people and had a great time in Miami, Florida.  Later that year, the Zakarians decided to reach out and asked us to make their Christmas gifts for their friends and family … our custom engrave cutting boards designed just for them!  The following year, we made more cutting boards for their Valentine’s dinner at the Lamb’s Club and they loved it!  This year, we’re looking into potentially doing more custom engraved cutting boards for a variety of events they and their partners will be doing all year long.  So, the moral of the story, plant a seed in your garden, you just need to believe it will grow into something beautiful.

Wholesale vs Retail Sales Dilemma

Wholesale vs Retail

Small business are always challenged whether they should dive into the wholesale market or stay in the retail front?  I’ll tell you the difference.  Retail is one time sell.  You hope for repeat business, but they are usually a small percentage of your sales.  Wholesale is repeat business.  Especially if you sell to the right wholesale customer that would move your products on a consistent monthly basis.  Think about it, if you don’t have a storefront, you are most likely shlepping your products to arts and crafts shows to sell or pop up events.  With wholesale, you wait for the reorders through emails or phone calls inside the comfort of your office or workshop.  Or in most cases, your home based business.

There’s always your online store where you would market and brand your company through the social networking world.  Totally doable especially if you hire someone to do it for you.  Selling wholesale is a no brainer in my mind.  Unless of course you want to go to shows each week, each month to make your monies.  I think it’s exhausting doing that.  Wholesale is definitely the way to go.  If you are up to the challenge, do all three – retail shows, wholesale and online.  More ways to make money.  Who doesn’t want that?

Back to School for Small Businesses

Back to School for Businesses

Which also means fall season is just around the corner.  YIKES!  Well, maybe for some.  I happen to love fall season when it comes to fashion, atmosphere and people’s overall attitude.  Fall just brings more spending!  It happens to be the busiest season for our cutting board business.  Actually, most if not all retail businesses, fall season is the beginning of cash flow!  So how do you prepare?  I have some thoughts.

  1. Organize your business in a calendar.  Look at what’s ahead.
  2. Have a great accountant/bookkeeper.  I love having that all in one.  That way there’s only one person to go to.
  3. Organize your office space whether it would be at home or at a warehouse location.  Organize it to where you know you feel great each time you walk into it.
  4. Focus on your social media. Business owners wear many hats.  Not enough time during the day, but this particular “line item” should not be ignored during your busy times.  This is when you shine and you should let your target market know about it.
  5. Hire part time virtual help.  Money isn’t always the issue when hiring someone.  It usually is training them.  But if you train someone to do menial tasks such as your social media or data entry of your products on your website, it would free up so much more time for other big business ideas.

Holiday Shopping for Handmade Gifts

IMG_9964The best gifts (in my opinion) are handmade gifts either made by yourself (do it yourself DIY or bought locally).  To take it a step further, a gift that had been repurpose or upcycle into something unique, clever and useful.  That would be the ULTIMATE gift.  It is personal and different!

There are many ideas for a handmade gift.  What you have to ask yourself:

  1. succulents_1_resize_bWho is the gift for?
  2. What is purpose of the gift?  Holiday gifting? Birthday? Wedding? Graduation? Housewarming?
  3. How special is the person to you?

These answers will help you narrow down something personal, something unique, something one-of-a-kind gift. Here are some ideas of handmade gifts that you can make yourself or buy from a local artisan.

  1. Alibi InteriorsPicture frame made from repurposing pallet woods or old fence wood
  2. Succulents placed in a old sewing machine drawer (love this idea!)
  3. Custom engraved cutting board
  4. Handmade print poster that is framed
  5. Custom poster that you DIY (do it yourself).

Pinterest and Etsy are great websites to start when looking for ideas on either DIY gifts or handmade gifts that you want to purchase.  Remember, ask the questions and you can get a picture idea of the kind of gift you want to give.  Happy shopping and remember shop locally!

Get a Cutting Board as a Closing Gift

Custom engraved cutting boards

Closing Gift IdeasLet’s face it, a kitchen is not a kitchen without a cutting board, right?  The one essential tool (along side a knife and a pot) that you need in order to function properly in that space inside your client’s new home.  A cutting board shouldn’t just be dull or boring.  Bring it to life by engraving it!  Yes!  A custom engraved cutting board not only says “thank you” for your business, but it creates a lasting relationship for years to to come!  Plastic couldn’t do that.

A custom engraved cutting board can function is a variety of ways.  Check it out.

Custom engraved cutting board1. Retirement gift – great way to say “thank you” for all the years of service they gave.  What an heirloom it would be for that employee.  Guarantee, they will display it and not use it.

2. Birthday gift or graduation gift – need I say more?  For the cooks that love to cook.  Perfect!  For those BBQers out there, the larger the cutting board the better!

3. Anniversary or wedding gift – best handmade gift you can get!  Who else is going to think outside the wedding registry?

So the next time you’re looking at options for closing gifts, think of the “WOW FACTOR” and consider a custom engraved cutting board.  It will look fabulous!

Recycling and Upcycling Fabulous Ideas

I am always blown away by the craftiness that so many people have.  The talent, the creativity, the sheer imagination that just comes to life!  Love it!  Just searching the web, I found recycling and upcycling awesome ideas that I just want to share to you.  Easy enough to do if you just put some elbow grease and maybe some sheer motivation on just doing.  LOL.  You will amaze yourself on what you can do.

Table Top with Reclaimed Leather Belts

Table Top with Reclaimed Leather Belts

Luggage Cabinet

Luggage Cabinet

1.  Reclaim leather belts – yup!  You got that right!  Old belts recycled to home decor ideas.

2. Old luggages – make them in a medicine cabinet, storage unit at the foot of your bed, drawers, end table and much more.  Check out The Soho for clever ideas!

 

Wall Mounted Bottle Openers

Wall Mounted Bottle Openers

3. Vintage bottle openers – wall mounted bottle openers placed on scrap hardwoods found from furniture making, cabinet making, home building really anyone who uses wood to build you can find scrap hardwoods.

4. Old liquor bottles like Jack Daniels, Stoli, Grey Goose or Crown Royale.  Make them into soap dispensers.  This is easy!  Check out Remove and Replace.  Great ideas with just what you see around your home.  Seriously clever!

 

Upcycle This! Scrap Hardwoods Repurposed

Scrap hardwoods

Scrap hardwoods

Scrap hardwoods?  Believe it or not, there is a whole sleuth of them out there.  United States still manufactures quite a bit of stuff.  It’s just that they are not mass produced.  Which makes the produce unique, one of kind and well, handcrafted.  A new trend for the past several years is really taking the US by storm and that is to buy handmade and buy USA.

With this much manufacturing, there is bound to be scraps.  For our purpose, let’s discover where to find scrap hardwoods.

1. Kitchen remodeling – still made with 100% hardwoods like cherry, oak, walnut or maple.  Each piece is cut to the right size depending upon the kitchen.

2. House building – some fabricated materials such as  MDF (medium density fiber board – which is cost effective) are used, but you can still find the good stuff out there.

3. Furniture making – US manufacturers are especially anal about using 100% natural woods.

Wall Mounted Bottle Openers

Wall Mounted Bottle Openers

Just these sources alone can keep you busy finding UNUSED scrap hardwoods – UPCYCLING (unused scraps repurposed).  Here are some great ideas on what to do with unused scrap hardwoods.  The list is endless.  These are just a few.

1. Wall mounted bottle openers – the backing makes the opener stand out

2. Cutting boards

3. Bread knives

4. Peppermills

Vintage Wall Mounted Bottle Openers

Bottle OpenersDid you know that there are several different varieties of bottle openers?  Who knew?  They are:

Guinness Wall Mounted Bottle OpenerThere are new ones you can get on the internet and in stores and they are ones that are vintage and antique.  These are the ones my husband and I LOVE to collect!  All serves the same purpose which is removes the bottle cap from the bottle you want to drink from.  So what is so unique about a wall mounted bottle opener?  Convenience and great to look at when you get the right style and design for your home or as a gift.  It is also very personal.  You have to know what they like.  Right?  They may like a specific kind of soda, a kind of beer or a drink.  Are they in public service such as a fireman or served in our armed forces like the Navy or Marines?  How about a world traveler, Belize, Panama, Cuba, Venezuela or Ireland?  Or they may just LOVE a store such as Home Depot.

Whatever you choose, rest assure you or the person you are gifting it to would absolutely LOVE THEM!  A novelty item with a purpose!  Now that’s pretty awesome!

Repurposing An Old Sewing Machine

Non Electric Sewing MachineThese past few months, Bart and I go out and “pick”.  I guess we are “pickers” but just on the weekend.  We do not even claim to know what we are doing when we are out there picking.  Usually, we find people’s junk that they want to throw out and determine if they are our treasures.  And we found just that … a treasure … the old non-electric sewing machine.  All in all, they are not worth much as they are in abundance.  Each garage sale we go to, you can almost always find an old non-electric sewing machine stored away.  Usually have some personal connection to them.  “It’s my grandmother’s sewing machine.”  “I remember when my mom sewed our clothes on this.”  Hence, they are still in storage.  No one wants to throw it away.  But I say, don’t throw away or sell it at a garage sale.  Instead consider repurposing it.  Here’s what Mac Cutting Boards has done.

Refurbished Non Electric Sewing Machine1. Took apart the machine and left the stands.

2. Added our custom made butcher block on top of the machine and secure it.

3. Voila!  It’s a banquet table or a cutting board or a display table.  Whatever you like!  It’s a fabulous idea to repurpose a piece of nostalgic furniture that has sentimental value and reuse it to your convenience.

 

 

 

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