Monday, December 10, 2012

Tis The Season.....

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I know this time of year can be a little crazy, but when Istop and focus on whats important I can get a grasp on the busyness that this time of year brings......
and enjoy it so much more......

Here are some of the things I love about the season..... 


  



Things that sparkle  





Cooking with family and friends




Purity





Elegance 






Entertaining

  



Finding the perfect tree..





Peace to all....





Sharing together





Wearing red........





Simplicity of the season





Joy and good will towards men





Champagne...






A great Chimichurri sauce...





 Home





To be playful








Welcoming others..

 Remember stop and breath! 
Enjoy the simple things..



I hope you have enjoyed my series on tips on blogging, design, online stores and photographing your home. Idon't know about you, but I have learned a lot...... I'malways amazed how generous bloggers are with  sharing themselves with others. They are so willing to give others a helping hand.....I'm not sure who I will get next, but I do have some in mind.....

Don't forget to check out the new sales at One Kings Lane here...

Thanks for stopping by

12/3/12


The Enchanted Home


I'm very excited to have Tina from the Enchanted Home Blog visiting us. 

I asked her to share some tips with you on blogging and having an online store.

I'm sure most of you have read her blog.....

It's been fun seeing the building and decorating process of her home. 
Her on-line store is a reflection of her beautiful home and the things that she loves. 

And now..... here's.....
Tina.....




Hi there......
 So happy to be here and honored to have been asked to stop by
and chat about my blogging, my online shop and what makes me tick
(besides coffee, beautiful things and chocolate...oh and pasta too)!


I started blogging Jan. 1, 2011.....cannot believe its been
over a year and a half!


 Wow! I totally dove right in.

 I had no idea what  the heck I was doing, just was anxious to get busy doing something, was tired of having all these "great ideas" that never went anywhere.

 

I didn't actually know I was reading a blog when I was well...reading a
blog! 

Velvet and Linen and Cote D Texas were the first blogs I read....

All I knew is every time I stumbled onto a blog there was these.....  "magical little pictures" on the side that if I clicked on them it would transport me to yet another dreamy place....aka another blog.

 Truth be told, I didn't even know what
the word blog meant! 


When the light bulb went on...
I remember thinking
"I can do this"...


and since we had just started building our home...... 

 it was a no brainier that it would be a fun way to keep track of the building
 journey of our home.


 In the meantime I could share it with other design obsessed
 people like myself.

As it turns out, there's lots of them. 

Admittedly in the beginning.....
it was frustrating. 


Is anyone reading it?

 Does anyone care?

I will never forget my very first comment....

I was flying high.

 I remember calling my
 husband and excitedly telling him someone saw my blog! 


Yes, its total elation and certainly a validation that someone even if the
emphasis is on "one" likes my blog!


 I persevered.......

I  kept visiting lots of other blogs,
 introduced myself and tried to "make the rounds". 

I am sure at times I
appeared too eager, a little too wet behind the ears, but now that I am a
 seasoned veteran (totally said tongue in cheek) I would like to pass
these little tidbits of advice onto either new bloggers or those
considering starting a blog....



Don't expect miracles..things take time....

Remember baby steps!
 

Be realistic and don't look at big blogs and their numbers or number of followers/comments.  

Think somethings amiss with your own, it takes time to "grow your blog" but, in due
 time followers will find you.  

If they like what you have to say.......
 You bet they will stick around! 


 Stay true to what you love and feel. 

Don't try to fit into someone else s mold!  

Have an authentic voice, allow your personality to shine through.
 

  Remember you cannot be all things to all people, but you
will most certainly find your niche!


 




The beauty of blogging is its yours! 

You can do with it what you like, post every day twice a day or two times a week.  

Write about anything you desire....

You are the captain of your own ship. 

That is one of the sweet perks!
 

And finally do it as long as you truly love it.
 

It can get to a point where its very consuming. 

It can feel like a full time job.
I cannot stress enough that once you are out of the honeymoon stage, its a
 smart idea to set hours and/or a schedule of some sort.


 It helps with time management and allows you to run your life with a healthy balance.


Leave comments on other blogs you enjoy. 

Many bloggers try to
reciprocate with doing the same!


 Its a nice way to "connect" with other
like minded bloggers and who knows......

maybe gain a new follower and friend!

 













 After my blog got established......

 I yearned to carry it a step further.
It seemed like a natural next step to open up a shop. 


Since I knew I wasn't ready for the
 rigors of a brick and mortar shop .....

 Not yet at least.....

  I decided on an online shop.

So in March, I again took a big plunge and opened up........  

The Enchanted Home Shop


 It was the perfect way for me to combine my love of beautiful, traditional European influenced  accessories for the homeand.....
with my love for shopping for pretty things
 and helping people achieve their very own
 "enchanted home"!



 
There was  naturally a learning curve and in fact I am still learning but, must say its been enormously gratifying!

 I only carry what I truly love and
  would put in my own home and many of the things I carry I do in fact have in my own home.

 Nothing makes me happier than when I
here from a customer who excitedly tells me

 how much she loves her purchase and then
 sends me a picture.


  I have a section in my shop entitled.... 

"Your enchanted Homes" 

where I feature my customers homes showcasing their purchases from me!

I love adding to it and its kind of like the
ultimate validation to what I do.


 As with blogging.....

I have a few tidbits of
advice to share for anyone who is considering opening an online
business......



Be prepared to spend A LOT more time than you might have thought........
 

it's very time consuming especially in the beginning as you are
learning. 


Once you get into a groove, you can try to set up more of aschedule.

Stay true to what you really love. 
You will not be all things to all
 people.

 There is truly something for everyone out there, if you love
what you do, chances are you will find success



Its all about making your customers happy! Your word is everything.

I try to really go out of my way to make my customers happy......

I know I
 will patronize a store and gush about them to anyone who will
listen if they have treated me extra special...


Don't take on more than you can chew, take it slow, one step at atime

 It can be overwhelming and unlike a traditional store....
an online store never sleeps or closes! 


Think about when you will go on a vacation
 or need to take a break, how will you handle that?








State all your policies clearly and explicitly online, regarding adamaged item,returns, exchanges, how long things take toreceive, ect..... 
Be "on call" as often as possible. 
You will get lots of inquires,
people asking questions, be available to answer, you don't want to be
the "phantom shopkeeper". 


Keeping on top of communication with your
customer is very important.
 


Now......here's a few of my favorite items from my shop and a few of the
 gorgeous pictures my very talented customer's sent in of my products in
 their homes!

 If you want to see more click, here.

 

And check out these customers homes.....
talk about a talented bunch!



I know, I know.....
each one of these could totally be a magazine cover!!
 I am so honored to count such talented people as my customers!
 




























So that kind of sums up my blogging and online story.

 What are some of
the things that have happened since I started blogging you ask?


 Here we go....

I have met soooo many amazing people who I now call friends, some of whom I have been lucky enough to meet in person and many more I cannot wait to meet!

Have gotten a few e-design jobs, which are loads of fun...
I partnered up with Homegoods as their "classic blogger" for their newly launched Homegoods.com/stylescope/"
 (worth visiting if you have not already, just click on Stylescope).
It was such an honor to be recognized by a global brand like Homegoods!
 

I have had a super talented artist paint Teddy's portrait, thank you Mary Casey!

I have had many vendors send me all kinds of great products and design books

 (hey getting free loot is always a perk in my book)!
I have heard from designers, architects and other creative genius's;
whose work I love and admire, only for them to tell me how much they enjoy my blog and style.

 


I was contacted recently by a long time reader who just bought a
chateau in France and wants me to act as a contributor abroad in helping
 him restore it! 

Now that's really cool!



Many doors continue to open and what can I say........
its loads of fun, and you just never know
 what the next step will bring.


 Blogging has really opened up my eyes and my way of looking at so much, it is always
an adventure and as long as you are realistic about what it entails.....it is incredibly gratifying


It really encompasses all I love to do.....
talk, write, connect with people, help and inspire others, look at
beautiful things and share pretty pictures!! 


Thanks for stopping in
today, hope you enjoyed hearing what I have to say and thank you ladies
for having me here.
 

Wishing everyone a fabulous day.......and happy holidays! 

Thanks Tina.....we enjoyed having you!

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