sales, Small Business, Uncategorized

5 Tips on How to Give Quotes

Hello! It’s been a while I know.
I was inspired to write this because I’ve made some pretty lame mistakes when it’s come to quoting customers for items, and I wanted to share some tips that I’ve found useful in my journey.
person holiday vacation woman
Photo by Stokpic on Pexels.com

Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to ask.

Ask your client for all of the information you need in order to estimate costs. For example, my products all deal with size, color, texture, design, etc. I need to know ahead of time if my customer wants gold glitter paper with rhinestone’s because that raises costs. I’ve had clients ask for something and then after I quote them, they start specifying color patterns and textured paper. Having all the deets makes for smoother communication.

Tip #2: Research Comparable Items.

woman at shoe store
Photo by Alexandra Maria on Pexels.com

Check out the competition.

If I know my product is easily worth $50 based on my time + material, but most comparable items are being sold for $40, I would have to adjust my pricing to be able to compete with other comparable items. It is important to make sure your item is comparable. If your item is superior in quality and aesthetics, then you may be in a league of your own, and you can set your own price point.

Tip #3: Shipping, Delivery, or Pick-Up.

Selling online through sites like Etsy, eBay or Amazon make it fairly easy to establish shipping costs. However, you must know the dimensions, weight, and destination details in order to accurately estimate costs of shipping. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve overpaid in shipping costs because I was guessing the weight of my packages. Once I got a shipping scale I was able to narrow down the weight by ounces and I’ve been able to reduce unnecessary spending on shipping costs.

If your selling through Instagram, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or face to face, you will need to establish how your customer is going to receive their item. Are they going to pick up? Are you going to deliver? Do they want to pay extra for shipping/delivery? Your customer needs to know your location in order for them to determine if they are willing to pick up. And you’ll need to know your customers location in order to determine if you are willing to deliver. When meeting directly with a customer, I recommend conducting these transactions in a public place such as a Starbucks.

pink rose in vase centerpiece on brown wooden table
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Tip #4: Payment Method/ Deposits.

When you sell through an online site, payment is usually received beforehand. However, selling directly through sites like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist come with challenges. Most people are cautious (and rightfully so) when it comes to paying before receiving their item. This is risky for us as the seller because customers can, and will, cancel orders. When a customer cancels their order, we are taking a loss on time and material. This brings me to the discussion of Deposits.

I was hesitant to ask for deposits at first because I was naive and I thought that if someone made a commitment and placed an order, they would follow through and not waste my time. WRONG! I get it, things happen, but it’s still such a bummer.

If you will need to collect a deposit before you start investing your time and money into the order, make sure your customer is aware of the amount and terms of the deposit. This helps to weed out those people who are just browsing and not seriously considering the item. For large orders I will ask for a deposit to cover materials. I will also let the customer know that in the event of a cancellation, I will only refund the deposit if materials have not been purchased.

money pink coins pig
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Tip #5: Give a Detailed Quote.

Only when you have gathered all of the necessary information will you be ready to provide a detailed quote. I cannot stress this enough, make sure it is SPECIFIC. The customer needs to be able to have a detailed description of what they are getting and what they are paying for. It also lets the customer know that if they want to add/make changes to the order, which they will, it will affect the price that was originally quoted.

A detailed quote protects both the buyer and the seller in the event that an issue is to arise with the order.

woman using space gray iphone x

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

Let’s Help Each other Out:

In the comments; Share your  business tips/moments of glory/horror stories.   🙂

Visit my Etsy Shop

 

Advertisements
backdrops, Crafts, diy, paper flowers, Party decor, Party Supplies, Uncategorized

Best Tips for DIY Paper Flowers.

pexels-photo-597329.jpeg

Making paper flowers is an art, and you’ll realize this almost immediately. The first time you make a paper flower you will think, “wow, that was easy”. But it’s not until you master the skill when you’ll see the difference in your first flower, to the rest that follow. You’ll learn where to place the petals, how to attach the back for specific hanging methods (which is the hardest IMO). I’m hoping this will help you avoid mistakes and best of all, save you time.

  • Chose your petals accordingly, for example; heart-shaped petals are great for making roses, longer pointed petals make daisies.
                                           pexels-photo-236393.jpeg
  • Prep your petals. You will need to cut a slit on the bottom of the petal, and then glue one side on top of the other to create a crease. You will also need to curl the edges. Curling the edges is a very important step because it gives the flower texture and creates a more realistic look. Curling the edges requires a bit of care that you don’t rip the paper, and depending on your petal, you may need to use a thicker tool to curl the edges with. For example, you may curl smaller flower petals with a pencil but larger petals may need a thick poster marker as a curling tool.

    pexels-photo-463133.jpeg

  • A lot of tutorials that you find online will only use 3 layers of petals. You’ll have a small, medium, and large. If you add a 4th (even 5th) layer, your flower will look much fuller and so much better especially if you are going for a rose look. Don’t forget the center of the flower, which can either be a fringe ball or a mini flower in itself.
  • For a full flower you can plan on using up at least 15-20 sheets of 8.5”x11” paper per flower. It may be more if you want to add leaves/vines. Keep this in mind if you will be selling your creations (paper/supplies + time).

    coffee-cup-stack-break.jpg

  •  Use a hexagon to best help center your petals, otherwise, they’ll end up crooked. Example: your row of small petals will be too far to the left. Also, make sure your hexagon is large enough to support the size of the flower you want.
  • Depending on where you will be hanging your flowers, you need to figure out which backing will work best for you. If you have a foam backdrop, pins do the job quite well. If you have a curtain, you may want safety pins. Floral wire is probably the most common because it easily bends and can be attached to various backdrops.

    pexels-photo-318379.jpeg

  • It’s best to attach your backing to your center before you assemble the flower and not after. As you glue the petals to your center, it will also adhere with the backing and create a sturdier bond for hanging.
    pexels-photo-169192.jpeg
  •  Don’t forget that the location of your backing makes a difference when hanging your flower. If you place your backing in the middle of the flower and don’t have a sturdy backdrop, such as a curtain, your flower may droop downward. In this case, try placing the backing toward the top of the hexagon center.
  •  Hot glue is definitely a time saver as opposed to regular school glue/tacky glue. Hot glue sets a lot faster and you won’t have to sit there waiting for the glue to dry in order to attach the next petal. Just be prepared for some minor burns.
  • If you will be displaying your flowers outdoors in hotter climates, your flowers may start to come apart due to high temperatures. You may want to invest in a heavy-duty glue that can withstand higher temperatures.

    pexels-photo-800176.jpeg

  •  Hanging and arranging the flowers is not as easy as it looks. A lot of times, the display looks too empty. In order to fix this problem, you need to make sure that you have different size flowers OR leaves/vines to fill in the gaps.

    img_4223-1

Hopefully these tips help you in your DIY journey of making paper flowers.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Jazelle

 

Blog Tips, Blog Tools, Crafts, Organization, Party Supplies, Small Business

To Do List; Can’t Function Without It.

This past holiday weekend had me all over the place. The kids were out of school, the Man Hunk was off from work. That meant more cooking, cleaning, and yelling LOL! I wouldn’t have been able to get through the weekend without my “things to do” list.

document

This “things to do” list is the latest template I designed to go with the Monthly Content Planner and Blog Post Planner set. The set is designed to help keep you focused and on track.

For example, I used the Monthly Content Planner way ahead of time to organize all of my social media content so it will go along with the items I’ve been wanting to release. The project for this week was cake toppers.

Monthly Content Planner I knew that I would be busy with the production of the cake toppers, so on my Monthly Content Planner I had planned to post “sneak peeks” to my Instagram/Twitter/Facebook pages. It allowed me to have something quick and easy to post while not fully giving away all of the details.  

Next, I used my “Things To Do” list to keep me on track for those couple of days that I was working on this project. It may not seem like it, but a lot goes into promoting these items. For example, here’s a glimpse at my process:

Planning (Content Planner/Project Planning)

Design Projects

Build/Create

Photograph and Edit

List Items in Etsy Shop

Promote on Social Media

Blog

This is a basic structure and there really is more to the list you see up above. Using my cake topper project again as an example, taking these pictures required me to bake and decorate an actual cake LOL! I literally had to tell my peeps not to touch the cake until after I was done taking the photo’s. Then I realized that my 3-year-old would not understand my struggle, so I baked two cakes just so they could dig in to one and leave my prop cake alone. Let’s not even talk about the set up. See my previous Flat Lay post for reference. But, here’s a behind the scenes look just for shits and giggles:

IMG_8007

Once I was done listing these items to my Etsy shop and promoting the items on social media, I wanted to share a bit of this process and that’s when the “Blog Post Planner” came into play. As you can see, these items require a lot of planning and execution; without my templates I wouldn’t have been able to stick to my desired time frame. I’ve figured out a way to plan ahead and this works great for me. If you need help planning for your business check out my templates here:

Monthly Content Planner

Things to Do

Blog Post Planner

Thanks for stopping by, I will catch you all up on the next one!

IMG_7149

Blog Tips, Blog Tools, diy, Organization, Small Business

Why You Absolutely Need a Content Planner

IMG_7660

As some of you may already know, I’ve recently dipped my super cute and totally not chunky toes into the blog pool. I’ve come across the term “Content Planner” during my previous research but I will confess that I didn’t exactly put this planner into practice right away. Needless to say, I learned the hard way that this is probably the most important tool out there.

Monthly Content Planner

Check out my planner on Etsy

I found myself struggling to come up with topics or ideas to post and I’m sure I am not the only one who’s struggled with this.  It’s easy to plan a blog post once you have the idea, but if you need to post new content on a regular basis, this shit is going to give you a serious bout of writers block pronto!

pexels-photo-296878.jpeg

As is in my nature, I looked around for some inspiration and then created my own version of a Monthly Content Planner. Basically, you take some time and come up with ideas and write them down on a block in your calendar. Honestly, it doesn’t take a very long time to prep, there’s a million ideas out there you can find for free with a basic Google/Pinterest search for” blog post ideas.” I cannot tell you enough how much this tool will help you get it together. You will dramatically decrease/eliminate completely the stares off into space when you’re trying to think of what to post last minute.

pexels-photo-346751.jpeg

Check out my planner on Etsy

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my little blog….I appreciate the love. Don’t forget to subscribe to be one of the first to know when new content is out.

Crafts, diy, Dry Erase Board, office decor, Organization

DIY Dry Erase Board

img_4909

I recently went to Michael’s craft store and I saw a dry erase board that I really fell in love with. However, I thought about my actual needs and how I didn’t need a calendar outline or a notes section. I needed space to write out a daily to do list, and space to draw and brainstorm details for new projects. So, I did what any crafty bih would do, I DIY’d it!

img_4949

During that same said trip to Michael’s I found all the supplies I needed to get started, all under $20, details are below, enjoy!

Tools You’ll Need:

  1. Dry Erase Adhesive (I used ConTac’s brand, available at Michael’s craft store and yes you can use one of their coupons on this item)

    *this dry erase adhesive is a max of 18” wide, 6’long, keep this in mind when choosing your flat surface.

    IMG_7358

  2. Foam Board (Or any flat surface that will adhere to the dry erase sheet).               IMG_7362

  3. Decorative Tape ( I used Heidi Swapp “love” MARQUEE tape, and metallic gold washi tape)

  4. Ruler

  5. X-acto blade/Scissors  IMG_7361

Step #1: Draw Border.

Measure about 1.5”-2” away from the edges on all sides and draw an inner border on your flat surface like so….

Step #2: Measure and Cut Dry Erase sheet.

Cut out your Dry Erase Sheet to about 1 centimeter larger than the measurements on your inner border. (This will help in making sure that you don’t have any shortage of adhesive once you start applying the sheet).

Step#3: Apply the Dry erase adhesive slowly and carefully.

It will help if you use a flat object to flatten out any air bubble as you go, but don’t scrape too hard or you can scratch your dry erase adhesive.

Step#3: Line the edges with your decorative tape.

I placed my tape so that only half of it was on the board so that I would have enough left to wrap around to the back edge of the border. This way, even the outside edges are lined with tape.

Step#4: (Optional) Add permanent décor to your board.

For my personal board I added vinyl lettering “things to do” and “PLAN AHEAD darling”. I used my Cameo Silhouette 3 to cut the vinyl, but if your don’t have a Cameo you can use permanent marker to add your décor. Some good ideas are calendars/days of the week boxes, these are easy to do with a flat ruler. Or, hit me up on my Etsy Shop and request a custom order for Vinyl décor.

I hope this inspires you to go out and make your own dry erase board. This would be perfect for any office or for your kids bedroom. You can make this small or large and customize it for males.

Feel free to share with all your crafty friends. XOXO

-Jazelle

Blog Tips, Blog Tools, Small Business, Uncategorized

Flat Lays and 5 Tips to Remember

I’ve been doing a ton of research on how to improve my images for blogging purposes and I recently came across the term “Flat Lay”. Turns out, it’s basically the method that’s used to stage props so you get those pretty pictures you see all over the blog world. There’s a science behind it after-all.

Here’s an example of a flat lay, this image I am able to use for free via WordPress.

pexels-photo-612252.jpeg

These Flat Lays as they’re called are basically what they sound like. You lay down your background and arrange cute things around it. Then you take a picture from all sorts of different angles. It seems simple, and in theory it really is, but it’s a lot harder than it looks.

This past weekend I spent a couple of hours trying my hand at this flat lay business and I know that I have many more weekends of practice ahead of me, so don’t judge. I will show you a few of my personal images below along with some advice I would give to myself to use for future attempts.

Tip #1: Use Natural Light.

IMG_7292

If I had taken this picture outside, during afternoon hours, my lighting would have been so much better. As you can see the arrangement isn’t bad, but the picture quality is not what I would like it to be.

Tip #2: Edit Your Photo’s

IMG_7149

This photo here had slightly better lighting, but it did take some editing to adjust the light so it is brighter than the previous image. Professional photographers use editing to enhance their images so it goes to show that it’s to enhance your photo. You should be doing it too. It will allow you to salvage some of your images from bad lighting.

Tip #3: Start With Props You Already Own.

IMG_7285

The quality of this image sucks balls and not even editing was able to salvage this mess, but I want to point out the props that were used. Notice that I used common household items. I did not rush out to the store and buy any props for any of these images.

I used my Laptop, iPhone, Stylus Pen, Paper Flowers, Magnets, Necklace, and Paper Clips. The background is a white foam board that I already had. 

Tip #4: Research Trending Patterns/Color

IMG_7132

I like this image the most because it has fancy written all over it. The Marble background gives photos a really nice touch and you can’t go wrong with bling.

Marble backgrounds a totally in right now. Luckily I had this lying around (it’s the bottom of a photo box). Bling is still a thing btw, and it may never go away.

I recently got the chance to look through a Dior Inspiration book and one of the pages said “Black and White is always Right”. My point is, look for patterns and colors that are pleasing to the eye. Research some images from high-end brands and use that as inspiration if need be.

For example, the image below goes to show how adding the color Red makes a huge difference. It just sucks you right in.

IMG_7153

Tip #5: Think Outside the Box

IMG_7146

Let’s be honest, most of us do not have picture perfect desk décor. Shiieeet, I don’t even have a proper office, let alone rhinestone’s lying around looking like they took a dump all over the place. Your props are there to make the image visually pleasing, it doesn’t have to be a realistic portrayal of your life.

IMG_7233

For example, below is a behind the scenes look at what it took to take these “pretty” pictures. All unedited and taken from my iPhone.

Hint: It was hella mess!

Welp, that was my weekend endevor, I hope this helps someone out there on their journey into the blog world. Subscribe and share.

See ya again soon! xoxo

Crafts, Party Supplies, Uncategorized, Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day Cards, Like a Boss!

I’ve officially released 2018’s lineup of Valentine’s Day cards on my Etsy shop: Jazelle86-Paper Designs.

Explicit Content, not for those easily offended.

Valentine’s day is around the corner. We expect flowers, chocolate, candy, gifts, blah blah blah. It’s literally the easiest day to not fuck up. Just stick to the protocol and all is well in the world.

After a couple years with the same valentine, you want to get creative. Or, what if your valentine decided to pull some dumbaserry the day before? What if you want to get your bff’s a little something too?

Well, check out my Etsy shop: Jazelle86-Paper Designs  for the solution to all of your V-day moods. There’s even a few bilingual cards that made the cut.

IMG_6868

You may want to get more than one, just in case all of the shitheads that you love and adore in your life expect a little something.

IMG_6965

Don’t forget a card for that one fucker too! You may never hear the end of it.

IMG_7018IMG_6945

Those pendejos will be expecting a card as well. Can’t leave them out!

IMG_6993

Just in case that bih shows up with your money, you should have a card on hand.

IMG_7016

I’d say it would be wise to order a few of these, you never know might show up on V-day.

There’s always a back up, in case your valentine gets it together real quick and you want to be lovey dovey.

Check out the Etsy collection here: Jazelle86-Paper Designs

Leave a comment and let me know which card is your favorite!!

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram: Jazelle86_PaperDesigns

Share with your Friends!

Blog Tools, Crafts, Small Business, Uncategorized

5 Reasons Personalized Stationery is a Must Have for your Business/Life.

Stationery is used by many businesses in order to communicate with their customers. Why not tailor it to work to your advantage? Just like you pick out that perfect coffee mug that somehow conveys all you feel for life, stationery can make people connect to your business. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out, you should have your own personalized stationery and I will tell you why. Although I’m focusing on a business standpoint, the following can apply to personal use as well.

1. Brand Yourself

The name is set and permanent, your logo is the focus of how the artwork pulls everything together. Communicating through personalized stationery is a way of advertising your company. You get to set the stage and control how you want to be viewed. When people hear your name, you want them to think of the image that you laid out for them. It doesn’t have to be boring, show some personality and character. Show people that you can be easy going and fun.

img_4754-1

2. Like a Boss

Let people know that you’re a VIP. You take your business seriously and having your name on a piece of paper verifies that your are important. Personalized stationery lets you convey the importance of your brand without having to say it out loud.

img_4759-1

3. Get Noticed

Personalized stationery acts like an accessory to your business communications. It shows that you take pride in your business and that you are willing to go beyond a simple sheet of paper. Your setting your business up for the big leagues when you communicate with style and elegance. You put your business in a position of being noticed, and that is a game changer especially when you are just starting out.

img_4726

4. Royal Treatment

Let people know that you appreciate their business enough to give them a top notch experience. Customer satisfaction also depends heavily on the service that is received, and visually pleasing experiences add to better reviews. Personalized stationery is the extra effort you make to maintain high quality service for your customers.

img_4755

5. Stay in the Game

When you offer such a visually pleasing service, people will want to continue to do business with you. You will have a better chance to keep people coming back and maybe even recommending you to others. Personalized stationery is an inexpensive but necessary investment to make. Give your notepad an upgrade and show your customers that you are able to function like the best of them.

pexels-photo-243221.jpeg

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a nice set of stationery items. You can DIY or order online.

Check out my Etsy Shop for stationery items recently listed.

Leave me a comment , I’d love to see some of your stationery and especially any DIY items.

Subscribe and stay up to date on new items listed on my shop, new blog post, and sneak peeks of work in progress.

Blog Tips, Blog Tools, Crafts, Small Business

How to Start a Blog for Your Business.

Part of starting a business means you will have to work very hard to promote your products. Since starting Jazelle86-Paper Designs last year, I’ve learned that having a blog is a great way to mold the position of your product and that products value. Here, I will share some tips I’ve found along the way to help you get started quick.

pexels-photo-612252.jpeg

1. Prepare/Light Research

Do your homework on the following:

Blog Hosting Websites. I use WordPress.com. Its simple to use and there are always options to upgrade from the free version if needed.

Blog Posting Planner. This tool is important for me because it helps to plan ahead and organize your thoughts and purpose for each post. I use my own sheet which is also available on my Etsy shop as a Digital Download for only $1.99. Click here to check it out:  Blog Post Planner on Etsy
Blog Planner 1 PIC

If you use my Planner, you simply organize your thoughts and then follow the “workflow” bullets.

3.What are you selling?

Every Business sells something, whether it’s a service, product, or idea. Therefore, you need to decide what purpose you are aiming for with each post. For example, I’ve added my product on this post (Blog Post Planner on Etsy ). The purpose of this post is to inform people on how to quickly start blogging for your business. MY purpose, is to promote my product along with this post.

The post and the product go together well. I am offering information along with a tool you can purchase from my shop. See how that works!

4.Visuals.

Your blog must be nice to look at. It’s the first thing people will see and the determining factor on whether or not people will stay and read your content. WordPress.com has a library of free images you can use. It helps tremendously because taking your own photos of professional quality can be a daunting task.

5. Link to Social Media.

This is important because you will need to stay connected with all of your platforms. I use Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest the most. This is where I share all of my content. It makes it easy for customers to find you!

pexels-photo-267350.jpeg

Once you have all of your accounts in order and you’ve signed up on a blog hosting website, you can start immediately. The best part is, you can post a blog directly from your phone. Posting from your phone is convenient if most of your pictures are already on there. Make sure to spell check, review your post, publish and share!!!

I hope this helps you to get started right away. It’s really very easy. The hard part is staying consistent. I recommend you start with 1-2 post per month and then try weekly posts. This includes planning ahead though, make sure you post with a purpose for your business! 🙂

pexels-photo-390574.jpeg

Don’t forget to Visit my Etsy Shop!

Thanks and be sure to subscribe so you can be notified when a new blog is posted.

Crafts, Party Supplies, Small Business

Benefits of my Etsy Shop: Jazelle86

I’ve had a great start to selling on Etsy (In my Opinion). Making sales has been the easiest on Etsy due to the no hassle transactions. Here are some of the benefits I’ve experienced by selling on Etsy.

pexels-photo-744662.jpeg

Prepaid Orders

When a customer wants my product, they simply order it, pay, and wait for it to arrive. I prefer to have the security of having a product paid for before I start making it, so Etsy is definitely my preferred sales platform. There’s nothing worse than to have a customer place an order and then cancel.

pexels-photo-395132.jpeg

Easy Shipping/Delivery 

I work hard to make sure all orders go out in a timely manner. Most of my items ship within 1-3 days. Since the customer already paid for the shipping costs, it’s really easy for me to print the label at home and either hand deliver it to my mail person, or take it to the post office down the street. Scheduling meeting places/times is very inconvenient for both myself and my client. I’ve also had the misfortune of having a customer reschedule about 3 times and then not showing up….ever!!

coffee-cup-mug-desk.jpg

Custom Order Request

Many of the listings on my Etsy shop started out as someone else’s item. For example, a friend ordered a Moana Birthday Theme  banner and it came out great, so I added the item to my Etsy shop in case someone else would like to purchase it. So far, I’ve sold about 6 more.

But what happens if the client wants to add a cake topper or photo props?

Etsy has a feature where the client can click on “request custom listing” button and you then start a conversation about what the client would like which may not have been listed on the shop. You can then create a custom listing for the client and they will receive the link and proceed to an easy checkout.

This feature has made it easy to create a quick custom listing for client’s who are either adding or changing details on already listed content.

pexels-photo-346744.jpeg

Reviews

Many customers check reviews before purchasing from your shop. It’s important that you ask for this feedback as well. When I ship out orders, I add a shipping label and I write a personal note as well as a request for the client to add a review. Not all customers will take the time to review your shop but some do and that’s what counts.

 

♥  Leave a comment with an item you would like to see on the shop!!!

 

 

Check out my shop:  Etsy <a href=”https://www.etsy.com/shop/Jazelle86″>https://www.etsy.com/shop/Jazelle86</a>