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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.   🙂

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

Best Tips for DIY Paper Flowers.

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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.
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  • 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.

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  • 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).

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  •  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.

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  • 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.
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  •  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.

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  •  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.

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

Thanks for stopping by!

-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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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Tip #5: Think Outside the Box

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Crafts, Party Supplies, Uncategorized

Going all out!

This past weekend I was thrilled to get a big order for babyshower decorations. This order included a floral backdrop, photo frame and photo props. 

This babyshower had a garden/tea party theme which included light pinks and beige with some gold. Initially we were going to go with a curtain backdrop to go with the flowers. 

Luckily, I had access to a roll of artificial grass and I wanted to go for the grass backdrop. It’s really easy to have all the visions and ideas 💡 but once you start putting it all together, it’s a lot of work. 

I purchased two 4’x8′ foam boards from The Home Depot (I ended up just using 1). I also purchased heavy duty adhesive to glue the artificial grass onto the foam board. Please be aware that most of these adhesives recommend a 24hr period to “cure”. Luckily I started early and I placed my foam board, with the adhesive and artificial grass, in the sun which cut down the time it took to “cure”. 

 

I used a frame made of PVC pipes and zip ties to hold the foam board. Also, I added bricks to the back legs of the frame for extra support. The curtains helped hide the piping and the edges of the foam board. 

After that, it was pretty easy to attach the paper flowers. I just used floral pins and it held together really well. 


I used some of the same colors for the photo props and the floral photo frame. They complimented the theme pretty well. 


I’m not surprised at all that I challenged myself to do this type of backdrop. However, I’m definitely not going to start building a backdrop the day before. Lol. I literally worked all day from morning to night on this thing. Thank God it came together as well as it did. 🙌🏼🙂

Uncategorized

Office Pens and Office Stuff….

Today I finished the office pen project I’ve been working on. It’s obvious because I’m at the end of the process when I finally get to blog about it. I started off with a vision of creating cute pens one can use for their office, home or business. I came up with these 3 sets and I’ve named them all.

#1: Joshua Tree

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#2: Pink Ladies

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#3: Sandy Beach

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Making these was not hard at all. It’s fun for me to create all this cute stuff and it’s therapeutic for me. I find peace and happiness in creating all of my pieces. It honestly doesn’t feel like work for me, which is great!

What does feel like work is what happens after the fun….taking pictures, editing pictures, posting to Facebook, Instagram, and Etsy. Then writing these blogs LOL.

As long as I stick to the plan, eventually orders come in and then I have to recreate some of my art and print shipping labels and find the most economical way of shipping orders out in a safe way so orders don’t get damaged.

It’s literally all in that order. You now know my secret business strategies. =P It’s not always easy, it’s time consuming and tedious. But, it has to get done. And truth be told, I’m not complaining =D Here’s a few shots of pens that didn’t make it into a set:

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Follow me on Instagram and Facebook: Jazelle86-Paper Designs

 

Crafts, Party Supplies, Uncategorized

Mermaid Highchair Banner…

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Mermaid themed birthday’s are in right now and I finally got around to making my version of a highchair banner. I grew up on Disney films such as The Little Mermaid and I knew that I wanted my mermaid to be the one and only Ariel for this project.

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I started off with the blue and gold pennants using my Cameo Silhouette 3 cutting machine. Then I added the red cardstock to make Ariel and the letters for my seashell.

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Everything on this banner was layered on. You can imagine how tedious it is to glue on those thin strips of gold glitter paper to the cardstock. I’m very careful not to leave any visible glue residue, I use a scraper to remove any glue that sticks out.

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I’m working on my photography skills, so I really have to practice my staging. But, I think with more practice I’ll be getting there. Pretty soon I will be able to have content just as good as the best of them hahaha. Watch out world!!

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As always, thank you for stopping by!!

*Feel free to subscribe to my blog so you can be notified when new posts are up!! =)

See you soon ❤

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Uncategorized

Baby Boy “Baby” banner.

        I recently finished this baby boy banner for a baby shower. At first I wasn’t too sure how it would turn out, especially because there’s not a lot of items available for teddy bear themed showers! It’s always fun and challenging coming up with new designs, and I’m happy that this turned out super cute.


I knew that I didn’t want to put flowers on this banner because flowers add a very feminine touch to the project. So I tried the pinwheels and I’m glad that it worked out well for this specific project. 

The teddy bear theme turned out to be a fitting theme for a baby boy! Matching invitations are soon going to be out for delivery. 🤗


Thanks for stopping by!!