Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Finding Our Why

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.

How many of us have really thought about WHY we are in business for ourselves? There are the usual stock answers such as independence, tired of the corporate world, etc. But, why did we choose this particular business? Why did I decide to make jewelry and sell it online? Why did I decide to branch out and also become an Arbonne consultant, especially as my jewelry business was ramping up?

Today's challenge is to answer the true question - WHY? If you can answer that question, then making decisions about how you run your business becomes so much easier. It will drive how you grow your business. You will conduct your business with true authentication and be yourself - and gain more pleasure from it.

There is a great video that I love to watch from time to time. The main point this video makes is that

People don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.

How true this is!

Here is a link to the video. It's 18 minutes and very powerful!
Great Leaders Inspire Action

The other reason to develop my 'WHY', is that it will then lead me to my 10-second commercial and my 30-second commercial. Everyone in business needs to be able to explain their business in 10 and 30 seconds. It's also called the elevator speech. If someone asks you what you do, what do you say? I know that I definitely need to practice this speech. So, by combining my WHY with my HOW and my WHAT, I can clearly articulate what Theresa Rose Designs is all about.

So, here is WHY Theresa Rose Designs exists.....

I started Theresa Rose Designs after attending a home jewelry show. There were so many beautiful jewelry pieces and I wanted it all, but I couldn't afford the $50 earrings and $100 necklaces. I also didn't want the same jewelry as everyone else in the neighborhood. So, I decided to make my own and found that I loved making jewelry! I believe all women deserve beautiful, personalized jewelry that reflects their own unique style, no matter what their budget. This is why nothing in my jewelry shop is over $30.00. My favorite part is working with my customers creating individual designs.

By reading my 'WHY', it becomes so clear how I want to grow my business and so much easier when I need to make decisions.

People often ask me why I joined Arbonne at this time. It would seem that I have my hands full with the jewelry business and becoming an Arbonne consultant would only distract from it. Actually, the two businesses blend very well together and allow me to have my 'alone' time making jewelry and my 'social' time interacting with other like-minded people who are also interested in the health and wellness industry.

So, here is WHY I became an Arbonne consultant.....

After my husband recovered from neck cancer a couple of years ago, I became very interested in the health and wellness industry. I started using Arbonne products a year ago because they are natural, vegan certified, and safe - plus I saw a big improvement in my skin and overall health! At the same time I quit my corporate job to run Theresa Rose Designs full-time and became very passionate about encouraging other women to take the same path I did to start their own businesses, whatever their passion may be. Arbonne gives all that to me. I absolutely love their products and the business opportunity it provides anyone who wants to achieve that same level of independence that I have.

So, what is your WHY?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Welcome to 100 Days to Grow Your Business

 'You can't hire someone else to do your push-ups for you.'
Jim Rohn, Motivational Speaker

I invite you to read along and hopefully join in as I spend the next 100 days concentrating on growing my business. My hope is that I will move out of my comfort zone, expand my knowledge and take my home-based business to the next level of success.

Here is my 100 Days Business Growth Pledge:
  • Once a week I will apply a new concept/idea. Examples of this will be starting a YouTube channel, new sales techniques, reaching out to other people for help, marketing strategies such as Instagram, etc.
  • Any action plans created during these 100 days will be applied consistently. Once committed to a plan, I will see it through for the duration.

I decided to start this blog series after reading the book 'The Success Principles' by Jack Canfield. If you have not read this book yet, I highly recommend it. I will be using many of his principles and documenting my success (or failures!). 

It is not my intention to provide this blog series as a 'how-to'. I am certainly no expert and I don't have all the answers. This is an experiment of sorts. I will be pushing myself WAY out of my comfort zone for the next 100 days. I am excited to see where it takes me (and you if you follow along!). I won't pretend that I'm not the least bit anxious or nervous either. There are many principles in Jack Canfield's book that I know I should adopt and utilize, but am very uncomfortable doing so. I'm going to challenge myself, and you will hold me accountable! By documenting my journey and hopefully with your comments about your journeys, we will hold each other accountable and see tremendous change in our respective businesses.

Here is the blog series plan:
  • The challenge begins on Wednesday, January 1st and will run for 20 weeks.
  • I will post 5 days a week, usually Monday through Friday. There are times when this schedule will change slightly, due to a couple of travel commitments I have in the next few months. During those times, I will post an alternative blog post schedule.
  • On Mondays, I will outline the posts for the whole week so you know what to expect and if you are taking this challenge with me (and hopefully reading Jack Canfield's book), you can plan accordingly.
  • Besides my jewelry business, I also have a new Arbonne business that I'm really excited about. I absolutely love their products and while I didn't plan on being a consultant, I found that it was a natural course of action to take and balances perfectly with my current business and life. My blog posts will include both businesses at different times as they each have their own unique challenges and opportunities. 

For this week, December 30 through January 3, the blog posts will be:
  • Monday: Introduction to this blog series.
  • Tuesday: Finding our Why (I found a great video explaining how you need to know why you are in business!).
  • Wednesday: Success Principle #28: Cleaning up the Clutter. I thought this would be a good way to begin the new year.
  • Thursday: Goal Setting.
  • Friday: Developing a Social Media Plan.

So, welcome to my new blog series! I hope you enjoy it and gain as much from it as I will by writing it. I always welcome comments. Please feel free to share this with anyone else you think can benefit from taking this challenge.

Getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to see big change. Taking those scary steps are necessary! The ones we most resist are usually the ones we need to embrace and adopt. I know that I'm ready to plow forward - are you?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Arbonne 7-day Cleanse Review, Part 2

Well I finished the 7-day Arbonne cleanse, and I have to admit that I'm still undecided. As I previously posted, I did not have any negative side effects, which is good. But, I also didn't feel that anything 'happened'. I ended up not losing any weight, which I didn't really expect anyway.

It probably did remove some toxins from my body. The ingredients below show that it should perform as a mild laxative, but is it worth the money?

Ingredients in the Arbonne 7-Day Body Cleanse include:

     Astragalus root extract improves immune function
     Astragalus Fucoidan extract improves immune function
     Milk thistle protects liver from toxins
     Aloe vera relieves digestive issues
     Nettle leaf detoxification of chemicals
     Cascara sagrada natural laxative
     Buckthorn colon cleanser
     Slipperly elm bark relieves inflammatory bowel conditions
     Meadowsweet natural antacid
     Agave natural sweetener
     Inulin promotes colon health
     Chlorella broken cell removes toxins
     Blue green algae antioxidants
     Spirulina whole cell algae vitamins, minerals, amino acids
     Nori-sea weed vitamins
     Red marine algae boosts immune system
     Senna leaf extract natural laxative
     Cascara sagrada bark natural laxative
     Rhubarb natural laxative
     Psyllium natural laxative

I plan on trying another cleanse product next month so I'll something to compare. I'm open to any suggestions on products I should try.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Arbonne 7-day Cleanse Review

I'm on day 5 using the Arbonne 7-day cleanse and have to admit that I have mixed reviews about this product. It will be easy to spare you the gory details because there aren't any. First, I must give you full disclosure. I recently signed on to be an Arbonne consultant. I will provide a full blog post on all my reasons to be a consultant later this month (and my opinions), but the main reason I signed on is because I absolutely LOVE the skin care line and wanted to receive the great discount. I had already decided that this was the skin care product I wanted to continue to use, so being a consultant was a no-brainer for me.

Since I have been slowly adopting healthier eating habits, I was really excited to receive the Arbonne nutrition products at a discount and was especially looking forward to trying the 7-day cleanse. I've never tried a cleanse before and was a bit nervous, based on what I've always heard about these types of products.

Here are my thoughts, so far:
  • I haven't seen ANY effects that I expected. None. I wasn't exactly looking forward to those 'effects', but I was prepared. Having said that, I am pee'ing ALOT. But, I'm also drinking a lot of water, so that is a factor. I already drink a lot of water during the day, so it isn't a big change for me. There is a notable difference so I will assume the cleanse is part of the reason.
  • I've lost 2 pounds since I started this cleanse. Is it water loss? I don't know. Since it's a cleanse, I'm supposed to be losing toxins, so should I assume this is the result? I didn't do this cleanse to lose fat, that's not the purpose. I read somewhere that most people have anywhere between 5 - 20 pounds of toxic waste in their system. So maybe that's what I'm losing.
  • I feel great! I have lots of energy, but that's not especially unusual either. Since I quit my day job and am concentrating on my jewelry business, I'm much happier and that definitely is a factor in my new found energy levels. However, Tuesday night was a rough night and I slept horribly (insomnia is something I've dealt with for as long as I can remember). Normally I am wiped out the next day, but I had no ill effects from my sleepless night. I even had a social function to attend Wednesday night and felt fantastic. That was very unusual for me. So, I do seem to have an increased level of energy.
  • My stomach is nice and flat - gotta like that! I do feel lighter and healthy. Not sure what that means exactly, but I do feel good. I like the fact that this cleanse is vegan-certified and gluten-free.
I have 3 more full days on the cleanse. I am eating healthy, as usual. My day usually consists of a good breakfast, an Arbonne vanilla shake in the afternoon (which I will also be reviewing soon), and a healthy dinner. I still am drinking my coffee in the morning, but I never have any other caffeine during the day. Sometimes I have a glass of wine at night.

Since I am a new Arbonne consultant and very interested in the Health and Wellness industry, I want very much to like all their nutritional products. But, I will report honestly what I think and experience. I didn't join Arbonne to build a 'nation' (as they like to call it). I honestly don't know how far I will take this business. I have my jewelry business which I absolutely love and feel this is a good balance. 

If this cleanse is working as it should, then this has got to be the best darn cleanse on the planet! What other cleanses don't involve sudden rushes to the bathroom and discomfort. I hope this is the case, but I'm not convinced at this point. Right now, I feel like I'm just drinking flavored water (not bad tasting, by the way). I'm not sure if the experiences above can even be attributed to the cleanse or just from eating healthy and drinking a lot of water.

I will report my results once I've completed all 7 days.

What are your experiences with this cleanse? I'm really curious to know what everyone thinks about this product.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Health Magazine Tells Us to 'Dig In' to Aspartame and GMOs!

I have to admit I'm really fuming over this subject. I received a free subscription to Health magazine and received my first issue this weekend. I thought it would be an informative, interesting magazine and was really looking forward to sitting in my backyard Sunday afternoon and reading it. Imagine my surprise when I came to the article titled 'Which Internet Food Rumors are True?' and they highly recommended GMOs and artificial sweeteners! Huh???

In fact, they claim that a couple of daily cans of diet soda won't harm you. The visual is especially troubling - they show a chart that shows a scale that ranges from 'skip it' to 'dig in' and they enthusiastically give it the highest range - dig in!

Here's where it gets even more interesting. If you go onto their internet site and link to 'Food & Recipes', then to 'Myths and Facts' ( http://www.health.com/health/myths-facts/), they have two articles side-by-side. The first article, 'Should You Rethink 0-Calorie Drinks?' lists 10 reasons to avoid aspartame. The article RIGHT NEXT TO IT tells you to dig in to artificially sweetened drinks.

So, Health Magazine - which is it? 

They also flip-flop when it comes to GMOs. Here is an article I found on their website titled 'Why It's Time to Demand Organics' (http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20428072_2,00.html) listing all the dangers of GMO foods. But, then here they are in November, telling us to dig into our GMO corn and soybeans.

Health Magazine is owned by Time, Inc. - their parent company is Time Warner. Need I say more?
It's safe to say that I won't be renewing my subscription to this magazine!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Quick Shout out to a local San Diego store!

For all my San Diego customers - I now have part of my jewelry collection at another local store - 'To Hell in A Handbag' located in North Park. It's a great consignment store filled with all sorts of handmade goodies!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Networking for Success

Principle 25 of Jack Canfield's book 'The Principles of Success' is titled 'Drop out of the Ain't if Awful Club and Surround Yourself with Successful People.' It begins with a great quote from Jim Rohn, a self-made millionaire and author. His quote simply states "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."

Really think about who you spend the most time with - friends, family, workers. It really is true that you start to think and act like the people you are around most of the time. So, while I hope to see myself as someone who can help and inspire other women to achieve their dream of running their own business, I realize that I must also search out and find women who have already attained the level of success that I am aspiring to. It goes full circle.

I currently don't have anyone in my life that I can talk to about running my business. Any ideas I get are from searching on the internet or reading books. That can be so limiting and, truth be told, also lonely. I want to discuss ideas, get motivated, and share successes with women who are also striving to run their own businesses. I want to hear their stories, not just rehash my own in my head every day! :-)

There is a great website called Meetup.com. It advertises itself as the world's largest network of local groups. They make it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 9,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities.

The process is easy - you just enter your city and your interest. I entered Womens Business Networking and there were probably over 100 groups that showed up. While many did not fit the criteria I was looking for, I did find two that looked like they could be very interesting and beneficial for me to join. Both are geared to women entrepreneurs running their own businesses; meetings are created to network, provide motivation, and learn skills for succeeding in business - exactly what I'm looking for!

Over the course of the next 2 weeks, I will attend meetings for these two groups to see if this is something that will benefit me. I'm looking forward to getting out and expanding myself - a bit out of my comfort zone, but that's the only way to grow.

How do you get inspired and motivated in your business?
Do you have a network of business professionals to draw upon for feedback and ideas?
Have you tried to join networking groups? If so, did it work for you?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Are You A Business Or A Hobby?

Whenever I have an issue and I'm unsure of the course of action I should take, I always first ask myself this one important question "Am I a business or a hobby?". The answer to that question is, of course, a business. Usually just that one simple reminder gives me the right course of action to take. If you were a customer, what would you expect from a business?

I see sellers on the Etsy forums all the time asking questions that show they clearly haven't yet made the mental leap from hobby to business. For example, I see this one issue come up time and time again - the package that got lost in the mail. Usually, the Etsy seller will come on the forum and ask what they should do. Often times, the tracking shows that the package has been delivered, but the customer is stating that they haven't received it. This does happen from time to time. It has happened to me a handful of times in the 5 years that I've been selling on-line. If you consider yourself a legitimate business, the answer is obvious - you either refund the customer or send another package. Do you lose some money in the process? Yes, you do. But, that is the cost of doing 'business'.

However, this does go both ways. I also see Etsy sellers coming to the forums because they are being 'bullied' by a customer. A customer is making unreasonable demands and threatening to leave bad feedback if the seller doesn't comply. Again, you ask yourself if you are a business or a hobby. A business doesn't allow itself to be bullied by going against their own policies just because a customer threatens them. It's always good practice to bend your policies to give good customer service as needed, but it's not necessary to always succumb to demands that are not core to your business values. We all want good feedback and should always strive to deliver the best product and customer service, but one bad feedback isn't going to ruin your business and you must always trust your own judgment. It's ok to say no and risk losing a sale when it doesn't feel right.

Next time you are faced with a difficult situation, first ask yourself if you are a business or a hobby. That will usually lead you to the correct action.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How Do You Present Your Business to Others?

I have an acquaintance that I talk to you every so often. One of the first things she always asks me (in this exact phrase) is 'How is your little side business going?'. She's a really nice person and I know she is genuinely asking me in a nice way about my jewelry business, but it has always grated on me whenever she asks. It makes me feel like she is being condescending and belittling, although I know that is not her intention. Last time she asked, I sort of bristled and said 'Well, it's not so little anymore.' Then I moved on to another subject.

During one of my morning walks, I started thinking about this exchange of words and I immediately became agitated at her comment/question. I then thought back to the times when I've mentioned my jewelry business to strangers or someone I meet briefly and they say something like "Oh how nice! I bought my 8 year niece a jewelry making kit - it's so cute." (or something similar). I'm sure we've all been on the receiving end of these comments. We know that the people delivering these blows to our ego don't intentionally mean to be snide or rude, but it still comes off that way, or at least that's the way we feel.

But then I had a sudden epiphany. It wasn't her fault that she refers to my business as 'little' and 'side'. It's my fault! I must obviously be conveying that message to her otherwise she wouldn't have that image. In fact, each time she asks that question I only reinforce her belief by quickly changing the subject. I then realized that I do that all the time. If someone asks me a question about my business, I usually make a brief statement that it's going well and then I move on to something else. I don't really like talking about myself and I feel that talking about my business would be boring to others and if I mention how happy I am and that my sales are good, they'll think I'm boasting.

Also, if I meet someone and they ask what I do for a living, I always mention my day job as a software manager. I don't even bring up my jewelry business. Part of the reason is that I'm protecting myself from the usual 'Oh, how nice...' comment that often comes. But, I also still have trouble parting from my identity as a corporate professional. I worked hard to get my college degree and have worked in the corporate world for a long time. It's hard to change gears sometimes. It's been who I am for so long that I have a hard time switching over to business owner. But if I don't take myself seriously, how can I expect someone else to?

So, next time someone asks me how my business is going, I'm going to respond like this:
'It's going great! My sales have been steadily increasing and I'm really excited with the direction my company is taking. I've been asked to participate on some other retail sites, so I'm really looking forward to these new venues. I've added some new product lines and they have been really well received. I'm on my way to achieving my dream of quitting my day job and pursuing this full-time!'.

Now, isn't that so much better! Why haven't I done that before?

The next time I meet someone and they ask me what I do, I'll respond this way:
'I'm the owner of Theresa Rose Designs - I sell my handcrafted jewelry design on-line. I specialize in affordable handmade silver and gold jewelry and have been growing it steadily over the last 5 years. Lately, I've been really growing with bridal and personalized custom jewelry, which has been an exciting new venture for me. I'm also now starting to branch out onto some new internet sites, so it's been really exciting.'

I now can't wait for someone to ask me about my business!

Is this common? Do most of us have a tendency to downplay our business achievements? Are we sometimes too wrapped up in our identities as mothers, wives, corporate professionals, etc. that we don't give ourselves the same recognition as independent business owners?

I'm sure I'm not alone in this mode of thinking. I think many of us do this unconsciously and it doesn't serve us well. I am going to work on presenting myself and my business more enthusiastically. I wonder how many opportunities have passed me by because I gave the impression that I wasn't serious about my business.

What do you think? How do you present yourself to others when asked about your business?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Finding My Purpose

We all question our purpose in life at some point in our lives - sometimes many times in our life.

Lately I've been really thinking about what my purpose is supposed to be here in this lifetime. We often read about people doing amazing things - building schools for the under privileged, feeding the hungry, etc.
Whenever I meditated on this subject, I kept going back to my jewelry business, which to be perfectly honest, was really frustrating! It felt so trivial. While other people are actually making a big difference in world, I'm making handmade jewelry. I just didn't get it. I felt like I should apologize for my seemingly materialistic calling. What the heck?

About a month ago, during my morning walk (you'll hear me often refer to this walk because this is when I seem to get my best inspiration), I decided to stop fighting my inner voice and accept what I kept going back to - that my jewelry business was, in some way, my purpose in life. I decided to 'go with the flow' and see what happened. I can say that I was immediately relieved and enthusiastic. Rather than fight my inner voice, I was going to get on with what made me happy - living my dream of running my own jewelry design business.

I think it was later that week that I came across the book 'The Success Principles' (synchronicity, perhaps?). I downloaded it onto my Kindle and committed myself to reading one principle per day and working on obtaining my dream of a successful business - no more apologizing to myself for not taking the time to cure world hunger or find the cure to cancer. I was going to go full board into my business.

Very quickly into the book, I came upon Principle #2 - 'Be Clear Why You're Here' - aka - find your purpose. This book has an exercise to determine your purpose. The steps are as follows:

1. List two of your unique personal qualities. I chose 'creativity' and 'intuition'.
2. List ways you enjoy expressing those qualities when interacting with others. I chose to 'help', 'support', inspire, and 'mentor'.
3. Assume the world is perfect right now. What does it look like? I chose 'everyone was pursuing their own dreams and living the life they want - working in a way that expresses themselves and enjoying their time.
4. Combine them into one statement.

So, within 10 minutes. I had it. Here is my purpose:
My purpose is to use my creativity and intuition to help, mentor, and inspire other women who want to live their dreams of running their own business.

It suddenly made so much sense! Every time I spoke about my business to other women and they exclaimed how much they wished they could ditch the 9 to 5 job and do the same thing, I would enthusiastically encourage them.

I get so excited when I read my purpose (which I do every day). It inspires me and motivates me to do my best. I guess that's how I know that it is right for me.

Perform this exercise on your own - what do you come up with? Are you surprised or does it make sense to you?

I'm not sure yet how I will go about serving this purpose. I hope this blog is a start and will blossom into other ideas as time goes on. I will take it one day at a time, work on my own business and see what transpires.

I feel very strongly that it's important to have a support system when you venture out on your own and pursue your passion. Women are great about supporting each other and lending an ear when others need to vent or need feedback on an idea. I hope this blog can help in that way. I welcome comments and a regular dialog.

What is going on in your business? Are you already well established, just starting out or are you still contemplating making that leap into independence?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Purpose of This Blog

I haven't posted to my blog for quite a long time (as my daughter pointed out to me a couple of weeks ago!). I have a few posts partially written, but haven't had the motivation to finish them. I've struggled with this blog, wondering what to write about that may be interesting to other people - then I realized the answer has been so obvious all along. From now on I'm dedicating my blog to running my own business. Truth be told, one of the reasons I haven't been writing lately is that business has really taken off in the last month. I spend the majority of my day making and selling my handcrafted jewelry, exactly what I want to be doing! So, I feel like I'm really living my dream.

But, there's always been a pull for me to continue this blog and I now know why. I've always felt like my jewelry business has been part of a path to something more. I've never known what that meant, I just felt it deep inside of me - until a few weeks ago. I finally figured it out and it all makes sense. This is what I will continue to blog about.

There's so much I want to share and write. I want to help other people realize their dream of running their own business. There's a good reason why my business is suddenly growing and if I can help other people achieve their dreams, then it has served its purpose - and so have I.

I will be writing regularly about the changes I'm making - what's working and what's not working.

If you are reading this and want to be successful in running your own business, I highly suggest purchasing the book 'The Success Principles' by Jack Canfield. I am currently using this book and it is highly effective! My blogs will often be centering around the concepts that I'm learning and utilizing straight from this book.

My next post will be about how I found my purpose in life. I know that sounds a little dramatic, but it's actually what set this whole thing in motion - and I truly believe it's exactly what you need to do to be successful. The book actually shows you how to figure out your purpose and it can be very eye-opening. It's not always what you think.

Until next time...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Emerald Green - 2013 Pantone Color of the Year

It's the middle of August and the cool fall season seems so far away, but those of us who are in the fashion business have started thinking about our products for the fall and winter season for some time now, not to mention the Christmas season!

Emerald is the 2013 Pantone Color of the Year and we're going to be seeing a lot of it this fall. Just look through any of the fashion magazines or go on-line to your favorite retailer, and you'll begin to notice it in abundance. One of my favorite designers, CAbi, has added a number of emerald green items to their fall/winter collection. And as you can see from these images, this is a color that can be worn casually, professionally, and formally. There's something for everyone.

To see more CAbi fashion:
CAbi Online

Other favorites of mine include these skinny jeans from Anthropologie:
Pilcro Stet Slim Ankle Jeans

This beautiful outfit was featured during Paris Fashion Week.

One of my newest collections are my Sterling Silver Birthstone Swarovski Bangles. Emerald is the birthstone for May:
Only $12.00: Sterling Silver Emerald Swarovski Bangle

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Personalized Jewelry is all the rage right now!

Looking for the perfect gift? Personalized jewelry is an ideal gift for someone who may be a bit hard to shop for, especially if you don't know them well. Do you have a college graduate to shop for? Or a high school graduate?

Personalized jewelry is also great for birthday gifts. Take this combination below - a hand stamped initial on one bangle and a swarovski birthstone crystal on the other. This combination is only $33.00 in my shop -
Sterling Silver Birthstone Bangle
Sterling Silver Personalized Bangle

Necklaces are always a popular gift, and selecting a personalized initial necklace makes it so easy! Choosing jewelry for someone else is always difficult, but this necklace below would be appreciated by anyone. You can even have it created with the initials of their children or other loved ones. Get creative!
Hand Stamped Custom Necklace

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ben & Jerry's Non-GMO Ice Cream!

Yeah for Ben & Jerry's! I love their ice cream and now they've given me another reason to purchase.

Here is their position on GMOs and labeling (taken from their website):

Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are organisms that have had their genetic makeup (DNA) altered through genetic engineering in a way that does not occur in nature or through traditional cross-breeding methods. GMOs are found in key commodity crops grown in the United States, like corn and soy. Because more than half of processed food products on grocery store shelves contain one or more genetically engineered ingredient, it's likely that almost all of us eat foods that contain GMOs on a regular basis.
As the campaign to label food products made with GMO ingredients moves across the states, including Vermont, Ben & Jerry’s is proud to stand with the growing consumer movement for transparency and the right to know what’s in our food supply by supporting mandatory GMO labeling legislation.
Here’s our status: currently, in the United States and Canada, 80% of Ben & Jerry’s ingredients by volume are sourced non-GMO.  We commit to sourcing non-GMO ingredients for all our products everywhere by year-end 2013. In fact all our products made in Europe are already non-GMO.
We will track our progress as we complete this conversion, with public updates on this site. Beginning now, and throughout 2013, we will transition packaging so that all Ben & Jerry’s products will be labeled with respect to GMO by the end of 2014.
Just Label It! logoWe have a long history of siding with consumers and their right to know what’s in their food. We fought long and hard for labeling of rBGH, which was the first genetically engineered technology used in the US food system. We thank and encourage all those who are continuing this fight in support of transparency and the consumer’s right to know.
You can take action now at Just Label It!

To read their full statement and updates, you can visit their website: Ben & Jerry.

Thank you Ben & Jerry's. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Healthy Louisiana Creole Shrimp

While I'm trying to eat a healthier diet filled with whole, un-processed foods, the one thing I won't skimp on is flavor. I like my food a bit on the spicy side. Fortunately, spices don't add calories and many of them are extremely good for you. One only has to google turmeric, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, paprika, etc. to see the health benefits of many spices. Adding a variety of spices is a great way to eat healthy without feeling like you're on a diet.

So, since I was by myself the other night and craving shrimp, I decided to create my own healthy version of Creole Shrimp. And I think I hit a home run!

Instead of using white rice, I substituted quinoa and minimized the amount of butter used. Here is my recipe:

Serves 1 - Time 20 minutes
1/4 pound shrimp, deveined and tails removed
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/2 cup sliced red and yellow peppers
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup tomato, diced
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbl lemon juice
Dash of creole seasoning
Dash of cajun seasoning
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbl light butter

  1. Cook quinoa according to directions. This normally takes about 15 - 20 minutes, so start this first and allow to cook while preparing the shrimp.
  2. Marinate shrimp in lemon juice and seasonings. I happened to have cajun seasoning and creole seasoning on hand, so I just threw a few dashes in the marinade. If you don't have this prepared, any combination of paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, oregano and thyme will do the trick. You can't really go wrong unless you overdo the cayenne pepper! It's all a matter of personal taste, so don't be afraid to experiment.
  3. Heat a saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the red onion, peppers, and garlic. Saute for approximately 5 minutes until soft.
  4. Add shrimp and cook for just a few minutes until shrimp turns pink on the outside. It will still be slightly uncooked in the middle, but that's ok.
  5. Add tomatoes, chicken broth and butter - stir to mix. I have light butter that I purchased from Costco. It tastes the same as regular butter but with less calories. It allows me to use a little more butter to get that creamy mouth feel that I think is important with this type of dish. You can always use regular butter.
  6. Cook for 5 more minutes over low heat.
  7. When finished, pour over quinoa.
What I love about quinoa, besides being a much healthier alternative to rice, is the way it absorbs liquid, but retains all the soupiness (is that a word??). So, you definitely want to eat this with a spoon to get all the great sauce.

While not scientific, I estimated the number of calories for this dish at approximately 500. And it was very filling!

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Experiment with Apple Cider Vinegar

Lately I've been reading a lot of articles about the many benefits of apple cider vinegar. It's being touted as a a beneficial natural product for everything from weight loss to diabetes, not to mention dog care and home cleaning. Intrigued with the growing amount of information out there, I decided to do a little research myself and see if this was something I should add to my daily routine. After all, I'm looking to make some big changes this last half of 2013 and from what I've been reading, this was right up my alley!

While ACV (apple cider vinegar) can help with repelling fleas on your dog, wart removal, and a multitude of skin issues, I decided that I would just concentrate on the benefits of drinking it (rather than applying it topically on me or my dog (I figured it wasn't fair to subject my poor dog to my 2013 experiments!).

One very important note:
Only use raw organic ACV as it is the 'mother' of the vinegar. The ‘mother’ is made up of strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules with living nutrients and bacteria. Clear vinegar is processed and doesn’t have any of the benefits that raw ACV has. There are different brands out there but I just bought the organic unfiltered Sprouts store brand.

So, every morning before breakfast, I drink a big 16 oz glass of this concoction:
12 oz. water
4 oz. cranberry juice
1 tablespoon ACV

Be sure to always dilute when when using this vinegar. It is highly acidic and can upset your stomach and damage tooth enamel if taken straight.

I have to admit, the first few days were a bit difficult. The taste definitely takes some getting used to, but after only 3 days, I was really enjoying it. I'm not sure why, but I actually looked forward to this drink. I felt like it was hydrating my body better than just plain water. I'm not sure if that's just wishful thinking or not, but I really felt good about drinking it.

Here is a summary of some of the benefits I've read regarding ACV:
  • ACV may help with weight loss by breaking down fats so that your body can use them rather than store them. There have been studies that obese people drinking ACV for 12 weeks saw significant decrease in body fat. It's hard to tell if there are other factors at play here or not.
  • ACV helps to balance your entire inner body system. The body constantly strives to achieve a state of equilibrium. ACV helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level. Research shows that higher acid levels (lower pH level) leads to a lack of energy and higher incidences of infection.
  • As part of balancing the body's pH, ACV creates an overall detoxification of the body. Research shows that it can help stimulate cardiovascular circulation and help detoxify the liver. May help improve bowel irregularity and helps to remove toxins from the body at a faster rate.
  • ACV is rich in natural enzymes that can help rid your body of candida -- yeasts that are attributed to thrush in humans. Candida also is blamed for creating symptoms of fatigue, poor memory, sugar cravings, and yeast infections.
  • It can help regulate blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol.
So, I started  my experiment last week. I'll continue to report on my progress and if I notice any changes.

Disclaimer – Due to the lack of supporting research, apple cider vinegar cannot be recommended for treatment or prevention of any health problems. Please consult with your health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements. I’m just sharing my experience and research. My experience may be different from yours.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pinteresting - Pinterest Strategies for Brands and Bloggers - My Review

Having a social media presence is essential in today's on-line marketplace. If you have any type of on-line business, it's not enough to throw together a website and wait for the customers to flock to your site. However, it can be overwhelming with so many options out there.

I've decided to concentrate on two social media outlets to grow my business, Theresa Rose Designs. Facebook and Pinterest seem like good candidates for my on-line handmade jewelry business. I went ahead and purchased the book 'Pinteresting - Pinterest Strategies for Brands and Bloggers' by Tabitha Philen. I was able to purchase it for my Kindle on Amazon for only $2.99 - a worthwhile investment.

There are 4 sections:
  • Part One: The Basics of Pinterest
  • Part Two: Pinterest Accounts for Brands & Bloggers
  • Part Three: Growing a Following
  • Part Four: Optimizing your use of Pinterest
At 84 pages, it's a quick read, but she packs a lot of useful information in a short amount of space.

Part One: The Basics of Pinterest
Tabitha explains the terminology of Pinterest such as the concepts of boards, pins, and repins. She also discusses how she uses it herself and why she uses it. If you are new to Pinterest, it's worth reading carefully because she does a very good job of explaining step by step how to start your pinterest account. While I had already used Pinterest sparingly, I still found this section useful because there are new features such as pinmarklets and secret boards that I hadn't bothered delving into. She includes a lot of pictures with her step-by-step instructions, and as a visual person, I really appreciated it. It's very thorough and well thought out.

Part Two: Pinterest Accounts for Brands & Bloggers
This is where we really started getting into the 'meat' of the information. Tabitha talks about the importance of your logo and profile to support your branding. There was also information in here about connecting to your twitter account and using keywords to optimize google search. These are two things I hadn't thought about, but now are always on my mind when I pin my jewelry and blog posts. Did you also know you have a choice between a personal or business account? I didn't - but Tabitha explains the difference and what to consider when deciding between the two.

There is a chapter in this section regarding boards and how to use them for promoting your brand. Again, a lot of useful information that I found very helpful. There's even a section about using collaborative boards to grow your reach. She goes into much detail. I'm not sure how I'm going to use this yet, but I 'm sure I'll refer back to it a later time.

One of the most beneficial parts for me was the chapter on Who, Where, and What of Following. Here she really explains etiquette and tips on following other pinners. Here's one tip that I found especially good: "When you interact in the comments section of the pins, your brand is seen by everyone viewing those pins." She stresses that you shouldn't comment just to comment, it should be meaningful and genuine. People can spot spam a mile away and will turn pinners off to you (and your brand).

Part Three: Growing a Following
In this section, Tabitha goes into more detail about how to encourage other pinners to follow you and your boards. Keys to getting followers include knowing when to pin, cross-promoting on other social media outlets and  keeping Pinterest visible on your website or blog. Utilizing the social aspects of Pinterest is, of course, the best way to gain followers, and there is a definite etiquette to socializing on Pinterest. I like the way Tabitha goes through the social protocols and how not to turn off other pinners.

There is a whole chapter dedicated to campaigns and contests. There are restrictions on running contests, so be careful or your account may be deleted! This book explains some of the limitations and restrictions, but always remember that Pinterest can change the rules at any time, so always stay current on their policies.

Part Four: Optimizing your use of Pinterest
This section goes into the more advanced uses of Pinterest. She discusses tips for creating your own images for pinning. I found it to be very straightforward and useful in many ways. There is also a chapter that lists some of the analytical tools that can be found outside of Pinterest to help you in using this site.

The last part of the book discusses hashtags, using your source URL, Facebook options, and other 3rd party apps you may find useful.

Overall, this was a very good book. Whether you are a complete novice or have been using Pinterest for some time, I am sure there is information that is new to any one reading her book. I highly recommend it, and for $2.99 (for the kindle edition), it costs less than a Starbucks coffee - definitely worth the money!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Salad of The Week - Avocado, Pomegranate, Goat Cheese Salad

I love salads but have a tendency to get in a rut making the same salad over and over again. Part of my Half Year Resolutions is eating more whole, raw foods, so salad is a perfect lunch. But this time, it's different. I'm buying new ingredients and mixing it up a bit. Each week, I resolve to buy a new ingredient that I wouldn't normally purchase. This week's salad includes pomegranate seeds. They are packed with nutrients and are considered one of the 'super foods'.

2 Cups Organic Spring Mix Greens
1/4 Cup Pomegranate Seeds
1/4 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese
1/2 Cup Avocado, diced
1/2 Cup Mushrooms, diced
1/2 Cup Grape Tomatoes
Drizzle of Poppy Seed Dressing

I estimate the number of calories at about 350. I definitely felt full after eating this salad.

As I was preparing yesterday's salad, I realized that all of the ingredients were from Costco. I've gotten to the point where I don't even shop in grocery stores anymore. It's either Costco, Trader Joe's, or Sprouts.

I'm looking for ideas for new salad ingredients so I welcome any suggestions!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Alive! Ultra-Shake Review

While I want to eat a healthy diet and know that I really should take vitamin supplements every day, I finally came to the conclusion that I am not disciplined enough to swallow a big multivitamin horse pill each morning. First of all, the aftertaste is disgusting and I always seem to feel slightly sick to my stomach for a couple of hours. So, I decided to look into adding a vitamin supplement in my morning smoothie. I came upon the Alive! Ultra-Shake Vanilla powder. I'm so happy I found this product and can't recommend it highly enough.

My morning smoothie consists of 1 1/2 cups water, 3/4 cup frozen blueberries, one banana, and approximately 2/3 scoop of Alive! powder. I don't use the full scoop. As a woman of small stature, I don't feel I need the full dose. I then blend these 4 ingredients together and I have my breakfast.

The flavor of the powder itself is not that great. I would never think to drink it by itself. But mixing it with the blueberries and banana makes it very tasty and I actually look forward to this smoothie each morning. I have tasted other powders that are much more flavorful, but the reason for that is they contain a lot of added sugars, which I really wanted to avoid.

Nutritional information (includes powder, blueberries and banana):
Calories: approximately 250
Protein: 12 grams
Dietary Fiber: A whopping 10 grams!

The vitamin content of this powder is very complete, which is the main reason I selected it. Other powders I looked at had the basic vitamins, but were missing many of the lesser known minerals. I wanted a big bang for my buck.

Another reason I selected this powder was due to the natural ingredients. The protein is non-GMO pea protein. This is much more easily digestible than proteins from soy or whey sources. Just look at all the other ingredients in this shake! I won't pretend to know what it all is, but it seems to have many added nutrients:

I purchased my first can at Sprouts for $36.99. It says that it has 26 servings, but with my 2/3 scoop, I can stretch that out to about 35 servings. However, my next order will be through Amazon - they offer this same size for $26.09 AND free shipping. If you subscribe for a regular delivery (say every one or two months), the price drops to $24.79. The problem with that option is you no longer receive the free shipping since the cost isn't a minimum of $25.00.

Here's my smoothie ready to drink! (I had to include a plug for my alma mater - SDSU - haha!) I pour it into my tervis tumbler and sip it while working. At 250 calories, this is a great breakfast and a wonderful way to start my day. I seem to have a lot of energy, although I'm not sure if I attribute it to the smoothie.

 I'm not going to pretend that I know a lot about nutrition, so if anyone has any additional information (good or bad) about this product, I'd love to see your comments. Also, if you have tried this shake, please comment and let us know what you think. If you have tried it with other ingredients (my daughter adds peanut butter and banana to hers), please give us your recipe.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Half Year Resolutions - Spirituality/Relationships

Today's post is probably the most difficult of the three posts I'm writing this week. Setting goals for business and health are so much easier because I think about them more often as they are a normal part of my daily life. However, how much do we really think about our own spirituality and relationships with other people? Not only do I not think about this every day, when I do ponder it, it can bring up some uncomfortable thoughts. Am I kind enough to the people in my life? What role does spirituality have in my life? These aren't as easy to answer or address as asking myself if I can eat more vegetables - lol!

But, I'm going to give it a shot. I do know there are areas where I can improve my relationships and my spiritual journey. So, it will be interesting to see where I am at the end of the year regarding these resolutions. My list is small right now (and a little vague) so I hope to add to it during the coming months.

1. Meditate at least 5 times a week.
2. Seek out other like-minded people who share my spiritual beliefs and goals.
3. Connect with my friends more often.
4. Nurture my relationship with my family.

I'm looking forward to next week's blog posts. This is where I'm finally going to be able to get to specifics. I will be starting to document exactly what I'm doing to make these changes in my Etsy business, health, and personal life.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Half Year Resolutions - Part 2 - Health/Lifestyle

Well, I’m on my way to a newer, healthier, happier 2nd half of 2013! I’m committing myself to so many changes and really looking forward to this journey. I hope that my blog will resonate with other women who are also interested in making the same changes and feeling more fulfilled in their lives. And I especially hope that we can connect and support each other.

Today I list the changes I am making in my lifestyle and health. I’ve been on the road towards a more wholesome lifestyle for some time now and I have already seen the benefits in many ways. I now wish to deepen my commitment and look for new ways to promote this on my blog. There is a lot of alternative information out on the internet and elsewhere that advocate natural health, nutrition, and wellbeing.

1. Purchase more organic and ‘whole’ foods. I’ve been slowly adapting to this process for a while now, so this will continue. I rarely shop at grocery stores anymore and opting for farmer markets and natural food stores such as Sprouts. Removing processed products from my diet is a major goal of mine.

2. Exercise – this is a tough one! I already incorporate some exercise almost every day by walking my dog, but the hot summer months makes this hard to do at a level that promotes any real health benefit. Regular exercise is something I have a hard time maintaining. I have a gym membership but always find reasons to not go (such as writing this blog post right now!). But, if I’m going to be serious about making changes for the 2nd half of 2013, then I need to really think what I can realistically accomplish. I’ll come back to this one later.

3. Try a new healthy product or food every 2 weeks. I’m really looking forward to this one! I also look forward to blogging about new healthy products I’m enjoying or not enjoying – I promise to be honest in my assessments.

4. Try a new recipe every week. This sort of ties into my goal of using Pinterest also. Pinterest is full of fantastic recipes, so I will have a chance to expand our menu – all healthy options of course!

5. Simplify my life. Ok, so maybe this is too broad, but really – do I honestly need another pair of black shorts or jeans – NO! I intend to limit my purchases drastically. Of course, this ties into the quitting my job goal stated in my last blog post, so it’s probably going to be a necessity more than a desire.

I think that’s a good start for now. These are all goals that are attainable and will allow me to slowly adapt to change without feeling overwhelmed. It’s so important not to make such a major overhaul that it becomes difficult to maintain. This is why I also look forward to blogging about my transition so I can see the steady progress I make while adopting healthier options a little at a time.

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1 - Halfway Through 2013 - Half Year Resolutions!

I’ve really been looking forward to today – July 1st. It’s been a crazy first half to 2013 and I’m ready to settle into a simpler, less hectic lifestyle. The first half of the year involved a lot of travel – two trips to Europe and one trip to Hawaii. While it’s been an exciting ‘yolo’ time (to quote my daughter), it’s also involved more planning than I had anticipated and disruptions to my business and home life. That’s why I’ve decided to start my ‘Half-Year’ Resolutions. Instead of the usual New Year’s Resolutions, I’m committing myself to major changes in 3 areas of my life starting NOW:

1. Business/Career

2. Lifestyle/Health

3. Spirituality/Relationships

My goal is to chronicle my journey and, hopefully, meet like-minded women who share the same passions and goals as I do.

Today’s post will discuss the changes I will be making to my business/career in the coming months. Over the last 2 years, whenever I’ve mentioned my growing jewelry business to other people, I increasingly encounter more and more women who are very intrigued with the idea of getting out of the corporate world and are very interested in hearing more about how to run their own businesses. I’ve had an amazing 5 years with this business and I am looking forward to taking it to the next level. Also, by documenting it in this blog, I’m really committing myself to making some major changes. I will be moving out of my comfort zone and there is no turning back now!

My goals for the next 6 months involve:

1. Quitting my day job. Anyone who knows me well knows that I’ve talked about this for the last few years. If they are reading this, they are probably thinking “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Well, the time is now. I have a good savings account built up, so I can weather through this time with a nice cushion and hopefully avoid too many sleepless nights. By the end of summer, I will finally move out of the corporate world.

2. I will make and list 5 new pieces of jewelry per week. I will also improve my photography skills and continue to work on making my Etsy shop better and better.

3. I will blog 3 times a week. Initially I was worried about what I could possible blog about that often, but between my Etsy business, lifestyle changes I’m making, and my spiritual journey, I feel there are plenty of topics. Whether any one reads this or not, is another matter. However, maintaining this blog is my way to ensure that I continue to be committed to a new way of life.

4. Facebook/Pinterest – I’m very interested in growing my social media presence and am looking forward to learning more and more about this new way of doing business. It’s a challenge that I welcome and I will definitely blog about what is working for me and what isn’t.

I sincerely hope that my blog inspires other women out there to make the leap from the corporate world to business owner. I am meeting more and more people these days who are doing just that – I welcome all comments and hope we can have some great discussions!

Monday, April 29, 2013

April Giveaway - LOVE GIVES CHANCES Personalized Forever Family Necklace

Hi Everyone,

It's time for another giveaway. This one is very special to me as it involves a very special young lady that I know. In honor of Cassidy Mack and her LOVE GIVES CHANCES foundation, I have created this Custom-Made Personalized Forever Family necklace featuring an Infinity Family Circle Pendant layered in sterling silver and hand stamped initial charms for each family member – available with or without matching Swarovski Crystal birthstone beads.

To see the full details of this necklace:
Custom-Made Personalized Forever Family Necklace

LOVE GIVES CHANCES is a non-profit foundation started by 13 year old CASSIDY MACK, American born actress and former Foster Youth.

Cassidy's Mission: To inspire all children/adults who are currently living in, have been adopted from or who have aged out of the Foster Care System. To encourage them to not lose hope, to think of themselves as SURVIVORS instead on Victims and to empower them to believe in themselves and find their PURPOSE in life. AND to encourage loving adults to take a chance by adopting a child from Foster Care and give them the opportunity to become the person they were born to be.

Cassidy would like to see every single Foster Youth, feel empowered by proudly wearing a LOVE GIVES CHANCES "I Am A Survivor" Pendant. This will offer opportunities, through Scholarships, to attend classes/camps in whatever field they are passionate about or interested in.

Please see this amazing girl's website and facebook page for more information:


Please read the following before entering:

1.  This contest is open to U.S. entries only.

2.  Only one necklace will be awarded.

3.  The winner can select up to 5 initial charms and swarovski crystals.

4. Invalid entries will be deleted. I will check all entries before picking a random winner. Make sure you fill  in the correct information required for your points. Otherwise, your entries will be invalid for the drawing.

5. The winner will have 72 hours to respond  to my e-mail in order to claim their prize. If  winners do not respond within that time frame, then I will need to choose another winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Your Etsy Shop and Social Media - Part 1

I'm starting a blog series about how I am using social media for my Etsy shop.

I see a lot of posts on the Etsy message board regarding the value of social media, especially having a Facebook Fan page. I admit that I've straddled the line for a long time, but I'm now diving in head first and have really seen some amazing results in my first month! I want to share these ideas with you and maybe they'll help you in some way. For every idea I've implemented, I have 5 more that are on my 'to do list', so I hope to make this a regular blog series while we navigate this new territory together.

In a previous blog post, I wrote about the importance of having your own website, even if you do all your selling on Etsy. I do believe it is so important for your branding to have an on-line presence in as many areas as you can conceivably handle. The obvious choices are:
  • Your own website
  • Etsy
  • Blog
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Google +
I haven't dived into Google+ as I have my hands full with the others. You may choose only a few of these options - it's entirely a personal choice. Most of my blog posts in the coming weeks about social media will be centered around Facebook as that is where I'm going to concentrate my main efforts for now.

Exactly one month ago today, I had 298 Facebook Fans. I now have 353 (as of this writing). So, in one month, I've gained 55 fans - an approximate increase of 20%. And it didn't cost me a dime - no advertising at all.

So, for this post I am going to list 5 super easy things you need to do first to get yourself going with your Facebook Fan page. I'm going to assume you already have a page and that you're just sort of neglecting it because you haven't really seen the value of maintaining it - that's the way I was for the last 2 years. :-)

The main thing to remember about Facebook is that it isn't about making sales today - it's about creating a community with your fans and current/future customers. This is all about long term connections. You may not see sales coming directly from Facebook for a while, but it's important to have the presence and to update your page on a fairly regular basis.

Here is my Facebook page:Facebook.com/TheresaRoseDesigns

1. Creating a professional FB page has to be your first step. This is the first impression your future fans will have of you and it shouldn't be a picture of your cute kids, dogs, or where you spent your last vacation. Create a cover photo and profile photo that is professional and showcases your product(s). Here is my cover photo:

2. Change your Facebook personal profile 'work' to your business page. This way anyone looking at your profile page will see the link to your business fan page. 

3. Categorize your fan page as a Website. That way you can enter a direct link to your Etsy store. You want people to get to your products as easily as possible. To categorize your fan page, you need to edit the 'About' section. Click on the 'About' link that is displayed directly below your profile picture. Then on the 'About' page, place your mouse pointer over the big white 'About' section:

The 'Edit' box will pop up - click on it. The 'About' Edit screen will display. This is where you will select your category and sub-category. In the 'Short Description', enter your website link. Select 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page.

Now on your Facebook Fan page, the link to your website will automatically be displayed underneath your profile picture. Nice and easy for anyone to find and click!

4. Add your Facebook Fan Page URL to your e-mail signature for all electronic communication. This includes the thank you e-mails that Etsy sends when you make a sale and the shipping notifications. Not to mention, you should also have the URL to your website (or Etsy site) there too!

5. Add your Facebook Fan Page URL to your business cards. Why not! People expect to see these links now and it doesn't hurt.

My next post will be about two specific things I did to start gaining fans.

Please feel free to comment with any suggestions or questions!

Monday, March 25, 2013

March Giveaway!

Hi Everyone,

It's time for another giveaway. The winner will receive a $15.00 gift certificate to be used in my Etsy Store.

Please read the following before entering:

1.  Gift Certificates go towards anything  at my shop on ETSY.  You must make an account on ETSY to be able to use the certificate.

2.  Gift Certificate is a one time use only.

3.  Gift Certificate is not redeemable for cash. Any purchases made using this certificate are final.

4. Invalid entries will be deleted. I will check all entries before picking a random winner. Make sure you fill  in the correct information required for your points. Otherwise, your entries will be invalid for the drawing.

5. The winner will have 48 hours to respond  to my e-mail in order to claim their prize. If  winners do not respond within that time frame, then I will need to choose another winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 18, 2013

7 Ingredient Curry Chicken Bean Soup in 3 Steps - Courtesy of Costco

I've had several friends ask for my recipe for Curry Chicken Bean Soup, so what better way to share it then through a blog post. There are only 7 main ingredients and they were all purchased from my local Costco.

  • 1 1/2 cups tru Roots Sprouted Bean Trio
  • 1 quart Kirkland Chicken Stock
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 can Kirkland Chicken Breast meat
  • 1 Pepper (any red, yellow, or orange will do)
  • 1 cup diced Carrots
  • 1 cup diced Red Onion
  • Curry Powder (I use at least 1/4 cup, but you may find that a bit much)
 Other Optional Ingredients:
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Ginger 

Step 1:
Dice pepper, carrots, onion and optional ginger.

Step 2:
Place in saute pan preheated with 1 tablespoon oil. Add garlic, if desired. Saute for approximately 8 - 10 minutes until vegetables are soft.

Step 3:
Add cooked vegetables, one can of chicken, water and bean trio to crockpot. Stir in curry powder. Start with a couple tablespoons of curry powder and taste in a few hours. You can always add more at any time.
Set the crockpot to low and cook all day.

That's it!
I usually start this soup around 10 am and it's ready by 5 or 6. This soup couldn't be any easier to make and your house will smell so wonderful all day. I find it hard to wait for dinner and sneak tastes throughout the day.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Made Now Carrying Theresa Rose Designs

A quick shout-out to the newest store carrying Theresa Rose Designs!

You can now find my jewelry at Made on Mass. They are a modern handmade shop located at 737 Massachusetts St. in downtown Lawrence Kansas. They carry locally made items, along with items from regional and national artists.

See more great products: Made

Monday, March 4, 2013

February Giveaway Contest Results

Thanks to everyone who participated in my first giveaway contest of 2013!

We had a 3-way tie with the exact date given. The date I had in mind was the date I joined Etsy - November 26, 2007.

Since there was a 3-way tie, I let my trusty assistant, Keena, help with the random selection for the winner. I placed all three names on separate pieces of paper and threw them in the air. Keena then selected the winner. As you can see from the first photo, she wasn't quite up to the task. But with a little lovin and a milk bone treat, I soon had her ready to help out.

Congratulations to Kristin! You will receive an e-mail with the details of your gift certificate.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spring 2013 Color of the Year - Poppy Red

I can't believe that March 1st is only a few days away! Daylight savings time is only 2 weeks away and spring will officially kick-off in 3 weeks. Spring is one of my favorite times of the year and with the weather a balmy 70 degrees today in San Diego, I feel it will be an early and warm one this year.

I'm really excited about the new spring colors for 2013. They are soft, yet vibrant. Another great color this spring is Poppy Red. While many of the colors for this year are soft and pastel, the poppy red 'pops' out and is sure to bring a lot of inspiration to my designs this year.

I found this great red sweater at Anthropologie. Black, white and red is going to be hot, hot, hot this year. and I love this combination! This sweater inspired the darling little gold wire wrapped earrings in my shop.

To see these earrings in my Etsy store for $8.00 each:
Red and Gold Teardrop Earrings

Saturday, February 23, 2013

February Giveaway

Along with resurrecting my blog, I'm also going to start my monthly giveaways again. I really enjoyed my giveaways and connecting with new people during that time, so I'm not really sure why I stopped. Life probably just got in the way - doesn't it always!

So, here we go. For this giveaway, I'm giving a $15.00 gift certificate to my Etsy store. It's open to everyone, domestic and international.

The way to win this giveaway is to enter a date (from 1/1/2000 - present) that is the closest to an important date that I have selected. The person who guesses closest to that date wins. In case of a tie, I will randomly select a winner.

To enter:
1. Enter a comment with the date you have selected. Be sure to use the following format - month/date/year.
2. You can enter once in the comment section below.
3. However, you can also enter (as many as once per day) by sharing the facebook post from my Facebook Fan Page regarding this contest. After sharing the post, enter a comment with a date. You can share this post as many days as this contest runs - just remember, only once per day.

This contest runs through Monday, March 4th at midnight.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Creating Your Own Website Without Hiring a WebMaster

Creating and maintaining a website doesn’t have to be a monumental task. I think one big mistake people make is that they look at big company websites and are immediately intimidated by the scope and grandeur of these sites. For most of us, it’s just important to have a presence on the internet that contains pertinent information and links to our product offerings on our shopping site.

While I maintain a successful Etsy shop, I also have my own website. This site shows my latest jewelry products in a slideshow and then has links to my Etsy shop, blog, facebook fan page, twitter, and pinterest. There is also an ‘About’ page and a ‘Contact’ page. It took me one week to create and I used all free code found on the internet! I can modify it at a later date as my needs change. But for right now, I have all my important information on one site.

I found a great site on the internet called Free Website Templates. I browsed through their templates until I found one that had the style I was looking for. One caveat -  there are some templates (usually the best ones), that do not allow you to download the code. You can only edit and publish from their site. I quickly dismissed those. There are still many free downloadable templates to choose from. 

Once you download the code, then it’s just a matter of replacing their logos, images, links, and text with your information. Fortunately, I used to be a windows programmer, so I do have a lot of comfort in coding, but html code is very straightforward and anyone can edit it in a simple text editor. The source code is not cryptic and one can usually decipher it readily. If you’re stuck on a piece of code, just google it! You’ll find all the descriptions you need.

The most difficult task was replacing the main body picture with the slideshow pictures. I found a great site on the internet that gave me the free code for the slideshow – with all the instructions needed to integrate their code. There’s even a discussion board to help!
The company is Dynamic Drive and their website can be found here:

Once I edited the files, cleaned up my images, I copied all the files onto my hosting site (I use hostmonster.com) and I was instantly on-line! It was a great feeling to type in my website and see my jewelry on the internet.

I’m happy to help anyone who may have a question regarding what I discussed today. Please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll help any way I can. I realize that programming can be a bit daunting, but it is so worthwhile to have your own website!

Here's the link to my site: Theresa Rose Designs

Friday, February 15, 2013

Natural Products - San Diego Bath and Body

I love it when I find a great product that is:
  • Local company
  • Owned by women
  • Natural
  • Organic
  • Vegan
  • Handcrafted
If I find a product that supports local, small businesses (especially run by women), then I've hit a home run! San Diego Bath and Body Company is exactly the type of company I love to support. It's run by environmentally conscious Christy Bartlett and her husband Steve Blake.

All of her skin care products are natural, using only real ingredients that you can actual recognize and pronounce (there's a new concept!). Ingredients such as coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, olive oil, lavender, eucalyptus.

I've been using the French Lavender Body Lotion religiously since I purchased it a couple of months ago. Not only does it beautifully moisturize, it lasts forever! A little goes a long way, which I attribute to the natural ingredients that Christy uses when making this lotion. All of her products are handmade by her, so I know I'm getting a quality product.

You can find her at local craft shows in San Diego and purchase online.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why It's Important to Have Your Own Website

I've been selling on Etsy for over 4 years and have been very happy with the traffic and sales I receive on their site. People are always asking me if I have my own website and until recently, I never gave it much thought. I did sign up for my domain name - TheresaRoseDesigns a few years ago, just in case. I tried to create my own website but was overwhelmed with the task, so it went years wasted.

I have finally gotten my act together and launched my website and it only took me 1 week from start to finish! I'm so glad I finally completed this task and wonder why I didn't tackle this sooner. The reasons are so numerous why it's so important and I spell out the main ones here. Hopefully, this will get you motivated to do the same.

Here are the main reasons to have your own site, even if you are selling successfully on Etsy:
  1. You own your brand name. TheresaRoseDesigns is my name, forever. As long as I pay my $10 or so every year, no one can take that name.
  2. Your entire online presence can be accessed from one location. From my main site, you can link to:
    • Etsy Shop
    • Blog
    • Facebook Fan Page
    • Twitter
    • Pinterest  
  3. Increase your web exposure.  The more places you have your name, the more you will be found.
  4. Complete control over content. While I love the way Etsy looks, I do not control the picture sizes, color, or logo. I want the first look a customer has of Theresa Rose Designs to be the image that I want to project.
  5. SEO, SEO, SEO! I can drive customers to my site via SEO (which I'm still learning). I can't really do that on Etsy. 
  6. Credibility. Having my own site shows that I'm serious about my business. If I'm invested in my business, then that builds trust with potential customers. It shows professionalism and legitimacy.
  7. What is the future of Etsy? I'm pretty sure that Etsy will be around for a long time, but if anything happens, I'm positioned to link to a new store. If Etsy disappears and that's my only on-line presence, I disappear.
Your website doesn't have to be a massive undertaking. I have a couple of pages. I use it mostly to link to my other sites at this time. Once I realized that this was the way to start, the task didn't seem so daunting and I was able to get to work on it. In a later blog post, I'll explain how I was able to design and complete my website in only one week - for free (that was the best part).

Theresa Rose Designs