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Friday, January 27, 2012

Courtney of French Country Cottage


Hi~ I'm Courtney and I am the girl behind the curtain at French Country Cottage

I am a stay at home mom of 3 inspiring kids and I am an interior stylist and  blogger.  I started blogging  when I found myself needing a little place to call my own and wanted an outlet to feed my passion for creating beautiful rooms.

What I didn't know when I started blogging was just how much I would enjoy it and how many wonderful people I would meet because of it. Blogging has become a much larger part of my passion than I originally thought that it would. I do work in social media with brands and companies but the main focus of my blog is home &  lifestyle.
One of my favorite things to do is to find a way to achieve that high end design book look for very little cost- to have beautiful rooms you don't need to spend a lot. Another favorite is taking something and transforming it with paint or with a different purpose.  I used burlap from the garden department that I made into a tablecloth. Or the newly purchased bistro chairs that were painted and stenciled to look antique.  I also enjoy renovating and redesigning spaces and am a big time DIY girl- so you will see before and afters at my blog as well.

I find inspiration everywhere. A forgotten treasure at the flea market that is instantly transformed in my mind, an elegant antique chair dressed in burlap  or even a simple bouquet of  flowers on a weathered tabletop are some examples.

French cottage and shabby style rooms are my favorite spaces. Filled with gorgeous antiques, old  patina and crystal chandeliers - they are just  beautiful and at the same time- they are welcoming, warm and comfortable. Perfect for everyday elegance.
You can visit Courtney's beautiful blog here:
 




Thursday, January 26, 2012

Building Your Brand

Apronology Spring '12

In my little corner of the world the new year has started with a bang with 2 magazine features that surpassed any expectations or even dreams. When I heard from Beth Livesay Editor of Apronology that one of my designs was going to be featured I was thrilled but to hear I got the cover made my heart sing.

And there was this amazing gift, to be featured as one of Romantic Home's Magazines "The Romantics". There aren't words to describe how blessed I am. 

Working hard and having your efforts validated is priceless. 

As a business owner I have found it is of utmost importance that you lay your ground work so you are always prepared, like a good Girl Scout, for what is around the corner. Dont wait for the phone to ring to whip your website, products, etc. into shape. You never know who may be looking at your product or service and wanting to promote you in some manner but thinks you are not quite ready. Those missed opportunities can be lost forever.

Another thing Ive learned is PR doesn't necessarily translate into sales. It does heighten awareness about your business which does ultimately bring in more sales but even more importantly is serves as establishing credibility. Credibility in business is everything! When you hear about a person, product or service and want to know more you will undoubtedly Google the name. What happens if you cant find any information, you move on. So be absolutely sure you have laid your ground work so when an opportunity comes along you can be found and have a credible reputation.






Monday, January 16, 2012

Paula of Castle & Cottage


Like many entrepreneurs my business started as a hobby, just painting signs for friends and family. It seemed the more I painted & created, the more I wanted to paint & create. Soon selling my signs became inevitable and I've never looked back!

I suppose my success can be attributed in large part because I never allowed myself to doubt what I was doing. I've always had my heart in this which has been the one thing that made all the difference. Of course the support of my loving husband and family was a huge part, but once they realized where my heart was, (and itwas staying there!)...they began rallying around me and supported me all the way.

I took a lot of chances and gambles along the way- almost always 'wearing my heart on my sleeve' so to speak but I truly never allowed myself to do anything but look forward. If something didn't work, it simply meant I had to find a better way to do it; it never meant 'give up'!


Today I can honestly say that I've reached a place in my business that I've been dreaming of and working towards for almost twenty years. That may seem like a long time but when I look back I realize that every moment was worth it. I wake up each day more anxious than the last and ready to 'work' creating more and creating anew.
Visit Paula at her blog: Castle and Cottage 
To order her fabulous signs:  Castle & Cottage Signs




Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Special Guest~Karen Valentine

 Guess Who is speaking at Launch Your Creativity?
 
Karen Valentine of Valentine Design and "Where Bloggers Create"

Did I tell you that this amazing, creative lady will be one of my guest speakers
at Launch Your Creativity in April?

Visit Karen's blog, My Desert Cottage,  for cottage inspiration, tutorials and blingy eye candy galore. She is an amazing photographer and has been published  in Somerset Studio & Where Women Create.

I'm so excited to have Karen speak and I know you will love hearing from her. 
Don't miss the event!