Tuesday, July 14, 2009

You've got to start to see the finish line

Excellent quote given to us from one of the ladies in my candle business:

"Remember that if you don't go to the starting line, you will never view the whole course with all its possibilities. And you will certainly never see the glories of the finish line."

~~ Amby Burfoot, The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life

So true...a great reminder to those of us who have always wanted to start their own business. And this is really the perfect time. From my perspective, with the economy the way it is right now, we're all at the same "starting line". We all have the same chance...so why not give it a shot?! The candle company that I have found offers a great way for any man or woman to start their own business. Want to check it out? www.Flames4Dreams.info

Not only do I have my own candle business, but I've also taken the plunge in starting my own handmade crafts as well. Someday I hope to have a shop where I can carry both. My goal is two to five years. If I do a little each day, I have just as good a chance as anyone to succeed.

It appears that my entrepreneurial spirit has rubbed off on my kiddos....they've set up a lemonade stand today!! They want to save up for a Wii. Yes, we're one of a very few families, I suppose, that do not have a Wii. I told them that if they keep up the good work through their sales plus chores, they'll get there.

Sometimes that's easier said than done, I know. Let's just reread the runner's quote from above.

Take care!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Which envelope will you choose?

I have two sealed envelopes in my hand. One says “no” while the other says “YES!” Which one will you choose?

Let’s face it. Just like every other aspect of our lives, no experience qualifies as a “one size fits all.” That’s true of this business as well. This business isn’t for everyone. Having your own home business requires the willingness to learn, a commitment to working toward your goals, a mindset for success and just plain old hard work. Heck, some people don’t even have goals. They just continue to wander through life hoping that somehow life will miraculously improve. Those individuals who do not possess a willingness to learn, commitment, a mindset for success or the dedication to put forth solid effort will select the “no” envelope. And that’s okay.

On the other hand, there are those that will not only select the “YES” envelope but will embrace all the possibilities that come along with having your own business. They understand that having your own business may be the only realistic way to improve their lives dramatically. These people have dreams. They can see themselves in a beautiful home. They can feel the warm sand underneath them as they picture in their mind the perfect vacation. They can feel the sun warming their skin as they think about the ability to spend their days at home with their children rather than sending them to daycare. They can smell the leather seats in their newly imagined sports car. And most of all, they know that the J.O.B. they currently have will NEVER be able to help them reach the lifestyle they want.

So which envelope do you want?

If you are ready for the “YES” envelope, you can begin a new chapter in your life by visiting: http://CandlesByLisa.scent-team.com/registration/join.php

Quote from Bill Cosby

"I don't know the key to success....but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."

~~Bill Cosby

I like to think of this quote each time I begin to get overwhelmed in what I'm doing now. I started a candle business (http://www.flames4dreams.info/) but I wanted to add something personal to my business that I created, so I started my Etsy store as well.

I've sold many candles - they are awesome candles - and I'm working people who are interested in starting their own home businesses to show them the opportunity that my parent company can provide.

I also love creating...in comes my handmade items and a million other ideas that I have for more handmade items. This results in the overwhelmed feelings. When I read this quote again today, it helped me to take a step back and concentrate on the first creation I had and why I wanted to share it with others. I realized that this early in the game, I need to stick with what I'm doing now for now....stick with what makes me happy and not what I think other people will want. I'm keeping my other ideas in a journal for the future when it's the right time to branch out.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Going green?

Are you one of so many that have been trying their hardest to "go green"? I've been trying in several ways, I suppose. But I really stopped to think about how I'm doing just that in my everyday life without really thinking about it.

We recycle so much each week that sometimes we have more in our recycle bin than in our trash can. And the trash bin that's provided by our trash service is like 10 times bigger that the recycle...box. I've been trying to wash out the plastic storage bags that I use to store food in the fridge, unless it's just totally grease covered or something.

And as far as my businesses, I'm keeping clothes that my daughter is outgrowing that may have a cute pattern on them to use as a purse or strips of fabric for crafts.

The candles that I sell, which are the best smelling candles in the universe, are a blend of all natural waxes - primarily vegetable wax. The value that one gets from these candles is so terrific...they burn clean - that means that there is no "black stuff" on the inside of the candle after you burn it. This, in turn, means that there is no black stuff on your carpets, on your furniture, or in your lungs!! Now that's going green!! The candle industry is a 15 billion dollar industry, so think of how much better the world could be if all the candle lovers burned natural wax candles!!

All of the scents come in votives and melts or "tarts" as some of you call them. No flames with the melts if that is what one prefers. Check out these wonderful candles sometime.

Shop at http://www.flames4dreams.net/

More info on owning your own business and showing others how they can too go green? http://www.flames4dreams.info/

Now I'm off to shop with my son for a birthday present for his friend.

Take care!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back at it...

Well I've been out of pocket for the day. I had to get some house cleaning done. Oh, and my dishwasher is broken!! Sheeesh. Look at this!

Working on a new ribbon wreath now all in fall colors. With the holiday shows coming up, I'm beginning to get a little overwhelmed with what I should be working on and what I need to have for each of the shows. I suppose for this next week I'm just going to focus on what I need for Bay City on the 18th.

Focus. This is what I need to do!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Etsy mini

Wow!! I added my Etsy mini to my blog!! I know it's not all that exciting to most...but it is to me! I had no idea I'd be able to get the hang of the technology!! If I can do this, anyone can for sure.

First Christmas Wreath!

It's done...for the most part. I think I need to add one more pine cone pick to the bottom left side. But....here it is (for those who don't remember, this was the wreath I was making back several posts ago):

Close up:

I don't think it turned out all that bad for being my first one! I did learn a lot though...don't use really expensive fabric - especially if you want the pattern to show. I'm in the middle of a knotted wreat using the same fabric. I think you'll be able to see it much better.

Let me know if you like it!!


Last night I spent some time researching area craft shows in an attempt to get myself organized for the upcoming holiday season. I found that Event Lister, http://www.eventlister.com/ seemed to have quite a few local listings. I'm thinking about joining as a member for at least a couple of months. If you're not a member, you can only see the postings out for about 2-3 months. If you join, for a fee of course, you can see the events further out. And I think it'd be a smart thing to start applying for those fall shows ASAP!!

So far, I'm booking the November show at the Northwest Forest Conference Center, http://www.northwestforest.com/ and I'd like to book the Victorian Christmas Market also in November, www.cypresscreek.cc/dickens2009 . Prior to that, I'll be going to the Bellville and Bay City Market Days and looking for other craft shows as well. I've got to get my planner updated!!

I'm also looking for those who are motivated entrepreneurs...for those who are ready to take that next step into owning there own business! This is a great time to start your own candle business, right before the holiday season!! For more info on starting your own candle business, please visit my website at http://www.flames4dreams.info/

Enter the weekly drawing for a FREE 16oz jar candle!! Visit http://www.flames4dreams.net/ and look for the icon in the upper right hand side of the screen.

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Still on the hunt...for a J.O.B.

Okay, yes, I have huge dreams of making a living off of my candles and crafts...and I WILL someday. In the meantime, I still need the capital to get started. And I understand the getting started period could be a year or more. Therefore, I'm still on the job hunt. Today was tough...I searched online job postings like Career Builder, Monster, etc. as well as followed up with 3 recruiters and contacted a 4th with whom I've never spoken to before. I just don't know what it is...yes, I know "the economy" but that's just not enough to make the jobless feel much better. So that's how I spent the fist part of today.

Now for the latter half of the day or the BEST part. I concentrated on the candles and crafts. I spoke with a lead today who is ready to begin her own candle business by the end of this week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!! I'm finally on my way to building my team! This is really a great time to open your own candle business if you love candles and want to actually make money with them! The holidays are right around the corner and here in southeast Texas, candles just seem to go with the holiday season. I guess it's that way everywhere, but I sure have met quite a few VERY successful people in the candle business from Minnesota!! Maybe because it's cooler there most of the year, candles are just on people's minds more. If you're interested in shopping at my candle store, please visit http://www.flames4dreams.net/ and enter the weekly drawing for a FREE 16oz jar candle!! It's sponsored by the Company and should you win, the candle will be shipped right to your door! You can enter weekly! You can view a picture of the July 2009 Candle of the Month - Juniper Breeze on my website!

Did you notice the new background on my blog? Down under yesterday's post you'll see a button (link) that will take you to a place where you can get FREE blog backgrounds. So cool!! And it must be easy to do, because I was able to add it!! You can do it too! I'm not sure how to move that button, though!! If anyone knows how to do that, PLEASE let me know!! (still working on this hi-tech stuff!) I remember, years ago, how my best friend, Jerri, used to laugh at how slow I typed!! At that time, typing was just too hi-tech for me. Truth is she'd probably still laugh if she saw me type today!

Now, the craft I worked on today was yet another pair of flip flops. These are a little more dressy that the one's I've posted before. Tell me what you think!!

These are in size 9-10, but I'm about to make them in sizes 5-6 and 7-8. I've posted them in my Etsy store at http://www.cottageocrafts.etsy.com/ You'll find a better description of them there!

Still finalizing my wreath from a few days ago. I've added some red Christmas balls but I still need a bow. I'll post the picture when it's finished. There's just not enough time for all of the crafting when the kids are home!!

Thank you so much for viewing my blog and leaving your comments. I appreciate you all very much!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

On with the rest of summer

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful time celebrating our country's Indepenence Day! We had some new and some old friends over for a Texas "BBQ" (fajitas!!) at our house. After napping in the afternoon with very full tummies, we sat outside in the warm breeze and lit just a few fireworks. We just had the little fountains and sparklers - nothing that went high in the air. Then we sat and watched all the other fireworks in the neighborhood blasting high in the air! And PRAYING that our yard or house didn't catch on fire!! Since we desperatly need rain, all of the yards are very dry. But, all was well - no fires!

Now that I've opened my store on Etsy, I have to get some business cards. It is suggested by the members in the candle business (www.Flames4Dreams.info) that you visit Vista Print (www.vistaprint.com). Currently they are having a speacial for FREE business cards and other special designs for just a few dollars. I went to the website this morning and ordered! I had to choose a design that would represent both my craft business as well as my candles. And I was able to place the information for both on the same card. I think it will do the trick. I wanted to be sure to have them before I went to a WAHM (Work at home moms) luncheon in two weeks. A friend of mine asked me to join her and I was very happy she asked. One really needs to network to help promote a home based business. Meeting new people....this will be a new experience for me!

For the coming week I'll be working on other crafts: I've started on some fabulous black wedge flip flops with various colored stone beads; I've yet to complete the Christmas wreath I started from below...well I just have to add embellishmentsl; and I'll begin a couple of rag wreaths - one with Christmas fabric and one with Roses fabric. I'll post pictures as soon as possible. I'll also be continuing with my job search...still with the hope that one day all we'll need is our crafting business!

See ya!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Pink-a-Dot" Flip flops

Good evening! Please take a few moments to visit my Etsy store at http://cottageocrafts.etsy.com/

You'll find the items below in my store!!

I mentioned earlier that I would post pictures of my new pink-a-dot flip flops. Here they are!

AND, the Lady Aggie fip flops:

A Chili Pepper wreath for the kitchen or patio:

Want to experience a FABULOUS Gourmet Clean Burning Candle? Please visit my Candle Business website at www.Flames4Dreams.net

Want more information on starting your own Candle Business? www.Flames4Dreams.info

Goodnight everyone!

Christmas in July?

Well....it is for me. If you're a crafter you know by now that it's time to start the application process for the fall craft shows. I'm new to this you know, so I'm having to begin several Christmas projects ahead of time. Many of the craft shows are juried...which means they want pictures of your items for sale so that they can "vote" on whether or not you can participate in their show.

Shows I'm thinking about? Well, if you're in the Houston area, there's going to be one at the Northwest Forest Business Center. It's located on Telge road in Cypress, Texas just past the La Hacienda restaurant. The date of the fair is November 20th. They're expecting 2000 - 2500 visitors. WOW!! I'll need to be accepting credit cards for payment by then!! If you look in local papers you'll see that the shows will be advertised. I'll post more throughout the month.

So, here's one of the Christmas wreaths that I've started on. Lesson #1 (I'm learning the hard way): Don't use very nice EXPENSIVE fabric on this particular kind of wreath. Because in the end you can't really see the fabric!!! :( I think it will turn out nice in the end though. I'll just need to add various embellishments, like glittery pine cone/berry picks and a nice bow (definitely need a Bowdabra - Wal Mart's the cheapest). Here are some pictures:

Items you'll need: 4in square pieces of fabric (pinked), glue, screw driver, and straw wreath with plastic left ON.

Here is the nice fabric that you SHOULDN'T use.
Below: poke the screwdriver into the middle of the fabric piece and dip into diluted glue.

Next push into wreath form. Alternate different fabric squares.

This wreath is very "silvery". That's why I'll need to add the berries, and a nice bow - maybe made of silver and red ribbon or silver and green ribbon. I don't know yet. I'll post the finished product soon!!

I'll also be posting a picture of some "pink-a-dot" flip flops later today as well.

Thanks for following today!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Etsy store

Okay...I did it! It's now open!! I've openned my Etsy store and posted several items that I've made recently. I still have many more to post though.

Here are a pair of Zebra print flip flops modeled by my daughter!!

Please visit my Etsy store at www.CottageOCrafts.etsy.com
I'm also going strong on the candle business. I encourage anyone who has dreamed of owning there own business (man or woman) to check out my website with Scent-Sations, Inc. This is a fabulous way to start a home business. The support has been amazing. It's fun and something to be proud of too! I'm striving for the $10K per month mark. No kidding, I know people in the business who are making that kind of money after only being in the business 2-3 years.
If you'd like more information, please visit www.Flames4Dreams.info
Now only two more weeks until the next Bay City Texas Market Days. Gotta get movin'!
Bye for now.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Opening my Etsy store

I'm in the process of opening my Etsy store. And, yes, I'm still a distributor for Scent-Sations, Inc. (visit my website at http://www.flames4dreams.info/) So far I've found things to be relatively easy on Etsy. And that really says a lot coming from the MAJOR technologically challenged!! I've made a vow though to improve upon my technical/computer/internet skills. I already have a Paypal account so once I list some of my items I'll add the Paypal account. As soon as I'm fully open, I'll post the link to my store! Here are a couple of items that will be in my store:

I sold this Patriotic Ribbon Wreath last weekend at the Bay City Texas Market Day!

Here are some other wreaths I've made:

I really like this website...it has lots of projects that are easy to make! www.homemadesimple.com

Monday, June 15, 2009

Another summer day

This morning I reviewed Career Builder and Monster as well as the Houston paper to look for another accounting position....requirements for unemployment. Nothing really turned up this morning in that arena. I should hear back by Wednesday as to whether or not I'll be called back for a second interview at a company that I interviewed with last week. Keeping two things in mind, our family finances and knowing that I won't have to go back forever, are the only two things that get me over the sick feeling of going back to Corporate America.

So, on to happier business. I took the kiddos to the pool for a couple of hours today. The pool will pretty much be our vacation this summer. They're old enough now that I can sit out and read a bit. I'm reading "Thou Shall Prosper" by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. Great book. I recomend it and many of you probably know that it's also recomended by the famous Dave Ramsey. It's motivating for someone who wants to start their own business.

I'll be working on two new wreaths later today and probably tomorrow as well. I'm putting together a Texas A&M and a Univ. of Texas fabric wreaths...well two of each. I've got to finish preparing for the Bay City Market Days taking place Saturday, June 20th. If you're in the area, stop by!! This will be our first time at the Bay City Market Day. I'm sure it will be quite hot. I wonder how many crafters will be there?

Sarah helped me to take several pictures of the wreaths, flip flops and garland earlier today. I'll get those posted by tomorrow's entry.
This is one of our cats, Wolfie.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Welcome to my blog!

Hello out there!

Although I've worked for many years in Corporate America, I've still considered myself "technologically challenged". So starting my own blog is a HUGE step for me.

I have been married now to Rick, my best friend, for twelve years. I am a mother of two beautiful, yet challenging, children. Sarah is 8 and Ricky is 7. I was let go from my Corporate America accounting manager position at the beginning of this year. It's now mid-June and I have still not yet landed a new position. I know that there are many, many folks out there that can relate. Luckily, my husband has had steady work. If it weren't for that, we'd be wiped out. After the initial shock of the whole thing, I began to see the many opportunities that I was given. I've enjoyed taking my kids to school, walking them home, eating dinner and doing homework at reasonable times in the evening, and being Team Mom for my son's baseball team. I've never been able to do any of these things in the past and I absolutely love it.
In an attempt to find ways of earning money from home so that I don't have to spend the rest of my life in the Corporate America rat race, I searched the Internet for home based businesses. After researching and researching some more, I came across a company that teaches people how to open their own candle business - they are the maker of the cleanest burning/best smelling natural wax gourmet candles in the world. I LOVE candles. And this debt free company won me over instantly. There is so much potential to earn more money that I ever thought possible!! So I became a distributor. I've sold my candles to family, friends, neighbors, and I take them to various shows and trade days in the towns around Houston. I'm beginning to take the next step of building my own team of distributors - people like me to truly enjoy being home with their families and living by their own schedule. If you're interested in learning more, my candle website is: http://www.flames4dreams.net/ You can also sign up for a weekly drawing to win a 16oz jar candle!!
Although I love and have fun with my candle business, there's always been something else that I have loved to do and had a knack for...crafting. I've always loved to tinker with projects like homemade gifts. Usually the easy kind, like cross-stitch, or especially the no-sew fabric projects. So over the last couple of months, I've started projects like decorating flip-flops (my daughter loves them!) for kids as well as women. I've had some Oooos and Aaahhhhs and a few buyers. Then my wheels began to turn faster and I started other fabric projects, like Wreaths and Garland. I've also kind of leaned toward the Prim/Americana decor as well, so my projects (the wreaths and garland) reflect this type of taste. I also like the Cottage decor too. The more I think about going back to work, the more I think about how I can take these other interests of mine and make them work for me and my family!! Yes, I am an accountant, but I also have a right side to my brain!! So, I applied for a Sales and Use tax number and sent off for my DBA registration. I was told at the bank that you have to register for a DBA with the county before you can open a business checking account. I'm so excited about this I can't sit still. I'm usually up until very late at night working on my projects after the rest of my family has gone to bed.
The name of my business? The Crafty Cottage!! You'll be the first to know my craft business website as soon as it's available!
I know it will take a while to get off the ground...but I am willing to do whatever it takes to make this happen. My mother tells me that since I've been home, I don't seem as "angry" anymore. I never realized that I was taking out all of my work-related stresses out on my family that much. I owe it to my family and to myself to succeed in my new business. My ultimate dream is to have my own store where I can sell my homemade crafts as well as the Mia Bella candles! I want to give others the joy that I have found in crafting and the opportunity to have their own home based business.
I hope you will join me in my journey and be there with me the day my dream comes true! I'd love to hear from those of you who can relate to my story as well as those who have started or plan to start their own crafting business.
Take care, Lisa