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Monday, February 10, 2014

L is for Love

I find the topic of Valentine's Day to be much like religion or politics. People either love it or despise it and immediately opt to change the subject. Most of the problem is that there is so much emphasis on romantic relationship status that we forget what the day is truly about.......love.

I am the lady that adores Valentine's Day. We are so busy with obligations of everyday life that it's too easy to forget to stop for a moment and acknowledge those we love. What could be better than a whole day dedicated to showing the people in our lives how we feel? Sweethearts aren't the only loves in our lives, no matter what the jewelry commercials say. What about parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends & children?  Dinners by candlelight with your honey are great, don't get me wrong, but what about everyone else in our lives that we love to pieces? There is no better time than Valentine's Day to pause and let someone special in your life know that they are loved!

Gift giving is also fun on this holiday of the heart but it doesn't have to break the bank. Opting for handcrafted, one of a kind gifts is a thoughtful way to spread the love. Here are a few great artisan made gifts to let that special person know you care!

1. For your favorite child: Conversation Hearts Peg Dolls
https://www.etsy.com/listing/175013982/the-holiday-collection-conversation-kids?ref=shop_home_active_13


2. For your favorite lady: Heart Glass Pendant Necklace
https://www.etsy.com/listing/121322351/red-and-white-heart-on-white-square?ref=shop_home_active_11


3. For your favorite fella: Copper Hand Stamped Wallet Insert
https://www.etsy.com/listing/158142604/copper-wallet-insert-card-personalized?ref=br_feed_22&br_feed_tlp=valentines-day


Looking for another great way to spend time with those you love? Try creating a sweet treat! With all natural ingredients and no oven necessary, its by far my favorite guilt free snack recipe!

Crispy Rice Ball Snacks
- 2 cups crispy brown rice cereal
- 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup organic honey
- 1/2 cup peanuts chopped
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- 1/2 cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips (gluten free, dairy free)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients adding cereal last. Using wet hands or 1 inch cookie scoop, form 1 inch balls and place on  wax paper covered cookie sheet. Store in fridge 30 minutes to before serving.

Happy Valentine's Day from Lovely Lyla Jean
XOXO

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Lights....Camera......ACTION!

One of my absolute favorite parts of the artistic process is photographing my finished designs using models. I have always enjoyed photography (I actually met my husband in a photography class) and while I like experimenting with still shots of my accessories, there is no greater joy than seeing them come to life on an adorable little lovely!

Now its one thing to get the perfect shot or expression using an adult model, but child models are a whole different animal. Between mood swings, teething, potty breaks and snack breaks, photographing children can be challenging to say the least. Not being a professional photographer, with each completed photo session I come away with a valuable lesson to use next time around.

Whether you sell children's clothing/ accessories that you need to use models for or your just looking to capture better candid shots of your own little lovelies, here are a few tips for a successful kids photo session:

1. Take breaks.......Lots of breaks- 
    When I first started taking kids photos my favorite line was "just one more shot sweetie, just one more". Tots have the attention span of a goldfish which equates to practically no span. I found the more breaks I let the kids take, the more fresh and ready to listen they were when we started up again. 5-10 minute breaks seemed to be just enough time to give them a breather without them completely losing interest.

2. Snacks
    Kids ALWAYS want snacks and usually at the most inopportune times. Obviously you want to accommodate without your models being covered in yogurt- GROSS! I try to make sure I have a variety of dry snacks on hand for munching in between photos. My favorites are pretzels, grapes and cheese sticks. As for liquids- water only. I also keep a hairdryer on hand in case there is a spill on the outfit.

3. Music
   I usually put on a kids station using Pandora or iTunes radio. If its a holiday themed shoot, I'll get some of my favorite Halloween or Christmas music together. The kids love to dance and I ended up getting a lot more smiles. It also keeps them so distracted that they forget I'm even photographing them. They feel more comfortable and that's when I get the best candid shots.

4. Patience
    I completely admit that this is easier said than done! I am typically not the most patient person and I get frustrated when I'm in a groove and the kids can't seem to stay focused. What I've learned is, when the kids aren't feeling it but you don't think you got enough press worthy shots yet, call it a day. If you keep dragging out what is already not going well, your headed for trouble and most likely a toddler meltdown. Most of the time when you sit down to edit your photos, you end up with a lot more fantastic shots than you thought.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Not So Social Butterfly

I consider myself a pretty social person. I love chatting with people at parties and functions. I can usually make conversation with just about anybody but when it comes to talking about my business- EPIC FAIL. I have never been good at "selling myself". I never wanted to be perceived as "that pushy sales person" because to me there is nothing worse. Since starting my business 4 months ago, its been a learning curve trying to figure out how to market my business without feeling like I'm being too pushy.

Etsy was the perfect first step. An online shop was a great match for me because I was able to put myself out there without being "in your face". Navigating Etsy is a learning curve all in itself- slowly but surely though, I'm finding my way. I found all of these new buzz words dancing in my head like Forums and Teams and Treasuries- OH MY! Almost every evening I would carve out time to investigate the animal that is Etsy. Little by little, I made it a point to become more involved whether it was creating treasuries to share or joining Etsy teams that pertained to my craft.

I was fortunate enough to come across the EtsyKids Team- a team geared solely toward shop owners that deal in children's products. It is an application based team so you must apply and be accepted. The team wants active participation from members to ensure that everyone joining is there for the good of not only their shop, but to help other shops succeed as well. I loved the concept and obviously being a children's shop I thought- perfect match! I applied, was accepted and now one of my items is featured on the Seasonal page of their website (http://www.etsykids.com/shoppingguide/seasonal.php) for the whole month of September.

I am now starting to realize that I have to TALK about my business in order to GROW my business. If I don't talk about my business, how will people know I have one? I am starting to come out of my shell and spread the word that is Lovely Lyla Jean but I still feel that the art of subtly is key and I don't necessarily have to be pushy to share my passion♥

EtsyKids Team

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Labor of Love

 I officially started Lovely Lyla Jean on my birthday this year~ May 6. It also happens to be my 2 year old daughter's birthday; the name sake of my business. When I had my first ultrasound for her, the nurse told us we were having a boy. This is a perfect example of how life doesn't always turn out the way we plan. 

At birth, just like her 5 year old brother, Lyla was born with a full head of hair. The need for headbands and hairclips was not just for vanity, they were essential! I was constantly looking for accessories to match her outfits and when I was out of luck, I started designing my own clips and jewelry for her. Part of the fun was how much she loved her accessories. She was always picking out what necklace, earrings, hair clips and outfit she wanted to wear. Her eyes would light up when I finished a new necklace and bracelet set for her. What started as my daughter's innocent "addiction" has turned into a business- my labor of love you could say.

I hope you'll stop back to follow the journey of this new venture♥