Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Do What Makes You HAPPY!!!

If only everyone could do what makes them happy!! I love doing what I do. It gives me the freedom to do stuff from home, still keep up with my writing talent, work on marketing materials and best of all being an artist of jewelry all while doing it on MY time!!

While searching around to find the secrets to happiness, I found these on a site called Life Optimizer

Use your talents
True happiness involves the full use of one’s power and talents.
Douglas Pagels
"There are two lessons to take from this quote. First, you should find your talents and second, you should use them to the fullest. Working in your talents is a sure way to enjoy your work because it’s something you are “hardwired” to do. Using your talents fully will make you even happier because of the satisfaction of doing your best."

Next I found this great tip from the same site: 

Be who you are
The summit of happiness is reached when a person is ready to be what he is.
Desiderius Erasmus
"You can only be happy if you become who you are. Don’t live other people’s life by trying to meet their expectations. People may expect you to have certain job or certain way of living but don’t be intimidated by them. Find who you are and be yourself."`

Sometimes I have to justify to people that what I am doing is what I am trying to achieve so that I can have a successful career working from home and then eventually having my own boutique. Some people think that I am some young person without any education just doing something stup;id but I have to remind them that yes, I do have four years of a college education behind me and a few years of marketing and advertising to back me up through this whole process, I am doing what I want to do not what someone expects of me.

It is truly a shame that I had to graduate in the worst economy that this country has seen since the great depression. However, what if it wasn't, and would I still be working in some corporate environment working late into the night in a crappy office - would I still be happy? Most likely not because I havent been happier doing what I am doing now.

Do I miss the office chatter? Nah, there is Facebook chat to keep me busy during the day with all my other unemployed friends. Do I miss human interactions? Nope - I get it when I go out to the grocery store, or beads supply store to get stuff. I enjoy talking to strangers more than I ever did with co-workers. No more accidentally revealing private information in my life to co-workers because let's face it, it really shouldn't be talked about because most of the time it back fires on you.

Is this something I really wanted to do - No? I always wanted to be a stay at home mommy. But now that I have had the taste of being my own boss and doing stuff that I love to do, I am not so sure when I want to start having a little family. I'm using my talents right now and am living a pretty happy life right now. I thought I was ready a few months ago but recently all that has changed as my business began to take off. It's ok to not jump into the having kids part of my marriage to Mr.Hockey! We are enjoying our time just being us two and our little dog Benji and seeing where life is taking us! Working on building a successful brand would be much much harder with a crying baby in the background.

What makes you happy? On the days that you feel at your worst, channel your inner thoughts and think about what you can be doing differently with your life? Making you happy shouldn't just always rely on making the most money because as we all know, money really doesn't buy us much happiness, its basically a blocker for the feelings that we are feeling. So go ahead, I challenge you to think about what you could be doing differently to really make you happy! If your already happy then I guess this post really doesn't apply to you :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Handmade Christmas Holiday

This was the first year that Mr.Hockey and I had to make a tough decision on our fiances for Christmas gifts. Normally we don't really have a budget and just go with the flow, but with a limited pay check and student loans taking over our lives, we decided that this year we just could not afford to give lavish gifts. So instead, I thought it would be perfect to make my gifts this year. Easy enough since my business is handmade jewelry.

I made these super cute bracelets with a matching pair of earrings. Sorry for not including a picture of the earrings.. I got a little caught up with everything during the holidays and wasn't able to steal a picture before I packaged them up. This was the only bracelet I was left with because from now on, I learned to make one for my keeping, so that I can always have another on hand for showing.

I just love these bracelets. Perfect for Christmas and Valentines Day as well. I added the heart toggle charm because I wanted my recipients to know I made if from the heart - full of love, call it cheesy, but I enjoy making jewelry for others. It was nice to see the reactions of my family members who received. So what did I learn this holiday season from a home made stand point? It is much more gratifying to make something then to go out and purchase something for someone. When you are good at something then you should go all out and gift what you are good at. People are going to appreciate it much more then a simple gift card or an item that you may not have use for. 

My family has always been crafty and home made so I was not surprised to receive so many other home made items this year. Geee, wonder where I get it from!!

My aunt made these super cute window/door draft stoppers which I LOVE, I use them all over my house and was pleased to receive another to add to my collection. Both of my cousins made delicious snacks to enjoy this week. I've already devoured the chocolate and caramel popcorn and ate my portion of chocolate dipped brownies. Mr.Hockey better get on top of his portion otherwise he is going to lose out.  My other aunt gave us beef pot pies that are big hit in our family. Note the handmade card she also put the gift in. She couldn't really wrap it because they do need to be kept frozen! Her friend makes them and are requested all the time. Mr.Hockey and I can't wait to dig into it later this week. I also bought handmade for my little Benji for Christmas. He is wearing his new sweater from Lynda Knits on Etsy! Check her out: http://www.etsy.com/shop/lyndaknits

Handmade Holidays are so much more appreciated and are even more appreciated too between artist to artist or baker to baker because you both equally know how much time and effort you put into making the perfect gift.

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gift Packing

Christmas is 3 days away and I have been a busy little bee making tons of goodies for my family. My family is the best when it comes to my business, as they are my number one customers and fans. Each of them are like walking advertisements.  Can't beat FREE advertisements. Without the help of my family starting up this business, I have no idea where I would be.

I just wanted to share my cute little gift wrapping idea that I had the other night. 

I love the little earrings I added as a special touch to my gift wrapping. Something you wouldnt expect. I hope my family notices it when they start to unwrap the gift. :) 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Review of my latest Etsy Purchase..

I'd like to highlight some of my purchases on Etsy and give reviews on them to help gain exposure to some of the great sellers that are out there because I don't feel enough of us do that. This Christmas, I decide to make it a handmade / local business Christmas. Being that Mr. Hockey and I are big supporters of local businesses we thought that this would be the perfect investment for our Christmas gifts this year. So for today, I would like to highlight this amazing seller on Etsy:

The Bathing Garden

Shannon the owner of the company is super sweet. The Bathing Garden offers a variety of candles, tarts and soaps that are all soy based. Which provide no toxic fumes like some of my previous favorites did I.E. Yankee Candle. Her prices are absolutely beyond affordable.

With a 6 piece wax tart, I paid $3.50 with the initial shipment of $4.00 and $.50 per additional purchase. I was lucky enough to grab on to her special of buy 2 get one free. She provided excellent customer service and went out of her way after there was a mishap with the order. I ordered a variety of different scents many of which were Christmas/winter themed ones. Chocolate Peppermint Snowball was my absolute favorite. This soy based melt literally smells like I am baking the most delirious treat. Mr. Hockey LOVES this scent out of the 8 I received.  If you have recently been into Bath and Body Works and smelled there peppermint snowball candle, this smells completely identical. I wish I could dish on all the scents I purchased, but most are gifts and well, I don't want my family knowing what scents they could be receiving...  

However, without a doubt or question in my mind, I highly recommend this seller to anyone that enjoys burning tarts. These have been a real treat and I am beyond trilled with my purchase. She even adds an extra goody with your purchase which I wont disclose, because you will just have to see for yourself.

For more information about the seller and to purchase visit: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheBathingGarden?ref=seller_info

Friday, December 17, 2010

FREE Friday Giveaway

It's our LAST FREE Friday Giveaway of 2010. Leave a comment under the photo or visit our Facebook page for your chance to win these vintage black flower earrings that retail for $11.00. They were made with a pair of vintage inspired antiqued bronze flower metal charms, 8mm faceted round jet glass beads and antiqued bronze fish hooks.

One winner will be chosen at random! Good Luck ♥

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What is your drive for success?

Mr.Hockey and I are very dedicate and motivated individuals and although we are young, we have achieved many great things so far in our early twenties. As time goes forward, we like to plan out where we want to be in the future and then work hard towards getting there. Our finances took a dip when I lost my job last year but we still somehow managed to put on a very beautiful wedding that we paid for ourselves and buy a brand new car. Now, we have the goal of buying our first house - we are really growing out of our condo and need to buy something a bit more bigger and "kid" friendly. With my business taking off, I really need a studio to create in and although renting out space with another crafter sounds pleasing, it's really not in our budget at the moment.

So for the next year or so both Mr.Hockey and I are going to work extra hard to pull in as much money as we can to achieve this:

We both love the Tuscan look and while looking through a sub-division in our area, we just fell in love with this and both said we have to have this. It's a lot but we are so motivated to do this that will do whatever it takes to get there. Mr.Hockey is working on putting together several side IT business jobs as well as still working full time, while I solely dedicate my time to expanding and creating my business, working even longer and harder hours. Not sure when will both find time to sleep but, this is our motivation to get to where we want to be.

What motivates you? What do you define your success as? When Mr.Hockey first asked me what I defined success as, I simply stated having my bachelors degree however, when he said visually - I couldn't really think of something right off the top of my head. I'm not a materialist person so it was hard to think of something. Then he brought me over to look at homes and finally it dawned on me.. having a really nice home shows off that success and hard work.

Our dream home IS going to be our first home because we ARE going to do this. So, if we have to stay in this condo for another 3 years then so be it. We want that dream home and will achieve it by working very hard to get there. So whenever I feel like I am having an off day and can't seem to grasp things, because believe me being a business owner makes you feel that way sometimes, I will just look at that photo for inspiration and motivation and remember the big IS and ARE.

Tuscan home.. here we come ~

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pure Michigan: Winter Virgins

The Holiday Rush

While I was preparing some orders this morning, I just had to take a picture of Benji just hanging out with me this morning.

He was just too cute to not capture. He just sits there and looks on as I work franticlly to get orders ready to go and off to the post office. I was out and about this afternoon in my local Jo-Ann's and picked up some great finds, which I am totally excited about. 

Super pumped to read this great book by Katharine Sise. Hopefully I will get some god tips from it. I'll post a review once I am done looking it over.

And lasty....

Awesome jewelry tree regularly $24.99 and got it for $12.50 and that is a steal for a metal stand tree. Early Christmas gift to myself :) 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Busy Time - Crazy Dog

Christmas is 11 days away..gosh 11 days! Needless to say, I've been so busy preparing orders and pumping stuff out for those last minute shoppers. My little teacup Benji has been feeling the heat.

He demands a lot of attention and I feel like he is rebelling. He is pee-pad trained but lately he seems to be pooping on my rugs.. Not just on the carpeting, but on particular rugs. I don't understand. It's so frustrating.. I am trying my best to give him my love and attention but I've gotta work to pay the bills. When Mr.Hockey comes home from work, he plays with him but its brief and I know he wants to play for a little bit longer. Maybe I should just get another Chi and maybe that would solve things.. but then thats just another added expensive. Oh Benji, what on earth am I going to do with you!

By the way, his too cute little sweater is from an amazing seller on Etsy! Lynda Knits. She offers cute little sweaters for a variety of smaller dogs. Check her out: http://www.etsy.com/shop/lyndaknits

Sunday, December 12, 2010

$15.00 Gift Certificate Giveaway!!

We recently just made it to 200 fans last week on my Facebook Page - up by 9 this past weekend. Due to that amazing milestone, I am hosting a $15.00 gift certificate to my shop!! Image what you could pick up from me with just $15.00... a few pairs of earrings, perhaps a bracelet you have been eying or maybe put it towards the purchase of one of my fun necklaces or hey, give it away as a gift this Christmas? Whatever you want to do, the choices are endless. How do you enter? Simply head to my facebook page: www.facebook.com/kaliahdesigns and click on the tab that says $15.00 Gift Certificate Giveaway :) Put in your name and email address and your on your way to maybe winning!!The contest ends tonight at 11:59! One winner will be announced tomorrow morning.

My fans really are great and I am so appreciative of there input and all that they have done for me. Facebook has really allowed me to spread my business on a social network, 6 years ago that never would've existed. Gosh, I remember being a student at OU and having to submit our school to there network so we could get on Facebook.. now some odd years later here we are!

Winter Wonderland Time

I'm definitely a warm weather kinda girl but I do enjoy the first couple big snow storms but then after that I've typically had enough. I've lived in Michigan my whole life so I'm VERY used to the snowfall. But in all honestly, our winter's are so much longer than our summers. I guess that means for many days sitting by the window and just crafting away - thinking about those past summers sitting on the beach. Nothing wrong with that right?

I just took this picture outside our balcony window. We're expected to get 4-8 inches of snow by day break tomorrow. I'm looking forward to taking our dog outside in a few. He's just a puppy so this will be his first snow experience. I'll be sure to post some pictures of our little teacup Chihuahua hopefully enjoying the snow.

Toxic Black Necklace

This just screams HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I'm very proud of this creation! When I picked up the materials, I just knew this was going to come out as a beauty. Have you ever created something and you just didn't want to give it up. I know the perfect black shiny blouse this would look stunning with. However, this is my business and sadly, someone is going to snatch this up. At least it's a beautiful piece someone will truly enjoy. It wasn't too bad of a labor intensive job because this time, I had laid out the beads the way I wanted it to look. I should do that more often. This is going to be one of my higher priced necklaces just because of the amount of glass pearls that were used and oddly enough, the black accents on the necklace did put a hole in my pocket but I just had to have them. 

Black Toxic Necklace $40.00

You can view more of my collections on my website: www.kaliahdesigns.com

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A New Blog For Kaliah Designs

There is ALWAYS something new going on over at Kaliah Designs! I'm either launching a new line, trying a new technique, updating the look and in this case, trying out a new blog host. I am formally from WordPress and although I liked it, it just didn't allow many features that a jewelry designer needs.

So a new blog, a new look and viola, here I am! I am happy to start reaching out to a new form of media and am looking forward to not only using this as my business blog, but also as a way for all of you to look into my personal life as a jewelry designer. Happy to have you following!