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Category Archives: Small Biz Bloging

Handmade and the Designer: B2B Showcase of Talent #2

Handmade and the Designer: B2B Showcase of Talent

The Handmade Business

The Handmade Business

This week I would like to introduce you to a “pair of lovely Brooklyn, NY natives” whose handmade knitting and crochet items are a hit from coast to coast. Calcedonia Design.

Dora, as we know her, has sold her handmade items from local community fairs, church fairs and to the local boutiques in the Brooklyn, NY area.  She has worked in the crafting business off and on for many years and like most of us, just got “hooked” on crafting.  Dora, also named from her mother’s nickname (Dora), is joined by her mother, Calcedonia, (To which the Business Name comes from both these ladies) as business partners and make a great team.


These two amazing ladies make & hand design fabulous baby accessories, scarves, hats and you can purchase other items in their store, such as jewelry and doll clothes.

Mother Calcedonia, is 90 years young and we hear she can knit and crochet up a storm. God Bless You! I suppose that could be the cause of the windy weather that comes from the Brooklyn area at certain times of the year. (smiles) This pair of unique ladies are the heart and soul of the Calcedonia Design Store. 

Handmade Baby Accessories

Handmade Baby Accessories

Even before the dream of Calcedonia Design was formed, Dora and Mom were very active in many charities to help the less fortunate and the children in the local NY area.  Many of their handmade products went to the charity of “Babies in Need”.  A non-profit organization in Long Island, NY, where both ladies donate blankets, preemie hats and booties, all hand made.

Their other favorite charity is The Salt and Sea Mission; it’s also an organization for Children in need at Christmas. So you can see, these ladies are very busy year round and do a bang up job of spreading color and warmth to others. Nothing is “scrapped”, they make use of every inch of yarn with their wonderful talents. 

Calcedonia Design Hats

Calcedonia Design Hats

 

In 2008 Calcedonia Design joined the Etsy online community and has been a hit seller ever since. You can choose to Special Order or purchase from ready to wear hats, scarves, gloves, tams and even special order your favorite Team Sports colors. 

 

"Go Gators!" Team Color Hand gloves

“Go Gators!” Team Color Hand gloves


 

 

 

 

 

 

Baseball, Football or just about any sport that shows their team spirit colors, Dora and Mom can make for you. Just remember, “Special Orders” do require time and you should always email Dora for any special information or approximate date to expect your order.

 

 

Hand designed Doll Clothes and accessories

Hand designed Doll Clothes and accessories

 

Calcedonia Design is more than just an online store.  You can find many other items for your buying pleasure and gifts.  Jewelry, baby doll clothes, and other items you will love to buy. 

I have known Dora for some years now, and I can be honest and say with sincerity that she is as wonderful to know as a friend and even more so as a Small Business Owner. Dora and is always ready to answer any questions you may have about her handmade products and special orders. 

 I recommend you put Calcedonia Design on your shopping list and take a look at the quality of work and design. When buying for yourself, a family, friend or for a new baby gift, think Calcedonia Design for that special someone.


Thank you Calcedonia Ladies, for all the beauty you bring to the world.
Support your local online Sellers and buy USA handmade products.

Look for our next Small Business Showcase coming soon. 
Written by:  Taylor McCoy 
NBD Web Solutions

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Incredible Women Pioneer Techonology

If you are just a computer user, you may not know that you have the women of invention to thank for the tool you are using today.  Incredible, you say… and yes, it’s totally incredible!  Not everyone will agree with me, but here’s the facts.

Women, you have no doubt heard of in passing, have played a huge part that pioneered the way to the technology we have today, in so many ways.  Let’s take some examples. I just choose a few that stood out among the many.

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Hedy Lamarr was a movie star in the MGM days, yet a brilliant mathematician. She co-invented a technique for technology hopping that currently serves as the basis for Bluetooth and WiFi.  Incredible!

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Ada Lovelace was a mathematician in the 1840’s who is credited in writing the first computer program, decades before the computer was invented.  Incredible!

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Alexander Graham Bell, may have been the inventor of the telephone and a single line, but Dr. Ema Hoover, who is also a mathematician, she invented the computerized telephone switching methods and revolutionized the modern communication.

As you use your modern computer today and talk on a phone with multi-functions and ability to switch calls… I’d like you to remember that women, have played such a big roll in our history of technology, but we still have to work harder and work longer for the recognition.

As a business woman, thankfully, I have many mentors to look up to.  I know that my hard work and efforts to help other women in business is a gift.  I may not be a famous person for doing what i do, but hopefully I’ll be remembered in kind.

Thank a woman in business today.

Written by: Taylor McCoy
Just a wordy girl in a blog world
NBD Web Solutions

Read the full article here:
6-incredible-women-who-changed-modern-technology
Credit to: blog.whitepages.com

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Small Biz Bloging

 

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Handmade and the Designer: B2B Showcase of Talent

Image   Many of us use a talent in life.  For some of you, it began at an early age.  Some of our talents didn’t develop until later years when the kids are grown or live dumps on us, with unexpected situations.  Whatever means of talent, that brought you to making handmade products is why we are talking today.

Having been brought up in a home that most everything was handmade, from quilts to dresses, I learned the value of time, material and being proud of the results.  Being of Cherokee Heritage, my grand ma was known best for her quilting, design and sewing abilities.  It was always a grand time when the older family females would come to make a special quilt for a special occasion.  Wedding quilts were the ones I remember best.  They would take a whole 3 days to make between the 4-6 women that would come to sit at the 6-8 foot quilting loom that was in the basement.   I was the refreshment girl, or ready to get whatever they needed, so I could stand and watch this amazing handmade miracle come to life.

Appreciation to the artist is sometimes very small.  Our talents for making soap, dolls, quilts, clothing, furniture and jewelry are but a few of the handmade trades that fueled a nation and brought economic growth to our pockets and food to the table.

I would like to focus on a few of the many talented people that I have had the pleasure to know and associate with on a business and friendship relationship.

Welcome to the “Business 2 Business Showcase of Handmade Talent”.  I”ve had a great response so I will be showcasing ONE SHOP weekly the next few weeks.  Please visit these amazing crafiers and shop for your gifts and personal treasures.  You can always count on quality and great customer satisfaction when you shop from Handmade Stores online.  Enjoy!

Image   The Lemon Cat

One of the most interesting shops I have come across in some years, provides handmade soaps in a variety of styles, shapes and colors that truly amaze the eyes and tempts the senses,  is The Lemon Cat.  Located in Florida, this local merchant makes and processes handmade soaps in a wide variety of scents and decorative styles.  Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Janna, the owner of “The Lemon Cat” creator and the talent behind the beautiful array of soaps and gift baskets, has been a craftier for years and tried her hand at several crafts, until she finally settled on a specific one, Soaps.  Janna kick-started her new business adventure in April of 2012.  Janna has been making soaps and just can’t get enough of the fun of creativity, just as her customers can’t get enough of her products.  Her customers love the scents, purity and presentations that come with shopping from a handmade craftier.  (I myself have purchased from Janna and can’t say enough about her product and customer service, but that’s getting off the subject)

Image    Janna uses two processes to achieve her finished product.  A cold process that entails making soap from scratch, the way “grand-ma” did. Her ingredients are fresh oils (olive oil, coconut and castor), butters (shea and cocoa), lye and distilled water and maybe a tad or “slab” as it use to be called, of lard to keep with the old fashion method.  Her products are 100% pure and natural, making even the most sensitive of skin happy to use her products.

Her other method of process is what “soap manufacturing casters” call, a soap casting method. (Sounds simple, right?)  Pre-made soap base is purchased, fragrances, colors and exfoliates are added to achieve the finished molded product. These are the brightly colored soaps you see in her online shop. This type of soap has a lot of moisturizing glycerin in it  Bar soap, you purchase in local stores, don’t carry the wonderful enrichment or benefits of a handmade soap.

Image   Whatever your preference, Janna has an abundance of shapes from the practical to the inner child in us and soaps for children, too. Her talent has found its true purpose, delighting many customers and the products speak for themselves.

Image  I invite you to check out her shop and start your shopping Holiday List and do add a gift or two for yourself as you go through all her products.  Value and price, you can’t beat it!  Shop handmade this Season and all year round from our favorite and soon to be yours…

Image  The Lemon Cat.

Next up on our Showcase of talent: Edi’s Treasures
Written by:  Taylor McCoy
NBD Web Solutions

 
 

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Business advice flows from experts with the force of Niagara Falls.

Rainbow and tourist boat at Niagara Falls

Tag Line: by; Milo Dakota

Business advice flows from experts with the force of Niagara Falls.  There’s no shortage of millionaires and billionaires who opine about the secrets of their stellar accomplishments.  But sometimes it’s nice to hear the success stories of the still-in-the-trenches small business owners who live the messages they preach.

Here are some words to the wise from business owners in three diverse Industries:  travel, insurance and fashion:

Look at the Calendar, Not the Clock

Sean Rollinson, marketing manager of Escapes.ca, says it’s crucial to not underestimate the time required to launch and manage a business:

“Being a business owner, especially at start-up, requires a lot of time, dedication and long hours,” Rollinson said in an interview.  “One of the main reasons why so many businesses fail within the first few years, next to simply a bad idea, is because new business owners don’t realize or realistically calculate how much time will be involved in running their business.”

Business owners hoping to achieve a balance between their personal and business lives should not look to achieve this on a daily or weekly basis.  They need to think of balance with a longer view in mind.

“Keep in mind that balance may be defined in years, not days,” Rollinson says.  “The first few years may take away a lot of one’s personal time but, once you get established and are able to hire some good employees, then you are able to take back some of your personal time.”

The need to adapt to changes in the business climate means, however, that even owners of established companies need to spend considerable time thinking about their business even if they are not physically present for long hours at the office.

“Even after you are established, while it may consume less of your personal time, it should still consume a lot of your thoughts.  Those thoughts show that you are still passionate about” what you do.

Balance Risky and Conservative Measures

When Ronny Jetmore launched his own insurance company 12 years ago, he had no money, no products to sell and limited experience in the insurance industry.  He was 25 and didn’t contemplate the risks.  If he didn’t succeed, he’d give up the business and get a job.  He succeeded.  He has learned from both his missteps and success and has advice for entrepreneurs who want to limit mistakes and garner easier success:

“First and foremost, find what you like to do that makes money and seems to have a good future, for 30 years out,” he says, and do market research to make certain you are filling a need.  He also recommends keeping a part-time job until the new business earns enough to pay your bills and advises that you keep expenses as low as possible.

“Put up a good front.  In other words, don’t buy a $60,000 car to impress clients if you can buy an $8,000 car that will do the job and look respectable.  Spend on things like a few nice shirts, a nice sign, envelopes, letterhead and get some decent furniture, not a $5,000 desk but a neat old wood one from a sale for $200 that you might have to paint.”

Like Rollinson, Jetmore says to work hard — at least 60 to 70 hours a week until your income stabilizes.

Love What You Do

Jared Young, owner and partner of AppetizingAprons.com Owner/Partner, AppetizingAprons.com, says that if you[re passionate about your business, the hours don’t seem like a hardship.  It also helps that he loves his business partner, his wife Nancy.

Most small business owners don’t go into business for themselves because they have no other option; they do it because they love the freedom and challenge that comes from relying on your own wits to survive. There is a joy in doing what you love that can’t be found elsewhere and I think as a small business owner it’s important to embrace that. Each individual has to examine what they want out of life and apply that to their work/life balance,”

Young adds that you should take breaks as often as you need so that you are doing things that bring you pleasure.  If the long hours needed to run a business are too much of a hardship, entrepreneruship may not be for you.  “You should never be working so much it makes you unhappy. If that’s the case, you should just go get a job; it’s much safer.”

Written by: Guest Blogger : Milo Dakota

 

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May the “SEARCH” be with You

B2C Content Marketing

B2C Content Marketing

Have you noticed that when you do a search for yourself or your business link, that you don’t see what you would expect?   Yes, that’s right.  The world of SEO as we know it is forever changing and it did it again,  right before your eyes and you didn’t see it coming.

Here’s the scoop.  Search Engines are combining individual post that seem mundane, straight advertising, so to speak.  Again, Google is all about “content” for your post, your website, your white pages and social streams.  Do you want to be seen on searches?  Do you know which social networking venue is getting you hits?  Do you check your Google Analytic for source traffic?  You should.  There is a wealth of knowledge in those stats that can help you drive traffic to your products the way you want.

I have been over an over about “good content” and yet, Google keeps asking for more from us.  Be original in your post, mix it up, be bold in your title and descriptions of your products, but … remember the rules of engagement, don’t spam the keywords and keep it short and to the point.  Title is everything, descriptions are your keywords in a nutshell.  Use #hashtags when ever possible, those keywords help the “trending” searches for the day.

What Google wants to see now is original, real content created by original real people, content that attracts the user’s attention because it’s well written, relevant and enjoyable.

Such content is eagerly shared with friends, family and acquaintances, which shows Google that the material is real, not some canned, generated garbage simply meant to inflate search rankings. Google’s updates change search rankings so that shares, replies and views matter more. Companies who try to trick the system so that their sites come out on top are punished.

Granted, bringing in professionals to produce quality content will cost, but in the long run, if the improved material brings more hits to the website and consequently increased sales, it’s a worthwhile investment to make. Hiring a VBA is more and more common among Small Businesses. Marketing is more than just clicking a product into the social streams, it’s manning the ship and steering toward your business goals.

What this means in a “nutshell” of SEO … Google loves to share!  Liking a product or website (on any social network) doesn’t mean a thing to the SEO search bots.  But, if your product or website is viewed and shared around, it is search rank’able!

What the “search filters or search bots” (and there are over 200+ search bots that craw your link, your page, your photos and you content), is to combine similar posts to go behind the main LINK of your social network page. So there is very little “individual posts” that you will see now on any given search page. But what you will see, is the original real posts that catch the attention of the search bots. Just do a generic search of your business link and you will see what I’m saying.

If you wonder why this is so … go back and look at your Google Analytic Account, view your source links.  See exactly where the browser hits are coming from.  From there you can also break it down to see what items in the searches were viewed. Individual links that got the buyer to your website, blog or product. I’m not a “full geek” but I love to see how the numbers talk to you.  This is business sense to take you to the next level.

I have but one “pet peeve”, it’s “content for business”.  I stand by it, work by it and talk about it excessively.  Business friends, work it correctly via your post, your blog and your website and it will bring you positive views and sales every time.  If I can be of assistance, contact me by email.  Free Consults are just that, FREE!

From your wordy gal, Taylor
Please share with friends.
Comments always welcome
nativebydesignz@gmail.com
 

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THE “WRITE” STUFF

Work Smarter-Not Harder

Making Keywords Work

          The “WRITE” Stuff

What moves your business to the front?  Key words.
Keywords are not only for website searches, titles or description            services or products.  Keywords are so much more.

          WHAT is a Keyword?

A keyword is any word or short phrase that describes a website topic or page.
The more a keyword is used by searchers and websites the more attraction power it has.

 

Have you given thought to the “key words” that go into your blogging?  You haven’t?
Then it’s time to explore and expand on your “Write stuff” for your blogging for content.
Keyword research is “market research” that you can do in advance of writing your blog.
Do you know what keywords your visitors use to find you?  Ever wonder how those that follow your blog found you?  It’s keywords.  Let’s call them “short topics of interest” so you can see how to make finding you, much easier.

Diaries, journals and online writing, blogging for content has become very popular in the world of technology.  We all have something to say, or services and products to offer to others in the internet realm.  What better way to connect with those then in the world of blogging. Once you have a blog set up, how do you attract your readers?  Today blogging venues offer you some great tools or short cuts on “tagging” or “keyword” subjects to include with your topics.  Are you offering product information or talking about services that Small Businesses can benefit from?
What ever you are offering, “keywords or key phrases” are your “meat and potatoes” of your blogging content.

You can search on the internet for “keyword search tools” and come up with hundreds, all claiming to be the best. Some offer monthly packages to help you target your keywords and draw in tons of visitors.  Is it worth it? Does it work?
That depends.  If you are a large company with a ton of products, you might want to invest in the $30 to $99 monthly fee.  However, it’s not necessary.  A smart marketing business person will capitalize on the FREE ENTERPRISE method and put some elbow grease into it.  You have your Google Analytic, a free stat program that is just as good or better for helping you with keywords that can attract your visitors.

Oh, blogging with keywords. Ha, I didn’t forget you.
Let’s say you are looking to put information out about a certain product. From a traffic perspective, targeting a post at the right keywords can bring you 10,000 visitors, where one that you write off the top of your head might bring you 100 visitors instead.

Let’s use a mobile phone for example.
Your internet business is mobile ready and you want people to know you are available anytime or anywhere and they can save you to their phone bookmarks.  All the information and “how to” is explained in your blog.  What “keywords” do you focus on?
What information do you “underline” or Link to capture their interest to “click”, take that “call to action” and grab their mobile phone and bookmark you?  You target the “keywords” of your topic and lead them to your business.

An example of keywords for the example above would be:

Mobile phone, digital devices, mobile bookmarks, mobile marketing, mobile shopping, your business name or a few of your business products.
You can also do a “keyword” search to see how many consumers are using those keywords or what is related that would be more attractive in your blog topic.

Some recommended links:  (Some require sign-up, per your browser provider.)
Google Keyword Tool
Bing Keyword Research Tool
WordStream Keyword Generator (useful if you want to see what everyone else is looking at)

Keywords are not a mystery, but as I mentioned, rather a “short word topic” that can easily be found and converted into sales for your business.

Remember to relate to your topic of interest with your keyword, key phrases, and if you use categories, make sure you can add more than one to your post. Look at related topics from others in your field. Are they blogging?  Do you have them listed in your “what I read”, many will link back to your blog, creating a positive back link.  Make sure to add your signature blog link to your emails, website and share with your social networking community.

You are setting a presence, building your foundation as a knowledgeable business person in your arena. Branding your business character is just as important as branding your services or products you are offering to the consumer.

I hope I have been informative and dispelled the “keyword” mystery and given you more sound incentive to include keywords in everything you do for your business.

Have a great day!
IF you like this topic, please re-blog, like and share.
From your “wordy gal and wanna be geek”
Taylor
NativeByDeisgnz.com
©NBD Solutions 2013

 

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Are you getting the benefits of Digital Shopping?

mobileshoppingAre you getting the benefits of Digital Shopping?

We’re in the first quarter of 2013.  New and rapid changes are all around us.
Are you ready?  Do you have your website on the mobile stream?

Digital is not new, but becoming more main stream and rapidly growing as we are no longer content to wait until later to buy products, schedule travel or find a “hot spot” for good eats.  Technology lets us act now, and we expect results.  In fact, we have become so dependent on being connected all the time that a recent poll estimated that 43% of adults in the US would gladly give up “BEER” for a month, if it mean they could keep accessing the internet from their smartphones and another 36% said they would give up chocolate!  Imagine that, ladies.

What does that mean for you, the small business owner?  Well, if you have a website and you aren’t mobile ready, this means you have fallen behind in consumer behavior.  In a world where people look to the mobile devices and real time streams, the digital journey has grown more complex, more competitive but certainly more obtainable.

Your customers are active all the time and everywhere, so you should be as well.  Harnessing the power of location, intent and social connections is possible today, and smart marketers are always on, always ready and making signals for customers to follow through.  The power of digital is the new search device for consumers.  No longer are we sitting behind the monitor comparing 10 products for pricing. We just input the search from our digital devices and the power to purchase is in our hands.

If you have not invested in putting yourself in the mobile world of business, I highly suggest you do that as soon as you can.  Small business can be powerful with the right tools.  Make sure you let your customers and visitors know you can be reached anytime, anywhere with just a click of a button.  Don’t miss out on future sales by being behind the consumer curve.
Take action now.  Look at your website hosting service and see if you have activated your “mobile site”, if not, I suggest you do or upgrade to a plan that includes this wonderful benefit.

What you do now, will pay off in the years to come, as technology reaches further and further outward and our consumers can’t wait to get in on the new devices coming around the corner.  I  know you want to be there to greet them with your products, services and more.

Happy Web Surfing
From your “wordy gal & wanna be geek”
Taylor
NativeByDesignz.com

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Small Biz Bloging

 

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