Friday, August 22, 2014

Enchanting Fairy Tale Photo Shoot

"When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew." -Arrigo Boito

Swooning over this fairy tale inspired engagement session captured by Kristen Booth. The location is magical and the couple is straight from a romance novel. 

I adore the styling with a free flowing Free People dress paired with the Charlotte Floral Crown from the shop and the crisp pastels all sync together.

So stunning! Enjoy.



See more of this enchanting photo shoot here.

Photography Credit: Kristen Booth
Floral Crown: Love Sparkle Pretty
Dress: Free People

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Celebrating Today with a Chocolate Chip Muffin!

Today is cause for celebration! After 21 days of putting my shop on "vacation," I am finally sending out my LAST order that was scheduled to go out this month!! 
July kept me really busy with orders to catch up on but I can now really say that I'm on vacation...at least for another 10 days-if I don't extend it another week. This month has been pretty hectic and has brought some exhaustion and ups and downs (for example, read a bit more in this post). If I extend the vacay, it would be until early/mid September but I haven't made up my mind just yet. I will keep you posted!

Until then, I am celebrating with a chocolate chip muffin!

Have a beautiful day my friends!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A lesson in VALUING your time (for small business owners + creatives)


I keep debating whether or not I should post this but my heart is heavy this morning and I'm sure many of you can relate (especially if you are a small business owner or creative) and if not, maybe gain some perspective.

This morning, I received an email which sadly was the first thing I woke up to and read. There were words in there from someone who wanted to express her feelings (which I respect) but said things that went a little too far because they were statements that she knew very little about.

Statements such as "I know that once you've made a crown or 2 should only take up to an hour at most to perfect a crown. And while you do have embellished flowers with pearls in the center....there's no way your costs are that high." & "While your crown is gorgeous, a price tag of...seems to me highway robbery." As well as several other VERY HURTFUL statements.

Although, I DO NOT need to explain my business, my passion and why things are the way they are, I feel like I need to speak out for those who DO own a small business as well as many of whom who are juggling several roles as a wife, momma, care-taker, home-keeper, student and many other titles all at once.

First off, my prices aren't just the way they are because of supply costs. Yes, they are in there BUT my time is what I value the most. I am a stay at home momma (one who is also currently trying to potty train my son which is not an easy task in itself), I am a wife who needs to make time to spend with my amazing husband, I am a home-keeper who is trying my best to make sure that the dishes are clean, laundry is done, the floor is swept, the same messes are picked up every single day amongst SEVERAL other things that go on throughout the day.

I run my shop the BEST I CAN because I LOVE what I do but I can't do everything all the time. Each floral crown piece DOES NOT take "an hour at the most". In fact, it can take double that if not more at times and triple that time on many other pieces. There is quite a bit of hand-stiching involved, petals taken apart to create completely new flowers, measurements taken, trimmings done, etc. etc. This all takes time-time that I choose to take away from my family to fulfill my customer's needs. Not only that but I love creating and working with brides and many other women who want a special piece created for them to celebrate important moments. It also takes time to list items, schedule photo shoots, market items and the shop, schedule collaborations, package items, ship items as well as the time it takes to get supplies. 

Supplies in itself is not a one stop shop and go. My supplies do not come from one store. In fact, there are 3 retail stores and several online stores that I order from. The retail stores alone take me about an hour round trip (EACH) to drive to and from and many times, I have to take several of these trips a week so I can get the supplies needed for custom orders as well as stocking up for current ones. Many times, I even drive up to a 2+ hour round trip to get supplies.

Running a small business is completely different than creating something for yourself or even a friend once in a while. Keeping up on inventory, marketing, emails and SO MUCH MORE is a full time job in itself. Most handmade sellers pour their hearts into what they create. There is no dollar amount that can equal the value that we give into our passion.

Handmade DOES cost more and if it doesn't with some sellers, it SHOULD. Our creations are NOT created by machines. Most handmade shops consist of ONE person. Two hands to create. One mind to think and One heart to give. 

Not everybody knows the story behind each piece that is created. Many assumptions can be made but unless you are in that makers shoes, it's unfair to make hurtful statements devaluing someones time and effort they put into their pieces. Who is one to say how much something is really worth unless you poured your heart into it?

Yes, opinions are opinions but they don't have to be unkind. 

Creators, VALUE your time. You only get a certain number of hours in each day. What are they worth to you?

Boho-Inspired Styled Contest with $30 up for Grabs!!!



Photo Credit: Kayla V Photography

Tara from Laila's Charming Pieces is hosting a styled contest that I am pretty excited about! Her crochet headband with wooden beads and guinnea feathers is up for styling with your favorite attire for a chance to WIN $30 credit to her shop! You can use this $$ towards one of her fringe cross body bags, a warm scarf for the fall or lots of other handmade accessories she has. 

Photo Credit: Kayla V Photography

Here are the deets:
1) Purchase this Crochet Tie-Back Headband from Laila's Charming Pieces (P.S. Get FREE shipping on this piece until Aug. 15)
2) Style this piece however you'd like that best describes YOU
3) Take some cute photos
4) Post your photo(s) via Instagram using the hashtag #styledcontest and tag @lailascharmingpieces
5) Take a yummy sip of fresh lemonade, put your feet up and relax patiently for the winner to be announced the first week of September!!

You can enter as many times as you'd like all month long by styling this pretty headband with your favorite wardrobe pieces!

Photo Credit: Kayla V Photography

Here's how I styled my boho-inspired headband:

Good Luck! Can't wait to see everyone's different styling ideas!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Top 5 Occasions to wear a Floral Crown

If you follow along via Instagram or saw this previous post, you know that I am currently on a month long shop vacation. I am still sending out previous orders that were put in before the vacay but the work is dwindling down and my goal is to be completely done by the end of this week!

Last month, I shared a list with my monthly newsletter subscribers. I thought that this list of styling tips and occasions to wear a floral crown deserved to be on the blog as well. I know that the shop is currently not taking any new orders but as soon as September rolls around, you can certainly purchase one (or more) of these pretty crowns described!

Here is my Top 5 Occasions to wear a Floral Crown list. Enjoy.


We all know the floral crown trend is certainly a popular one but if you don't think wearing flowers in your hair is an everyday wardrobe "must", then wear them on these occasions:

1) Weddings. Whether you are a bride who wants to wear something a little more organic and non-traditional or a guest of a wedding, floral crowns are the perfect accessory piece to your attire.
If you are a bride, you can be as elaborate as you want with your floral collection (such as the "Everly Crown") or as subtle as you'd like (such as the "Juliet Crown").
As a guest, if you are going to wear lots of flowers in your hair, pair your crown with a simple silhouette and soft colors. If you want to wear something a little more bold, pair your outfit with a dainty crown such as the "Ivory & Gold Crown". 


2) Music Festivals & Concerts. It's always fun to dress up a bit to relax and listen to some good tunes-especially during these summer nights. Try pairing the "Daisy Crown" with a lace tank and jean shorts or a light and flowing summer dress.

3) Birthday Party. Having one of your big celebrations coming up and want to stand out a bit from your guests? Adorn yourself with an array of blossoms to compliment your birthday dress and party on!
Another great idea is to gift the birthday girl a crown (try the "Leigh Crown" or the "Colette Crown"), arrive early to the party so she can unwrap your gift, give you BIG hugs for giving her such a pretty present and wear it for the rest of her party as her birthday crown!

4) The fair. With so many summer fairs going on, why not add a fun piece to your day out riding carousels, eating fried foods and playing fun games?!

5) Photo shoots. Are you engaged? Having an anniversary? Welcoming a new baby to the world? Or wanting to update the wall of family photos in the hallway? Photo shoots are a lovely way to celebrate these new memories and adding flowers to your attire and even your little one's hair makes a photo even more interesting and beautiful. Many people think that they will only wear a crown once but with so many different milestones in life, you can wear your floral crown(s) from Love Sparkle Pretty over and over again!

Have more ideas to add to the list? Send them to lovesparklepretty@aol.com. We will be compiling another list on the blog soon and would love to add yours!!

Some of the featured crowns in this post:




The Daisy Floral Crown (Photo Credit: Kayla V Photography)




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Veil Design, Bohemian Bridal Photo Shoot + Shop Vacay

A new veil deign is coming to the shop September 1st after a vacay in the month of August!
(See bottom of post for more of this vacation announcement)

This veil is created with several different laces and chiffon fabric all hand stitched together and adorned with a gold and clear rhinestone headpiece. It's a fingertip veil which will also be available in a few other lengths.

Kayla from Kayla V Photography styled a photo shoot with this piece as well as the Olivia Floral Crown on the gorgeous Megan Fay as she adorned a dress from Free People.


Whimsical and free.

See more of this photo shoot on Kayla V's blog here.
Model: Megan Fay
Veil: Love Sparkle Pretty (coming soon)
Olive and Eucalyptus Leaf Crown: "Olivia Floral Crown" by Love Sparkle Pretty


SHOP ANNOUNCEMENT

From August 1-31st, the shop will be on vacation so I can take a bit of a breather after a busy wedding season and celebrate mine and my husband's 4 year wedding anniversary as well as my 25th birthday! So excited for some family time!

During this time I will also be making some changes to the shop with a bit of re-branding, price changes and working on the new bridal line debuting late September.

If you have questions about orders or anything of the like, please send an email to lovesparklepretty[at]aol.com.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Creative Live + My Trip to the Frisco Bay

 Last week, I hopped on an airplane with my friend Tara from Laila's Charming Pieces to be a part of the Creative Live studios in San Francisco. If you haven't heard of Creative Live, it's an amazing site full of workshops for the creatives including makers, photographers and business folks. They provide live broadcasts for free where you can learn SO MUCH and even purchase classes to re-watch whenever you want. Seriously great stuff!

Tara and I headed up there Thursday night (7/16) and finally arrived in our bed a little past midnight after a flight delay, shuttle delay and late check-in but alas, we made it to San Fran!!

The next morning, we headed to the Creative Live studios for the following three days to be a part of the Marketing for Creatives workshop with Tara Swiger. Each day, we were at the studio from 8am-4pm for the workshop which was filled with learning, lots of thinking and a ton of work. I am so thankful that I did this though because it really made me think about what I want out of my business and write it down to make it concrete rather than put all of that work and pondering off like I usually do.

I can't even begin to express what I learned while attending this class. There was so much to take home and many thoughts that ran through my mind! I will be listing the top 10 things I learned while at CL in a later post because it's quite a bit.

Until then, I am just going to share the photos that we captured while in the studio and in San Francisco. Since it was my first time in the Frisco Bay, I wanted to try my best to squeeze in time to see a bit of the town between days at Creative Live.

Here's a peek of our trip behind the lens.

Some of the great people we had lunch with each day.

Each day, CL catered our breakfast and lunch. So yummy! Our lunch each day was total "San Francisco" food. If you've ever been to San Fran, you understand what I mean.

Just one of the yummy meals I ate at the studio. I looked forward to breakfast every morning while I was here!

This is where we spent most of our time. The CL studio alone was so inspiring!


Each evening, after the workshop, Tara and I headed out to eat some dinner and explore as much of the city we could before heading back to our room to finish up "homework". These are glimpses of our evenings.
We ate at Chez Maman for our first dinner and had truffle Mac n' Cheese and shared a cheeseburger. I paired it with a glass of Sangria. "When in Rome" right?

We later walked by the beautiful city hall.

Cartwheels and the Golden Gate Bridge. I've done my job here.

Because sometimes, you just have to be silly.

After wrapping up the second day of the workshop, Tara and I headed out on the town to grab some dinner. When I got into the Uber, there was a rose on my seat! I'm sure it was left by accident from the previous passengers but none the less, I was appreciative and it made my day.

Later, I left it on a bench along the bay to make someone else smile.
Almost got hit taking this photo...

On the last evening we had here, we headed to Peet's Coffee to try their vanilla lattes for the first time. We bonded as friends do over coffee as we sipped our cups of warm goodness. We had a long talk filled with laughter (starting with the realization that there were little embryos in wombs pictured on the top of our lattes-you have to look closely). We also had some tears as we shared our struggles with motherhood and what we want out of our handmade businesses and trying to do it all

So thankful we can share these moments.

The last day of filming had come to an end at Creative Live. The producers, camera crew, audio guys, the live audience- everyone was SO incredible and AWESOME!! We had a great few days here! So grateful for this experience.
That's a wrap!!

Coming soon, what I learned while attending this workshop-especially from a standpoint as a stay at home momma, wife and small business owner trying to balance it all.