Friday, June 28, 2013

I'm a guest!

I am so excited to be guest posting on Jenni's blog, A Well Crafted Party today and sharing what I am loving about Summer time! A refreshing drink, table top decor ideas and a pretty new polish are just some of what you'll find.
Enjoy it all here and let me know what you are loving about this super warm season so far.
Have a lovely day my friends!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Recent Pretties + a FLASH SALE

This past month has been full of fun wedding orders including custom pieces. I wanted to share a few recent ones that were just delivered and one almost done.
I'm so excited to see these pretties in full effect on the big days!

This garter was requested from a friend of mine who is a bridesmaid in an upcoming wedding. She wanted to gift the bride her "something blue" as her garter. So sweet right?
I used satin, chiffon, point d'esprit lace, rhinestones, a vintage button as well as a beautiful peacock feather to top it off. I love the way it all came together and I'm proud to say it's my second garter set I've made!
Below is the first set of garters I made for a wedding this past April. I'm thinking about adding some to the shop. What do you think?
Photo Credit: Kristen Booth

I just finished up a custom boutonniere order using pretty skeleton keys, goose feathers and pearls. I love using different color combos I haven't used before. These pieces are for an upcoming fall wedding which makes the beige/champagne and maroon colors PERFECT together for the cooler season!
I only have one of these keys left but I also ordered some others for new designs to add to the shop (coming soon)!

These boutonnieres are also for an upcoming fall wedding with the colors of light blue, white, black and a hint
of gold. I'm waiting for the other skeleton leaves to arrive in the mail (any day now) to complete the other 4 pieces. Then, out they go! :)

A couple hours ago, I received a few photos of a beautiful bride who just got married and used the "Tiffany" hairpiece from the shop on her big day! I love getting pictures from happy customers! Makes my day. :)
Photo Credit: Amy Mullarkey
Photo Credit: Amy Mullarkey

I am thinking of new pieces to add to the shop in a couple of months (including long veils). Eeeppp! :D Anything in particular you'd like to see?
If you are looking for a completely custom piece, email me at lovesparklepretty[at] and we can come up with something beautiful just for you!

Speaking of the shop, I have 5 of these gold colored chain headpieces for only $13 SHIPPED within the U.S. (originally $18 + shipping)! Leave your Paypal email below in the comments to snag yours or email me at lovesparklepretty[at]

Have a lovely day my friends and don't forget to enter this giveaway for a sweet bunting banner from Edeenut!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

7 things I have learned from the Handmade Biz

Over the past couple years, I have turned a love of creating "pretty things" into a small handmade business.  I started my Etsy shop, Love Sparkle Pretty, back in 2011 selling a few different flower hairpieces. Since I was a full time student, had a job and was a newlywed, I really didn't put too much time or thought into growing my little shop. Once I started nursing school, I put my shop on a break and completely abandoned my craft room. I had to actively stop thinking about missing my crafts, sewing projects and the customers that I worked with until I broke down and gave in after lots of prayer.

In October of 2012, I left nursing school as well as my job as a grocery clerk (a few months prior) to be a stay at home mom and work on my Etsy shop Love Sparkle Pretty. Not only has that craving to be in my craft room been fulfilled almost each and every day, but, I have been able to create treasures that I had never thought I would before and have worked with some of my favorite photographers, stylists, bloggers and such wonderful clients!

I am still learning and there is so much more in store for my little shop but I am loving each step of the way.

I wanted to share a few things from my experience that I have learned so far with the handmade business world. If you are in the indie/handmade biz as well, especially if you are new to it, I hope this sheds some light and/or gives encouragement.

1. Quick responses are very important. I try my best to reply to any email/convo within 24 hours. This is a part of also portraying organization and responsibility. If I emailed someone, I expect to hear back within a short period of time so, I do the same. Obviously, life happens and it isn't always possible to get back to someone right away but just make sure, when possible, responses are given.

2.  Be personal. With each response and shipping notification that goes out, I include the customer's name (unless I can't seem to find it for various reasons) within my reply. I also include a hand written thank you card in every order that goes out. Customers really notice things like that and I get a lot of positive feedback in return because of it.
People that buy handmade items are purchasing because there is a story behind each piece. That story comes from the person creating it. I think it's important for them to know a bit about you (which is included in the About Me section, blog, etc.) and know that there is a person who actually cares about what they are creating and selling to others to love as well. I absolutely treasure every single person who has purchased from my shop and I want them to know that.

3. Invest in a scale asap when shipping out orders. I was told that scales could be expensive and for the longest time, I drove back and forth to the post office almost every day-mind you, it wasn't super close either. Once I realized that I could just buy a scale from Target, in the kitchen section none the less, I was kicking myself that I hadn't done it sooner! Not only do I save money printing labels from home, but I can now just drive to a closer post office (most of the time) to just drop off packages and invest more money in the packaging itself.

4. June brides are procrastinators. Ha! Ok, not all June brides are but most of my rushed orders are for weddings in June. Of course, I appreciate each and every inquiry I get, I have learned to prepare myself in the years to come for a bit of a crazy month.
This busy month(s) may be different for others but for most businesses, there is a time of higher volume of sales &/or rushed orders so preparing yourself beforehand will certainly help.

5. Keep an agenda and write things down. I seriously can't remember half the things I "need to do" unless it's written down. It just makes life easier-like Post-its!

6. Don't sell yourself short. You are your brand and you know the hard work that goes into each and every piece. For a while, I created various pieces as a hobby but when I left nursing school and my job to be a stay at home mom (with lots of support from my husband), the "business side" of things became an important role. Of course it isn't the MOST important because I believe I should love what I do first and foremost but making a profit came to light as well.
The profit I make is able to help with taking family trips, going to a dinner with the husband, attending conferences to learn and network, buying things like a blow up swimming pool for my son and even help with the bills when need be.
There was a time when I didn't think I was "good enough" to charge higher prices to really make any money back. I would feel bad when I would hear "why are you selling it for so much?" or "I could make that for less than the cost." I had to realize who my target market really is and if something costs too much, then they can put the time into making it themselves if they wanted.
I have learned and I am still learning to value my time and put priorities in place.

7. Priorities. You know what's ultimately important to you. Write those things down and rank them. If you are doing too much at once (which is easy to do at times), you will get burnt out. It's ok to scratch things off the list and if you find yourself stressed out to the max, it may be time to hire help or trim down your priorities (hopefully keeping your family time on it)! Remember, you are only one person and not a person with crazy super powers! God created each of us to be able to REST-it's not a sin. ;)
For example, I would try to get all made to order purchases out within less than a week. This became too hectic and I had to adjust my shipping times to up to 2 weeks and even as much as 3 weeks on some custom orders. This change made a HUGE positive difference in my schedule at home.

There's a lot to learn each and every day but those are some of my main tips. I hope this helped and I would LOVE to hear anything else that you have learned from your experiences.

Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Oh, hello Summer!

It's officially summer time as of yesterday. It isn't my favorite season but living in the desert in southern Cali probably has something to do with that.
Today though, I am enjoying the warm weather with some ice cold cucumber water, a new mani and a few rays from the sun.
Nail polish is from Julep called Georgia.
How is summer treating you so far?

Don't forget to enter this adorable bunting giveaway from Edeenut!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A sweet handmade shop called Edeenut + a GIVEAWAY

A couple months ago, I had the pleasure to "meet" a very talented gal who actually lives in a city that I used to. I saw a link on the Elevate Facebook page for some adorable ruffled pouches made by the shop, Edeenut. I immediately fell in love! I couldn't resist and had to purchase a little zippered pouch to put my business cards and lip gloss in when I attended Elevate back in May.

To my surprise, I also received another cute pouch in my swag bag by the same handmade shop owner. I was ecstatic! Since then, I have gotten to know Edith of Edeenut a little more and asked her to share a bit about herself on my blog.
I am a huge supporter of handmade shops and when I really believe in something, I want to share it with others who will love it as well.
With that said, here is Edith of the sweet little shop-Edeenut.
Tell us a little about yourself (outside of the "sewing/crafting world"). 
I'm a mom of two boys who are silly and wild as can be. I moved to Southern CA after marrying my California native husband, 12 years ago, and couldn't imagine living anywhere else. The weather is perfect for this wimpy Utah girl. 

When did you start sewing and why? 
I actually started sewing when I was young, about 8 years old. My older sisters taught me how to sew as I got older but it never really became a daily thing or desirable thing for me until I was pregnant with my first. I wanted to make him a special baby blessing suit and then after that I kept thinking of fun things to make for him. 
Today, I love sewing because as a mother, I find that the dishes and laundry are never going to be done. Kids are always going to cry and whine. But when I sew a bag or wallet for my shop it is done. It is complete, and I feel like I have accomplished something that day. 

When did Edeenut become a shop and brand?
Edeenut began in 2007 and focused on things for babies. 
I grew up with the nick name Edee (that is a long E sound at the beginning and ending) and I had quickly grown to be crazy and "nuts" for sewing, so the name edeenut stuck! 
Soon after starting edeenut, my second baby had grown out of the baby stage and I realized I was not interested in sewing anymore baby things. So for the next couple years I put edeenut on the back burner. 
I eventually brought it back and it has grown to what it is today- a shop full of soft zipper clutches, sunglass cases, iphone wallets, and mini fabric buntings for parties and special events! And lots more!

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Inspiration for me comes mostly from fabrics. I love to use prints that may or may not traditionally go together. 
I like to produce items that are functional for every woman to use everyday and items that can be given as a beautiful and functional gift. I draw inspiration from the modern woman and every day mom. I think inside we all want to have stylish accessories but also want them to be functional.

What do you see for Edeenut in the next few years?
For the last little while, I have been struggling as I try to balance my growing work life and my home and family life. If one thrives, the other seems to suffer. Lately, I have been considering my options and how I can incorporate a regular trusted helper. For a recent large order, I was able to use a helper and I realized what a difference it makes! 
My goal for Edeenut is to bring on that trusted helper regularly so I can keep up with the demands in order to continue doing what I love and am "nuts" about which is sewing and designing!

See these cute little fabric buntings? They are perfect for packaging, cute cards, tags, whatever you'd like!
Edith is giving one away to a lucky reader! Enter below and have a beautiful day my friends!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Recently...{a swap not shop event + mommy of 3 + a beautiful moment}

I had a root beer, listened to country music and started on a garter (so excited to show the finished product soon)!

I attended a "Swap not Shop" event. AMAZING! Left with some pretty great stuff! Photo courtesy of Aurora. Thanks for hosting friend. :)

I saw some beautiful photos taken by Kristen Booth of a veil and sash from my shop.
My husband surprised me with Starbucks in bed. He's the best!

That Starbucks gave me the energy to be a mommy of 3 for a couple hours. :)

Started eating these delicious and healthy snacks. Seriously, YUMMY!

I sent these pretties out to Grace from Beyond the Wanderlust for a styled photo shoot!

I saw this fun photo taken by Lena B featuring photo props from my shop!

Had some bedhead.

I witnessed this beautiful moment. Love my boys. 

&...My son found the wipes.
Follow me on Instagram to see more shenanigans and pretty stuff.
What have you been up to recently?

Monday, June 17, 2013

10 things that make me {happy}

 Merry Monday my friends! It's the end of another day and I want to start this week off with a bit of happiness.

10 things that make me happy...err 13 things.
*Having a great devotion with Jesus and an open heart
*My husbands sweetness
*My sons crazy smile
Mac n' cheese. Actually, cheese. Period.
Freshly painted nails
Starbucks...still waiting for their caramel to go on sale!
Dresses! Preferably maxi dresses so I can skip the shave. Ha!
Pretty photography-especially when my pieces are in them. :)
Antique shopping
Wet diapers. Think about it, those or the dirties??
Foot massages
Looking up plane tickets and day dreaming about future travels
(*) these are a major "given"

"A joyful heart is good medicine..." Proverbs 17:22a

What makes you happy?

I know if you win this giveaway, you would be super happy!

Friday, June 14, 2013

The gardening post from a non-gardener

There has only been a handful of times where I have planted flowers in the yard of our house.
I occasionally get the urge to see pretty blossoms by our doorstep and this is one of those occasions.
I really don't know much when it comes to gardening but a few things are certain here:
These flowers won't last very long and the number of times I use the front door (rather than the garage) will increase a bit.

Happy almost summer-yoga pants, bed head and all!
 Keeping momma company.
 This is real life-pajamas, bed head and lip gloss for makeup. Good morning friends!
What are you looking forward to this summer?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A little minion is on his way! {Baby Shower}

Jessica, a dear friend of mine is expecting her first little baby and I had the honor to throw her baby shower.
This past Sunday was the big day and it turned out pretty great I might add. For the theme, we went with Minions (from Despicable Me) which is quite unique and so much fun! Since I couldn't find minion baby shower decor ANYWHERE, I had to think "outside of the box" and decided to make just about everything.
Since my son was a minion for Halloween last year, I used his costume to hang from a clothesline as part of the main decor and for favors, I used Twinkies (now from Sara Lee) with minions on them. Now when I see minions, I swear I see Twinkies! lol

For games, we played The Price is Right, measure momma's belly with ribbon and who can change the baby doll's diaper the quickest-blindfolded (SO FUNNY)!

I received lots of help from Jess' sister Stephanie and her friend Kelly who took care of all the yummy food (seriously YUMMY) as well as placing decor. I am so thankful for all their help!

Jess looked oh so beautiful and had that mommy glow to her. Only 1 more month and little Blayze will be here soon!
A little minion is on his way!
For the cake, I went with an ombre effect and made the toppers. Thank you Janette for baking the cake and creating it even better than I imagined! She did a lemon cake with raspberry filling and a yellow cake with strawberry mousse. SO GOOD!
These were my favorite yummies-cold grapes dipped in caramel and peanuts! LOVE!
 I used this template for these adorable wish cards.
 I used this template for the Price is Right.
Baby Colton showing off his "tattoo."
 Congrats momma to be! Can't wait to meet little Blayze and give him {BIG} hugs! :)

Event Styling + Photography: Love Sparkle Pretty
Cake: Janette Espino
Game Templates: Confetti Sunshine