Friday, August 7, 2015

Running a Creative Biz and 5 Steps to Make it Happen!


The other day I wrote an update about my biz on Instagram.   It got rather lengthy, but you know how I get when I'm on a roll!

So I'm just going to add more photos and a couple of more biz tips and call it a blog post!  So very clevery, huh? :)


Here are 5 steps that pretty much sum up how I try to run my biz.  Am I an expert?  Nope.  Am I rolling in the dough?  Not yet!  Do I enjoy building my biz?  Very much so! (most of the time)  Am I pleased with my progress?  You betcha!  Do I have a lot more to do learn?  Of course!  Am I happy?  YES!  =Very happy and very grateful.  And I'm having the time of my life! 

1.  Soak up knowledge.   Become an expert. Then share it and give it away and help other people.  A bunch!

2.  Make deliberate and thoughtful choices.  Make a plan.  Hang around smart people.  Be flexible.  A bunch!

3.  Experiment a lot & compare little.  Don't judge others either.  And be kind to yourself.  A bunch!

4.  Put yourself out there.  It's not as scary as we think.  It's a MUST and it must be "you".  Your people, tribe, buds, whatever you will call them will like YOU!   A bunch!

5.   Enjoy the process.  Seriously,  what's the point otherwise.  Plus you'll make more $! Choose happiness.  A bunch!  Period.

Very simple.  I like simple.  Yes, I know it's more than five, but it remains simple.


Okay, onto the big news!  I've got so much to share with you all, I don't know how I don't burst with the excitement of it all!  I'll give you my first big news now with plenty more to come! :)

  By popular demand, (and I thank you so much for your encouragement)  I am moving up the opening of . . .  
Domesticraft's Insta-Styled Stock Library Membership Site!


  It was scheduled to open in October, but you guys said you can't wait!  Okay then!  August soon enough for you!  I'll keep you posted as the date gets closer.  Maybe I'll have another party!! ♡


Here are a few of the highlights of becoming a member:

●  Killer Affordable Membership Rates:   
monthly•quarterly•half yearly•annually

●  Insta-styled Stock Photography

●  Creative & totally UN-stock images

●  Unlimited downloads

●  Instant Access

●  Over 1000 images to choose from.

●  50 new images added twice a month.

●  Easy peasy terms of use.  No lawyer needed!

●  Lots of FREEBIES including . . . ideas for use • tutorials • mini-classes adding text or your images & so much more!

●  The secret sauce that is going to make your creative biz, blog, website and social media platforms SPARKLE and SHINE like you always envisioned!


So, if you you've read this far, I've got a treat for you!  If you go over to my blog (link in bio) and hop on my mailing list, I will send you a FREE Teeny Tiny Mini- Banner Tutorial PDF. (It's super cute!) AND a 20% discount coupon on your Domesticraft's membership library purchase!  (Folks on my list already will, of course, get the awesome bonuses too!)

All plans are included in this great bonus! I'm not going to put a limit on how many peeps can get these bonuses either . . . I want you all to have a share!!

That's all for this post.  Lots more fun and exciting news still to come!  Thanks again everybody for your amazing support!   Wait, just one more thing!.


I want to help you even more!  In the comments below, let me know what kind of images would you would like see included in Domesticraft's Insta-Styled Stock Photography Library? 

What could help take your biz to the next level?  Help me . . . help you! :)

 
xoxoxo
Nancy

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

DOMESTICRAFT'S NEW LOOK AND NEW DIRECTION!


bo·na fide
ˌbōnə ˈfīdē/
adjective
adjective: bonafide
1.

genuine; real; legit; true; authentic.

example:a.  "Domesticraft is officially, now open, as a bonafide business AD-venture in the making."


example:b.  "Domesticraft is now collaborating with the same caliber of bonafide clients."


Domesticraft:  A bonafide, boss lady run, start-up creative business specializing in unique and imaginative styled stock photography for creatives and their websites, blogs and social media posts.  You will know in an instant if I'm your girl.  


If you are example b., I believe we can become bbfs. 

BBFs = Best Business Friends. 
 

So here's the skinny.
I shoot all my photographs with my cell phone.  Yep.  I have a Samsung Galaxy5.  I use ONLY the Instagram App to both TAKE and EDIT my photos.  That's it.  No fancy DSLR, no special lighting equipment and no Photoshop or Illustrator software. 

Just to be clear, I am NOT a professional photographer in the traditional sense.  I know next to nothing about that end of my "camera".  So please don't ask me if can I increase the whatever and lower the pixel rate and f-stop the lens.  See, that didn't even make sense to me, but I'm telling you that's what traditional photographers sound like to me.  So, again, that's why my prices are lower than the industry norm.  You are not having to pay for me to share that knowledge with you . . . ever!

What I am, is a girl with an "eye".  (Look up . . . remember my profile pic?)  And a unique and sometimes whimsical style.  I'm a maker and crafting runs through my blood and you'll see a lot of that in my photos.  I love food photography and flowers and vintage and color.  I adore RED!  I am a photo stylist who specializes in small products photo shoots.  And a  styled stock photographer.  That's what I call myself.  And that's what you'll be paying for.  My eye and my knowledge of what looks good.



This is why you get great prices without sacrificing quality!  My overhead is low and I pass those savings onto you!  No fancy website either!  I'm a one woman Stock Shop.  No paid staff, but a lot of supporters who believe I am just what you need!

I have merged my life long love of crafts and a "tiny" propensity towards hoarding with my insatiable desire to make pretty pictures.  To say I'm well stocked with enough adorable crafty delights would be an understatement . . . a rather gross one. ;)  I have also curated a sizable collection of vintage props to use in photo shoots and a lovely selection of knic knacs AND a plethora of interesting curiosities.




So, let's cut to the chase.




phrase of cut to the chase
  1. 1.
    North American informal

    1. come to the point.

    "cut to the chase—what is it you want us to do?"

example:a.  "I will take and sell pretty pictures to make your biz shine and make you happy!"


example:b.  "You will fall in love and buy my pretty pictures and tell your friends and make me happy"

Simple, huh?  I will curate some pretty packages at several price points, you can get a little or a lot, mix and match.  Come back for more.  I will be adding new collections all the time.  Got an idea for me?  I would love to hear about it.  And that's it for the styled stock shop.  Do you love it?  I sure hope so!


Now, if you want to upgrade or do some add-ons, I am at your service.  My prices for these, are again, extremely competitive.  I'm also thrilled to do custom work.  

Danielle from Prettybypost.com has the most awesome and unique subscription greeting card service.


Richelle from theredscorpio.com is a rockstar when it comes to handcrafting exceptionally creative jewelry.

I just finished two small product shoots (one a lovely set of greeting cards and the second, a totally unique line of custom jewelry)  Both ladies sent their product to my studio via Priority Mail and I returned it the same way.  Easy Peasy.  (For more detail on custom work, please see the custom work page.)


I love doing graphic design work too!  Nothing too fancy.  Creative, cute and fun are more my style.  I do it with my photos all the time for my blog and social media posts.  It's rather addicting.


I am in the process of putting together a fairly extensive Styled Stock Photo Subscription Library with over 1000 photos to start.  I would add approximately 50 new photos every two weeks.  My plan in to have this service up and running by  October AUGUST of this year! I'll share more details as it progresses.  Please feel free to give me your ideas on this venture that you would like to see me implement.

This is my set-up at the library when I just need a change of scenery.

My final thoughts are . . . that having awesome photos for your creative biz, website, blog, social media and shop posts no longer has to be "a huge investment".  You can still have that salted caramel latte AND amazing images and gorgeous product photography for your business!  Pretty sweet, huh?

You can thank me later, or better yet  . . . let's do some  brainstorming over a nice cup of joe.  Let's see what some pretty and profresh photos from Domesticraft can do for your creative biz! 

Enjoy your visit to my new "one stop shopping blogsite" and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me via comments or check out my contact page for other simple ways to get a hold of me.  I can't wait to chat with you!  Let me know what you think guys!



xoxoxo
Nancy

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Behind the scenes: Domesticraft is Rocking and Knolling!

"

Hi!

Have you ever been doing something, sometimes for a long time, and then find out it's a THING?  And that it's trending?  And that you are a trend setter?  And then in an awesome  group of creative friends that you belong to, you become the "KNOLL QUEEN"?

I know, right?  You are like . . . "It's five (5) days until Nancy launches her new business (again I might add! ;) ) and she's probably a bit stressed! (maybe just a titch) I mean nobody can possibly be so cheerful and positive all the time! (I'm not, just ask the hubs and grands!) So now, she has perhaps gone around the crafty corner a bit and now thinks she's a queen?  And a Knoll Queen?  Is that even a thing, I mean for real?"


Well, that's a big, ol', fat YES!!
 
knolling
v - The process of arranging like objects in parallel or 90 degree angles as a method of organization.
1. Always be knolling. 2. That table is pretty well knolled. 3. Nancy, of Domesticraft fame, is so the Queen Knoll! ♡

Now mind you, I have my own style.  And yes, I totally added number 3 above, just to save the peeps at Urban dictionary a little research time. ;)

It's getting to be a pretty big thing over on Instagram and you can find me there at Queen Knoll. hehe!

There are two (2) good hashtags on Instagram and one is #knolling and the other is from this person (not sure if it's a guy or girl) who has curated a pretty nice gallery at Knollography.  I'm totally hooked and following!


So, now you know what I'm talking about, right?  Now, I am going to show you the method behind my seeming "craft photography on crack" madness (Not a tweetable peeps!) and how it relates to how I shoot a lot of my photography for my new biz!  I'll plug it real quick here for the sake of the blog post story okay?  Cool. ♡

"At Domesticraft,  you will find creatively styled stock photographs, shot with love, by me!  They can be used by all kinds of creatives, small business owners, bloggers and so many more!   It will start with a library of hundreds and will be added to it daily until I reach my goal of 1000 photos.  (I have the photos already, just need to upload them).  I will then update the library on a weekly basis with at least 50 new photos!"  Are you getting so flippin' excited now??
 
A lot of these high resolution styled images are shot in a way  to make it easy to be overlaid with  text to create custom social media adverts & blog/website announcements or overlaid with your own digital product designs.  This will help you get the look of professional styled photography on your blog, website or social media platforms at a doable price point.  I will also be available for custom product shots when you are ready to take your product, blog or website to the next level!


That's all I'm sharing for now.  I will have another blog post for you tomorrow with more fun details and another fascinating story to tell! Stop laughing! :)

So, back to the post.  So we are clear on what knolling is, right?  Now here is what I do with my knolling photographs.  I break them down.



I take maybe a dozen shots from top down.  I have everything laid out on a big, white, foam-core board that I picked up at the dollar store.  Then, when I'm happy I have gotten every detail in the shot from this view point, I hop down off the stool I stand on to take the shot.  I have to bend down a bit because my head hits the ceiling!  It's a combination of high table (on bed risers) and low ceilings. (subterranean apartment)

I do it this way, rather than setting it up on the floor and standing over it, because I plan to get a lot more use out of the knolling layout than just a single knoll shot. That sounds weird, a knoll shot. ;)  I plan to get eye level with it and with it laying on the floor, I just can't get the same kind of shots.  Plus, if I'm taking the time and effort to set up a knoll shot (and put it away after, which is my down fall . . . there are NO knoll fairies that will put all your stuff back where it belongs!) I want a lot more bang for my buck.  I could literally shoot a knoll for a couple of hours and easily get a couple of hundred photos, of which probably 100 knock my socks off and will go into the Domesticraft Styled Stock Photo Library Collection of Creative Loveliness! ♡  I'm really not calling it that, just seeing if you're still reading! hahaha!
.

Now, I go eye level.  I get "in the knoll" and look around and find some amazing shots!  When I set up the knoll originally, it is a rather random set up.  I don't spend a lot of time figuring out if this goes with that or if that is aligned just so. (Some Knollers do . . . very much, so don't mess with them!)


And then I just . . . get . . . lost!  Time will have completely left the building and then either one of two things happens.  I run out of space on my phone to take more photos and I have to deal with that or I have to pee.  In case you didn't know and I don't know why I assume everybody does, I take all my photos on my Samsung Galaxy5 and exclusively through the Instagram App!  This is how I keep my overhead low and my prices reasonable and affordable for most peeps.  I'll tell you more about that part tomorrow!  I know, I know . . . you are on pins and needles!  Get it? (see photo above and below for instant help to get my corny joke!)


I'll take a shot, fall in l♡ve, and keep shooting until I've used up that angle. (for now)  Then I move on to a new spot and fall in love all over again!

Now, I'll break it down in a different way, with a different goal in mind.  Now I'm thinking for blog announcements, social media adverts, etc.  I take the shot with plenty of white space in mind.  I kind of think in my head of a magazine cover.  I want the shot to still be creative and beautiful, but now I make sure there is room for a message, sometimes a few different spots. Some examples for this shoot are photo number one (1), three (3) sixteen (16) and seventeen (17).


When I have to, absolutely have to, stop the photo shoot, I will take the foam-core board and carefully place it somewhere that I can get it out one more time before I have to put everything away, because like I said . . . NO put-awayer knoll fairy chick ever shows up!


Now I'll take it out one last time, maybe the same day, maybe a day or two later.  I'll turn the board so the back is now the front and I'll repeat the entire process except for the top down shot.  I usually get plenty of them to start and can always rotate the heck out of those.

You would be amazed what a little time and a different viewpoint will accomplish, both in photography and life!  It's all perspective and you get to choose it!  Dang, I love my job . . . it makes me sound so Obe-Wan Kenobi-ish sometimes! :)  Here's a quote for my nerdy friends, "Just relax, concentrate"  hehe, I love that one.


So, that's it for this post.  I really, really, really hope you enjoyed it!  I think it might be my favorite post, EVAH!  I could pretty much talk about my work, my job, my passion ALL DAY LONG!   Enjoy the rest of the photos and make sure to go to the very end of the post, where I left a special message just for YOU!!















Thanks so much ladies for stopping by!  I think you all are awesome and again, I thank you for sharing all the ups and downs of my journey for the past year or so. ♡ You've helped me so much in my biz, in ways you don't even know and have totally made me a better person.  In sha Allah, (God willing) I've been able to return the favor a little.  I'll keep trying. :)  Leave me your thoughts on what you think of Knolling and let me know if you think I should abdicate!  I really would hate to give up the crown!  A lot.



xoxoxo
Nancy


Monday, June 29, 2015

Venture Planner l Make time for ADVENTURE in your life!


First, if you are not on my mailing list already, jump on it right now!!  Directly above my giant happy face, just enter your name and email and subscribe.  You'll receive my blog posts in your inbox and any special offers and updates and little goodies, JUST FOR YOU! Such as the details coming up for the big LAUNCH Par-Tay with several other businesses on JULY 13TH!!

Now on to the blog post at hand!!


You probably remember me talking about my friend, Sarah, from Sarahshotts.com  She is my kind of friend.  She's creative, curious and loves adventure!  I am supposed to be doing this guest blog post to help her promote her VENTURE PLANNER, which is super cool. 

"The Venture Planner is made to help you build mini-adventures into your daily life." 

There are three types of adventure prompts in the planner... daily micro-ventures, weekly ventures & monthly ventures.

My venture for the review of this planner is . . . the actual making of this planner work for me in my daily life.  It's a biggie for me, because my planner has been through so many iterations, it's not even funny. :(  I decided to end that insanity and once and for all make myself the perfect planner for me.  Some of Sarah's planner pages are simply perfect for me and the adventure she brings to it is ideal.  I super love that idea!!

I am working on a paper version of this planner to include in my MEMORY PLANNER which is part of a challenge I just finished up last Wednesday's blog post with Francine and Cara.  Go have a read if you haven't yet.  My planner is still in the works and coming along slowly, but surely!

So for this blog post, I am going digital!!  For this particular page that Sarah designed, I am going to shrink it down to a 3"x 5" index card size. 



This page will go in the practically perfect planner "body" that I made in another challenge with Cara back in February!  That one was super fun too!  This is my go-to planner that carry with me in my purse.  

To print the cards I just made up a template in Publisher (old school, I know) with the planner page shrunk to as many 3" x 5" cards that will fit on an 8 1/2" x 11" paper and then I print that out in draft so as not to waste ink.  Then I tape my index cards directly to the pre-printed sheet using washi tape.  I use the washi tape because it removes so easily without tearing the paper and I can reuse it many times!

 




Below is the approximate size of the Venture Planner I will be using for my desktop. (It looks like Sarah's planner is having an adventure already!)  I love how these look and I'm so going to make some of Cara's "cakedori" planners too, maybe a 100 or so!  (I'm serious!) I'm pretty sure I'll use these pages, as is, with no tweaking.  Sarah's designs are very well thought out.




Tardis

Below is another version of the above pages.  This one is directly from Sarah's planner and as you can see, she knows what she's doing!!  Her style and sense of adventure are just what my planners need!  Oh, did you notice the stickers?  Sarah writes on her "Venture Planner Page"

"Print & cut out your own stickers including adventure prompts & watercolor illustrations to decorate your planner."

Ummmmm . . . yes, please!






My Memory Planner , desk top version will be made from a composition book I picked up on clearance at Target a couple of years ago for 10 cents . . . actually I picked up about 100 of them!  I  think the 1/2 page size should work well for me.

I will be doing another blog post or two or three, letting you know how my adventure in perfecting my planner for me is coming along.  Thanks again, Cara, for all your inspiration and thank you Sarah for your help with not just "planning" but seeing the adventure in it!

So guys, go check out Sarah's Venture Planner and make time for adventure in your life too!  Maybe we can work on some adventures together!

My friend, Richelle, says "This is an adorable little planner and a great way to add a little adventure to your life!"  Richelle and I are collaborating on a super fun adventure coming in July, so stay tuned ladies . . . it's going to be Amazing!

To adventure!




xoxoxo
Nancy

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Memory Planner Challenge-Week 3 | My DIY Washi Tape Blog Editorial Wall


This is my third post is this Memory Planner series that I've shared with my friends, Francine of Calalloosoup.com and Cara of Thehootingpirate.comThese ladies are so talented!  I get so much inspiration from them!  (I'm pretty sure I said that in previous posts, but really, they both blow me away!!



Here is what I did with my Washi Wall of Wonder!  It took me a while to figure out exactly the best ways to use this beauty!




I finally decided on making it into a Blogging Editorial Calendar and I couldn't be more excited!  The clipboard below will hold a notebook with all my blogging "stuff" inside, all organized like.  

I still haven't finished that step yet, but you've probably seen that my part of the 3 part series is not complete.  There is more to come!  Like I said in the first post, this is going to be my "final" planner for my biz and personal use.  It's a system that I am totally customizing for ME!



The part that I'm still working on for the blog editorial calendar, is the digital worksheet that I am designing, to keep me on top of my blogging game.  That will be next weeks post. :)



I've got such a humongous supply of paper, pocket cards and washi tape and it thrills me to be able to use them in such a productive project!



The designer paper that I've washi taped stays up all the time.  The white grid pocket cards I can easily remove and put in my notebook when I need to update them or if I'm working on it somewhere out of my studio.  I've used fabric "washi" tape for pocket cards as it seems to retain it's stickiness longer, since I'll be taking them up and down rather frequently.  I used it on the cards that I taped on the clipboard as well.  Don't you love the bright colors?



I am so happy the big plans I had for this wall have finally been realized and I am in love with it all over again.  Yay!  If you want to take a look back on the other washi wall blog post, here is that link.



These were such helpful posts for me to do.  Thank you both, Francine and Cara for joining me in this challenge.  You girls always make me step up my game and help me in so many ways!  

Thank you so much!!  And thank you readers, for exactly the same reason!!


xoxoxo
Nancy
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