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Time Management for Super-Duper Busy Mompreneurs

March 16th, 2011

iStock_000004746189XSmallAsk any mother about the importance of time management, and you are likely to end up with bleeding ears. Let’s face it; most of us moms don’t have enough time on our hands. This is the case even if we are not trying to run our own businesses.

Mompreneurs and work at home moms know better than most people that time management is about as important as it gets. You could even go so far as to state that time management could mean the difference between success and failure. While all business people need to keep time management at the foreground of their thinking, it’s doubly important for busy mompreneurs.

One of the single best ways to start managing your time more effectively is to step back and carefully assess how you are using your time. If your first response to this suggestion is, “I can’t do that, I hardly have time to finishing reading this article,” then you most definitely need to step back and evaluate how you are spending your time.

You may have invested in a shiny, fancy and complicated smartphone recently. If so, put that phone to work! Use it to start logging what you are doing each hour. Don’t worry about finding patterns that need to be changed at first. Instead just focus on consistently logging what you are doing each hour. If you are taking a trip to the printers, that is fine. Just log that activity. Regardless of what you may do at a given time, track your behavior, productivity and activity.

The next step is to take a week’s worth of this valuable information, sit down with it, and begin to look at it closely. Hopefully, you will find some ways that you can easily improve your time management. You might instantly see ways that you can combine certain activities or eliminate activities altogether so that you can get more out of your time.

To get a second opinion, you might want to take this chart of what you do with your time to a person you trust and ask if he or she sees any room for improvement. Asking your spouse or best friend might not be the perfect solution, as they are potentially too close to the situation. Instead try a business professional, such as your lawyer, accountant or a business associate.

Time management is a complicated task because life is often complicated, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t find ways of getting more out of your time. Just make sure that you set aside some time for yourself as well, or you will be facing burnout and a decrease in overall productivity!

Boutique Graphics Promo Code – TODAY Only!

March 3rd, 2011

If you need website or graphics work Maggie Phillips with Boutique Graphics is your gal – we love her! Maggie has a “one day deal” to celebrate the Grand Reopening of her site. Be an early bird and get a deal!
Screen shot 2011-03-03 at 9.45.32 AM

Ready to place your order? Get ahead of the rush, ‘cuz the store is open NOW! Work on new orders WON’T BEGIN UNTIL MONDAY

...but you can get an early bird discount by using code ITSABOUTTIME for 10% off your total! ;) Code is good TODAY ONLY! (March 3rd, 2011)

Boutique Cafe Conference – Keynote with Charlene May of Greggy Girl Pt.1

October 27th, 2010

Boutique Cafe Conference – Keynote with Charlene May of Greggy Girl Pt.1 from Daria – Boutique Cafe on Vimeo.

I’m so thrilled to be releasing this never seen footage from our 2007 Boutique Cafe Girls Getaway Conference in Salt Lake City. Our Keynote speaker was Charlene May, founder of girls clothing empire Greggy Girl. In her presentation Charlene covered so many key points for our attendees on following your dreams, this presentation was for designers of children’s apparel but translates into valuable information for any business, as you’ll see this keynote touched the hearts of many of our attendees who have continued on to GREAT things. Please enjoy Part 1 in our series from that conference, and please share it with your fellow women in businesses and mompreneurs. Thank you again Charlene, this conference was MAGIC and it meant so much to have you there. – XO Daria

In this episode (length 38:15):
Introduction by Daria, Owner Host and Producer for Boutique Cafe
How they conference came to be: with Daria and Megan of Brassy Apple
Keynote pt. 1 with Greggy Girl Founder Charlene May:

– Follow your Dreams – Create a Story – Design a Tight Line – Deliver your Line – Networking
“The Journey is part of the fun, The Journey is part of the Dream” – Charlene May – Hudson’s Magazine

Some Screen Captures from this event

Your comments are welcomed and most appreciated. (unless they are about how much of a weeper I am, trust me I know – LOL!)

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DIY Camera Strap Tutorial – Priddy Creations

June 3rd, 2010


Priddy Creations Custom Designs
me0510 Before I share this much requested tutorial, I thought I would answer a burning question that I have been bombarded with….WHY WHY WHY would I want to share a tutorial on an item I sell for profit?

A little background…I started making and selling camera straps back in January of 2008. Back then, there was only me and one other person selling the camera strap slipcovers. It was an extremely successful and rewarding venture for me and one I still enjoy and offer to customers. It helped kick start a business that I love and thrive on. With so many designers out there now offering camera strap slipcovers, the market is flooded with this particular item. It became important for me to come up with new ideas and products to ensure that my business grows. I have been extremely blessed to have been able to expand my designs and sell additional camera accessory products which is the bulk of my business.

My main reason for offering this tutorial, even though I do sell these as part of my inventory, is because I am extremely thankful for the support and business I have received throughout the years and I want to give something back to the “lovers of all things handmade” community. I have received LOTS of tips and help from many, many members of this wonderful community over the years and I want to share something with you all. Just a way of saying THANKS!!

The tutorial idea actually started as a plan for an eBook for my camera strap slipcovers back in June of 2009 (I actually had to look that up…was thinking it couldn’t have been THAT long ago). Time just didn’t seem to be on my side and I let the project go on the back burner. I have finally finished it and have decided to turn my eBook into a tutorial instead.

My tutorial is not the first tutorial out there on how to make your own camera strap slipcovers. But mine are a little different. When I first started making the straps, my first priority was stylish, COMFY straps that make wearing your camera more enjoyable. So not only did I focus on fun fabrics, the overall quality and construction of the strap, but I came up with a strap that is also lined AND padded. Not just fabric only straps. You have 4 layers of fabric plus two layers of fleece padding sitting on your neck. How nice is that? Now I am going to share with you HOW I do it.

Now with all that said (man that turned into a longer spiel than I intended), here is the camera strap tutorial. I really hope that it is a fun and easy project that you enjoyed and hope that the finished product will bring you lots of joy and COMFORT when shooting for business and/or pleasure.

Padded Camera Strap Slipcover Tutorial

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Materials Needed:

· Cotton Fabric (1 piece printed; 1 piece coordinating solid)
· Coordinating Thread
· Lightweight Fusible Fleece
· Rotary Cutter/Scissors
· Acrylic Ruler
· Iron

Finished size for this particular camera strap slipcover is 22 inches long by approximately 2.25 inches wide. Please read ENTIRE tutorial FIRST before starting. It makes more sense that way. :)

You will need to cut your fabrics (each piece – the print and coordinating solid) 23 inches long by 5.5 inches wide. This will give you TWO separate pieces (one print and one solid). Press both pieces to get out all wrinkles. Now lay those aside.

Now cut ONE piece of fusible fleece 21 inches long by 4.5 inches wide. Fleece should be cut one inch shorter (width wise) than the fabric. This will make it easier to sew when finishing your side seams. Length should be 2 inches shorter than fabric. Fleece will stretch when pressing to your fabric and your length will increase as you are pressing. I try and leave a ½ gap at each end of strap so that when you are folding in the fabric, you will not have to worry about the fleece’s bulkiness. Now set aside.

Putting RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER (printed fabric facing solid fabric), sew or serge together the length (the longest sides) of both fabric pieces using a 1/4 inch seam allowance leaving the ends open (this will make an inside out fabric tubing where printed fabric is facing in). (See image 1).

{Image 1}
step2EDITED

With fabrics still facing right sides together (inside out), line up fleece evenly centered (I just eyeball this…I do not actually measure it) on the SOLID fabric piece and press (follow manufacturer’s instructions for iron settings). Make sure that you adhere the entire piece. I then let my fleece cool completely before moving on. (See image 2).

{Image 2}
step3EDITED

Once fleece has cooled, turn right side out (where printed fabric is now facing out) and press both side seams. Fleece will now be on the inside of the strap between the WRONG sides of the solid and printed fabric. (See images 3-6).

{Image 3 (Turning strap right side out)}
step4EDITED

{Image 4 (What strap looks like once it is turned right side out)}
step5EDITED

{Image 5 (Press both side seams)}
step6EDITED

{Image 6 (What strap looks like once both sides are pressed)}
step7EDITED

Turn both ends of straps ½ inch toward the inside of the strap (tucking raw edges of fabric into the strap) and press. (See image 7).


{Image 7}

step8EDITED

Sew both ends of straps (width) together with a straight stitch using a 1/8 – 1/4 inch seam allowance (personal preference….I like mine as close to the end of the fabric as I can get so I use 1/8 inch). (See image 8).

{Image 8}

step9EDITED

Fold strap (printed fabric on outside/solid fabric touching) in half lengthwise lining up edges and press.
(See images 9 & 10)

{Image 9}

step10EDITED

{Image 10}
step11EDITED

Sew the two OPEN sides lengthwise together using a 1/8 inch seam allowance starting at the top. Make sure that you reverse/back stitch at stress points (ends of straps near openings). (See image 11).

{Image 11}
step12EDITED

And TADA!! You are done! Was that easy or what?

Finished strap.
step14EDITED

How easy was that? Now all you have to do is slide it on your commercial camera strap and you are ALL SET!! – Amy

Article by: Amy of Priddy Creations
Link to her website >
Link to her Etsy Shop>
Follow her on Twitter >

"Tweet" Little Link Up with Boutique Cafe

May 11th, 2010


This Tweet Little Link Up will run for 1 week! Enjoy!! – Daria

Mompreneurs Launch The DIY Dish

February 18th, 2010

DIY lovers, there is a new site in town that is destined for internet greatness…The DIY Dish (a new venture from the mompreneurs who brought you the highly successful YouCanMakeThis.com). Sisters Kim and Kris serve up creativity and fun with fabulous new web shows, projects and more. Get in on {The DIY Dish} and find your “creativity is served” on a silver platter! :) ~ XOXO Daria

...

YOU CAN WIN WITH THE DIY DISH >>

diydishpromo

Morning Coffee – Money Saving Tips for Mompreneurs

December 1st, 2009

Article by: Jennifer Cirka
jjc2
Hello!! I am so excited to be writing for Daria and Boutique Café!! My name is Jennifer Cirka, but many of you may know me as Jaybird Designs. I am a professional crochet designer and independent publisher. My designs have been featured in magazines such as Crochet Today!, Crochet World and Interweave Crochet along with a booklet called “Top-sy Turvy” with Leisure Arts.

Along with all my mompreneur responsibilities I am also a stay at home mom of one, and wife. With this job, like many of you, I am also responsible for the family finances. When I quit working for the USPS six years ago, our family’s income was greatly reduced. I had to learn a lot about being frugal and saving money. I actually started my business to support my yarn and craft habit!

Now, I am in no way an expert on this subject, but through the years I have met many people and found many sites that are! With their help, I am happy to say that not only is my business growing, but my family has been debt free (with the exception of our home) for almost 2 years now! I’d like to share some of my secrets with you!

Every morning, with my cup of coffee, I have a series of websites that I visit. My hands down favorite is One Pretty Thing. She has compiled a list of some of the BEST do-it-yourself projects on the web! From Christmas and Hanukkah décor, easy to make handmade gifts, and even tips for your business, you can find tons of useful and inexpensive ideas on her site. And the best part is that she does the internet searching for you! Not crafty or too busy? I bet you know another mom who is and could use a little extra money this holiday season.

Now, for the savvy shopper in you, I always check out Slick Deals. Every day you can find some great deals on items, especially now for your Christmas shopping!! The other day I scored an awesome deal at Victoria’s Secret, three sweaters and a free scarf for only $31! Guess what will be under my Christmas tree this year? I’m currently on the lookout here for some other great gift ideas!

And if your dream this holiday season is to be debt free, you must check out Dave Ramsey! My family listens to his radio show a lot and we got tons of tips and great ideas that helped us. When refinancing our house this summer, we contacted one of his preferred mortgage providers and they actually told us that the deal we were offered from our current mortgage company was better than anything they could do for us! I was shocked…they were turning down our business! We managed to combine our original 30-year mortgage along with our Home Equity Loan and drop down to a 15 year mortgage. We paid cash for the closing costs and our monthly payments dropped $30!! Our new goal is to have the house paid off before our first grader graduates from High School.

Well, I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek at some of my secrets. I look forward to sharing more with you through Mompreneur Corner.

Jennifer Cirka
www.jaybird-designs.com
www.jaybirddesigns.etsy.com

BOUTIQUE CAFÉ LAUNCHES NEW MOM ENTREPRENEUR FEATURE

November 30th, 2009

Press Release:
Boutique Cafe Kicks off Holidays with Mompreneur Corner & 2009 Holiday Gift Guide

CANADA—November 30, 2009— From the very beginning Boutique Café’s passion has been supporting mom entrepreneurs (“mompreneurs”) and women in business. For over five years the website’s podcast interviews, fashion show spotlights, product reviews and various forms of advertising have given added attention to women business owners.

Daria Muirhead, Boutique Café’s owner and podcast hostess, is all about helping these women fulfill their dreams. In another effort to do so she recently launched Mompreneur Corner, a new feature on Boutique Café that will showcase featured articles by and for incredible business women. The weekly articles will cover a wide range of topics, from the importance of branding your business to better balancing family and business. Mompreneur Corner will offer readers specific how-to’s from expert panelists in areas such as fabric design, product placement, advertising, stress management, mothering from behind a desk and zeroing in on your passion.

“I have put together a wonderfully talented group of women for our Mompreneur Corner feature. They will quickly become an integral and ongoing part of Boutique Café and I am excited to share their talents and expertise with our audience,” said Daria.

In addition to the new Mompreneur section on Boutique Café, the site is currently showcasing its 2009 Boutique Cafe Holiday Gift Guide. The gift guide is packed full of discount codes, free shipping offers and other special promotions. This is fourth installment of the website’s popular holiday shopping guide and is a tremendous draw for readers and advertisers alike (many of whom happen to be work-at-home moms and mompreneurs).

Whether you’re interest is family or business (or holiday shopping), you can find what you’re looking for on Boutique Café.

About Boutique Café

Boutique Café is the world’s first boutique podcast. The site’s weekly shows highlight topics of interest to fashion savvy moms around the world. Whether readers are looking for a new muse, the latest in fashion for children, reviews on must-have products or tips and tricks for women business owners, Boutique Café can help. Besides producing a highly portable and downloadable radio show, the site also supports a community forum of buyers, designers, moms and professionals. Boutique Café has experienced great success in its first five years of operation and has gained thousands of subscribers to the show as well as thousands of visitors to the site each day. Visit BoutiqueCafe.com for more information.

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Are you ready for your closeup?

November 19th, 2009

Article by: Emily Hill
I don’t foresee myself being in front of a camera any time soon (one can hope though, right?) but I was still extremely interested in attending the Startup Princess Image & Media Academy. I’m all about putting my best foot—or outfit or eyeshadow or authentic self—forward!

The event took place last weekend at a beautiful cabin in Sundance (Utah), and thanks to Seth Jenks (@SethJenks) and APX Alarm I was able to attend. The company sponsored myself and two other gals including my good friend Quinn Curtis of CreatedByChicks.com and Limelight Food Photography. (Thank you, Seth!)  I was only able to attend Friday night, and though I was sorely disappointed to miss Saturday (Cherie Burton’s class, Tara Starling’s professional styling and makeup, Russ Dixon’s photography and of course more girl bonding), I got enough out of Friday to reevaluate my own personal style both inside and out.

SUP-31

There’s just something about 25 entrepreneurial women in one room tucked away in snowy Sundance, well fed and ready to be inspired—I can’t explain it. But it was cool. My favorite of the evening was Skyping with Danielle LaPorte (@DanielleLaPorte) of White Hot Truth. When she was done speaking all I could do was sit there and let it all soak in…for a good ten minutes. It’s a good thing I took notes because it was fast and furious—and fabulous.

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Sarah Ward from Cable Car Couture introduced me to the power of the collared shirt and Tara Starling of Starling Beauty Academy introduced many of us to the application of the color wheel in makeup. (Quinn and Janet may still be reeling after learning about the tensile strength of mascara-coated eyelashes…) And if all that stylin’ was glam enough, both e.l.f. cosmetics and Timex sponsored the event and so we freshly inspired women went home with some glam of our own. My girls oohed and aahed over e.l.f.’s mini makeup kits and I’m excited to own pretty much my first blingy accessory. ever.

Kelly King Anderson, Startup Princess herself, knows how to throw a good event and from what I’ve heard of Saturday’s adventures, the gals had a great time. You can read Quinn’s take on it here and here (she keeps you in suspense with a two-part recap) and catch the Whrrl story here. THANK YOU again to APX Alarm for sponsoring us. As far as security companies go, APX is pretty dang cool. They monitor not only burglary and fire but also carbon monoxide and medical emergencies. What you REALLY need to do is check out the APX Alarm blog—it has some really great articles on personal and family safety (love “Confessions of a Worryholic“) and they’ll be doing a series of holiday-related security posts as well. You’ll definitely want to add the APX Alarm blog feed to your reader!

If you want to feel like you were part of the action, head to TwitterSearch.com and check out the #supa09 hash tag. Even if you’re not planning to pose for the camera or pitch to the media you can catch a lot of what went on during the event. I tweeted my fair share of 140-character snatches on Friday and I’m sure there were quite a few more on Saturday.

Head on over to the Startup Princess site and subscribe to the feed so you don’t miss another conference or event and be sure to follow Kelly on Twitter (@startupprincess). As mompreneurs we can use all the inspiration (and girl bonding) we can get!

An Interview With Designer Angie Eisman

November 10th, 2009

headshot_web
How did you become ThatFunkyBoutique?

In 2003, I started creating children’s clothing and needed a name. During an online chat with friends, several were suggested and I immediately was drawn to That Funky Boutique. Seemed catchy and I do like to have a playfulness and uniqueness in my creations. I’m no longer doing children’s items but it still seems to fit ok for my etsy shop.

Can you share your background in design?

From a young age I knew I wanted to be an artist. I can’t say enough about the professors I was able to learn from while getting a BFA with emphasis in Illustration and design. After school, I worked for an advertising company for several years where was able to design and illustrate national catalogs and then went off on my own as a freelance artist and designer. I’ve been freelancing ever since and consider it my main focus. Though my textile designs do take over during some seasons! Recent illustration clients include Chatti Patti, Knuckleheads Clothing, Portabello Pixie and others. My That Funky Boutique line fits in nicely between projects as I can never sit still.

Where do you find your inspiration for your creations? What part of
the process is your favorite?

Inspiration for my textile creations comes from all over the place. From my children, from nature, from the materials on hand. Those are the biggest jumping off points.
The first part in the process is my favorite. From early sketches to completing the sample.

il_430xN.101324164How did you come up with your new HOT scarf design for fall? What are
the features of it that will make women want them this season?

My scarves came about on a whim. I hadn’t sewn in quite a long time due to a cross country move that demanded my time and energy. But I dusted off my machine to do some personal sewing for fun. My first scarf was originally going to be a throw blanket out of some wool and cashmere scraps. I did one long length to start the blanket. There happened to be a mirror close by where I was working and I caught a glimpse of myself with the piece. I threw it around my neck and viola. A unique scarf. I had a feeling it would sell and sell it did! Along with more than 100 more in the first month of selling. I never set out to sew and sell again but here I am enjoying it!

What has been the response since having your scarves featured last
week on The Today Show?

I was humbly honored to have my scarf requested for The Today Show segment. I’m hopeful that the segment brought in lots of viewers for all Etsy artisans! My sales are the same—selling about as fast as I can create them!

What are your future goals and projects?

I’m currently in the middle of illustrating sewing patterns for Sandi of Portabello Pixie. They are close to being finalized so keep an eye out at your local quilt stores. Sandi will have many new childrens’ and womens’ designs available in the next few months. As for my That Funky Boutique creations, the scarves have been so well received but I’m just a one woman show. My future goals are to find ways to increase production so I can take on more wholesale and retail sales next year.
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Where can our readers find out more about you and your products?

www.thatfunkyboutique.etsy.com
www.thatfunkyboutique.blogspot.com

Coverage of ‘Moms Who Make It’ Conference – Show #114

September 3rd, 2009

We recently sent Boutique Cafe viewer Jen Holyoak as our “Special BC Correspondent” to attend the “Moms Who Make it Conference” in SLC Utah. The goal of the conference was “Give Your Life & Business a Complete Make-Over, Creating the Life You’ve Been Dreaming Of!”

Jen was able to interview some incredibly talented women, get the scoop on some great businesses, and we’re thrilled to see the fun footage she was able to snag on her new Flip Camera!! Enjoy the ride as we share a bit of the behind the scenes from this amazing summer conference, put together by the dynamic duo of Quinn Curtis & Emily Hill. Thank you for inviting us to attend, and thank you Jen for all your hard work!! We LOVE our amazing viewers! Please leave comments for the featured gals in this episode – they ROCK!

Links to check out:
Olive Juice Co. (Kim)
You Can Make This & You Can Quilt This (Kim, Kris & Sherrie)
Girls Loft (Margie)
Dear Lizzy (Liz Karchner)
House of Three (Rhonna Farrer)
Created by Mom (Quinn Curtis)


** Click button below to view video coverage, or view it on our YouTube channel shortly right here>>

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Been Featured on Boutique Cafe?

September 14th, 2008

Have you been featured on Boutique Cafe? Perhaps you’ve been interviewed in our popular podcasts, sponsored a giveaway, been reviewed in the Daily Dish, spotlighted in our Fashion Show or advertised in our Gift Guides. If so you can let everyone know just how cool your company is!

Fly our “Featured On” banner on your website, blog or store. Shout it from the rooftops, because you’re Awesome!





Copy the following code and paste it into your html page:

  • If you haven’t been featured on BC just yet, never fear! You can still add one of our “Share the Love” banners here. We love you for it! XO

Canadian Momprenuer of the Year Awards – Vote for us!

July 7th, 2008

Momprenuer of the YearSavvyMom.ca is holding their annual “Momprenuer of the Year Awards” this summer open to Canadian momprenuers. At the insistence of several sweet Boutique Cafe members, I have thrown my name into the hat and would love to have your vote for this honor. The first prize is valued at $17,000 worth of cash and prizes to help grow and boost your business, this would be a huge help to Boutique Cafe in continuing to bring more quality content to our listenership and continuing to support other momprenuers get the word out about their businesses.

Thank you so much for taking a moment to cast your vote for Boutique Cafe!! Cast your Ballot here ».

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