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It's in the air - Friday Favs

Well that's the excuse I like to use as I scour through wedding blogs and magazines. But truth be told there is a little missy who will be taking the plunge in May (ahem... Genevieve!), both of my sisters got married last year and I have been working on a line of wedding jewelry so I have been doing a little extra research.

I don't know how I missed it but one of my favorite companies, Alabama Chanin headed by Natalie Chanin, has a line of wedding dresses. Alabama Chanin is a small company out of Florence, Alabama that hand makes beautiful clothing using quilting techniques, applique and organic cotton. Everything is made in or near Florence and they have quite a sweet little community there, offering workshops and classes where they teach classic and modern stitching techniques. I have always been smitten with their work but these dresses blew me away. They will probably always be out of my budget but one can dream!

They kind of conjure up of dreams of sweet tea, white porches and southern cooking don't they?


Thursday Link Roundup

Put One Foot in Front of the Other Without Tripping, Flailing or Falling on Your Face - This piece is geared toward writers, but the ideas translate to any project or idea you want to make happen. Keep moving forward!

Why We Overtweet - Advice on extending your brand through social media and how to do it right.

Get Hundreds of Links to Your Next Blog Post, Guaranteed - Tips for writing headlines that pull readers in.

Turn Your Intro Out, on what it means to be an introverted business owner in the digital age - Shyness is not an excuse these days, plus your tendency to stick to the shadows can be a benefit.

Craft Shows or No Craft Shows, That is the Question - Yes, it is and it comes up often. While no one can answer it for you, here’s some things to think about in answering it for yourself.


Creating a supportive environment

What do you do to create a supportive and nurturing life that allows space for creativity? What exercises and activities do you do that conquer new ideas and allows you to be open to new possibilities. Get connected with your more playful self in this 2008 TED talk about creativity and play with Tim Brown, the CEO of the "innovation and design" firm IDEO.


Loving What We Do

Shelly mentioned it in her last post, but I gotta chime in here too. Our opening reception for the 3rd 200 Yards was such a great night, we couldn't have been happier. The turnout was lovely, the general vibe in Free Gold Watch was great, full of energy and excitement for the photographs. We can't wait to do it again.

Thank you to all the photographers who participated, all those who came out to support and view their work, and most importanly, thank you to Free Gold Watch for letting us use the space and being such great hosts.

Here's a few photos from our fabulous night.

You can find more images here.


Photo Mondays

Image by Dan Brazelton

Our 200 yards opening Saturday was a huge success! Free Gold Watch printing shop is the perfect place for the show. The place was packed and the energy was high. Thanks so much to Matt and the guys for joining forces with Lightbox and helping us put on such a great opening and thanks to all the friends who came out for support. One last thank you goes out to all the amazing photographers who submitted. It was definitely difficult for Genevieve and I to make the final decisions. There were a lot of amazing photos. Cannot wait for the next one at Dickerman prints at the end of June. Join our mailing list to hear about submission deadlines and other upcoming events.

Stop by Free Gold Watch to check out the third 200 yards photography show

Showing through April 8, 2011
1767 Waller St. @ Stanyan


Thursday Link Roundup

5 Elements of a Can’t Miss Business - Great advice to test you business idea and model with.

How Social Media Can Humanize Your Brand - Some straight forward advice on how to be a part of the conversation.

Why Self-Improvement Makes You Neurotic - A great perspective. Access your power instead of “fixing.”

Confessions of a Fearful Blogger: How Battling Fear is an On-Going Battle - Don’t let the fear take over, work with it and through it to reach your dreams.



I have been having a lot of ah ha moments lately. Things from many different arenas of my life have started to make a little more sense in new and exciting ways. I love when I am able to share these moments with someone else - "Yes, that makes so much sense. You get me!!!" Many of these moments have occurred while reading Chris Guillebeau's book The Art of Non-Conformity. If anyone of you have spoken to me or read all of my posts in the last month, you have heard me talk about this book. I think it's brilliant, obviously, and much of what Chris says really made me feel good about some of my life decisions. It would be hard to find someone who doesn't enjoy reading that their "weird" way of doing something was, oh wow, not weird at all! That your decision to do things in that different way was your way of setting your own rules and owning your life!

Yesterday I was browsing back through the chapter "The Power of Your Own Small Army" and how to make connections with others and get the most out of these relations. We speak about this a lot. As a small business owner or as artists, developing relationships with others in the community is key to success. How do we do this when we are so busy and don't even have time to meet up with our close friends? Genevieve can talk for hours about social media and how to get the best out of a few minutes a day and I love to help people manage their time and set goals. So we are here to help you! But today I want to share one tip that I learned from yesterday's reading that is simple and very rewarding.

Thanking others that have inspired you or motivated a new project or idea while at the same time introducing your new event, project, art work or workshop is a great way to save time. I was trying to rack my brain for new ways to advertise a project I have been working on and ding ding ding. This makes sense! All of those amazing bloggers, writers and artists that have inspired and help me develop business ideas should both be thanked for all they have given me as well hear about my great new idea. I love the idea of offering a big verbal hug as I ahem, sell myself. Double duty, I connected with someone I admire and have advertised my services all in five minutes and for free.


What Does Your Brand Communicate?

Photo by GenevieveIn preparation for our upcoming workshop Shelly and I have been spending a lot of time talking about what branding means and how to define it for yourself. Our discussions have brought up some really interesting ways to approach one of the biggest questions a creative entrepreneur has to answer. So I thought I’d share a few thoughts to get your mind working and give you an idea of what our upcoming “Marketing Your Art By Telling Your Story” workshop will be like.

I used to think branding was just about logos and colors. While this is definitely a part of the mix, I now know that branding is also about an experience. So that’s one way to approach defining your brand. What sort of experience do you want your customer to have? Are you about luxury, convenience, or solving a problem?

Brand can also be about lifestyle. This is where knowing your target market comes in. Your messaging, packaging and interactions with the customers need to support their lifestyle. Are you targeting busy, working moms or active, outdoorsy college students? Not only are their needs different so is what they’re attracted to.

While creatives and artists are often very closely associated with their brands, creating a brand identity can also be about creating the best version of yourself. Your target market will often view this as the idealized version of who they want to be. Everything that you do surrounding your product or service can make them feel as though they are achieving that ideal.

There’s a lot to think about when creating a brand identity. Some of it is about external factors and perfect personas, but a lot of it is about your unique qualities and passions. By using what is uniquely your story you can stand out in the marketplace. In our workshop, “Marketing Your Art By Telling Your Story” we’ll help you find that unique story and show you how to use it to create a personalized marketing strategy.

Both Shelly and I will lead this 3-hour workshop and we’ve limited the attendance to 15 people so that everyone will get plenty of individual attention. You’ll gain a greater clarity on your brand identity as well as developing action items for a purposeful marketing strategy.

When: Thursday, March 24th 6-9pm
Where: a.Muse Gallery, 614 Alabama St.

Sign up now to be one of the lucky 15 people to attend this workshop!


Photo Mondays - Mosaics

Pep Ventosa - Rio di San Giovanni Laterano

Genevieve and I spent a nice part of our Saturday evening at the Foto: Pushing Boundaries show at Arc Gallery and I left pretty darn impressed with everything in the show. So much amazing talent. One of my personal favorites is Pep Ventosa. His fragmented photos are just stunning - Ventosa takes dozens of photos of one place and all its details and then puts all the photos together creating a mosaic effect. He has definitely been receiving some promising recognition and its truly deserved.  I suggest stopping by the gallery and seeing his photos of SF in person.


In the spirit of working together

I have been interested in The Church of Craft ever since I first heard of it but was always hesitant because of its East Bay meet ups and my lack of car.  For you that don't know the Church of Craft it is a group of like minded crafty individuals that meet at the Rock Paper Scissors Collective in Oakland to, well, make crafts together. They suggest bringing projects that you are working on, things to share and food for potluck. It also seems as though they also teach a craft project if you do not have one you are currently working on.  Willo of Willo Toons came to the rescue and started up a San Francisco group. I cannot wait to join and spend a fun afternoon making crafts and new friends. Currently, they are looking for a new space to meet so if you have any suggestions or connections please send them her way. Hope to see you at the next meetup.