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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Birthday Calendar

Here's another tip for bridal registrants:

My sister went to a wedding recently where the couple had made a photo calendar from their engagement photos. The calendar was placed next to the guestbook, with a note requesting each guest write their name on their birthday and wedding anniversary. At the end of the reception the couple had a birthday calendar reflecting all the important dates from both sides of the couples' family and friends!

I thought this was a really creative way to begin establishing traditions together. Have you ever been to a wedding where this was done? Please feel free to leave a comment with any other tips you can pass along.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wedding Planning Apps

Here's a great article to forward to clients on your bridal registry, that talks about using mobile phone apps to help plan the big day.

Sending a useful link like this that doesn't have anything to do with Longaberger can help you establish a personal relationship with your client that can lead to an ongoing relationship.

The apps discussed in the article include:

BRIDES Wedding Genius: Search through thousands of current wedding gowns anytime, anywhere. Browse by silhouette, designer, price, size and more. Then, find a store near you that sells your dream gown. There are also ring, honeymoon and registry categories. (Available on the iPhone for free. A $2.99 upgrade gives you access to the "binder" feature.)

Tiffany Ring Finder: Browse engagement rings by stone, shape, setting and metal. Your significant other can also take a ring you own, drop it onto the phone, and determine your ring size. (Available on the iPhone for free.)

Etsy Addict: This application places the largest marketplace of artisans and crafters right in your pocket. Browse through dozens of categories, such as paper goods, jewelry, and decorations. Save your favorites to your account to purchase later on. (Available on the iPhone for $0.99)

Color Toy: Find your key wedding color and all of the complementary shades that go with it. Save your palettes to show your florist, or to bring when shopping for things like neckties and napkins. You can also search for colors by name, e-mail palettes to wedding planners, and more. (Available on the iPhone for $2.99)

Wedding Dress Look Book: Download Wedding Dress Look Book and look through hundreds of new wedding dress photos, no matter where you are. You'll also get listings of wedding dress salons that carry dresses you've been dying to try on. Search dresses (by style, shape, and price), and bookmark your favorites for later. This app also gives you access to wedding dress shopping tips, glossaries, and so much more. (Available on the iPhone for free. Will soon be available on the Android.)

My Mobile Checklist: Get this checklist for your cell and stay on top of all your wedding to-dos! It's the exact same checklist that you use on - in a mobile phone format. Use your mobile to view your reminders and check off wedding-planning tasks while you're out and about. (Available for free on any mobile phone with access to the internet)

Wedding911: Get answers to your top wedding questions no matter where you are. Post your wedding questions and instantly get answers from other brides-to-be. You can also scroll through 150+ top wedding Q&As and get expert answers from The Knot editors. (Available on the iPhone for free. Will soon be available on the Android.)

How do you keep in touch with clients in between purchases? Please leave a comment below the post.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mailing Labels Without Return Address

I do a lot of thrift store browsing for my Etsy shop selling vintage Pyrex. Through my friend Jenny I've come to know about Scentsy products, another direct selling business. So when I saw a Scentsy warmer at a thrift shop, it caught my eye. The consultant that initially sold it had placed a sticker on the bottom with her information--and a lightbulb went on in my head!

Tagging the products you sell on the underside ensures that each client will be able to reach you, both now with concerns about their order, and years down the line, when they are looking for a replacement part or are ready to place their next order that they couldn't afford in one lump sum.

I had mailing labels made that coordinate with my business card and car door magnet. But rather than containing my return address, I listed my consultant number, my website, email, phone, and even my facebook page! In addition to placing these on the products themselves, I tag each piece of literature I give out, from flyers to catalogs. The labels are small enough to be unobtrusive, but yet clearly readable and eye-catching.

This is great for cash and carry sales as well, letting new contacts with whom you might not have a personal relationship know how to find you.

I've also bought printable Avery labels from an office supply or big box store, and printed up information to get the word out about my facebook and blog pages. These were large, 2x4 in. squares that I affixed to catalogs.

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Self promotion can be as simple as writing things out to let people know. What are your best tips for promoting your business? Please let me know in a comment on this post.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

I love one-dish meals for their ease and versatility. At the top of my comfort-foods list is eggplant parmesan. I have a really easy Sandra-Lee shortcut for this: I get a box of frozen breaded eggplant from Trader Joe's, their generic house brand. Layered with a can of sliced mushrooms, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and shredded Parmesan cheese, with a few garlic cloves for good measure, it's assembled in less than ten minutes. I cover with tin foil and bake at 325 for an hour, then remove the tin foil and broil for ten minutes until the top is brown and bubbly. It will fill an 8x8 baking dish and I'll have lunch for most of the week!

Out of the oven, I slide the Woven Traditions pan into the Wrought Iron holder, and have no worries about my counter surface or tabletop. It's served straight from the dish, and it looks like love baked right in.

What do you like to make in your Woven Traditions bakeware? Please share your favorites in a comment below.
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