The Tin Shingle Blog - #HeartThisBiz
Why yes, that IS me showing off my new, happy lips. But that wasn't always the case! Here are my two biggest complaints about lip glosses and lipsticks: a) it's impossible to find one that is not just a beautiful color but isn't super sticky/super expensive and b) MOST of them are filled with chemicals and who wants to slather chemicals all over their lips? Not me! Well it's "complain no more" time in my world because small business (and make-up genius) Purely You Minerals exists, and have made those complaints null and void, and my lips are happy again. Let me break down why - if you have lips (that wear makeup) or someone you love does - you need to order some RIGHT NOW:
- The color & type choices - From lipstick to powder to blush to bronzer to foundation - they've got all your makeup needs covered in colors you'll use and love. I mean I can't find a good reddish hue to save my life, then I discovered their Berry Red and I was hooked from the moment I put it on. It even SMELLS good!
- It's good for you - Their ingredients are things you'll actually recognize (rose seed oil, beeswax) not chemicals you can't even pronounce. I mean it's your LIPS for goodness sake, take care of what you put on 'em!
- The price is RIGHT - Some of you may be down with paying $30.00 or even $18.00 for lipstick. I'm not, I think that's just plain silly. My new fave lip color from Purely You Minerals is only $7.00 - I mean that is about the price of a coffee at Starbucks! PERFECTION!
- Free Samples - This company has their shiz together! Not only will they supply you with amazing make-up but they'll let you road (or face) test it first!
If those four reasons aren't enough to get you hooked on Purely You wait until hear about their founder Joy Atkisson, because buying from a small business feels so good, trust me.
Joy always struggled with skin problems and cakey makeup until one day she tried mineral makeup and it changed her skin forever. She looked at the jar of makeup and noticed that it only had a few ingredients so she thought, "I bet I could make this." (Ah, the entrepreneurial spark was lit!) Little did she know that it would take four years of formulating to get it just right, so the busy stay-at-home (at the time) worked during nap times and late into the night. She didn't want to just copy some big company's half-hearted product, made by mass production, using low-quality ingredients.
I have a few healthy addictions in life, but what tops them all by far is my LOVE and OBSESSION with the beautiful, innovative, quirky, genius, why-didn't-anyone-else-think-of-this products that come from small businesses, and I know my partner at Tin Shingle Katie feels the same way. It's for that reason that we're introducing a #SmallBizStyle series on our blog, and the item I'm sharing with you today is going to blow your mind!
I think the moment I discovered Tin Shingle member Loly in the Sky's shoes was the fastest discovery-to-transaction moment I've experienced in my life. My only buyer's remorse, was wondering if I shouldn't have snagged a few more pairs!
Here's why I love Loly in the Sky shoes:
- Their designs include a range of options from ADORABLE and quirky to classic and subtle. Should you want shoes that people stop you on the street to talk about these are your shoes. Should you want shoes that are beautiful but not screaming "look at me now" these are also your shoes. She's got something for everyone!
- They are proudly handmade with love!
- The company's entire branding is well done: the website, the newsletter, their blog - like Renee Zellweger, they had me at hello!
- Hello affordable: Loly in the Sky shoes are only $39.00!
- Speedy delivery! If you're still with me and not snagging a pair (or 5) of your own right now, know this: the moment I ordered I had my confirmation email (not something that always happens) and the next day they shipped.
- They exemplify #SmallBizStyle
Founders Lorena & Eduardo Vazquez clearly knows what she is doing! Can't wait to see what they come up with next! My feet are eagerly waiting! Until then be sure you find them online & on Twitter & Facebook!
I love me some Etsy artists and shop owners, why? Because they are always raising the bar for the most touching, appropriate, and effective ways of saying "Thank You!" to a customer who places an order.
This artist, Kate Endle, has marketed her brand everywhere, from Etsy to shops to markets (keep up with where she is on twitter). I found her illustrations in a paper store in Beacon, NY and bought her 2012 calendar of roosters, a whale, black birds, and other lovely, cooing animals. I've since repurposed the calendar illustrations into square posters for my son's room. Instead of finding a new artist via calendar from another store, I missed my monthly Kate Endle in my front hall, so went to her website and bought the 2013 calendar from her Etsy store.
Right away, I was sent a thank you note telling me when my order would ship. A few short days later, a brown paper package arrived on my porch, with this cute little owl pictured above next to my address! Meanwhile, Kate herself (or maybe her assistant, but doesn't matter to me) sent me a thank you email, asking me to leave some positive feedback for her at her Etsy shop if I was happy. Yup, I am! And thanks to her reminder, I will leave that feedback. I did know it was common practice at Etsy, but I always forget about it.
Hand-written notes go a long way. Especially when they are drawn. ;) Note: The colored squiggles on this owl are my daughter's when she and I were coloring. I had cut out the owl from the USPS packaging so that we could have some original artwork to look at in the kitchen.
Julianne Hough & Brittany Snow Wear Small Biz Jewelry to Golden Globes: Exclusive with Designer Daniela Villegas
I'll admit it: My name is Sabina and I'm an Awards Show junkie. From the inspiring speeches I usually cry through to the hot, red carpet fashion and accessories choices, so you can bet I was tuned in and glued to my television and computer when Julianne Hough rocked the red carpet with striking gold (real) beetle and stick bug earrings.
Fast foward to the after-parties and Brittany Snow is caught wearing the striking Spartan rings from the same designer. I knew it was an independent designer and small business owner who had created those stand-out accessories. As I always say, entrepreneurs make the most amazing and creative things. I immediately had to know WHO it was, HOW they got their pieces front and center for such a huge fashion moment, WHY she thinks Julianne picked out those specific insects...point being, I needed the nitty gritty details on how this all went down. Thanks to the wonders of social media and Google I was emailing with lucky designer Daniela Villegas within the hour and she graciously answered all my questions (even my non-business more-Julianne focused ones that I couldn't help but asking). Check out our exclusive Tin Shingle interview with Daniela below and connect with her online and Facebook as well!
Daniela Villegas Chats Golden Globes, Julianne Hough, Beetles & Entrepreneurship Exclusively with Tin Shingle
How long have you been in business and actively selling your own pieces?
I've been designing jewelry since I was a teenager and I started designing for my own brand DANIELA VILLEGAS since 2008.
What did you do before launching your own accessories line? What led you to decide to hang your own shingle so to speak and launch your own brand?
I started making jewelry pieces for friends and family. I studied fashion design and started learning and working for different people until I decided to launch my own line when I felt the necessity to express myself without constrains. I felt it was time to open my wings and explore.
How important do you think celebrity product placement and styling opportunities are for a fashion or accessories brand?
They are very important because they provide you with the opportunity to reach different markets and possibilities. However, I feel the most important part is to always keep the quality to the top and to create a piece with perfect balance between creativity and sophistication.
What did you think about how Julianne Hough looked in your pieces on the Red Carpet?
She rocked the Golden Globes red carpet. She is a woman that likes to experiment and takes risks that most of the times pay off, you can see she is comfortable and happy. She is very well advised by her stylist Anita Patrickson. At the end the red carpet is an important part of being an actress, she takes it seriously and I'm sure we'll see her rocking the business for many years to come.
Why did you choose the insects and scarab you did for this piece?
"The Backyard" collection is one of my lines that is inspired in the insects integration and balance with the environment. Every piece has a story and symbolism. The beetles are a very unique animal with an incredible range of colors and patterns. First, we chose the color that Anita and Julianne had in their minds and everything unfolded from that.
Can you outline how you, a small business owner, were able to get your product on a hot celebrity during one of the most high visibility nights of the year in terms of Hollywood and fashion?
Some luck, a focused effort and in this case it was especially made possible by Julianne's stylist, Anita Patrickson. She is the one that made the connection.
What did you do to prepare your website/social media/customers/etc for the big moment?
We enjoyed having input and interaction with them and via social media.
What advice do you have for aspiring jewelry designers or entrepreneurs in general who may be reading this article?
To be true to yourself, to be congruent with what you are and what you design. To listen to your heart and when you feel is time to fly, do it! Step by step, no need to rush anything. Work hard everyday and enjoy what you do.
What is your favorite thing about owning your own business?
The freedom I have to create my own pieces, how I manage my time and also the opportunity to meet incredible people in different fields.
What has been one of your biggest challenges as an entrepreneur?
I feel the biggest challenge at the beginning for me was to find great people that can help me to make my pieces a reality. I've been lucky enough to work with the best team.
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years from now?
Being represented by more fantastic stores around the globe, to expand on every level.
What other celebrities are your fantasy celebs to have your jewelry adorn?
I would love to see Diane Kruger, Tilda Swinton, Kate Moss among others, these are women that are not afraid to experiment and who create their own trends.
Let's be honest, several of us have dreamt of opening our own store filled with inventory of whatever it is that we love and are passionate about, that we curate ourselves. The fact is, sustaining a successful retail establishment can be difficult these days in any city in America, and in New York City, its no exception. With the Big Apple's high rents and highly competitive retail atmosphere, a new, brick & mortar store has to fight to earn its reputation (and rent). Enter Grey Era, a popular vintage clothing store in the city's East Village. The boutique is a long time dream come to life for entrepreneur and founder Sierra Fromberg, who you can regularly find at the store helping everyone from tourists to celebrities like Alexa Chung find the perfect vintage treasure.
We wondered what Sierra could tell us (and other future store owners) about what it's really like to launch and run a boutique - especially during a recession. What follows are her honest - and informative - answers.
Tin Shingle: Was the dream of your own vintage boutique dancing around your head for a long time before you launched Grey Era? What drew you to the idea?
Opening up a vintage shop has always been on my list of things I want to do. It all started with Alice Underground (a sadly now closed vintage heaven that was a shopping staple for all the nyc girls of my generation). I blame that shop for not only my obsession with vintage clothing, but my passion for vintage clothing from the 90s. Having a shop allows me to combine a lot of the things I love in the fashion world. I get to shop, help style my customers, build personal relationships with them, and have a space where everyone can come and hang out. There's never any pressure from me or my team to buy something. Some days customers just wanna chill in the shop, and thats totally fine with me. Im happy they know my space is their space.
Tin Shingle: Let’s be honest, it’s no secret that the economy out there is rough, but you made the decision to launch a brick and mortar retail store in one of the most tough cities in the world just last year. What inspired you to be so bold despite the country's current state?
I would never have let those kinds of circumstances keep me from opening the shop. The truth is, there is NEVER a perfect time to start a business. There are always going to be factors (like the economy) that could potential keep you from becoming an entrepreneur, but at the end of the day, unless you try it, you'll never know. As for opening up my shop in one of the toughest cities in the world, there was never any question about where Grey Era would be. Im a born and bred New Yorker and this city is a huge part of who I am. I feel honored to have a store here, and the toughness factor only drives me harder to succeed.
Tin Shingle: What did you do to prepare and educate yourself before diving into the life of a shop owner?
Thats a really good question! I went to work "in the field". I found a vintage clothing store that I could manage, so that I had an opportunity to learn from the inside out what its like to run a shop. Since I knew I would be opening Grey Era on my own, I wanted a position where I would be the only person in the shop (unless the owners were there). So on my days there, I was responsible for opening the store, cleaning it, re-merchandising, sales and customer relations, and closing. But the truth is that no amount of prep work can prepare you for what its like to have your own store. There's no manual on how to have your own clothing store, and there's no two shop owners who do things totally alike. You have to learn to be OK with just picking things up along the way, and knowing you are going to make a lot of mistakes, but from those, you will learn what works best for your business. No matter how much experience you have, when the responsibility is entirely on your shoulders, its a total game changer.
Tin Shingle: What were some things you didn’t even realize you would end up doing/learning? Any surprises along the way that stand out in your mind?
Well, I learned that certain things are best left to the professionals. You have to be realistic about what your strengths and weaknesses as a business owner are. I am terrible at math, or anything that has to do with numbers for that matter, so I leave pretty much ALL of that to my accountant (who I happen to trust entirely). But everything else I honesty do myself. I remember right before I opened the shop, I had this moment of sheer panic where I thought I was in entirely over my head. But I surprised myself with how much I have been able to take on, and how quickly I have picked up the things I didnt know how to do. I wear so many hats at the shop, and I actually love that! But the nicest surprise has to be that I have become friends with so many of my customers.
Tin Shingle: How important do you think it’s been to get involved in and become a “living” part of the neighborhood where your store is based?
I think its important. I was very particular with where I wanted the location of the shop to be, and I got really lucky with my space. One of the things that drew me to 9th street is that its very much a little community of small business owners like myself. Some of the businesses have been there for years, and others are newer like me, but what bonds us together is that we all want the street to continue to grow as a destination for commerce. In the East Village its especially nice because so many of your customers are other people who live in the neighborhood, so you have a good opportunity to get to know them as both a customer and a neighbor. I also try to take an active roll in driving more traffic to the neighborhood, and I am very supportive of what the other businesses around me are doing. Whether that means teaming up to do events or supporting them via social media outreach, I believe that its important they know I am there to help in any way I can.
Tin Shingle: What is your favorite part about owning your own shop?
Not working for someone else. Honestly! I knew a long time ago that I was never meant to sit in an office with someone else's name on the door. With Grey Era, I make the rules, but I also get to break em whenever I want.
Tin Shingle: What are you future plans for Grey Era? Any plans to sell online?
For now, Im just focusing on continuing to build the brand, and spread the Grey Era love. I havent even been open a year, which means I still have customers coming in for their first time, so my focus is on making sure they walk away having the best experience possible. Though I dont currently sell online through the Grey Era website, I recently partnered with an ecommerce site called Zaden Row, which was started by a friend and fellow fashion world vet, Nina Zadeh. There you can find a good selection of some of our favorite pieces in the shop.
Tin Shingle: What advice would you give other entrepreneurs who are interested in opening a brick and mortar retail store?
Make sure you have a great team supporting you from the start. What I mean by that is the first thing you should do is put together a group of people who you trust entirely, and who you know have your best interest at heart. That goes for the lawyer negotiating your lease, the broker who is helping you find your space, the people who are investing in your business, your accountant, your employees, your friends and family - basically anyone in your life who is going to be a part of this endeavor. Because at the end of the day, these are the people who you are going to fall back on when you need help, and if you dont get your team in order before you open your store, you are going to regret it. Oh, and ask questions. LOTS of questions.
Have you ever realized one morning that you're supposed to catch up with a friend for a birthday celebration that night and low and behold you have forgotten to go out and buy them a gift. You'd love to pick her up something from the local shop down the street, but you just don't physically have the time to get there before heading out for the evening. Wish that you could go shop your favorite local shop without actually having to go to the shop? Now with a sweet little mobile app called Taap.It you can shop, eat, live and share local all from the comfort of your computer or smart phone.
Taap.it allows you to browse for specific products, exact dishes, and particular services (more than just store name and location) that your neighborhood stores have to offer. Everything comes with photos so you know exactly what you are getting. You can buy directly on the app and enjoy fast local delivery (even same day!).
Available for the Android and iTunes marketplaces and servicing the NYC area. Click here to download for free.
Tuesday night I attended a Make Mine a Million MeetUp with fellow Tin Shingle, Ms Sophie Gold. As I sat in the room listening to all of these amazing women tell their stories of struggle, of heartache of trial and tribulation I was awestruck. These were women who when the chips were down instead of giving up, they found a way to give back. When working for 'the man' wasn't cutting it, they created companies, developed products, sold their expertise and founded organizations that have generated $1,000,000 and more.
So just a raised glass and a toast to those who, in times of turmoil dig deep and give even more of themselves than anyone might ever expect, to make this world a better place.
On the list of things I love in this world, here are a few for ya: entrepreneurship, fashion, "real" women, not having to imagine every squeezing myself into a size zero (or even imagine how little I'd have to eat to ever be a size zero) and people who see a need in the world or the marketplace or their own closet, and instead of relying on someone else to create it, they do it themselves.
Well meet Aimee Cheshire of Madison Plus, because she embodies every one of the items on my "things I love" checklist, and is therefore the topic of this week's Business Crush post.
Aimee is the fashion entrepreneur and trailblazer behind the online universe that is Madison Plus (I just don't feel calling it an online store is enough - she's got editorial, trend coverage, exclusive sales, a blog and more). Chances are if you've opened a magazine or flipped on a morning show you've seen them. Aimee's success has been amazing and it made me wonder, in a world where most clothing lines and fashion sites rely on models that more closely resemble hangers instead of real women, how did she manage to do what she does so quickly and so well! Instead of wondering, I went to the source, Aimee herself!
Below, find my exclusive interview with Aimee Cheshire of Madison Plus as she talks "a ha moments", entrepreneurship, plus size fashion, how to run a successful online retail business & more!
Though we can probably guess the “why” tell us the story of Madison Plus (MP) in your own words: What was your “a ha” moment? When and why did you realize to take the big leap and risk that starting a business entails?
MadisonPlus.com has been a lifelong project. Even though I didn’t always know it would eventually be expressed in the form of MP, I was born with the “a ha” moment. At a young age (I’m not sure when exactly) I came to realize that there was a problem with the restrictive nature of women’s fashion. Somewhere between only being able to shop men’s jeans and having to buy an adult women’s size for my communion dress, it dawned on me that I should not have to go through so much to buy a simple outfit. I knew then that I had to do something to insure that no one else would have to experience such exclusion.
I carried those childhood memories with me and continued to question the industry as I grew up. Mainly asking, what are the reasons for the lack of clothing size 12 and up? In a quest to find out I made it my personal mission to understand and participate in all aspects of the industry. I lived it from modeling and styling to product development. As far as I know I am one of the few people out there who has experienced and worked in all aspects of the plus industry and seen it from all perspectives.
The moment I was struck to get my act together and create MP I was working in Product Development for plus sizes. I was presenting to my bosses a collection of harem pants and a knit motorcycle jacket, pieces that were fashion forward and flattering for the curvy silhouette. They were looking at me like I had two heads and that’s when I thought, “I will never impact anything staying here!” Their only focus was on finding the next million dollar v-neck tee, not uplifting plus women and providing more options for us. That’s when I knew it was time to launch something like MP and if I didn’t do it right away someone else would beat me to it. I also wanted to take advantage of the recession since the economic downturn was a perfect time to create a company. I wanted to develop the website so that when retailers and brands started looking for new sources of money I would be there ready. I saw an opportunity to help jump start the redevelopment of the plus industry.
MP: How long had you been thinking and planning MP before you put the plan into action and launched?
The majority of work started in 2008, figuring out what business model would be the best platform and further researching the plus market. My initial impulse was to create a clothing line, but being all too familiar with the ins and outs of inventory and the upfront cost of creating a line, I felt it would be better, considering the market place, to build Madison Plus slow and steady. So many companies come out of the gate kicking and screaming, whereas I wanted to lay a foundation and create a brand that customers would come to know and trust.
Did you have experience in the fashion or online retail business already or was this entire venture a “learn as you go” journey?
I went to college at LIM and got a degree in fashion merchandising after having earned a bachelor in Psychology at James Madison University. I was immediately hired in product development , for a plus size catalog company. I spent many years working for them and learned so much about the corporate side of plus to gained a better understanding of the restrictions and difficulties of developing clothing for plus size women.
While in college I was a plus model and landed in the pages of Marie Claire but most importantly I gained an understanding of what it means to be in front of the camera. That being said, no amount of preparation can get you ready to launch your own business. It’s learn as you go almost every moment. The brand is developing at a rapid pace and I am quickly learning what my customer loves and figuring out how I can deliver it in the most efficient way possible.
What was the biggest hurdle in your early days as an entrepreneur? How did you overcome it?
The biggest hurdle was the first one, just deciding to do it and stop talking about doing it. For many years I spoke about my desire to create something more for plus women, for many years it was undefined. Once I was able to take that leap of faith and start developing MP, it just took off.
What would you say are some keys to running a successful online retail website?
Stay true to your customer, keep the offering fresh and exciting and always look forward at what is next while keeping your feet firmly planted in the present.
Do you feel tied to the “real beauty” and realistic beauty image movement (real women in America don’t really all come in a size 0) because of the company you run. Do you see yourself falling into a role larger than running your business, i.e. speaking to and for women who don’t fit the traditional beauty ideal that society and the media carefully craft?
I hope so. I believe that I’m at my best when I get to meet with a small group of women and chat about their thoughts and feelings about the fashion industry as a whole.
For a long time women believed that the lack of inclusion was due to discrimination and what I have found is that the lack of inclusion stems from a general lack of know-how in the industry when it comes to how to best include and execute plus fashion. The plus industry is vastly underdeveloped in comparison to the mainstream fashion industry.
I want women to leave my site feeling equal to those body types frequently featured in magazines. For so long we have been fooled into thinking that the size of your body equals happiness, dating life, and attitude and I know that they have little or nothing to do with each other. I still deal with the same issues now that I dealt with when I was a hundred pounds heavier. In the world of fashion I think its important to maintain the caliber of exceptional beauties that they feature. Aspiration and inspiration are so important but I just want to see more beauty in a variation of sizes, not just plus or the infamous size 0.
I want to impact the industry from the inside. I want slow and steady change. If it comes on too quick I believe it will only be sensational or end up a short-lived trend. The inclusion of more body types in magazines and in the fashion world has to be gradual and long-lasting.
What are some of your favorite features on Madison Plus?
I love our Straight to Plus feature and our Model Off Duty. I love showing off the styles of all the fabulous plus models. Staight to Plus shows our viewer how to get celebrity looks in their size and it’s important to attempt that even though you may currently not have the same amount of clothing choices that your straight size counterparts do. It’s crucial to buy and work with what is currently available or else retailers won’t see the demand.
Where would you love to see your brand go in the next five to ten years?
I would love for it to be the main destination for all things plus fashion from shopping to advice, a taste maker and an industry leader in the fashion world. I want MP to be the spark that illuminates the dialogue around plus fashion as well as a fabulous platform for voices representing the plus community to launch from.
For you, what’s the most satisfying thing about being an entrepreneur?
Playing by my own rules! I quickly realized when working in the corporate world that always conforming to the preferences of others was not for me.
What tips do you have for others reading this interview who may want to start their own businesses?
Be smart and pace yourself. Research and understand your market and how your voice is unique from all the others out there. Don’t quit your full time job until you know you can stand on your own two feet with your upstart. Developing a solid business usually takes longer than you think, but don’t get discouraged. It all starts with making that first leap.
Tonight the news broke into my new schedule of trying to watch a sitcom in the evenings after a good day of work. Steve Jobs really did die, and that wasn't supposed to really happen. After the show ended, we flipped around to news networks that were memorializing Steve Jobs. As I couch potatoed , I chided myself for not getting on the computer - onto my MacBook Pro - to crank out some more Tin Shingle type work. Sometimes, when I shut work off in my mind, I won't open the computer until the morning, or bring it to bed. Too much room for distraction and deep surfing and brain sucking. I said "What would Steve Jobs do? He wouldn't stop!" But I don't know that, and I had just heard him quoted in his Stanford commencement speech that one must trust in something, so I trusted my decision to rest.
When I retired to bed, I was in the mood to read tech articles on Mashable or SEOMoz or something, from my iPhone (I allow the iPhone, but not the laptop). It occurred to me to pay homage to Steve Jobs on my Twitter. Then I read some other homages. Then I realized our company, Tin Shingle, home to and advocate for all entrepreneurs, needed to make a statement. But I had that earlier problem where I'd vowed to not open my computer for the night.
Enter the beginning of our homage: I can blog from my iPhone. Even though the experience is a little clunky because the WYSIWYG isn't displaying so I have to type in code view and create my own line breaks, Steve Jobs enabled this flexibility.
Thank you Steve Jobs for (and these are only a few of the many life changing things you've done):
- Changing the world's behavior and mentality with more than a handful of products. Yet, there were many, many more of your ideas and hard work that did not work and failed in public. And your beat went on.
- Trusting yourself, and having enough conviction to keep going even when others failed doing the same thing.
- Being so quotable, and saying out loud what many of us say to ourselves silently every day. But when you say it, it's believable and credible. We can speak our own secret fears with "Steve Jobs said..." and it becomes truth.
- For (re)inventing things from technologies or arts that already existed. Like having a hand drawn font programmed into a computer, or even remastering a touch screen phone, making it into a computer/magic wand, and making it so easy, a child could do it.
- For enabling my 16 month year old daughter's eyes to light up as she flicks through pictures of herself or daddy, while listening to her favorite music, then googling this: "Sssrdddseefzs", and finally Voice Dialing someone, all within 2 minutes (note to Apple: can you pleeeeease unlock the mandatory Voice Control thing?)
- For being a beacon of hope for all of us, especially entrepreneurs who think we're onto something great.
Crush the Clutter for Better Biz? We interview Jill Pollack, Organizational Expert and Star of HGTV's CONSUMED
Yesterday, I started to work (which meant that I moved from the kitchen to my dining room table) and was ready to rock a super productive week, but I couldn’t. I just seemed to kind of bounce from one email to another, started one project and then got distracted and picked something else up. Then I got on a conference call and so of course everything else got pushed aside. At lunch I went back to the kitchen and looked around. My sink was full of dishes, counters cluttered with the baby’s new drum set, magazines that needed to be recycled, groceries that still hadn’t been put up. It’s no wonder that I couldn’t concentrate with all of that mess and clutter around. So I cleaned up the kitchen and got more out of the last three hours of my day than I did in the first five. And that got me thinking about how much more your business can flourish when you can just eliminate the clutter and really get down to work.
Jill Pollack is an organizational expert who has not only worked with some amazing stars among the Hollywood set, but she’s also just managed to land a new series CONSUMED on HGTV Canada. That in and of itself is even to make her swoonworthy, but Jill is so much more than that. We asked her to answer just a few questions about herself, the show and who / what inspires her
CONSUMED is such a great idea – how did you come to be a part of this?
I got involved in the project after the production company saw me on my website! Isn’t that wild?
Originally you were in television – but on the other side of the camera – what inspired you to make such a dramatic shift in your life moving from television producer to organizational expert?
Well after getting my masters in journalism, my first job was at CBS News. After that I worked at the Sally Jessy Raphael show for 3 years. Then, reality TV as we know it today, the kind of purely entertainment and mindless stuff, got really popular. While it can be good fun, it was a genre of TV that I wasn’t comfortable with producing anymore so I just kind of gave it all up cold turkey and tried to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I found that the stuff I loved to do, create harmony and functionality in the home, were things that some other people needed my help doing... so I created my own job. I mean if you are used to being bossy on a TV set, it’s not such a stretch to boss people around in their own home. In a good way, of course.
Do you feel like you can really make a difference now?
Definitely! I am so thrilled to be able to help others make positive changes in their lives. Whether it is one on one with a private client or with a family that we work with on the show, it’s very rewarding to help people refocus their priorities.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the psychological connection between the emotional and physical clutter in our lives?
When you can’t find your keys before you leave the house, you feel rushed and stressed. When your bills are paid late because you don’t have a system to keep them straight you are anxious. When your dining room table is used as a storage area and not for dining, you are not spending quality meal times with family and friends. This all takes a huge toll on one’s psyche. You just can’t be your best self mentally when your physical world is dysfunctional.
How would you say that translates to our business lives?
When your home isn’t healthy, it is hard to be at your peak performance at work. Being organized is so much more than having a hook for your broom in the utility closet. It is about being responsible for your life and taking care of the little things so you have time and energy to work on the big things. Being cluttered and disorganized is not only upsetting, but it is a big time suck. Being primed and ready to focus on the day is good business. No wonder you were so productive after your kitchen was cleaned! I could never do my homework unless my bed was made.
What’s your best tip for entrepreneurs and small business people – many of whom may be working from home – to help reduce some of the clutter in their lives?
Reducing clutter is essential whether you work from home or not. If you do have a home office, you have to really make sure you are productive. If possible, keep your work space and living space separate. Act like you are going to the office and keep consistent hours, if possible. Take a shower. Don’t wear pajamas at your desk. Make good files and back up your technology.
We all derive inspiration from various places – who would you say that you derive yours from. Do you have your own ‘Business Crush’?
I wish I could be more original... but honestly, who is better than Oprah? She is the Queen. She is all about positive messaging, spreading knowledge and acceptance and having good hair. Hello!!!
- Online Classes
Motivation, education, and strategization of how to get the word out about your business. And words of encouragement because what you're building is big!
- #Blogging (8)
- #Branding (48)
- #BusinessSurvivalStories (6)
- #EntrepreneurshipNews (10)
- #Facebook (27)
- #Finance (3)
- #HeartThisBiz (12)
- #HolisticBusiness (1)
- #Legal (4)
- #LifeofBizOwners (54)
- #MembershipGoodies (for Product Based Bizes) (30)
- #MembershipGoodles (for Service Based Bizes) (29)
- #MemberSpotlight (66)
- #MotivationMixes (21)
- #PRCampaigns (81)
- #Press (1)
- #Quotes (2)
- #RoundUp (22)
- #SEO (18)
- #SmallBizSnacks (1)
- #SmallBizStyle (6)
- #SNAGGED! (18)
- #SocialNetworking (39)
- #Strategy (82)
- #Twitter (26)
- #WebsiteDesign (22)