Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Face Book or Crack Book

I'm asked all the time about my schedule, it's always been the number one question asked of me by customers and friends alike. However recently another question has moved into the top slot. "How do you know how to use face book for your business?" and that's followed by "How much time do you spend on face book?"
I didn't know how to use it and I spent way too much time learning about it....meaning exploring late into the night on the computer; reading, posting, deleting, and asking questions. My fascination with it, {my husband would say my obsession with it } comes from the fact that I believe we have not scratched the surface of it's potential for small businesses. I think it's so very exciting that HiHo is able to be part of a conversation anytime and anywhere. Like creating a great visual display in the shop and sharing it with hundreds of people, sharing happenings, meeting new friends and visiting new places. OK, I admit it, I'm obsessed.
I writing this blog post on the eve before the first World Wide Social Media Day, yup a new excuse to gather with others and talk about my latest obsession. SweetPea&Co is hosting a local celebration at the Gunk Haus. New ideas, more people to cross promote with and the exploring continues. Did I answer the question??? hmmm, I'm still learning, I'm self taught and way to much time ;)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Love Note

My tradition of writing a blog post for the men in my life on Father's Day continues.
I made the mistake of jumping back on the blog and reading what I wrote for the last two years on Father's day and now I'm feeling defeated. What could I possibly say that I haven't said already?
Isn't it crazy how the world looks at our parents? They see knowledgeable adults with a sum of accomplishments. We are even one of their accomplishments. When I see my Dad, he's my Dad. The guy who draws on the program at church, made sure my bike was in working order every Spring, likes a chunk of torn bread rather than a slice and knows whether you put cold water or hot water in the kettle before you bring it to a boil. Not important stuff, things that others would not see or care about, but what a child sees when looking at a parent.
My children would share similar endearments about their Dad. I'm sure each different but just as important to them as mine are to me. Who knows what they would say about Grandpa?
On this Father's Day I want to say, I'm very lucky to have a Dad that calls me even though I find little time to call him, a Dad that creates beautiful artwork and makes me smile when I do share a moment with him. Living a distance away but right here at the same time....I love you Dad.
I'm blessed that I have a husband that is my partner in raising our children { the teen years will be over soon} He has a great ability to see inside each of our children's hearts...I love you Richard.
On this Father's Day I wish for you a day of celebration with the men in your life ....may the men's worldly accomplishments be dwarfed by the love they receive by their children.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's My Home and I'll Decorate If I Want To!

What is the right height to hang artwork in my home? Is there an standard preferred walking space I should have between my couch and the coffee table? How low should I hang a ceiling fixture?
What did people do before Google??
Should the average home owner be referring to the "experts" when it comes to home decor in their own homes? I don't know....how tall are you? Whats the size of the artwork? Do you walk with a cane and how big is the room? Will you be dining under the light fixture?
When one googles for home decor rules, be forewarned that your specific needs might mean adjusting the experts advise to fit your home and your own sense of style.
If your going to look for advise, look in your own back yard. Have a discussion with a real person. Most importantly don't take the advise if you don't like the way it looks. Remember you may keep changing things until you do like it.
I hate the idea of "Home Decorated by Google" in the text below the photo of your living room.....it's your home and decorate it the way you want it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Promise of Tomorrow

The promise that tomorrow will be better, bigger and business will grow. That's what real entrepreneurs believe. The last of the dying breed of optimists, small business owners. I try to surround myself with these dreamers. Not entrepreneurs that are in business because their personalities don't allow them to work with others, but with brave soles who follow a calling to share their talents and work doing what they love. I'm lucky to have such friends. Some close and here at hand and some through online social networking, all inspiring.
Isabella of Isabella's Treasures , Dirk & Elizabeth of Gunk Haus , Deb of Retreat, these are just a few. You ask why I'm I mentioning these businesses....because their businesses are their worlds, like HiHo is to me and my family. I wanted to make the point that business is personal, very personal to small business owners. The next time you drive past farm stands to buy produce at the super market, pass green houses to get mulch at a big box store, make reservations at a chain restaurant, travel miles to the closest mall to buy a gift....I want you to think about these people. Slow down and think. What do I need and can I get it from someone right here? Someone right here that will be grateful for your business, will remember you and won't ask you to swipe your own credit card and put your purchase in a non recyclable bag....you getting my point??

We have all heard of the 3/50 Project, but even the best campain starts to glaze over after a while. Fifty dollars spread over three businesses locally each week. I know you can do it.....promise me ;) OK?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Christmas Decorating in June

It's June, but yes I spent part of the morning in HiHo's Christmas room. I must be the only person in the Hudson Valley that can say- I was decorating a Christmas tree this morning. Funny how it doesn't matter what time of year it is, that room always puts me in the mood for a little Bing.... It was a nice break from the routine of the day, which is always needed on Thursdays. We are open until 7:30 in the evening on Thursdays, the long day helps give me time to prepare the shop for the weekend and give those who prefer shopping after work the opportunity to stop by.
HiHo Christmas Room-Everett in 2006
HA! Someone just gave me a shout out from the Christmas room....funny how moving things around usually turns into new interest ;) gotta go!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pouring Productivity or Wine?

Rained in sheets today, some braved a good soak and stopped in.
I put the finishing touches on the shopping categories for the online market pages. Debated the number of items for each page and the groupings of like merchandise. Now I need to decide on titles, and write the text for the unexciting pages, like returns, shipping and the privacy policy. This rainy unpredictable day was productive. We are closer to HiHo's online Home Market launch.
Time for a glass of wine. I have to come up with those titles....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

In a Groove?

Do any of us really know when we are at our best ? When the best of us shines? My Dad would say he's in a groove....well it was the 70's the last time I heard him say that. Is it a rhythm we pace ourselves to, that helps us get our day to day activities done, or is it a side tracked time/moment when the creating happens? I don't know about everybody else, but lately some of my best/shining moments have been alone. A light bulb moment, a redirect, an idea that can take me in a direction; to create. An energizing surge that motivates. Not a exceptional event, it may be as little as more lighting over your desk, and you realize it's a happier place to work. While driving to work with the radio off, you notice more of the landscape. Lets just say I've been keeping my head down and working hard.
Am I in a groove right now? I don't know, if it's not a groove it's highly motivated place moving in the direction of HiHo growth. I have been working diligently, collecting graphics, ideas, text and merchandise for our new online shopping pages. Aggressively using social media in the preparation of the launch of online shopping at HiHo. I also have been able to ignore my surroundings and stay working in one direction for long time spans...unheard of for me ;) Ha! I just read this back, maybe I'm not in a groove, maybe I'm just growing up? Nah!!