Ahhh January…The Holiday’s are over. Retailers go from of hustling and bustling, to a state of quiescence. It’s one extreme to another. It is something like a beautiful letdown. While it’s nice to enjoy a break, I am one who needs to stay busy. So what does an online boutique owner do in slow times? I’m not sure what everyone is doing but I can fill you in on what I am doing.
INVENTORY: Right now is the perfect time to organize and count inventory. I have spent the last few days taking a count and organizing. I’ll be honest, my workspace was blown out during the holidays! I just didn’t have the time to get to it. Now that things have slowed down, I was able to unbox things, tag them, store them, straighten my office area and actually see what I have and what I need! I love a well organized space and I am getting back to normal.
TOUCH BASE WITH CUSTOMERS: Email, Social Media, Post Cards etc. Keep in touch, advertise, run a sale, clear out winter inventory. Grow Your following. Always keep business cards with you! I have been stopped in public places and asked where I got my bag or my clothing item. This is a perfect opportunity to gain a new customer. You have the time, use it wisely.
REVAMP YOUR WEBSITE: Take new photos, change up a few things on your website. This should be done often. You don’t want things to look abandoned, stay current.
PLAN YOUR SPRING COLLECTION: I know we are mid-winter but now is the time to shop for your spring collection! Pay attention to major retailers. They are already filtering in spring items! It may seem early but in the retail world it is not. This is the time of year for traveling to warmer destinations, spring break is upon us. Be prepared.
There is always something that can be done. Take advantage of the slow seasons. Use this time to do the things you don’t normally have time to do. Before you know it, things will be bustling once again!
I am wondering how many Instant Pots were sold for Christmas this past year? Did you get an Instant pot for Christmas? It has been all over my social media since Christmas Day. I have two, (one for each house). I have had them for about a year now and I use them often. I was just thinking, I haven’t used my crockpot at all since I purchased my Instant pots, maybe it’s time to donate, (I’m working on simplifying my spaces as well).
I made the best baby back ribs today for New Years Dinner. They were super easy and quick! I didn’t think to take photos but I thought I would share my simple recipe.
Fall Off The Bone Baby Back Ribs
1 rack of baby back ribs, left whole
4 T Twist’d Q Garlic Seasoning (Amazon link below, Walmart also carries it)
1 C Apple Juice
Bbq Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays original)
Rub the garlic seasoning on the ribs, both sides. Roll ribs up, place inside Instant Pot on rack. Pour in apple juice. Cook on manual for 18 minutes, natural release for at least 20 minutes (I ran a couple of errands so mine sat on natural release for two hours.) Be sure to check to see if steam has been released before opening lid. Remove from Instant Pot, either grill on hot grill, just to crisp up after brushing with bbq sauce. If grilling isn’t an option, broil in oven for a few minutes but watch closely. Enjoy!
These are seriously the best ribs I have ever made!
In the Northern woods sits this place, this very magical place, that is very near and dear to my heart. A place to me, like no other. A place where all your troubles seem to melt away. A place that calls out to me often. It is a hidden gem. Allow me to take you there for a visit..
Welcome to our cottage. We are on a small private lake where most residents are gone for the winter months which makes it extremely quiet. The summers are alive and vivacious, that will bring more stories later on, but for now, here are a few photos of how we spend our time during the Winter…on the lake.
We walk. Most wouldn’t dare to venture out on cold, wintery days, but there is just something about getting bundled up and going out for a hike. We have a road around our lake that is so beautiful. It is about a two mile hike. It is all woods and in the winter you can hear little rustling here and there, the snow falling from the trees, the wind whistling above and the birds singing lovely tunes. It is one of the things that I have found most calming to my soul. I feel God so close here. All the hustle and bustle of city life is non-existent here. (My Wheaten Saphira loves it also, as you can tell).
Snow Shoeing. I haven’t done this a lot, but I can say it is a fun winter activity, oh and be prepared to break a sweat! My Hubby took this photo from inside the house. I was showing off to him haha.. Good Times! The lake is right behind me, iced over and covered in a blanket of snow. Which leads me to my next photo…
This was last winter…we are still waiting for the ice to be ready to walk on. I had fun “fishing” from inside the living room, coffee in hand, watching for the tip up flags to go up, that means “fish on!” Looking forward to this again, hopefully, in the next few weeks.
When our grandson’s come to visit, sledding is always a fun activity! Although going to the local cafe for hot cocoa is the best time of all!
Oh LOOK! There is a YETI at our door!
I think my absolute favorite winter activity of all is snuggling under a cozy blanket, warm drink in hand, Saphira curled up at my feet, watching the snow fall.
2020…Wow! I remember as a kid back in the 80s, when we thought of the year 2020 we pictured the Jetsons…Literally. We talked about flying cars and robot maids, little did we know. Well, no flying cars (that I know of) but we do have cars that park themselves.. We also have robot vacuum cleaners and many other conveniences. We have advanced tremendously since the 80s but it isn’t completely what we pictured…yet.
I have been thinking a lot lately about 2020. The first thing that comes to my mind is Vision, 2020 Vision. I am working on my new vision for the New Year. I am a small business owner. I started an online Boutique last February. It has done well but not how I have envisioned it…yet. I have goals that I want to achieve and I am starting 2020 out with a plan.
I want to grow my Brand. I want to gain more customers. I want to increase sales. I work hard and I want to be successful at this. I have a plan, I just have to put it into action.
First thing I am working on is a vision board. I’m a visual person, I’m a thinker, I’m a dreamer.. I need something to look at. I look to the Bible for my decision making, and there is a scripture in the book of Habakkuk 2:2 Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.
I have always referred to this scripture as physically writing down your vision and running with it. Therefore, the vision board is in process.
Second, Better organization and scheduling. I am a pretty organized person. I actually enjoy organizing things, I know, I’m weird. But seriously, I work better when things are in order. The BIG thing that has been inhibiting this from happening to me this past year is TIME! I have been scattered all over this year. If we had cloning technology as we thought we might have back in the 80s, I’d make another me..haha! One of the biggest challenges of working from home is making time for your business. It is easy to get sidetracked when you work from home… Me working… “Oh look there is a fuzz on the floor, I should vacuum, It’s a nice day, I should take my pup for a walk…Oh look, a squirrel!” Haha, I failed to mention I have ADD… So it is in the plans. Somehow, scheduling work time. I haven’t figured this one out yet, please comment if you have the answer for me!
The third thing I am working on is uniqueness. I don’t want my business to be like everyone else’s. I want mine to look different, set apart. I have had a whirlwind of thoughts on this one. How do I do that? I’m not 100% sure what it will look like yet, but 2020 will be a time of uniqueness for my Business.
What is your vision for 2020? Have you been thinking about it? What is holding you back? I want to encourage you. It is time to put our thoughts into action.. go forth!
In addition to my online boutique business, I am now venturing into the YouTube world! It’s crazy, funny because I am not a public speaker, like at all! I have always had the worse case of nerves when speaking in front of people but this is not so bad. Speaking in front of a camera (with no-one else around) I am surprisingly pretty comfortable. I started out making a few very awkward videos to post on intagram and facebook for my customers to promote products and kept thinking about it and decided to give this youtube video youtube videos thing a whirl.
I have started my channel and made a couple of short videos and although I need to learn a few things on video editing, I think it will go pretty well. I plan on once a week videos, stay tuned!
Have you ever thought about starting your own business? I have always had the desire to work for myself. I have done many things to be able to work from home. I have sold Tupperware, Mary Kay, Childcare, Made Soy Candles, Beauty Shop, I even counted green wooden floral picks and packaged them, turning my hands green and shredding them to pieces! Of all the things I have done, I can say that running my own Online Boutique has thus far been my favorite! Is it all fun and games? Absolutely not! It is a lot of work, especially in the beginning. If you are thinking of starting an online boutique, there are a few things to consider:
1. You will work more hours then you think!
Yes this is a job you can work at your own pace, but if you don’t work consistently, (promoting, updating website, researching, blogging, vlogging, photographing, paperwork, the list goes on), your website will get lost in the sea of countless online boutiques! You see, there are many. This is an extremely competitive market! You have to work to keep it up! Also, this can be a lonely job. Unless, you have employees, be prepared to work alone, a lot! I enjoy it actually but others may not do so well in that area.
2. You need to be computer savvy!
This is not the job for the technically challenged. I am fascinated with technical gadgets! Anything new that comes out I’m like “Ohhhhhhhh, What is that?” Computers, phones, cameras, tablets, etc… I love them all!!! If you are desiring to run an online business, get to know the gadgets! Don’t be afraid. Take a class, Sit awhile and experiment, google it, youtube it! There is so much information out there. Reach out. Never stop learning. Technology is ever changing.
3. Keep track of your Business for Uncle Sam!
This has been by far the most undesirable task for me! I loathe it…….. But it is necessary if you want your business to be legit. I have had to research like you wouldn’t believe on this topic and I’m still learning! Keeping track of inventory expense, material and supplies expense, gas mileage and more! Then there’s sales tax, it just goes on and on. It really can cause a huge headache. Luckily, there are ways you can track these things. I have been using quick books, so far so good.
4. Keep up with the latest fashion trends!
There are so many ways to do this. Social media, Magazines, Wholesale Shows, etc. This is one of my favorite parts the fashion biz. Get to know what’s trending and think about the brick and mortar retail stores. Follow their schedules on when to release your collections. Fall has just arrived but Fall clothing has been in the stores for weeks!
5. Have a work schedule and stick to it!
This one has been difficult for me. I am working on having set hours each day to work on my business. It can be challenging, something always comes up. People tend to think because you work from home, you don’t really work!! Come-on peeps! It is a real job and requires as many hours if not more then what your putting in! I’m not laying on the couch eating bon-bons everyday, that’s for sure! I even work on vacation, and yes I do need to learn balance.. It requires discipline, balance and the ability to say “no, I have to work”
Bottom line: If you want a successful online business, be prepared to work hard, never stop learning, organization skills helps a ton, be disciplined, consistent and balanced.
All that being said, this can be the most rewarding, adventurous career one can have. If you’re thinking about it, what’s holding you back? Fear of failure held me back for awhile but after I took the leap that subsided. If lack of money is holding you back, it really doesn’t take much to get started. Start small and build it up slowly. I also recommend getting experience with selling, shipping items and customer service, first on a platform such as Poshmark, Etsy, Ebay or Mercari, been there done that, in fact I still use those platforms to sell certain items on.
Hopefully this article has brought to light some of the ins and outs of running an online business. If you have further questions, I’d be happy to help. Leave them in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!!! Jewellsboutique.com
Coming from a background in the beauty industry, I thought it would be fun to have a little talk about beauty products! I have a few favorites and in the comments join me in naming your favorites.
I have tried tons of products over the years!! Hair, face and body. I’ve spent a lot, I’ve spent a little. Here are a few of my favorite things…(reminds me of a song!)
Let’s start with skin care. I have come to love No7 skin care products! I particularly like the “Lift & Illuminate System.”
You can get a Small travel size kit at Ulta to try. The day cream has sun protection and Has a skin brightening technology. It’s light under makeup, which I love!
The night cream is rich and moisturizing! It is great for aging skin.
Then there is the Serum, oh my goodness I love this stuff! After two weeks skin is noticeably firmer and skin tone is more even. It is designed to use underneath your moisturizer to deliver key actives into the skin. It really is amazing stuff!
Now let’s talk eyes! My favorite part of makeup is the eyes. Even if I’m not doing my whole face I will make sure I moisturize and use my favorite mascara and eyeliner…and here they are
Ladies, I have tried many different kinds of mascara, might I add some pricey ones! But this one is my favorite! Maybelline Lash Sensational! Now I like the waterproof but the regular works amazing too! It’s usually around $8. It gives you a full lengthy look. It has a lot to do with the shape of the brush. Try it, you won’t be disappointed.
When it comes to eyeliner, I spend a little more. I really like “Two Faced Sketch Marker Liquid Eyeliner.” I use Deep Espresso, it glides on and the tip is fine so you can make it as thin or as thick as you like. It’s around $22 at Ulta and it stays on all day! It does not rub off! I use Mary Kay eye makeup remover to get it off, another beauty fav!
I recently started using this eyebrow pencil and I really like it! It’s Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim. I personally for me, don’t like my brows overdone. This gives them a more subtle result. It has a slim tip so you can make natural hair-like strokes then brush with the little brush included. It runs about $8
Lips, lips, lips! I cant tell you at the moment just how many lipsticks I own, it’s a lot, but I always go to this one.
It‘s Ulta‘s brand lipstick. I use “Sugar & Spice” and it is oh so nice! It is creamy and glides on and lasts pretty good. It’s not very expensive and you know Ulta is always having those sales!
That‘s what I have for today. Soon I will do a Hair product Blog. I’m a hairdresser by trade and believe me, I have tried them all!
Feel free to comment below your favorite products. I’d love to hear!! Thanks for stopping by!