Monthly Archives: August 2011

Happy Birthday Jen!

Today is Jennifer Bethune’s Birthday! Jennifer does the proofing and helps with order packaging/shipping.  Basically, she’s my right hand gal!  Couldn’t do it without her!

 

She came to work today, so we had a mini-party!

 

I hope you have a great day, Jen!

 

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Do What You Love

Some exciting projects are going on around here!  I’ve been working on getting the Halloween goodies saved and on the website.  My plan is to have them all up on or before Friday.  Christmas products will be going up September 1st… only one week, yikes!  I’ve got some serious work to do before then!  Also,  Jenn and I will start working on the displays and plans starting the second week of September for our Christmas Show in Birmingham, Alabama (first week of November- you’ll be hearing much more about it).  We’ve also been working on re-branding HollyDays.  We think you will really like it!

Also, we are going to discontinue some products.  It is hard to give these up, but we believe it is in our best interest in order to focus more on PARTIES!  Our personalized clothing and bags will no longer be sold after this weekend.  I figured it would be nice to give you a little notice just in case you were holding out for something :)   We will sell our Christmas shirts and bottoms online and at our Christmas show as well as the remaining in-stock non-personalized tops and bottoms, but we will not be personalizing any shirts/bags after this weekend.  We hope you will understand, this has been a tough decision for me because I LOVE to see the designs I’ve created to be placed on other merchandise, but for now, we want to really put our focus on parties and events… and that is what makes me excited.

Thanks to these fabulous women, I have been giving much more heartfelt thought to the future of HollyDays and doing what I love.  Yes, it is a little scary, especially when I am thinking about discontinuing products I think are cute and very “sellable”, but not what I live for doing.


{Image by Meg Baisden Photography, http://www.MegPhoto.com}

While at The Stationery Academy, I was asked by Whitney “What is your definition of success?”  You know, everyone’s definition is different and that is what makes success so great.  Maybe it is owning a large stationery company like Whitney or maybe it is being able to stay at home with your children.  When I started HollyDays in 2006, my goal was to be able to make a little extra money and have something to do in addition to being a stay-at-home-mommy.  You know, my vision really hasn’t changed in five years.  I had started thinking in a take-over-the-world mentality that I wanted to grow HollyDays into a huge operation with a lot of employees and you know where that would leave me- not fulfilling my vision, my purpose.  I guess I was getting caught up in someone else’s definition of success.  My vision truly is this- to be a business operated with the goal to help moms (myself included and my employees).  Jenn is a mom, I’m a mom and we love what we do- being creative and helping others plan and pull off a beautiful/cute/fun/creative event.

And so unless Oprah discovers our fabulousness (ha!), we’ll be a mommy business, happily serving our wonderful customers.  If you are a mom or soon-to-be-mom, sister, brother, dad, grandmother… one at a time we want to help make your parties and events special and a memory worth making extra special.

Here are a few more shots from the academy:  This must have been one of my “lightbulb” moments.


{Image by Meg Baisden Photography, http://www.MegPhoto.com}

And my new amazingly creative and amazingly encouraging friends…


{Image by Meg Baisden Photography, http://www.MegPhoto.com}

What is your definition of success?  Start working towards it!  Make it happen!  A year from now, you will wish you had started today. - Karen Lamb.

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What Makes Me Smile

Last week, at The Stationery Academy, I was encouraged to think about what gets my feet on the floor in the mornings.  Of course, my two favorite people were on the list- my husband and daughter.  This morning, they both were just too cute.  She was in her “I love Daddy” pajamas eating pancakes all on top of a canvas of crayon artwork as he walked up to her and gave her a kiss on the cheek.  It’s was one of those “hold that pose” moments and I ran to grab my camera.

After he left the room, she proceeded to entertain me with her own arrangement of “Jesus Loves Me” and she proves that no matter how young you are, when you forget the words, it is perfectly ok to hum along to the tune.


 

What made you smile today? Celebrate the little moments.

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It All Starts with a Vision

As you may know, I had the fabulous opportunity to attend The Stationery Academy last week/weekend and so I’ve spent some of today brainstorming and planning.  After reading a fellow classmate’s blog post on the The Stationery Academy, I realized I needed to be a little more specific in my goals so you my readers, customers and friends can help hold me accountable.  Thank you, Stacie for inspiring me to share more.

During the event, we were encouraged to share our thoughts/goals/dreams for our businesses, something I haven’t really shared with many people.

So here they are, just a few of the current goals I have for HollyDays:

1- Start blogging authentically and often.  I think I try too hard to be “professional” on the blog and I miss the “personality” .  I hope to start really sharing with you my heart.  I hope you are ready!  For someone with a Journalism degree, it sure is crazy how I can sit down in front of a computer, staring at a blank blog post and not have the words to say even though I have so much to say.  I think much better in the shower, why is it that way?  Of course I would think of something inspirational, honest and amazing in a place where it isn’t the most convenient place to be jotting down notes.

2- Improve and grow the HollyDays “brand” – fun stuff to come {fun purchasing experiences|party workshops|and more}

3- Create a process of creating custom parties/invitations/products.  As of today, I am going to stop taking custom orders until I have the process/pricing system ready.  It shouldn’t take long, I just need some time to have the official paperwork completed.  I am very excited about this!

4- Stay true to my design abilities and styles.  I now have a great number of excellent designers that I personally know that I can refer to, so if you contact us with a custom request and we can’t provide what you are wanting, chances are I know someone who can do better than what I can provide.  I know that sounds strange, but I am a whimsical/cutesy/southern type designer and I can’t really design the skull and crossbones you may be looking for (unless it’s a cute pirate party!), but I know someone who can.

5- Start using a Mac.  Seriously, this is not a joke.  I am a graphic designer and I use a PC.  If you are a graphic designer, I know you are giving me a weird look right now.

6- Reach out to people I admire.  After being able to meet Whitney English Kolb this past week, I have to say it is amazing to meet someone you truly admire/respect, hear their story and receive encouragement from them.

7- Live out my true vision for success- {Living for Christ and share His love}  {Loving my family and devoting my time to them}  {Dream BIG}  {Encourage others}  {Run a business that allows me to be creative and hire others to help me in the process}

Wow, that feels good.  It is nice to get your goals on paper or at least on the computer screen.  Now, if I can just do it more often…

Hope you have a great day!

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Great Things to Come

Grateful. Overwhelmed. Excited. Inspired. Changed… Just a few words to describe how I am feeling now after an amazing weekend at The Stationery Academy in Pensacola, Florida, with Whitney English Kolb, Emily Ley and Lara Casey.  I really am almost speechless when I try to describe everything I have taken back with me.  There is too much to tell I don’t know where to begin!  We learned about growing our businesses, being true to ourselves when designing, developing our “brand” and more. I have learned so much to help grow HollyDays into something wonderful.  I have such a passion for designing personalized paper goods and products and to spend several days with other women with the same passion was truly inspiring.

 

Soon, you will start seeing some changes with HollyDays (very exciting ones).  I still have to process a lot of the information I was given over the duration of the workshop, but I can’t wait to see where HollyDays will go from here.  Great things to come people!  Great things to come!

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{Real Party} Low Country Boil

My husband celebrated his 30th birthday last week.  He grew up shrimping with his dad, so a Low Country Boil was a fitting theme for his party.

I created a shrimp design that was used on the invitation, stamped on heavyweight napkins and on favor bags.

We had Low Country Boil (shrimp, corn on the cob, potatoes and Conecuh sausage), Pasta Salad, Oriental Salad and Broccoli Salad.

For dessert – Toasted Butter Pecan Cake, White Chocolate Pretzels, Brownie Muffins and Caramel Corn.  The Pecan cake and Caramel Corn are SUPER delicious!  Sweet Tea and Lemonade were served in Mason jars and we used our Water Bottle Labels that coordinated with the invitations.

A HUGE thank you for all the help from family and friends to pull off a successful event!

My Father-In-Law actually caught all the shrimp for the party!

And thank you to Chad Hall, for creating a perfect party atmosphere with his amazing talent!

 

Have a great week!

 

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Our New Website

We are THRILLED to announce we have officially switched over to our new website!

Some new things you do need to take note of…

1. Our new website will have many more products loaded often- especially this week… we still haven’t “finished” because we have 1,000′s of products and so little time {and so few staff… ha}

2. This new website will be more user-friendly and help us serve you better, more quickly and it’s just more fun than the other website.

3. Our office hours are now 9:00-4:30 M-F.  Occasionally, emails will be answered after 4:30pm and on weekends.

4.  Since our shipping rates have increased, shipping is now a flat $7.95… we will often be having free shipping sales and offers (don’t worry!)

5.  Credit cards will process as soon as you place your order.  Previously, we ran the cards when the items ship.  Now it is automatically charged when you place your order.

Again, more products are coming… seasonal products will be uploaded soon as well… see the website categories for the dates to expect them.

Let’s celebrate our new website… WAHOOOO!!! YIPPEEEEEE!

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