#LBCWantsToKnow >> May 2018: Productivity

Lucky Break - Productivity

Lucky Break - Productivity

 

A few months ago, I kicked off a new initiative designed to spark conversations and share resources within the Lucky Break Community.  Each month, I’m asking Lucky Break clients and social media followers to weigh in on a series of questions that revolve around a specific theme. In the month of May, we chatted about productivity.

 

Ever feel like you’re spinning 7,318 plates and there aren’t rough hours in the day? US, TOO, FRIEND! Read on to discover how to make we’re staying organized and aking the most of each day.!

 

What’s your best tip for keeping your inbox manageable?

The Lucky Break Community said:

standardwax: This is one of my favorite subjects in the whole wide world. I hope you’re ready for a novel because a clean inbox has lowered my anxiety by about 700%.

1. I don’t let anything sit in my inbox for more than a couple of days.

2. I strive for inbox zero at least once a week.

3. I delete or unsubscribe from crap I don’t even read IMMEDIATELY.

4. This one is the most important: when you’re going through your inbox (I do this first thing in the AM and then try to ignore email for the rest of the day, unless something urgent comes in): Every single message should either be responded to, added to a to-do list, deleted (if it’s marketing and you’ve already read/responded) or saved.

The added to my to-do list and saved are my favorites, because these are the things that tend to sit at the bottom of the email list and stress me out. Typically something will sit in your inbox because you don’t have the time to deal with it yet, or because you’re saving it to reference later. For the first, a to-do list is your friend (I love Wunderlist).

For the second, I love saving a PDF of the email and filing it where it belongs on my computer. For example “Retailer XX fulfillment instructions” doesn’t need to sit in my inbox so that I can see it easily. It can go into a folder on my computer for Retailer XX. I could go on and on but now I just want to sit down and deal with my inbox 👌🏽

Another game changer is a CRM of some kind. For sales-related emails that are stacking up in your inbox so you can remember to follow up with them – archive them and then enter them into a CRM (we use @pipedrivecrm) that will automatically remind you to follow up 👏🏼

 

kbshimmer: This is a subject I would love to read about. I am an email hoarder. I have 50,000+ emails in my inbox, even with some auto sorted into folders. Right now my phone shows 22,000+. Getting that down to a reasonable number seems daunting.

 

stellachroma: I loathe having notifications on my phone. That little red circle bothers the hell out of me. So I’ve gotten into the habit of sorting through emails every morning as soon as I get up. I have a lot of folders that I sort everything into (because it helps keep my brain organized) and can move them around later if need be. It’s just one of those stopping blocks – not even stumbling – that interferes with my day.

 

burlystone: I set up filters. All my stockists get a tag, all my e-courses get a tag, my personal contacts get a tag, etc. it breaks my mailbox up so it’s not one giant wall of spam, and makes it easier to process them. Oh, I still suck at keeping it clean, but it helps

 

zhibathandbody: I took on a policy similar to puff-puff-pass. 😆 I check – check – delete. My patience can no longer take having thousands of emails so I check email twice a day delete the junk on the second check every day. I limit myself to checking twice so that I no longer waste time checking email several times as I used too.

 

jupiterjonespinup: FOLDERS!!!! And auto labels. Taking time to set up filters is the best investment ever.

 

osmiaorganics: I use an app called Astro for iPhone and my Mac desktop. It keeps important emails in one folder and others in a different one. You can snooze messages, Star them, archive them, etc. It asks you once a month if you’d like to archive everything older than 30 days, and I always say YES! You can still search the archived messages, but they’re out of your inbox. It’s a nice interface that works well for my scattered brain!

 

What strategies or tools do you use to plan your day + keep it on track?

The Lucky Break Community said:

naturallymeandyou: I have a planner and it’s been a life saver. I use post it notes when my calendar gets full on my planner.

 

makermountainfabrics: My @golden.coil planner is a life-and-sanity saver! I have to use pen and paper to stop my brain from spinning. Then a combo of @plannthat and Buffer for my social media. Oh, and a wall calendar for the out of the ordinary activities that always come up.

 

urbanessencesalonspa I’m a Google girl! I use the calendar,, google tasks and Google keep for note taking and evernote.

 

modernmommydoc I feel like I switch it up all the time! Currently have a Google calendar with my appointments, and a hand-written to-do list for my tasks 🙂

 

Whew! I’m feeling inspired to tackle those to-do lists and implement some systems. How about you? Be sure to stop by the Lucky Break Instagram account, where this month we’ll be chatting about wholesale holiday outreach. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Search the #LBCWantstToKnow hashtag to weigh in!

What Kind of Brands Does Lucky Break Work With?

Lucky Break Clients - Pen + Pillar

Lucky Break recently celebrated its fifth birthday (damn, that makes me feel old!). It’s sometimes hard for me to believe that I began this journey that many years ago! For a long time, I believed that my first company (an apothecary brand catering to the spa market) was the alpha and omega of my career.  It was my one and only plan. I was obsessed with building an empire… reinventing myself from single-mom-on-food-stamps to self-reliant-role-model-for-my-girls.

 

But after spending a decade building that skincare company, I launched Lucky Break to help other makers and product designers avoid some of the pitfalls I had become snagged in as I grew my business. I had made so many mistakes (sooooo damn many) in those early years and I relished the thought of helping other entrepreneurs avoid some of the landmines as they navigated their own entrepreneurial landscape.

 

Truth be told: I had no idea how to best deliver curriculum when I launched Lucky Break. I’d never attended a webinar or built a PowerPoint. But I had bootstrapped a multi-million dollar business. And I had a tremendous passion for helping others, even though I didn’t necessarily have a firm grasp on what kinds of entrepreneurs would tag me into the ring to help. Helping others on this wild ride of owning a business helps me evolve my crash-and-burn mistakes into key business lessons, deep empathy, and an uncanny ability to understand the challenges facing modern artisan businesses. So I put my nose to the grindstone and cultivated the tools, techniques, and strategies that have become Lucky Break’s hallmarks over the past few years.

 

In honor of Lucky Break’s fifth birthday, I indulged in a leisurely walk down memory lane.  As I poured over my client list, I was struck by how incredibly varied it is.  Some brand owners come to me in the pre-launch phase. Others seek out my help after they’ve been hitting the pavement for a few years. And sometimes I have the opportunity to help refresh or reinvent a business that’s been around for a decade or more! There’s not just diversity in the length of my client’s business journeys or their annual revenues, but a tremendous diversity in the kinds of artisan products I have the pleasure of working with, too.

 

I curated a list of some of my favorite clients and I thought you might enjoy a peek. Some have put Price-O-Matic (my pricing software tool) to good use. Others have worked more intimately with me on their brand development via Brick House Branding. I’ve created gorgeous line sheets to put their best foot forward with retailers, and I’ve helped many of them reach out to new retailers via my Wholesale Matchmaker service. However we’ve ultimately worked together, it’s been an honor to help nudge these savvy brand owners in the right direction while avoiding some of the trickier pitfalls along the way.

 

I hope you’ll explore their sites and throw some love in their direction!

 

Lucky Break Clients - Pen + Pillar

Pen+Pillar

STATIONERY + GIFT

Pen+Pillar
Wayfaren
Native Bear
Of Unusual Kind
Smudge Ink
Pigment & Parchment
Whimsy + Wild
Little Truths Studio
Arden Hands Studio
Best Day Ever
Indigo Ember
Unicorn Crafts
Wholesome Soul
The Pursuit of Cocktails
Print Therapy
Tiny Bones 
Print Arms
Tick Tock Press
Studio Pep
Felicette
Fresh Out Of Ink
Pixelimpress
Iinky 
Paper Berry Press
Studio MME
California Lustre
Type Shy

 

 

Lucky Break Clients - Osmia Organics

Osmia Organics

APOTHECARY

Stewart & Claire
Azalia Spa Goods
French Girl Organics
Comfort & Joy Apothecary
Sweet & True Sugaring Co.
Sigil Scent
Oille
Leahlani Skincare
Bambu Earth
Zandra
Outlaw Soaps
Osmia Organics
Rachel’s Plan Bee
Lily De Mai
Oyin Handmade
Thorn & Bloom
Goodnight Darling Co.
CeeCee & Bee
Laurme
Pure Thoughts
Vertere Skin Care
Florapothecarie
Barnwell Co.
Naturalicious
Aveseena
Wild Air Skincare
True North
Redbudsuds
Femme Noire
Ambika Herbals
Etta + Billie
KBShimmer
Yuzu Soap
Wildflower Gypsy
Miyu Beauty
Blossom’s Barn
Pep Soap
Burly Stone
Black Ship Grooming Co.

 

Lucky Break Clients - Standard Wax

Standard Wax

CANDLES + HOME FRAGRANCE

Standard Wax 
Opal & Wonder
Candelles
Sawdust & Embers
Southern Elegance Candle Company
Sparklefly Candle Company

 

Lucky Break Clients - Waxing Kara

Waxing Kara

SPECIALTY FOOD

Hudson Henry Granola
Blue Flour Bakery
Dell Cove Spices
Waxing Kara
Artisan Sugars
Prana Foods
Plum Deluxe Teas

 

Lucky Break Clients - Elizabeth Benotti

Elizabeth Benotti Handmade Ceramics

HOME + GARDEN

Unique Pl8z
Elizabeth Benotti Handmade Ceramics
Quiet Clementine
Claire Crowe’s Alchemy Collection
Wood & Barrel Co.
Small Company Artworks
Oh! You’re Lovely
MamaSuds
Apricity Ceramics
Happee Monkee

 

Lucky Break Clients - Siamese Social Club

Siamese Social Club

PETS

Janery
Treats for Chickens
North Range Dogs
Siamese Social Club
The Blissful Dog
Big Daddy Biscuits

 

Lucky Break Clients - Inkling

Inkling

BABY + KIDS

Inkling
Hi Tree! 
Modern Moose
Goobie Baby
Venetian Decor Oh Baby
Sasa Loo
Euphoric Herbals
Because of Zoe
Handcrafted HoneyBee
Zoe Organics
Baby Blossom Company
KidEssence
MarshMueller
Hemmed In

 

Lucky Break Clients - Zenned Out

Zenned Out

JEWELRY

Zenned Out
Izaskun Zabala
Kate & Moose
Kendra Renee
Metalicious
Amy Bond Glass
Jen Crowe Studio
Marja Germans Gard Studio
Tree Myriah
Charliemadison Originals
Zoe & Piper
Raegen Knight Jewelry
Beth Jewelry
Cindy Liebel
Alexander Betty
With Care Jewelry
Tiny Hands
Freshie & Zero
Laura Tanner Jewelry

 

Lucky Break Clients - Tal Angel

Tal Angel

APPAREL + ACCESSORIES

James Vincent Design Co.
Wee Rascals
Tal Angel
Married & Bright
Bagnet
Trovelore 
Pineapple Grip Socks
Maiook 
Mr. ShorTie

 

The Lucky Break Holiday Gift Guide

LuckyBreak-GiftGuide2

LuckyBreak-GiftGuide2

 

 

I have the pleasure of working with hundreds of fantastically talented makers and product designers. Because I’m always on the hunt for new ways to share their work with you, this year I thought it would be fun to curate a 10-day gift guide featuring some of my most beloved finds. I’ve been quietly shopping form my cient list for months and it’s ime for the big reveal.  From furry friends to your favorite gentlemen, I’ve got you covered with 75+ ideas. Up first? Beauty stocking stuffers!

 

 

Beauty5

BEAUTY STOCKING STUFFERS

Sigil Scent Sampler
Sigil Scent creates unisex fragrances infused with the energy of real flowers and plants. Each long-wearing perfume is hand blended and poured in small batches. Take all six of their signature aromas out for a spin for just $50.

 

Waxing Kara “Sweet Lips” Honey Lip Balm
Waxing Kara’s Sweet Lips Trio is delivered in a gift-able tube. Inside: three lip balms, each made with organic plant oils and honey to soften the lips while providing a sheer dose of color from mineral pigments.  $24.

 

Stewart & Claire Lip Balm Cocktail Trio
My all-time-favorite lip balm is the Negroni from Stewart & Claire. Try the Cocktail Trio and score 3 balms in an embossed tube for $23. Their Mint Julep Lip Scrub is the perfect remedy for dry winter lips at $20!

 

Bonblissity Body Truffles
I’m obsessed with body scrubs and Bonblissity never disappoints! These individually wrapped, single-serve body scrubs are perfect for gym bags + weekenders, too. Pick up a box of 6 “body truffles” for $25.

 

Osmia Organics Facial Soap
Osmia Organics luxurious facial bar blends organic pumpkin, honey, and camellia seed oil to create a gentle enzymatic exfoliation. I love the gold embossing on the textured linen box *almost* as much as I love the bar. $24.

 

Handcrafted HoneyBee MiniPits Travel Size Deodorants
Handcrafted Honeybee offers aluminum-free deodorants in fun aromas! Find your new favorite with a four-pack of mini’s for just $15. Pro tip: Eucalyptus Spearmint. Just trust me…

 

Barnwell Co. Rock Rose / Neroli Facial Oil
Barnwell Soap Co. creates small-batch, cold-process soap and body care in Portland. The Rock Rose & Neroli Facial Oil is the loveliest thing I put on my face in 2017! The entire collection is divine, with prices ranging from $5-36.

 

Kopa Kauai Small Soaps and REDBUDSUDS Shower Bars
Kopa Kauai handcrafts adorable mini-bars ($6) in her lush Hawaiian studio. The guava is a personal favorite. Meanwhile, REDBUDSUDS’s earth-friendly shower bars wash + condition the hair and are great for the body, too. $14.

 

Prairie Dust Wyatt Herb Soap
Know a soap lover with a sense of humor? Treat them to Prairie Dust’s “Wyatt Herb” bar. It’s a delightful (and pun-ny) blend of leather, mahogany, lemongrass, and basil. Close runner-up? Mint Condition. $8 a bar.

 

Lucky Break Holiday Gift Guide

GIFTS FOR YOUR BFF

Tal Angel Silk Scarves
Israeli-based designer Tal Angel designs limited edition silk scarves that make a bold statement of color. Only 15 of the “Deep Blue Dragonfly” scarf were produced and I appear to have snagged the last one! Find your new favorite from amongst her gorgeous collection. $150 and up.

 

Marja Germans Gard Earrings
Jeweler Marja Germans Gard is having a serious love affair with geometrics… and I’m having a serious love affair with all things Marja. These earrings feature a dark patina and meticulously hand-wrapped 14k gold fill wire. Her packaging is some of the best I’ve ever seen, too. Think: Gold stamped gift boxes, embossed enclosure cards, and more. Absolutely gift-worthy at $80.

 

The Rosé Collection from Stewart & Claire
I included Stewart & Claire in yesterday’s “beauty stocking stuffers” guide, but I couldn’t resist! Related: Your Rosé-loving BFF will appreciate this chic tube of rose-tinted lip balms. Each is created with organic coconut and sunflower seed oils and a subtle rose scent. $30 for the trio.

 

Charliemadison Originals Alchemist Bracelet
Charliemadison Originals designs stackable bracelets with natural stones + woods. My favorite? The “Alchemist” featuring rose quartz, olive wood, and turquoise… natural materials revered for their power to promote peace + remove negativity. I love to rub my favorite essential oil blend into the olive wood beads to create a natural diffuser that carries the oil with me all day. $37.

 

Todos Organics Infused Coconut Oil
Coconut oil fans rejoice! Todos Organics infuses natural coconut oil with vanilla beans, rose absolute, lavender, and chai spices. Each jar is created in small batches and beautifully packaged. Angel- the mastermind behind Todos- is taking a small break at the moment, but I recommend stalking her IG and waiting for her triumphant return!

 

Handstamped Jewelry from Zenned Out
Cassie and her team at Zenned Out handstamp magical sayings into modern metal jewelry. I love creating mixed metals stacks of 3 with hidden messages. My current favorite? “You’re stronger than you think and braver than you know.” The perfect sentiment for your BFF, no? $65 and up.

 

Lucky Break Holiday Gift Guide

GIFTS FOR YOUR HONEY

Small Company Artworks Couples Sculptures
Melissa of Small Company Artworks creates cast-stone sculpture gifts, each one handmade in Los Angeles. Each limited-edition sculpture is beautifully gift boxed and accompanied by a signed certificate of authenticity. Find your new favorite, beginning at $99.

 

Couples’ Initial Bar Necklace from MKW Design Co.
I love these personalized necklaces from MKW Design Co. Each one is hand stamped and available in a variety of lengths. Mary would love to whip up one for you in her Texas studio! $26.

 

Tropical Floral Friend Art Print by Pen + Pillar
Pen + Pillar designs “paper goods with a purpose.” I love that 10% of their proceeds are donated to local refugee resettlement in North Carolina. And I love this print, too. 8×10” and printed on sturdy white cardstock, I have little doubt that your better half would cherish a framed copy. $20.

 

Unique PL8Z
Unique PL8Z collects discarded licenses plates and refashions them into customized works of art. I have these fantastic visions of Nicole using power tools with sparks flying all around her! She created this “Lucy Girl” sign for me and I’m positive that she’d be up for creating something special for you, too. Anniversary date? Nickname? A location that’s special to the two of you? $30 and up.

 

Married & Bright Lingerie
Annika Chaloff may have the greatest job on planet Earth. She creates sexy lingerie for women of all sizes in her Nashville studio. She has a fantastic eye for design and a knack for making women feel sexy as hell. This “Knotty or Nice” bralette + panty set is a special kind of saucy. $88.

 

Grown By Faith Succulent Arrangements
Amber recently graduated from BHB and she’s planning for a 2018 launch of her care-free succulent arrangements. Spell out words, initials, or phrases on your wall without any worry about your perpetual black thumb. While she hasn’t yet swung open her doors, I recommend stalking the “Grown by Faith” Facebook page while we anxiously anticipate the company launch!

 

Lucky Break Holiday Gift Guide

GIFTS FOR YOUR KIDDOS

Hi Tree! Tiny Log Zipper Pouch and Maple Tree Friend Plush Toy
Hi Tree! creates felt goodies for wee ones that are inspired by the woodlands. My niece will soon be unwrapping this cool log-inspired zippered pouch + huggable tree plush. Each design is cut by hand and sewn in Tina’s LA studio. $24-42.

 

Wee Rascals Tees
Conscious mamas + papas love Wee Rascals because this apparel company believes that “real heroes are the best heroes.” I snagged this awesome shirt for my nephew Drew and my daughter Celie has been rocking a “Fierce Like Frieda” shirt for several months now. $32.

 

Unicorn Crafts Earrings in a Bottle
My niece Kate is also getting her ears pierced for Christmas and I’m excited to start her collection with these 22k gold earrings from Faheema at Unicorn Crafts. Fun designs include unicorns, ice cream cones, and rainbows. Each arrives in a neat glass bottle topped with a gold lid. $16 each.

 

Because of Zoe Designs Hair Bows and Hi Tree! Oak Leaf Hair Clips
Kate is sort of obsessed with her hair and she rocks a mean hair bow. On Christmas morning, I’m gifting her a collection of headbands and bows in chic prints from BOZ Designs and a fun felt leaf hair clip from Hi Tree. $8 and up.

 

Sasa Loo Kokeshi Doll
Monica of Sasa Loo creates modern kokeshi dolls in her Okinawa workshop. Each heirloom-worthy piece features a mini snow lion pup, hand-felted details, and vintage Japanese textiles that have been thoughtfully reinvented. Contact her for a custom commission! $195 and up.

 

Curiosity Packs Educational Kits
Curiosity Packs deliver educational kits direct to your doorstep, and they’re so ridiculously fun that your wee one might not even realize that they’re learning! From letters to feelings, each kit includes several brightly-colored games and activities designed by Lily, who’s a mom and an elementary educator, too. $40.

 

Goobie Baby Bandana Drool Bibs and Naomi Teething Necklace
Baby products have come a loooong way since I had my kiddos! I find myself a bit jealous of all the great design and Goobie Baby is the perfect example. Easy, snap-on bandana bibs and modern teething necklaces are both functional and adorable.  Now that’s a combination that I can get behind! $17-20.

 

Lucky Break Holiday Gift Guide

GIFTS FOR YOUR SWEET MAMA

Laurmé Skincare’s Anti-Aging Travel Set
Laurmé Skincare’s Anti-Aging Travel Set offers mom an opportunity to create a spa day at home, every single day. Seven artfully formulated products (cleanser, toner, serum, cream and more) are beautifully presented in a drawstring bag, accompanied by a detailed booklet. $65.

 

“Love” Necklaces from Freshie and Zero
Freshie & Zero’s delicate “Love” necklace can be customized to reflect your family. “Mom” is represented by a gold-filled circle, and you can add smaller sterling rings, each representing one of her children. Presented in an embossed gift box, beginning at $58.

 

Southern Elegance Candle Co. Holiday Candle Collection
My mom can NEVER have enough candles and this one is a personal favorite! Southern Elegance Candle Co.’s Pumpkin Souffle is a blend of warm pumpkin, cinnamon, crushed clove with hints of butter + brown sugar. It’s swoon-worthy and mom can enjoy 50-55 hours of burn time for just $28.

 

Cultural Detour Kimono Scarves and Accessories
The irresistibly chic Dyan of Cultural Detour deconstructs antique kimono and Japanese boro textiles, refashioning them into one-of-a-kind scarves and accessories. She has more style in her pinky finger than I have in my whole body. My boro scarf prompts compliments everywhere I go! Beginning at $52.

 

Ardent Hands Therapy Pack and Migraine Relief Eye Mask
Ardent Hands Designs creates neck wraps and migraine eye pillows filled with lentils and lavender. Each one can be heated or cooled to provide instant comfort. The fabrics are beautiful, and quality of the construction is impressive. $24 for the neck wrap, $15 for the migraine mask.

 

Mommin’ Mug by Paper Berry Press and Plum Deluxe’s “Easy to be Green” Tea
Mommin’ Ain’t Easy… can I get an “amen?” This mug from Paper Berry Press makes me smile every time I see it. It’s even better when filled “Easy to be Green Tea,” a blend of blueberry and hibiscus from Plum Deluxe. Mug is $14.95, tea begins at $7.

 

Customized Stationery from PIXELIMPRESS
Personalized stationery is an affordable luxury that always make me feel special. This set from Pixel Impress features gorgeous handmade marble paper in shades of cream, gold, grey, and black. The entire presentation is deliciously swanky! Set of 10 cards + envelopes for $22.50.

 

Lucky Break Holiday Gift Guide

GIFTS FOR YOUR FAVORITE MEN

Pork BBQ Dry Rub and Grilling Spices Gift Set from Dell Cove Spices
If your man is the grilling type, then I humbly suggest a spice kit from Dell Cove Spice Co. Nicely presented in a gift-worthy box, you’ll find: Fiery Sriracha Seasoning, Garlic & Pepper Herb Rub, Memphis BBQ Rib Rub, and Tuscan Herb & Garlic Seasoning. Let him man the grill why you man the wine opener for a lovely evening in. $29.50.

 

Black Ship Grooming Co.’s Wassail Shaving Soap, Aftershave, and Shaving Brush
My Mister’s beard will be in tip-top shape this holiday season thanks to Black Ship Grooming Co. Their Limited Edition “Wassail” line features a special holiday blend of apple cider, nutmeg, cinnamon, and oranges. Available in both a creamy shaving soap + an aftershave splash. Pair it with a vintage-inspired shaving brush and you’re off at the races! $15-45.

 

Cedarwood Soap and Cork Toiletry Bag from Etta + Billie
Alana of Etta + Billie easily ranks among my top 5 favorite soapmakers of all-time. Her gender-neutral products are hip, elevated, and decadent all at once. Created with olive oil, cocoa butter, Moroccan lava clay and a blend of five essential oils, Alana’s Cedarwood soap lathers beautifully. Pair it with a cork toiletry bag for a smart gift for the modern man. $34 for the bag; $14 for the soap.

 

Blazing Saddles Solid Cologne + Body Wash from Outlaw Soaps
How could you resist anything that’s been dubbed “the sexiest cologne ever”? Good question, friends. I’ll let Danielle and the team at Outlaw Soaps describe the aroma of her Blazing Saddles collection: “…smells like leather, sandalwood, gunpowder, sage, two kinds of campfire, and a little dirt. An outlaw smells like the sexiest g*ddamn thing you can imagine, and then about 12 times sexier than that.” If that doesn’t sell it, then I’m not sure how to help. Solid cologne at $22; Body wash for $14.

 

Whiskey + Fig Diffuser from Standard Wax
Standard Wax creates modern home fragrance in beautiful, ceramic vessels. New to the collection: reed diffusers. I love Whiskey + Fig for the gentlemen. With notes of aged whiskey, teakwood, black tea, and fig, this scent is the quintessential combination of earthy, dark and sweet. $42.

 

Lucky Break Holiday Gift Guide

GIFTS FOR YOUR FAVORITE TEACHERS

Best Day Ever Letterpress Notebook + Daily Scheduler Notepad
Anne-Marie of Best Day Ever creates practical cools that help people live their best day ever, every single day. Her gorgeous notebook features a geometric-inspired letterpress design (*swoon*) and gold foil (*double swoon*) and her Daily Scheduler pad is one of my personal lifesavers. $25 for the notebook; $5.75 for the pad.

 

Elizabeth Benotti Herringbone Patterned Mug and Plum Deluxe Loose Leaf Teas
Ceramicist Elizabeth Benotti makes a mean mug. Handthrown on the wheel from porcelain, each mug features a design which is etched by hand and finished in a satin matte glaze in her New Hampshire workshop. It’s my favorite way to start the morning. $54. Even better? Fill it up with delicious loose-leaf teas from Plum Deluxe.

 

Essential Oil Rollers from Print Therapy
When Melissa isn’t keeping balls in the air as Lucky Break’s Operations Manager, she’s building a “feel good apothecary” over at Print Therapy. She recently launched new essential oil rollers and I’m utterly obsessed with the “Rest” blend. Think: neroli, frankincense, ylang ylang, and chamomile essential oils in an organic jojoba oil base. Imagine: Your favorite teacher smoothing frazzled nerves after a long day. Beautifully presented + totally gift-worthy at $18.

 

Hettie Joan Perfect Pouches + Favorite Notebooks
Melissa isn’t the only Lucky Break teammate building an empire! Shannon, our Creative Director, recently launched Hettie Joan. She creates smart accessories that make you feel pulled together in an instant. Her zippered pouches hold anything and everything. Each fully-lined pouch features her original surface designs and is finished with a gold zipper. Pair it with a coordinating jotter notebook and pencil and your favorite teacher will love you for it. $3-$36.

 

“I Liked Books Best” Art Print by Little Truths Studio
Last but not least, Lori from Little Truths Studios is a self-taught painter who spends her days creating magical art in a studio that’s tucked into the woods just outside Portland. This print is oh-so-perfect for educators. It’s an archival reproduction on a deliciously heavy stock. $24.

 

Lucky Break Holiday Gift Guide

GIFTS FOR YOUR FURRY FRIENDS

Big Daddy Biscuits
Treat your favorite pup to fresh, farm-to-table biscuits made in small batches right here in Atlanta, GA. The peeps over at Big Daddy Biscuits made Turkey Bacon Treats that always make my dog Emerson sit up a little straighter. $5.50 and up.

 

Charlie Cushion from Janery
Jane Pearson of Janery makes the prettiest dog beds this side of the Mississippi! Each one features a hidden zipper, washable canvas cover, and a waterproof insert that ensures that keeps things tidy and odors at bay. And the chic fabrics blend beautifully with modern décor. Pictured here: Sawyer, beloved pup of Lucky Break’s Operations Manager, lounging on his Janery bed. From $104.

 

Nose Butter + Aromatherapy Spray from The Blissful Dog
Kathy from Blissful Dog Co. has more energy in her pinky than I have in my whole body! A former breeder and champion of the dog show world, today she spends her time creating artisanal batches of products to soothe your dog’s discomfort. Nose Butter protects chapped noses and what spastic pup wouldn’t benefit from her Focus aromatherapy spray? *Ahem* Emerson? $10 and up

 

Siamese Social Club Magnetic Fishing Cat Toy
Feline friends rejoice! Siamese Social Club (one of my favorite brand names in the history of ever!) creates this clever fishing toy. A solid wood fishing pole catches felt fish embedded with magnetics for hours of amusement with your favorite kitty. A huge upgrade from the brightly colored, cheap plastic toys in your local pet store! $45.

 

Treats for Chickens Chicken Crack
Dawn Russell knows a thing or two about chickens. She creates ultra-fancy, certified organic chicken treats… and she does it all with a sense of humor. Exhibit A: Chicken Crack. Organic grains, cracked corn, sunflower seeds, mealworms and river shrimp. I sincerely want chickens, if for no other reason than to feed them Chicken Crack. $16.99 for a generously-sized bag of chicken heaven!

 

Lucky Break Holiday Gift Guide

GIFTS FOR FANCY FOODIES

Waxing Kara Eastern Shore Honey
Waxing Kara produces my absolute favorite honey treats! Kara Brook Brown raises bees on her farm along the Eastern Shore and she transforms their honey into a line of body care, alongside gourmet honey treats. Try a generously-sized jar of varietal honey for $18, a beautifully boxed honey sampler for $50, or a bag of 9 cinnamon honey lollipops for just $10.

 

Drops of Honey Pot from Apricity Ceramics
Need somewhere to store all that honey? I humbly suggest this handmade pot from Sophia at Apricity Ceramics. It’s adorned with 22 k gold honeybees and a gorgeous two-toned glaze. It holds wo full cups and features a hand-carved porcelain dipper. It’s my favorite thing in my new kitchen! $76.

 

Pecans & Chocolate Granola from Hudson Henry Baking Co.
My go-to snack is gourmet granola from Hudson Henry Baking Co. This stuff is a-m-a-z-i-n-g… think: pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pecans, brown sugar, sliced almonds, and dark chocolate chips. Made fresh in small batches, you can snag a bag for just $7.99.

 

“Bon Appetit” Recipe Notebook from Primp Prints
I adore this sunny journal from Blair of Primp Prints. Its 50 lined pages are perfect for storing your favorite recipes, jotting down details for your food diary, or capturing the little things you’re grateful for each day. It makes for a fab stocking stuffer at $25.

 

Fresh Out of Ink’s Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe Tea Towel
The crew from Fresh Out Of Ink wants to ensure sure that your favorite recipes are always at hand. Whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies via this 100% cotton tea towel. Each one is made in the USA and individually screen printed. At $18, it would also make a fun way to wrap up a present for your favorite foodie!

 

Lucky Break Holiday Gift Guide

ULTIMATE WHITE ELEPHANT PARTY GIFTS

Boob Rubber Stamp Set from Native Bear
Leela (with two E’s!) is the mastermind behind Native Bear. She creates magical paper goods with a deliciously vintage flair. And boob stamps. No, seriously. This set of four is mounted on white maple and presented in a smart kraft box. $22.

 

Rosé Mug by Primp Prints
Rosé is all the rage right now, and this mug will be coveted by Rosé lovers the world over. Generously sized at 15 ounces, it’s microwave and dishwasher-safe. From my fiend Blair at Primp Prints. $16.

 

Paper Boat Origami Notepad by Smudge Ink
April and her crew at Smudge Ink have reinvented the humble note pad. This version contains 60 sheets which feature a grid on one side and a fun pattern and folding instructions on back. Transform class notes, meeting notes, and old grocery lists into a paper boat in ten easy steps. $8.

 

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Favors from The Pursuit of Cocktails
Have you met my friend Jaime? She’s cute as a button and a true lover of cocktails. She launched an entire company dedicated to snarky travel mugs, tumblers, and straws that feature clever turns of phrase. Her “Let’s get elfed up” straws and “Drink up Grinches” cup might cause a fist fight at your holiday party. But, man… they’d totally be worth it! $7.50-11.

 

Kale Tea Towel from Paper Berry Press
Thank heavens that Paper Berry Press shares my disdain for kale. I know it’s good for me… and yet I still don’t care. Kale Loathers Unite! This flour sack tea towel makes me giggle every time I see it. It might not elicit a fist fight, but perhaps a hair pull? And arm wrestle? My husband is certainly going to have to wrestle it out of my arms if we plan to gift it to anyone. That’s $16 well spent.

 

Naughty & Nice Holiday Pencils from Fresh Out of Ink
If you’re making a list and checking it twice, then you need this clever pencil set from our friends at Fresh Out of Ink. Naughty? Nice? Perhaps a bit of both, depending on the day? A set of 4 could be yours for a mere $6 and they arrive in a cute gift box, too!

Whew!  And there you have it. My hat is off to these entrepreneurs and all of the others that I had the pleasure of working with in 2017.  I hope you’ll drop your favorite atisan shop in the comments below so I can polish off the last of my shopping!

 

 

Meet the Maker – Kathryn Green of The Smallest Tribe

Meet the Maker - Kathryn Green of The Smallest Tribe

This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re proud to introduce our very special Australian friend and client Kathryn Green of The Smallest Tribe! Kathryn  is currently in the home stretch of a Kickstarter campaign that aims to raise $10,000 AUD, which will fund moving The Smallest Tribe from a home studio into full production in an Ethical Clothing Australia certified manufacturer, helping to provide local jobs at a time of economic uncertainty. Enjoy learning more about Kathryn below, and be sure to check out The Smallest Tribe on Kickstarter before the campaign ends on August 30th at 4:00 a.m. Eastern time!

 

Meet the Maker - Kathryn Green of The Smallest Tribe

 

LBC: What inspired you to take your leap as an entrepreneur?

Kathryn: As much as I loved my career as a teacher and still miss being in the classroom, I wanted something that gave a little more freedom and flexibility in my life to be around for my young family.

 

LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?

Kathryn: I started The Smallest Tribe to create kid-friendly, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton clothes.  I wanted to improve the way we dress our kids to allow them the freedom and comfort they need to truly engage with and explore their surroundings, which is so important for brain development and is such an easy way to get them off  to a great start.  I also wanted to do it in a way that honoured and respected the workers who grew the cotton and those who made the clothes.

 

Meet the Maker - Kathryn Green of The Smallest Tribe

 

LBC: How would you describe what you create?

Kathryn: Comfy, fun and never serious.  The Smallest Tribe is about letting kids be kids!

 

LBC: Where can we find your products?

Kathryn: You can find them online at www.smallesttribe.com/shop.

 

LBC: Walk us through your typical work day.

Kathryn: I have a young family, so my typical work day is anything but typical or regular.  The one constant is that I always check in with emails first thing so I know what sort of orders will be going out that day and if there are any urgent issues that need dealing with.  After emails, I’ll check in with the day’s “To Do” list that I’ve sat down and written the night before.  When I’m only able to snatch 20 minutes here, an hour there, I need to be able to start working immediately – instead of spending that 20 minutes trying to decide what to do next.

 

Meet the Maker - Kathryn Green of The Smallest Tribe

 

LBC: What are 3 things makers should think through when they decide to start a business?

Kathryn: 1.  I think it’s really important to know you ensure that you can scale what you make.  You don’t need to know exactly how to do that from the very beginning, but I think it’s a good idea to be aware of what challenges you might face as your business grows.

2.  Definitely have an idea of what you want to achieve with your business and where you want to go.  You don’t have to stick to that and you can change your mind, but if you don’t know what you’re working towards it’s really tricky to know whether you’re making the right decisions to move forward or not.  I think the best way to do this is to always be able to answer the question, “Where do you see your business in 5 years time?”.

3.  If you want a successful business, you have to be willing to learn how to run a business and accept that a lot of your time will be spent doing just that. Having a creative business doesn’t mean you get to make all day, every day.

 

LBC: When you’re overwhelmed, what brings you back to focus?

Kathryn: Remembering why I started The Smallest Tribe and focusing on what I want it to achieve.  For me, that has very little to do with me, with having a business and with making money. My focus and aim is to dress kids in age-appropriate clothes that are fun and comfy, and to make those clothes in a way that respects and honours the workers in the fields and in the factories.  When I focus on those people – the kids who’ll be wearing them and the workers who’ll be making them – it’s very easy to stay focused and move forward.

 

LBC: Tell us about a few of the best business decisions you’ve made to date.

Kathryn: Well apart from LBU, because that’s a given (I was very much someone with an idea vs. someone with a business before I started), any time I’ve put myself and The Smallest Tribe out there has always paid off.  Making the effort to take The Smallest Tribe on the road to one of Australia’s best design markets, The Finders Keepers, has really paid off for me.  The other thing I’ve had to learn is less business and more personal, but I’ve stopped thinking of me and The Smallest Tribe as one entity.  It much easier to focus on The Smallest Tribe as a business than an extension of me.  When something goes wrong, it’s far easier to move forward when the focus is, “Well, that wasn’t the right move for The Smallest Tribe”, vs.  “Well, I really stuffed that up; here, let me berate myself for the next 3 weeks.” (!!)

 

Meet the Maker - Kathryn Green of The Smallest Tribe

 

LBC: Please share one mistake or obstacle from your business experience. How did you bounce back/overcome it?

Kathryn: This is actually something my husband learned when he was an apprentice carpenter, and I think it works for just about anything, literally and figuratively: “Measure twice, cut once.”  Before you commit to anything big, double check your math and your decision making process, slow down, and leave it a day.  I’ve made some very expensive mistakes because I was too impatient to slow down and didn’t take the extra day I would have needed to get it done, or double check that I couldn’t get the same thing somewhere else cheaper, easier or faster.

 

LBC: Is there a cause or organization that you contribute to that you’re particularly passionate about?

Kathryn: I donate monthly to a local organization Foundation 18 who run an orphanage in Bali, and also regularly donate to Unicef.  The Smallest Tribe is for kids and inspired by kids, so it’s important to me to do what I can, no matter how small it may seem, to contribute to causes that help children worldwide.

 

LBC: What are 3 essential resources in your business toolbox that you can’t do without?

Kathryn: 1. My Get Sh*t Done notebook from Mi Goals.

2. Illustrator.

3. This last one is so cliche. I tried to think of an actual thing that would be helpful to others, but the reality is, resilience. You absolutely must have resilience and capability to get back up every time you get knocked down because you are going to get knocked down a lot.

(Ok, an actual thing would have to be the timer on my phone! If you struggle to stay on task like me, setting a timer and committing to 10 mintues, 15 minutes, 60 minutes of getting a set task done is invaluable.)

 

Meet the Maker - Kathryn Green of The Smallest Tribe

 

LBC: Suppose we had a time machine. If you blasted ourselves forward a few years, where would we see your company?

Kathryn: The Smallest Tribe will be in stores around the world, and even though the current focus is Australian made, I hope to also be a brand that is manufactured in GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) certified factory in a developing economy, providing safe, clean, fair working conditions and a living wage to people who otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity.

 

LBC: Which Lucky Break program have you been a part of and did it prove helpful?

Kathryn: LBU was incredible.  It was so nice to finally learn from someone who’d actually walked the path before me, not someone who was just telling me what to do like so many consultants or business coaches out there.  I was a creative with a career as a teacher.  I’d never heard of COGS, didn’t know how sales reps worked, didn’t think trade shows applied to me and my business.  I definitely went from being someone with an idea to someone who finally identified as an entrepreneur.

 

LBC: What’s one thing you would eat, if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life?

Kathryn: Pepperoni Pizza!

 

LBC: Your musical playlist is full of…

Kathryn: Audio books.  I think this means there’s something wrong with me..?

 

LBC: What’s your favorite quote and who said it?

Kathryn: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

 

Thank you, Kathryn, for sharing your talent with us!  We absolutely love your work and we look forward to all the wonderful things ahead for The Smallest Tribe! We’re cheering you on…

 

The Smallest Tribe Kickstarter

 

Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker” series? Drop us a line: hello AT luckybreakconsulting.com. Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Brand Love Language Part 1: Rainbows + Frosted Cupcakes

LuckyBreak_RainbowsFrostedCupcakes

As a creative entrepreneur and former small beauty manufacturer, I often find myself pondering product names and descriptions, blog content and social media posts on behalf of my business. I liken the process to writing a love letter or perhaps even a little flirting. After all, I’m aiming at the hearts and minds of my current and future clients with the powerful weapon of language. When done well, this weapon can melt hearts and turn looky-loos into loyal buyers. When done poorly, trite, lack-luster content is like kryptonite to sales.

 

Sometimes words seem to flow effortlessly from my thoughts, but often times they don’t. That’s why I’m especially excited to kick off this new five-part blog series … for those times when inspiration seems fleeting and you need a bit of guidance kickstarting the creation of your own love language.

 

As I found myself struggling to find the right words, I began creating a toolbox that eventually grew to more than 1,000 alluring, creative and colorful words that I could run to for inspiration. Now I’m sharing that treasure box of words with you! Over the course of the next 5 weeks, I’m going to share these words along with my favorite resources for adding more woo-worthy words to your arsenal. I’ll also show you how to use the toolbox for brainstorming and finding unique business and product names that aren’t already taken.

 

By the end of the series, you’ll be armed with a useful resource of rich and lively words that I hope will have you flirting a little with your clients, too.

 

Part One: Rainbows + Frosted Cupcakes

 

Clients are thirsty for little love snacks in the form of rich and colorful copy. Buyers want to step into your world and imagine, believe and feel invested in your brand story and only you can invite them in.

 

In today’s installment, I’m offering lists of words worthy of features in a candy-colored catalog from Kate Spade or in the sinful descriptions of treats in a Sprinkles bakery menu. Delve into rainbows and frosted cupcakes and discover a list of words that describe food, desserts and sweets as well as a collection that conveys the wonderful world of color. Take a moment to gnaw on these words and highlight the ones that seem to resonate with you. Those are the gems that will likely resonate with your audience, too.

 

The most important thing to remember as you grow your toolbox and master your brand love language: keep your writing fresh, creative and original. While I hope these words are inspiring, the process of finding and maintaining your brand’s authentic voice is an essential journey if you desire long term success.

 

Additional Resources to Grow Your Toolbox

 

Looking for more word-spiration? Try searching for a word at Synonym.com and see what similar words you discover. Or, head over to Wordnik, the ultimate word-list resource with more than 30,000 lists contributed by readers. I’ll be back next week to share the next installment for your toolbox!

 

CLICK HERE to download the word lists from Part 1: Rainbows + Frosted Cupcakes

 

What are some of your favorite words to create rich, colorful product descriptions?