Dare to be Simple…

‘Something to keep our Words afloat’… there’s nothing like a story and more to do just that! See that blue in the opening image? That color is very close to The Brand Color- so easily recognizable that it’s become known as- Tiffany Blue! The jeweler so famous that just a tiny Tiffany Blue box tied with white satin ribbon- portends an engagement ring! I worked for the fragrance division of @tiffanyandco – I often had to wear a suit of that same color with a Tiffany scarf and the rules were strict. Only white ribbon was to be used to adorn their packages with the exception of red ribbon during the holidays! Well, I once had a customer who bought the fragrance, I duly wrapped it per protocol- then he asked me if I would mind wrapping that package with a plain brown wrapper and twine because he wanted it to be a surprise!

Here’s the point, unless you have strong brand colors- famous in fact- natural wraps are your friend. I love natural wraps, they save time and money (you can use them all year round!) Yet, here’s the main reason- Natural wraps create nostalgia and we all know creating good memories of a simpler time is one of the best things you can do!

Think twine, muslin, brown paper bags and tags (stamped with a logo?) that’s a good starting point. I also love crisp cello wrap for almost anything. And honestly old fashioned wax paper uplevels even the simplest fare. That chocolate pecan pie? I wrapped it in parchment tied with natural twine. Somehow the pie seemed more homemade and more delightful!

Newsprint, paper doilies, shredded and tissue paper, butcher’s wrap and rolls of plain brown make a wonderful base or fillers. Spend your money on very nice ribbon- the contrast is often the perfect thing! As is a  well designed logo or label. A garden shop I worked for, very often wrapped plants or used folded down paper bags lined with a plastic bag to wrap everything from Forget Me Not’s to Orchids!

Create nostalgia. In fact, creativity and nostalgia are new tools. Yet now, when having an online presence is a necessity- these tools have become even more important! Remember that creativity has been called the newest and best business hack with nostalgia running a close second!

Natural wraps not only save you money, are sustainable and best of all? They’re something to keep your words, your brand and your products afloat in these uncertain times. Be courageous- Dare to be Simple, instead of overdone.

Love y’all, Brenda

*Some of these suggestions are in my free February planning guide (send me an email at- brenda@camelliascottage.com to get yours! And! So exciting! I’m working on a ‘Supplies List’ coming soon!

It’s Time to Plan February…

I can’t believe that January is more than halfway through, before we know it February will be here. And guess which of the Winter months is the best for selling goods and services? February starts of with Groundhog Day when we’re hoping for an earlier start to Spring…so, anything pertaining to gardening (early bloomers anyone?) or even weather related is a natural and fun sales day. Warm, hot mugs of anything – tea, coffee, hot chocolate and.. maybe some fresh baked cookies? This is the month for you!

February’s also Heart Health Month- tailor made for coaches, mentors – anything that improves health- physical and emotional well being- this is a welcome time for you! (Remember, internationally, Blue Monday is January 18 when moods are said to be low) Its a wonderful time to lift spirits, from now throughout February. Super Bowl Sunday is a fun time to promote Fitness, Food and Fun. 🏈

There are various holidays to celebrate Love, including love for family, friends and even pets! Valentine’s Day is, of course, the big one, isn’t it? Did you know that it’s a multi-billion dollar business retail day? In the US and UK the average shopper spent an average of $200 spanning across those special gifts to children, friends and special loved ones. That includes gifts, cards, special meals and flowers- not just for that special someone. And, it doesn’t have to be flowers and chocolates- though I’ll take both!

Later on in February- don’t forget to ‘let the good times roll’ for Mardi Gras- another fun and food day!

So, what’s all this about? I have a gift for you! My February Planning Guide is ready! Let’s get February started with filling in the calendar, you’ll find the multiple dates will help with content creation and you’ll also find marketing tips- time savers and even suggestions for ordering supplies! ALL are included in my February Planning Guide. And hopefully, help you save time.

The planning guide is *Free* again this month and like January’s ‘it’s chock full of information.’ As those who’ve gotten it have told me time and time again! How to get it? Email me – brenda@camelliascottage.com and we will get it out to you. It’s a 3 page pdf that’s easily printable.

Why? I made a New Year’s resolution to help as many as I could in the first few months of what might be a difficult time financially for cottage industries, small businesses and more. The tips in February’s guide apply to product sales, service providers, mentors, course creators and coaches. You won’t want to miss this one.

February looks like an amazing month! Get a head start planning and creating content. I cannot close without saying Thank You to all who’ve gotten their January Guide, it’s been amazing connecting with you! Ready to get started with February planning…and don’t forget I

Love y’all, Brenda

*don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for even more inspiration @brendawyatt_

Color Trends for Spring/Summer 2021

The range of colors is astounding this season- from a Gray which is reliable, stable and reassuring to Browns as earthy as garden soil or golden sands, a veritable rainbow of vibrant, fragrant and fresh as a palette of hollyhocks, zinnias or marigolds. There’s an astonishing array of Pinks, glamorous and soft, vibrantly alive. A range of Greens which are happy, responsible yet fresh. The Blues are still around, yet project optimism- they blend over into Aqua and Turquoise sea tones. There’s a mix of Pastels as playful as flower sprigged dresses, lavender fields, violets or birthday cakes.

The base notes in the spring/summer season are as pale and soft as Buttercream, a Black which is more like blackberries, the ultimate Grays, Silvers, Bronzes, Rusty patinas I love, bread crusts and shortbread hearts. and what is described as Fortuny gold, a pale rich woven color which Shutterstock described ‘as those happy coincidences found in life.’ Overall, the upcoming season moves from a reassuring stable gray to hard working classics on toward vibrancy and playfulness. The palette I show here is what it looks like going into Spring and becomes more vibrant toward Summer

So why should Color matter? It matters to your brand, to what you stock your shelves with, to how you design your photographs and social media grids. Color speaks before you even speak or write a word of content. The images you project will look up to date, stand out in a literal sea of other folks waiting to be noticed and more important? There’s something for everyone in these color choices so you can ‘stay true to brand’ yet make color combinations which speak volumes to your readers. And don’t forget Color is one of my 9 Principles of Design…ever important and ever inspiring color.

I’m thrilled to offer a free gift- a Tip Sheet for January! it’s a 3 page download, our first! I was so anxious to get out to you- it’s not overly styled! Yet, if you’ll send me a message, I get it to you right away!

I hope this Color Story for Spring and Summer is as uplifting as the New Year, here’s wishing you all your heart has dreamed of and much success attracting the good things of life your way!

Love y’all, Brenda

Here’s the January’s Free Tip Sheet for you ! Watch for February’s tips coming soon! 

What now? What now?

A little bird stopped by and chirped- ‘What now? What now?’ I knew he wanted me to answer the question- because that’s what a lot of business folks have been asking now that the holidays are over. I whispered to him a few things that could help you with your year end and new year businesses. New Year’s brings so many thoughts, plans, resolutions and concerns. There’s no time like Now- to coach folks through- whether it’s lifestyle changes, journal prompts, even dreams of adding on a service or two. Help your audience see that Time is their friend in this unique season. Here a few tips and at the end of this post, be sure and see my gift to you!

  • For product or gift card sellers- send messages- ‘Now’s the time to treat yourself’ – this is for gift givers who forgot to gift themselves. Large businesses are offering through the weekend of the first week of January discount gift cards…every type of business under the sun is doing this- even favorite restaurants, coaches and product based businesses!
  • Creating a short list of ‘5 Things Under $50’ is irresistible to a whole lot of buyers. For Your business? It’s moving out low or slow products post- holiday or pre-inventory. A good thing on both sides.
  • Some folks are setting goals to organize. An amazing organizer business is offering deep discounts now on one room or closet. Yet, they know lots of folks are DIY so they’ve created a low cost subscription plan to send out daily alerts or weekly prompts to get things sorted. Now? honestly I think this same idea could apply to several types of businesses.
  • Other folks want to see this new year in a new light- a fresh start for them could mean a deep soak in the tub- your bath salts could be a great first step. I hope you’re getting the idea- help them with their goals and plans with your suggestions or products.
  • If part of your stock includes one of a kind items- offer a post holiday, limited time offer on a very few uniquities- this will make room for all of your new fines in 2021. *Please resist the temptation to reveal new creations, acquisitions or new lines until after inventory. You can send out hints just remember if you sell your new stock now,  you won’t have fresh stock for upcoming events later!
  • If you do none of these things, at least do this- send out Thank You’s, you never know what will happen! @fredgretsch Twitter he told a fascinating story of a time when his wife Dina sent a young musician a thank you note in the late 1980’s for using one of their Gretsch guitars on the musician’s Cloud Nine album cover- George Harrison became a friend, famous and a faithful customer! Oh yes, never doubt the power of a Thank You Note!

Sometimes it’s the simplest idea, especially when time is running short that often turn into a magical moment for you And now, a first for us- a Free Download of some of our favorite tips for selling during January- it’s a pdf that you can download or print out. It’s loaded with information, three pages in fact!

Love y’all, Brenda

How to get it? Send me an email at brenda@camelliascottage.com and we will send it your way! Please note- this is an original tip sheet and should not be reproduced or shared without permission. We’d love for you to have your own personal ‘tip sheet’ to give you an edge on your competition!

Add in some Merry Missions…

Whether you’re a shopper or a seller, this is the time when retailers back off large discounts, or if they are offering them, watch out for exclusions to that discount. As sellers you have a choice to do discounts or exclusions as well. I recommend it, because guaranteed holiday delivery is ending shortly and the big sales happen later. So, What Now? How to keep your customers coming back, checking into your site?

Several of my favorites have begun adding ‘merry missions’ or ‘holiday happiness’ in their online advertising. What are Merry Missions and how can they help with your holiday marketing efforts? These are amusing, easy and fun things that aren’t sales-y (which all of us are tired of by now!) Merry Missions make opening your notices fun! Alternate your site with activities that are sure to keep them coming back. Here’s a few I’ve come up with …

  1. What Christmas Ornament brings you the best holiday memories?
  2. Add extra marshmallows to your Hot Cocoa- just today! You deserve it!
  3. Wrap your packages by twinkle lights, it makes the task so much nicer..
  4. Name and sing your favorite holiday song or Christmas Carol. Sing as loud as you like! No one’s listening…
  5. Enjoy a candy cane while you write and mail a few love letters. If there ever was a year for it, this is it!
  6. Do a ‘hunt and gather’ walk, work your found treasures into your holiday decorating!
  7. Read your favorite Children’s Book- Velveteen Rabbit, Secret Garden or ‘Twas the night before Christmas…’  Children’s books are a sure way to amuse and charm.
  8. Make, bake and decorate a batch of cookies, even if they aren’t made from scratch or even perfect. Psst: Displayed by candlelight, no one will notice anyway!
  9. Get all Dolled Up even if you don’t have any place to go… watch a sweet holiday movie, it will make it seem like date night!
  10. Write your holiday wishes and tie them to the tree or better yet? Fulfill a few wishes!

Adding fun and Joy to your holiday advertising or even with your friends and family is sure to be a hit, especially this year. And! I’m sure you can come up with even better ones than I did to dole out one at a time…

And who knows? You might start a new tradition that will continue through the years… Merry Missions are way to build your audience and if it’s working for the big companies? Then I’m sure your customers will love you for it.. You’ll have to trust me on this!

Love y’all, Brenda

I’m wishing you much success! And PS Merry Missions work for product or service based businesses!