Learn. Dream. Grow…

Hello!

I’m back at my favorite place- this Blog! If you’re new here? So glad to have you! Recently in my marketing newsletter- I shared a few tips on discovering your Hidden Talents. I realized I might not have shared one of mine. It’s continuing to help me now!

Teaching has been a side benefit of spending 30+ years in Retail. I love teaching. Public Relations is a big part of Retail and Marketing. I loved being sent out to teach what I know.

I worked with a Community College Program which prepared women to re-enter the workplace after being homemakers for many years. The reason? Most had faced Divorce, Disability or Death of a spouse. They needed to be inspired, to find their best skills, and convert the organizational and social skills they had used as homemakers into Income. I was the inspirational speaker for a good many years. I loved it!

Another grant-based program I worked with helped disadvantaged women develop confidence and be dressed appropriately for job interviews. Develop Capsule Wardrobes, as we would say now. Taught how to find these on a strict budget, using thrift stores or consignment shops. Once they were hired, we helped them learn how to work with the public and gain confidence in the workplace.

Other teaching opportunities came my way to encourage, train, motivate and inspire women. These were groups who were already in Professions, Careers or Leadership positions. Highly educated successful women- who as successful people Do– continue to learn, continue to improve- often just by going back to basics, then taking their careers to a new level. These ladies inspired me to pass along what I had been trained to do, to Teach what I had learned through my own work. To this day, teaching is still one of the most satisfying aspects of my life.

Real Progress comes when we Learn. Dream. Grow. For me? I have taken several online courses in the last few years, each one has helped me update my skills, often going back to basics and being part of a community that continues to Learn. Dream. Grow. 

Truth? Those teaching opportunities combined with my retail experience still helps me Learn. Dream and Grow. Believe me, learning how to write an online course, do training videos and actually figure out how to load it onto a new platform? A steep learning curve for me! And, it didn’t happen overnight, it took over a year to write and get it out there and don’t even get me started on All of Those Years in Retail! So? What’s in this post for you? Don’t pass up opportunities. If you’re asked to do something outside of your comfort zone? Realize it may come in handy sooner or later. Don’t ever stop learning or growing. And Don’t Forget to Dream! Dreams are the fuel of Ambition.. ah but that’s for another time! See you soon!

Love y’all, Brenda

Creator – Be Unforgettable Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing

If you’re interested in finding out more about my online course- click the link! Thank you- we’re having a great time and believe me these folks going thru it now are Unforgettable!

https://camellia-s-cottage-blog.mykajabi.com/about-course-copy-1-ed7ee1ac-4438-4133-968b-ffee43106f2b

This is not Urgent…

Hello!  I hope you’re enjoying a new season! In my newsletter this week- the subject line was actually – ‘This is not- Urgent, a Reminder or the Final Hours’ I hope you know by now that I love to keep up with marketing trends. I recently read a reputable business site and the title was something like- ‘How to Get your Emails Opened.’ Those techniques in my newsletter subject line- Urgent, a Reminder and Final Hours– were just a few of their suggestions! No! I’m sorry, that’s not my style. Maybe if it’s from a retailer who I trust- though still doubtful. I don’t believe those tactics work- they’re stressful, seem icky and spammy to me. 

In fact, another highly reputable site and whom I trust further stated that words in the Subject Lines like Free, Reminder or Percentage Off are overused and have negative open rates. Whoa! Who wants that? Okay, so what will work? Here’s a few in my personal inbox that I plan to open-

  • ‘Countdown to Summer’ This is a new collection from a retailer I love. 
  • ‘Classes Start Today’ – I signed up for those. 
  • ‘Today Only’ I’m still deciding, though it’s not as much of a put off as others
  • ‘ 10 Ideas to Refresh.‘  It’s Spring here. Who doesn’t want a Refresh?
  • ‘The One Thing You Should Know’ Folks love Lists or that One Thing. 
  • ‘Let’s Talk About…’  Ok, women tend to like these subject lines. Men usually don’t. 
  • ‘Cleopatra’s Favorite Perfume.’ Now, really who doesn’t want to know that? Ok. Maybe just me. It’s thought to contain myrrh, cinnamon, fruit oil- probably from dates and pine or cedar resin. Apparently, the recipes for the fragrance have been found in ancient writings. I’m not making this up! This is from a reputable History site. So, yes! I trusted the information.

So! How do we actually get folks to open, read or even just scan our written content? It’s like anything else- Develop a relationship with the reader, stir in that Know, Like, Trust factor and you’re on your way. Some of our titles or subject lines should be Specific and Straightforward- like ‘Classes Begin Today’. And there are those which use a play on words- which I tend to like. Still others create interest, are quirky and fun- obviously Cleopatra’s Perfume checked all of those boxes for me! 

I want folks to feel happy, intrigued and curious- not stressed out with another Urgent Demand- unless it’s really Urgent– let’s avoid that! 

We want whatever we write to be a pleasure to read. Something they will enjoy. It’s always about Information and Inspiration. Speaking of that! If you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter- it’s free but not in the subject line! Just send me a message and I’ll tell you how to get on the list!

I’ve been posting about Color lately on Instagram. Here’s a download from my course about Color Mapping-

Click Here:  “C:\Users\sunni\OneDrive\Color Mapping for You.pdf” It’s a fun way to find out your Color Values- I have more training available in my course!

opening-slide-for-courseSpeaking of which- We are having so much fun with ‘Be Unforgettable- Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing.’ If you think this is something you’d be interested in- I’d love to have you! Here’s the link to find out more! https://camellia-s-cottage-blog.mykajabi.com/about-course-copy-1-ed7ee1ac-4438-4133-968b-ffee43106f2b

Love y’all, Brenda 

Blooming in Harsh Light…

Times are harsh. They have been for quite a while. Over 2 years now, we’ve all witnessed Disease, Death, and Destruction and have had our share of exhaustion, even depression. The truth is life has been and still has been harsh. Unsure of the future, we are trying to find out way and yes, some have stared so long for so long and hard- that there’s overwhelm and some have told me that they are just burned out or ‘not feeling it’ right now.’ Backing away from social media, taking a break. I understand. Still.

We do need to know how to continue posting- even if not as often and with a certain sensitivity. We need to know how to continue creating or doing business while understanding folks are bombarded with information almost constantly. The question is then, how do we bloom in harsh light? How to celebrate holidays or perhaps get away from it all for a few days.

First we must believe that we are gifted. And not only gifted, but gifted for such a time as this. Right now, it’s easy to think what we write or make, create or sell isn’t vital- in fact we may think- ‘What I’m doing is trivial compared to all of the horribleness right now.’ Am I right? When what we are really thinking is – ‘What I do doesn’t matter.’ Oh yes, it Matters! Why? Well, let’s say we are thirsty- yet in your own special talented way- you go the extra mile and make a simple glass of water special- you add sprigs of fresh mint and limes. You’ve found a way to beautifully quench thirst.

It might be easy to say what we do or create or sell won’t bring World Peace or whatever it is that you’re thinking. Yet. Who are we to Decide what Folks Want or Need? Yes, be sensitive in your posting yet remember this- Folks need Beauty. Folks need Gifts for Celebrations. Folks may want to uplevel their Skills or Businesses. Folks who are burned out may need inspiration or even coaches and services- trying find ways to bloom in Harsh Times. You could be that person. You could inspire someone today. Do you recall how many of us found our gardens immensely helpful in the first lockdowns?

We never know what will happen, what I do know is that what you create, sell or offer could make all the difference in the world to someone. You may think you’re just one beam of light when really you can light up the night just be being the best sparkling effervescent unforgettable You.

That Quote? It’s true. I wrote it during the pandemic- I had to refer to it in harsh light. I read it often as I began writing and creating my course. On days when I wondered if it would ever see the light of day! Well, now it’s Live. It’s done with love going out into the harsh light of this world with hope that it might help someone… We never know, still we must go on.

Love y’all, Brenda

Here’s the link to my Online Course. Be Unforgettable- Beginner’s Guide to Visual Marketing. In this fast paced marketing world we live in- we are All Beginner’s at something- the Marketing Portion is of special interest. Though, I do take you through the Steps of Visual Marketing. If it’s something you think you could use it for your business or dream of one, the link also tells you how to join. Thank you.

https://app.kajabi.com/admin/sites/2147488395/landing_pages#

Waiting in the Wings…

Have you ever felt like you’re ‘Waiting in the Wings’ ? At every age and stage, even when starting something new…there’s that Waiting in the Wings state of mind. Cambridge Dictionary describes it like this:’ If someone is waiting in the wings, they are not yet active or important, but are ready or likely to be soon..’

You may have practiced and prepared. You may have the perfect costume or background for your performance and yet there’s that waiting time.

You may have the prettiest or the most photogenic scene set up and yet, you mind tells you that there’s always someone better than you are. Did you know there’s a physical reaction to waiting in the wings? There is. When you’re in that area where activity on the stage can be observed yet the audience cannot see you- a place where performers stand just before it’s time to enter the stage to perform… we might call this physical reaction- Butterflies. A sensation which is a blend of anxiety, anticipation and excitement all bundled together.

You may be standing ready to undertake a new role. make an entrance or be brought to public attention. Yet, those butterflies are creating fear, they might make you want to give up…

Hang up Your Dancing Shoes altogether.

How do I know this? Because I’ve had those feelings before, okay- many times before. You have butterflies because you are afraid. You have butterflies because you’ve got a bad case of comparisonitis. You have butterflies because you Care.

When you start something new, even if you don’t have all the answers, you aren’t ‘perfect’ or you think someone is better than you are. Am I right? Well, here’s the key- lean on your preparation and your experience. Then trust your Instincts and Believe that you will Rise to the Occasion.

What you have to give is You, and that’s a very special Gift. There’s no one else exactly like You. When the Director of Life give you the cue… Come on out onto the Stage. You’ll be Unforgettable.

I’m thankful for so many who generously Take to the Stage. Ready to be available. Waiting to help. Prepared to do Something. Willing to share their Gifts. We need you.

Love y’all, Brenda

Repetition…

‘Whether it’s the sound of drums, a pan of fresh baked cookies or a tray filled with with seedlings…an arbor of roses, a staircase winding or not, a row of rounded boxwoods or clothes pins on a line. Repetition is the Strength, the Unity, the Structure, the very Heartbeat of Good Design.’    B.W.

One of my 9 Principles of Design is ‘Shape and Form’. Yet, without the strength and unity of repetition- shape and form of any creative endeavor might fail to impress. Think about it. Repetitive shapes or sounds form the basis of Art of the finest order.

img_1045Drummers are uniformed, let one of them miss a beat and the melody of the other instruments could fall apart. And… We all love songs with the repetition of a chorus, right? Seedlings are charming alone, even more so in a group. An arbor of roses is pleasing to the eye as much for the repetition of the arches as for the profusion of bloom. A Checker Board is a classic example of Repetitive Design. A cooling rack filled with cookies, even if they aren’t the exact same size, still the eye sees repetition.

img_5050A winding staircase works simply because the treads are spaced at a repetitive shape, form and space. An historic staircase is beautiful – even more so because of the repetition of woodwork, including spindles and dare I add? the Color.

img_1039We’ve found rounded boxwoods tend to look good year round because of the consistent shape and form. Even clothespins on an empty line are unified in type and shape, even if they aren’t lined up. Why? Repetition of course.

img_4592We love consistency. When a design is unified it gives a sense of order and peace. Repetition could be compared to the skeleton or structure on which any or all of the elements are layered on. Alone, it might be overdone. Just remember, that repetition, whether in color, shape or form is very important in design.

img_1037Whether it’s the sound of drums, a pan of fresh baked cookies or a tray of seedlings..  An arbor of roses, a staircase winding or not, a row of boxwoods or clothespins on a line.. Repetition is good in writing, marketing- making a point in different ways over and over. Repetition is the strength, the unity, the structure, the very heartbeat of Good Design.

Love y’all, Brenda

I’ve been working on a little project which includes the 9 Principles of Design… stay tuned!