Lindsay is the hard-working hottie behind Lot801, a children’s clothing brand that breaks gender stereotypes one outfit at a time. Everything is organic and made in the U.S. start to finish. Mia’s Lot801 leggings are her favorite (and mine). For real. They’re soft, you can tell they’re really good quality the second you touch them, and we love the print. Plus Lindsay is a badass. So I asked Lindsay: “what makes you boss?”
Lindsay: ” What makes me boss? I’m not afraid to make decisions, even the hard ones. I get sh*t done and I’m brutally honest with any and everyone I work with. And most importantly, I always reach my goals by never giving up.”
In case you weren’t aware, Gilit has been sharing some pretty amazing and super helpful Instagram tips, so if you’re not following her Instagram account (@thebannerie), you need to! Like, right now. (Editor’s note: you see why I love Bethany, right? I don’t force her to shamelessly promote me but she does it anyway.)
Speaking of Instagram, one of my favorite “tools” for when I’m taking flatlays is painter’s tape. So much so, that I keep a roll in my Instagram prop box.
Yes, I keep a box of props for photos that has everything from mini disco balls to washi tape!
Here are some ideas of things you can keep in yours:
Mini Honeycomb Balls
I like them because they are inexpensive, cute and tiny! You can get a pack of 10 for only $7 from the Oh Happy Day Shop!
While I wouldn’t recommend keeping your phone in your prop box (you might need it for Instagram photos and the occasional phone call), I encourage you to think outside of the box! You can always use what you have on hand!
Do you have an Insta prop box? What do you keep in it?
Hey lovers! I’m over on Best Friends for Frosting with my thoughts on something that’s always been incredibly important to me even before I had a name for it: how to authentically connect with your customers.
OMG it’s almost June! So much is happening in June and I’m trying really hard to be a civilized person and stay calm but AHHHHH!!!
I throw around terms like “boss” or “like a boss” but they really mean something to me. To me, it means owning what you are doing, putting on your adult pants and doing what needs to be done. I love what I do but it involves a lot of tedious work and things I don’t like to do . For example, I love designing the packaging and considering what it’s like to open and making it feel fun and like a gift, I feel like a sparkly elf. But I hate shipping. So tedious.
Doing it like a boss means I put on some music, turn on my printer and do it dancing to T-Swift. (Or anything from the Nineties).
Here’s a pretty reminder from Kailah Ogawa that whatever you do, remember to do it like a boss.
I run The Bannerie, from top to bottom, all by myself. Since I use a lot of tools that would be a pain to carry around and rent is insane in NY, I work from home. As in, my office is literally in our bedroom. And because I am home for so many hours and don’t leave to work, I find it especially important to make it a happy place to work from.
That’s my main happy place, riiiight there: my shelves of supplies and photo props and what I mainly see all day long. My work is generally limited to this room, but I try not to be tied to a desk because then it definitely wouldn’t be my happy place. The point of being my own boss is so I don’t have to do that! The HP Stream tablet with Intel Inside® helps with that!
One of my fave things about working from home, me and my bed are besties. And the HP tablet means I can work from bed comfortably.
It’s incredibly important that while I’m working (wherever that is) I’m always connected to the internet to respond to customers, upload new photos, and post to social media and that I have tons of cloud storage for all my photos and documents that I can access whenever I need to.
The HP Stream 8 has free 4G data right out of the box so WiFi is taken care of, 1TB of cloud storage free for a year (!) AND Office 365, also free for one year! The last thing I want to think about when I get something to help with accessibility and efficiency, is setting things up and the HP Stream 8 takes care of all of that for you.
What’s your happy place to work from?
* This post was sponsored by Hp & Intel. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. This is legit awesome #WorkFromHappyPlace *
There are soooo many things I wish I knew when I started The Bannerie a year ago. I’ve narrowed it down to the ten most important lessons from the past year and what I would tell anyone looking to start their own business.
These are the do’s and don’t’s of How to be a Boss in Business:
1- Don’t say no to yourself.
My brother said this to me early on and it really stuck. Often we stop ourselves from doing things or trying things out of fear that someone else will say no. Let them say no! Don’t say no to yourself before someone else can. That’s just silly. Start paying attention to what stops you, is it you? Are you grinning right now because that’s totally you? I get it, let’s move forward and say yes please like Amy Poehler because look where she is.
2. Find your voice.
If you can find your authentic voice, all the branding will be so much easier. Set guidelines for yourself and stick to it. For instance, I know that I always want to stay cheeky, empowering, and to a degree, girly. I do it with my packaging, I do it with my Instagram copy, I do it in my daily life. It’s easy for me because it’s how I am.
Here is what I’m going to suggest to you: think about your favorite people. The ones that you are the most comfortable with in the whole world. No one’s listening in your thoughts so no pressure, it can be anyone. Who are you when you are with those people? When you relax and aren’t trying to be anybody, what are you like? That’s you.
3. Say no.
It can be hard, it can be so so hard to say no. Saying yes can mean money and making customers happy but you have to learn to set boundaries for yourself or you will burn out and probably burn bridges along the way because you’ll be so cranky from never saying no. Repeat after me:You will never be what everyone wants you to be. I’m a people pleaser by nature (middle child and all) so I totally get the impulse but it isn’t a good way to live your life and it’s definitely not a good way to run your business.
4. Say yes.
I know I just said say no, but say yes! You won’t know how to do things. Things will be scary. You will make mistakes. People won’t always be supportive. But say yes and create opportunities for yourself. Don’t wait for someone to come to you, go to them and give them the chance to give YOU a chance. Say yes to new things and you will learn that are capable of so much more than you ever thought. Ask my husband or sister what would make me melt in a pile of shame in the beginning of this year and they’ll tell you: photos! Hours and hours and hours and so much work and sweat and tears and yeah, the occasional drop of blood and now do I still have so much self-doubt? YES! But, that is one of the TOP things I get complimented on all the time! So… give it time, try things, and say yes.
5. Keep on keeping on.
Push through. It’s gonna be alright. You got this. (See above for how many times I mentioned hours and multiply that by a bajillion)
6. Give up.
If something isn’t working, try another way to do it. Don’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results (I think that’s the definition of insanity…)
7. Learn everything.
The more you know how to do, the less you are limited! Learn photography, learn styling, learn branding, learn copywriting. You don’t have to be an expert on everything and outsourcing what you aren’t good at is a great strategy, but try to have a basic understanding so even if you are turning it over to someone else, you know if they are doing a good job or not. Plus before you hand something over yo have to understand the basic process.
8. Don’t over research.
Don’t get so stuck in the planning stage that you never move forward. That’s called fear, my friends. Put something out into the world before it’s perfect and then refine it. That’s right, it doesn’t have to be perfect! Did you just faint?
9. Surround yourself with good people.
Seriously. Do yourself a huge favor and make a community for yourself of good people. People who hear your dreams and cheer you on even if they don’t get them. You don’t have time for people who bring you down.
10. Let go of the negativity.
Some people won’t get what you do, they’ll call it “cute” and say things like “since you’re free…”. Some people will copy you, some customers will be rude. That’s okay. The sooner you can learn to let that roll off your back, the better. I will, this one time refer to the Godfather, just kidding, I’ll refer to You’ve Got Mail referring to the Godfather, “it’s not personal, it’s business”
Listen, my darlings, it’s hard. I know because I am all of one year into my own business. But in that one year I have learned enough that I am fielding a lot of e-mails and messages about how to run a business. So what does that tell you? I’ll let you know just in case your head is still reeling from the “it doesn’t have to be perfect” bit, it tells you that you can do it. It tells you that it is achievable and that you are capable and that what looks like mountains now will be molehills in a few months.
I’m gonna help you set that office of yours up with a big beautiful custom GIRLBOSS magnet board from Lindie & Co. It’s huge and sturdy enough to hold your dreams (and appointments or vision board or whatever you want to use it for, I’m not gonna tell you how to run your business!) And did I mention it was one of Oprah’s favorite things?
Enter by leaving a comment below telling me about your dream business, whether you own one already or want to in the future. You can also ask a business question and I’ll do my best to answer! (There were some pretty great ones on the APW interview!) Extra entries on Instagram! The giveaway will be open for one week and is for U.S. residents only.
In the past year I’ve written and received many e-mail pitches. Having been on both sides of it, here’s what I’ve learned:
1. KEEP IT SHORT
As someone who exists in this world, you probably know that time is precious and as an entrepreneur you know that time is extremely limited so when pitching something to someone, KEEP IT SIMPLE AND SHORT. You don’t want to make the person you are pitching to have to work to figure out what you’re saying/what you want from them/what you want to give to them. Make it easy.
2. INCLUDE LINKS AND PHOTOS
I don’t think it has to be said which is why it really does have to be said: include the link to the site you are talking about! Remember, you don’t want to make the person you are pitching to have to work. If you want them to look at your product, include PHOTOS of that product. Make it easy.
3. BULLET POINTS
Bullet points are your friend. They are easy to read, get the point across, and save you from having to come up with beautiful connecting sentences. Just bullet point it. This is sort of an extension of that first one, but it’s important. Dare I say it again? Make it easy.
4. BE SPECIFIC
If I get an e-mail that calls me “Mr. Cooper” or clearly has little to no idea what I do or who I am, it generally goes to spam.
Here is an e-mail I got that I thought was great, not perfect, but it worked. I am obviously leaving out personal details:
“Hi! I am This Person from This Place (included a link). I follow you on Instagram (oh yes, she comments a bunch, I remember her) and wanted to reach out about doing a collaboration together. Here’s what I do (she included four beautiful photos of her work… ooh I like it!) which I think goes really well with your birthday banners (they do!). I would love to send a sample so you can see the quality for yourself, no strings attached (what a great idea because I haven’t ever seen it in person). If you think it’s a good fit for your brand as I do, let’s set up a photoshoot or giveaway!”
She got an Instagram photo from me because I loved her well thought out packaging that came with a note (don’t send products without a note, that’s just confusing) and I loved her product which she very wisely sent to me. The answer won’t always be yes or it may be a no for now, but leave the person with a positive impression and another opportunity may rise. You never know.
5. FOLLOW UP
If you pitch something to me and I’m so excited about it, I e-mail you back right away and….crickets. That shows me that either a- you’re not reliable b- you’re not serious c- you’re not interested and that means that I probably don’t want to work with you. E-mails get lost, life happens (I promise I know!), but if you are indeed reliable, serious, and interested, make that effort to stay on top of it.
And hey, if you are sending an e-mail you are already doing better than the people who comment on or send a Direct Message via Instagram or private message on Facebook. Those get easily lost, are not professional, and show minimal effort. Find that e-mail address and make a pitch! You got this!
What do you think? Anything I missed? Anything you would do differently? Any questions?