April 17, 2014

Upcoming Workshop: Blogging Basics with Rekha Krishnamurthi

Join the Etsy New York team on April 29, 2014 at the Etsy Labs in Dumbo, NY (Brooklyn) for a workshop on the basics of blogging hosted by Etsy New York Team Member Rekha Krishnamurthi of DivineNYCo

Blogging Basics
In this workshop, you’ll learn practical steps to build a blog for your business and how to strategically leverage your blog into a key-branding channel.

Discover how to increase readership, subscriptions and engagement with target followers and make blogging the hub of your social media master plan.

Host Rekha Krishnamurthi (ETSY shop:  DivineNYCo) will share with you her tips on how to best leverage your time to create an effective blogging strategy.

Topics that will be covered:
·      Defining a clear goal for your blog
·      How to develop compelling content and a blog editorial calendar
·      Integrating your blog content with social media
·      Blogging and SEO
·      Posting frequency
·      Time management

This workshop is free to all EtsyNY teamies.  All non-members who are interested in attending can purchase tickets ($5) on Eventbrite. Check in will occur at the door, so please have your tickets and ID available. The door will close at 6:30pm.

April 16, 2014

Spring Inspirations.... The Macys Flower Show

By the time spring roles around we New Yorkers are itching to get out.  This past winter especially there were severe cases of cabin fever.   What better way to welcome spring than the Macys Flower Show.  A beautiful kaleidoscope of colors,  fragrant gardens and exotic sculptures that only New York can produce.

This is the 40th year for the Macys New York Show.  The flower show is also held in other cities, originally starting at the San Francisco Macys in 1946 as a fragrance festival.  The past two years the show has been outside because of construction on the main floor. This year it was back inside and the designers once again had to work with creating their pieces while utilizing the display and selling counters.

 When you first enter the store you are welcomed by the Lady in the Red Dress; a 14 foot runway inspiration created completely with red flowers.

Starting in 1980 Macys started having a theme for the show.  This year's theme was the Secret Garden. A magical floral dream of wonder and fantasy consisting of 30,000 flowers.  It really is quite surreal.  Stepping into a major department store and being overwhelmed by all of these floral arrangements.    In addition to the Secret Garden there is also the Bouquet of the Day.  Five designers create special arrangements and each arrangement is featured for a few days.  I attended on April 4th a few days before the end of the show.  The Bouquet of the Day was created by Kenji Takenaka, otherwise known as the poet of flowers.

I was so intrigued by this dark pink speckled orchid also called a Phalaenopsis.
Thank you to Patrick of Doran Gardens in Brooklyn for giving me the true name. 

I think my favorite is the above lime green chair.  I noticed this as we walked towards the back of the store situated in a flower bed on the side of an elevator. 

I took so many photos it was difficult to choose which ones to share.  I love the larger than life arrangements in unexpected places, like the electric blue orchids in the costume jewelry aisle.  I know my 10 month old daughter enjoyed it.  With her head constantly arched up, she just kept looking at all the colors with wide eyes!

If you didn't make it to the flower show I hope you enjoy the photos.  And there is always this Sunday's Easter Parade

Happy Spring!


April 15, 2014

Spring Clean Your Business Finances for a Less Taxing 2015

Tax time has come and gone. You had a little trouble but managed to get through it pretty much ok. Hopefully no hiccups come back to haunt you. Now it’s time to relax and worry about next year when it rolls around…right?

Not so fast. This is actually the perfect time for you to prepare for taxes in 2015. There are several other reasons why you should get your finances in order as well, some that don’t even have to do with taxes

Here’s a run through of why you should start spring cleaning now as well as some ideas where to start.

Business Finances a Little Dusty? 

So what’s the big deal? You got your taxes done in time, why should you even care? Well, for one, even if you managed to fly through your taxes, they can always be done faster. If everything is organized like it should be, then your tax time should be even faster than it was this year. …And that gives you time to get back to doing what you do best – running your business.

But that’s not all. You don’t just have your federal taxes to worry about. There are other taxes like quarterly estimated taxes and sales taxes to pay. The more organized your finances are, the faster you can handle all these taxes.

Spring cleaning your finances now also gets the rest of your business in order. It’s one thing to “feel” how well your business is doing, but another thing entirely to see the cold, hard facts. Getting real info can help you refocus and re-energize your business well into the future.

What to Spring Clean

So what all should you go about spring cleaning? While it’s easy to spot physical things in your house to clean – cobwebs in the corner, dust on the desk, etc. – cleaning something like your finances take a little more work.

There are some good places to start, though. For one it’s time to move your finances to the digital age if you already haven’t. Are you still tracking income in and expenses out with a  spreadsheet? Sign up for GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping today and import all of your business finances. This way you know all your income and expenses 24/7.

Another area to pay attention to is your physical receipts and other paperwork. It’s also another area to move your business into the digital age. Take all those papers and receipts and scan them into your computer, or sign up for a service like Shoeboxed. Now you have them all in one place and easily searchable rather than scattered all over your office or house.

Since a big part of this spring cleaning is “getting ahead of the game,” you should also pay attention to your calendar. Try to schedule as much of your business life as possible – tax dates, meetings, and goals you want to achieve. This can help you get ahead not just with your finances but also with the rest of your business.

One last thing to spring clean: your expenses. There is always something you can cut out of your business model, even if it’s shaving off a few dollars here and there. This can help you increase your bottom line and move your business into a whole new world.

Are you going to spring clean your small business finances this year? What task are you going to tackle first?

April 11, 2014

Easy Easter Decorating Ideas

Hello April, hello Spring! I know spring officially started on March 20th, but with the crazy weather we’ve been having, it sure didn’t feel like it!  Although the temperatures continue to fluctuate, I know warmer weather is on the way.  I’ve officially turned off the heat and by next week I will start to put away the winter blankets, coats and other winter gear.  Yay!

In this month’s Lifestyle Friday post, I’ll share with you some fun, simple and easy Easter decoration ideas for your home. 

Floral Display

Forget the soufflé…turn a casserole dish into a happy basket of spring florals for the table!

Here’s how:
  1. Cut the floral foam to fit (available from Michaels Stores).
  2. Soak in water until moist and place in dish.
  3. Use the back of a pencil and make holes in the foam for the stems then pack in flowers tightly so that there are no gaps.
  4. I chose not to add a handle, but if you want to, loosely twist two or three branches together.  
  5. Secure ends with floral wire and insert into the dish.
(Inspired by April issue of Better Homes & Garden)

Sugar Eggs

I simply love this earthy color palette – created with drops of ordinary food dye!

  1. Use egg molds #E090, #E095, #E423, #E427 available from lifeofthepartymolds.com.
  2. Mix 3 tablespoons of water with 2 pounds of ultrafine sugar until it reaches a packable consistency.
  3. Add 2-3 drops of food color until desired color is achieved.
  4. Tightly back the sugar mixture into the mold half and smooth the top as much as possible.
  5.   Lay cardboard over the top of the mold, press down with one hand, while holding the mold with the other and flip.  Gently remove the mold.
  6.  Let dry.
  7. To make solid eggs, fuse the egg halves together by brushing the exposed edges with egg white.

Egg Garland

This is a cool craft idea.  You can use embroidery floss, string, yarn or even raffia ribbon.

  1. Prepare a bowl of stiffener mixture (mix 1 cup of liquid starch with ½ cup flour).
  2. Gently coil the embroidery floss or string into the bowl.
  3.   Blow up balloons to the desired size.
  4. Wrap the embroidery floss around the balloon (use multiple colors if desired).
  5.  Let the finished product dry for several hours.
  6. Once dry, pop the balloon.
  7.   Make a garland and hang several eggs together.
Source:  Better Homes & Garden

Alternatively if you don’t have time for DIY, you can always shop ETSY!  Here is a collection of some of my favorite Easter themed finds.

1.  Matchbook cards by BeMyBee  2.  Pom Pom garland by LittleKnittyThings  3.  Fine art giclee print by kipi  4.  Cat kokedama with succulent by ArtofPlants  5.  Dishcloth patterns by KnittingGuru  6.  Easter Egg Decorations by SlopeGirlKnits  7.  Wall Art by TamaraGarvey


Do you have a favorite Easter DIY décor idea?  Share it with me in the comments below!

-Rekha Krishnamurthi