Saturday, December 31, 2011


2012 is nearly here!! I am really excited for 2012. I feel like every new year is a good time to rejuvenate my self-motivation and reflect on the things I would like to change and accomplish. I've had a lot of fun planning new adventures for MaieDae with Jenny and creating a new list of goals for myself in 2012, which I plan to share within the next few days. :)

Here is a little check-up on my 22 before 2012 list. I didn't accomplish everything, but I feel very satisfied with what I was able to check off. Sometimes when you set goals for yourself, you have to realize that you might change your mind about projects and items you want to accomplish. Don't feel pressured to accomplish everything if you lose passion for something or decide it's not the right timing.

22 Before 2012
1Go on a skiing trip with Jon & his family.  -- Had so much fun! 
2. Start a collection (or two!). -- Records, vintage dinnerware, and cocktail rings.
3. Read five business/development books. 
4Have an amazing one year anniversary! 
5Finish Project 365 & put together a tribute coffee table book. -- Haven't put the book together yet; hoping to do this soon!
6Participate in my first Arts Fair. -- Participated in the Indie Craft Experience and the Indie Craft Parade
7. Buy a mandolin and learn to play. -- This did not happen. Maybe in 2012?
8. Decorate & create an inspirational studio space. -- Check and then un-check. I was able to put together something nice, and since we are planning to move and have needed extra space for storage, it has become un-inspirational again. 
9. Try five sewing projects. -- Only dabbled in a couple projects, but I'm planning to take the DIY Dress Up E-Course in 2012. 
10. Create a line of print design for my Etsy shop. -- Decided to go in a different direction. 
11. Start putting together and drafting rough draft of my book. -- Putting this project on the bookshelf for a little while.
12. Start new photography project. -- Didn't do any projects per-say, but I got a new SLR and took time to take lots and lots of pictures. 
13Get a new camera for blogging, photo-shoots and products. -- Yes!! 
14Develop & grow blog. -- I'm so excited to see how it's grown since January 2011. I can't wait for 2012! I'm planning to kick off the year with a fresh design and new features!
15Refine & define Etsy shop. -- Even though Jenny and I spent lots of time refining, we are planning on doing even more in 2012.
16Collect art, frames and photographs for wall collage in living room. -- I've collected a lot of great pieces! When we move, I'm planning to hang everything up.
17. See "Rocky Horror Picture Show" in the theatre. -- Had plans on doing this but it ended up falling through. 
18. Design a font. -- Sketched out designs, just haven't created the font.  YET!
19. Pay 50% of my student loans. -- Paid 5 loans of 9...only 4 to go! 
20. Keep Madi as my pen-pal & "little sister". 
21. Re-decorate bedroom. -- See post here and here!
22. Have sister and mother dates on a monthly basis.  -- While I've gotten to spend some good time with mom and sister, we haven't been able to schedule date time. Hoping this will change soon!

Other Exciting Happenings in 2011
* Saw Beauty and the Beast at the FOX Theatre with Jon
* Celebrated 6 years of being with Jonathon!
* Did a little project restyle on my dresser.
* Started my business partnership with Jenny!
* Started offering blog design
* Created a cute little dining nook.
* Got my first tattoo.  
* Visited the WB studios in California! 
* Celebrated our first year of marriage and took some cute pictures!
* Went to Chicago with Jenny to attend a Design conference and explore the city!  
* Welcomed a new member of the family. :) 
* Beautiful ladies wearing MaieDae goodies!
* Celebrated a wonderful Thanksgiving with family. 
* Had a holiday DIY blog party!
* Created the first MaieDae Holiday Lookbook with Jenny! 
* Went to Seattle to visit Anica! 
* Started the new 5 Things post series. 
* Went Red!

Check back later for my 2012 goals AND a brand new blog design to go with the new year!! I can't wait to show you the new look! What was your favorite part about 2011??

Friday, December 30, 2011

Solo Feature: Ever So Lovely + Giveaway!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hello all! My name is Brandi Moody and I am the founder of Ever So Lovely® which is a small design studio just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina.

2. What made you decide to start your shop & blog?
Well, ever since I could pick up a crayon, I have always loved art and design. It is something that I have to do and after going to college for Graphic Design and working in the industry professionally for fourteen years, I decided to start up Ever So Lovely. When I was at Meredith College (an all women's college here in NC) I minored in Creative Writing and I've always loved interviewing people about their craft. Naturally, I decided to start up Ever So Lovely as a blog where people could go to be inspired by all of the talent that is around the world.

I also used to have a shop under the name Creativ*Bee Designs where I sold my handmade jewelry designs and art. I just decided to rebrand my company and have everything under one name.

3. What are your favorite things to blog about? Favorite posts? 
That's a tough one. I would have to say all of my posts become my favorites because of what different designers share about their journey as artists and designers. What inspires them. What drives them. It's just all so intriguing to know what motivates everyone since everyone's craft is so different. I totally understand what each person goes through, because being an artist myself, it's great to learn about others.

But if you would like to know a couple of my favorite interviews, I would have to say interviewing international photographer Lara Jade was amazing! I have always been a huge fan of her work and the fact that she took the time out to talk with me about her work was amazing. I interviewed her last year and she had 17,000 Facebook fans. In just a year, she's grown to almost 70,000 fans which is astounding since she is just 22 years old.

Another interview I loved was with the two sisters, Jessica and Gwynne, who are the talent behind the label Rosella Resin. They make the most unique resin jewelry with feathers and found objects and they are really great people!

I absolutely LOVED interviewing with Adrienne Berry of Dingbat Press who is one of the most talented letterpress designers I have ever known. She really dives deep into her craft and creates some gorgeous work for her clients.

4. What are your favorite things to make for your shop?
It varies depending on my mood. Some days I really love making my hand-painted silk scarves because it's an art form, while other days I really love spending time surrounded by various vintage findings and gemstones which light up my work station with color.

I also love, love, love creating logos for my clients. That has to be one of the most rewarding things I do since I get to learn so much about someone else's company and what they want for their business. It's the best creative journey you can go on and in the end you help someone else create something they love so much that they use it for their business. That is probably my most favorite thing to make.

I also love to create custom illustrations for weddings and anniversaries. People give me some of their favorite photographs and I combine everything to make a unique image for their special occasion. The framed oval illustration was a design I created for two of my best friends who were getting married. They both loved the beach and I created an illustration of the bride in the dress similar to the one she was wearing when her fiancé proposed to her. They really loved it and I was really excited about the finished design.

I also am working on several new projects that I will be unveiling in 2012 which will involve some of my hand illustrations.

5. Favorite pass-time?
That would be spending time with my husband and taking weekend trips out to the Outer Banks of NC. I also bake some mean cookies! (photo attached). I gave my famous chocolate cookies away for Christmas and my friends said they were the best cookies ever.

6. What was on your Christmas wish-list? 
Well, I had a long list to give my husband, but he made my year with three things I really wanted. The first was a handmade Amethyst Heart Necklace from Moorea Seal, the next was a beautiful Black Quartz Necklace from Pole Star and he knew I love pretty vintage bags...well he searched all over and found the cutest vintage Louis Vuitton satchel from the early 80s in pristine condition. Yes, my husband is awesome! :)

7. Favorite blog reads?
There are so many out there but some of my favorites are Oh Hello Friend, Design Sponge, Indie Fixx, Style Me Pretty, and 2Modern Blog.

8. If you had three wishes what would they be?
Hmmm. 1) I would say - win the lottery 2) buy a house at the beach with said lottery money where I would keep designing and blogging 3) just live a long and happy life

9. What's your favorite meal?
My husband and I just discovered a dish this week that Carrabba's makes called Chicken Bryan. OH MY GOSH! That was the best meal EVER! It's two grilled chicken breasts topped with goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes and a basil lemon butter sauce. If you haven't had it, you owe it to yourself to try it....It's probably my favorite dish of the year.

10. What inspires you the most?
I would say nature. There are so many organic things out in the world that have pattern and shape which at some point or another has helped to inspire my work. That and a good cup of coffee. :)

Find Brandi Here:
Design Services:

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Giveaway Time!! Brandi is offering one person the chance to win one of her peony necklace in either blue or pink! See how to enter below. 

Main Entry:
1. Leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite item from Brandi's shop!

Bonus Entries (please leave one comment per entry):
1. Take a visit to Brandi's Blog and leave a sweet comment!
2. Tweet about it! Just copy & paste this: Win a beautiful peony necklace from @eversolovely on @MaieDae!

One winner will be selected at random and announced within the week! ALSO, I'd like to announce the winner of the December Sponsor Love Giveaway! Congratulations #37 Ragnhilds Cubicle!! Please email me at with your shipping information. :) 

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Hi MaieDae readers!  My name is Laura and I run two small businesses, Violet Bella and Roots & Feathers, and a blog.  I'm primarily a jewelry designer and photographer. From time to time, I make handmade clothing.  Besides my big dreams and big love for art, I live a pretty small, simple life.  When I am not designing jewelry or taking pretty pictures, I'm usually hanging out with my husband and animals.  I have mad love for nature, coffee, good music, and for real people... people who are not afraid to just be themselves.

Today Im going to highlight 5 things I've learned while running a small business.  I'm very passionate about what I do and I see so many others who have such passion for creating but don't know where to begin.  So just maybe, one of these will help you.

1.  Patience. ---> I have learned you must have patience in business.  Things do not just happen overnight.  The beginning of this journey was very rocky and slow. There were several times I thought I was going to have to give up and go back to waitressing.  My desire to do what I love (instead of going back to that) kept me going.  Don't stop creating just because things are not selling.  Just keep stocking that shop and pouring your heart into what you are doing.

2.  Perseverance. --->  This one ties into number one. Not giving up. Even when things are tough.  Nobody said that running your own business would be easy.  It will most likely be harder than any 'normal' job.  You are no longer just an employee, you are the everything.  I have found that during the hard, slow times, I become the most creative. You have to create ways to get people to visit your shop. As with most things, good things come with time and slow growth.

3.  Marketing. ---> You can make some of the most beautiful things in the world, but if it doesn't get marketed right, it won't be seen. There are so many people starting their own small businesses, epecially since widely used online marketplaces like Etsy have started.  This makes for lots of competition and a much smaller chance of being noticed. Take advantage of the social networking that is out there for us, such as Twitter and Facebook. For a long time, I was anti-both, but I can honestly say that they have changed the face of my business. And I have formed some amazing friendships along the way because of them. Another biggie is blogging. I personally love to know the history of an artist I am buying from.  It makes the peice so much more special to me. Maybe I'm just a sentimentalist in that respect, but I do.  There are several artists I have come to know on a more personal level through these social networks that have made me want to buy more of thier work. Just to name a few: Moorea Seal, Poor Pitiful Pearl, and definitely MaieDae!

4.  Authenticity.  ---> Be yourself in your work. Don't make something because it's trendy or you think you will make money from it. That is so far from what the handmade small business should be about.  Look within yourself and find that thing that personally makes you tick. And if it's something that someone else is already doing, that's fine, just do it your own way. There is not much in the art world that has not already been done, but there are a million ways to make things your own true authentic work.  Trust me, the more true you stay to yourself' the farther you will go. Those kinds of things last.

5.  Balance. ---> This is one I personally struggle with all of the time. Find balance between your work and your personal free time. Time just for yourself to re-coop and relax. When you are feeling burned at both ends or simple out of inspiration, step back away from it all. Go for a walk, take a bath (or a vacation)! Spend time with friends, go on a date.  Just simply check out for a while. And the most important part, is to not feel guilty about it or spend the whole time thinking about work while doing it!  Remind yourself that the time away is just as important as the time spent working. You will come back to your work with fresh eyes and renewed vigor and work that much better.

Thank you so much for reading!  If you want to get to know more about me, visit my blog.  Or come check out my two jewelry shops, Violet Bella and Roots & Feathers.  My adorable hubby also runs a part time screenprinting shop called Skyline Fever.  You can also follow me daily on Facebook and Twitter.  And for some simple inspiration, Im a bit obsessed with Pinterest.

Peace and Love,

Find Laura Here:  Blog  |  Violet Bella  |  Roots & Feathers  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest 

Laura, this is GREAT advice on running a small business. I think all of your tips are very, very important to remember...especially patience and perseverance. :) 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Wish-list

It has been a busy, busy week full of wonderful Christmas festivities! -- I'm in the process of playing catch-up on my emails and various other to-do's, plus getting my mind around 2012!!

Every month, I get the chance to feature my sponsors in a little feature post, and this month, I asked them if they could put only one thing on their Christmas wish-list, what would it be? I loved their creative and fun answers. :) It made me think about what my "one-thing" Christmas wish would be...I think my one "un-realistic" wish would be to have all my student loans paid off. BUT Jon and I have been working really hard on this, (since October 2010) so it will definitely come true soon! Crossing my fingers for 2 years, or less! My realistic wish would be a fun date-day with my husband. We both got blessed with a lot of neat restaurant gift-cards on Christmas, so we are so, so excited to plan some fun dates soon!!

Here is what my sponsors wished for:
What was your one Christmas wish-list item? -- I hope all of you had a very wonderful and Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

Merry, Merry Christmas!! Jon and I started the tradition of opening gifts from each other on Christmas Eve and spending the whole day together. We slept in, watched Christmas movies, ate yummy food, spent time with our kitties, did our gift exchange, and now we're turning in early to have a long and wonderful Christmas Day! We are spending the morning at my parents' house and then heading over to Jon's parents in the afternoon. On Monday, we are making the drive to Fort Mill, SC, to visit Jon's extended family. I am so excited! I just love Christmastime so, so much. :)

I might take a short break from posting, but I'll be back soon with pictures and a Christmas update, plus some more 5 Things I've Learned posts!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and your family from the Wallace's. :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

5 Things with Manzanita

First, I want to thank the lovely and talented Savannah for inviting me to participate in this amazing project! Thank you so much, Savannah! MaieDae has been a huge inspiration to me and my own blog and business for a long time now.

Hi MaieDae readers! I am Rebecca Caridad, the lady behind manzanita. I live in Boulder, CO, with my brand new husband and our two little poodles. I am so excited to be here today to share a little bit of what I have learned as a handmade business owner. I am still relatively new to the field and I know I have much more to learn. I hope, however, the few things that I have found to be most important and beneficial to me will help you if you are interested in becoming a part of the handmade community or have just joined it. I feel so lucky to be a part of it myself!

Since I have started Manzanita, my life has completely changed with the new relationships and opportunities that have come my way. I am constantly inspired and constantly gaining more confidence in myself as an artist, business owner, and woman. Today, I am going to share some things that have become crucial to making Manzanita what I want it to be. I am going to focus on owning a handmade business and primarily an online one. I hope my little tips will inspire you and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. :)

1. Network! ---> When you decide to open a handmade shop, you are deciding to become a member of an amazing community; get to know it! I have been trying at this for about two years and it wasn’t until I entered the blogosphere that I really felt like I was getting somewhere. There are so many talented, sweet, welcoming, generous people out there just waiting to hear from you. The coolest part is, they are all over the world!

Blogging and social media like Twitter and Facebook have totally redefined what it means to me to be the owner of a handmade brand. To see other artists and crafters out there doing their thing is probably what keeps me going at this point. I feel like I am a part of a team and it is such a supportive and inspiring team to be on.

Most of my dearest Blogger and Etsy friends were made by sending them a quick hello or receiving one from them. I have some ladies who I email with almost daily and they have become such a necessity in this venture!

2. Presentation. ---> I spent a long time trying to figure out how to get to a happy place in this area. I am still working some kinks out here. I think this part of selling handmade, especially online, is something that will always change and evolve with time and taste. I also think it should be on the top of your priority list! You work hard handmaking your goods. You want to present them so people can see that! Not everyone has the same ability to see the potential as you do, so you want to show them every angle, all ways to wear or use the item, and most of all, you want it to be well lit and in focus.

You can totally achieve some great photos with point and shoot cameras but my advice is to save up for a really affordable SLR. You can find some really great deals and when I got mine, it was like night and day on both my blog and shop.

When it comes to packaging, go the extra mile and also be practical. This was what my packaging looked like when I started really putting some energy into it. I have never gotten such positive feedback from customers until I started doing it this way. Once business started getting more regular, I realized that hand stitching every envelope was not very practical. Now, I use cardboard boxes that are really easy to put together and really easy to prettify with stickers, stamps, and personal thank you messages. I still take my time with thank you cards and I write in them with pencil so people can re-use them. Have fun with packaging because it will really pay off!

3. Be honest with your customers and let them get to know you. ---> If you are selling handmade, odds are, your customers are looking for specifically handmade goods. Most people who are familiar with handmade goods know that, unless it is a ready to ship item, it will take a minute to get their purchase.

This took me a long time to believe. When I first started my shop, I was trying to act like a big company, but the reality was, that I only have two hands and they can only move so fast. Up until a couple of months ago, I had a two week turnaround time. If I got more than 2 orders in a day, it became very stressful to get my stuff done in the allotted time. I can’t afford to support myself off only Manzanita just yet, so with my full time job and personal life, I found myself losing the enjoyment that typically came with crocheting my designs for people.

With a lot of hesitance, I decided that I would push the wait time to 4 weeks and I don’t think I have seen any drop in sales because of it. Now, when I make a sale, I don’t quickly go to stressing about how I am going to fit it into my schedule. Now I get to feel flattered and happy that someone decided my stuff was worth spending their hard earned money on, yay!

Let your customers get to know you! One way I have worked with this is modeling all my own goods. I had a very strong aversion to this at first, but I read somewhere that it was really good to put a face to a name, especially when selling online. I have never been very comfortable in front of the camera but since I have made this change, it has proven to be a really fun feature of Manzanita. I really enjoy photo shoots now and it has even inspired me to start doing outfit posts. I like that my customers are seeing the person who is actually going to make, package, and mail out their purchase; it gives the whole experience a very personal touch!

I also try to be as personable as possible in my item descriptions. Using friendly language like a simple hello message. Example: “Hello! I am Rebecca and I am so excited that you are interested in The Elsie!” Online shopping can be pretty technical, so I try to make it feel like we are in a little shop somewhere downtown whenever I can.

4. Don’t undercharge. ---> This was a very hard area for me at the beginning as well. When I first opened Manzanita, I wanted to give everything away for free! I have slowly gained more confidence in my skill and in the fact that my time is worth more than I was willing to admit.

Time is very important to consider. How valuable is your time? Do you have a lot to spare or a little? Like I said earlier, I have a full time job, so I consider my time very valuable at this point. I could spend time with my new husband and family, or I could work on Manzanita.

Since I have raised my prices to what they are now, I feel like I am being fairly compensated for my work. I spend a lot of time on each item because I want my customers to really love their purchase and I don’t ever want to feel rushed in doing this. Be honest with your customers and be honest with yourself!

5. Don’t be afraid to give things away. ---> I know this may sound like a contradiction to my previous statement, but it’s not. The more people that wear or use your goods the more people will come into contact with it. Blogging is a great resource for this. Contact your favorite bloggers and ask if they would be interested in sporting your goods in a post. I have made some great connections with lovely ladies such as Veronika of Tick Tock Vintage, Katie of Skunboy Creatures, Erin and Stefanie of Oh So lovely by sending them Manzanita gifts. Again, it’s all about networking!

Donate to giveaways! This is a great way to get your name out there. Be generous with coupons. Sometimes, I will send coupons to people who heart my things on Etsy. Occasionally, potential customers need an extra thoughtful gesture to actually follow through with a purchase. Also, this is a great way to send a personal hello to your community! I have made great friends by doing this.

Find Rebecca Here: Blog  |  Shop  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Bloglovin  |  Pinterest

Thank you, Rebecca!! This was fantastic advice. :) I especially like your thoughts about giving your product away to be marketed on other blogs. When people see others loving and wearing your product, it makes you want to buy! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Threads 12.20.11

Christmas is only 5 days away!! Today, Jon and I are planning a special date time. We booked a hotel room in Atlantic Station for tonight, so we are planning to go out to eat, catch a movie, and spend some much needed "get-away" time. Can't wait. :)

I wore this outfit on Sunday. I love it for four reasons...1. I got this vintage top from Jon's grandmother's closet; it's so perfect and it reminds me of her every time I wear it. 2. The bow from red velvet is my new favorite hair accessory. 3. These are my new favorite shoes at the moment. I'm NOT a heals type of girl, and I can seriously rock these all day long because they are comfy and very well made. 4. Check out that red hair! I'm always going through new hair this is my wintry-Christmas look. I'm sure it will be completely different in 3 months. ;)

Top - Bottom (pricing is approximate)
* Rosemary Velvet Bow: Red Velvet - $22.00
* Vintage Cream Top: Grandma's 
* Vintage Necklace: Grandma's
* Jeans: American Eagle - $26.00 (on sale!)
* Oatmeal Socks: Target - $8.00
* Vance Boots: c/o Blowfish Shoes

>>-------> Approximate Outfit Total (including accessories) = $56.00

Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

This week has been fantastic. I've been working hard to wrap up projects at my 9-5 job for the holidays. This weekend, Jon and I had our monthly 7-11 get-together with our friends. And of course, we wore tacky Christmas sweaters. ;) On Saturday, I spent time with Jenny and Anica. We ate lunch at Panera, talked about our 2012 goals, did a gift exchange, and went to see "Breaking Dawn". Yesterday, we had our first Pinterest Party! Jenny and I have been wanting to build community in the Atlanta area with ladies our age and decided to start an every-other-month Pinterest party to do DIY projects, eat snacks, and have fellowship! I'll share pictures from our first project with you soon. :)

This week starts the first day of my Christmas break! I'm planning lots of date time with Jon, Christmas movie watching, family time, present wrapping, relaxing, and time with friends. I can't wait!

Snapshot of the Week: Picture from our Christmas party on Friday. Kaito loves hugs! Kinda...sorta. ;)

5 Favorite Posts this Week:
* Homemade Marshmallows by Food Coma
* DIY Painted Geometric Clutch by Tick Tock Vintage
* Introducing Circus Bear Vintage! by The Dainty Squid
* A Tour of our Vintage Boutique, Rhymes with Orange by Oh So Lovely Vintage
* 12 Days of Edible Gifts: Almond Joys by Pretty Plate

3 Things About yours Truly:
* I'm excited about starting a new photo project in 2012!
* Dyed my hair red a couple days ago. :)
* Anxious to start watching "Doctor Who".

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Sponsor Giveaway!

Giveaway time is here! Check out these five prizes up for grabs from my sponsors! Check below to see how to enter. :) Merry Christmas!

Main Entry:
* Comment letting me know one of the things you put on your Christmas wish-list. :) Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!

Bonus Entries: (please leave one comment per bonus entry)
1. Let me know what you would get with your shop credits!
2. Become a follower of MaieDae via GFC (right column).
3. Like MaieDae on Facebook
4. Tweet about it! If you'd like, you can just copy and paste this: @MaieDae is having a December Sponsor Love Giveaway! One winner, FIVE prizes!

Five prizes and five ways to enter!! One winner will be selected within the week! Psst! Check the blog post below to see if you won any of the prizes from the Holiday DIY Party! :) 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday DIY Party: Giveaway Winners!!

A HUGE  g i g a n t i c  thank you to everyone who took the time to take a look at our festive DIYs during the Holiday DIY Party and participate in the giveaways last week! Jenny and I had so much fun putting everything together and I've already heard from some of you that you've had a chance to try a few out! We were able to host four amazing giveaways and we are ready to announce the winners! Take a peek below to see if you've won!

Winner of the Design*Sponge at Home giveaway is #38 Kaelah! 

Winner of the Martha Stewart Holiday Craft Loot giveaway is #26 Alicia

Winner of the Hue & Hum Christmas Album giveaway is #11 Jennifer Rose

Winner of the Vintage Enamel Brooch giveaway is #14 Salvaged Strawberry

Congratulations!! Please email me at with your shipping information. :) And thank you again to everyone who entered!