Maker's Brunch recap

We hosted our first "Maker's Brunch" back in late January and honestly I've been thinking about it almost every day since.

The idea for this type of workshop or meet-up was presented to me at one of our Pop Up Market's by Nicolette of Bird Bath Body Treats. Nicolette expressed her desire to have MORE with her fellow pop up vendors. We all agree that the biggest take away from those events always tends to be the new friends you pop next to. She painted the picture of "Wouldn't it be so great if we had a day to come together outside of these pop ups and share resources and gain more..."

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At the end of 2017, we had "popped up" on 20 different occasions here in Laguna Beach and just recently announced our expansion to San Clemente in 2018. The Maker's Brunch was filled with friends & businesses we believed in and knew intimately from these events. We started the brunch off with mimosas, yummy Trader Joe brunch snacks, and each person giving their "elevator pitch" - how they would describe themselves and their business to a new potential customer or retailer. Then a second verison...a little deeper, a little more of their WHY. Their personal story that had them take the leap toward entrepeurship and pursuing something they loved. 

This round about sharing really set the tone for the level of honesty and transparency this group brought to the table. Everyone was open with their successes and struggles with starting and running their own businesses. There was a lot of roaring laughter, clapping in encouragement, and tears shed both out of joy & with a deep breath of feeling heard and supported.

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When planning this first Brunch, I had surveyed the group on what topics or marketing tools they would like to dive deeper into. The outcome was social media (mainly Instagram), creating line sheets, and how to take better camera phone photos. I asked my friend and rockstar photographer, Molly Goodman to join me in presenting this group with what worked for us in our growing businesses. 

We first started with an overview look at instagram and the new changes to expect in the New Year. I shared one of my mentors, Tyler McCall's Instagram trends and predictions report.  Next we broke into two groups: those who wanted to focus on learning more about wholesale line sheets and those who wanted to focus on iPhone photography. Half the group stayed inside with me, and we went over what a line sheet was (yes, that basic), how to make one, and what 7 mistakes to avoid when you start using it to attract new potential retailers. The other half of the group ventured outside with photographer Molly Goodman who shared her tips for "Photography for the Rest of Us" (meaning us non-photographers) that went over lighting, composition, and editing. 

We went way over the time we imagined, but it felt so rich. So soul-fulfilling. We look forward to starting a 3-part-series this month called "Makers & Shakers Series" - set up as two separate programs: one for Maker's - those with product based businesses and one for Shaker's - those with service based businesses. Over the next three months, we look forward to exploring the power of using Instagram & email marketing to increase sales and achieve your business goals. Hope you'll join us! Learn more here. 

Shine on,

Michelle

Fall Floral Arranging Hack with Floral Fête

Feeling inspired to add your own floral arrangement to the Thanksgiving table this year? Yoshi O'Connor of Floral Fête shared with us some tricks from the trade on how to construct a beautiful arrangement using Curly Willow to add height and a woodsy feel.

Fall Floral Arranging Hack with Floral Fête

"Curly willow is nothing new...but, I love to use it for fall inspired designs, as a quick and easy way to create a grid inside your vase to hold your flowers in place, without messing with tape on your vase. Curly willow comes in different shades of brown and green depending on when it was cut; all are perfect colors for fall! Be sure to use fresh curly willow, as it is still pliable and easy to wind into your vase. The dried versions you often find in craft stores, are too brittle and will break if you try to bend. However, if dried curly willow is all you have available, you can plan ahead, and pre-soak the branches in warm water, submerging the branches in your sink or bathtub for a few hours or overnight. This should help make the branches pliable enough to stuff inside your vase." 

To create your own Fall Inspired Arrangement you'll need the following supplies:

1 clear square or cylinder vase

5-7 small fresh, not dried, curly willow branches

bleach

water

floral shears

Flowers 

Large focal flowers, like hydrangea, roses, and tulips. 

Smaller flowers, like chrysanthemums and spray roses

Foliage such as lemon leaf, huckleberry

Fall Inspired Arrangement for Thanksgiving by Floral Fete

Step 1. Wind the curly willow branches around your fist into a tight loop. Insert into vase, so loop sits vertically; this is going to create a grid to hold your flowers in place. Some pieces may want to fly out a bit, either leave them, or tuck them in. It doesn’t have to be exact. 

Fall Floral Hack with Floral Fete

Step 2.  Add water about ¾ full, and add a tiny bit, as in ¼ tsp. of bleach. This will help keep your flowers fresher, longer. 

Step  3. Add the foliages. Cut most of the foliage short, to just peek over the top of the vase. Insert stems through the curly willow grid, at an angle. This makes an extra stable grid so your flowers stay put! To make it interesting, insert a few long pieces of foliages. IMPORTANT TIP: You don’t want to submerge foliage or flowers in the water; this makes the finished arrangement look messy, AND it makes the water dirty! So, make sure you clean the stems of any little leaves before inserting into the water. 

Step 4. Add your largest, focal flowers first. Here, we are adding out large hydrangea’s first. TIP: Side note… Before using hydrangea’s in an arrangement, fill another vase, or container with very warm water, cut hydrangeas at an angle, and place in warm water. Let drink for an hour. Then use in arrangement. The flower will drink the warm water quickly, and hydrate the bloom to ensure it doesn’t droop.  

Thanksgiving Floral Arrangement

Step 5. Add tallest flowers next. create an interesting line with a few tall flowers.  

Step 6. Continue adding the other flowers, Turn your vase after inserting a couple flowers, to ensureyou create an arrangement that looks great from all angles. TIP: Like the foliages above, insert your flowers in at an angle. This will help create a rounded look. 

Step 7. To refresh water after a couple days. place arrangement in the sink, with either a water bottle or the faucet hose, flush the old water out until it’s filled with fresh, clean water. add that ¼ tsp bleach again. 

Thanksgiving Floral Arrangement with Floral Fete

 Step 8. When your flowers have finally faded. You can rinse the curly willow and re-use it in your next arrangement!

Can't get enough? Join Yoshi for her next Holiday Wreath Making Workshop here at the studio on Sunday, December 4th! More information and tickets found here.

Photos by: Steve Orlick

Floral design + tutorial by: Floral Fête

#25BeautifulThings Watercolor Workshop!

I had met Anne-Louise at Unique LA and instantly fell in love with her and her newest creation 25 Beautiful Things - A Fine Art Coloring Book.  Not only was she incredibly sweet and just oozed creativity but this book…this book instantly spoke to me. Anne-Louise created 25 Beautiful Things hoping to offer a doorway to the peace, freedom and joy that come with exercising your creativity. Her goal was to have the book be more about personal love of art and less of the intimidating respect for it. During our first workshop hosted with Anne-Louise and Speak Wines, we experienced first hand the delight in discovering what kind of beauty appeals most to us while playfully experimenting with color and picking our favorites from the 25 original fine art prints on large 11" x 17" heavyweight paper (plus a few bonus pages with rebellious words of encouragement).  Everyone was encouraged to sign, frame, and share their unique work of art with the world. Did I mention we had wine? Yes, there was wine. It was pretty much the most ideal Sunday afternoon! We hope you can join us for our next one!

Photos by our friends & officemates: The Neighborhood Journal