Chloe + Isabel SUMMER LAUNCH!

A few weeks ago Chloe + Isabel launched their summer collection, Journey to Jaipur.  Yesterday, they launched the additional capsule collection!  Y’all….my little boho hippie heart is happy.  I have been carrying this brand in my home store, Halford House Boutique, for about 3 months now, and I can definitely say that these new summer 2017 pieces are my absolute FAVORITE.  I already ordered two necklaces from the original Journey to Jaipur collection, and last night I snagged another from the capsule collection.  

If you’re looking for jewelry that appears high end, but is affordable and super on trend and fun for summer, look no further.  

This collection is so fun, and I absolutely love that c + i tells a story with their jewelry, and draws inspiration from different places around the world.  “Designed to celebrate India’s rich cultural influence worldwide, you’ll experience the trip of a lifetime in a collection of vibrant hues, intricate design + sparkling crystal.”

Check out the newest pieces in my online boutique here.

Love this jewelry? Let’s work together!  If you host a pop-up with me, you can earn hundreds of dollars in FREE jewelry–just by having your girlfriends over for a night of girl talk, wine + shopping.

 

Looking for a new adventure?  “We invite you to represent our beloved brand through our fun + flexible Merchandiser opportunity, in which you get to own + operate your very own fashion jewelry business, in your terms.  Whether you’re looking to learn resume-boosting skills, find financial freedom, or simply want to spice up your daily routine, we’re dedicated to helping you every step of the way as a member of our inspiring community of female entrepreneurs.”

 

If you’re interested in taking the leap and becoming your own business owner, I would love to help you and share everything I have learned managing my (3!) businesses for the past four years.   Shoot me an email!  thefaintofheartco@gmail.com

 

Cheers!

Nicki 

THE WANDERERS // The Faint of Heart Summer 2017 Collection

  There’s just something about summer.  That nostalgic, magical time that you look to with excitement and expectation.  It’s the perfect time for adventures.  I wanted to try to capture some of those feelings with the Summer 2017 Collection, which is why it is fondly named “The Wanderers.”  I’m so excited about this new collection and can’t wait to introduce even more items.   To see more, visit my shop.

“These pieces are meant to capture the spirit and individuality of wanderers and explorers, and are perfect to take along with you on your adventures.”

 

“She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water.  She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs.  “Time” for her isn’t something to fight against.  Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.”

 

xo

Nicki

Promo Video for The Faint of Heart Jewelry!

My friend Lance (who is a pretty awesome videographer and musician) filmed this promo video for The Faint of Heart!  I am notorious for not being a good “direction giver” and saying  “yeah, cool, that’s fine!” to pretty much every question, so the fact that he could decipher exactly what my vision was (from very little direction) and come up with this PERFECT specimen of a promo video is beyond me.  

A few new Spring styles have been added to my Etsy shop, check ’em out here.

Enjoy!  Check out more of Lance’s work here.

The Faint of Heart Jewelry–Spring Lookbook!

These past few weeks have been pretty crazy for me, but I honestly LOVE it.  It’s so nice to wake up and have a ton to do, but be genuinely so excited about doing it.  That’s what having these two home businesses is like for me, and I’m really thankful for that!  Today I packed up 6 or 7 LuLaRoe orders (in darling light purple shipping envelopes), took some styled clothing pictures, took a million jewelry pictures, and listed a BUNCH of brand new jewelry designs in my Etsy shop.  Now if I can just convince my husband to go to the $3 movie theater and see “Moana” with me tonight, I would call today a HUGE SUCCESS.  High Fives.  XX Nickienlight1-1enlight1-2enlight1-3enlight1-5img_0905img_0966img_1065img_1085img_1260img_1262img_1273img_1281img_1282img_1289img_1297img_1304img_1311img_1319

LuLaRoe Lookbook

So, I have started this LuLaRoe thing.  I am really enjoying it so far!  At first I was very skeptical, but what I love about LuLaRoe is that it is very straight forward…what you see is what you get! Last week I did a photo tour of my home boutique, so I thought that it was about time for me to introduce the clothing styles I offer!  More to come on my spring collection for my handmade jewelry brand The Faint of Heart.  Here is a fun little lookbook featuring some of my favorite LLR styles.   Shown below are these styles:

Irma tunic–  My current obsession–these tunics are awesome to wear with leggings, jeans, or a skirt.  I love these because I can wear a size Small for a more fitted look, or a Large and tie a  knot in it.

Julia dress– This is the fitted dress, with a straight skirt and above the elbow sleeves.  It pairs well with an Irma or Sarah over top!

Sarah cardigan– This is a fun “duster” cardigan what hits about mid calf.  As someone who is obsessed with layering, this is a must.

Monroe kimono and Lindsay kimono-I can’t stop wearing these.  They are light and flattering kimonos.  The Monroe has some fun fringe at the bottom.  I am obsessed with my lace one.

Leggings– Okay, this is the thing everyone thinks of when they think LuLaRoe…and for good reason.  These are nick-named “butter leggings” because they are so soft.  My husband can vouch for me on this…when I wear them, I will just absentmindedly rub my legs.  It’s weird.  And great.  These things are soft. 

Carly dress– these is the fun T shirt dress.  Most come with a pocket on the upper left ride.  These are very flattering and the skirts are not as fitted as the julia, which makes them great for knot tying.  I have seen people wear leggings underneath them, and/or Classic T’s, Irma’s, or Randy’s over them.

Classic T– A pretty straightforward, classic T shirt, super comfy.

Randy-the baseball T!  None are pictured, but they are fun and come in really great patterns.

All jewelry pictured (except Squash blossom necklace) is The Faint of Heart, of course!

If you’re interested in LuLaRoe, check out my VIP group here.  If you’re a local Memphis person and would like to drop by my home boutique, give me a shout at lularoenickihalford@gmail.com

Photo Tour of Home Boutique!

Y’all…I’m so excited for this home boutique.  If you know me, you probably know that I have always wanted to own my own store front.  I’ve had an online shop, The Faint of Heart, since 2011, but this is my way of getting my feet wet in the realm of brick and mortar retail.  Besides my handmade jewelry, I am carrying the clothing brand LuLaRoe.  So much excitement!  My initial inventory was delivered last week, and I have been prepping prepping prepping for my launch party (and the house show that Rob and I are hosting that same night!)  Here is a fun little photo tour of the set-up!  If you’re a Memphis person, our launch is Monday February 13 at 5:30 PM!  RSVP here.  -Nicki

 

Top 5 tips for new Etsy sellers

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You have a great idea, and you start making your products, testing them, giving them to friends, until you finally decide that you are ready to open those virtual doors to your shiny new Etsy shop.  You are so excited, with plenty of products just waiting to be sold to their new homes.  But, alas…no sales have come your way.  Are you tired of working hard and still not hearing that coveted “CHA-CHING!” sound come from your Etsy app? You’re not alone.  Sadly, this was me a few years ago.  Statistically, most Etsy shops fail in their first year and before they make their for $100.  But not you! If you’re anything like me, you just might be the very dangerous combination of extremely creative and incredibly determined.  Hooray for that. Read on for how to use those excellent character traits to grow your business!  Here are my best 5 tips that helped me grow my Etsy shop from making around $100/month a few years ago to now making over $1.5K allllmost every month.

1.  Have a stellar product.  This one might seem pretty obvious, but take a good hard look at what you are selling.  Would you buy it? Is it the best possible quality item? Are there a million items just like yours on Etsy? Spend time developing your brand, and finding that oh-so-important niche.  Ask your friends, ask your family, ask strangers on the street.  What do they like about your products? What could improve? Would they buy it? How much should it cost? (factor in your materials and time, of course. The Easy Seller Handbook has tons of articles on pricing.)  Trust me, it is time well spent!

2. Looks are EVERYTHING.  Etsy is a marketplace where customers become inspired by what they are buying.  You must really be conveying a strong feeling in your listings.  Product photography is so important.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go buy a DSLR right now or you’re doomed.  Many Etsy sellers get by just fine with a smart phone with a decent camera!  I used my iPhone for the first 4 years for all of my product photography, and I think the little fella did a pretty good job if I do say so myself.  Not to mention, now the iPhone 7 has that nifty portrait mode, which achieves a blurry background that used to be only possible for a DSLR.  Here are some of the most important things to consider with your product photography:

Lighting: natural, soft lighting is best.  You usually do not want harsh direct sunlight, nor do you want to use artificial light, in most cases, because yellow indoor light can really mess with the colors of your photos.  I always will take good old natural light if I have a choice, and you can regularly find me snapping product photos next to windows in my house, or outside.  This picture is one of my favorites because it was taken in the perfect rosy glow of “magic hour” or “golden hour,” the two hours before the sun sets.  It also conveys a lot of detail, which brings me to my next point…37b1294d93ffbb68-img_4368

Details:  Try to adequately convey all of the details and angles of the item.  One great close up shot is necessary.  You want to show your customers exactly what they will be receiving.

Action: try showing your item in action!  If it is clothing or accessories, include a shot of a model wearing or using the item.  Show it paired with a cohesive outfit, or jewelry, etc.  Remember, you’re selling a feeling along with a product!

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Keep it interesting:  Look on Etsy and see which product photos catch your eye.  Most likely, they aren’t the same old photos of products at boring angles.  Try to spice up your images using some element that works well with the feel of your brand.  Pops of color for the background, weird angles, an interesting action shot, and props all can help your images to catch the eye of the potential buyer.

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3. Learn some SEO:   Note the “some.” Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a huge undertaking, in my understanding.  It’s usually changing, and always a little confusing, at least to us slightly tech-challenged individuals. However, there are a few things that Etsy helps you do to drive traffic to your shop.  You can tag 13 keywords to each listing…. Use all 13.  Think of words that people will actually be searching for when looking for items like yours.  I use some broader keywords (boho rings) and some more precise keywords (turquoise wire wrap ring).  Both are important, but you might want to focus more on keywords that specifically describe your item.  This will increase your chances of getting found in Etsy search, and in Google search.  Another important thing you can be doing to drive traffic is to market your shop yourself, regularly, through some favorite platforms Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Polyvore and Tumblr or another blog. Don’t get overwhelmed! Choose one or two platforms that you enjoy, and start from there.  You can also look into synching your platforms so you don’t have to post individually (Share an Instagram photo, and tick the option to share the same photo on Facebook, or Twitter.)  Make sure every platform you choose to use looks cohesive with color and style!

4. Have a professional and cohesive looking shop:  Remember, it’s all about looks.  Buyers want to see that you have your stuff together.   Your shop will look way more professional when you have a nicely designed banner, icon, and picture of your smiling face as a profile picture.  (Make sure it’s a picture of you, as this will increase buyer trust.)   Other ways to make your shop look legit include: take the time to fill in your policies, FAQ’s, Shop Announcement and About Section.  Etsy customers love that they are buying from a real human, so make sure you add your sparkling charisma to your page!

5. Customer Service is KING:  This might sound like a no-brainer, but amazing customer service is really the most important thing.  Almost every day I get messages in my Etsy inbox from customers asking me questions, or asking to pick out their own stone for a ring.  I usually respond within an hour, and most of the time within minutes.  Every week I get messages from customers who just wanted to say that they were pleasantly surprised by my super quick responses and friendly service. While I am always grateful for the great reviews, this should be an expected buying experience from anywhere!   Treat your customers the way you would like to be treated, and they will return to support your shop more and more, tell all their friends about you, post on Instagram about their new item, buy their Mom a ring for her birthday, and, you get the point.  

And there you have it, my top 5 pieces of advice!  Of course, this is scratching the surface of ways you can be improving your Easy shop, but these are the 5 things that I really feel will get you going in a great direction.  Remember, you bring something to the Etsy community, and the WORLD, that no one else can bring.  So master your craft, always try to learn more, and be that dangerous combo of creative and determined.  You got this.

XOXO,

Nicki 

 

Additional photo credit goes to Skylar Watkins for the image under “action”