Friday, May 16, 2014

Small Business Week

It's Small Business Week this week!
   Up until recently I didn't really understand the importance of celebrating the small biz out there.  I went to Target when I needed a new purse or scarf (I still go to Target, like all the time. Just want to be clear on that).  I went to the mall or chain store when a new outfit or a cute pair of shoes were in need.  When I was throwing a party, I went to my local Party City or again, with the Target, and I just made due with what they had. My craft supplies came from one of the three main craft stores.  My jewelry, accessories, ect all mainly came from big chains, malls and strip malls, department stores ect.  I occasional shopped at boutiques and second hand stores but they were not my go to shop.  I did fast, convenient, and familiar.  And then two things started to change all that.

First I started planning a  DIY wedding.  We wanted small, and casual, and we wanted nothing to do with traditional.  Because we couldn't make everything on our own, and we tried, trust me, we started to check out Etsy.   I had a very specific idea in my head and I wasn't going to achieve that from a department store.  I discovered small online businesses that were willing to do custom orders and work with my diy standards and incorporate what I already had.   We got our cake from a small local donut shop (the Donut Whole will rock your mind) and we were able to request donuts inspired by Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who!  I mean come on, how cool is that?!  Some of the food was ordered from a small Chinese restaurant that was a family favorite.  Flowers were ordered from Etsy and a small flower shop and we were able to break up bundles, mix and match a few things and got a great price.  When we tried to do that through Dillons Floral we were shut down and told we had to order more than needed so they didn't have extras. And somewhere along the way mine and Mr. N's way of shopping had started to change. 

Donuts from Donut Whole in Wichita KS 
(Check out that blue "meth" and the Tardis donuts! Plus our Glen and Maggie from licoricewits ?

Second , and this was the truly when I started shopping small, we opened an Etsy business.  A couple things started to happen.  First, I noticed that I was seriously limited on supplies and tools.  Selection for things like fabric could be skimpy and didn't change a lot so there wasn't many new choices coming in.  And then there were things like wool felt, diamond glaze, small oval embroidery hoops, ect that those stores do not even carry.  So buying through these small online companies as well as digging up local shops that I hadn't paid much attention to, became my saving grace!   And in addition I started to really get into supporting my fellow makers, artist, and small business owners.  Recently I was given the opportunity to join an awesome group of local makers and artist in the KC area! Joining Handmade in Kansas City has already taught me so much and exposed me to some really amazing makers!  I am going to be sharing them with you guys very soon, so stay tuned for my new Local Makers and Entrepreneurs series on the blog!  I'm a little shocked at how passionate I have become about buying small and buying local, and Handmade in Kansas City is one of the many ways I am looking to explore promoting and supporting small biz and the entrepreneurial spirit!!!  With all that being said, let me be clear.  I will probably never stop shopping at Target, seriously, like it's not going to happen.  And I most likely will continue to run to Barnes and Nobles when I want coffee and a book.  I will still continue to eat at various franchises and chains, as well as grocery shop for food to cook (hahahaha) at home.  I just think I'm open to more opportunities, more products, more experiences.  And in my book, you can't beat the personal touch, or the quality of the product from small business.  These people love what they do, and their heart goes into their product and their business...and sharing that with someone, whether you are the buyer or the seller, is just pretty danm cool if you ask me;)

Till next time,
ShellyLyn Nguyen

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hip Hip Hooray!

I have some very happy news today!  For the last month I have been sitting on some exciting news for Stik A Pin In It and I have been a bit of a nervous wreck.  But now the wait is over and I can share with everyone… 

About a month ago I was contacted by a lovely lady through my Etsy messages. She asked if I would be interested in sending her a picture of one of my Needle Minders (have no idea what that is? Check out the link below to the listing in the Etsy shop) that is listed in Stik A Pin In It, so that it could be featured in a quilting magazine,  Love, Patchwork  & Quilting.  My first reaction was YES! YES! YES! Without a doubt YES!  And then I thought, wait, who are you?  Is this legit? Am I being pranked (really I don’t know what kind of prank that would be, but I thought it folks!). But after doing LOTS of research, asking some trusted peers, and discussing it with the hubby I decided to send in the picture, and give it a go.  During my research I learned that Love, Patchwork and Quilting is a publication of the larger magazine Mollie Makes, which is a popular UK crafting magazine...that I absolutely adore!  Needless to say I was excited, but I was also terrified!  What if they didn’t use it after all?  Or what if it looked ridiculous?  And my all time favorite crazy thought, what if they are using my product for an example of what not to do?!  Like a Hot or Not and I was the Not! Hahaha, I seriously should not be left alone with my thoughts… In the end, it did make it in the magazine, it does NOT look ridiculous, and my feature is a regular feature about a product they like and want to share with their readers...and isn’t that just plain exciting?!

     Love Life Feature in Love, Patchwork, and Quilting

I mean something that I made is now officially in print. In PRINT!  And to be fair it’s also for download as an e-version as fact that’s the only version I have at the moment, well, because the magazine is a UK publication and I have to wait for it to arrive in the mail.  I’m hoping it arrives soon because I’m really not a very patient person!!!

If you want see the featured needle minder or one of the many needle minders, mason jar pincushions, hoop art, and various sewing and stitching accessories check out my Etsy store, Stik A Pin In It!  And if you want to see this blurb head on over to Love, Patchwork & Quilting to dowload an e-version (they even have a 1 month free special going on!) or wait until it's stocked in your local bookstore or news stand!

I'm really excited about this and I hope that it means more exposure and new opportunities!  This is the first time I have ever had something of mine in print or even online and I'm over the moon!  I know it's not the last time though, and hopefully the next time I'll be able to keep my cool and not freak out quite so much... Yeah. I know. I'm not fooling anyone:)

Till Next Time,
One Excited Chick (AKA Shelly Lyn Nguyen)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Highlights from March and April

Hello Lovelies:)

I haven't been around much the last couple of months and I have so many things I want to share with you all that will be coming up!  But before I jump into blogging about all the new adventures that I am and will be taking with the shop and my growing little business, I want to share some of the highlights from the last couple of months.  March and April where chaotic, exciting and not just a little exhausting for me and mine!

First, my sister gave me an adorably handsome new nephew to dote on and spoil as much as I do with my niece!  Such an exciting thing for Mr. N and I to be aunts and uncles...are kiddos are older (and we no plans for more) so getting to cuddle and play with little ones and then send them home to mom and dad is ideal.  Plus we get to buy the cutest shoes, and books and don't even get me started on creating for them!  This little guy came a bit early and threw our schedules out the window...but I was able to make the drive in plenty of time to be there for his birth:)

            Oh Happy Day!

When we finally got back home from the happy occasion we had one week to get my daughter ready for her prom.  She had her dress, but we needed shoes, makeup, jewelry, to get her hair dyed, ect! Plus we needed to pick up her handmade Gatsby inspired head piece from Brie Holst's etsy shop Vintage Wedding Gems.  Brie is a fellow member of Handmade In Kansas City and discovering her amazing shop and products could not have come at a better time (look for post coming very soon about Brie and Handmade in Kansas City!).  Getting her all ready in a week was crazy but it was so much fun and we ended up with some awesome finds!  Most important her and her date (who is always her bestie) had a blast...and looked stunning doing it!

    I can't get over how beautiful she is!  The roaring 20's fashion suite her well...

    I don't think these two could take a bad picture if they tried!  We stopped into Mr. N work and took snap shots from the balcony patio and it made for some pretty stunning pics.

With all this other stuff going on mine and Mr. N's 1 year anniversary snuck up on us!  I can't beleive last year at this time we were up to our eyeballs in a diy wedding that would eventually lead us to venture into opening our small business!  So much has changed in this year and has been one of the most rewarding, exciting years of my life.  I know I have picked the perfect person as my partner in life and in business, there is, without a doubt, no better match for me and I am one lucky girl.  Now someone remind me of that the next time one of us makes the other want to pull their hair out! ;)

     The Incredible Mr. N and I at the Adobe Max conference on our mini honeymoon/work trip for the hubby.

And even with the chaos and the busy schedule I have been busy creating!  I have been jazzing up a couple of regulars in the shop, like the mason jar sewing kit, and the needle minders, as well as thinking up some really fun and useful goodies!  In the next couple of weeks you will see several new designs and styles going up in the shop for the jars and needle minders, and make sure to check out what has been added the last couple weeks already in my Etsy shop, Stik A Pin In It.  And keep your eyes peeled for some announcements here on the blog for new products being offered in both shops!  I'm really excited about the direction things are taking:)

    Pow! Zoom! Bam! Let these comic inspired needle minders be your hero and keep your needle where it belongs!

                      Llama Love<3  A cute quirky way to keep your sewing tools at the ready                       with mason jar sewing kit and pin cushion! 

I'm telling you peeps, there is lots of awesome coming your make sure you are following on FB or Twitter...or even better follow the blog by email so you don't miss out!  We have two giveaways lined up, and Mr. N and I are working on a few different free printables just for you! Plus I'm going to try my hand at some diy tutorials and at the very least you can point and laugh at my sad the most you learn something new;)

Till Next Time,
Shelly Lyn Nguyen

Monday, March 10, 2014

Glamberjack Party and Pancake Breakfast: Sneak Peak!

It's PARTY TIME lovelies, and the latest party had a theme that will put a little hair on your chest and glitter everywhere else...and here's a little sneak peak into the Glamberjack (belated) birthday party that happened this weekend!  Just in case your asking yourself what exactly a Glacmberjack party is, it is simply a Lumberjack theme with lots of glitter, gold, and well, glam!  Since it was going to be a crafting party after the Pancake Breakfast I wanted to add a little glitz to the theme to make it a tad more fun!

Later this week I will be posting an overview of the party planning and execution as well as some diy's and lots of fun pics from this fun filled shin dig!  But to get you excited here is a tiny sneak peak of what's to come!

I even found a way to add some embroidery and bows to the party!

I'm pretty sure that your drinks taste better when being consumed from a Honey Bear with a bow tie:)

I can't wait to share more of this lovely little party with you!  Make sure to check back or follow my blog for updates and more post about the Glamberjack Pancake Breakfast!

Peace, love, and Honey Bears (bow-tie wearing Honey Bears;)
ShellyLyn Nguyen

Thursday, March 6, 2014

New Blog Design and Features

Guess Who Got A Face Lift?!  

For sometime now,we have not been very happy with the feel of our blog layout and I haven't had the time to add the fun widgets I wanted, the pin it buttons to the photo's, or the Blog Button ...and don't get me started on the mobile version!  So we started looking our options.  The Incredible Mr. N is pretty dang amazing when it comes to computer skills and my dado is nothing to shake a stick at in that department...but just because you can, doesn't mean you should, right?!  So we decided to leave this to the professionals and see what was out there!   Our ultimate Goal is to build a design from the ground with a designer that will take care of the whole shebang!  Blog, Logo's, Business Cards, Facebook Cover, and the list just goes on.  However, we are not quite ready for that.  It takes time and we are pretty short on that at the moment, but mainly we just haven't ironed all the "branding" kinks out yet.  So the best solution was to find a pre-made template we liked and add on some of the, well, add ons:)  We found Carrie's Etsy shop Carrie Loves Design and we really enjoyed the clean lines and simplicity in her designs.  So we picked a favorite and made the purchase...last late.  And this morning I woke up and the Blog Elves had came and installed everything, and it was so lovely!  We still have a few tweaks...we are changing the pink to a darker color easier to see, and I'm moving some cosmetic stuff around but honestly I LOVE IT!  I really hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do and hopefully the mobile version will work a little better.  So a huge THANK YOU to Carrie and if any of you are looking for something in the blog design department check her out!

Peace, Love, and Blog Elves:)
ShellyLyn Nguyen

P.S. Don't ya just adore my nifty new tag line?  Well I do...but then I'm easily amused... 

(*I want to add that the previous blog template we had was very nice, the design shop we bought it from was very easy to work with and had really fun designs.  It just wasn', hence the change)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Zombies Are Coming Giveaway!

Heeeelllloooo My Dearest Peeps!!! 

     The time has (finally) come and the Zombies are on the way!!! Be forewarned, there will be lot of exclamation points in this particular post. Why, you ask? Well, because I can...but also because I frickin LOVE Zombies! I do, I really, really do! I don't normally do gore, or horror, but there is just something about a good zombie movie, or TV show, or game, or comic, or... Okay you get the drift. I blame the teenager. As much as I hate horror and gore she adores it and zombies have always been her favorite I guess it rubbed off;) Anyways...enough chit chat and on to the GOOD STUFF!!! 

     So in honor of The Walking Dead starting back up at the begining of this month and the new Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare being released at the end of this month I am throwing (my very first ever!) a zombie themed Giveaway! Unnnnngggggggg!!!!! (that's zombie speak for WOOO HOOO! 

                ❥❥ Want to know what you can win? Well here you go!

1.The Walking Dead Hand Embroidery Art as a lumbar Pillow OR Hoop Art in a 7x15 wooden oval frame (as seen in pic above).

2.A Funko Pop from the Walking Dead or Plants vs. Zombies line (the winner will get to choose from a list upon winning)

3.Days Gone By Vol. One of the Walking Dead graphic novels by Robert Kirkman

4.Goodies from both Stik a Pin In It and Lyn Nguyen Boutique! All handmade by moi or the Incredible Mr. N!  These include 
•Felt Pincushion rings
*Birthday stat poster customized for a person of your choosing 
*Bow Necklace
*Felt Cocktail Ring
*And who know what I will feel like throwing in along the way! It's my first giveaway so I'm feeling generous! 

 ❥To Enter just fill out the Rafflecopter Form Below!

Please leave me a comment or message me if you have further questions and GOOD LUCK!

Peace, Love, and Brains!

Here is some of the boring Stuff (this is also listed in greater detail in the Rafflecopter rules and guidlines

*You must be 18 years of age to enter into this giveaway. 
*This Giveaway Starts February 16th 2014 and will end on Saturday February 22nd 2014 at Midnight  
*Disclaimer- The Walking Dead Funko, Robert Kirkman or any other product featured in this giveaway are not affiliated with this giveaway. These items have either been made or purchased by myself. 

*You must be a legal US resident with a US postal address for the item to be shipped to. I'm so very sorry to exclude any international peeps that stop by, but I'm still a bit intimidated by the whole giveaway thing...but I promise to do more research and hold lots more giveaways! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blog Quirk- Help Me Out!!!

Okay Peeps! I need a little help, I am about to run my first Giveaway and in order for you to let me know you want to "enter" the giveaway then you will need to leave a comment...BUT my comment section has not been working.  I think I have the problem fixed but before I post the giveaway on the blog and get this thing rolling could you please leave me a little Hi! down in the comment section of this post?  Thank Ya much my friends! 

Peace, Love, and Technology 

Make sure to check back later for the giveaway post! 
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