Saturday, April 28, 2012

Etsy Shop Review - Sewing Granny

Today I'd like to introduce you to the Etsy shop Sewing Granny, run by lovable Mona, one of the dedicated team leaders of our Promotional Frenzy team on Etsy.  Please take some time to get to know her and to shop her store!


Hello my name is Mona.... aka Sewinggranny! My name was derived from my 2 passions - sewing and my grandsons! My world revolves around them... as a matter of fact most of the proceeds from my shop go to something or other for them. Last year a swimmning pool the year before a 4 wheeler for oldest grandson...

I love to quilt but as it takes alot of time to make a quilt, I sew lots of other items to sell. My baby bibs are a big seller as are my potholders.

Lately I have started making infinity scarfs.
A pretty piece of fabric is all I need for inspiration! Seeing something I like and want to make gets my creative juices going.

My biggest master piece was a quilt I made for myself... and sorry I do not have a picture of it. I made it for my bedroom but by the time I finished it I had changed my decor so it sits in a sealed bag - hoping I change my color scheme again some day.

I spent alot of time sewing and lately more on the internet trying to get connected to the online venues. But other than that my time is spent with my grandsons... they live close and I love to spend as much time as possible with them.

When I get on a creative roll... I can sew for hours but I need to be in that head space or I might as well give it up.... no fun tearing out seams.

I have my Etsy shop:
Can be found on Pinterest:
I have a blog:
or email me at

Decorating with candles

I just love candles.  Even before I began making and selling them, I've been attracted to the warmth and fragrance they bring into a home, even when not lit.  Simple decorations made from candles and other household items can make classic table displays.  

I routinely pin decorations I'm inspired by on my "Decorating with Candles" board on my Pinterest site.  Here are a few of my favorite table displays:

Invert goblets over your favorite flower and place a pillar on  top.

For a shabby chic look, add a wooden cracker tray and add tissue flowers.

For a romantic look, place  tea lights in a votive holder with rose petals.  Be sure to sprinkle rose petals over the table.

While this is a festive look for the holidays, adding  ribbon to clustered pillars can create  a colorful look anytime. 

Place tea lights in votive cups atop a napkin and dinner plate.   

These simply classic designs make me want to clear off my dining room table and begin decorating right away!  I hope you're equally inspired.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What's Your Purple Goldfish?

This week I had the opportunity to travel to a conference and listen to featured speaker Stan Phelps.  Mr. Phelps recently published a book, What's Your Purple Goldfish? I'm not going to give away the secret of what a purple goldfish is, but I will share with you the gist of his message.

The subtitle of the book is How to Win Customers & Influence Word of Mouth.  Mr. Phelps began on a journey to find 1,001 examples of marketing lagniappe.  What's lagniappe? Pronounced lan-yap, it's a Creole term for "a little something extra." This book is the result of his findings of examples of companies who deliver excellent customer services by giving "a little something extra" to their customers.

I haven't completed the book yet, so I'm relying upon my memory of his presentation to give you my favorite examples of marketing lagniappe:

  1. Bigelow Tea - A recent customer ordered a box of Bigelow Vanilla Chai Tea, and the first item that fell out was a packet of Constant Comment.  The customer feared he had received the wrong order.  Instead, it turned out to be a complimentary sample, and the customer was delighted to have a fun new item to try.
  2. Plaza Cleaners - This Portland, Oregon company posts a sign on their door, "If you are unemployed an need an outfit clean for an interview, we will clean it for free."  They're paying it forward; maybe, just maybe, the local economy will improve a bit if that person gets the job.
  3. Nurse Next Door - We all make mistakes, as much as we strive for business and personal perfection.  If this home health service provider makes a mistake, they deliver a fresh baked apple "humble pie" as an apology for the poor customer service. 
  4. Southwest Airlines - Ok, we've all seen this one, but who doesn't love the "bags fly free" marketing message? 
  5. Nordstrom - This company is famous for its excellent customer service, but I found this story exceptionally interesting.  One customer's feet were two different sizes: a 9 and a 9.5.  The salesman at the store split two pairs of shoes for one order. 
Now, the book is more than short stories about the little somethings extra companies do. It really is a study into marketing behavior and how develop the customer experience.  There are some fantastic, basic rules that will make sense more than your college textbook.

Do you offer a little something extra to your customers? It's not always easy, especially if you're a small business, like me.  I have two.  The first is the Bigelow Tea example. This lagniappe was born out of economy, not marketing strategy.  I send a "Krazee Kandel" with every order.  Some are tea lights, some are votives, all made from leftover amounts of wax I cannot use in the future. It's supply I have, can't do anything with, yet is a relevant gift as a means to say "thank you."  Always packaged neatly with my signature froggie thank you tags.

My second was recently introduced.  Knowing happy customers are the best word of mouth, I decided to start a referral program.  To my repeat customers, I include a referral card for them to give a friend or colleague to recommend my product.  If that friend makes a purchase, she/he receive 15% off their entire order, and my customer receives the same discount from her next order.  The discounts are truly minimal given the increased sales brought my way.

So today I ask you, what is your marketing lagniappe?  Post it here.  Maybe a reader will be inspired to follow your example, maybe a new to you customer will see if and bring you new business!

P.S. All those who post their examples, will be entered into a drawing.  If I draw your name, I'll feature your shop in an upcoming post!
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