Thursday, November 27, 2014

Holiday Weekend Deals!

Forget the Black Friday crowds- shop The Nutmeg Collective!  Our members are offering some amazing deals and we would love for you to shop with us!

Queen Vanna Creations: Handmade paper crafts and paper crafty things!

Take 30% off all orders (currently listed, excludes shipping), using coupon code SALEWEEKEND14, expires 11/30/14

Petite Maus: unique handmade fine jewelry made with precious metals and genuine gemstones.

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday: Save 15% on purchases of $20 or more using code BLACKFRIDAY14

Treefort Naturals: handmade all natural soaps, balms & gift sets.

All orders placed on Small Business Saturday will receive a FREE wrapped stocking stuffer soap. No code required.

Smirking Goddess: home-brewed wit in magnet and pinback form.

You will receive FOUR Dog Licked them Clean magnets for you and family and friends! Only $10.00 (S+H). Find them here

Designer Dwellings: stylish home decor and gifts.

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday: Save 20% on purchases of $50 or more using code BLKFRI14

tinymack: cozy, bright handmade playwear for babies and kids.

Black Friday: Receive $10 off purchases of $30 or more using code STAYHOME14
Small Business Saturday and Sunday: Receive free worldwide shipping using code SHOPSMALL14
Cyber Monday: Save 25% on any purchase using code CYBERFUNDAY14

Boxed and Bowed: fun, sparkly party banners and decorations.

Small Business Saturday, Sunday and Cyber Monday: Save 25% on any purchase using code SHOPSMALL14

Sea Glass Designs: elegant jewelry that reflect the dazzling colors and simplicity of the oceans.

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Sunday and Cyber Monday: Save 20% on any purchase using code SMALLBUSINESS

BMR.Photographs: fine art photography.

Buy Two Get One Free, on all “Print on Gatorboard” Sizes (4x6”, 5x7”, 8x10” & 11x14”). Find them here.
2015 Calendars - $33. Find them here.
Buy Two 2015 Calendars, Get $10 off. Find them here.
Free shipping on All Items!

Pure Naked Soap: Handcrafted skincare, small batches, and naked ingredients.

Black Friday: Use code BLACKFRIDAYSOAP for free US shipping off a purchase of $30 or more (international customers can message for $10 off) 
Saturday: Use code ISHOPSMALLBUSINESS for 20% off

Milo and Molly: Handmade modern fabric goods and gifts.

Black Friday through Cyber Monday: Use code SHIPFREE for free US shipping.

The Copper Fox: Fresh, fun, foxy! custom accessories.

Take 30% off on Black Friday using coupon code BLKFRI30.

Trinkets by Tracy: Handmade and vintage jewelry and supplies.

Use coupon code GIFTFRENZY to get $10 off any purchase of $50 or more

Studio St. James: Handcrafted Jewelry and Beads.

Use coupon code HOLIDAYSALE20 for 20% off on each item purchased until midnight 12/1/14

Nutmeg Naturals: Handmade soaps, bath, and home.

Use coupon code SHOPHANDMADE for free U.S. shipping on orders of $25 or more. Code expires December 1, 2014.

Have a wonderful weekend and have fun browsing through our fantastic shops.  
We'll be back next week with our Holiday Gift Guide and a giveaway!

Written by Alonda Baird-Juhasz, owner of Designer Dwellings, who believes in adding color to life. An avid DIYer, sparkle-loving, all things fabulous addict, her shop features bright and fun home decor accessories and gifts. When not in the shop you can find her interior decorating or visual styling events and photo shoots.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Shop Spotlight: Nutmeg Natuals / The Felt Haus.

Meet Jennifer of Nutmeg Naturals and The Felt Haus- two shops in the Nutmeg Collective dedicated to natural products using natural ingredients as well as bright colors!

My name is Jennifer and I am a native Nutmegger.  I am originally from Enfield, but now reside in the central Connecticut River valley area.  I am a wife, mom to a wonderful one-year-old, as well as a mom to my four-legged babies: a golden retriever, a miniature schnauzer and two cats. I have two Etsy shops, Nutmeg Naturals, which specializes in cold-process soap, laundry soap, and wool dryer balls, and The Felt Haus, a home for all the other little felted goodies I enjoy making so much. I enjoy working with bright colors and natural ingredients, and strive to make my customers happy with the products I offer.

I started out with an interest in soap-making after receiving a huge bar of natural soap for Christmas one year. I have always had very sensitive skin, and was stuck using a certain brand of soap most of my life because it was the only kind that would not make me break out. I loved the natural soap I received as a gift, and started to wonder how soap was made. After researching, reading and taking classes, I began my soap making journey."


To see more of Jennifer's products, find her at Nutmeg Naturals and The Felt Haus,
as well as on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook / Facebook.

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Active Nutmeg Collective members fill out this form!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Packaging Ideas.

Hi everyone! Patti here, from Easton Place Design Studio. Today's post is all about beautiful packaging ideas. None of them break the bank, but all of them tell your clients they've purchased something special. Let's dive right in...

I love everything about this pulled-together-look! It's clean, simple, understated and classic. Here's something fun... these labels are free printables! Just click HERE to go to the site. She offers many printable labels and tags. Go have a look!

This is such a sweet Up-cycled idea for pretty packaging. And here's a tutorial on how to fold the little bags. As far as the pages... check your local library for when they might be hosting a book sale. Large books can sometimes be just $1-$5. The thing I would add to these photos for business packaging, is a custom logo stamp. They cost $20-$50 depending on size, but well worth it! I'm happy to help you with that if you're interested.

I adore simple, clean packaging. This shop has just that. You don't need much to make a statement! The matte boxes are terrific. Simple square elements and clean lettering make a sophisticated statement without breaking the bank.

The unassuming glassine bag... it's wonderful! You can make it look modern or give it an antique nod. It works well with foods, soaps, fabric goods, paper goods... so many items look pretty in a glassine bag. Your items slightly shine through, but aren't fully visible. Add a single stitch or zig-zag and it's just the added touch you need to complete the look. You don't sew, no worries. A single line of mono-adhesive or washi tape will seal the bags. Please refrain from using staples. They can look messy and can also poke fingers. There are many shops on Etsy that sell glassine bags in sets of 50 or 100. If you don't want to take the plunge of ordering a large quantity, give one of the Etsy shops a try. This shop sells 50 bags for $4.50. It's not a huge investment.

Other bags that work well are cello and parchment. In this example, the seller has done a terrific job of adding a belly band with just their company name and product name. It's both simple and modern.

This is specifically for those displaying and packaging bracelets and necklaces... How simple and cute are these chain holders. You could include these in a square jewelry box to keep your chains from tangling during shipping. I would, again, use a custom logo stamp or sticker to brand each tag. This is also a candidate for mono-adhesive. No staples please!

Lastly, these are some packages I use to offer when I sold stationery. The clear boxes allowed the pretty cards to shine through while the twine and ribbon, along with the simple logo card, gave the package a polished look. The cards were ordered through I highly recommend them. They offer high quality card stock in a variety of sizes. Terrific customer service as well. You can design the cards via their site, or upload your custom image.

For more packaging inspiration, and to see the links for all of the images above, please head to my Packaging Pinterest board. If I can help you with your packaging needs, please contact me.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Local Love: Hartford Prints!

Hartford Prints! opened our doors on October 11, 2013. Since part of our company's mission is to be an active community space in Hartford, we always planned on someday opening a retail location. We just didn't think it would happen so soon! We were fortunate enough to be the recipients of the iConnect grant from the city of Hartford, which partnered with local landlords to give small arts businesses subsidized rents. We worked really hard to develop a cohesive branding, marketing, and build-out plan for the store and so far have been overwhelmed by the positive response to our presence. We are excited to see a renaissance of retail in downtown Hartford and strongly encourage other small business owners to take advantage of all the funding programs the city and state have to offer!

Since we're really only in our second year of business as a commercial venture, the biggest challenge of maintaining the shop has been staffing. We're still a family-run business, with currently only three employees, which means that our younger sister, Rory, works six days a week, 12 hours a day! On any given day, she might be designing custom wedding invitations, meeting with other businesses for a cross-promotional events, brainstorming new products, restocking inventory, making buttons, and answering the phone, all while greeting customers with a smile! Meanwhile, our Master Printer, Kait, mans the press at our studio location on Arbor Street, printing, cutting paper, ordering envelopes, and probably making buttons too! Callie, the middle sister, often works from home in Bridgeport with her two kids, doing payroll, taxes, and client budgets between making lunch and nap times. It is hard work, requiring demanding hours and a lot of organization, so it's a good thing that we love our business. As our grandfather used to say, "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life."

Since we are first and foremost a letterpress studio, we create a lot of the products we carry. We make, in no particular order, stationery, greeting cards, buttons, book marks, wedding invitations, t-shirts, mugs, art prints, bumper stickers, and business cards. We also love to carry local Connecticut vendors in our shop. Currently, we have local CT-made soap and bath products, lip balm, t-shirts, hair pomade, jewelry... These products are very popular with our customers, who are often shopping for unique gifts that express a thoughtful sentiment. We're always looking for fun and interesting vendors to carry in our store, so if you make something with a lot of local love, email us at! 

The most interesting ongoing storyline about our shop has been the wonderful, warm response from the community! We love how diverse our customers are - some come by during their lunch break or after work, others walk over from their downtown apartment, and still more jump in their car and pop in on the weekend! We are lucky that Hartford has such a strong arts community and so many interesting events. We're constantly creating programming and promotions to draw people into the shop and through social media, traditional marketing, and word-of-mouth, we're watching our customer base grow and grow. There's a lot to love about Hartford and our customers are one of them!  

We try to participate in pretty much any "shop local" event in Connecticut that fits within our schedule. Some of the local events we have set up a table at are Hartford's Hodge Podge, SoNo Arts Festival, the West End Farmer's Market, PopUp Shop, Love Haven, Trashion, Coventry Farmer's Market, Envisonfest, the Hooker Day Parade, and many more. We also try to keep our shop doors open when there is a big event going on downtown. 

Hartford Prints! store is located at 42 1/2 Pratt Street, Hartford CT 06103. 
Our studio is located at 56 Arbor Street, Suite 220, Hartford CT 06106. 
(860) 578-8447 

You can find Hartford Prints! on Facebook where we post and update our events and store programming. 
Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest


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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Shop Spotlight: Easton Place Designs.

Meet Patti, the designer of the sweet studio, Easton Place Designs. Once her two boys head to school, she has the great fun of creating logos, packaging, sell sheets, web elements, postcards and anything her clients need to turn their business into a brand! She also likes to share some of the things she thinks make life sweeter, like a recipe or a fun place to travel!

"I previously designed and owned a personalized stationery shop. Like so many stay-at-home moms, I was looking for a creative outlet and a way to stay connected to the world outside of story-time, diaper changing and play dates. In the early days of Easton Place, I created custom shadow boxes featuring the birth announcement of the client's child. From there I started designing social stationery, invitations, announcements etc. As my boys have gotten older (now both in HS) and my husband and I are now able to travel more, I've shifted my design business toward the digital world. This really allows me to be away from my studio for an extended period, but still remain connected to my clients and continue to meet my clients' deadlines.

"I've also found over the past couple of years, I really enjoy helping small businesses grow and become the brand they're striving to become. I do this by designing all the business elements they need while giving them a cohesive and professional look that is all theirs! It's often an on-going business relationship. As a business grows or changes, my clients refer to me for continues design help with packaging, postcards, signage, forms etc. It's exciting to be a part of that growth!"

To see more of Patti's products, find her at Easton Place Designs, follow her journal,
or visit her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

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