Flower photographed at the Tucson Botanical Garden
Hello again! I don’t remember when I first heard the phrase “Don’t quit your daydream,” but it is something that continues to resonate with me. Throughout my life I have had different daydreams and I think they are important, because they keep me thinking about the future, setting goals and challenging myself to do new things.
The Sunflower Paperie shop will turn 3 years old on May 1st of this year. When I opened the shop, I had no idea how many sales I would make or what customers would think. I remember my first sale so clearly – the customer was a mom from Mississippi and she wanted me to make the decorations for her son’s first birthday. I was SO excited to help her and had so much fun creating the order. After that first sale, I was hooked on helping people celebrate life’s special occasions!
I am constantly thinking of new items I want to make or services I want to offer through Sunflower Paperie. What started as a hobby, has turned into something I would love to be able to do full time. Maybe your daydream isn’t career or job related. Perhaps it is retiring early or traveling abroad each year. Whatever it is, I would encourage you to write it down and make it happen. Share your daydream with friends or family members who will encourage you to pursue it! With a little work, consistency and dedication many daydreams are more obtainable than we realize.
What is something you are dreaming of currently?! What is a daydream you had for years that you made happen?! I would love to hear from you in the comments!
Hello friend! I hope you had a nice holiday weekend and a solid Monday. I have some exciting news to start the week with… I am officially “re-launching” the Sunflower Paperie shop today!This might be somewhat confusing, because my shop never officially closed, but frankly, I have been feeling unmotivated and, dare I say, uninspired the last several months.
Sunflower Paperie – Mini Banner DIY Kit
Let me back up… After a couple of years in business, I had multiple items in my shop that sold well, but weren’t that fun, or fulfilling, to create (confetti, I am looking at you!).Since one of the major goals of my shop is to help people celebrate, I thought I should be having fun while making my products!
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link and purchase the item, I’ll receive a small payment.
Hello! Happy 2016 (yes, I fully realize it is February, make that March, not January 1!)! 🙂 I hope your year is off to a wonderful start. As you might have guessed by my absence from the blog, 2016 is already going quickly!
I have spent the first part of this year thinking about and focusing on what I want to achieve in 2016. Last year, I had a somewhat complex list of goals, that I reviewed quarterly and tried to post about as I met milestones along the way. While I liked this structure in theory, it proved to be difficult to keep up with. When I posted my end of year recap, I realized there were goals I had identified in January, that I had completely forgotten about by December (“Learn How to Sew Paper” – I am looking at you!).
Last December, my friend Jennifer Kennedy recommended I read The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to set goals, but doesn’t ever quite achieve them all. One of the main concepts of the book is that we should start viewing a year as only 12 weeks. By shortening the amount of time we have to achieve a “yearly” goal, every day, every hour and every minute counts more. This also allows us to adjust goals more quickly than waiting until November and realizing we still have a long way to go and subsequently getting bummed and not working towards the goal any longer. This 12 week concept really resonated with me, since I have previously liked setting quarterly goals!
Hello friends – long time, no talk! 🙂 Am I the only one who is simultaneously excited for the new year and a little disappointed about not quite getting everything that I wanted to accomplished in 2015? Even though I have these conflicting feelings, I am trying to focus on the positive “clean slate” feel of 2016. Since I missed my 3rd quarter goal review altogether, I wanted to make sure my last post of 2015 was a final review of this years goals.
In case you missed them: 1st Quarter Goal Recap and 2nd Quarter Goal Recap. For this end of year recap, I have listed all of the mini goals I started the year with in pink and then a summary of how I did in black. You can click the link following each number to see my full original post about each goal category. You might want a beverage of some sort before you start this! 😉
We are officially half way (plus a week) through 2015! How did that happen?!I found my 1st Quarter Goal Review post to be helpful as I was reflecting on my 2015 goals several months ago, so I wanted to share my progress through the 2nd quarter of this year as well.
My overarching goals for 2015 are listed first and if you click them, you can read my original posts that outlined the mini goals I would be pursuing over the course of the year. The “successes” and “areas of improvement” listed below focus specifically on my progress in April, May and June.
Areas of improvement: I am at a point with my business that I get enough orders to stay busy (which is awesome!), but it also means that it is tricky to carve out time to develop new products. Starting a digital product line has been at the top of my “to do” list all year. I have several items started, but I need to focus on finishing and launching them. I also need to start consistently sending out and promoting my “weekly” newsletter. Sadly, these last two items are identical to what I wrote in my 1st quarter review. My first digital product is slated to launch this week (!!!) and then I am going to focus on finishing and launching several other digital products that are almost complete by the end of July. Hold me to this, o.k.?! 😉
2nd Quarter Successes:Weighing in here weekly. Although now that I am looking back, I realize, with the exception of June, I only weighed in monthly this quarter (eek!). Let’s call this a half success.
Areas of improvement:Making sure I weigh-in here weekly, the accountability and reflection does help me (even if I am not always posting losses). I also need to stick with my low carb eating. The summer heat makes it difficult to get outside for exercise, so I need to come up with a new indoor plan to get more activity into my days. My current “mini-goal” is to lose 20 pounds by mid-August (I set this goal in June and am currently on track to do this.).
Instagram is my favorite social media platform, so I am excited to announce that I am hosting a “photo-a-day” Instagram challenge for the month of July! I decided to host this challenge for a couple of reasons…First, I love Instagram and while I am great at checking it everyday, I post photos inconsistently.Hopefully this activity will help me post more regularly.Second, I want a new way to keep in touch with blog readers and friends.Who knows, I might even meet some new people this way!
What is a photo-a-day challenge, you ask? Anyone who decides to participate will post a daily photo inspired by the word or phrase prompt for the day (see image above). Make sure to use the hashtag #sunflowerpaperiefun in your caption. It’s that simple!
Other ways to participate…
– Check the #sunflowerpaperiefun hashtag on Instagram to see who else is posting. You might find a new favorite account to follow!
– Comment on photos with the #sunflowerpaperiefun hashtag. Everyone loves meeting new people on Instagram!
– Save the above image to your phone or print it out and keep it handy, so that you have a reminder to post everyday.
If you plan to participate, please leave your Instagram user name in the comments, so I can follow you!You can follow me @sunflowerpaperie. You can also re-post the image easily from my Instagram account (using the Repost app.), so that you have easy access to the prompts. I can’t wait to see everyone’s photos!
P.S. If you miss a day (or three!) no worries, just post when you can! 🙂
If we have ever chatted in person, chances are I have started a sentence (or ten) with “one of the bloggers” I follow… And then told some random story about a topic I am interested in that a particular blogger had written about. I have been reading personal blogs for over ten years (!!!) and in many cases feel like I know the person. Tina, who blogs over at Carrots ‘N’ Cake, is one of the my favorite bloggers, so you can imagine my excitement when she recently agreed to work with me for the second time!
In the spring of 2014, she was expecting her first baby. I offered to make her baby shower decorations and was so excited when she said yes. I worked with Tina’s sister, who was hostessing the alphabet-themed party, to make a banner, cupcake toppers and buffet cards that coordinated with the adorable theme. They were both so fun to work with and I love how she used all of the decor!
Tina’s baby shower banner.
A couple of months ago, I reached out to her again, because I knew her son’s first birthday was around the corner. I offered to make the decorations for his party and was pumped when she agreed to work with me! The theme for Quinn’s first birthday party is “Barnyard Animals,”! Tina shared a little sneak peek of the decor I sent her last week. I can’t wait to see how everything comes together!
Quinn’s highchair banner!
Repeat clients are so much fun to work with! I love seeing children grow up and celebrate milestones or helping a family celebrate multiple events over the course of a year. If you have a baby shower, first birthday party or another celebration coming up, I would love to work with you to create items for your party! You can check out all of my items in the Sunflower Paperie shop!
As I have mentioned before (only 1 million times or so!), one of my favorite parts of Sunflower Paperie is making custom products! 🙂 Often with bigger custom orders I will send the customer a photo with several paper options to pick from and we will discuss flag shape, banner wording, etc. While this is super fun, it also requires extra time, because each item is made to order.
I also receive a good deal of order requests with timelines that don’t accommodate custom work.I hate telling people that I can’t meet their timeline, so I am super excited to announce a new product offering in the shop – “Party in a Box“!
The idea behind my “Party in a Box” option is that you can purchase one listing, get several coordinating items and save a bit of money!These items are also already cut and packaged, so they will ship very quickly.
Right nowthese setsare dominated by bow tie and neck tie themed parties, because they continue to be some of my most popular items. This is definitely a shop section that I plan to add to this summer, so let me know if you have any ideas for party in a box themes you think would be cute!
Two years ago today, I opened my Etsy shop with a handful of listings and a head full of dreams! Fast forward 24 months, 629 sales and thousands of pieces of paper later and I couldn’t be happier with my little business.I have learned so much over the last two years and am very excited for what the future holds for Sunflower Paperie.
I know I have said it before, but none of this would be possible without YOU! The support and encouragement of my friends, family and customers has truly made this a fun and life changing experience.Working on custom order requests, seeing pictures of Sunflower Paperie products at parties and getting feedback from customers about their orders has been rewarding and so fun. I always joke that even though I don’t have any kids of my own, I sure have “celebrated” a lot of baby showers and first birthday parties! 🙂
All this is to say – thank you. Thank you SO much for your continued support of Sunflower Paperie! To celebrate this 2nd anniversary and my wonderful customers, I planned several fun things…
First, how about $5.00 off of your purchase of $20.00 or more?!Use promo code 2YEARS any time this May in the Sunflower Paperie Etsy shop to claim this deal (limit 1 code per customer).
Next, I am giving away one of my “Grateful” banners!Simply leave a comment on this post about what you are thankful for and I will randomly select a winner on Monday, May 4 at 5:00 p.m. Arizona time. Giveaway CLOSED – Congratulations, Vicki B. you won (check your e-mail for details about receiving your banner!)!🙂
Finally, what would you think about FREE shipping on your next Sunflower Paperie order?! Sign-up for my weekly newsletter (below) and receive a promo code once you have confirmed your membership (I promise, I don’t send too many e-mails!). If you think you have already signed up for my newsletter, but don’t remember the promo code, just let me know.
Thanks again for all of your support! Have a wonderful weekend!
Hello friend! Can you believe that the first 3 months of 2015 have already passed?I want to take this chance to look back and see what progress I have made towards my 2015 Goals so far (and to look at what I need to focus on over the next 3 months).
A quick note before I dive in… My overarching goals for 2015 are listed first and if you click them, you can read my original posts that outlined the mini goals I would be pursuing. The “successes” and “areas of improvements” sections are my recaps of the progress made towards my mini goals.
Successes: Product feature on Sage Grayson Coaching and participating in the Bonnie Christine Ribbon Tour. I feel like both of these items helped me reach new audiences and I loved getting to work with other creative entrepreneurs. I have also been posting regularly here, so I am happy with the community that is developing in this space.
Areas of improvement: Starting a digital product line has been at the top of my “to do” list all year. I have several items started, but I need to focus on finishing and launching them. I also need to start consistently sending out and promoting my “weekly” newsletter.
Areas of improvement: Well, basically everything. I have been weighing in here each week, but I haven’t made my health / wellness a priority (thus I haven’t seen any results!). I have a whole list of excuses that I could share, but the bottom line is that I need to get focused (and stop making excuses, haha). I have been thinking of some additional tracking tools that will help me focus and plan to share those with you next week.