Homemade Winter Décor Ideas

Winter should be no reason for your house to look dull despite the cold weather. We have fantastic décor ideas below that will leave your home sparkling with warmth and brightness. From centerpieces to unique vases that are simple to make, they’re endless ways to spice up the snowy days.

Sparkly branch centerpiece

Not only is this centerpiece a winter décor idea, but it can also be used in weddings at the front entryway. The crystal drops hanging from the branches have a magical way of sparkling to brighten your room. To make this centerpiece, you need twigs (freely provided by nature), a glass vase, sparkly vase filler to add to the vase and two packages of crystal drops. As simple as that, you can bet that would only cost about six dollars.

Pinecones décor

There are various ways to use pinecone to transform your home at a reduced price. To start with, you can hang the pinecones on a ribbon as an alternative for a fall wreath. To make it, you need a few pieces such as pre-made Snowflakes, spray paint, fishing line, Helmar Adhesive and wire bead trim. Spray some of the pinecones in white and coat the rest in Helmar Craft Glue. You can also use gold spray instead of white. Tie the fishing line and arrange them while hanging at various lengths with two ribbon strands and snowflakes. To add sparkle to the final knot, wrap it with cord and beaded trim. You can also use pinecones in candle jars to create amazing luminaries.

Mercury glass vases

These are probably the easiest of the listed décor ideas. All you need is to spritz the glass with water on the inside part then spray with Krylon paint while still wet. Once the paint is dry, spray yet another coat. Place the vases strategically in your house with candles placed inside the shorter glass vases. Simple, right? There you have a bright homemade decorated winter!

3 Tips for Ensuring Customers Return

You’ve worked hard to get customers which indicates that your marketing plan is working correctly. How do you keep them coming back for more? Firstly, it’s no doubt no return customers boost your marketing plans such that, as you look for new customers, you are retaining the ones present. Secondly and most importantly, happy returns customers will almost always tell their circle of influence about your products. Let’s look at simple, effective ways to ensure your customers remain happy and that they return time and time.

Respond promptly

Fast response to your queries should be part of your customer service. It makes the customers feel you’re prioritizing their needs. You can use auto-responders in the case of general questions as you wait to reply to specific inquiries. Where possible, address them by their names and personalize the customer service by asking how their day is fairing. Demonstrating concern for the slightest details from your customers is a sign that you care which will guarantee you return customers.

Speak in your customers’ language

Are you aware of the nitty gritty of your industry? This mainly applies to entrepreneurs venturing into a new field. Make the customers have confidence in you and your products by demonstrating that you have complete knowledge of your business. To effectively speak in the customer’s language, you also need to be up to date with the latest trends and listen to what they’re saying about the industry. Waste no chance at making people feel comfortable which makes them remember you and not get tempted to shop elsewhere.

Pay attention

Be a good listener to your customers’ concerns and understand their needs. As simple as this may sound, listening makes your customers feel valued and promotes interaction with them. Additionally, saying ‘thank you’ to your clients is a basic phrase that guarantees return customers. Besides appreciating them, be accountable for the mistakes you make by apologizing. It pays to say ‘I’m sorry.’

Homemade Thanksgiving Décor Ideas

Thanksgiving is a time to be around your family and make the best memories. Besides the delicious food, you can also craft cool but surprising ideas that will bring fun while celebrating the spirit of thanksgiving. The decorations can range from fortune cookies to personalized table settings. Whichever the approach you come up with, there are various ways to craft homemade decorations where some of the ideas are discussed below.

Gilded fruit

There’s no better way to create a gorgeous edible centerpiece than with a gilded gold fruit. Besides being used for decoration, you can use the fruit to make Golden Apple Pie after the party. To achieve this gilded fruit, you would need a fresh fruit (pears or apples), sugar glue, about 24 Karat edible Gold Leaf Sheets as well as disposable foam brush. The primary goal behind this idea is to add the fruits in a bowl, base, or a small plate.

Leaf/Tree decorations

A Thanksgiving tree is the ultimate way to bring out a Thanksgiving-y day. You can make it using twigs, stationery, paint samples or anything that can be used to write your messages as well as some construction papers. On the construction papers, you can write the things you are grateful for or let the guests do it as they place the papers on the twigs. Alternatively, you can use dry, but not brittle, fern branch to portray an expensive antique with a framed nature decoration.

Wrapped Votives

Take the tabletop décor to a whole new level by scattering harvest-scented candles on the Thanksgiving table. To make these votives, place the candles in glass votive cups and envelop the vessels using tamale-making husks. It’s essential to ensure the husks are first placed in warm water to make them flexible then wrap each one around a votive cup by holding them with a rubber band. Lastly, twist a thin husk by tying it around the center of the candleholder and removing the rubber band.

3 Tips for Selling Goods Online

More than ever before, the e-commerce field is expanding due to the growth of digital buyers globally. For example, in 2016, an estimated 77% of internet users in the US purchased their goods online where the figure is expected to grow to 81.3% by 2020. Despite the growth in the industry, more online entrepreneurs find challenges penetrating in the market mainly due to competition especially in the prices of products they sell. Below are some of the tips that would help every online seller to make the business profitable and sustainable.

Minimize the number of clicks

Customers have a short attention span of seconds when they visit a website hence it’s essential to ensure that you grab their attention by minimizing the number of clicks. Avoid obstacles such as wanting them to register when they first visit your website or lengthening the buying process. Additionally, make navigation on your site easy by cleaning up any mess that may be on your website mainly due to installing software.

Promote your yourself and your products

If you don’t reach to your customers and tell them about your products, they will probably never know about their existence. So what can you do to attract them? Invest considerable time and energy promoting yourself through things such as guest post and writing great articles. Get prospective buyers to visit your store by using techniques such as Search Engine Optimization as well as advertising through Facebook and Google Ads.

Provide great customer service

Excellent customer experience will guarantee you instant sales as well as repeat business which can be done through social media. Social media gives you invaluable feedback from your customers and you also get to answer questions they have through live support chat. Additionally, you get to have an innate understanding of what your customers want hence you consider their needs. Lastly, selling online requires patience as it may require testing of different strategies to find out which one works best.

Halloween Party Décor Ideas

When it comes to Halloween party decor ideas, you will like to include every area hosting your guests such as outdoor spaces. Make the party memorable with exciting things ranging from DIY to purchase items that will make your guests not forget the day. The trick behind the scare-factor should always take into consideration the age groups that will be in attendance. You may want to spook it up where only adults are present but keep the decorations family friendly with a mix of blood and gore in case there are small children in attendance.

Spooky Entryway

Make the party more chilling than cutesy by throwing in some shade on the entryway to avoid scaring your guests half to death. The theme comprises of features that are creepy enough ranging from witches and candelabras going to bats and birds. Due to the much preparation that comes along with this theme, you will want to serve a simple menu that won’t take much time. Additionally, you may give the guests things to crow about as they enter by placing a mirror that has birds and branches stuck with glue dots. You may also add creepy craft papers hanging from yard underneath the buffet.

DIY Halloween Door Mat

Use any stencil to customize your doormat beautifully. An old doormat may be used or a new one that has a blank canvas. After drawing, surround the mat with some pumpkins to add a subtle festivity to the front porch.

Tricked Out Mantel

Add some fun to old portraits as well as silhouettes using witch hats, pitchforks, devil horns and other things such as fangs. The ideal mantel décor should contain paper bats that are attached to plunging black sewing trims comprising of black upholstery tacks. Lastly, line some paper or painted wood to the opening of the fireplace and stick a roaring red paper glow on it. Further, adhere snake andirons cuttings obtained from lack foam core to the painted craft.

 

Why Buying Local is Important

Research indicates that the economic impact of buying local products goes beyond keeping money flowing in communities to improving the fate of the nation as a whole. In comparing the result of buying from supermarkets vs. buying locally, New Economics Foundation found that purchasing local products helps money to stay in the community twice more often. The results of domestic purchases hence serve to strengthen a community’s economic base among other benefits discussed below.

Environmental Sustainability

It is estimated that U.S transports and ships close to $2.2 trillion in product imported from more than 150 countries. International shipping and U.S transport results to 25% of CO2 emissions in many states. Additionally, U.S factories dispose three million tons of hazardous chemicals into water, land and air. Buying local will mean reduction in the transportation, energy emissions used in production process, as well as minimal congestion.

Employment and local prosperity

Local businesses can create jobs and provide better wages than what chains can offer. Additionally, investing the dollar close to home strengthens the community by supporting farmers as well as producers. It is estimated only 18 cents goes to the farmer out of every dollar hence buying directly from the locals will mean more cash for the farmers or producers.

Improvement in the economy

Buying local will result to flow of money in the community which keeps the economy growing. Locally businesses contribute to more significant shares or revenue in their different economies which enrich the community at large. It also fuels economic innovation with the increase in small businesses which results in a reduction of the prices in the long run. Further, the product-based competition facilitates diversity and high-quality products to meet the demands of local consumers. It’s, therefore, no doubt that buying local is the way to go economically, health-wise and environmentally.

Introducing USA Made for Sale

Across the country there are thousands of people looking for a way to bring their unique goods to the marketplace. Before the advent of technology and instant access online it was all about the physical marketplace. It could be the town square or a shed outside of your house. People would gather one day of the week to show off what they had made. Women sold soaps, perfumes, and hand-stitched dolls while men haggled over the price of whittling projects and homemade goods. These days it’s much the same – minus the physical location. We’ve stepped away from the town square in order to let technology help us find homemade goods.

That’s where USA Made for Sale (UMFS) comes in. As a platform which celebrates and assists sellers with prompting their USA made goods, UMFS is helping spread the word to make sure local craftsman get their names out front. The demand for goods made locally continues to grow with each passing year. Concerns over working conditions in other parts of the world, safety, and reliability of purchased goods are all important reasons why going local is extremely appealing. Marketplaces such as eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Bonanza, and even CraigsList have given rise to a completely new buying culture. USA Made for Sale is a marketplace focused on goods produced in America. Our aim is to spotlight the finely crafted items made by citizens all over the country.

We focus on highlighting products for your home, your life, and the lives of those closest to you. It could be a beautiful necklace for an old friend or a handcrafted table to gather your family around; USA Made for Sale wants to make it easier for you to find that perfect item from an American producer. UMFS is passionate about helping local crafters find the right audience for their products. We understand how vital it is for families all over the country. Goods sold from USA producers puts food on the table of families, keeps the lights on, and serves to benefit the entire country by continuing the proud tradition of American ingenuity and innovation.

The introduction of online marketplaces has made it easier to find American-made products from independent craftspeople all over the country. More and more consumers are leaning towards buying products made in America. A 2013 survey by Consumer Reports found that “78 percent of Americans would rather buy the American product” than one made outside of the country. The same survey revealed “more than 60 percent of all respondents indicated they’d buy American-made clothes and appliances even if those cost 10 percent more than imported versions.” With easy access to online marketplaces it seems like going with American-made is becoming more and more important to consumers.

USA Made for Sale is committed to being the best marketplace for sellers looking to reach a growing audience interested in buying American-made products. We look forward to helping you reach your potential.

Check out our website at USA Made for Sale and on Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram.

What Does USA Made Mean to You?

Taking pride in your community and country has been a cornerstone of patriotism since the founding of our country. Over the years we have dealt with a lot of stumbling blocks which have required our citizens to pick themselves up and dust off the injuries knocking us down. The economic meltdown took a toll on the entire country. Companies abandoned ship and left workers to pick up the pieces and find new careers after years on the job. The housing market imploded leaving families scrambling to find affordable accommodations. It’s one reason why USA Made means so much to us.

All over the country there are citizens working on projects which they take great pride in. They aren’t huge companies, giant retail stores, or known around the world. Instead of looking for glitz and glam they are searching for a means to provide extra funds for their family. Some are looking for the right platform to showcase their unique product or skill. Money might be a driving force for many, but show off a skill set is just as important.

USA Made means placing value in our neighborhoods, friends, family, and our communities near and far. It means knowing that the purchases you make go straight back into our economy for the better. It means knowing that you may have helped put food on the table for a family or paid their bills for the next month. It means taking care of your own while still buying a product which is beautiful and dependable.

America is an amazing country with a population ready to help rebuild. Buying USA Made products is the right way to get our country back on the right track. With every USA Made purchase your local economy is infused with money. You’re helping not only the craftsman of the product, but a whole string of other people along the way.

USA Made means you’re committed to rejuvenating your community from the ground up. It also means you value the quality of what you purchase and want something uniquely made instead of cheaply manufactured. You care about how the project gets from A to Z.

What is an Online Marketplace and How Does it Help Business Owners?

Technology is all about change. It happens at the blink of an eye. Every day it seems like a new product is announced or the latest breakthrough in the world of so-and-so. Technology has changed the way every field operates – local businesses included. Mom and Pop shops are online in a big way. If you drive out to the middle of nowhere, find a quaint looking store to stop in at, you can almost bet money on them having a card reader to swipe your debit through. Technology might be a hard game to keep pace with but being a business owner means you have to keep your running shoes on, no matter what.

The advancement of technology is a definite boon for businesses most of the time. It has given rise to the online marketplace. An online marketplace operates much the same way a physical marketplace does. Think of it as your local mall – just online. The basic definition of an online marketplace is a website you visit which lets you buy goods from a huge host of third-party sellers. These sellers can be the local candle enthusiast down the street or a business owner with several shops to their name. Anyone can open a shop on a marketplace which makes it one of the best places to start slowly building an audience.

There are several different marketplaces out there to choose from. Some of the most famous include Ebay, Etsy, Amazon, Bonanza, and CraigsList. These marketplaces tend to sell a little of everything for the most part. Etsy is a little different from the rest. Most items sold on Etsy are handmade or sourced from local products as opposed to sites like Ebay and Amazon which sell whatever you’re looking for from Alligator onsies to Zebra oven mitts. Specialty marketplaces such as Etsy and USA Made for Sale, a marketplace for goods made in the USA, are continuing to drive more small business owners to put their products up for sale online.

One of the best reasons for business owners to take advantage of online marketplaces is price. Setting up shop on an online marketplace costs little to no money. Consider just how much of an investment it would be to find and rent out a physical location for your shop? A marketplace cuts the startup cost almost completely. If you decide to sell on a major marketplace then having a community already in place can help you discover new ways to promote your product that you may not have considered before. Most popular marketplaces have guides which help you make the most of your selling experience. Being an online seller gives you the advantage of far greater reach. If your customer lives in California and you sell jewelry in Florida then there’s a good chance they’ll never see your product unless they visit Florida.

With an online marketplace you can sell to consumers all over the world with the simple click of a button. For small businesses it’s a chance to get your name out in a much larger arena.

Tips on Developing a Work-Life Balance

Now more than ever it seems like trying to have it all is the name of the game in business. Working the whole day, spending time with family, finding a few hours for friends, juggling a constant barrage of chores, all while keeping yourself happy and motivated is the name of the work game. Pressing pause isn’t an option on balancing work and life. Fortunately the world of business has slowly started to catch on to the trend. Guides on finding the right work/life balance are everywhere online. They are written by tired parents, exhausted grandparents, and young adults already experiencing the uncomfortable feeling of trying to have it all.

Developing a positive balance between work and life is a path brimming with trial and error possibilities. As the owner of any business can tell you, something is always going to end up suffering. There are simply not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you have on your list. Pushing yourself to the point of absolutely frenzy will only lead to a breakdown. When you find yourself in the middle of a work-life crisis then your best bet is to step back and take stock of the situation. Learning to understand the difference between can do/can’t do makes all the difference in the world. Below are a few ways you can develop a better balancing act.

Set Specific Tasks

At the beginning of the day it’s a good idea to sit down with a pen, paper, or tablet of you choosing and write down a list of reasonable things you can get done that day. A business owner is constantly under pressure to try and fit everything into a single day when it just isn’t going to work. Writing down a few goals for the day will take a huge weight off your shoulders. Knowing you have a set amount of work to focus on keeps you in charge of your day, not the other way around. Work through each item on the list and try not to get preoccupied with other, menial tasks. Constantly remind yourself that it can’t all be accomplished in a single day. Finding time to go home and relax with family is just as important as getting that last report of the day filed.

Learn to Delegate

If you’re a small business then it might be hard to hire people right off the bat. Even if you can’t hire help it’s important to find a way to delegate work. There are a ton of different services online which can help you free up time for more important jobs. Services such as bookkeeping, accounting, virtual person assistants, and even call answering services can be found with a quick online search. Freelancers are a great way to hire virtual help even when you aren’t able to hire someone physically. Learning to delegate tasks is difficult for a lot of business owners. A lot of entrepreneurs start their careers going at it alone. When they find that too many jobs are piling up on their desk, it can be nearly debilitating to pass along some of those tasks to other people. If you want to put value on your life outside of work then delegating is your best step to making sure you’re out of the door on time.

Value Family Above Work

It’s a hard lesson to learn for any entrepreneur or business owner. When you’re thrown headlong into the world of business it tends to narrow your vision. Work fills most of your waking hours and when you finally relax for the day it’s with your eyes closed in bed. It may start to feel like if you’re not in the office every single day, holding meetings, making calls, or guiding employees that the business you’ve built will crumble into nothing. It won’t. It’s a fact that you’ll constantly have to work at and remind yourself of. Placing a value on your family life is of the utmost importance. Missing important events, coming home late every night, and failing to communicate with your family will only lead to a burnout on both ends of the candle. Learn to separate the two parts of your life and always make sure you make time for each.