BALLET BEAUTIFUL

ballet beautifulI live with a fitness professional and lifelong athlete, I on the hand am a lapsed athlete and fitness procrastinator. I used to be a long distance runner and once my knees and hips would not cooperate anymore I quit cold turkey. I hadn’t exercised in years until recently, my husband had finally broken me down and got me to start again. We have been doing a TRX  suspension band type work-out which I am really enjoying and now I have decided to dip my toe into exploring other options. One discipline keeps coming up (and a lot of you have mentioned it in one form or another) and it’s the ballet barre method. When Sarah of Truly Smitten Instagrammed her copy of Ballet Beautiful I had to research more. Professional ballerina Mary Helen Bowers is behind the movement and if I could look like her I am totally in, you?  Bowers offers multiple ways to get started on her program from DVD’s to on-line streaming classes to the most innovative which is the remote live-classes. I can’t even get into how genius I think this is.  Bowers will teach her class remotely, you can be anywhere in the world near your computer and she will be able to correct your form, give you feedback and of course it would be nice to have the moral support to know you are not working out alone–brilliant! I definitely would like to try one of the live remote classes one day but I think I might just try a couple of the on-line streaming classes first to see if I can even do the exercises being the exercise novice that I have become. How about you?  Have any of you tried Ballet Beautiful? I know a few of you are doing versions of the barre method I am anxious to here your feedback on this!

P.S. How gorgeous is this girl? I can’t even get over it!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

5 GREAT DOCUMENTARIES + A FREE FONT

five great docs and a free font besotted blogI was originally going to just share a cool free font find today, but realized I have compiled a nice little list of documentaries that the husband and I have had the pleasure of watching lately.  Living in the country we couldn’t get regular cable because we would have had to attach a gigantic satellite dish to the house, so we decided to forgo this luxury and just rely on Netflix instant download. I often find myself in a perpetual state of ‘there’s nothing to watch’ mode on Netflix., so if you seem to be there too here are some of my latest picks.  Let me know if you have seen any of these already or have any suggestions for  future ones, I am a bit of a documentary addict.  So here goes (in no particular order):

Kumare-I probably would have never watched this since new age-y/guru type subjects don’t hold an appeal for me, but I listened to two podcasts that interviewed the writer/director and I was pretty enthralled.  I loved his message, but some people are furious with him. I would love to know what you think!

Queen of Versailles-This is dubbed a riches to rags story, which indeed it is.

Candyman-This is the story of the inventor of the world famous Jelly Belly, it’s both inspiring and heart breaking.

Holy Rollers-Card counting Christians, this story is unbelievable.

The Story of Anvil-This is the ‘real’ Spinal Tap.

And now for that font, I used it in the graphic above, it has three weights (thin, medium, fat), it’s free for personal use but you can buy an extended license if you want to use it for commercial purposes. You can download it here. Enjoy the docs + the font.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

PINTEREST CURATOR | ELLE MOSS

Elle Moss Curator Besotted Blog

I started working on another curator this afternoon, but kept on getting distracted by Elle Moss and her updated pins. It was to the point that I found myself falling down the rabbit hole of her Wonderland-like world that I finally just surrendered and decided to build this magical collection for today.  Magical is definitely a word I would reserve for someone like photographer Elle Moss, her self-portraits which have been featured all over the blogosphere and beyond have that sprinkling of magic & wonder to them that is reflected in her choice of pins. She has an affinity for the turn of the century but there’s also a mod streak throughout, which you wouldn’t think could coincide but she manages to make them do just that. If you are up for a bit of fairytale with your haute couture, then check out Elle Moss. And just for good measure since she has 100 boards (!) I have taken the liberty to note some of my favorites which are: It’s just so pretty, dream in pictures and it’s oh so quiet. I hope you find something on her many boards to tickle your fancy!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

YOUR ON-LINE SHOP | QUITTING YOUR DAY JOB

mr. cup besotted blogI get emails all the time from folks that want to start an on-line shop and have it be their sole source of income so they can quit their jobs. They want to know how I did it, can I give them advice, etc. For those that are new to Besotted it might read like all I do all day is design, write this here blog, practice my lettering, take photographs and move to random cities willy nilly. Although I love the idea of illusion, (I did after all start my career in advertising), I don’t like to be a phoney baloney (technical term). So, let’s dispel some myths here and then I can get into some specifics for you. Besotted Brand was not an overnight success, it has been more like a four year and counting success (‘success’ being subjective here). It took me a good two years just sourcing all my vendors which includes my packaging. That’s a lot of work to put into a project that I wasn’t even making a dime on. I worked a full-time job 95% of the time I ran Besotted Brand, which means I worked 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (and most nights longer) and then came home tested products, designed the branding, website, wrote copy for products and eventually started packing shipments into the wee hours of the night. The weekends were more of the same, meaning I was working 7 days a week over 15 hours a day just to get going. Granted most full-time jobs may not have been as stressful as mine (or demanding) so I think if I had a ‘normal’ job it would not have felt as taxing. Of course I wanted to make money, but this project is foremost a labor of love for me, I don’t think I could have kept up this schedule if I was doing this for any other primary motivation. While I was at my soul sucking corporate job I was able to amass a nice savings, not Rockefeller status but enough to make me feel comfortable when we moved to the middle of nowhere and I was running Besotted Brand full-time. I used a lot of my savings to get me through over six months of not having a steady job. I hated dipping into my savings, just hated it but I am happy that I had it so I could continue trying to grow the business.

So the specifics: When should I quit my job to pursue my on-line shop full-time? This is a loaded question, because there are so many variables but I would suggest not quitting your job until your shop starts to turn over a regular profit, enough where you feel that if you quit your job and could spend more time with your shop that it would have a positive fiscal impact. I also suggest if you are leaving your job you consider having a savings too (at least six months worth of expenses would be ideal). Because of the timing of our move, I didn’t have the luxury of turning a profit yet thus the reason for perpetual savings dipping. You may not think it is possible to work a full-time job and run a shop, but it is, you will just have to give up things like the gym, friends, family and generally any other extracurricular activity. It’s a huge sacrifice, but not impossible. You will also have to set specific parameters for both you and your clients. In the very beginning I only shipped one day a week and eventually I moved it to three and so on. Know your limits, it’s great to be a go-getter but know what is feasible to be accomplished without sacrificing quality or customer service.

You will want to figure out how much you need to sell to survive, plus set goals over that amount (you don’t want to be working your tail off for the bare minimum, right?) Once I had that survival amount in hand (this is the amount that will keep me from going homeless + hungry) it helped me to have items in mind that I needed to sell to get to that amount. For example for me it was selling six custom stamps a day. This would not make me rich, but it would keep a roof over my head (remember to factor in your profit. I do not make the entire amount of my sale for each custom stamp–a portion goes to Etsy, a large portion towards manufacturing, cost of shipping from the manufacturer, and packaging, after all that is subtracted that is my profit). For you it could be selling 3 of your custom vases, or 2 custom 10″ x 10″ prints. It helped me to put products to this base number because it made it more accessible, ‘Sure, I could sell 6 custom stamps a day!’ Do I meet this goal? Not always, some days I have no sales, but I know I have my savings (for now) so I just keep plugging away. That is why I suggest you turn a profit before you take the plunge so you are in a better financial position than I found myself in. Do I get scared? Often! Do I love what I do? Absolutely!

I hope this answered some of your questions about taking the on-line shop plunge. Part II I will discuss a community like Etsy versus running your own e-commerce site, the pros & cons. If you have a specific question just send me an email and I will promise to try to address it in future posts. If you have anything to add to the above please leave it in the comments, this is just my experience but I would love to here yours as well!

P.S. A great small business resource is Megan Auman’s Designing an M.B.A. she has a very active newsletter that is free and she’s great at breaking down the most overwhelming business details into comprehensible bite size pieces.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

I GIVE YOU THE WORLD

globe

When we drove cross country the first time it seemed like I picked up a vintage globe in every port.  When I was living in the City of Angels a globe like this would cost you a pretty penny, so when I found people were practically giving them away I was buying what they were selling.  I amassed quite a collection and I gave a lot of them away as I think they make very cool gifts. I have two more globes that I have no room for and I shall be giving away one each to two people!  I will announce the winners next Monday, April 22, 2013.  Because I will be driving 2500+ miles in a few weeks this question is a bit self-serving, but I am curious to read your entries and perhaps put together a little mixed ‘tape’ for our trek. To enter to win just answer the following question below:

What is your favorite driving song?

And I never did mention who I chose for the wood box storage bestowal, that would be Jessica Reed.  I loved her word–“I have always been enamored with the Dutch word Schoon. I love how it sounds and that it means both clean AND beautiful.”  When I posed that question I didn’t think that I would be getting non-English words but was pleasantly surprised!  I also like the meaning of her word as I love clean + beautiful!

P.S. Tomorrow I am going to be discussing the shop + sales, I get a zillion emails a day asking how I did it and I shall reveal my experience with you!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.