THE BIG MOVE REVEAL!

seattle mapIt took me a bit to decide, I did get a little swayed by my New Orleans trip and put a bid in with my husband to add Nola into the mix, but he was having none of it. I had narrowed it down to the Bay area & Seattle then my former boss thew in a curve ball and offered me my old job back for the salary he originally gave me before he cut it in half because of the decline in the economy. For a split second Los Angeles was back on the table making my decision making even more complicated, but then I counter offered and my former boss told me to basically kick rocks barefoot, which obviously stunted any further negotiations. Obviously, it was a little relapse in better judgement on my part but my husband did allow me to indulge myself.

So back to the Bay area & Seattle. I really, really wanted the Bay area, I miss California desperately but with our new budget/savings not being what it was prior to our move out East I knew that we wouldn’t be able to get everything we wanted/needed in a place (mainly a washer + dryer, total deal breaker for me) in the Bay area.  Being so secluded in the country it was also very important to me to be able to be in a area that I could walk to places and that I could get around my new city without a car. In Los Angeles and outside of the areas we could afford in the Bay area that wouldn’t have been an option. I had a nice little list running of things I could not live without and things that would make me miserable if I couldn’t have them (wood floors, a non-fiberglass bathtub). When we started to add all the pro’s versus the con’s Seattle really was the winner. It’s affordable, beautiful, walk-able, on the West Coast and the food is outstanding.  There’s great architecture, it’s cosmopolitan, people are nice, it’s super dog friendly and I couldn’t be happier!  I have spent a lot of time in Seattle but my husband has never been (gasp!) I know who does that moves nearly 3,000 miles to a place they have never been?  I am not as brave as he is, but he LOVED Portland so I think Seattle is going to be perfect for him. We only have a couple more weeks left here in the South and we are so excited for our new adventure!

vintage seattle map print

And the winner of last weeks bestowal of the custom logo stamp set is Brianna Morrison! I also need the vintage globe winners to please email me because I’m moving and they need to go to new homes (announced the winners here), I will choose alternate winners if I don’t hear from the current winners this evening.

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.

MAKE UP FOREVER HD INVISIBLE FOUNDATION

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation review

When I went off on my 10 day scouting trip to the West Coast last month I had all my beauty accoutrements in place that I have been using with success out here in the boonies.  When I landed in L.A. I realized immediately I was going to need the ‘harder’ stuff.  I don’t know if it was all night travel, airplane cabin pressure or what have you, but my skin was looking a little worse for wear.  I knew I was meeting a lot of people for the first time and I didn’t want to scare them off so I made a quick a.m. pit stop at Sephora. I am not a big foundation fan, I have a problem with texture, I believe a lot of you that like the BB creams have the same issue;  I just don’t want to feel anything heavy, sticky or make-up like on my visage, but I needed to cover all the multitude of problems that had cropped up on that cross country/no sleep flight.  I asked a few make-up artists what they would recommend and it seemed a resounding double thumbs up for a new product on the market from Make up For Ever–Their HD Foundation.  The HD stands for High Definition and what it does is allow a camera to get right up in your face and your skin will still look natural (ie. texture, it’s real skin!), the same holds true for the human eye, your skin will look like skin, such a novel idea!  The consistency of the product is also very light, for some it might be too light, it has the consistency of water, which means you will need to use sparingly and build and also be careful.  I wouldn’t be using this on the commuter train into work, this is in front of your bathroom sink mirror use only. I like to apply all my face coverage (that includes BB creams) with a brush.  I am notoriously heavy handed so a brush prevents me from looking like the actress from the former Drew Carey show. I picked up my brushes from Ulta, they were a great price for the quality, these brushes are amazing, they leave a beautiful finished look and you won’t look like you are wearing much make-up (even if you are).  Yes, using brushes means that you will most likely use more product, but for me it’s a fair trade to not go out looking like a lady of the night. In the beginning using a brush may seem like it’s more time consuming but I can get my make-up on and my brushes cleaned in mere minutes, it’s really about practice. So, what are my thoughts on the HD Make-up?  I love it!  For a foundation it’s amazing, it doesn’t feel heavy and it works very well with my dry skin. I don’t know how it would work on an oilier complexion, but it should work great on normal skin.  It’s easy to use (if you are near a sink), it covers extremely well and you can build coverage. It covered my blemishes from travel and hyper pigmentation without a problem. I didn’t feel ‘masky’ wearing it and it lasted the entire day for me (I did wear a light mineral powder with it if I knew I was going to be gone all day).  You could mix this with your BB cream if you wanted more coverage than your BB cream may give you.

Have any of you tried this product?  What are your thoughts?  It is a bit spendy, but I don’t use a lot so I think it works out per use and there’s currently nothing like it on the Drug Store front that would be comparable.

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 THERESA L.

Theresa L. Curator Besotted Blog

I don’t know much about today’s curator Theresa L. except that she is a great curator.  I do know she has a large following of over 700K+ followers on Pinterest (wow!), but I still think she is under the radar enough that you will be pleasantly surprised to be introduced to her!  I have a few favorite boards of hers that I think you may like as well, her Camera Love board has a beautiful mix of both cameras and their photographers, it was hard to choose which image to use for the graphic, I almost made the entire piece dedicated to this board, that’s how many images I found inspiring. Angel Kisses is a board dedicated to freckles, since I am a freckle fan I find this board to be quite charming. Her Globular Sensation has some great finds that include both globes and maps, I really loved this one, this one and this one.

Speaking of globes, I do believe I have two vintage ones that need to be shipped to new homes.  I always have such fun reading your answers to the questions, I am probably going to end up using everyone’s recommendations for our trip, it is going to be four long days of driving so I think I will need them! The winners are Courtnie (very sweet story) and Bethany, congrats to you both!

P.S. Sorry for the delayed post, out here in the country the internet is hit & miss, unfortunately lately it has been more miss than hit.

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 OWN SHOP SITE VERSUS ETSY

OldStockPhoto-French-Shop-Sophie-GraphicsFairyBefore I do the big reveal of the city we chose I should keep my promises and discuss having your own shop versus utilizing a platform like an Etsy.  There are a ton of Pro’s & Con’s that might be better for me to go over to better illustrate my thoughts.  My first pro for having your own shop is to be able to have a dedicated url, ie. besottedbrand.com rather than besottedbrand.etsy.com.  For traditional branding purposes it looks much better to have a dedicated url.  Now the cons (or the price you pay for that dedicated url).  I knew when I launched Besotted Brand that I wanted to have a dedicated url and design my site the way I envisioned it.  I didn’t have a huge budget for the site but I knew that I might have a better chance of getting a price that I could afford if I worked with someone that would be willing to code and allow me to design.  Be prepared if you go this route to get clipped emails back. I contacted a fairly popular web development company and emailed that I would be willing to design but needed coding, they wrote back and asked my budget I told them and they told me to go somewhere else. Ouch. I eventually found a great coder, super professional and when I told him my budget he told me what he could do it for and we met in the middle. Now for the cons of that dedicated url besides the initial investment, you need to think fast on your feet of how the heck are people going to find your shop in the sea of other shops out there on the interwebs?  Now that you are out thousands of dollars and have no budget for PR you need to figure out a plan for exposure.  I being the genius that I am did not have a formal marketing plan in place (I do not suggest this). I find promoting myself extraordinarily difficult. What I did have prior to launch was a mailing list, it was a list that I had up for a few years. I sent an email to that list letting them know that I had launched. It had a pretty even across the board response about 50% were thrilled and shopped shortly thereafter and the other 50% forgot they signed up for the list and reported me as spam thus I got banned from my email campaign carrier. Ouch. I don’t like getting too many emails from companies so I am not a huge fan of the email campaign. I do send one out about once a quarter and I try to make it worth the recipients while. There was no Pinterest or Instagram when I launched but those are great ways to get your brand noticed, as are places like Facebook. I read that’s how the wildly popular Mae Mae Paperie got her start by networking via Facebook and contacting fellow alumni about her newly launched company.

Now let’s get into Etsy shall we?  With Etsy you could pretty much have your shop up and running in an afternoon, hooray! That’s a huge pro in my book. The other pro is having the potential to have millions of eyes on your brand each day without ever lifting a marketing finger! The flipside/con of that is those millions of potential consumers also have millions of competing brands in your same category to eyeball as well.  You are going to have to work extra, extra hard to make yourself stand out from the crowd.  Your photos will need to be first rate, as will your copy and once you get a sale you are going to have to jump through hoops to make sure that customer is thoroughly satisfied so you don’t receive any negative feedback which can adversely effect your shop status. Another thing I need to address are the fees.  When I answer emails about Etsy people are always irritated by the fees. That is indeed a pro for running your own site–no fees (but remember the bigger upfront cost). The way I look at it for a new business is 0% of 0 is zero. Meaning, if you don’t make a sale at all you have a big fat goose egg of nothing, but if you do and you have to pay a small fee it is worth it in my humble estimation. More eyes on your brand may mean more potential sales, you will have to decide what that is worth to you. Or do you have to decide?  I eventually opened an Etsy shop as well because potential clients were asking me if I had one. I  asked why and was told that they would feel safer buying from a place like Etsy. I ship a lot of international orders so I can see where having a big corporation like Etsy behind a shop would feel a bit more safe. I gladly pay my fees and consider it the price of running my business.  One last con for Etsy and it’s super unfortunate–there is a proliferation of copy cat shops and under cutting on pricing. My advice?  Ignore them. What? Don’t allow the negative to takeover what you created. If you priced your items accordingly + fairly than trying to meet the price of your lower priced copy cat is going to negatively impact your business model. Don’t get into sacrificing your quality because you are now trying to compete with a company that is copying you. Another sound piece of advice? Get some press, getting your brand in print will hopefully ensure that clients will want the original rather than a lower quality, lower priced counterfeit. In summary, they both have their pro’s & con’s, you will need to weigh both and find out what will work best for your current situation.

If you have anything you would like to add to this conversation please do so. And if you have any other questions I didn’t answer above let me know!

P.S. If you are wanting a huge does of ‘get yourself on the right track and follow your dreams’, this girl will be sure to administer it.

photo via the graphics fairy

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.

CUSTOM STAMP SET BESTOWAL

Boutique Minimaliste -3Whenever I do the custom stamp giveaways I receive a full inbox the following week asking me when I will be doing the next one. Since I have no rhyme or reason how I do these things, my only answer is ‘soon’. Well, to all of you that have emailed or have hoped that I would do it again, I hope today is soon enough!  A lot of my clients have been purchasing their logo in two sizes one for their packaging and a smaller version for things like back of cards and tags. My client above (the very lovely Boutique Minimaliste) created the artwork for her stamps with her shop name on one and her shop motif on another.  For this bestowal I wanted to offer one lucky winner the same type of set, one 1″ x 1″ handle stamp (if you want to sub for a monogram instead, indeed do!) and one logo stamp up to 2″ x 2″.

I am not going to ask you to answer a question this Monday morn, but I am going to ask you to do a little work for it (if you are so inclined) leave a comment with something new you learned lately (it could be a new word, a new recipe, a new to you what have you…), and to Pin, FB and/or Tweet about (or whatever new fangled social media you are into these days, have you heard of Keep?) I will choose the winner next Monday. And to celebrate that we are moving cross country (again!)  in three weeks and since next Tuesday will be the last day for custom stamp orders for at least a month, I am offering 50% off all week on custom stamps & monogram stamps, so stock up!

Speaking of moving we did make a decision and I am quite excited about it, I will do the big reveal tomorrow! I can’t wait to share our choice with you.  Good luck friends!

P.S. The above photo is by Boutique Minimaliste, click here to see shots of how her stamp in action!

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.