A personal update & why you won’t see us this week at NSS

Long time no see huh? I’m so sorry it’s been forever since the last post but I hope I can make it up to you. A lot has been happening at our household & at pop-in-greetings. Since one of my big rules of running a small business is authenticity I felt the need to share in case someone out there needs to hear the same thing I did. If you’ve never struggled with one of the following: overworking, running two small businesses, the demands of raising a family or major health issues… you might not care to keep reading.

It all started about 6 months ago after I paid my deposit for the National Stationery Show. Our first NSS last year was a BLAST! We made a few awesome friends in our industry, connected with phenomenal retail shops and larger lifestyle brands. It’s a huge marketing expense since we live about 900 miles from NYC, but it was definitely worth it. However it’s also an all-consuming event between booth design, new product design, logistics, advertising, etc. It takes a large chunk of the year to prepare. We excitedly picked a new booth number and paid our deposit. A few weeks later as I started planning, something felt off, but I was determined to be there.
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What I wasn’t realizing, was the speed at which I was working at both pop-in-greetings & my marketing/creative direction company, MagloCreative. I was ignoring what it was doing to my body, my spirit & the future of my family. Read more

DIY Spring Blooms! Hanging Camellia Tutorial from Amaranthus Paper & Flora

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Like so many great things, we found the duo of Amaranthus Paper & Flora on Instagram. But we didn’t expect them to be in our own backyard. I love Nashville and how our hub of creativity takes so many forms. I just knew we needed to get Meredith & Cherie to share a peek behind the scenes on our blog, and they so graciously gave us a whole tutorial just for you! Enjoy making these beautiful blooms & check out their gorgeous work at http://www.amaranthuspaperflora.comEtsy and Instagram!

Have a great weekend!

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Happy spring! We are Cherie and Meredith Eastburn, the mother-daughter team behind Amaranthus Paper & Flora, and we specialize in handcrafted crepe-paper flowers. While fresh flowers are a lovely gift or addition to your home or workspace, they soon wilt and die even with the best intentions and care. Our paper blooms are always bright, lively, and lasting, which make them an excellent token of love, appreciation, hope, celebration, or remembrance.

While we love building bouquets out of our loose stem flowers, we have found that flat-backed blooms make great ornaments, gift-toppers, or wine-bottle charms. They could even be turned into a brooch or hairpiece! With that in mind, we are going to share the steps we follow to create our paper interpretation of a camellia bloom.

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Here are the supplies you’ll need:

  • A small circular disc, about 2” in diameter (cut out of cardboard, or we use little cork discs from the craft store)
  • Glue gun and hot glue sticks
  • Twine (one piece about 6” long)
  • Crepe Paper (we prefer the 180 gm crepe paper from Carte Fini and Paper Mart)
  • Scissors
  • Petal template (Click the link to print straight from your browser, or you can control-click to save the downloaded link to your computer)

Let’s get started!

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1. Begin by cutting out your petals. You will need 4 small, 8 medium, and 6 large petals. While you can cut each petal out one at a time, we find that folding over the crepe to cut through several layers at once is more efficient. Six layers is about the thickest we like to cut at a time. Read more

10 Questions with Joanna Gaston, The Kind Cake: Small Business Stories

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I will never forget meeting Joanna Gaston. We were selling pop-in-greetings at a local Nashville market. She came to our booth and it felt as if she brought this huge burst of sunshine with her. As she so kindly gushed about loving our cards, I remember thinking… wow, how did she know I was needing that bit of encouragement right this second? She’s making me feel like we can take over the world! Much like her product, The Kind Cake, Joanna herself is a gentle reminder of the power of kindness.

Not only does each cake taste amazing, but look on the bottom of each one and find a sticker with a little reminder to perform an act of kindness. You’d also never guess they are egg, dairy, gluten, soy & nut free. It might make you ask what IS in them but after one bite you won’t care. They are perfect for my little family who has to be egg, dairy & gluten free because of various food allergies. Only whole, nutritious ingredients and baked with love.

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A big thanks to Joanna for participating in our interview this week. If you’re interested in seeing more about Joanna and The Kind Cake go to http://www.thekindcake.com/, her Instagram or on Facebook.

1) Why Nashville?
I originally moved here for songwriting (shocker) but the tug at my heart to pursue a venture with The Kind Cake couldn’t be ignored.

2) When you were 10, what did you want to be “when you grew up”?
Oh, I knew I was going to Broadway. In my mind, I was already there on stage performing. I was OBSESSED with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s work when I was about 6 or 7 years old and have been a big fan of Broadway since.

3) If a kid walked up to you asking for advice and you only had a few minutes to give one life tip, what would it be?
Whatever it is that scares you, freaks you out, makes you feel uncomfortable…DO IT.  I feel that is when you’ll reap the biggest reward and probably learn a lot about yourself in the process.

4) What’s made you want to bake on a larger scale, other than for yourself or your loved ones?
Knowing there is a need for a product like mine gets me out of the bed every single morning. I’m a problem solver and providing baked goods free of the top eight food allergens that are still delicious is, to me, solving a problem. Plus, I love cooking, baking and serving others so it’s a “win-win” for me.

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A Gesture of “Twue Wuv”

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It is that time of year: chocolate wrapped in heart boxes, pricey dinner reservations and Boys II Men love songs (obviously) pushing us to celebrate cupid’s favorite day. My first thought however is usually the line from The Princess Bride “wuv, twue wuv, will fowow you foweva… So tweasure your wuv”. I love that movie for so many reasons, but during this ever so cheesy and happy holiday it just makes me smile even bigger. If you can put aside the Clergyman’s fantastic speech impediment and focus on the later part of the sentence,  “so treasure your love” , there is a beautiful truth to it.

Image-1My sweet husband woos me pretty much every possible holiday & birthday with homemade cards. They are so incredible and I love that he makes them from whatever paper he can find, often colored with highlighters and sharpies. I like to picture him drawing Read more

Valentines with heart

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Fearless. Loyal. Supportive. Kind. Compassionate. Advocate. Loving. Inclusive. Motivated. Deserving. Fighter of the good fight.

These are all things I can say about my friend Colleen. From the day I met her my freshman year at Belmont University, she proved to love me fiercely. It was recruitment week and I was still trying to find my place in college. I was majoring in art, which I had never done in high school (that’s a whole other story), and while I really loved the people I was meeting in art class, I felt there was a great group of friends out there that I hadn’t met yet. I was hesitant to join a sorority because, as my friends at Alabama and Auburn can attest to, it’s a completely different thing at a state school than it is at Belmont. No greek housing, no tailgating, no football, etc. But at Belmont, if you aren’t in music, it’s really hard to make friends. So I thought what the hell. I’ll see what it’s about. And I don’t know where I’d be today if I hadn’t taken that chance.

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I never would have met this girl who sat in the parking lot of our apartment building with her arms around me when I got a phone call with bad news. There would have been fewer porch hangs in pajamas or runs to Wendy’s late at night after going out. With every bad relationship we learned from, or friendship that crumbled, she was there. She recruited me not just in the sisterhood of Alpha Sigma Tau, but as a friend for life.

Fast forward to ten years later. We’re both married and she’s expecting. You know the excitement that comes from each ultrasound but also the fear that is in the back of your mind that something could be wrong at any time? Colleen and Dan were told their son was showing signs of HLHS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome). This means that the left ventricle of his heart did not fully form. Read more

The cure for the common resolution & a free printable

Blog-Extra_toEdit-6It’s an age old tradition to make resolutions each year. I’ve done it more years than I can count. This year, I’m trying something different. I’m letting myself be human. I’m letting myself not call out a specific set of goals. So if you want to say my resolution is to have no resolution… you’re right.

As a small business owner, parent, wife, daughter, sister, friend, etc., there are so many pressures & goals to go with the love in our lives. Yet I’ve found myself mainly focusing on the pressures, not the love. I know that I am always going to fight to reach Read more

10 questions with Joshua Phillips, Illustrator: Small Business Stories

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It seems fitting that our first Small Business Story (#SBS) would be about the person who helped this little blog get started. Joshua Phillips is one of our favorite illustrators and like many wonderful things, we found him through Instagram. I reached out to talk about getting a logo created for Mix Match Pop because, even though I’m a designer, I know full well I’m not skilled at hand lettering. I believe a jack of all trades is a master of none. If you’re good at one thing, do that one thing well & support the people skilled in areas where you need help.

We’re grateful to have had Joshua’s talent in creating Mix Match Pop. If you’re interested in seeing more of Joshua’s work check him out at http://www.joshuaphillipsdesign.com/, his Instagram or on Facebook. You can also buy his artwork on Crated.

1) We’ll start with the norm: name, hometown & current city.
My name is Joshua Phillips. I was born (and still live) in Jonesboro, Arkansas. It’s the largest city in Northeast Arkansas, and it’s about an hour away from Memphis, TN.

2) When you were 10, what did you want to be “when you grew up”?
I wanted to draw. That’s basically all I had figured out. I drew for years and years and while I wasn’t sure what that meant for a career, I knew I never wanted to stop.

3) If a kid walked up to you asking for advice and you only had a few minutes to give one life tip, what would it be?
If you really love something, to the point where it consumes you and it’s the only thing you care about, don’t give up on it. Find a way to work it into you life everyday. The more time you put in to whatever it is, the more you’ll see it pay off. 

4) What’s your favorite project to date? (other than the obvious… Mix Match Pop 😉
Mix Match Pop was a great one! I’ve been blessed with countless amazing opportunities to work with all of these great people. Some of my favorites would have to be designing logos and lettering for surfboards and surf shirts or my “Volume” lyric-lettering & photography series with friend and photographer Matthew Walton.  Read more

Room Tour: Faith’s Nursery

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If you read our first post on the blog you got some insight into my little family. My daughter Faith is just over two and a half years old. As time has flown by, I can’t believe we moved her to a big girl bed just last week. Switching her room around with more toys, getting rid of the changing table, etc. is only a few weeks away! But before that changeover happens I wanted to share her tiny nursery because it was a labor of love. With my five months of bedrest, planning it became an obsession. Thankfully I have childhood friends, family & an amazing husband who did the heavy lifting, painting and sewing when I couldn’t.

Looking through these old photos reminds me of how quickly they grow up. I’m lucky to have these precious photos from the talented Kelsey Freeman Creative. Enjoy the tour and please let me know if there are projects or items you want to know more about! I’m excited to share more details and how-tos in the next few months.

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I always start with one main inspiration piece. It can be a style, color or vibe you want to design the room around. For me, it was the Seb Lester Dreams print “We Shape Our Destiny If We Believe in the Beauty of our Dreams”. This main piece was gifted to me by my best friend Sarah and her wife Lea. She knew I was drooling over this beautiful white screenprint on silver paper & surprised me
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Have a “Holly Jolly” Christmas card launch

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If you aren’t in the greeting card or gift industry you might not know that holiday designs start as early as May & June. Since this was our first year in business we felt like we were playing catch up learning the schedules and ropes of industry timing. A lot of things go into a new product launch!

One important part of a launch is obviously the photos. As April and I geared up to launch our holiday collection, we tossed around the idea of using a photographer to shoot or attempting it on our own. The coin toss and our bank account decided that we were Read more

Where it all began

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Trying to describe yourself and your business can at times feel so hard. You know your business inside and out but what is it about your story that you want people to know? It’s important to me that Taylor and I are honest with you throughout this blogging process about where we came from & the highs and lows of our industry. So I enlisted one of my favorite people and writers in Nashville, April Hefner, to help me step outside my own arena and write our story. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the transformation of pop-in-greetings.

xoxo,

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Appropriately enough, it all started with a crayon contest. More than two decades ago, a designer-in-the-making entered a Crayola-sponsored competition to create a board game… and won! It marked the first time April Maglothin’s parents noticed that their elementary-school student was already blessed with a unique talent, a gift of making things work and making them look better in the process.

While she dabbled in and continues to enjoy painting, illustration and other art forms, April’s true love comes from using design to solve problems and create order, a passion she’s pursued since early childhood. Her design and project management skills were
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