tag: tips

Posted by in simple living

10 grocery shopping tips for a whole foods approach by now, you probably know that i eat a whole foods, plant based diet (especially if you follow the dinner ideas posts or recipe page!). one of the ways that i make eating this way possible, is by following a few rules at the grocery store and farmers market. some may seem obvious, others a little wacky, but below are the top 10 tips i follow when shopping for grub.

10 reasons to blog ahead (1) buy whole ingredients. look for items that contain only one ingredient in them (squash, polenta, quinoa, soybeans). if you must buy items that have more than one ingredient, look for a short ingredient list (6 or less ingredients) that contain nothing but whole foods. basically, if you can’t pronounce or grow it yourself – then don’t eat it.


10 reasons to blog ahead (2) stay on the outskirts of the store. buy shopping the outer edges of the store, you’ll be much more inclined to pick up fresh ingredients, and steer clear of the packaged and processed foods.


10 reasons to blog ahead (3) buy a foreign ingredient. i seriously do this nearly every time i go to the store! pick up a new fruit or veggie that you’ve never cooked with before, and i promise you’ll find some new favorites.


10 reasons to blog ahead (4) go to the farmers market. do the bulk of your shopping at your local farmers market and use the grocery store to supplement it.


10 reasons to blog ahead (5) check the country of origin. most fresh produce and packaged goods will let you know where it came from. the closer the better!


10 reasons to blog ahead (6) look for color. the more colorful your cart the healthier you’ll be (and colored cardboard doesn’t count!).


10 reasons to blog ahead (7) shop organic. you, your family and our planet will be much healthier for it.


10 reasons to blog ahead (8) shop what’s in season. know what’s in season in your area and eat locally. watermelons should only be eaten in the summer, and butternut squash only in the winter.


10 reasons to blog ahead (9) minimal packaging. look for items that either have no packaging (fresh produce and bulk items) or come with minimal packaging.


10 reasons to blog ahead (10) 10) look for alternatives. start noticing the alternatives that your local store or health food store carry. do they have almond milk? coconut creamer? earth balance butter? coconut oil? research the healthier alternatives and start using them.


do you have any favorite shopping market tips? i would love to hear them, i’ll meet you in the comments section!

download the pocket guide

download the pocket guide

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very pinteresting

July 12, 2011

Posted by in indie biz


going home to roost’s pins

do you use pinterest? as a brilliant tool in helping you categorize, organize and archive your favorite finds, it’s quickly become the latest rage. in holly becker’s recent article, pinterest may help your decorating add for simplystated., she describes some of the best tips on how to use pinterest to keep your design ideas organized. learn how to make the most out of your boards, from creating them with specific intentions and giving them appropriate descriptions to learning how best to credit your sources. click here to read the article in full!

are you on pinterest? if so, share your board with us in the comments section! and if you’re interested, you can follow going home to roost here. :) see you on pinterest!

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Posted by in indie biz

etsy shop help

excellent customer service is the number one way to ensure happy customers, repeat business and a profitable business.  as small business owners, we’re lucky to be able to make all the customer service decisions ourselves! it’s solely up to us how we want to deal with certain situations and what kind of relationships we want to build with our clients.  how lucky we are!  today, i’ll share my 5 suggestions on how to be a customer service whiz.


1. think like the customer. reflect on you own buying experiences.  what made them wonderful, or maybe less than desirable?  after you’ve decided what other businesses have done that make you feel really happy and satisfied (or the opposite), visit your shop like a customer.  can you switch the roleplay?  how does browsing your shop make you feel?  do you feel welcome, at ease, and satisfied with the information provided?  if not, make sure to edit the necessary areas.


2. provide thorough information. your shop welcome, item descriptions and policies page are the perfect place to provide your shoppers with all relevant info.  make sure to outline exactly what the customer can expect in the policies section (shipping info, payment methods accepted, return policy etc.).  in your item descriptions, give them more info than the bare minimum. things you can add to the essentials (i.e. dimensions, weight etc) are the feel of it, the texture, what inspired you and ideas of how they might use the item.  get creative and make sure that the shopper has fun reading your descriptions.  the best rule of thumb, is try to answer as many potential questions as you can, right in your shop.


3. go the extra mile.  adding little ‘extras’ to your buyer’s shopping experience goes further than you might expect.  treat them with special care and show them that you’ve thought things through.  special packaging will let them know you took the extra time to make their ‘opening’ experience special, and adding a little freebie and thank you note will send them over the top.  if you make shopping with your business fun, you can bet they’ll spread the word, and likely be back!

grunge typewriter

4. communication. having a conversation with each buyer will help their shopping experience become personable.  be prompt in replying to convos and help each customer feel like you have all the time in the world to dedicate to them.  make sure to send an immediate thank you for items purchased and include all relevant info, especially the estimated ship date.  checking in with them after they should have recieved the item will let them know that you truly care and that you’re there for them.  also, be careful to maintain an upbeat, friendly tone no matter what you’re discussing with your buyer, it will make all the difference!

the playing bird original drawing

5. learn to appreciate a complaint. occasionally, you may get a complaint or two.  now’s your opportunity to really excel at providing excellent customer service!  remember, to always use positive language and go the extra mile to ensure they have a happy experience.  you may end up losing a buck or two or maybe the entire sale, but statistics show a dissatisfied consumer will share their lament with 8-10 people and some will push that number to twenty.  the good news is 8 out of 10 customers will shop again with a business if their complaint is resolved in their favor relatively quickly (stats from how stuff works).  to me, that’s worth considering doing everything you can to send them away with a positive experience.  after it’s resolved, take what you can from the complaint as a positive learning experience, and move on!

do you have any customer service tips?  share in the comment section!

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Posted by in indie biz

etsy shop help

hello love birds!  spring and summer craft shows are officially here, so today i’m telling you my top ten craft-show-booth tips!

{paperleaf at handm@de cambridge}

1. keep it simple and keep it lovely. a booth that is organized and easily navigatable will always be pleasing to your customers.  clutter will annoy some shoppers and may make others doubt your professionalism.


{christmas bazaar}

2. make a list! it’s a good idea to write a checklist and stick to it!  make sure to read this fabulous checklist that jen from indie fixx wrote recently!

katie daisy's booth

{katie daisy’s booth at the big crafty}

3. keep business cards handy. having a great business card accessible and ready to hand out is a vital part of craft shows and networking.  i’m always surprised at how many people forget to bring them!  added bonus? make it memorable.  one idea i used once was to make an ‘i’ll be back card’. when a shopper left (w/out purchasing anything) and said, “i’ll be back”, i made sure to give them an ‘i’ll be back card’ promising them 10% off if they indeed returned!

{chomp and stomp}

4. tag your goods. check to make sure that each of your items are properly tagged.  it’s important to include all of you business info as well as the price.  having to search for answers to commonly asked questions (i.e. how much is this?) will discourage some shoppers to wait around for the answer.  it’s also important that the buyer knows how to find you when they get home with your product (or where to point their friends who love it so much)!

{market stall}

5. collect info. now is a perfect time to collect some info!  if you have a newsletter, make sure to have a form out so that people can add themselves if they like.  also, if someone has their own business or is there for press, you always want to make sure to gather info about them. learning about your shoppers, browsers or interested guests is an essential part of networking.  added bonus? send a little follow up thank-you to everyone you gathered business cards from!

{eyepopart booth photos 1}

6. plan your booth. plan ahead for your booth and consider setting up a mock trial before the big event.  having a theme to your setup will help you come off as polished and cohesive. it’s also a good idea to step back from your setup, and even take a picture of it to see it as other’s will.  working with different height levels and colors will help draw shopper’s eye to your booth.


7. go beyond the table. some of the best advice i’ve heard!  try to think outside of the box, or should i say table!  anytime you can incorporate a piece that will intrigue those walking by will help them notice you.  think fabric, unique displays, and furniture items- especially vintage finds that can help doll up your booth!

{rockton show2}

8. talk, talk, talk. ok, maybe not too much, but if someone shows interest, at least introduce yourself!  i’m always sad when i get to a booth and don’t get addressed.  if someone is looking around your booth, you can bet they would like to meet you and possibly find out a little more about what you do.  of course, some shoppers like to be left alone, so don’t forget to judge their character and let ‘em be if they like!

{paper pastries set up}

9. show yourself. make yourself shine through in your booth!  most businesses have an aesthetic that they like to portray, and what better place to show this than at your booth.  let yourself, your business, your shop and any website you have portray a cohesive look that shines through to your buyers.

{renegade booth stamp your own postcard}

10. stand out. don’t be afraid to be a little different in order to catch they eye of any passer by.  bright colors, fabulous signs, a giveaway or shopper involved activity will catch attention and help you stand out from the crowd.

speaking of craft shows, have you heard of the art start craft bazaar? this much anticipated yearly event is coming up this weekend!  it’s an outdoor retail art and craft show juried by philadelphia’s art star gallery and boutique.  over 100 local & national artists have been chosen to set up shop and sell!  if you’re in the area, it’s certainly a must-see.  it will be held on may 15th and 16th in philadelphia, pa at penn’s landing great plaza.  i wish i could be there in person, but i’ll be there in spirit (and product!) at hello bluebird’s booth.  if you attend, make sure to take lots of pics to share! ;)

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