Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Our office is still in transition mode and I can't bear to show "before" pictures without showing "after" ones, so I'm moving on for now. Forgive me.
One of my little business resolutions is to post more regular content on this blog. And one of the things I thought about was a regular Wall Street Journal post. I know that may seem odd and off-topic at first - but hear me out. I started reading the Wall Street Journal after taking a business class where we discussed current small business articles and was surprised to find all these little gems (the best wine column I've ever read) in a paper I thought was quite frankly boring. And since I don't read it every day but really should since I subscribe - I thought this would be a good way to keep it in my life - and bring it (or introduce it) to yours.
So, I thought I'd kick it off with an article from this past WSJ, Weekend Edition about handwriting - written by Cullen Murphy, Editor at Large of Vanity Fair. Click here to read.
Image above from one of my favorite calligraphers, Jenna Hein.
Monday, January 26, 2009
One of the biggest things I've learned over the past few years of working for myself is that you can't do everything yourself. And, even if you could find the time & energy to do everything yourself - you're not always the best person for the job. It's a hard pill to swallow - especially when it comes to smaller things like packaging orders - but I think I'm better for having that insight and acting on it.
Today is a great example. Last week, you'll remember I announced that we're staying in our current space and are going to give it a bit of makeover. But after hours of trying to figure out the best possible layout, I'm still not convinced that we're really utilizing every square inch. (And when you've got tight quarters, you have no choice but to do just that!) Well today, I've called in a professional for some help. My sister's friend works for a company called Cross It Off Your List - a company of professional organizers who offer a wide variety of services - from overseeing all moving logistics (wouldn't that be amazing?!) to quasi-personal assistant tasks like supervising a cable installation to workspace organization. I am so excited to have some help in making sense of our quirky floorplan and maximizing the space while also getting suggestions for ways to keep everything organized, tidy and efficient. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will our little workspace. There will not doubt be Ikea runs later in the week and if all goes well, we'll have a whole new space by Friday. I'll try to document the big rehaul as much as possible. Wish us luck:)
Friday, January 23, 2009
Over the past year and a half, we have been extremely fortunate to have received press without actively seeking it out. I was approached by a few PR reps last year and turned them down for a few reasons: One, we were already getting written up in some of my favorite magazines. Two, it was costly! And three, I didn't think it was necessary. Enter, Connie for Moderne Press. Connie reached out to me last year and we emailed back and forth a bunch - but I was still skeptical about the need to do PR. When we were out in LA in September for the Style Lounge event, we met up with her over coffee. She handed us a proposal and it didn't take me long to realize that we did in fact need her. It was a gut reaction, I have to say. She is unbelievably organized, thorough and a real "go-getter" (the thing I love most about her) - and I knew this within minutes of meeting with her. So needlesstosay, we hired her and haven't looked back since or regretted a penny. She's opened my eyes to a whole new world I didn't know to be "PR" and I am grateful and thankful to have such a driving force on board to help get our little name out there.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Thank you to Apartment Therapy for posting our Pig Love card on their Valentines Day card round up. This was the first greeting I came up with and it's probably my favorite. I think there are more quirky cute ones like this to come from L&H.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
We have a new addition here at L&H - and I thought it would only be fitting to announce her here along side images from her favorite magazine (and quickly becoming mine!), Gourmet. Jen joins us after working at a high end museum shop and teaching English for a year in Paris. She has a passion for patterns and prints - and great food. (She makes unbelievable things for lunch that make my turkey sandwiches look like bricks.) Jen brought in the December issue in to show me these photos and we both oohed and ahhed over these shots of cookies shown in a chamillion-like fashion against this patterned fabric. Beautiful. I haven't been inspired by a magazine like this in quite some time.
So, thank you Jen. And welcome!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
We've gone from looking at office space 8 months ago, to being in contract, to now staying put. We don't know what 2009 holds for us, which makes me a little nervous, and we're not certain an increase in rent and investment in new equipment is the right move for us right now. All I want to do is think bigger and better, but I have to get a little real here and realize that there are things we can do to improve, strengthen and build upon before we take a bigger step towards bigger bills.
So - we're redoing our office this week. Well, moving it around a little is more like it:) And trying to get creative with our quirky brownstone parlour floor. I was looking through my old Blueprint Magazines (so sad that mag is gone) and found a few things - but I'd love to see more. If you have of any great photos or links or have any organizational tips - we'd love to hear them!
[office makeover photos courtesy of Bluelines]
Friday, January 16, 2009
In tribute to my Philadelphia Eagles trying to make it to the Super Bowl in a huge playoff game this Sunday, I send you off for the weekend with the food Philly is most known for: the cheesesteak, of course. I was intrigued & excited to see Gourmet (my new favorite magazine) mention a few that even my brother who wears his Philadelphia pride on his sleeve has yet to mention. (His favorite is Dalessandro's, which Gourmet does mention.)
Have a great weekend, everyone. Go Birds!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Just a quick reminder that today is the last day to have your valentines postmarked for fredflare.com's Valentine submission benefitting Elder Craftsmen, an organization based here in NYC that brings craft workshops to local senior citizens. Check out some of the great submissions on flickr and go buy some Valentines next week.
I don't know how or why I got this issue because I didn't order it for myself, but it arrived in my mailbox the other day - and I'm thrilled it did! I stared at the cover for a solid minute before even opening it up - and for several reasons. First, and as I said, I had no idea why I was getting this magazine - did someone order this for me? Did I finally give in to a two for one promotion? Secondly, I love spaghetti and meatballs - the perfect comfort food that is hard to mess up but is out of this world when done to perfection. And lastly and most poignantly, there was not a single headline or mention of content. It looked like a throw back issue - to a time where people didn't have to lure people in with hooks that may or may not be representative of the material. I thought this was a new movement of the magazine - but I saw online that there is a version of this issue with headlines. It still has me thinking about packaging though - about a more visually simplistic encasing. More of a whisper of what's inside than the screaming & hollering you usually see. It's got me thinking about our own L&H packaging and I'm inclined to go the whispering route.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Thanks to Fashion Binge for featuring our calendar in its giveaway contest where people told us their favorite day of the year. I think Roger's was my favorite: "2nd december- when i met my wife." Not his birthday or her birthday or even their wedding anniversary - but the day they met. I'm a sucker for that sweet answer.
Thanks for all the nice comments over at Fashion Binge and be sure to check out fb's posts on retail predictions for 2009 and cool fashion features like this necklace - part of Nicole Richie's new jewelry line, House of Harlow.
[image courtesy of Fashion Binge]
Thanks to Katy, I was reminded of Kari Herer's beautiful prints over at Etsy for a mere $25. Kari shot our wedding collection for our website and is such a wonderful talent and person.
Check out more of Kari's work here.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I can always count on Vané at Brooklyn Bride to have great insight into the weddings industry - from cake toppers to real wedding inspiration. She also has a solid list of industry-related vendors. So when she announced that she was undergoing a facelift to include paid vendor listings, I jumped on board. Her new site went live yesterday and looks great. Go see for yourself here.
Monday, January 12, 2009
I'm a huge lister. I list everything. If I don't, it's likely to be forgotten. That's probably why I like our notepads so much - the impromptu list & note is perfect for me. Today, L&H is making a giant list of goals for 2009. It's always been important to me to keep a "Looking Ahead" list - something I keep in Word so I can add to and reference all the time and has things like "update the website to include personalized stationery" or "figure out a better way to package our flats" or "discuss budget for hiring a pr person" - things like that. So today we'll sit down and decide what needs to happen in 2009 to make L&H better. I LOVE days like this because it gets me really organized and excited for the upcoming months!
Friday, January 9, 2009
When I was growing up, I'd hate when we'd get the snowstorm on a weekend. What a waste! Now, I love it. Especially when we have nowhere to go and friends in town with nowhere to go too. I think we're getting between 6 and 8 inches. Hooray! Have a great weekend everyone. And for you north east coasters, enjoy the snow!
[photo from the last snowfall here courtesy of Brooklyn-based photographer Carolyn Fong]
Thursday, January 8, 2009
This paper doll valentine "card" is one of my very favorite things John has ever given to me. I love handmade and crafty valentines - the more construction paper, felt, and glue - the better. It reminds me of being a little kid in school when we'd each get a brown paper lunch bag with our name on it and fill each other's bags with valentines. I loved that! One day, when I have an office full of people, I'm bringing that back.
So, the reason for the early Valentine's Day post is that Tommy recently let me know about this cool fundraising project put on by fredflare.com where you make a valentine, send it to them, they sell it for $4 on their site and then give all proceeds to Elder Craftsmen, an organization based here in NYC that brings craft workshops to local senior citizens. So cool!! It's such a simple and great way to raise money AND to shop for unique handmade valentines. I can't wait to see what people submit!
To learn more about how to participate, visit fredflare's blog here. Submissions need to be postmarked by January 15 though - so get out the glue stick!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
After a long winter snooze, we are back at work. And personally, I'm more excited than ever to be here - in Brooklyn, working, post holidays. The holiday season is always crazy - and we're quickly learning that that is definitely the trend here at L&H. Which is great! But I'm feeling relieved to have that behind me so I can finally put energy into thinking about the New. January is my time for taking a step back and assess what's working, what's not, how we can improve things, what we want to take out and the most exciting for me - what we want to add. Ideally, I like to keep these things to myself (ie, not here) but I'll try my best to give you all some insight to how this process works for us. So, stay tuned. Happy to be back!
[Photo from our winter wonderland departure yesterday.]