“I am a photo-creator, story-teller and wanderer based along the East Coast of Australia. Built upon natural light and nostalgia, my work aims to gather beautiful moments to simply tell stories through the imagery I create. Currently wandering the world with a camera in my hand, I aim to capture and share the details that often go unseen.”
One of the reasons I love our custom stamps is that they have so many different uses: Stamp them at the top of a thank you note, inside a book cover, onto a gift tag, party favors, and more. It got me thinking about other ways to use stamps. Check out the stamp DIY projects on my to-do list…
I’m so excited to share our new collection of printable posters, Ölgemälde. It includes 8 antique paintings curated by Meta Coleman. She’s a prop stylist, an interior designer, a production designer, a travel/magazine/vintage/design addict (like me), a mother, and a thoughtful friend. I’m so grateful to know her!
Last weekend we went on an impromptu road trip to “Dinosaur Land” in eastern Utah and it had me feeling like summer is really here! (Road trips just feel like summer, don’t they?) I’m looking forward to more little field trips and spending time in the great outdoors this coming month. I’d love to hear your plans for June! xo, Eva
If you want to grow your company, it’s imperative that you take the initiative. Find shops you’d like to be carried in and reach out to them. Make sure you only contact those shops that would be a good match. Try to find interior shots of the store. What other lines do they carry?
As summer approaches, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite pieces of wall art that remind us of sweet summertime. And we’re excited to be coming out with a new collection of our large scale printable posters in June!
A little late to the party, Kirk and I are just finishing up the final season of Parenthood. I’ll be a little sad to say goodbye to the Bravermans. What I love about that show is how it really celebrates family — and a big, multigenerational, sometimes wonderful, sometimes messed up family. It feels real — at least more real than the way most TV shows depict families.
I find myself wishing that all my siblings lived in the same town and that they’d pop by my work just to ask me a question (instead of texting like normal people) and we’d have sibling dance parties and hang out in hospital waiting rooms together. (Okay, maybe not that last part.) I can’t believe we’re all grown up and that my brothers and sister and I are all adults and are married and have children.
I also can’t believe my baby just turned 3, because it means that I don’t really have a baby anymore — just kids. But they’re pretty awesome kids. And I feel incredibly grateful to be a mother and a sister and a daughter and a wife.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers and nurturers and sisters and daughters out there! xo
From Princess Diana to Eartha Kitt, we’ve rounded up photos of our favorite famous mothers. Not pictured: My favorite mom of all (not to mention my favorite person in the whole wide world), MY mom, who is currently taking a well-deserved break on Sanibel Island. Happy Mother’s Day! – xo, Annie
Spring is here and so is our new collection! It has a bright, fresh aesthetic — perfect for the warm months ahead. We’ve been working on this collection for months and I’ve been so antsy to show you. Let me know what you think!
For our Rainbow Birthday collection, I had fun breaking out the oil pastels my parents gave me when I was a teenager. (Eons ago, I know.) I wanted to play off of the saturated color and fun texture of the pastels along with a 60s inspired font (instead of my usual hand lettering).
Who doesn’t love getting a thank you card? For our spring launch, I wanted to add more of these long format cards on fresh colored cardstock and stamped with white foil.
I took my favorite photos from our California Cactus printable poster collection, and turned them into greeting cards. I like having “blank” cards like this that can be used for just about any situation.
I grew up in Minnesota and go back home as often as possible! One of the many reasons I love Minnesota is because there’s truly something for everyone…the explorer, the foodie, the artist, the theatre goer, the music lover, and yes, the shoppers, whom this list is for. Next time you’re in Minneapolis…make sure to check out the following shops (right after spending a day on the lake, eating a Jucy Lucy, and checking out the amazing theaters and museums this city also has to offer). – Annie
1) Bogart’s Doughnut Co. – Get there early for freshly baked doughnuts. 904 West 36th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408
2) The Foundry – From Minnesota-made beeswax candles to goods from around the globe, you are sure to find that perfect gift (and pick up something for yourself, too). 25 North 1st Street, Minneapolis, MN 55401
3) Greater Goods – You won’t be able to leave this cute card and gift shop empty handed. 2515 Nicollet Avenue, Suite B, Minneapolis, MN 5540
4) Hunt & Gather – Minnesota doesn’t joke around when it comes to antique stores and Hunt & Gather is no exception. Set aside a few hours (at least) to wander around. 4944 Xerxes Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55410
5) Mille – A bright, colorful boutique with a focus on female designers and goods made in the USA. 316 W 48th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55419
6) Parc – A minimalist’s heaven with timeless pieces for your wardrobe and home. 320 East Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55414
7) Pharmacie – With a perfectly curated selection of home and lifestyle goods guaranteed to leave you feeling a little bit cooler. 2743 Lyndale Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55408
8) Spruce – Like a light bulb to all flower-loving moths. 4751 Chicago Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55407
9) Truce – Pick up a bottle of fresh-pressed juice before walking (and let’s be real, people watching) around Lake Calhoun. 1428 W. 32nd Street, Minneapolis, MN
10) Willful – Simple home goods that combine organic materials with unexpected colors. 319 West 48th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55419, USA
Is it April already? I’m excited for this month — spring is finally here! We’ve got a lot in the works here at Sycamore… We’re hoping to finish up the studio revamp. Kirk and I are heading to Portland, Oregon for a week with NØRR film to do a couple of videos for a client. Then we’ll be launching our SS16 paper collection at the end of the month. Most importantly, our little Lars is turning 3!
There’s nothing like vintage to add character to a room, right? Without a little (or a lot) vintage thrown in here and there, a room can quickly look too slick and catalog-y, in my opinion. That’s one reason why I’ve always loved hunting for second hand goods. And why I am so excited to be adding them to the Sycamore online shop! Click through to see more of our offerings… Read More…
I love really big art. The kind that can really fill up the space over the couch or the bed. But it can be hard to find, and when I do find it, it usually costs hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars. So we’re really excited to now offer a series of digital download art that you can print yourself. I took these on a trip to the land of my childhood — California. Kirk and I visited an incredible cactus garden there (the Huntington!), and were lucky to have it all to ourselves. Every time I look at these images, I’m reminded of that warm, magical place. – Eva
Let’s face it. Shipping and fulfillment are not the most exciting aspects of running a small product-based business, right? But they’re a necessary evil. I started out doing all the shipping myself on a little table in my living room. I’d wrap everything up with brown paper and string, then walk it down to the local post office, where I’d wait in line with my stack of boxes. I liked getting some exercise and became very friendly with the local postal clerks, but it definitely wasn’t efficient.
Fast forward almost nine years, and we’ve learned a lot of ways to speed up the shipping & fulfillment process. We go over these key parts of running a business, along with a lot of other subjects, in my online classes, Stationery Business 100: Start Strong and Stationery Business 200: Wholesale. But I’ve also included some free info below to get you started…
Set holiday shipping deadlines, make sure they are listed in your shop, and make announcements on social media, too.
As you can imagine, the holiday season is stressful for small manufacturers. Be prepared for lots of emails wondering when the order will ship, etc… Set holiday shipping deadlines, make sure they are listed in your shop, and make announcements on social media, too.
One more note about holiday shipping. We’ve noticed that the USPS doesn’t update the tracking very consistently during the peak holiday shipping window. You will get lots of emails from worried customers about their package not being updated. Usually at this point the customer has the same exact info as you will have. One thing we do is to have them call their local branch with their tracking number to get any updates.
Keep in touch with your customers. Send them an email when the order has shipped with the tracking information. If something is going to be late, let them know and maybe offer a little something extra. If you offer custom work, update your customers as their order progresses through production.
Customers, and especially wholesale customers, really appreciate this attention to detail.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
What is Customer Relationship Management? It’s a software/web-based program that allows you to manage your contacts, leads, accounts and campaigns.
Contacts: Enter in contact information from suppliers, reps and other people you regularly interact with
Leads: All of the business cards from NSS? Create a “lead” entry and you can record your history. Keep track of when samples were sent and how you found out about your leads. This will help you determine where to focus your energy in gaining new accounts. Create follow-up tasks that send you emails reminding you to send an email, samples etc..Did your lead place an order? Convert it to “account” in your CRM.
Accounts: Manage your existing accounts with precisions. When was their last order? Any notes specific for that customer? Upload POs, invoices, quotes etc..
Campaign: Create, manage and track your marketing plans. Examples of campaigns: Tradeshows, banner ads, cold calling, email, direct mail, webinars, etc…In most programs you can enter in expected revenue, # of contacts (emails, mailers etc..) and new leads from each campaign
If lack of inventory storage space is an issue, and rent is high where you live, you could check out fulfillment centers. In a nutshell, you send them all of your product and when orders come in, the fulfillment center ships it out. Now, the level of detail varies by center. Some will require everything prepackaged, and some will do minor assembly (envelope, card, cello bag).
No worries about shipping.
Fulfillment centers have great discounted shipping rates.
They take care of all shipping needs (boxes, tape etc..).
No need to rent bigger space.
No inventory at your fingertips.
Lose some control about packaging and small details.
FC could be across the country, which would result in high freight cost.
Might have to package all of your product before shipping.
There is a fulfillment cost per order, which doesn’t really make sense for retail orders, only on wholesale orders.
At Sycamore Street Press, we have chosen to keep our shipping in house. It seems that fulfillment centers make the most sense for those who live in expensive cities and focus on wholesale with little to no retail orders.
If you’re looking for the perfect, classic travel day in Manhattan, this is it. There are two great parts about this itinerary: 1) It can work perfectly for a single person, a couple, or a family with kids, depending on the way you tweak it, and 2) It’s budget friendly, but feels rich.
Everything we do at Sycamore Street Press is with the goal of living a simple, beautiful & creative life, and in helping others do the same. There are so many people who have inspired us on this path, and we’d love to learn more from them! So we decided to start an interview series on the topic. Today we’ll hear from Erin Boyle, author of the book Simple Matters and Reading My Tea Leaves, a lifestyle blog celebrating a practical and purposeful approach to a simple, sustainable life.
Tell us a little about how you got started doing your blog.
I started my blog in the very beginning of 2009; so this January marks seven years that I’ve been at it!