Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Advertising, Marketing, Social Networking, EXHAUSTION!!

So now that I am back to work, I am looking for ways to start advertising and marketing again. Well, as wonderful as the internet is with all of its endless possibilities for advertising, it can also be quite exhausting! Everyday there are new sources, media outlets and networking opportunities that it makes it very difficult to figure out what is just hype and what will actually work for my business. Not to mention that a lot of advertising costs money, so deciding how to make the most of my advertising dollars is a big consideration as well.

The first thing that I did when I came back to work, which didn't cost me a cent was to email past and current vendors, clients and associates announcing my return, along with a photo of Benji. A lot of people appreciated the brief but personalized message and some people contacted me right away for work they needed. That was very encouraging and made me feel productive right away. It also was a good excuse to say 'hi' and remind people that I am here if they need anything.

The other place I am listed on now is the Interior Design Directory (check out Conceptual Interiors Inc.)
I haven't received any leads from this yet, but I am going to try it for a year and see what happens. I chose this website for two reasons. The first is that a colleague of mine uses it and said it has gotten him some business. The second is when I Google "New York Interior Designers" and other similar searches, a link to the page where my listing is comes up. I figured this was a good sign that people using Google for this type of search would find me.

Now it's time to move on to other advertising and marketing ideas. I would be interested to know what other small businesses do in order to get their company and message out into the world in a targeted way. There is so much speculation about social media, for example. Does Twitter and Facebook actually bring in business, and if so, for what type of profession? Is getting work the goal or is it more of a branding strategy?

I'm going to start experimenting with Google Ad Words before I get lost in the world of social media (aside from this humble blog and Twitter account - intdesignmom). Fortunately, my husband works in the field of computers and online advertising and will be able to help me (free of charge of course!) set up an account with Google Ad Words and get my advertising dollars working for me! I hope that this form of advertising brings in more direct and immediate business. My plan is to try a few avenues and put more effort into them rather than spreading out too thin both financially and emotionally!

Keep you posted on my progress. Let me know how you get your business!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Inexpensive and Easy Artwork

A good thing to always have on hand is a unique, specialty paper. A good quality art paper can be framed and hung on the wall as an inexpensive and creative way to add to your decor. It is also great to have on hand when wrapping a special present.

Another good tip for filling your space with fun and affordable artwork is to find photos you like such as trips you took or family pictures, and using a photo editing program or Photoshop to alter them into funky and unique art pieces.

If you're not so handy with the computer, then check out sites like Etsy
for altered photos and great frames.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So my first month at work is nearing its end. I have been fortunate enough to have help from my mother this summer until she goes back to work in Septmember. Since I work with my father near their home, I have been able to see Benji during the day whenever I want.

At first I was skeptical about this arrangement. I was afraid that I would be too distracted and not be able to focus on work. It has turned out to be the opposite. With Benji nearby, I have felt more relaxed and more focused since I know I can pop in to say hi at any time. I also don't get those pangs of guilt for leaving him at home while I am far away. This has made my transition back to work much more comfortable.
I am beginning to dread leaving him at home with a nanny for 8-10 hours a day come September when my mother is no longer available to help me. Finding the right person to care for your child while you are not around is a seemingly impossible task. I have met with a few nannies so far but none that have given me that "feeling" I am looking for. Am I being too overprotective, or are my standards set too high? If you don't set your standards high for your child though, then for what? I will keep looking for that Mary Poppins of a nanny through August and hopefully we can find someone that makes me feel as comfortable as a mother can feel when leaving her child in someone else’s care.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Affordable Letterpress Stationery!

Looking for a special way to say "thank you" for an inexpensive price? Leave it to Target to offer these great letterpress thank you cards; only $12.99 for a pack of 50. They are great quality and have offer a nice, textured letterpress feel to them.

I used them to write my thank you cards after Benji was born. They were so convenient and I loved the unique and expensive quality they had. They can be purchased online or in the store if you would like to check them out in person.
Target Letterpress Thank You Cards

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Loving Quilts!

When Benji was born we received so many wonderful gifts! One of the best gifts we received was this handmade quilt.

Not only were we so touched by the time and thought that went into this gift, but Benji absolutely loves to look at all of the colors and pictures on it. There's even a square with his name and birthday on it for a more personalized touch.

I love how the handmade look offsets our more neutral and modern furnishings. It really adds an eclectic and more personalized touch to our decor. Of course, not everyone can make their own quilts and not everyone receives them as gifts. Get the next best thing at websites like Etsy or Sally Campbell.

Hannah Bella and Jake will make your quilt out of old baby clothes and blankets. Talk about personalization! And what fun for your baby to see familiar patterns and colors in one beautiful blanket.
It adds a warm and personalized touch to any decor.

Back To Work With Baby!

Well, it has been a busy first week back to work after a 3 month maternity leave. Although I had prepared mentally for this time, knowing that it would not be the same as before, it was still difficult to make that adjustment.

I had set up some phone meetings with potential clients for this week, only to find out that the day I had planned them, my nanny was unable to come as scheduled. This left me to decide whether to change the calls to another time, or take the chance that Benji would either be sleeping or quiet during the meeting. In the end I managed to get him to sleep about 20 minutes before, so I was able to keep the appointments. Needless to say it was another reminder that life as a working mom will not be the same as before!

On a positive note, I have realized that I am able to get a lot done in less time. I think there is actually room for more efficiency when time is more limited. We spend so much of the day wasted on checking unimportant emails, surfing or researching things that are not top priority. When faced with a more limited schedule, I found that I can actually get a lot more of the important stuff done. Working under pressure seems to be more productive for me in the end.

I read a quote this morning from an article in that said "The only thing that separates those who become entrepreneurs from those who don't is moving forward despite any fear." Entrepreneur Mom
This speaks to me since there is always fear when taking on such challenges as raising a family and nourishing a business. Fear of financial stability, fear of failure and fear of time to name a few. Although there is this fear, there is also an excitement and drive to get to work. To have that independent feeling again and to use your brain cells for things other than singing the ABC's!

All in all, it was good to be back in the professional world and I look forward to the challenges of balancing my personal life with my professional life.
Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Healthy Nursery

As a designer, I have of course been interested in the whole "Green" movement sweeping the country. We hear the word "Green" so often lately though, that it's easy to forget sometimes that "Green" is not only helping the overall environment, but making your home environment a safer and healthier one as well. Now that I am a mom, I especially wanted to make sure that my son Benji's home is a non toxic one. I went to check out the Green Depot here on the Bowery in NYC for some non-toxic products. It is a cute store that offers sustainable, non-toxic materials and products in a fun and well designed atmosphere.
They offer paints with no or low VOC's which are healthy to breathe in, especially for children or people with breathing issues. Their carpets are handknotted and composed of 100% wool, vegetable dyes and natural latex backing which are beneficial for health and sustainability. On top of having these more environmentally friendly products, they can help you put together a well designed look for your children's nursery or room. Check out their online store for more products and information at

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fourth of July!

Wow, I can't believe that the Fourth of July weekend is already here! It seems like the summer is flying by! It reminds me to take a minute and enjoy the warm sunny days and the beautiful nights. There is so much to be inspired by in the summer, so I thought that I would share some of my summertime inspirations with you. Happy Fourth of July!!