June 27, 2014

Fashion Friday: Fourth of July

Dust off the fireworks, fire up the grill, and slice up the watermelon because the Fourth of July is right around the corner! For this Fashion Friday, we thought we'd put together a stylish holiday outfit that is just the right amount of red, white, and blue. When dressing for the occasion, you can either go the subtle route by playing up the Americana color palette, or you can go the literal route and rock a flag or anything star patterned. We like this look because we think it's the perfect mix of the two. This navy and white striped dress paired with white sneakers, a casual tote, American flag scarf and red sparkly nail polish is perfect for your picnic or fireworks gazing. Add our Double Chevron Necklace to the mix and you're decked out (tastefully) in festive stars and stripes.  

1. American Flag Scarf by LibbySue 
2. Tortoise Round Sunglasses by Topshop 
3. Navy and White Striped Dress by Alice & You
4. Double Chevron Necklace by Freshie & Zero 
5. Glitter Nail polish by OPI
6. White Leather Allstars by Converse
7. Napa Beach Tote by Calypso St. Barth 

June 20, 2014

Fashion Friday: How to Dress for an Airplane

Let's be honest - flying is about as fun as riding an overcrowded school bus, but please don't let that tempt you into wearing pajama pants as your in-flight outfit. Trust us, it's easy to look presentable on a plane while still maintaining comfort; in fact, we think you'll be even more comfortable just by putting a little effort into your appearance! Here's a simple list to help you travel in comfortable style.

1. Layer, Layer, Layer: You never know what the temperature on the plane is going to be. Give yourself the ability to adapt to the fluctuations by wearing layers that can easily be removed or added. Leggings with a basic tank and cardigan are perfect for this occasion. We also love scarves for traveling because they can double as a blanket.

2. Minimize Your Accessories: With Airport Security as tight as it is, you don't want to be the girl that holds up the line because you have to take your 100 bracelets off, one by one. We recommend wearing  simple jewelry so you can zip through security without having your chunky bib necklace x-rayed.

3. Wear Comfortable, Easily-Removable Shoes: You never know if you'll be running like a madman to make that connecting flight or walking a mile to find your next terminal or a bite to eat, so it's important to wear comfortable shoes (this does not include flip flops!). You'll also want to wear shoes that are easily-removable, since you'll be taking them off and on through security, and if you're a germaphobe, be sure to wear socks!

1. Pebble Necklace by Freshie & Zero
2. Silk Sleeping Mask by Mary Green 
3. Ivory and Black Gauze Tank by J.Crew 
4. Black Leggings by Topshop
5. Natural Burlap Slip Ons by TOMS
6. Cotton Cardigan by Michael Kors 
7. Leather Handle Circle Tote by See Design
8. Cashmere Pashmina Shawl by Bajra Shawls  

June 06, 2014

Fashion Friday: Summer BBQ

To quote Alice Cooper, "School's out for Summer!" meaning barbecue season has officially begun! When else can you combine delicious food, drinks, music, beautiful weather, fun and games all at one event? Whether you're the one hosting the BBQ or a guest at someone's get together, you should remember that cookouts are technically low key affairs so it's important to sport an ensemble that is put together but not over the top. A casual dress is always a good option, and one that lets you wear a bathing suit underneath is even better (in case you decide to take a dip in the pool or lake). A big, Mary Poppins style tote is your best friend at these events because it allows you to pack every possible thing you'll need: sunnies, a hat, a towel, sunscreen, etc. You'll also want to wear comfortable flats or sandals - heels are a no-no for obvious reasons. Lastly, a simple, dainty necklace like our Small Honey Petals Necklace is the perfect finishing touch to a BBQ get up (just remember to take your jewelry off if you go in the pool).  

1. Classic Fedora by Hat Attack
2. Small Honey Petals Necklace by Freshie & Zero
3. Geometric Correa Sandals by Jonathan Adler for TOMS
4. Margherita Dress by Tory Burch
5. Retro Cats Sunglasses by Ray-Ban 
6. Valencia Raffia Crochet Bag by MAR Y SOL
7. Scallop Bikini by Marysia

June 05, 2014

In Case You Missed It | May edition

Can you believe it's already June?!? May was an incredibly busy month for us, as we're sure it was for all you readers out there. Here is a roundup of all of our May highlights in case you missed it:

1. Our Double Drop Earrings were featured on My Mom Shops! Joanna wrote "These pretty, delicate pieces – including lots of dangly earrings, necklaces, and bracelets – mix and match effortlessly, but even just a single item can freshen up your jewelry wardrobe." Check the entire article out here

2. Sweet Relish curated a list of Teacher Appreciation gifts and included our Honey Petals necklace, one of our customer favorites. They wrote, "It will be love at first wear." Thanks for the kind words guys! Find it here

3.  The Freshie & Zero team travelled to New York City for the National Stationery Show! We couldn't be happier with how well it went and all the amazing artists we met there. See a recap of our NYC adventures here.

5. How About Orange (a fabulous blog featuring DIY tutorials, design resources, and more) featured four of our pieces on their blog. Read her review here

6. Our hammers were busily pinging away in our Nashville studio to fill the numerous gift orders for Mother's Day, Graduation and Weddings. Goodness, there were lots! 

7. Sweet Relish's article "6 Thoughtful Touches To Make Your Wedding Totally Unique" included our "Amie" Necklace and said, "Show the bridesmaids some love with hand-hammered jewelry from Freshie & Zero. There’s sure to be “oohs” and “ahhs” all around when your favorite girls set their eyes on the delicate necklaces and earrings." Click here to read it. 

Thanks for being so good to us, May. Cheers to what June may bring! 

June 02, 2014

Recap: National Stationery Show 2014

Melanie & Freshie
I'm going to let you in on how I run my business. I don't really do budgets or spreadsheets to calculate cost analysis or market research - I pretty much just go with my gut. Mind you, my gut is primed with years of experience, but my gut has no formal business training. 

So when an opportunity to exhibit at the National Stationery Show came up, my gut considered it. Even though it's primarily a, you know, stationery show. Even though there was only one other jewelry line signed up to do it that I knew of. And even though it would cost me thousands to do it, plus the fact that my one and only vacation of the year had already been scheduled right before the show, meaning that my two assistants who had never before set up a trade show booth would have to do the entire setup without me…. my gut said "Let's do it!"

Luckily, my gut was right.

Our corner booth - ready for business!

The show was a success on so many levels, and I truly couldn't have done it without help from my fabulous assistants Melanie and Jessica. While I drank beer on the beach in Florida, they bravely conquered setup, armed only with a binder full of instructions and a stack of 4x6 photos! This is not an easy task - setup is frustrating and exhausting, especially when it's not your booth! 

They did a great job (my gut knew they would), and now they know how to set up and tear down a trade show booth! I am certain they are super grateful for this knowledge I have so generously bestowed upon them. Don't you think they look grateful?

Totally grateful. In no way did I rub my vacation in their faces, either. 

The best part of these shows is not just opening new accounts, but also networking with so many nice and creative people. We were even lucky enough to meet a few artists we adore! For starters, Jessica spotted her talent crush Lisa Congdon walking around the show and melted in awe just a tiny bit. On the night of the Paper Party, Melanie and I accosted chatted with the super-talented (and hilarious) Emily McDowell and her assistant Charlie while walking together on the sidewalks of New York so we're totally BFFs now, obviously

I've also been a longtime fan of Night Owl Paper Goods, and when I stopped in their booth to tell them so (did I mention I'm not very shy?), I noticed their new amazing collaboration with Dolan Geiman, a talented folk/mixed-media artist I've had the pleasure of meeting in the past. And as if being able to chat with them wasn't cool enough, they gave me one of their adorable totes! 

Dolan Geiman's collection with Night Owl Paper Goods
Next, I had to drool over swing by another of my favorite card lines, Hello!Lucky, and I ended up having a potty training conversation with the owner, Sabrina. Oh the unifying experiences of parenthood! You have to check out her potty-training chart if you're in the market for one. As the mother of a four and two year old, I could use an entire stack of them!

Hello!Lucky's potty training chart for girls

One of the best aspects of the NSS is being exposed to businesses we were previously unaware of. Three of those happened to be our booth neighbors! Fletcher & Fox is a company specializing in handmade wooden arrows (we will definitely be needing some for our new studio); Beve!, who makes the cutest paper straws and washi tape; and lastly, Katie Leamon from the UK, who not only makes us wish we owned all of her beautiful stationery but also that we could sport that fabulous British accent of hers. We also ran into a little bit of home at the show when we met Pop-In-Greetings and Craft Course, two fellow Nashville businesses. I love how small Nashville is - everyone in the Pop-In-Greetings booth were Belmont University alums like myself! I could truly go on and on about all the awesome people we met - there are just too many to mention!

Katie Leamon cards

In addition to meeting new people, we also relish the chance to reconnect with other small business owners we've met over the years. Eva & Kirk of Sycamore Street Press were our booth neighbors at the 2008 Indieana Handicraft Exchange - so long ago! Eva and I pondered how much our lives and businesses have changed since then - I mean we both have had two children and are still running our businesses full time - high five! I also got to talk shop with my buddy Beth from 1Canoe2 - her business has really exploded in the past few years and luckily she's super cool, otherwise I'd be totally jealous.

On a side note, I'd like to give a big shout out to the ENTIRE Etsy Wholesale team, the whole reason we were there in the first place! (We exhibited in conjunction with their partnership with Signature Mix.) They were beyond friendly and helpful, constantly stopping by our booth to check in on how we were doing and wanting our thoughts on the Etsy Wholesale platform. We have high hopes for their launch in August! 

Overall, NYC and the National Stationery Show (in the process of being renamed as the Signature Mix Marketplace) treated us very well.  We loved every moment of it and are looking forward to our return! I guess I can treat my gut to some ice cream.