Sunday, December 10, 2006

Radical Sabbatical

For a couple of years now, I've been sort of obsessed with this show on the Fine Living Network called Radical Sabbatical. It is a show that follows successful, top-of-their-field peeps who one day decide to hang up their briefcases and burn their ties and pantyhose to pursue their life's passions. It seems as if most people on the show are leaving corporate jobs to go off and pursue way cooler (and much more fun) endeavors such as winemaking, running a dude ranch or moving to mexico and opening a breakfast cafe.

It's interesting because eventhough I feel like I took a bit of chance by leaving my full-time job to start Paper Bride and Paper Mama, I still don't feel nearly as brave as the people on this show. They really are all shining of examples of what happens when you go charging toward that cliff, leap off without a parachute and hope for the best. Of course, all of them end up happy, fulfilled, and sucessful at whatever they have chosen to do. I guess that's a requirement of being on the show, so perhaps the results are a bit skewed, but I'm fascinated nonetheless.

I'm not even sure what my dream-come-true radical sabbatical would be for sure, but after our honeymoon in Italy, I'm thinking it would likely have to be someplace in Italia.

What would you do if you ever took your life in the direction of a radical sabbatical?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Project 365

I read about a "project 365" recently and I really just think this is a fun, cool idea. Simply, you just need to take one digital photo a day for 365 days. This will then become a year-long photo album/diary for you and your family and will likely turn into a pretty cool keepsake. With the end of the year looming, this sounds like a fun project to take on for 2007.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Wedding Podcast Network

Though I've mentioned this fantastic resource before, I thought it was time to send another shout-out into the universe. The Wedding Podcast Network is one of the coolest companies I've come across during my time in the bridal industry.

The WPN is basically an on demand internet "channel" (for lack of a better word) that offers free, super helpful, cutting edge advice to brides-to-be in the form of podcasts. You can listen to these podcasts on your computer--whenever the mood strikes-- and they are all totally free and chock full of resources, savvy points-of-view and just good ole information. Best of all, you can hear advice from some of the top professionals in the industry as well as real-life brides.

I was lucky enough to take part in the Wedding Podcast Network's Newlywedcast show today to talk about our wedding and life as a newly married couple. The show is not live yet (will post a link when it is), but it was so much fun to relive our special day and talk about all of the details.

If you are a bride-to-be, you absolutely must check out some podcasts. I'm truly addicted.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I'm back (I think)

It's been so long, I'm not even quite sure how to say hello again. My break lasted waay longer than planned, and in truth, I've been avoiding posting again because I was unsure if I could handle the pressure of putting one post out there and then feeling the added pressure of having to do the same thing the next day. But what the hell.

To catch everyone up:

I'm married! That's definitely the biggest and baddest news I have to share. Despite many complications and unexpected hiccups, the wedding was magical. It was really an unbelivable night and we really just had so much darn fun. Here are a few pics from our fantastic, sweet, insanely talented photographer Teness Herman:

These were taken by our friend Blake:

After the wedding we had a dreamy, two-week trip to Italy. We went to the Amalfi Coast, Florence and Tuscany, and boy was it hard to drag our asses on to that plane to come back.

For anyone who is seriously bored, you can feel free to check out our honeymoon slideshow here.

So, all in all, everything is pretty great. I have lots of changes and (possibly)exciting things brewing in my life and I'm looking forward to sorting it all out.

While we were away, Paper Mama was featured in Time Out NY Kids and Child (which was wonderfully convenient for me since I had shut down our online stores), but alas, we take the press when we can get it.

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Blogging Break

Hello everyone. I'm sorry I've been MIA, but one day without posting turned into two...and then three...and four, and before I knew it I was just on a blogging break.

I've had some good things happen...and some bad. I'm in a bit of an in between space right now and also in the midst of planning for my wedding (which is coming up on October 21st). It's pretty hard to pique my interest much these days unless you are a tasty wedding favor, poofy dress or italian honeymoon.

So apologies for the dryspell...but alas, if I'm being truthful its likely going to last through early November (when we return from the afore mentioned Italian honeymoon). I hope everyone out there in cyber space is peachy keen and am keeping my fingers crossed that when I return from our fun-filled trip I'll be full of posts and useful information.

ciao for now.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

How to Create Letterhead Templates in Word

Do you have letterhead for your new fab company? If not, use this article as a guide, save some money AND time, and do it yourself!


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What it Takes to be Rich

Here's an interesting roundup from Money Magazine on "What it Takes to be Rich." The reporter actually did something pretty novel: he randomly rang the doorbells at over 200 beautiful homes to try to find out how the people living there actually got there in the first place. Many did not want to talk, and he was even chased by a guard dog at one point, but he did manage to get some pretty interesting stories.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

We're Goin' to the Hamptons!

Watch out Kelly Ripa, we're Hamptons-bound this weekend.

Paper Mama will be participating in this upcoming event this Friday. Joining me will be my fabulously talented cousin Meri who recently launched her own fantastic line of kid-friendly t-shirts: VeryMeri. My brother and cousin Mike run a wildly successful security tag business, which means that each of the four oldest grandkids in our family are kickin' it entrepreneur style. It's definitely in our blood--our Grandpa Harry was one hell of a business man. He opened a sporting goods store/RV dealership on Long Island over 50 years ago that remains in business even today.

Unusual Business Ideas That Worked

I've talked about this blog before, but its really worth mentioning again as its one of my favorites: Unusual Business Ideas That Worked.

I have no idea who writes this blog as the author's profile is blank, but whoever you are mystery man/woman, you continue to provide me with daily inspiration. There is no particular one kind of company or business mentioned; instead they feature a variety of simple, really good ideas that average joes and janes like you and me have pursued with sucess. Some of the ideas, in fact, are mind blowing...and sometimes I'm left feeling like "hey how on earth can they be making six figures plus when I'm not!?," but mostly I just get re-inspired and re-motivated about my own business after reading about all these other successful peeps.

Def worth adding to your Bloglines feeds.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Paper Love

Our wedding invitations arrived yesterday, and I couldn't resist posting a pic because they are really just to die for.

A huge, gargantuan shout out to Rachelle of Wiley Valentine who was endlessly patient, super quick to repsond to all of my annoying questions and requests and insanely talented to boot.

For some reason I couldn't get a great pic, so let me tell you whey our invites are so fab in case you can't see:
*They each have 3 perfect, adorable little pink crystals on the main invitation
*Foregoing calligraphy, we have totally chic labels on our invite envelopes
*As I'm not a wedding bird girl, we designed coordinating stamps for both the invite envelope and the reply card envelope.
*the pink and creme is so chic...palm desert..and pretty much perfectly matches my dress
*my new last initial ("R") gets some prominent play :)

I was so excited, I marched straight over to the post office and had em all hand canceled and sent on their way!

Friday, August 11, 2006

What's in a Name?

Here's an interesting article about the importance of finding the right url for your company. For those that think that a snappy url address isn't important...think again. They also include some good tips on purchasing domain names that are already taken (did you know there was such a thing as domain name brokers!?).

To Do's for Me-n-You

Though I've been slacking lately, I previously have used Ta Da Lists to keep track of my "to do's" online. Ta Da is an easy, unfussy way to keep track of what's goin on, but I'm really intrigued by an even bigger and badder "to do" listkeeper called HiveMinder.

Hive Minder takes things one step further by allowing you to "tag" your todo items, set due dates and, again, share with others. You can even create group hives, so if you have an ongoing project or a business partner, you can set up shared todo lists with task reminders and due dates! Yowza.

I definitely need a hive for our leftover wedding planning tasks, one for Paper Bride, one for Paper Mama, one for our new apartment in Brooklyn (to keep track of leftover needed items for our mortgage), I might need a hive to keep track of future hives that I need.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Have I mentioned that I love interns?

After day three with my fantastic, fantabulous, super spectacular intern I'm happy to report that we have easily completed a task that had been hanging over my head for the past 3 months (getting out sample packs to 14 reps). I'm quite certain that I've, luckily, stumbled upon the valedictorian of all interns but I don't want to go on and on about her too much for fear that one of you will try to steal her away from me. Suffice it to say, she rocks!

Plus she's Icelandic, and since my fiance is obsessed with all things Iceland, even he's in love with her and he hasn't even met her yet.

Yay for interns!

Monday, August 07, 2006

This isn't necessarily as well suited for a stationery biz, but for all of you crafty chicas, is a pretty nifty idea.

From their site:
CraftMemo Helps You:
* Organize & keep track of all your craft goodies, projects & suppliers.
* Generate detailed lists of your inventory, out of stock items, what you need for a project and where to purchase them from.
* Plan what supplies you need & calculate the cost for your upcoming projects.

This seems particularly well suited for those with jewelry lines, but I can see many biz owners really benefitting from this.

And,'s free.


X vs. XP

Ha! An "objective" "truthful" look at which operating system is best: Mac OS X or Windows XP.

Guess which one won?? I love you, Steve Jobs.


I'm very intrigued by this post on about the site rent-a-coder. Basically, you can post any coding jobs/projects that you need some help with and have coders all over the world bid on your project (generally for a LOT less money than you would pay here). I have never tried the service, but it seems like it is set up rather safely (payment for projects go into an escrow account and administrative issues are handled entirely by the website). Seems like an interesting option...especially if you just need some quick fixes on a site.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Reinvent Your Blog

Wanna reinvent your blog? I least the design of it. At this point it kinda makes me want to puke.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ready for QVC?

For anyone out there with a product that they feel might be appropriate for QVC, they are on the hunt for some fresh meat. Even if you only kinda, sorta feel like your product would work, with an audience of 89 million, you may just want to give it a shot.

From their website:

What does QVC look for in a product?
Generally, QVC looks for products that:
*demonstrate well
*solve a common problem
*make life easier
*appeal to a broad audience
*have unique features and benefits

Your product should also be priced $15 or higher.

They are conducting a Product Search Event in NYC on October 24, 2006 (DAMN, will be on my Honeymoon!) They are accepting event registrations online beginning Tuesday, September 5, so check back with their site then if you would like to throw your hat into the ring!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Screw You Mel Gibson

Off topic for a moment here, Mel Gibson's recent episode in which he was captured (on tape!), after being arrested for driving under the influence, spewing hate-filled anti-semitic epithets seriously made my stomach churn. I'm sorry this guy has a problem with alcohol and wish him well in his recovery, but I've instituted a full on personal Gibson ban in my life and do not, for one hot minute, believe his BS apology about how it was "just the booze talking."

I've never gotten drunk before and went off on a rant about how much I hate Flamenco Dancers...because I don't hate Flamenco Dancers. I've never had a thought in my head that I hate Flamenco Dancers, discussed with others how I hate Flamenco Dancers or been associated with any other Flamenco Dance-hating peeps. This was clearly *not* the booze talking.

Recycling For Charities

Recycling for Charities is
a national environmental program where you can donate any type of old, unwanted used cell phone, pager, PDA, Palm Pilot, Handspring or digital camera to be properly recycled with proceeds benifiting the non-profit charity of your choice.

Pretty neat (and the website makes it super easy for you to recycle your stuff and donate to the charity of your choice)

Recycling For Charities


PR Web...Beyond the Press Release

Not sure if you guys have ever gone explorin', but there are actually some cool features on that go beyond submitting press releases.

There is an entire (fairly comprehensive) list of PR firms to sort through for those who might be thinking about taking the leap and hiring an agency.

There are industry category newsfeeds that you can subscribe to. This can get a bit overwhelming, but for those who are really committed to staying on top of news in your own category (or looking for samples of other press releases that similar businesses have written), this is a great resource.

Even if you have never submitted a press release before, I would definitely recommend signing up and getting yourself one of their free accounts. This allows you access to free seminars and webinars on various PR topics (currently there are some on SEO and a new user orientation). even lets you submit Podcasts for distribution now (something I'd really like to get into).

Look around a bit...there's quite a bit to see.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

How Not to Act on JDate

My brother Ted sent me this, and I have not laughed out loud in shocked disbelief like this in a very long time.

Niche Market Research

Have a great idea for a biz, but unsure if it will actually work or not?

I find myself coming up with ideas all of the time. The lightbulb moment is often followed by one of several thoughts:
*Is this crazy?
*Do I really have the desire to anything about this
*could this really work?

here is a great article from Slacker Manager on how to do some quick, down and dirty market research on your biz idea for almost zero dinero.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hell, yeah...

“We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.”
– Frank Tibolt

Inspirational Interview: Megan Ducket

Ok, so a "custom theatrical drape maker," may not sound like a home run for doling out small biz advice, but Megan Ducket from Sew What has seriously got it goin' on.

Read her Interview with

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Advertising Online

Managing our google campaign is as distateful to me as going to the dentist. I just don't quite get it most of the time and have yet to properly figure out how to finesse it so that I'm spending a certain amount of money and bringing in double that amount with new customers. That's my lofty goal.

So, I loved this article Promoting your Business through Search Engines that talked about the difficulty and importance of online search campaigns. However, after reading that a guy with a "pig chef figurine" business was making $1000 a day selling his wares, I must confess to a slight inclination to go jump into the Hudson River. Pig Chef Figurines!?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Need some Inspiration?

One of the most common questions I get when mixing and mingling with other biz minded ladies is: "how did you start your company?" Though a seemingly simple query, this question really could not be more complicated for me. Oh how I wish I could say: "well, I did this, that and this followed by a large dose of that and, voila! My company was born." The truth is, I just sort of did it--not very glamorous, I know, but its the truth. I did not have a finely tuned gameplan, a sharp business advisor directing me or a step-by-step to-do list. I did, however, have the advantage of more than a few helpful peeps along the way who shared advice, experiences, opinions and outlooks based on their own trials and tribulations and that really was truly invaluable for me.

So, I was super psyched to see that our good friend i *heart* paper started a new paper-focused community called The Inspiration Board to help others who are on the same path. While the board will hone in on a number of paper specific issues, it seems like a good deal of info will be useful for all sorts of other peeps, so you should definitely hop on over, register and start posting!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Shipping Shenanigans

After being in business for over a year now, I've developed an equal level of disdain for pretty much all of the major shippers. They are expensive...often unhelpful...and they ALL make mistakes. I've also discovered that one size definitely does NOT fit all when it comes to shipping. There is not currently one method of shipping I would feel comfortable using exclusively. From my experience, this is what I've uncovered.

*For very light packages, USPS is the way to go
*For heavier packages that are not going a great distance (i.e. a few states away), Fed Ex Ground is my choice
*And for heavier packages going a further distance (i.e. NY to CA), UPS has been my best bet.

Mind you, with gas prices constantly on the rise, these stats can easily change. I've never really given DHL a fair shot either. So I was happy to come across RedRoller. RedRoller lets you easily compare shipping costs across all of the major biggies with just a couple of clicks. So now when we're sending an 18 pound box to a store in Northern California, I can easily check and see the most economical way of getting it there.

(via LifeHacker)

Paper Mama in the Wall Street Journal

Check Paper Mama out in the Wall Street Journal.

This article also mentioned our friends Anna Bella Baby and Tiny Prints.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

How to Retire Faster

NOTE TO SELF: Read this article on How to Retire Faster. Do everything it says. Repeat.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Paper Mama is the Belle of the Ball

I know sometimes moms, teachers, camp counselors or anyone else who deals with kids often go to great lengths to ensure they do not show any favortism toward one child over another.

I'm not a mom, have never been a teacher, and gave up my camp counselor days when I was 18, but I struggle with this a lot in terms of who gets my love: Paper Bride or Paper Mama. But today, there is no struggle: it's all about Paper Mama.

My partner and I are throwing a fab Editor's tea today at HTwo at Saks to launch our Paper Mama line. Yes, I realize that its July, so we will be having iced tea, but you get the point.

I was up half the night preparing our new Tip Kits, and am now camped out in our building's mailroom awaiting an early shipment of our new catalogs from overseas. Oh yeah, and I need to get a manicure pronto, run out to kinkos to get copies made, have my hair blown out, buy extra ribbon, finish packing up my suitcase of supplies and pray that I don't immediately sweat through my dress within the first 10 minutes (I may need some group prayer for that one). Also crossing all fingers and toes that the predicted NYC thunderstorms don't end up thundering.

BUT...we have some awesome gift bags, thanks to donations from some pretty talented ladies and an AMAZING list of RSVP's, so I'm hoping that we seriously rock it out today. Are you wishing me cyber luck?

Podcast Love Revisited

I've already shared my deep and undying love of podcasts with you all. So, of course I was pretty head-over-heels to find this post on even bigger and better ways to listen to and search for podcasts.

Have you guys started podcast listening yet? Seriously, are you listening right now???

(via lifehacker)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Repackaging Packaging

Barcodes reinvented

Man, the Japanese are pretty much on top of *everything* in the world of design!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ready to Wholesale?

Really, ready? Are you sure?

Our friends at i *heart* paper have a great post about why you need to stop, look both ways and check the traffic light before "crossing" into the world of wholesale (this is coming from the girl who is *still* sitting on most of her NSS orders, so read it!).

Monday, July 03, 2006

Marketing through Myspace

Like many others, I DO have a myspace profile for Paper Bride (still need one for Paper Mama), but truth be told, I barely ever hang out on myspace and have yet to learn how to really "work it" in terms of promoting my businesses.

That is not the case, however, for Kalon Clothing, a start-up apparel company that has gained popularity and enjoyed steady sales all thanks to promoting themselves on

Here's a great article on how, without spending a dime on advertising or marketing, they did it.

Friday, June 30, 2006

This American Life

I was chatting (ok, that's a lie...we were emailing) with a friend the other day about one of my most favorite things in the whole wide world: This American Life.

This American Life is a weekly radio show on NPR that is hosted by this witty and lovable man named Ira Glass (who is, by the way, my SECOND choice for a husband if Greg is ever unable to fulfill his husbandly duties). TAL has probably provided me with more joyful, laugh-out-loud, gut wrenchingly touching, and just plain wonderful entertainment than any other form of media in my life (and this is coming from the girl with two tivos, an ipod, two laptops and 32 magazine subscriptions).

On my most successful and productive days, I usually listen to 3 or 4 This American Life shows, and as much as I sometimes love me some Justin T or Nelly, these shows are just not to be missed.

It's difficult to describe their fabulosity and so I hope each of you will just take my word for it, go to the site pronto and check them out for yourself. Basically, each week the show picks a certain theme and then includes 3 acts worth of stories based around that theme. The stories are fantastic, the reporters are amazing and the people featured are all so interesting/compelling/real/touching/thought provoking, that you can actually feel your brain expanding as you listen. Trust me...TAL rocks.

Some of my faves:
*Notes on Camp
*My Big Break
*Mind Games
(To find these shows, just go to above link and do a search).

Knot too shabby

Check out this interesting interview with founder of's Carley Roney.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Daily Candy did NOT make me a millionaire

Yep, folks, You heard it here first. After appearing in Daily Candy this April, I'm just about the only chump this side of the Mississippi who did not:

a. Have my website shut down b/c the traffic was in the hundreds of thousands
b. Sell out of all my products
c. Get picked up by a national chain
d. Find other such fame and fortune

Now if you are thinking "hey, I just read that Daily Candy piece and I don't see you? Where are you?," you're not the only one. One of the biggest problems with my inclusion was that we were not mentioned by name (so no site indexing and no brand recognition). The line reads: "Also, thank-you notes are the last word. Pick one with a lot of personality"--if you're curious enough to click on personality, well then you'll get to my site lickety-split...but not everyone clicked...hence the problem.

I was included with a fab group of other wedding vendors. Our traffic was defintiely MUCH higher for that day and we most certainly got a good number of extra sales, but that private island in the caribbean I was hoping to put a down payment on...uh uh.

Now don't get me wrong, I still love me some Daily Candy. I subscribe to every city edition and read them every darn day with relished enthusiasm. As a business model, I think Daily Candy is nothing less than brilliant and I kick myself daily that I did not come up with the idea myself.

For me this was much more a lesson about expectations for your business, and trying to keep yourself grounded and focussed. It was a reminder that just because something worked for one, does not mean it will work for others (and vice versa, of course). I'm thankful that this lesson came after I had a bit of experience under my belt (otherwise, I would have most certainly been reduced to a weepy, inconsolable heap of self-pity). Instead I was able to dust myself off, shrug my shoulders and keep on keepin' on the next day.

After all, I still get to say "I was in Daily Candy," and that's not too shabby.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

TED Talks

My brother's name is Ted, but that's not the TED I'm talkin' about.

TED stands for Technology Entertainment Design, and each year there is a pretty shi shi exclusive TED conference that only 1000 people are invited to. The speakers at TED are pretty beyond phenomenal; they are movers and shakers in every major industry and specialty.

Since its so darn exclusive, I don't think my invite to TED is comin' anytime soon. So I was so glad to see that they have recently launched TEDtalks which is a new section of the website that allows you to either download audio or video of some of their most prominent speakers.

None of these people are in the same industry I am, but they all have some pretty inspiring things to say. I put a few of my podcasts on hold today for some TED talks.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Internet Friends

Forget about the school bus or sororities...It occurred to me today that I have really made a load of great friends over the internet. I don't mean sleazy chat room friends, but real, bug for advice, share resources, vent about life sort of friends--many of whom I've never even met. Not to sound like a four year old, but how cool is that!? The internet has become such a major part of all of our lives, its hard to remember what things were like before it. I use the internet to buy presents, purchase movie tickets, check the weather, communicate with everyone, read gossip/news/blogs/forums, pay all of my bills, go grocery shopping, order supplies for my business, find manufacturers, check interest rates, learn how to train my dog, send ecards and about a thousand other things I can't think of at this moment.

Anyway, this post is about internet friends, so here is a short list of some of mine. There isn't a one in the bunch who is not insanely talented, super sweet, achingly funny, generously helpful or a combination of all of the above (in no particular order):

Noisy Dog Studio
Anna Bella Baby
Turtle Papers
Shades of Violet
Pink Loves Brown
Fashion Flair Cards
Cat Seto
Claudine Hellmuth
Kenzie Kate
Wedding Bee
Retro Pet
Polka Dot Mittens
i *heart* paper
Tobi Wood Designs
Indigo Hand Loom
Very Commerce
Anne Maa
Oh Joy!
Just My Cup of Tea
Very Meri

On a sidenote, has anyone seen the new Nelly Furtado video? Man, is it HOT (i would use double caps here if possible). For some reason it got tivo'd and I swear I just watched it 11 times...and now I think I need a shower. And did anyone else catch the Justin Timberlake cameos at the end? I heart me some Nelly--she's just about the most beautiful woman I've ever seen.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Blogging A - Z

Here's a fantastic round-up from of all of the blogging terms and sites you should be all over if you're bloggin' in the USA like I am.

Did you know there is actually now a service where you can hire bloggers to "babysit" yours while you are away on vacation? Yep, Check out all the other cool links.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Life of the Party

Here's a really interesting article on the two women who started the super cool/super successful online party supply site

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Unusual Business Ideas that Worked

Check this site out: Unusual Business Ideas that Worked

There is a collection of all sorts of interesting stories about people with unusual ideas for businesses that really ended up paying off. There is some great inspiration to be had for those of you thinking of starting a biz, but are unsure what to do...and even for the rest of us who are already trying to make it happen in a big way. Again, a great reminder to get outside your comfort zone, try new things and always be one step ahead of the game.


Strapless Begone!

[We take a break from our regularly scheduled small biz programming to bring you: a bit of wedding talk!]

I was tickled pink to find this article today in the SF Gate on strapless wedding gowns (via, and more importantly, on brides' inexplicable fixation with them.

I've already gone on record as firmly planted in the anti strapless dress club. It's not that I don't like the look of these dresses, or don't appreciate the "bridal-ocity" of them...its just that EVERYONE WEARS THEM! But this is where I differ with 99% of the bridal population...I want my wedding to look and be totally 100% different from the "norm" and many brides want the full-on fairly tale deluxe package with all of the trimmings (i.e white strapless dress, limo to the church, bridesmaids all in a row, etc). And I really, truly think that's great. I promise I do. I think your wedding should be exactly, in every way shape or form, what you want it to be. I just want mine to be different. And [OK, full disclosure: I don't have nice upper arms].

Friday, June 16, 2006

Dear Britney Spears...

Dear Brit,


Before I saw your interview with Matt Lauer last night, I was having one of those days when I was feeling overwhelmed with wedding crap, hating my new summer highlights and agonizing over the fact that the scale had *still* not quite moved down below that number I really want it to despite my early morn workout sessions.

I'm guessing you probably were just in the midst of a nice game of paddy-cake with little K-Fed Jr. or vacuuming the house (as you claim you LOVE to do) when Matt Lauer unexpectedly showed up on your doorstep with a camera crew. You must have been surprised to see the whole Dateline brigade, but that would explain why your hair extensions looked as if they had been brushed with a rake and your outfit screamed Salvation Army Dollar Sale. The wad of gum in your mouth was unexpected and the loud smacking noises were perhaps a bit [finger quote] "much [end finger quote] but, thankfully, I was easily distracted by your ginormous bossum cascading out of your ill-fitting top and that clump of mascara lodged on your right eye. The purple, glittery cutex nail polish was divine!

Anyway, I hope the paparazzi leaves you the heck alone soon, because clearly you are not giving them ANYTHING to take note of (sure we all drive on dangerous highway roads with infants in our lap! nothin' to see there!) So, thanks again. For one glorious hour I felt like the most pulled together, fashion savvy, well spoken hottie on the planet.

MWAH! Kisses to K-Fed and the sunshine gang.

Podcasts are Perfect

Over the past couple of months, I've seriously immersed myself in the world of podcasts...and I love it! I listen to podcasts now throughout good chunks of my day and I've even begun to look forward to certain casts as I do my cadre of much beloved TV shows.

There is sooo much wonderful, interesting, captivating, or just plain funny podcast content out there and if you've yet to embrace this medium...well, it's time to dive in.

You do NOT need an ipod in order to listen to podcasts (though I would highly recommend you get one if you don't have one, but that's a separate topic). All you need is a computer, so if you are reading this post right now, you are podcast ready!

A great place to start for podcast newbies is itunes. You'll need to download itunes (which can be done for both mac and PC users), but they have a fairly easy interface and its also a great way to store music on your computer, so its a win win. Itunes has a "music store" in which there is an entire section dedicated to podcasts with categories, suggestions, featured podcasts and a fairly robust search engine. Anyone can post a podcast here, so there is a pretty rockin' selection.

Another favorite of mine is The Wedding Podcast Network. The WPN is a MUST listen for any brides-to-be out there who are in the midst of the craziness of wedding planning. They have podcasts tackling subjects such as getting in shape (Wedding Workout), expert interviews (Meet the Masters) and even a groom-centric show (Grooms With a View). I listen to these awesome wedding-centric casts just about as much as I can. In fact, you can hear me on their latest Bridal Scene Show being interviewed at The National Stationery Show.

For those out there in the stationery biz, you MUST check out I *heart* paper's Paper Pods. Super savvy businesswoman Dawn talks about all sorts of important topics that are relevant to anyone in this business from copyrights, to following trends, to mistakes new biz owners need to avoid. These Paper Pods are amazing for those starting out, but even if your biz is in full swing and raking in the cash, these are topics that everyone needs to stay on top of.

Another awesome podcast for crafty peeps is Craftcast with Allison Lee. Allison talks with all sorts of other crafty biz owners (and is pretty darn crafty in her own right), so there is always lots of great information here too.

You really will be blown away by the topics that people are podcasting about these days. I listen to podcasts on my fave TV shows, news roundups, small business casts, comedy casts and everything in between.

If you are not yet podcasting it up...well, you're missing out. Come on in...the water's fine!

Small Biz Owners "Prosper"

Awhile back I wrote about a cool money lending website called Prosper matches up those seeking money with those that have it to lend and basically takes out scary middle men like the bank...the SBA...and all those other organizations that *sometimes* seem to make it harder, rather than easier to borrow money.

I think the idea is wonderful, particularly for those looking for smaller amounts of startup capital (you can borrow up to $25,000). So I was pretty happy to see this article on Startup Journal about a couple of small business owners who actually successfully used to fund their own ventures.

It seems like as more and more of us jump onto the entrepreneurial bandwagon, sites like (and others we've yet to think of) will continue hitting the scene and building momentum.

There are resources out there for those that need to borrow cash and are not able to do so through traditional means. Check out the SBA's Micro Loan program or Innovative Bank's SOHO (small office/home office) loan. Another good resource for information is your local SCORE office (NOTE: Though SCORE is a great resource in general, I've also met with a counselor that told me if I thought I would be successful selling on the internet, I was "out of my mind." So, if you happen to find someone there who is not quite as helpful, ask for a new counselor!).

Finally, there are still some 0% credit cards out there (though they are not as plentiful these days as they used to be). I'm not one to encourage credit card debt, but this can be an insanely way of helping out a small biz owner in the early stages when you need a bit of cash. Just don't let your bills get out of control, and watch your trial period like a hawk! Well before your 0% expiration date comes around, transfer your balance to another 0% or low interest rate card.

Friday, June 09, 2006

How to write a good email

Some FAB tips on how to write a good email (via LifeHacker).

Blogging for Cash

People trying to make some cold hard cash off of their blogging is becoming more and more common. Of course, you have the google AdSense option, which is great for those that get a good deal of traffic to their sites. But I recently came across this fab new service, Scoopt Words, which is a pretty darn cool idea too.

Basically, you simply add a button to your blog that allows people to buy your content, and after clicking, Scoopt Words handles the whole transaction and the money shows up in your paypal account. In a sense, Scoopt Words becomes your agent (and of course takes a cut).

This idea began simply with Scoopt, which was the world's first citizen journalism photo agency. The idea was that the public at large probably has a whole lotta photos that would be useful to the press, so they set up this service to help the two groups find one another. Scoopt has now grown into Scoopt Words, which takes the same idea and applies it to blogging.

So for those of you with lots of information oriented posts (remember, this stuff needs to appeal to the masses, so posts about your dog's adventures at the dog run (while cute!) probably are not going to cut it), this could be a wonderful source of some passive income.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


For those of you savvy business owners out there lookin' for some press (and really, aren't we all), I'm tickled pink to share this unbelievably rockin' resource with you: lists updated info for virtually every major magazine out there, including editors names, addresses, and best of all, email formats for that particular company.

So, all you need to do is track down the appropriate editor at whichever mag you'd like to target, check the email format of the company, and're in touch. As for follow-up and carefully crafted witty emails, you're on your own. With addresses, you can also easily send off sample packages (and then have a name and number to follow-up with!).

The mastheads are updated frequently, so make sure to keep checking back to ensure that whomever you are in touch with still works at the mag. Can't wait to see you all in the glossies!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


What a cool idea!: FILO

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Gifts & Dec!

For any stationery (or gift biz) insiders, you've surely heard of, and probably subscribe to Gifts & Decorative Accessories Magazine or "Gifts and Dec" to those in the know. It's a wonderful trade magazine, and always provides me with loads of insight and great examples of what's hot in the industry right now. I think its SUPER important to "keep up with joneses" so to speak and pay attention to the trends as well as what all of your competitors are up to.

We were lucky enough to meet the lovely editors of Gifts & Dec at NSS and they've included us in a fab roundup they did of loads of cool new companies and products from the show. I was thrilled to see the lovely Cat Seto included, as well as some other faves. For anyone who did not get to attend NSS, but would like a taste, def check this article out!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


I love New York City...I really do. The big apple, the city that never sleeps, its really all true. But there is something that I've noticed recenlty and it makes me hoppin' mad on almost a daily basis.

There's been much talk about whether or not New Yorkers are rude, and for the most part, I don't think they are...except for in one very specific area: the subway.

Finding a seat on subway during rush hour is akin to snagging front row seats at a Radiohead concert. It's hot out now, and I'm tired too at 6pm when I'm commuting home with all of you other chumps, but if I see a pregnant woman or an older woman standing, I give up my seat! Immediately! It's not even a thought.

I can't tell you how infuriating it is to me that, almost on a daily basis, I see rows of virile, athletic, strapping young men comfortably seated while sweet grandmas or women with child are left standing. It makes me SO mad! Today I stood next to someone's grandma as, count them, 6 guys in the immediate vicinity confortably sat there listening to their ipods or reading their papers.

I was contemplating saying out loud to none of them in particular, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ARE YOU ALL REALLY THAT LAME!?," but of course I said nothing. I'm really not an old fashioned girl for the most part, but come on people...right is right.

Yay for Interns

I don't have any interns, but man would I like some.

I came across this article recently that discusses the fact that interns are not just for big boomin' companies anymore. I know a few friends with smaller companies who have honed in on the whole intern scene this summer, and yes you can color me jealous.

I think sometimes, as smaller companies, we tend to forget about, or even think that we're not able to take advantage of, the same sort of resources that other larger, more established companies do...and that's just plain ole wrong.

I did not get it together in time to snap myself up a great summer college intern, but I'm definitely going to go for it next summer. I guess this is a good reminder that we should all try to take a look around every once in awhile and take note of all of the great resources we each have at our fingertips.

p.s. if there are any college kids left in NYC with nothin to do, email me!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Paper Bride & Paper Mama Rocked it Out at the National Stationery Show

The Stationery Show is over and done with and all in all, I'd say it was pretty darn fab! There were a few more exciting moments, but mostly: we made lots more money, met lots more great people (like Joy from Oh Joy! who is just adorable and oh so sweet), picked up some great new reps and made some great new friends. Best of all, I found some wedding invitations! My friend, the marvelously talented Cat from Cat Seto, is doing them for us and they are going to be de-vine!

I would have loved more time to look around more and meet some more people, but I felt like everytime I left my booth, something major would go down and then I wouldn't want to leave again. Luckily I had my aunt kim, whose my partner in crime, to help out and we really made a fab team. We also had the sweetest and most wonderful neighbors (Myklo Designs and Somerset Manor Designs who I really look forward to staying in touch with).

Thankfully, this year Javits did away with the "circus tent" that they had us all under last year, and I was MUCH happier being in the main hall. The show was a lot smaller and I heard from a lot of people that it was really not such a great show for them. I guess for me, we had nowhere to go but up, so a year really made a big difference.

See everyone at NSS 2007!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

National Stationery Show Mayhem

I have two days of the National Stationery Show under my belt and so far, so VERY good. The difference in this year's show vs. last year is really phenomenal for me. (Here is a pic of my booth during set-up in case anyone is wondering what the heck these booths look like. I'll update with final booth pics later on).

It's all really brought home the idea that its super duper important to stay on people's radar. Last year, I was the new kid in town and this year I have a bigger line, a bigger booth and some major press which all helps to contribute to our visibility.

Without getting into major specifics (I'll try to do a detailed rundown later on) here are some highlights:
*On my first day I made $500 more than I did the entire show last year
*Met a fab editor from Modern Bride who I did not get to meet at the Top 25 Trendsetter awards dinner last week.
*Wrote an order of some of our new goodies for Rock Star Wedding planner Mindy Weiss
*Have a great opportunity to get our products into a major department store
*Met a ton of great reps who all seem to be ready to engage in a battle royale for our lines.
*Met someone who could be instrumental (and has expressed interest) in setting up a licensing deal with a MA-AH-JOR chain of retail stores.

My fave stationery show story thus far, (and yet ANOTHER example of how important it is to go for it in business and in life) happened on day one. I was standing in my booth chatting with a rep who really did not interest me at all. As my eyes are glazing over, I notice out of the corner of my eye that I see the editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Weddings duck in, grab an info card and duck out. I felt like I was in the middle of a Seinfeld episode. Did I seriously just miss an opportunity to talk to one of the most important women in the bridal industry for some chump?! I had to take matters into my own hands. At that moment, biz partner happened to walk back to the booth. I grabbed our catalog, grabbed a biz card and high-tailed it up the aisle to track her down! I found her a couple of booths up and waited patiently for her to emerge and then I pounced. I introduced myself and apologized for not getting a chance to chat with her. I gave her our catalog and biz card and best of all she said "I really love your stuff!" I mentioned that I would be happy to get samples over to them of whatever they need. Of course, after returning to my booth and slowing my heart rate down to a reasonable beat, I decided that Monday morning I'm going to send over a beautiful package of ALL of our products (sample request or not) along with a fab handwritten note. I was super duper proud of myself that I did not let this opportunity slip through my hands and encouraged, again, by the power of actually going after what you want and getting it!

I hope the show is super spectacular for all of my other blog friends who might be there and can't wait to do a full rehash when everything is over and my energy stores have been rejuvinated.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Paper Bride: Modern Bride Top 25 Trendsetter

With all of my talk about success and "going for it," its lots of fun to talk about some of my own!

Modern Bride (see pic) chose me as one of the top 25 trendsetters of 2006 in the wedding industry (GULP) and the issue just hit the stands. I'm on page 292 and am pretty blown away to be included amongst so many other insanely talented people. A few of my faves:

*Lisa Hoffman of CeCi New York is charming and lovely and has the most, hands down, gorgeous invitations i've yet to lay my eyes on. She is marvelously creative and innovative in her designs and approach and her work is just stunning.

*Cakeman Raven has THE best red velvet cake I've ever tasted (and I've tasted quite a bit of it).

*Bliss Video Productions which is owned by a sweet and saucy lady named Kristin*--they did Molly Shannon's wedding and their work is really fresh and interesting in a sea of b-o-r-i-n-g.

Anyway, Wowza. I went to the awards dinner last night at the Ritz Carlton and was so excited to be included in such a group. On a sidenote, yesterday was, to the day, the one year anniversary of my company. After such an amazingly exciting year one, I can't wait to see what happens in year two!

Friday, May 12, 2006


My friend Leigh (who is, by the way, an amazing dog painter for any of your canine loving folk: Noisy Dog Studio. Leigh has been featured in Domino mag and a whole host of other publications if you can't take my word for it) sent me this fantastic little summary about success and making things happen in your own life. It's a perfect wrap up of everything I've been thinking about lately and trying to convey to you guys. Clearly Jack Canfield can say this all a lot better than I can:
Are You Confusing Your Brain?
How to Program Your Mind to Attract What You Want
by Jack Canfield, America's Success Coach

We all aspire to be, do and have great things. Yet most of us simply
aren't creating the results we want. We don't have enough money,
romance, success or joy in our lives. But what we need to understand is
that greatness exists in all of us. It is simply up to us to pull it out
of ourselves. We all have genius.
We just need to learn how to apply it.

Decide What You Want
In order to get what you want, you must first decide what you want. Most
people really foul up at this crucial first step because they simply
can't see how it's possible to get what they want -- so they don't even
let themselves want it.

Don't sabotage yourself that way!

What scientists now know about how the brain works is that you must
first decide WHAT you want, before your brain can figure out HOW to get
it. Once you lock-in your desires, your mind and the universe can step

Are you ready to get started?

Be Willing to Dream Big Dreams
As soon as you commit to a big dream and really go after it, your
subconscious creative mind will come up with big ideas to make it
happen. You'll start attracting the people, resources, and
opportunities you need into your life to make your dream come true. Big
dreams not only inspire you, they compel others to want to play big,

(All proceeds from my affiliate links go to the Craft
Emergency Relief Fund.)

Set Goals That Will Stretch You
Another value in giving yourself permission to go after the big dreams
is that big dreams require you to grow in order to achieve them. In
fact, in the long run, that is the greatest benefit you will receive
from pursuing your dreams -- not so much the outer trappings of
fulfilling the dream (an expensive car, impressive house, loads of
money and philanthropic opportunities), but who you become in the

As I've seen many times over, the outer symbols of success, can all be
easily lost. Houses burn down, companies go bankrupt, relationships end
in divorce, cars get old, bodies age and fame wanes, but who you are,
what you have learned and the new skills you have developed never go
away. These are the true prizes of success. Motivational philosopher,
Jim Rohn advises that "You should set a goal big enough that in the
process of achieving it, you become someone worth becoming."

Service to Others
Something else you'll discover is that when your dreams include service
to others -- accomplishing something that contributes to others -- it
also accelerates the accomplishment of that goal. People want to be
part of something that contributes and makes a difference.

Turn Your Dreams into Goals and Objectives
Once you are clear about what you want, you must turn each item into a
measurable objective. By measurable, I mean measurable in space and
time -- how much and by when. For instance, if you were to tell me that
you wanted more money, I might pull out a dollar and give it to you, but
you would probably protest, saying "No, I meant a lot more money -- like
$20,000!" Well, how am I supposed to know unless you tell me? Similarly,
your boss, your friends, your spouse, your brain -- God, the Universe --
can't figure out what you want unless you tell them specifically what it
is. What do you want -- exactly -- and when do you want it by?

Write Your Goals Down
Write your goals down in detail, and read your list of goals every day.
This will keep your subconscious mind focused on what you want. For an
even more powerful approach, close your eyes and focus on each goal and
ask yourself, "What is one thing I could do today to move toward the
achievement of this goal?" Write down your answers and take those

To help your reticular activating system begin finding YOUR wants in
unexpected places, take time now to decide what you want and start

Remember, don't hold back!

© 2006 Jack Canfield

I'm lovin' me some Jack right about now.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

When You are your business

I've always been afraid of a business model built around me as the commodity (i.e. I am a facialist or I am a personal organizer), because it seems to me that even if I was working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there is only so much money to be made--and I want the opportunity to make endless amounts of cash. On the flipside, there are definitely some peeps out there that have made a pretty great go of this (i.e Martha Stewart), so it can't be all bad either.

Startup Journal has a really interesting article on tackling this issue in which they discuss a popular NYC fitness trainer and how she has come up with some creative ideas to build her brand and expand it beyond just her.

This whole discussion really brought home for me that coming up with creative solutions and ideas is the key to expanding your business to the next level. Before I launched Paper Bride and Paper Mama I thought my focus was strictly going to be stationery stores. Well, stationery stores were a great place to start, but as it turned out, bridal shops, gift shops, spa shops and now baby and kids store want to sell our products too. This development has pushed me even further to start contacting accounts that a year or so ago I would have thought would never be interested in carrying our line. So, my long winded attempt at passing along some friendly advice is: challenge yourself from the get go to come up with new ideas/new gameplans/new focus for your business. Just when you think you are being super creative, make yourself push it one step further. Contact one totally long shot account or customer a week--what do you have to lose?

Monday, May 08, 2006

What's your ideal scene?

My cousin Meri introduced me to the concept of writing out an ideal scene about five years ago. The idea is basically that you imagine, in detail, a scene in your life that you would like to manifest--either now or in the future. I used to think it was kind of corny and reluctantly agreed to do it several times before really understanding its value.

Several years later, I'm a really strong believer in putting certain energies out into the universe--i.e. if you want to be successful in your business, talk about being successful, think about being successful, imagine yourself as successful and act as if you are already as successful as you want to be. Amazingly, soon enough you are, indeed, successful. This sounds pretty basic, I know, but as someone who grew up thinking that discussing a certain subject or outcome that you wished for would "jinx" it and ensure it would never happen, its pretty revolutionary for me.

In thinking back on my life, at the times I was most successful and experienced the most marked changes and achievements, I was doing this all along without knowing it.

I'm now a believer. If you want to check out a fantabulous book that actually managed to put me on this course, you should read Wayne Dyer's You'll See It When You Believe It.

In the meantime, write out your own ideal scene.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Do you need a Time Map?

The "disorganized but wants to be moreso" part of me loves this idea of a time map and the realistic, cynical side of me guesses that I will spend 2 hours making one up and then never look at it again.

(via Lifehacker)

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Apple's Pro Care Program

For any other Apple obsessed peeps out there who happen to live near a big, bad Apple Store, I'd like to HIGHLY recommend getting yourself a membership in their ProCare program. In a few words: it seriously rocks the hizzouse.

I had heard of this program before, and for some reason, I thought it cost about $500 smackers. Alas, its only $99 for the year, and what you get for it is pretty darn amazing:
* Fast Track Repair - anytime your computer needs to go in for a repair (something that normally can take 10-14 business days--yikes!), you get "fast tracked." I recently had to have my mother board replaced and it was done in one day. Also, when going into the store, you get "next in line, first on the bench" status at the Genius Bar. Holla!
* Personal Training - You can sign up for once a week, one-on-one hour long personal training sessions on anything apple computer related (including software, os x questions, ANYTHING). I've taken some training lessons on the Pages program and these seriously rock.
* Your computer (or computerS) are entitled to a once yearly "tune up" that also includes an upgrade in system software (yep, for free).
* Complete set-up of new computers - anytime you buy a new mac, your ProC are card entitles you to a complete set-up. All of your files and data will be moved to the new computer for you, so when you pick it up, you're all set and ready to go.
* Advance Reservations - you also get to make advance reservations (up to a week) at the genius bar. The rest of the world, needs to call for same day service and, at least here in NYC, wait for an appointment that could be as late as 8pm at night.

I've had ProCare for about a month, and seriously, I think its already paid for itself twice over. Again, this is really suited for those of you who live near and frequent Apple Stores, but if you do, this is really something you should get on pronto!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

United 93 n' me

I thought I'd take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to mention that I saw United 93 today. Greg did not want to see the movie so I went by myself...and I was incredibly moved and touched.

I know some people feel like its too early to tackle this issue on film, and with all due respect, I totally disagree. If someone feels they are not ready to see United 93, I support your decision 100%, but for me--as someone who was in New York on September 11, 2001--and who now lives a scant 4 blocks away from the world trade center site, I sort of felt like it was my duty to see the movie.

For me this movie was an unbelievable tribute to the amazingly brave people on United Flight 93 as well as everyone else who lost their lives that day. It was a reminder of how our lives have changed since the most tragic event that has ever challenged our country unfolded. And, I guess also my way of saying--to myself--or the world--or the family members left behind from this tragedy, that I remember too.

I walk by the world trade center site often. I'm usually rushed, and late for an appointment and silently cursing the throngs of people that are in the way of my destination. I'm pretty ashamed that I almost never stop to think anymore about that immense gaping hole in the ground as I breeze by on my way to here or there.

Today I saw this film at a movie theater that overlooks the rear of the trade center site. As I walked out of the theater, red faced and puffy eyed from crying, I passed a bank of windows that looked directly down into what turned into the chaos of Sept 11. I stopped for a minute or two to think about that horrific and terrifying day..and how lucky I am that I can go home now and just go on with my boring normal day. The 90 some odd passengers on United Flight 93 (and all of the other hijacked planes) probably all thought they were each going to have normal, boring days too.

I also wanted to mention how impressed/blown away/grateful I was to the nation's air traffic controllers. We often associate 9/11 heroes with fire stations or police squads, but I really don't think enough attention has been given to the air traffic controllers who, on that day, were asked to do some pretty impossible things under an even greater blanket of pressure than they normally assume. It was because of the immediate action and instincts of air traffic controllers that these hijacked planes were identified and through their unbelivable skill and dedication that 4200 planes were, pretty much immediately, rerouted and safely landed. Even more impressive is the fact that many of these key players actually played themselves in the movie.

Though it might not make much sense to those of you who don't want to see United 93, for me, seeing this movie was very much about honoring lost lives, acknowledging this horrible tragedy and standing up to say I remember too.

Paper Mama gets some props

Rebecca Eckler, a sassy mama and writer in her own right, had some nice things to say today in the Canadian newspaper the Globe & Mail about Paper Mama. Rebecca is the Carrie Bradshaw of parenting in Canada, so I was super flattered for her to give us a shout out.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Paper Bride Roundup

*Craft Magazine from the those behind MAKE
*Any aspiring Rolling Stone writers? (via Never Eat Alone)
*Email for Entrepreneurs (via Lifehacker)
*Have you guys checked out Vitamin?:

What is Vitamin?
The web has undoubtedly entered a new and exciting phase. Designers, developers and entrepreneurs are energized, refueled and producing some mind-blowing projects. The buzz is most definitely back! Vitamin is a brand new online magazine dedicated to that new web industry.

Vitamin will inspire you, teach you, advise you and sometimes test you with its in-depth features, audio interviews, training sessions and reviews.

It's updated every week, and it's free! So whether you just want to get dirty with the code or plan to topple Google with your next cunning web app idea, Vitamin is your new best friend.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Invoicing Sucks

Despite the fact that I'm fairly organized in several areas of my life, in others I'm a walking nightmare. Invoicing is one of those walking nightmare areas.

I'm ok generating invoices, but keeping track of them is impossible. I don't have a good system (do I make one folder for outstanding invoices? Or do I keep outstanding invoices in each company file and keep those in a certain area?). I really don't know.

So, I was pretty excited to come across this online invoicing site BlinkSale (via Life Hacker) that basically takes care of everything for you. You can use a pre-designed template for your invoices, track them for yourself, send clients friendly reminders and even "tag" your invoices with keywords. I have not yet signed up, but I spent some time checking it out and I'm seriously intrigued. Perhaps I'll get this up-and-running after the National Stationery Show in May to keep track of my HUGE influx of orders. Do you hear that Universe? I said HUGE!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Paper Bride in Daily Candy!

Check Paper Bride out in today's "everywhere" edition of Daily Candy!

We're featured in the invitations section:

"Also, thank-you notes are the last word. Pick one with a lot of personality."
(that's us!)

Monday, April 17, 2006

10 stupid mistakes made by newly self employed

Work for yourself? Don't make any of these mistakes.

Want to work for yourself? Take this freelancer self assesment.

(via lifehacker)

Friday, April 14, 2006

To Read or not to read?

I'm constantly trying to figure out the best way to keep track of articles or stories that I find online, but don't have time to read at the moment they pop up on my screen; to read seems like a pretty rockin' solution.

By installing the to read bookmarklet on your browser, anytime you come across a page you'd like to read, you simply click on the bookmarklet and the page will be emailed to you. You may then read the material whenever you have time. This is a particularly great option for those that happen to switch between several computer and haven't yet gotten hip to posting bookmarks on

(via Lifehacker)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Are you Overly Wired?

I am.


The NY Times recently published this rockin' article about how we are all so "overly wired" these days, most of us can't concentrate on a damn thing.

They include a bunch of funny new overly wired definitions like a Regurgimailer: people who forward to everyone they know everything that lands in their in-boxes.

I'm so overly wired recently, its actually begun to seriously stress me out. I feel the need to be on top of everything..all the time, which is a task I've discovered is virtually impossible.

I think I need to start meditating.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Paper Bride the Podcast

Check out my very first podcast on the Wedding Podcast Network! This is actually a super cool site for any brides to be. They have loads of interesting info and interviews with some major players in the wedding industry such as Preston Bailey and Sylvia Weinstock.

On a sidenote, does everyone agree thatt listening to the sound of your own voice is one of the most painful exercises in existence? I mean, do I really sound like that?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Steve Jobs knows how to rock it

Yet again, I've got to wave my "i love Apple" flag proudly. I love em, I love em, I love em. I wouldn't mind if every Windows PC in the United Sates spontaneously burst into flames and disappeared with a black puff of smoke, never to be seen or heard from again. It's pretty hard to think of Apple without calling to mind the always entertaining, slightly hot Steve Jobs (yes, I did say slightly sue me).

Business Week has a fantastic article called How to Wow Em' Like Steve Jobs (via Digg) that speaks to all of the things that make watching Jobs in action so mesmerizing--and how you can use his techniques for your own presentations. I don't often give formal presentations, but I think some of the suggestions are worthwhile even for those of us who need to speak in front of as few as 2 or 3 people about our businesses--and do so intelligently.

Perhaps I should be adding this to Post Secret, but I often watch Jobs's keynote speech online at all of the MacWorld conferences. If you'd like to see this guy in action (and fly your Apple freak flag along with me), check out Jobs' keynote speech from MacWorld 2006 in San Francisco (quicktime requred).

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Spot Scout

Yet another entry in my "why the hell didn't I think of that" list: Spot Scout.

This is a service that helps people aimlessly driving around in search of a parking spot find one. They even allow those who have spots available in their driveway "rent" them out to would be takers.

This site is a perfect example of a new trend being referred to as "Infolust":
Experienced consumers are lusting after detailed information on where to get the best of the best, the cheapest of the cheapest, the first of the first, the healthiest of the healthiest, the coolest of the coolest, or on how to become the smartest of the smartest. Instant information gratification is upon us.

So forget information overload: this desire for relevant information is insatiable, and will soon move from the online world to the ‘real’ world to achieve true ubiquity. Get ready for a click-and-know, point-and-know, text-and-know, hear-and-know, smell-and-know, touch-and-know and snap-and-know world.

I'm pretty darn lusty for info myself (though I have never licked my blackberry as that woman pictured).

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Write lots of thank you notes

I'm a major thank you note sender. Sometimes I send thank yous via email, but most of the time, I write a good ole fashioned note. I truly believe that a lovely, personalized thank you note is such an easy, quick, painless way to show your appreciation and really goes such a long way in making a positive impact with people.

I've gotten pretty good at writing them throughout the years, but for those of you who need some help, here's a great article on how to write a super juicy thank you note (via Lifehacker).

For super special thank yous, I often take the thank you note one step further and send a gift. I have found, almost more than anything, that the thank you note/gift combo seriously gets you the most bang for your buck in life and in business (not that I'm doing this strictly to get noticed and appreciated, but it's not such a bad thing to have people feeling warm and fuzzy about you).

Here are some of my fave thank you gift resources (mostly food):

Fretzels - yummy chocolate covered pretzels
Russ & Daughters - Delicious caviar, lox and all sorts of fab jewish goodies
Zingerman's - Fab gourmet baskets featuring artisinal cheeses, breads, baked goods, etc
Hampton Popcorn - chocolate popcorn? Yep, its tasty!
H & H Bagels - Nothing says "thanks" better than a dozen NY bagels
Diptyque Candles from Beauty Habit
Used Coffee Table or Art Books from

Also a big fan of itunes gift certificates!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I'll start my company when...

Oftentimes when I talk to someone with the "entrepreneurial bug" who wishes/wants/hopes/dreams of starting their own company, they usually have a laundry list of items that first must be conquered or achieved or completed before they can actually do it. Many of these laundry lists are 100% legitimate and I certainly don't mean to belittle going about taking over the world with a solid gameplan...but--there is always a "but," right?

I also believe pretty firmly in the fact that there is never really going to be an ideal time. There will always be some reason or circumstance seemingly standing in the way of you taking that leap, but when else would be the right time to follow your dreams except for RIGHT NOW?

Here's a pretty great article about this very topic (blue flavor via Lifehacker).

Friday, March 31, 2006

Up With "Grups"

As a full on pop culture and trend junkie, I loved this week's article from NY Magazine that examines ever diminishing generation gap: Up with 'Grups'.
* Also known as yupster (yuppie + hipster), yindie (yuppie + indie), and alterna-yuppie. Our preferred term, grup, is taken from an episode of Star Trek (keep reading) in which Captain Kirk et al. land on a planet of children who rule the world, with no adults in sight. The kids call Kirk and the crew “grups,” which they eventually figure out is a contraction of “grown-ups.” It turns out that all the grown-ups had died from a virus that greatly slows the aging process and kills anybody who grows up.

The article mentions a nyc jeans designer, Rogan who has a line of jeans that retail for upwards of $300 a pair--and are basically all ripped to shreds, or "distressed." His first collection sold out in a matter of days--all thanks to the grups. Many grups could easily afford expensive suits, but for obvious reasons, prefer jeans. It's all about the statement: "yeah, I'm wearing jeans, but these jeans cost bank. Do you think its easy to get them ripped and shredded this prefectly?"

I guess I feel a kinship with this group, myself, though I don't have any kids (which is probably the most widely accepted indicator in our society of "grown up" status). But from a business perspective, I think this group is basically opening up the floodgates in terms of creativity and possibility for many of us who might not be have been able to successfully make a go of it 10 or 15 years ago--and that's pretty cool.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Spring Cleaning?

CNN asks Is a messy office hazardous to your career?.

Uh Oh.

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Man, too bad college wasn't like this in my day.

The lucky co-eds at Harvard University are enjoying a popular new class called "Positive Psychology" that basically promises to help students figure out How to get happy.

Note to Harvard: the rest of the world wants in too. How bout an online version?

Minipreneur Madness

This is another one of those ideas that I can't help but label brilliant: designers and artists renting out retail space in an already established store. The designers pay a monthly fee and then leave the selling, merchandising and customer service to someone else. Seems like the best of both worlds.

The particular store reported on in this article is in Singapore and I think they've come up with a pretty fabulous approach. Each artist or designer rents out a "box" within the store's shelving units. Depending upon their location, fees differ, but prices start at an insanely reasonable $50/month. I like the idea of each designer having close to identical spaces (there are some exceptions for clothing, etc) as I think its both fair and easier for the consumer to shop and see everyone's creativity really shine through. There are a couple of stores like this in NYC already: EdgeNYC and Shecky's Shop.

Again, this reaffirms the idea that minipreneurs are here to stay and will likely continue inspiring creative solutions and directions in business that chumps like me have yet to even imagine.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Paper Mama!

Hola, everyone and apologies for my slacker-ocity lately. I've been busily preparing our newest venture, Paper Mama and I'm proud to announce she is here!

We had a fab mention in the NY Daily News yesterday, but due to the inexplicable and totally ineffective structure of their search, I cannot find it online. It was great though, and I'm oh so happy to have Paper Mama up and running.

I'm definitely flying blind with this whole mommy thing, so I hope all you mamas dig it!

How will business change in the next 10 years?

Fast Company has a great article in which they interview a number of visionaries about what they think the biggest changes facing businesses in the next 10 years will be. Many of these ideas may seem a bit broad for itsy bitsy little biz owners like you and me, but in truth, they're really not. Whether you have one employee or 1000, there are so many commonalities we all deal with on many different levels, and I loved reading about each of these business leaders takes on what's ahead.

In particular, I loved Avram Miller's thoughts:

Fewer and fewer people will want to be employees of corporations, because corporations don't have anything to offer. Corporations don't provide security and provide fewer and fewer benefits. People may find new ways to sell their skills. I can imagine eBay or the equivalent of eBay being in the business of letting people bid on work all day long. Office buildings may turn into housing, or maybe individuals will rent office space as you would rent a hotel room.

And those individuals will compete with people from all over the world. This isn't globalization, because globalization to me feels big. I think it's the opposite, it's villagization--making everything smaller and in some sense more intimate. And that's very powerful. I'm totally capitalistic, but I don't like large organizations because they tend to want to control. If this reduces the power of corporations and governments to limit what human beings can do, the thing most exciting to me is the potential for everyone to participate.

Amen to that!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sell, Sell, Sell!

Though I'm getting better and better, my weakpoint in the world of business is most definitely sales. So I loved this article from today's Startup Journal on "7 Sales Tips for Solo Operators."

Friday, March 17, 2006

Are you a "minipreneur?"

I've been hearing the term "minpreneur" lately and I think its a really interesting way of describing the movement that seems to be going on right now: everyone wants to own a small business. And why not? There are fantastic tax benefits, its loads of fun and offers a means of creating real wealth for yourself that a 9-5 job does not (steady paychecks are great, but how big is that check ever really going to get?).

Trend Watching's definition of a minipreneur is as follows:

We have dubbed this trend 'MINIPRENEURS': a vast army of consumers turning entrepreneurs; including small and micro businesses, freelancers, side-businesses, weekend entrepreneurs, web-driven entrepreneurs, part-timers, free agents, cottage businesses, seniorpreneurs, co-creators, mompreneurs, pro-ams, solopreneurs, eBay traders, advertising-sponsored bloggers and so on.

With all of the amazing available resources these days, it seems like this trend is only going to continue to grow and grow. And to that I say "Holla!"

For further reading on minipreneurs, here's a load more info.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Not that I'm cheating on you guys or anything...

But if you are in the market for some bridal blogging, check me out over on the NY Observer's Bridal Blog.

Gawker even made fun of linked to my post yesterday.


For those of you entrepreneurial types who really have the gift of gab, Ether might be for you.

Here's how it works: Ether gives you a free 800 number and you decide how much you'd like to charge for your expertise. Perhaps you can set up a jewelry designer's hotline for bead loving chicks or a blogging for dummies hotline where wannabe bloggers can call and get your feedback. You can charge people however you'd like (per hour, in blocks, etc). You then decide where you'd like the call to ring through (home, cell, etc) and you're done. Calls only come through after someone has prepaid your rate, so everytime your phone rings, you can confidently let out a "ka-ching" before answering your phone.

Though, I'm really lovin this hotline idea, Ether takes it a step further by also allowing you to make money via email (send people direct marketing mails about your podcasts, photos videos) and let them buy directly from them or even include a "buy now" button on your website that easily allows people to purchase your digital content.

Pretty nifty.

While ether is in beta release, their normal 15% take is reduced down to 10%.

Are you ready to prosper?

For those of you who just need a bit of cash to get your business going but are too overwhelmed (or would not qualify) for getting a loan through some of the more traditional methods, you might want to check out, a new online small lending community.

Anyone can participate in and the site works by matching borrowers with lenders without all of the red tape. You can post your $$ request along with the reason you need the cash and then others in the community can "bid" on your loan. You choose any of the bidders and, voila...there is your loan.

All of the logistics are handled by, which takes much of the worry out of a normally worrisome situation.

Another cool feature of the site is the ability to start lending groups. You can create groups of family, friends, co-workers, or even base them around like minded interests (i.e. those interested in helping non-profits). Members of the group can borrow from other members and the group can choose how the profits (from interest paid) are shared.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Under 30 and Rockin' it Startup Style

I have been out of this group for exactly three years now (gulp), but I love hearing about younger people who are seriously shaking things up in the world of business.

I thought one of the coolest featured companies was My Rich Uncle: a company that helps that growing group of students who do not qualify for student loans based on their parents income, but still can't really afford to go to school. I also love Yelp which is a community of user generated reviews on all sorts of local businesses in your area. They have categories for restaurants, nightlife, even hair salons.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Stats on Crack!

Though my addiction has waned a bit, my "statcounter fix (checking the traffic stats of my biz site and blog sites) still needs to happen several times throughout the day, otherwise I start to twitch and slur words. But, man, Crazy Egg brings checking stats to a whole new level.

They actually provide you with "heat maps" that show you exactly where people are clicking on your page on each visit (and more importantly, where they are not).

Though the service is not yet available, they plan to launch in April. If you have less than 5000 visitors to your site per month, you'll be able to sign up for a free option. If you have more, be prepared to pay up (but looks worth it!)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

It's all about the "last mile"

In yet another fantastic post over at I Will Teach You To Be Rich, I learned all about the "last mile" of customer service. Basically, the last mile is the final bit of interaction you have with a company before you each go your merry ways: i.e. Dealing with a cashier as you check out at a supermarket or arranging for a return of a product you ordered with the company's customer service representative.

As it turns out, the last mile is unbelievably crucial when it comes to leaving people with a positive (or negative) feeling about your company. If a last mile interaction is positive, you may very well create a walking, talking billboard for your biz, and if its negative, you might end up with something like this.

I really think this whole discussion is seriously right on. Without realizing it, I've pledged my "never again" credo to a number of companies that I've had negative last mile experiences with and likewise, my never ending love and devotion to those companies that just really have it all together. I know that most of us are way past "the customer is always right" sentiment, but this is actually a really good reminder about the importance of really following through (in business and in life) and remembering that our last impressions are...well...usually the most lasting.

Friday, March 10, 2006

It's written in the stars

Here's a really interesting article about handbag designer Laura Merkin's journey to get her bags into the hands of celebs at this year's academy awards. She invested over $30,000 in the hopes that the celeb endoresments and photos would catapult her into a new handbag stratosphere. Depending upon what type of biz you have, this is a decision that many of us consider and struggle with in one form or another (for me it was whether or not to spend the cash to hire a PR firm). Whoever said "you've got to spend money to make money" sure wasn't kiddin.

Speaking of celeb endoresements, Paper Bride has her own little Desperate Housewife fanclub. This article appears in this months In Style Weddings.