Monday, March 31, 2014

Modcloth's Uniquely You Campaign

Summer is just around the corner and that means….POOL PARTIES! Modcloth asked me to be a part of their Uniquely You Campaign by creating a story board around this fun swimsuit. I'm loving high waisted swimsuits right now and when creating a retro-inspired look around this polka dotted number, I envisioned a stylish gal hosting a pool party. Think mason jars with striped straws full of delicious beverages, fruit trays, and finger sandwiches and a hostess that isn't afraid to jump in the pool when the party gets started! 


I used wanelo to create this ensemble - you can find that here. All items can be found on modcloth, of course!

love.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ten Steps to Having a Successful Closet Sale

I purged my closet last week ((spring cleaning, anyone?)) and am having another shop my closet sale ((link here)) when we get back from Arizona. I've tried all those websites that you sell gently used clothing on and I've definitely been to my fair share of consignment stores, but have had the very best luck selling my purged items on instagram. Every time I have one of these sales, I get emails asking the best way to sell items, so I thought I would share a few tips I've learned along the way!




1. Take great photos. You can definitely use your phone, but style your items rather than just laying them on the bed. Some ideas for this: Use a dress form. Hang them on a nice wooden hanger on a neutral wall. Hang them on a hanger on the front of a door. Whatever you do, don't show things on the floor (especially carpet!). If you were in a store and items were on the ground, would you pick it up to try it on? Nope. If it's  a scarf, don't just throw it on the bed. Tie it on a dress form, yourself, or tie in an attractive way on a neutral surface. Same with jewelry.

2.  Pricing - An average item at a resale shop gets you $3-5 ((based off of experience)). Start there and go up a bit, based on what it's worth to you. You are doing the work to resell, so start low, but fair. If it's a shirt from Target - don't charge even 50% of what you paid. It's target. I start around $3-5 for Target items. If it's a high quality dress from Anthro - check ebay for what they're going for. I start my designer denim at more than 50% of retail price because I know they are gently worn, in great condition and will last for years. If it's a pair of jeans from Old Navy, I'll usually just take them to Goodwill or sell them for $5-10. You decide what it's worth to you, but if you start too high you can't get your feelings hurt if people don't bid or purchase. Just lower them a bit and try again. 

3. CLEAN YOUR CLOTHES. Dry clean them, wash them yourself, whatever. Bonus? Steam or toss in the dryer before you fold and package items. Nothing is worse than getting an item second-hand that still has "sit marks" on a skirt  or deodorant marks on a  blouse - it feels dirty and customers shouldn't have to wash their clothes upon receiving them. 

4.  Give style ideas in your description. Is your dress versatile enough to be worn year around? Tell us how to style it through all seasons. Does it fit kind of boxy, but you wear it with a skinny belt? Let us know that, or even style it on a form using said belt ((and let us know if the belt is included or not!)).

5.  Be descriptive and thorough in your listing: List everything the customer needs to know. What size is it? How long is it? ((some of us with long torsos or legs need to know where it will hit on us.)) Does it run small or large? Is it a generous fit or does it have a side zipper that limits size versatility? Is it in excellent, good, or  well-loved condition? Minor pilling? Tell us. Pretty much brand new? Tell us. Worn once? That's crucial info for buyers. ;)

6. Make it auction style. You can make more money this way ((no shame in that, in my book! this needs to be worth your time and effort)) and ensure that the item(s) go to loving homes :) I've been called selfish for running my closet sales this way,  but here's why I do it:
-If someone finds my sale on the last day, they aren't SOL if they want something. They can outbit the current bidder if they really want an item. It's so frustrating to not be on social media for a day and find an item you LOVE on someone's closet sale only to find it was snatched up too soon. 
-Closet sales take a TON of time. steaming/ironing/photographing/invoicing/sending reminder invoices/packaging items/taking packages to the post office with an 11 month old is just part of the process. I want my efforts to be worth it. Auction style helps me to make $5-10 more per item than if I took it to a resale/consignment shop. 

7. Charge enough for shipping. I usually go for $5 and $1 per extra item. If it's a heavy item, such as denim or a sweater, don't feel bad charging more. You can always refund if it's too much of an overage. Charge more for shipping for shoes ((Extra note: Unless shoes are in perfect, pretty much new condition - no one wants them)). They are heavier and I lose money almost every time because I forget to charge more! PUT SHIPPING CHARGES IN EACH LISTING. Customers don't always read the "info before the sale photo" - this prevents people from changing their minds because they "didn't realize it didn't include shipping."

And speaking of shipping, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS get tracking and insurance if you can. Build it into the shipping cost. I had someone file a charge back on paypal even though the PO obviously lost it. The tracking was from the USPS end and I didn't purchase extra tracking, so  I lost $70 and a pair of my favorite AGs. Plus, when I checked back in with the sorting center, they had found it and said they delivered it (months later) but the gal wouldn't respond to any of my emails. People aren't always honest, so protect yourselves.  

8. ((This tip is for bloggers.)) Try not to sell a ton of things you received for free from boutiques or handmade shops for blogging about them. If it is literally sitting and gathering dust in your closet, I don't see a ton of harm in it as long as you plugged it in an outfit post or instagram like you said you would. Don't get greedy with it though. Those items should be passed on to a good home versus making a ton of profit from it. 

9. Show the items in use. If you have them, post photos with the products on. This helps customers see how things fit. Make a collage if need be of the item on a hanger, on you, and close ups of the print if you want. 

10. Package nicely. I'll be honest, I used to just throw items in an envelope and call it a day. Now, I wrap in tissue or a plastic bag. It's a small thing that helps protect the clothing and makes it a little extra fun for your customers to open. 

BONUS: Usually the purpose of a closet sale is to declutter and get rid of excess. If items don't sell, take them to goodwill, a resale shop or give to a friend. Don't keep them or it defeats the purpose! 

I hope this helps you get rid of some items during your upcoming spring cleaning and send them off to good homes. Closet sales can be great, but are a lot of work! 

((photo credit for the graphic goes to sugar & cloth i just added text. it's from their rad clothing rack DIY that you should totally check out…it's one of my favorite blogs!carry on))

love.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Chocolate Milk Stout Cupcakes

Happy Monday, y'all! 


I've never been much of a beer girl until the last few years. The first beer I LOVED and finished was a Left Hand Brewing Nitro Milk Stout. It's so good, y'all. I purchased the beer and ingredients from my local Whole Foods and got to work on a snowy Saturday. So, without further babbling…here's a recipe the combines two of my favorite things: cupcakes and a good stout. 





Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting finished cupcakes
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 1 bottle Left Hand Milk Stout
  • 1 stick butter(melted)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar

Instructions:

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out. 
To make the icing: Beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners' sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled. Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa.
I mean, let's be real for a second. Chocolate, booze, and cream cheese frosting. Does it really get any better than that? 

love.

This post is sponsored by Whole Foods because I am a part of their Whole Foods Ambassador Blogger Program. I was not compensated for this post, but did receive a few items free of charge. This recipe was provided by Left Hand. Consider this post my stamp of approval and also consider yourself disclosed :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

((outfit schmoutfit)) when winter meets spring


Sometimes you plan to take outfit photos and put on a springy outfit. You go outside and it starts snowing. So, no. My camera lens is not dirty and no. I shouldn't have proceeded with the photos, but such is life in Colorado. You never know what the weather will bring…unless you happen to actually watch the weather report or look at your weather app. I'll probably have to start doing one of those two things. 

Just pretend it's warm and sunny and that I don't have goosebumps on my arms. One thing I won't have to pretend is how much I love this kimono from Gypsy Threads. All of my pieces from this boutique are definitely statement pieces, but they're such fun additions to my wardrobe. I can't wait to style this with a bright maxi dress this summer. The evenings are cool in Colorado in the summer, so this will a perfect light layer. I also cannot get enough of a good white tee. These tee you later tees from Riffraff are so comfy - I'll be road tripping in this one this week to AZ! Also, both of these boutiques are OSJ retailers :)


Flats - Similar here,  here and a gold toed(!!) version here
Necklaces - NS Pottery, Anthropologie

I hope you all have a SUNNY, warm, stylish and productive week :)

love.

PS!  I wanted to mention that I am hosting an amazing giveaway on instagram today to celebrate 10k followers! Thank you for your support and I hope you enter! :)



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Oh, Sweet Joy Photoshoot!

I recently got to take some legit product photos with Studio 9720 for our upcoming spring lines and for some products that are sticking around. I love how they turned out and the new lines are launching the 31st of March ((lace and boho wire wraps))! LuLu*s supplied most of the looks for this shoot. The mint dress, red pants (LOVE), wedges, neon coral top and white skater skirt can be purchased on LuLu*s. The two maxi dresses and necklace are c/o Riffraff. The printed one can be found here


I feel like this fully encompasses Oh, Sweet Joy! 

The new boho wire wraps are wider and can be styled as above, as well as the fun ways below. I love how versatile they are - perfect for classic silhouettes and also modern, boho styles. ((and how great is the chambray one below?!))


((digital floral boho wire wrap))

We also took some new photos for the standard wire headbands. These are made from polyester and are a bit thinner. Awesome for those of you with fine, thin hair. 


love.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Top Picks for Knox

Our little Knox is 11 months old - I can hardly believe almost a year has gone by! He's crawling and babbling and giggling. He is also pushing the limits and getting into trouble..that little rascal. Anywho, I thought I would pop in and tell y'all some of my favorites for Knox these days. 

Letter cardigan from the Wishing Elephant - Our wishing elephant collection is out of control, but my favorite pieces are the letter onesie and the letter cardigan. We have the letter K (duh) in yellow. It's tooooooo adorable. 

Footed PJ's - I seriously can't get enough. I would keep him in footed pj's all the time if people at the grocery store wouldn't look at me like "that mom" who gets dressed and fixes her hair, but doesn't dress her child. I love how soft the sleep & plays are that you just get from target, but right now these dino ones are my fave from Old Navy. I mean one: dino's are awesome and two? They're wearing wayfarers and bow ties. 

Fresh Squeeze Station - I plan on doing a post just for this and baby food making…but it definitely belongs on my "top picks" list!  It has made making baby food a breeze. 

tegu blocks - These babies are well made, visually appealing, magnetic and Knox thinks they're hilarious and entertaining. Our high chair legs are magnetic, so he loves sticking them on their and calling them dada. We got ours at Cedar & Hyde down on Pearl, but if you don't live here you can find them here!

Leather baby shoes from Starry Knight Design - These are the only shoes that stay on Knox's little feet. I've talked about them before, but we really love them. Especially the buffalo ones. I'm going to have to reorder those in a size up! The leather is so soft and you just can't beat the price. 

Farmer's Market Stall - We don't have this and it's for ages 3+ but I had to include it. I love it so much and will keep it on my radar for when Knox gets older and if we move into a bigger space. 

Baby Mum Mum - I know this is random, but Knox LOVES these things. They keep him quiet and entertained for a good 10 minutes and loves that he can feed himself. I prefer to get the veggie ones because they at least have some veggie powder in them…but he is obsessed with the banana ones too. You can get them at Target, Wal Mart or any grocery store in the baby aisle. He has officially traded his puffy snacks for these!

love.

Friday, March 14, 2014

march pick'd market!


March CuratorsHave you heard of Pick'd? I'm thrilled to be a part of this month in two exciting ways! I am one of the March curators and also selling a limited edition headband in the week long market. 

Each month Pick'd partners with a team of curators who collaborate with talented handmade artisans to create a one-of-a-kind product line. For the month of March, myself and Bonnie Forkner of Going Home to Roost, have brought their sweet, feminine aesthetic into a market full of florals, stripes and leather.

Here's how it works!

The Membership: Joining the Pick'D Club gives you exclusive discount codes to use both at the Pick'd market and at the vendor's personal shops. Two member only newsletters go out each month, the first includes a set of mood board inspired print-ables. The pack includes notecards, prints, lock screen and desktop wallpaper. The second newsletter announces the market and includes the discount codes for you use while you shop.
March Chipcard
The March Market will Include: Oh Sweet Joy (me!), Going Home to Roost, Amy Cornwell, Fabric and Handle, Sweet Auburn Studio, Moriah Sunde, The Felt Flower Shop - All featuring exclusive items with florals, stripes or leather.

The Market: These one-of-a-kind products will make their exclusive debut in the Pick'd Market the third week of the month. The Market is only open for one week and only has a limited number of items available. A portion of each month's sales go to a cause Pick'd by that month's curators. 
March Cause

March's Cause is The Acts 29 Church Planting Network. Learn more about the Network here. This month's cause is near and dear to my heart, as we are a part of an Acts 29 church plant. Church planting is how we believe we can best "go and make disciples." Being in Boulder as a part of The Well has been the biggest blessing and it is such an honor to be able to give back to the network in this way.   

love.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Ampersand Dress is Here!

MORE EXCITEMENT!

This ampersand dress has been such a labor of love and it's finally available! I hand drew the ampersand, scanned it in to make it a jpeg file and had a friend turn it into the correct kind of file (I know nothing about that sort of thing) for the screen printer. The screen printer cleaned it up (I think) and we worked together on size and placement of the actual ampersand. It took us MONTHS to finally get a hold of the dresses I wanted them to be printed on. They are so so so so soft and made in the US. They were screen printed in Denver and are being sold in Fayetteville at my favorite boutique - Riffraff. I am thrilled to provide a completely American made clothing item. They are limited edition and we don't expect them to last long! 

With all that said, here are a few great ways to style it. It's going to be a go-to for you this summer, I just know it!


A little boho action with a riffraff kimono, an oh, sweet joy! headband and riding boots. 


Layered up with a printed chunky cardigan and some fun cowboy boots. 


Tuck it in! It's a perfect way to combine your new favorite dress with one of your favorite skirts…and you don't have to wear a slip! :)


A size small is slim enough on the bottom for me to roll up and just wear it as a tee for a casual look. Jackpot!

How will you style yours?

I hope this is the first of many exclusive screen printed designs for Oh, Sweet Joy! Dipping my toes in this new venture has been fun and I've already got a few more ideas up my sleeve.

love.

Reversible Head Wraps!


They're finally here! After over a year of tweaking the design and adding a few more fabrics ((I had every intention of launching these LAST spring, oops!)), these versatile head wraps are REVERSIBLE and so fun. They can be tied SO many ways - you're only limited to your imagination - and it's like getting 20 headbands in one. Jackpot. If you haven't already, go HERE to check out our amazing promo video that shows a few ways to tie it. Isn't our model, Signe, adorable? Check out her blog here



Just a heads up, these are ready to ship, but please allow 5-10 business days for order processing. Also, please keep in mind that there are less than 12 available in each print. This is significantly less than our usual product launchess because we want them to be limited edition and keep providing fun & fresh fabric choices. With that said, don't miss out if you see a print you love! 



Okay, I'll let you get shopping. Click here to buy yours! Happy weekend and happy headband tying!

love.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

sponsor highlight + giveaway ((featuring kate and linny))

Y'all know how I feel about daily deal sites. I love a good sale, especially when it supports small businesses. Kate & Linny is a new daily deal site that focuses on products for moms and kiddos. They sell goods from and feature many mom-preneurs and I just love that! It's run by two sisters - a total family run business :) Here's a bit more from the gals behind Kate & Linny.








Kate and Linny is an online boutique offering flash deals on the freshest items for moms, kids, babies and home. The site just launched the beginning of January 2014. Katherine and Lindsay, the two fabulous mamas behind Kate and Linny, do a great job curating the site, which offers a variety of unique products at discounted prices. Many of the products come from “Mompreneurs” like Katherine and Lindsay. Additionally, the site also highlights and features a rotating Mompreneur of the Week.

Fun fact about Kate and Linny - 
Lindsay and her family are moving to Australia for one year in June 2016 for a family adventure.
Katherine became a firefighter and an EMT when was she was just 16 years old, though doesn't really use those skills anymore... unless of course you find her in the kitchen. :)

You can also read more about us if you look at this article from our local paper...

Giveaway Item:
Swag Bag with the above pictured (and listed below) goodies!
Haddon & Co. Lightweight Infinity Scarf
Cuppow Mason Jar Drinking Lid
Voulez Designs Hand Painted Earrings
Augie and Lola Snack or Multi-Purpose Bag
Pretty French Things Clothespins

Link Love:

Discount code:
OHSWEETJOY will get you 10% off until 4/30/14


love.