P+S will offer fresh, fun, and functional everyday essentials for your desktop, workspace, and home. Our goods are colorful, motivating, and inspiring…but most of all functional! We know you don’t have time or space for extra clutter in your life.
If you already follow Lazy Owl, I’d encourage you to check out some of the P+S goods that are designed just for small biz owners, like these goodies:
We’re also currently offering a giveaway to win your own binder designed by you!
Also, I’d love to hear if there are any paper or office goods you’ve been dying to see as a creative biz owner. What sort of office goods would make your life easier as an entrepreneur? Let’s work together to get your idea made!
You can follow Paper+Spark on facebook, instagram, or twitter, and sign up for email updates & discounts here. And don’t worry, we’ll soon be publishing more great content, articles, and resources here on Lazy Owl too!
So, I’ve made it no secret that last September, I added “mama” to my resume. Today I’m going to take a break from churning out my usual business-y fare and give you a little peek into the nursery we created for our little one, Hazel. I hope you enjoy!
Hazel is 8 months old now, and it’s slightly humorous to look back on my preggo days and how frantic I was about getting her room ready. I really wanted everything to look perfect and fit the color scheme and yada yada. I had the diaper station ready to go, the sheets washed…everything in its place. Little did I realize that Hazel wouldn’t be sleeping, or barely even hanging out, in this room until she was like 6 months old. But oh well. You have to keep the crazy pregnant lady busy doing something, am I right?
I wasn’t really feeling having a set “theme” for her room, so I just went with a cohesive color scheme of mint and pint, with touches of gold. I didn’t want anything to blatantly girly, so we went with mint. Obviously there’s lots of white too.
shelf wall close up
We’ve got a nice sturdy bookshelf with baskets full of toys. I had some little 4×4 inch canvases hanging around and painted them in ombre shades of pink, then glued some cute little doilies to them. The white wooden rocking horse was made long ago by my grandfather, who passed away when I was just a kid. My husband had the great idea to let Hazel paint it when she’s a little older, so for now it chills on a little wall shelf we got from Target. I re-covered an ikea lampshade in some cute fabric, and most of the other objects I found thrifting. I purposely went out and tried to find some nice gold-colored vintage pieces to add some character to the space.
Here’s a close up of the collage/art wall above her crib. I searched for items that would match the color scheme and be appropriate for our baby girl and our family. I am absolutely Disney-obsessed, so I knew I had to have some sort of Disney shout-out included! I made the yarn-wrapped H initial myself and added some cute little flowers made of canvas ribbon, lace, and vintage buttons. So fun!
I’ve since had to take down the mobile (for now) because it turns out mobiles keep babies awake, instead of sleeping peacefully! Haha. I covered two corkboards from Ikea with coordinating fabric, and the rest of the artwork I ordered from Etsy.
I was so obsessed with everything matching that I made my poor husband replace the previously dark wooden ceiling fan with an all white one. Here you can also see the gold curtains that I searched forever to find (we settled on gold blackout shades from Overstock.com), and our Larkin PBK diaper changing station and dresser. This corner also now houses our tan Lazy boy recliner (which I love). Nursing took so long the first few months that we kept it downstairs in the living room…so I could watch TV while nursing of course.
Here’s Hazel’s bathroom. It used to be painted beige, but I convinced my husband to paint it white. Which I think was sort of a mistake, since all the cabinets and counter tops in here are cream. So now it’s sort of like mismatched white/cream overload. But oh well…we’ve made it work.
I found the awesome pink & mint frames from Homegoods (love that store, who doesn’t?). The prints are also from Etsy shop CarolineMint. The embroidered bear art used to hang in my nursery when I was a petite bebe, and my mom handed it down to me. It happened to already match our mint scheme, so I just painted the frame gold and voila!
The masterpiece of the bathroom is my DIY heart made of buttons. This was fun and easy to make, just a question of finding lots of pink buttons, and Hazel LOVES it. Anytime she’s having a cranky moment I can just bring her up to it and she loves poking and pointing at all the tiny buttons. I call that a handmade success.
DIY heart button art
Thanks for joining me on a little tour of Hazel’s mint & pink nursery! Now back to our regularly scheduled content 🙂
I picked up these chocolate bars on a whim (cannot resist anything with dark chocolate) from a local market in Houston. Three days later I went back and bought the entire stock of dark chocolate & salted brown butter pecan brittle. Absolutely to die for. I guess this isn’t a business resource, nor is it on the web (sorry non-Texas peeps)…but I still feel like it’s worth mentioning. I consider good chocolate a vital resource….for myself…
I feel like I’ve been mentioning Instagram a lot lately (follow me @lazyowlboutique!), but there’s just so much to learn and I’m having fun learning it! Here’s yet another awesome article about how to effectively use Instagram to promote your boutique biz. This post is full of great ideas and different ways to use Instagram.
Ok, so this is sort of cheating…but since I haven’t had a chance to officially announce it yet or anything, I’ve got to say that Lazy Owl’s newly released e-course & workbook about crafting a business plan for your creative business is also one of our favorite resources on the web this week! Right now we’re celebrating it’s release with a special sale price of only $10. So for the price of a couple lattes, you can download over 50 pages of goodies for your creative biz!
Hi guys. It’s me here today! After I converted this blog over to WordPress from Blogger back in 2012, I gave it a much more refined and defined feel and revamped it as a place where other creative entrepreneurs could access business resources, download free printables, and learn about relevant topics to improve their business skills.
I’ve really enjoyed growing this site, writing about all these fun business topics, and learning as I go along. The journey has been great thus far! But I’ve gone through a lot of changes in my own journey as a creative entrepreneur and in my personal life as well. I’ve gone from working as a full-time CPA to a work/stay-at-home mom of an 8-month-old baby girl.
I’ve never really enjoyed writing too much about my personal life or myself, it just doesn’t come very naturally to me, but it’s been challenging and a bit confusing for me to have this website, a pretty public forum, and NOT share any pieces of my life other than only the tiny corner of the me that is Lazy Owl Boutique. Thus, I’ve decided to add a new periodic series of posts, which for now I’m calling Work/Life Balance, that will serve as a more personal outlet for me.
If you’re like me, you probably follow a handful of really awesome lifestyle blogs, and if you have kids, maybe even some mom blogs too. I know you don’t come to our site here to learn about makeup, cupcake baking, or parenting,… you come for the business resources and tips (I hope)! My goal is not to turn this into a lifestyle blog or spend days chronicling my baby girl’s motor skill development. However, I do think (and hope) that it’ll be refreshing and interesting to add a personal touch to my site, and that you can relate to the challenges of running an at-home office and business alongside a household and a family. Even if you aren’t a parent or working from home, I think we can all relate to the constant hustle and juggling of trying to make it as a creative entrepreneur.
My hope is that this new article series will reconcile my innate need to include a more personal side to this site (which before everything else, is really simply a blog!) with the helpful educational tidbits you’ve already come to expect from Lazy Owl. A lot of my favorite blogs in the handmade business realm are written by ladies that do a wonderful job of giving their readers a peek into their home/personal lives as well. I think this is what makes them relatable, interesting, and successful. I find that I trust their business advice and experience more since I feel like I know them a bit better as a well-rounded person, and not just an entrepreneur or a faceless blogger.
I hope you agree, and I’m really looking forward to this new venture! If you find the new article series boring or pointless, I also don’t mind if you skip them and just read all the free business goodies 🙂
Exciting news! Lazy Owl will soon be releasing our very first Crafting a Business 101 e-book and e-course, Creating a Business Plan. The e-book will be a thorough expansion of our popular Business Plan blog series, with lots more printable worksheets and valuable content added. It’ll also include some inspirational info and links to other resources and goodies. Since this will be the first release of our first e-course ever, for a limited time, we’ll be offering it for a very special rate to our email subscribers. Enter your email address below to be added to our subscription list, and be the very first to know as soon as the Creating a Business Plan e-book is released (and get it for a very special low price)!
We’re offering so much more than just a simple, boring, static business plan! Completing our e-course will help you…
Hone in on why you became a creative entrepreneur in the first place, and inspire you to keep on trucking through any bumps in the road
Research and define your ideal customer and your target audience
Determine the best outlets to both sell and promote your creative business
Spend your marketing time more effectively
Craft the best message and language to sell and market your products across all platforms
Stand out from your competition
Build a solid foundation for your creative business
Create a simple, usable business plan that you can use and get inspiration from both now and as your business grows
Our Crafting a Business Plan e-course and workbook will include:
An in-depth guide on how to create a usable and effective business plan for your creative business, whether you’re new to being an entrepreneur or just want to re-tool your current plan (or lack thereof!)
Printable worksheets and prompts for each step of your new business plan
Over 50+ pages of helpful content, printable worksheets, inspirational quotes, and other resources
As they say, those that don’t plan, plan to fail. A solid business plan is essential to succeeding in today’s competitive handmade industry. Enter your email address below to receive our newsletter and learn more about our upcoming e-course!
Here’s what I’m digging on the interwebs this week!
Seriously amazingly awesome website I just found – ifttt.com. IFTTT (I don’t even know what it stands for, but I love it) allows you to create “recipes” to automate all sorts of technological process connected to your apps, sites, and various accounts. It’s great for both business and personal use. Just a few examples – every time you list something on Etsy it can automatically post it to your Facebook business page, every time you post something on Instagram it will tweet it for you, it can text you the weather forecast every morning when you wake up, it can automatically back up certain emails…the possibilities are endless and amazing. This site is a MUST for using your internet time more effectively!
I’ve been loving the essential oils kit I bought from fellow Texan and Etsy seller Cassia Aromatics. The dream state blend has been helping me get to sleep easier, and I love diffusing the oils in my new cute little diffuser for a quick pick-me-up throughout the day. I also picked up The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy to get more ideas and recipes for using my new oils (if you use essential oils I’d love to hear any tips or tricks you might have for a newbie!).
I love Tara Gentile’s post about five ways to generate revenue now. Her ideas are always outside the box and get you pumped up about your business. Reading this post this week has gotten my business wheels turning, so you can expect some announcements and new things coming from Lazy Owl soon!
After nearly 3 years in the business of being Lazy Owl, and also being a CPA, and also BLOGGING about good financial practices for small businesses…
I just now finally opened a business bank account for myself.
Yes yes, throw your stones at me now, I deserve it. Many people agree that opening a separate business checking account for your creative business should be one of the very first things you do when starting out. And I agree. But I didn’t call my business Lazy Owl for no reason people!
Honestly, there’s really nothing wrong (or like, illegal) about using your personal checking account for your business, as long as you’re operating as a sole proprietor. However, there’s (at least) two major benefits of having a separate business account for your Etsy shop or online creative business:Anyway, it’s been on my to-do list for quite some time, and now I’ve checked it off. Here are my thoughts on the process, if you are out there wondering if you need to open a separate bank account for your creative business.
You can accept and deposit checks made out to your business name, write checks in your business name, get a debit and/or credit card in your business name…and just plain do business and what not in your business name.
Your personal and business cash inflows and outflows are not “comingled” for tax & financial purposes.
First, your business checking account can be in yourbusiness’ name obviously. This is something that can’t be done with a personal account (most banks won’t let you at least). So now, if you ever get a check made out to “Lazy Owl Boutique”, you can actually deposit or cash it without the bank being all confused about it, or even worse, rejecting it outright. This means you can also get a debit and/or credit card in your business’ name and checks with your business name on them. Fancy!
Second, trust me when I say, you have to be very diligent and organized if you are operating your business out of your personal bank account when tax time comes around… or even just to do any financial tracking for your business in the meantime. Having only one account means digging through a lot more transactions to figure out what income and expenses belonged to your business versus your personal life. This means a lot more time determining which expenses are deductible and which are not. Having an account dedicated to just your business means you don’t have that problem. You can simply copy or download all of your transactions and call it a day. This is also really good news because it means if your tax return is ever audited by the IRS, you have some really good documentation readily handy.
But really, there are lots of other intangible benefits than just the two above. Here are just a few off the top of my head…
I can save mucho time by downloading bank transaction data directly to my financial spreadsheet (or Quickbooks, Outright, Mint, or other financial software you might be using). With direct data download from my business bank account, Etsy account, and Paypal account, Imagine all that number-crunching analysis I’ll be able to do now without having to type transactions in one at a time!
I spend a lot of time during tax season finally inputting various miscellaneous expenses from the entire year that I can now stay on top of throughout the year. Since I am constantly buying jewelry supplies, having all my expenses in one place without having to filter out my groceries and what not will be splendid.
Here’s a great one – I will have a much better grasp on my day-to-day cash flow and income/loss than I did previously. Now I can simply check the balance of my bank account, rather than take an afternoon to update my profit spreadsheet by entering sales and expenses line-by-line.
I also will finally be able to have a Paypal account and debit card devoted solely to my business. Better expense tracking there as well.
Bottom line…this saves me a lot of time and energy and encourages me to actually deal with my finances, instead of pushing them aside day after day because the work is too time-consuming and tedious. If me, the accountant, has trouble finding the stamina to work on my financial paperwork, I’m sure a lot of artists out there don’t enjoy this task either!
Financial gushing aside, there are some downsides to opening a business checking account that you don’t have with personal checking accounts…mainly, fees. Most banks require a minimum monthly balance or your account will be charged $10-$15 a month. Also, if you have more than a max number of transactions each month (usually around 150-200), you are charged a fee per transaction. If you plan and monitor your account carefully though, you can usually avoid these charges, and I believe the pros outweigh the cons. Trying to avoid these extra fees has a silver lining – it encourages you to monitor your money more frequently and makes you more aware of your finances on a day-to-day basis, something a lot of us creative peeps have trouble with.
I used this helpful tool at nerdwallet.com to find a bank in my area that fit my needs the best (like a phone app for mobile check deposit, yes please!) and charged the lowest fees. I highly recommend it. There are also some online-only small business banks that you can check out, though I couldn’t find any that seemed to have solid positive reviews thus far.
So, there you go. Hopefully this encourages you to bite the bullet if you haven’t already gotten yourself a checking account for your creative business. It’s just another step, and one that’s not too painful, on the road to becoming a thriving creative business and a financial success.
Yay yay yay! We are so excited to announce that Lazy Owl Boutique is featured on the awesome mompreneur website Kate & Linny this week.
For the next few days, we’re offering a special deal (25% off) on our trendy dahlia titanium studs in a variety of bold spring colors. These flowers are on titanium posts, 100% nickel- and lead-free and perfect for sensitive ears.
Our dahlia studs are a great addition to your springtime wardrobe and work great for everyday wear. At $2.50 for shipping and no extra charge for additional pairs, you can even order a few for filling those Easter baskets or as Mother’s Day gifts! As always, all Lazy Owl items arrive in be-ribboned jewelry boxes, ready for immediate gifting.
See our deal here, and grab a pair or two at this limited time special price!
turquoise & dark pink titanium studs by lazy owl boutique
We encourage you to check out Kate & Linny and support the other featured mompreneurs. Every item featured is either made by, developed by, or sold by moms!
2014 has been a busy year thus far! Trying to juggle mamahood with maintaining Lazy Owl and staying productive with work has certainly been a challenge. Add some travel and events to that list, and we’ve been on the go since January 1!
the mess of my desk
I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire right now, and just wanted to give you a little update of what you can expect here at Lazy Owl in the next few months!
A new look for our website! I recently joined Handmade Tickle as a beta member, from the creators of the well-known site Everything Etsy. Thanks to this new community, I’ve moved my blog over from wordpress.com to self-hosted site. Now I’ve got tons more customization options, but the list of new things to learn is quite overwhelming! You can expect a more exciting site soon, but please bear with me as we grow and tweak! (Side note, if you are a blogger/maker like myself, I highly recommend you check out Handmade Tickle!)
More new content! Yes, I’m planning a whole new editorial content around the long-dormant Creative Accounting series, with some other topics sprinkled in as well. It’s tax time for your small business again so let’s talk numbers, and let’s make it easy!
An e-book! That’s right, I’m working on Lazy Owl’s very first e-book; it will be centered around our first Crafting a Business 101 Series, which was a guided process for creating a business plan as a creative entrepreneur. The e-book is based on that series of articles, but will include many pages of new material, extra printables, and more in-depth guidance and advice. Goodies galore!
What do you want to learn about this year? Let me know in the comments!
Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us! This holiday has never been my particular cup of tea, and I know I’m notoriously hard to buy gifts for because I buy myself what I want pretty frequently. Here are some items that I’ve purchased recently (plus a few on my wish list) that I think are perfect gifts for the creative entrepreneur in your life…or, just buy one for yourself 🙂 I won’t tell!
lazy owl’s valentine’s day gift guide for creative entrepreneurs
#1. Hot pink maxi dress from eShakti // I recently discovered eShakti, an online clothing boutique that specializes dresses and skirts and customizes everything to your height, size, and style preference. I have an addiction to buying dresses…even though I am now a stay-at-home mom with few excuses to wear said dresses. However, I really love how most everything on eShakti is less than $100, plus they are always having deals (like right now you can get 20% off site-wide and $30 off for signing up as a first time customer). Now that I’m done gushing about eShakti, I’ll admit that I recently ordered this maxi dress. It’ll be cool and comfy for spring and easy to dress up for client meetings or lunch dates. Plus, it’s pink and ruffly!
#2. The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte // I love this book! It’s such a great kick in the pants, and as a creative person and a business owner, I tend to get stuck in ruts quite frequently…either feeling uncreative or just unmotivated. I need a kick start quite frequently, and this book does just the thing. LaPorte’s writing will inspire any creative entrepreneur to tackle their to-do list, get out of their comfort zone, find practical ways to actually achieve their dreams…the list goes on and on. I also really enjoy her writing style and the format of the printed book. It makes it more fun to read. This one is a must for the creative entrepreneur’s bookshelf, but you’ll probably be referring to it so often it’ll stay out on the table!
#3. The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau // This book was a game-changer for me. I read it before quitting my grueling job in public accounting. I highly recommend it to those just starting out on their journey as a creative business owner, especially anyone who is hesitant about going “off road” on the road of life. Reading it will help silence all those doubtful voices both inside and outside of your head and calm your anxieties about taking risks. The combo of this book and the Fire Starter Sessions is like having your own traveling cheer squad for your business. After reading both, you’ll feel totally inspired and ready to tackle anything!
#4. Spotify subscription // Most of us Etsy-preneurs and creatives spend a lot of time on the computer, whether you are blogging, listing things in your shop, or promoting your brand on social media. I love to listen to music while I’m online, and I also find it inspiring to have music while I’m creating offline. I love Spotify because I can have it downloaded on multiple platforms, like my laptop and my phone, so my music can travel with me in the car or while I jog. I have lots of different playlists for every occasion, and I don’t have to go through the process of downloading songs like back in my iTunes days. I personally use the premium subscription, which is pretty economical at $10 a month, has no ads, and allows me to listen to my streaming playlists in my car.
#5. Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner // Ahhhh. I know I’m not the only one who gets all excited by all things organization and colorful. I recently ordered myself a 2014 Simplified Planner. They’re on sale right now since they won’t be delivered til March, so I’m excited to see what all the rage is about. I have really tried to hold off on using a physical planner, thinking I could keep track of everything electronically, but after months and months of drooling over Emily’s lovely products I finally caved when I saw this deal. Some sort of planner and organization system is uber-important for creative business owners, let alone working mamas!
#6. Mini lucite tray by Pencil Shavings Studio // Let me start off by saying that I love everything Pencil Shavings Studio sells (again, organization + pretty colors, notice the trend?). Their lucite trays come in three sizes and can be personalized, and they will plain just look pretty on your desk! I’m sure you could use them for a multitude of things as a business owner…I plan to use mine as an inbox tray for paperwork. Maybe a prettier tray will inspire me to tackle the pile before it gets too large?
#7. Return address stamp by Empress Stationery // I’ve been drooling over Empress Stationery’s handwriting-inspired stamps for a while. As a new mom, I really would’ve loved a nice address stamp for sending out all those birth announcements and holiday cards. This stamp would make a lovely gift for an artist, whether you chose to use their family name or business brand. Another little something to add a special touch to the daily work of being a small business owner.
I hope you get some lovely treasures this Valentine’s Day! Don’t be afraid to be like me and gift yourself 🙂
Full disclosure! Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, but all opinions and recommendations are my own.