Just discovered some great purses and bags at Star 50 Bags. What a selection! The company's owner loves to travel throughout the States. She combined her love of handbags with the 'personality' of each state to create a collection of theme bags. And they're marvelous!
Star 50 Bags has a wide range of styles. There's truly something for everybody. From the wild New York Hot Potto the classic North Carolina Kitty Tote you're sure to find something to fit your fall wardrobe.
Sometimes a knock-off isn't a true sin. A copy of one of Carrie Bradshaw's dresses or a purse similar to one carried by Posh. But at other times it's just downright mean.
One of my favorite doggie product sites, Big Paw Designs, has fallen victim to copycats (terrible pun) who blatantly imitate the company's original (and copyrighted) designs. The pewter collar charms are the thieves' biggest target. It's unfortunate because though Big Paw Designs isn't a large company it has a huge heart and is dedicated to the plight of 'rescue' dogs. A hefty percentage of sales of the Woof Fleur de Lis charm (pictured) go to pet rescue groups in New Orleans. Join their effort - spend a little ($15) to help a lot!
One of the biggest let downs to online shopping has to be shipping fees. You think you've found a great deal on a pair of jeans only to find out at checkout that it has a huge shipping charge. Would have been better to drive to the store and buy it. Oh wait, gas prices.
I recently discovered FreeShipping.org, a coupon site that focuses primarily on free shipping codes. They have free shipping to just about any store imaginable. As well as the free shipping offers, they also have other coupons and discounts listed on the site. Before you make your next online purchase, head on over to FreeShipping.org and get a free shipping code.
I became a true fan of social networking when I acquired Louie, my Tibetan Spaniel puppy. Louie's five months old - I believe that translates into something like three human years? We were having major housebreaking issues and I had a lot of questions. I'd just stumbled upon a Facebook group called Chances Are I Like My Dog Better Than You which interested me for its name alone. I was pleasantly surprised that instead of snarky remarks about spouses vs pets I found a community of people willing to help with all dog-related issues. I posted a question about housebreaking and immediately received some very useful - and effective - suggestions. Social networking at its best!
I found this photo of a Tibetan Spaniel on Wikipedia. Louie's nowhere near as regal as this beauty.
Calling all women businesses owners! Divapreneuris a hot new site restricted to women entrepreneurs. Equal parts networking, coaching, blogging and 'how to' it's the site to visit for women building an online business. Looking for an appropriate place to advertise? Want to tout your business in a blog? Need advice from divas who are already 'in the know'? Divapreneur is the place to go! It's invitation only and restricted to business owners and women. Haven't been invited to join yet? Go to the site, fill out a form and the Admin team will kindly review it. And have fun!
MORE ABOUT CONTESTS In an earlier post I discussed participating in contests sponsored by bloggers. Using visitors to do your market research is only part of the reason to participate. But participating can also help you build a database of people interested in your site and/or products. Why do you need such a database? For the newsletter you send out regularly (or that you should!). More about that later.
Ready to update your child's room? Looking for something personalized to match the decor and bring a smile to the little one's face? Custom Banneramas from Gifts Defineare unique wall art that will tickle your fancy. The hand stitched animals have letters attached and are strung from a satin or leather cord. Spell out your child's name on one side - reverse it to say something special on the other. There are 12 colorful animals to choose from, including monkeys, elephants, and more. Take a look at Irma's site to see her Tooth Guardian Angels, Conversation Birdsand more cute stuff.
Market research can be pricey and often out of reach of small businesses. Sue Kirchner, a former client and owner of TheChocolate Cake Club, found an affordable way to get the best input possible - from potential customers. When reviewers at Boston Mamasinvited her to participate in a product giveaway she jumped at the chance. Sue asked that contestants be required to visit her site and name their favorite product. In addition to getting direct input from her target market Sue also saw a spike in traffic to her site. Lesson learned, don't hesitate to be creative when setting guidelines for product giveaways.
PUBLICITY TIP I just learned about Squidoo and why we business owners should be using it. Not only is it great for SEO but it's free! Resourceful entrepreneurs can't afford not to use this site. Just write a lense (similar to a blog entry) about a topic you're knowledgeable about - any topic. Business owners often know more about their product than anyone else. So tell the world about it!
I'm still working on my first lense. I wrote about KLEAN Bath & Body's sugar scrubs - it's easy to write about products you love. The tech support staff and community at SquidU are helping me iron out the kinks - I'll show it to you when it's completed.
Thank you, Blooming Lily, for sharing another great find with us.
loungeluxe is a fairly new shopping portal for indie businesses. It's pretty on the eyes and is incredibly easy to navigate. Lots of links. Some of my favorites - Peggy Li Jewelry and Kailo Chic (isn't the clutch pictured here marvelous!) - are already on the site. I noticed there are a lot of items from Modishoppe - that's a great endorsement!