This weekend was a big one for us. David's mother came to visit, David graduated, Lily had her dance recital, Mother's Day.
Big weekend indeed.
David's graduation was one of my favorite parts. We didn't make a big deal out of it, as David isn't the kind of person to make a big deal out of anything, but for me, privately, it was a very big deal.
His graduation (he got a masters in Geography - and we call him Master David) marks the end of a chapter in our lives. One that revolved around education, living and trying to thrive somewhere new and far away from home, putting our little family unit at the forefront of decisions. Trying to be grown ups.
With the end of this moment in our lives, I'm excited to embark on the next one. One that involves career decisions, a new place to make our home, and planning for the rest of our lives. This end is actually a beginning.
One where we'll still have to try to be grown ups.
I have received some of the BEST emails, comments, and phone calls regarding my last post. Friends, old clients, new clients, and even phantom readers who have come out to say how excited they are to see me growing into my own. Everyone is so supportive.
I had mentioned in my last post how emmarie Designs would stick around until the very end, and though I won't be changing that, I do have to say that I'm having a very hard time coming up with posts.
I am just so excited about my relaunch that I can't seem to split my energy between the two.
So, with 27 days to go (yes, I'm counting) until the release of The Great Reorganization (the official term for this shift in my business), posts around these parts are going to be a little sparse.
I do have a couple of things scheduled to share next week. But really, I'm in party-planning mode. Content-writing mode. And - wait for it - mobile website-designing mode.
It's all very exciting.
If you haven't already, go sign up for updates on The Great Reorganization. Get in on the party.
Interesting thought, huh?
As of today, emmarie Web Design is over. No more. Kaput.
As part of my wonderful, huge, and amazing business overhaul, rebrand, and relaunch, emmarie Web Design, and soon emmarie Designs and Indie Shopography, is converting. Becoming something greater. Melding into each other to create a whole that's greater than the sum of it's parts.
The first to meet it's demise is emmarie Web Design. I've been waffling over this shut-down over the past few weeks out of anxiety. I mean, emmarie Web Design is my baby and money-maker. However, she was the first to be sacrificed.
In two weeks the Indie Shopography site will meet the same end.
emmarie Designs - the blog - will remain in tact until the very end, at which point all posts will be archived as a part of the new site, so it will all be there as part of the new beginning.
The launch of the new site and business will come on June 5th. Sign up if you'd like to receive updates as things come along. It's going to be big.
March and April were hectic months around these parts. David and I traveled separately, David has had his nose in his thesis, defended his thesis, editing his thesis.
The studio has been humming with projects, some delayed projects, some ahead-of-schedule projects, and some right-on-time projects. I've even taken on my own project. More to come on that.
I've been "breaking in" a new assistant, hosting dinner parties and brunches, and hosting an academic house guest.
More or less, we've had a completely chaotic several weeks.
I'm viewing May as a chance to refocus on my big goals, clear the clutter from my life, and get back to living, working, and just being.
So, for May, I want to share my big goals.
1. Clear all the lingering things off my to-do list.
You know what things I'm talking about. Those things that just seem to travel from day to day, never really getting marked off.
Plan of action: Figure out why I haven't marked them off yet, mark them off, and then never have them on my to-do list again. No more life clutter.
2. Dive into my rebrand/relaunch.
Ok, confession: totally already dived in. Braid Creative has developed the most awesome branding story and logo for me, it's just my turn to develop it into my business. And it's getting there. Web design, content, marketing strategy: all underway.
Plan of action: Make it a priority. Period. Expected launch date: June 5.
3. Enjoy the shit out of my vacation.
My little family and I are planning a little vacation later this month. And I will enjoy it. And I will not check my email. And dog-gone anyone who expects me to do otherwise.
Plan of action: Disconnect. Play.
4. Celebrate. Wholeheartedly.
Everything. Big. Small.
With my relaunch, David's graduation, Lily's first dance recital, and a million little things in between coming at me quickly, I will take the time to celebrate. Everything.
Plan of action: Celebrate. Wholeheartedly.
5. Eat healthfully.
Oh gees. Our mad rush over the past few weeks has added up to a whole lot of ordered in pizza and dine-in Mexican. Also, lots of late afternoon cocktails and midnight bowls of brownie and ice cream. We're stress eaters, and whereas David has the metabolism of a 5-year old and a stomach of steel, I certainly do not.
Plan of action: Get my tush back in the kitchen remember how much I love to cook.
So that's it, my plans for May. Focusing, purging, celebrating, and health. Sounds like fun.
Spring has finally come to the mountains. It messed with us quite a bit there for a while. Warm and sunny one day, snowy and blustery the next. However, I think Spring now has her hold, and I'm hoping she hangs on for dear life.
Warm-weather strolls and Cute Kid in cute dresses are about two of my favorite things in the world.
Five website launches, a master's thesis defense, a house guest, and a business overhaul. The past month and a half around these parts has been hectic and stressful.
I decided about a month ago that I would disengage from Twitter and Facebook. Then I shut down my email and stopped blogging. Then I quit cooking (and showering, but shh). And, finally, it was all done.
For the past several days we've just enjoyed being stress-free. I went to the grocery store yesterday and finally restocked. After this weekend, I think we will all be adequately recuperated and ready to tackle everything to come.
Because I have exciting things to share with you. It's going to be fun.
If I got a nickel for every time I had a potential client request Wordpress for their CMS (content management system) or blogging solution, I might have already retired.
Or not, but you get the illustration. It happens a lot.
Before I get into my anti-Wordpress spill, let me make a few things perfectly clear:
- Wordpress is awesome.
I have used Wordpress in the past, and think that it's a wonderful solution for a blogging platform, and even some informational websites.
- I will never pull someone away from Wordpress who is having wonderful results from the platform.
Wordpress is a wonderful solutions for many types of websites. Obviously.
- This is based on my experience with my clients and contacts who have attempted to use Wordpress for their online shop and related blog.
If you've been using it effectively, I'm by no means telling you you're wrong, just that you're rare from where I'm standing.
With that said, I would like to outline a few very key reasons why online business owners with an ecommerce component to their online presence should steer clear of Wordpress.
1. There are other solutions.
Many people suggest Wordpress simply because it's the only CMS they're aware of, or because someone they know uses it well.
That's all good and cheery, but just because it's the only one you know of doesn't make it the only fish in the sea. Likewise, just because a friend uses it advantageously does not mean it's going to be the solution for you.
Do some research, folks.
2. It's a blogging platform.
It's true. The basis of Wordpress functionality is in blogging. It's a wonderful blogging platform. That's what it was built to do.
With this said, it is not an ecommerce platform. Just because you can get a widget that lets you add products to your site does not mean that it should be done. Who built that widget? Who will you go to if you find a bug in how it works? The teenager in his basement who produced it?
Also, what about security. Wordpress sites get hacked on a regular basis. The security requirements for a blogging CMS are a lot different from those required for real ecommerce options. Don't put yourself, and your customers, in that kind of jeopardy.
3. Blogging can, and should, be done elsewhere.
Ok, so you've committed to a fancy-pants ecommerce CMS. Wonderful! Now can you get a Wordpress blog?
I guess. If you want to lose your SEO (search engine optimization) advantages of even having a blog.
When you have your shop and blog on the same hosting account, when they're deeply entwined on the same host, then the SEO that you get from constantly updating a blog with relative content automatically boosts the optimization of your shop.
If you have a shop on one host, and your blog off somewhere else, then you lose that direct connection between your blog and your shop. All that blogging has no SEO effect on your shop.
If your ecommerce host allows for you to have a blog on their server, even if it's not Wordpress, do yourself a favor and go with the host's blogging platform. It may be a bit of a learning curve to learn a new way of blogging (really, none of them are that different), but you'll reap the SEO benefits.
(This does not count for ecommerce hosts that allow you to load a Wordpress blog straight onto the site's server. There are some ecommerce options that allow this, so if leaving Wordpress for blogging is not a topic up for discussion, then find a host that allows this. It just takes a little research.)
4. We know you're using wordpress, and we know it's free
Wordpress sites have a look about them. Unless you get a heavily customized template, many people know you're using Wordpress.
And it's not just me, the web designer, who can tell. I recently had a potential client (who's in the music business) tell me he didn't want his site to look like a Wordpress site. He wanted something more upscale.
I know Wordpress is cheap. Free even. You're paying - what? - $5/month for hosting. If you're business is going well, don't you think it's time to invest a bit more into your business? Into your image? Into how effectively you manage your online business?
So, before getting your heart set on Wordpress out of familiarity or a not-knowing-of-anything-else, do yourself a favor and do some research on the available platforms, and weigh what is important to you and your creative online shop. You might just find that there is a better solution out there for you altogether.
Like this post? It's just a bit of a taste of what goes on in my Indie Shopography ecourse and workshop. Sign up for updates and be the first to find out when registration for the next ecourse opens, or sign up for my upcoming Dallas workshop!
The Indie Shopography workshops with Kathleen from Braid Creative are coming up fast!
Mini-Workshop - Austin, TX - May 21st
You only have 3 days to sign up for our mini-workshop in Austin, TX. We only have 4-5 more spots to fill to reach our minimum for this workshop, and we'd love to have you there.
Workshop - Dallas, TX - June 9th & 10th
You have a bit over a week to sign up for our 2-day workshop in Dallas, TX. We've got our eye on a very chic venue and hope you'll join us for 2 days of uncovering your brand and developing a plan for getting your creative shop online.
We hope to see you there! Book now.
Our goal is to have all of our workshops be a mix of fun and business, a lot like my own recent business trip to Dallas with the Braid ladies. It's important to us that you get a chance to network, become inspired, get in touch with your business, and walk away with concrete tools and actionable steps to grow your creative business.
A very huge thank you to Tara and Kathleen from Braid Creative for directing and producing this video. These ladies really are a-maz-ing.
This past week, I was lucky enough to take a little business trip to Dallas. It was a serious multi-tasking expedition that included everything from working on my own projects, getting refreshed and inspired, business meetings out the wazoo about workshops, branding, and ecourses, and - of course - a bit of fun.
A wonderful mix of business and pleasure started off the trip when I drove up to Plano on my first night to meet with Marty, my first-ever ecommerce client. It was an immense pleasure meeting her - finally - after having worked with her several times over the past 2.5 years, and becoming really great friends with her. We spent the evening chatting about our work and families, and laughing over drinks and sushi.
I spent my first morning in Dallas walking around downtown. I found a cozy little breakfast spot, where I filled my hungry spot, and then spent several hours in our chic hotel lobby working on work stuff.
Later that day, Kathleen and Tara came into town, bringing fun, inspiration, and business with them. We started our time together with an intense branding meeting, where we hit the creative checkpoint of my brand overhaul. I can't wait to start getting this implemented.
And boy, are these women good at what they do.
Our second day together was all about ecourses, workshops, video, and, well, food. We hit up the Bishop Art District for brunch, shopping, and mini meetings all the while. We planned, and schemed, and worked. And ate. And shopped.
I spoke yesterday about how travel is a business investment that's important to me. Being able to travel to connect with people, network, and, most important, collaborate, is well worth the time and money that I invest in it. This trip was no exception.
The plans and products, creativity and inspiration that has come out of spending a couple of days half way across the country with the Braid women was well worth every penny, backlogged email, and moment away from the house that I put into it.
And I cannot wait to share what we accomplished.
Do you want to hang out with Kathleen and I in Dallas? You can in June! Sign up for our workshop in Dallas, and we'll see you there!