Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mother's Day Sale & Heartbeats Necklace!


It's a great day for a sale, don't you think! This one is to honor mother's everywhere with a whopping 40% off of everything in my jewelry shop! Gift Mom with something handmade and sparkly this year by using this coupon code at the checkout: LOVE4MOM!

I also want to direct your attention to one special necklace...

Whenever someone purchases the "heartbeats" necklace pictured above and below, 50% of the money will go to a Christian nonprofit organization here in Ohio called (of course) Heartbeats. Heartbeats' mission is to educate pregnant mothers on alternatives to abortion and give them practical support while sharing the Gospel message with them and their significant other. This organization is near and dear to my heart. They are literally saving hundreds of unborn children while providing new moms and dads with Christ's love and care.


The necklace itself comes in either sterling silver or vermeil (gold plated sterling silver) and can be purchased here. It's a gift for Mom that will bring care to other new mamas and protection to their infants. If you have questions, please ask in the comments below! :)



Friday, April 24, 2015

Dear Married Person...


Yesterday, I stumbled upon this article by Verily Magazine about some of the well meaning, but often affronting things that single people hear from the sweet married couples in their lives. As a single girl I think I've heard just about all of them. It was pretty funny, you'll have to check it out!

These words are most always said out of love and a desire to sympathize, and truth be told, I don't get annoyed by any of them, but there is a sentiment expressed in this article that I really want to point out to the marrieds who may have forgotten what the singles really want: 

Most single people would like for you to be actively involved in their dating life.

You read that correctly, most single people are really hoping that someone who knows them well will introduce them to their future spouse. That doesn't mean they want you to start setting them up with anyone and everyone, but it is comforting to know that someone else is keeping you in mind when they meet other singles.

An alternative to all of the things on the Verily list is to say: "Tell me what you're looking for, and I'll keep my eyes open." And, "I'll be praying that he/she is getting ready for you while you get ready for him/her." Positive, expectant, hopeful words are the best.

Getting to know the single person will help you know what to look for, too. They'll be so grateful. I know I am very thankful for all of the dear couples in my life watching for that special guy. :)

Any thoughts on this? Singles? Marrieds? Newlyweds? Do you have a story about a match made by mutual friends?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Guarding Our Sabbath Rest


Today, I'm talking about rest! I've come to the conclusion that not adequately resting is as much of a national epidemic as obesity. And when I say "rest," I don't mean physical rest but mental rest. I get up and work until it's time to go to bed late at night, only stopping to veg on my phone or watch a youtube video (which is not actually resting, it's escaping). The weekends are practically the same since I work from home. Can you relate?

One of my favorite bloggers, Jess Connolly, posted something about this on Instagram a while ago. She said that she caught herself wishing there was a day during the week when we could all just rest, then remembered that, THERE IS! She felt convicted and I feel convicted, of forgetting to use God's perfect provision of Sunday. The Sabbath is not supposed to be just another hectic morning or a spare day to catch up on work before Monday. It's our job to work hard during the week, then rest just as hard...

While Sabbath rest is important, I am not of the opinion that we shouldn't attend church in order to preserve it. I believe that corporate worship with other Christians is a wonderful way to focus on where our rest comes from and is a reflection of our eternal rest. The fact that people have to do a little work to organize things is just the way it is. But, that doesn't mean we can't take measures to guard our rest. Unless we're intentional, it probably won't happen. Dare I say, we have to schedule it? God did.

For myself, making sure the morning is not hectic and stressful means getting in bed early on Saturday night so I feel rested the next day. It means preparing sufficiently so that minimal work is needed for clothing and meals on Sunday. It also means saying "no" to things I normally do on the weekdays. When I get home from service, my natural tendency is to check email and work on projects for my business. Sometimes I nap and watch movies with my family, but then I work some more.

I'm challenging myself to do the things on Sunday that I never get time to do during the week: take a nap, read fiction, write fiction, write handwritten letters, play games, call my grandmother, just be with my family and give myself permission to not think about any of the stuff on my plate. Maybe even (heaven forbid), turn off my phone. Basically, throw myself into the act of enjoying and being thankful for rest because it is His gift, because He has commanded it, and because I really need it.

What does your Sunday look like? Have you got this "guarding your rest" thing down?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Influence Network Giveaway


You've probably heard me mention the Influence Network before. :) It's an online community that focuses on encouraging and assisting women in their small business and ministry pursuits both online and off (meaning, you don't have to be a blogger or have a website to be in this network) and it's basically the best thing to enter my world since Nutella. If you're craving Christian community with other ladies, I would highly recommend Influence! I joined the network back in January and have been so impressed with their Christ-centered vision. Find more info about the network and all that a membership offers here


One of the most exciting things about Influence is that they hold an annual conference in Indianapolis with many wonderful speakers. Although I've never been, I've heard the very best things about it and would love to go this year!

If all this sounds great, today's your lucky day. Elizabeth Mayberry from Oak and Oats teamed up with me and 20 other ladies to give someone the chance to win both a ticket to the 2015 conference and $300 for travel expenses! You don't have to be a member of the network to attend the conference and there are many different ways to enter below. (If you follow me on Instagram you already have an entry to claim.) 

This opportunity ends Friday, so hop to if you're interested! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Minor Adustments


My mother just told me that she was tired of looking at my blog in the mornings and finding that nothing new had been posted. Sorry, Mom. Sorry, anyone else who agrees with my Mom. :) My blog has been stuck in a phase of readjustment and it's thrown me for a loop. "What do I mean by that?" I mean, I made big blog plans that didn't work out and chose to hide from them for a bit instead of dealing with them.

I've been putting off writing because after my little BizGold linkup drew very little interaction, I didn't know whether or not to write about business topics like I'd planned or move on to other things. I have to admit, it was tough to deal with the lack of interest in that one idea. In my mind, I was going to share everything I've been learning about business, and other bloggers would share what they're learning about business and eventually this blog would become a hub of priceless information for small business owners everywhere! Blah blah blah. Expectations will always disappoint.

Thankfully, the voice in my head that sounds like Sylvester Stallone kicked in last week, "Shake it off, and do something different. Don't stop. Just keep moving forward! You're a fighter, not a quitter." (You didn't know this, but I give myself pep talks in Stallone's voice.) Also, a sweet sweet blogging friend encouraged me this weekend when she said she'd experienced some of the same responses to the topic of business on her own blog and thought I should just make BizGold my own personal series instead of a linkup.

As I write this, I feel that I ought to try to reconnect with blogging in a simpler way. Just write. Just share. My family, my part time jobs, my new jewelry shop, my close friends, the things I enjoy, what the Lord is teaching me..there's value in just writing about those things and not worrying about some of the other "professional" stuff.

I apologize to those of you who may have been looking for a BizGold post today (there were a couple of you). I will post on the topic of business again, but it won't be open for linking up. I'm going to try all kinds of stuff on this platform, but not all of it is going to work. And that's okay. (Sylvester) You ain't worth nothin' if you can't take a hit!

(Thanks for the nudge, Mom)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Instagram Happenings


Hey Y'all!

Once I finish switching my blog to a new platform, I'll be sure to install an Instagram widget, but for now, here's a little bit of what's been happening on IG. If you have an account be sure to follow along @anna.seay :)















-Song

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

#BizGold Vol. 2 - What To Do For the Unhappy Customer


One of the most basic aspects of entrepreneurship is of course dealing with customers. It's a privilege, but it can also be rough. Hopefully, every client you interact with will love the product and service you provide, but inevitably, a product will arrive late, will break, or (heaven forbid) will not live up to the customers' expectations. I've learned it happens to everyone and that an unhappy email usually shows up in your inbox when it does. That's a hard thing, but what's sometimes worse is when you get no email at all.

When I was just beginning my jewelry business, I had a long conversation with a woman who was an experienced jewelry designer and business owner. One of the best pieces of advice she gave me was to go above and beyond when fixing a problem for your customer. If something breaks, replace it for free. Pay for shipping both ways. Throw an extra gift in the box. Do more than they expect you to. I have since had occasion to use that advice (thankfully, only twice), but I would add something else to it:

Go to the unhappy customer before they come to you.

A couple of months ago, one unhappy customer bypassed my inbox and went straight for the review page... I received a notice that someone had left a review on my shop, and upon opening it, found 3 out of 5 stars winking at me (they were smug, those stars). The necklace the customer received was adorable, she said, but it broke after wearing it for a brief amount of time. 3 out of 5 stars changed my shop review as a whole from 5 stars to 4... and I began to panic. 

In a perfect world every customer would go to you first when they have a problem, instead of writing a bad review, but often that just doesn't happen. In that case, you fly to the customer. I quickly responded to the review and told her that I would send her a replacement the next day for free. She immediately changed her review to 5 stars, and I started breathing again. When I mailed the replacement piece to her, I stuck a discount code in the box and a note reminding her that I was always available to fix issues for my clients.

I walked away from that little experience knowing that if I had not been so quick to respond, the customer would probably have forgotten to change her poor rating (disaster). (Being extra quick is the best way to guarantee the customer stays your customer.) But I also learned that going above and beyond to serve the customer means going to them. You can't guarantee that once you put your product into someone's hands, they'll follow up when something goes wrong. Whether it's with a comment card in the actual box, an email asking them how they liked your product, or a prepaid means of returning your item, communicating with them first makes them feel like they're free to communicate with you.  People need to know that there's a human on the other end of the transaction, not just some company that doesn't care about them.

What are some of your customer experiences and have you taken measures to anticipate disaster? :)


If any of you bloggers have a business-related post that you would like to share, feel free to link up by following the instructions below. #BizGold takes place on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. Next up is April 14th!