Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Etsy Holiday Gift Challenge – Buying a Gift for My Baby Nephew

Baby Gabe! First test subject of the Etsy Holiday Challenge.

So, here we go, day 1 of the Holiday Gift Challenge. Just to recap, I plan to purchase all of this year’s presents from Etsy or other small businesses/artists and my budget is $50 per person. So, yesterday I browsed Etsy and found a ton of adorable items! One of my favorites are these super cute shoes.  They are from pink2blue and you can find them here on Etsy. I love them!! In fact, I loved them so much, I thought how fun would it be to dress Gabe up like a stylish little adult. I was especially feeling the tweed materials and rich chocolate colors.

Love these shoes from pink2blue.

How cute would those little shoes look with this sweet outfit from Harpers Bazaar Handmade. You can see it on their Etsy store here.

Little onesie for the business minded baby. From Harpers Bazaar Handmade.

It is getting pretty chilly out so don’t forget the hat. I love this newsboy cap from Classic Baby Whites.

Great newsboy baby cap from Classic Baby Whites.

How great is this little cardi with suspenders! I would love to see Gabe in it with his little newsboy cap. It is from EWMcCall’s Etsy store.

Fun little cardi with suspenders from EWMcCall.

But Gabe is still a baby, so we can’t be all business. I came across this great little onesie by squarepaisleydesign, with a cute little raccoon on it. I have to tell you, I didn’t realize raccoons could be this cute. We had one last year that ran across the sidewalk and climbed up the tree in front of our house. When we got upstairs to our apartment and looked out the window, we could see its bright little eyes glowing at us from the tree, he might have even bared his little yellow teeth! He was the size of my French Bulldog, but not nearly as cute. He certainly did not have much in common with the sweet little raccoon on this onesie, who, unlike my city raccoon, does not appear to have rabies 🙂

Love this raccoon onesie from squarepaisleydesign.

As amazing as all these clothes are, I kind of feel Gabe might like something to play with. Check out this amazing little lamb from BarkingDogDesigns. Not only does it look super plush and cuddly, but it is pretty stylish to look at, too. Fair enough it is not suitable for children under 5 but he can wait for a little while right, especially for something this adorable!  We can buy it in advance and use it to decorate his nursery until he is ready for it in a few years 🙂

Sweet little lamb by Barking Dog Designs.

Just like the raccoons, the squirrels in Brooklyn are a little rough looking, too. However, this stuffed squirrel must be from Mayberry or something, because he is too sweet. Check him out over at SleepyKing.

Stuffed squirrel by SleepyKing.

And we can’t forget about mama. I love this bag. Fair enough, it is just a little over budget, but perfect for diapers, bottles, and all the other items that are essential to carry around for baby. I love it so much, I want it for myself. You can find it here, by ikabags.

I want this bag!

How cute would this art work from DesignByMaya look in little Gabe’s nursery! Love it. As a bonus, if you check out her shop and purchase one of her adorable prints, be sure to mention that you saw her shop on our Pressed In Brooklyn blog and she will give you a great discount 🙂

Love this art work from DesignByMaya.

So already I have a ton of stylish and adorable gifts to pick from. But I also love presents that appeal to my sense of humor. And this “Stormpooper” onesie by geeklingdesigns certainly fits in that category.

Stormpooper onesie, too funny!

And since Gabe’s daddy loves video games, I think this onesie would certainly appeal to him. Check it out, also by geeklingdesigns, and the little legwarmers are great, too.

Gamer onesie by geeklingdesigns.

So, I think that about covers it for baby Gabe. I have no idea how I am going to pick from this great list though. As always, suggestions are welcome!

– Stephanie, pressedinbrooklyn.com

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Filed under Baby, Brooklyn Shopping, fashion, Shopping

The Holiday Challenge – Is it possible for me to buy all my presents from Etsy and support small businesses and artists?

Our French Bulldog letterpress folded notecards. A perfect gift for Frenchie lovers.

It is amazing how quickly this year has passed by. I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is now behind us and the Holidays are fast approaching. We are gearing up to print our Holiday cards within the next week so stay tuned for our Chanukkah, Christmas and Season’s Greetings card. We can’t wait to share them!

Being so focused on the season of giving, and now that we are independent artists ourselves, Caroline and I began thinking. How about challenging ourselves to purchase all of our gifts from other small artists. We love all the support we receive and we equally love returning it.

So, here is my list. Any suggestions would be more than welcome! I am going to start my search on Etsy, but also search some of my favorite blogs and local Brooklyn artists at the Brooklyn Flea. Perhaps it is a little ambitious, but I hope to write a daily post on how my search is going, spotlighting some of my favorite finds. I have told my family to ignore my blog for the next month….let’s see if they can actually do that.  And one more thing, I plan a budget cap at $50 per person.

Mom – I was thinking maybe soap. Etsy has some great finds that I have been meaning to purchase for myself. She also loves photography and art work. Florals and birds are her favorites.

Dad – Wow, this is tough. He likes cars. He is also kind of a science geek, so maybe something fun along those lines.

Sister-in-Law: She is easy.  She loves jewelry. Something simple and a little rough looking is her style.

Brother: Another challenge. His interests are movies, electronics and video games. What am I gonna do?! However, they do have a new home, so maybe some type of art for it might be fun. I know he is a big fan of Green Lantern. Could I possibly find something related to that?

Baby Nephew: I saw this great little onesie on Etsy that has “Stormpooper” printed on it. Pretty cute and might appeal to the geek side of my brother. I will certainly do a post on this in the next day or so.

Husband: The most difficult of all. He is an architect and pretty picky when it comes to design. I saw some really great laptop cases on Etsy, but unfortunately he just bought one for himself. He likes antiques, so maybe I could find him something interesting and vintage at the Brooklyn Flea.

Mother-in-Law: She would also like jewelry. She loves the stuff at the Met Museum store and I have often bought her pieces from there. Their jewelry is historical and classic. Wonder if I could find something similar on Etsy.

So, there it is. I think I will start with my nephew first since he is the easiest….and since he can’t talk yet, it will be impossible for him to complain if he doesn’t like his gift!

– Stephanie, pressedinbrooklyn.com

 

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Russian Nesting Dolls as Inspiration for a Baby Card

Our "Congratulations on your little one!" card. Perfect for a little girl and based on Russian nesting dolls.

Many of our design are based on our travels and the beautiful cultures we have been exposed to. We recently did some posts on designs based on Roman architecture and Japanese art. These cards are based on Russian nesting dolls. Since we like to use travel as a theme, we named these cards St. Petersburg. We thought these illustrations would be perfect for little boys and girls.

pressedinbrooklyn.com

Our little boy card.

A detail from the card.

The inspiration behind the card.

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The importance of branding: things to think about when creating a look for your small business

A shot of how we package small stationery orders.

This morning I was packing up some stationery orders to ship out and thought I would photograph a few images of our packing. For larger orders of stationery, we pack in these white boxes with a silver/grey bow and our tag with our name and website on it. As I was admiring my handiwork (you should have seen the bows when I first started making them, not good) I thought, maybe I should do a blog post on the power of branding. When starting a small business it really is one of the first and most important things to think about.

So, here goes, a list of what to do, what not to do and a few things we did. Hopefully, it will be of use to anyone starting out their own small business!

1. After you have your company objective and and name set, think about a logo. Sometimes, less is more. When creating a logo, better to go with simple. Think about where and how this logo is going to be used. If you have a very busy logo with tons of colors, how is that going to translate to black and white? Maybe it looks good printed out, but how will it look on your web site where the resolution is much lower? Very important to consider all the ways in which the logo will be used before you set your heart on it. A couple great sites to check out for logo inspiration: Logo of the Day, Logo Fury and Wolda. And just for fun, what not to do for logo design.

2. Look and feel. What is the vibe that you want your company to give? Clean, modern and sophisticated? Home-spun and a little rough? Think about this carefully when crafting your brand. This visual will really set the tone for people when they receive a business card from you or have their first look at your website. One of the branding firms I really like is 2×4. You can take a look at their site to see how they created identities for a number of companies.

For our look and feel, we went with just our name “pressed” in a very simple sans-serif font. We then extended the line of the “p” and “d” to make it look like the word was being “pressed” between the first and last letter. We went with a grey color palette because as a stationery company, we plan to have many items in many colors and many fonts, and we did not want our brand to compete with our product or overwhelm it in any way. Think about how the brand you create will flow with the product you are trying to sell.

3. Logo abuse, don’t do it! Now you have a name, logo and look. Whatever you do, don’t stretch out your logo. Make sure you know the basics of graphic design or have a friend who does. Be certain that you have the dimensions of your logo right for the space you are planning to use it in. You certainly do not want your logo to be pixilated, grainy, hard to read or distorted, ever. Here you can see what I mean by distorted logo.

4. Make sure you really, really like your brand, because you don’t want to change it….ever really. Once you have it you should really plan to stick with it. Once you build a good size client base, they are going to use your brand to quickly, visually recognize your product. Anyone remember what happened when the Gap tried to change its logo? Huge outcry! Maybe part of that was because the new logo was pretty terrible! Take a look here and here, too.

5. Be consistent! Use your brand and stick to it. Every piece you make, from website, to business card, to thank you notes to ads to package should have the same look and feel, same fonts and same color palette. Change up the merchandise and products offered, but not the brand itself. If there are a number of people starting a business together, build consensus with your partners from the get go. You don’t want to end up down the line with Partner A sending out all of their business cards with one look and Partner B favoring another. (I have seen this happen, everyone wants their own look their own fonts, their own colors, believe me, it is a mess!)

I am sure there are many more things I could discuss, but I think I will save them for another blog entry down the road. Hope my tips help out!

– Stephanie, pressedinbrooklyn.com

How we package our large stationery orders.

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