Monday, February 14, 2011

Change Is Good, Change Is Good, Change Is Good...

Change Is Good...

It's what I keep telling myself, even though I completely dread the thought. Not about everything - I actually enjoy change in many forms: the change of seasons, change of attitude, a change of heart... even the change of life doesn't scare me half as much as the change I'm experiencing right now.

We're changing the Bellissima Minerals Logo.

We've had the same logo that I created for us back in 2005 - and it's time.

While the 'old' logo defined us and served it's purpose for a very long time, allowing us to be easily recognized and distinguished us from other brands very well, it just wasn't representative of Bellissima as a business any longer.

Since the initial logo creation, Bellissima Trucco Minerale ('gorgeous mineral makeup' in Italian, in case you were wondering) has expanded into Lip Care, Handmade Soap, Skin Care and Spa, Bath & Body Products. We've also introduced Foot Care and Facial products, and are now working on Hair Care and Nail Care.

So we felt we needed to update our Logo to better reflect the developments in our business. We wanted it to be more current, more hip, more clean, crisp, clear and concise. We wanted it to be brighter and more distinct - striking, even.

But we also needed it to be authentically Bellissima - not so far off base from the old logo that our customers didn't recognize us... just an updated, cooler version. And we think we did it. We're pretty happy with the results.

Take a peek:

But now for 'the change'... switching everything over to a new logo is a huge challenge. And could be a tremendous financial undertaking if done all at once. But as a small business, that's just not an option for us. So we'll be doing it piecemeal...

Just a few things at a time, starting with the mineral cosmetics, paperwork and the websites. We'll change the labels on the jars and invoices first, then slowly move onto all the other products. We'll have to remember all the minor things we hardly think about anymore, too - like return address labels and email signatures. But we'll move gradually, in intervals, until we've completely changed over to the new Logo. It'll be stressful, but also thrilling!

And so, I'm excited to officially introduce the new 'Face' of Bellissima to the public - that's you, my loyal and ever so appreciated Blog Readers!

Please don't hesitate to tell me what you think!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ask Me For a Favor… an Event Favor, That Is!

Tradition dictates that events such as bridal & baby showers, receptions, corporate events and weddings require a ‘take-away’ - a token of appreciation that guests will not only remember the event by, but also hopefully use and enjoy.

While Jordan Almonds, matchbooks and instant cameras may have been the old stand-bys, everything from fortune cookies and mini gumball machines to mousepads and flower & herb seed packets have made it into guests’ hands at all types of events.

But trends now tell us that hostesses and party planners are looking for less traditional and more unexpected favors. They’re looking for items that reflect their personality and the theme of the event. They want items that are fun and memorable, unique and whimsical, often practical and functional, even regional in many cases.

And in these economic and eco-friendly times, handmade favors top the trend lists!

Handmade favors offer a wide range of options, and always come from the heart. They tend to be more innovative and distinctive, certainly more personal. Thought and care goes into creating each and every piece, making a handmade favor a much more intimate and sentimental choice - and in many cases, much more budget-friendly, too.

The ideas in handmade favors are endless: homemade wine, candies, cookies, truffles, sachets, recipes, herb blends, spice rubs, cds (or, as in my day, ’mix tapes’), candle tins and of course, spa, bath & body items.

And that’s where Bellissima comes in…

I’m always incredibly honored when asked to create favors for an event. It’s a pleasure to help a planner make an event successful and memorable and just a joy to have even a very small part in someone’s most treasured moments.

Bellissima’s most popular favor items are personalized 1oz Soap Bars and .25oz Lip Balm Tins, but we also offer Mini Triple Butter Bath Bombs, Bath Salts, Solid Lotion Bars, Trial Size Body Lotions, Crème Perfumes, Mini Body Butters, Single-Use Soap Petals and even Mineral Makeup MiniKits that may all be purchased at wholesale rates and personalized and presented in customizable packaging.

Asking for favors is simple, really: just contact me!
Let me know what your event is and how many guests you’ll be hosting. You may already know what you’d like, but if not, we’re happy to help by making recommendations based on the specifics of your event.

We’ll ask you to submit text and/or an image for your labels (it may be just the names & date for a wedding, a company logo, place card info, or just a graphic representing a theme - almost anything goes!) or we’ll create a variety of options for you to choose from.

We’ll provide you with proofs - and never print anything until we have your approval. And we’ll even send you photos of your favors right before we pack everything up for shipping.

In many cases (but depending on the size and variety of the order), we can produce your favors within 7-10 days.

So, with handmade favors being the more creative, personal, eco-friendly, budget-friendly and deadline-friendly option, why choose anything else? You’ll never go back to Jordan Almonds again…

Have a great idea for a handmade favor? Please add it here!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Welcome 2011! Bellissima's New Year Resolutions

Time passes so quickly, doesn't it?
Another year... come, gone.

Reflecting on this past year, I realize that I've accomplished quite a bit - mostly in my professional life, but I've also made some moderate improvements in my personal life, as well.

Establishing and reaching goals is so fulfilling, I strive to make them for myself - and work to reach them - on a regular basis. And while, in most cases, the satisfaction itself is it's own reward, I try to find small ways to compensate myself for achieving my goals - minor indulgences that I wouldn't ordinarily treat myself to: an hour in the tub with a glass of wine and a good book, a professional manicure, a pint of Ben & Jerry's, etc.

It's a life philosophy based on a sort of behavior modification that I find works for me (those Psych classes in college really stuck with me, I guess). It keeps me challenged and motivated and always struggling to be the best I can be.

And this is the time for Resolutions, right? As private as most resolutions are to people, I've decided to share mine here - well, my professional ones, anyway (who cares about my personal ones but me, anyway?). I'm hoping that by putting them in writing - in bold type, no less - it will force me to set the more difficult ones and work even harder to achieve them.

So, here we go:
1. Get Organized!
This is on the top of a lot of people's list of resolutions. I think that we're always in a such a rush to get things done that we seldom take the time to pay attention to the small details that help keep us more organized. In teaching me to cook, my Mom always said 'If you clean up as you go along, you won't be looking at a big mess when you're done.' So I hereby resolve to Clean Up As I Go Along: take better notes, label things properly, put things back where they belong, etc.

2. Keep In Contact!
Again, probably on a lot of folks' professional & personal lists. While I have all the tools I need to contact my customers and potential clients, I often let this very important (and valuable) responsibility fall by the wayside. So I hereby resolve to Connect & Communicate: post on my blog, send out my Newsletters, participate in my newsgroups & forums, etc.

3. Stay Focused!
As I sit here writing, I can think of the 12 other things I have on my list of things to do today - which inevitably leads me to starting 6 things, working on them all at once and never finishing more than 2 or 3 by day end. And I know that if I can just focus on 1 item at a time, I would be much more successful. It stems from me thinking 'if I at least get it started, I will finish it today' - and that's usually just not the way it works. So I hereby resolve to Work the List: create a prioritized list and never start a 'lower' task until the one above it is finished - period.

4. Stop Procrastinating!
Yes, also a very popular Resolution - and for a very good reason: it's hard! And I'm guilty of it on a regular basis - as I have mentioned in at least one prior blog post. It's always a battle of procrastination against sheer willpower - and I believe I need a serious plan of attack in order to conquer it once and for all. So my first strategy is to hereby resolve to Acknowledge the Enemy: when I find I'm putting something off 'til tomorrow, I will recognize that I'm procrastinating and will myself to get it done.

5. Reduce Stress!
I put this one last because I honestly believe that a lot of my stress comes from my poor management of goals 1-4. By achieving - even just working on - my first four goals, this one will will basically accomplish itself! There are so many sources of day-to-day stress, but I can only work on the ones I have control over - so I hereby resolve to Stop Obsessing Over Things Out of My Control, and try to only concern myself with the things I can improve on my own.

Well, I think this is a pretty good start. I have lots more, as we all do at this time of year.

Some resolutions we achieve immediately, some we work on day by day (and even year-after-year) and some will fall by the wayside, but all resolutions are made with good intentions and can be labors of love. And some will change us, whether we succeed or not, into better people.

Want to put a few of your New Year's Resolutions into print? Share yours - and your plan for success - right here!