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    My Shopify Adventure

    My Shopify Adventure

    

    My recent Shopify adventure began after reading one of the Shopify newsletters/blog articles. The write-up was about a young man named Mohammadu Mifras who lives in Sri Lanka and is a mostly self-taught web developer and Shopify partner. His story left me with mixed feelings of sadness, encouragement, determination and achievement. 

    Life has never been easy for me, so his story pulled on my heartstrings so to speak. I decided to give him a chance. So I got in contact with Mohammadu via a messaging app he has on his website ShopGuaranteeIt . His response was instant, even with the time difference, as I live in Cyprus and he lives in Sri Lanka.

    We chatted a little about my website and decided to change my theme from an unpaid Brooklyn theme to a District theme. When the job was finished he asked for a short Testimonial. 

    Shopify Unite Cyprus Shots Kia Ermogenous 2017

    Shortly after that, I received an email from Alexandra Middleton and that she was the producer from Shopify team at Shopify.

    “Hey Kia,

    My name is Alexandra and I am a Producer on the Studio team at Shopify - we make movies and tell stories about entrepreneurs.

    I am doing some preliminary research for a piece about our people within the Shopify ecosystem.

    Would you be interested in chatting? :)"

    “Studio? What studio?” I thought to myself, “This email must be spam or dodgy, or they have me mixed up with someone else.”

    I was curious, so I responded to the email, and a few emails later, she asked if we could chat over Google Hangout.

    A few thoughts ran through my head. “Oh, crap, I have to speak” followed by “Google Hangout—what is that??” My nerves kicked in then, coupled with a looming lack of confidence.

    I thought of all the articles I’d read touting the benefits of stepping outside your comfort zone and thinking outside the box. This seemed like the perfect chance to put that advice to the test! Plus, how often does one get the opportunity to be featured in a small documentary right out of the starting gate? “It’s now or never” I figured, and decided to jump right in.

    The call was arranged and I spoke with Neal Hicks and Alex. I didn’t think the call went that well but within 24 hours I received an answer. They wanted to feature me in the documentary and needed to know if I was interested. I didn't haven't too much time to mull it over as they were on a tight deadline.  

    The encouragement I received from my children was the deciding factor, and I quickly responded with a resounding YES. 

    My Shopify Adventure

    Less than two weeks later, the team arrived. During the time between the emails and their arrival, I panicked about all the things I had to do before they came—clean the house, bathe the dog… get rid of all the clutter in my home studio. All the while, trying to silence the nagging voice in my head that constantly reminded me how much I hated being in front of cameras and the sound of my own voice.

    I had no idea what to expect or how much thought and work went into filming something like this. But I had nothing to worry about Shopify couldn’t have sent a nicer team Alexandra Middleton, Neal Hicks and  Chris Lew—they were super nice, encouraging and incredibly chilled. They put me at ease almost immediately.

    As they days progressed and we got to know each other better, we became friends and the filming wasn’t half as bad as I thought it would be. Even though the documentary was only 6 minutes long, it took 4 intense days to film, with long hours and tons of retakes. The first scene, in which I am driving took a lot longer to film than I’d expect; I can’t even remember how many times I drove up and down that road or pushed my hair behind my ear. Except for the speaking part, I enjoyed every minute of it, which I attribute to the success of the crew  Alex, Neal and Chris. They were extremely professional and carefully considered every minute detail—things the average person would never even think of. After each long day, I would go home and crash, and the three of them would go back to their hotel to discuss what had been shot that day and edit footage. Here is the documentary their hard work created.

    Shopify Unite Documentary 2017

    They say ‘everything happens for a reason,’ and this experience really brought that home for me. Had I not reached out to Mohammdu to change my theme, the Shopify team would never have noticed me and I’d have missed out on this wonderful experience.

    When used correctly, the internet has the awesome power to make the world seem a smaller place. It enables a person to connect with someone on the other side of the world as though they were right next door to you.

    From the creative themes to the Shopify partners, to the helpful and knowledgeable staff, I recommend Shopify to anyone starting a new business. Not only is it a great way to get your business out there and achieve your goals, it’s a wonderful way to connect with the rest of the world.

    I was honoured to be featured in the film that was shown at Shopify Unite 2017 and featured Mohammadu mifras, Michael Perry and me!

     Click here to read more about how this Shopify documentary came together.

    Hand drawn sketch of Shopify Unite 2017 San Francisco conference

     

     

    The Beauty of Personalisation

    The Beauty of Personalisation

     

    If you’re looking to purchase a gift for a loved one, you can’t deny the beauty of personalised gifts. Whether you’re looking to buy for a birthday, anniversary, or another occasion, a personalised gift can make the occasion so much more special.

    Something For Every Occasion You Can Think Of

    There’s a personalised gift out there that’s suitable for just about every occasion you can think of. Whether you want to buy a gift for a wedding, a birthday, or a thank you gift, there’s something out there. Personalising something can make the occasion so much more special too. If you want the person you’re buying a gift for to look back fondly on the occasion, personalising a gift can help them even more so.

    There Are So Many Choices

    You can personalise just about anything, depending on what you want to give as a gift. Here are some ideas that could inspire you:

    • Personalised cards
    • Personalised prints
    • Personalised decorative items
    • Personalised jewellery
    • Personalised keyrings
    • Personalised clothing

    The list goes on! What do you think this person would like? Brainstorm, and then consider personalising the things you come up with! A personalised print makes an amazing gift because it can really brighten up the home and add some character. You could get something small that this person can display on their desk or something they can hang on the wall. Whatever you choose, they’ll love a thoughtful gift like this! 

     More Sentimental To The Receiver

    Assuming this person is special to you, you want to buy them a sentimental gift that they’re going to treasure. A personalised gift will always be more special to them than something you’ve gone out and bought. Something you just go and buy from the high street could easily be something they already have, or something somebody else has. Giving them a personalised gift makes it completely unique. Unique gifts are so special! You can pretty much guarantee that nobody else will give them this gift ever again, and that they don’t have anything like it already. Personalised gifts should be the no-brainer choice when looking for something special and unique. It makes the whole gift buying process so much easier!

    There’s Something For All Budgets

     

     

    Personalised Gifts

    Tips for Resolving Payment Conflicts with Buyers

     

     

    How to resolve issues with buyers

     

    Four Tips for Resolving Payment Conflicts with Buyers

    Whether you specialise in artisan jewellery or hand-cut woodworking, owning a creative business can be liberating — and challenging. One issue that arises more frequently than it should is conflict with payment. Here are a few tips to tackle these issues and keep your profits up.

     

    Avoid Working for Free

    The notion of working for free is nothing new to artisans. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? We establish a skill, and soon people flock to us with requests. They offer to pay in exchanges, networking and even favours. But presenting your craft to the world as a valuable resource is what will make your business run. So, don’t get caught up in this.

     

    Avoid Caving to False Emotions

    Running a business on the internet means communication with buyers you’ve never met. While it’s a thrilling opportunity, not having face-to-face communication can open doors for problems, as well as scammers.

     

    Sometimes interested buyers request mockups or custom orders, only to avoid sending payment. Be cautious. These buyers may show anger or frustration with you because their payment was not finalised, but don’t let their emotions sway you. Guilt is a tactic and scammers love to use. They aim to convince you that you owe them something. But remember, only the buyer can authorise the payment. If it is not received, it is no fault of your own as the seller.

     

     

    Wait for Payment Confirmation

    It’s easy to fall into the trap of beginning work before payment is finalised. Perhaps you’re excited about a project, or you want to believe the best in people. But it’s imperative to wait for payment confirmation to begin a service or crafting a product.

     

    Your time is valuable. You should never work for free unless you choose to. There are a handful of issues that could prevent a payment from being finalised, and while some are simply holdups or real problems, many times a delay signals a scam. Much like you wouldn’t cash an unknown check in the mail, don’t rely on a pending payment to be successful.  

     

    How to resolve payments with customers

     

    Talk it Out

    If you’re having issues receiving payment for an order, keep the lines of communication open and honest. It’s best to give the buyer the benefit of the doubt, but still establish that a secure payment has not been completed. Iterate that you cannot begin work until you receive payment. Many buyers will understand and resolve any issues. The scammers will not.

     

    Be smart, stay safe, and continue to unleash your creativity!

    Starting Your Own Business

    Starting Your Own Business

    Starting your own business, blog or website is simultaneously thrilling and frightening. Where do you start? How do you ensure your success? Taking on a new career project or personal initiative is something you do because you have a passion you want to share. Success is not promised, but with a few helpful tips, you can get closer to achieving your goals every day.

    Research and Network

    When I launched my website, I didn’t have a community of business owners and entrepreneurs whispering in my ear. I didn’t even know where to start, and I didn’t have anyone to ask all of my questions.

    The importance of both researching and networking is vital to entrepreneurs. You want to continuously research your craft and read up on strategies for communications, marketing, finances, and branding. But without networking, you’re missing a vital component of the business. Nothing can replace true networking – meeting likeminded individuals face-to-face.

    Professional mixers are a great opportunity to meet a few fresh faces. Working from home sometimes gets lonely, so it’s great to meet acquaintances whom you can meet and discuss business goals. You may even get a few referrals for your service or products. You can find networking mixers on professional sites like LinkedIn.

    In most areas of the world, this is a great way to solve the networking issue. However, for me, there are few networking options where I live. I resort to online forums and discussion boards, phone calls, and video chats. Just remember, you don’t have to do this alone!

    Establish a Brand


    There’s a reason you see so many commercials on TV or hear them on the radio. Businesses are fighting to stand out in the sea of advertisements, and entire creative departments labor over everything from graphic design to commercial messaging and print campaigns.

    You don’t need anything that elaborate to kick-start your own business or website, but you do need a clear brand and a user-friendly interface. I would strongly recommend hiring someone to build and optimize your website for SEO. Unless you have these skills already, you may hinder your search result rankings by not checking every nook and cranny for opportunity.

    When it comes to marketing, start simple by tapping into social media channels and generating blog content. Set a schedule and brainstorm ideas ahead of time, so you’re not just staring at a blank screen.

    Make Sure Working from Home is Working


    If you tell people you work from home, they may crack jokes about sleeping till noon and “working” in your pajamas. So many people misunderstand that working from home is still work. Just like you would go into the office for hours at a time, you have to treat your home office as a dedicated workspace to stay focused. Whether you’re operating your website full-time, or just signing on for a few hours a day, make sure to set clear goals and break them down to measure progress.

    If you find it hard to focus at home, work in smaller time increments, or sprints, and take quick breaks in between each focused session. I found that I was constantly distracted with other websites and lacked productivity. After some research, I discovered software that blocks out the Internet or background apps. Another solution is to just go full-screen on what you’re writing and refuse to minimize the window until your task is completed.

    When I told my friends I was launching an online business, they thought I was crazy. But every good idea started with someone thinking outside the box, so don’t be afraid to get creative to achieve your professional goals!

    GOLD WALL ART

    GOLD WALL ART

    When it comes to home decor, one of the most important aspects is deciding on a color palette. Whether you go with neutrals, nautical, bold colors or prints, having a theme can help nail down your vision. Luckily, one of the few things that can transfer across nearly every color palette is the addition of metal accent pieces! Just like gold necklaces are totally on trend in fashion, gold accent pieces are all the rage in home decor. It may seem daunting to incorporate gold accent pieces into your home in a chic yet subtle way, so today I’ll be breaking down three easy ways to add gold accent pieces into your home!

    1. Gold Foil Artwork

    One of the easiest ways to add some gold accents to your home is by adding gold foil artwork around your space. There are so many incredible prints featuring gold foil, and they are a subtle way to incorporate this trend into your home. You can find prints with just tiny gold foil in the detail, or complete prints made entirely out of gold foil! Once you find the perfect gold foil print, place it in a frame around your home to display it. You can use a frame of almost any color, or even place it in a gold picture frame! The gold frame will bring out the gold foil artwork, and will serve as a stunning accent piece in your home!

    2. Gold Small Decor Pieces

    If you’re looking to add some pizazz to your bookshelves or coffee tables, picking up small gold decor pieces is the way to go! There are so many easy options, and it will make your gold accents pop. One easy way is to pick up small gold bookends to add to your bookshelf, or gold “sea urchin” pieces to place on a coffee table. You can use them to add some functionality to your home, while also following the gold decor trend! An even easier option? Pick up a beautiful gold candle! It can easily add some gold to your space, while also making your home smell amazing.

    3. Gold Metal Furniture

    This option will take the most commitment to the gold trend, but will also provide the biggest impact! If you are trying to make gold a key accent in your home decor, investing in a few gold furniture items is the best way to go. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to choose this idea. Some easy pieces to try would be a gold framed coffee table, or a gold bar cart. You can pick up these items at your local home decorating store, or you can DIY it yourself for an inexpensive option! Simply pick up a metal framed piece, and use a quality gold spray paint to transform the piece of furniture. This will serve as an amazing centerpiece for your home, and will give your space plenty of style.

    What’s your favourite way to add gold to your space? If you’re interested in picking up some gold foil prints, be sure to check out my store!