Behind the Scenes: Opening My Shop

So many people respond with sweet congratulations when I opened my shop last month. (I can’t believe it’s been a month already!) Many of them also mentioned that they’ve been wanting to do the same thing for a while, but didn’t have time or were too intimidated to make it happen.

I was in your very shoes for a long time, my friends. The thought of getting everything ready for my shop was completely overwhelming and the thought of it turned me away every single time. But now that I’m on the other side and I pushed through it all, I’m so glad I did. And I want to encourage you to do the same thing!!

When I got serious about wanting to change my shop from a dream to a reality, I told myself I’d do one thing for my shop every day, no matter the size. I made a lot of lists, brainstormed names and items and pricing, and eventually it all came together. After a lot of hard work, that is. But it was an absolute blast and I can’t tell you how much my excitement grew with each completed step!

So for those of you who are on the fence, but intimidated, here are some steps you can take to making your shop a real, live business!

1. Make a list of what you want to sell and how much you would price it. I did this a few weeks before I started really working hard, and that was helpful to have already thought out and on paper when the time came to start listing items. It also helped me see what I needed to create before I could open my shop.

2. Start making things. Whether it is working on an actual item to sell or on the wording for an item’s description, every little bit counts as working toward your goal of a launch day. There are a lot of small and big parts to opening your shop – so just do something every day!

3. Pick your hosting site and create the shop. Your shop will remain “closed” until you change the status to open, so no one will even know you created one until you’re ready! Spend an hour or so perusing how you set up listings and what all will be required before you commit to the host.

4. Start taking photos of your items (if they are physical items!), or figuring out how you want to display them online if they are digital, like mine.

5. Think through how you want to package or ship your items. If you are selling physical items, figure out how you want to package them creatively to go that extra mile in customer service. I ship my files via email, so I created a “thank you” pdf that I send with every order that includes my logo and a sincere letter of thanks to my customer.

6. Open your shop!!

Now that it’s on paper, it doesn’t look so intimidating, right?! Use your lunch breaks, evenings, or even wake up early to do some hustling before you go to your day job. I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy – in fact, I want you to know this takes work. But, if this is something you’re passionate about, you will absolutely love every step in the process. So get to it! And let me know how your process is going. I would LOVE to answer any questions you have or just be the cheerleader you need to get to work!

Happy creating,

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When your husband is away… (SHOP ANNOUNCEMENT!)

…you eat popcorn for dinner, snack on too many late-night Oreos, take a few yoga classes to make up for it and then binge on Netflix while you spend all your free time OPENING YOUR OWN SHOP.

Oh, so that’s just me? Well.

That’s right, friends!! Today is the day. I worked tirelessly last week while Jacob was on a business trip (and invested a lot of time in the weeks leading up to today!) to make my long-talked about dreams a reality.

Take a second and run over to my shop, 34 Magnolia Street. It is hosted on Storenvy, which is similar to Etsy, and all the items are handmade by me. The vast majority of items in my shop are digital prints and cards. The prints are 8″x10″ printables that you purchase and I send you the file via email, which you can print yourself.

The cards are typically sized for 5″x7″ and vary from birth announcements, Christmas cards and graduation announcements to save the dates. These are templates you can purchase and customize to make your own by providing me with your photo and personalized text. After revisions, I will email you the final product, then you can print to your heart’s content and mail to everyone you know! 😉

I’ve been making these products for a while now, both for myself and for friends, and it’s something I absolutely love. There are only a few of each “category” in my shop now, but as my customized orders grow and new items are created, I’ll add them to my inventory.

I’m so excited to call myself a small-business owner and am chomping at the bit to get to work. So, please! Go check out the shop, tell me what you think, and order something you love! 😉

xoxo

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PS – Be sure to follow my shop on Instagram @MagnoliaStreetShop for updates on new listings!

MAY. HUSTLE.

Part of me can’t believe it’s already May, but the other part is so desperate for warm, summer days that it hasn’t come fast enough. We are finally to the point that we feel settled. We moved to New England 3 months ago, but settled into our own apartment last month. Now that we’ve had time to unpack boxes and lay down roots, I’m ready to tackle some goals for the month. I haven’t set goals since March because, well, those goals just spread out into April and then trickled into May. I blame moving.

So, here’s to a month of living in this city without the nagging reminder of the almost, but not yet. We’re getting our new driver’s licenses this month, registering our cars and taking home NH license plates. We’re taking the youth group on a long weekend trip later this month and I’m opening the shop I’ve been dreaming about for a year on Monday!!! It’s a big month. A big month and a welcomed month and hopefully one full of warm weather, too.

So here’s to May:

1. Open my shop. Launch date is already set for MAY 12!! Mark your calendars, y’all. I’m so excited.

2. Go on a date with Jacob. We haven’t struggled at all with getting plugged in to our new community and staying busy… but it isn’t always easy to block out time for each other (yikes! major core competency we’re skipping here!). We want to grow in that this month.

3. Read Scripture every day. I was in a pretty good routine of that for the first few months of the year, but all the craziness with friends and family visiting, Palm Sunday and then Easter… last month threw me for a loop! I’m ready to get back into the art of discipline.

4. Decorate. Some of you may have seen a few pictures of our bathroom, and I’ve hung just a few things since then… so this month I want to really get this place feeling warm and cozy. I have a lot of decorations from our last apartment that are currently stacked on the floor waiting for a home, so this doesn’t even require money (Jacob will be happy about that one;).

5. Pray with diligence. God has been teaching me so much in these last few weeks and I know he’s growing some exciting change in me, but I’ve also been mulling over some things. I’ve been asking the Lord for straight up guidance and I know he’s working in those situations. So this month I want to continue growing in laying the true desires and questions of my heart out to him and giving those fears to him. And then not taking them back.. because I have a bad habit of taking back what I’ve “given” him already.

So here’s to another month. A month of change and growth and new things. I’m so thankful for this season of life and so excited for what’s to come next week!!

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The Story Behind the New Name

34MSt Why Why Behind the Name

I think I had the most wonderful weekend I could have imagined. And lots of that can be attributed to you!! Thank you all for your words of encouragement and support with the blog’s rebrand and my up-and-coming shop (it goes live a week from today!!! Eek!!) You made my day.

My weekend was also full of mini-catch ups with long-time friends, my first time trail running, and the realization I already have some friendships in this new town that will blossom into deep, very life-giving friendships. God has provided abundantly, my friends!!

A few of you have asked about the meaning behind the new blog title 34 Magnolia Street. I wish it bloomed from a deep meaning, but the meaning I now love grew after some watering ;).

About a month ago, I wrote this post after a very dear friend visited us for the weekend. She’s one of those great friends you can tell your deepest darkest hopes to and she won’t laugh. She actually tells you hers and then you start scheming to make them a reality. It’s beautiful, really, and I’m so thankful for her!

Well, 34 Magnolia Street was born that very weekend. She knew I wanted to start a shop and I wanted my blog and shop to be a “brand” together… so that’s when we decided I was going to rebrand my blog. In the midst of brainstorming title ideas, I thought about how much I loved our address. I thought it was cute and kind of catchy… but I didn’t want to name my blog our address. I mean, come on, blogging feels safe and all, but I’m not an idiot.

So we started brainstorming cute words to use for the street name… and she came up with Magnolia. We loved it. It stuck and it’s all I’ve been thinking about for the entire month since her visit. Although 34 Magnolia Street was born because we loved the way it sounded, after thinking through it a bit more, Abbie said something very profound.

“Magnolias are beautiful, but they aren’t so delicate they break easily. They are beautiful, yet strong.”

That’s when I knew the name was concrete was for sure. I love remembering that beauty doesn’t mean daintiness or delicacy. Beauty comes in strength, in faith, in making hard decisions. Beauty comes in celebrating the good, despite the mess, and loving someone who is hard to love. Beauty comes in forgiving each other because Christ forgave us, and that is hard. Beauty comes in recognizing that without Christ, we are weak, but because we have been sown again in his everlasting sacrifice, watered with unwavering love and fertilized with grace, with Him we are strong. There is so much beauty in that strength.

So 34 Magnolia Street sounds catchy and cute to me. But every time I say it, I remember that magnolias are beautiful and strong. I want to be beautiful and strong, and I want you to know that you can be, too.

So, welcome (again) to 34 Magnolia Street, where beauty meets strength in every day life. Every single day of it. I’m so glad you’re here.

Surprise!!!!!!!! This is what I’ve been working on:

If you’re looking for The Albrechts Blog, you’re in the right place, I promise… we’ve just changed a little.

Many of you know that I’ve been talking about starting my own shop for months now. Well, I’ve really been talking about it for close to a year, if I’m honest. But after tons of work last week, the shop is so close to ready I can hardly stand it!! But all of this work for my new shop got me thinking about my blog. I really wanted my blog & shop to complement each other, and I started to sense “The Albrechts Blog” might be reaching the end of its life.

I asked myself, “Does The Albrechts Blog really fit this blog anymore?” Sure, it’s about “The Albrechts”… but it’s pretty one-sided. Jacob has written one post and, while I write about our marriage and adventures, I write a lot about my personal faith, my love for running, crafting and dreaming –  all things I love to do or am passionate about.

So, I’ve decided to go all in on this one and rebrand. Unfortunately, it seems like that is what everyone is doing lately… but that’s what works best for me and I’m really excited to move forward from here! Don’t worry, the content will be a lot of the same – faith, running, home decor, stories, and encouragement to chase your dreams. I think moving away from “The Albrechts Blog” and into “34 Magnolia Street” will open up many doors for new creativity, though.

AND FINALLY!!! My shop, also called 34 Magnolia Street, will launch on May 12! So, as excited as I am and anxious to get it out there, I’m making myself wait so I can tie up every loose string before it goes live. I hope you’ll celebrate with me and check it out on the 12th!

In the mean time, take a few minutes and look around – absolutely everything has been revamped, rewritten, and redesigned to fit this new chapter of life. I’m so excited. And I can’t say thank you enough for your support these past few weeks, especially last week, as I took extra time to work behind the scenes – I hope you like it as much as I do!

Don’t forget! If you have this page bookmarked, save a NEW bookmark with the new URL: www.magnoliastreetblog.com – I don’t want you to miss out on anything! 😉

Tell me what you think!!!

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So here’s what I’ve been up to…

Mug is from Mulberry Press Co.

I’ve been a little MIA here the past few days, and it’s all in good reason, I promise. I’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes work for something really exciting. Y’all know I’ve been talking about opening up a shop for months here, and I’m finally getting that much closer!!

So bear with me, while I take a few days away to get some new, wonderfully exciting things ready to reveal to you soon.

In the mean time, check out a few of my favorite oldies-but-goodies:
– For all you soon-to-be college grads, I wrote you a letter.
– To the girl who is disappointed in her “stats” today.. remember, your worth is not in the number of “likes” you get today.
– Here are five signs you aren’t in college anymore, for those of us lamenting what we used to call “summer break.”
– And here are some tips to help replenish creativity when your well has run dry. More on that later.

xoxo