How to Make a Custom Envelope

How to Make a Custom Envelope

Who doesn’t love mail? No one, right!? 

Amongst all of those horrible coupons, bills and worthless catalogues – something special happens when you see a small extra special envelope with your name hand-written on it. 

There may be no better feeling than getting a note in the mail “just because”.

If you’re like me, you get “real” mail when you’re expecting it. A wedding invite that you know is about to arrive, a thank you note from a recent birthday party, a clipping your grandma said she was going to send, etc.

While those are all great – the ultimate piece of mail is the one that comes unexpectedly, for no reason other than just to say, “Hi, and I love you.” That is THE best. 

Set the intention to bring a smile to someone’s face.

Is there someone you love, who you haven’t told lately? Or maybe there’s someone you just can’t share your love with enough? If even one person pops into your head, take action. Choose to make their day and send them this nugget of love. 

Making your own custom envelope that will stand out in the mail and elicit that wonderfully giddy feeling is super easy.

This project takes less than 15 minutes, but will make someone’s whole day (if not week!).

YOU’LL NEED: 

  • Someone you love
  • Free downloadable envelope template with illustrated LIBBY Co. graphic. —> GRAB IT HERE
  • Printer
  • High-quality paper / I love this paper and have used it on my last DIY project, as well as, this one. 
  • Scissors 
  • Straight edge (ruler) 
  • Pen – any pen will do
  • Basic Glue 
  • Stamps (extra postage is required) 
  • Washi Tape (optional) 

In the video below I show you step-by-step exactly how to make your special envelope from start-to-finish.

DOWNLOAD ENVELOPE TEMPLATE HERE.

The only thing left to do is to write a simple love note, fold it up into a tiny-tiny nugget and place it into your newly crafted love vessel (aka: envelope). 

*NOTE: this is a square envelope and will require extra postage. 

Don’t have time for this project today? PIN THIS IMAGE to save it for later on your favorite DIY board. 

how-to-envelope-pin

I want to know, how do you feel about sending surprise love notes “just because”? Let me know in the comments. 

Happy love-spreading!

XO. 

Libby 

DIY Pear-fect Magnets

DIY Pear-fect Magnets

I’m on a mission to infuse some beautiful hand-crafted details into my home. 

This week I made these fun pear-fect (get it?!) magnets out of artwork I illustrated for a new print. I’m going to share it with you so you too can infuse some more delight into your home. 

Everything you need to know is in the video below:

If the video isn’t displaying below, please try refreshing your browser. I’m having some tech troubles :(

Your full supply list: 

  • LIBBY Co. free pear artwork download —-> GRAB IT HERE
  • Printer
  • High quality printer paper / the one I reference in the video is HERE (btw, it’s not new like the guy at Office Depot told me). 
  • Bristol board 
  • Spray mount / spray adhesive 
  • Scissors 
  • X-acto knife 
  • Cutting mat or other surface to cut on
  • Craft magnets
  • (optional) craft glue or hot-glue gun if you don’t have magnets with sticky back

CLICK THE ARTWORK IMAGE BELOW TO DOWNLOAD (ps. note the ©, it’s real)

Pear-magnet-download©LIBBYCo

Don’t forget to share your crafts with my on instagram by tagging me @libby.co.studio

 

JUST KEEP SWIMMING – Desktop Wallpaper Download

Just Keep Swimming – Desktop Wallpaper Download

Has this not felt like the fastest week ever!?! 

Between work, Paul being gone all weekend in Oregon and my son, Will getting sick and not being able to go to daycare, this week felt like it was over before it started. Everything in work and life piled up (literally). 

I managed to hold my shit together through most of it, but not without a super-size amount of struggle mid-week. 

Has anyone else ever had those weeks where it feels like your to-do list quadrupled and the world just kept turning even though you felt like you were getting buried in stress?  

JUST KEEP SWIMMING

When you can’t control the world around you (which is 99% of the time), you CAN control what you choose to focus on and the way you talk to yourself through those challenging moments. 

If you’re really in-it and you can’t muster up enough positive energy to completely shift your mindset from shit to roses, it’s okay. For most of us, in those moments, it is possible to acknowledge it won’t always be this way

Whether it’s minute-by-minute (or in some cases for me this week, second-by-second), it will pass.  

So whether you’re struggling to find motivation in your work this week, or you’re trying to get through a particularly hard time, this free wallpaper download is for you. It’s your daily reminder to JUST KEEP SWIMMING. 

Tomorrow is a new day. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE DESKTOP WALLPAPER

XO. 

Libby 

hand illustrated by Libby Bryant

How to turn customers into walking billboards

How to turn customers into walking billboards

IMAGINE THIS…

You have just just serviced a customer, Michelle. She leaves your shop and even though she’s very happy, she’s not the outgoing type so you don’t expect any referrals from her. 

Over the course of the next hour, something completely unexpected happens. From 1-2pm when you normally see a dip in traffic you get 15 new people come into your shop. What? Where did they come from? 

When you start to ask, each one says that Michelle sent them.

You’re shocked to learn that Michelle had directed every single person she passed on her way home to come and see you. 

Wow. And you didn’t have to do a thing. What if every customer did that?

YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT YOUR SALES EVER AGAIN!

You chalk it up as a weird fluke since you didn’t do anything special. But strangely before you know it 40 people are in your shop. 8 of the 15 customers that Michelle sent to you did the exact same thing. 

They endorsed you to every individual they encountered on their way home, suggesting that each person go straight to check you out. 

This pattern perpetuates itself and your traffic builds with every passing minute. Before you know it your dream of a sustainable business with consistent traffic is your reality. 

SOUND TOO IMPOSSIBLE TO BE TRUE?

I’m sure this story of effortless traffic sounds like magic. But something very similar happened to me recently. 

I was at the mall and a person passed me with a huge aqua shopping bag covered in a beautiful gold foil print. Being the visual person I am, I remarked to myself how lovely it was and I took note that it must be a new shop because the branding didn’t look familiar. 

Literally two seconds later another person passed me with the same bag. And then a minute later, another person. 

My curiosity got the best of me and I set out to find what all of the fuss was about. 

While walking toward the source I felt like a salmon swimming up stream. Large blue bags coming at me so fast it was hard to avoid them. This place must be a big deal I thought. 

Once I got to the blue storefront (Yes, the same color blue as the bags. Branding on-point!) I knew I was in the right place. Not only by the perfectly matching blue pantone facade, but also by the line of 30 people out the door. 

The bags which were no doubt all part of their branding and marketing strategy had worked perfectly. Just like in the story above when Michelle signaled to each passer-by to head to your shop, the blue shopping bag was doing the same thing on a non-verbal level. 

A BEAUTIFULLY BRANDED SHOPPING BAG IS A BILLBOARD THAT SILENTLY ENDORSES YOU AND DIRECTS PEOPLE TO CHECK YOU OUT.

With nothing more than a striking shopping bag and a little help from human psychology, this shop got not only me, but hundreds and hundreds of others to flock in their direction. And the shop was packed! 

The point is, if you sell a tangible good from a shop that relies on foot traffic and you’re not using this shopping bag strategy as part of your overall plan you’re missing an opportunity.  

Now, the topic of how to create an effective shopping bag and do it in a meaningful way that represents your brand values is a whole other discussion that I’ll leave for another post. 

So tell me, which of these shopping bags does yours most closely resemble? 

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If you answered the brown bag and you’re realizing that you’re in a sad sad state with no visual identity I’d love to talk about how I can help you increase traffic and grow your business. Click the link below to setup a free phone consultation.  

Schedule a free consult with me

Plus, I’d love to hear from you. Do you have any experience using beautiful branding on your shopping bags to promote your shop? Or, if you’re an online shop, do you have any techniques that use this same theory in the online world? I want to hear it! 

 

 

 

7 Designer-Approved Ways to Attract Attention To Your Shop (Part 2 of 2)

7 Designer-Approved Ways to Attract Attention To Your Shop (Part 2 of 2)

When I lived in New York City if I didn’t have anything to do on the weekends I would just walk. I would walk for miles and miles taking it all in. 

I remember one time when I had friends visiting from Oregon and I gave them the option to walk or take the train. When they asked how far our destination was I said, “it’s about 30 blocks.” I will never forget the look on their faces as one friend questioned, “you mean three blocks, right?” Ha! Guess not everyone likes walking as much as I do :) 

If you’ve ever been to NYC and you too love to soak it all in, you probably couldn’t help but notice all of the amazing storefronts, window displays and over the top merchandising moments around every corner. From big international brands to small boutique labels – if you’re gonna have a shop in NYC you’re gonna do it right because all eyes are on you. 

There’s something to be said about what you bring to the table when you know all eyes are on you. You go all out. You do it right.

You don’t hold back. And that what I want you to do with your shop. 

But maybe you’re thinking, Libby, I just have a little shop and no one knows about me. I don’t need to go all out because my mom is the only one looking. 

WRONG. No one knows about you because you’re not putting on a show for them yet. Part of your job as a shop owner is to intrigue and entertain. If you want raving fans you have to draw them in with something. You can’t expect them to do the work. 

So whether your shop is in Galveston or Provo, I’m challenging on you to treat it like it’s in the center of 6th Ave. in NYC. 

Now, if you’re not a retail installation specialist and you have no idea how to attract attention in a tasteful way. I’ve got you covered. 

Here are four more ways (see last week’s Part 1) to draw attention to your storefront. 

1.USE A TYPICAL MATERIAL IN AN UNUSUAL WAY

 wood-facade shigeruban-paperhouse
photo source: d_raw + inhabitat 

I used to work with a creative director who would say, “Make it cheap and cheerful.” Often times if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, the best way to create something truly remarkable is to use affordable materials in a unique way.  

Instead of focusing on the fact that can’t afford to clad your exterior in carrara marble, choose a material you can afford to buy. Then ask yourself, how can I work with this in a new and different way? Hop on pinterest, ask your DIY friends, and give yourself some freedom to play around. Eventually you’ll come up with something that will engage and entertain. 

I love the two examples above because they are so simple, yet they inspire physical engagement. Who wouldn’t want to play around with those rotating wood louvers or peek through the holes of the cardboard tubes above? I know I would. 

2.OFFER A GLIMPSE OF SOMETHING EXCITING INSIDE

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photo source: Addicted to Retail + buzzfeed

I have a secret to admit. I’m a voyeur. Well…without the perv part.  

I live in a mid-century neighborhood and I love the unique architecture of each house. But I haven’t met all of my neighbors and I haven’t been into all of the houses see their interior details.

So at night, when the inside lights are on and the curtains are open I drive extra slow to see if I can get a glimpse inside. What do their ceiling details look like? How is their kitchen laid out? Ugh – I would love to know. 

I know I’m not alone. People love a good sneak peek. If you can spark someone’s curiosity by giving them a glimpse of what’s inside you’re sure to draw people in. 

Here large windows showcase the amazing design and installations that are going on inside the shop. With a strategy like this you’re sure to get people slowing down to peek in as they pass by. 

3.LURE THEM TO YOUR DOOR

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photo source: missdesignsays + Arnim Schulz flickr

I have taken a lot of botanical illustration courses and I am always amazed by how ingenious nature is. Almost all plants and animals have little details designed to make something very specific happen that benefits their survival. 

Next time you pass by some multi-colored flowers take note of any striping or dots on the pedals. Did you know that the stripes will always lead into the center of the flower? This is not an accident. These stripes act as little landing strips that guide pollinators to exactly where the flower wants them to go – to the pollen. It’s natures way-finding technique. And it works. 

Where do you want your pollinators to go? The door of course. 

There are a bunch of ways to do it. You can paint it a striking color that stands out. You can create interest around the exterior of the door like a portal in the example above. You can use interesting ornate details. You can play around with lighting, maybe add neon lighting tubes around it if that aligns with your brand identity.

Whatever you do, just don’t overlook this awesome opportunity to draw your pollinator right to your merchandise. 

4. ADD RESIDENTIAL INSPIRED FOLIAGE

 foliage-facade foliage-facade2
photo source: flamantwarp and weft

And, last but not least. People love to feel the comfort of home. A place they feel themselves and can relax.

Add street front foliage. Planters with box hedges always look great and draw a certain kind of attention. Other residential touches include lantern sconces, shutters and a welcome mat. 

If this is your concept, don’t stop at the facade. This is a concept that can taken throughout the interior in a bunch of different ways. 

Pull inspiration from your favorite homes and see what details you could apply to your shop. It’ll go a long way in creating that personal experience you’re after. 

Well, that’s it for this series. I hope you’ve enjoyed all of these tips on how to attract attention to your storefront.

I just have one final piece of advice today on this topic: Please please please, do not try to implement all seven of these ideas. You’ll look like misguided mess. The kind of wedding that Pinterest threw up on (you know the one). Instead choose one or two ideas and do them really well. 

I’d love to hear from you. Which one concept speaks to you the strongest? Let me know in the comments! 

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7 Designer-Approved Ways to Attract Attention To Your Shop (Part 1 of 2)

7 Designer-Approved Ways to Attract Attention To Your Shop (Part 1 of 2)

You want your shop to feel so special it makes people giddy. You want them to be blown away by something they’ve never experienced before. You want people spontaneously taking pics and sharing about you because they just can’t help themselves.

You’re dreaming about being featured in coveted articles like: The Best Of, Top of the Town and Designer’s Guide to…

But how do you get there? 

Well…let’s just assume that what you’re selling is worthy of all of the attention you’re dreaming of (because it is!). 

Next up you must create a shop experience that engages, excites and inspires people. I promise if you do that right, you have the power to magnetically draw the right customers in and get them recommending you with close to no effort on your part. 

Your shop design has the power to create a cult following all on it’s own. 

So, where should you start? How do you create a shop that engages and inspires?

You start at the beginning. You start with your storefront.

Customer experience begins before she even enters your store. And I would even go so far as to say a successful experience starts from all the way down the street. What she sees, hears and touches as she approaches your shop all play a key role in determining how she feels and what she shares about your brand. 

That is SO important it’s worth saying again.

What she sees, hears and touches as she approaches your shop WILL determine her opinion of you. (Now, getting her to hold onto that opinion requires more than just a stellar storefront. But that’s for another post).

So ask yourself, how do I want my customers to feel about my brand? What do I want them to think about me? 

Once you’re clear on what you want to your customer to feel, it’s all about creating an experience that evokes those feelings. 

Here are 3 (of 7 / part 2 coming next week) storefront concepts that go the extra mile to speak to your customer, attract your ideal customer and give a glimpse of what they have in-store (ha! get it?) if they engage with you.   

1.GO MONOCHROMATIC 

This approach exudes sophistication, and depending on the color selected it can either feel really minimal and modern (like in this James Perse storefront) or it can put off a playful vibe (like in this Sweethaus Cupcake Cafe). This concept is also really great if your brand identity is all about one very specific color – like if you’re all about vintage pink bubble gum. 

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photo credit: Retail Square (James Perse) + Domino Mag (Sweethaus) 

2.USE A GRAPHIC WRAP

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photo credit: Lucky Mag (Liberty) + Akiko Uryu. via design boom (Louis Vuitton & Yayoi Kusama collaboration) 

Ekk! I LOVE this concept. Maybe it’s from my days designing attention-grabbing fashion events in NYC or maybe it’s growing up in home with every room clad in wallpaper? Whatever the reason, if this concept aligns with your brand’s visual identity this can be the ultimate way to stand out. This concept is especially great if you’re a fashion brand building your reputation around an iconic style or Signature Print (like this Liberty of London shop). 

3.PLAY WITH 3D TILES

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photo credit: Matahina vis flickr

I’m a huge fan of anything that adds texture and architectural interest in a sophisticated way. If it combines visual interest + tactile intrigue you’re engaging your customer on another level. That’s why I’m obsessed with these 3D Ogassian Concrete tiles from Ann Sacks (ugh…I want to barf they’re so cool). 

I want to hear which of these storefront concepts speak to you. Would you be drawn into any of these shops based on design alone? Let’s hear it in the comments. 

AND if you want to see more, make sure to sign up for my newsletter to get the second installment next week! 

 

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TO GET WEEKLY TIPS ON HOW TO USE ART TO SELL YOUR GOODS, HOP ON THE EMAIL LIST.