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Here are stories of local entrepreneurs, including my own: When I was laid off in 2011 from the Times, I decided to pursue my own dreams with LocalShops1 and freelance writing. After almost 20 years at newspapers, I knew the transition would be a big one. Friends who had been through this path told me to expect lots of laughs and lots of tears. And they were right. If you'd like your story featured, email me at ester@localshops1.com.

 

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Who Won the LocalShops1 Windowfront Space for the Month?

Posted By LocalShops1, Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Last year, Melinda Workman, owner of This Life Photography in St. Petersburg, booked the window-front space at the LocalShops1 Shop for February 2017. But since then her life got incredibly busy and she didn't think she would be able to adequately make use of the space. Instead of trying to sublet the space and recover her costs, though, she decided to pass it forward to another local business through a Win the Shop for a Month contest
 
The response was tremendous! Below are excerpts from the entries she received, listed in no particular order. Make sure to go to the very end to see who Melinda chose to give her month to, and why!

 

 
Gallerie 909  }  Carla Bristol
Local Art Gallery featuring art from the African, Caribbean and Latin diaspora.  We sell paintings, jewelry, clay work, selected wearable art, bags and much more.  We also host several community events. 
I would display items from the gallery and I would do an excellent job promoting the space during my month-long location in Gulfport!!!!!  I am a #1 supporter of LS1 family and use every opportunity to talk about and promote the wonderful efforts of LS1. I have the best disposition when engaging with customers and would serve as a resource while there with all sorts of creative ideas, including free hugs for everyone (even thought who don’t know they need it).

 


Be-Bops  |  Priscilla Kidder
Custom swimwear design company. I specialize in flattering pin up style swimsuits.  
I would have a rotating display of swimwear and fabrics available for customers to choose their own swimsuit design and I would take custom orders and assist customers on which swimsuit is best for their figure.  I live two blocks from the shop and when I am not there, I can be called or texted and will most likely be able to meet up with a client within a few moments. I have been a Gulfport resident since 1985 and worked at a local design house on Beach Blvd. for several years. I have a unique business model as a custom, bespoke swimwear designer which is a great fit for a beach community such as ours. Also, swim season will soon be upon us and who wouldn’t like to have something custom made that looks fabulous?  

 

 

I design and sell bespoke boutique inspirational jewelry  
I would love to set up a mini pop up boutique showcasing my jewels  I would use boho chic style props and make it a boudoir inspired look, romantic and cute for Valentine's.  I would also donate 10 percent of all sales to a local charity. I would love the chance to set up a boutique and be part of a community to drive my business forward for 2017.  I especially like Gulfport, too, and I love art and all things whimsical. Creating a magical romantic themed space would be fabulous!  My wedding anniversary is on Valentine’s Day --  21 years wed to my sweetheart.  Would Love to be able to earn some extra cash to treat my hubby to a night away in Gulfport!  
 

  

Creative Chaos  |  Elizabeth McCann
Original handcrafted jewelry and paintings
Affording space and shows is very tough at the moment and I would love to test out new products and pieces. I would make the space my own little shop and use it as a workspace to create new pieces and build my business’ following. ... February is my birthday month! :) However, I am aware that I have already had the opportunity to be in the shop. If someone else who hasn’t been able to applies and fits with who you feel should be in the space, I understand.
 
High-quality gift items for children that inspire creative thinking and imagination. Products include dress-up accessories like embroidered wands and tiaras, felt masks, wings, animal ears and tails, plus felt activity sets that teach basic skills like math, color awareness, and the human body. I also make tooth fairy pillows, plush animals, key chains, seasonal embroidered headbands and more. I’m also working on a line of party craft kits which I hope to release in early 2017. 
I have a solid reputation for quality and customer service. I have almost 3,000 sales on Etsy and ... my “happy uterus” key chain was recently featured on Buzzfeed and sold over 150 pieces. I can easily stock the store with a variety of inventory that would appeal to families with children 10 and under.  ... I would fill (the shop) with lots of merchandise that is well organized and packaged along with an activity area for younger children to enjoy while parents shop. My husband builds my displays specifically for my products supplemented by purchased fixtures. My branding is colorful and cheerful, which would be a good complement to the exterior of the shop. Since I am a full time business owner, I am able to staff the shop daily. ... I think it would be great for my business by providing an opportunity to grow and meet more local customers.
 

 

Pretty Practical Bands  |  Keren Thillet
Patent-pending specialty headbands that are two products in one. The headband and hair tie are fused. 
I believe showing an invention inspires others to think of ways they can reinvent things themselves. I want others to say, “how clever”, and get their brain thinking differently. Thanks for the opportunity!!!  I would place my products on my custom made pegboard display. Would have demo headbands, and literature. 
 
 
Limbo Chihuahuas  |  Mary  Barrett
501c3 non profit dog rescue  We save lives - little dog lives 
We would love to do is and since we all are volunteers and work we could share the space. We sell items for donations -- many donated items as well as handmade items, artwork, etc. We would also have adoptable dogs available for people to visit with and hopefully adopt. We need the donations and we need to find homes for our dogs. We are neat , clean and would love to use the space.  
 

Mobile Day Spa Creations  |  Martha Ross
Specializing in BeautiControl treatments. spa quality, anti-aging treatments for the face, hands, feet & body.  I teach clients how to use treatments at home to save them both time and money. $2M Liability insurance.
I’ve been renting the other space in the shop once a month for oxygen spas.  I’m expanding and looking at brick and mortar options (so this would be)  great exposure, I would offer on the spot treatments, try before you buy as well as retail options.  Also 1 on 1 consultation spa sessions. 

 
Air5 Networks  |  David Hollowell
We are starting a new MEP (Multiple Entertainment Platform) business scheduled to launch the end of this month, so the timing is perfect.  
We would use the space to set up the platform in order to show the variety of entertainment available, and the versatility of the product. The platform system is filled with and will offer Live TV, movies, music, books and games. Our goal is to present a comprehensive and exciting entertainment experience that you can enjoy anytime, anywhere. All that is required is a “hotspot” connection (all we need is the WIFI available) to enjoy this system. It’s truly amazing!! We have been loyal supporters and LocalShops1 members from the very beginning, with our company Insurance Underwriters. Now we are at the very beginning of our new business!  The program will be sold on a multi-level basis, meaning any business can create an additional market with the program, simply by displaying it as we will demonstrate (if we win the contest).
 
 
Historic Shed  |  Jo-Anne Peck
We design and build custom garden sheds, detached garage and cottages that complement historic Florida homes.
The company is owned by my husband, Craig, and I who bring diverse but complementary skills to the table (I do the design work, he’s in charge of building). We’ve been in the shed business since 2008, and in business as historic preservation consultants since 2000. It’s a very niche product for a niche market. Since Historic Shed is in the far reaches of the Tampa Bay region (all the way in Brooksville), we have to rely on print and internet advertising to reach our main markets (Tampa and St. Pete along with other Hillsborough/Pinellas towns with historic cores). No one gets to touch or feel our product unless they peek into previous customer’s back yards, so they make purchases completely on faith and photos of our work. Use of this space would allow us to direct customers to a central location where I would like to place a small (outhouse sized) shed with all the bells and whistles. We would then be able to send all our inquiries to one central location to see our work first hand. We have a large Facebook and Twitter following, as well as emailing list, so can direct a good amount of traffic to the LocalShops1 store. Therefore our use of the site would be good for LocalShops1 and the other vendors that have advertising material there, as well as for our own use. We’ve been LocalShops1 members since its very beginnings. 
 

 

Jessi's Flaming Fruit Sauce  |  Jessi Budiansky 
Locally made gourmet, multi-use sauce

I would display and sell my sauces as well as demo some recipes. I would love to do a few cooking demonstrations. We just passed our two-year mark and are looking to expand our audience. I'm also thrilled to be able to highlight the quality of local artisan products available.  I try to use other vendor products in my recipes.  My sauces are absolutely delicious, but they are also low sugar, low sodium, fat free, gluten free, soy free, but free, vegan and have no artificial ingredients or preservatives

 

 

Wild Boy Sauce  |  Jon Webster 
Locally Crafted Hot Sauce, No Preservatives, Flavor First, Then heat

I would have a display with assorted bottles and recipe ideas, We have a moderate following, hoping to grow.

 

 
Necessories  |  Dyan Lena Demidio
Boho Feme Funk Boutique.  Our mission is to provide a venue for women worldwide to sell their goods. Products include clothing made in the USA, Italy and India; handcrafted jewelry from Florida, Italy and Turkey; vegan-friendly handbags from Spain and Canada; art from Florida and Hawaii; and more.
My pop up  shop would be an eclectic visual experience. I am able to bring whatever the space provided. My current shop at 683 Central Ave. in St Pete is closing Jan 31. I bring affordable luxury with a bohemian flair. Each customer feels special with my personal attention to detail. All jewelry purchases empower an individual female to continue her mission  of creativity. I would be honored to be part of your mission
 
 
Cutco at Home  }  Michelle Linden
Tell us about your business:
High quality kitchen tools that making perparing fresh and healthy foods a breeze. 
I would really utilize the space and bring new customers into the shop. I would do the best I can to get as many new customers there as possible.  I would host recipe classes, sip & shop events (sip wine, prepare snacks, & shop Cutco products- may have another vendor or two set up as well), service station (certain days/times for local customers to bring Cutco in for free sharpening), and networking meeting/collaboration. 

 
Wee Gallery  |  David Pinto
We design, manufacture and distribute art, toys and nursery staples that appeal to babies from the first day of life. The  illustrations by my wife Surya Sajnani depict animals in hand-drawn repeating patterns.  Studies show that patterns like this stimulate brain development.  The art is mesmerizing for babies and appeal to a parents aesthetic.  We have been in business for 13 years and have international distributors in five countries. 
We have operated as more of a design studio and office out of our home for the life of our business; wholesale has been our dominant channel and so we have mainly sold through trade shows. We have a healthy fear of operating our own retail space, but enough experience to understand what we would be taking on. Our products range from cards, books and growth charts to swaddling blankets, cushions and toys so we could fill this small store with our artfully educational goodies and hone our growing pitch to the retail market.  Gulfport is a cute area with lots of young parents and we believe that with the outside space we could have fun, engaging events that will enrich our business and the local community. Wee Gallery is a thriving local business that could really move into the mainstream with the experience that comes from operating a beautiful retail shop in Gulfport for a month. 
 
 
Bond Love was started in October 2014 on Etsy and I have had some of my pieces in Twig, a boutique in downtown St Pete, for a little over a year. I started participating art shows just recently. I make painted and distressed wood heart art. I use mostly recycled or reclaimed wood. Most of my pieces have inspirational or motivational messages on them. I make magnets, everyday ornaments, small heart signs, wall art and free standing pieces.
I make and sell all of my pieces on my own. I am also a mom of three kids. I would do the best I can to be at the shop as much as possible, Obviously if someone gets sick or something comes up at home, I will have to put that above being at the shop.  I have never run a shop so the thought of it is a bit scary. But I would love the chance to give it a try. February is the month for hearts and love! I am positive my colorful pieces will draw lots of attention for Valentine’s Day shoppers. Once Valentine’s Day is over, I will still draw shoppers' attention with the inspirational and motivational sayings on my one-of-a-kind pieces. Most of my pieces are shaped like a heart or have hearts on them.  I would love the opportunity to experience being a shop owner. I think This is a once in a life time opportunity and I am extremely excited about it. I love the location of the shop and the possibilities the exposure might provide to my small business. ... I would plan to change up the window weekly to draw attention. I would string colorful hearts across the top of the window and display various pieces on stands. My marketing plan would include word of mouth, Instagram and Facebook advertising.

 

 
Snuppets are trademarked reusable snack bags and puppets in one! The characters are drawn by me, fabric printed in the U.S. and sewn right here in St. Pete. I love innovative children’s creations and the environment, and my business combines the two. I feel it is my responsibility as a mom to instill the habit of reusing rather than disposing.  I also create practical reusable storage bags for travel, life and fun!  
I would have the shop open from 9-2:30 daily, close to pick up kids from school and then reopen 3:30-6. I would also be open on the evenings/days of any art walks/markets that are scheduled.  I have three children and the oldest is in high school so they are of the age where they could buy an ice cream at Yummy’s and enjoy doing homework in the courtyard. It would truly be a family  experience!
Having the space would be so much fun! I would use it to feature my creations, but I would also bring my sewing machine and sewing new projects daily (which would be a dream because my current studio is my dining room table!). I have my Snuppets and wet bags but I would also be making beach bags, towels and kids clothing. I love to sew and create and to have a space to share locally would be a dream come true!  I am all about making eco-sensitive products and I want to encourage St. Pete to move in the direction of preserving/caring for our beautiful and precious environment. Gulfport seems like a community that would appreciate this mission.   

 

  

Yoga brand that cares about bringing healing and awareness to the community through yoga, meditation and mindfulness.  
I would use (the space to) promote my new location on 2200 1st Avenue South in St. Petersburg and to conduct free mini classes for the community. Also to spread awareness of our seva projects: free meditation training (IAM), Awaken Yoga 4 All Kids; a Volunteer Yoga and Meditation Project at Johns Hopkin’s All Children’s Hospital, and Karma Kitchen; a Mother’s Kitchen Project at Ronald McDonald House West in St Pete, FL. I would also promote the 5th Annual St Pete Yoga Festival, which will be held at Sunken Gardens on Sunday, October 22, 2017.  

 

 

And the winner is ... Wee Gallery! 

 

Here is what Melinda Workman has to say about her decision:

 

Oh. My. Word. I received entries from so many deserving local businesses to win a free month at the LocalShops1 Pop-up Shop for the month of February! Thanks to each one who took the time to enter. This has been such a difficult decision! Every single one of the entries was impressive and could have easily made good use of the space.

 

In the end, however, I could only choose one. My business is mostly family, babies and children's photography, and the winning company is also all about family, babies and children. Oh, and, of course, art!

 

And the winner is .... Wee Gallery! Owner David Pinto wrote: "We design, manufacture and distribute art, toys and nursery staples that appeal to babies from the first day of life. The illustrations by my wife Surya Sajnani depict animals in hand-drawn repeating patterns. Studies show that patterns like this stimulate brain development. The art is mesmerizing for babies and appeal to a parents aesthetic."

 

Well, as an artist myself, and a mom (although my "babies" are all grown up!) I love everything about this. Art + babies = how can you go wrong?

 

 

Congratulations, Wee Gallery, and thanks to everyone who entered! Here at LocalShops1 we're working on consolation prizes for all the finalists because your stories were all absolutely wonderful, and we want to help you grow your business.

 

 

 

Did you leave the corporate world to start your own business? Starting over after a layoff? We want to hear your story! Please email us at events@localshops1.com, and include your story and contact info. We will try to include as many stories as possible in future blogs. Ester Venouziou, founder of LocalShops1, is available for freelance projects: writing, editing, design, marketing and social media. She can be reached at ester@localshops1.com or 727.637.5586.

 

 

 

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Businesses that Opened, Expanded and Celebrated in 2016

Posted By Ester Venouziou, Thursday, December 22, 2016

My business highlight for 2016 was opening LocalShops1's first brick-and-mortar space, of course!! At the very end, I'll share insider information on how the LocalShops1 Shop came to be!

 

But first, check out all the awesome reports from other local businesses in St. Petersburg, Tampa, and throughout Tampa Bay:

 

🔅 Melissa Lang launched her business, Thread Appeal, July 2016. The St. Petersburg-based online boutique offers limited-edition, affordable clothing, jewelry and accessories, in classic styles as well as the newest trends. The company also offers personalized trunk shows and stylists to help curate looks for a specific occasion, event or just everyday life, and can be found at markets and festivals all over Tampa Bay. (You may have seen them at LocalShops1's Shopapalooza Festival 2016!)

 

🔅 Studio Kingsley, which features hair and bow ties made out of upcycled computer parts, launched in July 2016 and had their first international customer within the first few weeks. In November and December they hit the ground running, literally, by participating is six markets and selling more than 130 pieces. Plans for 2017 include an expanded product line, revamped website and promoting internationally with digital marketing campaigns, says entrepreneur/artist Tiffany McLauchlin of St. Petersburg.


🔅 Kush Textiles launched its line of Ikat handwoven fair trade baby wraps, expanded their accessory line and hired a virtual assistant. By using remnants left over from the production of their baby wraps and ring slings to design hand-crafted accessories including clutches and toiletry bags, the St. Petersburg company is able to use every piece of material, keeping with its focus of sustainability, says co-owner Christine Mitchell.


🔅 FinFish, "an apparel company with a purpose," opened its brick-and-mortar location in St. Petersburg's Grand Central District in November. The company, owned by Lee McMorrow of St. Petersburg, features high-quality clothing and donates a portion of its proceeds to programs that preserve and protect our beautiful waters. The new shop is at 2253 Central Avenue.

 

🔅 Grisette Abreu left the corporate world to go full-time with her business, Provisiones-catering to locals. And she jumped right in, participating in three festivals in just two weeks. Abreu also was quick to get media coverage, including having her recipe for Sweet Pepper stuffed with Cheese featured in LocalShops1's Live Local! magazine; and a feature in a new magazine, The St. Petian. Provisiones specializes in Spanish cuisine using local, seasonal and organic ingredients, when available. Among her specialties: Paella-Tapas-Gazpacho-Sangria for parties of 10 to 100 guests.

 

🔅 Historic Shed has ventured further into the Tiny House world by adding new models and participating at the annual Florida Tiny House Festival, where Historic Shed co-founder JoAnne Peck was a featured speaker. The Brooksville-based company helps homeowners add living and storage space with wood garden sheds, cottages and detached garages that complement their historic homes, and it offers wood window screens, garden gates, and other hard-to-find accessories for historic homes.

 

🔅 Gulfport artist Elizabeth McCann, aka Creative Chaos, had a big year, her first one after leaving the corporate world to pursue her art full-time. In September she had the honors of being the first monthly resident artist at the LocalShops1 Pop-Up! Shop. Shortly after she was accepted into her first-ever juried art show, and her art was accepted at Florida CraftArt in downtown St. Petersburg and Mermaid Bay Mercantile Co. in Gulfport.

 

🔅 Jewelry designer May Turner of Tampa celebrated the 10th anniversary of her business, PhoenixFire Designs, in October. May opened her online shop in the very early days of Etsy, the online marketplace for creative entrepreneurs: Etsy launched in 2005, and PhoenixFire was on board the following year.

 

🔅 David Knowlton of St. Petersburg, owner of ImpulseCliCs.com, expanded the shop's gifts section, hired another full-time employee and added longer hours (9 am to 7 pm Tuesday through Friday, and 9 am to 3 pm Saturdays). The shop is at 2323 MLK Jr. St N in St. Petersburg. All this while fighting -- and beating! -- cancer.

 

🔅 Stained glass artist Heather Sheppard-New of Tampa completed her largest projects so far: installing and creating three custom transom windows and two bathroom windows. Heather launched her company, Art by Heather New, after creating her first piece in 2013 with a tub of scrap glass a friend gave her.

 

🔅 Jessi Budiansky, owner of Jessi's Flaming Fruit Sauce in Tampa, reports that her company's sauces have been picked up by Tijuana Flats, and starting in 2017 will be included in all their restaurants, nationwide.

 

🔅 St. Petersburg designer Dean Liston joined the team of William G. Interiors at the beginning of 2016, and has had an incredibly busy and successful year, both personally and professionally, he tells us. The company, in business almost 30 years, offers commercial and residential design services throughout the Tampa Bay region.

 

🔅 Becky Wanamaker's company, An Artful Home in Land O'Lakes, launched at LocalShops1's Shopapalooza Festival 2016. And she got a bonus surprise when editors from the Tampa Bay Times noticed a Shopapalooza promo featuring Becky's custom ornaments. The editors contacted Becky and her pieces featured in Bay Magazine's 2016 Gift Giving Guide! In addition to ornaments, An Artful Home features paintings, artful home décor, and upcycled vinyl record art.

 
🔅 Wide Sky T-shirts and tanks were picked up by three retails stores in 2016! The shirts, which feature locally inspired designs, are now available at Zazoo'd, the St. Pete Store and the Old Southeast Market, says owner Sara O'Brien, of St. Petersburg.

 

🔅   🔅   🔅

 

 

And now, here is the background story on the LocalShops1 Shop!

 

I had been looking for office space, off and on, for quite a while. But being in an actual office, in a building, just didn't feel right. I wanted to be on a main street, near other local businesses, but hadn't found the right space (or, more accurately, the right space in my budget). So I put office space plans on hold, for one, two years.

 

Then one day this past August, Robynne Swanson of Red Hot Tiki Spicy Gourmet Market told me the shop next to hers was going to be up for rent. It happened to be an especially busy time for me, and I didn't have much time to think about it, much less research things. So of course, I did what every other not-quite-rational person would have done: call the landlord and sign a lease immediately.

 

A few days later, panic set in: What had I done, taking on an additional, unnecessary expense? But by then it was too late to change my mind. I had already signed the lease (much thanks to Robin and Jack King of Three Birds Tavern for reviewing it) and I had already plastered the news all over social media. So my only option was to go through with it and make it work.

 

What came next was a mad rush to set up a new website, create marketing materials, and get the space overhauled. I'm forever grateful for all the friends who stepped up to help, particularly artist member Elizabeth McCann (Creative Chaos) and LocalShops1 membership director, Billie Jo, and her husband, Rob Bell, who just happens to be a general contractor (Bell Contracting and Design)! Less than three weeks from when I signed the lease, our space in Gulfport was open in time for Geckofest, the city's biggest festival of the year.

 

Our shop is only about 450 square feet, maybe even less, but we have maximized the floorplan. In addition to space to display brochures from LocalShops1 member businesses, our shop features monthly resident artists, pop-up businesses and collaborative mini-expos. Starting next year we'll also be hosting a series of hands-on workshops there, in collaboration with Nancy Howe, owner of Tampa Bay Newswire!

 
So that's the story of how the LocalShops1 Shop came to be! You can read more about it in the Tampa Bay Times and in the Gabber! Better yet, email me at ester@localshops1.com and let's plan a time to meet there! Our shop is at 2908 Beach Blvd S, downtown Gulfport. We are about 6 miles from downtown St Pete and from St Pete Beach, and 20 miles from Tampa and Bradenton!

 

 

  🔅   🔅   🔅

 

 

Now it's your turn. What were your highlights for 2016? What are your plans for 2017? I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

Did you leave the corporate world to start your own business? Starting over after a layoff? We want to hear your story! Please email us at events@localshops1.com, and include your story and contact info. We will try to include as many stories as possible in future blogs. Ester Venouziou, founder of LocalShops1, is available for freelance projects: writing, editing, design, marketing and social media. She can be reached at ester@localshops1.com or 727.637.5586

 

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Update: 101 Things in 1,001 Days

Posted By Ester Venouziou, Thursday, December 22, 2016

UPDATE:  Two years ago, instead of New Year's resolutions, I set up my "101 Things to Do in 1,001 Days" list. Here is how I did ...

  1. Travel to Cinque Terre, Italy -- still very much on my list!!
  2. Start painting YES! I've started painting, on my own, for fun. Acrylics and melted crayons! (Try it)
  3. Take a barista class (just for fun) not yet ...
  4. Paint my living room  DONE
  5. Learn Spanish  Poquito :)
  6. Build a sandcastle  DONE, though not very good. Not even picture-worthy.
  7. Go to the beach 101 times (or more) If I go once a week next year I'll meet the goal!
  8. Have street-front location for LocalShops1 HQ  YES!!!!!!!!! We opened at 2908 Beach Blvd S, Gulfport, September 2016!
  9. Take a bartending class (also just for fun) not yet ...
  10. Start an herb garden  Tried, tried, tried. Giving up on this one! Unfortunately I kill everything.
  11. Have LocalShops1's magazine go bi-monthly or monthly Not longer on my wish list to increase frequency, but I have a plan B :)
  12. Replace doorknobs with glass ones  Haven't replaced ANY yet!
  13. Lose 30 lbs  Only 12 so far
  14. Clean up overgrown garden area in my backyard   DONE!
  15. Color a page in a coloring book every day for a month 
  16. Put up a hammock in the formerly overgrown garden area
  17. Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
  18. Read 30 books that I've never read 
  19. Go on a picnic
  20. Dance in the rain  DONE!
  21. Take a yoga class at Sunken Gardens
  22. Watch 30 movies that I've never seen
  23. Learn how to cook at least one "signature" dish  Do cookies count? If so, yes, thanks to Robin King!
  24. Write all bad memories on paper and burn the paper
  25. Host a dinner party
  26. Write a book
  27. Make bread from scratch  YES! Thanks to Bob Sitten!
  28. Go horseback riding
  29. Replace outdated lighting fixtures in my bathrooms
  30. Send a message in a bottle
  31. "Unplug" for 72 hours
  32. Write a list of 101 things to do when I'm done with this batch
  33. Swim with manatees
  34. Get a dog, preferably a miniature Beagle mix  No dog, but one of the neighborhood cats has adopted me. Love BW!
  35. Deep-clean my home  Yes, but it needs to be done again ASAP!
  36. Do "random act of kindness" every day for a week
  37. Spend a weekend in Charleston
  38. Spend a weekend in Austin
  39. Attend one of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies annual conferences
  40. Reconnect with friends from pre-LocalShops1 days  YES, though many just through Facebook/email, rather than in person.
  41. Spend more time with friends here Definitely!
  42. Go on one of the St Pete Historical Society walking tours
  43. Clean out guest bedroom closet Not only cleaned out the closet, but transformed the room into my office
  44. Live on the water  Still about 4 blocks away, but this is a tough one because I really do love my home
  45. Go to a forest and read a book there
  46. Walk the Pinellas Trail (and have someone pick me up to bring me back!)
  47. Learn how to make a "signature cocktail"
  48. Refinish an old piece of furniture
  49. Make pickles
  50. Get floors refinished
  51. Send Christmas cards (paper, not electronic)
  52. Go sailing
  53. Go kayaking
  54. Take a picture with Mickey Mouse  Found old photo of me with Mickey! I don't need another one.
  55. Refinish kitchen cabinets  YES! Thanks to Gulfcoast Painting
  56. Restore attic into zen room  Looking good, but want more work needed
  57. Get a microwave (mine got zapped in 2011) Not sure why I haven't gotten another yet. Maybe I just don't want one?
  58. Get a new dishwasher  YES
  59. Drink green tea every day for a month
  60. Start a personal journal
  61. Update this blog weekly Not even CLOSE!
  62. Stay away from crazy people  YES. Except for the fun-crazy ones!
  63. Stay away from negative people  YES. And it has made all the difference
  64. Buy flowers for myself  That was an easy one
  65. Learn to say "no," without disclaimers or explanations  YES! It's empowering
  66. Learn more about container gardening
  67. Get a firepit
  68. Replace ugly white fridge with retro one, maybe ice blue  New fridge wasn't in my budget. So I painted mine instead. (YES, blue)
  69. Paint something fun on my mailbox  Hmm, I painted my mailbox lavender. Does that count?
  70. Catch a gecko (and then release him)  Not sure why that's on my list. I didn't do it and don't want to, so zapping it from my list
  71. Sit through an entire action movie without falling asleep  Same update as that for No. 70
  72. Come up with a plan for unused upstairs office room  It's now my guest bedroom, since my guest bedroom became my office
  73. Get a real camera
  74. Take the Gratitude Photo Challenge (one photo a week of something I'm thankful for, for one year)
  75. Get hot tub fixed  Tried, but apparently it was much too messed up. So I had it removed instead.
  76. Limit Facebook/social media to 2 hours a day  Ha! Yeah, right ...
  77. Cut back on diet Coke (no more than one a week)  Totally! Not even one a week!
  78. Send birthday cards
  79. Send thank you notes
  80. Visit one new antique shop a month for 6 months
  81. Illustrate this list of 101 goals Stupid goal. I think I just couldn't come up with something else. Zapping it from my list.
  82. Continue to unclutter: one large bag of "stuff" a week for 5 weeks
  83. Go on spa vacation with my best friends from college 
  84. Make a necklace
  85. Sell one handcrafted thing -- not sure what yet!
  86. Go a week without complaining about anything  I think so!
  87. Learn to hula-hoop
  88. Spend two days by myself in a place where I don't know anyone
  89. Go a day in complete silence
  90. Dye my hair a crazy color for Halloween YES! Bright purple!
  91. Drink 6-8 glasses of water every day for a month, so hopefully it becomes a lifetime habit
  92. Buy something completely frivolous  Oh, plenty of those :)
  93. Learn Photoshop, beyond the basics  Learned some new things, but there's more!
  94. Start a watergun fight  
  95. Lose 30 lbs (yes, I wrote that already but it's worth repeating) Still just the 12 lbs
  96. Put up window flower boxes

97-101. These are secret ones. I can't share everything, afterall. But maybe I'll let you know when I accomplish them, within 1,001 days!  Yikes! I can't remember what those were, so I'll assume I did them! ...

What's on your list? Feel free to post in the comments below. And if you have your own list of 101 on your blog, add link to it. Let's all keep each other accountable. 

 

 

 

Did you leave the corporate world to start your own business? Starting over after a layoff? We want to hear your story! Please email us at events@localshops1.com, and include your story and contact info. We will try to include as many stories as possible in future blogs. Ester Venouziou, founder of LocalShops1, is available for freelance projects: writing, editing, design, marketing and social media. She can be reached at ester@localshops1.com or 727.637.5586.

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101 Things in 1,001 Days

Posted By Ester Venouziou, Sunday, January 5, 2014
Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2016

This year I'm skipping the New Year's resolutions, and instead taking the "101 Things to Do in 1,001 Days" challenge. Here's what's on my list (I tried to limit work-related goals, but a few still snuck in). I'll let you know how I did on Oct. 2, 2016 -- that's 1,001 days from today!

  1. Travel to Cinque Terre, Italy
  2. Start painting 
  3. Take a barista class (just for fun)
  4. Paint my living room
  5. Learn Spanish
  6. Build a sandcastle 
  7. Go to the beach 101 times (or more)
  8. Have street-front location for LocalShops1 HQ
  9. Take a bartending class (also just for fun)
  10. Start an herb garden
  11. Have LocalShops1's new Buy Local! magazine go bi-monthly or monthly
  12. Replace doorknobs with glass ones
  13. Lose 30 lbs
  14. Clean up overgrown garden area in my backyard
  15. Color a page in a coloring book every day for a month 
  16. Put up a hammock in the formerly overgrown garden area
  17. Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
  18. Read 30 books that I've never read 
  19. Go on a picnic
  20. Dance in the rain
  21. Take a yoga class at Sunken Gardens
  22. Watch 30 movies that I've never seen
  23. Learn how to cook at least one "signature" dish
  24. Write all bad memories on paper and burn the paper
  25. Host a dinner party
  26. Write a book
  27. Make bread from scratch
  28. Go horseback riding
  29. Replace outdated lighting fixtures in my bathrooms
  30. Send a message in a bottle
  31. "Unplug" for 72 hours
  32. Write a list of 101 things to do when I'm done with this batch
  33. Swim with manatees
  34. Get a dog, preferably a miniature Beagle mix
  35. Deep-clean my home
  36. Do "random act of kindness" every day for a week
  37. Spend a weekend in Charleston
  38. Spend a weekend in Austin
  39. Attend one of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies annual conferences
  40. Reconnect with friends from pre-LocalShops1 days
  41. Spend more time with friends here
  42. Go on one of the St Pete Historical Society walking tours
  43. Clean out guest bedroom closet
  44. Live on the water
  45. Go to a forest and read a book there
  46. Walk the Pinellas Trail (and have someone pick me up to bring me back!)
  47. Learn how to make a "signature cocktail"
  48. Refinish an old piece of furniture
  49. Make pickles
  50. Get floors refinished
  51. Send Christmas cards (paper, not electronic)
  52. Go sailing
  53. Go kayaking
  54. Take a picture with Mickey Mouse  
  55. Refinish kitchen cabinets
  56. Restore attic into zen room
  57. Get a microwave (mine got zapped in 2011 and I never replaced it!)
  58. Get a new dishwasher 
  59. Drink green tea every day for a month
  60. Start a personal journal
  61. Update this blog weekly
  62. Stay away from crazy people
  63. Stay away from negative people
  64. Buy flowers for myself
  65. Learn to say "no," without disclaimers or explanations
  66. Learn more about container gardening
  67. Get a firepit
  68. Replace ugly white fridge with a retro one, maybe ice blue
  69. Paint something fun on my mailbox
  70. Catch a gecko (and then release him)
  71. Sit through an entire action movie without falling asleep
  72. Come up with a plan for unused upstairs office room
  73. Get a real camera
  74. Take the Gratitude Photo Challenge (one photo a week of something I'm thankful for, for one year)
  75. Get hot tub fixed
  76. Limit Facebook/social media to 2 hours a day
  77. Cut back on diet Coke (no more than one a week)
  78. Send birthday cards
  79. Send thank you notes
  80. Visit one new antique shop a month for 6 months
  81. Illustrate this list of 101 goals
  82. Continue to unclutter: one large bag of "stuff" a week for 5 weeks
  83. Go on spa vacation with my best friends from college 
  84. Make a necklace
  85. Sell one handcrafted thing -- not sure what yet!
  86. Go a week without complaining about anything
  87. Learn to hula-hoop
  88. Spend two days by myself in a place where I don't know anyone
  89. Go a day in complete silence
  90. Dye my hair a crazy color for Halloween
  91. Drink 6-8 glasses of water every day for a month, so hopefully it becomes a lifetime habit
  92. Buy something completely frivolous
  93. Learn Photoshop, beyond the basics
  94. Start a watergun fight
  95. Lose 30 lbs (yes, I wrote that already but it's worth repeating)
  96. Put up window flower boxes
97-101. These are secret ones. I can't share everything, afterall. But maybe I'll let you know when I accomplish them, within 1,001 days!

What's on your list? Feel free to post in the comments below. And if you have your own list of 101 on your blog, add link to it. Let's all keep each other accountable. 


 

Are you leaving the corporate world to start your own business? Starting over after a layoff? We want to hear your story! Please email us at events@localshops1.com, and include your story and contact info. We will try to include as many stories as possible in future blogs.

Ester Venouziou, founder of LocalShops1, is available for freelance projects: writing, editing, design or social media. She can be reached at ester@localshops1.com or 727.637.5586







Tags:  001 days challenge  101 things in 1  goals for the new year  new year's resolutions 

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It's All About Working Together

Posted By Ester Venouziou, Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013

One of my favorite things about running LocalShops1 is seeing members work together. So it was especially exciting to see one of our members last week announce three separate collaborations, with three fellow members! 

"At a time when people are frustrated with our economy, looking for changes to happen more quickly, or waiting for someone else to improve things, I say we can make immediate changes by looking no further than our neighboring local businesses," says Robin King, co-owner of Three Birds Tavern in St. Petersburg.
 
And look to neighboring businesses is exactly what Robin and her husband, Jack, do when they need anything, from spicing up their menu, marketing their business and revamping their restaurant.
 

"We, as local business owners, need to come together and support one another, both with our words, and with our dollars," Robin says, explaining why she chooses to do business with other LocalShops1 members. "We need to create an atmosphere of collaboration, not competition. When this happens, the consumer will follow us. But until that happens, the consumer will continue to look for the best, or easiest, 'deal.' "

Three Birds' recent projects were collaborations with Intensity Academy in Lutz, Trinity Graphics in St. Petersburg, and Bell Contracting in Largo.

"I'm committed to success, not only for our business, but for our community, and the other locally owned businesses of our community," King says.

Here is more information about the recent Three Birds' projects:


1. Three Birds has added Intensity Academy hot sauce table service, and there are more collaborations to come, Robin tells us. Another Intensity Academy product, Gypsy Dust, will be used with specialty drinks, and they're working on a new wing sauce using one of their products.
How this is a win-win: By going with a local sauce company, Three Birds not only added an amazing new sauce, but extended its reach to Intensity Academy fans, which will inevitably lead to many new diners. Intensity Academy announced the collaboration to its social media followers (close to 5,000 on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) and many instantly started following Three Birds Tavern, too. For Intensity Academy, of course, this also was a big win, having gained another wholesale customer AND having a presence in one of St. Pete's most popular restaurants.

 

2. Scooter Cordoza of Trinity Graphics handles much of Three Birds' promotional needs, and recently designed St. Patrick's Day products, including promo cards and T-shirts.
How this is a win-win: There are many options out there for marketing materials and promotional products, and businesses often are tempted to order online, expecting to get better deals. But by going with a local company instead, and having that in-person interaction,Three Birds gets personal service and attention to detail they might not otherwise get. For Trinity, Three Birds isn't just another account; and for Three Birds, Trinity isn't just another vendor. They look out for each other, knowing that as one business grows, so will the other.


3. Bell Contracting rebuilt two of Three Birds' staircases, and will continue with other projects and renovations.
How this is a win-win: When it was time to repair the steps at the century-old tavern, Three Birds went straight to Bell and the end result were two beautiful new staircases, with top craftsmanship and great prices. But it doesn't end there. Bell Contracting went on top post photos of the completed project on its social media circles, along with prizes for those who correctly guessed the location. The photos, of course, were shared by us here at LocalShops1, as well as several fellow members, helping draw more attention to both Bell and Three Birds.

 

Are you leaving the corporate world to start your own business? Starting over after a layoff? We want to hear your story! Please email us at events@localshops1.com, and include your story and contact info. We will try to include as many stories as possible in future blogs.

Ester Venouziou, founder of LocalShops1, is available for freelance projects: writing, editing, design or social media. She can be reached at ester@localshops1.com or 727.637.5586

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