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Style This Shindig

Web: www.stylethisshindig.com
Class: 2013 Summer Accelerator

Company Description

Style This Shindig is an event styling & floral design boutique. We specialize in creating a customized & cohesive look for weddings and social events. We design, style, and craft handmade props, paper goods, photo backdrops and floral arrangements. Consider us an event specialist that you can turn to for all your event design and styling needs. We'll work with you to ensure that the event truly captures your vision and impresses your guests.

Updates

Roadblock:

I may have hit something that feels a whole lot like a big road block.  Maybe it's a small speed bump, the kind that reminds us all to slow down.  Or maybe because I feel a little lost and I'm not sure where to go.  Maybe I haven't given myself permission to take the next steps

 
At times like these goals I realize goals are so important.  Going back to it can keep me in line.  Remember my vision for the business keeps me going.  So time and again, I'd go back and revisit my goals and my vision.  
 
Social Media Workshop:
Take implementing social media for example.  I feel like this is a big road block because I wasn't sure which direction to go.  How would I know which one to participate in?  How do I measure?  Go back to my visions and my goals to come up with a strategy.  Some platforms are better for my business than others.  
 
After thinking through my strategies and remembering my visions, it became clear to me that Pinterest and Instagram is a sure fire platform.  For my business it's all about the visuals.   My audience wants eye candy for inspiration and ideas.  Collect them in one place and the target audience will know exactly where to go to.  What a good way to keep my audience connected.
 
The Pitch:
Social media is a great tool to stay connected.  But I was reminded that the best connection, however, was of the face to face kind.  There was a kind of feeling like when we do natural networking and listen to other people's stories, we'd become reenergized again.  During the pitch, I was amazed to see how supportive my fellow Sandbox Finalists were.  We all had a chance to slow down and listened to each other's stories.  At the end of every pitch, the person who went was greeted with supportive praises and high fives, disguised in handshakes of course.  How great is that!  
 
Human interactions keeps us all going.  
 
Fundraising:
It's especially important when we fundraise.  Who wants to invest in someone they haven't met before?  
 
I haven't thought about raising funds for the business.  I'm reconsidering now.  The session was helpful in guiding us through who to ask and why?  Who are the right people to ask?  Would they be able to afford to invest in me?  What will the relationships be like if anything happens?
 
These are all things I'm considering now.  

Websites, Communications, and Branding

I processed everything our panelists suggested that we keep in mind.

 
I wished that I had time to go to every breakout session.  I started with session on target markets and communications.  Folks just kept sharing a wealth of ideas, one right after the other!  Meetups are expected in the future.
 
At the end of the night, I had a very good chat with one of the panelists, Liron.  She talked about something that I knew but was stubborn about taking in.  KNOW your worth as an artist.  If I'm not confident in my work, then who will be?  In the end, I still have to feed myself.  Is the work and amount of work really worth it?  My takeaway is that, in order to thrive, besides saying yes to projects, I should also and always consider saying NO!

One of the sessions that was very powerful was the one on pitches and public speaking presented by Todd Fry.

 
We started with introductions and then immediately dove into sharing our fears about public speaking.  I thought this was useful because we spent a dedicated amount of time to put some undivided attention on our fears.  
 
How many times have we had to shove that fear aside so that we can continue marching on?  Probably one too many times.  When we act on them, we have no idea how or why we react a certain way.
 
What a great start!
 
The way that he engaged us really kept my attention on the subject.  He went onto giving us points on why public speaking could be such a problem.  Fear, preparation, knowledge, and delivery were all the points he touched on.
 
One of the most useful exercises was watching our fellow finalists get gently put back together after each time they got shredded into pieces - in a good way!!

Social media

A lot of times I wonder how bloggers and and small businesses keep up with their Facebook and Twitter account.  How did I decide to follow their Instagram or their Vine accounts?  It may be because they have a social media marketing strategy that aligns with their marketing goals.  Perhaps in their strategies, they've already answered questions like how or where are my target segments.   
 
It could be less overwhelming because now I don't have to keep up with every single social media outlet and really focus on ones that will work for my business.  
 
 
The Sandbox
I had various highlights the past week but two of them really stood out for me.
 
1) Thirty minutes of office hours for marketing helped me solidify one of my marketing plans. It took 30 minutes!!!  That's it.  I'm sure this doesn't happen all the time.  But my point is that, feedback is that valuable.  I can't wait for the other office hours.
 
2) The workspace was extremely valuable.  I held my client meeting in one of the conference rooms for the first time and it worked out very well!

Testing my assumptions

So how do I know if my potential clients will be receptive of my services or not?  Will the potential clients hire me to create a cohesive look for their events?  Will they hire me because they need some guidance in the design department?  Do I have a pool of clients at all?  I won't know if I don't test.

We learned about testing our assumptions from Sidd Goyal of tinyurl.com.  It's one thing to sit and theorize and it's another to test out all my guesses.  Since this session, I've figured out how to create experiments and even implemented them.  

 

Goals


It's one of my favorite sessions so far.  Even if other entrepreneurs' goals didn't apply to me, the feedback we gave to each other sure did!  Goals were submitted.  I received feedback from my mentors.  From here, I'll test out an MVP. This experiment will tell me a lot!  

 

Marketing

One of the biggest highlight was to watch the youtube video about Social Media Revolution.  Take a look!  

While figuring out the customer segments and value proposition, this is an entirely new realm.  I haven't really touched it.  It's a little scary to think that there's so much to it.  But without figuring out the basics, I can't possibly start with a marketing strategy.  By the end of the Accelerator, I hope to have a marketing plan in place.