12/3/12

The Enchanted Home


I'm very excited to have Tina from the Enchanted Home Blog visiting us.

I asked her to share some tips with you on blogging and having an online store.

I'm sure most of you have read her blog.....

It's been fun seeing the building and decorating process of her home. 
Her on-line store is a reflection of her beautiful home and the things that she loves. 

And now..... here's.....
Tina.....




Hi there......
 So happy to be here and honored to have been asked to stop by
and chat about my blogging, my online shop and what makes me tick
(besides coffee, beautiful things and chocolate...oh and pasta too)!

 
I started blogging Jan. 1, 2011.....cannot believe its been
over a year and a half!


 Wow! I totally dove right in.

 I had no idea what  the heck I was doing, just was anxious to get busy doing something, was tired of having all these "great ideas" that never went anywhere.
 

 

I didn't actually know I was reading a blog when I was well...reading a
blog! 

Velvet and Linen and Cote D Texas were the first blogs I read....

All I knew is every time I stumbled onto a blog there was these.....  "magical little pictures" on the side that if I clicked on them it would transport me to yet another dreamy place....aka another blog.

 Truth be told, I didn't even know what
the word blog meant! 


When the light bulb went on...
I remember thinking
"I can do this"...


and since we had just started building our home...... 

 it was a no brainier that it would be a fun way to keep track of the building
 journey of our home.


 In the meantime I could share it with other design obsessed
 people like myself.



As it turns out, there's lots of them. 

Admittedly in the beginning.....
it was frustrating. 


Is anyone reading it?

 Does anyone care?

I will never forget my very first comment....

I was flying high.

 I remember calling my
 husband and excitedly telling him someone saw my blog! 


Yes, its total elation and certainly a validation that someone even if the
emphasis is on "one" likes my blog!


 I persevered.......

I  kept visiting lots of other blogs,
 introduced myself and tried to "make the rounds". 

I am sure at times I
appeared too eager, a little too wet behind the ears, but now that I am a
 seasoned veteran (totally said tongue in cheek) I would like to pass
these little tidbits of advice onto either new bloggers or those
considering starting a blog....



Don't expect miracles..things take time....

Remember baby steps!
 

Be realistic and don't look at big blogs and their numbers or number of followers/comments.  

Think somethings amiss with your own, it takes time to "grow your blog" but, in due
 time followers will find you.  

If they like what you have to say.......
 You bet they will stick around!


 Stay true to what you love and feel. 

Don't try to fit into someone else s mold!  

Have an authentic voice, allow your personality to shine through.
 

  Remember you cannot be all things to all people, but you
will most certainly find your niche!


 





The beauty of blogging is its yours! 

You can do with it what you like, post every day twice a day or two times a week.  

Write about anything you desire....

You are the captain of your own ship. 

That is one of the sweet perks!
 

And finally do it as long as you truly love it. 
 

It can get to a point where its very consuming. 

It can feel like a full time job.
I cannot stress enough that once you are out of the honeymoon stage, its a
 smart idea to set hours and/or a schedule of some sort.


 It helps with time management and allows you to run your life with a healthy balance.



Leave comments on other blogs you enjoy. 

Many bloggers try to
reciprocate with doing the same!


 Its a nice way to "connect" with other
like minded bloggers and who knows......

maybe gain a new follower and friend!

 














 After my blog got established......

 I yearned to carry it a step further.
It seemed like a natural next step to open up a shop. 


Since I knew I wasn't ready for the
 rigors of a brick and mortar shop .....

 Not yet at least.....

  I decided on an online shop.

So in March, I again took a big plunge and opened up........  

The Enchanted Home Shop.


 It was the perfect way for me to combine my love of beautiful, traditional European influenced  accessories for the home and.....
with my love for shopping for pretty things
 and helping people achieve their very own
 "enchanted home"!



 
There was  naturally a learning curve and in fact I am still learning but, must say its been enormously gratifying!

 I only carry what I truly love and
  would put in my own home and many of the things I carry I do in fact have in my own home.

 Nothing makes me happier than when I
here from a customer who excitedly tells me

 how much she loves her purchase and then
 sends me a picture.


  I have a section in my shop entitled....

"Your enchanted Homes" 

where I feature my customers homes showcasing their purchases from me!

I love adding to it and its kind of like the
ultimate validation to what I do.


 As with blogging.....

I have a few tidbits of
advice to share for anyone who is considering opening an online
business......



Be prepared to spend A LOT more time than you might have thought........
 

it's very time consuming especially in the beginning as you are
learning. 


Once you get into a groove, you can try to set up more of a schedule.
 

Stay true to what you really love. 
You will not be all things to all
 people.

 There is truly something for everyone out there, if you love
what you do, chances are you will find success


 

Its all about making your customers happy! Your word is everything.

I try to really go out of my way to make my customers happy......

I know I
 will patronize a store and gush about them to anyone who will
listen if they have treated me extra special...


Don't take on more than you can chew, take it slow, one step at a time

 It can be overwhelming and unlike a traditional store....
an online store never sleeps or closes! 


Think about when you will go on a vacation
 or need to take a break, how will you handle that?

 








State all your policies clearly and explicitly online, regarding a damaged item,returns, exchanges, how long things take to receive, ect.....
 
Be "on call" as often as possible. 
You will get lots of inquires,
people asking questions, be available to answer, you don't want to be
the "phantom shopkeeper". 


Keeping on top of communication with your
customer is very important.
 



Now......here's a few of my favorite items from my shop and a few of the
 gorgeous pictures my very talented customer's sent in of my products in
 their homes!

 If you want to see more click, here.

 

And check out these customers homes.....
talk about a talented bunch!




I know, I know.....
each one of these could totally be a magazine cover!!
 I am so honored to count such talented people as my customers!
 































So that kind of sums up my blogging and online story.

 What are some of
the things that have happened since I started blogging you ask?


 Here we go....


I have met soooo many amazing people who I now call friends, some of whom I have been lucky enough to meet in person and many more I cannot wait to meet!

Have gotten a few e-design jobs, which are loads of fun...
I partnered up with Homegoods as their "classic blogger" for their newly launched Homegoods.com/stylescope/"
 (worth visiting if you have not already, just click on Stylescope). 
It was such an honor to be recognized by a global brand like Homegoods!
 

I have had a super talented artist paint Teddy's portrait, thank you Mary Casey!

I have had many vendors send me all kinds of great products and design books

 (hey getting free loot is always a perk in my book)!
I have heard from designers, architects and other creative genius's;
whose work I love and admire, only for them to tell me how much they enjoy my blog and style.

 


I was contacted recently by a long time reader who just bought a
chateau in France and wants me to act as a contributor abroad in helping
 him restore it! 

Now that's really cool!



Many doors continue to open and what can I say........
its loads of fun, and you just never know
 what the next step will bring.


 Blogging has really opened up my eyes and my way of looking at so much, it is always 
an adventure and as long as you are realistic about what it entails.....it is incredibly gratifying


It really encompasses all I love to do.....
talk, write, connect with people, help and inspire others, look at
beautiful things and share pretty pictures!! 


Thanks for stopping in
today, hope you enjoyed hearing what I have to say and thank you ladies
for having me here.
 

Wishing everyone a fabulous day.......and happy holidays! 

Thanks Tina.....we enjoyed having you!
To visit Tina's Blog go here.





 

41 comments:

  1. This was just as wonderful as I was hoping it would be! Such great words of wisdom and so much truth! Tina and I actually began blogging about the same time…she has been a tremendous resource for me as well as an encourager! Y'all were so kind to share all of this wisdom with us! I love your blog so much and just like Tina said..it has been so wonderful to make new friends through the blogging world! Thanks for taking the time to always comment and to share such wonderful bits and pieces of your design work with us…and I love hearing about your personal lives as well!

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  2. What a great post! I have enjoyed Tina's blog immensely! She has offered some excellent insight! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  3. I love Tina's blog! She is so sweet! Her style is impeccable And her shop full of gorgeous pieces. I appreciate her advice. I have been blogging for a few years and keep trying to GROW my blog but so far, not alot. Well, I will continue to try to "find my niche". XO, Pinky

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  4. Tina is such a sweetheart and her home and shop are beautiful. I am such a big fan.

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  5. Julie and Danni,

    What a treat to get all of this incredible advice! I'm so new at this still, so this is very, very helpful. Tina knows what she is talking about. She's an amazing lady who will continue to do great and interesting things! Thank you so much for sharing this with your readers!

    Jennifer

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  6. What a fabulous interview with one of my very most favorite blog friends. Such great advice and what a treat to get to see all of the gorgeous images of her amazing home. I definitely think the success of Tina's blog is her genuine interest in what she posts and the thoughtful comments she leaves. A true gem in the blog world...

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  7. This was so great to read! I've been at this almost a year (in Jan 2013) and it has been so rewarding so far but I've still got a lot to learn! I would love to open up on online shop some day, too...in time...but for now am always looking for ways to keep building the blog. It's great advice to just continue doing what you love, being true to yourself and your personality and the followers and readership will come if they really like what you have to say. This was a wonderful post. Thanks for having Tina!

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  8. Awwww... this was so amazing. I love the way Tina talks. I feel like i'm listening to a good friend who is totally down to earth, and is experiencing everything i have experienced blogging, being clueless, and surprised, and excited, and finding amazing friends... What a great post!

    Cindy

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  9. loved learning more about the birth of 'enchanted home' and love sharing the journey with tina. she is a rare blogger methinks--staying true to herself and grounded in humility despite all the accolades.

    so grateful to call her friend.

    :)
    michele

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  10. Visiting via Tina at The Enchanted Home. She's awesome!!! I can't wait to have a look around here. Looks very lovely!

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  11. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Tina's story. Her blog is unique because it is so personal and honest.
    She has a way of making you feel like she is talking to you over a cup of coffee!

    Tina deserves all the success that she has worked so hard for.
    It's been a joy sharing her journey on the Enchanted Home.

    xo
    Brooke

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  12. I really enjoyed reading this post! As a relatively new blogger Tina has some great advice! Thank you for sharing!

    xo
    Mollye

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  13. fascinating tina!

    i remember when you entered the world of blogging and have watched your success with delight, you rock!
    xo
    debra

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  14. fascinating tina!

    i remember when you entered the world of blogging and have watched your success with delight, you rock!
    xo
    debra

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  15. Very worthwhile tips from a master blogger (or should it be Mistress??) Tina not only has excellent taste, but is charming, warm and witty. Definitely one of my favourites! x Sharon

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  16. I love Tina, she is as kind and generous as her home is beautiful. I cannot wait to see what she does with this chateau!

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  17. Hi Julie and Danni,
    Thank you for having Tina, her vision has come true and it is amazing!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art*by*Karena

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  18. Great tips and advice. It was fun to read while looking at beautiful pictures.

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  19. I am a big fan of Tina and Enchanted Home. I love her style, her writing, her warmth and humor. All the success she has received is well deserved, you can tell she really loves what she does and is such a nice person. I wrote her months ago about paint color and she was incredibly helpful though I am sure she had better things to do.
    I love her home and think her online store is amazing,I have bought several items already and plan to do some shopping for the holidays there this week. Great interview. Thank you and your interior design work is beautiful!

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  20. I love Tina, she is as kind and generous as her home is beautiful. I cannot wait to see what she does with this chateau!

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  21. I think I stand first in line in a very LONG line of people who love and adore Tina. She is an amazing talent. I have loved watching her blog grow into a real business. She is authentic and real, which is why people are drawn to her. Not to mention she has an amazing home we all drool over. She sent me some amazing emails when I was at a low point in my divorce. The chick rocks. Love her. xo

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  22. This was so great. I do not have a blog but at times have thought about starting one but have no idea what I would say. Great advice though for anyone thinking of it. I do admire her determination, beautiful and enviable style but her friendliness makes you just like her more. Her new store is also really beautiful and I love every single item. Happy to find your blog too, am going to follow you now.

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  23. Hi! Just found your blog thanks to Tina. I will definitely be tuning in in the future - great blog. I have been following Tina for about a year now. When I see her blog pop up in my email in the AM, I grab a cup of coffee, sit at my computer and know my day will start off great! I loved learning how Tina started her blog.

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  24. Lovely post Tina and lots of good advice. Your followers will follow you anywhere!!!

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  25. I agree with what Tina has to say about blogging...

    it is an enriching pastime and one that truly allows us to express ourselves. I love the way it removes all geographical boundaries... how we can make friends all over the world... and share our common interests and passions...

    Tina's blog is a favourite of mine and I am very happy to have found T&G... Thanks for the great post... xv

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  26. Great post! I can see why she has been so successful with her blog and now her store.

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  27. SOOO not surprised that Tina delivered an awesome post! Tina, LOVE the new (to me anyway) images of the house - stunning as always!
    Stacy

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  28. I never tire of seeing Tina's home and business. So much gorgeousness everywhere, and I am in love with Teddy. He is adorable.
    Thank you for sharing more of her world with us.
    Happy Tuesday.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  29. I look forward to Tina's blog when I get home from a very stressful day at work! She has impeccable taste and her online shop is fantastico! I have ordered from her and I am very happy with my purchase. I even won a give-away which I was thrilled to receive! You won't be sorry to follow her...Now, get going!

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  30. I enjoyed hearing how Tina started. I follow her blog and yours with each new post and am always inspired.
    Karen

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  31. Tina is my all time favorite blogger and it is wonderful to hear how she got started. And, I discovered your blog in the process! I can't wait to browse through old posts!

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  32. This was just, outstandingly a beautiful reading that I truly enjoyed....thank you so much for the incouragement to contintue trying with my blog!

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  33. What a beautiful and informative post. I feel like Tina is a friend, and I love her writing style, of course her home, her shop and her taste. Its such fun following her and her blog and this was interesting to know how she started it all. Happy to find your blog as well, thank you both.

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  34. Wow! What a helpful and inspiring post! I have only been blogging a few months and finding information about blogging from a successful blogger in the home decor area is not that easy to find. Reading this was like sitting with a friend who has been there and done that and is kind enough to share the experience. Thank you, thank you!! Boy, did I need that!

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  35. She makes me want to start a blog! I really enjoy my morning coffee and my time at Tina's enchanted home, I have gotten so many great ideas from her blog and have enjoyed buying some great things for my home that are not so easy to find. I enjoyed knowing more about the process behind the blog and her online store, sounds like a lot of work but guess when you love what you are doing, it does not feel like work.

    Your interior design work is really beautiful and its always nice to find out about another great blog!

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  36. Tina's blog was one of the first I read. It was wonderful to read about her new house coming together - the highs and the lows, weighing in on various options for fixtures, fabrics and so on. It looks fabulous! I have also purchased an item from her shop and I love it - it was perfectly packaged, too. Her advice is very sound - "stay true" and "be authentic".

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  37. Fantastic and very informative guest post! I think Tina has amazing taste, and the most glorious home....especially the loggia / veranda.
    Thank you all!
    Loi

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  38. It is wonderful to read more about Tina, and hear about her personal experiences with blogging and her online store. Her blog is one of my favorites, and she is one of the most supportive bloggers out there, always commenting on so many blogs, reaching out and always inspiring with her own blog.

    - Holly

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  39. Julie and Tina, great post full of some really fun information! Love both of your blogs and I am glad to say you both have become blogging buddies too!!
    Merry Christmas,Kathysue

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  40. Tina is all that and a hot cup of coffee in my book....so sweet and supportive...I really do hope I get to meet her one day and give her a big hug!

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  41. I just visited Tina's blog today. Wow, just wow. She has a really beautiful dining table setting. The eating utensils are perfect and I'm loving the chandelier that looks elegant and eye-catching in the room. I don't find it dull touring her blog because I enjoyed the photos. Thank you for featuring Tina's blog in here.

    My blog: Easy Home Concepts - http://easyhomeconcepts.com

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