Friday, August 31, 2012

A re-introduction....

When my little blog was just a bitty baby, all of 4 or 5 months ago, I posted an introduction to me. At the time, I think I had less than 50 or so followers, and since then, that number has tripled, so I thought it'd be fun to do a little re-intro!

So I am pleased to re-introduce you to...... ME!

I am Ricki.

I am 28 (almost 29). I grew up in Northern Idaho, but I call Southern Oregon home nowadays. I am wife to a wonderful husband. We celebrate our 9 year wedding anniversary next week and he is truly my best friend.

I am mama to one amazing little girl. She is almost 2 1/2, and I can honestly say, the past 2 years have been the most joyful and rewarding of my life! She makes me laugh daily, proud beyond words, and feel so blessed to be her mama.

By day, I am employed full time outside of the home as a Mortgage Loan Officer for a community bank. I have been in banking for about 5 years now. I genuinely can say I do enjoy my job, although I do have days I'd love to stay home and snuggle with my baby girl!

24/7, I am owner of The Rogue Baby. My dream was to open a baby & children's store here in Southern Oregon, but reality set in, and I decided in this economy, it was probably not the wisest investment. So Rogue Baby Boutique has evolved into an Etsy shop here and Children's Boutique via Facebook here.

My Etsy shop started with the custom diaper wipes cases I began making last year. I began making custom hair bows, headbands, and other fun accessories shortly thereafter. Over the summer I was overwhelmed with orders for custom hair flowers and shoe clips for weddings, which has been so much fun. I hope to continue to expand the handmade division of The Rogue Baby over the coming months. Coming soon - More photo props and petti romper sets!

The other side to Rogue Baby is baby & toddler clothing. I began opening wholesale accounts with many fun clothing brands like: Hatley, Trumpette, & BabyLegs when the plan was to open a brick & mortar shop. So I still have quite the inventory of new adorable baby items - as well as a huge selection of gently used name brand clothing, shoes, and accessories. The items available for sale can be found on our Facebook page. I have tons of Trumpette sock sets and Baby Legs leg warmers at deep discounts! Feel free to contact me for more info.

So there it is, a quick glimpse at the gal behind Rogue Baby! Glad to have all you new readers here and look forward to getting to know you all too!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rambling and Vacation Brain

I really couldn't think of a better title for today, because, well, I had no real theme going on here. Just a lot on my mind without any real subject to my post. I've got vacation brain. You heard it! I've got 2 more work days before I have a whole week off!! #can'tfocus

Super excited to see my family and spend some quality time relaxing! Still contemplating on bringing the laptop and working on my Etsy shop or choosing Vacation Mode...

In other news, anyone else looking forward to fall as much as I am? While I feel summer was too short, as it always is. I look forward to t-shirt and jeans weather, crisp clear nights, a lower electric bill, and all things pumpkin.

Yes indeed. I love pumpkin lattes, pumpkin cheesecake, etc. And you know what follows that... yup, peppermint mochas, chocolate peppermint cupcakes, etc. In other words, I'm going to gain another 15 lbs in t-minus 3 months. #fail #losingthebattle

Here's my little princess - all dressed up for "cowboy/cowgirl" day at school. Isn't she precious? I'm not biased or anything. ;)

I've seriously had writers block lately. So I apologize for my lack of posts. I decided to take a step back from the blog hops, the link ups, and so forth and just appreciate my little blog for what it's worth. A little part of me I'm sharing. #backtothebasics

I guess I want someone to follow me, because they care about what I have to say and share, and not just for a chance to win a giveaway. That's not to say you won't see any giveaways here anymore. There will be. Some fantastic ones. But in my heart of hearts, I want the blog to reflect me.

I just want to take a moment to thank my readers who come here to hear about my life, my business, my projects, etc. It means the world to me that you take the time to stop by and leave comments. You're the best!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I see you!

Or at least I can now... I have worn glasses since I was eleven and contacts since age fifteen. I've considered lasik in the past, but in all honesty, contacts really don't bug me that much. And sometimes I just kind of feel cute in my glasses.

I had a hard time finding a photo of me in my glasses. I got the ones in this photo about 2 1/2 years ago. Aren't they cute? I love them, but I recently started thinking I need a new pair. Maybe something funner.. with some color.

I had no idea until recently that you can buy eyeglasses online! The idea of online eyeglasses seemed a little scary at first. I mean, this is definitely something you need to try on first right? Well, not with today's technology! makes it easy peasy.

They have this super fun "try it on" feature and Virtual Optician. You can try the "try it on" feature right here on my little old blog...Go for it! I'd love to see your photos!

These two are my favorites! I would love for ya'all to leave comments and let me know which glasses frames you think I should order. I'm really digging the pop of color on both of these!
Also, did I tell you how great their deals are? Yeah, of the 2 frames I narrowed it down to, neither are over $75. And they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, including exchange, refund, or store credit options. To top it off, right now I get to offer you this sweet deal!
Take 15% off + get free shipping on your entire order(orders over $50). Code: FS15 Take 10% off any order of prescription glasses. Code: Blog10

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What's in a name?

So what's in a name?

I began thinking today, some folks may not understand the choice of my shop name. And rightly so.

The Rogue Baby.

Rogue is described as a playfully mischievous person or scamp.

Which, undoubtedly describes many of your babies, right? But no, that's not where it came from.

And while I love Rogue Ales, not from that either.

So where did "The Rogue Baby" originate?

Well, it's really rather simple. We live in the Rogue Valley of Oregon, on the beautiful Rogue River!

The original plan was a brick and mortar children's shop, where the name would have made all kinds of sense, but the economy and life happened, and here we are! Repping the Rogue Valley via the interweb!

Monday, August 20, 2012

I need to get this off my chest....


I am about 13 hours into a 24 hour heart monitor test. The stupid adhesive itches like crazy and I'm so ready to get this cluster eff of wires off of me! I was born with a heart murmer (sp?). (It's late, and I'm too lazy to do spell check. Sue me.)

I've never really experienced any issues with my heart until I was pregnant with our daugther. At my very first doctor appointment. You know, the one where you've already taken the at home test, but you go to your Dr. just to make sure? Yeah, that one.

The Dr. noticed my heart beat was very irregular, so I had an immediate EKG and was referred to a cardiologist. Cardiologist determined "abnormal heartbeat without consequence." He told me I'd be more prone to passing out or fainting than most folks, and would have dizzy spells and feel light headed, but that was just part of the game. And I'd just have to deal with it.

In the past few months, my heart has been fluttering, beating oddly, and just not quite feeling right, so that brings us to where I'm at tonight. Itchy and irritated!

Wanna know the worst things about this stupid contraption?

1.) They sterilize your skin first, then scratch it with what feels like sand paper so the stickies really adhere to your skin. Which didn't feel awesome.

2.) I have 6 of these things hanging from me (4 on my chest and one on each side of my ribs),all leading to the hand held monitor thingy that I had to tote in my pocket.

3.) The looks you get when out and about, or at work, are.. well interesting. (remember, I work at a bank...) No I'm not wearing a "wire" and no it's not a bomb! Really wish I coulda done this in winter, so I could have worn a turtle neck or something...

4.) What happens when you gotta pee? Seriously, hold stupid handheld part up while trying to hover over public restroom seat at work because seat covers were empty. Awesome-sauce!

5.) I don't get to take my bra off tonight, nor do I get to shower until it's removed. I apologize now to my co-workers. I am going to look like a hot mess in the morning.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

It's Ok....

I've come to the realization that....

It's ok to not post on my blog every day.

It's ok if not every post has pictures.

It's ok to not join every link up and blog hop.

It's ok to not participate in every giveway I am asked to.

It's ok to post only when I feel inspired to, and not when I feel obligated to.

It's ok to let my 2 year old have fish crackers and broccoli for dinner when she asks, every once in awhile.

It's ok to not like Twitter. If my Facebook wasn't connected to it, I'd probably only have 1/4 of the "tweets."

It's ok when people "unlike" your Facebook page for your business. It's their loss!

It's ok to ignore rude comments from folks mentioned in prior post.

Yup, it's all ok. Happy Thursday!

Its Ok Thursdays

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Etsy Selling Tips: Week 2

It's Tuesday again, and I'm here to share some more Etsy Selling Tips! So here's what I've got for this week.

1.) Join teams! I have found the Etsy Success team to be super helpful when I had silly good questions. I personally avoid the self promotion teams that "favorite the item above you" or "like the post above you's facebook page." These are views and favorites. Yes, you are increasing your views and stats, but this will NOT necessarily increase your sales. And to top it off, you are expected to promote other shops just as equally. You will end up with thousands of "favorites" of items you don't even care about. I prefer to use my favorites for items I genuinely would like to purchase or really adore.

2.) Shop smart for supplies. If you order supplies online, try to save up and buy when they are on sale or when there is discounted shipping. Price your items out and try out new suppliers. I've found prices vary greatly between suppliers and am always on the lookout for new ones.

By waiting for a 25% off sale with free shipping over $40 (like I did last week from The Ribbon Retreat) you will increase your overall profit margin.

I got this adorable Chevron pattern fabric from The Ribbon Retreat. Doesn't it look simply adorable on this wipes case? Also, new this week, dark brown satin hair clips for fall.
If you shop local, my recommendation is to not over spend or over buy. It's easy to buy that cute ribbon when it is on sale, but really think about what you are going to use it for. If you don't intend on using it in the next few weeks, don't buy it. The exception being seasonal items on clearance that you absolutely know you will use later.

3.) Lastly for today. Have fun with it! I make my best new pieces and proto types when I'm just playing around with materials and having fun. If it ever starts to feel like a job, and I'm not enjoying it, I will probably take a leave of absence from Etsy for awhile. It is an artisan marketplace, where you are to find lovingly crafted and uniquely created items. (I'll save the cheap chinese item wholesalers for another day, that's a rant that deserves a post entirely of it's own!)

Do you have any Etsy questions? Or have some expertise to share? Let me know and I will try to include it in my next post.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

DIY: Flower Girl Shabby Pearl Necklace Tutorial

My daughter loves to go through my craft stash, and every time she finds the string of pearls, she says, "Make me necklace Mama, please!" So I decided to give it a try. I let her pick out the colors she wanted and just went for it.

Here is what you will need:

Glue Gun with Hot Glue
Necklace blank - found at craft store for a couple bucks. I think Walmart has them.
3/8" Ribbon - I used gross grain, but you could also use satin or another type.
Flowers - These could be shabby chiffon, or rolled rosette, etc.
Felt - I used white to match the necklace.
String of faux pearls - I buy mine by the yard at the fabric store.

First, I wrapped the pearls around the necklace and cut to length. Then I glued the first pearl at each end down, and then used glue to wrap the ribbon around that portion.

Then I cut two small felt circles out and placed them where the flowers would go on the necklace. Then you apply glue to the back of the flowers and glue them in place.

Easy Peasy! And my little girl loved it!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Etsy Selling Tips: Week 1

So last Saturday, I wrote a post called Five Things I'd Wished I'd Known About Starting an Etsy Shop. There was great response and so many good questions coming in through email! It was flattering, really!

I've decided to continue to share my Etsy selling knowledge weekly. I'm constantly learning and evolving my shop. So here's my tips for the week.

1.) Watermark your photos! You work hard on your items, and you want to get credit where credit is due right? Nothing stings worse for an Etsy seller than seeing their handmade creation posted blindly on Pinterest on a DIY or craft board with a comment saying, "I am so gonna make this." With absolutely no reference back to your shop. I am still in the works of getting all of my photos watermarked, but it's on my to-do list!

Here's an example of how I've watermarked mine.

If anyone is interested in a tutorial of how to watermark your photos in Picasa, let me know, and I'll get one posted!

2.) DO NOT make it a practice to give away your products for free! I made the mistake in the start of participating in SEVERAL giveaways. If you are opening your shop to make a profit, this is not the way to do it. While I'd like to think participating in the giveaways helped my Etsy shop, they really didn't. I did not see an increase in sales, and the new "likes" to my Facebook page, quickly dwindled after the giveaways were over.

If you are thinking of "giving away" a $10 item. Perhaps consider buying two $5 ad spots on some great blogs. Or give away that $10 item to a blogger who will review it for you and really promote your shop for you. I feel these are ways to get more bang for your buck.

On that note, make sure it is a blog you know and trust. How often does that blogger post? How many followers do they have? Are their followers likely to be interested in what you are selling? You sell baby items, great, look for a fantastic Mommy blog! You get the idea.

3.) I'm not certain how I feel about the BNS / BNR treasuries on Etsy. (Buy and Stay or Buy and Replace). Basically, you buy an item to be put on the list next, and someone buys your item to get their item up for sale on the treasury, and so forth. So you're spending money to make some money. Seems kind of silly to me. I'd love to hear from someone this works for though, and who might have some insights into it.

Well, I could keep going on and on, but then, what would I talk about next week?

Feel free to leave comments with anything you've learned from Etsy selling that you think might be helpful to others.

Got Etsy selling questions? Let me know! I will do my best to get your question answered. And, if your question gets answered in a future Etsy Selling Tips post, you will be entered to win a fantastic prize.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

5 Things I wish I'd known about starting an Etsy Shop

My little Etsy shop is almost 10 months old. I'm not going to lie. It did not take off as quickly as I'd initially hoped. Really, it didn't. I had these grand dreams of the sales rolling in. And they didn't. They still don't. But I think I'd have gotten off to a far better start, had I known the following.

Disclaimer: I did not read the Etsy Seller Handbook. Who does? Who has time for that? You go into it thinking, I've created an Ebay listing, how hard would it be to create an Etsy one? Ha ha, right.

1.) Photos are sooooo important.
Seriously, I'm not sure how I ever got my first sale with THIS photo....

Here is the same item (that has sold several times) but with a better photo.

2.) Renewing a listing often WILL NOT get you more sales / exposure. What it will get you is increased Etsy fees. The key to exposure if a good title, good description, good key words. Focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I am not expert on this by any means, but am learning!

3.) Views do not always equal sales, so don't stress over your stats. I average less than 100 views a day, but around 10 - 12 sales per month. When I participated in Etsy teams, sure I got a lot of views and favorites, but no increase in sales.

4.) This is probably true for any crafter / artist, even off Etsy... Do not overstock on supplies. Seriously, you will eat up any profit by investing too much in supplies. Find out what sells and stock up from there. I understand it's a necessity to come up with fresh new items, but I try to clean out and organize my crafting area at least once a month to determine what my "actual" supply needs really are.

5.) Pricing is important. I don't know how many times I am on Etsy thinking either, "Wow, are they on crack... $30 for a wipes case?" or "How do they make a profit at $5 for a wipes case." Know how much your supplies cost you, calculate your Etsy and Paypal fees, and your time as an artist. Price competitively, but price for profit as well!

Something else I've learned from Etsy is that it really can be a great community. I have met some pretty great people! I've also encountered not so great folks. It happens.

I am so proud of where my little shop is today. My goal is to hit 100 sales by our 1 year shop-iversary on 10/8/12. I am no expert, but welcome any questions you may have about selling on Etsy. Of course, I also welcome any suggestions ya'all might have too!

Happy Saturday!!

This weekend only. Use Code Bloglove for 25% off your order at The Rogue Baby.

Friday, August 3, 2012

I am so not hip.....

I have came to the realization recently that I am so out of the loop on what is cool when it comes to pop culture. Maybe I am just getting old? Maybe it's because we don't watch TV? (We don't get local channels and don't subscribe to cable or satelite, so I am limited to Netflix.)

Here are some recent examples:

I was like 2 weeks late in hearing that Katie left Tom.

I had no clue until this morning that Darius Rucker is/was Hootie.

And I had to google what ombre meant in regards to fashion, hair, etc. recently. No joke.

That's how out of the loop I am. Sometime I wonder how I can possibly function so naively?

There are some things I just.don't.get! I was reading today, and according to Forbes magazine, Kristen Stewart was the highest paid Hollywood actress in 2011. She made over $43 million dollars last year! 2nd place was Cameron Diaz at $39 million. $20 something million for Sandra Bullock, etc.

Kristen Stewart

Really?!?! Kristen Stewart seems to have one known facial expression, but this photo I found almost proved me wrong. Her voice drives me nuts, and she is not extraordinarily gorgeous. She is essentially very average. To top it off, her real life personality (from interviews I've seen) seems lacking as well. So how, in one short year, did she make $43 million dollars? More than most of us will ever make in our life times! Makes me go.. "hmmm..."

Maybe I just don't know what is cool anymore. Maybe pop culture just really isn't my thang. Is thang still cool to say? ;)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What I Wore - A day late, a dollar short....

So, this is my very first What I Wore post.... Yeah, it's a day late.... But I can't possibly join the ranks of such adorable, fashion smart girls like Made by Muchies Mama, Mom2MemphisandRuby, and Simply Just Lovely. So today you get the "B" team of What I Wore. You know... like the Sunday night News Team...

Today's outfit of choice is what I like to call "How to hide cover throw a tent over the muffin top."

See... bad muffin top in these work pants, but, I am too stubborn to buy new ones, when I NEED to lose weight...

Ta-Da!!! Layered ruffle shirts do magic in my opinion!!

Please excuse the bad hair day... I really need a cut / color!!

Earrings: Fred Meyer Jewelers (7 year anniversary present from Hubby)
Necklace: Cookie Lee
Cami: Target
Ruffled Shirt: Wal-mart. $3 special.
Pants: Maurices
Shoes: Skechers, first pair I've owned since middle school of Skechers, but found them at Ross and loved them.

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