April 24, 2015

Sauble Beach on a cloudy day. But still makes for a lovely photograph.
The MBA is officially done! What a memorable and rewarding journey it has been.

04.24.15c

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 12:52 pm
April 13, 2015

A sky ride from Santa Cruz to remind you of childhood memories. :)

04.12.15b

Happy birthday to the most amazing man I know – my husband, Chris.

Today I can’t stop thinking about our big trip in June!!! Among many wonderful things, this is by far one of the best. It’s like a reward for having been insanely busy the last 8 months. We will be away for 3 weeks in Iceland, France, and Italy and we’ve rented a car for the entire trip. Just thinking about road trips in the European countryside makes my heart explode.

In Iceland, we will be hitting multiple stunning places that I can neither spell or pronounce but we are essentially tackling the eastern and western quadrants of the country over a 4-day period. Neither of us have been to Iceland, so it should be shockingly beautiful. Then we head to Italy, specifically to Florence, the rolling hills of Tuscany, and Cinque Terre. Neither of us have been to Tuscany or Cinque Terre, so I’m sure we will be paralyzed by beauty there, too. Then we head to France, specifically to Nice, Aix / Provence, Arles / The Camargue, and Paris. Provence was on the hit list particularly for lavender fields; we timed our trip the best we could to see them in full bloom. Arles was on the hit list particularly for The Camargue and its majestic white horses. I. Can’t. Wait.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 12:38 pm

I’m a little bit late to the game here since the show ended almost two weeks ago. I’ve just been swamped between getting the fine tuning done on this website, to wrapping up the MBA program, particularly our thesis/capstone project, to processing and fulfilling custom orders from the show!

The show was a tremendous success. We couldn’t be happier with the results and it was by far one of the most rewarding experiences yet. Seeing customers connect with our product the way we’d hoped, was just the best feeling in the world. No words can describe.

Our booth that we worked extremely hard on received an honourable mention from the One of a Kind team, so that’s definitely worth a pat on the back! I’ve attached some photos below for your viewing pleasure (excuse the bad lighting that the Direct Energy Centre is responsible for). :) We also hired Studio95 (the same guys who produced our wedding video) to film the booth, so we have a little One of a Kind short story asset for keeps. We’re hoping to publish the video over the next 6 weeks.

We had many custom orders to fulfill after the show, which kept us quite busy but there is no better type of “busy” than this! We ended up hand-delivering all custom orders right to our customers’ doors. I for one have always wanted to do that. :)

We are thinking about participating in the Christmas show in a bigger booth space, so that’s definitely in our radar and we’ll keep you posted on that note. :)

That’s it, that’s all for now! xo

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Posted By Charlene Precious @ 3:24 pm

I am so excited to announce the official launch of the new Charlene Precious Co. branding and fully loaded e-commerce website. We’ve been very hard at work since November and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the fruits of your labour. It took as long as it did because we worked and worked and worked to make sure that every I was dotted and every T crossed. The devil is in the details! But alas, here we are!

Before I talk about anything else, I have to give credit where credit is due. This website that is both intense beauty and brains was brought to life by Carissa Bean from Designing Fresh. After working with her, I will never work with another designer and developer. She works crazy hard for you and is committed to bringing your vision to life. She is immensely skilled, talented, smart, and patient with a constant can-do attitude. Above all else, she truly delivers on exceptional customer service and everything she promises to her clients. I have never had such a smooth and pleasant experience executing a web project with this level of complexity. I highly recommend this world class designer and developer when you’re ready to build your dream space on the web. You won’t regret it. I can’t thank you enough, Carissa. You ARE a superstar.

Now, the website itself! If I were to be completely honest, it’s probably going to be a work in progress forever, so let’s call this Phase 1. :) There is still so much to the vision and so many more things we want to build out, but it’s going to take time, so time is our friend.

Having said that, here’s Phase 1, which we are super proud of. There are a few key areas on the site: the e-commerce shop, the blog, the portfolio, and the ideas in progress. But in and around these areas, are literally layers and layers of goodies, so peruse away and enjoy the new look (and embrace all the details)! :) Our Etsy shop will remain open for those who love shopping on Etsy, but note that our very own shop right here is now up and running with 100% secure checkout! We’ve made everything as intuitive and user friendly as possible, so we hope it’s a pleasant shopping experience! However, you are the customer and only you can be the judge of your shopping experience with us! And because your feedback matters tremendously, we want to hear from you! If you come across any hiccups or have any comments or suggestions, we are all ears. Please contact us here or email us directly at hello@charleneprecious.com. :)

The branding! If I have not already previously shared our mission statement, here it is! We formulated our mission statement last spring and it has been carrying us over the past year. There is nothing more important than a clear mission/purpose to guide everything you do for your business. :)

Our mission is to bring you a moment of warmth and happiness through images that evoke sweet nostalgia reminding you of a beautiful time, or a sense of connectedness and bond to a friend or loved one.

We thought, what better way to capture this than a lovely ferris wheel along with our tagline, Adrift In A Sweet Rewind. It just all snapped perfectly together like puzzle pieces waiting to be connected – it was as perfect of a match as peanut butter and jelly! And of course, as a marketer, this was by far my favourite part of the journey.

With that, I’ll leave you to peruse! I’ll be back to share our experience at the One of a Kind Show in our next post, so stay tuned!!

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Posted By Charlene Precious @ 6:05 pm
April 2, 2015

I will be back at full speed and very active in about a week’s time with an official launch note on the site and a debrief on the amazing One of a Kind Show experience! We’re just currently under a rock, fulfilling custom orders and still tweaking a few areas on the site (so if you see anything funny, rest assured that we’re on it), but just wanted to post a quick note! <3

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 11:20 am
March 10, 2015

Oh how quickly the weeks pass! Not that life wasn’t exciting before but between now and July, there is so much going on and I’m squirming with excitement for everything.

I’ve previously mentioned that this entire website is getting made over (by a professional designer and developer, not DIY :)). That was back in November when the project commenced. We are now 4 months in and it’s almost ready to launch in (cross your fingers) two weeks’ time!!! I’m sooooo excited!!! Please be sure to check back often because we are at the home stretch and the brand spanking new site will be unveiled really soon!

Next, there’s the One of a Kind Show in two weeks’ time as well. Everything is coming together and most of my anxiety has subsided and now I’m just overwhelmed with excitement! If you have not yet purchased your tickets, discounted ones are available here. I really hope you can make it out! :)

The MBA is almost done – also at the home stretch. There’s about a month left to go and then officially graduating from the program – that’s undoubtedly extremely exciting!!

Our honeymoon trip is half-booked. We are picking and choosing the most beautiful pockets in Iceland, France, and Italy, and I can’t wait to bring back THOUSANDS of new photographs. I feel like I’ve been so busy running the business side of things for the last 8 months that I haven’t been able to go out and take new photographs! But this 3-week trip is here to make up for all of it. I’ll get into the details of the trip in another post. :)

In essence, I’m still here and trying to blog at least once every two weeks. Here’s some countryside love.

03.10.15b

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 1:24 pm

I thought I’d take some time to dedicate a proper blog post to the One of a Kind Show 2015 given how wonderful it truly is and of course, the amount of time, energy, and resources it is taking me to get ready for it as a first-time exhibitor. By virtue of these, it deserves more than just a few words!

For those who have never been to the One of a Kind Show 2015 or don’t know about it, it is considered the flagship destination to shop for handmade goods (with a level of exclusivity) and is the most established and attended show of its kind in North America. This is the destination to shop from hundreds of artisans, makers, and designers across the country and this Spring, from Wednesday, March 25th to Sunday, March 29th, at the Direct Energy Centre, I am honoured to be joining this fantastic community as an exhibitor. This is my first juried show (one that’s the size of a mammoth in my eyes) and I’m feeling mostly excited sprinkled with a little bit of edginess – emotions which are expected when taking on a big hairy project, of course.

One of a Kind Show Toronto at Direct Energy Centre

What I love about the show is that it cultivates the skills, workmanship, and talents of artists across Canada. The values upon which the show is founded truly strikes a chord; they care about providing artists with a credible platform to present their unique and original crafts and to reach a special and sizable group of loyal consumers (over 60,000), who appreciate handmade goods like no other. As such, the show becomes an invaluable opportunity to take an artisan’s business to the next level.

I attended the Christmas show this past December and the most wonderful realization was that every dollar I spent on any given handmade item, albeit pricey at times, goes into a hardworking artisan’s pocket and allows them to continue pursuing their passion and creating beautiful things right in our own backyard. I remembered just how much I gawked at every shop, soaking in every detail, scanning products in sheer wonder, and deeply appreciative of the talent and creativity all around me.

Handmade goods for One of a Kind Show Toronto 2015 Products (in order) by The Imagination Spot, Ed Colberg, Two Cent Sparrow, Fionna Hanna, Bookhou, Tanya Love, Stitch & Spoke, Little Bellwoods, Route 401

It’s less about greed, capitalism, and consumerism when our dollars aren’t simply going to millionaires and billionaires who often (not always) rely on questionable labour practices and inadequate wages to faceless workers in developing countries. There’s simply an air of magic and delight when it comes to supporting a Canadian artist-entrepreneur and giving a unique, handmade gift to a friend or loved one. This is more about embracing homegrown skill and talent than anything else and it is really no different than supporting local entrepreneurs and startups, although sadly, I realize that artisans aren’t often immediately seen as entrepreneurs – a false perception that must change!

My husband and I are truly so excited to be a part of the show this Spring and represent my nostalgic art in the flesh. It is a big step for us to build this temporary storefront from virtually nothing! We’ve been very hard at work and this is easily one of the most resource-intensive commitments, yet we know it will be among the most rewarding.

If you have not yet purchased your tickets for the One of a Kind Show 2015 in Toronto, you can absolutely do so through my exhibitor link right here and enjoy a little discount. If you do join the handmade fun, which I truly hope you do, please be sure to swing by and say hello! We’ll be in booth #A38! If you’d like to pre-browse all the goodies, the shop is always open! Enjoy and ciao for now! :)

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 6:25 pm