Posts Tagged ‘business’

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In last week’s post of 20 things I’ve learned in my 20s, the last and most important thing for me was to ‘Trust your gut’.

That’s what I did recently after a lightbulb moment told me I should completely cut out one major aspect of my stationery business Akimbo. I’d been trying to build the retail and wholesale side of the business (after all, who doesn’t love making money while they sleep?). But in truth it just took time and energy away from what I really love doing: designing wedding stationery.

I’m normally an overthinker and a planner (there’s the Type A for you) but in this case I made the decision as soon as the idea formed. Perhaps I would have come to the realisation much sooner if I’d not been working myself so hard last year. It took me forcing myself away from work on nights and weekends and a moratorium on new projects for that to happen. My gut already knew what to do, I just needed to stop and listen to it.

Of course, my timing is laughable since we have just bought a new house with a big studio for me and now I won’t be needing all this space to store inventory and packaging. Ah, well!

It’s pretty amazing how well our intuition can guide us if we only let it.


With the decision made, I am clearing out all of my remaining stock and get ready for this next phase of my business. I don’t normally do any promo for my business here but I know there are plenty of stationery lovers among you so I didn’t want you to miss out.

You can find all of my regular sale stock on my web shop as well as a bunch of special ‘lucky dip’ clearance packs over on my Etsy shop.



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This weekend my stationery biz Akimbo will be once again at Bowerbird Bazaar. It will be a HUGE one, so write that Christmas shopping list and find some comfy shoes.

22nd-24th November
Friday 4-9pm
Saturday & Sunday 10-5pm

Stirling Angas Pavilion, Adelaide Showgrounds

For more details, head to the Bowerbird Bazaar website.

It’s always so lovely meeting blog readers in real life so if you’re there, make sure you introduce yourself!

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I was going through some of my recent Instagrams and thought it would be fun to share what I’ve been up to when not chained to my keyboard…

Turner exhibition

Visiting the Turner from the Tate exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia.


Out and about in the city.

Alpha Box & Dice

The very cool cellar door of Alpha Box & Dice on a wine tour with friends.

New Akimbo business cards

My new business cards.

Shoot day with Jen Sando

Product photo shoot with Jen Sando.

Foxy new bag

I got the bag I wanted for my birthday, yay!

Akimbo Bowerbird stall

My stall backdrop at Bowerbird Bazaar.

Pretty flowers at Bowerbird Bazaar

Floral arrangements at Bowerbird Bazaar.

Flowers and new print

Sweet little vignette at home.

Shopping at Freedom

Shopping at Freedom.

Making pie

Making my first pumpkin pie.

You can follow me on Instagram for more!


I’m a little bit bummed that I’m not attending the Kidspot Voices of 2013 Launch Party this weekend as it’s in another state. So I think I should do something fun to cheer myself up.

What are your fave activities for a fun weekend at home?

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Akimbo at Bowerbird Bazaar

I’ve mentioned my big weekend at Bowerbird Bazaar a couple of times this week so I think it’s high time I showed you some photos!

Last time my stall setup was pretty basic as I was just trialling the market to see if it would work for my business. Thankfully it did so this time around I put a fair bit more effort into my display. It still has a way to go but I am quite happy with it.

Akimbo at Bowerbird Bazaar

Akimbo at Bowerbird Bazaar

I launched some new products including these screenprinted white on kraft cards which were a hit so I’m very happy with that! (Coming to the online shop soon.)

Akimbo at Bowerbird Bazaar

Akimbo at Bowerbird Bazaar

Akimbo at Bowerbird Bazaar

Thank you SO much to my friends and family for their support, especially my Dad for helping set up and The Man for being there helping all weekend.

And a HUGE shout out to all you lovely readers who came along and said hello! It’s so nice to put faces to the blog stats 😉

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Akimbo Clever Hello Club

How are we today, friends? I’m still recovering from my huge weekend at Bowerbird Bazaar – no stamina now since I turned 29 on Saturday 😉

I wanted to tell you about an awesome project I’ve been working on and have just released. Called the Clever Hello Club, it’s a greeting card subscription service where you receive two of my Akimbo cards each month.

Some will be seasonal and others will be for life’s occasions, both big and little. I love having a stash of cards ready to go for any occasion because I hate that last-minute dash to the shops before a party, don’t you?

You can choose from either a 6 or 12 month subscription for yourself or as a gift (ahemmothersdayahem). And because I know you’re spread all over the world, I’m not charging any more for international shipping (you can’t say I don’t look after you!).

I’m currently taking orders for the first shipment which will go out in June. Join us in the Clever Hello Club!

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Bowerbird Bazaar May 2013 flyer

I’m currently packing my gear to head off to set up my stall at Bowerbird Bazaar for another year.

It’s a really awesome market full of handmade and designer wares by indie artists. So if  you’re in Adelaide and are looking for quality homewares, art, stationery, fashion or Mother’s Day gifts, come on over to the Wayville Showgrounds this weekend!

There’s also lots of yummy food and entertainment so it’s a great day out. It’s open tonight 4-9pm and Saturday & Sunday 10am-5pm.

The Akimbo stall will be along the back wall and it will be bursting with never-before-seen products which I’m crazy excited about. I LOVE meeting readers in person so make sure you come and say hello!

P.S. Follow me on Instagram for behind the scenes snaps during the market.

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I am super excited to announce a new column on Atypical Type A: a book club. Yay!

On the first Monday of each month I will be reviewing a decorating / organising / cooking / craft / lifestyle / creative business book. Some will be new release and others old favourites, but either way they’ll be titles I think you’ll really dig. I’ll share my thoughts on it and invite you to do the same. Let’s get started!

First cab off the rank is Mom, Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco and Cat Seto.

Mom, Inc.

Like many people, I first discovered Meg Mateo Ilasco through her first book a from few years ago Craft, Inc. and was impressed with her practical, easy-to-read style. I’ve been a keen follower of the Incorporated series since, buying the first three and currently awaiting shipment of the most recent.

For the third book in the series, Mom, Inc., Meg collaborates with Cat Seto to share their knowledge about what it takes to juggle a home-based business with parenthood. It might seem strange that I would buy this book when I don’t have children, but I was hoping the advice would be applicable to anyone seeking to find a balance of personal life with a business.

Chapter 1: The Entrepreneurial Mom

The opening chapter covers what it takes to be a business mum and suggests the idea of writing a ‘Mom Statement’, like a business mission statement. It gives advice on choosing the right business for you, finding time to start your new enterprise and how to stay focused – all of which are useful for anyone starting a home business, not just mothers.

Chapter 2: Starting a Blog

There’s no assumed knowledge here: it goes right back to the basics of explaining what a blog is and has a great description of post types and earning strategies. Having had a blog for nearly three years myself, I appreciated the ladies giving starry-eyed newbies a reality check with the line “It’s a low-risk, low-investment venture that can only pay off with a high level of commitment and patience”. Well said!

Chapter 3: Offering a Service

Service-based creatives such as writers, designers, illustrators and photographers will find practical information in this chapter, such as what to put in your portfolio and how to find clients. Having struggled with the trickier issues of freelancing myself such as setting your hourly rate and what to include in your contract, I can vouch for this section being particularly useful.

Chapter 4: Creating a Product

Chapter four opens with an absolute gem of a tip: go trendspotting on blogs, Pinterest, magazines etc… this will tell you what NOT to do. Awesome advice since so many businesses (new or not) seem to take the exact opposite approach. The rest of the chapter guides you through prototyping, market research and production, plus the all-important wholesaling.

Chapter 5: Opening an Online Retail Shop

The section on opening an online store covered topics such as sourcing stock, pricing and setting your terms and conditions. It will help you weigh up the pros and cons of an Etsy shop vs. a your own branded shop – an important consideration. The part about shipping was explained particularly well.

Chapter 6: Business Basics

I think it was quite clever to put the ‘basics’ chapters later in the book, after it had already guided the reader through the process of deciding what type of business was right for them. I found myself nodding through the section on ‘establishing an original brand’ – it was only a single page but explained so clearly. The ladies give their experienced advice on financial, legal structure, taxes, trading names, goal setting and productivity. The advice about keeping your mission statement visible at all times is something I should do myself.

Chapter 7: Getting the Word Out

Marketing is crucial to any business and there’s some great info here, whether you decide to DIY or outsource it. I found the guide to writing press releases and creating a press kit invaluable and will be referring back to it.

Chapter 8: Surviving the Juggle

The final chapter is the only one that is actually dedicated to balancing parenthood and business, but even then plenty of the advice is useful regardless of your home situation. This chapter will help you to deal with guilt, organise your day, learn to say ‘no’, find support and hire staff.


From my description you may be thinking “Where’s the ‘mom’ in Mom, Inc.?”. While it’s true that the chapters are laid out in business terms, the examples and inspiring case studies weaved throughout are all from the ‘mompreneur’ perspective.

Like the others in the Inc. series, I found it to be a realistic and practical guide that walks you through the process of starting a business step-by-step. Its friendly tone and bite-sized nuggets of wisdom would be easy to read while baby naps.

Some of it was quite basic for me since I’ve already been in business for three years but I still learnt a lot and it does cover some more advanced topics such as trade shows and finding an agent. Each topic is clearly laid out and explained concisely, rather than going into depth. It’s more of a primer to guide you in the right direction and from there you may need to do some more thorough research on the areas that particularly pertain to the type of business you decide on.

Mom, Inc. would be an indispensable guide if you want to start a family-friendly business from scratch or an imminent stork delivery will require you to make some changes to your existing creative business. I’m sure I’ll be lending to my girlfriends and re-reading it in the future.

Buy this book if you:

  • Know you want to run your own business but aren’t sure what type of business would suit you and your lifestyle.
  • Are just starting out in business and need a practical guide to help you through each step.
  • Need an all-in-one resource for handy tricks of the trade, lists of professional organisations and tech tools for the new small business owner.
  • Want to continue your creative career (or start a new one) once you start a family.
  • Want to launch a small business that feeds your creative passions on the side of your current job.
  • Want to learn how successful women balance their family responsibilities with their growing businesses.
  • Already run your own business but are looking to branch out into a new product or service offering.

This book may not be for you if you:

  • Have already been in business for some time and are happy with your income and life balance.
  • Require more advanced or in-depth business guidance.
  • Are looking for parenting advice.

Buy the book here!

Have you read Mom, Inc.? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

Post contains affiliate links.


Mod Poppies print

I know two posts a day is very unusual for me, but I wanted to drop back in to let you know that my business Akimbo is having a sale with $10 off all art prints.

I’m working on some new products and updating my packaging so I need to clear some space!

Regency alphabet print

Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner print

Wonderland 'Impossible Things' print

If you’re searching for a gift or something to brighten up your own walls, one of my art print could be just the ticket!


This makes the medium prints only $13 and the large prints only $26 (+10% GST for Australian orders).

Check out the full range here.

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San Francisco

While our trip was definitely not intended for working, on one of the days The Man went off shopping while I had a total stationery geek-out day.

First on the agenda was a trip to the headquarters of Hello!Lucky. It was so inspiring to visit the studio of this modern icon of the stationery world.

San Francisco

San Francisco

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One of these gorgeous letterpress prints came home with me.

San Francisco

San Francisco

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San Francisco

Even though they were busy finishing off jobs before the holidays, the lovely girls upstairs were happy to have a chat (and offer Christmas biscuits!) and printer John was kind enough to let me look on as he printed a batch of letterpress cards.

San Francisco

San Francisco

I then made my way with a skip in my step to The Makeshift Society for their Lunch Bunch. I totally felt like the shy new kid at school going up to the cool kids’ group but the ladies I met were super nice and welcoming. It was fascinating to hear more about the awesome things that are coming out of San Francisco and what they thought about Australian talent.

San Francisco

San Francisco

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San Francisco

After lunch we let founder Rena (pictured here with the cheeky grin) get back to work as fellow wedding stationery chick Andria kindly invited me back to her studio around the corner.

San Francisco

Andria is the talented lass behind Lilikoi, a boutique letterpress studio which has recently relocated from LA. It was so lovely to meet someone with a similar business to mine, share some stories and learn more about how the industry is in the US.

She gave me some gorgeous letterpress goodies which I’m looking forward to framing/using at home.

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

Time to hit the shops! I spent the rest of the afternoon cruising the Mission District by myself and OH MY is there some seriously awesome shopping to be done here!

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My fave was Aldea – check it out…

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See what I mean?! Perfection.

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

This shop was like visiting Charles Darwin’s study. Full of taxidermy, succulents, seashells, botanical charts and all kinds of curios, it was another world!

(I forgot to write down the name though, so if any locals know please tell us in the comments!) The shop is called Paxton Gate – thanks Rena!

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Since I was having a nice leisurely afternoon and could go wherever my whims took me, I followed this intriguing sign down the rabbit hole. What did I discover but a very cute Photojojo pop-up store.

I had already been on a bit of a Photojojo spending spree before the trip (buying gifts for some photography lovers in the family as well as picking up a tripod for our travels) so I didn’t need anything but it was really fun to see one of my favourite online stores come to life.

San Francisco

San Francisco

I would have felt like a bit of a tosser hamming it up in a photo booth by myself so you will have to settle for this photo of the empty booth.

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BellJar‘s tagline ‘Gorgeous little things’ said it all really.

San Francisco

Over the last couple of years I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Tracy of Wedding Lovely & Wedding Invite Love. She has been a big supporter of Akimbo so when I knew I was visiting her ‘hood, I just had to meet her!

We went out for some awesome tacos (seriously, you Californians should not have take your amazing Mexican food for granted) and afterwards met up with a bunch of other local wedding folks for drinks. To continue the general theme of the day, it was fantastic to hear about the wedding industry there and to share what I know about ours.

It was one inspiring day, that’s for sure!

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Scoutie Girl - Tooling Around: Business on the road

Inspired by our trip, I thought I’d make this instalment of Tooling Around all about working while travelling. Although most of the tips apply to any kind of travel, whether you have a business or not.

Read the whole article here.

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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New? Start Here!