Wednesday, August 31, 2011

{Marketing Tips} - Things you can do in under 5 minutes

  1. Add your business listing to YLM (Your Local Marketplace) - an online database for local businesses. It only takes a few minutes to do and you can include links to your website, Facebook page, Twitter account etc. which will boost your search engine optimization.
  2. Sign up for the newsletters of as many other local businesses you can think of to stay up to date with what they are doing. You might get inspired to do a cross promotion with a nearby shop.
  3. Offer to write a guest post for another local business's blog. It's a way to reach out to another local audience plus it benefits the other business with the new eyes you might draw. (The offer will be 5 minutes while writing the post might be a bit longer...)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

{Marketing Tips} - Things you can do in under 5 minutes

Today we begin our miniseries with tips to improve your small business marketing. Some are very simple and can be done immediately as you are sitting at your computer while others will take some thought. The best part is that they take 5 minutes (or less) to do!

  1. Celebrate the "special awareness days, weeks or months" with a savings coupon or targeted offering. For example, the second week in April is Ontario Coaches Week. If you owned a sports store you could offer a special discount to coaches during that week. Click here for a list of all the dates/weeks/months celebrated in Canada. (via Susan Kuchinskas on the American Express Open Forum)
  2. Get your business profile on LinkedIn. Not sure how to do that? This article will tell you how.
  3. Download one of these free podcasts from Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders to listen to while working on other projects.

Monday, August 29, 2011

{Sweet Treats} - Bredin's Bakery Beavertails

I never officially wrapped up the {Sweet Treats} segment from July because there was something missing...

Bredin's Bakery is a tradition in our house when it comes to birthdays. I always request a Bredin's chocolate cake while my sister always asks for vanilla. But besides birthday cakes, there is a trend sweeping the town and it is in the form of a decadent sugar-dipped pastry called a Beavertail. A relatively new offering in the world of Bredin's, these pastries are often sold out early in the morning so you have to be quick to score a batch. At 85 cents each, these pastries are definitely big enough to share but you just might find that you want the whole thing all to yourself.

[Bredin's Bakery - 12 Brock St. W, Uxbridge, (905) 852 7146]

Friday, August 26, 2011

{Trends Taking Root} - Travel Items

Since my sister is travelling to Vancouver for an extended period time it got me thinking about my favourite travel things. Whenever flying anywhere, it is important to be comfortable - especially if your flight is lengthy. My favourite outfit is a pair of leggings, a soft cotton t-shirt and a super comfy sweater. This shawl-collar cardi does the job perfectly!

When travelling to Vancouver it is important to take the weather into consideration (ie: the often present rain). What better way to stride through wet weather in style then with a pair of Hunter boots and a bubble umbrella!

And not to be forgotten when travelling is a great book. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants is an all-time favourite series to read while vacationing. Enjoy a quiet moment in the airport or at your destination with your book and a cup of loose-leaf tea with the David's Tea travel mug.

These are some of my recommendations for packing, but don't forget to leave room for things you find along your journey!

[Strawberry Threads, Urban Outfitters (umbrella and bag), Blue Heron Books, Burt's Bees, David's Teas]

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Birthday Ideas {From the Shops of Uxbridge}

August is a big month for birthdays in our house since both my husband and I celebrate ours, and we also have several friends who share this month with us. A beautiful dress, a little bubbly... fun ways to celebrate! Take a look at some of these birthday-themed finds from your local shops.

[Presents, Presents, Presents, Strawberry Threads, The Passionate Cook, La Petite Fleur]

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Books I Love...

I am a sucker for books. I can go into a used bookstore and be there for hours sifting through dusty stacks of old books looking for a hidden gem. What kind of books you may ask? Well I do love a fiction novel, but in this case, I am talking about the large hard cover format with illustrations or photographs. They are often about design (advertising or interior design) or sometimes they just feature artists.

They can even be cookbooks. For my birthday last week, my sister gave me a super thick cookbook called Tuscany. It's a gorgeous book feature featuring brilliant food photography as well as antidotes about where the ingredients come from accompanied by more photos.

Over the years I have ordered online, discovered in store and been given numerous books which I often thumb through for inspiration before starting a new project. Here are a few of my favourites.

(Top to bottom)

1. The Fashion Book by Phaidon - is a collection of biographies with accompanying images for fashion designers, illustrators and photographers.

2. Creative, INC. by Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho - is exactly as it's subtitle says 'The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business.' It is a great resource that is easy to read and perfect for highlighting points to remember. Unlike other business books, this one is specific to the creative industry which is why it is so useful.

3. Design It Youself  by Ellen Lupton - is a great resource for any small business owner because it has step-by-step instructions on how to create many promotional materials such as blogs, newsletters, note cards and even books.

4. domino by domino editors Deborah Needleman, Sara Ruffin Costello and Dara Caponigro - From the  time I picked up the very first issue of domino Magazine until it's final issue when the mag went defunct, I waited impatiently for the next issue each month. I still have every magazine ever issued and refer to them constantly. domino was a shelter magazine that went far beyond home decor. The book subsequently is all that remains and therefore is the best reference to have from this invaluable resource that was the magazine.

5. The Photo Book by Phaidon - is one of those books you pick up and start flipping through and then realize that many hours have passed. Formatted in the same way as The Fashion Book, The Photo Book features more photographers then you can ever imagine existed. The images are stunning and accompanying bios and descriptions bring even more life to each page.

6. The Small Stakes Music Posters by Jason Munn - features a collection of silkscreened posters for indie bands (or at least they started that way). Many of the bands featured have become household names and still tap Munn for his brilliance in both the techniques of silkscreening and his ability to visually depict their music.

7. Etcetera by Sibella Court - I've talked about this book before so I won't go into too much detail. Sibella Court is a stylist from Australia who has become world renowned for using the things you have in your home (or find on your travels) to create a space you will love to in. This book goes far, far beyond what you would imagine for a book about your house and the photography combined with graphics and typography take you on a visual journey that is captivating.

Don't forget to visit Blue Heron Books to order any of the above titles!

Friday, August 5, 2011

{How to...} - Claim your domain/username on Facebook

You've made the leap to put your business on Facebook and you're posting photos and information and have gained some followers. There are many other things you can do with this social application, but one really simple thing to do is claim your domain (or username as Facebook calls it).

What does that mean? For example, if you visit the Take Root Creative Facebook page and look in the web address box of your internet browser, you will see For pages that have not created a username, it will have your page name with dashes in between and a bunch of numbers at the end.

Why do you want to do this? Well for starters, it makes it easier to direct people to your Facebook page - especially if you don't have a website for your business. You are probably thinking that people can just search your business and find it that way. That is true, but since people are always looking for simplicity (especially when doing anything online), it is best to make it as easy as possible.

Another good reason is to boost your standing on Google. This will help Google to direct people to your business when they search your business name. When you see the example below, you'll notice that we weren't able to get the first choice this client wanted, so do it now to ensure you get your business name! Plus, this is one of the easiest things you can do with Facebook.

(You must have at least 25 people who have clicked "Like" on your page to be able to do this. If you do, proceed with steps below)

We are going to use the Facebook business page for Mallory McGrath (singer/musician) as our example:

1. Log in to you Facebook account and go to

2. The top box is where you can pick a username for your personal Facebook profile. Feel free to do that as well if you wish. The second box below is where you manage your page usernames. Click on 'Page' to get the dropdown menu of pages you manage (you may only have the one option of your business page, but some people manage multiple pages)

3. Select the page you want to create a username for

4. Where it says 'Enter desired username' type in what you want your username to be. Don't use spaces and only use '.' (dots) to break up text if necessary. Think of a website address because your username will end up being a web address (

5. If you type in a username that is taken already, it will prompt you to pick another one. Once you pick something that is available, a window will open up to make sure you want that username. This is very important because as you'll see when you read the warnings, you cannot change this name EVER. So make sure there are no spelling errors! Then hit 'Confirm'.

6. The last window that pops up just tells you that your username has been set and gives you the link once more so you can share it with all your fans. Now you're done! See? That was easy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

{Summer Deals} - From the Shops of Uxbridge

We are only just beginning the month of August, but in the retail world, that means clearing out any summer stock and bringing in new fall product. What does this mean for us shoppers?? SALES!!! Many of your local shops have great sales happening right now.

Below are some of the deals to be found. And what is the best way to stay in the loop? 'Like' them on Facebook to receive the deal memo right in your newsfeed. We have linked each Facebook page below to make it easy for you!

Woods & Woods - Men's Quiksilver Board Shorts 50% off

La Petite Fleur - 'Light up your life' sale with 40% off chandeliers

Strawberry Threads - 50% off summer merchandise

Presents, Presents, Presents - 50% off sidewalk sale

Avante Garde Boutique - 50-80% off summer merchandise