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Live Sketching at Babechella

akiko ruiz

 fashion live sketching 

I did a live sketch booth at Babechella at Baker's Block in Costa Mesa, CA! It was such a fun event. The crowds were not only so pretty but so sweet as well. It was a long line and I wish I had more time to draw everyone. Below are the pics at the event and live sketch drawings I made. Thanks for having me SoCal Blogger Babes and congratulations on the successful fun event!

 fashion live sketch event
 fashion live sketch
 fashion live sketching

Collaboration Interview with Melissa Male

akiko ruiz

 how to be a successful content creator

We're so excited to announce our collaboration with an amazing content creator Melissa Male! She captures beautiful images and we're huge fans of her creations. Her photos are often taken at a coffee shop and images include coffee & yummy pastries. It was a perfect match with our coffee theme items. We collaborated on a Weekly Planner and Travel Checklist. As a celebration, we asked Melissa some questions we all wonder about.  Thank you Melissa! We hope you love it as much as we do. * Check her gorgeous instagram feed if you haven't!

1. Tell me about yourself. What did/do you do before/while creating your content?
I graduated college with a degree in secondary education and am certified to teach English 7-12, but after a quick stint of substituting I realized it wasn't for me. 
Then I spent 3 years working at a hospital as a patient advocate, which had nothing to do with my background, but was a great experience nonetheless. 

2. How did you start making the contents? 
Since I was working my full time job and had no week days free I would use my weekends to travel into the city and create content. Sometimes I would end up visiting 3-4 coffee shops in one day! Food and coffee have always been something I enjoyed, so it made sense to base a majority of my content around it. 

3. What is your typical day like? 
My typical day definitely starts with Instagram. I run two other accounts in addition to my own, so it's important for me to prioritize posting for those as well. 
After I've finished with posting for myself and the two other accounts I usually go out and grab some coffee with my dog, Riley. Then it's time for the boring stuff -- replying to emails, sending invoices, and locking down collaborations. 
If I have any pending partnerships I take some time to plan out how I want to photograph and present the product so that it's ready to promote on my Instagram. The fun part of my day is going out and creating content (usually with some fellow content creators). This includes lots of food, coffee and fun conversation while we all get some beautiful shots to share with our followers. I reserve the evening for time with my boyfriend -- it's so important to maintain a good balance. 

4. How do you decide to work/collaborate with other company/people?
I usually receive up to 5 emails a day from brands reaching out regarding potential collaborations. If it's a brand that I know and love I may agree to collaborate right away. Otherwise I typically have the company send me the product to try out prior to deciding to promote it to my audience. It's important to me that I don't go too off brand when considering collaboration opportunities. 

5. Most important advise to grow the audience.
Be authentic. Post quality content that is inspiring and unique. Be consistent. Keep posting even if you feel that you're in a rut. If you love a photo -- post it! Don't be offended if it doesn't perform well. 

Halloween is coming

akiko ruiz

 halloween etsy finds

Can't believe it's already October! that means... Halloween is coming! We love to explore Etsy when we want to find fun one of a kind stuff. Here's our favorite halloween goods we found on Etsy.
 1. Dot Balloon
 2. Printable Star Garland
 3. Skelton Bird
 4. Boo Balloon
 5. Meow Card
 6. Spider Web Ribbon
 7. Good Witch, Bad Witch T-shirts
 8. Dessert Topper

Happy Halloween!

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6 lessons how to Instagram right for handmade businesses

akiko ruiz

I'm so honored that I shared my Instagram tips on along with other amazing makers! Instagram is obviously the most important social media for handmade business and I hope these tips help you to create your brands identity. You can check the original article here!

1) Develop a strong identity (and stick to it)
At its core, your brand is what (potential) customers know about you. A successful brand identity communicates as much information as possible about who you are in less than a second. The imagery and content in your Instagram feed should be consistent with your identity. Stick to uniform filter, voice and message to build trust and an emotional connection with your audience.

"Each photo is important but overall balance is the key to make a beautiful feed. I use the app Later and see how it looks before posting. Even though I have a nice picture I want to post, if it doesn't look good or something looks off means it doesn't compliment the overall feed, I won't post it until it looks right. Treat your Instagram feed as your portfolio because that's where your potential customers/clients check first these days. "

@ pfcandleco
"People decide to follow by looking at your feed at a glance, so it has to look cohesive. Use VSCO, iCloud, or an app like Planoly, to plan your feed out. This allows you to see how colors and image styles are working together"

2) Keep it Clean
Over 40 billion images have been published on Instagram. Users now expect a certain standard of professionalism and artfulness, especially from businesses. Keep your audience’s interest intact with high-quality images, and take advantage of natural lighting. This will not only prevent you from the temptation of going overboard with a myriad of clashing filters, but preserve a consistently aesthetically-pleasing feed. Remember, it’s all about quality.

"Remember that a little bit goes a long way! Natural light makes or breaks a photo, so if you already have a well-lit photo, you can keep the editing subtle and let your composition do all the work. Avoid using filters at 100% (10 - 20% is a good range for us), and resist the temptation to bump the clarity too much!"

3) Know your audience
The success of your Instagram comes down to one thing: whether your feed speaks to your audience. It should communicate the meaning of your brand in a way that feels relevant to your community. Customers have expectations about who you should be and how your brand will fit into their lives. Your posts should be consistent with an authentic personality — one that resonates with a specific group of people. The easiest way to do this is to embrace and emphasize your natural appeal to a certain subculture.

Pay closely attention to your audience (not numbers), who they are and how they interact with specific content; what they react to / don't react to. Every page attracts a specific audience and it's important to jump in their shoes and get a taste of their perspective - build these relationships and engage with them on a personal level.

You can see more tips here!

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