A Year In Review: Building Our Empire Brick by Brick

2015 A Year In Review - Building Our Empire Brick By Brick - The Stage Presents Story

Every body loves an overnight success story, myself included.  It speaks to our fascination with the Rags to Riches Story.  But, I am sure that you know that those stories are few and far between. What you rarely hear about is the route or the journey that is taken in order to get to where you want to be.  Our 2015 Year In Review, is just a small piece of that story, Our story.

My love affair with blogging has always stemmed from the fact, that I stand in awe, at the transparency of bloggers.  The ability to let people into the deepest recesses of your soul, thoughts, and even your home is still mind blowing to me. I have been blogging since the early 2000’s, long before it was a trendy thing to do. That being said, moving from personal blogging to a blog that was associated with my brand, was a very different experience for me.  I felt like every word that I wrote, every opinion that I gave or every picture that I posted was now up for interpretation.  That was and still is a scary feeling.  So finding my voice in this particular blog is a continuous work in in progress.  While the opinions that I give are as honest and as true to myself as I can possibly be, I make an effort to be politically correct. (If that makes sense.)

Background Story: [For those of you who only joined us in 2015.] After working for the same company for over a decade, I was laid off.  My youngest daughter was only 2 at the time and had more food allergies than I could count on one hand. and my oldest daughter had challenges of her own.  So I opted to stay home and focus on my family for a while.  While that sounds grand, it didn’t feel grand.  It felt like I was drowning.  But, more than anything I was scared.  Out of that fear and  frustration, a dream was born.  We named it Stage Presents.  It was supposed to be a way for me to feel like I was still a financially contributing part of my household.  I would be lying if I told you that either of us expected great things.  We simply had no idea what to expect.  So for the first year (2014), we flew by the seat of our pants.  I read everything that I could on being a small business owner.  Took as many online classes as I could manage and implemented as many changes as I could, on the fly.  And, at the end of the year, we had established a foot hold and made 80 sales and were feeling like maybe we were on to something.  The greatest feeling an entrepreneur can experience is when people see, understand and support your vision, and if that earns you money, even better.

We were determined that 2015 was going to yield an even greater return.  So we started off the year by defining the things that we deemed necessary to keep progressing on this journey.  I won’t bore you with the whole list.  But, these were the main points.

  1. Build an Online Community.  Form Valuable Relationships with Other Bloggers and Small Business Owners.  Network and Collaborate.  Invest in the Visions of Others.  ✓
  2. Increase my Blog Readership and Subscriptions and Monetize My Blog ✓
  3. Develop a Formidable Online and Social Media Presence ✓
  4. Increase Both Views and Sales in Our Etsy Store ✓
  5. Maintain Our 5 Star Review Rating and continue to provide excellent Customer Service ✓

And, guess what, we did all of that this year.  Are we any closer to where we want to be?  Absolutely.  Do we feel like this journey is anywhere close to its completion? Nope, not at all.  But, we are committed to the process and invested in our dream.

Here are some of the Highlights from Our Year:  We offered Exclusive Content to our Subscribers and the List Soared to over 100 Monthly Subscribers.  Our Lake Eufaula poster was purchased and featured in an episode of NCIS – New Orleans.  What an amazing way to start out the year!!  We threw our hats into the ring and began to offer Invitations, Save The Dates, and other Stationery for “Brides to Be”.  Our Digital Library Card Invitations were a big hit with several authors.  Our Restaurant Meat Cut prints were and continue to be a best seller.  We invited you into our home as we decorated for Easter, Fall and eventually Christmas.  We shared some of our favorite recipes.  Helped you get your little ones ready for Back to School and added Printable Posters to Our Shop. Whew!! That was a mouthful.

Highlights of 2015 - The Stage Presents Story

2015 has been an amazing year, both for the business and for the blog and we look forward to what 2016 has to offer.  We are humbled by the support of our readers, our customers, and our community.  We acknowledge that without you we couldn’t have come this far.  As we end this year, and venture into the new one keep these words in mind.

“We are at our very best and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey towards the goal, we’ve established for ourselves.  It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep.     It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.”

-Earl Nightingale

Happy New Year and Best Wishes for a Bountiful New Year from your Stage Presents Family!! Adios 2015!!

Trend Alert: Defining Your Living Space with Posters

Trending Alert Decorating with Posters

Gone are the days when posters were only used to decorate the walls of adolescent bedrooms, home theaters and man caves.  Posters have emerged as a way to tell a story, add bold color, and display your style and personality in your living space.  Reproductions, Travel Posters and Vintage Poster Art are quickly becoming a very popular design trend.  The reason why….the possibilities are endless.

Posters can be displayed almost anywhere.  Here are some of my favorite placements found around the web.

Decorating with Posters - Defining a Closet Area (where there isn't one)

Photo Source: Hunted Interior

Decorating with Posters - Using A Poster as Art to Give A Unique Feel to a Classic Kitchen Area (Subway Art)

Photo Source: Decoist.com

Decorating with Posters - Using Fashion Brands and Other Artwork to Define Your Space

Photo Source: Instagram stylizimoblog

Decorating with Posters - In the Bathroom - Over sized Typography

Photo Source: Apartment Therapy

Decorating with Posters - Defining a Vanity Area - with Poster (Quotes)

Photo Source: Design Indulgences

I think one of the reasons why posters are becoming such a popular option, is that they are very cost effective.  Often the same original art work can be hard on your pockets.  In fact, during this past Holiday Season, our poster section generated the most sales in our Etsy Store.  Though, I tend to be partial to seeing posters displayed in frames, simply because I feel that it gives it a “artsy” feel. They can be hung, taped, displayed in a gallery like format or even simply made to lean up against the wall. Regardless of how you choose to incorporate them into your home, they will serve their purpose.  Do you have any posters displayed in your home?  What was the reason that you went with a poster, as opposed to another form of art?

Decorate Quote

Our 2015 Christmas Home Tour

Christmas Home Tour 2015 | Stage Presents | DIY Ideas and Christmas Decor

It’s that time again.  Can you believe that this is our Third Christmas Home Tour?  The years are flying by so quickly and the kids are getting bigger and bigger, and by default, I am not getting any younger either.  But, the one thing that remains the same is my Love for this Time of The Year. It’s not Christmas unless you are throwing a little red and green around.  And, as far as the little ones are concerned the Kid’s Tree and everything surrounding it should be flocked in traditional hues.  And, I am ok with that.  Because as much as I literally live for the Real Tree in my formal living room, my heart strings are permanently attached to the Kid’s Tree.  It is literally stock full of memories of Christmas past.  The hallway leading into the Family Room and the Kid’s Tree and the Mantel are always very conventional.

Christmas Home Tour 2015 | Front Foyer | Stage Presents | DIY Ideas and Christmas Decor

Christmas Home Tour 2015 |Front Hallway | Stage Presents | DIY Ideas and Christmas Decor

Christmas Home Tour 2015 | Kid's Tree | Stage Presents | DIY Ideas and Christmas Decor

Christmas Home Tour 2015 | Mantel | Stage Presents | DIY Ideas and Christmas Decor

This year I introduced gold as our new accent color for the Formal  Living and Dining Room, while holding on to most of the color scheme from last year.  Since, I decorated for Fall this year, when Christmas time came my creative brain was pretty fried.  I had no idea in what direction I wanted to go this year.  However, I really loved how these two rooms turned out this year.  We purchased the large Gold bowl on the table from Home Goods and the pears and apples we got from their as well.  The purple napkins we scored last year from Bed Bath and Beyond and used them again this year.  We also scored the table mats from Home Goods and believe it or not the chargers came from the Dollar Store.  As you can see, the Gold literally carries through all the way to this years tree.

Christmas Home Tour 2015 | Centerpiece | Stage Presents | DIY Ideas and Christmas Decor

Christmas Home Tour 2015 | Tablescape | Stage Presents | DIY Ideas and Christmas Decor

Christmas Home Tour 2015 | View of Borth LR and DR | Stage Presents | DIY Ideas and Christmas Decor

Christmas Home Tour 2015 | Decorator's Tree | Stage Presents | DIY Ideas and Christmas Decor

Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours!!

Sights

Printable Holiday Gift Tags

Dress Your Gifts Up with these Free Holiday Gift Tags

Dress Up Your Gifts!!

Can you honestly believe that there are only 10 days left until Christmas?  I am still in shock at how fast this year has flown. Seems like an evil trick to get me to turn 40, lol.  But, I suppose time waits for no one, not even me.

Do you wait until the last minute to wrap your gifts, or have you already started?  Either way, today I have a treat for you.   Dress up Your Gifts with these Free Holiday Gift Tags.

Right Click – Save – Print – Cut and Dress Your Gifts Up This Season!!  For Best Results, print on Card Stock Paper.

Holiday Gift Tags To and From

Eat Sneak Drinks And Be Merry Holiday Gift Tags

Holly Jolly Holiday Gift Tags

 

This Holiday Season We’ve Got Your Covered. For More Holiday Fun –  Check Out Our Christmas Coloring Sheets.   Hubby’s Holiday Gift Guide (for the men in your life) and Our 2015 Holiday Play List.

Christmas Coloring Sheets

Christmas Coloring Sheets Free Downloads on stage-presents.com

We have a serious countdown to Christmas going on at our house.  In fact, for some reason I told the kids this was the last week of school, only to realize we had another one left.  Oops!!  The excitement in the air is palpable.  I just love this time of year.  If you have been with me for a while, you already know this.

As much as I would love to keep up my regular schedule during this time, there is just so much to do.  And, you know my GO TO Activity for the kids is coloring.  My oldest seems to have outgrown it.  But, my baby girl still loves to color.  So I can always get a good break when I put a fun coloring sheet in front of her and tell her to go wild. That is her masterpiece on the top right.

I know that I am not the only busy mom this time of year.  So for for a few moments of peace, get your free Christmas Coloring Sheets.

Right Click – Save – Print and Enjoy!!

Oh Christmas Tree Coloring Sheet - Free Download stage-presents.com

Frosty Coloring Sheet - Free Download stage-presents.com

BTW.. only 15 days until Christmas….

Hubby’s Holiday Gift Guide with clickable links

Hubby's Holiday Gift Guide HERO

My husband is hard to shop for, and I guess so am I.  So for the last five years or so we have come up with a Christmas List for each other.  We never buy everything off the list.  But, it gives us some direction and help us pick out gifts the other will love.  You know #happyhusband + #happywife = #happylife.  LOL.  But, really his choices have always been so out of the box, that people started asking me for ideas on what to get their significant others.  This year, I asked him to come up with a list that I could share, and this is the end result.  As I was typing this, I jumped over into another browser and purchased a few of these to go under the tree.  Shhhh…. don’t tell.

Hubby's Holiday Gift Guide

A. DXRACER Gaming/Office Chair
B. Disaronno Roberto Cavalli Limited Edition
C. Timberland Earthkeepers Stormbuck Duck Chukka
D. Stelton’s Pure Black Knives
E. EcoCity Vintage Canvas Backpack
F. Wilson Connected Basketball
G. Wander & Rumble Growler
H. Burberry Heritage Check Cashmere Scarf
I. Warby Parker Old Fashioned Fade

Only you know your hubby, but I hope that this takes some of the Guess Work out of your holiday shopping!!

The 2015 Holiday Play List

2015 Holiday Play List found on stage-presents.com

Stockings are hung by the Chimney, the decorations are up, your whole house is smelling like William Sonoma, and you’ve already started planning out your Menu.  What’s left?  The perfect backdrop to the Season, your 2015 Holiday Play List.

I am always chomping at the bit to throw on the Christmas Music.  So hubby and I collaborated and came up with this list of Our Favorite Holiday Songs.

  1.  All I Want for Christmas is You (Mariah Carey)
  2.  This Christmas (Chris Brown)
  3. Someday at Christmas (Stevie Wonder and Andra Day)
  4. My Favorite Things (Luther Vandross)
  5. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas  (Ledisi)
  6. Give Love On Christmas Day (Johnny Gill)
  7. Let It Snow (Boys II Men)
  8. Away in A Manger (Tamar Braxton)
  9. I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm (India Arie & Joe Sample)
  10. Mistletoe (Justin Bieber)
  11. Where Are You Christmas? (Faith Hill)
  12. My Grown Up Christmas List (Kelly Clarkston)
  13. The Christmas Song (Whitney Houston)
  14. Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt)
  15. Winter Wonderland (Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga)
  16. Wonderful Dream (Melanie Thorton)
  17. Silent Night  (The Temptations)
  18. Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday  (‘N Sync)
  19. Little Drummer Boy  (Destiny’s Child)
  20. I’ll Be Home for Christmas  (Lady Antebellum)
©2015 Stage Presents

©2015 Stage Presents

What are your favorite Holiday Tunes?  Share them with us in the comment sections below.