Posts in selfie saturday
HOW TO INCREASE THE ZEN + POSITIVE ENERGY IN A SPACE

Saturday, Saturday:)

Oh I love it! Saturday just has the best feel don't you think! Everyone is in a good mood on a Saturday! There's just so much possibility, whether you're at home with the fam or your loved one, or even if you have to work, Saturdays are the best!! Today, on my favourite day of the week, I thought I would give you the tools to create a quick refresh in your home. So grab a cuppa and have a read and make today's activity, giving your space a little energy facelift!

#selfiesaturday

So let's talk about energy! What do I mean by lift the energy? Well, I'm not talking about increasing your electricity bill, if you're like most of us, you don't need help with that ;). What I actually mean is the energetic vibration that surrounds you, in your space. Think about when you have walked into a space and it just feels wrong! There is a heavy, depressing feeling and you really just want to get out asap! That feeling can happen on a large scale or even just a small scale. Sometimes the energy in a space can become flat and although you may not be able to see a physical reason why, you will just feel horrible and naturally want to get out. When that space is our home, it can be quite depressing! These energies can affect your mood, motivation, happiness levels and just your overall quality of life. Who would think the space you live in could have so much effect over you? Well, it does make sense, as pretty much everything in the universe, including ourselves, our furniture and our home is all on some level, a connected force of energy. Now I say connected and I want to emphasise this part as it really is important to recognise nothing is separate, and everything has an energetic influence + effect. I hope you're getting what I mean by this, I know it's a little e=m2, but this really is science expressed creatively through design. Your home is supposed to rise up to meet you when you come through the door and if your space is smacking you in the face with a wet fish, then it's time to admit you need to sort out your home's soul vibes.

Soul Shapes actually specialises in this area and I offer both online and in person 'Energy Shift' design solutions. So if this is all resonating with you, check out the i design energy shift package or get in touch to organise an onsite consultation or a free info chat.

Now for those of you who just can't wait any longer and need to get your space feeling right asap, then let's get into these beautiful, affordable ways to increase the zen + energy in your space! 

 

Colour

One of the major reasons the energy in a space can feel blaaaa, flat and depressing is a simply the colours used in the space. Now I'm sure most of you would be aware that colours have a psychological affect on us. This really isn't rocket science and you only need to ask yourself how certain colours make you feel to know what colours you should be surrounding yourself with. So for me I love pastel blue, it's calming, it's refreshing and it really is gentle and not too intrusive.  I know I want to have this colour around me and I only recently gave my master bedroom an energy shift with new linen in pastel blue. If I were to have gone, brown or red, I have to tell you those colours would not make me feel calm + refreshed. Brown to me is a sad colour (sorry brown) and I would only use sparingly with lots of other brighter fresher tones that keep the space + energy lifted.  Colours are actually really clever in the way they tell you what they will do by categorising themselves into light + dark tones. So light colours will make you feel literally light, fresh + new! Dark colours will make you feel moody, heavy + little more serious. I'm definitely not saying 'don't use dark colours ever' but you have to factor that if you do go dark, you will need to counter act these darker tones with the correct balance of light to keep it balanced. You could achieve this literally through adding lighter colours in the space or you can actually increase the lighting so that the same balancing principle is achieved. So simply put, check your space is not too much of the heavy tones, get it balanced through adding fresher tones in new cushions, sheers/curtains/blinds rugs or even better paint! To take it next level you might want to consider changing out some heavy darker tone furniture pieces. If this is the case, when you're ready, get in touch and have Soul Shapes create completely new selection of furniture + decor for a fresh + modern look. Clever interior design is what we are about and you would be surprised just how much a professional can transform a space

Saging

Lastly, there is an energy lifting ritual known as 'saging' that has been used for hundreds of years. Saging is often used in spaces that may have residual spirit energy that one may want to remove. You may have heard many do this when they move into a new house to remove any bad vibes or energies either from the previous owners or perhaps from the other side. It really is a great way to at least make a concentrated effort to lift the space. A sage stick is a super large, chunky type of incense stick made from the herb sage (hence the name). Sage, when burnt has a very strong smell and has  protective qualities +  the ability to move on and dissipate unwanted heavy energies. You can find them online or possibly whilst purchasing your crystals. Then perform this ancient energy lifting ritual by opening all the windows and with the lit sage, gently feather the smoke around all corners of your home. Be sure to go into dark little corners and really flurry the smoke into any damp, dark areas. Then, when done close your windows leaving only your own positive vibes in your space!

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Aromatherapy

Do you ever smell a certain perfume and your instantly transformed back to a time or memory and the feeling is so strong that you almost feel like your back in that exact moment? This happens to me all the time and I find it so interesting. Especially if it's a memory from years and years ago, it's like another part of myself returns for that brief second. Well, this is just one quick thought that comes to mind when I think of the power of smell on the psych. There really is something magical about the effects of scent + I'm sure you will agree, whether it's the smell of yummy food or a beautiful perfume, scent, is super influential on how a space feels. 

Plants + Flowers

 

Visually plants + flowers obviously look amazing and aesthetically they are a beautiful design focal point. Did you know that bringing plants into your space actually improves the air quality? Go grab a big fat beautiful plant or bunch of flowers and pop some next your bed, in your living room, bathroom, kitchen, everywhere!!! Go crazy and watch your mood lift and bloom like your gorgeous flowers! I know this is a popular trend and so many of you design savy peeps are all over this, but isn't it good to know that they do more than just look pretty!

Himalayan Salt lamps

Himalayan Salt Lamps are so hot right now and another one of my favourite ways to lift the energy in a space. These beautiful lamps are able to purify and clean the air in a space by absorbing water in the air + trapping dust, pollen + pollutants. Not only can they cleanse the air and improve breathing capabilities but they remove odours too! Now my favourite thing that salt lamps do is they literally increase our energy levels! Yes, you heard right and don't we need it! Salt lamps are said to combat the positive ions that exist in our air. These positive ions really should be called negative ions ;) as they reduce the flow of blood around the body which drains our energy. But in actual fact, it is the beautiful salt lamp that produces the negative ions that are so super beneficial, and they also help neutralise the electromagnetic radiation produced by household appliances. Electromagnetics are known to cause fatigue and interfere with our natural healthy rhythms and cycles affecting sleep and concentration. There is so much exciting information available on the benefits of salt lamps, for more info head to http://negativeionizers.net/negative-ions-benefits/ .

Crystals

Crystals are energy expressed as matter, just like everything, however, crystals are said to be concentrated forms of powerful energy that are known for their healing and energy shifting properties. For hundreds of years, humans have used crystals in their homes and they are said to improve health through their ability to emanate into a space and our own auras. These beautiful naturally occurring stones come in so many shapes + colours and they have so many specific healing properties. Choosing a crystal to place in your home can be as simple as asking to be led to the right crystal. Literally you need to ask "show me the right crystal" . Find a local market or spiritual store and let your intuition guide you to a stone or collection of stones for your home. Place them in your pot plants, next to your bed (depending on the stone), research your stones properties and follow the guidelines of working with that stone. The main thing to remember is that the relationship between you and your stones is very intuitive and you need to trust your gut instincts when picking them You can still purposefully choose a stone that perhaps has energy enhancing properties and many have the specific purpose of removing negative energy which would be perfect for a little energy facelift.  

Well, thats it from me today, Im off to the Decor + Design fair in Melbourne.

Enjoy your weekend and if you have any other energy lifting ideas you want to share with the rest of the the 'Soul Circle Tribe' please do below! 

don't forget to take time to connect.

Peace Out xx

Melanie Sherwell - Interior Designer

Soul Shapes- Lifestyle Interiors

Reference - http://negativeionizers.net/negative-ions-benefits/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 WAYS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH WINTER AT HOME

Hey guys!

Thanks for stopping by for your weekly 'Selfie Saturday' sesh.

For those of you who may be new, 'Selfie Saturday' is a weekly sesh on ways to improve your life from the inside out. I'll be delving into the many ways to design your life, from interior design for the soul to increasing your connection to source + yourself!  With our busy lives it's sometimes hard to find the time to take stock + check in on our self. I want this blog to be your 5 mins every Saturday where you can reflect and perhaps tweak things up a little. 

It's all about you , so take a break, enjoy, it's Saturday! 

 #selfiesaturday

Well winter in Australia is truely here!  Especially for those like myself living in one of the colder cities, Melbourne!

For many, winter can be a gloomy time of year. You get stuck indoors a little more, you walk outside and start hugging youerself like a crazy person in a straight jacket, just to stay warm. All the annoying things that you totally would'nt have to do if the sun would just come out!

They say the grass is always greener and if your spending all your days dreaming of a tropical island where the sun is beaming, then today I want you to realise that the grass is pretty green right here, smack bang in the middle of winter! 

It's taken me basically my whole life to realise that as much as I love a hot sunny day, going to the beach and crusing with my roof off, I am 100% a winter girl! After spending 5 years in Perth WA, (A very hot hot city, similar to LA) I came to realise how stressful I felt from constant constant hot weather. At first I was like, "yes this is amazing, enjoy your rainy days all you other suckers in the cold states, I'm living it up in my endless summer!" But as the the years passed, I slowly noticed that there really was no relief and having the sun glaring everyday was kind of boring, predicatble and actually just too much of a good thing! I came to realise how much I was missing the seasons and all the juicy stuff that only a season can provide.

So let me to tell you the 5 things that I do at home that make me fall in love with winter.  Hopefully I can inspire you to go indulge in one of these perfect winter activites and get you appreciating that there is a time for everything + the variety + balance proper seasons bring to our life is so soothing to the soul. It's all about embracing life, so lets stop the winter winge and embrace the moment!

 

Sititing by the fire

OMG (WARNING I say this a lot) OMG, OMG I love love sitting by the fire. There is something so soothing about cosying up under a big chunky knit and staring into the flames. Whether it's with your BFF's or your honey, it's really just such a great way to get connected with yourself and those around you. I guess it comes back to the idea of sitting around the camp fire. It brings about a sense of contemplation, almost hypnotising and so so soothing to the soul. I feel like it's a big warm hug from mother nature and she's saying "It's all good girlfriend, I got you, just keep sipping on that red wine, everything is all good!"  :)

 You don't have a fire at home? Thats totally fine because my next fav thing to do is go to a gorgeous restaurant and drink a hot chocolate by the fire! So if your feeling these hot firey vibes and your bummed because you don't have a fire, get googling stat and go book in for a cosy lunch somewhere.

Winter Decor

Some of the ways to embrace winter around the home can also be through your decore! Have you seen the gorgeous chunky knit's available these days? They really are to die for and would make the most lush addition to your bedroom or living room + are a must have to embrace winter. You could also change your bedlinen, cushions or artwork up and embrace some winter tones and styles. Obviously it might not be in the budget to spend too much on seasonal purchases but any investment you make can go into rotation and then you could sell them for some cash to buy some summer pieces later in the year. Candles are great through winter, again it's about that connection with the elements and the soothing energy that a flame brings to a space. My last winter must have, which is actually and all year must have, is bringing in flowers and plants. This really is an all season must have, but I think it's especially important through winter. One of the main reasons we get down through winter is not being able to go outdoors and get our nature fix. Connecting with nature has been proven to increase our happiness so it's important to bring those endorphin providing elements indoors as much as possible. Plants and flowers are also visually up lifting and there is actual research that shows our sense of calm and happiness is increased just by having a plant in our line of sight! Cool hey!! So go grab some beautiful flowers from the garden or a market and cheer up you and your space!

Cooking 

Winter is the perfect season to bring out your Betty Crocker! I mean who wants to stand around a hot hoven in summer? No one!!! Thats why summer is great for eating out or BB'Qs but it is not great for all the delicous meals that require hanging by the stove.

Some of my favourite winter dishes are yummy full flavoured curries! My husband Jai makes the best best curry ever, I seriously am obsessed with his curry! So when winter comes it's out with the french oven and in with spicey flavour bomb meals! 

My other favourtie is of course pumpkin soup!  I make a really delish pumpkin soup that I top with dill, sour cream, salt + pepper! I love smelling it simmer on the stove  on a winters day & I always serve with a crunchy bread.

Now for something sweet, my banana cake! Of course you can bake cakes in summer too, but is it as nice as eating it in winter? No, it's just not as nice! When you serve up some warm cake, with melted butter and nice hot cup your favourite vice, some kind of magic happens that you can never get in summer. Trust me, I have tested this theory, being the cake freak that I am, I tried to enjoy cake in summer and yes it is always yummy, I mean it's cake! But the experience is not as warming and soothing as it is on a cosey winters day. 

Reading

Picture it..... It's Saturday, your sitting in a gorgeous reading nook, reading your favourite blog ;) You hear the rain on the roof and you can see the trees blowing in the wind through your window. Cosy overload!! Again this can be embraced through summer, in a hammock under a tree, ok I'm feeling that could be winning me over, but I still think winter provides the best atmosphere to really get engrossed in a good book. I mean in winter, your stuck in side, your mind is not wondering whether you should jump back into the pool like it would in summer. It's not distracted with too many other options so theres a good chance you could really get completely taken away into some amazing other world. One of my favourite reads of late is Gabby Bernsteins "The Universe Hads your Back" and I have aslo just finished reading " In the Company of Women" by Design Sponges' Grace Bonney. I'm more into reading about people who inspire me more than fiction, but I'm open to any suggestions if you have some you would like to share hit me up  in the comments below.

Lighting

Lighting plays a huge role in affecting our mood and a great way to warm up a space and bring an injection of cosy is through lamps and lighting. If you have dimmers, then you will instantly know what I mean. As soon as you turn down the wattage in your lighting a sense of calm instantly comes over you. This is also another reason I feel too much sunlight can be stressful. Having excessive, glare + bright light as been known to cause headaches and actual emotional stress. So what's an easy way to embrace this idea and warm up in winter?  Bring in more lamps! Add a few around the living room or by the sofa or reading chair, make sure you have them in your bedroom, by your bed or dresser. I have one in my kitchen which instantly makes cooking in my kitchen more enjoyable. Experiment with this and see just how much you can change things up to make winter time feel like a cosy treat rather than a boring burden.  One important thing to note, use warm white globes, not cool. Cool white will make you feel like your in a hospital. It can feel cold + clinical and the idea of bringing in lamps is really to make you feel all warm and relaxed during this time of year. 

Well that's it from me guys,  I hope I  got you feeling a little more into winter!

Enjoy your weekend and remember there really is'nt too much of winter left so make hay whilst the sun don't shine ;) 

Don't forget to take time to connect!

 

Peace Out xx

 

Melanie Sherwell - Interior Designer

Soul Shapes- Lifestyle Interiors

 

DIY - Paint Your Wood Floors! Budget Makeover #SelfieSaturday

Selfie Saturday

Hey guys, wow Saturday again! I swear every week goes quicker + quicker! Although in all honesty I have been super sick with the flu this week so my head isn't sure what day it is!  Anyway just thought I'd share a little DIY project with you all today. 

So we have bought a cute little mountain house that we are fixing up. I have been going through a heap of design ideas for the floors and after weighing it all up, we decided on some gorgeous thick, low contrast stripes.  So the colours we chose are Surf Mist + Pale Bianca from 'Cabots Decking+ Exterior range. 

I just thought I'd share my thought process in deciding which way to go with these floors  + perhaps you can apply the same process to your own project if or when you do your own wood floors.  

I'm was very helpful! #selfiesaturday

I'm was very helpful! #selfiesaturday

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What was on the table + why I went yay or nay

White wash floors- I love this look but with an already white kitchen I decided it would be a little too white on white and I really wanted to make sure we had something with a bit more warmth. 

Grey wash floors-  This could have looked amaze but it would have required a full sand back and for the amount of work I just didn't feel the end result would be worth the effort required. So yes it could have been a winner, but I knew there would be another more practical, cost + time efficient idea. So I kept refining the ideas!

White with a small warm wood chevron pattern- this would look amazing and I was so so close to going with this. The colour balance would be perfect. A nice punch of organic warmth with the wood floor exposed as a thin chevron line married up against white. However I decided for this floor plan it would be too chaotic and busy.

Grey + white chevron of equal thickness - similar to the above train of thought, high impact yes✔️ But we just felt it would feel too busy so it was a nay.

Original wood floors with white mandala stencils - I love the additional spiritual reference and intricate patters you could bring into a space but again it came back to addinging warmth + intrest without going over the top. I knew I wanted something that would pull everything together, but this wasn't going to do it.

Grey + White thick stripes - well as you can see in the progress shots, this is the winner! ✔️✔️ We chose a very subtle grey , white contrast to keep the pattern subtle, soft but with still enough layers of colour to really calm the space and hopefully give a high end, next level finish. This pattern will be painted through out the whole house, except for the bedrooms where we have some lovely neutral , light mocha accent carpet. 

So anyway this was us today, still a little sick with the flu but we managed to get one room started.  

Will show you th finished space next Saturday along with all the steps to get the look! 

Peace Out xx

 

Melanie Sherwell- Interior Designer  

Creator of Soul Shapes - Lifestyle Interiors  

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SELFIE SATURDAY - IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU!

Launch it challenge

HOW TO LAUNCH YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS!  -

Week 4.

Hey beautiful people! I hope you have had a wonderful week! I have to say my week has been pretty lovely. Had a nice catch up with a lovely friend down at our gorgeous local cafe. I fitted in some yoges and a few beautiful walks/run around my neck of the woods ( like literally, I was running in the forest, lol :) I then spent most of the week behind my desk looking out my window at the gorgeous birds who visit my little bird bath. Sometimes I wonder if I get too excited over birds, like a crazy bird lady lol. Honestly I just love watching them splash and go crazy, it's a nice distraction and break from the computer screen. Anyway enough tree hugging ( for now that is, there will be lots more, cause that's how I roll!  ;)  let's get into week 4! 

Today I wanted to start getting you thinking about how to come up with your business name. I was going to go into websites/ domains but after chatting  about this with my friend the other day I decided to slot this one in first. So we where talking about business names and how many of us naturally all start to think about business names in the same way. It's funny how we can think we might be coming up with something very unique only to find that name is taken. "What I thought it was so perfect but it's gone!" is a really common situation to find yourself in at the begining. 

When thinking of your business name  the first question that will crop up is do I use my own name or create a totally seperate business name + identity? So I thought I would list a few of the pro's + cons for using your own name versus a business name;

 

USING YOUR OWN NAME-

Pros

  • Creating yourself into a brand is a great way to keep consistancy and bring your identity and personality into your products + services.
  • You won't have to worry about getting sick of your name beacuse theres a good chance you kind of like yourself  (hopefully) :)
  • Using your own name rather than a business name makes you seem more affordable and approachable to potential clients.
  • Depending on your name, it can make you easier to remember. If your name is Dick Assman :) :)  then you might want to get that crazy memorable business name up on a billboard stat! :) If your name is really complex to pronounce, hard to remember then this one may not apply to you.

Cons

  • Using your own name can actually make you appear less experienced and so if your aiming to get those big clients or sales it might be a little turn off to those more high end clients/purchasers.
  • It can be a little restrictive if your wanting to add future business partners or staff as other collegues may be putt off by your name being all over the place.
  • It's a missed opportunity to quickly let others know what your business is about. If I just use Mel Sherwell, people will only think who is she, what does she do and what does she stand for? Most will not care and before you know it they will have clicked off onto some other page and forgotten all about me.  When people surf the net they can be lazy and just will not bother to go and click onto your bio to find out, "oh shes actually an interior designer" It's not likely people will make that extra effort to find out.

 

 

You can’t connect the dots looking forward: you can only connect them looking back.  So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. ......
— Steve Jobs

 

USING A WELL THOUGHT OUT BUSINESS NAME-

Pros

  • In a very short second you can communicate so much to your potential clients about what you actually do. Make the most of every second of exposure you get with a clever business name.

  • A clever business name can also be very memorable, especially if you think of something that communicates your services + perspective. Remember to get into the mind of your potential clients. How do they think? What name would excite your potential customers or target audience?
  • A good business name can communicate who you are + what your about.
  • This is an ooprtunity to demonstrate your creative/intelectual ability. This is of course if you come up with a name that is creative and intelligent ;).
  • You may include words or imply a point of view that communicates what your business represents, your goals, beliefs + ethos 
  • A business name can communicate that you really do mean business + are one to be taken seriously.
  • With the additional information that a business name communicates, your also building trust and rapport much more quickly than a personal name.
  • Your communicating that your business is hoping to grow with no restrictions and you have high expectations of where you are heading. This communicates to potential clients that they are dealing with someone who is ambitious, dedicated and aims to achieve great things, including your services/products.
  • You can leverage your self to really stand out with a clever business name. With so many interior designers + stylists out their, I just couldn't handle 'Mel Sherwell Designs', ummm boring not too mention no one would blink an eye lid at a name like that. I needed something to communicate who I am as a designer and why I'm worth remembering.

Cons

  • Everyone always says this one, it's a long term committment to use a business name! Well yea, so is having a business :) But I guess their is a small amount of truth in this statement. Lets just say you decide after a few years you want to go in a new direction and your business name no longer suits you. Well then perhaps a business name could be a con in that circumstance. My answer to this one is, just start a new business. As long as you have been consistantly marketing your personal name alongside your business name, you will still be building your reputation which you can take with you always.

  • A business name can sound a little more formal which can be off putting to smaller clients, wanting a more personal service. People do like to know who they are dealing with and not just be speaking to a brand name. However I think it only takes one or two emails with a your personal name/signature to start personalising the service. Also who wants to only target small clients. I mean yes I love personalised jobs of any size, but I would'nt brand my whole business to only target smaller jobs. I want serious clients, who want a professional service. I really can't think of any more cons to having a super cool, well thought out business name. As I mentioned earlier, I like to use a little of both in my business name. In all of my social media accounts I include both my personal name and my business name. I'm always, 'Mel Sherwell - Soul Shapes' . I love having both and I think it represents me  Mel Sherwell the designer + then my creation, my perspective + my work 'Soul Shapes'.

 

 

 

 

Workshop it

So just to finish up, let me throw a few more considerations you can ponder to help get you on track with this business name thing.

So lets go back to your passion footprint in the earlier weeks. What did you discover was your passion footprint + your unique view point in your industry? Write it down

again on a piece of paper.

An example scenerio might be,  if your a florist, are you a florist who works with wild flowers, or the more lux varieties of roses etc? Be honest, what do you love? Then choose that! You have to love your passion foot print (if you dont know what I'm talking about, go back to weeks 1 + 2) Forget about the clients for a second and just think about what gets you exctited! Ok, got it! Great, keep your niche in the front of your mind at all times! This is always the focus of your business, so stay on track and now write down some key words to describe your niche -  Wild Rose, Natural Bloom, Peaceful Posies...... you get it. Keep writing down key words to describe your niche, + your view point. Then throw in some key words about your ethos, your believes or your goals.

This is how to workshop in a direct, purposeful way and I promise you in amongst all those words is your business name. Now you just need to bridge the correct pair together. I like the idea of a pair as it gives you more power in communicating what your about rather than just one word. At times one word may do it, but generally not.

Now good luck, have fun, relax with it! I remember when I came up with Soul Shapes, I knew I instanlty loved it, but it did take me another week or two of playing around with other ideas to realise it was the winner. So be patient and the key to creating is to keep your mind open and positive!!

Enjoy your weekend everyone.  I promise next week we will get into websites + purchasing domain names.

Peace out 

Melanie Sherwell - Interior Designer

Soul Shapes- Lifestyle Interiors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SELFIE SATURDAY - IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU!

launch it challenge

HOW TO LAUNCH YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS!  -

Week 3.

Good Morning, good afternoon or good evenning. What ever time it is where you are, happy weekend vibes + thanks for stopping by for week 3 of the 'Launch it Challenge'. If you have just joined the challenge, then it's not to late to jump in. This challenge is a fun, stream lined starting point on how to launch your online business.  You can easily go back and read through weeks 1+2 but make sure you subscibe to Soul Circle so you don't miss any future posts. 

Ok it's the weekend, we all want to be doing relaxing , fun things. This is too much for your head today right? No it's really not!! Well my point is, it shouldn't be!

Remember, chasing your dreams should be the thing that makes you the happiest! I touched on this in week 1 and I just wanted to quickly remind us all that our passion should make us super happy! So if your not feeling that into week 3 today, it could be as case of "your just not that into it". If you are'nt working on your true true passion, everything else will either flop or if it does somehow get off the ground, you won't have the stamina to keep putting in 100%. So please, be honest and if your not excited to be working on your dreams today, then you possibly need to go back and edit edit edit. I know sometimes we all need to switch off on the weekend but if you are serious about launching your online business + especially if your working full time, then the weekends need to be go time!  Anyway, I just want you to be clear and ready to go and I really understand that the first steps do take the longest. ( I really really know!) So please stay with me, read on but just bare in mind that some of you may need to keep pondering over the direction your heading before taking your next steps.

If you have been workshopping your true purpose + direction and like me are feeling super excited to work on a Saturday (it's not sad, it's called being ambitious ;) ) Then whoop, let's get stuck into it. Time to smash it fellow entrepreneurs!

What have you got that I want! What can you do for me?

If you really have worked through weeks 1 + 2 and your feeling really pumped, then it's time to start getting to the real point of all of this.

Let's start with your products + services . What will your offer your clients or customers? When thinking about your product range or services let me share with you my one rule of thumb. 

1. Ensure your service or product further communicates your message?

This is so so important and the perfect way to refine exctly what you want to sell or offer to your customers.

Think about your potential client. Who is your potential client? Teenagers, adults who like fish, adults who like knitting, you get the picture ;)  So the one thing we can say for certain, regardles of what your in the business of, is that your potential clients are of course going to be someone who appreciates your message + your unique passion footprint. So we can easily assume that your client is also going to want a service or product that reiterates your message. Your target market doesn't just want a little bit of what you have to say, if they like your vibe + your work, then they are going to want as much of you as they can get. So, your products + services need to speak more of what YOU are all about.

Let me think of a possible scenerio. Ok, so your starting an online business selling plants. (I know it's random but they do exist and it's the first thing that came to my head :) :). So lets look a little closer at this e - plant selling entrepreneur ( let's say her name is Betty). Betty has decided her brands message is to communicate that using plants in and around the home will create a more harmonious + peaceful life. Now Betty could decide to sell every plant under the sun. It might make sense, the more options for customers, the more sales right? Well not necessarily because Betty's clients and target market are only going to be those who want to use plants to create zenful spaces. The clients Betty will attract are a niche customer who want a niche service. Why should Betty provide plants for cutomers she will never attract to her store. It's pretty obvious, but you would be suprised how many businesses try to sell every product in their industry. When that happens, your brands message is lost, your customers are confused and you will turn your target market away, stat!  So what should Betty offer her customers? A beautiful carefully selected range of plants that are also know for their zen like qualities. Bonsais, Maples, Lotus flowers anything that will enhance her message and appeal to her specific customers.

2. How should I price my products + services?

Now if your selling products, pricing may be a little easier for you (unless your manufacturing or creating home made products). Most online retailers will just sell at the recommended retail price. If you are making or producing your own goods then of course you would follow the formula of materials + time to design + time to produce + postage. Now for those offering services, it is good to see what others in your industry are charging for a similar service but only as a guide. My belief is to charge what you in your heart + soul think is fair to you and your customer. It's really not good if you wack a ridiculously high price on a service that you truely don't believe is worth what you are offering. In saying that the same is true in the reverse, never never undersell your self just to get a sale. Finding the sweet spot in your price point can take a little bit of juggling, but if you are genuinely honest to both you and your client and see things from both perspectives, then you can slowly get to the happy spot. Ask your self, how many hours go into delivering this service at it's highest standard ( because of course you always want to have the highest standards of service). What are you happy to receive for this service? Now if those greedy little green men start jumping into your prices you'll need to tell them to shoosh up because running a business with greedy eyes will never work. Create authentic + honest price points that will automatically build a bridge of trust between you and your clients before you even begin.

There are also factors such as GST if your in Australia, but most checkout platforms will automatically add that on for you. I really just wanted to remind you to factor that additional charge in when refining your price points.

Now, next week im going to go into website + logo design so make sure you spend some time thinking over everything, take some notes and try to go through all the questions and really workshop them fully. You only get out what you put in so it's really up to you and how much you really want to lauch your online business. I'm going to finish icing my daughters birthday cake now, wow I cant believe I have a 12 year old! Where has the time gone??? Time, time, oh it does fly, so with that in mind, lets make it count and go smash our goals!!

Peace out!

Melanie Sherwell - Interior Designer

Soul Shapes- Lifestyle Interiors