Saturday, June 29, 2013

Advice Needed About Owning a Business

So I need you guys' help. My main goal career wise is to own a business of my own. In particular, I want to own a bookstore. This has been a dream for quite some time, and I intend to make it happen sometime in the future. I have done and am still doing a ton of research about owning a bookstore, so I have read a lot of the facts, statistics, and logistics of opening a small business. But what I do not have are first-hand accounts. This is where you guys come in. I need advice from people that have opened a business, know someone that has opened a business, or is just very knowledgeable about the process.

Some of the questions I have are as follows:

  • What was your experience opening your own business?
  • Would you recommend starting a business?
  • Are you familiar with owning a bookstore?
  • How did you fund the start-up costs?
  • Any advice on handling the legal issues?
  • How did you furnish your business?
  • How did you go about finding a place to lease?
  • What sort of marketing ploys did you use?
  • How did you get your inventory?

Also, I need some opinions on one other topic. Considering that the market for bookstores isn't at it's best due to the age of e-books, Amazon, and eBay. I need to ensure that a bookstore I opened appealed enough to the general public that they would want to come buy their books from a local shop versus online. So let's get hypothetical here. Say I was opening a bookstore near you, what kind of store would you want to see? Used vs. new? Would you want to have the option of hanging out and having a cup of coffee while you browse? Basically, what would lure you into a local bookstore to shop instead of shopping online? What would a bookstore need to have to entice you to come through it's doors?

The idea of opening a bookstore has been stewing in my mind for quite some time, but it is still a long way away from happening. I am definitely still in the researching/brainstorming phase of the project. I just really wanted to see what kind of advice you guys would be able to offer. Although this is a big dream of mine, I know it has to be something that is practical. Therefore, if you have advice to offer that could really put things into perspective for me, please share!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Teething is the devil...but I think I found the solution! (for us, at least)

I know every parent has to go through the dreaded teething period, but good gracious!! Ella has been in full swing teething for quite a while now, and she still has no teeth to show for it! Poor baby! All this work and pain, and she hasn't even cut one yet. But she definitely has to be getting close. The drooling, gumming everything she can find, fussiness, and white bump on her gums are all indicators that we should have a tooth soon.

I have researched all of the tried and true remedies for teething in my desperate attempt to alleviate her pain and my frustration. Unfortunately, Ella HATES all things cold. I have tried the teething rings, frozen washcloths, frozen paci, ice and frozen fruit in the mesh feeder bags, and more, and she just can't stand it! Orajel has been the only thing that would help even a little bit. But I hate to give her medicine everytime she goes through a rough patch. So after a particularly rough night a few weeks ago, I decided to order a Baltic Amber Teething Necklace.

For those of you that have not heard of these, you are not alone. Until I did all of this research on remedies, I had never heard of them before either. Essentially, they are made from amber from the Baltic Sea. Baltic Amber has been known to have healing properties due to the succinct acid that is in it. You have to make sure you buy a necklace from a reputable supplier to ensure that you get true Baltic Amber. Imposters are rampant! The baby wears the necklace around their neck (or on the ankle during bedtime), and the warmth from their skin releases the healing oils from the beads. I read that it is best to get light-colored, raw amber in the traditional round shape because the level of succinct acid is higher. Baltic Amber has been used for healing puposes for thousands of years. Adults wear it to help with everyday aches and pains and arthritis. The cost of the necklaces is pretty minimal. You can get a necklace anywhere from $20-30. With shipping, I paid $26.41. I have not found many stores that carry the necklaces. I read that some boutiques do but none of them were local.

So does it work?? I say yes. Tomorrow will make two weeks that Ella has had hers on, and she has not had one rough night since. Of course I can't say that that isn't just coincidence, but I am doubtful of the necklace not having anything to do it. Ella had been waking up during the night fussing, but since she put the necklace on she has slept through the night almost every night. We forgot to put it on her one night and she woke up screaming! Again, some say coincidence, but I say go get a Baltic Amber Teething Necklace! I think they will be my go-to gift for baby showers from now on! Well, except for the one I have tomorrow. LOL. BTW, my sister is having her baby shower tomorrow. So crazy. There is another family baby shower next week too! And all girls! No clue what we are going to do with all of these girls!!

Overall, Baltic Amber works in my opinion. And the necklaces are so cute! Seriously, how adorable is this??

Want to order a necklace? Click here to order from the site I ordered Ella's. I used the standard USPS shipping and had it in two days. Super quick!

Do you have your own teething remedies? Have you tried Baltic Amber? Did you order one? Let me know all the details!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pictures of Chattanooga vacation

 Ella loved the pizza diner car!
 Locked away with Jaws!! Still got time for kisses though! :)
 Just arrived to our hotel/renovated train station!
 Chattanooga Choo-Choo, our hotel!
 Seeing how Ella measures up compared to the penguins!
 In the butterfly room!
 The view from the top of Look Out Mountain! You can see seven states! It was fun, even in the rain!
 Ruby Falls! Ella's favorite part of the entire trip! This is one of the rare pictures when we could tear her eyes away from the waterfall!
 Dipping her toes in the stream outside of the Tennessee Aquarium!
 Tourist-y pic in the hotel! :)
 I love this one!
 Inside the "diamond" cavern at Rock City!
And our hotel once again!
We had such a great time on our first family vacation!!