Looking forward to a new year offers a lot of excitement. While lots of holiday fun still waits on the horizon, take the time to set some goals now. With goals in place, you can hit the ground running at the beginning of the year instead of using January to catch up. And yes, we think of future plans as goals instead of resolutions. It helps to break down end goals into smaller, measurable steps.
Reaching goals gets harder when you can't remember what to do next. Getting organized seems mundane when you're talking about setting major year-long goals, but it's crucial to success. If you use apps to keep your life together, 24me or Evernote—or both!—need to be on your phone.
Entrepreneurs love Evernote because it helps you jot down ideas, tasks, and lists and helps keep them organized and prioritized. If you've ever wanted an assistant at your beck and call, try 24me. It syncs all sorts of things, from calendars to to-do lists, creates reminders, checks off tasks, and even uses traffic data to let you know if you need to leave earlier than anticipated to get to an event.
Set SMART goals
SMART goals offer you the best chance of exceeding your own expectations. The acronym stands for: specific, manageable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Checking off those five touchpoints for each goal will help you set yourself up for success. If your goal doesn't meet one of the criteria, break it down into steps until those goals do meet the SMART checklist.
Don't be afraid to dream big
Setting goals isn't only about doing the things you think will help you succeed professionally. Goal setting is also about reaching for things you might think are a little outside your grasp, like a vacation to the other side of the world or a new business. Aiming high—and putting actionable steps into place along the way—will make you uncomfortable, and it may mean more work than you ever expected, but it also gives you a chance to truly live the life you are meant to lead.
One of the best ways to keep moving toward your goals is to find someone to help you stay accountable. Your accountability methods can be as informal as checking in with a friend each day by text or as formal as hiring a coach. Knowing you'll have to check in with someone and explain to them why you are or are not working toward your goals can be enough to keep you on track.
Share your goals
Sharing your goals with friends, family, or your professional community helps in countless ways. It's another way to stay accountable, but it's also a way to bolster support—and to celebrate as you make progress.
Dionne couldn't wait until 2019 to share one of her new project goals for the new year: she's becoming a coach! After feeling the support and camaraderie of the iFundWomen community, she knew she wanted to make a difference in the lives of other entrepreneurs. Dionne began the certification process to become a Certified Crowdfunding Coach, and she can't wait to work with small business owners and brands in the new year.
Have you set any big, SMART goals for the upcoming new year?
When you're busy—and who isn't, lately?—the holiday season sneaks up on you. Time moves quickly, and your tasks multiply instead of shrink. All of it tends to feel a little overwhelming when you see perfect holiday decor wherever you look and people are already talking about being done with their holiday shopping. (Don't we all have that co-worker who finished back in August, when the rest of us were soaking up the summer sun?) This week offers the perfect opportunity to slow down and give thanks—right before hitting the accelerator for the remainder of the holiday season.
Finding gratitude in small moments
If you're having trouble finding things to feel sincerely thankful for this season, take a five minute break. Everyone's down time looks a little different. Maybe you need a brisk walk at lunchtime or to turn up your favorite music during your commute to or from work.
No matter where you find it, take those five minutes to find one or two things that truly make you feel blessed this year. It might be something as small as the way the sunlight looks on the sidewalk or something as large as a friend who consistently shows up when you need her. Either way, once you start finding those moments of thankfulness, you open up yourself to see more. Before you know it, you'll start to realize gratitude is all around you!
Giving thanks for the people and things you love
Here at Iva Jewell, we're feeling thankful for a whole collection of people and things. I'm so grateful for the support I've received from family, friends, and coworkers since starting this business. Many days I wonder "what the hell have I done?" and I'll get a text from a friend encouraging me to keep going. I'm grateful for the coaches and experts I can look to for help and guidance, like my social media team at Take Flight Social Media Consulting, Karen Chan from iFundWoman, and Matthew Paul Robinson, who has provided me with fashion education and invaluable tutoring in the fashion industry.
One more moment of gratitude
As we get ready to spend time with our friends and family this week, we also want to say thank you to YOU for supporting Iva Jewell through words of encouragement, your purchases, and your follows and likes on social media. Building a business is truly a community-wide effort, and we know we have a stellar one here. We shared a goal on Instagram the other day—a storefront!— and every time we make a connection with a new customer or fan, we know you're helping us get one step closer to reaching and exceeding our goals.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving! We're hoping you feel like you're getting closer to your own goals as we look forward to 2019!
When you're juggling a full-time job, a side hustle, and a social life, maximizing your time becomes an art. If you want to sleep, you figure out a way to fit more into the daytime hours. Just because you're working all day doesn't mean you can't check some items off your task list. Block off an hour in the middle of the day for lunch—and make sure you take it! Make the most of your lunch hour with six simple ideas.
1. Run errands
This one might seem like common sense, but your lunch hour can be the perfect time to get groceries or run to the bank. If you want to whip through the store without a lot of company, consider taking your lunch a little earlier or a little later in the day.
2. Sign contracts over smoothies
If you're lucky enough to conduct some of your side business with local partners, your lunch hour can be prime meeting time. Meet up at a smoothie bar or coffee shop with great sandwiches. You can talk strategy, sign contracts, and network—all without going hungry.
3. Get active
If you're lucky enough to work close to a gym with a shower, you can really get in a sweat session during your lunch hour. Even if that's not an option, you can use your time to get away from your desk and move your body. Taking a walk, and inhaling a little fresh air, can get your brain firing again. Don't forget a notebook or a good notes app on your phone. You might be surprised at the quality of your ideas after your blood gets moving.
4. Go to the post office
If your entrepreneurship is going well, you might have orders to ship. Lunch hours are great for shipping out products! If you need to wait in line, use the time to clean out your inbox or text your best friend to set up a dinner date.
5. Make quick appointments
You won't be able to squeeze in (most) hair appointments at lunch, but there are some appointments that fit into your midday schedule. You can get your brows waxed or have a simple manicure done before anyone knows you're away from your desk. A routine dental cleaning takes less than an hour, and your teeth with look extra polished for any afternoon meetings you may have.
6. Practice meditation
Juggling everything you do can take its toll on your stress levels. Some days, it helps to turn off all of the "need to" thoughts and just recharge. Find a quiet spot, whether it's in a park, a corner of your favorite library, or even your car. Relax, concentrate on your breathing, and then take a moment to be proud of everything you're accomplishing each day.
Do you take a lunch hour each day? How do you use it?
Accessories add interest to every outfit. From your bag to your jewelry, accessories let you find your style and have a little bit of control over the image you’re presenting to the public. At Iva Jewell, we know the perfect accessories become wardrobe staples, and we hope our pieces find their way into your weekly--if not daily--accessory rotation.
The trouble with—beautiful!—copper jewelry
The gorgeous sheen of copper adds shine to your look, and Iva Jewell's copper cuff functions as a sleek, modern piece of jewelry you can wear daily if you choose. Finding jewelry you can wear with everything from business wear to casual looks doesn't always come easy, so when you find a piece you love, you can't help but slide it on as often as possible. However, daily wear can take its toll on copper. While the green patina might look lovely in vintage home decor pieces, we want to keep our jewelry sparkling!
The importance of cleaning your copper accessories
One of the best parts about running a small business comes from the personal relationship entrepreneurs form with their customers. Hearing how real people experience Iva Jewell products gives Dionne a better idea of what's working and what's not. Some of the questions Dionne receives frequently surround the cleaning of the copper cuff. She did a little bit of experimenting to find the best method for cleaning the copper cuff, because its classic simplicity means it's truly a piece that can stay in your wardrobe for years to come.
The best method for cleaning your copper jewelry
After some trial and error, Dionne found the best method for cleaning the copper cuff involved lemon juice and salt. (Bonus! You may already have those ingredients in your home.)
One quick warning: If you use this method with other copper pieces, keep lemon juice away from any gemstones. The acidic juice can damage gems.
Do you have a piece of jewelry you wear daily?
Seasonal changes beg for a little bit of flair in your home. But when you're working hard at work—and your favorite side hustle—it's tough to carve out time for a major decorating overhaul. Making a few small changes allows you to welcome and celebrate fall without taking your eye off your other goals.
Change your throw blankets and pillows
Changing your throw pillows or the blankets you keep on your couch creates immediate change in your living areas. Fall moods lend themselves to warm ivories, rich marigolds, burnt oranges, and deep reds. At Iva Jewell, we know color lets you express your style, and pillows always feel like a little bit of whimsy and eye candy on the couch—like our Foldover Clutch feels under your arm.
Add fall scents to the air
Scent changes moods. Just think about times you've walked into a friend's house to smell dinner cooking or stop into a neighborhood bakery and smell fresh bread and cookies. Whether you add scents to your home through essential oils, wax burners, or your favorite brand of candles, changing out the scent for fall makes a huge difference in how your home feels. Cozy fall scents range from cinnamon and nutmeg infused scents to ones reminiscent of warm flannel and cloves.
Adding potted succulents around your home makes easy work of any indoor plant life you want to cultivate. Not only do the muted greens complement the rich colors of fall, succulents thrive with minimal care. We know it's not easy to get through your to-do list every day, and succulents don't mind if you miss a watering session or two. If you choose small plants, you can move them around on a whim, gathering them for a quick centerpiece or nesting them next to bookends or on a side table.
Steer clear of holiday-specific decorations
Now, if you obsess over Halloween or adore Thanksgiving, this tip doesn't apply to you! However, if you're looking to decorate once a season and forget about it until winter approaches, keep your fall decor centered around colors and scents that don't focus on a particular holiday. This way, you won't fall into the trap of realizing you haven't changed out your ghost and goblin door wreath well into December!
Do you change your home decor with the seasons?
Use fall to evaluate and update your goals
The coming of fall means we're in the fourth quarter of the year, and that's the perfect time to take a look at all of the goals we set for ourselves back in January. Whether you've been knocking your goals down in stellar fashion or feel a little stalled, this seasonal change offers you a chance to double down on those milestones. Feeling organized helps those goals seem a little less daunting, and a functional office gives you motivation to tackle even the toughest tasks.
Must-have office supplies for a stellar office
You might spend your days in a cubicle or a dedicated home office space. Either way, you don't need to use pens you grabbed from your doctor's office or a stapler you've been using since your mom handed it to you when you moved out of her house. Streamlined office supplies that reflect your personality can help you feel motivated, powerful, and like you have the tools to take on tough challenges.
Shine on, all day long
Don't let dull accessories litter your desk. Gold adds shine — and a reminder that your work is valuable. Gold supplies add warmth and depth, and the hue works perfectly for fall. A simple gold Letter Sorter helps keep your paperwork organized, freeing up more space on your desk for you to work. (Anthropologie, $18)
Finding the perfect pens
Dionne knows the powerful impact of adding color to your life — and pens do that easily. Why take notes in boring blue ink when you can color code your ideas and thoughts in style? Add My LifeUNIT Fineliner pens to your writing rotation, both for their vibrant colors and the way the color doesn't bleed through to the other side of the paper. Bonus: the sleek grey pens look professional when you're using them at client meetings. (Amazon, $6)
Add a touch of YOU to your desk
Every desk should have some reflection of your personal interests. We know you work hard, and sometimes it's crucial to have a reminder that you have a life outside of work, too. If you love to travel, these Eiffel Tower Scissors might be just the thing to keep you motivated on days when you're so worried about meeting a deadline that you don't have time for lunch. (Target, $13)
Always remember your inspiration
During long days or disappointing news, remembering your why can keep you inspired to move forward. Gallery Frames continue to be a major trend in home decorating, and you can bring that into your office as well. Even if you're in a cubicle or don't have a dedicated office space, you can use small frames on the wall directly in front of you to replicate the concept. Add photos of what inspires you, frame your first sales receipt, or print out your favorite inspirational quote in a pretty font. You'll always feel a little stronger when you're looking ahead at the things that keep you motivated. (West Elm, from $29)
What makes you happy went you're sitting at your desk?
Fall might not officially arrive until the third week of September, but Labor Day marks an unofficial transition between seasons. No matter what the weather may look like where you live, don’t let summer slip through your fingers without one last summer celebration. After all, you’ll appreciate renewed energy and focus as the change of seasons offers extra motivation to reach your goals for the year!
1. Tackle a project that involves more time than a hour or two
Dionne will be spending time with her mother and inspiration, the original Iva Jewell, in Southern California. She's been told she is going to help clean out the garage and expects to find all kinds of fabulous vintage treasures. In other words — Mom is putting Dionne to work!
2. Get outside and enjoy the weather
Everyone can enjoy a little fresh air during the long weekend. It’s up to you how you use it! For some people, a hike with friends might sound perfect, but you might prefer to meet your friends for cocktails at your favorite outdoor café.
3. Spend time with the people who matter to you
Obviously it’s not possible to fly all of your favorite people to your place for the weekend, but don’t wait until the last minute to reach out to the people you want to see. Invite friends over for a celebration that makes you smile, whether that’s cocktails on the patio — who doesn’t love a refreshing Gimlet? — or a potluck picnic.
photo credit: Taste of Home
4. Unplug — even if it’s only for a few hours
More and more, working women feel the need to be connected to their jobs at all times. Small business owners like Dionne feel that pressure to the extreme, especially if they’re working as solo entrepreneurs. This weekend, commit to unplugging for a bit. Even if you can’t turn off your phone or laptop for the weekend, set aside a block of time to disconnect — and stick with it. At first it might feel strange not to feel the vibration of notifications in your bag, but soon you’ll realize how relaxing it can be to focus on the people and setting around you, instead of worrying about what’s happening on the other end of a text message.
5. Have a bag ready for anything that comes your way
Keeping a bag packed with your personal essentials makes it easier to leave the house for some spontaneous fun. You might want a tablet loaded with your favorite books, a notebook for sketching, or a small makeup bag to take your look from relaxed to glam at a moment’s notice. The Kingston Tote holds all that — and more! — making it the perfect bag for the woman who’s ready for everything.
What do you have planned for Labor Day weekend?
Dionne put a lot of thought into choosing a platform to launch Iva Jewell. After all, a company inspired by a fabulous woman needed a strong, inspirational beginning. With that in mind, iFundWomen became a clear favorite for the Iva Jewell product launch.
How to support female entrepreneurs
Women supporting women gives all small business owners a stronger foothold in the entrepreneurial marketplace. iFundWomen believes in more than just financial backing through crowd funding. They support coaching, mentoring, and a supportive community for entrepreneurs. Whether you donate to a campaign, shop from a female small business owner, or amplify someone's presence on social media, your support matters!
Keep an eye out for these female-owned businesses
Female designers continue to inspire and impress Dionne with their unique perspectives and dedication to quality products. Following and frequently shopping with female-owned businesses online and in her local community gives Dionne the chance to support brands she believes in.
The Taylor Jay Collection
Taylor Jay is the Designer and Owner of The Taylor Jay Collection. Her clothing line retails at her Oakland boutique and online. Taylor Jay believes modesty and femininity can be both sexy and approachable, and her designs meld comfort in fashion in beautiful pieces you'll want to add to your wardrobe this fall. Follow Taylor Jay on Instagram for inspiration, shopping opportunities, and news about her latest collection
At LaliSimone, owner Judith knows vintage fashion can be made new again with the right pieces. Dionne appreciates Judith's incredible taste and style and the pieces she offers at LaliSimone. The impeccably curated vintage pieces are selected to fit into ultra-modern wardrobes, and this is Dionne's go-to store when she's vintage shopping. Keep in mind that vintage means pieces have limited availability, so browse often and don't miss an opportunity to purchase a piece you love. The LaliSimone Instagram feed showcases available items and offers inspiration for how to incorporate vintage clothing and accessories into your closet.
Graphic tees let you express yourself in bold, non-fussy ways, and Dionne likes the funny, statement making t-shirts from Nareasha Willis. Designing fashion-forward pieces since 2014, Nareasha keeps her finger on the pulse of global fashion by spending time in Los Angeles, New York, and London. In addition to her graphic t-shirts and sweatshirts, she's currently working hard on producing a faux fur line. In addition to her own designs, Nareasha dedicates herself to increasing diverse representation in fashion through the #BlackVogue movement. Learn about why she started the campaign and how you can personally participate.
Support Iva Jewell during the launch campaign
You can still support the Iva Jewell launch campaign. Dionne has almost reached her goal, but there are still opportunities for campaign rewards. Shop now before your favorite fabric is no longer available!
Dionne recently returned from Texworld a premier fabric conference. The conference offered networking opportunities — always a plus! — and the chance to get a jump on fabric trends. Surrounded by industry insiders, Dionne recognized how beautifully Iva Jewell fits into upcoming textile trends.
Highlights from Texworld
Dionne loved seeing Color Trends by Pantone. Rich colors stole the show during the presentation color trends for Fall 2018 and Winter 2019.
Color dominates fall and winter palettes
Two reds — Red Pear and Valliant Poppy — allow designers to vary the use of the powerful color from dramatic to bright. Nebulus Blue and Ceylon Yellow round out the focus on variations of the primary colors, while Ultra Violet allows for a gorgeous pop of purple. Neutrals are warm olives and almonds, and Russet Orange adds contrast — something Dionne values in the patterns she chooses.
Feast your eyes on Pantone’s Color Trends and then shop Iva Jewell to get your accessories wardrobe totally on trend this fall.
Why Pantone color trends matter
Pantone, the industry leader in pinpointing and amplifying color trends, influences creators in all aspects of design. From clothing to home accessories, paint options and graphic design, color trends ripple throughout our lives. In addition to setting trends, Pantone leads the world in color matching and standardization, so if you’re using a paint color in a certain shade, it will look the same, whether you’re in San Francisco or London.
Iva Jewell appreciates the power of color
Color trends don’t just appear. Pantone experts work tirelessly to make sure their choices reflect a global mood to become a snapshot of what people want to see surrounding them. Seeing some of Iva Jewell’s color palettes reflected in Pantone’s color trends reminded Dionne of why color will always take center stage in her designs. Dionne appreciated the bold, saturated colors she saw at Texworld — an affirmation that women want to be seen, boldly and beautifully.
Introducing incredible fabric accessories from Iva Jewell
Color and pattern inspire Dionne McCray — the more, the better. She mixes colors and patterns in unexpected ways to create functional, luxurious bags with global textiles. The launch of Iva Jewell brings unique fabric combinations to your accessories wardrobe.
Iva Jewell pieces combine fabric and design for a major statement
Dionne uses a variety of textiles to achieve her signature bold look. This collection uses Ankara, a Dutch Wax Fabric, from West Africa. Dionne sources her Ankara from a fabric store in New York, and all Iva Jewell products are crafted in San Leandro.
Iva Jewell Foldover Clutch holds your essentials in eye-catching style, $65
Shop early and express yourself with color
Limited fabric quantities mean that once a textile is gone, no more pieces will be made with that fabric. Be sure to grab your favorite piece before it’s gone. Foldover clutches and laptop sleeves ordered during the 7-day introductory period will ship within 2 days, so you won’t have to wait long for your Iva Jewell piece.
Give back with Iva Jewell
The Iva Jewell collection can be found on iFundWoman. The platform offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to give back to charitable causes. This philosophy resonates with Dionne, and she’s thrilled to offer a presale that helps combine fashion and social consciousness.
Iva Jewell Laptop Sleeve protects your laptop, tablet, or anything else inside the case with 0.25 inches of padding, $85
What’s next for Iva Jewell?
This week you can find Dionne at Texworld, a premier conference for fabric sourcing and education about the fashion industry. In addition to learning about color and pattern trends for 2019, Dionne can’t wait to meet up with known colleagues, meet other industry designers, and look for new fabric sourcing opportunities.
Techie by day; Designer by night. Iva Jewell by Dionne