A summer of friendships

August 29, 2014

This summer has been pretty great. Getting married and settling into our new home aside, our schedule has been jam packed with spending time with friends. You'll hear no complaints from me! Adding in a quick trip to Ontario this past weekend, we really have been blessed to spend so much time catching up and hanging out.

We said a sad goodbye to our dear friends Emil and Karisa, who have started their own adventure in California as first year teachers! They were able to spend half the summer on PEI and were instrumental in the crunch time before our wedding. They've started their own blog, which you can follow here!

Just before Shayne & I left for our whirlwind trip to Ontario, Bethany and Bridget came back! They are both teachers at our local Christian school and had gone home for the summer to visit family. We are so glad to have them back!!

I love this picture of Kar, Vern and I in our Sunday best. :) We had a sleepover on Saturday night, sort of like old times!

At the end of our trip we were able to squeeze in a quick visit with Brian and Martine - friends who got married in Holland last year (you can read more about the wedding & our trip.) Ach, it was so good to spend even just one night with them again. Our busy schedules don't always allow for long phone calls but we can catch up pretty quickly when Martine and I get to talking!!

So, our busy summer full of friendships is drawing to a close. We had a great time and made a lot of precious memories! Campfires, road trips, sleepovers, and late nights. That's the stuff summers are made of around here!

Branding, Sarah by the Sea Shop style

August 27, 2014

The day has come. The logo has been created, tested by marketing professionals, stared at for hours, tweaked and tweaked again, and I'm finally taking a deep breath and jumping in!

Throughout this process, I spent a long time researching logo and branding tips. I wanted my new logo to incorporate my love of navy and grey, as well as a nod to my Island life.

When it came down to design time, I knew what I wanted but couldn't explain it to my designer friend accurately enough. After designing a mock-up for her to look at it, she turned around and told me if I could do a mock-up, then I could probably handle the rest on my own as well. She was right - and her encouragement gave me the confidence to plunge head first into properly crafting this logo of mine. Thanks to a ton of tutorials (picture me googling every five minutes "how to _____ in Adobe Illustrator")!

Over the next week I'll be adjusting the colours on my blog slightly to coordinate with this new logo, so you may see some changes. A little change never hurt anyone though! Just keeping things fresh!

So - what do you think?

Branding & Business Planning

August 21, 2014

When I opened my shop at the beginning of 2014, my eagerness to get things started trumped my business brain's warning that I should have at least an idea of what my brand would look like. Instead, I plunged ahead with something so-so just so I could get the ball rolling. Lesson learned - my business cards didn't turn out great, the colours didn't truly reflect "me", and there wasn't really a logo.

The winter sped along, and scarves were sold as fast as I could produce them. That was great news! Thankfully my product is one that much of the northern hemisphere can benefit from, because my branding and lack of advertising certainly weren't helping things along.

Spring and summer came, and the shop went into holiday mode. After all, I had a home to renovate, a wedding to plan, and......who needs a crocheted wool blend scarf in the middle of summer? Business was bound to be slow, and putting the shop into holiday mode allowed me the time to reflect on my brand.

What does Sarah by the Sea look like? 
Where is this business going?

I've been thinking a lot over the last few months (in my rare spare moments) and I've come up with a logo that I love.  I'm not quite ready to release it, and I still have some brand planning to finish, but I'm on my way.

The part about my small business that I love - and despise - is that it's just me. I can change my mind and have all my business chats in my head, but I really don't have a sounding board by way of a business partner. Lucky for Shayne he gets to hear me ramble on about this and that. ;) That guy, I tell ya. He's a blessing!!

So, I'm here. Planning and thinking and praying, all the while crocheting and preparing for bigger things to come. Thanks for being a part of this ride with me!

And seriously, if you have any advice for running a small business, share with a sister!!

Settling in.

July 25, 2014

Sipping sweet strawberry wine, overlooking Rear Big Hill in Baddeck NS, on our honeymoon.

Hey guys! We are back from our honeymoon! Actually we've been back for almost a week. It's been a busy one and it doesn't help that I've been dragging through it! But, our home is finally starting to look like we live there. We've got pockets of beautiful spaces, like half our bedroom, and part of our living room, and one small space on our kitchen counter. Little by little though, we're making progress!

We had a great trip to Cape Breton the week after our wedding. Our cabin in the woods had a beautiful view (you can see a little from the above picture.) We relaxed, toured around, and enjoyed our first week of marriage - but were both ready to get home and settle into real life! I hope to share some pictures when we have internet hooked up at our place.

For now, I'll leave you with the one sneak peek from our wedding day. Our photographer, Simon Reid, was great to work with and we are excited to see the rest of the images!!

Home Update

July 4, 2014

Just popping in for a quick minute to talk home renos. It's been a flurry of work, and we're into small projects that make a big impact right now. A little of what we've accomplished in the last two weeks:

  • finished laying flooring on the main level (except the music room & bathroom - we're not doing these two rooms right now)
  • installed trim in the living room, kitchen, working on the dining room
  • filled in and painted the seams of the living room trim
  • purchased and installed wall lights in the bedroom
  • ordered transition strips for between rooms (waiting for these to re-install the doors!)
  • ordered blinds (they should be in a few days before the wedding)
  • scrubbed the bedroom windows (turns out the handles aren't rusty, that was just a ton of grime!)
  • cleaned the main floor bathroom
  • painted the screen door and patio door frames in the living room
  • purchased and installed a bathroom track light
  • painted the hall closets and shelves
  • moved most of my worldly possessions into the basement, waiting for the main level to be cleaned so I can unpack!
With only a few days left until the wedding, we are in a mad dash to complete projects - and try not to start any new ones ;) - so we can move in!