Monday, January 28, 2008

Side Hustle - Fashion Stylist and Image Consultant

Have you dreamed of making yourself and/or others look gorgeous and fabulous? Have you seen people walking down the street or a picture of a celeb in a magazine and wondered WTF???? Then this side hustle is perfect for you!!!! Click HERE and HERE to learn how you can become an image consultant or fashion stylist.

Fabulously Styled Couple of the Day - Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie arriving at the SAG Awards earlier today.

And the fabulously-styled couple getting frisky during the awards ceremony........

Speaking of Stylists, is Kim Kadarshian a shady stylist??? People Magazine is reporting that she allegedly abused her client's credit card............ Hmmmm....

R&B singer Brandy Norwood's mother filed a lawsuit Monday (feb 4) against Kim Kardashian accusing her of running up more than $120,000 in credit card charges without permission. The suit, which also names Kardashian's siblings Khloe, Kourtney and Robert Jr., alleges they ran up the charges on the mother's card while Kim worked as Brandy Norwood's stylist in 2006 and 2007. It seeks the return of the money plus 10 percent interest.

Kim Kardashian denied the allegations, telling PEOPLE she and her siblings had Norwood's permission to make the purchases. "We have her signature on all items," Kardashian says.

In the lawsuit, Norwood's mother, Sonja Norwood, who is also her manager, alleges Kim Kardashian had only been authorized in 2004 to make one purchase on the Norwood American Express card in Kim's then-capacity as a stylist for Brandy (Brandy's brother, Ray J, also appeared in the infamous sex tape with Kim).

But later, Kardashian, now starring in the E! reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, made unauthorized purchases and passed on Norwood's card number to her siblings, who also then made unauthorized purchases, including for items in two Kardashian family-owned clothing stores, Dash and Smooch, for a total of $120,636.

Picture Source
Picture Source

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Celebrity Side Hustles - Their Scent

These days every celebrity/socialite has a side hustle. It's not just for us fabulous folk anymore. Check out a few celebrity/socialite side hustles. Apparently, they believe we want their scent. Do We???

Kim Kardashian and her sisters, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian just launched their boutique website.

Hillary Duff is hawking perfume.

Ashanti is hawking perfume.

Britney Spears is hawking perfume.

Paris Hilton is hawking her scent.

The Beckhams are selling illegal hotness.

Jennifer Lopez brings us the scent of flowers.

The men are not to be outdone.

Usher is selling Usher.

Sean/Diddy/PuffDaddy/SeanCombs/Whoever is unforgivable.

Kreative Mix is feeling left out. She will wash her face, bottle the soapy water and sell it as the new "it" perfume of 2008. It will be called Kreative Sniff.


Side Hustles - Ten Fabulous Ideas to Get you Started on Your own Side Hustle - Learn more about Stella & Dot

1. Get paid to Shop Shop Shop - Become a Mystery Shopper. Get paid to shop, dine, watch movies or spend time at theme parks, all for free!!! As a Mystery Shopper, you'll be the secret eyes, mouth or ears for fine establishments around the country. Pose as shopper to get feedback on customer service, professionalism, etc. You can't ask for a better side hustle than getting paid to shop and/or dine. Read more on Mystery Shopping right here.

2. Get paid to spend other peoples' cash - Start an Interior Decorating Biz. Do you have an eye for color and design? Does shopping for paint or furniture get your juices flowing? Click here to make your [k]reative vision a reality.

3. Get paid to brighten someone's day - Become a Florist/Flower Designer. Click right here to learn how you too can become part of this booming opportunity - expected revenues of $20 billion in 2008!!!

4. Get paid to make others look fabulous - Become a Makeup Artist. Click here to learn more.

5. Get paid to run personal errands - Start a Concierge Biz. With so many things to do and so little time, there is a huge market for concierge services. Click here to get started.

6. Get paid to spread romance - Write Romantic Stories. Becoming a romantic writer is really cool because romance never goes out of style. We all still swoon over those amazing guys in the romantic stories/movies, or over David Beckham......don't tell me you didn't see that coming. Click here to make us swoon.

7. Get paid to bring zen to the masses - Start a Spa Biz. Own a biz that brings relaxation to the masses. Click here to learn more.

8. Get paid to travel around the world - Become a Travel Writer. Definitely one of my dream jobs. Imagine getting paid to travel to Dubai, Milan, London, Capetown, Paris or [insert your dream destination]...........[insert wistful sigh]. Adventure, Luxury, Fabulosity. It doesn't get better than this. Click here and pack your bags.

9. Get Paid to Spend time with animals - Start a Pet Biz. Are you a pet lover? Can you see yourself playing with Fido all day? Well, this one's for you. Click here to pick up your leash!!

10. Get Paid to Cook - Become a Caterer. Do you love fabulous food and parties? Then, mix it up. Click here to learn more.


Become an Independent Stylist with Stella & Dot (

Hello EVERYONE - I would love to introduce you to Stella & Dot's fabulous jewelry designs ( I am a Stella & Dot Independent Stylist (MiMi Dabo; Stylist ID 103764) and love it!!

Stella & Dot is a stylishly creative direct sales company founded by women for women like you. It is a fab opportunity for women working from home, stay at home moms, fashionistas, jewelry lovers, women looking for a part-time job, side hustle, anyone who has lost their job, anyone looking to start a business with no overhead and women who want to live life to the fullest. Everyone deserves to indulge - what better job than hosting trunk shows with deserving women!! Stella & Dot offers a fun career, part-time alternative or wonderful side hustle to women who know the sky is the limit. Work as much or as little as you want.

Celebrities are not the only ones with the inside scoop on Stella & Dot. There's a reason why EVERYONE is wearing Stella & Dot. Stella & Dot has a lot of fabulous styles that I'm sure you and most of the women in your life would love adore. With 50% of the jewelry under $50, it fits every recessionista's budget.

Learn more about Stella & Dot at and contact me at to host a Trunk show and/or join my team!!

Hosting a Trunk Show is quite simple, it can done in-house at a location of your choice (for those in the DC metro area) or online (fashionistas can shop in the comfort of their home - for those outside the DC metro area). As a hostess, you will earn hundreds of dollars in free jewelry; up to 25% of all sales. I have some availability for trunk show bookings and would love to add you to my fashionable schedule!! If you are not interested at this time, but know someone who would love to host a trunk show, shop, or make some part-time/full-time cash, please pass it on!

Signing up as an Independent Stylist is quite easy!! Just visit and learn more or email me anytime at You get up to $350 in FREE JEWELRY to start your business, 50% off the fab jewelry, a free website and unparalleled support. It's the perfect opportunity to women who want to take charge of their financial future. Why not see what all the buzz is about and work for the BIG BOSS----YOU!!!

My Stella & Dot business ( has provided me with so many great emotional and financial rewards that I want to share this wonderful opportunity with others. I am actively seeking people to join my team. You don't have to live in the DC metro area to join my team. You can join from anywhere. Sign on with me and Stella & Dot has a wonderful network of ladies around the country that will join me in providing encouragement and support to you all the way!! Not interested in signing on, host a trunk show, online or in-house.

Contact me at or visit

Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Stylishly yours,

MiMi (

P.S- If you are in the DC area and interested in becoming a stylist, join me at Shecky's Girls Night Out at the DC Constitutional Hall from 5pm to 10pm on October 13, 14 and 15. Email for your complimentary pass to Shecky's - DC's Ultimate Girl's Night Out Shopping Event this Season. Come see the jewels upfront, ask all the questions you want and see what Stella & Dot has to offer you. Can't make it to Shecky's, then email me and let's connect soon!!! With the holidays fast approaching, take advantage of the highest selling season - october - december - and get everything on your holiday wish list!!!

For more information on Shecky's, please CLICK HERE

Read more about the Stella & Dot business opportunity right here

Get Free Jewelry - Host a Trunk Show with MiMi and Be the Hostess with the Mostess

Be your own Boss - Become a Stylist with Stella & Dot (

Enjoy fabulous Style - Shop online (

Get Inspired - Watch Video of the Stella & Dot Story

To view the video, please click the link below:

MiMi (MiMi Dabo; Stylist ID 103764)
Owner, Buyer & Designer, Boutique Mix
Shop Stella & Dot Jewelry -
Fashion Examiner Fashion Articles -

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

David Beckham visits Sierra Leone - Side Hustles = UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Underwear Model

It breaks my heart that the UNICEF Report released today states that Sierra Leone has the highest child mortality rate in the world. Hopefully we can make a tiny difference with the Sa Lone Pikin 2008 Pledge Campaign.

For those of you who read this blog, you already know how I feel about David Beckham. Guess where he is today??? The newly minted UNICEF Ambassador is in Sierra Leone today, bringing awareness to this child mortality issue, and playing around SHIRTLESS with the kids................... definitely warms my, ahem, heart :-)

Here's what he had to say ----

"We can't turn a blind eye to the tens of thousands of young children who die every day in the developing world mostly from causes that are preventable. In Sierra Leone, one in four children dies before reaching their fifth birthday. It's shocking and tragic, especially when the solutions are simple - things like vaccinations against measles or using a mosquito net to reduce the chance of getting malaria. Saving these children's lives is a top priority for UNICEF and as an ambassador I hope I can help to draw attention to this issue across the world. Surely there is no reward more precious than saving the life of a child? Their futures remain in our hands."

Can he be/sound any hotter???? If he starts singing African Queen, I"m putty in his hands :-) ... Sorry 2Face.......

Learn more about UNICEF.

At some point, you had to realize this post was all about Beckham......... Mercy!!! Check out the David Beckham for Emporio Armani Ad RIGHT HERE!!!


Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream - How do we carry on his Legacy?

Martin Luther King, Jr., had a dream. What is your dream? Are you living his dream? Or your dream? Or are you engulfed in a nightmare? As you read the words in his speech, ask yourself what you are doing to embrace Martin's legacy?

What contributions are you making to your family, your friends, your community, your country? What are you doing with the freedom that your civil rights leaders fought so hard to attain? Or maybe you're not yet free???? I'm sure that we all have differing opinions on what this speech means to us, but we can all agree that we owe Martin Luther King, Jr. the duty to live his legacy!!!!

As we read this speech, we must remember that this is not a "dream," but a call to action. A call to action in a dignified, peaceful, articulate and eloquent way. A directive to live full, rich lives, grateful for the sacrifices others made so we can be where we are today, have what we have today, work where we work today, eat where we work today, read, write and ride public transportion (and sit whereever we want).

We now have a duty to honor this legacy by doing what we can to change lives - educating our children, working for peace, providing financial resources to women around the world who need help starting out, working for social and economic reform, working for peace so that others can have the basic dream of food, shelter, clothing, clean water and the right to vote. We don't have to make a speech at the Lincoln Memorial to make a difference or carry on the legacy - Charity begins at Home!!!!

What will you do to carry on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream in 2008? You too, have a dream that [insert your dream/directive/legacy].

Below is an excerpt of one of the most powerful speeches in the history of the United States.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. *We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: "For Whites Only."* We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."²

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last

Excerpted from
Picture Source
Picture Source

Sunday, January 20, 2008

UPDATED!! - Valentine's Day Sweepstakes - January 5 - February 5


Drumroll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations to everyone. I hope you enjoy your winnings. Please send your P.O.Box address or other mailing address to and I will mail your prizes off this weekend. I will post pictures of the prizes on saturday before mailing them out. Enjoy!!!! STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT CONTEST COMING NEXT WEEK FROM BOUTIQUE MIX!!!!

1. Kreativemix Site = Knikki from Popularly Unpopular
2. Rebuilding Sa Lone Site = Stman109 (Jan 7 12.54am entry time)

MiMi Necklaces
3. Kreativemix Site = Sunshine Mama (Jan 19 9.06pm entry time)
4. Online Daters Annonymous site = Bogueflower (Jan 29 5.28 entry time)

Fashion Necklaces
5. Kreativemix site = Lesha (Jan 7 11.14am entry time)
6. Rebuilding Sa Lone= Meesh-o-matic

New additional Prizes - Fashion Necklaces
7. Kreativemix site = Annonymous (Jan 11 11.32pm entry time)
8. Kreativemix site = Kari (Jan 22 12.52 am)
9. Kreativemix site = amberrose95 Jan 29 2.23am entry time)
10.Kreativemix site = Jess from Foster Communications



Leave a comment anywhere on this blog or Online Daters Annonymous or Rebuilding Sierra Leone and you will automatically be entered into Boutique Mix's Valentine's Day Sweepstakes to win one of two MiMi gift baskets (price ranges $45-$55) or a MiMi Design Necklace (price range $55-$60).

I will post pictures of the actual items prior to announcing the 6 sassy winners!!!! This sweepstakes is open to everyone!!!

Please visit Sa Lone Pikin to learn about the 2008 pledge!!!!!! So many people have taken the Pledge. Please read more about it and let us know if you would love to participate. You may take the Pledge Poll and read about how you too can participate. Thanks and God Bless!!! From educating children to providing micro loans through Kiva, we can do so much to change lives in the United States and around the World!!!

Da Man Himself A.K.A. Ibrahim Dabo - $12
Ishmael Dabo - $12
Renee Baker from Renee Baker Designs - $30 (NEW)
Stan - $2
Anonymous (30 individuals) - $110, 8 packs of bic pens.
Christophe Guibert de Bruet, Esq. - $12
Joyce Koo, Esq. - $12
Mary Brown, Esq. - $100
Randolph Shingler, Northwestern Mutual Financial Advisor - $100
Miatta Dabo, Esq. - $250
Boutique Mix - $2000
Angela Holland, Esq. - $12
Delia Patterson, Esq. - $12
Bryon Wasserman, Esq. - $12
Sarah Gans - $12
Sherika Jones - $12
Basil Henderson - $12
Teresa Bernhardt- $12
Chandran Iyler, Esq. - $12
Tilshop Girl - $30
Pastor Bai Sesay $20
Daniel of Daniel's Counter
Mountain Girl from Mountaingirl's Musings
Abbey from Random Thoughtsof Life
Jack Figura
SDSue from
Sierra Express Media Newspaper

Sweepstakes Pictures


Side Hustle - Cake Decorating Biz

Fab Tips for starting your own Cake Decorating Biz - Excerpted from My Small Biz

Cake Decorator Business Overview - Use your creative talents and flair for frosting to start a small business as a Cake Decorator! Your business will produce beautifully decorated cakes for weddings, parties, and other major events. Whether you bake the cakes yourself is entirely up to you. Depending on your interests and business size, you may just choose to purchase unfinished cakes from local bakeries and do the decorating yourself.

Keys To A Successful Cake Decorator Business - Word of mouth spreads quickly in this business. Try giving a few of your cakes away to local news or radio stations. You just might get a free plug on the air! As mentioned above, start small and specialize purely in cake decorating by purchasing your unfinished cakes elsewhere. Whether you operate your business in a professional kitchen or your own home, always maintain the highest degree of sanitation and cleanliness.

Expanding Your Cake Decorator Business - Develop and sell a line of do-it-yourself cake decorating kits. These kits could include various icing materials and tips, templates and even an instructional DVD. Sell your services to local hotels and restaurants. You can provide your cakes to them for special customers celebrating birthdays, engagements or other important life milestones.

Additional tips for a successful cake-baking/decorating biz.

Sugar Shack
cake cartoon

Side Hustle - Personal Training Biz

10 ways to thrive in your personal training business - Business Tips from Debra Atkinson

The option of sleeping in late or working early. Two hour lunches. A mid-afternoon workout. Never having to miss a fieldtrip. Being an independent contractor or operating a personal training business from your home office sounds like a dream. In reality, trainers tend to glamorize the idea of working for themselves. The obvious perks don't always outweigh the challenges that accompany being your own boss. In fact, many home-based trainers and independent contractors share similar complaints: no time, disorganization, an unbalance between business and personal life or not enough income, to name a few. None of these are insurmountable. Following are some tips to get your personal training business on track.


You need a designated work space. Having a space with at least a phone, filing cabinet and, ideally, computer says you take your profession seriously. When the time comes, you can take your deductions seriously, too.


While enjoying flexible hours is certainly OK, it is important to set and follow a schedule. Use a business plan to determine your schedule. Start by calculating how much you need to earn. Based on that and your fees, how many clients do you need to see on a weekly/daily basis? Then, decide when you work best--are you a morning person or one who prefers to sleep in? By establishing a schedule, you set some boundaries and will be more focused.


If you work from a home office, you may have more interruptions and demands on your time. When friends, family or pets see you at home, they assume your time is theirs. Therefore, set boundaries within this arena as well as with current and potential clients.

While not working enough can be a problem, for many trainers the opposite is true. Simultaneously building a business and balanced personal life is easier than letting your business determine your schedule first and trying to reclaim personal time later.


No matter how much you love training, build a business that stimulates other interests. Feed your creative child, so to speak. Write an article, develop an educational product for a separate revenue stream, market a concept for group training according to seasonal needs or special populations, speak at meetings and create a business of presenting. As a result, you will retain your passion much longer and find yourself more stimulated in each endeavor. If you create some passive source of income (e.g., book, video, newsletter) that works while you play, so much the better.


Although personal training involves working with people, it can be an isolating business. Your conversations with clients may be friendly and enjoyable, but should be about them on a professional level, even when sharing things about yourself. These relationships should not substitute friendships or interpersonal relationships in your life. Join the Chamber of Commerce, attend social functions in the community and volunteer. When interacting with other professionals who work independently and share similar challenges, you are also marketing yourself and meeting prospective clients or referral engines.


While you may not have the staff meeting or morning coffee break, you still need to plan a break every few hours. If you usually schedule appointments back to back, take 15 to 20 minutes after the third to let your mind and body get the change of focus they need. Maybe you need to walk, stretch, drink or eat. Call your significant other or check on a child. Connect with who you are so you don't mistake it for what you do.


Play a brainstorming game. For instance, write down all the marketing ideas and programs you can in five minutes or devise a new ab workout that doesn't involve supine floor work. Using new areas of your brain by making a game out of work freshens your outlook.


Make time to exercise and eat properly. If you do not take care of yourself, it will show. By taking care of yourself, you will attract clients who want what you embody. In addition, good health is critical to creativity. If you want to stand out from the crowd, be creative with your programming for clients' success!


Although they may thank you, clients don't always praise you. If you're your own boss, you may not get an annual review. Take time every month to reflect on specific successes, such as gaining x amount of new clients or bringing in x amount of revenue. Also, appreciate immeasurable successes--the smile on your client's face, the postcard from her trip to Hawaii telling you how great she feels and looks or the feeling that you truly connected with someone and made a difference.


Having a home office means your phone can ring at any time. Return phone calls and e-mails according to a responsible policy--say, within 24 hours. Just as you need policies for conducting business, you also need boundaries for conducting your life. If you don't role model a life full of things other than work, what are you saying to clients? Work to live and your work will stay flesh. Live to work and life pales. Live in full color.

Debra Atkinson has been a group exercise instructor and personal trainer for 20 years. She holds an M.S. in sports and exercise physiology and teaches applied fitness courses at Iowa State University. Atkinson owns Life Too Good To Be True, specializing in helping personal training programs get off to a strong start and trainers maintain balance in their lifestyles. She has also co-produced How to Grow Your Personal Training Business Today for personal trainers and directors and can be reached at Life too Good to be True


Excerpted from BNET

Side Hustle - Home Jewelry Party Biz

16 Ways to Market your Home Jewelry Party Business by Kristie Leong M.D.

Do you sell jewelry through home jewelry parties? If so, you already know how important it is to recruit new hosts for your home jewelry party business.

1. Hand out business cards freely. Make sure you have a separate business card promoting your jewelry home party business. Don't use a business card designed to promote sales of your jewelry. Your home party business card should specifically list the benefits of hosting a jewelry home party.

2. Post your home jewelry party business cards on bulletin boards in schools, libraries, restaurants, and grocery stores.

3. Stay motivated by reading positive thinking and motivational books and literature. These really do make a difference if you put them into practice.

4. Host an open house to sell your jewelry and recruit new sellers for your jewelry home party business.

5. Make a list of everyone you can think of who might enjoy making extra money selling jewelry through home parties. Resolve to call at least two people each evening to let them know how your home jewelry party business can help them make money.

6. Set up a recruiting booth at a school fair, craft show, or business fair. This is your chance to promote both your jewelry and your jewelry home party business.

7. Wear a catchy button promoting your home party business. Use a slogan like "Earn extra money while having fun! Ask me how!" or "Ask me how to get free jewelry."

8. Advertise in low cost and free publications such as church bulletins, dance recital programs, school publications, buy and sell newspapers, and local classifieds. There are lots of people out there looking for ways to earn extra money who love beautiful jewelry!

9. Wear a sweatshirt or t-shirt that promotes your home jewelry party business. You can use the same slogan you use on your button or badge.

10. Wear your jewelry everywhere. When people compliment it, let them know about how they can get free jewelry and earn income by hosting a home jewelry party.

11. Place signs on telephone polls advertising your home party business. Don't laugh! This really works.

12. Turn your car into an advertising vehicle with a magnetic car sign advertising your home party business.

13. Advertise your home jewelry party business prominently on your web page.

14. Write articles on how to be successful in the home party business. Submit the articles to article databases along with a link to your web page.

15. When you're shopping or running errands, keep your ears open for people who are complaining about wanting to earn extra income. Give them one of your business cards.

16. Include a business card advertising your home jewelry party business along with your tip at restaurants.

These are just a few of the many ways you can recruit more people to host home jewelry parties for you.. Pick out two of these ideas and resolve to do them on a regular basis and track the results. If one idea isn't working for you after several weeks, discard it and try another one. It's important to test each idea thoroughly before moving onto the next one so you can see which marketing ideas are most effective for you. Focus and consistency will pay off. Be sure to document where each of your leads comes from so you can know which advertising methods are working for you. Be consistent about this and you should be rewarded with lots of new recruits for your home jewelry party business.

Kristie Leong M.D. specializes in helping handmade jewelry designers find new markets for their jewelry. She publishes a blog and has website full of information on jewelry marketing at

Excerpted from How to Start a Jewelry Business.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Tax Information for Small Biz Owners

It's that time of year again!! Here are a few tips to guide us through our shoeboxes full of receipts!!!

Small Business Tax Basics, excerpted from

Taxes are one of the most important issues facing small businesses. And like a company's profits, its annual tax bill will, in part, reflect the owner's skills and knowledge. Business owners need to be sure that they are meeting all their responsibilities to the tax authorities — and also seizing every legitimate opportunity to reduce their taxes.

Writing It Off: Deductions
Businesses can deduct all "ordinary and necessary" business expenses from their revenues to reduce their taxable income. Some deductions are obvious — expenditures in such areas as business travel, equipment, salaries, or rent. But the rules governing write-offs aren't always simple. Don't overlook these potential deductions:

Trips that combine business and pleasure. If a business trip is primarily devoted to business, deduct the travel costs, as well as other business-related expenses.

Purchases financed by business loans or credit cards. These costs can be deducted this year even if they won't be paid off until later. Deduct the interest on the loans themselves, as well.

Startup expenditures. Only a portion of expenses related to starting up a business can be deducted — $5,000 of general startup costs, and $5,000 of organizational costs. Additional expenses must be amortized over 180 months once the company is up and running.

Employee Taxes
If a business has employees, a variety of taxes will have to be withheld from their salaries. Among them are:

Withholding. Social Security (FICA), Medicare, and federal and state income taxes must be withheld from employees' pay.
Employer matching. Businesses must match the FICA and Medicare taxes and pay them along with employees.
Unemployment tax. Businesses must pay federal and state unemployment taxes.

Read Payroll Taxes for Your Small Business for more detail.

Quarterly Estimated Taxes
This area trips up many entrepreneurs, and is especially vexing for home-based businesses. Failure to keep up with estimated tax bills can create cash flow problems as well as the potential for punishing IRS penalties. Among the issues are:

Who should pay? A business probably must pay quarterly estimated taxes if the total tax bill in a given year will exceed $500.

How much should you pay? By the end of the year, either 90 percent of the tax that is owed, or 100 percent of last year's tax must be paid (the figure is 110 percent if a business's income exceeds $150,000). Businesses can subtract their expenses from their income each quarter, and apply their income tax rate (and any self-employment tax rate) to the resulting figure (their quarterly profit).

Sales Taxes
Most services remain exempt from sales tax, but most products are taxable (typical exceptions are food and drugs). If a business sells a product or service that is subject to sales tax, the business must register with the state's tax department. Then taxable and nontaxable sales must be tracked and included on the company's sales tax return.

Important Tax Deadlines for Businesses
April 15 isn't the only important tax date. The following deadlines are also important to keep in mind:

Annual returns. Annual returns are due April 15 for unincorporated companies.
Estimated taxes. Estimated taxes are due four times a year: April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15.
Sales taxes. Sales taxes are due quarterly or monthly, depending on the rules in your state.
Employee taxes. Depending on the size of your payroll, employee taxes are due weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
Corporations. The due date for corporations with a calendar tax year is March 15. If a corporation follows a fiscal year, taxes are due two-and-a-half months after the end of the fiscal year.


5 Tips to Help Discuss Money with your Honey

The TODAY Show Presents 5 tips to help discuss money with your honey - Learn how to stop fighting and better communicate about financial issues - By Stacey Tisdale

Conventional wisdom says that when we have a problem, we need to talk about it — so why isn't that working for so many of us when it comes to money? Perhaps it's because we try to have "the money talk" before we're ready — and a lot needs to happen before a couple sits down to have a discussion.

Most importantly, you both must live up to your responsibilities: If you're expected to contribute a certain amount to the family finances, make sure you're holding up your end of the bargain. If you've both decided you need to save more, don't overdo it with your credit cards. If you're expected to mail the bills on time, make sure you're getting them out.

You’ve got to "walk the walk" before you can have the talk. Don’t expect your concerns to be taken seriously if you've already proven you don't keep your promises. Couples also need to understand where the other is coming from — as individuals — before they have productive conversations about money.

You must take each other's financial personalities into account if you are to find common ground. For example, my husband's parents grew up during the Great Depression with the mentality "Save, save, save." My parents grew up poor in the South and could not let a lack of money keep them from having the experiences they thought they needed to have. That means we have very different attitudes about spending and saving. Basically, he buys generic, while I buy organic.

Once we understand where we are coming from as individuals, we can stop playing the blame game and make choices that bring us closer to our goals. Society gives men and women different messages about how to handle money: Men must be the breadwinners and know everything about finance. Women, however, even if they're bringing home a paycheck, need to be nurturing and let men make important financial decisions. These messages put a lot of pressure on the financial aspect of the relationship. Women tend to see concerns or complaints as an invitation to move closer. Men hear concerns or complaints as a warning flag that they are about to get blamed for something. That makes it very difficult to have conversations about money.

Social messages — what we learned as children — are influences that are not going to go away, but there are things couples can do to move beyond them and create healthy financial lives. Use these five helpful tips to stop fighting about money:

1. Lose the notion of right and wrong
There are no right and wrong beliefs about money, just different attitudes and beliefs, and they all come from our individual experiences. To tell someone they're wrong is telling them that your experiences are more valuable than theirs. That’s simply not the truth — you’ll strike a nerve and start an argument.

2. Don’t use money as a weapon
Don't bring money into conflicts where it does not belong. If your partner is upset because you have not been spending time together, don't say something like, "I’m working to pay off your bills." Also, don't go on a spending binge if you're mad at your spouse. Actions like these take problems that aren't related to money into dangerous territory.

3. Set long- and short-term goals as a couple
Ask yourself questions like "What are some things we want to do with our finances this year? Do we want to build up our savings or take a vacation? What do we want to do in five or 10 years? How does our behavior have to change individually and as a couple in order to accomplish our dreams?"

4. Stay connected to your goals
A great way to stay on top of your goals is to do a monthly money date. Attach a positive activity to it, like dinner, and be sure to talk about your goals and dreams, not just your problems. Figure out how to build on each other's strengths (Note: Do not have this meeting at the beginning or end of the month, as things tend to be tense near bill-paying time.)

5. Have your own money
While you have goals as a couple, you also have individual needs and goals. Once you agree on what you will each contribute to the family unit, decide on an amount that is off-limits. If you want to take it out into the backyard and burn it, it's your decision. No discussion, no criticism.

Financial journalist Stacey Tisdale is the author of The True Cost of Happiness: The Real Story Behind Managing Your Money”.

Stacey Tisdale's Photo
Excerpted from - THE TODAY SHOW

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Few Reasons to Shop "Hand-made"

Before I started making jewelry or giftbaskets, I'd comparison shop and wonder - "why would i pay $$$$$ for that when I can get it at some mall for cheaper?" Today, I understand "Why." I've moved from shopping primarily at mass malls to a mix of hand-made and boutiques, when I can help it. Everyone should shop where they want, and this is not a post to go hand-made. It merely highlights a few answers to questions I've had in the past. Enjoy!!!

Here are few reasons, excerpted from EtsyWiki

You are purchasing higher quality products, made with love and care by the artisan.

You are purchasing unique items that are not mass-produced. Even if the same product may be made a thousand times each will be unique in some tiny way.

Buying handmade supports artists, crafters, designers and small business owners instead of large corporations - if you buy handmade you help someone live their dream.

When you buy handmade art objects you are also getting a piece of the artist’s soul.

Those who value handmade are usually eager to know about the artist that made their piece and they value the skill and passion that went into its creation. Handmade pieces have life, unlike items that are mass-produced by machines and basically untouched by human hands during the creation process.

You are helping to promote local economies and fair trade. Investment in the creative sector brings a huge boost to the economic, cultural and social vitality of communities.

Handmade products are increasingly being made with recycled materials. This is excellent for the environment.

You as the buyer vote with your purchase. This offers immediate feedback to the artisan and allows them to gauge which items to further develop. This feedback loop is vital to the handmade indiepreneur.

Handmade items appeal to trend setters, not trend followers.

Handmade items can push boundaries - they aren't in thrall to the dictates of the mass market.

Handmade items can often be custom-made, fit, and colored, to the buyer's specifics or wishes making it even more unique and, often, practical.


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