Filed under: environmental issues | Tags: green as a thistle, Vanessa Farquharson
I’m new to this blogging thing, so I’ve been gradually discovering new ones everyday. I just came upon “Green as a thistle”( http://greenasathistle.com/ ) yesterday and I’m so disappointed that I didn’t find it sooner. It’s written by Vanessa Farquharson, a reporter for the Toronto National Post. One year ago today she took on the commitment to “green” one thing in her life every day for 1 year. By the final day, her intent was to be living the greenest life possible. She has acheived that and more and looking back through the archives makes for some great reading. She has a very down to earth wit and charm about her that keep things real. She doesn’t take herself or this endeavor to seriously. In fact, her slogan is “making one change every day to greenify my life (and hopefully not being too smug about it).” Many of her efforts are pretty funny, like taking a shower in the dark using vinegar instead of shampoo, or skinny dipping to avoid buying a new swimsuit and saving the water required to wash it. Alas, today is the last day in her experiment, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last we hear from her. She’s built up quite a readership and has promised to continue posting about the green habits she’s keeping for good and those that will have to go. I think there’s also talk of a book deal in the works. It’s definitely worth checking out for some good tips and some good laughs.
Filed under: Food for Thought
A few months ago I bought the cheapest cornbread mix I could find on the shelf as I tried to get out of the grocery store in record time. (Grocery shopping is not what I consider fun.) I ended up with Aunt Jemima’s cornbread mix and was astonished when I opened the box and read the directions for making the bread.
The package inlcuded the box, the cornbread mix in an open plastic bag, and a strange paper tray that held the mix. The package directed you to put your wet ingredients into the open plastic bag, squeeze the bag until blended, and then pour into the paper tray to bake. I had never seen anything like that before. I tried it just as they instructed to see if it worked and it did.
Since then, that experience has stuck in my head. What an interesting and different way of packaging. All you need (except for wet ingredients) is included. How cool could it be if the box became the baking tray or if the plastic bag became recyclable. The whole kit and kaboodle would be so environmentally friendly! Plus, you’d save on the added cost or effort of washing dirty utensils. The packaging is not quite there but if your up for a new baking experience definitely spend the 99 cents and enjoy!
Filed under: design, environmental issues | Tags: modern design, modular home, prefab home
Prefab and modular homes have come a very long way. Times have changed and they are rapidly becoming more popular; especially amongst young individuals who appreciate modern design and homebuyers on a low budget.
Builders are saving so much time by mass-producing these homes, which in turn leaves more time to make the design a priority! A few other reasons these homes are so appealing are that they leave less of a carbon footprint by reducing energy consumption and having less construction waste. And lets face it, you’re neighbor will be very thankful for not having a loud construction site next door for months.
These homes typically run about $80-$150 per square foot, which is extremely reasonable. I’m thinking about buying a couple of these myself and placing them around the world for my vacation homes!
Below are websites to some of my favorites. Check them out…
Filed under: business, savvy tools | Tags: biz lady meetups, business plan, design*sponge, mission statement, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, SBA, Score, starting your own business
During our get together this past weekend we addressed a lot of big questions about our company. They’re the same questions that any entrepreneur has to face. As we’ve mentioned before, none of us have an education in business, but we’re learning as we go along. Based on that experience, I’d like to share a few tips to hopefully help anyone else who’s considering starting something on their own.
1. Come up with a mission statement. What’s your company all about? We prefer short & sweet, but there’s a lot of variety out there. Here are a few examples for reference:
Disney: “To make people happy.”
Google: “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible & useful.”
Savvy Tools: ” Savvy’s mission is to provide women with sustainable tools to enhance their creativity.”
2. Start writing your business plan. It’s a long process and you may not know the answer to all the questions yet, but giving it your best shot will certainly help you narrow down what you’re trying to do and help you figure out how much its going to take to get there. It can be a great reality check. There are lots of templates online to get you started & lots of books at the library. I like this one from Score: http://www.score.org/template_gallery.html
3. Research local small business administrations & other support groups. Most of them offer classes, one-on-one consultations, awards programs, and give discounts on lots of things you’re going to need to start your business. Here are a few to get you started:
US Small Business Administration: http://www.sba.gov/
Specifically in SF, I really like:
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center/ Bayview Resource Center: http://www.rencenter.org/bay.htm
There are several groups specifically for women as well like the women’s business center in conjunction with the REC listed above.
4. Read as much as you can- online, at the library, wherever. Here are some books that helped us:
-How to Kick Start Your Business by Romanus Walter
-Bold Women, Big Ideas by Kay Klopovitz (If you’re considering funding from a venture capitalist)
-Craft Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco (for turning your crafting hobby into a business)
The library is full of them. You can take your pick.
5. Network! Design*sponge has a great meeting called Biz Ladies Meet-up. Grace brought together several business owners, business advisors and the author of Craft Inc. for the meeting in SF. There were hundreds of women there and it was a great place to meet people with the same questions & people who have already been through this. She holds these in major cities all over the country. I think there’s one coming up in Seattle next. http://www.designspongeonline.com/2008/02/biz-lady-notes.html There are lots of other forums to meet people too. You just have to get out and not be afraid to talk about your ideas.
Hopefully that’s a good start. As I said, we certainly don’t have it all figured out, but we’d like to help other people acheive their goals and we’re happy to share the things that have helped us so far.
-Rebecca, San Francisco
Well, the long anticipated reunion has already come and gone. This weekend the savvy girls all got together from five cities to one. It’s amazing what you can get accomplished when you are are all in one room. Not only was it wonderful to see everyone together again, hearing about their jobs and what they have been up to, but it was also great to move forward with our savvy tools. We brainstormed, sketched and relived those late nights in studio a few years ago.
One great thing came from this weekend. It was the realization that there is still nothing on the market that is truly designed for women or the environment in mind. Not only did we push savvy further, but we came up with even more ideas for what we would want in tools. We are excited to continue our designs and to get these ideas on paper and hopefully on a shelf in a store near you.
We will of course keep you updated on our tools and where we hope they will go. Also, we’ll continue to give you our favorite design and sustainable tid bits along the way. Stay tuned! Savvy Tools is just beginning!
-Alison, KC, MO
Filed under: design
Do you know color? I mean really know color? Be honest… If you answered no, welcome to the club! Choices regarding color often seem rather mystical, like shaking a magic 8 ball and hoping it says “all signs point to yes.” All too often we base our decisions on “it looks right…doesn’t it?” Let’s face it. Most of us don’t make the right decisions with color. More often than not we are just playing a game of ‘go fish’ with a box of paint samples. Anyone have a Sherman Williams Cajun Red? Whether you are color blind or just need a helping hand picking out the right colors, this website may have the answers for you. Check out kuler.adobe.com, it will make you look like a genius!
So, I’m getting really excited because in just in 2 days the 5 Non-blondes are coming together to give our brains and drawing hands a workout. We’re all meeting in Kansas, where Savvy Tools originally evolved, and have a lot to cover in a short 24+ hour visit.
To name a few items on the agenda for the weekend…
1) Completing (or close to) our Business Plan and Mission Statement
2) Reviewing and enhancing our original tool designs
3) Creating/finalizing graphic logos, letterhead, etc…
4) Making sure we are doing our best in making our tools enviromentally friendly.
5) and last, but not least…having a great time!!
Can’t wait to come back and tell you all about our progress.
Kelsey, Vail, CO