CreativeChild RSS Feed 10 Ways to Spend Quality Time With Your Kids This Holiday Season <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Quality family time in today&rsquo;s culture conjures up images of weekends spent at Great Wolf Lodge or Disneyland because these are activities that appeal to our kids. But quality time doesn&rsquo;t have to be synonymous with making our kids supremely happy. What kids really need isn&rsquo;t more toys, more treats, or more entertainment. They just need our undivided attention. Quality time is simply about creating that space for family to be next to each other and focus on the same things your kids are focused on. Simply being together can be enough. Here are some ways to spend quality time with your family this holiday season. </span></p> <p class="p2">##ad##</p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1"><strong>1. Play board games.</strong> Board games are a great interactive way to spend some time together. Not only does the hint of friendly competition keep everyone on their toes, but there&rsquo;s something about the cold weather that enhances the appeal of board games during the holidays. Competition and warmth aside though, what really lights up kids is seeing mom and dad engaged in the same thing they are.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1"><strong>2. Cook together</strong>. Part of the appeal with cooking is that it&rsquo;s a grown-up activity kids get to partake in. Plus, kids are more prone to eat what they make. Susan Roberts, a pediatric occupational therapist and author of My Kids Eat Everything says kids eat horrible today because they are just being &ldquo;fed.&rdquo; She claims that kids ate better in the past when they helped prep the food, set the table, wash dishes, and in some cases even helped catch the food the family served. Not only is cooking together a way to spend quality time together, but it can make your kids less picky eaters.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">##adbig##</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1"><strong>3. Make a holiday greeting video. </strong>A video is a much more personal way to send holiday greetings to family members and friends, especially those you may not have seen in a while. And with the popularity of YouTube, creating a family holiday video can be equal parts meaningful and fun.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1"><strong>4. Wrap presents together.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span></strong>Collaboration can turn gift-wrapping from a holiday nuisance to a holiday craft. The important precursor here is to do most of your shopping ahead of time. My kids have used pipe cleaners and googly eyes to create faces on some of the presents. Your guests will surely appreciate the added touch as well. </span></p> Tue, 11 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Explaining Santa <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Many families choose to honor the Santa tradition with their children. For those families, a time eventually comes when children learn that there are no flying reindeer, no big guy in a red suit, and no magical elves. With this realization can come a mixed bag of emotions that parents will need to help their child sort through. While many children understand it as the pretend play of childhood and happily carry on the tradition with their younger siblings and friends, some children can feel quite upset and even betrayed by the lie. </span></p> <p class="p2">##ad##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">We are one of the &ldquo;Santa families.&rdquo; Santa left my children encouraging notes on Christmas morning. He left footprints of white powder across our living room floor. We made reindeer food and placed it outside before bed, and baked cookies which we left on a plate near our chimney. We listened for sleigh bells quietly in the night. I never felt that I was betraying my children&rsquo;s trust. We joined in this fantasy together as we did so many others, like our quests to find rare gems underneath the bellies of dragons and journeys into space to discover unknown planets. Make-believe is an important part of childhood, and, research shows, is important for child development. There are other benefits as well.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">1. It grows imagination. When children believe in Santa, they believe in a magical place where they can imagine all sorts of wonderful things happening such as elves singing as they make toys just for them and reindeer flying around the North Pole to get ready for the big night. Their eyes light up as they dream of the possibilities, and building imagination will help them problem-solve and dream up new ideas throughout their lives.</span></p> <p class="p2">##adbig##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">2. An emphasis on giving. Yes, there is excitement in receiving a toy from a magical elf, but not to be dismissed is the emphasis on giving that Santa teaches. This becomes particularly evident when they learn the truth and begin to share in the secret, becoming Santa for someone else. Taking on that role with younger brothers and sisters or by playing Santa to someone else helps children put the focus on bringing joy to others. </span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">3. It builds tradition. I&rsquo;ve written before about the <a href=""><span class="s2">benefits of family traditions</span></a> and how they bond us together. Santa is a tradition that they can carry on with their children and grandchildren, providing so many fond memories along the way. </span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">4. The belief in things we cannot see. To me, this is one of the most important lessons of Santa. It&rsquo;s a child-like way to teach faith. Whether we are talking about faith as in religion or simply the kind of faith that things will work out alright even when we cannot see a way forward, the seeds of this belief are sown in the believing of Santa Claus. Of course, they can be sown in other ways as well, but this is a benefit of the Santa tradition.</span></p> Tue, 11 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Family Kindness Challenge <p class="p1"><span class="s1">If you spend any time watching the news, it doesn&rsquo;t take long to be reminded that there are a lot of things going on in the world that make the it worse for the wear. Why not try to spread some kindness giving others (and your own family) something positive to focus on? There are benefits, a few of which are outlined below, for both you and your kids as well as those on the receiving end of your kind gestures. As Flora Edwards said, &ldquo;In helping others, we help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">##ad##</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> Being kind makes you happier</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> Being nice to others doesn&rsquo;t just benefit them, it give you a boost too. If you have ever been able to help out a friend or a stranger in a time of need you know that being helpful actually makes you feel happy. Doing nice things for others boosts your serotonin. &ldquo;Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that gives us the feeling of satisfaction and well-being.&rdquo; says Lara Honos-Webb Ph.D. in Psychology Today &ldquo;Most of the antidepressant medications work by increasing the amount of serotonin available to your brain. All of this means doing nice things for other people changes your brain in ways that make you feel better.&rdquo;<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> Being kind makes you healthier</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> People who volunteer in the community and are charitable to others often experience lower stress levels and improved overall health. According to Happier Human, statistics show that people who are kind have less physical pain, get better quality sleep, and exercise more.</span></p> <p class="p1">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">##adbig##</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Being kind builds self-esteem</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> As parents we are always looking for ways to build self-esteem in our kids. Helping others and being generous with our time and talents can actually help build self-esteem because when we help someone we feel like we have value and a purpose. We are also letting someone else know they are important and mean something to us. </span></p> Tue, 11 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Naughty or Nice: The Trouble with Using Santa for Behavior Modification <p class="p1"><span class="s1">&ldquo;Santa Claus is watching you.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s a popular tactic &ndash; a built-in behavior control plan around the holidays - but do threats really produce better behavior? And do they belong in the parent-child relationship? To make matters worse for children, not only is Santa watching their every move from afar, but there&rsquo;s a live-in spy who will tattle. The Elf on the Shelf is also watching, and reports all misbehavior back to Santa. Children are routinely being shamed to the &ldquo;naughty list&rdquo; and expected to live up to vague notions of &ldquo;being good.&rdquo; Christmas should be a time of joy, gratitude, giving, and cheer. Instead, we&rsquo;ve made it a game of empty threats and creepy magical spies, and our children end up living in fear rather than enjoying the magic of the holiday season. That&rsquo;s hardly fair. Consider the following points before you use the Santa threat this year.</span></p> <p class="p2">##ad##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">1. Would you rather your child behave out of respect for you or fear of an imaginary man? The obvious problem with the Santa threat of course is that it is temporary. Come December 26</span><span class="s2"><sup>th</sup></span><span class="s1">, what new tactic will you use? This is always the problem with using threats to gain compliance &ndash; you always have to come up with new, bigger threats because the &ldquo;benefits&rdquo; don&rsquo;t last. The only real authority comes through a positive, trusting relationship between parent and child. Threats, punishments, and shame only give you temporary control at best, and the emotional toll those take on children is a high price t pay for temporary control. The goal should be for children to listen because they have a genuine respect for you &ndash; and because they have learned self-discipline &ndash; not because they&rsquo;re terrified they&rsquo;ll end up on some made-up naughty list and disappoint an imaginary guy.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">2. We forget what it&rsquo;s like to be a child. We forget how it feels to be controlled &ndash; told what to eat, what to wear, when to go to bed. We forget what it feels like to be threatened and manipulated in such a way. Imagine, for a moment, how you would feel in their shoes. What if someone threatened to report all of your mistakes and shortcomings to someone whose opinion you highly valued? Importantly, how would you feel toward the person making the threat? Hurt? Devalued? Resentful? Are these emotions we want to stir up in our kids?</span></p> <p class="p2">##adbig##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">3. The Santa threat taints the spirit of the holiday season, and with it, your child&rsquo;s memories of Christmas with family. If you&rsquo;re going to use Santa at all, let it be in the spirit of magic and wonder, not fear. Let their memories be of baking cookies with a loving parent to leave by the fireplace and of feeling loved and worthy of receiving good things. </span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">4. It damages the parent-child relationship. Threats have no place in a healthy, trusting relationship, and it&rsquo;s only through a healthy, trusting relationship that you will have any influence as your child grows. Don&rsquo;t squander it on a temporary hoax for momentary compliance. </span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The best way to have a well-behaved child is to help your child feel good about herself. Children who feel good &ndash; who feel seen, heard, accepted, and unconditionally loved &ndash; naturally behave better because they don&rsquo;t have the negative emotions that drive poor behavior. Children who trust and respect their parents want to make good choices. Telling children that they&rsquo;re on the naughty list makes them feel like they&rsquo;re bad people, and those who believe they are bad will act accordingly. Let&rsquo;s drop the &ldquo;naughty or nice&rdquo; routine and allow our children to feel the joy of Christmas. </span></p> Tue, 11 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 8 Fun Fall Traditions for Families <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Fall means cooler temperatures, changing and falling leaves, and many fun activities to enjoy. Traditions create closeness in a family and make memories that last a lifetime. Fall is a perfect time to start some new traditions that your family will look forward to each year. Try some of these ideas.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">##ad##</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1"> <strong>Pumpkins</strong></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Pumpkins are a symbol of fall. You can easily incorporate them into your family&rsquo;s fall traditions. Take the kids to the pumpkin patch and pick the perfect one as a family. While you carve it, try different pumpkin recipes like pumpkin bars, pumpkin bread, or roasted pumpkin seeds. Have each family member choose a small pumpkin or gourd and paint silly faces on them for another fun idea. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Campfire</strong></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">As the nights get cooler, find time to sit around the campfire as a family, either in the backyard or at a local park. Start a fun tradition as you roast hot dogs, make S&rsquo;mores, and tell ghost stories.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">##adbig##</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Apple Picking</strong></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">As fall approaches, the apples are ready to be harvested. Head to a nearby orchard as a family to pick apples and have a picnic. If available, pick up some apple cider and try some cider donuts. Back at home, try making homemade applesauce, apple pies, or apple pancakes.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>Don&rsquo;t forget to add some fresh picked apples to the lunch boxes.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Something Spooky</strong></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">For the older kids, try braving a haunted house together. Nothing says family bonding more than exploring a haunted house and experiencing thrills around every corner. Not ready for something so scary? Let the kids test their navigation skills as you work your way through a corn maze. </span></p> Mon, 12 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 The Pareto Principle and What It Can Teach Your Child About Time Management <p class="p1"><span class="s1">One of the biggest challenges of being a parent is time management. In any given day, there are at least twenty to-dos, from helping our child with homework, to baking cupcakes for her birthday, to doing laundry. And just like laundry, the list only seems to mount as the day progresses. </span></p> <p class="p2">##ad##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Not only do we have our own schedules to manage, but now more than ever, it&rsquo;s becoming crucial to teach our kids smart time management as well. Without the right strategy, we can easily let our kid&rsquo;s sports&rsquo; schedules run their lives past the scrimmage line. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Turns out, there&rsquo;s actually a law called the Pareto Principle, which says that most people obtain 80 percent of their actual results from 20 percent of their efforts. It is a particularly applicable law when it comes to productivity and sales, where 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of employees, and 80 percent of revenue usually comes from 20 percent of the products. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">If this law actually applies to real life, then the busiest people aren&rsquo;t the most productive because they work more while sacrificing sleep. They just work smarter. By tackling the to-dos that yield the most results with the least amount of effort, we, too, could make big impacts where it matters most. </span></p> <p class="p2">##adbig##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">In order to determine what that 20 percent is, it&rsquo;s important to rank to-dos with razor sharp, even mathematical precision. Here&rsquo;s an algorithm that can help. </span></p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">For each to do, you will need to assign it two numbers: one for effort (a number between 1 to 10, with 1 being the least amount of effort),<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>and one for the potential for positive impact (also between 1 to 10 with 10 representing the highest impact) </span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Then, divide, effort by impact. </span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Rank tasks from lowest to highest in number.</span></li> </ol> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Here&rsquo;s an example. </span></p> <ol class="ol1"> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Help your child with science project: Effort=7, Impact= 9, Priority=.7</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Baking cupcakes for birthday party: Effort 6, Impact 3, Priority = 2</span></li> <li class="li1"><span class="s1">Doing laundry: Effort= 4, Impact =5, Priority = .8</span></li> </ol> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Based on this example, you would help your child with her science project first, then do laundry, then bake cupcakes. Getting this technical can help define what you should be doing versus what you want to be doing. It may even save you from over committing and over estimating your abilities, which paradoxically could enable you to do more.&nbsp;</span></p> Mon, 12 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Thanksgiving – The Holiday We Shouldn’t Overlook <p class="p1"><span class="s1">I bought a Christmas tree a few days ago. In the middle of October, I strolled into the decked halls of the Christmas section and picked up a new tree. I passed through the Halloween section on my way there. Thanksgiving was nowhere in sight. Where has Thanksgiving gone, and why are we so eager to skip the season of Thanksgiving?</span></p> <p class="p2">##ad##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Don&rsquo;t worry. I won&rsquo;t berate you for putting your tree up in November. I, too, enjoy the Christmas cheer! I&rsquo;m only suggesting that we take a beat to observe the season of Thanksgiving &ndash; to nestle into all it has to offer our children and ourselves &ndash; before we head straight into the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. Here are a few reasons we shouldn&rsquo;t overlook Thanksgiving.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Nature</strong></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The world is beautiful this time of year. Before we wish for enough snow to build a snowman, let&rsquo;s pause with our children to admire the beauty of autumn. I believe one of the best gifts we can give our children is to teach them to pause and savor the season they are in. Each season has a purpose, both in nature and in our lives. I think we are all guilty of wishing too much away, of looking ahead to the next season without fully embracing the one we&rsquo;re in. Take time to walk with your kids through the forest, to jump in puddles before they ice over, to talk about the colorful trees before they are bare once again. It isn&rsquo;t just the falling leaves that we can observe with children, but the nature of cycles and rhythms and the value of embracing the present. By slowing down to observe Thanksgiving, you are, at least in some small way, teaching your kids how to pause and enjoy the moment while giving this gift to yourself as well. </span></p> <p class="p2">##adbig##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Delayed Gratification</strong></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Of course children are eager for the Christmas season. Toys and gifts, early dismissals and school closings, snowmen and sledding! It&rsquo;s definitely more exciting than the often dreary end of November, but children who can delay gratification do better in school, have fewer behavioral problems, and end up with higher SAT scores. As adults, they complete college at higher rates and go on to earn higher incomes whereas children who have the most trouble delaying gratification are more likely to struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. These were the results of the infamous marshmallow study in the 1960&rsquo;s. While a more recent study challenges those findings to a degree, a strong correlation was still found between the ability to delay gratification and future success. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">What does Thanksgiving have to do with delayed gratification? Rather than moving instantly from the excitement of Trick or Treating (getting) and the fun of Christmas (getting), taking time to focus on Thanksgiving (giving) helps children build their patience skills &ndash; to not only wait for the next time they get something but to spend time dwelling in the place of giving thanks for what they already have. It&rsquo;s a valuable skill and another often unseen benefit of Thanksgiving.</span></p> Mon, 12 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 5 Thanksgiving Themed Activity Bags for Toddlers <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Thanksgiving holiday is just around the corner, and it&rsquo;s usually a busy time for families. One of my favorite ways to entertain and engage toddlers is with activity bags, so, of course, this calls for a few Thanksgiving-themed bags to break out when you need get that turkey in the oven or sit down with your child for quality play time.</span></p> <p>##ad##</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Activity bags are simple. They are large Ziploc bags filled with fun and engaging activities for your little one to explore. Each of my activity bag ideas listed below include a sensory component, book, coloring sheet, and a couple of crafts. Have fun, and Happy Holidays!</span></p> <p><strong>Pumpkin Bag</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pumpkins are a big part of the holiday season, so a pumpkin-themed activity bag is the perfect way to occupy your toddler. Here are a few ideas to fill your pumpkin bag!</span></p> <ol> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Fill a smaller Ziploc bags with pumpkin guts for a messy but fun sensory experience. Too messy? Fill it with seeds and include a spoon and small cup for scooping and pouring!</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Print </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">this pumpkin coloring sheet</span></a></span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and toss in a few crayons.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Include a board book such as </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Where is Baby&rsquo;s Pumpkin</span></em></a></span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Little Simon. It&rsquo;s a lift-the-flap book perfect for toddlers!</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Cut out a foam sheet (like the ones you get from the Dollar Tree) into a pumpkin shape and glue a magnet to the back. Include a sticker sheet or glue and gems. Your toddler can decorate the pumpkin and stick it on the fridge!</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Try </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">this mess-free pumpkin painting from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds</span></a></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. It even has a free printable, and I love that there&rsquo;s no clean-up required!</span></li> </ol> <p><strong>Turkey Bag</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Let your little one explore a turkey-themed bag while you prep and bake your Thanksgiving turkey! </span></p> <ol> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Print </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">this turkey coloring sheet</span></a></span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and include a few crayons in the bag. </span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> The sensory component for this bag is </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">this super cute turkey squishy bag I found over at Life Over C&rsquo;s</span></a></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. If you can&rsquo;t find the turkey she used, I think a laminated and cut up turkey picture will work just fine. </span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Add the </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Little Turkey: Finger Puppet Book</span></em></a></span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Chronicle books to your activity bag. This sweet story offers a special Thanksgiving message, and the puppet is just adorable! Of course, any turkey-themed book works just fine. </span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Throw in the materials for </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">this turkey paper bag craft</span></a></span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> from </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Best Ideas for Kids</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> with a stick of glue. Your toddler can assemble the turkey and use it as a paper bag puppet.</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Paper plate turkeys are another simple craft that your toddler can put together with little to no help. You&rsquo;ll just need a paper plate, pre-cut feathers, eyes, a beak, and some glue. Toss it all into your turkey activity bag and watch them go!</span></li> </ol> Mon, 12 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Building Your Baby Boutique With Customer-Based Strategies <p>The baby and maternity market is rife with a diverse array of products. Just to name a few, there&rsquo;s maternity wear for expecting mothers, not to mention all of the quickly outgrown clothing for newborns; there are toys and soothing tools for babies at every stage of their growth and nutrition products. While innovation and uniqueness is a great asset for any product or business, building a baby boutique isn&rsquo;t necessarily about selling a one-of-a-kind product. It&rsquo;s about building on the strengths of the products you want to sell by engaging your customers.&nbsp;</p> <p>Whether your baby boutique is still in its nascent stages or you&rsquo;re looking to give your boutique a boost in sales, consider some of these customer-focused options.</p> <p>&nbsp;<img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="Baby Boutique" width="400" height="400" /></p> <ol> <li>Make your Boutique Locally Relevant <ol style="list-style-type: lower-alpha;"> <li>If you are opening a baby boutique, aim for an area where there will likely be a need for baby products. Some place near a hospital, maternity center, or in a residential area with a significant number of young couples is more likely to draw in baby boutique customers than a shopping plaza near a retirement community.</li> </ol> </li> <li>Combine Shopping and Entertainment for Shoppertainment <ol style="list-style-type: lower-alpha;"> <li>Shoppers enjoy interactive events, where they can walk away with a product <em>and </em>knowledge of how to use it or where the product comes from. To engage customers, consider holding events in your boutique if the space allows for it.</li> <li>An event could be as simple as&nbsp;an arts and crafts evening where you invite parents to bring their children. Whatever your product is, find a way to integrate it into a fun, informative, or interactive experience.</li> <li>At the beginning, consider holding one major event a month where you draw in large amounts of people. As you get the hang of it, you can add more major or minor events to your boutiques calendar to keep people coming back for more.</li> </ol> </li> <li>Give People a Reason to Go to Your Store <ol style="list-style-type: lower-alpha;"> <li>Hold exclusive events, limited and only available items in stores and use online coupons to use 'in-store only' to promote your boutique.</li> </ol> </li> <li>Cultivate an Online Presence <ol style="list-style-type: lower-alpha;"> <li>If your boutique is an online-only shop, this may be a given, but it&rsquo;s just as important for brick and mortar stores to have a presence on social media. &ldquo;Likes,&rdquo; &ldquo;shares,&rdquo; &ldquo;check-ins,&rdquo; and online reviews are the new word of mouth, so make sure your presence is known both on and offline.</li> </ol> </li> </ol> <p>These ideas are focused on locale and customer engagement, but there are many other ways to build your boutique such as shopper-friendly decor and online advertising. The most important thing to remember when trying to build your boutique is to continue searching for and developing ways to keep your costumers engaged in what you have to offer.</p> <p>Business tips courtesy of <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> Fri, 09 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Holiday Marketing Tips for Your Baby Boutique <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="Holiday Marketing Tips for Your Baby Boutique" width="400" height="400" /></p> <p>Between the talk of Halloween costumes and the scent of pumpkin spice in the air, it&rsquo;s hard to miss it. The fall season is upon us! And with the season comes the holiday shopping. Unlike tech aficionados or parents of school age kids, new and expectant parents aren&rsquo;t the usual target demographic for the season. For small business owners in the baby and maternity industry, there are some ways to take advantage of the season with unique promotional sales and techniques, though. Here are a few to consider.</p> <h3>Getting Them In the Door:</h3> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Get connected.</strong></span></p> <p>Social media is one of the most effective marketing tools around these days. Engage your customers on social media by asking them to check in on Facebook when they visit the store. As their friends scroll through their newsfeeds, you&rsquo;ll gain greater visibility.</p> <p>You can also offer incentives like small discounts in exchange for leaving a Yelp review. According to the popular source for customer reviews, 4 out of 5 of Yelp&rsquo;s millions of monthly users visit the site or app when preparing to spend money.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Find influencers.</strong></span></p> <p>One of the other great ways to spread the word about your company or boutique is through influencers like bloggers or local news outlets. Reach out to local or regional mommy bloggers or magazines by sending a sample or special promotion their way. Try to get listed in a gift guide if you&rsquo;re a manufacturer or highlighted in a holiday shopping section if you run a brick and mortar store.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Get the community involved.</strong></span></p> <p>Know of a daycare or a yoga studio for fit mamas nearby? Cross-promote your shop by putting cards, brochures, and flyers in complementary business locations. You can return the favor by carrying coupons and flyers for other businesses in your store, as well.&nbsp;</p> <h3>In the Store:</h3> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Make it unique.</strong></span></p> <p>Display one-of-a-kind holiday-themed art by local artists in your store and offer it for sale. There&rsquo;s a good chance that the young family shopping in your boutique just upgraded to a bigger home and are looking for some unique holiday accents to fill it. Consider partnering with a local artist to sell a few of their pieces for the season. You&rsquo;ll make a name for your store as a unique destination for holiday shopping.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Let your customers make themselves at home.</strong></span></p> <p>Shopping for family and friends is fun, but it&rsquo;s also exhausting. If your customers also happen to be pregnant, they&rsquo;re probably dealing with aching feet, nagging back pain, or an insatiable appetite for snacks. It might be a good idea to have a comfy place to sit or an offering of free cookies or beverages to ensure that customers don&rsquo;t actually shop until they drop.</p> <p>As we head into fall and the year winds down, everyone will be reminiscing about the year that&rsquo;s passed while also looking forward to new beginnings. This is especially true for new and expectant parents. Offer them products and services or put a spin on the offerings you already to have to match the demand for new beginnings.</p> Wed, 31 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0700