Thursday, January 31, 2013

Floral Tips and Trends: Generation Y Floral Trends


Floral Design Tip: Rule of Three and Odd Numbers

A couple of readers have asked me to explain the Rule of Three more specifically.
The Rule of Three is a principle used in various aspects of design: architecture, graphic design, photography (though, in graphic design and photography, referred to as the Rule of Thirds). With interior design, the Rule of Three can be considered in progression and spatial composition; the Work Triangle in kitchen design; color and fabric schemes; arrangements with furniture or groupings of accessories and vignettes; balance within symmetry using a focal point - just as a few examples.
Today’s explanation will focus on the use of threes and odd numbers. The basic idea of the rule is that details and objects that are arranged or grouped in odd numbers are more appealing, memorable, and effective than even-numbered pairings. While it is easier to create symmetry by balancing elements in twos, odd numbers create harmony and force movement and visual interest. In Feng Shui, odd numbers give Yang energy and even numbers, Yin. Yang expands and moves. Yin contracts and condenses. Within a grouping there should also be a hierarchy (i.e. varying heights, textures or shapes) and think about grouping like things or items that have the same elements or materials.
Here are examples by interior design firm, Gauthier-Stacy
The three glass bottles in varying heights are beautiful in their simplicity and color.
photo by Sam Gray
One starfish, three white vases on the window sill, five flowers in the vase.
photo by Sam Gray
Again, like items in three (globes); 2 stacks of five books.
photo by Sam Gray
Besides the singular grouping of 3 colorful figures, there are a total of 3 arrangements on the dresser: the lucite lamp, the yellow roses, the colorful figures - all with varying heights. The white coral mirror adds another element, creating a visual triangle within the vignette. (Love the striped walls too!)
This vignette, by Tim Clarke Design, is one of my favorites…
via Tim Clarke Design
Amongst the pair of photographs and the brown barrel and bucket pair on the console, there are 3 groupings of like things and like colors/textures/materials (the 3 shell balls, the 5 blue wine cups/grails, and the barrel and bucket pair in brown) and repetition of color (blue: vases and console, brown: photographs, frames and cylindrical bucket pair).
By no means, do I intend for you to go back and re-arrange everything in your homes in “threes”. The rule is a guideline, and may not work in some instances. That said, I believe the best design comes not from following rules, but rather from your gut. My interior designer mom, often surprises me with her own home. (Since the arrival of the triplets, visits home for me are rare, and when I do get there, usually something is always “different.”) I’ll see a wall of artwork configured in a way that may not seem “balanced” to me, and when I question my mom as to why she did something, her answer will be, “…because I like it, it makes me happy.” Truth is, our homes are our sanctuaries, so it’s more important to be surrounded by things that make us happy, rather than to follow rules.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Top 10 Technology Mistakes for Small Business

Facebook: Visa Small Business

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

4 Storytelling Techniques That Can Help You Increase Your Sales

BY |January 25, 2013
We've all heard of the elevator pitch: Explain your business in 30 seconds or less, the time it takes to get from the lobby to whichever floor your prospect is going. But what if your pitch is, shall we say, a little dull?
Kambri Crews is a renowned storyteller, and the owner of Ballyhoo Promotions, a New York City public relations company that specializes in stand-up comedy. In her memoir, Burn Down the Ground (Villard, 2012), she recounts her chaotic upbringing in rural Texas as the child of deaf parents. Crews began performing in storytelling events in New York City as an opportunity to work on her book and to practice what resonated with an audience.
We caught up with her to find out which storytelling tips can help small-business owners engage with prospective clients and secure the sale.
1. Practice your message. Writing for the ear (think: television or sales pitch) is very different than writing for the eye (think: newspaper or ads). Adapt your message so your sales pitch doesn't come across as wooden or generic. You shouldn't have a one-size-fits-all approach to selling your product or service. While continuity is important, your elevator pitch shouldn't be a verbatim recitation of your sales materials.

2. Use bullet points. You never want to be fully scripted. "If you sound rehearsed, it turns people off and they tune out," Crews explains. "You want a spontaneous moment [that] you're experiencing with the audience. You won't get the same response [if you memorize everything] as if you're going off-book (not following a script),” she says. Speak naturally, try to be relaxed, and maintain eye contact with the people you're speaking with. In your preparation, the act of writing down what you want to say may help you remember it better, Crews notes. Carry your bullet points with you on an index card so you have something to refer to if you need it.

3. Have a solid beginning, middle and end. The beginning should hook your audience, while the end, the call to action, must be clear, Crews says. The Moth, a storytelling institution founded in New York City and performed worldwide, has featured thousands of spellbinding tales since 1997. Moth producers suggest that each story performed on its stage have stakes such as: What is there to gain or lose? Why should the audience care?

4. Make the story personal. Crews recommends getting prospects to connect on a human level with whatever product or service you're selling. For example, if you're selling cochlear implants, you could cite research, case studies, and list pros and cons, but if you show a video of a child getting their cochlear implant turned on and their reaction to hearing their mother's voice for the first time, customers will remember that. "A personal anecdote sells a little better," Crews advises

Looking to exhibit at The National Wedding Show? London and Brimingham (England)

As the UK’s original and largest wedding event, each National Wedding Show presents an opportunity to meet face-to-face with over 6,000 brides-to-be from across the country in one central location. Promote your products and services directly to thousands of potential customers, take bookings, build relationships and create tailor made solutions to shape each bride’s special day.
Featuring an extensive range of 250+ suppliers from bridal boutiques to florists, cake designers, holiday specialists and photographers, The National Wedding Show offers unrivalled inspiration and ideas for every style of wedding. With a range of dresses from leading designers to made-to-measure, to mainstream brands, the show boasts the largest collection of wedding gowns in any one place and is a must attend event for every bride-to-be. With 2 shows in the spring and 2 shows in the autumn, in Birmingham and London, they are perfectly timed and located to meet the needs of couples looking to wed at different times of the year.
A targeted marketing and PR plan, in partnership with the key bridal titles including: Condé Nast Brides; You and Your Wedding; Perfect Wedding and Wedding ideas, will attract a plethora of brides-to-be looking for advice, ideas and the perfect dress for their perfect day.

Our visitors

    Crowd Shot
  • 70% of visitors are between 25- 34 years old
  • 6,000 of our visitors are brides
  • Average joint income of £58,000
  • 88% are in ABC1 socio- economic band
  • 63% of visitors marry in a venue as opposed to a church
  • Average wedding budget of £16k
  • 50% of visitors come with the bridesmaids
  • 77% of brides are getting married in the next 7-18 months

Visitor numbers

The National Wedding Show’s visitor numbers are audited by the ABC - we are currently the only wedding show to have our numbers officially verified by an external source meaning 100% transparency of our footfall. Below are the ABC visitor numbers for our recent shows:
NEC Autumn 2011 - 14,400
NEC Spring 2011 - 12,404
Earls Court Autumn 2011 - 13,002
Olympia Spring 2011- 12,834

2013 Show Dates:

London Olympia 22 -24 February 2013
NEC Birmingham 1 - 3 March 2013
London Earls Court 27 - 29 September 2013
NEC Birmingham 4 - 6 October 2013


Monday, January 28, 2013

Top Three Things Small Businesses Should Know About the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act will help small businesses by lowering premium cost growth and increasing access to quality, affordable health insurance. Depending on whether you’re a small employer or a larger employer, different provisions of the Affordable Care Act may apply to you as described below.
1. Businesses with Fewer than 25 Employees- Small Business Tax Credits
The Affordable Care Act does not require that businesses provide health insurance, but it offers tax credits for eligible small businesses that choose to provide insurance to their employees. To qualify for a small business tax credit of up to 35% (up to 25% for non-profits), you must have:

  • Fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees
  • Pay average annual wages below $50,000
  • Contribute 50% or more toward employee health insurance premiums

Beginning in 2014, this tax credit goes up to 50% (35% for non-profits) and is available to qualified small businesses who participate in the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges.

2. Businesses with 50 or Fewer Employees- Affordable Insurance Marketplaces

The Affordable Care Act does not require that businesses provide health insurance, but beginning in 2014, small businesses with generally 50 or fewer employees will be able to purchase coverage through SHOP , competitive marketplaces where small employers can go to find health coverage from a selection of providers. The SHOP Marketplaces and Individual Marketplaces for those who are self-employed open on January 1, 2014. Open enrollment begins on October 1, 2013. SHOP will offer small businesses increased purchasing power similar to that of large businesses.

3. Businesses with 50 or More Employees- Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions

Under the Affordable Care Act, the Federal government, State governments, insurers, employers, and individuals share the responsibility to reform and improve the availability, quality, and affordability of health insurance coverage in the United States. Employers are not required to provide coverage to their employees under the Affordable Care Act. However, beginning in 2014, businesses with 50 or more full-time employees (or full-time equivalents) that do not offer affordable health insurance that provides a minimum level of coverage to substantially all of their full-time employees (and their dependents) may be subject to an employer shared responsibility payment if at least one of their full-time employees receives a premium tax credit to purchase coverage in an insurance Marketplace. A full-time employee is generally one who is employed an average of 30 or more hours per week.

If you meet or are close to this threshold level of full-time employees, it’s important to understand how these rules may apply to you and how the employer shared responsibility payments could be triggered. For more guidance on the employer shared responsibility payments, refer to this FAQ from the IRS.

Friday, January 25, 2013


 "People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things." (Apple Worldwide Developers' Conference, 1997)

Steve Jobs

The Health & Wealth Concept from the uBloom Trend Analysis!

Join J as describes the elements, products and color palette of the Health & Wealth Concept from the uBloom Trend Synthesis. J creates a Health and Wealth Inspired Silver Pedestal Arrangement with Stock and Pink Mink Protea and Ribbon… and shares great way to add Glamour and Elegance to your Special Events!
Click the link below to view the video.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013


Downton Abbey Floral Inspirations