Holiday Traditions from MSC!

Happy Holidays!  MSC employees share their favorite family traditions for this special time of the year.  We love learning more about our colleagues and their family’s traditions and some great ideas for new traditions of your own.

Julie Marshall – We always have a real Christmas tree. My husband and I always had one growing up, and for us- Christmas wouldn’t be the same without that intoxicating pine smell! In my small northeast Ohio hometown, there was one local tree farm that we would go to every year to chop down our family tree- Wilcox Tree Farm in LaGrange, Ohio. When I met my husband, (who was born and raised in a town an hour away from mine) as I was getting to know him, I found out that he worked that tree farm as a teenager. Our paths probably crossed before we even knew each other! Wilcox Tree Farm will always hold a special place in our heart during this time of year and Christmas just wouldn’t be the same for the Marshalls without a real tree! The first Christmas we had with our (now three-year-old) daughter, we got a little excited at the tree lot and got a Griswold-size tree. We had to cut about a foot off of the top to make it fit! It was a fun memory made, and it was the most majestic tree we’ve ever had!


Rae Marie Czuhai – Christmas is all about family and friends for me!  For the first time since my children have been born, they are going to miss one of our longest-standing Christmas traditions, The Robbins’ Christmas Party!! It has been a little traumatic for all of us but it is for a sweet and fun reason. John and his girlfriend Katie, have planned a trip out of town for Caroline to see one of her favorite performers.  It was such a thoughtful gesture on John’s part but still a little bittersweet for Momma! I told them that I have always heard that you need to skip a tradition so that it becomes sweeter the next time that you experience it.  I will let y’all know how that works out for me after Saturday night!
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Allison Haley – My dad was one of ten kids in his family, so Christmas was crazy when he was growing up.  To keep their gifts separated under the tree his parents made boxes with their name written on them that their gifts were placed in.  The special thing about these boxes is… they had the same box every year.  They were told to not break the box (which could be hard considering 8 of the ten were boys) because they had to use the same box year after year! When I was born my dad made a box for me to carry on the tradition and the same when my sister was born.  Every year our boxes were filled with fruit, candy and daily necessity items (as when my dad was a kid that was basically what their gifts were) and our presents were put around our boxes.  Getting up on Christmas morning to see what Santa had left in our boxes was always so fun (We didn’t run for the toys first, we always went through the boxes first), but the reality is you always knew it would be the same thing.   My sister and I still have our boxes and we still have my dad’s box.  It is so nostalgic to get them out and see them year after year. It is amazing the meaning a 61, 39, & 33-year-old box can be to someone.

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Sara Tate – I have to say, I am pretty traditional when it comes to Christmas. Everything from old, traditional Christmas music, to basic white Christmas lights, to the old, classic Christmas movies like “It’s A Wonderful Life.” There’s nothing I would trade for our family’s traditions. Decorating Christmas cookies with my sister, eating my mom’s sausage balls on the couch while we open gifts. Christmas Eve dinner at my Nanny’s, Christmas day lunch at my Grandma’s. While many things in life are constantly changing, there’s something special about keeping Christmas the same. My Grandma’s tree has looked the same every year for my entire life (and probably my dad’s!) with tinsel and cotton on every branch!

Ashley Uptegraft – My family is Jewish and we celebrate Hanukkah! The first night of Hanukkah starts this Sunday night (there are 8 nights total!) and we usually have a big party at my grandparents’ house with all of my cousins, aunts, and uncles. We get together early in the day and make a TON of latkes (potato pancakes!) and then we finally all sit down to eat and drink and catch up! After dinner, we light the menorah and typically have a few family friends over so they can experience and understand the holiday! I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season filled with friends and family 💙💙

Jordan Godwin – Growing up, Christmas Eve was always my favorite day of the year. Since before I could remember, my dad and I spent the entire day together running various errands and last-minute shopping. In true tradition, we always had the same schedule: Leave the house at 4am, go to the YMCA to swim, breakfast at McDonald’s, and then supporting the same local stores every year – they all knew to look for my dad and me on December 24th! We would then stop by my Grandmother’s to hang out and eat Holiday treats before ending the day with a Christmas Eve Dinner with extended family. Even though the day rarely changed, I always looked forward to spending the day with my dad. Now that I’m grown, and out of the house, my Christmas Eve memories with my dad are some of my most treasured memories. Though the day was never elaborate or outstanding, the quality time spent with my dad can never be replaced.

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Bailey Weaver – I love all of the holidays, however, Christmas is definitely my favorite! Ever since I can remember, we always do lunch with my dad’s side of the family and dinner with my mom’s side. I’m so blessed to be able to see my entire family all in one day and over two delicious meals!! Every year we take group photos and this is hands down, my favorite tradition! I love looking at each year and seeing our families grow! These pictures are from last year and I’m excited to take this year’s picture!

Martha Avant – Every year my family has many traditions that I look forward to but my favorite has to be our Annual Christmas Party. I am from a very large family and this get-together is always the highlight of the season. We enjoy delicious homemade food, fun gift exchanges and each other’s company! It can be hard throughout the year to find the time to see each other but we all understand the importance being with each other when the holidays are here.

 

Micaela Arnett – Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday and always has been! My mom and grandparents have always made it so special for my brothers and I. Something funny that my mom still insists us kids do is take a picture in front of the Christmas tree so she can make a photo ornament for that year. I’ll include my favorites. Sing it with me, It’s a…family tradition!!!

We hope that you have had a special time this holiday with your family and friends!  Do you have a great tradition that you would like to share? We would love to hear from you!  Tag us in your post or leave us a note here!

Happy New Year!

Your MSC Team

How to Turn Your Buyers into Loyal Customers

 

As a small business owner, you put a great emphasis on engaging with your customers and providing them with the best experience while interacting with your company. Marketing plays a big role in how many people are engaging with your store and it can ensure that you are building lasting relationships and show competence with big name brands.

 

Today’s small business owners need to do more with less while still staying on a strict marketing budget. Fortunately, while in the prime of the digital era, there has never been a better time to do free marketing! There are many ways to get in touch with your consumers for free; such as community meetups, blogs, social media, and emails.

 

However, you are just one person and cannot possibly do everything yourself while running a business.  Automated email marketing could be the best way to engage with your customers! On top of saving you time, it is one of the best ways for companies to interact with their consumers. It’s a win-win on both ends!

 

You may be wondering why customers prefer receiving updates through email. Well, email marketing is convenient, personal, and instant!

 

  • It is convenient! As with access to email through their smartphones, buyers can stay connected with their favorite brands and can redeem any coupon codes or other special offers right at their fingertips.
  • With automated emails, you can personalize their experience with your brand by creating several smaller target audiences based on their likes. Then, you don’t end up bombarding them with irrelevant messages.
  • People like the ability to get information about exclusive offers and last-minute deals instantly! Sending email campaigns allows your small business to get the word out quickly and directly to customers who care so they can take advantage of the opportunity to save.

 

By now you are probably eager to hear some tips on how you can make sure people will sign up to your email list and won’t unsubscribe after a week. So, here we go!

 

  1. To encourage people to sign up, make sure you provide some value upon doing so. It can be a “Welcome” discount, a free item, or a handful of tips for everyday life!
  2. Once they are signed up, track their purchases to create segmentations and make sure they always receive relevant information specific to them. For example, a person who buys pet items is probably not interested in the newest bridal collection you offer.
  3. Offer discounts that only can be used by those who signed up to receive your emails. This ensures that customers will be afraid of unsubscribing as they could miss the best deals your store offers!
  4. Make sure your email design and language stay on brand. Constant reinforcement of the same elements creates trust and clarity. Hence, your buyers won’t think an email came from “John Doe” when it really came from you.
  5. Always include links and a call to action. The aim of most campaigns is to increase traffic to your online platform (this will help you rank higher when people search in Google). So, put some links in your emails that will take people directly to your website!

If you would like to learn more about email marketing, please shoot us an email at MainstreetCollection@gowhimsey.com! Make sure to include any questions or comments that you have about email marketing.

Hope this helps!

Lilla

Christmas Memories and Traditions

Christmas is such a fun and wonderful time of the year!  I love to spend time with my two boys; Mario and Sebastian. As soon as it gets cold, they start asking when we can get a tree and start decorating. The boys absolutely adore going to the local tree farm, searching high and low to find the perfect tree for the season. Of course, getting it on the car and in to the house is a completely different experience, but fun one! The boys also enjoy putting out cookies for Santa and our Milk and Cookies for Santa jar is such a great addition to our Christmas Eve traditions! Like most kids, they love little compartments for little things, so the design of our Milk and Cookies for Santa jar is super exciting for them.  By the way-stay tuned for our 2020 updated design for our “Milk and Cookies for Santa” jar!

As a mom, our Christmas memory book is a must-have. Especially since I’m a mom of two little ones; we sometimes forget all of the little things that make the season so fun.  Our Christmas Memory Book does the thinking for me so my family and I can enjoy looking back through the memories year after year.  It’s nice to look back and remember the moments of season’s past as a family. Utilizing the book each year ensures we won’t forget any special details. After all, making memories and new traditions are the true gift.

Through out all of the hustle and bustle, as a busy working mom, we sometimes feel that time is slipping by so fast. Our babies become toddlers, our toddlers become little boys, and before you know it they are off to school and those younger days will start to fade. Having a keepsake such as the memory book keeps those memories alive and fun to relive and read each year with the boys.  As my oldest son is starting to read and write more on his own, I will find him reading and looking through the memory books and even including a favorite memory each year of his own – it’s so special!  And how perfect to gift this special tradition to the grandparents!  Something they can look forward to year after year with their grandchildren.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season making memories and practicing those old family traditions or starting new ones with your families.

From my family to yours, Happy Holidays!

Nancy M.

 

Back to the Basics: Using Machine Embroidery – Tips for the New & Experienced

Happy Holidays!  I can hear your machines humming all the way from here in Little Washington!

When you finally sit down tonight to rest, I thought you would like to read my three easy back to the basics tips. These are very simple, but sometimes they are the things that I forget in the mad rush to get things done! Hopefully, these will help everything run smoothly for your machine in the final weeks of the year.

(Disclaimer:  I am not an authority in any way but have been working with machine embroidery for over 15 years.  Most of what I have learned has been from trial and error, from friends in the industry, and from my local sewing shop.)

  • Always stitch out a new design on a test swatch of fabric, similar to the actual item you plan to embroider. This can save you from a costly mistake on your last pink tote, or grandmothers’ linen handkerchief.

 

  • Thread Quality – If you are going to splurge on anything in your embroidery supplies – trust me that this is where to do it.  I did not believe it at first, but it does make such a difference with every machine – from the top of the line down to the very basic.  There are times when you have to use what you have but when you are purchasing for a special project or for a customer – choose the best that you can afford.  The money you spend on a cheaper thread is a waste of time and money!

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  • Did you know that there is a different needle for knit, linen, and canvas? It was one of those things I learned when I first bought my machine but sometimes forget-  choose the right needle! When a thread keeps breaking after the third time of rethreading the machine, stop and ask yourself when was the last time I changed the needle? Or, am I using the right needle for the fabric that I’m sewing on?
    • We use Organ Needles in our warehouse and I use them at home as well.  The most important needle change to me is using a Ball Point needle for knits! This makes a huge difference in the finished product.  Every needle company has a chart for their needles – print it out and use it!

 

  • Connect with others! Whether you are doing this as a business or as a hobby-join with others on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.  I have great friends that I have met through social media that have lots of experience in lots of different areas. One of the great things about machine embroidery is that there is always more than one way to approach a project and most likely someone has figured a way to do it!  Always ask your support group because you too will one day figure out a way to monogram that odd-shaped project that will help someone else down the road!

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I love to follow Embroiders and Embroidery Designers on IG & Facebook!  A few of my favorites are Apex Embroidery, Deshler Designs, Bowen House Embroidery, Wildwood Stitchery, Shuler Studio, M.Stuart Monograms, The Lettered Hen, Herrington Designs, Southern Stitched Designs, Katie Gardner, Busy Bee Gift, Herrington Designs and Monogram Mary.

If I am not following you please tag me here and share your favorite monogram tip!  I would love to follow you.

My hope for you this busy Christmas season is no broken needles, smooth thread and beautiful monograms for you, your loved ones and customers!

Merry Christmas and Happy Stitching!

Rae Marie