Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Faves


Friday oh Friday, I welcome you with open arms!

It's been a busy busy week over here! Between working on editing wedding videos and working on the new website for the shop, I've been glued to my computer like an algae eater and it's not cute! The new inventory started arriving at the house this week and I'm getting it all prepped and ready. Steaming everything and starting to photograph it, ekk so exciting! I'm already planning out what will be new arrivals for the winter as well since it will be here sooner than we know! There will be videos and other blog posts showing the items, explaining the fits and the style of everything, so subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep an eye open for that!

The new shop will have it's own website but I will still be keeping Etsy open and have the T-shirts available at both shops. This is solely because the traffic I get from Etsy is astounding. I have options to pay for marketing and advertising on Etsy and I have and its brought me a ton of traffic and orders from it. The last few months I've been doing some experimenting with the paid advertising and turning it on and off on certain days and now I've stopped it all together. I was trying to gauge if it's worth the money or not. What I've noticed is that because my sales have gone up (from paid advertising) my shirts have moved up in the rank on Etsy search pages that I no longer need to pay for the advertising because they are already on the first page! #majorwin

If you follow me on Snap you would have seen me post this last night already so sorry if this is repetitive, it just makes me incredibly happy! If you type in the search bar on Etsy "boy mom shirt" "wife shirt" or "wedding shirt" I'm on the first page for all of these! It's been a lot of work, money and time but it's so worth it! You can follow the shop's Instagram page to see more customer photos, coupon codes and the new items coming to the shop next month.

I'm filming another wedding tomorrow so I'm charging batteries and getting SD cards all ready for that. I also like to watch a lot of other wedding videos online to get my creative mind going ahead of time. It helps me think of different shots I want to get or how to capture something I may not have thought of.

Since I'll be gone all day tomorrow away from the boys we are having our usual pizza party Friday night but this time a picnic in our backyard. Really what that means is Jerek and I will be taking chainsaws and literally cutting down anything in our way! We have SO.MANY.WEEDS and just crap growing everywhere that it has got to go! We realize this is the end of the summer and most people do this in the Spring. We've been so busy this summer that we've let the outside of the house go and it's about to get wild tonight! We got this pool at the beginning of summer on a crazy "Amazon lightening deal" so I will fill that bad boy up for the boys, grab some pizza and beer and make a night out of it while we tackle the weeds!

I've been on the hunt for some new boots for the fall because I had to toss a couple of mine last year as they had seen much better days. I've been looking at these cute brown ones from Nordstrom, these ones for a little color or possibly these ones for a little help in the height department. 

If you follow me on Snapchat (@eastwillowgrove) or have seen my nails in real life lately you will know that I have been doing at home gel nails for some time now. I've always done my own nails and rarely get manicures and gel nails at home have made my life SO much easier! I will usually do them at 1030pm and go to bed right after! There's no fear I will mess them up either, it's amazing! The set I got a while ago is the Sensational Starter kit but I've heard great things about the Red Carpet kit too. I usually pick up polishes at Sallys when they are buy 2 get 1 free because they are more expensive than normal nail polish's. I just bought a couple OPI ones off Amazon that I use a ton as regular nail polish; Lincoln Park After Dark, Funny Bunny and You Don't Know Jacques. These three are my all time favorite colors, I will even wear Funny Bunny in the winter because I love it so much.

With Labor day weekend coming up we're trying to think of something fun to do before school starts and life gets even more chaotic! I'm thinking a trip to Grand Haven is in order next weekend because my toes are dying to be submerged into some sand!

Hope you all have a great weekend! Do something fun, get outside and soak up that sun!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Garden Theater- Detroit Wedding


On July 23rd I loaded up my camera gear, kissed the boys bye for the day and headed to Detroit to the Ren Cen to start my day. Ryan and Sydney were getting married and it was a full day of shooting! I met Sydney way back when I worked with her sister at a tanning salon. I remember one day she walked in to tan and she was so bubbly and full of life and didn't stop talking, she was my kind of girl! Ryan and I went to high school together and had a lot of friends in common so it was so cute to see them together as I knew them through totally separate walks of life!

The day started off with Sydney and the girls getting ready at the Ren Cen downtown. When I showed up everyone seemed relax and happy, which is so refreshing to see since this day can be hectic and rushed. The weather was beautiful, the girls dresses were perfect and Syd killed it in her gorgeous gown!

We headed to the ceremony at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs where Sydney was lead down the isle by her dad. The entire morning Sydney kept saying she defiantly wouldn't cry and low and behold the tears started flowing as she walked closer and closer to Ryan, it was so sweet!

Sometimes Catholic ceremony's can be long and boring to be honest but this priest (that's the right word right?!) was hilarious! Yes I said hilarious in regards to a priest! After vows were exchanged the photographer and close friend of Ryan and Sydney, Catherine Holden, started snapping away for family and wedding party portraits. We then hopped on the party bus and headed to some iconic Detroit locations for more photos.

We arrived at The Garden Theater in downtown Detroit to get the cocktail hour and reception going. Every little detail was thought about when they planned the wedding! The place card holders, to the music, to the inside decor, it was absolutely beautiful! Good job Syd, I'm sure you were the brains behind it all ;)

The bridal party entered, the cake was cut (there was no face smashing, I secretly hate when people do that!) then followed up by dinner, dancing and a rap by the maid of honor and best man! The DJ was great and the dance floor always had people on it, something that I love to see!

But don't read this post and try to imagine what the day looked like, you can watch it now here or below!!

Thank you Sydney and Ryan for letting me capture your day!

For more information on weddings, events and pricing you can check out my website here

Monday, August 15, 2016

Etsy Shop Story + Giveaway

In December of 2012 I was newly pregnant with Skylor and I jumped on Etsy to sell jewelry I was already making for myself.  It was something I did before starting my blog that I enjoyed. Shortly after I started blogging and recording our lives here and on YouTube and I scaled back on Etsy and threw myself into learning everything about video editing, shooting and writing.

In 2015 I didn't enjoy making jewelry anymore and I made a growth chart to track the boys heights. I started selling these to local moms and families all over the US. I quickly realized how much I hated USPS as they ruined 5 of my orders, upset my customers and myself, so I stopped making them all together.

One day I was on Instagram and came across the cliche #boymom t-shirts. I had been looking for boymom shirts for a while but HATED the design and price of these ones. It was basic Hanes T-shirt with an ugly font. I think she was charging like $52 or something ridiculous.

Hell to the no!

In true Chelsea form I said I can totally make something better.

So I did.

Clothing is something I've loved since I was little so creating my own shirts wasn't that strange of an idea for me. I originally went to school in Chicago for Fashion Merchandising when I was 18 before I transferring to GVSU. This wasn't a new passion of mine, maybe just one that was pushed aside when I had kids.

So just like that the first 'house of boys' shirt was created, followed by 'house of girls' and 'house of twins' which are sold out currently. The house of boys shirts started flying off the shelf, I literally couldn't keep up with the demand sometimes. Apparently boy moms want everyone to know they are a boy mom. I get it though, because living in a houseful of boys is like living in a frat house!

Speaking of frat houses...

As the months went by I started keeping a list in my phone of funny or clever things I wanted to print on shirts, not just for adults, but for kids too. The next boy mom shirt I created was "I run a frat house shirt." Just like the house of boys shirts the orders were coming in left and right, sometimes people were buying both at the same time, it was awesome to see those notifications on my phone! A cash register noise would ding and sometimes Jerek would yell from the other room" you got another sale!" It's very exciting feeling.

Today these are my two best selling shirts, it makes me even more proud to be a boy mom.

I started to make a couple more shirts that were geared toward motherhood and not just for families that had kids of the same gender like the house of boys were designed for. In came the "Eat Sleep Mom Repeat" and the "Embrace the chaos-mommyhood" shirts.

Next up was the wedding related shirts, after all, I was planning my own wedding! I kept seeing the normal "Mrs." or "married!" tee's and I just didn't like them, I wanted something different.  So I had created the 'girlfriend fiancĂ©e' shirts and then a week later the Wifed Up shirt was then born.

The funny thing is, I get more orders of women ordering the wifed up shirts for their soon to be husbands to wear on their honeymoon! I love it! A design that most people buy to wear the day after they get married they tell me.

On June 5, 2015 I sold my first shirt. It's been a little over a year and I'm 3 sales away from 500 sales! It's exciting and hard work, all while I work in corporate full time, run my videography business and blog/vlog! I'm starting to look into trade marking, expanding in both kids and adult items and possibly selling in local shops!

One of the frustrating things I've stumbled across is a big Instagram account that started making house of boy shirts way after I did. While the designs aren't the same, I can't help but get a little butt hurt that I created them long before they did. Such is life though ya know! I realize that these things happen all the time and I'm starting to see how I can trade mark certain ones, be better about marketing and also open my own website so I'm not just tied to Etsy.

This has been my goal for a while now; a online store that is more than just Etsy. I've been working insanely hard on new logo, a new website and working with wholesalers to bring in other clothing then just my t-shirts! You guys, this is the stuff I learned in college and dreamed about doing, working for a company, buying clothes that you would see in shops. The reality is, I don't have to work for someone else to do this, I just had to do the research on how I could work for myself!

You guys know that I've been rocking the capsule wardrobe life for over 6 months now. So the pieces that will be added into the shop will be perfect additions to any wardrobe! They will be based around neutrals, simple patterns, and great for moms that want to spice up their yoga pant wardrobe! I'm so excited about whats to come, it's going to be a real online store and maybe one day I'll have a little shop, a brick and mortar store! A girl can dream, err wait, no no, a girl can WORK TOWARDS IT! I don't dream here, I just do!

With that being said, keep your eyes open for more announcement's regarding the shop! You can also follow along on the new/separate Instagram for the shop; East + Willow. There will be sneak peaks of new shirts, new clothing, accessories, coupon codes and big announcements so make sure to follow along!

To celebrate almost being at my 500th sale I'm doing a giveaway of 2 Eat Sleep Mom Repeat in the exclusive muscle tanks! It's crazy to think there are hundreds of people all over the world wearing something I created. As a thank you to all past and future customers, I'm also offering 10% off all orders for till August 19th with the code THANKYOUSALE.

Love you guys and cheers to East + Willow!!!

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