1. Review Your Business Goals and Objectives
If summer is a slower time for your business, take a few days to review your business goals and set new objectives. Work with your staff to gather as much input as possible to think of new ways to drive sales, reexamine company goals for the rest of the year and evaluate your company's performance from the start of the year until now. Are you on track? Where can you improve? Can you cut costs? Have you reached the goals you set earlier in the year? Explore tapping into a new demographic, creating a new product or service, or improving upon existing products/services. A little reflection goes a long way!
2. Plan Ahead
Now is the perfect time to plan for the fall and winter. This will allow you to utilize these slower months for extensive research and gain feedback on your ideas. Do you want to have a contest for Back to School season? What about other holidays - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc.? What can you do now to plan for the upcoming months? Once you have your campaign idea or a new approach, make sure you keep your customers in the know. This will create anticipation and build interest in what’s to come. Try planning something that involves user generated content. This will encourage your customers to engage with the brand, and allows you to monitor its success throughout the process.
3. Launch a Summer Sale or Promotion
This is a great time to spice things up and have a sale! Once you decide on what sale you want to enact, create graphics and advertise on social media, your blog, website and send out an email campaign. Whatever route you chose, make sure you stay active in order to maintain the promotion throughout its lifecycle.
4. Throw An Open House or Event
Another great way to boost sales and bring in customers is to host an event at your business. This could consist of showcasing your current products, or launching a new one. This allows you to draw in customers and create a community with office tenants or local companies around your business. With your event or open house, you can create gift bags, have food, music, and drinks! As always, don't forget to advertise your event by posting on social media, emailing invitations, creating and Eventbrite page, contacting local newspapers for press etc. Any type of event also gives you an excuse to create a buzz on social media or another media platform, which will continue to spread awareness about your business and pay off in the long run.
5. Collaborate with a Local Brand
What better way to boost sales than to work with another local brand? This allows both of your business to combine your audiences, and give your customers something to be excited about. Now is the perfect time to approach a brand you admire and one whose aesthetic matches your own about collaborating on an event, product, sale, giveaways etc. Think of ways both brands can mutually benefit. Can you work on a social media campaign where your brand gives a shout out on their products and vice versa? Combine resources and be creative!
I love my apps. I use them daily. They've almost replaced coffee. I have panic attacks when I look down at my phone to see 'shaking icons' and think I've accidentally deleted them (tell me I'm not alone here...). They have me under their spell. But it's not just a frivolous love affair, it's a mutual beneficial relationship. I give them some of my time, they help my business and my life. So yeah, it's love. What are some of my new favorites? See my must-have list below...
Visual geniuses and brands listen up! Phhhoto is my newest addiction and because it hasn't reached the masses yet it is the ideal time to get on board and start gaining a following! Very similar to Instagram, this awesome app allows users to make instant moving images and share them. You can scroll and look at their curated collection of #wow posts, browse your feed made up of friends and most important you can upload your pieces of moving art. It takes a bit of getting used to before you figure out how to create good posts but you'll get the hang of it. And become addicted like me!
This app will save you time, and if you own a small business your time is worth money! Shyp is an on-demand shipping app... Basically, they come to you to pick up all your items, they safely package them (yes, no more need to buy peanuts, look for packaging tape, etc.) and send them with the best-price carrier. I just sent my mom a bunch of little gifts and simply turned them over to Shyp, who packaged them into a box and shipped it for me. No more waiting in lines at the post office! They are open 7 Days a Week (8am-8pm local) in San Francisco, New York City, Brooklyn, Miami, Los Angeles.
Imagine being able to get rid of something in photo instantly... An ex, a bird, a cloud. TouchRetouch is a revolutionary app that enables you to get rid of unwanted content or objects from your photos! You literally use your finger to mark the items you want removed and hit ‘Go’. That’s all there is to it. I loooove this app. Why us it? Well, for example, I recently had an amazing landscape photo I wanted to post to Instagram but there was an ugly piece of trash on the ground. Using Touch ReTouch I removed it from the scene! It's kind of mind-boggling...
This one is going to blow your mind and save you time, if you live in LA, NYC, Chicago or Toronto)! Use Uber already? Well look over on the right-handside of the options (Pool, UberX, Plus, Black, SUV, Lux) and you'll see Uber EATS! Everyday they offer a menu of items based on your location. I ordered lunch and it was at my doorstep 9 minutes later! The options are basic for those where I am (LA's Arts District) but the food is great and I hear that depending on your exact location there is way more choice. This is a lifesaver for people who are too busy (or are quite simply lazy) to go out for a meal, make lunch or wait for delivery times of an hour.
Sunny days are here again! Students are out of school, so we say summer is here. Although LA is pretty warm even in the winter, we're not ashamed to admit Summer is our favorite time of year at the office. There's something magical about the bright hues and longer days; something that makes you want to travel, explore, go on adventures, and wander outside in nature.
We've rounded-up our favorite photographs that remind us of that joyous, carefree, colorful feeling! These photographs are sure to brighten your home all-year-long - the hard part will be picking your favorite! Click the photos to go to the photographer's website so you can buy these beauties for yourself. Adorn your walls with one of these and you'll have hot times year-round...
WOW! A HUGE thank you to EVERYONE for making our 7th Annual Unique LA Spring Market SO awesome!! We are SO blown away by ALL of the amazing people our shows bring together!
Some special highlights of this show included our first time food court area with food vendors in 10 x 10 booths with communal seating & tables by Yeah! Rentals , Free flowers on Mother's Day by Bloomnation, FREE shipping up to $25 from Shyp and DIY section with wooden beads and free UNIQUE LA tattoos from Goldink Tattoo! A big shout out to Studio Mucci for our RAD balloons and decor and Oh Snap! photos for our Photo Booth! Design inspiration for this year's market was Saved by the Bell!!
Enjoy some of our photos from the show! We LOVED seeing all of your photos with #UniqueLa!!
We are excited to share a special perk for our unique shoppers that we've been working on... Our friends at Shyp are offering on-demand shipping to remove the hassle of carrying bulky items while shopping at the Unique LA Spring Market, or to make it easy to send gifts to your loved ones! Shyp will provide a $25 promotional code for each person to cover shipping costs for items that they purchase during the event! Shyp will be sending your items on the spot to anywhere you choose. Look for the Shyp shipping center at the event, marked in the printed booklet available at the event.
In case you aren’t familiar, Shyp makes it easy to ship anything, anywhere; no boxes, no tape, no post office. Just launch the Shyp app, take a picture of your item, enter the destination, and Shyp comes to you within 25 minutes to take care of packing and sending it on your behalf. All this for just $5, plus the cost of shipping, which Shyp price compares to make sure you pay the cheapest rate. Shyp also recently launched a product dedicated to returning things you buy online. Available on both Android and iOS, be sure to check out this app on Thursday!
We are so excited for Unique LA this weekend, May 9th & 10th!!
Aside from shopping from our curated selection of over 350 (!!!) vendors, we've lined up some pretty rad perks for shoppers who attend over the weekend, including:
- Free Roses for Moms on Sunday May 10th in celebration of Mother's Day (while supplies last)!!
- The 1st 1,000 ticket buyers each day will receive a free ticket to the OC Fair, and online ticket buyers are guaranteed a free ticket!
- Get fabulous free photo portraits with Oh Snap Studios all weekend!
- Stop by our DIY Den to make free painted wooden bead necklaces!
- Free drinks and snacks for shoppers all weekend long from GT's Kombucha and Bundaberg Ginger Beer!
- The Kid's Zone/DIY Den has free all-natural fruit popsicles for kids all weekend!
- Temporary Metallic Tattoos all weekend
- Sit and Relax in our Yeah Rentals lounge!
- Unlimited re-entry for both days Saturday and Sunday!
You can buy your tickets pre-sale here! See you soon.
Unique LA Spring Market held May 9th & 10th at the California Market Center Penthouse (13th Floor).
ADDRESS: 110 E 9th St 13th Floor LA, CA 90079
HOURS: Sat & Sun 11 AM - 6PM, Ticket is good for booth days.
Discover and support great Los Angeles art...
As part of the two-week Yeah Furniture popup, our founder Sonja Rasula has curated a one-night art show all within the theme of black, white and gray. Please join us at the Hudson Lofts in downtown LA to celebrate the talented artists Brian Rea (who illustrates the weekly Modern Love column every Sunday in the Style section of the New York Times), artist Ashkahn, sign-painter Keith Scharwath, and photographer Jonathan Sager. We'll have artisanal cocktails (free of course) by Ventura Spirits, great beats and awesome art from great people.
We're so excited for the Unique LA Spring Market held May 9th & 10th at the California Market Center! The first 1000 shoppers each day will receive free tickets to the OC Fair! And to honor all of the rad moms on Mother's Day, we're giving each mom a free flower while supplies last!
We have an important and very exciting announcement... We spent most of last year thinking about and analyzing our next steps and the future of UNIQUE, and we are thrilled to announce our big decision: UNIQUE is expanding our mission to include great independent business owners and designs from around the globe! We are extremely proud of the impact we have had on the local American economy and will continue to focus on great American-made products, however we also feel that it is time to evolve to not only grow but to maintain a successful company for years and years to come. Change is good. We open our arms to this new evolution in our story and are excited to move forward with gusto! Some of the main reasons we are moving in this direction include:
- From Day 1 Sonja Rasula started Unique LA to support independent designers and businesses by giving them a brand-new platform to showcase at, a giant shopping event so they could reach thousands of shoppers/buyers/press. Nothing like it existed at the time, but now six years later we know the model is not only popular but that it works - vendors have been discovered by Urban Outfitters, Pottery Barn and Forever 21 to name a few, they have been written about in O (Oprah's magazine), Monocle and the LA Times, and a few have opened their own brick and mortar stores! We believe that expanding will give us the freedom to support even more artisans and makers both in communities across the US but also around the world!
- We have always wanted to support socially-conscious brands that may be based here in the US but have products made abroad. Now we can!
- We would like to create a Community Corner section at our markets that feature a few hand-picked non-profit organizations, allowing them to sell their products. We will now be able to include all great groups and not have to exclude anyone based on where their products are made.
- Opening up the event to more vendors means we can curate the best of the best!
- We will also be holding markets in Toronto, London and hopefully more global cities.
So, what does this mean for you? We are including more independent designers making products globally and removing limiting restrictions on our market applications. If you're a local maker, designer for our Unique markets, you will no longer be restricted to using materials made within the United States. You can have your brand at our markets and use materials from anywhere in the world. With that said, we are still very serious about the curation of our markets and will be looking for quality products and designs, and will still focus mostly on American-made goods.
If you're a shopper at our Unique markets, you will have the opportunity to buy from and support designers whose business model is based on "giving back" to specific causes around the world. You might find a great blanket woven in Mexico, or a bracelet which donates proceeds to help combat modern-day slavery in Asia, or as always, find an LA-made product. Unique will now be your marketplace to not only find new brands and support local designers but also discover and support artists from around the globe.
We were inspired by Pantone's colorful swatches this month so we made our own!
To see our past favorites click here!
There is no need to spend a lot of money on useless flowers or chocolate (Well okay, those things are NOT useless but they don't last as long as these mugs!). COFFEE is where it's at. Your lover knows this, you know this. Even though our DIY is cheap and easy, it will score major points with your Valentine and become a treasured keepsake. Sure, using paint pens on mugs has been done before, but we added a unique (cough, pun intended) twist to make it the perfect gift for your special someone on Valentine's Day!
Instead of drawing typical stuff like hearts, his/her name or doodling on the mug, we want you to personalize it with words so it has a story! Write your own love note or choose special song lyrics, a favorite quote, or a passage from a poem or book - the idea is that when he/she wakes up in the morning or uses the mug at work, it makes them think of you. It's genius, simple and inexpensive - hooray!
What you'll need:
- White ceramic mugs
- Oil-based paint Sharpies
Step 1: Plan what you want to write or draw on your mug - for those who feel they aren't great at "drawing", don't worry because we actually love the idea of simply using text. Write something that's meaningful to you and your sweetie pie. If it's something blush-worthy, you can always just use the inside-facing surface of the mug, so when using the mug at work only he/she can see the words. For our example we chose lyrics from the song "Such Great Heights" by The Postal Service. A classic in our minds. Listen to it here while you get creative.
Step 2: Practice writing with the paint pen on a piece of paper to get used to it, figure out how you want to form your letters. Hold the mug securly in one hand and write your love note!
Step 3: Place your mug(s) onto an oven safe dish. In order to set the paint properly and avoid cracks in the paint, place your mug in the oven while it is OFF (so there is no heat). Once sitting inside the oven, turn heat to 400 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.
Step 4: Turn off the oven, open the door and allow the mugs to cool completely before removing them from the oven (approximately 1 hour).
Step 5: Once removed from the oven, let them stand/cool off for 3-4 hours to make sure the paint dries and sets.
Step 6: Viola! A perfect personalized mug just in time for Valentine's Day!
Tips & Tricks:
- Always hand wash to prolong the life of the design
- Don't draw on the rim or inside of the mug (you don't want to ingest this stuff).
- Show us what you've made using #uniqueDIY!
*photography by Bryan Dale
Here is our February edition of desktop & phone wallpapers special edition designed by Mark Lafata! Enjoy.
The floral business is big business. In 2013, Americans spent over 25.7 billion dollars on flowers! And, did you know when you buy cut flowers from your local shop, they are usually imported from foreign countries? In the US, most of our flowers actually come from Colombia. San Francisco-based Farmgirl Flowers is one of the few flower delivery companies working to change that.
The team at Farmgirl Flowers is bringing American-made, designer-quality flowers to the public with an extremely user-friendly and, dare-we-say, really cool website. No more cheesy plastic planters; their floral arrangements are wrapped in recycled burlap coffee bags from rad coffee roasters in the Bay Area. And not only are they supporting local farmers, they are striving to minimize the environmental impact as well. That's a cause and company we can get behind! So this Valentine’s Day instead of choosing the least-tacky floral arrangement on a generic bouquet-site, get something that is truly unique, beautiful and supports a company that is changing the way we buy flowers.