Friday, October 30, 2009

Fabulous Friday!

I didn't get to my blog of the week last week... I am still trying to get in a routine. Not the easiest to do! This week is a really fun home decor blog... graphic, modern, and edgy! Love all their accessories and find it so inspirational...


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Ups and Downs of being an Entrepreneur...

It has been an insanely busy month here at Cinnamon, and it always brings forth new challenges, exciting new clients, and bumps in the road.

If you're a business owner, you know how amazing it feels to wake up every morning knowing you are doing what you love the most. You are your own boss. You make the calls- and at the end of the day it's your decision whether or not you want take a day off or two.

If you're a business owner, you also know all too well, that days off come far and few between and that when you DO in fact take a day off, you will regret it for the next week in efforts to catch up. So the cycle continues. Freedom with chains. Can be pretty daunting.

So, how can we make sure we don't get swallowed up by the craziness that is owning your own business? I am no expert- but I have come a long a few tricks from either past experiences or others in my boat:

1. For every awful or discouraging email you receive (you know the ones I am talking about!)- I bet you have far more positive feedback. Just the other day, I received a harsh email that set me back a good hour and what did I do? I focused on that message all day. I didn't seem to notice that I also received three emails from clients that were light hearted, happy and full of compliments. These messages are easy to forget... and although every nasty email holds a lesson... the good ones are there for a reason.

2. Learn to say no. I am sure you have a list of services you offer your clients... a list of " yes rules"you apply to make sure your business the best it can be. Make sure you have a list of " no rules" too.

3. Get a Lawyer. When your heart tells you the verbal agreement isn't quite good enough- have it written down on paper... legally.

4. Love your accountant. A good accountant is like a cheerleader and a coach. They feel like celebrating when you have had a successful month, year etc. but they also remind you to keep things in check.

5. Leverage Social Media. Yup- get to know your competition, talk to your clients, and learn from others.

6. Avoid Social Media cliques. Expand your horizons. Talk to people you don't know... and if someone's tweets makes you feel icky.( too many, too personal, too direct, too fake etc.) Stop following them. They won't notice.

7. Don't click send. Yet. You know the emails that make you want to say things that maybe aren't the BEST reaction. Breathe. Take a moment to relax. Step away from the computer. Count to ten. Whatever. Some things need to be said. People need to know when they are out of line... but just like any message think before sending it. Are you saying it directly and professionally? Or are you jumping the gun and going to regret it later?

8. Personable... NOT personal. One of my go to girls for all things business coined this term and she is so right. A good service provider is warm and inviting. A good service provider also knows when to keep her mouth shut when it comes to anything personal. We all have stories... and some of them will bite you in the ass. Trust.

9. Inspire yourself. Some days my head is down so far into my computer screen I haven't taken a moment to look up and take in the good stuff. Every business owner needs to feel inspired. Inspired to do better, inspired to become more skilled, inspired to make more money, inspired to set yourself apart. Whatever your inspiration is... don't loose sight of it.

10. Turn your blackberry off. Same goes for your computer. Every once and awhile.

HUSH Emails get pretty!

Cinnamon has been working with Angie from HUSH to create a fabulous new esignature for them! We are so pleased with the results! Watch out for their cute new signature when they email you...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

iBelieve Sneak Peak...

Cinnamon is so pleased to be working along side Tanya from iBelieve events here in Ottawa. She is such a wonderful client and I just love her vision and enthusiasm for her company!

Here's a sneak peak.. more to come with our official launch!

Spicy and Savvy Newsletter Launch

We have finally gotten that newsletter out and we are so excited about it! This week, Spicy + Savvy are meeting up with some great Social Media experts to get rolling on our fabulous new packages.

Can't wait to officially launch them!

Sign up for our newsletter at

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Fuchsia Factory!

Hey Ladies! Tomorrow is the FIRST official launch for The Fuchsia Factory- express networking for savvy women.

We are so happy to be working along side Tina to create this modern and poppy brand and am so excited to attend this fabulous event tomorrow. (we hear that the Flour Shoppe is giving some of their fab cupcakes away!)

Working away on the new design for the website, and can't wait to launch! Going to be the cutest!

Halloween is Around the Corner!

Halloween is only 2 weeks away and we have been busy with a fab new client- Amarain. Watch out for this new Arabic RestoLounge featuring great eats, amazing DJ's and a all night dancing.

We are pleased to be working along side this great team and love their new look!

Friday, October 16, 2009

WARNING: Difficult Clients ahead!

At Cinnamon, I have countless clients that are so appreciative of all of our work- so easy to work with, fun loving, and creative. It makes my life so much easier and I can't help but love doing my job!

BUT... every now and then... like any other job we encounter clients that we like to call Grinders. If your a business owner or in the service industry, you know what I am talking about. It's human nature, and well... it goes with the job.

In the graphic design industry you have a few warning signs that go off once you know what you're looking for. I just love this article by Smashing Magazine out lining the "scary" clients.


Fabulous Friday!

What a fast week! With Monday being a holiday, I can't believe it is already Friday! This week we're highlighting Smashing Magazine... and online go to guide for all things graphic design. I love their articles, tutorials and freebies. This is a great site to keep you in the know of all the latest trends as well as a massive database of amazing info.

Check it out and enjoy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Crazy week!

Wow! What a crazy week at Cinnamon. It seems that everything is going on at once! We are working away on so many great projects- and can't wait to share them really soon...

The Fuchsia Factory website has begun production, Connect the Dots is around the corner, Stories From our Black Books is about to launch... and Cinnamon's new site is THIS close to being ready.

Watch out for some great stuff coming soon!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fabulous Friday!

It's Friday... of a long weekend! Love those the best... So this weeks blog is by Jun Loayza an avid blog writer on all things to do with being (and becoming) a successful entrepreneur. I love his writing style, and his honesty. (plus it is really informative and helpful!)


and Happy Turkey!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Digital Print VS Offset

This is a question Cinnamon comes across almost every day! I am always talking about it with a client for their new business cards and promo pieces- and nearly always trying to help them decide which one is the best choice for them. And that's just it- it's a choice. Both with their pros and cons.

The industry of print in general is a HUGE one. I would like to think I know quite a bit about it, but on the grand scheme of things... well I know only a chunk. It is a huge industry to know WELL. When it comes to all the options - there are just too many to count. Understanding paper weight is a whole under taking on its own.

So when it comes to print.. what is the best solution? There really isn't a clean cut answer to this. It depends on so many things! Check out this great article that explains the differences between offset and digital and both of their advantages.

Long story short, I say finding a printer you love is like finding an exceptional hair stylist. VERY hard. You know, one does a great cut, but they can't seem to nail that golden blond you want so badly. Or, maybe one is really friendly, but can't seem to get those bangs just so. Same goes for printers.

In the end, whetever your choice, make sure the print job is exceptional. For me and my clients? We use both... switching back and forth depending on the product , the market and the purpose.

Happy Printing!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Logo 101

We've been busy at Cinnamon designing lots of brands this month! Some things to remember when working on your own brand:

1. Know what your logo represents and how it reflects your business
2. Make sure logo can be described. (ie the Nike Swooooosh that looks like an abstract check mark)
3. Make an impression. Is your logo memorable?
4. Does your logo work in Black and white? Is your message still as identifiable?
5. Can your logo be scaled down to an inch by an inch and still look good? Too much detail can be a bad thing!
6. Choose your colours wisely. Do they print well? Do they complement each other? Do you have more then five? Eeek...

Reflect on your brand... bottom line. Keep it simple.

Pretty Tweets!

Cinnamon loves all things pretty- and that includes social media. Want to leverage your business and create consistent branding? Make your Twitter page pretty! Cinnamon just finished this cute one for Sugar Baking in Toronto. Catherine, the owner and baker extraordinaire has the sweetest look and it wasn't hard to capture this for her twitter page!

Check out her pretty site at

Her new twitter page should be up in no time!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fabulous Friday! On a Sunday...

Friday at Cinnamon was a bit crazy so our weekly highlight of fab blogs got pushed to the back of the priority list. Now that we have a moment, we want to showcase Jessica Claire. I was told about her photography about a year ago, and I can't help but check out her beautiful photos at least once a month. She captures moments so beautifully - every shot she takes is so full of energy.

Love it!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

RP HR Consulting Brand!

Cinnamon and Blackbird have teamed up to work with Ramona Packham of RP HR CONSULTING to create a sophisticated and colourful new brand.

We are so excited to get moving on all of her marketing pieces and create a sleek warm look for her new website coming soon.

Watch for it!

Cherry Pie Duds at HUSH - coming soon!

Cinnamon is SO excited to confirm that Cherry Pie Duds will be sold at HUSH in Westboro. The owners of HUSH have been so supportive, and we can't wait to officially get them in there in 2 weeks!

Official launch coming soon, so stay tuned!