Q&A with The Registry Less Traveled and a GIVEAWAY!

Yes, you read that right! Today’s post features my very, first giveaway on the blog — who doesn’t love free stuff?! But first, let me introduce you to Beth, owner of The Registry Less Traveled — the personalized gift shop, specializing in etched glassware. I was introduced to Beth through this beautiful bride — and couldn’t stop myself from interviewing her and learning more about her incredible small business. Please take a few minutes to learn why Beth opened up shop and be sure to check out her website! Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post for your own custom order!!LessTraveled72014-102What made you decide to open your own business? And when did you open?
I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but never new what the right business was for me. I wanted it to be something I was passionate in, but also something I could start with little risk. I received my MBA a few years ago and not long after decided to take a break from the grind of the corporate world to travel and live in Spain. I was enamored with the culture and in particular the Spanish outlook on work. When I returned I was particularly drawn to the idea of being my own boss and having the flexibility in a career to balance work and fun while doing something meaningful. I saw many of my friends be successful in at-home sales businesses, but couldn’t bear the thought of needing to depend on my close friends and family to get the business started.

It wasn’t until I was planning a bridal shower for my sister that everything clicked. I browsed her wedding gift registry looking for a gift and got lost in the midst of dish towels and blenders and was less than enthusiastic about gifting any of those [ridiculously overpriced] items to my sister. I laughed and thought, “Nothing says I love you like a dish towel, right?!” At any gift-giving event I had ever been to, it was always the custom or personalized gifts that left a lasting impression. When my brother announced his engagement, I purchased a set of personalized etched wine glasses, which ended up being their favorite gift. The concept was simple, yet elegant and I took a shot at trying to make them myself. After my first successful attempt at etching a wine glass, it was then that The Registry Less Traveled was born.LessTraveled72014-17What’s the meaning behind the name, The Registry Less Traveled?
The Registry Less Traveled is a play on words from the Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— 
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference.

I was inspired by the idea of offering registry-like gifts with an “off the registry” personal touch. When it comes to gift registries, take the one less traveled by 🙂

You make so many great gift items! What’s your favorite piece to date that you’ve made?
Thank you! I recently starting making hand painted pillows using people’s handwriting. My grandfather who is 95 years old has a note from my late grandmother. I was able to paint her handwriting onto a pillow and he has said it is a treasured keepsake and reminds him of my grandmother every day. Talk about meaningful! Each pillow I have made since has a special story to go along with it. I love being a part of that.LessTraveled72014-87One piece of advice for someone looking to open their own Etsy shop?
First, do it! Etsy is an amazing outlet to showcase and sell your handcrafted items with little risk. However, to do so, create a strong and cohesive brand so your items do not get lost in the shuffle. The marketing and packaging is often just as important as the actual items. Finally, having a strong foundation of quality customer service is what keeps people coming back. One of my professors once told me that it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. In a feedback-driven environment like Etsy, this is so important to remember. With that said, you can’t please everyone and mistakes do happen, but use those opportunities to delight the customer. It goes a long way.

What’s your drink of choice?
A nice, cold Blue Moon with an orange slice!registrylesstraveledBeth caught wind that I love champagne and designed these custom champagne flutes for me – So cute! Want your own custom glassware?!

GIVEAWAY TIME! To enter, please visit The Registry Less Traveled — and leave a comment below with your favorite item from her shop! Winner will receive their own personalized item — a custom order up to $30! Winner will be chosen on Monday at random. Good luck!!

Bachelorette Party Extras

There’s no doubt in my mind that the best part of bachelorette parties is getting all your best girlfriends in the same place, staying up too late and ending the night with a dance party and copious pillow talk (because you’ll definitely be sharing a bed with one of these ladies). But you’re also there to spoil the bride-to-be — and what better way than a few fun personalized surprises and extra goodies for your girls!

For my soon-to-be sister-in-law’s recent bachelorette party, we surprised her with personalized tank tops and mini cans of champagne tied up with a cute straw. Take a look!

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IMG_2717{No bachelorette is complete without a sash, veil and tiara!}

IMG_2799The tanks made for the perfect group shot! They were designed on CustomInk. And you can never go wrong with the Sofia Mini Cans — Perfect for toasting to the bride or happy hour at the beach!

all photos c/o Tulle Wedding Skirts

What to Get Your Shower Hostess

Hosting a bridal shower, like any event, can be hard work. Especially with all the ideas popping up on Pinterest these days (remember this post?!) — It’s not a competition ladies, stick with things that compliment your guest-of-honor. Anyway, I digress. But as a bride, know that your hostess will put in a lot of extra time to make your shower perfect — and it’s nice to thank her in a special way.

Most likely, your mom or bridesmaids will be hosting your shower and you’ve probably already got some gifts up your sleeve for them come your wedding day. But maybe another woman in your family has offered to host the shower or a friend is graciously opening up her home for the occasion. There’s no need to go crazy with additional bridesmaid’s gifts or totally break your wedding budget, but if someone is hosting your shower in their home, it’s always nice to thank them with a little something.

A bottle of bubbly is always my go-to housewarming gift and it works perfectly for a hostess gift too! Since it’s summer, I always have rosé on hand (don’t we all?) — And this Juvé Y Camps Brut Rosé is my new fav. Don’t let the color fool you — It’s dry and delicious! This double wine tote is the baby sister to your classic Lands’ End beach bag, and is also an adorable gift bag for your wine. Not to mention it’s $9.99!

IMG_2432When in doubt, flowers always, always make the perfect hostess gift. Every girl likes flowers and a simple bouquet is not only thoughtful, but will make her smile all week long. Like I said, there’s no need to go overboard — These little things go a long way!

photo of flowers by Tulle Wedding Skirts

Father-of-the-Bride Gifts {on a budget}

I already gave you my picks for Mother-of-the-Bride gifts (here) — So in honor of Father’s Day this weekend, it is only appropriate to share my picks for Father-of-the-Bride gifts.

Cheney_2107_09072013_JK1542-2I actually gifted these cuff links to my dad last Father’s Day as a little pre-wedding gift (and so he would have time to incorporate a French cuff shirt into his wedding suit). You can personalize them as you wish, but I went with the classic “Father-of-the-Bride” (a nod to a movie my family has probably watched 1,000 times), our wedding date and “Forever Your Little Girl.” Like many of my favorite wedding gifts, these can be found on Etsy (here).

Cheney_2113_09072013_JK1548You’ve already seen my mom’s handkerchief, but I had to get one for my dad too! Another sentimental gift guaranteed to bring a tear to anyone’s eye — But the perfect keepsake for years to come. Found on Etsy (of course) — here.

And the best part is that at $35 and $25, respectively, these gifts won’t break your wedding budget! Happy dads, happy brides, happy shopping!

ps. This is my 100th post! How did that happen?! This little blog has been around for 6 months now! Thank you all for your continued support and readership! xo

photos by Jenelle Kappe Photography

Mother-of-the-Bride gifts {on a budget}

I was asked yesterday for some mother-of-the-bride gift ideas… and of course, it got my wheels turning. So today, I’d like to share my picks for mother-of-the-bride gifts – which just so happen to be budget friendly. And who doesn’t like that?!

vegan leather clutch

First up, this absolutely adorable handmade clutch – made with vegan leather no less. I bet you could even get the leather flap monogrammed (if that’s your mom’s thing). Find it on Etsy for $33 – here.

mother of the bride frame

Next – You can never go wrong with a picture frame. They always make perfect gifts – personalized or not. For a wedding, I’d just write a cute little “I owe you” note inside and then give your mom a photo of the two of you from the wedding! Another Etsy find for $32 – here.

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And my personal favorite – the embroidered handkerchief. Above is the one I gave my mom (photograph c/o the lovely Jenelle Kappe). We got these for both our moms and my dad – And they really went over well! Along with being a practical gift for the wedding day, they make a beautiful keepsake afterwards – and can even be framed! I’d recommend this Etsy shop for them – here – and only $25!

Mother-of-the-bride gifts don’t have to be expensive. For such a momentous day, a little something special is the way to go. Oh, and you can totally steal these ideas for your bridesmaids too!