Today I’m sharing a peek at my week through my Instagram feed. This isn’t everything (you’re welcome) but it’s a good mix of all that we had going on this week. Happy Friday!

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 7.07.26 PMI’ve been doing B-school for the last three weeks…I found quite a few large documents and videos that I had not done yet so I had a catchup day this week and spent the whole day learning and taking notes.

year-of-studs Yay for a year of studs being added to the shop thanks to the request of a customer!

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 7.08.59 PMWe’ve been on an essential oil journey. My husband and I can be a few skeptics when it comes to things like this and organizations/corporations with uplines and such because I feel like sometimes people just say what they do to sell a product. But you guys, I’m becoming a believer. There were two very distinct things that I used the oils for that it relieved. It’s simply amazing. I look forward to talking more about them later, but I’m so glad that God has given us something like essential oils to use to naturally heal our bodies and give them what they need.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 7.08.38 PMWe learned about a natural spring just down from our house so we went to go see it the other day. It had this cute little church there with an old pulpit inside. I’d love to know the story behind it.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 7.08.32 PMWe planted seeds for our much-larger garden this year. The broccoli sprouted after two days and as I write this they are at the top of the little plastic greenhouse. So cool.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 7.08.25 PMA beautiful surprise arrived in the mail from PNZ Designs. These magnets are so beautiful and I’m so smitten by the message on each one. Go check out Nicole’s shop!

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 7.08.19 PMThis winter was hard for us, as I know it was for most of the country. There were so many times of despair and wondering what we got ourselves into with moving into the country and having the worst winter in Indiana’s history. But that regret was soothed on Sunday as we had a warm, wonderfully sunny day where we spent all afternoon outside. Praise Jesus.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 7.08.13 PMOur next market is coming up in a Month and I can’t wait. We have 12 amazing vendors and the same beautiful venue as the Christmas market. It’s going to be wonderful.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 7.08.00 PMDave and I took a long bike ride the other day and decided to explore one of the old cemeteries in town. I think they’re so beautiful and it’s so interesting to see the stories on the headstones. Morbid? Maybe. It’s okay.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 7.07.53 PMLove the sweet kite that my hubby picked out for Ellie (and Ethan’s shark was cool too). We walked out to the neighboring field and caught some great wind!

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 7.07.44 PMI’m not a fan of grocery shopping, until I’m home and everything is in its place. Then I like it when I see the happy colors and a full fridge. Yum.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 7.07.35 PMI’m still not quite sure about this mantle business. I do know that I like my mantle to be full and busy and crammed with all of the things that I love. I really don’t think I’ll ever have a simple mantle, and that’s okay with me. it makes me smile to look at it.

{{ linking up with Jeannett for her InstaFriday }}

The #lookupphotoaday challenge on Instagram is coming to an end. It’s been such a joy to look at the almost 500 pictures under the hashtag and know that those are 500 pictures that went out to share faith and inspire others to look up. Here are just a few of the pictures that were shared. Thanks to all who participated and had courage to LOOK UP! (I left the graphic large in case you want to zoom in an read any of the quotes)

LOOKupBIG

Some of the #lookupphotoaday contributors (but not all):
@ponderang | @brassyapple | @amycornwell | @danaohphoto
@mlscott420 | @aubreyzaruba | @kendrak7 | @melindabaize
@penningtonpoint | @smalltownalanabrown | @soloveddesigns | @clrose

I feel like there are so many changes going on in the online small business world. Some are closing up shop. Some are changing their business model. Some are going to monthly clubs instead of an online shop. For some, having an online business is exciting, for others it’s emotionally and physically draining (not to mention discouraging).

Today I just wanted to encourage you all that have online businesses, no matter what type they are. I’m by no means an expert. It’s taken me over 10 years to slowly get to where I am – generating a full-time income for my family. I have learned some things along the way though about engaging online, most recently when I made my two week trip to Africa. This brings me to my first point:

instagram1. be active on social media. I’m not saying that you have to be on social media promoting yourself 24/7, because we all have lives and families to tend to. However, you do need to be present. When I was in Africa and offline for two weeks – boy did it show in my sales. I had the lowest two weeks of sales than I think I have had in the past few years. Not engaging and posting something every day really hurt the business right before Christmas. If you’re not putting your name out there, people tend to forget about you. There are so many things coming at people from so many different directions – make sure your presence is in front of them as well.

instagram-sample 2. share pretty pictures of your items. Take the extra time to get a clear, focused, well-lit photo of your product when you share it online. Let your product speak for itself. I posted the picture above (taken with my phone) of my newest ring set and it got more likes and comments than I think any other product photo ever has. It took a few tries, but the words are in focus and the lighting is great thanks to the windows in my studio. {excuse the wrinkly fingers}

packages3. share bits of your process. My followers seem to really enjoy it when I post a picture while I’m making rings or packaging orders. It reminds them that I’m a small business and working hard to put love into every item that goes out. Not to mention that it gets them excited if they see their item just completed or see the envelopes after getting a shipping notification. How’s that for excitement?

snap24. engage. Engage your followers. Catch their attention with your posts – whether that be a sneak peek or asking something to find out more about them. The SNAP Conference Facebook page does such a good job with this. They’re constantly engaging their followers with questions. I love it. Other people love it too.

struggle5. be real. There are times when life is hard. I like my posts to be positive in nature but sometimes it’s necessary to just be real. It makes you and your business more relatable. This is still something that I struggle with. Not because I want to be fake, but I want to be encouraging. I have to remind myself that being real through the messy times in life can be encouraging. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies.

Tell us, what are your tips on growing your business by engaging on social media?

me and megan 2012If you follow me on Instagram (@amycornwell) you saw a few days ago that I posted a little teaser about a fun Photo-a-Day challenge that Megan at Brassy Apple and myself are putting together. We’re so excited to share a photo each day to share our faith, using prompts each day. The exciting part is we need you to help! We’d love to have you share your faith pictures as well, and we’re calling it the Look Up Photo a Day Challenge because we want to encourage others to look up to God in whatever they’re facing.

The great thing about this is anyone with an instagram account can join in. Anyone that has a belief in God and wants to share their faith. You don’t have to be of any specific religion (for example, I’m a non-denominational Christian and Megan is a Mormon). All you need is an Instagram account and a desire to share your faith with other people in an effort to uplift and encourage.

look-up2 (1)Our intention is to do it for just one month and after that we’ll see where God wants us to go! We’ll start in February and the instructions are easy: use the prompt word above for the corresponding day and share something on your Instagram account that deals with that word. It could be a quote, it could be a screenshot of a book you’re reading, it could be Scripture, it could be a picture of something in your life that reflects that word. All we ask is that you follow the prompt word for the day and use the hashtag #lookupphotoaday – if you want to, you can also follow myself @amycornwell and Megan @brassyapple to see what we’re posting each day.

We’re excited to see what everyone shares and to hopefully make some new friends in the faith. Join us? If you plan to join us one or more of the days, please leave a comment with your instragram name so that we don’t miss it!

grandma-pictureI remember this picture hanging in my maternal grandparents house while I was growing up (lots of you on Instagram had the same memory, so cool!). Now it’s hanging in my kitchen and I smile when I look at it. I’m excited that it’s with me, a lovely memory of my grandparent’s house.

project-lifeI finally ordered and got started on my 2013 Project Life album. The move has left me 6 months behind (and the fact that this edition JUST came out). I could not have pictured a better-for-me edition of Project Life. It fits me to a T and I’ve loved digging into it this week.

home-cabinetThis house is finally starting to feel like home. I can hardly believe that we’ve been here for four weeks. It seems like we just moved and also I feel like this has been our home forever. Such a crazy feeling. I love that we finally have our things on the walls and cabinets filled with memories.

smith-visitWe had some friends come visit and tell us about the new mission that God has them on. It was so great for Dave to see an old friend that he grew up with and for our kids to meet their kids. Aren’t kids the best – immediately when they met they ran upstairs and started playing like they’ve known each other forever. I love that. {yes, they all got to eat…we were prepping plates and E just happened to be the only one with food in the picture!}

fireplaceJust for kicks we started up the fireplace…in the middle of summer, while the air conditioning was on. It’s so beautiful and I can’t wait for wintertime where we can sit and enjoy it with a huge cup of steaming hot chocolate with a load of marshmallows. I can hear the crackle and taste the cocoa now.

town-hallDave and I had an impromptu date night near town hall where we listened to a friend play in the Jazz Orchestra…I’m an old soul so listening to jazz and seeing the {older} people dance brings a smile to my face. I wish I had the confidence and rhythm to get up there and boogie. Not so much though.

insta-saleI’m having such a blast with our Insta-Sales. What a rush they are! I love being able to create on of a kind goodies that people snatch up quickly to add to their collections. It is so fun. (the next one is coming up on Monday @amycornwellshop on Instagram).

All in all, a good week. Still adjusting and getting used to living in the country and having the kids home all day for summer break. More on that next week. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Linking up with Jeannett for InstaFriday today!