"Hello ladies and welcome back to another night of Girls Night Out of fun, chatting and give-a-ways. Come right on in and get comfortable, because we're about to have a fabulous time once again. Tonight's party is being hosted by non other than Tara Shenson of KMT Graphic Design. If you've never been to one of our Friday Nights into the weekend events, you're in for a treat; but, first you have to put on your imagination hat, there's no entry and no fun without one."
"Treats and drinks are being provided by Davina James over at Dove Chocolates. The chocolate martinis from last week were to die for!! This week Davina sent us some Creamsicle Martini's and some Bon Bons! There's still a few chocolate Martini's left, but you better beat me to the kitchen if you want one!! While we're waiting on a few other's to arrive, I'll get started telling you a little about our hostess for tonight."
"I was trying to remember where I actually met Tara the other night, but I was drawing a blank. The best I could remember was either I was following her or she was following me at some point when it came to joining all the "in" social networking sites. At some point we hooked up and she created my first set of website banners for my new Etsy shop and the rest is history! Tara has a brilliant business mind and a vibrant personality to match. She's talented, friendly patient and funny and will help and give advice to anyone trying to make it on Etsy. I am honored tonight to present my friend Tara Shenson owner and creator of KMT Graphic Design....."(you're suppose to applaud now)
So Tara, tell us a little about yourself.
"Well, I live in Long Beach, California, work full time 9-5, and the mom to two rescued greyhounds, and I am a self proclaimed computer geek and owner of an online blog and Etsy shop and The Ad Directory. (click banner on left side to find out more) I've always been "artsy. The capricorn in me led towards busines, so when I discovered graphic design AND Etsy, it was the perfect combo for me!.
How did you get started in your business and what does your shop offer?
"I've done other graphic art type things before KMT, and had my hand in it a little at my day job. I'm pretty much self taught because I've never had any formal training. My mom was the first one who told me about Etsy and the online handmade community. She suggested I open a shop and market there and the rest is history!"
"I currently sell my design work out of my Etsy shop. I design banners, backgrounds, blog designs, html codes, postcards, flyers, and more. You can also find recent designs on my blog."
For those of you who don't know, Tara's mom is Brooke over at Shopmollyd..they are quite the creative pair aren't they? So, Tara... what inspires or motivates your designs?
"I consider myself more of a marketing gal, and so my designs are inspired by my customers shops and what is best going to promote their products. I look at it from the perspective of what's going to help them sell their products. That's what makes me different. I spend a lot of time in their shops or websites looking at their products, as opposed to what looks pretty on the computer screen. I take into consideration their ideas, and try to blend in my mind what they are picturing with what I think will work to help sell their items. "
Working full time, owning two dogs, running a business and marketing..how do you do it all?
"I'm still trying to figure that one out, if someone has some advice for me, I'll gladly take it! I'll say, it is hard. I'm up at 5:30, back home at 6:30, and in bed by 9 or 9:30, I squeeze a lot of work into those 3 hours, but I communicate with my customers up front."
Well, I know anything work you've done for me has been timely and well communicated so....When you're not working your business, what fun things do you enjoy doing?
"I love being with my pups. I'm also a wanna-be-gardener (still learning), and I used to hula dance. I don't have much time for that anymore, but I hope someday I will!"
Maybe we can get Tara to Hula dance before we leave this weekend? Tell us, how in the world did you get involved in Hula dancing?
"I've always been drawn to everything tropical. In my past life I think I may have been Hawaiian! LOL... I love everything about the State and it's culture. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm very spontaneous and I'll try anything once. So I did and I loved it! The culture takes Hula dancing very seriously from height to complexion to hair color, so needless to say I had to improvize...I'm taller than your average Polynesian, my hair is brown, so had to die that black and I had to drench in fake tanning bronzer!"
Oh dear, well that definitely explains the red flower you wear in your hair. So, what do you do when you need a "time out" for yourself?
"Shopping!! I really like scouring the LA thrift shops for buried treasure. In LA, celebrities donate to thrift shops, and I have found some unbelievable deals!"
WOW, have you ever met any Hollywood stars while out shopping?
"Well, I've SEEN a few but the most memorable were, Hugh Heffner and Madonna . I saw Madonna when I was on my way to an interview in Beverly Hills, she was walking towards me coming down the street and I started flipping out and talking to myself like.... "there's Madonna, there's Madonna"!"
I'm laughing, but I probably would have done the same thing. I remember meeting Dewayne Wayne in New York from "A Different World once, and I also remember flipping out! What are your three favorite online shops for girlie things?
Bejewelled Bespoke: "I seriously want one of those bib necklaces"
DNA Creations: "I just bought a wallet from her, it's gorgeous!!"
Greyhound Threads: "because I think it is OK to dress up big dogs too!!"
okay, tell us...who is your biggest crush in Hollywood?
"Hugh Jackman...do I really need to explain? He's HOT!!"
Do we still have that ice water from last week? I must admit, Hugh is HOT and he's from Australia..remember Australia ladies? Do you have a favorite chick flick?
"Legally Blonde. Smart people come in all different packages. And, Elle is a great reminder to alwas be kind to people. If you've never seen this one, you need to ASAP!"
Share with us the silliest or funniest thing you've ever done with your girlfriends.
"When a friend of mine and I would go out to bars, we were realizing that guys were suddently losing interest when they found out what we did for a living. She was a speech pathologist and I work in the corporate world for a large company. So we decided to start telling guys we were flight attendants, they started sticking around longer!"
hmm, I could probably take some notes from you and your friend and last but not least...Any closing advice for anyone starting on Etsy or starting thier own online business?
"Yes...Believe in yourself! I hear people all the time say or think no one will every buy thier items. You have to believe in yourself or your customers will see right through you. Also, research your competitors stores for things like pricing, products, ets. See what you're up against and make yourself stand out!"
well, I personally know you've designed a couple of new blogs recently tell us about them.
I recently gave my own blog a facelift here, and of course there's the new Shopmollyd blog you featured Wednesday, I also did a background for Spring Colors on her Twitter account and last but not least, I recently re-did Girls Night Out.
Are you offering any specials to the ladies this weekend?
"Any girlfriend who stops by my Etsy shop this weekend, can receive 25% off of any item of her choice!"
WOW..that's a great deal Tara!! Ladies, if you have any online presence, you need to chat with Tara this weekend! Her prices are already incredible, so with this special, there is no reason you can't at least get your own shop updated or styled out this week with this great deal. That includes banners, avatars, postcards, backgrounds, customized blogs, etc.
There you have it! You couldn't ask for a better person to work with on your Graphic needs. I'm not just plugging girls, Tara is awesome to work with, and I just can't say enough good things about her. Tara is also hosting a give a away this weekend for all of those who have stopped by to hang out with us. She will be giving away 1 Design package of 3 125 x 125 custom ad boxes, to use on any advertising platform..that's a $60 dollar value! Here's all you have to do:
1. Visit KMT Fan page photo section and pick out your favorite design, come back here and tell us what it is and why.
Now...For additional entries, you can tweet about this give away, follow KMT Blog, follow Girls Night Out, follow Tara on Facebook, follow her on Twitter or join The Ad Directory. Just let us know in your comments, what you've done and the name that you can be found under, as well as the link to your tweet if applicable. Also, if you make a purchase this weekend let us know, because you'll get 3 extra entries for supporting one of the girls AND your name will be entered in a second give away from me! I'll be giving away 2 packs of blank stationary cards and of course I don't have the photos ready yet! If you have something else you'd like to give away in the name of your business, email me and let me know we'll blog about that too!! Drawing will be held Sunday night at 7:00 pm, Eastern time. And don't forget to stop by all weekend, someone may be talking to you!!
Once you have your Ad box, you can check out The Ad Directory for places you can list your ad. You can even list your busines here. I'm running an incredible special right now, so check out the pricing above to the right and to the left of this blog.
When I'm not hosting Girls Night Out, you can find me creating jewelry at www.runakojewelry.com