Saying Thank You with help from aQuellé

Saying thank you is one of my favourite things - it feels good and fills my heart with gratitude. Kindness is seriously lacking in our busy, rushed world so when I get a gap to take stock and thank people - I love to make it extra special (especially if I get to write and decorate a pretty note). 

aQuellé asked me to be part of their 'Random Acts of Coolness' campaign and I jumped at the opportunity to thank a few people who aren't often rewarded for their hard work. First on my list were the wonderful people who work at my local post office. Now, I know our postal service hasn't got the best reputation, but the staff at Musgrave Post Office go above and beyond to make up for the short comings of the service as a whole. They are always friendly, helpful, kind and to date none of my snail mail sent via them has not arrived, in fact my post from faraway friends is also always delivered. They don't get thanked enough - I have never taken the time to say how grateful I am for their hard work (although I always say thanks). With some encouragement from aQuellé I was able to thank them properly with treats, including refreshing flavoured water and I also added in a big batch of cupcakes. I spent a bit of time with the lovely ladies who always help me and told them how thankful I am for all they do. They were so overjoyed and grateful in return and in fact I almost shed a little tear. One of the lovely ladies said she really needed the boost - today of all days as she was on the brink of tears herself after a particularly difficult customer had screamed at her. I was so happy that I was able to turn her day around! Plus... I got crafty too and spent some time making them a few special thank yous. They always see all my papery delights that I send to friends and it was their turn this time round.

I gave a few more thanks along the way including to a toll road attendant on a recent road trip to see a client. She was quite literally flabbergasted that I was offering her something and taking the time to chat to her - most of all to say thank you for the work she does. The thing is... we should all take more time to say thank you, not a rushed or quick thoughtless thanks, but rather a heartfelt and sincere THANK YOU! 

The lovely news is aQuellé wants to spoil one of my readers with a R1000 cash prize. The aim is to encourage you... my wonderful readers to go out and say thank you to someone who you thinks deserves it or isn't often on the receiving end of gratitude.

To Enter:
1 > Buy a bottle of aQuellé - you will see the 'Random Acts of Coolness' logo displayed on the label. The Strawberry is particularly delish.

2 > Give the bottle away to someone who you want to thank. Think of someone who isn't often thanked for the work they do.

3 > Take a photo with your special 'nominee' and tag or tweet me on social media. Be sure to include the hash tag #ActsOfCoolness. You can also tweet @aQuelle if you like.

That's it... so go out and bring some joy, the world really needs it as I'm sure you agree.

For added inspiration be sure to watch the aQuellé team's videos where they hit the streets to say thanks to people... from firemen to construction workers.

The Serious Stuff:
Entries close at 7pm on 25th April 2015.
You can enter multiple times - as long as each entry includes a new random act of coolness.
Entries welcome via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (@nadiavdmescht).
This is a local, South African giveaway.
Only entries that include the hash tag will be accepted.
Further T&C's apply - via aQuellé who is offering the cash prize.
Winner will be notified via social media.

Good luck and enjoy sharing some love, care and joy!

Creative Business Exchange - Cape Town

In March I hosted the first Creative Business Exchange in Durban in collaboration with Decorex & Caesarstone. It was really a wonderful morning and I got to connect with a range of local creatives. The two invited guests were Sonia Vosloo, owner of  Shoppe and Richard Stretton of Koop Design. I spoke about a range of topics from planning for your business, social media and press / features. 

I'm heading to Cape Town next to host the exchange there and I can't wait! The two invited guests are Heather Moore of Skinny laMinx and Haldane Martin. I am beyond honoured that two such innovative minds will be joining me. It's set to be a day of learning filled with practical tips for you to implement within your own business. For tickets click here or to view the full press release click here.

I Want That - has also done a lovely post sharing a few more facts - click here to view.
100 Percent Design has also shared some insight on the workshop.

If you are heading to the workshop - let me know or say hi when there... I would love to meet you.

Staying Creative Makes Business Sense

In between my 'real work' - I still love to get creative when I can. It's been a productive and busy couple of months on the consulting and business workshop side. It's still very important to make time for making as I believe it keeps the creative mind inspired. 

If you find that your hobby has changed into your business then I want to urge you to make time to do something small for your own creativity. We start out on the journey of creative business to shake off the shackles of corporate life or to create a world in which we can be the BOSS LADY. Along the line our passion, sideline or hobby turns into our full-time job. Essentially it's perfect... what could be better than doing what you love each day? The only thing is... it becomes WORK, no matter what. We lose a sense of direction or even innovative thinking when we don't create just for the fun of it. 

You will see there are some wonderful business women out there who understand this concept. Two awesome local examples:

Fathima of Happiness Is and her 'doodle a day' series on Instagram. Fathima is one busy boss lady, but she is also a wonderful illustrator. This project allows her to dedicate time to creativity that isn't related to her work, yet encourages innovative thinking.

Heather Moore's 'Making Friday' is no secret and it's explored in one of her latest blog posts. It's a great way to free up time to focus on just doing something for the sake of enjoyment.

I recently also read this great article which shares why routine and creativity need to work in unison. Fantastic inspiration and insight which explores the routines of several very famous creative minds.
In my world I fall into the same trap... work takes centre stage and the idea of creating just for fun can seem foreign. I have, however realised that by not re-fueling creatively I can't actually stay inspired. This goes beyond looking at Pinterest or pretty pictures - it gets back to basics and the enjoyment of using your hands to make. So off you go... get making! You need not spend hours a day away from you desk or to do list, but just do a little something that reminds you why you do what you love... there could be a brilliant idea just waiting to be uncovered.

My own example...
This little gift was truly a labour of love and it took ages to finish. It was one of those things that I would work on when I got a gap. It offered an escape slotted in between deadlines and emails, just a happy ten minutes now and again.

I used an old watch that I found at a second-hand shop and removed the strap. Gold ribbon from Ebony & Ivory formed the base of the watch fob concept. The buttons are vintage paired with bird washi tape, which I varnished onto the button so it would stay put. Lastly I sewed on a brooch back and then I finished it off with a strip of gold leather which folds over the back. The envelope is decorated to compliment the gift. Plenty of love and care went into this and I do hope that it's enjoyed and worn with pride. I hope to make more time for creating gifts and making, it gives my business orientated mind a little holiday leaving me refreshed and focused once more.

Creative Business Exchange at Decorex Durban

The count down is on - this Friday (20 March) I'll be hosting the Creative Buisness Exchange at Decorex in Durban. I'm rather excited!

It is a half-day workshop which is ideal for any business owner in a variety of industries. The topics that will be covered include... planning, social media tips, successful branding and how to approach the press. In addition to the tips - there will also be a discussion with industry insiders. It's set to be an inspiring day. To book tickets - click here. Below is some additional info. Please spread the word - I would love to see you there!

Durban Friday 20th March 09h00 – 12h30 Durban ICC R550 per person
Read more on the Decorex or SA Decor & Design.
For full press release - click here. 

Decorex SA introduces the first ever Creative Business Exchange, a workshop dedicated to building a successful creative design brand, to run alongside Decorex Durban and Cape Town in 2015. The innovative half-day forum, aimed at individuals and small businesses in the interior design, décor, architecture, product and craft sectors, is set to stimulate a creative-thinking environment.

Creative brand visionary, Nadia van der Mescht, who will be facilitating the event, began her career in marketing, but yearned for a career in fashion and accessories, which saw her launch her first business in 2004 creating bespoke accessories for local boutiques. Although her vast experience includes stints at luxury London fashion
house Burberry as well as at local apparel and homeware giant Mr Price Group, she is perhaps best known for her popular lifestyle blog and creative business development consulting.
More recently the titles of stylist, lecturer and décor-magazine writer have been added to her impressive portfolio. Van der Mescht’s true flair lies in guiding creatives and small businesses, her stellar track record demonstrates an enviable ability to inspire, educate and motivate clients, equipping them with the vital tools needed to build their brands and drive their creative businesses forward.

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