Category Archives: Entreprenuer

Etta + Billie Gift Guide: Roundup

Still need to do your holiday gift shopping? Fear not! These gift guides have got you covered with a little something for everyone.

Etta + Billie Gift Guide: Roundup

Buzzfeed: 14 Affordable But Impressive Holiday Gifts From Online Small Businesses

Farmgirl Flowers: Holiday Gift Guide

Loyale: 2018 Gift Guide

Lucky Break Consulting: The 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Etta + Billie Events: Winter 2018

Etta + Billie will be busy this November and December with lots of upcoming fairs and events! Whether you’re in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or somewhere in between; you’ll be able to come check us out along with a number of other makers, food vendors, DJs, and more.

Renegade San Francisco

Renegade San Francisco: Since 2008, Renegade SF has been working to bring together Bay Area artists in a fun and creative setting. This year, the event will be taking place on November 10-11 from 11am to 5pm at the Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion. Bring your friends and come shop for handcrafted goods, shake your groove thang to live DJs, learn a new skill at one of the event’s workshops, or visit the various exceptional food trucks when you get hungry. Check out E+B at booth #114!

Details
Renegade San Francisco
November 10-11 from 11am-5pm
2 Marina Blvd #260, San Francisco, CA 94123

West Coast Craft

West Coast Craft: This winter’s WCC is taking place on November 17-18 from 10am to 6pm at the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. Located on the scenic SF waterfront, this free event brings together artists, makers, and other craftspeople to showcase their work. Come to browse, shop, and spend the day viewing unique work (and don’t forget to visit the E+B booth #G29)!

Details
West Coast Craft
November 17-18 from 10am-6pm
2 Marina Blvd #260, San Francisco, CA 94123

Bob Cut Holiday Gift Pop Up Shop

Bob Cut Holiday Gift Pop Up Shop: Have you ever wished your favorite online holiday gift guide suddenly became a shop for you to do all your holiday shopping in one place? Bob Cut, a local lifestyle magazine, is making your wish come true by bringing you a real life pop-up version of their holiday gift guide! Showcasing 10 artists, craftspeople, and makers; this pop-up shop will provide you with a great opportunity to buy unique gifts for loved one, get to learn more about who made them, and learn a bit about the shops.

Details
Bob Cut Holiday Gift Pop Up Shop
December 7-16 from 11am-6:30pm
1306 12th Ave. San Francisco, CA 94122

Renegade Los Angeles

Renegade Los Angeles: Etta + Billie will also be part of a group booth at this year’s Renegade LA, sponsored by Madewell, called Hometown Heroes. Renegade has been hosting fairs in LA since 2009, and this year’s event is gearing up to be a fantastic display of makers, shakers, foodies, and more! Come check it out on December 8-9 from 11am to 5pm at the Los Angeles State Historic Park.

Details
Renegade Los Angeles
December 8-9 from 11am-5pm
1245 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Heath Make Food Market

Heath Make Good Market: The second annual Make Good Market, taking place at the Heath Ceramics Tile Factory, is a celebration of people, places, processes, and makers displaying their craft. Full of interactive crafts, food, and other fun; you’ll be sure to want to visit this event on December 8-9.

Details
Heath Make Good Market
December 8-9 from 10am-5pm (10am-3pm on Sunday)
2900 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

SFMade Holiday Gift Fair

SFMade Holiday Fair: This fair—at the California College of the Arts on December 16 from 11am to 5pm—is a great opportunity to get all your holiday shopping done and even buy a few things for yourself! With over 50 vendors, this event is your one-stop-shop for gourmet food, wine, jewelry, handbags, housewares, body care products, apparel, toys, holiday decorations, and more.

Details
SFMade Holiday Fair
December 16 from 11am-5pm
The Nave, 1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco CA 94107

Fresh This Month: Chai Tea

Chai is a perfect winter scent with a warming grounding blend of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and ginger. The warming spicy aroma of cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg meld with the creamy richness of milk to create a delicious and soothing blend.

Chai is a phenomenally distinct yet versatile flavor and scent. Commonly founds mixed with black tea, chai originated in South Asia and can be traced back to India and China. While chai spices vary from region to region, traditional chai spices include cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, cloves, fennel, ginger, and peppercorn.

Etta + Billie Chai Tea

If you’re interested in making your own chai drink, here is a simple and delicious recipe that combines black tea, milk, and spices.

Ingredients:

2-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
10 whole cloves
6 cardamom pods
6 cups cold water
6 bags of black tea
2 cups of whole milk (or almond/soy milk)

Directions:

  1. Combine fresh ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, and cardamom in a medium saucepan. While stirring, lightly crush the spices.
  2. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover the saucepan, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, add tea bags and steep for 5 minutes.
  5. Discard tea bags, add your milk of choice, and simmer over high heat for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, strain chai into a teapot, and serve hot.

Etta + Billie Chai Tea Limited Edition Products

Want to include the deliciously aromatic smells of chai not just in your beverages but in your home and skincare routine too? You’re in luck! Etta + Billie just released a line of limited edition chai tea inspired bath and body products for those who can’t get enough of the stuff.

A perfect scent for the cooler temperatures of fall and winter, these chai bath and body products offer the perfect blend of warming cinnamon and ginger with spicy cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg:

Chai Tea Body Scrub
Chai Tea Room + Body Spray
Chai Tea Skin Balm
Chai Tea Soap

Etta + Billie Crew: Sonia

Etta + Billie crew members are the heart of our company. Since the company’s launch in 2009, our employees have helped us along the road of creating purposeful, sustainable, natural body care products and without them, we wouldn’t be the company we are today!

Want to know more about the Etta + Billie team? Here is a closer look at one of our crew members: Sonia!

Etta + Billie Crew Sonia

How long have you been at Etta + Billie?
I have been working at Etta + Billie for 3 years and 2 months.

What five things couldn’t you live without?
1) My family; my partner and my siblings. 2) My headphones. 3) My sketchbook. 4) Coffee. 5) The Internet.

What’s one nice thing you could do for somebody in your life today?
Give them a call out of the blue.

My favorite quote is:
“Success is when preparation meets opportunity.”

My favorite scent is:
Anything citrus!

What is your favorite Etta + Billie product?
My favorite product is the Etta + Billie Earl Grey Tea soap.

Etta + Billie Crew: Mylene

Etta + Billie crew members are the heart of our company. Since the company’s launch in 2009, our employees have helped us along the road of creating purposeful, sustainable, natural body care products and without them, we wouldn’t be the company we are today!

Want to know more about the Etta + Billie team? Here is a closer look at one of our crew members: Mylene!

etta + billie crew mylene

How long have you been at Etta + Billie? What is one of your favorite things about working here?
I have been with Etta + Billie for six months. One of my favorite things about working here, besides the lovely folks I get to work with, is the smell! The studio always smells amazing!

What five things couldn’t you live without?
Sunlight, phone calls, grass to lay in, lip balm, and carbs.

What’s one nice thing you could do for somebody in your life today?
One nice thing I like to do for others is to listen to them.

My favorite scent is:
Horchata Soap (seasonal)

What is your favorite Etta + Billie product?
My favorite Etta + Billie product is the Room + Body Spray.

Happy 9th Business Birthday Etta + Billie! Part 3

Ette + Billie Happy Birthday

It’s the last installment of this birthday blog series! Here’s a look at the last three years, which have been some of the most intense but also most exciting at E+B. Missed the early years? You can read all about those here and here.

I am always striving to do things better, add more products that our customers want, and create a  connected community of E+B fans so I’d love to hear your thoughts! Got a product you’d love for us to make? Ideas about how you’d like to see your shipments come to you? I want to know about it. Please share your thoughts here.

BIGGER AND BETTER!

2015

My first speaking engagement! Shared all my tips for creating collaborations with other business owners on Indie Cruise!
E+B Indie Cruise 2015

Our first appearance in VOGUE! Including a very youthful looking headshot of me.

A full-page spread featuring me making soap in the E+B studio in the San Francisco Chronicle as part of a piece on local makers

Kiva Zip Campaign was a huge success and my community helped me raise $5,000 in 8 days! Amazing.

2016

First out of state Trade Show – Axis at Capsule in NYC.

Etta + Billie at Axis by Capsule in NYC

Launched an amazing collaboration with Heath Ceramics!

photo by Jeffery Cross.

Realized a long time business goal by offering health insurance to my employees.

Etta + Billie offers health insurance to employees

First Appearance on TV! I represented assorted small businesses as part of a KTVU segment on shopping small for the holidays.

E+B First TV Appearance KTVU

Donated over $1700 in three months to various charities as part of our Move Forward campaign.

Launched our first new product in 3 years – the liquid soap!

2017

Add the third employee to our team and 2 summer interns!  We are packed like sardines in my 750 sq ft studio.

Etta + Billie is super packed!

First attendance of the biggest gift show in the country –  NY NOW with creative collective Join Design.

E+B at NY Now with Join Design

Worked with Woods Beer Co on one of my favorite collaborations, they came to the studio and made soap and we went to the brewery and made beer!

Etta + Billie Woods Beer Co Collab

Donated over $3000 to charity as part of our philanthropic efforts.

Launched our room + body sprays!

Etta + Billie Room + Body Sprays Launch

Now!

2018

What’s happening this year? Well, we added an additional 1100 sq ft of studio space so we have plenty of room for some new E+B goodies! Stay tuned!

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Happy 9th Business Birthday to Etta + Billie! Part 2

Ette + Billie Happy Birthday

It’s Etta + Billie’s 9th business birthday! I’m recapping all the major things that have happened at E+B (and a few of my life events) over the last 9 years. If you missed Part 1, check it out here, there are some solid photos of me with bangs and you get to see our ORIGINAL packaging. Crazy how things have changed. Read on for more E+B memories.

Etta + Billie: The Big Changes Years

2012 

Early in 2012, I left the business for almost 3 weeks to go on an epic travel adventure honeymoon with my husband. We rented a campervan (isn’t it cute?) and drove around the North and South Island of New Zealand. We both went skydiving for the very first time, pretty crazy! I managed to keep the business running while I was away, thanks to my incredible assistant Eric. If you want to see more travel photos, head to my Instagram page and scroll all the way to the very bottom.

Rebranded! After 4 years, I decided that the original branding didn’t fit me or the product anymore and where I wanted the business to go. My incredibly talented best friend was able to integrate all my inspiration into a distinct new look. 

Said goodbye to our body butter and lotion bars, much to the chagrin of my sister who proceeded to purchase every last one.

First launched collaborations with Ritual Coffee + T-We Tea! 

2013

After months and months of work, I finally launched my own website! 

Etta + Billie products could be found in our first major retailer, Urban Outfitters!

Created and launched our first brewery collaboration with San Francisco based Speakeasy. Obviously required some serious research and development.

Traveled all the way to Chicago for Renegade Craft Fair with my talented maker pal Kendra of Kendra Renee Jewelry. It was my first out of state craft show and we had so much fun!

Launched one of my fav limited edition soaps of all time, the Spiked Egg Nog Soap.

Quit my day job….NBD

2014

Moved into my first outside the home studio space and I was over the moon, even though it was only 723 sq feet. 

Hired the first production employee, Jesse. It was amazing to have help mixing up all the E+B body care goodness.

 

and hosted our first summer intern, Gladis.

We created a custom soap with one of my favorite San Francisco bakeries – Craftsman and Wolves. p.s. they have the best chocolate chip cookies!

Attended my first Trade Show – SF Gift Show

So much fun press. Appeared in two national magazines and one international magazine.

Created our first customized product with gorgeous lifestyle retailer Terrain. The Pumpkin Spice Lotion.

 

Began E+B’s philanthropic efforts with 826 Valencia and SF Marin Food Bank

Check back again next week for the final post!

Happy 9th Business Birthday to Etta + Billie! Part 1

Ette + Billie Happy Birthday

It’s hard to believe but Etta + Billie turns 9 this month! I know, it feels like I just started the business yesterday (ok, maybe not yesterday but it definitely doesn’t feel like it’s been 9 years).  As many of you already know, Etta + Billie was created as a way to escape the dreariness of my 9-5 job and express a creative drive I never knew I had. That teeny tiny body care business has grown so much over the past 9 years. From apartment kitchen to studio space from a biz of just one to a team of 4 (plus my very sweet husband and friends), from part-time gig to how I pay my rent every month. Pretty amazing!

I rarely take time to reflect on how much I’ve achieved and how much I’ve learned over the years. When I think about it, it’s funny that I’m even here because I had never wanted to own my own business. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Why? I’ve never had a job that was constantly fulfilling and challenging. This “job” has taught me so much about myself and what I’m capable of. I’ve had to push myself into uncomfortable rolls and I’ve had to sacrifice time, money, and energy to keep things going. Occasionally I haven’t paid myself so that I could pay employees. It is just part of the process. I appreciate the challenges I’ve faced and overcome because I know that those lessons have helped me grow in one way or another. 

I am so thankful for these last 9 years and to all the customers, family members, employees, interns, fellow makers, photographers, designers, bookkeepers, virtual assistants, friends, and vendors who’ve helped make this happen. And of course, my biggest supporter, my husband. He has done everything in the business from sales to wrapping product to handling IT tragedies to hauling 50 pound boxes up multiple flights of stairs. It truly takes a village and my dream is a reality because of all the folks that have helped me along the way. Thank you!

To celebrate our 9th year in business, all orders placed on the website from April 6th – 30th over $50 will receive a 2 oz room + body spray, no codes needed!

Bonus, I’ll be showcasing some new goodies LIVE on Facebook this Sunday, April 8th on the Artisan Made Show, details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2049844035273897/

Time to take a walk down memory lane! Here’s a peek at the first few years and keep an eye out for a new post each week for the next few weeks where you can see more of the E+B journey.

Etta + Billie – The Early Years

2009

We launch on Etsy with photos I took in my living room using a “homemade” lightbox and a digital camera. Very high tech!

First ever soaps sold – Lavender + Peppermint Lime (which are still customer favorites)

Other highlights: my first wholesale account (I almost peed myself I was so excited) with my dream store Paxton Gate (who still carries E+B) and my first craft show (see the very proud pic of me above).

My first soap conference! Yes, there is an annual conference dedicated to soap and cosmetics put on by the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetics Guild, and its great! I got to meet so many people who were just as passionate about soap as I was. Dreamy.

2010

Launch my first Limited Edition Collection for Valentines Day. My photos skills have improved a bit. Were you one of the lucky few who got one of those bars?

Moved from a one bedroom apartment that the business had taken over, into a 3 bedroom apartment where I got an entire room just for E+B.

Keep at the business, taking classes, doing shows and all that good stuff.

2011

Completed application and lengthy review process to become the first cosmetics company in San Francisco to receive Green Business Certification

Chosen by Banana Republic to be a part of their SF Made Pop Up Shop! 

Oh and I got hitched. 😉

Check out Part 2 for a peek at the next few years of E+B!

Go-To Tips: Getting S#@t Done – Tips for Accomplishing Your Goals

Tips for Accomplishing Your Goals

Before E+B, I rarely made yearly goals. It just wasn’t my thing. I always thought things would just work out, or I’d focus on short-term goals (perhaps that’s because they are much much easier to accomplish…). But as my business grew, I realized that there was no possible way to keep moving forward without creating goals, both personally and professionally. So in 2010, I created my first goal list. I sadly can’t remember much about what was on that list (I’ve definitely purged a lot over the last 8 years in business which is good because I’m a notoriously sentimental pack-rat) but I do know that my goal creation process has changed dramatically thanks to fellow business owners and a better understanding of what works for me. So if you’re like me and not a goal creator OR just looking at a new way to accomplish your goals, check out my tips for checking those goals off your list.

HOW TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS THIS YEAR:

Brainstorm + Review. Every January, I take a day or so to review the previous year. What went well? What didn’t go well? I meditate on what I want to accomplish in the coming year. What is the overarching theme for the year? Some years it could be Balance, or Travel, or Financial. Think about what would bring me the most joy this year. And write it all down. I find this whole process incredibly helpful. Don’t know where to start? Check this out this process or some great questions to prompt yourself with here.

Refine it. Keep that list small. After the brainstorming, my list probably has about 1,000 things on it, but I know that having that many goals is incredibly overwhelming and likely will turn into a situation where I just don’t bother with goals at all (not helpful). I go through and think about what that overarching theme is and what is a priority based on that and what would be nice but can wait. If I accomplish some of the priority goals, then I can always go back to my list and start on some of the other goals.Photo Sep 26, 9 54 40 AM

Focus + Plan. Ever heard of the Passion Planner?! Well, it’s been one of my favorite tools to help accomplish goals and stay on track for the year. There’s a wonderful brainstorming section in the beginning that’s great for step 1 or if you have no idea where to even start! I use the planner to write down all my major goals and use it to break them up into manageable pieces with deadlines. I’ve used my google calendar in the past but there is something about having things physically written down that helps me stay with my goals.

I hope these tips will help you accomplish whatever you’re striving for this year!

Got other tips for checking those goals off the list? Please share, I’d love to hear them!

Go-To Tips: Uncertain Times and What You Can Do to Help

Uncertain Times and What You Can Do to Help

Who else has been feeling overwhelmed with negative news these days? Our country and communities have been put through the ringer. Hurricane after hurricane has caused massive destruction, swept away people’s entire lives and left little in its wake. Forest fires aare devastating Northern California (including my near and dear home county of Mendocino) and the West Coast. Political squabbling instead of action. Mass shootings. It’s overwhelming, to say the least. And so tempting to look the other way when you’re not directly affected. I know I’ve felt that way too. And it’s hard. I’ve felt guilty for not doing more, giving more and participating more. In my experience, guilt rarely does anything but make you feel like shit so clearly, it’s ineffective. What keeps resonating with me is something the incredibly insightful Melissa Wert of Print Therapy said the other day on Instagram

“…just because we can turn off the news doesn’t mean we should. In fact, it’s because we can that we shouldn’t”.

We have the option where other’s don’t, we shouldn’t forget that and instead of pretending like nothing is happening, we need to do something to help those around us.

At Etta + Billie, being a part of our various communities is a core part of what we do. Because of this, I want to continue supporting our communities and our friends as we all deal with these tragedies. Here are some ways we’re taking action:

Right Now

Donating 10% of online sales in October to the Redwood Empire Food Bank

Donating 10% of sales from our Studio Sample Sale to the Redwood Credit Union Fire Relief Fund

All Year Round

Donating 5% of all event sales to various non-profits helping with disasters (like the Houston Food Bank) or working to aid causes we believe in (see list here)

Donating office supplies and craft supplies to SCRAP

Donating unused electronics and equipment to our local Goodwill

Looking for ways to help? Here are a few ideas from some people-in-the-know around the web. 

Help North Bay Fire Victims at SF Chronicle

Help Hurricane Victims in Puerto Rico at PBS.org 

Help those affected by Harvey at NPR.org

How to help the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, in case you’re feeling powerless