Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Interview with Ear 2 There


Blue Crystal Earrings


Today I'd like to present an amazing woman, Pegah Attarpour. She's an extremely talented artist behind the shop Ear 2 There, and it's a pleasure knowing her!



1. Name: Pegah Attarpour
Where are you from? I'm from Gaithersburg, Maryland. 

2. Tell us a bit about yourself and your shop/ business.
Well, I am a college graduate. I got my BA in French and my BS in Biology. I'm actually working a 9-5 office job, but the moment I come home, I immediately jump on the opportunity to work on my Etsy shop. My shop, Ear 2 There, is all about (at the moment) earrings. I hope to expand my line into necklaces and bracelets one day, but who knows! Hence, from "Ear 2 There!" 

3. When did you open your shop?
August 20, 2011

4. Why did you decide to start your shop?
I started making earrings a hobby with my mom and the more we made, the more we decided we wanted to share our earrings with others. Etsy was the perfect place! I love being a part of the community. 

5. How do you promote/ market your business? What works best?
I try to use Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy teams. I think the best that has worked so far is Facebook. 


Ivory Sun Earrings


6. What’s your favourite item from your shop and why?
My favorite item has to be my Ivory Sun Earrings I think they are very beautiful and unique and that's really a theme I've been trying to go for with all of my earrings. 

7. Do you also do business offline?
I haven't done business offline, yet. Everything has gone through Etsy. 

8. Where do you get inspiration?
I get this question a lot! I usually get my inspiration from just about anywhere, really. Whether it's sitting and playing with the different beads, or going outside and letting nature, and people around me influence me...It's really a culmination of things. It's very difficult to pinpoint it to one specific thing. 

9. Who is your target audience? Who would typically buy an item from you?
My target audience is women of all ages! I make earrings for children and for adults. I'm slowly venturing out into making earrings for men, as well. 

10. Do you ship internationally?
Not yet. This is something I have been looking into and hope to provide one day. 

11. What has been the most challenging part of starting and running your own business?
I think the most challenging part has been staying organized and having enough time to do everything. There's always something that needs to be done!

12. What has been the best part of starting and running your own business?
I love love love making earrings! Being able to sell them to others especially through an online site, is also a treat. Also, I love learning and with this whole process, I have been learning a little more everyday. 

Tiny Rose Studs


13. Do you have any business tips you’d like to share with us?
I think my biggest piece of advice is to never give up and be patient! Running a business is a lot of work and time-consuming, but doing something you love makes it all worth it. 

14. If there were anything you could change about your business, right now, what would it be?
If I could change anything, I would have started doing this a lot earlier! It has been such a great experience so far. 

15. What are your goals and dreams for your business for the future?
I really hope to expand my jewelry to necklaces and bracelets, and to continue being a part of this community for as long as I can!

16. Where do you hope your shop will take you?
I heard a story about a woman making jewelry and selling enough to quit her day job and move to the Carribean! I hope this shop takes me as far as that. Doing what I love and being able to support myself with it. 

17. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I want to take the opportunity to thank Katrine for this amazing chance and this interview! It was really a pleasure. 




Thank you SO much for taking the time to get interviewed! It's a pleasure knowing you, and I wish you all the best with your beautiful jewelry!

Please show Pegah some love by visiting her links below, and please let us know what your favorite item from her store is in the comments below :D



Saturday, July 21, 2012

Upcycled Beach Bangle Giveaway!


Prize: Beach Bangle




Have you heard of the amazing shop, Agisy and IrisCorner? If not, you HAVE to check it out! They sell beautiful up-cycled jewelry and accessories!


And you're in for a treat, because they're giving away a stunning Up-cycled Beach Bangle to one lucky reader!!


But first, let me show you some other amazing items they have for sale:


Aren't these earrings stunning - and unique?






And isn't this brooch amazing?

Wow. What a statement necklace!!




I am in love with all their products, and so jealous of one of you who gets to win this beautiful bracelet, which is the perfect accessory to wear to a summer party...




To enter the giveaway, all you need to do is enter using Rafflecopter below!

Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What I Wore - {Norwegian} Graduation Edition




I can't believe it's already been 4 weeks since I graduated high school! This was a huge accomplishment for me. First of all because I've graduated high school!!! And because I've been sick a lot which has meant that I've missed out on a lot of school. I've been really worried about passing my exams and worried about catching up on everything. But I did it! And I couldn't be prouder because I passed with flying colours! I actually got As on all my written exams!!! :D

I thought I would share some pictures of what I wore to my high school graduation. In Norway we don't wear the typical graduation robes and hats people in the US wear. We wear our national costume or, if you don't have the national costume, you wear a pretty dress or suit (if you're a guy). I wore my national costume which is from the region I live in, Sør-Trøndelag. I got my costume for my confirmation when I was 15 and I love it! It's really beautiful. Each part of Norway has a unique national costume, and you have a costume from the region you're from.

The national costume has lots of different parts to it. We have a purse, 2 brooches, earrings, shoes, a vest, skirt, shirt, apron - even pantyhose to match! And each costume is hand made for you!! So each costume is your unique piece - which makes it even more special.

Take a look...





The vest, skirt and apron are all wool.. so it gets pretty hot (I was pretty hot sweaty when I got on stage to get my rose...)! But the good thing is that you don't need a jacket, at least not during summer ;)

I'm linking up over herehere and here.
If you're a new visitor, please be sure to leave a comment saying hi with a link to your blog, or other social network sites, and I'll be sure to visit/ follow you too! Also please follow the blog/ me via GFC, twitterFacebook, instagram (@thegentleflower), pinterest :) Let's be friends! :D


xx Katrine

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Easy, Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies! {Testing a Hershey's Recipe}




As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I baked cookies on Sunday. I'm gonna let you in on a little secret: I've never baked cookies from scratch on my own before!! I've always used a packet and just added a couple of ingredients. But this time, I started from scratch, using the recipe from my new Hershey's cook book! And they turned out yummy, even though I made a few measurement boo-boos... but let's not talk about that ;)

And judging by the amount of cookies left... they were a hit ;)

As I mentioned, this is a Hershey's recipe, but since I also found it on their site, I hope it's ok that I borrow it to share it with you. All credit goes to Hershey's, except the picture - that's mine ;) And I've changed a couple of things in the recipe as well.


Chocolate Chip Cookies / Testing Hershey's Classic MINI KISSES Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups Hershey's semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened and cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten


Directions

  • Stir together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  • Add the chocolate chips and vanilla extract.
  • Heat oven to 375º F.
  • Add butter, and stir until crumbly mixture forms. Get your hands in there (and squish the butter!).
  • Add eggs and stir. (Use your hands here as well, otherwise the eggs won't mix properly).
  • The mixture should be wet but firm.
  • Drop by heaping tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet (I like them a bit bigger than Hershey's does). I roll each "cookie" into a ball for neatness before dropping them on the cookie sheet.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Makes about 40 cookies (depends on how big you make them, but I made them quite big, and I made approx. 40)

NOTE: If you want a really big cookie, rolling an extra big ball of dough won't make it's area bigger... you'll only get a really fat, half-raw cookie. But it turned out really yummy, though ;)


Linking up over here.

What are your favourite cookie recipes?
Any tips for baking cookies?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hello Monday {Exciting Uni News, My Trip, "Poop" Restaurant, Golf Hat, Bracelets...}


Hello everyone! It's the Monday after returning from our road trip in Canada and the US.

First, a recap of what I've been doing the past few weeks, then I'll share what's happened since I've gotten home!



Hello Toronto, and Canada for the first time evvveer - and lovely view of the city from the airplane. Can you see CN Tower?





Hello Niagara Falls (view from our hotel). Niagara Falls was STUNNING! We went on Maid of the Mist.. and I was in complete awe / wet. If you haven't been there yet - you have to go!



Hello Cleveland! We ate at Hard Rock Café there. YUM.



Hello beach and Lake Erie. This beach was beautiful!! We found lots of pretty rocks that we took home with us :))


Hello Chicago! LOVED this city! Can totally see myself living here one day! (This view is from The John Hancock Tower - amazing view, right?!)



Hellloooo yuuummmyyy hotel breakfast in Chicago. They made the best Eggs Benedict EVER. Ahhhh... Somehow I always manage to get inspired and get the urge to make food whenever I'm on vacation. The food I've eaten has been so amazing, you have no idea! Be on the look out for lots of new recipe posts/ pics/ links :)



Hello shopping :)) {Clutch from Charming Charlie, ring and bracelet from Banana Republic} Yes, I still love gold (read about my gold obsession as a little girl here).



Hello new shoes - so comfortable and suh-weet. "You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes." ;)




Hello Toronto - we meet again! - Man, I miss the heat!



Hello restaurant called "pooped" in Norwegian! Haha! I love happy coincidences like this :)) Didn't eat there ;)



Hello man with the super cool golf hat!!!!



Hello new books - Imma get smart + rich ;D (Excuse me, I meant smarter ;) )



Hello coming home/ pretty sunset from the plane

Hellooooo jetlag




Hello uni acceptance letter!!! :D :D I've gotten a reply from the school I wanted to get in to! I haven't gotten a reply from another school yet (where I applied to study psychology), but I think I've made up my mind - I'm going to study International Marketing at the Norwegian Business School :D You can read more about this here.



Hello new turquoise bracelet I made yesterday. I paired it up with a macramé bracelet I made earlier for the picture. Would you like to see either one of these get posted in the store? And what colours would you like to see?? Let me know in the comments please! I'm working on lots of new products - especially bracelets, so get ready to build up your arm-party ;D


Hello blog, and readers - I've missed you! I'll be sure to post more from my trip later as well ;)



And heelloo cookies I baked yesterday which I had for breakfast today... I loooove summer ;)
Ps. cookie pictures are apparently popular on instagram.. haha I got lots of likes in no time! But I won't disagree... they're yum-aay! Btw I baked these cookies yesterday using a recipe from the new Hershey's cook book I got. I can post the recipe later, if it's available online I'll link to it ;)

And I'm linking up over at Lisa Leonard's fab blog. 

If you're a new visitor, please be sure to leave a comment saying hi with a link to your blog, or other social network sites, and I'll be sure to visit/ follow you too! Also please follow the blog/ me via GFC, twitter, Facebook, instagram (@thegentleflower), pinterest :) Let's be friends! :D

See ya!
~ Katrine
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