a few of our favorite posts
Welcome to the New Home of The Neon Tea Party!!!
Why I chose to make the biggest investment in my business thus far.
Hello there! Welcome! So happy to see ya!!!
Wowowow are you guys as excited as I am about this new site??! My incredible design partner-in-crime Quinn Tempest and I have been hard at work creating this website for the past three months and we are bursting with joy to finally share it with you!!!!
Now before I take you on a tour of the nifty new features of this gorgeous website, I wanted to take a few steps back and share with you the thought process behind designing a custom website in case you or someone you know may be considering making this investment too.
In the 1.5 years I’ve had The Neon Tea Party, designing a custom website is the largest investment I’ve ever made into the business. Having worked for a small business before this and being naturally quite scrappy, I’ve been able to go pretty far with zero funding and simply putting back into TNTP whatever I made to help fund the next project. However, I knew I needed to take a leap of faith and make this big purchase to help take my business to the next level.
Why did I choose to invest in my website rather than something else?
As a largely online business (and a business in this modern, digital world!), my website is my home, storefront, resume, and invitation for readers and clients to come join the party! (Anyone else feel me on that?!) While my last website totally did the trick as far as having a platform to write and sell and share info about The Neon Tea Party, it was disjointed and elementary, there were two sites instead of one, and it simply didn’t reflect the vision of the future of the business. In short, I thought to myself: if I want clients to take me seriously, I need my website to set the tone. Why should a major brand want to hire TNTP to create content for them if they weren’t wowed by their first glance of our digital presence?
I also thought about it this way: if TNTP’s business model included a brick-and-mortar outpost, wouldn’t I do everything in my power to make sure that space was DOPE AF?! But alas, for us digital business owners, our website is our outpost and we’re missing a major business and branding opportunity if we don’t make our homes an accurate and GLOWING reflection of our businesses.
How did I decide this was the right time to make this change?
Following the holidays last year, I felt that my business model was all over the place. I was blogging about home decorating, selling handmade & globally-sourced products at craft fairs, and teaching how to make pom poms, all under the concept of “promoting playful eclectic style.” But what the heck does that mean? That’s not a coherent business. That’s not solving a problem or fulfilling a need. At that time when someone asked me “What’s The Neon Tea Party?” I’d get all clammy and proceed to recite my six-sentence elevator PARAGRAPH. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
So, I embarked on some major soul searching and deduced a few key things:
- TNTP started as a blog for a reason – it’s the aspect of the business I love most.
- That said, currently the blog is the least lucrative part of the business, so I have to continue to do other things as well.
- Teaching is the most lucrative aspect of my business and I truly love it! This is the sweet spot for TNTP as a business.
- I never set out to be an accessories designer and I don’t want to be a primarily retail business, so if I have to make a cut to give myself space to grow those other branches of this business, making and selling accessories should be the first thing to go. Plus, if I want to focus on crafting, I should encourage other to make those items themselves!
- There are two themes that feel essential to the business: crafting and globally-inspired style.
- And finally, pom poms. My growing position as a pom pom expert is super unique and something I know I’d be foolish not to leverage.
The next step was to consider all of these facts, analyze what similar business are out there, and figure out how TNTP could set itself apart by fusing the core concepts that are most important to us.
The result: a total and complete focus on teaching playful, often globally-inspired crafts in person and on our blog! Pom poms would remain our signature craft, however we’d continue exploring other genres of crafts that excite us with the aim to always keep things fresh around here.
When the rumblings of this new clarity began to emerge, that’s when I decided a new website was essential to communicating everything we stand for and offer as a business.
How did I choose a web designer?
I started by gathering information from designers I know and looking at other sites I like to see who designed them. I spoke with a bunch of extremely talented designers and branding specialists, however I ultimately decided to contract with my incredible friend Quinn due to her double specialty in web design AND digital marketing. I wanted my site to be smart and contain features I had no idea how to create (such as our awesome responsive inquiry form!). I wanted more than a beautiful site, I wanted a marketing platform, so Quinn ended up being the easy choice for the gig.
My advice to anyone looking to hire a designer:
Do your homework! Check out sites from businesses you love including both large and small brands. If you love their site, scroll to the very bottom where you’ll likely find a link to the website of whomever designed their site. Inquire with multiple designers. Interview them. Check out other examples of their work. Make sure their strengths are in line with your goals for your new site and that their aesthetic is close to your own.
I will say that I cannot recommend Quinn enough!!!! Quinn is immensely knowledgeable about the intersection of marketing and design; she has a wonderfully playful aesthetic and absolutely LOVES (and understands!) color; and she is so organized – omg. The collaboration process could not have been smoother. She sets accurate and achievable deadlines and is super clear in her asks from you. Not to mention she is the biggest sweetheart and simply a joy to work with. You can learn more about Quinn and her design and marketing services here on her site!
How can I afford a custom website?
Most designers should offer a payment plan, which is what I’m doing. They work with tons of small businesses and most are small businesses themselves, so they totally understand that you may not have a spare few grand just laying around to invest all at once.
So what can you find on this gorgeous new website?!
Discover all the ways you can LEARN crafts with TNTP, whether you’re in New York, California, Australia or Zimbabwe. Including…
Information on our very first VIRTUAL COURSE, How to Master Pom Poms and Tassels, which also launched today!!!!
If you’re not totally sure about investing in the class just yet, you can watch our totally FREE lesson: How to Make Pom Poms! I promise you’ll be hooked!
Check out our brand new Pom Pom & Tassel DIY Kits over in the SHOP!! We’ve added those plus a bunch of our favorite Loome tools so that you can bring all your pom pom and tassel ideas to life!
The blog has been on a bit of a hiatus as we worked through all these new business developments, however we have TONS of super freaking awesome content on deck, so definitely keep checking back on the BLOG!
So that’s it!!!! I invite you to poke around; check out all the new products, services and fun photos; and please let me know what you think! You can always leave comments on our blog posts or fill out our nifty new form to say hi, ask a question or inquire about our services.
Oh and I’m very happy to report that my updated elevator pitch is, “My business is called The Neon Tea Party. I teach playful crafts to adults in person and online.” Now tell me, who doesn’t have time for that?!
Peace, love & neon,