Christmas Card Time!!!

So, while I was searching for unique Christmas cards to send out to my family and friends this year, I found a WONDERFUL website: Minted! They have the most unique and adorable Christmas cards that I have found in a LONG time! Seriously, you can add your photos and choose different shapes for your cards… And the fonts are GREAT! The best part is that the designs are all made by indie designers; people just like me and you, so you will be supporting the single mom down the road, an artist a few hours away, and not some already-rich CEO… which you know makes me VERY happy! :)

Now, while I was playing with the Christmas cards and trying to pick my perfect one, I found a really AWESOME option: Free recipient addressing! My handwriting isn’t horrible, but it isn’t all that great either, plus, it saves me time when my cards come in… I won’t have to sit down and address them all!

Ridiculous Cheer is my favorite design, and here’s a preview of what it will look like :

Christmas Card-AC
This is not my actual Christmas card, of course. ;)

Now, the site has plenty more to offer… I found some awesome business cards while I was there for my sign shop and some really great art to hang on my walls, or if I decide to be less greedy, to give as Christmas gifts.

While I was on their site, I was given the option to complete a survey to receive 10% off when I returned, and you bet that I’ll be doing just that. Of course, right now they have better coupon codes on their site, 15% off orders of $150+ when you enter the code HOLIDAY14, and with the same code, you receive 10% off orders of $100+.

Minted also offers the opportunity to opt out of receiving a digital proof to receive $10 off your order and more expedient shipping (two days faster!!!). Even if you would rather get your FREE digital proof, it still takes less than two weeks to receive your cards from the time you place your order.

Minted.com, you have received a customer for life! I can’t wait to get my Christmas cards in!!! I hope that everyone who reads this decides to at least go check them out, but will also share their thoughts with me here in the comments! :)

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A Letter To The Westville Board

Dear Westville Board,

You say that Stewart county has failed Westville, you say that we didn’t support it while we had it, and you say that it cannot continue to exist in such a rural location. I say that you are wrong. I say that YOU have failed Westville. I also want to say that, with some help, you can turn it around.

As a small business owner, it’s easy to see some very simple mistakes that you have made and that you continue to make as you run Westville into the ground… And, let’s face it; you will continue to make these mistakes wherever you move Westville to. First and foremost, while Westville is a museum, it is also a business and you HAVE to treat it as such.

When you do a search for Westville, not much comes up. You have a website that does not seem to fully represent Westville, and that is pathetic.

More pathetic still, is the complete lack of a social media presence. When you click the Facebook link on your website it leads to a group… It should lead to a business page. When you search for a business page, one does not come up. HOWEVER, if you are lucky enough to be friends with someone who is a friend of Historic Westville on Facebook, your PERSONAL PROFILE does come up as an option to add as a friend. This is not an appropriate way to have a presence on Facebook… It looks like a child is handling your social media.

Sadder even still, when you click the Instagram link, you have set up a profile appropriately, but there are only 36 photos on there. A photo should be posted every day that you are open, there’s no excuse not to. Even worse than not having photos, is the fact that hashtags are not being taken advantage of in order to get you more followers. Speaking of followers, you only have 13 and are only following 4. This is inexcusable.

Now, on Youtube, you do have quite a few videos (BRAVO, I am very proud of you for this!) but still, the amount of views are lacking, which means that you are just uploading them for no reason. You cannot upload videos to Youtube unless you intend to share them. Otherwise, how do you expect them to be seen?

After appropriately taking advantage of social media (FREE ADVERTISING!!!) you have to do one last thing: GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT! You cannot expect people to come out just to walk around and look at a bunch of old buildings and houses… They want to EXPERIENCE it! You have to bring back the volunteers. Bring back the blacksmith. Bring back the potter. Bring back the quilters. Bring back your SKILLED WORKERS. Bring back the gingerbread. Bring back the biscuits. Bring back the lemonade. Bring new things into the gift shop… You’d be surprised at how many people would purchase a decal to go on their car in support of the museum (I should know, I make them for several local businesses and they keep ME in business!).

To gain more support from local businesses, and from law enforcement, make them feel involved again. When you have something special going on, ask the local restaurant (Snooky’s) to cater. Get the local t-shirt shop (Bubba Graphics) to make shirts for the gift shop. If you would like to try the decal idea, by all means, contact me and I’ll give you the first 10 that you order for FREE. If someone breaks down at the village, offer to call a local towing service (Harvey’s Garage) for them. Start cooking again, and once a month (or once a week) invite local law enforcement in for a free breakfast (and you can voice your concern about cleaning up the streets on the way to the village). Ask the county commissioners and the city council for their help and opinions. MAKE YOURSELF A PART OF THE COMMUNITY!!!

Now that I have said all of this, I want to say one last thing: The problem with Westville is the board and the administrative staff: NOT THE LOCATION. Get off your EGOS and run the place like a small business. If you haven’t done that before, many of us locals have, and will be more than willing to give you some ideas that have worked for us!

Sincerely,

Alicia Lee Canington
Alicia’s Sign Shop
Weston, GA 31832
(706)326-9972
aliciacanington@gmail.com

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Just Googling…

Who would have thought when we were children the Google would ever be a thing, or that Googling would ever become a verb used in our vocabulary? I, for one, never thought of it at all. Now, on the other hand, Google is a huge part of every thing I do. I “google” everything. By that, I mean I use Google’s search engine to check out any and everyone.

This has become especially true since I have joined the Keep Westville In Lumpkin campaign. You see, I believe that the most important weapon to have in your arsenal is information. You need to get to know your opponent. For that, we Google. You can find out all kinds of things just by typing someone’s name into an internet search engine. Also, you can find out what they look like!

Through Google, I found all kinds of information out about Mike Bunn that he may not have realized was out there… ;)

I also realized that “Hmmm… Someone can google me as well.” On that end, there’s really not a lot out there about me. Single mom. Sign Shop owner. I’m kinda boring. You can check out my Youtube account and see the videos I like. You can see this blog. You might learn that I am very interested in living a green lifestyle.

I figured out a long time ago that it is important to “Google yourself” every now and then, just to see what’s out there. And of course, now I have decided to take it a step further. Did you know you can set Google alerts? Any time anything is posted that has your name in it, they will send you an email. Call me paranoid, but I set a Google alert for my name, my email address, and for my sign shop. If anyone is talking about me online, I’ll get emailed immediately.

Remember, information is the most important weapon to have in your arsenal… Gather as much as you can, but also find out what your enemy will be learning about you. Go to www.google.com and search “Google alerts” and learn how to set up an alert today!

 

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Boycott Columbus!

Attention citizens of Stewart County, I know it might sound crazy, but I believe it is time that we boycott Columbus! I’m always a fan of shopping local, but it’s more important now than ever. They want to treat us as if we don’t matter, they want to take our village, they want to squash us out, and they forget that part of the money that supports their businesses, a major part, comes from us!

It’s time to stand up and tell them that we matter! If the Westville board won’t listen to us, it’s time to let the city of Columbus hear our voices. Voice your opinion by shopping local, and please go a step further! Let Mayor Teresa Tomlinson know that we support our village and we don’t want it to move, and that we will continue to boycott Columbus for as long as necessary.

Please continue to contact the Westville board! Send them letters at:

P.O. Box 1850
Lumpkin, GA 31815

I will be getting email addresses together for everyone on the board, and will post them asap. We need to let them know we matter. We need to let them know we care. We need to let them know that we will do whatever it takes, that they will not squash us out like little bugs. We will be heard, and we will boycott Columbus!

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“Today’s the day, Mommy!”

“Today’s the day, Mommy! Today’s the day we go to Westville!” Those are the words I was greeted with this morning as my youngest son, who never wakes up in time for school ran out of his room… He’s on fall break, so he gets to sleep in, but today he’s excited, because today’s the day.

What he doesn’t know is that today we won’t be welcome there. Today, they won’t want us anywhere near the gates. Today, even though we’ve felt that that place was like a second home to us all of our lives, they will look at us like insects that need to be squashed.

You see, today we are protesting the move of our little home. Today, we are letting them know that it is not okay. Today, I plan to look Mike Bunn square in the eye and tell him that he cannot do this to our little community that worked so hard to build this.

While we’re talking about Mike Bunn, I want to say that he’s not the evil man I envisioned. I first heard his name when I heard that they were talking about moving Westville. I envisioned this greedy, pathetic old man. When I received what was meant to be a very intimidating letter from him, I pictured the utmost evil. After numerous attempts to contact him, I finally looked him up on Facebook. He looks like a nice guy, a family man. But, this nice guy is attempting to steal what means so much to me and my community… This nice guy is nothing but a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

You see, Mike Bunn was completely in the wrong to send me an intimidating letter. He alleged that I had illegally reproduced Westville’s logo, when I had done nothing of the sort. He threatened me, a seemingly easy target. He threatened a single mom, a small business owner, what looked to be an easy target. Really though, he only insulted my intelligence. He underestimated me. Today, I intend to tell him just that, face to face.

“Today’s the day, Mommy! Today’s the day!”

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