Happy Weekend : Favorite Links

A few of my favorite links from this week to bring you into the weekend. Happy Friday!

1. I can't decide if I love Steffy's shoe storage so much because of the ladder idea or just all her cute shoes and boots. 
2. Mary's makeup tutorial really inspired me to experiment with my same-ol' makeup routine I've had since high school.
3. I have such a soft spot for camp inspired clothing.
4. A fun look at how Sophie plans a year in advance for her creative business.
5. A unique idea for a dresser makeover.

Vintage Style Icon : Jane Birkin

If I were to pick one vintage style icon that embodied my vision for OldSchoolSwank's style, it would have to be Jane Birkin. Her seemingly effortless outfits are always fairly simple, with one or two unique elements that help her to stand out from the crowd. Even her maternity clothes are rad! I've categorized my three favorite go-to looks of hers below, enjoy!

Fitted Tees & Jeans


Bohemian Patterns

I Work From Home, And Get Dressed Sometimes

Hah! So I decided to start a series on here dedicated to the mucho-casual, borderline-pajamas outfits that have become part of my daily routine since starting to work from home. I'd like to say I get dressed up every day, with super cute outfits, full makeup and straightened hair, but to be honest, most of the time I just don't. I have intentions to change this in the future, but for now I'm thinking this series will motivate me to keep it at least casual-cute, you know? If anyone else works from home and has any suggestions for me, please comment below with your tricks!

In other news, there is a 30% Winter Clear-out Sale going on in the shop right now, and I just listed a bunch of great new items that are included in the discount! Check it out here, or use discount code WINTERCLEAROUT here.

Around Here Lately

African violets
A few images from around the house lately, because its been awhile. Spending today editing photos, organizing inventory and updating the website. Hope your weekend was fun and relaxing, I am happy to say that mine was : ) Happy Monday!

The fattest bird that sits in the tree outside the kitchen window eating berries every morning
Sometimes when you are estate-saling, you dig up an original painting in the exact color scheme you are going for in your living room in a dusty old basement. Then you buy it for $1 and hang it up pronto.
An unusual day of matching socks
The coolest paint markers I got for Christmas
Plants : )
Another great Christmas present to add to my stoneware mug collection ^
An antique lamp in my favorite colors
Wooden fruit
My shop is taking over my house. Sorry, husband.

Starting a Business on a Shoestring Budget : Free Online Tools

Starting a business on a shoestring budget

Starting a business on a shoestring budget

As those of you who follow this blog know (and for those of you who are new, hello and welcome!), I have an online vintage clothing shop that I run from my home office full time. I just recently took the leap from working at a restaurant a few times a week to supplement my income to jumping into full time entrepreneurship, so as you can imagine I have not had a ton of money to invest into the business along the way. It's been a few years of adding new inventory as I could and investing what I could afford back into the business as much as possible.

A good portion of my time also included researching and discovering free resources where I could in order to save a few dollars along the way. Saving $10 a month may seem trivial to some, but when you’re first starting out there are a lot of ways you could invest that $10 elsewhere to help you grow.

I’ve decided to compile my most-used list of resources here in the hopes that some might find it helpful as they consider starting their own online business. A lot of these may seem obvious, but sometimes you just need to see it written out to realize how it might help you in a way you hadn’t thought of. So without further ado, here is a list of free resources and programs I use for my small business.

If you are looking for a photo editor along the lines of Photoshop in which you can edit photos, use a clone tool to touch up backgrounds, or add a filter, iPiccy is one of my favorites. And it’s free! You can also layer photos, text and shapes to create graphics for marketing or blog posts. Something I find super helpful for Instagram posts is the ability to create a collage in iPiccy in just about any configuration you want. While their selection of fonts is not the best, I never have a problem finding one that will do the trick.

One of my favorite elements of iPiccy is the fact that it saves all your photos you’ve uploaded, even if you don’t sign in or create an account. This means that every time you go to the website they all are there and ready to be utilized.

TIP Make sure to clear out old photos you don’t need saved in iPiccy every once in awhile, as leaving too many in there can really slow down it’s speed.  

Canva is perfect for those of you who are looking for pre-made graphics templates (ie. a Facebook cover photo, Instagram post, blog graphic, or email header). While you do have to pay $1 for some of the better designs, there are still a ton of free graphics available to spice up your marketing campaign or your social media channels. I like to use Canva for Instagram posts when I run a sale, or for holiday themed ads. Its also great for creating a fun Etsy banner. Basically for any project where you might need a little extra help or inspiration with the graphic component, Canva can help you out.

TIP Make sure to play around with different fonts, colors, shapes within the template you choose to keep it looking unique.

Polarr is one more online photo editor I wanted to mention for those of you who prefer to shoot photos in RAW format. Its an easy to use tool that will let you edit the unprocessed photos other online photo editors won’t. It also has a ton of great filters available.

I know I know, duh right? But just in case you were considering buying Microsoft Excel, Word or Powerpoint, you can do a LOT of the same things with Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides, and all for free! I use Google Sheets to track my business income and expenses, and this is coming from the girl who dropped her Excel course in college because she couldn’t wrap her head around it. (insert a smack-forehead here for 19-year-old Kristin) I also am all about writing everything down, so I use Google Docs to make checklists, list ideas, write drafts of blog posts, etc. Use Google calendar to schedule meetings, plan your days out or make an editorial calendar for your blog. Then sync it to your phone to keep you movin' and groovin'.

If you are running a business online, you will definitely need to set up a Google Analytics account. At the very least, it shows you how many pageviews your website is getting, where your customers are located, what device they are viewing your website on, the length of time they browse, and so much more. I am just beginning to utilize this more, but wish I had from the start.

If you’ve done any research yet for building your business, you know growing your email list is huge for gaining a solid customer base. Mailchimp is an automated email service allowing you to have customers sign up for a recurring newsletter you write, and sends it out to them at a scheduled time. If you are just starting out with your list (like I am), Mailchimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers or 12,000 emails per month.

Hopefully you guys found this helpful! Next in this series I will be sharing my favorite blogs for small businesses, and specifically the most helpful posts I’ve come across. Happy weekend!

The Arctic Tundra

Yesterday Owen and I headed down to the lake at sunset dressed in every piece of warm clothing possible, since it was the windiest, coldest day ever, but also really beautiful out. And for this reason you won't see my face in any of the photos because I was NOT about to take off my gator for a photo. Yes, the struggle was real. On a side not how cute is my gator? My sister made us all one for Christmas because she's superwoman and finds time to sew after spending long days being a chiropractor. Impressed.

Anyways, we had just had a long day of driving in the car, stuck behind snowplows, so it was nice to get outside in the fresh air. We had a couple very ungraceful slips on the ice, and then an icy wave splashed water onto our camera lens, but other than that it was all good. Haha. 

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend, and I am happy to say after a bit of a hiatus I am back at this whole blogging thing, and happy to be doing so! Thanks for checking in with me : )

Puffball! ^^^

OldSchoolSwank January Inspiration

Happy new year guys! I, for one, am so excited for the beginning of 2016 and the start of a new chapter. With each new year I am less drawn towards actual strict resolutions for myself, but more towards the idea of a fresh start with excitement about changes for the better. 2015 was an amazing year, which brought about huge changes in both my life and my husband's, and I am happy with where we are at starting out this new one. 

Each month I will be bringing you an inspiration post featuring a mood board for OldSchoolSwank's upcoming vintage collection. For January I am leaning towards darker colors, feminine silhouettes, stripes (always) and athletic inspired pieces. Also adding more children's items, because how can I resist when they are just so cute? 

What are your goals for this new year? Thanks for being here : )

Image sources available via OldSchoolSwank Pinterest

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