The Importance of Family Heirlooms

Family Heirlooms

Most any children are thrilled to receive a family heirloom whether it be passed from many generations or something that they remember getting as a gift as a child. It can also be something that they cherished when they were a young child.

The stories they tell have a special meaning in some way or another. It could be a gift from Aunt Julie or Uncle Bill or it may be something that the child has remembered in their parents or grandparents home while growing up. Who hasn’t wished they had that toy, book or special piece as they watch the antique road show on television.

If it is an item that is passed from generation to generation, take the time to get as much information on the piece as you can. Countless stories can be told of an heirloom piece that was handed down from a prior generation but no one can remember who it came from, the approximate date or the value. When this information is preserved with the heirloom piece, it makes the item so much more valuable.

Even if the piece is only 10 to 20 years old and you remember it from your childhood days, the item may still have a sentimental value. Passing to a future generation will eventually add decades to the piece. It may not be an antique piece now, but in 20 years it will be. An example of some beautiful pieces are Tiffany Lamps made by Louis Comfort Tiffany. If one of his lamps is sold at auction, it can easily bring thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.

If you think an heirloom piece is valuable and do not know its worth, do not hesitate to get a professional to assist you in appraising the piece. A museum or a library is an excellent place to start. Most all museums have a curator who may appraise pieces or be able to direct you to the right person who can appraise the piece. Many libraries have books available on antiques and heirlooms. Appraisals are important as knowing the value of an item, the age, the time period when it was used. It can also assist you in what you should have the piece insured for. The insurance company will need to know the value and most likely ask you for an appraisal.

Heirlooms are an important part of history. Without history, we would not be who we are today. We have evolved from the simple life to the technological age. With heirlooms, we know where we came from and how we became who we are today.

Tiffany lamp

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Source by Vickie Fry

The Uses of Dinnerware Sets

Dinnerware sets are not just used for dinners as the word says. Dinnerware refers to the set of plates, bowls, spoon and fork or in simple terms refers to dishes. Dishes are used for eating and for serving food. A person that loves cooking and adores food wants their dishes to be useful and stay longer. We will review about the different types of dinnerware that are available today.

There are times that dinnerware are not just used for serving food or for eating. It is sometimes locked in a cabinet arranged properly with a specially designed rack to hold them in place. When I went to my grandmother’s house for a birthday party, I went to her kitchen to help her prepare the food. I saw a lot of plates and bowls, different types and designs of spoons and forks all displayed in a beautiful wooden antique cabinet. I asked her if I can wash those plates and use them for the guests. She strongly disagree and said that those plates are valuable and never been used and just for a display because it is her collection and costs a fortune.

Aside from displaying expensive plates in the cabinets, a chef for example, wants his dinnerware to be durable or depending on the event and its uses. Paper plates for example are more convenient and affordable for picnics rather than using a plate made of ceramics which are heavy. Ceramic plates on the other hand are used for display or in special occasion like a formal dinner. Our ancestors use a carved stone or wood as a plate. Although, stones are not anymore used today but wooden plates are still used in some restaurants to go with the theme. Plastic plates are more popular today in most households because of durability, it is cheaper and is lighter when washed.

Moreover, spoon and fork are usually made of plastic or metal. Plastic spoon and fork just like paper plates are used in picnics and parties because it is lighter and convenient. Metal spoon and fork are used in household and restaurants. Some restaurants do not provide spoon and fork, either they are Chinese and Japanese restaurants or they want their food eaten by hand. There more modern utensil today that is a combination of spoon and fork which they call a spork. Spork looks more of a spoon but has spikes at the end.

Dinnerware sets or dishes nowadays have different forms and types that serve different purposes. So, make sure that if you are buying one it should fit your need whether it will be used or just for a display.

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Source by Lam Bong

Creative Marketing Ideas For Toy Stores

Toy stores have to market to two distinct audiences-children, who are the end-users, and parents, who are the purchasers. Having only one marketing strategy won’t prove to be very effective for your toy store, as you’ll only be reaching a portion of your market. It’s best to use a mix of mediums and messages to attract children and their parents. At least one of these suggestions could be a great choice for your toy store.

  1. Wish lists– Every child has a list of toys they want for Christmas or their birthday. Encourage your customers to bring their child in to create a formal wish list, be it on paper or electronic (like a bridal registry). This is a fun process for the child, and it gets customers in your store at-least twice (once to register, and once to purchase). They can distribute the list among family and friends, which could bring you even more customers.
  2. Birthday specials– Similarly, every child likes to feel special on their birthday. Print vinyl decals to display at your checkout station that let parents know you’ll email them a special coupon on their child’s birthday. The child can come in and take their pick of merchandise which they’ll receive for free, or at least discounted. This makes the child happy, and the parents even happier, because they’re saving money.
  3. Used toy drives– Show you care for the community by hosting used toy drives in your store or even around town. By donating gently-used toys, potential customers will then have the need for a replacement, and since they’re already in your store, they’re likely to buy! If they need a little extra encouragement, offer them a discount coupon for donating.
  4. Parenting seminars– Here’s another great way to attract the parents. Host lectures and seminars in your store that parents will want to attend. Make sure to feature these classes in your store with large, easy-to-read banners so parents will know when and where the classes are. Use your employee’s knowledge, or even work with your vendors to inform parents of the latest products for child safety, current recalls, or even fun ideas for party planning. Of course you’ll need to provide child care during these events, but this is an advantage for you. What parent takes their child to a toy store and doesn’t buy them something?
  5. New toy release events– There’s an “it” toy every season. From Furbys to Tickle-Me-Elmo, toy manufacturers work very hard to create a “gotta-have it” mentality in the minds of children, and their parents! Use this to your advantage. When the hot new toy is about to be released, throw a party in your store. Customers will come hoping to be the first person in the area to get their hands on the new toy. Print window clings to display in your window showing pictures of the toy and when it’s going to be released, so that customers will be well-prepared for the launch.

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Source by Michael K Allen

Authentic Gucci Handbags

We all know that it is no secret that Gucci handbags are what every woman is looking for now days it is the hottest style out there. All women also know that it is very hard to find a legitimate wholesaler for authentic Gucci gags. I bet you have already searched the internet for a legitimate wholesaler, I know I have and have yet to find one. Some people I know are going through the same problem, either that or they have found a wholesaler who they believe was legitimate and lost a lot of money on worthless products because they dealt wit ha fraudulent company, You simply just don’t know who to trust anymore. I understand how frustrating it is most people have gotten “burnt” bad by all this so called legitimate wholesalers.

I have known people who have who spent thousands of dollars on so called authentic Gucci bags from phony wholesalers and they never see any of their authentic Gucci bags much less their money back. And if you have not yet been scammed there is a good chance that you may be, because this sort of things has been happing a lot now days. I have seen many people who have been scammed by this con artist many times and have lost a lot of money. And this is not only internet scammers that you have to be aware of there are also some who love to scam people by phone. That is why I have written this article to keep others from being scammed too. I am not saying that all wholesalers are crooks who will rip you off there are a few out there who are really legitimate You just have to be careful and not too trusting so that you do not get scammed also. Just take my advice and be aware of all the crooks out there.

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Source by Brian Cliette

The Gift of a SWOT Analysis

 Did you know that a SWOT analysis is really a gift? This is not a practice typically embraced by the average small business owner. In fact, there are many business owners who dread this exercise and avoid it. Smart entrepreneurs do not consider this business analysis as a measure of how badly you are doing. Instead, they consider it a gift. 

 

A SWOT analysis looks at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of a business. This can be challenging as it requires a look at one’s financial statements and inventory.  For service providers, it includes the stability of their client base. Beyond the usual way of evaluating the business, add a variation to this exercise. As a small business owner, include yourself by examining recent skills learned, personal events or crises, and anything that is supporting your business’ success.  For example, joining a networking group or mastermind group may reduce your feelings of isolation and panic.  This allows you to keep your creative juices flowing so you produce great products and/or services which make you money.

 

As you go through the SWOT analysis, write it on paper and/or create a file so there is a record of the company’s strategic planning and growth.  Many of my clients tell me that they do it in their heads. One catch to this is that you can fool yourself into thinking things are not so great or not so bad. A written version creates the distance to see more accurately how the business is performing. Use measurements that are verifiable such as the profit and loss statement, number of clients, inventory, and any other resources that illustrate each of the four areas. 

 

Here is the process:

 

1.  Strengths.  What is going well?  Identify what supports meeting the business goals.  Include any recent skills you have developed that are producing an ROI (Return on Investment) as well as the products or services that produce revenue.  Give yourself a pat on the back for what you do better than anyone else. 

 

2.  Weaknesses.  What is not going well?  This can be a difficult section for many business owners.  Keep an open, curious mind about what is keeping the business from flying high.  Some of the reasons may include difficulty delegating tasks or a poor marketing strategy. An underrated area that can deeply affect a business is the entrepreneur’s personal issues. Divorces, medical issues, and other personal crises can interfere with how you run your business.  As long as your energy is focused on coping with your crisis, it is difficult to maintain a high level of engagement in your business.

 

3.  Opportunities.  It is too easy to think that the economy or other circumstances are eating up your opportunities.  Look for low-lying fruit. Are you and your sales staff calling all of your prospects? Have you asked your past clients for referrals or repeat business? Is there something that is staring you in the face that you are avoiding?  Basically, use what is currently present to grow your business. Examine trends, changes in laws, technology, and anything else that could produce revenue and profit.

 

4.  Threats.  What could hinder or hurt the business right now?  These obstacles can include environmental circumstances, skills that you have not mastered, or your competitors. For one client, it was as simple as removing the word, “should” from her vocabulary.Another client is faced with explaining how his company’s investment strategies are affected by the recent economic crisis so his clients keep their faith in him. 

 

The gift of a SWOT analysis is a clear picture of your business.  You know how it is growing, your obstacles, and your opportunities. This process challenges you to objectively look at your business and your role as the leader of your organization. It takes strength to tell yourself the truth and the will to avoid complacency. Now you can make smart decisions and take action no matter if it includes re-working your business plan or adding a new product or service.

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Source by Ellen St. George-Godfrey

Four Steps to Entrepreneurship

As more and more people start or consider starting their own business, it is important that they understand the core steps that are required to launch successful ventures. These steps include spotting, assessing, selecting and executing upon opportunities.

Spotting Opportunities

The first step to entrepreneurship is identifying opportunities. The entrepreneur must be able to spot an unmet need. Oftentimes this need is seen through an inefficiency in the market – something that doesn’t work quite the way the entrepreneur would like it to. As a result, the entrepreneur figures out a potential solution and the opportunity is born.

Assessing Opportunities

Many entrepreneurs keep a journal that details the myriad opportunities they come across each day. While it takes a creative skill set to identify opportunities, it takes an analytical skill set to assess them. Each opportunity should be assessed to, among others, determine its likelihood of success and the financial and human resources required to execute upon it.

Selecting Opportunities

One of the biggest risks in selecting the wrong opportunity is opportunity cost; that is, the cost of having to forego another opportunity which may have been wildly successful. Entrepreneurs should assess their potential opportunities and come to a firm decision regarding which one to execute upon. Once selected, the entrepreneur cannot second guess themselves. To do so would lessen their focus and drive towards the selected opportunity, both of which are critical in achieving success.

Executing Upon Opportunities

Execution, or the ability to generate the most value out of an opportunity, requires a unique combination of creativity, passion, persistence, focus, responsibility, intelligence, planning and energy. The entrepreneur needs to know what tasks must be accomplished and be the main driver in seeing that these tasks are completed in an appropriate manner.

Understanding the four steps to entrepreneurship enables entrepreneurs to better understand the path that they are embarking upon. It is a path filled with potential pitfalls, but also filled with tremendous excitement, satisfaction and potential to build enormous value.

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Source by P. R. Kennedy

Shopping For Plus Size Women’s Clothing Online

Are you a woman who is plus size? I am sure you are in need of plus size clothing but where do you buy it? Most major department stores do not sell plus size women’s clothing in their stores so what are you to do?

Buying plus size clothing online is the best option for you. Many department stores are still not putting clothing for the plus size into their stores for women and if they do have a plus size women clothing section it is usually in the back corner of the store. Also, the dressing rooms are usually small so you are probably not going to feel comfortable changing in it. The most appealing option for you is to go to the Internet.

The only problem with going to the Internet to buy plus size women’s clothing is the fact that there are so many nice items that you will not know where to start! So here are some pointers to help you when shopping online for plus size women’s clothing.

When shopping online you should first decide what you are going to buy. Many online retailers sell a full range of items from casual wear to swim wear to formal wear. When you decide what you are going to buy you can begin to either go to that section of a website or look for specialty websites.

Act as if you are shopping in a store when you are shopping online. Do not just buy the first thing that catches your eye, instead browse a little bit. If you search through the entire website and you do not find anything better than the items on the first page at least you looked. You would not want to buy an item and the next day find an item that is better.

The one problem with buying clothing for the plus size online is that you are unable to try the clothing items on. Most websites have a refund and exchange period of about 30 days. So do not worry, if the clothes do not fit you can send them back and get the right size.

If you go to a department store you may notice that the plus size clothing items are so expensive. The great thing about ordering online is you will save so much money! Even with shipping you are still saving money compared to the expensive department stores.

Buying plus size women’s clothing is hard to do in department stores and is expensive. I hope after reading this article you understand the major advantages for you to shop online for all your plus size clothing needs.

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Source by Tim Gorman

Why Do People Have Different Fashion Styles

The term fashion style simply refers to the way a particular person wears her/his clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories. It can also be determined by the types of clothing items that she/he wears in a given situation. Fashion styles may differ from one person to another because of so many reasons. It can because of a person’s age, taste, gender, budget, the situation or the environment.

To start with, a teen’s fashion style is definitely different from an adult. Teens are more prone to be influenced by magazines, famous celebrities, movies and their friends compared to adults. They also love to wear more colorful clothes and accessories which are in contrary to what adults wear. Adults prefer to wear clothing items with conventional color particularly when they are at work because such clothes are formal to look at. They also differ on their hair styles or on how they get their hairs done.

It is another fact that every person has different tastes not only when it comes to foods but also in clothes, shoes, bags, hair styles and accessories. There are people who love to wear different types of accessories like bangles, charm bracelets, necklaces and rings that match their outfits and there are those that are not brave enough to make a loud fashion statement. These people are the types that just want to keep everything simple but elegant. This simply proves that they have different fashion tastes and perceptions.

The gender of a person is another factor that sets a big difference in terms of fashion styles. It is evident that girls do not wear the clothes that boys wear. The same things apply to grown up women and men. This is basically the most obvious reason for such difference.

On the other hand, budget is another factor that contributes to the difference of people’s styles. Basically, people who have bigger budgets allocated for their fashion styles can buy the clothes that they really want while those that are on tight budgets, they can just use their initiatives and creativeness to come up with something fashionable and stylish.

The situation or the environment can also affect a person’s fashion style. Even if a person prefers a simple style, it is unavoidable that he/she has to be in events where he/she must dress up, wear crazy costumes and step out from his/her comfort zone. These events may refer to Halloween parties, masquerade balls and other gatherings. In these events, a person has to fit in the environment and dress up according to the theme of the gathering.

Being fashionable and stylish does not always mean that a person should follow the latest fashion style. Sometimes, it means that you have to be different and find the particular fashion style that fits him/her perfectly. And besides, why should a person base her/his fashion style on other people, magazines and movies when he/she can create her/his own?

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Source by Todd Wertz

How to Arrange Flowers in a Tall (Tower) Vase

There are many different types of tall vase but here we are concerned with “tower” vases. This is a specific type of tall vase which is a long, thin cylinder, usually at least a foot tall, sometimes as much as two or even three feet tall, and which comes in a variety of different coloured glasses and styles. Tower vases are good for putting in places where people gather and talk – for example at a dinner table or hotel reception area. This is because they are tall enough to place the flowers above head height, allowing people to converse without the flowers blocking their line of sight.

The first thing to do is choose the appropriate vase. As mentioned already, there are many different colours and styles so try to choose a vase which is suited to the occasion or location. Think about the style and design of the location as well as the people that you are expecting to attend.

Now fill the vase about 2/3 full with clean, fresh water. You can add a dash of bleach to keep the water from smelling bad and some fertilizer to keep the flowers nourished.

Next, select the flowers for your arrangement. Because you are using such a tall vase, it is important to use long-stemmed flowers! Roses are a good bet but you may be lucky enough to find long-stemmed lilies or even orchids. Choose the colours carefully as they must fit not only with the vase you have selected but also with each other, as well as the location of the vase and the style of people! If you can’t find a decent selection of fresh flowers then consider using artificial flowers, particularly if the arrangement is a permanent one (eg in a hotel reception).

Now think about what shape you want your arrangement to be. You can choose to have some greenery in there to frame the flowers or just a simple arrangement with no greenery. Also think about whether you want all the flowers to be at the same height or to be at different heights – this all depends on whether you want the arrangement to be eye-catching and stunning or to simply blend into the background and add a nice touch to an already beautiful setting. Of course it also depends on how many flowers you actually have!

Begin arranging by cutting the stems to the appropriate length, depending on how high you want the flowers to stand. Cut the stems at an angle and get rid of all the thorns, leaves, etc so they do not spoil the water. Put the taller flowers in first, followed by the shorter ones and do not be afraid to change the final result if it’s not pleasing or even to remove some flowers if it looks too cramped.

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Source by Nuttikan Pakaew

How to Help the Customer Calculate Best Value

Ask any twelve buyers to define ‘Best Value’ and you will likely hear a dozen muddy descriptions. In today’s performance metrics, numbers driven environment, we need to speak the buyer’s language. The successful seller specifies ‘Best Value’ by expressing it in quantifiable terms favorable to its sales strategy.

The purchasing definition of Best Value’ is the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Simply stated, TCO is the sum of its four elements of Cost: Quality, Service, Delivery and Price (QSDP). Isolating and measuring each element of Cost gives the seller a whole new slate of options, and, helps the buyer to attain what it wants.

Put values on all the elements of Cost, not just Price

Align your sales negotiation with the elements of costs that the buyer values. For a few examples, Delivery is more important to the Just-in-Time buyer than is Service, Quality is more important than Price in the medical industry, and Service matters more than Delivery to a high tech customer.

Buyers reside in a cost-centered world. Purchasing magazine notes that 69% of purchasing departments have a system (formal or informal) for rating supplier performance, and Price is rated highest by only 12%! Even the most unsophisticated buyer has seen the illusion of low price explode into disaster. So, how do we bring buyer and seller into TCO harmony?

Express your sales presentation in terms of Costs

Do not confuse Price with Cost. Each of Quality, Service and Delivery have a far more significant impact on the TCO than do Price. By the numbers, a $500 unit that lasts one year costs more than a $750 alternative that lasts for two years. The $1000 price for two years (2 @ $500) of inferior quality costs a premium 33% over the higher priced ($750 for 2 years) unit!

Sell your (Cost) strengths

Rank the Buyer’s Cost concerns by asking strategic questions designed to expose the underlying cost motivations. Do not ask, for instance, “Of Quality, Service, Delivery, and Price, which is most important to you?” The buyer will roar back, “They are all equally important.” Instead, approach this from a consultative viewpoint by asking qualitative and quantitative and questions such as these:

Quality “What sort of quality measurements is acceptable?” If the buyer answers, “We are a zero defects company”, then we know to stress quality. If the reply is “What is the discount for off-spec goods” then we know that Price matters more.

Service “Is the incumbent’s service acceptable?” If she answers, “With our workforce, we do not need or want to pay for service“, then we know that Service is a lower priority than Price.

TCO is an ally in the opposing camp because it relieves the natural pressure on price and stresses the impact of other elements of cost. Will price sometimes be the most important factor? Of course but far less often than you might think.

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Makler Heidelberg

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Source by Robert Menard

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