Tuesday, March 27, 2012

April 21st :: Artists' Workshop!!


Custom Art Framing/Gallery9 is offering a workshop for those interested in getting out and painting for Earth Day Weekend! 

An Artist Considers EARTH DAY:
Painting the Norwood Common using Uncommon Greens

Instructor: JT Harding
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2012 (Rain Date: Sunday, April 22, 2012)
Time: 10 AM – 4 PM
Tuition: $75 (Payable to Gallery 9/Custom Art Framing)
Class size: 15 Maximum
Location: Norwood Common (Corner of Washington St. & Nahatan St., Norwood, MA)

Course Description:

Get out into the fresh spring air and celebrate Earth Day by joining Gallery 9 artist JT Harding for a one-day plein air landscape painting workshop on the Norwood Common!  The Common provides a variety of unique compositions, juxtaposing the natural and urban landscape. 

The emphasis of the class will be on observing and mixing the varieties of green in the spring landscape.  Students will also be coached on other important fundamentals of landscape painting including composition, gray-scale drawing, atmosheric perspective, and the play of light on objects. 

The workshop begins with an introduction and demo at the start and provides individual instruction throughout the day. It’s sure to be a lot of fun for confident beginner and experienced painters alike!

You’ll leave with full color studies and the confidence to apply your learning to other challenging landscape subject matter and light conditions.

Materials List:
-- Bagged Lunch + Beverage  (or take advantage of the many food options in Norwood Center)
-- Easel
-- Hat or Umbrella
-- Brushes (boar bristle, mid-price range, flats and filberts preferred)
-- 2 canvases, panels, or paper (9 x 12” - 11x14”)
-- For oils: odorless mineral spirits or Turpenoid
-- Painting medium or water
-- Lidded jars (for water, medium, or mineral spirits)
-- Palette
-- Paper towels or rags (for cleaning brushes, etc. I like VIVA brand towels)
-- Plastic bags for cleanup
-- Paints: Acrylic, Pastel, Watercolor, Oil, and water-mixable oils are allowed

Suggested colors:
Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Permanent Rose , Perylene Red, Cadmium Red Medium
Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Yellow Light, Yellow Ochre, Viridian, Cerulean Blue
Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Dioxazine Purple, Titanium White

Monday, March 26, 2012

Farmers Market update :: New Vendors!

The Farmers Market organizers have been busy and I have new vendors to announce:

Langwater Farms Organic
Hearth Bakery
John Crow Farms
Olio di melli (cheese and olive oil)
Foxboro Cheese

What a great market this will be.
June 19th will be here before we know it!

Your business :: 9 Marketing Ideas

Part of being Downtown Manager for Friends of Norwood Center is to be a cheerleader for our existing small businesses. They are the foundation of our great downtown and I am a big advocate of them.
Today I came across this post written by Wendy Kenney about marketing small businesses and wanted to share her basic 9 marketing ideas.

If you're a small business owner, I bet you are already doing a few of these!
Thanks for reading!
~Kim Weineck


9 Big Marketing Ideas for Small Business 
Written by: Wendy Kenney
March 25th, 2012

Small business owners are always on the lookout for that one big marketing idea that will catapult their business into the stratosphere. What I’ve found, however, is that it isn’t just one marketing idea but many marketing ideas, implemented strategically and consistently over time that reap the best results. 

 Here are nine of my favorite marketing ideas. I know there are hundreds more.

1. Blog 

 If I’ve written it once, I’ve written it at least a hundred times. Blogging is the foundation of all of your marketing activity. Blogging is a great way to offer potential clients and customers a broader view of who you are and what you do. It’s “the” place where you can begin to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. So if you implement only one “new” marketing activity this year, I recommend you start a blog. 

2. Testimonials 

 Have you ever driven to a restaurant and seeing that there were no cars in the parking lot decided to go somewhere else to eat? This illustrates the concept of social proof. People want to know that they are making the right decision and they do that by seeing if others have made the same decision too. Give people the proof they need to make their decision to do business with you through the use of testimonials. The best way to get testimonials is to ask your raving fans to give them to you! Use them on your blog, on your brochure, online or anywhere! (Make sure you get permission to use them first!)

 3. Yelp 

 Love it or hate it, if you have a brick and mortar business that requires customers to go to your location to do business with you, Yelp is a must. That’s because the popular iPhone application Siri, uses Yelp reviews to recommend businesses close to you. Businesses with more positive testimonials have more appeal to users, so while you’re at it, make sure you have plenty of good reviews on Yelp.

 4. Stake Your Claim 

 Claim each and every listing for your business across all the different online business listing sites like Google Places, Yellow Pages.com, Manta, etc. Many of these sites are populating their contents from info across the web anyway and you may be already listed. Take the time to make sure your listing is correct and optimized meaning that you have taken advantage of every place possible in the listing to fill it up with information about your business.

 5. Give Thanks 

One of the most important things that you can do as a business owner is to say thank you. There are many opportunities to do this; when you get a positive review online, after a sale, or just because. Set yourself apart from the crowd by taking a minute to make your customers feel important, appreciated, and special, and you’ll inspire loyalty and create a relationship that will drive future sales and referrals.

 6. Be Visible 

 “Visibility + Credibility= Profitability.” This quote from Ivan Misner, the Founder of Business Networking International (BNI) should be hanging on the wall of every business. It’s not only about who you know, it’s about who knows you. To sell more you’ve got to be known by everybody. This is the concept behind advertising of course, because it’s simply foolish to think that if you “build it they will come.” So work to establish visibility for your business by becoming well and favorably known everywhere.

 7. Get Social 

 Speaking of visibility, one of the best ways to gain visibility is to be social. Join networking groups, professional development groups, and professional associations and get out there and get your face, your business and your brand known. You can do this on social media including Facebook and Twitter too, but there’s nothing like meeting people face to face. Go out and get connected.

 8. Be a Winner 

 Ever go to a movie just because it was starting an “Academy Award” winning actor? The idea was that if the actor had won awards, therefore becoming known as one of the best, certainly the movie they were in would be a “best” movie too. The same concept can be transferred to your business. Apply for and win awards and establish yourself as “the best” in your industry or community. There are hundreds of awards you can apply for including the “Best of” awards run by your local newspaper.

 9. Be the Best 

 In fact, if you’re going to win awards, you might as well make sure that regardless of what you sell that yours is the best that anybody’s ever had. Only then will you be able to guarantee that they will keep coming back for more. Of course, there are many more big marketing ideas out there that will make a big difference in your business. I would love to hear yours!!

 Want to get more inexpensive and practical small business marketing ideas, grab a free e-book called “Build Buzz for Your Biz, 23 Creative and Inexpensive Marketing Strategies That Will Get You Noticed” at http://23kazoos.com. 

 Wendy Kenney is the bestselling author of How to Build Buzz for Your Business available on Amazon.com, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Newsday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A visit to Twice Is Nice

Last Friday I had a visit with Lisa at Twice Is Nice, a women's clothing consignment store at 644 Washington Street. What a treat it was to stop in!

Sadly my photo of Lisa came out blurry.
She's as lovely as her shop!

For those in the market for designer women's clothing at amazing discounted prices, Twice Is Nice is the perfect destination for you. I poked through the well-stocked (yet not over-stocked as some consignment stores are prone to be) displays showcasing everything from jewelry to shoes to denim and more.

A great display of small-sized designer handbags. Great prices, too!
Lisa, the friendly owner, has been in Norwood Center for seven years, this July will be eight!

Just a small selection of the denim that's available. 
As I was leaving the store I spotted a pink postcard describing Twice is Nice private parties/girls nights out.

Every space in the store has something to offer.
What a great idea! Twice is Nice will open the store after business hours exclusively for you and your friends for a day or night of shopping and socializing. Sounds like fun!

Twice is Nice has a nice selection of Vera Bradley bags, too. 

For more information, call the shop at 781-762-8490 or better yet, stop in. Enjoy!


Thanks for reading!
 ~Kim Weineck, Downtown Manager, FNC

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Earth Day weekend in Norwood Center

Please mark your calendars!

Earth Day is Sunday, April 22nd and we're working with Together Yes to bring a celebration of Earth Day to Norwood Center!

Saturday, April 21 will be a series of specials involving merchants, businesses, and restaurants Downtown.
 
Sunday, April 22nd is EARTH DAY and we've secured various entertainment, displays, sponsors, etc. to celebrate the Earth.

We look forward to sharing more information with you and having you join us!

Thanks for your interest in Norwood Center!
~Kim Weineck, Downtown Manager, FNC

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Working on your business


FNC photo. Silver and Sage on Washington Street
As Downtown Manager, my focus is on getting residents to enjoy all that downtown Norwood has to offer.

I also focus on our merchants and listening to what they have to say. The opportunity to share the opinions of residents with merchants is my bridge between my two focus areas.  


Some of my blog posts will discuss retail business and the perspective of the customer. This post is about business owners working on their business. 
It's from Christine Moynihan of Retail Visioning:
"Here are a few things you can do to actively work ON your business (not just IN it!) and a few questions that might just challenge the status quo and prepare your business for healthier days ahead!
  • Write an “elevator speech” that says what is special about your business, believe it in it, share it with your staff and repeat it frequently!  (No more than 12 words!)
  •  KNOW your customers – talk to them, conduct (fun) surveys and leverage this knowledge to improve your relationships with them.
  •  Maintain a month-at-a-glance calendar and look well ahead at opportunities for your store or restaurant.
  • LOOK at your finances every week.  Understand YOUR financial snapshot.
  • Establish sales AND marketing goals. 
  •  “Hire for attitude, train for skill” – keep training!
  •  Step outside your store with one of those good friends who will tell you the truth!  How does it look?  Could the signage or fa├žade be refreshed?  Are the windows clean and telling a compelling story that will bring customers inside?  Now… walk in and ask for the truth again!"
The above checklist is from Retail Visioning by Christine Moynihan

What do you think about items on this checklist? 

Thanks for reading and caring about Norwood Center!
~Kim Weineck, Downtown Manager