Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Labels Direct - Every Kind of Label Imaginable

'Every kind of label imaginable'

I am pretty excited to have Sheryl on my blog tonight! With the huge number of small NZ businesses that design and hand make their products, I was really happy when she got in touch as I want to show you all what Labels Direct have to offer!

Becky x

* All images below belong to Labels Direct

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I have always liked detailed craft style work including embroidery and mosaics in glass. I have previously owned an art gallery and framing business which also involved a great deal of perfection to detail work.

Otherwise I have mostly worked in office situations but have always been drawn to the finer detail of brochures, catalogues etc. Anything that required any design excited me.

Tell us a little bit about Labels Direct

We were planning our big move to Northland and decided that instead of looking for new jobs we would buy an existing business that appealed to us.

With my craft/fine detail experience when I heard about this business I jumped on it as it feels like I am working in my hobby all day and not so much “the go to work feel” it is bliss to be so happy in my work. We have owned the business for 1 year now – just celebrating. The business is now 11 yrs old. We have bought all new machinery since we took over.

The business is 2/3 bigger since we bought it. Previously it was running as a part time business, but now we are working 14 hr days nearly every day.

What can you offer small businesses?

We have every kind of label imaginable and always on the lookout for new stock to create our labels on. We have hundreds of fonts available and most of our work is done by sublimating the coloured dyes into the fabric by a heat press. It means that the colour will never fade or flake/wash off our sublimated labels. We love making coloured labels for our customers as they look so pretty and eye catching.

What is your favourite part of running your own business?

Being in control of what is going on. Not answering to a boss :)

What is one thing you do daily to make your business work?

Work hard to keep our customers happy and trying to get more regular with social media.

Where to from here with your business?

Growing and increasing our range of products and fabrics.

How can we find out more?

Website:  (currently being rebuilt)

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Rinse & Repeat - Reusable Bowl Covers Review

'Beautiful · Reusable · Everyday'

Our family like so many others, have been working on moving towards being more eco friendly especially when it comes to food. 
My older boys belong to the 'Environment Club' at school and so their input into this has been fabulous! Their lunch boxes are now completely sorted thanks to Gen from Rinse & Repeat and I have also had the chance to have a look at and use her Reusable Bowl Covers.

Enjoy having a read about what I think,

Becky x

* All images below are taken by me @focusbybecky

Black, Gold & Crosses Reusable Bowl Covers

Reusable Bowl Covers

Gen sent me a pack of 3 Reusable Bowl Covers and I absolutely LOVE the colour combo of Black, Gold & Crosses!
The Bowl Covers have so many benefits. They are of course good for the environment, easy to use, convenient and easy to clean.
Combine all of the above with the fact that they are beautifully designed and ethically made in NZ.

The Facts

Each cover has two layers, a cotton outer and an easy-to-clean, wipeable lining. 
They can be cold machine washed in a delicates bag and line dried. The outer fabric can be warm ironed if you choose to. 
You can buy a range of different sizes. The set of 3 are the following sizes: 

Extra small (14 - 20 cm | 5 1/2" - 8" bowl)
Small (19 - 24 cm | 7 1/2" - 9 1/2" bowl)
Medium (24 - 30 cm | 9 1/2" - 11 3/4" bowl) 

My Thoughts

I absolutely love these and they are certainly a wonderful way of working towards being plastic free! They are really well made and such gorgeous colours too. They wash up really well and are now a well used item in our kitchen! 

Straight From Rinse & Repeat

Use over and over 
Reduce adding single-use plastic wrap to landfill 
Easy to use (no more wrestling cling film) 
Durable, designed to last years with suitable care (cold machine-wash, line dry) 
Food safe 
Designed and ethically made in Aotearoa New Zealand'

Gen has such a beautiful range of products on her website, including Snack Bags, Sandwich Bags, Lunch Sets, Cheese Wraps, Bulk Bin Bags, Produce Bags, Wet Bags & Food Wraps! Definitely worth a browse x

Where To Purchase

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

The World of Artemis Jones - Beautifully Fragranced Cosmetics Handcrafted in NZ

Anne-Marie from The World of Artemis Jones sent me some of her beautiful products to try and I adore them! The first thing I noticed about each one, is that she has perfected the scents. They all smell devine. You can read more about my thoughts at the bottom of this feature.

Becky x

* all images below are taken by Focus by Becky

Tell us a little bit about yourself 

Hi! I'm Anne-Marie Jones, sometimes known as Artemis with my creative work. I dabble in plenty of fields including polymer clay, upcycling, and painting, but my “day job” (although I work most of the night too sometimes!) is creating cosmetics and fragrances. I am also the mother to three year old Chase who certainly keeps me busy, if I wasn't enough already! 

Tell us a little bit about Artemis Jones

Officially 'Artemis Jones' as a cosmetics business has been running for a year. I first started creating my own cosmetic products over a decade ago when I started developing skin sensitivities and migraines, I learnt about the ingredients and how they work, and spent a great deal of trial and error teaching myself the skills I use in my work now. 

Around Christmas 2016 I made a necklace as a gift and was told it was good enough to sell, so I created a FB page called The World of Artemis Jones, which was a showcase of all the various things I had been making. Around July 2017, I added fragrances and lipbalms, and from there it evolved to being entirely cosmetics/fragrances (though the odd jewellery item does pop up, I can't help myself!), and became a business without it really ever meaning to be. I never woke up one day saying “I'm going to start a business”, I just said “Lets put my crafts out there and see what happens”. But here I am! 

What is your favourite part of running your own business? 

Doing what I love! Earning money while using the skills I've been honing all these years is amazing. I tried having a part time job as a hobby while fitting things around my son, and it just didn't work for us, so this works so well for our family too. 

What is your favourite product that you make? 

Eyeshadow, though funnily enough I never really make it to sell?! I've been making eyeshadow far longer than I've been in business, and I love what I create. I just haven't had much chance to get them out there lately. I even (no bragging intended), wore my own eyeshadow in labour and it lasted 16 hours, no kidding. 

What is one thing you do daily to make your business work? 

Grind, grind, grind! I only have part-time child care, so I have to use my time really effectively. Every “down time” minute I get, I'm responding to messages, investigating new opportunities, researching products and packaging, just doing what I can to use my time effectively. 

Where to from here with your business? 

Keep on growing! Doors have started opening in Australia (and in fact I have a possible opening happening in the USA in future). Right now my business is about 80% custom work, and I'd like to focus more on my own brand eventually. 

Most importantly I want to keep loving what I do and never lose sight of how and why I started. 

How can we find out more? 

My Thoughts

Anne-Marie sent me some of her products to try and these are my thoughts:

Sweet Grape Cream Perfume - The scent of Grape always takes me back to being a child and going to the Ellesmere Show where I would every year choose to have a Grape Slushy and I am still not sure if it was the taste or the smell which I adored the most! So I immediately loved this product with the grape scent. It is so pretty and has such a beautiful shimmer to it. I love the way this is a cream perfume and that it comes in a tin. Such a nice and different touch. 
A tin of this is $10

Body Butter Fruit Salad - This body butter is gorgeous. It is thick and smooth and moisturises beautifully. Again, the scent is lovely! It is a rich body butter and leaves your skin feeling soft. 
This comes in a 120ml container and is on sale at the moment for $8

Dreamland Cake Shower Cream - The scent in this is AMAZING!! It is such a beautiful texture and lovely and thick so you only need a tiny bit. The 'cake' bottom layer is scented with buttercream vanilla and the top is strawberry frosting with sprinkles. It looks and smells devine and leaves your skin feeling clean and soft. LOVE this! 
This comes in a 120ml container and is on sale at the moment for $8

Black Raspberry Vanilla Perfume Spray - Again, Anne-Marie has her scents perfectly balanced. This perfume is so beautiful. A small spray is all that is needed and the scent lasts beautifully. 
This comes in a 10ml glass spray bottle and is $10

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Brand Boutique - Branded t-shirts, hoodies, singlets, premade brands & Instagram templates

'Design your own brand
clothing, logos, social media'

THIS is so exciting!! I have a bit of a thing for business branding and I could get stuck in looking at business brands for hours. 
Jo runs Simply Whyte Design and has been featured on Liked by Becky before, so when she contacted me about the extension of her design business,  I was all ears!!

Read on to find out about how you can promote your business by using The Brand Boutique,

Becky x

*All images below belong to The Brand Boutique

Tell us a little bit about yourself 

I’m Jo, I’m a qualified graphic designer and I run Simply Whyte Design which is a graphic and web design studio specialising in SquareSpace, branding and MailChimp design. 
Most recently I’ve just launched The Brand Boutique

I really dislike mushrooms, love lollies and chocolate and cannot live without my animals or my fiance. I’m all about community over competition and creating designs that help businesses to attract dream clients. 

Tell us a little bit about The Brand Boutique

As of last week the site has been live! The Brand Boutique was born from my design company Simply Whyte Design and is more like an extension, specifically for clients who want to promote and expose their brand with branded t-shirts, hoodies, singlets and Instagram templates. There are also premade brands for the clients who are not quite ready to do a full branding process. I’m sure I will be adding more products to the shop as it grows. 

The best part of it is that you can do it all online from the website. 

What is your favourite part of running your own business? 

My favourite part of running my own business is probably the different kinds of people that I get to interact with and create for every day. I love seeing designs out there in the world that help businesses to be sucessful. Design plays a really important part in attracting clients and getting leads so its worth investing in. 

Ethereal Spirit - Premade Branding Kit

What is one thing you do daily to make your business work? 

Because I am in the creative space I like to do lots of content creation and social media. I like to provide value, education and entertainment. Because I can be me and put that out there on social media its nice to attract clients that respond to that. 

Where to from here with your business? 

Onwards and upwards! I can’t wait to see businesses use the Instagram Puzzle feed or brand their own tshirts and it’s a bonus if I get to create anything bespoke for them along the way. 

How can we find out more?


Friday, 3 August 2018

Ruby & Co. - Handcrafted Soy Wax Candles

Ruby & Co is stunning. I worked with Ayla a couple of months ago and photographed and reviewed one of her Mini Geo Scented Soy Wax Candles. I chose the scent Cherry Blossom and it is so beautiful. The wooden wick combined with the copper jar and beautiful scent makes perfection. I cannot recommend this business enough. 
Enjoy your read and you can see my candle burning brightly at the bottom of this post,

Becky x

PS There is currently 30% off the Ruby & Co Soy Wax Candles!

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I inherited my creative genes from my mother and as a kid I was always crafting something. I can even remember making beeswax candles and collecting candles in all sorts of shapes and colours but never lighting them - seems like such a waster to me now! 

While I finished off my last years at high school I worked in a cafe 'Under the Red Verandah', as a kitchen hand and developed to head baker, working there for 10 years!. This was a job I loved and continued there while I gained my degree in Architecture. 

Once I was qualified I handed in my apron to pursue architecture, which it is my day to day job currently but felt that the creative side may be slowing slipping away and I needed that creative outlet. This was when Ruby & Co was born. 

Luxury Geo Jar

Tell us a little bit about Ruby & Co

Ruby and Co has, like many small businesses, been a labour of love and passion. I have wanted to start up a wee business for years but never had the courage to give it a go. I am very new to this whole prospect with Ruby & Co being just over 6 months old now. There is so much ground work involved but it is so worth it when you get to connect with so many like-minded people and share your stories! 

The name Ruby has come from our gorgeous 2 year old American Staffordshire Terrier. She loves delivery days and in her way helps unpack. 

I also love the idea of reusing and recycling which is another aspect I have tried to bring into Ruby & Co with offering customers the option to refill any previously purchased jars at a reduced price. It is also an awesome way for the customer to try out different fragrance options. 

Scented Soy Wax Candle

What is your favourite part of running your own business?

I love creating beautiful candles as gifts, surprises or just because treats. The feedback I have been given from customers has been both really rewarding and helpful for me in developing the business. The fact you get to create and make what you love and share them with people that also have a passion for the same things is also a massive positive! 

I love making people feel good and what better way to switch off with a candle burning with that magical wooden wick crackle and the smell filling up the house. 

Natural Soy Wax Candle

What is your favourite product that you make?

I love candles and while my current range has been kept minimal, there is nothing minimal about the fragrances! I have carefully picked a range of fragrances that jump out to me as much as my customers. I'm always open to opinions and suggestions too. While I have my favourites, Tobacco Flower & Oak, Black Raspberry & Vanilla and a new one of Mint Mojito, someone else might not enjoy these, so you have to accept it comes down to personal preference. Definite crowd favorites have been Black Raspberry & Vanilla and Coconut & Lime. These will forever be part of my range for as long as possible. 

I also love the Luxury Geo Jars I have recently added to my range. They come in both mini and medium size and in a couple of different colours. They are sure to fit into and spark up any home decor style. 

I also wanted to create my point of difference - that being with using wooden wicks. I love the soft crackle they make while the candle is burning, it gives the user an extra sensory experience. 

What is one thing you do daily to make your business work?

As I work full time sometimes there can be not enough time in the day. I try to post and keep up with social media daily, it seems to be the way things are headed. Whether I post a photo in Instagram or a quick story to make sure people know I am still around. 
Connecting with other small businesses has been really rewarding for me also and helped so much with my growth as a small business owner. 

Where to from here with Ruby & Co?

I am planning to attend my first market this year, leading up to Christmas! which seems to be something I am anxious about. Business pushes and challenges you which I think is really important. I am currently working on a few fragrances for Christmas so keep an eye out for those and I am planning to showcase these at the market. 

I want to continue to grow my knowledge and strengths of small business to progress Ruby & Co with the potential to work on providing opportunities outside of the New Zealand market. 
Big Dreams! 

Mini Geo Scented Soy Wax Candle

How can we find out more about Ruby & Co?


My Beautiful Cherry Blossom Candle From Ruby & Co

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