At Tower Press, we know how hectic things can get while running a small business or side hustle. Meeting deadlines, keeping clients happy, and having good communication skills are just a few of the tasks many of us have to juggle when it comes to making our work come to life. Supporting businesses can come in many ways. Here are five ways to support a small business or a friend’s side hustle beyond investing your dollars!
1. Post, tag, re-blog - or all three
Never undermine the power of social media! When we make custom stickers, business cards, or pins for our clients, we LOVE to see Tower Press get a shout-out. This is one of the best ways to share your own work while also giving another small business a plug. We want you to feel good about the products you make, and we want everyone to know that the extra special hang-tag, sticker, or business card that elevates your brand is made proudly by Tower Press!
2. Host networking events
Get a bunch of business owners, CEOS, and artist creatives for drinks and snacks! This can be a great way to get together people whose work you admire and support and understand their goals - and also develop potential collaborations with other cool women!
3. Hire women
Data suggests that investors are more likely to invest in a company with women in managerial positions because those companies are seen as more innovative and creative. It’s also important to elevate women’s job experience and their earning potential -- especially since we know that women earn less than men in the workplace, and these stats are drastically worse when it comes to Latinx and Black women. While hiring women certainly isn’t free; hiring women is an investment that will have its benefits!
4. Share your story through blog or social media posts
If you are a seasoned entrepreneur who has gone through the ups and downs of starting a small business, we want to hear your story - the good, the bad, and the ugly. The more women who talk about their business experience, the more we can learn from them. See sharing your story as another way of building your brand!
5. Tell your friends!
When you get a compliment on your business card, or is a friend is looking for a place to make stickers, tell your friends about Tower Press! This instills trust in our future clients, and we know how important it is when a friend vouches for your work. While many people use social media and other online platforms to gain an audience, we know that nothing beats the IRL connection you have with someone!
As a woman-owned and women-led business, Tower Press wants to share our work experience with other women and see other women succeed. We really hope this post encourages you to reach out and collaborate with other cool women working on projects you admire. We are looking forward to making magic with you soon!
We love our clients, and what we love even more is when our clients share their process. We love providing that extra sparkle, shine, and gloss that makes your work stand out, and we also love building community with our clients and their hustles. We want to introduce you to some of our amazing clients, so please check out the work of Amanda Shoemaker from Saved In the Stitch of Time!
I began sewing nearly a decade ago when a friend brought home a machine destined for the landfill. I've combined my love of thrift stores and individual style to create a refashioned clothing line. Creating new pieces using upcycled materials in a fight against fast fashion is my passion. Alterations, mending and custom work is what helps push my business further. I am set up a local farmer's market and offer on the spot services.
I used Tower Press for a majority of my marketing; banners, stickers, business cards. I love supporting an independent business run by hard-working women!
You can find more of Amanda's work on Facebook & Instagram: @savedinthestitchoftime
I used to wear my workaholism like a badge of honor.
In previous work-lives I was proud of the fact that I was "on call" at all hours. It made me feel valued and it made me feel good that I was hustling. My previous boss (and many before that) set the tone by starting at the crack of dawn and going til he couldn't anymore, and dragged his employees along for the ride. I thought it was normal, so I made it a point to be available at all times and I did That. For. Seven. Years. Looking back, I was miserable, sick all the time, and I had given 100% of myself away.
Working more doesn't mean that you care more or get more done. It just means that you work more. It's not sustainable and that hard crash is inevitable. Here's an excerpt from the book, Rework, which I mostly hated but it did have some solid takeaways.
"If all you do is work, you're unlikely to have sound judgements. Your values and decision making wind up skewed. You stop being able to decide what's worth extra effort and what's not. You wind up just plain tired. No one makes sharp decisions when tired...
Workaholics aren't heroes. They don't save the day, they just use it up."
So why have we been programmed this way? Here are some active steps that I personally take (and still don't take them all the time) to help me stay on track, be my very best, and fight the burnout.
1. I Took Emails off My Phone (and didn't die)
The funny part is that I actually put them back on recently BUT I disabled the push notification feature on my iPhone (that pesky little red number). I found that because I don't see that horrible number anymore, I just don't check them unless I absolutely have to. Work emails can wait until business hours. That Sephora tracking number... maybe not. But when I took them off completely I definitely didn't die! Any normal person is going to understand that you cannot be in correspondence at all times. And if they expect that please send them the link to this blog.
2. Leave the Laptop at the Office
Something a crazy person would say, right? You probably rolled your eyes just then. We already work 8+ hour days (and I actually think we all should implement a 6 hour work day but... baby steps), why extend that? Why drag work out way too long? Because we know that we can. We have these little portable devices that go with us everywhere! So what happens if you change your mindset? Give yourself 6-8 hours to do what you need to do, and then be done. I certainly don't always do this, but I try to make it a point at least 2 days a week to leave the laptop. This allows me to focus on reading a book, cooking myself a good meal (ordering takeout), or finally changing the lightbulb in the bathroom. And most importantly, rest!
3. Weekends are Sacred
Tower Press is closed on the weekends and we will not apologize for it. We need to rest. I need to rest. We need time with our families, friends, and pets. These are the days when we can be out in the world and have a little fun (something we all deserve) and reset our minds and bodies. For the most part, I take weekends off. I don't look at emails or even open my laptop (unless it's to watch Fleabag because I can't figure out how to stream Amazon Video on my television). Of course, there are times when I just have to. And that's okay! I try not to put too much pressure on myself about it and I still feel the pangs of guilt if I sat around in my soft pants all day and didn't do a single thing work related. How sad is that? That we've been made to believe we have to be working at all times in order to have any value in the world and that time to ourselves is shameful. Take that full day off!
You're probably telling yourself, "I can't. What if so and so emails me? What if an order comes in? What if a potential client needs a quote on something? I have orders piling up I have to get to them right this second." I understand the panic in feeling the need to respond or get to it right away, it's ingrained in us. I still think about all these things, all of the time but the value of our mental health should take precedence over the other noise for just one or two days out of the seven that we have. Really think about what's the worst that could happen.
4. Realize that you DO have the time
Tower Press gets anywhere from 60-150 emails per day, on top of the online orders to process, deliveries, production, and shipments to coordinate. It's a lot for 2-3 people to handle! There's also time needed for marketing, managing our social channels, bookkeeping, client meetings, the list goes on. Can you believe I used to handle it all by myself up until recently? Two things helped me with managing my time.
- Stopped telling myself that I didn't have any time and instead told myself that I have plenty. I won't get into the whole "time is a manmade construct" thing, but by operating with the mentality that the time is there I found that I don't bolt out of bed in the mornings feeling panicked. I don't burst into the office out of breath feeling frazzled that I've not completed 500 things by 9am. Do I actually have all the time in the world? No. Our client's have deadlines and we do have to keep it moving. But for the *other* stuff, I'll get to it when I get to it and I am doing my best.
- Utilizing the pomodoro technique for most of my tasks. This was a really simple method that my business coach told me about that I literally laughed at because it sounded so ridiculous. So naturally, it worked (for me). Timing my tasks to 25 minutes at a time keeps me focused and on track (pro-tip: if using your phone as a timer make sure to keep it out of reach).
5. Take a walk!
Our current studio has no windows. For creatives this is... terrible. I always encourage employees and myself to get up, move around, and take a walk whenever you need to. Stand up every hour and move your body. Are you slouching right now? Your physiology is also attached to your mindset. When I catch myself feeling really ragged I noticed that my body is slumped over while I'm typing at my desk. The minute I straighten up that posture, I start to feel better. Our bodies are incredible and we should respect them enough to give them a little TLC by keeping them moving.
This is one I still really struggle with. I have ADD and it's hard for my thoughts not to race at all times. I am constantly being pulled in different directions and centering myself during a few quiet moments is rare. I'm making the effort again to put meditation back into my daily habits because it's an incredible tool to check in with my mind and body and let both know to slow down and be quiet. You don't have to be religious (I'm not) or even spiritual to feel the benefits. You also don't have to sit cross-legged on the floor with your eyes closed if that doesn't work for you. Everybody has 10 - 20 minutes they can dedicate to themselves for a peaceful moment.
I hope this helps some of you who are feeling overwhelmed and like you can never catch your breath. You can! Everything is a process, and every day is going to be different. Sometimes we just have to put in 12 hour days, but make sure you reward yourself with a little RnR.
We know things like custom enamel pins, foil business cards, and holographic stickers can be a big investment. As a small business ourselves, maintaining cash flow while making sure you're able to get the goods and services you need can be, well, a headache!
We're excited to now offer Quadpay, a service that lets you split your payments into 4 different installments. This is available on any custom printing or small business coaching service $35 and over.
During the checkout process, click the Quadpay option and you'll be directed to complete the transaction. Easy! We're so excited to be able to offer this service and hope it makes those bigger purchases a little easier!
We love versatility in our products. It saves time, money, and creates endless options! Our metallic stickers are a perfect way to add some extra flair to your designs without breaking the bank.
Made on a silver foil stock as a base, we have the capability to bring any aspect of your design to a shimmery color *or* keep them opaque (even both!). This means you can pick and choose where you want to shine. It also means that literally any color imaginable can be made into a foil. Easily turn yellows to golds, and greens to beautiful emeralds!
For all stickers, we offer low minimums and custom die cut shapes (at no extra charge!). Whether you're using our custom vinyl stickers as labels, giveaways, or a retail item for your customers, we know we have something special that will help your brand stand out in a beautiful way.
We love seeing Tower Press stickers out in the wild, and would love to see our enamel pins out in the wild too! You can now purchase these cute logo pins for $5. All proceeds help us out with supplies, equipment, and all the fun things that go into running a small business.
While some may call it a Hot Girl Summer, we're ready to call it a Boss Babe Summer too. In the season of outdoor markets, pop ups, and a buzz of online sales, we know you need to make the most of your money. We've listed our top services that you can mark up and resell either to wholesale or direct to customers.
1. Enamel Pins
Average price per unit: $1.00-$3.00 Suggested retail price: $10-$12
Nothing is cooler than seeing your design or logo in enamel pin form (besides maybe randomly meeting Keanu Reeves?). Enamel pins are also durable and because they're meant to be worn, you get a lot of marketing value out of them. We offer so many fun extras to help make custom enamel pins one-of-a-kind -- glitter, glow in the dark, chains, and personalized backings are all at your fingertips!
Give custom enamel pins a go, order them in a variety of sizes and finishes and let's keep that #pingamestrong!
2. Embroidered Patches
Average price per unit: $1.50-$3.50 Suggested retail price: $10-$13
In the same way that enamel pins are made to be worn by your customers, the same is true for custom embroidered patches. Utilize up to 9 different colors in your patch design, we have an endless array of thread colors to choose from to best match your killer designs. All custom patches come with an iron-on backing for easy application to bags and apparel.
All premium custom patches are quoted via our online form.
3. Art Prints
Average price per unit: $2.00 - $4.75 Suggested retail price: $20 - $30
If you're an artist of any medium, our custom art prints are a perfect way to resell your designs in a cost-effective way. We offer a paper stock that is both eco-friendly and premium quality, and in two different colors (white and natural). Choose from a variety of sizes, and most orders ship same day or next day. All custom art prints are printed on a beautiful, textured stock making each print truly one of a kind.
Average price per unit: $.70 - $1.40 Suggested retail price: $2 - $4
As an added bonus, we do not charge extra for custom die cut shapes!
5. Tote Bags
Average price per unit: $5.00-$6.00 Suggested retail price: $15 - $20
Screen printed tote bags (also known as reusable grocery bags) are another great item you can have made with Tower Press and resell to your customer base. Add them to your online shop or sell at summer pop ups! These bags make great shoppers and are guaranteed to be used time and time again by your customers.
Ready to add these custom items to your arsenal? Use the code BOSS to save 10%!
Something we have wanted to do for a long time is make our social channels more about community and y’all! Product shots (and our hands in them) are super fun, but at the end of the day this business was built on collaborative magic. So we’re starting #TPbehindthebrand on Instagram (and will repost here) to introduce you to our amazing clients and their stories. Read below to meet Chandlyr Jackson of Freckled Fuchsia.
I first started Freckled Fuchsia as an outlet for myself to get back into regularly illustrating again, and getting over the fear of sharing my work publicly via Instagram. I was working as a UX Designer at a small company for a few years and found myself behind a screen all the time. I realized that I needed a hands-on and screen-free creative hobby back in my life.
For months, I got back into my drawing groove and practiced consistently, waking up early to squeeze in drawing time in the morning before work, or staying up late to brainstorm new ideas. The more involved my re-discovered hobby had become, the more seriously I took my work by trying out my first artists’ market, and opening up an online shop for my art prints about 8 months ago. Around that time, I decided to take the leap to pursue Freckled Fuchsia full-time because I truly believed in it’s potential. The more confident I felt in myself, the more I realized how much I wanted to develop my own brand, maintain control over who I work with, and have power over how my brand will evolve over time. I’m very self-motivated and thrive independently, so it just felt like the right move.
Since then, I’ve grown my skill set by incorporating more block-printing and textile work because I personally see the value in maintaining a healthy balance of hand craft as well as digital design work for myself. I discovered Tower Press through Native Bear last summer, and was excited to learn that they were also a new company that had only launched a few months prior to when I found them. I used them to order my first batch of 5 art prints (woo!), and have been using their print services for my art ever since. I absolutely love that the card stock is 100% recycled, and I’m obsessed with the texture. I love supporting Tower Press because they work incredibly hard, they’re transparent and I’m always looking to grow my network of companies that share the same environmental and social values as I do.
Follow along on Chandlyr's journey viaInstagram. We've been so thrilled to work with her on customart printsandkraft labels. Browse our website for tons of custom printing and design options, we look forward to featuring YOU next!