Friday, 27 March 2015

S is for...Smile and Sara Lee Icecream

Sara Lee Ultra Chocolate Icecream is my hero. She picks me up when I fall down, she makes me smile when I frown, she brings laughter to the day and helps finish a meal with hip hip hooray! Yes, yes I do love Sara Lee Ultra Chocolate icecream and I'm not afraid to admit it! Sadly it's been a bit of a rarity around these parts and only makes it's way into my freezer when there's big old special on - half price, you got me!

Now I admit I'm pushing the boundaries a bit with this 'S is for' but it's true, SEND EASTER EGGS - Easter is NEXT week! We don't want anyone to miss out on Easter eggs! Good Friday is April 3 so you really need to get yourself organised if you are planning on sending Easter gifts this year.

Friday, 20 March 2015

R is for...Rainbow Designs

How did the name Rainbow Designs come about?

Well, it actually started with my sister thinking about starting a small business selling games, activities, toys for kids! She registered the name then we did a market selling paint your own wood critters and decided we didn't like doing markets. The enthusiasm waned.... about 6 or so months later I decided to start my business (which is Rainbow Designs) but being short of cash and not that confident in myself I asked my sister if I could use her business name and the rest is history :-)

When you read up on the best names to use for your business they recommend putting what you sell in the name and starting you business with an early letter in the alphabet. These are both meant to help you rank better in the organic search terms and to show up higher in business listings. ooops. I could have added Gifts to Rainbow Designs thus becoming Rainbow Designs Gifts but never bothered, I really don't think it would make any difference anyway. My business has been online long enough now that I think if I changed the name I would do more harm than good. I did name this blog rainbowdesignsgifts though :-)

2004 was when I first started Rainbow Designs and it took almost 4 weeks before I received my very first order. I can still remember the huge smile on my face when it came through! I didn't have any stock then and was just planning on buying on a need to basis so off I toddle to the local 5 Star Supermarket to get my lollies - thank goodness things have changed and I get my confectionery delivered to me by the kilo loads! Generally a delivery will be about 150kg of various lollies and chocolates - quite a few trolley loads :-)

In essence Rainbow Designs hasn't changed much over the years I've just improved on things, like packaging and display. It's only been the last couple of years that I have been gift wrapping each gift but I think it makes such a big difference. So much more exciting receiving an actual 'present' than just a cardboard box, even though the gift inside is still the same. Small things people, small things.

I don't know how long Rainbow Designs will continue to be around but while it is I will continue to do the very best I can and make sure my customers and their recipients enjoy the Rainbow Designs experience.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Eating Eggs at Easter

I have to confess that Easter is one of my favourite celebrations of the year as I can eat even more chocolate than I normally do without feeling like little miss piggy because everyone else is doing the same thing! Hooray for chocolate Easter eggs!

If you're unable to spend Easter with your family or friends but still want them to know you're thinking of them (and you know they just LOVE chocolate) we can help you send them a chocolate gift they'll be talking about for years to come! Whether you want to send traditional Easter Eggs or a Gift Hamper filled with wicked delights we've got something that will certainly please even the biggest of chocoholics!

There's our all year 'round favourite 'just chocolates' for $27 or our Easter Egg Overload for $35 or you can up it a notch and send them the Easter Feaster for $55 (that's a KILO of Easter Eggs!). How about a hamper filled with chocolate goodies in our very popular ChocoLot Gift Hamper or the Fabulous Tasmanian Fudge Hamper - this fudge is amazing. Another wonderful gift idea is the divine Gourmet Hot Chocolate Hamper - this is one of our newer hampers and just perfect for the cooler months that we're heading into.

All of our prices include delivery Australia wide as well as a gift tag with your Easter message.

Now, I'm not a great cook (I'm not a bad cook just not a great cook) so I thought I'd share a few simple Easter recipe ideas for the budding master chefs or enthusiastic home cooks to wow your friends and family with this Easter! You're welcome to invite me over.

Hot Cross Buns - Choc Caramel Hot Cross Buns!

Recipe at from Super Food Ideas magazine.

Now this is an easy recipe the kids could do, even I could manage this one! Easter Egg Biscuits. It's just Arrowroot Biscuits iced and decorated! A great activity for the kids. I found this on the Kidspot website.

Cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake. Need I say more?? Favouritest dessert ever! (although the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake* is right up there also!!) This recipe was found on non other the Cadbury website - of course!

Wishing you all an amazing and happy Easter and thank you so much for keeping Rainbow Designs alive an kicking for another Easter - we didn't know if we would be!

* my family and I discovered this delicious dessert on our wonderful holiday on the Carnival Spirit - if you ever are lucky enough to go on this ship you MUST have this dessert at least once (although I dare you to stop at just one!)

Friday, 13 March 2015

Q is for...Quality

Taste testing is one of THE most important jobs I have at Rainbow Designs and my favourite job! The quality of the lollies and chocolates I sell as well as the quality of the tins and boxes I use to package the gifts in have to be spot on. I've had a few dodgy products over the years which I have had to either return or let the kids and/or parents eat on very rare occasions I have thrown things out but this is 'very' rare!

Our 'quality' lollies all taste tested by me!

I now have a set selection of lollies and chocolates that I use in my gifts are, at the moment, don't plan on adding any more. As previously mentioned, I've had a few disasters over the years and some wasted money spent on non sellers - stick to what I know people like, is now my motto!

Allens Confectionery has always been my main source for my lollies as just about everyone chooses Allens over all other brands. I did try The Natural Confectionery Co lollies a few years back but, surprisingly to me, they weren't a hit - people prefer Allens.

Quality doesn't just cover our products it also includes our website. I started off with a pretty (pretty ugly) website way back in 2004-2005 and gradually saved up enough money to be able to afford a professional looking website that had the function to back up the prettiness. It hasn't changed much over the last few years and I plan on keeping it as it is for the seeable future - if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Quality Streets - I got a tin of these for Christmas! Just thought I'd share that with you :-)

Little Sweetie Gift Hamper

I also outsource the traditional gift hampers I sell on my website. I have been working with this company for quite a number of years now and know their quality control is just as strong as mine. I have never had a complaint about their hampers or the quality of the products, ever. I did have a few mishaps with a couple of other businesses I started to work with which could have had terrible consequences for my business so I cut ties with some and spoke to the others about the issues I was having. If businesses don't know something is wrong or a customer was disappointed we can't fix the problem. So, please let us know, the good, the bad and the ugly. Just do it in a nice way please, no need to be rude.

I schedule in some quality control every day (wink wink) I've got to be certain that the M&M's from yesterday are still just as yummy today - it is a hard life and I'm glad I get to do it!

Friday, 6 March 2015

P is for...Pinterest

Do you use Pinterest? Does it inspire you or make you feel a bit inadequate? Good gracious some people are just so talented aren't they?? I don't think I would ever be game or brave enough to put a photo up of any the cakes I've attempted to make or canvases I've *cough cough* painted!

I do have a Pinterest account for Rainbow Designs which I showoff our yummy gifts plus I have other boards of things I find interesting or drool worthy! Travel, food, furniture, books & movies and other small businesses are my main interests, especially on Pinterest.

Pinterest is one of those things that can make time disappear if you let it - so easy to get lost in all of the amazingness on there. I'm not very frequent on my pinning and can go through stages where I pin, pin, pin madly and then nothing for a few months. What about you?

It is a great place to get inspiration and ideas from and to be able to drop a few hints too ;-) Make a comment on one of our yummy gifts or a gorgeous piece of jewellery, just before your birthday - no harm in trying!

Has Pinterest helped you with any decorating dilemmas or given you some party ideas, how about holiday destinations or how to cut a watermelon without chopping your fingers off, maybe you've got some great recipes or found a meme that made you laugh out loud?? Share..please.

Don't forget to eat some lollies while pinning,

Jacqui (boss lady)

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Ideas for Your Gift Tag Message

So you want to send them a gift and you've found the perfect one at Rainbow Designs ;-) but now you're stuck on what to write on the gift tag! Here a few ideas that may help you with that:

  • Happy New Year - we look forward to working with you in 2015
  • Happy New Year - I wish you an awesome, prosperous and fulfilling year and lots of positive blessings.
  • Congratulations on your engagement, we are so excited for you both!
  • Congratulations on securing the roll as ..... I hope it works out really well for you. All the best
  • Happy Birthday! We hope you have an amazing day.
  • Wishing you a speedy recovery. Sending you big squishy hugs.
  • Happy Birthday! I wish I was there to celebrate with you. Enjoy your day!
  • Sweeties for my sweetie. If you have to be at work on your birthday you might as well enjoy it!
  • Happy Birthday, we hope you have a fantastic day! Lot of love..... PS better late than never
  • If I could, I would write across the sky for the entire world to see, just how much I love you.
  • Happy birthday my beautiful friend, love you lots and here's lots of lollies to prove it. Think of me when you eat each one!
  • Have a blast on your special day!
  • Just a little something to say thank you for your wonderful hospitality.
  • For your first week back! I love you so much!
  • We love you very much and hope you have a wonderful birthday
  • Happy Happy birthday! We hope you have an amazing birthday week!
  • Just because you are my sister and I love you.
  • A sweet treat for my beautiful sister because I love you.
  • Thinking of you all and hoping this little package will put a smile on your face.
  • Many thank for all of your assistance. You have gone above and beyond to help us. It is most appreciated
  • Wishing you a year full of happiness, love, joy and laughter.
  • To a hilariously awesome friend. A little sugar to get you through the day. ps remember to share, don't be greedy, okay, be greedy, I won't judge!
  • Thinking of you. Wish I was there to help you eat them!
  • Thanks so much for all of your valuable assistance
  • We hope you have a fantastically awesome birthday!
  • Hope you have an amazing day. Miss you like crazy.
  • Congratulations on your wedding! We wish you a wonderful, amazing life together. We hope you enjoy your special day and wish we could of been there.
  • Thank you for your assistance with....., you were a lifesaver.
  • Sometimes you just need a little chocolate pick me up. 
  • Thanks for all your help and support since I started working at... I have learnt so much from you and couldn't have got through without you. Best wished for you new job, I'm sure you will be a star.
  • Hope these sweeten you day and put a smile on your face.
  • Thanks for being in my life and making me happy. I love you.
  • Lifes biggest challenges can be cured with love, prayer and chocolate.
  • I love you to the moon and back
  • You are a gem
  • A personal thank you for the assistance you have given us. It is greatly appreciated.
  • Hope this makes the recovery easier!
  • Happy birthday to the most amazing sister I could ever ask for!
  • Happy deserve to be spoiled
  • You're already sweet enough for me but I thought a few more lollies couldn't hurt! Happy valentine's day
  • Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you!
  • Just a little thank you for all of the effort you went to. You did an amazing job.
  • Just a small token to let you know how much we appreciate all of you assistance with..... You're extra care and attention was fantastic!
  • Hope to see you back on your feet soon.
  • To make your day a little bit sweeter
Hopefully these will give you inspiration for you gift tag message and help you express how you feel - if in doubt just say 'you're awesome' and send them chocolate!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

It's Sunday

Yep, it's Sunday, a day of rest, a day of housework, a day of sunshine and beach walks, picnics and reading but what am I doing? Sitting at my desk in front of my computer writing. Writing blog post, writing Facebook posts, writing to do list for the coming week. I've printed out orders that have come in and written the tags, I've packed and wrapped and satchels these orders.

Every Friday I promise myself I won't turn my computer on until Monday morning and every. single. time. I turn my computer on before Monday dawns. Saturday I can usually get away with just using my phone without needing to turn my computer on but Sunday's, Sunday's for some reason are different. I don't know why but I feel like I'm wasting precious 'work' time if I'm sitting reading or watching the tv or even walking by the beach. Why is this?

Do you feel you should be working all the time? Is it a business owner mine set? Is it the thought that 'if I don't do it no one else is going to', 'if I don't do it I won't have time later on', maybe it's just the feeling of working will some how, magically make more orders come in. If my computer's on then everyone else's must be too! It's like I can project my want, my need for orders through my computer screen just by staring at it or facebook some random, 'silly' post that'll suddenly make people - ooooh I MUST buy something from Rainbow Designs NOW!!!

I still have this ridiculous notion that as soon as I send a newsletter or publish a blog post I'll be inundated with orders and enquiries - it is yet to happen (11 years and counting!). I'm what you call an 'idiot' - doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. ha.

Maybe one day I'll learn, one day. In the mean time, I best get back to Facebook and like a post or three and get busy on another blog post!

How's your Sunday??