Blog — 2015

Bridal Fantasy: Conquering the Bridal Show!


We had the chance to showcase a booth at the wonderful Bridal Fantasy the other week - it was such a great time! I always love doing these events, they are A LOT of work - but are always worth it at the end of the day. The preparation and anticipation can be quite draining, but there is nothing like spending a whole day talking to Brides about their special days. It is always such a gratifying feeling, knowing that all your hard work and preparation has paid off, and seeing how excited Brides get about what you do.

We were even lucky enough to have won a prize! Our booth was featured as one of the best and we were chosen as the Best New Vendor of 2015! It was so exciting, and I couldn't have been more proud of my wonderful team who helped pull it all together. We are so excited to put our prize to good use - radio spots on Virgin Radio... eeeek :). Keep your ears peeled leading up to this coming Valentine's Day!


I wanted to leave you guys with a couple tips of what has worked really well in getting the most out of these shows, since they are quite the investment for small businesses! 

1) Go Paperless, Be Environmentally Friendly! 

Having done shows over the last two years, there is one common thing I have heard - it's that Brides are often bogged down by how much reading material they have to lug around all day. Not only that, but when they get home, they often throw out a good portion of the material they get anyways.

This year we went completely paperless in terms of promotional materials. We collected email address with our iPads, through a program that links with MailChimp called 'Chimpadeedoo' and we had our 'Wedding Candy Brochure' online and sent it out to the brides a couple days after the show (so they could have some breathing room after the overwhelming show!).


2) Prizing - Don't forget about their Posse!

We all know that at these Bridal shows, the Brides want to enter some sort of giveaway at every booth. This year, in addition to giving away a candy buffet to one lucky bride, we also capitalized on making a second giveaway something that their posse could enter as well (their bridesmaids, their mom's.. whoever was with them supporting them that day), by giving away a Candy Club Subscription.

We recieved good feedback from attendees that this was nice that they felt involved too - plus, these people will likely either be Brides themselves one day, or will have a good hand in influencing some of the decisions that the Bride makes, so it is good to collect their information as well.

  

3) Get Involved and Get Social!

Usually prior to the Bridal show, there are many opportunities for you to get involved with the show and get your name out there even more - a lot of vendors don't realize this.

With Bridal Fantasy they offered vendors a featured post on their blog, gave you the opportunity to customize your directory listing on their website, and even featured some vendors in their annual Bridal Magazine.

As always, getting interactive on social media helps as well - help to promote the show, engage with other vendors, and follow the shows major hashtags. Often you'll get a chance to interact with attendees via social even before the day of the show. This will keep your business top of mind so that attendees make sure to hit up your booth the day of!

{Our Feature in the Bridal Fantasy 2015 Magazine}

I hope this helps give you some ideas for the next show! I would love to hear what you guys do to prepare for the show - if you have any winning nuggets to share with the rest of us, please comment below!

Hope to see you all at the next one :)



#BizTips: Sweet Brand Words!


Those of you who know me, know that my other passion (besides candy!) is marketing. There is something about a good clean design and a clear message that makes me extremely happy! It's the industry I have been working in for years, and also what my main focus was in post secondary.

Last week I had the pleasure of participating in a wonderful Workshop, brand[ED], by Bot Communications. It is ran by the lovely Nicole Hudson, who is quirky, talented, and definitely knows her stuff! In the course of a single day, we wrote a simple business plan, defined our brand, and learned some pretty neat photography tricks! Not only was it refreshing to have an entire day to focus solely on the big picture of my business - but I met an entire room full of like-minded gals like me, which was SO worth it.

I definitely recommend this one day workshop to anyone thinking of starting their own business or new business owners!

One of the huge take backs from the workshop, was to really define your brand and what your business stands for. Your brand should determine how you make decisions and how you present yourself, but most importantly it should align with your core values. How you describe your brand, otherwise known as your core values, are what I like to call, "Brand Words".

So, what are your Brand Words and how do you find them?


There are many ways to find these magical adjectives that encompass what your business is all about. I challenge ALL entrepreneurs to find them. It might be hard at first, but to get started simply follow the steps below:

1) Take 2 minutes and list out as many adjectives that you think describe your business.
Write down single words that you use to describe your business, single words that you think others use to describe your business, as well as words that you have heard others say.

2) Go through that list and scratch out any that very easily describe your direct competitors. 
This is tough, there are a lot of generic words out there that can be used to describe businesses in the same industry. The point is to make your Brand Words unique to only your business.

3) Circle the remaining ones that you think best describe your business.
After scratching out most of your list, you should be left with 3 to 5 words that accurately describe your business' core values. These are your magical adjectives. Keep them in the back of your mind at all times when making decisions, thinking about creatives, or selling to your customer. They will help be your guide to running your business authentically and help you keep your brand on point.

What are The Sugar Cube's Brand Words?

Good Question!

Innovation. Elegance. Imagination. 

Probably not what you would expect from your average Candy store - well, that's because we are not your average candy store! Why did I choose these words? That's probably a story for another day...

So, what are YOUR Brand Words?

Comment below - I would love to hear them!



2014 Reflections, Hello 2015!

 

How is it 2015 already?!

As we quickly delve into another year, I always like to carve out some time to take a look at the past year - what I learned, what I could have done better, what I kicked ass at. As a new business owner, this has become more relevant than ever. It's important to look at what didn't get done and why, but more importantly what you did, because let's be honest - the struggle of day to day for any entrepreneur is real, and focusing on the positive is a kind reminder of why it is all worth it at the end of the day.

  

Awesome Accomplishments of 2014

1) We celebrated our 1st year in business - and it was awesome!
2) I bought out my former business partner - and am now 100% owner (*woot*).
3) The Sugar Cube got it's very own Headquarters office & work studio - and it is very purple, pictures to come soon!
4) I paid my taxes - this one probably doesn't seem like a big deal, but as an entrepreneur paper work is usually the last thing on your list to complete, and boy, was this ever for me.
5) We made our first batch of homemade candy - which was epic.
6) I quit my day job - and it was scary as shit.

    

People get a lot of flack for using the term 'resolutions' around this time of year - but as I sit down to reflect, I always think about goals that I want to accomplish in the coming year. So here they are!

Goals for 2015
1) Do financials on a monthly basis. There is a reason behind this, and if you are a new entrepreneur I recommend you follow me on this piece of advice, if nothing else. Your peace of mind, knowledge of your business, and diminishing stress levels will thank you for it.
2) Read more - for pleasure, for learning, for industry depth. All of the above. I recently joined a book club, started by a friend, botcommunications. Click here to learn about what we are reading as our first book, and to join along with the adventure. Highly recommended community for us lady entrepreneurs.
3) Be more involved in the community - put myself out there to network, mingle, and find peace of mind knowing that all entrepreneurs have similar struggles and successes that I do.
4) Focus on the big picture - set quarter, annual, and 3 year goals. Don't get stuck in the day to day of the business - which is easier said than done, but is what I need to focus on in order to grow my business and continue to love what I do every day.
5) Improve my photography - this is a very visual business, I have always had an interest in photography - so now I have an excuse to dedicate more time to it.
6) Hire my first full-time employee - this is a big, scary one for me. I will be posting about my experiences later in the year - so stay tuned! And if you know any awesome candy lovin' peeps - send them my way!
Tell them to email their resume & cover letter to alyssa@sugarcubeyyc.com


I cannot tell you guys how excited I am for 2015! There are so many great things on the horizon both personally and professionally for me, and I cannot wait to share them with you! As always, I am sure there will be struggles along the way - but I want to share those with you as well, the struggles are what make you stronger after all :). And to share them with others, is a very humbling experience. 

So cheers to an awesome, and equally humbling 2015!