Man, September flew by y’all! I went to the beach on the Gulf Coast for the first time since 2009. Finally got to attend Salvations, after being their designer for years! I threw a fun DIY party thanks to Brit + Co. and I attended Circles Conference in Texas! Whoa, no wonder why this month went by so fast! Here are some popular posts from the month in case you missed anything.
So this is pretty crazy to say, but next month will mark eight years with my boyfriend! We don’t have an official day but we have always called October our anniversary month. We had been friends for years but strangely enough Hurricane Katrina brought us together unexpectedly during college and that’s when we started dating. I’m not going to get all mushy or say too much here except that he is an amazingly talented person and I love our life together! Next month also marks four years of this blog, so stay tuned for some fun blogiversary celebrations!
I’m always excited when Autumn rolls around because it means one thing: seasonal Fall drinks at Starbucks. Their Caramel Apple Spice tastes like the very essence of Autumn. It’s my absolute favorite, and now that I’ve discovered just how easy they are to make at home, you better believe I’m going to be awash in cider for the next few months!
This month’s Font Feast post was inspired by a lovely font called… Cider Script! I’ve generally tried not to pick fonts and recipes that share a name (because that’s too easy!), but I love Caramel Apple Cider and Cider Script so much that I just couldn’t resist pairing them up to celebrate the arrival of cool weather and hot drinks!
1 Tablespoon Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Syrup (available online or at some Starbucks locations) 8 oz hot apple cider (seriously, just the Tree Top stuff from the juice aisle works great!) sweetened whipped cream caramel sauce (I actually spoke with a Starbucks employee who said, “Yes, just caramel ice cream topping.”)
Pour the Cinnamon Syrup into the bottom of a large mug. Add hot cider. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with caramel sauce. If you want to make it just like Starbucks, be sure to drizzle in a circular motion!
I’m working on a logo, branding and website for a new client that is opening a business just around the corner from me! Here is the moodboard that I created for her and I can’t wait to share more once it gets a little further along!
Let’s hear it for the September sponsors! These ladies are all so impressive and I’ve been having so much fun scrolling through their blogs! Take some time to look around yourselves, I know you won’t regret it!
Carly Tati – Carly is an editor, fashion photographer and designer. Slightly nomadic with a passion for travel and a love of cupcakes. She has some great posts coming up from fashion week!
Classes Kara Made – Kara has been creating online art journaling, scrapbooking, and photography classes and PDFs for 5 years. She is an amazing photographer and I pretty much fall in love with everything she posts to her blog.
Sequin Crush – Jasmine is edgy but sweet, vintage yet modern, unconventional yet composed. She never think less is more when it comes to fashion, especially accessories! Her blog is about her personal style (which is amazing) and fashion crush’s of the moment.
I don’t know if y’all have been to the Brit+Co site, but it’s amaaaazing. It’s filled with recipes, crafts, style, DIY projects and the latest on new technology. In additional to their blog, they also have Brit Kits, which are do-it-yourself projects in a box, delivered monthly to your doorstep.
I just joined their Brit Co-Op program (a group of ladies handpicked by Brit+Co) and had the opportunity to throw a Brit Kit party for my friends last month! You may have seen my Intagrams from that night. We each got the materials and directions to make Paint-Splattered Travel Cases although we took some creative liberties and came up with some really unique designs! You can get this kit for yourself, right here!
Last photo from Brit + Co. all other by Ciera Holzenthal for Ciera Design. I was not compensated for this post. I was solely provided products to host this party. All opinions are my own.
Back in March I designed this invitation for little Cameron’s first birthday party. The party was really just for the adults and they requested a New Orleans theme with a kiddie twist. Below are how the invites turned out and Coco Photo Nola‘s photos from the event, it turned out SO cute, I can’t get over it! And this design is now for sale in my Etsy shop!
I shared one of Debi Sementelli‘s fonts, Dom Loves Mary, a few months back and she just released another beauty called Cantoni! I just love using her fonts, they are so much fun! And once again, Debi is offering a huge discount to Ciera Design readers! Cantoni is 40% off with code “cieradesigns” so go grab it while this offer lasts!
The Cantoni font family is a hand lettered font with a variety of standard and alternate characters that play together well and has a total of 1265 glyphs, wow! Lots of additional features are also included, like roman numerals, fractions, ordinals, ornate and old style numbers, greek symbols, a set of flourishes, ornaments and DIY wedding words and images.
Named after my large Italian family, the unique variety of letters based on my own fluid upright style of brush lettering, reminds me of every family I know. There are creative and conservative siblings, crazy in a good way cousins, affable aunts and corny joke telling uncles who somehow come together and form one cohesive unit.
In the same way, using the Open Type features to insert a “wild t”, begin a name with a “flashy f” or end a word with a “rambling r”, the font comes to life. The party starts. The fun begins. And soon they’re all laughing and dancing up and down the baseline. Like a family gathering to celebrate a special occasion, there is a palpable sense of joy expressed through the letters and images, not unlike the sharing of good food, memorable stories and lots of laughter. - Debi Sementelli
You know how when you’re on someone’s website trying to decide if you want to work with them or buy from them and you see a group of really great testimonials that convince you that you must have their product? You can have that too.
Testimonials from clients are important for your website because without them, potential clients don’t always know your credibility or what you’re like to work with. It’s someone’s outside perspective that gives them the confidence to buy from you instead of moving on to the next website.
There are a few ways to get really great testimonials:
Reach out to past partners, customers and coworkers
While it’s not always easy to reach out and ask for testimonials, it’s the first step in getting great feedback, especially from clients and coworkers who love you and your work.
To do this, write them a short note on why you’re reaching out to them and what you’re hoping to accomplish from getting this testimonial. Tell them how much you’ve enjoyed working with them and would love to share your experience with future customers.
Then, provide a list of questions for them to answer – questions that will bring out the types of phrases you’d love to include on your site about how the two of you worked together and what was accomplished.
It’s best to reach out to clients while your work is still fresh in their mind, so as soon as you’ve wrapped up your work with them, send them a testimonial request – if they’re happy with your work they’ll most likely fill it out right away!
Pull from Social Media
Another really great way to get testimonials for your website is to pull quotes about your work off of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Lots of times when someone is excited about a new product or service they’ve purchased, they splash it all over the web. If one of your past customers has done this about your offering, ask them if you can use their quote for your site. Since they shared it with everyone they know, there’s a good chance they’ll let you post it on your site too.
Once you Get the Testimonial
When you get your testimonials, there are a few effective ways to display them on your website.
First of all, make sure they fit with the product you are selling or are general enough to be displayed on your site. I work with lots of different types of clients – from brides to small businesses to antique dealers, so not all testimonials from everyone will work on my wedding site. Choose the ones that you think will be most beneficial to future clients.
Then, decide where you want to place your testimonials. Good practice is to have a page devoted to praise, display them on your sales page or have them scrolling in the footer or sidebar.
Also, consider including a picture and a location of the person you received the testimonial from. People make connections with images and locations, so the testimonial will be more credible and believable if there is a face and location to associate with it.
And that’s it! Follow these steps and be on your way to getting great testimonials from past customers that grab the attention of new customers!
It’s football time! The Saints first game was yesterday and while I love repping my team, I get bored with wearing the same ole t-shirts that everyone else has. So when my sister said she bought us shirts from TJ Maxx to make our own Saint’s gear I was super excited!
Making a top like this of your own is pretty simple! Use any shirt in a style you like in your favorite teams color. A top with athletic detailing, like this Good Game Mesh Tank is perfect! Then, find a good sporty looking font like Player, Return Pass, High School USA or Freshman to create the design you want. I picked a big number 9 for Drew Brees, the Saints quarterback! Print your design on adhesive paper, trim with an Exacto knife, stick it to your shirt and paint with fabric paint in a contrasting color.
Once the paint has dried, remove the adhesive template and you have yourself a fashionable jersey! That is my dad below getting in on the pealing action! Head over to Sequin Crush for more detailed instructions and how Jasmine styled her shirt.
It is still very hot here in NOLA so I wore the tank tied up to the side with jean shorts, but I can’t wait to wear it with leggings once the weather starts to cool down (if it ever happens).