Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Am I an Expert??

Am I an expert??  Good question... I never feel like an expert because there is so much I don't know, but I have learn so much the last 14 years! I find when searching for information on organic and eco-friendly living, the vast majority of information is focused on organic food and safe cleaning products. My focus has always been on fabric, flooring, and furniture - Over the years I tried to fill this gap because I love sharing and teaching what I know with others.  Here is a little information about me:

  • 2000 - Started my interior design firm, Interiors by Samantha Cobos.
  • 2008 - Re-branded my design firm to focus on Green Design and renamed it PURE Inspired Design.
  • 2008 - Became a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional) - This is a test and it is HARD! 
  • 2009 - Started this blog!
  • 2010 - Launched PURE Inspired Home, which provides Custom Organic Fabric and Eco-Friendly Upholstery.
  • 2012 - Built our eco-friendly PURE Sol Beach House featuring our PURE Beach Collection.
  • 2014 - Launched nest PURE, which provides organic and eco-friendly products that are all under $50.
I've learned an enormous amount through the years so maybe I am sort of an expert...  In the coming weeks and months I will share with you my knowledge and insights on organic and eco-friendly products which will help make your home not only healthy for your family but also modern, happy, and fun!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Support Small Business Saturday Nov 29th!

Small Business Saturday is November 29th! Support small businesses - it does make a difference!! We are offering free shipping through Sunday with coupon code: SHIPFREE  

Our beautiful modern products make great gifts - all under $50, organic and eco-friendly, and Made int the USA!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Giving Thanks Beyond What is Easy...

Sounds simple, but most of us have to stop and think - what am I truly thankful for? Of course I'm thankful for my family, kids, health, dog, home...  Those are easy things to be thankful for, but what about myself. On most days I'm moving so fast that I don't spend much time thinking of any one thing. Obviously I should be thankful for doing what I love... BUT what about everything that comes with running a small business - I've ran my own businesses for 14 years, and it is a constant struggle and at times devastating. I put everything I have into my business and my products but I'm still not thriving (not yet anyway). Work = Success is not necessarily true. I have some sad days and think, "Should just I quit"? NO WAY, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! So what am I thankful for??

I am thankful for my optimism and perseverance!

What are you thankful for beyond the easy stuff??

Friday, November 21, 2014

Guess what I learned this week?

What I learned this week...
  1. Taking pictures of myself using my camera's timer was unexpectedly funny. Running back and forth through an obstacle of furniture was quite tiring... This is what a solo entrepreneur does!
  2. When my wood veneer arrived I was literally jumping for joy - LOVE the idea of creating my own unique prints!
  3. I NEED marketing help! I love to create but I'm at a loss when it comes to getting the word out about myself and my products.  Who is reading this blog - just a handful of people :) Plus only a 8 entries so far for my Giveaway!
  4. Green focused bloggers like Groovy Green Living and Mindful Momma are there to help me reach my audience! See our Dahlia Organic Tote in Mindful Momma's Gift Guide! 
  5. I need a break from work!! So happy it is Friday!! Although a business owner never truly takes a break - can't shut off the brain, plus I LOVE what a do :)

Have a happy weekend everyone!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Modern Wood Prints!

I've wanted to create a line of modern art prints for a long time. I finally came across the idea of printing on sustainably harvested maple veneer! Each print is finished with non-toxic wax for protection and sheen. This is just the start of the collection - designs are only limited by me so there will be many more coming quickly. Also customized prints with names and saying - send any ideas my way! 

They are available in two sizes:  
  • 5" x 7" image - Size with mat 8" x 10" - Archival mat included!
  • 8" x 10" image - Size with mat 11" x 14" - Archival mat included!
NO Frame is included at this time, but the prints are matted and fit in standard sized frames.

Modern Wood Prints make wonderful gifts at only $18 for 5" x 7" and $28 for the 8" x 10"!

 Modern Wood Prints

 Modern Wood Prints

 Modern Wood Prints

 Modern Wood Prints

 Modern Wood Prints

Monday, November 17, 2014

Why the Big Change?!

I've made a BIG change over the last few weeks. I feel so at peace and happy about the change and I want to share not only the change, but the reason behind the change.

Over the years I have struggled between doing what I love and trying to make money doing what I love. My products were priced high - a pillow cover started at $89!  I would joke that I can't even afford my own products - this made me stressed and uncomfortable. Why were my prices high? Well, creating products on demand is expensive plus offering trade discounts increase our prices even more...  Are our pillow covers really worth $89? Yes, I believe they are worth every penny. They are top quality, original, organic, made in the USA.... BUT could my reach go farther by lower my prices and changing my business model? YES! YES! YES!

We are now nest PURE! It is not just a name change, it is whole new concept. All my products are still organic + eco-friendly and made in the USA, but they are also all under $50!

Here is the criteria for our products:

  • Organic + Eco-Friendly
  • Made in the USA
  • Under $50
  • Quality Handmade Construction
  • Ships within 5 days
  • All fabrics are design by me and will not be found anywhere else!
  • New products added weekly

How did I lower the prices?

  • I'm only selling what I currently have available
  • NO trade discounts or coupons because the prices are already low
  • Limited quantities – Many items are one of a kind
  • Most of the fabrication is done in house (I do love to sew)

Currently nest PURE sells Organic Pillow Covers, Organic Totes + Pouches, and Organic Crocheted Scarfs. Our quantities are very limited so if you see something you love don't hesitate! 

Coming soon - Modern Veneer Prints!

 Organic Pillow Covers
Pillow Covers starting at $45

Organic Totes starting at $38

Organic Pouches starting at $18

Scarfs starting at $36

Monday, June 16, 2014

Stansberry { Beautiful Accessories }

Sharing my story has always been an important part of my business, and lately I've been making connections with other creative individuals.  I'm always surprised when their stories are similar to my own - small businesses ran by their founders who thrive through their attention to details and flowing creativity.  Natalie Morrow of Stansberry fits this mold.  I love the colors and handmade quality of her pieces.  I ran across Stansberry while on Design Sponge and Natalie was kind enough to share her story - see the interview under the beautiful pictures of Natalie's products.

{ Multi Strand Beaded Necklace in Purple/Coral }

{ Long Beaded Necklace in Turquoise/Green }

{ Border Scarf in Yellow/Denim }

{ Tassel Bracelet }

{ Red Flower Scarf }

{ Striped Scarf in Coral }

{ Magnesite and Hammered Beads Necklace }

{ Border Scarf in Blue/Coral }

Here is my interview with Natalie Morrow of Stansberry.

How did you get started?
After being forced to close my beloved clothing boutique a few years ago due to the recession, I was at a loss for what to do next. I knew that I definitely did not want to go back to the corporate world where I had been previously. I soon started playing around with a new sewing machine that I had received as a Christmas gift. I had loved sewing when I was a teen and I was eager to see if I still had the skills! Quickly, I was back into the groove of sewing and soon I was designing and sewing clutches and handbags. A friend of mine suggested that she have an open house for me and my new handbags. Fortunately it was a great success! With this encouragement, I decided to go for it. I named my business “Stansberry” which is my mother’s maiden name. She is the one, after all, who taught me how to sew.

Presently, my business has now evolved into designing and creating scarves and jewelry. My goal is to make busy women’s lives a little more effortless and a little more chic.
Do you hand make all your products?
The scarves are all handmade by me. Each scarf is either hand dyed or hand drawn. I then sew the edges of each scarf using a rolled hem stitch for a refined, quality finish. A few of my scarves also feature a decorative embroidered stich which is also done by me. Each piece of jewelry is also handmade by me.
Do you dye your own scarfs?  
Yes, I do dye my own scarves. I use a dip dye technique to achieve the desired patterns. I also have a couple of scarf styles where the pattern is hand drawn by me using fabric dye pens.

Where do you source you materials for jewelry and scarfs?
My fabric is a silk/cotton blend and it comes from NYC. My jewelry supplies are all sourced from companies based in the US – this is something that is very important to me.

Any other products in the works?
I am currently working on Fall 2014 designs. Fall is “Stansberry’s” strongest season. I love fall because it allows me to work with wool. I’m looking to expand beyond the wool infinity scarves that were so popular last fall and move to more innovative styles and shapes. As for jewelry, the gold trend continues to be very strong and I will experiment with various types of chains and layering techniques.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Unsightly Wrinkles { perfect solution }

I had a huge problem and it was driving me crazy.  I purchase a flat weave rug for our new family room.  The  style, colors, and price were perfect, but without a rug pad it was a disaster.  As soon as I had it all straight and in the right position, my dog would tear through the area and the rug would slide and wrinkle.  The rug is wool but a little thin and light so against the smooth bamboo it would slid all over.  Our dog thought it was great fun, but I didn't.

When Rug Pad USA contact me and asked if I would do a product review, of course, I jump at the chance.  If their rug pad solved my problem, I would be forever grateful.  They sent me the Premium-Lock Felt and Rubber Pad, which they said would solve my problem.  I was very happy that is was also eco-friendly - the top is recycled felt and the back is 100% natural latex rubber.

The pad arrived and I was surprised that it was thick and heavy - not like the usual rug pads.  I moved all my furniture and laid the pad.  I needed to cut it down a little - I just used a regular pair of utility scissors.  Once I rolled the rug on to the pad I could immediately feel the difference.  Not only was the pad gripping the rug, but the rug felt thicker and heavier.

The true test was having our dog run through the area, and sure enough the rug did not budge.  I'm so happy an grateful for the opportunity to review the Premium-Lock Felt and Rubber Pad from Rug Pad USA.  It has REALLY made a huge difference and I will recommend them to everyone!

Thank you Rug Pad USA!

doesn't he look guilty! }

{ every time I turned around this is what I would see }

{ so many wrinkles! }

{ pad is thick with latex backing }

{ the top of the pad is felt, which grips to the rug }

{ rug is staying put! }

{ it is flat, smooth. and cushy }

{ no wrinkles even after the dog runs around! }

{ problem solved }

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

So Floored with FLOR!!!

Our family has moved!!  This also means my home office has moved - I will share more about my office next week.  Our new house is 1000 square feet smaller, but since I did so much planning, we do not miss the extra space at all!  It really helps that our home is uncluttered and filled with sunlight.

One of my favorite products is FLOR.  They design carpet squares that can be arrange in any shape and cut to size if needed.  I have loved them for years - I talk about my fascination here and again here.  Our new house is modern and like I mentioned before small.  Our front entry also acts as a mudroom because it hosts the entrance to the garage, so I took the opportunity to use FLOR Tiles to create a T-shaped entry.  This makes the entry so much larger and easier to keep clean - we have had sooo much snow in Minnesota this year and the idea of everyone trying to stand on a 3x5 rug makes me crazy.  The FLOR tiles give us space and allows us to spread out and keep the floor dry.

We didn't stop there!  We also used FLOR Tiles in our dining area.  Space was tight so we created the perfect size rug and built a plywood table to seat 6 - it had to be narrow to fit the space without crowding the island and pantry cabinet.  I really love the Jitterbug pattern - it is one of FLOR's wool carpets and it is soft and beautiful.

Installing the FLOR tiles was very easy.  They just hook to each other with stickers and the rubber backing keeps them from slipping.  It really could not of been easier!!

Do you have any place in your home that would be perfect for FLOR tiles?  

Floor plan showing the layout of the FLOR tiles

Entry & Mudroom (the glossy white cabinets are our closets)
FLOR:  Crossroads in Dusk

Dining Area with our custom made plywood table
FLOR:  Jitterbug in Taupe

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February Giveaway!

While looking through my inventory of past organic fabrics, I have decided to do a monthly giveaway! Why let all these great organic fabrics go to waste! Our first giveaway is a 15 x 18 pillow cover in our smock pattern (insert not included). It is a soft yellow on natural colored organic canvas and has a hidden bottom zipper. The winner will be notified by email on March 3rd.  Click here to enter our Pillow Giveaway! - Good Luck!!
*Note: Winner must reside in the USA

Enter Our February Giveaway!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What keeps you happy in the dead of winter???

It has been a brutal winter in Minnesota this year, and by brutal I mean COLD and by cold I mean FREEZING!!

I love this photo because it romanticizes winter, but in reality there is nothing romantic about -30 degree wind chills!!
Source: via Swadeshi Club on Pinterest

 To make it through the winter I need several things:
  • Warm tea, coffee, coco...
  • Lots of layers, sweaters, scarfs, thick socks, and throws
  • COLOR!!  Bright happy color!
In the winter everything is gray and color always make me happy.  I look at my fabrics stacked around my office an I smile - they are so happy and bright!!  They brighten up my life during the dreadful, dead of winter.

So how do you get through the winter?!

 PURE Inspired Home Organic Pillows

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Goals { Blogging, Giveaways, and More }

Happy New Year!

I have a lot of goals for this year both personal and professional.  I say "goals" not "resolutions".  Goals seem more permanent and attainable.  Some of my personal goals include giving up gluten and limiting my coffee intake to 1/2 cup a day (can't give coffee up 100%, I tried and failed many times).  I'm off to a great start and feel REALLY GOOD - And I'm not just saying that, I mean it.

Our family is moving to a new home at the end of February.  For those who don't know, I work out of my home office so personal crosses into professional.  Our new home is smaller so there will be challenges, which I share with you along the way.  One of my professional goals is to share more through my blog.  Here is a the mood board for our Family Room.  Everything will be bright, fresh, modern, and uncluttered (I hope)!

A few months back I learned to sew.  I NEVER thought I would enjoy it because it seems so domesticated. I never feel like a great homemaker and I'm not very good at cooking (just ask my family) so who would of thought that I would LOVE sewing.  It is almost like meditation for me - it quiets my mind and I love the results. It gives me the freedom to experiment and make my own products.  Here are the first professional pillows I made and sold!

My new sewing abilities have allowed me to see potential in all my fabric scraps and discontinued fabrics that I have in storage.  I plan to have monthly GIVEAWAYS of "one of a kind" organic pillows covers - Keep your eyes open because this will start soon.

So these are few of my professional goals:  1.) Share more through my blog  2.) Monthly pillow cover giveaways

I have other goals and news,which I will be sharing soon.  I will also be sharing more about my partnership with Mod Mom Furniture and all the new products we will be creating under the name PUREMOD.

It will be an exciting year full of change and progress!!!