Steal this Idea :: Custom Gift Packages

As a small business owner and creative, I have about a thousand ideas floating around in my head. The thing is? I usually don't have the time OR the passion to pursue most of them, and they're usually services or businesses that I am actually interested in using. So, I decided to start sharing these ideas on the blog here, just in case there is a reader or two out there who might want to use them!

One thing I've been searching for for a while now is a good gift service for my clients and colleagues. The thought behind this is that I'm just not very good at coming up with creative (and creatively packaged) gifts to send people. Sure, I could send them something I found on Kate Spade or Anthropologie (both of which I've done in the past), but I've always wanted something more personal than that. I've actually talked to my friend Lauren about this - we've always looked for a gift service in which you can create custom gift packages to send to people. There are more commercial companies that do this, of course, such as 1-800-Flowers or Edible Arrangements, but they're somewhat cheesy in my opinion. 


I recently found the Etsy shop Chic Sweets, and I absolutely LOVE her idea. I've been working with Natalie and I love the way she's used my branding to send custom sweets packages to my new clients. My vision for a custom gift package business would expand the concept in other directions - specifically, the ability to choose the type of gift as WELL as the branding. Think, pampering baskets with bath products, bottles of wine with monogrammed glasses, and boxes with specialty baked goods. I envision gifts that are locally sourced from small businesses, all wrapped up with an adorable pink bow. Ideally, the service would be available to people all over, offered on a site such as Etsy, in which those in Southern California (like me!) could order from a company based in New York, and sent to a recipient in Alaska.

Do you know of a service such as this? If not, would you ever consider offering a service like it?

How to be Charming :: the Facebook Group

I just have all the projects going these days, don't I? I wanted to stop in really quickly to let you know that I have a new Facebook group and I want you to join! The concept is simple, really. 


You can request to join the group here!

Going Natural (It's Easier Than You Think)

I'm not one to jump on a bandwagon (obviously). And to be honest? We eat fast food a few times a week, I use beauty products with paraben, and I don't nearly shop organic as much as I should. I know these things aren't great, but if I've realized anything (about everything, really), it's that you can't quit cold turkey. Or, in other words, you have to start slow

I am definitely aware of the pros of going natural, but I also think that there's a lot of misinformation out there. If I were to listen to everything that people say (because, you know, anyone can be an expert these days), we'd be living in a 200 square foot cabin in the middle of the forest eating vegan, gluten free, and paleo. 

Not for me. I love In N Out too much. 

I have discovered a few ways, and a few things, that do help me feel a little bit better about myself. Because it's not an all or nothing kind of thing. It's a, whatever-feels-right-for-me kind of thing. And for me? I need to start small. I need to start INTENTIONALLY. I can't learn it all at once - I'll just get overwhelmed. But maybe, someday, I'll find the perfect combination of what is natural and what feels RIGHT. 


1 // For me, a big part of going natural is just being cognizant of how I fit into the natural world, and the part I play in creating a sustainable society. Again, I can't do it all at once, but I can start small. I am very aware of the power and water usage in my home. I turn off lights, I make a conscious effort to reduce water usage. It's small, but you know what? It's something.

2 // I've already lauded essential oils on my blog, but I honestly cannot praise them enough. I don't necessarily believe that they can fix every ailment in the world, but they bring me a lot of comfort. That's important.

3 // Coconut oil is my new favorite thing. Ever. I actually keep TWO jars in my home at all time - one in my bathroom and one in my kitchen. I just made brownies with coconut oil instead of butter yesterday and they were AMAZING. You can pretty much use it for everything and anything - as a shower scrub, in your hair, to pop popcorn, on toast, to oil pull...the list goes on and on (and on and on). Again, I can't believe that it's the be-all-end-all (such thinking goes against my naturally cynical personality), but I CAN love the way it smells and the way it makes my hair silky and smooth.

4 // Rosewater makes me smell like a grandmother, but it also makes my skin so freaking soft. I won't be giving up that one any time soon.

5 // Let's be real? Buying organic all the time is next to impossible for a self-employed small business owner and student. But you know what is possible? Being intentional when it does come to buying organic. Milk, eggs, certain produce, meat - these are the things that I try to purchase organic or free range as much as possible. Thankfully we live in a state where locally grown, seasonal produce is readily available, which makes this decision much easier. I try to also purchase from smaller markets or farms as much as possible as well, and we're thinking of joining another CSA this year.

So, that's it. My not-so-comprehensive list on how I'm trying to go natural. I know there are a thousand more ways we can live a more natural life, and I'm not saying we won't grow this list in the future, but this is right for me, at this point in my life.

Do you have any other tips on how to start living more naturally, in small steps? I would love to know!

Note that this post includes affiliate links, which means that I may make a commission from any purchases made via these links. You can read more about my blog's policies here. As a small business owner and self-employed blogger, I always appreciate your support and consideration!

Joelle Charming Hiring!

Okay, that headline probably sounds more exciting than it really is, but it's true! Now that I am commuting between Ventura County and San Diego, I need a new photographer to work with down here! I have quite a few exciting brand collaborations and partnerships in the works, and I really need a consistent photographer (or photographers) to work with. 


This is a really flexible position, and we would meet in a variety of different places throughout San Diego once or twice a week (weekends are fine with me too). This position would be great for someone who knows photography basics and is interested in getting into the blogging or wedding industries! 

If you are interested in working with me, please send me an email with the following information:

  • Name and contact information
  • Social media profiles
  • Portfolio
  • Experience
  • Rate (either hourly or per session)

I'm looking forward to hearing from you!