Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In Home Businesses...the Wave of the Future?

I can't begin to tell you how many people have recently asked me about home businesses or have expressed an interest at least in that direction. I have then spent some time wondering why this sudden surge. In my opinion, we are rapidly becoming a burnt out society. It is a very fast paced rush life those of us in the business sector are experiencing. And I think many people out there are interested in their own piece of the pie, financial security and a slower pace. I have to say that I am not suprised. Now am I suggesting that everyone jump onto this bandwagon? Yes and no. I believe home based businesses can be very successful but prospective investors should not think that it is not work. It is work. But the benefits can be enourmous. What I want to caution my readers most about today is selecting a home based business that is reputable and can be backed up with statistics. Also, beware of high cost buy in's that put you deep in a financial hole before your business can even begin. I have a list of researched criteria for you to consider before selecting a home business. I would be happy to pass this information on to any of my readers who are considering a home based business and are not sure what to trust. Email me and I will get that information to you.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Rest In Peace Mighty Barbaro

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Business in a Box

Okay, so I've recently been approached with this question. What are the benefits of being an idependant business owner vs. the employee who works roughly 9 to 5 for a larger business corperation. I think it's an interesting question and the decision poses trade offs in both fields. If you select working for someone else (no offense but I refer to it as business in a box) you gain the security of some benefits, a wage you can count on and the potential for actual vacations. However, you give up some of your own creativity in the process in most cases. The other option is entrepreneaurship. Striking out on your own, doing something that you love, being your own boss and calling your own shots. Sounds perfect, right? The trade off here is bringing in residual business, no included benefits and vacation? What vacation? So which is better?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Conversation Between Two Old Men on a Porch Somewhere In Rural Oregon







Can you figure out what they mean?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Aspen Grove Duo Gears Up For Shows and Tourists

Joseph, Oregon: Mark Kortnik and Carol McLaughlin are each individually talented artists, but together, they form a team of quiet and yet powerful art genius.

Mark Kortnik began his career in art at a young age and has developed a unique skill in
rendering realistic portrayals of wildlife
. Since then,
Mark's work has been represented
in 1997 and 1998 "US Art" and "Inform Art" magazines with featured articles that
included Mark as an artist specializing in painting petroglyph sites combined with
wildlife images. Mark has won several 1st and 2nd place awards in oil over the past
ten years from the Wallowa Valley Festival of the Arts as well as several shows he a
nd McLaughlin have done on the road.

Carol McLaughlin was honored by being selected to show in the prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson Birds in Art Show in 1996. Carol has also received several 1st and 2nd Place award in her medium of watercolors. In 1997 and 1998 "US Art" and "Inform Art" magazines featured articles that included Carol as an artist specializing in painting petroglyph sites. She creates her works using layers of paint and aggressive brush strokes to capture the texture of the cave walls and the spontaneity of those drawings which date back as much as 30,000 years. Currently, McLaughlin's art can be found in the Valley Bronze Gallery in Astoria, Oregon as well as The Aspen Grove Gallery in Joseph, Oregon.

The couple came to Joseph and opened the Aspen Grove Gallery 18 years ago and host many
tourists through their gallery every year.
Both artists have always been sensitive to
creative arts and met to work together to promote their art as a business starting in 1986.
“We are now the longest resident artists represented on Main Street in Joseph as well as the
most established gallery for the past 18 years”, says Kortnik. Not finding a rural location to be
a hurdle for their success, Kortnik chalks it up to one element. “Joseph is where the roads less
traveled lead to the discovery of the finest of art”, he says.

Along with their own work, Kortnik and McLaughlin feature the work of other local artists in their gallery and have incorporated a custom frame business within. “The framing is a big part of what we do here”, says Kortnik. Kortnik and McLaughlin believe in working with their customers to design the matting and frame work that will best show of an art piece or photo that can be a family heirloom for years to come.

In order to keep their art available to everyone, the couple decided to have a website created that would allow art collectors from all over the world to purchase their work. “Winter can be slow up here”, says Kortnik. He feels that the website keeps art collectors in the know as to what is new and in the works when they cannot get to the gallery. “We try to keep available art work updated on the site”, says Kortnik. “That way our work can be acquired throughout the country regardless of the weather.”

In 2007, Kortnik and McLaughlin will be seen in art exhibits throughout Oregon. The couple are currently gearing up for another busy tourist season in Joseph but will keep events updated on their website for public information. To know more or to purchase the work of these artists, please visit www.aspengrovegallery.com or to email Mark or Carol please go to kortnik@oregontrail.net.

Show Schedule:

March 16 - 19

Heritage Inn
Great Falls, Montana

May 21 - 23
Kittitas Fairgrounds Building
Ellensburg, Washington

Friday, January 19, 2007

For You...About Me

It has recently been brought to my attention that I possibly have not let my readers know enough about myself. Be careful what you ask for! Here is the insight to Christy Barber, marketer, mom, animal lover. I began my marketing career after 22 years in the hair industry. I owned a salon and was one of the top two National Trainers for Alterna working closely under Michael Shaun Corby. Very rewarding. Very exhausting. I became involved in the dot com industry when I took a position as the GM for LaGrandeONLINE.com, where I still hold a position as a sales manager. From my experiences in both came knowledge and know how on how to help other businesses become successful. In turn, becoming a successful marketer myself. This is home. I love it. I have always lived by the philosophy that givers get. So sharing knowledge and learning from others is a huge passion of mine. I am a bit of a workaholic and my business sense has begun to rub off on my 14 year old son who already has plans to start an herbal business of his own. My daughter is a first year student at The Evergreen State College and is loving it. And then there is spare time. Six years ago I found a passion in horses. I joined the La Grande Polo Club (yes rural Oregon has a polo club!) and everyday when weather permits one can find my on my beautiful mare riding. My son shares this passion and will be a second year player this summer. I live in the most beautiful place in the world and am loved by two beautiful children, two cats, a mare and a 12 week old Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy that I got for my son this Christmas. Life is full and good. In my life so far, I have been priviledged to meet many interesting and exciting people. Some of those experiences I hope to bring to my business to pass on to you. So this is for you. I hope it clears up some of the mystery. There is a book in the works and I will keep you posted. Hopefully it will be the first of several. Don't hesitate to ask if I have left something out. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Where Is Advertising Going?

Research I have compiled recently suggests that advertising is beginning to change. In this internet age, newspaper advertising is expected to drop sharply and mailers will become obsolete by the year 2008. Radio listeners are spending the money NOT to hear advertising with satalite feeds. So what will take it's place? You are looking at it. Internet, blogging and b2b companies with know how and expertise in this field will run the advertising market. We are already beginning to see it and the results that it brings. Aside from my company, I am a marketer for hire working free lance for a larger statewide company. To this business I bring internet and blogging work that is virtually new in my area. If you currently own a business this is something you must get on board with now or risk playing catch up down the road. This is where we internet marketers come in. Educating the public that this is where they need to be heading. The pitch? Simple. Business owners do not have the time to sit on the net. But they need to be there or risk being left behind. HIRE-IT- DONE! If you are here, you already know this. Now, go forth and let the public know.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Who Are You Without The Web?

It may sound a little harsh but dare I say...."no one". It has become true. Without a web pressence in todays market, a business has very little recognition. And the fact of the matter is that they are becoming easier and more affordable everyday for your business to have the web recognition it needs to survive. Therefore, if you lack a web based pressence, you need to ask yourself why you do not have one and design what steps it will take for you to create one. Also, you will need to know your marketing needs, who you hope to reach and what your budget can handle for such as expense. That is where the help of a great marketing consultant can come in handy. Not everyone is born with this information and help is there for the asking. Do not make the mistake of jumping on board to the first web company you find. Shop around. Find out prices and options that can get your business seen. And what I feel is most important, make sure you have options to grow your web pressence as your business grows. What you do not need today you could easily need in a year. Business to business marketing will also increase your visibility so make sure that your web pressence has that option for you as well. This is only the tip of the proverbial ice berg for you. I would love to discuss with you what your business needs and once it is up and running how to promote it. Because your website will not do your business one bit of good unless it is promoted, promoted, promoted! Email me. We can discuss your options.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Tasting Tillamook

Their are many beautiful sites and scenes to see in Oregon. One of our most beautiful attractions we have here is the Oregon Coast. I am lucky enough to be working for Taste of Tillamook County which takes place every March in Tillamook, Oregon. It's a wonderful event for the entire family with celebrity judges for several cooking competitions including a macaroni and cheese competititon. There will be music and wine tasting and many other events to see and partipate in. If you are looking for a great early spring event to take your family to, you can't miss out on the Taste of Tillamook County. I'll see you there!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

I am a total FANILOW!!!

Okay...nobody laugh. I just spent one of the funnest nights of my life last night. As a Christmas present, my best friend gave my family Barry Manilow tickets at the Rose Garden in Portland. I can not remember the last time I smiled so much. Yes, I am totally telling my age but as a girl, Barry Manilow LIVE was one of my favorite albums and I knew (know) all the songs by heart. So in a sense, this was a bit of a dream come true.. He was in fine voice and as he will tell you, society longs for songs that touch a cord and that they can sing along to. Even my 19 year old college student said what a good show it was. So if you ever get the chance, go see Barry. He delivers a show that is second to none and a night you will not soon forget. This particular show went to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation so it was also nice to know that money was going to a worthy cause. Barry fans, come out and unite. Dont miss his show!

Friday, January 5, 2007

Keeping Resolutions!

How many of us made New Years Resolutions? How many of those involved weight issues? Primarily that in which we gained?? But oh it was fun getting there! But now as they say, it's time to pay the piper. Here in La Grande we are offering a RESET night on how to get your life back on a healthier path. It's at our library from 7-8 PM. If you are in this area and would like more information, please email me. Who knows, maybe we can get that turkey and gravy off together!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Planning Ahead

One of my pet peeves has always been seeing heart shaped boxes of candy and Valentine's Day cards in retail stores while I still have my Christmas tree up. Granted, my Christmas tree is often up until the middle of January but still...I digress. However, this year I have the pleasure of working for The Union Hotel in Union Oregon. We recently started planning our Valentine's Day event and it is going to be wonderful. The details have yet to be ironed out but lets just say big band sounds with swing dancing may be in the future.

The Union Hotel is a beautiful historical building located here in the heart of NE Oregon rich with history and elegance. If you have a shred of romance in your heart, this will be where you want to be with your sweetheart on February 14th. VIP invitations will be sent out by the end of January so if you are interested in receiving one, please email me with your address. Aside from that, stay tuned. 2007 will prove to be an eventful one at this historic location. We are discussion antique events, group functions, Easter Egg Hunts and much much more. Email me with your questions and stay tuned as the fun begins. Happy 2007!