Friday, April 30, 2010

Music Madness: Ratatat

Just another tune I can't get enough of these days ...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

KH in the News: NEW Magazine

First, let me say, if you haven't picked up a copy of NEW magazine you should. Second, I want to say a very special thanks to our beautiful (local) models Sara and Valerie for modeling Kanibal Home's spring fashions. And finally, a big thank you to Brian Morrison at Eyescollide and Weapon for shooting the look book.

Check out the slide show over at NEW magazine: http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/2010/04/28/wear-it-well-kanibal-home/

The best part? Kanibal Home uses Jersey City-based models, photographers and graphic designers! Because, why not? We've got a seriously talented city.

Art Class: Silhouette Portrait

Silhouette portraits are fun, easy and have risen in popularity recently. I love how this very classical artistic treatment has gotten all arts and craftsy.

SO, as part of Kanibal Home's ongoing art series, please join us next Friday (5/7) at 7:30pm for a class on silhouette portraits. All materials will be included with the cost of the class and we'll also be serving refreshments.

Here's the skinny:

WHO: Jersey City artist James French
WHAT: Silhouette Portrait Class
WHERE: Kanibal Home, 213 Montgomery Street
WHEN: Friday, 5/7, at 7:30pm
COST: $25



If you're interested in attending the class, please RSVP. There is a 10 person maximum per session. We also encourage you to bring reference materials -- in this case, if you aren't doing your own portrait, please bring a side view of another subject (pet, person or object).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses, jean leggings and new tees just landed in the shop ...



Monday, April 26, 2010

Hmm, Not My First Choice ...

Taxidermy is all the rage. Yea, yea I get it. But ... is this really necessary?

Carlee Fernandez has come out with a line of what can only be described as taxidermy suitcases and fanny packs. At the every least, it would be a great ice breaker at board meetings. At the worse, it could result in an unfortunate accident if you were backpacking through a jungle or out on a hunting retreat.

And ... I threw the image of the goat/basket in just for fun. Seriously, how scary would that be in an entry way?





Sunday, April 25, 2010

Online Shop Update

For all of you non-Jersey City residents, here's a look at some new products that have hit Kanibal Home's online shop:










Friday, April 23, 2010

Garden Design Expert: Irena Lester

Have you noticed how lovely my potted plants look outside? Believe me, that's not by my doing. I owe that beauty to Irena Lester (you may know her from Antheia Floral Design across the street). Not only does she still create fabulous floral arrangements, but she also has her own business IGLGARDEN, an urban and small space garden design company.

Cruise on by her website and have her work some magic over at your place ... summer is pretty much here, after all. It's about time you turned that plot of dirt into a true garden.




Oh Penelope



I just had to share my latest love: Pinback's Penelope. It just melts my insides. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NJ.com: So you think you can blog?

Who lets me get away with these ridiculous subject lines? Oh well, enjoy another installment from NJ.com's Business 101 blog:


So you think you can blog?

By Kristen Scalia - Kanibal Home

April 22, 2010, 4:22PM

So you know you should be blogging, but … yea. There’s bookkeeping that should be done and vendors calling and you’re still new at this social media game.

There’s enough at Kanibal Home to keep me busy, but when I get bogged down I treat my social media as just another “to do” on the list. It’s easy to put it off or brush it aside, but it’s important to keep in mind that blogging is a direct extension of the company’s business initiatives now. But that doesn’t mean it makes it any easier to sit down and write out a post.
For those times when blogging seems impossible to fit in or fathom, here’s a cheat sheet of potential topics:

wizard-of-oz.jpg
What's hiding behind there?

1. Sneak Peek. Everyone wants a look behind the curtain to see who’s running the show. I offer Kanibal Home’s sneak peeks two ways: 1) By posting images of products that will be coming out soon, but that haven’t been put out in the shop yet, and 2) By posting about something that inspires me (it could be a Tim Burton image or a music video or even another blogger’s website). Sneak peeks are beneficial because it’s something you know well and can write about quickly and it’s also an opportunity for your audience to provide feedback. For example, in the comments section they might agree or disagree with your music choice, display excitement over a product launch or ask about another related service.

2. Promotions. What better way to entice customers to keep reading then by rewarding their loyalty? If you have a brick-and-mortar location, post a promotion where customers have to say a password when checking out to receive a discount. Web based? Post a 24 hour coupon for a percentage off all sales that day or a free gift with order.

3. Vendor Highlight. Sometimes the best marketing tool is to take a step back and focus on someone else. Making a blog all about you and your business can sometimes come off as too aggressive. Switch gears and post about a new vendor or a local restaurant/bar/retail shop that you love.

4. Make yourself an expert. Maybe your job requires you to attend trade shows or industry events. Use this to your advantage and write a post about the latest show, trend or industry buzz. There’s nothing wrong with paraphrasing an existing article (as long as you link to it in your own post). Concentrate all the information into a few helpful hints and don’t be afraid to use bullets or numbered lists.

Kristen Scalia is the owner of Kanibal Home, a lifestyle store offering new and vintage home goods, apparel and gift items in Jersey City, NJ. She can be found in the social media universe over at kanibalhome.blogspot.com, twitter.com/kanibalhome and kanibalhome.com.

Photo Frenzy: Melanie McLean

Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky to have such ridiculously talented friends. And how these friends all landed in Jersey City.

If you live or hang out in Jersey City you've probably met Melanie. She's the cute chick with the camera helping out around town. You can often catch her at Made with Love or Kanibal Home hooking us small biz types up with killer photography.

Check out her website for more info and take a look below:









Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Help!

(Photo courtesy LL Bean Signature)

OK, does anyone know what kind of car this is? As you all know, I have a small vintage car obsession. Along with all my other vintage obsessions. Jersey City really isn't the best place to be a car collector, either. But just to give me something to do during down time ... I'm dying to know where I can get my hands on something like this. And if that guy comes as the hood ornament, even better.

NJ.com: Are you there Internet? It's me, Kristen.

Just another social media post to get you thinking. Make sure to leave me your comments over at NJ.com.


Are you there, Internet? It's me, Kristen.

By Kristen Scalia - Kanibal Home

April 20, 2010, 1:59PM

Never thought you’d have to refer to that business plan again, huh? Think again. Remember the section that asked you to describe your customers, the business’ look and feel and your marketing approach? Well, as you begin to look at social media as a marketing opportunity you’re going to want to keep all those key areas in mind.

In a way, your customer base dictates your business and vice versa. For example, I’m the owner of a lifestyle store in downtown Jersey City. My customers are mostly women between the ages of 20 and 40 that enjoy shopping at stores like Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and independent vintage shops. Just as I gear Kanibal Home’s products and events to target their tastes, I also need to keep in mind that same branding when utilizing social media.

But sometimes it’s a trial and error process.

One downside of social media is the ROI. In this case, it’s mostly time and energy, not dollars and cents, but to a small business owner that’s just as valuable as an actual monetary investment. Marketing and public relations initiatives run into this problem often. As a business owner, if you comment as an expert in a magazine or do an interview with a radio station to promote your business, how can you tell you’re reaching the right audience and, secondly, how can you be sure it will bring you business? The return on investment is somewhat uncertain. It’s a blind faith. The same is true with social media.

This is where the trial and error comes into play. By increasing your knowledge base and doing research you can guarantee that whatever you toss out into the blogosphere or social media universe will at least orbit around the correct audience.

Twiter_Image.jpgView full sizeTweet tweet ... A little bird said, "Get more followers"

Here’s the fun part: I’m encouraging you to be a social media voyeur. Look at what other businesses are doing and don’t be afraid to be a bit of a copy cat. Let’s say you own an independent hardware shop, then take a peak and see if Home Depot has a corporate blog, Twitter and Facebook Fan Page. Keep track of the kinds of things they’re posting, tweeting and messaging about and apply those same ideas to your business.

Twitter and Facebook make it easy to attract an audience, but blogging is a little harder. With Twitter you can “follow” other people within your same industry. Start locally by looking up the Twitter accounts of your local paper, chamber of commerce, neighboring businesses, etc. Follow their tweets and then look at who they are following. On Twitter when you follow someone you are increasing your likelihood of that person or entity following you back. It’s like a never-ending game of tag. Next reach out to national companies, brands and personalities that have a similar objective to your business. In Kanibal Home’s case, I would want to follow people involved in the fashion, home d├ęcor, vintage, jewelry and general style field. You’ll find that you can build up a following quite quickly. Keep your customer in mind, though, throughout this whole process.

With Twitter and Facebook you can see quite clearly how many followers or fans your have and who they are to an extent. With blogging, that’s not necessarily the case at all. If you have a public blog, people can choose to tune in at their leisure or they can register to follow you. So you never really have a clear sense of who is reading your posts. I’ll have customers who come into the shop regularly and tell me they saw this item or that item on my blog, but – unless they told me – I would never have known.

A lot of my blog posts for Kanibal Home deal with the shop and what new products we’ve gotten in. That’s great, because it focuses on what I’m selling, but some of the most popular blog posts have been personal entries or posts about local artists who sell their jewelry at the shop. How do I know these are popular posts? By the amount of comments readers leave. If I hadn’t branched out of my typical routine, I would have never realized that this was of interest to my audience. That said, it’s also important to make social media a two-way street. As much as you throw out, take in. Comment on other blogs, reply or re-Tweet applicable news and interact with your fans on Facebook. This will not only help you build up a following, but it will also assist you in developing a confident and consistent voice when using social media.

Kristen Scalia is the owner of Kanibal Home, a lifestyle store offering new and vintage home goods, apparel and gift items in Jersey City, NJ. She can be found in the social media universe over at kanibalhome.blogspot.com, twitter.com/kanibalhome and kanibalhome.com.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring Look Book

Hello my little chickadees (that's a new one, right?), I'm very excited to finally show you some of the lovely pics we took on our spring look book shoot. A big thanks to our Jersey City-based models, Valerie and Sara. They also happen to my very good friends ... It takes a special person to don a dress and parade around in the snow for me (yea, it was snowing when we shot this).

All the styles below will also be featured on the Jersey City Independent's website soon. So enjoy and let me know your thoughts!








P.S.: All these styles are currently available at Kanibal Home!

Friday, April 16, 2010

NJ.com: What's what in social media


Hey kids, I was out of the "office" yesterday gathering goodies, but -- due to the magic of the Internet -- another one of my posts landed over at NJ.com. Take a look and let me know your thoughts:

What's what in social media

By Kristen Scalia - Kanibal Home

April 15, 2010, 2:16PM

When approaching social media the best place to start is by establishing a website for your business. This is your home base and also the foundation that will link together all of your social media platforms.

Kanibal Splash_final.jpgView full sizeKanibal Home Splash Page

A website doesn't have to be complicated. A one or two page website can be sufficient as long as it prominently displays a logo, the business' contact information, a brief company description, the hours of operation and maybe even a photo or two. OK, now that you've established an online presence you can start venturing into social media.

But where to start? There are social media outlets available for specific industries (for example, BakeSpace for chefs, Polyvore and Stylecaster for fashion designers, etc.) and then general sites that appeal to a multitude of tastes. You can think of it as the free, public pool versus the private, lap pool. It's better to start big and then work inward toward your particular niche. And right now the best place to start is Facebook (side note: I say "right now" because the Internet is always changing and if this was just a couple years ago I might have said Myspace, but that's quickly gone out of taste and is mostly used by teens and budding musicians). The first step is to create a Facebook Fan Page (you can find instructions here) for your business and then start attracting an audience. Start with the people closest to you and work outward from there. Reach out to friends and family and urge them to send requests to their friends and family. It may take a little time, but eventually you’ll build up a sizable network.

Next, set up a Twitter account. Even if you’re uncertain about micro-blogging, it's better to reserve a name than risk losing out. Luckily there wasn't a huge demand for "Kanibal Home" and I was able to start tweeting without complication (you can follow Kanibal Home on Twitter by clicking here).

BloggerIcon.pngBlogger Homepage

And finally, I would suggest creating a blog. Wordpress and Google's Blogger both offer easy-to-use templates that make getting a blog started very simple. Even though in my past life (note: I mean former job, not anything to do with reincarnation) I was a publicist at a midtown public relations firm where I often had to run social media accounts for my clients, when it came to taking the jump for my own business I was a bit hesitant about blogging. Would anyone be reading my blog? Did I want them to read it? What would I write about? My advice: Just sit down and start crafting a post. Write about what you know best: your business. Discuss your mission, goals, upcoming events. After a little practice you'll realize that a blog is a great space to anchor all those thoughts that fly around in your head all day (I even very briefly contemplated having a weekly "Cooking with Kanibal" post to talk about my other hobby -- cooking -- but I eventually decided to put it on the back burner).

Social media is a way to create a community for your business and market your services, so keep the tone professional, but friendly. By engaging in social media you'll also be adding to the look-and-feel of your business so any residual visuals (like your Twitter background or Facebook image) should be consistent with existing marketing materials you already have in place. This will make you automatically recognizable to any existing customers and identifiable to new followers as you continue to bolster your online presence.

Once you’re settled and have a web page, blog, Facebook Fan Page and Twitter account established you might also want to think about tying everything together. Using your website as home base, embed icons and/or links to your company's social media platforms. Then link your Facebook Fan Page to your company's Twitter account. This will automatically reroute any Facebook posts to your Twitter feed -- getting the message across in two spots at once while saving you a bit of time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vintage Prints + Free = Whoa.

If you already know about this, just skip this post and shake your head sadly at my slowness. If you haven't stumbled upon the awesomeness that is Vintage Printable, then keep reading and get excited.

I'm pretty sure I've perused this site in the past, but it's a bit overwhelming so I think I just passed it by. Big mistake. It's FILLED with tons of free, printable images. The crafting possibilities are unlimited. The framing possibilities are too great for any Jersey City apartment. The opportunity to create your own textiles is enormous (hint: check out Spoonflower). Here are some of my favorites:






Now go to the website and kick yourself for ever purchasing a print in the past.

PS: This fish would look killer in my bathroom ...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NEW in the shop

Just a quick sneak peak of a jacket that landed in the shop this week. It might also be featured in a slide show in Jersey City's NEW magazine (which will be out and about town the end of this month, so make sure to grab a copy).

A big thanks to Jersey City's Sara T. for offering up her modeling skills.