A Secret to Success: Eating the Right Breakfast!

Our first Christmas season owning Aha Crafted has been non stop. Online orders, trunk shows, preparing for craft shows....we've been literally working from morning to night.  I've been doing everything I can to stay healthy and energized and I'm the type that believes diet is 95% of the battle. Lately Ive been adding a ton of fermented foods to my diet and its been nothing short of life changing! My new breakfast of Champion's is this Keifer energy bowl. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In this case "they" don't lie so might as well do it right. This is the breakfast that has been keeping me fueled for the last month. Its amazingly delicious, organic, gluten free, fermented and free of sugar. It keeps me full for hours and gives me more energy than I knew I had!

I've come up with the perfect mix of ingredients that incorporates a range of nutrients (all organic of course). I use goat milk keifer as the base (but coconut keifer is also very good). Pour about 3/4 of a cup in a bowl. Next, sprinkle cacao powder, a handful of raisins, handful of flax seeds and a handful of unsweetened coconut flakes. Last but not least drizzle with honey. I'm lucky enough to be able to buy local organic honey from a woman who has hives on her property a mile from me! Tip: If you purchase the coconut flakes, flax seeds and raisins from the bulk section they are about 1/3 of the price! Stir together, and enjoy!

A Night of Leather and Lace...Aha Crafted's first night out.

Our first night out as Aha Crafted was a fun and sexy night where leather earrings met lingerie. Read on, and I will explain. :)

A few weeks after we launched our business we were asked to collaborate for Sweetest Sin's 6th Anniversary After Party. I've been shopping at Sweetest Sin for all my lingerie "needs" for years, so I was thrilled! Angela Courtney, the owner, truly has the best taste in lingerie and everything in her boutique is breathtakingly beautiful!

The event was held at Gotham Bar & Lounge and was put on by Sweetest Sin Boutique, Pure Barre- Red Bank and the Go Naked & Check Yourself foundation (which raises awareness & money for detectable cancers). Models from Pure Barre and Sweetest Sin were to grace a runway during the cocktail party in some of Angie's finest items from her boutique.

A week before the event we went to the boutique to to meet with Angie, the owners of Pure Barre, Melanie Coleman and Molly D'Alessio, as well as the models to get a feel for the outfits the girls would be wearing. (Meanwhile, I had to hold myself back from buying everything in the store while I was there.) 

Side Note: I absolutely love outfitting women in our earrings. I love choosing the perfect earring to fit a person's style, hair color, eye color, skin type and outfit. One of my favorite parts so far about owning Aha Crafted is hearing the reactions of the women who put our earinngs on for the first time. People usually burst out with comments like "Oh my gosh! They are so light weight!" or "These are amazing, it doesn't even feel like I am wearing earrings!". ("Perfect" I always think, because that was exactly our intention while designing them.)

The evening was a huge success! There was a great crowd, the models all looked stunning, we made a ton of new connections and friends. It was so great to work with such an awesome group of women. I dragged Jamie Dandrea (my partner and photographer) to take pictures of the event. I say dragged, because as one might imagine he was terribly upset at the idea of taking photographs of beautiful models in lingerie all evening. HA!

In any case, we got some great behind the scenes pictures. A bunch you will be up on the website; as well as our Instagram and Facebook pages shortly.  Here's some of the captures from the eve!

Live Light, Be Light,

-Heidi XO

   The gorgeous Chelsea wearing Aha Crafted "Midnight Silver Linked" leather earrings.   

 

The gorgeous Chelsea wearing Aha Crafted "Midnight Silver Linked" leather earrings.

 

   Angie, owner of Sweetest Sin Boutique directing the models before the show.   

 

Angie, owner of Sweetest Sin Boutique directing the models before the show.

 

   Quick pose before go time, and hair adjustments.   

 

Quick pose before go time, and hair adjustments.

 

   Angela Courtney owner of Sweetest Sin and I. I'm wearing the "Fire Spirit Linked" leather earrings in my favorite size: "Thin". (I intentionally matched my nails to my earrings...but the wine...that was a coincidence) :)   

 

Angela Courtney owner of Sweetest Sin and I. I'm wearing the "Fire Spirit Linked" leather earrings in my favorite size: "Thin". (I intentionally matched my nails to my earrings...but the wine...that was a coincidence) :)

 

   With Melanie Colman, co-owner of Pure Barre Red Bank and Short Hills. Melanie's wearing our "Linked Golden Goddess" leather earrings in size: Long. Melanie was one of our first customers, and she's one of our best supporter's. She introduced me to Angie and suggested we outfit the models in Aha earrings for the show.   

 

With Melanie Colman, co-owner of Pure Barre Red Bank and Short Hills. Melanie's wearing our "Linked Golden Goddess" leather earrings in size: Long. Melanie was one of our first customers, and she's one of our best supporter's. She introduced me to Angie and suggested we outfit the models in Aha earrings for the show.

 

   Erin, model and instructor at Pure Barre Red Bank wearing Aha "Golden Goddess Linked" leather earrings in size: Medium.   

 

Erin, model and instructor at Pure Barre Red Bank wearing Aha "Golden Goddess Linked" leather earrings in size: Medium.

 

   One of our favorite captures of the evening. Beautiful sisters! This evening was the first time we saw our earrings paired with lingerie and we absolutely love the look! ("Linked Dunes" leather earrings is size: Thin on the left, and our "Vegan Moon Beam Linked" leather earrings in size: Medium on the right.   

 

One of our favorite captures of the evening. Beautiful sisters! This evening was the first time we saw our earrings paired with lingerie and we absolutely love the look! ("Linked Dunes" leather earrings is size: Thin on the left, and our "Vegan Moon Beam Linked" leather earrings in size: Medium on the right.

 

The Birth of Aha!

Starting a business with your partner

A few months before I turned 40 I met Jamie, and my whole world changed. Id never been in a relationship before with someone I was so compatible with. We wanted all the same things and had unimaginable amount of fun together. Also, I had never dated an artist before. It was exhilarating and I was quite literally in awe of him and his talents. As a freelance designer I observed him take on many different roles in his company Jamie Alan Design. His work in every way was impressive, flawless, and like nothing Id ever seen before (but of course, he was a Parson's grad)!

It was always a dream of mine to start my own business. I dabbled in a few projects that never took off,  and wasn't ready to give up. I spent the majority of my career in sales and business development in the corporate world and desperately wanted to break out into something creative. But how and with what?

And so it was pretty early on in our relationship we realized that by combining forces he and I would have everything it would take to create a successful business together. It was just a matter of coming up with a great product. I'd always had a love for fashion and designing handcrafted jewelry. My sister had recently started handcrafting leather clutches, which was the beginning of our inspiration. One day it came to us during an "aha" moment: Leather earrings....why not craft leather earrings?! It was a fresh idea and one that we could both sink our teeth into.

And so we began building the Aha Crafted brand, like creative warriors....on a mission. We made a commitment to give this our all, and went ahead full speed. We found ourselves brainstorming over drinks, during Sunday brunches and every where in between. Its been a whirlwind of many things and a learning experience in more ways than I could have imagined.

I'll use this space, "The Aha Blog" to share our journey of owning and launching a startup business. I'll throw in some fashion, some travel, maybe some food and overall stuff that will make you think... "Aha"! Looking forward to sharing this journey with you, thanks for following along. XO

-Heidi