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Making the First Step of Connection

This is going to be a shorter email this week because I would love for you to take a little bit of the time you usually spend reading these emails to write one of your own. 

Is there someone that you have been meaning to reach out to? An old teacher, college roommate, friend from high school, or a person from church that you wanted to connect with and haven’t yet?

I want you to take the first step of connection and send them a quick email, Facebook message, or text. 

{It would be lovely to write a snail mail letter, but I think sometimes we can get caught up in wanting things to be as perfect as possible, like writing long letters a la Jane Austen in lovely calligraphy, and that can keep us from doing what we can do in the moment, which for many of us is an email, text, or message.}

I find that these reconnecting, or initially connecting, correspondences are the most impactful if you share something in them, like what the person has meant to you and your life, how they have impacted you, or, for a new acquaintance, what has drawn you to them about their demeanor, personality, or family. It’s vulnerable to share the ways that we depend on and look up to people. It creates an environment where they are able to be vulnerable too.

And if after this month of reflection on connection you feel moved to make a greater effort to connect with people around you in a radical way, I encourage you to become a Joy Box subscriber. For those that don’t know about the Joy Box, we send you $85+ worth of Pink Salt Riot products for just $25, and the only catch is that we ask you to give away half of everything you receive in the box to foster connection as well as an abundance mentality. 

Even when you give away half you are left with almost double what you paid for – reminding you of the way God generously gives in return for our small efforts.

We have a brand new box coming out right at the beginning of March that I think you are going to love. It’s stuffed full of jewelry, cards, stickers, and art for you to keep and give to foster your own connection with God as well as your connection with other people. 

Have a question about the Joy Box? Hit reply and let me know – I’d be happy to answer it for you!

Love Boxes 2020 Launch Today!

I’m so excited to let you know that our Love Boxes launch today! They include $100-$200 worth of product for just $25 with free domestic shipping (just $12 international shipping). 

I can’t wait to see the response to them this year, especially after last year when we sold out of our 500 boxes in just 16 hours. (We were able to restock about 30 of them on February 5, and those sold out in 9 minutes!)

We’ve got a bunch of boxes ready this year, but I know the word has spread so if you want one you’re going to need to click here as quickly as possible and go through the checkout process – just having a Love Box in your cart will not hold it for you!

These Love Boxes first started out as a practical way for me to bless our customers and make some space in the studio. But as we launched them last year and launch them again today they have become about much more than that. 

We still love sending them out as a radical way for us to love on you for your incredible support all year round, but they have also become an incredible means of connection between people that we never could’ve imagined. 

Before we pack Love Boxes, we pray over them. We ask the Holy Spirit to guide our hands and get the right things to the right people. We don’t know what you need, but He does. And boy did He show up for us through the boxes last year. For an entire year we’ve been hearing stories from people who either purchased a Love Box or received gifts from it who were able to experience connection with the people around them in a beautiful way because of the physical gift that they were able to give and receive. 

Another story is of a family who had fallen on hard times, which had been particularly challenging for their teenage daughters who, like most teenagers, valued the way they present themselves and what others thought of them based on how they were dressed. There hadn’t been any new jewelry or accessories in the family for a long time because it wasn’t deemed as an essential, but a family friend bought the Love Box for them. Every one of the girls in the family had new jewelry they were proud to wear and filled them with hope. 

These are just two of the many, many stories that have been shared with us this year. And we can’t wait to see how God shows up in the stories of Love Boxes this year. 

The stories moved me so much last year that it became the launching point for our subscription box, the Joy Box, also based around creating connection through gift giving. 

Two core values of my company solidified in the days and weeks following our first Love Box launch last year – value and connection

We want to continuously provide you with excellent value so that you can both experience revival in your own life and create stronger connection with those around you, primarily through gift giving. This month, however, we are going to dive even deeper and explore other ways that we can foster connection in our families, communities, and churches in our regular Tuesday emails. 

I hope you pick up a Love Box today (before they disappear) and share it with someone you love.

Shopping with Gratitude this Holiday Season

Shopping with Gratitude this Holiday Season

If you’re the United States, there is a kind of disturbing trend at the end of November every year. We spend the fourth Thursday of the month (the end of this week) in gratitude and togetherness on our formal “Thanksgiving” holiday, and then spend the fourth Friday of the month shopping crazy sales on the retail holiday of Black Friday, which seems to shred every ounce of goodwill built-up the day before and make it as though none of it ever happened. 

And though I’m pretty sure that you’re not the person trampling another human being over discounted TVs, I think that the consumer spirit of the holidays affects all of us in one way or another. That’s why I think it’s worthwhile to talk about how we can take all these gratitude practices from the month of November with us into December, specifically, but also beyond.

The shift at the end of November is palpable. And even though the majority of the buying going on is for others there still is this kind of gross flavor of “gimme gimme” that permeates the whole thing. (Have you noticed that, or is that just me?)

Now, I’ll level with you. I own a retail shop. I, frankly, need people to buy Christmas presents from my shop so that my kids and my employees kids will not only have Christmas presents themselves but electricity and healthcare. I’m not here to tell you not to shop. 

But I think it’s worth thinking about how we shop and where we shop this holiday season (and I promise this still goes back to gratitude – stay with me.). 

First the how:

When you buy gifts for someone, what do you think about? Do you think about what they like? Who they are? What they do? What they’ve done for you? 

There can be a lot of considerations that go into selecting and purchasing a gift, but I want to suggest a unique way of buying your gifts this year. As you think about each person that you are buying a gift for, I would like you to think about, maybe even make a list of, all the reasons that you were grateful for that person this year. Think about how they enrich your life and why.  Then, select a gift for them from a place of gratitude for them as a person and not overwhelm or frustration at having to buy another gift. 

I think this practice can really revolutionize your personal experience of Christmas shopping this year, even if it doesn’t change what you actually get for people. Then, as an extension of the exercise I also think it’s great to include a personalized letter or note with each gift explainIng the things that you thought about while buying the gift for them and the reasons that you are grateful for them. Who wouldn’t want to receive that? 

 Next, the where

{Obviously, I’m not a disinterested third-party in this conversation but I think that there’s a really great case for shopping small not only during the holidays, but year-round.}

First of all, when you shop with a small operation, I can guarantee you that a real person feels a surge of gratitude at your order. Instead of  financing .0001% of a big company’s TV ad with your holiday purchase, you can literally pay someone’s grocery bill. There’s a lot of wonderful things the big companies have to offer but I think it really pays to look at what small options are available first. Not only will you nurture gratitude in another person’s life, but the gratitude that they feel for you will often filter through in the packaging, attention, and products that you receive. 

Secondly, when you shop small you are able to show your gratitude to a company that enriches your life in some way. If our content this year and even before has mattered to you, part of how we know is 1.) when you tell us and 2.) when you shop with us. Ultimately it is your shopping that keeps us making, writing, photographing, and supporting you all through the year.

 All in all, shopping small is a relationship built on gratitude.

Here at Pink Salt Riot we get orders out extremely fast and with free shipping because we know your time is valuable and, let’s be honest, I forget to do things until the last minute on the regular and I feel you

We also put 3 to 5 extra free goodies in every package and Jeni, our shipping coordinator, initials every packing slip to let you know that she put the personal touch on your package herself. 

We invest in bringing you content that really enriches your life year-round, not into big ads that will go viral or flashier things like that. We just want to invest in you and we humbly ask that you will invest in us and other small businesses this holiday season.

So to that end, here is our sales schedule for the weekend, no trampling involved, and you can shop from the cozy comfort of your bed instead of freezing outside at 3am. 

  • November 29- December 2: 
    • Buy More, Save More sale! (excludes sale items & Joy Box subscriptions)
    • 10% off orders over $20 with the code savemore20
    • 20% off orders over $50 with the code savemore50
    • 30% off orders over $100 with the code savemore100
    • 40% off orders over $150 with the code savemore150

We will also be including free gifts in every order (regardless of total) placed on Small Business Saturday, November 30!

Giving Tuesday, December 3: 20% of all orders will go toward Mary’s Meals, a charitable organization that provides food at schools throughout the poorest parts of the world. They are built on the principle that education is one of the most powerful agents of change and that disadvantaged kids will stay in school longer if they are able to receive a good meal there. They have one of the lowest overheads of any charity I am aware of and do phenomenal work. I would strongly encourage you to look into supporting them with any year end charitable donations you may be looking to make. 

Wherever you shop this holiday season, be it with us or someone else, I hope you shop with gratitude for all the people involved – the employees, the creators, the people you’re shopping for. Especially when time gets short and tensions run high, try and come back to gratitude. 

As always, I’m praying for you and your intentions this Thanksgiving.

With joy,

Jill

Introducing: Love Boxes 2019

Introducing: Love Boxes 2019

Available February 1

Be the first to find out when our Love Boxes become available!

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Walk into any Target and one thing will be clear: it’s the season of love. Ah, l’amour!

Romantic love is all well and good, but I love to use Valentine’s Day to celebrate the other loves in our lives – especially our girl friends!

We here at Pink Salt Riot kind of think of you all like our girl friends – the women who keep us running with your orders, send us precious notes of encouragement when we do our job well, and follow us across the whole wide web, cheering us on, loving on us, and keeping us able to keep serving you.

And ya’ll are good friends.

So when we started thinking about Valentine’s Day, we really wanted to love on you, big time.

And Love Boxes were born.

I have always been committed to bravery. My first startup was literally called Favoring Brave, and we are still legally Favoring Brave LLC. I realized our brand needed to pivot in the new year, and I knew that would leave us with a fair amount of inventory that no longer fit our direction, which is moving towards custom pieces and small batch goods and jewelry, designed and made from raw materials in house on our new laser.

(It’s going to be kind of awesome.)

But fear told me to hold on tight to everything and continue to sell our older things off in a small sale, sticking to what we know and coasting on that without innovation.

Courage, however, asked me to step out and make what I wish existed. Courage asked me, as it so often does, to do the harder, better thing.

Courage also asked me to give without counting the cost. When I closed Favoring Brave 2 years ago I had about 50K in inventory left. I called the newspaper and created an event on Facebook. We gave every last piece away to all the people that came. And it was one of my favorite days ever. The grace that space – that freeness from my creative past – created was the birthing ground for Pink Salt Riot and all our company is today.

Pink Salt Riot is a different animal these days however, and as much as I’d love to do a big giveaway again, the added costs of our space and personnel, as well as the cost of shipping, make it impossible to just send out free boxes to all interested parties.

So we are doing the next best thing.

For the first two weeks in February we will be shipping out Love Boxes worth $100-$200 for $25 each, shipping included. These will have a variety of products both from our online store and from our one of kind inventory typically reserved for shows.

Our shipping manager is going to pray over the orders each morning asking the Holy Spirit to get the right things to the right people.

For those of you that have seen us at conferences, these will be like our regular conference grab bags on STEROIDS. At SEEK 2019, our 250 grab bags sold out 21 hours after the doors opened, plus tons of people came back wanting more throughout the conference. We are kind of good at doing the grab bag thing, not to brag.

Want to make sure you get one? Enter your email below to get on our launch list!

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So if all this wasn’t enough, we have an added incentive for you:

ONE random box ordered on February 1 will be filled with products worth $500!

These boxes are a perfect way for people to stock up for gifts, treat themselves, or bless other people. I know someone that is planning to send boxes to several friends and relatives as an extravagant but low cost way to love on their friends. They also make great Galentine’s gifts for girlfriends near and far! (Want us to put a note in your Love Box so you can send it right to the recipient? We can do that! )

Lots of love!

Five Ways to Find Peace in the Busy Advent Season

Five Ways to Find Peace in the Busy Advent Season

As the calendar closes in on Christmas it’s easy to lose sight of the peace that is supposed to come with this season. If your Advent is headed in a less than peaceful direction, here are five strategies to get back on track.

Write it all down.

If you don’t have a family calendar the other eleven months out of the year, make one for December. Put everyone’s commitments on it, starting with the non-negotiables.

Also, make lists of everything you need to do this month, and if you aren’t a paper planner person why not print a copy of our Christmas Checklist from our freebie library this month? You can become a member for free here, or current members can log in right here (search your inbox for “Pink Salt Riot” if you can’t remember your password – we try and include it in every email!).

 

You can print as many as you need for yourself, and the rest of your family as well. If you have kids old enough to have their own holiday to dos you can also print one for each of them and guide them in writing down gifts they want to make, purchase, or wrap, and other seasonal things they need to get done.

Shop early and from as few places as possible.

Do not procrastinate on gifts that matter to you! There is nothing that steals holiday peace quite like constantly checking to see if your gifts will arrive in time. Select a few retailers that will be able to meet the majority of your gifting needs and place your orders in early December. Then you will have just a few packages to keep track of, and the bulk of your shopping will be knocked out quickly.

Here at Pink Salt Riot we like to think that we are a pretty excellent one stop shop for the girls and women on your list. With everything from stickers, tattoos, and pencils to fine customizable jewelry, you can knock out stocking stuffers, gifts for your sisters, moms, and girlfriends all in one stop. We also ship orders out within 2 business days, even in the heart of the holiday season and most of our US customers have their orders in hand in 5 business days.

Say no.

It’s easy to get buried under a pile of commitments in December. But it’s also a great opportunity to look at your priorities and be intentional about what you say yes to. When you’re filling out that family calendar from #1, why not take a moment to consider whether each activity supports your priorities and serves to prepare your family for Christmas. Not everything is optional, i know, but consider what matters most in allocating your time this season.

Make time to enjoy the season as a family.

Put some time on your calendar to do fun family activities, either with old traditions or new ones you’d like try. Some fun ideas include baking as a family, decorating cookies, caroling at a nursing home, or wrapping presents as a family for other friends and extended family members. Let the joy of the season be something you experience as a family and not just something something you rush through as individuals.

Make time to reflect on the gift of Christmas yourself.

It’s important to remember that the Advent season is meant to be a season like Lent, a time of reflection and preparation. We reflect not only on Jesus’ coming 2000 years ago, but His coming into our own hearts and lives. If we don’t take the time to reflect, we miss out on so much of the grace the season has to offer, and therefore a great source of peace, no matter how busy the season is.

There are so many great Advent reflection programs out there, but the two that I personally recommend are the Blessed Is She study, Bearing Light, and the reflection program I run each year called A Beauty Full Advent.

What do you do to keep a peaceful heart in Advent? We’d love to hear your thoughts and practices in the comments!

Why Gifts Matter

Why Gifts Matter

As we head into the holiday season I find myself full of the same kind of annual glee I feel every early November. I am an artist and someone who delights in giving meaningful gifts and this time of year I get lean in to both of those things in a wonderful way. Being a part of creating thousands of Christmas gifts every year through Pink Salt Riot is my favorite Christmas gift that others give to me. The chance to be a part of all of those acts of love is nothing short of astonishing and carries me through the loneliest times of working motherhood.

But in reflecting on gift giving lately I have realized that not only Christmas, but gift giving itself has gotten tied up in secular commercialism in a way that is definitely doesn’t have to be. Gift giving in and of itself does not detract from Christmas, or even the celebration of Christ at Christmas, as I heard one women remark. She was very proud of the fact that no one in her family gave or received Christmas gifts because they wanted to “only focus on Christ.”

I don’t disagree with the sentiment. I also want Christmas to be solely about Christ. But I think that’s where the gifts come in, not where they need to exit.

Christ himself is a gift on Christmas – a gift to each of us and to everyone that has ever lived. He is the perfect gift from God – a Redeemer who saves us from ourselves, our deep ties to sin, and even death itself. Christmas is about giving, the gift God gave and still gives, and then also our own attempts to mimic that. And of course we are not under any delusions that our small and simple gifts will bring salvation of any kind, but we are still called to give like God – in a way that signifies our deep knowing and love of the people we give to.

Gifts are a chance to let people know that they are seen. And in our noisy, crowded, lonely world, being seen is deeply meaningful. It is the desire to be seen that has created so much of the chaos in our world – people feeling the need to scream and shout and shoot guns to remind everyone else that they exist, that they hurt, and that they want to matter. There is a reason gift giving is a love language – the thought and effort put into a gift reflects the thought and effort we put into the person through the gift.

This isn’t a post to try and guilt you into spending a lot of money on Christmas gifts or even to try and get you to shop with us here at PSR this holiday season, even though we do really love to help you create the perfect giftsThis is a post to remind you why we all started giving gifts in the first place, and to let you know that we are going to support you in your gift giving this year if you have $100 to spend or nothing to spend.

Everyone deserves a Christmas present created just for them, and I also think that everyone deserves the opportunity to give amazing gifts even if they have very little, or even no, money to spend.

That’s why this month and next we are going to be bringing you videos, freebies, and wrapping papers to help you love others through your gift giving. I will be sharing easy ways to create meaningful gifts through special wrapping techniques, easy gifts to make and give using our freebie library, as well as specials and coupon codes to get the most bang for your buck if you choose to shop with us this holiday season.

{Tiny fraction of the free printable wrapping paper we have in our library ^}

I have put together a HUGE library of free printable cards and wrapping paper that you can access completely free by signing up for our future gift giving updates right here:

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    It is up to us to give in a way that points back to God this Christmas. And that God is not stingy, tired, or adverse to beautiful things. He is generous, overflowing, abundant, and delighted by the work of His hands.

    How can you give like God this Christmas?