A WordPress Theme for Creative Professionals

We talk to creative professionals every day who want a website that reflects their creativity and style. If a completely custom design isn't in your budget, why not start with a pre-made template? We're not gonna lie -- there are some pretty ugly ones out there (apparently we're not ones to mince words!), but BluChic is not contributing to that list.

They offer dozens of feminine WordPress themes that might be the answer to your website issues. But don't blame us when you buy more than one 😉

If you're an event planner, wedding professional, or another type of creative professional in search of a fitting WordPress theme, BluChic's Geraldine theme might be for you.
wordpress theme for creative professionals

Some of our favorite features:
    • A large featured slider area 
    • Three colorful featured boxes to highlight your offerings, freebies, or testimonials
    • A sleek navigation menu
    • The mint and peach color scheme (which, of course, we're partial to, since we use it too! This can be changed if you're not feeling it)
    • A simple footer where you can collect email addresses and link to your social media profiles

wordpress theme for event planners and wedding professionals (+ other women-owned businesses)

Disclosure: We are part of BluChic’s affiliate program and will receive a commission on sales bought through the links above. However, we are huge fans of BluChic and use their products all the time (including on this site), so all opinions are our own!

Here’s to You

A message from One Woman Shop founder Cristina Roman:

When the idea for One Woman Shop came about on July 15, I had a feeling that other female solo business owners would relate to the struggles I felt- namely, overwhelm and isolation. I also knew at least a few people would be able to relate to the upside of solopreneurship: the thrill, the empowerment, and the ability to choose your own way in your career- and life.

I had high hopes that One Woman Shop would turn into a thriving hub of community and resource-sharing. And it has. I'm so grateful for that.

Though we have just barely begun to reach all of the female solo business owners out there, we've built a nice little spot here on the internet- one that I hope inspires you, motivates you, teaches you, and reassures you that you're not alone on this crazy ride.

I wanted to take a few minutes to say thanks to everyone who has contributed to the ever-growing success of One Woman Shop:

Thanks to those who immediately told me they were on board as contributors and ambassadors from the get go.

Thanks to those who have written articulate, creative pieces for the site- your willingness to share your wisdom on this site, instead of on your own site or somewhere else, is so appreciated!

Thanks to those who have willingly shared their stories in order to inspire others. Your candidness means so much to me and those in the community!

Thanks to those who RT our tweets, share our Facebook posts, include us in your link roundups, display our badge, and tell your virtual and real-life friends about the site.

Thanks to those who participated in the Pay What It's Worth sale to send me down to Honduras to build homes with members of the local community (by the way, you can still make a donation! If you do it today, you'll get a tax deduction for this year + fun perks from One Woman Shop!).

Thanks to those who have invested money by becoming a sponsor or purchasing one of our services- you're helping grow One Woman Shop into something bigger and better.

Thanks to the awesome team who helped make the physical site a success, especially Christie and Josh!

Thanks to the awesome women who have joined me for the soon-to-launch One Woman Shop Podcast- our conversations have been enlightening, fun, and inspiring!

And thank you to YOU! Whether you're a long-time lurker, a passerby, or an active member, thanks for spending time here. If you haven't introduced yourself or gotten involved, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Here's to you and Happy New Year!

A Feminine Magazine-Style WordPress Theme

Creating a magazine-style editorial website with plenty of content and vivid photos? BluChic's Beverly theme might be right if you're looking for something feminine but still professional and modern.

A Feminine Magazine-Style WordPress ThemeSome of our favorite features:
    • The vibrant pink, black, and white color scheme (which can be changed if you like)
    • The sleek, minimalist layout
    • The option to enable a featured slider to highlight your latest posts
    • A prominent footer with four areas
    • Two navigation menus (one for admin- like your About and Contact pages- and one for post categories)
    • The option to buy an all-in-one bundle, complete with WordPress theme, social media design, newsletter design, and business card design, for $109

creative wordpress theme for editorial website

P.S. Planning to buy a WordPress theme from BluChic but need some help customizing it? Email CMR Strategies!

Disclosure: We are part of BluChic’s affiliate program and will receive a commission on sales bought through the links above. However, we are huge fans of BluChic and use their products all the time (including on this site and on CMR Strategies), so all opinions are our own!

A WordPress Theme for Fashion, Design, & Lifestyle Bloggers

If you're a one woman shop whose livelihood is partially or fully dependent on blogging, take note of BluChic's Isabelle theme, which is perfect for fashion, hobby, design, and lifestyle bloggers.

We'll dive into our favorite features below, but if you're selling anything online, we thought you'd like to know that you can use the WooCommerce WordPress plugin with BluChic themes to create a stylish storefront. Ready, set, sell!

wordpress theme for design + fashion bloggers
Some of our favorite features:
    • The ability to choose between a standard blog look with full posts on the homepage or a more editorial magazine layout with thumbnails and post excerpts instead
    • The muted and feminine pinks and grays throughout the site (which can be changed if "soft" isn't your speed!)
    • The ability to enable a featured slider to showcase your latest or most popular post
    • The option to buy an all-in-one bundle, complete with WordPress theme, social media design, newsletter design, and business card design, for $109
isabelle theme for creative lifestyle bloggers

Quick tip: not ready to launch quite yet? Use the full-width option (no sidebar) and the MailChimp WordPress plugin to set up a static landing page where you can collect email addresses pre-launch.

Disclosure: We are part of BluChic’s affiliate program and may receive a commission on sales bought through the links above. However, we are huge fans of BluChic and use their products all the time (including on this site), so all opinions are our own!

One Woman Experiments: Pay What It’s Worth Pricing

Welcome to One Woman Experiments, where daring business women experiment with different parts of their business in order to find best practices. We hope these mini-experiments help improve your business and inspire you to test-drive new strategies. Have an experiment you want to test out and document? Check out our ideas and guidelines!

We asked the question, "What would happen if you experimented with a Pay What It's Worth (PWIW) model in your business?" That's right- no set prices for your clients or customers, only allowing them to put a price tag on the value of your work.

Tara Joyce of Elastic Mind stepped up to share the lessons she's learned through incorporating PWIW pricing into her business. Be sure to check out her checklist "Is Pay What It's Worth right for me?" In true meta fashion, you get to set the price!

Tara, what is your experiment and why?

I am experimenting with allowing my customers to decide how they value and what they pay for the service I provide to them. I call this method Pay What It’s Worth (PWIW) pricing.

I started my experiment with PWIW around 5+ years ago, when I decided to become self-employed and start my own business. I believe I had one client that I used "traditional" pricing methods with before I began to explore the concept of not needing to set prices, and instead allowing my customers to determine the value they were receiving from my work.

This exploration began because the various pricing methods I was already exploring didn’t feel quite "right." I was interested in the question: Can I create a more value-focused way of exchanging with others?

Also, when I thought about the concept of a business NOT setting their prices, and instead allowing a customer to determine the value of what they receive, it totally blew my mind in a terrifyingly exciting way. And so I knew I needed to explore it more.

Without sounding too much like middle school science class, tell us about your methodology.

Initially, when I began my Pay What It’s Worth experiment 5+ years ago, I entered with very little structure. My business was brand new and my pricing system was one of many systems I was building at that point. At the time I figured that a great metric would be whether I had any business at all, that the revenue from it was sustaining my needs, and that my client’s feedback and experience was positive.

As I’ve grown into the pricing method (and in my self-worth), I have gradually adjusted my methods, and what I am measuring. Mainly these adjustments- in the areas of my communication, my information, my boundaries and openess, and my billing and payment systems- are made based upon the feedback I receive from my customers, my own levels of satisfaction, and the things I learn as I grow in my business and life (with a strong focus on my self-worth and values).

During the years that I have been experimenting with Pay What It’s Worth pricing, I have documented and experimented with various techniques and strategies for creating a strong system where my customers are able to fairly and freely value what they receive from my service (and products). And that I, in turn, feel fairly valued in the exchange too.

How did you feel when you adopted the new practice?

At first, and perhaps for the first year, or two (or three!), I was terrified, and electrified by what I was practicing. There were so many unknowns, and while I believed whole-heartedly in what I was practicing, I still had my moments of wild anxiety where I wondered what the hell I was doing, and if I was just making my life harder. But as I continued to practice my new pricing method and got more comfortable with what I was exploring, I quickly noticed how great it felt to practice, and how strong the relationships of exchange I was building were. What was (and is) fantastic about Pay What It’s Worth pricing is that when it wasn’t working for me, it was easy to note, and adjust, because I was already so connected to what a fair exchange with someone felt like for me.

The most powerful aspect of using Pay What It’s Worth pricing for me has been how it has supported me in exploring my money stuff. As my awareness of my own value (and, in turn, your value) grew, so did the value of my service.

Any revolutionary or surprising insights?

Oh boy, I’d say so! Probably the most (r)evolutionary insight I’ve uncovered is how much my intentions, communication and connection with my customers affected my results/findings.

It has been intriguing to note how my own perspective (what my intention was and how I communicated it) shifted the monetary and experience-based return I received. That, for me, has been the biggest question and area of exploration — how can I continue to get better at connecting with and communicating about money, value, and fair exchanges?

It’s also been cool to learn that a person’s ability to pay (i.e., what they feel they can afford) is only one of four factors that affect their actions with money, and what they pay. The others are their levels of satisfaction, integrity, and market awareness. And these levels shift and, in a mutually growth-oriented relationship, grow over time.

On average, do people generally pay less than or more than you anticipate?

Generally, I don’t anticipate what people will value a product or service at, as I haven’t found it helpful, but I have found that I feel very valued by the people who buy my products and services.

What is the highest and lowest people have paid you for the same product or service?

For a product example, I have been received at the lowest $0.07 and at the highest $40.00 for the same ebook, with most payments being somewhere in the middle of this large scale.

For a service example, I have probably received at the lowest $25.00 and at the highest $100.00 for the same service, with most payments being somewhere in the high end of this scale.

What’s interesting is in my experimenting I’ve noticed I can identify why there is such a large discrepancy in payment amounts, how I can adjust it, and how it relates to my communication and connection techniques with the buyer. It’s also interesting to note the lower payments only occurred when I first started selling the product/or service.

What are the toughest and best parts of your experiment?

Perhaps the toughest and best part of my experiment is when I question myself about why I am doing an experiment with money at all. I question if I could be monetarily more rich if I had set prices, and stopped exploring money and value in the way I am. These moments are cool for me though because I get to check in with myself about how wealthy I truly feel, and what my actual goals with my work and life are. My moments of fear remind me that while making a profit is important and critical, it is only one of my motivators that I need to take into account.

Any advice for people doing this kind of experiment?

I’ve found your intentions will determine the level of happiness and wealth you create from using this pricing method.

If you are focused on quality and value, connection and communication, and working on your own feelings of self-worth, this experiment can be a real heart-opening and wealth-opening one.

Do you think you'll stick with PWIW pricing?

In the end, I want to leave myself open to receive my true value and I’ve found that by employing Pay What It’s Worth pricing, I’m not setting restrictions on what I can receive. For that reason, I know I’ll stick with it. For it allows me to explore if the sky’s truly the limit for me, or if I really can reach further.

 Questions for Tara? Ask them in the comments!

7 Tips for Creating an Awesome Accountability System with Your Buddy

It’s Accountability Week here at One Woman Shop. Follow along with all of our posts about accountabilityemail us your questions and tips, and give #AccountabilityWeek some Twitter love!

You know how to choose a great accountability partner- but what about how to set up a great fail-proof system with your new accountability pal? Here are 7 ways to create an awesome accountability system:

Keep It Simple

As business owners we are faced with thousands of decisions everyday. When we have to think too much about something we often end up doing nothing at all. So, when it comes to these meetings, keep it simple! Pick a time, a place, and a frequency for your meetings and make it a standing meeting. "10 AM, at the Main Street Cafe, every other Tuesday" works so much better than a weekly chain of indecisive emails trying to narrow down a time and place that works for both parties. If something unavoidable comes up and the meeting has to be rescheduled that's fine, but try not to make a habit of rescheduling. Put it on the calendar and make it one less thing to think about.

Use a Buddy System Notebook

How many of us have a zillion lists, post-its, notebooks, and planners in use all at once at any given time? Assign one specific notebook or binder as your "Buddy System Binder" only. If you prefer to be all digital, make a notebook on Evernote titled "Buddy System" and use it every time. Keep notes from your meetings in here along with lists, goals, and topics you want to discuss. Having a special place for meeting-specific items makes it easier to find what you need when it's time to get down to business.

Plan Ahead

Use your Buddy System Notebook to make a list ahead of time of topics you'd like to cover at the next meeting. Add to your topics list in your notebook as ideas arise between meetings. This gives the meeting some structure and ensures that the meeting is productive. Without a list of topics, it is easy to get off-track, forget what you wanted to discuss, and then leave feeling even more lost than you began.

Set and Share Goals

This is the heart and soul of accountability meetings! At the end of each meeting list 3-5 goals in your notebook that you want to accomplish by the next time you meet. Make them specific ("I will write 3 new blog posts", as opposed to simply, "blog more") as well as attainable. Share them with one another and write the other person's goals in your notebook as well so that you can hold them accountable (it's a two-way street!).

Check In and Motivate

Make it a point to check-in with one another between meetings to remind each other to keep moving forward. This doesn't have to be formal or labor-intensive. It also doesn't have to be aggressive and is not intended to make the other person feel guilty. Just send a quick text saying, "How's that blog post coming?", or email each other as you check things off your list. Our competitive nature kicks in when we hear our partner say, "Three goals down, one to go!" and motivates us to follow suit.

Establish Rewards and Consequences

My buddy and I have a standing deal with regard to our goals: Whoever doesn't complete the goals on their to-do list is in charge of paying for coffee at our next meeting. If we both accomplish everything on our list, then we pay for ourselves. You can also try this clever trick of donating to an organization that you hate if you don't reach your goal.

You might also want to add a reward to the mix. For example, every week that you accomplish everything on your to-do list you add $5 to a jar to save up for a massage or treat yourself to a fancy new office product. Risks and rewards keep things interesting!

Find What Works

There is no set meeting structure that works for everyone. While my buddy and I meet at the same time and place every other week, perhaps that set-up wouldn't work for you. Maybe coffee shops aren't your style and you'd prefer to alternate meeting at each other's houses and trade off cooking dinner for the two of you. Perhaps your buddy is long-distance and you like to meet on Skype. Or, maybe you've found that meeting in a small group of five is more enjoyable than one-on-one.

You may start off meeting every week and then find that you are just too busy to fit it all in. In that case, you may want to taper off to biweekly or monthly meetings. Or, maybe over time you find that your personalities just aren't meshing anymore and you dread the meetings more than you look forward to them and decide to call it quits. All of these things are okay!

Accountability meetings can be extremely beneficial for your business and morale as long as you continue to be productive and enjoy them. As soon as they become a burden or are hindering more than helping your business, it's time to change things up or move on. Finding what works for you can take time, but once you find the right system, it's amazing how far a little teamwork can take you.

Why You Need an Accountability Buddy- And How to Find the Right Fit

It’s Accountability Week here at One Woman Shop. Follow along with all of our posts about accountabilityemail us your questions and tips, and give #AccountabilityWeek some Twitter love!

We've all been there. Armed with a to-do list a mile long and a pocket full of good intentions, you are determined to get it all done this week. You promise yourself that your project will be completed by Tuesday… Wednesday…or the weekend. Yet, as Sunday comes to a close and your project is no closer to being finished, you chalk it up to a loss and add it to next week's list. Lather, rinse, repeat.

You've tried bribing yourself with rewards: "As soon as I get this done, I'll take a break and grab a latte."

You've tried restrictions: "Okay, absolutely NO Facebook until this is complete!"

You've even tried the overzealous buckle-down method: "Tomorrow I'm going to be super productive and check all 20 things off my list!" Still no real progress.

The problem with this sort of system is that you are only accountable to yourself. In a traditional workplace there are supervisors, bosses, and co-workers to answer to. If you drop the ball, others are affected. As a one-woman shop owner, however, the responsibility falls solely on you and the consequences are usually yours alone to deal with.

In addition, not only are you missing the direction and ultimatums that come with having a boss, but you are also lacking the encouragement and support from colleagues that can be found in a traditional workplace.

What you need is a buddy! Setting up your own Buddy System doesn't have to be intimidating or tricky.

This sounds obvious, but finding someone you actually like and want to meet up with is essential. Remember: it doesn't have to be strictly business. While the cornerstone of the accountability meeting is goal-setting and business talk, it is important to allow yourself to get off-topic sometimes and chat about life, catch up on gossip, or just be silly with each other.

Of course we love working for ourselves, but at times it can be lonely. Part of the advantage of having a buddy is to simply get out of the house, enjoy the company of someone other than your cat, and decompress. As long as the majority of your meeting time is focused and structured, it's totally fine to relax and vent about other things.

The key to a great partnership is finding someone whose business has enough in common with yours to offer value without being so alike that it becomes competitive. For example, my buddy and I are both creative businesses owners. I am an illustrator and she is a photographer. We relate to each other well in that regard and we're able to share things that would be valuable to both of us like marketing opportunities, informative blog posts, and upcoming creative events. If we were both wedding photographers, however, we may find ourselves holding back information out of fear that the other person would out-do us or steal away potential clients. The point of this type of relationship is to share and support one another, not steal trade secrets and compete.

Other considerations from One Woman Shop:

    • Does this person thrive in areas where you don't and vice versa?
    • Does this person utilize and like the same forms of communication as you? For example, some people prefer email over the phone or the phone over Skype.
    • Along the same lines, is this person responsive? There's nothing worse than an accountability buddy who drops off the face of the planet!
    • Can this person be honest and straightforward without being overly harsh? On the flip side, can they accept feedback without getting defensive?

Stay tuned this week for more wisdom from Megan on setting up a great accountability system and advice on how to actually go about finding a buddy!

A WordPress Theme for Coaches, Entrepreneurs, and Consultants

It's no secret that we love every single WordPress theme that BluChic puts out. We think they're a great stepping stone if you're not ready to invest in a custom design and they're perfect themes if you want just a few customizations.

So naturally, we were so excited to see the newest theme, Jacqueline, which is specifically designed with entrepreneurs, consultants, and coaches in mind. Why? A WordPress theme for coaches and consultants needs to help you grow your email list and showcase yourself as an expert in your field, but also -- in our humble opinion -- show off some personality so that your clients know what they're getting.

bluchic wordpress theme for coaches and consultants

A few of our favorite features:

    • A prominent email opt-in box (since we all know how important having an email list is!). 
    • The very visible social media button bar
    • The black, white, and pink color scheme (which can be easily edited in CSS)
    • The option to buy an all-in-one bundle, complete with WordPress theme, social media design, newsletter design, and business card design, for $109

Disclosure: We are part of BluChic’s affiliate program and will receive a commission on sales bought through the links above. However, we are huge fans of BluChic and use their products all the time, so all opinions are our own!

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4 Ways to Stay Accountable to Yourself

It's Accountability Week here at One Woman Shop. Follow along with all of our posts about accountabilityemail us your questions and tips, and give #AccountabilityWeek some Twitter love!

Get honest: All of the tips, tricks, and strategies in the world won't motivate you to stay on track with your business if you're aiming for the wrong (for you) thing, chasing every shiny object, or not following your gut. So first, get honest about your business goals and the steps you need to take to get there. For example, if your goal is to build your audience, then social media might be a very real part of that- but mindlessly skimming your Twitter homefeed is probably not. Likewise, doing unimportant things well doesn't make them important.

Do a daily business check-in: This can be as informal as a question that you ask yourself at the end of each work day or as formal as a written daily business check-in worksheet (like ours!). Ask yourself questions like: "Did I generate income today?" "Did I put myself in front of new clients or customers?" "Did I drop the ball on anything?" "Any big wins?" If you do a written check-in, you can review your answers every week or month to see what's working and what's not (a good bonus!).

Set up a system of rewards and punishments: One punishment we think is genius is forcing yourself to donate to an organization you despise if you don't reach your goals (tweet this idea). It provides a lot more incentive than the possibility of donating to a charity you support, right? Whatever you decide, be honest with yourself- maybe a walk outside doesn't actually incentivize you to work hard, but a walk to Starbucks does (of course, we're always motivated by the smell of coffee- so Pavlovian).

Revamp: If you've fallen short, ask yourself why. Were your goals, rewards, or punishments out of whack? Sometimes we procrastinate on things that we know deep down that we shouldn't be doing- could that be why you didn't reach your goal? If things are chugging along fine but could be better, don't hesitate to adjust, tweak, and revamp your system of accountability over time. Remember when we said we were fans of adapting our practices to make them better? This is a perfect place to do just that. Your rewards might lose their novelty, your punishments may not seem so bad (especially if it means you get to waste away your day on the couch!), and your goals might change, so adjust accordingly (tweet this idea).

Another huge step toward accountability? Finding someone who will help hold you accountable- stay tuned for more on that!

How do you hold yourself accountable?

My Favorite Feedback

If you're anything like us, one negative piece of feedback can erase a hundred great compliments- we hate that it's true! But, instead of focusing on the negative, we encouraged members of our community to focus on the awesomely meaningful things that their clients, customers, or readers say to them on a regular basis- those one or two sentences that makes them jump for joy and makes the insanity of the One Woman Shop lifestyle all seem worth it.

We asked "What is the best thing that you routinely hear from clients, customers, or readers?" and members of our community responded. Here's what they said (be sure to jump over to their sites to read the rest of their responses):

"My favorite thing about being a life coach is hearing feedback from my clients and knowing that our work has changed their lives. The best moments are when we even have real, visible results to show for the work we’ve done together."

-Ashley Wilhite of Your Super Awesome Life

As a photographer, I get a lot of feedback. But my favorite thing I hear from clients is…You totally captured us."

-Shelby Clarke of Clarke Studio

The answer to this question is simple- the greatest thing to hear from clients is 'I LOVE it!' But not just any old, 'I love it.' It’s when you can really hear how excited they are."

-Emma Bauso of The Little Print Shop

Here is a response that I received that meant a lot to me: “So sorry to hear we are going to lose you. Honestly, you are right at the top of writers we have had over 24 years, so if ever I can help on references, please know it will be a really good one. Not only has your work been very good, but your work ethic has matched in terms of following direction, being very organized and always on time. I have appreciated all of this so very, very much.”

-Jennifer of Live Simply, Live Thrifty, Live Savvy

There are a few things that I absolutely love hearing from clients, audience members, productivity seminar participants, readers, and coaching clients: “You are glamorous and tremendous,” “I couldn’t live without you,” and “Are you an angel? ‘Cause I’m in heaven.”

Okay, joking aside, there really is one thing that I LOVE hearing: “Wow, I never thought about it like that” or (same sentiment): “I never would have thought of that.” Those words light me up! Nothing feels better than knowing you’re part of an epiphany for a client.

-Cristina of CMR Strategies (& One Woman Shop!)

Over the past 12 years of online business ownership, I’ve been the proud recipient of lots and lots of happy feedback emails. I save and cherish each and every grateful note, testimonial and piece of feedback that I get. Just the other day I was blessed with a most wonderful testament from a client I had just finished working with. Her note and sentiment is forever a reminder of why it’s so important to do your best work always: "No words can express my gratitude for all you’ve done in making this a success for me. I tell every business owner who’s trying to get their web business going, to contact you. I am indebted to you."

-Melissa Bolton of The Mogul Mom

So we all love good client feedback. “Oh this is exactly what I wanted!” “You hit the nail right on the mark with this. Great job!” “I’m excited to begin, thanks so much for helping me out.” Et cetera…et cetera. I do love it when clients of mine are genuinely satisfied with the outcome they receive whether it be through a website, photography, graphic design, or consulting session. BUT the trick about client feedback is to appreciate the negative feedback. This allows you as a freelancer to keep your competitive edge and stay motivated to learn more!

-Melissa Alam of Ring the Alam

Did these stories brighten your day? Share them on Twitter! Did they inspire you to keep track of the positive feedback you get from clients or customers? Email us your best stories and we may share them on the site!