Stealing Ideas

A long time ago I worked for a retail company with lots of stores. I subbed at another store and saw how they organized and displayed their back room inventory, making it easy to find any item when restocking shelves or when you needed to run back during a busy period and find something for a waiting customer super fast. Their signage that labeled unused merchandise on rows and rows of shelves was composed of old signs from old promotions. I thought it was pretty smart. They didn’t waste and their shelves were labeled in large, easy to read and inviting type. Not the scribbles that my co-workers taped to little scraps of paper at our store.  I went back to my own store and mentioned it to my manager. And he told me something I have never forgotten to this day. He said that what I’d done is one of the most important things you can do in retail, in management, and in life. You steal good ideas. You see something you like and you make it work for you.

And so I’d like to share some good ideas that I think are worth stealing. Social networking is just an amazing tool and most of us really aren’t using it to it’s full advantage. I know I’m not, at least. Here are some smart people using the web with creativity.

1.My friend Danja is a teacher who blogs and recently came upon another teacher who wants to help send someone (a teacher) to an amazing educational  conference. The project is called Send a Newbie to NECC.

Maybe you want to pay it forward to someone or need to raise a relatively small amount of money. Web fund-raising is on the rise. I’ve even heard of people who are doing it to send their kids to college.

2. My friend Justine had a friend who just got laid off. Jamie posted a link to her resume  on FB. Justine reposted  it and asked for reposts. I saw it and reposted and now I’m telling you. Jamie is overwhelmed by the support and suggestions and actual leads she’s gotten. Check out Jamie Martin. You may have a connection for her, you may have a lead for her or she may give you ideas for your own job search.

3. Justine is a talented career woman who is breaking out her creative side at She regularly uses Twitter and Facebook to promote her jewelry design business on Etsy. Check out Queen Bodacious’ House of Sass.

Crafting is on the rise and Etsy is growing every day.  Crafting is one thing that seems to be faring well during the recession. This is a great time to get some creative relief, de-stress (which we all need these days) and maybe make a little extra moola.

4. Vikki has run across the most wonderful time suck in the world. Make your own animated short. This is a hoot and while it’s time consuming, it’s a lot of fun. I’m not sure what you would use it for other than to spice up your blog or entertain your kids, but it’s super cool. I suppose you could make your own fun commercial for your web site, depending on what your site is all about. If you run a law firm you should probably skip it.

5. And just because it’s a hoot, head  over to Up Popped A Fox , where Vikki is hosting Peep week. It’s a video every day and don’t miss the Peep gallery. It’s inspired out family to create a Peep sculpture/centerpiece for Easter. Maybe it will inspire yours too. Oh and if you go to What’s Hot and What’s Hot 2 you can see original animated shorts.

So if you’ve been thinking that I’m just trying to blog for the sake of blogging today you were right. I didn’t have any ideas, but I think it’s turned into quite a nice little post. What’s great about the web these days is that there is lots of grass roots marketing going on. I’ll tell you my great finds and you tell me yours. It’s the way we small business people survive. It’s a crazy weird time out there so it’s great to help each other as much as we can.

Until tomorrow.



2 responses to “Stealing Ideas

  1. An excellent post! I’ve been thinking about this sort of thing recently too but more on a personal level…connecting with old friends, meeting new people and how it makes the world seem smaller.

    Of course, your post is more noble than that which I admire. It makes me want to think bigger.

  2. p.s. You know I’ll want to see pics of that centerpiece!

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