An Ode To Mom! Mother’s Day 2015


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This upcoming Sunday, May 10th, is a special day to women all over the world… Any guesses what it could be?

It’s Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is a celebration in which we honor mothers, motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society.

Although, this day is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, here in the United States, we know it to be celebrated on the second Sunday in May.

Mother’s Day began in the United States in the early 20th century.  The holiday was first celebrated in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia.  She then began a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States, which became successful in 1914. Anna Jarvis’ holiday was adopted by other countries and its now celebrated all over the world.

So, this Mother’s Day, be sure to tell your mother, grandmother, or maternal figure just how special they are to you.  From picking up our clothes off the floor, to being the shoulder we can lean on, Moms are the real deal (and make it look so easy!)

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us here at Sharn Enterprises.

Looking for a special gift? Check out our friends at Mavi Bandz for a unique headband that is functional, yet stylish!

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Website: http://www.mavibandz.com

For more information about our products and services be sure to check out our website at
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Or click on the link below to check out our latest video
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Sharn Hits the High Notes at GlobalShop 2015


GlobalShop is a one-of-a-kind retail trade show, and the Sharn Enterprises, Inc. team experienced that first hand while in Las Vegas exhibiting at the show last week.

Connecting the retail design industry every year since 1993, GlobalShop features an enormous show floor filled with innovations for visual merchandising, shopper marketing, and the newest products for store design and fixturing.  Thus, the decision to exhibit was a no-brainer.

But those who have arranged for a trade show know, the preparation involved is not an easy task.  From booking flights and hotels, to ordering booth materials, to actual shipping materials to the show booth, there’s a lot of detail and project management that goes into exhibiting.  But when it’s all said and done, the work involved is completely worth it, and Sharn is excited to reap those benefits.

GlobalShop as a whole is the premiere retail “place to be” and Stephanie Shostok, Designer and Account Representative at Sharn, knows that the show will help cultivate current and future business ventures.

“You might say four months of preparation for three days is crazy, but it has to be done to make sure all the puzzle pieces fit.  The best part is talking with people who have no idea about Sharn Enterprises, and then making them excited to work with us; it makes everything worth it.”

After three days of working the booth, connecting with potential new customers, and reconnecting with past customers, there’s obvious reasons why a B2B retail company attends a trade show of this magnitude.  The high-quality displays Sharn decided to bring to Globalshop really caught the eye of industry professionals, who noted the craftsmanship and American-made quality our displays translated to the consumer.

GlobalShop brings the retail design community under one roof and there is no doubt Sharn is looking ahead and excited to foster the relationships built at this annual trade show.  See you next year, Vegas!

For more information about Sharn’s products and services, make sure to check out http://www.sharndisplays.com or call 815-464-9715.

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Personal & Business Resolutions: 7 Ways To Reach Your Goal


Deciding what kind of resolution to make at the beginning of the New Year is not an easy task.   One might even decide not to make a resolution because they know they will break it right off the bat!  But this year…This year is going to be different.

You have to dive in head first, and the first step is to really reflect on what you want to achieve and not let yourself fall off the wagon.  Because what really is a resolution?  It’s a solution to a problem you are trying to fix.

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Your resolution may be to lose weight, get a promotion or maybe just to spend more time with your family.  But achieving a goal like any of the former isn’t an easy feat.  My mother always told me a good piece of advice when trying to reach a goal, “You can’t rise to the top of the ladder without hitting a few rungs.”

That’s why, whether a business or personal New Year’s resolution, take these things consideration.

Make a plan of success

Think about your resolution carefully and write down the steps you will need to take to reach your goal.  For example, if your goal is a promotion, maybe decide to stay later at work to complete a new project or  set a goal to finish your to-do list every single day.  Coming up with a plan will allow you to see the future and what is next in your professional and personal life.

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Set realistic expectations

Let’s say you want to lose weight. You can’t set your goal to lose 100 pounds because you will not see results quick enough.  That is why making mini-goals for yourself is a must.  Try setting a goal for 2-3 pounds each week, which is healthy, and actually do-able.  You will be more likely stick to the program if you see the small results, rather than having that 100 pound huge number looming in the back of your mind.

Write down your resolution, EVERYWHERE!

Keep a reminder in your phone, write your resolution with a dry erase marker on your mirror, or keep a post-it note in your purse.  These constant reminders will keep you from forgetting the goal, especially during a time where you feel as though you need extra motivation.

Don’t look back

As easy as it may be, do not fall back into the same patterns you were in before. Success rarely comes from comfort zones!

But forgive yourself

If you fall off the wagon and are unmotivated one day, don’t let that discourage you from your success. Everyone has off days, but it’s the people that power through the hard times that reach their goal.

Celebrate

Once you hit your target or maintain your resolution, whether it happens in weeks or a year from now; treat yourself to something you love to do. Having a reward to look forward to gives you an extra boost of encouragement and keeps you on the right track.

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Sharn’s goal in 2015 is to grow our business by continuing to treat our customers, employees, and vendors fairly and with the respect they deserve.

For more information on our products and services, make sure to check out www.sharndisplays.com or call 815-464-9715 with inquiries.

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Thanksgiving: The Past, Present & Future


Many Americans think of Thanksgiving as a time when you sit around the dinner table, stuff yourself full, and then join the madness on Black Friday to get all those great deals.  Some people have begun to skip the gracious dinner all together and begin their shopping on Thanksgiving night.  In fact, 92 million people went shopping on Thanksgiving Day last year, which went up by 3 million from 2012.  Is getting a deal on a TV really what Thanksgiving is about?  In today’s society, we as a whole have begun to lose sight of what Thanksgiving truly is.

Surprisingly, some stores have decided to remain closed on Thanksgiving this year and encourage other businesses to do the same.

TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Nordstrom, Home Depot, Costco, Ace Hardware, Barnes and Noble, Patagonia, Dillard’s, Crate and Barrel, Neiman Marcus, GameStop, Bed Bath & Beyond, Burlington Coat Factory, and REI have all decided to close their doors and enjoy food, family and friends this year.

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Sharn Enterprises, Inc will also be closed on Thursday, November 27th and Friday, November 28th 2014 so our staff can enjoy the long weekend with family and friends.  Because that’s what it’s all about!

History of Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving is held on the fourth Thursday in November every year and is meant to be celebrated with an overload of food, family and friends to honor the early settlers.  A long time ago, a group of English Protestants (also known as Pilgrims) wanted to break away and venture off to the “New World”.  So, they set out on a sixty-six day voyage across the Atlantic Ocean with 101 men, women, and children.  The goal was to land and settle where current day New York City is, but due to vicious winds, they had to cut their trip short and settle at what we now know as Cape Cod.  This is where the Pilgrims and the Native Americans from the Wampanoag tribe (or the Indians as we call them) crossed paths with each other.

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When winter season arrived, the Pilgrims gathered anything and everything they could get their hands on, including the Indian’s supplies.  This is where the well-known, beloved Squanto comes into play.  Squanto wanted to avoid any struggle and tension with the Pilgrims, so he took it upon himself to teach the Pilgrims how to grow corn and fertilize their fields using fish.

Finally, after years of unnecessary drama, there was a formal agreement made between the Pilgrims and Indians to protect one other.  Everything was all rainbows and butterflies, until one day the Indians heard gunshot and rushed to the Pilgrims colonies, believing that there was a war to be started.  Much to their surprise, the Pilgrims were only out hunting in order to provide a feast.  For three whole days, the Pilgrims and Indians all ate, played games, and gave thanks together and formed what we now know as Thanksgiving.

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On behalf of everyone here at Sharn Enterprises, we remind you to remember the real meaning behind Thanksgiving and have a safe and joyful holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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5 Ways to Avoid Becoming Stale in Business


What comes to mind when you think of the word “stale”? Probably old, moldy, gross, not fit for eating, the opposite of fresh, dry, etc.

No one likes a stale piece of bread, especially if you are craving a hearty, jam-packed, fresh sandwich. The same is true in business. Boring, tiresome, and stale ideas often lead to uninteresting results.

In both B2C and B2B business, keeping ideas new and fresh will keep the customers and businesses you handle coming back for more. This is why keeping up with trends, your competitors, keeping an open mind, and bringing in new employees with different backgrounds and experiences is important.

Stale is boring. Fresh is the way to go.

Here are 5 ways to avoid becoming stale in business:

Change What’s Not Working

The example that comes to mind is our automotive industry. For many years, cars were being “built in obsolescence,” meaning they seemed to last for 5-6 years and then things would go south. Around the 1970s, companies like Toyota and other foreign car manufacturers started to be imported into the USA on a more massive scale. Those cars were deemed more reliable, fuel efficient, and longer-lasting. Thus, the automotive industry began changing. Because they did not change fast enough with the growing imports, American automakers lost significant market share.

Don’t Change Your Core Values

If your company has a mission statement and core values that were established at the time of incorporation or that have been developed over the years, stay consistent with those values. Bring these positive values to the forefront and deliver your products, services, etc., with them in mind. Your values cannot become stale unless you no longer believe in them.

Recess

Children are given recess, which allows them to get away from a subject, refresh themselves, and come back ready to learn. This philosophy should be true when it comes to a business. You cannot expect your employees to thrive unless they have a time to disconnect from their desk or workplace. Kimberly Elsbach, Management Professor at UC-Davis, says, “Never taking a break from very careful thought actually reduces your ability to be creative. It sort of exhausts your cognitive capacity and you’re not able to make the creative connections you can if your brain is more rested.”

Explore

Let’s take a look at retail and shopping. Most retail purchases are done by impulse. This means you need to get your products noticed on the shelf. How are you going to get your products noticed? By exploring, that’s how! No matter what kind of business you are in, taking the time to research, observe, and study what your competitors and related businesses are doing will give you that competitive edge. If you are a company who is in the active wear business and you want to try to get people to buy your products, you are going to try to out-do Nike, Adidas, and other similar brands on the market. Being different and refreshing catches a customer’s eye and enhances your chances of getting noticed.

Hire People Who Are Different From You

Stability in the workplace is very important, but so is change. If no one ever changes, bad habits may continue. Age and diversity of employees is just as important. Taking it back to retail, the population you sell to is diversified with varying ethnic groups, male vs. female, and tastes. If you are the leader of an organization and don’t actively get out of your comfort zone and hire people that that are different from you, you’re destined to only make decisions that appeal to you, not other people.

Do you have any additional ideas on how to stay fresh in the business world?

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Sources:

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http://www.popai.com/

14 Facts About Halloween


Halloween has snuck upon us once again.  In my case, I have wonderful ideas in February about “what I want to be” but once it hits mid-October, I have no costume in place.  I end up going to a Halloween party dressed in a football jersey and going as a “football player.”  How original, am I right?

Dressing up for Halloween and participating in fun fall activities had me thinking.  Why do we dress up as someone (or something) else, go to haunted houses to be scared on purpose, and ask our neighbors for candy?

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Well, the answers can be found right here, along with some other interesting facts on the second largest commercial holiday after Christmas.

Here are a few facts about one of the best holidays, Halloween!

1. Its origins stem 2,000 years ago from the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain which was the celebration of the end of harvest season in Gaelic culture. It was the time used by the ancient Pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. #WinterIsComing

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2. The Gaelics believed that on October 31st, the boundaries between the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life.  This would cause mayhem such as sickness and damaged crops.

3. To ward off the evil spirits, they decided to dress up in animal heads, skins, costumes, and masks.

4. Fast forward to 609 A.D. when Pope Boniface created All Martyrs Day which evolved into All Saints’ Day, which is celebrated on Nov. 1. Catholics fused elements of Samhain, which lead to All-Hallows Eve, then to what we know it as today, Halloween.

5. Bobbing for apples originated with the Romans around 43 A.D.

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6. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the traditional holiday in the 1800s to America, but it wasn’t until after 1947, did the holiday really take off.

7. Americans spend $6 billion each year on Halloween.

8. Combined, $4 billion is spent on costumes, decorations and parties. The other $2 billion is on candy.

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9. The original jack-o-lanterns were made from turnips, beets, and potatoes.

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10. A Halloween full moon is rarer than a white Christmas (We will have to wait until 2020 for the next one.)

11. Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.

12. In 2010, 72.2% of those surveyed by the National Retail Federation will hand out candy, 46.3% will carve a pumpkin, 20.8% will visit a haunted house, and 11.5% will dress up their pets.

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13. There’s a $1,000 fine for using or selling Silly String in Hollywood on Halloween.

14. The most popular Halloween costumes of all time are a witch, a vampire, a ghost, Frankenstein’s monster, and a cat!

From everyone here at Sharn Enterprises, Inc, we hope every has a safe and spook-tacular Halloween!

For more information about our products and services, please visit our website at www.sharndisplays.com, follow us on Twitter, and “Like” us on Facebook!

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13 Things You Should Know About B2B Marketing


On October 1st, 2014, I had the pleasure of attending the small business seminar entitled, “It’s not about you, it’s about Bacon!”  Hosted by Old Plank Trail Bank in Frankfort, IL, the keynote speaker was Brian Basilico.

Not only is Brian a college professor, he runs his own B2B marketing business and attends over 20 networking events every month.   Why does he do it?  Because Brian loves to learn.  Although a teacher, he takes everything he does and learns from it.

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Brian offered great advice on B2B marketing as well entertained us by keeping things real.  Here are some of the key points I learned from this event that may be beneficial to your business’s marketing efforts:

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  1. Relationships are the currency of business.
    1. People do business with people they know, like, and trust.
  2. The most shared items on the internet involve Kittens and Bacon.
  3. Flipboard is an application you can use to turn your social media postings into a digital magazine.
  4. Listen to people twice as much as you talk (you have two ears and one mouth, for a reason!)
  5. Take pictures of others and share them on your own social media platforms.
  6. Edu-tain and info-tain on social media- Be active and responsive.
    1. Pictures increase engagement by 70%.
    2. Don’t post just about your business.
    3. Have fun.
    4. Be authentic.
  7. Social media is the medium, social networking is the relationship.
  8. Gaining Trust: Give 100% of yourself 100% of the time and expect nothing in return.
  9. Recommend someone else on LinkedIn out of the blue- Just because!
  10. LinkedIn is wide open property, unlike Yelp. You can copy and paste reviews about your business or yourself on flyers, brochures, etc.
  11. Great content is KING!
  12. On a website, a person spends on average 3 clicks and 2 minutes.
  13. Differentiate yourself from others and find what makes you more “connectable.”

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We thank Old Plank Trail Bank in Frankfort, IL for hosting this event.  With advice from Brian Basilico and as well as my own experiences, I am excited to delve deeper into the world of B2B marketing!

-Stephanie Shostok, Designer/Account Representative at Sharn Enterprises, Inc

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