Tag Archives: #smallbusiness

Raise your hand if your blood type is Coffee.

Can you see my hand raised all the way over here?????!!!!!!!!

Guys, it’s a pretty well known fact that I absolutely love love LOVE coffee, so when I say it is my blood type, I’m fairly certain that it’s the truth. I drink it as soon as I wake up…..I drink it throughout the day….and pretty much every barista in a five mile radius knows me by name and my order of choice. I’m not ashamed; coffee is my spirit animal and with it I am a magical sparkle-slinging girl boss.

Everywhere I go I try to scout out amazing local coffee shops or companies that are independently owned, have a fun story behind them, and aren’t your run of the mill corporate chain. In my world, it’s all about supporting small businesses. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts…..but if I have the choice of one of those two or a local company, I’m going with that local biz. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Awhile back I was trolling Instagram and checking out some different hashtags related to (you guessed it) coffee, when I stumbled across a business that had me at hello: Bones Coffee Company (Make sure you drop everything and follow their IG by clicking HERE!).
Another fun fact you may/may not know about me: I love skulls and skeletons, so when I saw the name and logo I just HAD to buy some of their coffee.

But then…..then I started to look through their website and the love at first sight feeling was solidified. They had a Chocolate Orange Coffee. CHOCOLATE ORANGE!  French Toast! Peanut Butter and Jelly….and so many more! Did these people jump into my brain and steal all my favorite things then go make a coordinating coffee???!!!! It sure seemed so.

Thus, a love affair was born.

Let me tell you all of the reasons why I love this coffee company:

1. The flavor selection is unparalleled. As someone who loves flavored coffee, I’ve never found an extensive flavor selection like the one that Bones offers. Besides the flavors available every day, they have amazing seasonal flavors, such as my personal fave Red Velvet (available around Valentine’s Day) and Carrot Cake (available for a few more days). Take some time and check out their website HERE. Isn’t the flavor selection insane???!!!!

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My current Bones collection. 

2. You have the option to buy a sample pack. Even though I was incredibly excited after surfing their website, I was still a little worried the coffee may not be as good as I had hoped. Luckily, they have a five pack option where you can select 5 sample packs and try a variety of flavors that you can choose. The sample packs are a decent size, which truly gives you an opportunity to determine the flavors you like best before buying the full size coffee.

3. Fast shipping. You know how to really win me over? Killer customer service and shipping. I tend to lack patience when it comes to waiting for items I can’t wait to receive…I can’t help it! The day I ordered my sample pack I had an email a few hours later stating it shipped, and just a few days later I opened a mail box with a wonderful coffee aroma. Was that an isolated incident? Nope. Every order I have placed since then has been shipped and received within a few days, and everyone who has ordered thus far on my recommendation has commented how impressed they are with the speed of their orders arriving as well.

4. You can purchase ground or whole bean. It may be weird to some, but some days I prefer using whole bean coffee and grounding it myself. I also use whole coffee beans as a base for all of my makeup brushes (I love having my makeup room smell like coffee) so I love having a wonderful flavored aroma in the air.

5. Clever packaging. I LOVE a solid marketing strategy, but when there are some clever references or pop culture humor infused, I am SOLD. Check out my personal favorite…..does this skeleton look familiar?

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Photo courtesy of BonesCoffee.com

6. You can drink your coffee in style. I love a solid handmade mug, especially unique shapes. The minute I saw the gorgeous mugs on the Bones website, I had to have one, and it has quickly become my favorite mug. If you are more of a travel mug style person, they have those as well, plus apparel.

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7. K-Cups! I was so excited when I saw Bones offered K-cups. I obviously make my own coffee at home, but when I go to my kickboxing studio I like to have coffee options on hand, so K-cups are the way to go for me. I always have them in my purse or gym bag.

8. They always have a fun deal or promotion going on. Had it not been for a recent promotion where every purchase received an additional random sample, I would’ve never fallen in love with Red Velvet or their Jamaican flavor (Kyle’s favorite). Recently I received a decal from them with a purchase and proudly rock it on my planner which goes with me everywhere.

9. New flavors happen often. Recently Bones released a Bluesberry Coffee that is beyond incredible….it smells just like a blueberry muffin. My hope is one of these days some type of doughnut inspired coffee is introduced..you guys all know that the doughnut is my second love right behind coffee.

10. The Bones staff is amazing. I have loved getting to chat with those involved with Bones and was very excited about their willingness to let me learn more about their company and share the info with you. I admire their entrepreneurial spirit and how innovative they are in an industry where a lot of companies are afraid to push boundaries.

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Cheers to this fab coffee company!

I asked the Bones crew to answer some questions I had…..here’s what they had to say:

How did Bones Coffee get started? We are a family owned and operated business with roots in the Pacific Northwest, where we were deeply submerged in an artisan coffee culture. When we relocated to Southwest Florida, we wanted to bring that culture with us and launched Bones Coffee Company with the goal of making delicious, freshly roasted artisan coffee accessible to everyone.

How did you come up with your name? We wanted to project the vibrance and edginess of our flavors on our packaging. When we were developing our first variety, High Voltage, we imagined a skeleton in a lab concocting the highly caffeinated brew. Our brand name really developed from that point and Bones, our beloved mascot, has been present on every label (in some form or another!) since.

What makes your coffee different from others on the market? We really wanted to bring our customers coffee that they couldn’t buy at the local grocery store, and we also wanted to ensure that each bag is of the highest quality – so we roast to order in small batches. I think another thing that really sets us apart is that we provide the coffee drinker a really unique experience from the aroma of the coffee when they open the box, to the distinct artwork on each label, to the robust flavor from a freshly brewed cup.

Where are you based? We’re owned and operated out of Cape Coral, Florida!

Are you only a retailer, or are you found in any coffee shops? Bones Coffee Co. is currently online only, but we just recently rolled out a wholesale program and our coffee is starting to show up in gyms, restaurants and other specialty shops.

What is your #1 selling coffee? Maple Bacon! It’s sweet and smoky – an irresistible flavor combination!

How often do you change flavors? We’re constantly trying to come up with new, innovated flavors that people haven’t tried yet with coffee. We aim to release a new one each month, but it really depends on when inspiration hits!

How do you determine what new flavors would be? We base our flavors off of things we love! Then we try and come up with a way to make it work with coffee. It’s a lot of trial and error and testing so that we bring only the best to our customers.
Do you sell anything else besides coffee and mugs? Yes! We’re always trying to expand our offerings due to high demand, but we currently carry tumblers, hand thrown mugs by Deneen Pottery, decals, hoodies and t-shirts!

Describe your coffee in three words: Ultimate. Coffee. Experience.

Thanks so much, Bones, for your amazing coffee and customer service! Now let’s do something fun together………

How about a GIVEAWAY so we can begin the quest for Bones Coffee World Domination…….
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*Giveaway Time**

Who wants to win some free coffee???? By now you probably want to try Bones, and I want to hook you up!

I’ve partnered up with my pals at Bone to give you the chance to win a $50 gift card toward any coffee you want! That means you can choose peanut butter and jelly, bananas fosters, chocolate orange, sample packs….whatever flavor you just have to try!

The giveaway begins NOW, and the winner will be announced next Tuesday, April 10th.

To enter, head over to Instagram:

☕️ Follow me @sparklefitnessbabe
☕️Follow Bones Coffee @bonescoffeecompany
☕️Tag a friend who also loves coffee (one tag per comment; no limit to number of comments and tags)

All three steps much be completed for your entry into the giveaway to be valid! No purchase necessary.

I can’t wait for you to fall in love with this coffee like I have!

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Dinosaurs, Diamonds, and Dancing, OH MY!

You know what’s crazy? Weddings take months and months…..sometimes years…to plan, and then they are over within a blink of an eye. Seriously. I cannot believe that it has been over a week since our wedding, and even though many of my married friends tried to warn me about how fast the actual day would go, I was convinced they were a bunch of liars (Sorry friends). They were right. I felt like it took forever from the time I woke up to get to the moment where Kyle and I did our First Look….then everything else flew by. Time really is so precious.

Our wedding day was nothing short of perfect, and I am so thankful for our family and friends for helping us celebrate. Since we had a smaller wedding, many of you followed our day online by using the hashtag #kramereverafter….that hashtag was great when it came to catching up on the moments we missed, plus it allowed us to share the day with my grandmother, who was unable to attend physically due to health reasons.

Planning my wedding was an absolute blast. I’ve known so many people who shared their terrible bridezilla-like stories with me and who complained about the crazy amount of stress associated with their big day, but I likely did not experience any of this. There was only one brief time period where I had a little bit of stress, and that was over a small insurance snafu with the museum that we had fixed within days. I’m sad the planning is over, so if you are overwhelmed with planning, let me know…I will gladly help. I actually found it really fun!

I had a lot of questions surface about different elements of the wedding because we did things so differently, so I thought I would share some of the common questions I had with all of you to share a little more about the greatest day of my life. Hopefully some of the tips and resources I share can help you with your big day, too!

What kind of dress did I wear and was it really pink?

Yes, it really was pink…..blush pink to be exact. The dress itself was Vera Wang, and as with anything Vera makes, it was beyond fabulous. I knew from the beginning that I wanted this dress and was so nervous when I went to try it on that it wouldn’t live up to the image I had in my mind. Fortunately, the minute I put it on I started to cry and knew it was “the one”. My advice to anyone wedding dress shopping? Don’t settle for a dress….get one you absolutely are in love with. Also, have someone in alterations insert padded cups so you can go without a bra. Trust me on this one, no bra is a good thing, especially on a day you are running around like mad!

The first time I got to try on my dress!

Where was the wedding held?

The ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception were all held at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History. We knew we didn’t want to do anything in a church or anything religious, so we opted for a venue that would be a lot of fun for our guests. To us, we didn’t want our wedding to be just another cookie cutter wedding. We truly wanted it to be a memorable experience that our guests would never forget. If you are local, visit it sometime! It really is a cool place!

Click here to learn more about this neat museum!

What an amazing shot our photographer Stacy captured....first dance photobomb with a dino!

Who designed our invitations?

I am a huge believer in supporting small businesses, so the bulk of our wedding utilized vendors from Etsy. Our invitations were custom made by a vendor called Riverkiss Weddings, and even though they were custom designed they were still exponentially cheaper than other places I looked from the mainstream sites. Plus, they were perfect for our theme. I got a lot of weird looks when I told people that I did so much through Etsy, but the truth is the quality is fabulous, and the vendors are very easy to work with. If you have an issue, the vendors I have dealt with were very quick to remedy the situation. I like that they were different and no one else had ever had these, and I found them incredibly whimsical and beautiful.

Our invitations!

Our invitations!

What were the wedding colors?

Since my dress was blush, I chose blush pink for the flowers and tablecloths at the reception hall. My bridesmaids all wore mint green, so the pink looked awesome with the mint. I also accented with a gray and white chevron. The guys rocked bow ties with the exception of my dad and grandpa; they wore the same ensemble as our groomsmen but sported regular bow ties in the wedding colors instead of a bow tie to show their distinction.

What a beautiful bunch!

Where did my girls get their dresses? 

David’s Bridal. I wanted each of my bridesmaids to get whatever dress they wanted and figured this would be the best store with the most options. My bridal party was made up of ladies from Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Youngstown, and Michigan, so all of the locations really helped us with our geographical needs.

Were your placecards expensive?

No! Again, I had these made through an Etsy designer named IvoryIsleDesigns. Each card was customized with the name of the guest, their table (which was a dinosaur name) and a small picture of their meal choice. Each placecard cost about $1.10. I highly recommend you be creative and spend some time looking for options for paper products. You don’t have to spend a ton, and if you have time, you can always make them, too. Here’s a look at my friend Heather and her fiancé Alex’s cards:

Sparkle Sparkle everywhere!

What kind of eyelashes did I have on?

One of my favorites….these were the Miami mink falsies from Lilly Lashes. These lashes are amazing and worth every penny! The mink lashes are a higher quality, but the other lashes are just as great!

My main squeeze Marenda who handled all of my makeup needs!

What were our favors?

We didn’t do actual favors…I’m not the biggest fan of knick knacks or things that don’t have a great purpose. Instead we decided to bring some local culture to our guests and rented the Swenson’s food truck. Swenson’s is a classic in Akron….if you have never tried it’s deliciousness, please make time to do so! It showed up the last hour of the reception, so as people hopped on the shuttle back to the hotel they could have a snack…and satisfy their greasy drunken needs. I am obsessed with galley boys and potato teasers, so I ended my night eating both in my dress. It was perfect! I think our guests liked it, too!


Where were our photos taken?

The weather ended up being a really big jerk, but it worked to our benefit. Instead of taking pictures outside at the Cultural Gardens as planned, we went to Metropolitan on the 9. Our best man’s aunt and uncle own the hotel, so they hooked us up with some unique and fun photo spots. This is honestly the best hotel in the area…Kyle and I both had our bachelor/bachelorette parties here and loved the accommodations. Our photographer posted some sneak peeks on my Facebook page, and I am obsessed with how the pictures turned out. Sometimes rain isn’t a bad thing….in this case it really helped us have even better better photos than I had imagined.

This was taken in the main lobby!

Where did Kyle find his socks?

Kyle decided to get the bridal party (including my dad and grandpa) unique socks that matched the wedding colors. They looked awesome! We found the socks from a site called Sockbroker. If you love socks, check it out!

Stylin Feet!

Did you do programs?

Yes! This was the question I got more than any and was sparked after a friend posted one side of our program on Instagram. I purchased a digital download that a woman customized for me on etsy and had them printed for our guests. The programs had some fun random facts, and I was so pleased with the final product! Here’s a look!

Did you really do your center pieces for under $5 a table?

Yes! Let’s get real. No one cares about center pieces. No one remembers them. I wanted simple center pieces that didn’t break the bank. Since our table cloths were pink and the napkins were mint, I wanted to tie in the chevron and dinosaur theme. My mom made awesome chevron squares for the center of the table with fabric we found at Walmart, then we spray painted vases we found at The Dollar Tree and frames. Each vase held a realistic rose we purchased from Hobby Lobby when the silks were half off, and we printed the table name pictures at CVS for $0.17 each. I loved the final look….it was still “us”, but it was classic, simple, and didn’t clutter the heck out of the table.

I honestly would not change a single thing about our big day and felt like our wedding was a perfect representation of who we are as people and as a couple. My hope is that everyone can say that about their big day. Have fun with wedding planning….become friends with Pinterest….and don’t do anything you feel you “should” do. Your wedding day is all about you. As Janis Joplin once said, “Don’t compromise yourself; you’re all you’ve got.” I find this quote to be true about everything in life….right down to your big day.

Kyle and I are so thankful for all of the love and support, not just on our wedding day, but since we have been together. You guys are the best!

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