I was lucky enough to find Amy Levesque, the person behind the recent redesign of this site (that so many have emailed, texted or messaged to say they love, love, LOVE btw) and my new go-to for all things digital, via my friend Cassandra Capraro of Glistening Goddesses. (Thank you Cassandra!) I've enjoyed working with Amy so much in fact that I've asked her to give us a behind the scenes look at her 'fabulous RI Life' as well as a few tips for anyone wanting to take their business online or maybe (as I did) makeover an existing site.
Restaurants And Food
Lunch: Since I'm on the road all day long, I rarely have time for full meals. During the day I like to swing into Dave's Market for lunch or a midday snack. Their prepared sandwiches and salad bar are quick, easy, and fresh. It's a really great alternative to fast food when I don't have time for a sit down meal.
Celestial Cafe in Exeter - All ingredients are locally sourced and the food is amazing. They have everything from pizzas to burgers to full entrees. They even have a 5 course, farm-to-table dinner every month. Insider Tip - Get the Celestial Cosm and the Citrus Pesto Calamari... and make sure to get some bread to mop up the extra pesto sauce.
Perro Salado in Newport - Upscale Mexican that is perfect for girl's night out or a big group. Delicious food and even better pitchers of Margaritas. My favorites are the Original and the Spicy Cucumber - on the rocks with some salt!
Meritage in East Greenwich - An awesome place for date night. It's quiet in the main dining room and fun and casual in the bar area. On Mondays take advantage of free appetizers when you order one of their massive Margaritas or Sangrias (My favorite is the red.). They also have a really cool party room that you can rent with it's own private bar. Perfect for milestone birthdays, bridal showers or other occasions
Shopping And Style
I love shopping and usually do most of it online, with a glass of wine while watching Real Housewives marathons. Since I LIVE in yoga pants and tanks I've been really into Fabletics lately. They have some adorable, super comfy lounge wear that I can wear to the gym and rock in the office after. When I need something a little bit dressier than leggings, I tend to head to Banana Republic first.
Locally, I really like Luniac Glamour on Main Street in East Greenwich. They only stock local Rhode Island artisans and have some amazing jewelry and clothing. They also have a salon in the store as well so you can shop, get a blow out and get your makeup done all in one place!
Also on Main Street is David-Max. I've been re-doing some rooms in my house and am always on the lookout for cool pieces to spice things up. They carry anything from furniture to decor to cool gifts. There's always something interesting there.
Skincare And More
My newest obsession is Yoreganics. I have super sensitive skin and have to be really careful what I put on it. The owner lives right here in Rhode Island and makes all organic, natural body wash, balms, laundry detergent and stain removers. The YoreBalm is my absolute favorite and I use it on every part of my body, even on my lips and face in the winter. It's a thick texture that is super hydrating but doesn't make you feel greasy. The body wash smells yummy and clean and even works as a shave gel (I'm all about multi- tasking.). I also have a small travel bottle of the stain remover on me at all times. Between drinking my fair share of red wine and living with a French Bulldog, it is a necessity and I haven't seen anything take stains out like this does. It's saved my clothes (and my white living room rug) quite a few times!
With all of the advances in technology, the buying habits of today's consumers are dramatically different. They no longer want to pick up the phone and call a store or business to see if it fits their needs. They like to do their research online before buying a car, trying a new restaurant or stopping into the new boutique down the street. By the time they've contacted you, or walked into your place of business, they've usually already made the decision to buy based on what they learned online.
This is why websites and social media are such an important part of your business and your brand. It's your chance to "pitch" yourself and your business to potential customers without ever having met them. I like to tell my clients to think of the internet as it's own little (or big) world. Your website is your home base. It's where you set up camp and will be having conversations with your future customers. It's where you want every touchpoint (social media, banner ads, etc.) to lead back to because it is what tells your complete story. A lot of new businesses especially don't want to spend the money or don't have the time to set up a website. I usually urge my clients to make this a priority. It's an investment that, when done right, will carry you for years.
And not all websites have to be expensive or custom coded and hard to build! There are a million website builders out there that can offer you great looking websites for a lower cost. My biggest tip is to do some research before picking one for yourself. Ask other business owners whose sites you admire what they use. Pick a couple and compare their different services to find one that best fits your needs. For clients that are looking for simpler sites, my personal favorite to recommend and work in is Squarespace. The templates are clean and modern, and the builder is (usually) pretty easy to work with yet offers more advanced users the ability to add some custom coding if they want. It also has great SEO capabilities which is super important if you not only want your site to look good, but you want it to show up in Google Searches as well!
Click here to find out more about Amy and her company Hub Digital.
Ciao for Now,
Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of Amy Levesque and Hub Digital, LLC