About Hannah Diamond

I am the marketing administrator for UrbanGirl.com. I was an “Urban Teacher” for a decade before becoming an Urban Girl. I taught 9th grade English at a public high school, so I love reading, writing, and basically doing anything creative.

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About Hannah Diamond

I am the marketing administrator for UrbanGirl.com. I was an “Urban Teacher” for a decade before becoming an Urban Girl. I taught 9th grade English at a public high school, so I love reading, writing, and basically doing anything creative.

Meet the Urban Girl

We love celebrating successful women here at UrbanGirl.  We are starting a new series of interviews with successful women, and we hope to inspire young women to take interest in all forms of business and entrepreneurship.  I thought that the perfect woman to highlight as our first success story would be the “Urban Girl” herself, Dyan Condry, owner of UrbanGirl.com.Small Business Owner Dyan Condry

What inspired you to create UrbanGirl?

I have been in the office supply business since 1989.  My husband and I own a local company.  We have our own drivers who deliver office supplies to local businesses.  We wanted to expand, and what better way to reach customers in this day and age than on the Internet?

The concept for UrbanGirl, our niche, is that I am the customer. She is someone like me, who works hard, but still enjoys having stylish things in her office.  I wanted a unique look for our site, a place more like a trendy fashion site.  A place that I would enjoy shopping.  A lot of office supply companies are old-fashioned.  They are run by men, and they think of men as their customers.  They are not willing to change with the times and to recognize that women are their customers; women are running offices, running businesses.  UrbanGirl is a small company, and we understand our customer, because, well, I kind of understand myself!  We are willing to change and offer different and unique products that our customers will love. We continue to voice our opinions to suppliers to manufacture supplies that are not only functional, but also fashionable, cute, colorful, and fun!  Believe me, it is an ongoing campaign!

I am excited that people who visit our site and buy from us LOVE our products and our customer service.  I am proud to say that UrbanGirl was chosen by Internet Retailer magazine as one of the top 100 online retailers.  Woohoo!  Tickled pink!

In addition to the stylish products, does UrbanGirl carry the basic office essentials?

We sure do!  There will always be a demand for commodity office supplies such as manilla file folders, canary legal pads, black staplers and such.  We have all of that, but our site just makes it easy to also find the fun and fashionable products.  Customers can shop by color, by pattern, and by designer.  Other sites highlight the basics.  Our focal point is the more colorful, cute, and stylish office supplies and accessories.

Who is the UrbanGirl customer?

We sell to law firms, manufacturing companies, real estate agents, doctors’ offices, and a plethora of other businesses across the country.  We also ship to residences, work-from-home offices, and moms!

Why should consumers buy from small businesses such as UrbanGirl?

There is a frightening aspect to me as a consumer–where are all the mom and pop shops?  What is the face of the retailing business going to be in five years if the big box stores are the only option?   I would hate to see the disappearance of the little shops and boutiques that make shopping special.   In the online world, there are the small business boutique-type stores and then there are the “giants.”  UrbanGirl is a woman-owned small business.  Our advantage over the giant internet retailers?  ME!  I know you’ve placed an order and I appreciate that you liked our site!  I’m available to listen to what suggestions you have to make our site better.  We employ the same personal service practices with UrbanGirl that we exercise with our local company.   The service aspect may be different online, but the personal touch is still evident.  I write a hand-written note to a new customer, and we have a real person to speak with on the phone during office hours.  If you do catch us after-hours, we will call you back.  We love to chat!  We also enjoy interacting with our customers through email.  We also love to write!

I have a vision for the future of our small internet business: I would like it to succeed because not only is there is pride involved because it is something we created ourselves, but for the people who work for me.  I want success for them.   We are a family!

There was a time when women believed they had to look and act like men in order to succeed.  Is that time gone?  In other words, is it OK to have a pink office?

I have a pink office, so I would say yes!  I think that women do not have to hide their femininity or be “one of the guys” to make a difference in their profession.  However, I own my own business, so I can have a pink office.  It may not be the same for every woman in the workforce.  Things are changing for women, but we still have challenges that men do not necessarily face.  I was fortunate in that my husband was supportive of my decision to stop working for a time to raise my children.  I was able to come back to work after a few years, and I have worked full-time since then.  With all the kids out of the house, I couldn’t leave the dog home alone, so I had to bring him to work!  Our employees love having a furry friend to love on.  Our baybee Tucker is great for laughs and his presence has a calming effect.

Selling office supplies, I see a trend toward the home office.  I see more opportunities available now that allow women to work from home, and they want a paisley file folder instead of a plain vanilla manila folder!  Whether you have an office or a cubicle at work, a home office or a desk in the kitchen, UrbanGirl’s sentiment is it is not an indulgence when you surround yourself with the things that make you happy.

 

 

 

Cyber Monday Special: Sharpie Paint Markers

Sharpie makes the most innovative markers and pens.  I love their paint markers and glitter paint markers.  The ink shows up brightly on just about any type of surface and on any color.  I am a scrapbooking fanatic, and the Sharpie paint markers are some of my favorite tools.Glitter Paint Pen by SharpieThe most basic use is to write on dark paper.  All of the colors show up, even on black!  If I want to make a greeting card or scrapbook layout with dark paper, I can still write on it with the Sharpie paint markers.  If you are a serious scrapbooker like I am, you may have a Pazzles Inspiration cutting machine.  You can put the Sharpie pens in the pen tool to have your machine print text and pictures for you on any color of paper.  I made this with my Pazzles and with my Sharpie Glitter Paint Markers.

Sharpie Glitter Paint Pens from UrbanGIrlThe camera doesn’t capture how great the ink looks.  It is very bright and glittery.  If you are not a big fan of glitz and glitter, Sharpie also has some paint pens without glitter that work the same way.  Here is an idea of what the plain pens look like on black paper.

Sharpie Paint MarkerThey not only write on dark paper, but they also write on other surfaces.  I use them to mark things like flash drives and other small electronic devices.  I have several different flash drives in my desk, some have family pictures, some have work files, etc.  Sticking labels on them didn’t work very well, so I discovered that the Sharpie paint pens are perfect.  The tip is fine enough to write on a small surface, and it shows up great.  You can also use them to label plastic containers and storage tubs.  Below are pictures of my flash drive,a storage crate, and plain white paper.

A few helpful hints:

The first time I used these, I became a little frustrated.  I failed to read the instructions.  You cannot just take these out of the pack and start writing.  First, you have to open the pen and press on the tip.  Put the cap back on the pen and shake it up.  Then, you have to press the pen down on scrap paper several times until the white tip turns the color of the ink.  When they say several times, they mean many times!  Once you do this the first time, the next time you open them, you do not have to go through this process again.  Once you get the ink flowing, they write smoothly and easily.

Sharpie Writes on PlasticSharpie on Plastic BinSharpie Glitter ScrapbookingThese are a great gift because they have so many different uses.  They are perfect, of course, for scrapbookers and crafters.  They are also useful for anyone who is into organizing and labeling things.  Teachers love them because they can write on anything–notebooks, supplies, etc.  Students enjoy them for decorating their school supplies and marking their electronics. Select color packs are on sale today (Monday December 2, 2013) ONLY at UrbanGirl!

The fun Neon Sharpies are also on sale, today(Monday December 2, 2013) only.

Sharpie SaleNeeding an idea for a gift?  We have a great selection of gifts for her.

 

Discover and Preserve Your Heritage

Researching your family history can be an overwhelming project.   Organization is the key to keeping your discoveries on track and preserving your heritage.  I created a family history binder years ago, and it has been a valuable tool as I research my ancestry.

Start by choosing a binder that is both practical and beautiful.  The binder will hold your family story, so you do not want a boring notebook that will get lost on your desk.  I love this floral binder.  You will also need plenty of tabs, pockets, and sticky notes to keep the binder organized.

These pocket tabs serve two purposes.  They will divide your binder into categories, and the pockets can keep smaller items, such as photographs, secure.  Two packages will probably be sufficient to get started on your family history project.

Beautiful BindersTry out these little notes for providing quick reminders.  I use them when I need to remind myself that I need to do more research on a certain person, or to write down a question that I need to ask.  For example, if I realize I do not have the date of my grandparents’ wedding, I stick a note on their page to remind me that I need to ask my mother.

You will also need some colorful zipper pockets to keep your items such as pens, flash drives, memory cards, sticky note pads, etc.  These fun zipper pockets are perfect for storing any items that do not fit in the flat pocket dividers.

Once you have your supplies, begin organizing your pocket tabs.  Here are some categories you may want to consider for each tab:

Mother’s family

Father’s family

Interview notes and questions

Primary sources (copies of marriage certificates, census records, etc.)

Family trees

Photos

Newspaper articles

Your family history binder can be an ongoing project that you share with the rest of your family.  Even if you think you do not have time to take on such a huge project, having this binder will allow you to work a little bit at a time, while keeping track of what you know and what you still need to discover.  I enjoy being able to grab my binder and know exactly where to find or place information about my family.  I also love knowing that I can pass the binder on to anyone in my family, and they will be able to pick up where I left off.  Before I started this project, my family had no unified record of our history.  Now, we have an organized and easy to understand record of our heritage.  It is truly a family treasure.

 

Pretty in Pink

Why settle for ordinary office supplies when you can design your office to reflect your personality?  Urban Girl offers a great selection of perfectly pink products to decorate your desk.

Pink is a color associated with love and romance.  It also can create a calm mood which can help alleviate stress and anxiety in your work environment.  Black is associated with sophistication and power.  Mix together pink and black, and you have a perfect combination of pretty and powerful!

The best part about choosing supplies that are both practical and beautiful is that you do not need to do any actual “decorating” to make your work area an inviting place to spend your day.  All you need to do is upgrade your everyday supplies to objects that are more colorful and stylish.

Pink Office Supplies

Start out with a fun and fashionable tape dispenser such as this pink shoe.  It will look adorable on your desk, and give you a smile each time you use it.  This heart-shaped Post-It note dispenser is also a must-have for your designer desk.  Next time you need a notebook or planner, try this pink project planner instead of a boring old notebook.  When you purchase any of these pink office supplies, a portion of the price goes to breast cancer charities, so they are not only pretty and practical; they are also helpful!

To contrast with your pretty pink desk accessories, add a few basic black office supplies.  This black paper tray by SemiKolon is a much more sophisticated and stylish alternative to a plastic paper tray.  Need a finishing touch?  Chalkboard products are such a popular trend right now, and this chalkboard vase combines that trend with a bud vase to help brighten your workspace with flowers.  You can also draw or write messages on it!

Once you start replacing some of your basic supplies with stylish supplies, you will begin to see the positive effects of a lovely workspace.  Having a beautiful place to work really does help your mood.  Next time you are out of something–even something basic–try to replace it with something cute and see what a difference it makes!

Save 10% during the month of November on the Pretty in Pink collection at Urban Girl!