Inspired by her daughter Kaylee to transition her baking hobby to to a full-blown business venture, Amber Tellis took a leap of faith and started her own business, Kaylee Cake Pops and More. Before this leap, Tellis worked for a local railroad company, but the hours didn’t allow her much time with her family, and she was eager to pursue work that allowed her better balance between her growing career and growing children. Working full time, building a family with her husband and finding the time to bake was a challenge. “I knew I needed to work for myself if I wanted to make time for everything. I decided to jump out on faith and go out on my own instinct,” says Tellis. Enrolling in Goodwill of North Georgia’s GoodBIZ program helped ease her transition from baking as a hobby to starting and running a business. “The GoodBIZ program helped me determine what exactly I wanted from the business. I used to look at it as a hobby, now I look at it as a business,” Tellis says. Through the program, Tellis received assistance in developing a business concept and plan, and was exposed to different events and resources to help her refine her business strategy. Now, Tellis proudly earns a living doing what she loves with her inspiration by her side. “Kaylee still pitches in when she can. She usually does the taste tests for me,” Tellis says. Having only baked for one year before making the decision to launch her own business, Tellis is thankful for Goodwill’s support. “[The program] really prepared me to become business minded,” she says. Sharing her success story at Goodwill’s Metro graduation, a recognition ceremony for the organization’s metro-area program graduates, was momentous for Tellis. “I was nervous, but being able to share my story with other graduates was rewarding,” she says. Since its small and sweet beginning, Kaylee Cake Pops and More has continuously grown into a successful and stable business. Tellis stays busy, competing in various baking competitions and catering events, ranging from baby showers and weddings to graduation ceremonies and corporate meetings. “I’ve been blessed,” she says. Critical to her business’s success has been an emphasis on quality. Whether she is baking cake pops or packaging her grab and go treats, she understands top-grade product is essential to cultivating repeat customers. As for next steps, Tellis is focused on continuing the expansion of her business, either on the shelves of local grocery stores or inside her own storefront property. She landed on both feet after her career-changing leap of faith, and she is eager for the next leg of the journey.
When you donate to Goodwill of North Georgia, you’re supporting our mission to put people to work. Revenue generated by your gently-used household goods supports 13 local career centers and tob training and placement services in industries ranging from logistics to retail. In fact, donors like you will allow us to put 23,000 people to work this year!
Next time you feel inspired to donate, there are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind before you head to Goodwill. Here are some tips:
• Don’t wait to donate. Clutter today will be clutter tomorrow. If you are ready to clear some space in the closet, carpe diem! There will always be reasons to put off a trip to your local donation center, but there is no better feeling than giving back while simplifying your life. Find the Goodwill donation center nearest you at goodwillng.org/locations.
• Do your homework. Not all thrift stores are charities, and some for-profit companies solicit donations under the name of charities while giving them little or none of the proceeds. “We operate our own stores and donation centers, which directly fund Goodwill job training programs and employment services right here in North Georgia. If consumers can’t clearly see how their donations benefit the community, they might want to think twice donating to that organization,” says Summer Dunham, director of PR for Goodwill.
• Do double check. The last thing you want to do is donate something you planned to keep. Pant pockets, desk drawers, suitcases and even books can serve as holding places for things we don’t immediately need. “Give each item a good check before adding it to the donations pile, and if you’re packing up items for someone else, be sure they’ve removed anything they intended to hang on to.” For families with little ones, make sure the items they aren’t quite ready to let go of don’t accidentally fall into the donation pile.
• Don’t forget your receipt. Donations made to Goodwill are tax deductible. Just be sure to keep a record of what you donate and its value. “With our Donation Tracker, it’s easier than ever for you to keep track of donations you’ve made throughout the year. Don’t worry about hanging on to paper donation receipts. Once you’ve registered a donation in our system, you can access an electronic receipt at any time and print an annual summary.”
Down time is not an option for Tess Roberts. A go-getter, Roberts takes care to ensure she always has something to do and is always working. She makes good use of her local Goodwill career center as a resource for her employment needs.
“I used the career center all the time,” she says. “I was looking for extra work because my job slowed down.” At a job fair she connected with Staffmark, which helped hire her as a warehouse employee. “My job is coming along pretty good,” Roberts says. “I take care of shipments of orders and make sure everything goes out on time.” Happy with her employment status and with the career center’s support in getting her there, Roberts has even referred two of her friends to the center this year.
Derek Phillips, lead career coach at the Northeast Plaza career center, confirmed Roberts has made good use of the facility, coming in regularly to search for job opportunities and to network with employers. “You know me, I’m persistent,” Roberts says. “I’ve got to keep a job so I can take care of me.”
With the end of the year right around the corner, it is Goodwill’s busiest time for donated goods. Individuals are cleaning out their homes to make room for holiday gifts, getting ready for next year, and getting in those last minute donations for their 2016 tax write-off. These donations are critical to the mission of Goodwill of North Georgia, as the revenue made in the stores goes back into job training and placement programs, putting individuals to work.
To talk about the year-end giving process, Regional Director of Retail Operations Vernon Warren joins the show to fill in listeners on what to donate, and what to expect at the stores during this busy time. Next, retiring VP of Human Resources John Mayfield calls in to talk about his tenure with Goodwill, and what the work meant to him. He also shares some insight on what it means to lead a department for 21 years. Listen to the episode in full at https://soundcloud.com/thegoodworksshow/vernon-warren-john-mayfield-121716.
With the sounds of holiday music playing all around and malls full of shoppers searching for something special, it’s evident the holidays have arrived. This time of year is often a joyous time, but can also take a toll on your wallet. The National Retail Federation estimates the average American spends over $900 on holiday gifts and goodies. Get the most out of this holiday season by making Goodwill of North Georgia your holiday resource.
Holiday style on a budget. Whether you are decorating your house to get in the holiday spirit or hunting for the perfect tacky Christmas sweater, Goodwill has you covered. Check out Goodwill of North Georgia’s Holidays & Occasions Pinterest board to spark your creativity for everything from decorations to DIY gift ideas!
Found at one of our Goodwill of North Georgia stores, these holiday snowmen could fill any room with Christmas cheer.
Clean out clutter and donate as a family. The holiday season is a season of giving and companionship. Not only will cleaning out your house save room for any new holiday gifts, but it also supports your local community. What better way to make a difference than to donate with your loved ones in support of our mission to put people to work? Check out our Cutting the Clutter Pinterest board for tips on how to clear the clutter before the holiday season. Don’t dump the old stuff, donate it at a Goodwill near you!
Donating as a family can be a fun way to give back to the community, together.
One stop shop. Goodwill’s wide selection of books, housewares, clothes, furniture, toys and more can suit the needs of even the pickiest recipient. Check out this blog by Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin for unique gift ideas using Goodwill finds. Not only can Goodwill serve as your one stop place to shop, but the money you spend also helps fund job training and career development programs for community members in need. You’re giving to more than just the ones on your list.
Candles make the perfect gift for anyone on your list. Try making your own this year to add a unique touch. Image via Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin.
An additional thrifting tip for our stores includes shopping the discount days. Every Tuesday is Senior Discount Day and we have Thank You Thursdays for service workers, including military personnel, firefighters, police officers and emergency medical services employees. Of course our Color of the Week rotation starts over every Sunday and is available to all shoppers.
Do you have any thrifting tips of your own? Share them in the comments section below! As always, happy hunting to all…
As the leaves start to fall and the holiday season rapidly approaches, it’s time for some fall cleaning and organization. Finding spaces for all of the excess stuff lying around the house may be easier than you think! Not only is your stuff truly someone else’s treasure, but there are various storage hacks that will revamp and organize your spaces.
Use baskets for organization and storage. The options for using baskets as storage containers are limitless. Baskets can be used to store items from utensils to toys. Baskets can also be placed anywhere in the house from tops of counters to under cabinets. Find your next basket at a Goodwill store near you.
One simple trick to decluttering your home is the reverse clothes-hanger method. To help identify pieces of clothing that haven’t been touched in months, hang all of your clothes in the reverse direction. Once you wear an item, return it to the closet facing the correct direction. After 6 months, you’ll clearly be able to visualize which clothes need to be donated. Decluttering your closet will provide more hidden storage space for all of the other miscellaneous items in your house.
Thrift a piece of furniture. Storage spaces don’t need to be dull or outrageously expensive. Up-cycle a piece of Goodwill furniture to add flare to your living space, while providing large amounts of hidden storage.
Usher’s New Look alumna Kamera Cobb learned a thing or two from going through the four-year program. One of the many leadership tips she picked up while participating with the nonprofit? Networking, and how you present yourself, is key.
She emphasizes this with the current students of the program, with whom she advises. “It’s all about eye contact, a firm handshake, and speaking clearly,” she tells them.
These tips are also critical when interviewing for a job. First impressions are key, and even the littlest component of the initial meeting can contribute to the overall success of the interview. Beyond eye contact and confidence Cobb suggests, here are a few more ways to make your mark.
Don’t be late. But don’t be too early. The potential employer might have a very busy schedule, so don’t show up too ahead of your interview, making them scramble to be available.
Dress appropriately. This will likely be the first time you have met the employer face-to-face. Make sure you wear something that fits well, is ironed and clean, and is professional.
Practice your elevator speech. All interviews are different, but it’s usually a given that you’ll be asked to tell the interviewer a little bit about yourself, and why you are a good fit for the job. Be prepared with this answer.
Treat everyone with respect. You aren’t just trying to impress the interviewer. Make sure to be kind and appreciative to everyone from the secretary to the CEO.
Send a handwritten thank-you note. Emails and quick communications are the norm. Stand out by taking the time to write, and mail, an appreciation for the time of your interviewers.
For more job and leadership tips tune in to The Good Works Show on Saturdays at noon on News Radio 106.7 FM or catch the podcasts at https://soundcloud.com/thegoodworksshow.
Back-to-school season is in full swing! Whether you’re decorating your desk, dorm or college apartment, do it for less with thrifty finds from your local Goodwill. These items were spotted at the Goodwill stores in West End and Decatur. Household items like cups and plates are always in stock. Storage shelves, stereo equipment, books, binders and desk organizers also regularly make it to our sales floor. Start your treasure hunt today! You never know what you will find…