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I help realtors and business owners succeed with Social Media!

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Interview: Jen Olmstead Tonic Site Shop.

Social Chat episode 56*

Interview with Jen Olmstead Virginia-based graphic designer and co-founder of Tonic Site Shop ✨
Trust me, your old website will be jealous!

“Visual storyteller, and type nerd, Jen is a lifelong fan of a good story — and shaping the words and letters that tell it—she specializes in creating uniquely-tailored brand experiences for creative entrepreneurs, and in building online spaces that people love to explore.”

In 2013, Jen and fellow designer + friend Jeffrey Shipley founded Tonic Site Shop and launched their first collection of cocktail-inspired, “completely customizable websites for the modern, stylish creative.” 

Jen runs her business from her home outside Washington, D.C., where she lives with her handsome husband, three sweet kiddos, a golden retriever, and a much-beloved espresso machine. She eats gluten so you don’t have to, enjoys hosting and hospitality (with a cocktail in hand!), and her love language is witty banter.”

YouTube Live Interview

Quick note about Social Chats. Social Chats is a weekly live show that we put together to help small businesses learn from great people who stand out in their industry. What they do works well with social media and we hope it  will keep you educated and inspired!


1- How did you get started + your manifesto reads as such: ” We’ve redefined the website template. And not only what it can be, but how it can look, what it can do, and what it can do for your brand.”

Can you please elaborate. Go to meet the designers  

2- Your templates are definitely eye-catching with stunning images, are they just for wedding photographers? We deal a lot with real estate agents and small businesses, could they have a template work for them?

Tonic Site Shop Showcase

3- Do you offer integration with online shopping?

While TONIC doesn’t offer full-on e-commerce sites, they do have a simple Shopify shop page template that can be added to any TONIC site, which works well for small shops of about 50 items or less. TONIC sites can only be used with Showit, and it’s not an e-commerce focused platform, so it requires an outside integration like Shopify Lite to pull in the cart, payment, and order fulfillment necessary to run your store!

4- What photos come with the website and where would you suggest people go shop for images?

All of the imagery within TONIC designs has to be swapped out since those images are not licensed beyond use for the demos. BUT there are tons of great (& free!) stock imagery resources out there if you’re seeking professional imagery for your online presence. TONIC’s resources page offers their go-to stock imagery companies so you can look your best online!

Social Squares
Moyo Studio

5- What would be the steps to get started and maybe a checklist of items to have ready to go to facilitate the process (folders of images etc).

Here are some tips that will help to lay the groundwork for your site:

  1. Select your TONIC template.
  2. Start a Dropbox of site imagery – pro tip – take note of the existing site imagery in your design of choice, it’s placement and size to think about how you’ll fill those in with your branded imagery.
  3. Start a Google Doc of site content — this is the #1 thing that hangs people up. Again, using your design of choice, analyze all the text boxes and the content you want to include on each page, and start to draft that out.
  4. Join the TONIC Website Challenge.
  5. Snag your domain from GoDaddy or Google Domains — the Showit support team will then connect that domain to your TONIC site once it’s launch-ready.
  6. Sign up for Showit and get to customizing your design!

6- Can you integrate videos? Yes!

7- What about blogging? Learn about WordPress Integration

8- Can you talk a little bit about Showit

Showit is a website hosting software and design platform with a high ceiling for customization without limits. It’s specifically designed for easy user maintenance with better content management and blogging interface (since you can use WordPress seamlessly with Showit). You can also completely control and design your mobile site, which is a HUGE plus now since so much of your traffic is mobile-only. TONIC designs do all the heavy lifting for you when it comes to the design aspect! If you can drag and drop in Showit, you can customize your design to meet your vision for your online presence. Here’s a demo so you can see the backend/Showit design dashboard used to customize your TONIC design.

9- We love your Instagram account. 
What filter do you use to keep your feed consistent and what have you learned in terms of strategy and advertising over the years.
PLANN that app
VSCO: HB1 HB2 filters 
Moyo Studio Mockups 

10- What is your favourite cocktail?!

Old Fashioned

AND, these days…

Bourbon Peach Smash
Take a peach, cut in into cubes
Crush in 5 or 6 mint leaves
1 once of simple syrup

Put in in the shaker
Muddle it all up
Put in a glass with crushed ice on top

Add 2 ounces of Bourbon
Stir it up a bit

Add a touch of lemon juice if you want some acidity
Garnish with mint

Great blog post with recipe here

**** WORDS OF WISDOM BONUS. What would you tell your younger- business starter- self?


Also, from Ira Glass, host of This American Life 
When you start off in business you have your taste and your mind. When you start out there is a gap between your taste and what you are actually creating.  That gap can be so discouraging. THE ONLY WAY TO FILL THE GAP is to create a lot. Set some deadlines and create, create. Don’t give up. Close the gap by keeping up the work and eventually you will get better. 

Trust me, your old website will be jealous!

Tonic Site Shop

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*🌱View past episodes of Social Chats!

Social media coaching, advertising, tips and tricks at your fingertips: + 🌸 #socialchats


August 7, 2020

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