Thursday, December 08, 2005

I have two suppliers! and one sent me their price list already. This is working out well! I am still working on two other suppliers potentially. There is sure a lot of leg work to do.

Friday, December 02, 2005

I have two weeks left at my current job. Boy did that go fast! Still no replacement for my position, but the interviewing has started. I've started contacting my suppliers now and hope that works out. I am very excited! I am in the home stretch at work and ready to work full time in my new endeavor!

Monday, November 21, 2005

I have my company EIN! I am now a legal entity and it feels good!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Hurricane Wilma set me back a few weeks having no power and all. Tonight I hired an internet company - - to process my company filings. I need them to confirm my company name (Kaboodle Kids) is available and prepare the company bylaws and articles of incorporation and first corporate minutes, etc... I will obtain my own Federal ID Number and complete the IRS Form 2553 to keep my costs down. I am down to 29 business days left at work. Time is flying by!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I met with a representative from SBA today and he was great. I have found a contact that provides great resources and can help me with my questions. I spent today calling some of these resources. I am on a role now and very excited! I must keep this momentum!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

I have a website! It's I couldn't get just as it's already taken but not being used currently. Hopefully the owners won't renew it and I can get it next year. No matter though, either site is fine.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Today I took a vacation day to work on my business. I spent the whole day on-line and updating my business plan. I finally feel like I am moving ahead. I made some calls to reach out to some organizations that can help me with my questions. There are plenty of organizations with free counseling and advice, especially for women. I am going to use every one of them. I went to class tonight as well. It was all about the business today. The class discussion was about picking your location. Since I am not having one, I left early after the break. I am feeling exhausted and excited at the same time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I skipped class tonight to continue working on my business plan. It takes a lot of time to research on the internet as well as write down my thoughts on what I want to do. I must admit, what I do have written down does clarify where I am going. I believe it is an important step. I am not sure I can complete the business plan in full before starting my business though, specifically talking about the budgeting portion. I am definitely stuck there.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's amazing how fast a week can fly by. I was able to brainstorm a little bit this weekend on my business plan, but then all this week I've been running around in single parent mode. I am excited about the choice of 5 different clothing lines to import, all providing the same unique, colorful fun clothes for kids. Two of the companies even have an "agent" program for wholesalers. In order to complete their applications, I'll need to finalize my business plan as many of the questions on the application apply to the decisions yet to be determined.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tonight I had dinner with my children's daycare administrator. We've had to cancel a few times, the latest cancellation due to Hurricane Katrina. She is a great resource and I think we brainstormed even better after a few drinks. I had a dual agenda in mind, first to understand her buying habits as a mom of children and second to understand what is most important to her as an administrator of a daycare with regards to fund raisers. As a mom, I asked her how she shopped for her own kids. When her children were those ages, the web did not exist as it does today. If it had, she would have definitely used the web or catalogs to order fun, unique, different children's clothes.

I want flexible reduced hours to spend more time with my own children so I am thinking of other alternatives of distribution other than a storefront. Along with web and mail-order catalogs, other forms of distribution could be home parties, mini fashion shows, festivals or table displays at daycares and schools. We agreed that career moms would be probably the best target market for home parties. It becomes a social event for moms to get out with the "girls".

One goal of this company is to be socially responsible as well... give back to the children, not only to the children of the country the clothes are being imported from but to the sponsor school. I asked what alternative would work best in daycares and schools? What's in it for the school? As an administrator, what is the most hated part of these promotional programs? During our discussion, it was concluded that daycares and schools would probably do best with either a table display with a stack of catalogs and poster or send each student home with the catalog and poster. The poster needs to include a goal for the school, what could be purchased for the school through the fund raiser. Children's clothes may even sell better than overpriced wrapping paper or candy bars. Parents need to buy kid's clothes anyway and it also has a dual role as a fund raiser for the school.

As an administrator, any work is a burden. Make it easy for the administrator to raise funds for school programs by giving the opportunity to sell products with little to no work required by the school for managing the program - make it seem like free money.

Overall, it was a great meeting. I learned a lot through our brainstorming - including business can be fun.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina kept me somewhat busy and distracted. I feel like I haven't progressed in the last two weeks.

I went to class tonight and found renewed excitement. I have made a friend from class. Her name is Marla. She is also starting her business in the retail arena so we have a connection. She has a lot of positive energy and I am rejuvenated talking with her. We share ideas after class. We both agree that selling at a few festivals will give us a flavor for the public demand for our products. I have the website to check out all the festivals in the area and in the state of Florida. I have an 800 number to call to get a free credit report to ensure I don't have some bad credit sitting out there I was not aware of. There's a website that houses a list of all the wholesale clothing companies. This will be useful to call some of these companies and get competitive pricing so I know what to charge for my products. I also have a disk pact full of information and websites to visit that our instructor gave us. But my number one focus should be writing my business plan and spending time researching areas that will help me complete it. That is my number one goal.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I started my class tonight. The first class that was supposed to start last week was canceled due to the instructor was in the hospital having surgery. He looked well and healthy this evening, young too. To prove my dedication to this endeavor, I missed going to a concert tonight so I could attend my first class. It was the usual first day of class routine stuff. There are 12 others in my class, hopefully a well rounded group to get ideas from. I completed the questionaire and handed it in before I left. The questionaire asked why I as there and what I intended to accomplish from this class. All new business starts with an idea. My idea is that kid's clothes should be fun. Kids shouldn't be dressed as a mini adult (i.e. Gap), but in colorful fun clothes. I am looking for a unique line of clothes that accomplishes this... colorful, fun unique children's clothing from afar. My idea is to import kids clothes (age 0 to 5 years) from another country and sell them in the US. Now remember, I want flexible reduced hours to spend more time with my own children so I am thinking of other alternatives of distribution other than a store front. Some ideas include web, mailorder catelogs, home parties, mini fashion shows, fairs, table displays at daycares or schools, etc... My other main goal of this class is to get my business started before December 16, hopefully sooner, as that is my last day of work in Corporate America.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Yesterday I signed up for a class "How To Start Your Own Business". It starts next Wednesday. I am excited to try something different on my own. I hope this class can get me started in the right direction... that it will keep me focused on everything I need to do to get my company up and running but to also test my ideas with a group of people who have that same entrepreneurial drive who can challenge me. There was a guy in his mid-thirties that was in line ahead of me registering for the same class. I didn't notice anyone else. My idea might involve working with schools so tomorrow I meet with the administrator at my children's daycare to understand the process. I feel like I am starting a research project at school.

I still haven't found out when my last day at work is. I keep asking.

Monday, July 25, 2005

News travels fast at work. I got in Monday morning and already fellow colleagues were asking the big question... why? All were sad I was going, some upset, others happy for me, wishing me well. I even got a few resources to help me in my endeavors. I need to keep a database of people and resources for networking. I started a list today.

Tomorrow I am signing up for the class "How to Start a Small Business". I heard the class fills quickly. I hope I can still get in.

Friday, July 22, 2005

I am a mother of two working full time in Corporate America. I've had an itch to leave after nine years with the same company. It's not a bad company and I enjoy working there and the people are great. But I am looking for something else... challenging and fulfilling, yet flexible to my needs as a mom.

Something changed in me four years ago when when I held my first daughter in my arms. I can't quite explain it but the feeling was that this little girl is now my ultimate focus. I thought I could be supermom and I did ok with it in the beginning. About two years after that time, I started requesting part-time or even reduced hours, as I had become pregnant with my second child. There was always a reason why it didn't work out and to be honest I didn't really push it hard enough.

Now four years later, the opportunity has come that I just can't pass up. The company has offered a volunteer exit incentive package. With this package, I would have about six months salary paid, which would give me time to focus on what to do next. The kicker is that the employee submits the request, but the company evaluates whether you are approved to receive the package and what date you would be terminated. Will I be approved? I could be denied... or I could be approved, and if so what will the date be?

Then again, I don't really care what the date is, I really want to find a way to spend more time with my children. I just refuse to loose any more time...