Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I think this came about becuase of some final accomplishments that were completed today. I had my last show for the season this past weekend (and it was awesome!) and I delivered a wholesale order to Palm Beach Zoo! I am very excited to have two zoos as wholesalers. It's a wonderful feeling and I am excited and pumped for the coming year!
I've been thinking about all that I've accomplished and I am very pleased. I have learned much this year and am ready to make new goals for next year. I am eager to finish all this back end work to really see what I accomplished. But as I speak about it, I am also very tired so I'll give it a couple of days and then dig in. The orders are still coming in so I am making the most of the holiday season!
Friday, December 01, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
I found out some great news today! South Florida Parenting magazine is going to rave about me in their December issue. I am so excited! I've been pondering much about marketing this season and I missed a good marketing avenue that was my fault, but the prices are too high in all the others. The holiday shows are doing pretty good. I've got three of them within a 4 day period coming up. Should keep me from shopping at the mall anyway.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
So on my last show, the racks really made my display beautiful! I displayed the clothes very well. It was awesome and I got them free! The only thing is that there is more to carry to these shows and it takes me longer to set up. Oh woe is me! ;-)
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
Not only did I meet some great vendors that I will stay in contact with, we all shared our leads for future vendor shows and I got a few more leads that I've been following up on this morning. I was happy to finally be able to help someone else this time. I really liked the camaraderie we had... the beer drinking might have been a big part of it! ;-) (but only at the end of the night.)
Friday, October 27, 2006
I have noticed a difference in my kids by spending more time with them. I need to make this work. I love working for myself too much! I think I am harder on myself than any of my bosses ever were! Funny how that works...
Monday, October 23, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Signing off to get a good nights sleep. I have a "Trunk Show" tomorrow monring. During setup I already made 3 sales! Things are looking up! ;-)
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Today was picture day at school and of course she was wearing her favorite "Internet" clothes. On the way to school, she surprised me by asking for my business card just in case someone asked about her outfit she wanted to give them the card so they knew where to buy the clothes. I thought what a great idea but didn't think much of it until I picked her up and she told me she gave the card to her girlfriend who said she loved her skirt. The picture I conjoured up was a little girl giving my business card to her mom to go buy the skirt and her mom throwing the card out.
I got the true story tonight at the parent-teacher meeting at school when I met the little girl's mom who received the card from Lauren herself! Her side of the story went like this: Her daughter did in fact like the skirt and they started talking to my daughter about the skirt. My daughter started this elaborate story about how she got the skirt from the internet and proceeded to tell them that she had a card and gave handed her my business card. She said she really didn't believe much of the story until my daughter handed her a business card. Then she realized it wasn't a made-up story.
I've never been more proud of my daughter. It seems I trained her better than I thought! Luckily I haven't taught her about commissions. ;-)
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
I am gearing up for my first tradeshow in less than 2 weeks - Christians In Action Trade Show! I am excited, nervous and tired. I am a little run down from a bug I have but I am plugging away to make it a hit. I have two friends helping me that day as well as the tradeshow commission also gave me two volunteers to help out. There are supposed to be thousands there, but the numbers when you whittle away my actual market makes me think it will be a nice size show. I hope sales are good that day - my booth is next to the area where parents and kids will pick up free butterflies so I know I have a target audience arriving. I have stickers and tattoos for the kids. I am working on my banner and flyers - oh so much to do!
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Sunday, September 10, 2006
I am looking forward to an editorial writeup from The Daily Stroll this week. I was very excited to get their response that they wanted to do one. I am glad to have my website complete. This ad was a great incentive to get this done quickly.
I've also been busy cold calling schools in the local area. I've got one trade show and about 9 various school functions like trunk shows, fairs, festivals, luncheons or fund raisers that I will be setting up displays for. I am real excited and have some great ideas. I need some freebies like stickers and tatoos to give away. This is my next todo item on my list.
I am tired. My husband is wondering if I am ever going to come back and spend time with him again. Signing off.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
So today wasn't a total wasted day. Although I had the kids home today due to the schools closing for the potential storm, I was able to pick up my Fall/Winter stock today. I am excited about the new lines. I can't wait for everyone to see them. I'll get them up as soon as I can.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
My oldest started Kindergarten this year with her first tooth missing. I am glad the black eye from our trip to Disney was gone by then! She's growing up so much! After day 3 of dropoff, she asked to walk in by herself. I was so proud and yet I wanted to cry at the same time.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Just surviving the retail slow season. We went on a small vacation - a family reunion... then on to Disney World! My 5 year old daughter was fooling around with her cousins in the hotel room jumping on the beds when the accident occurred. She bumped her head on the floor - don't know what happened to the inner instinct to use your hands to break a fall, but she smacked her face into the floor. She had a small bump on her forehead and complained that her nose hurt. Seemed like normal damage. After some TLC she fell fast asleep. We woke up the next morning ready for our first day at Disney when our darling daughter awoke to her eye swollen shut! Rush to the doctor finding out she's fine but needs to ice her eye; but needless to say we were hotel bound for the day. I asked my 2 year old what the doctor said? Her reply, "No more Laurens jumping on the bed!" Pretty innovative we thought for a 2 year old! We did get to enjoy 1 day at Magic Kingdom the following day with promises we'd come back in October, when the crowds are gone anyway.
So now you wouldn't believe I also went through some bad luck - and it always comes in 3's. Unloading the car at the hotel for the family reunion (why was I the one unloading?), I totaled the portable DVD player - so how will we survive the car ride home? My husband buys a newer better one - with dual screens for each kid! Sounds pricey doesn't it? He asked me how in the world I did it - I said don't ask.
Round 2 is we get home and I am on my way out the driveway to do errands when I realize I am missing something. I pull back into the driveway (like I've done many times before) to run into the house through the garage with the car running. But I check something out on the passenger seat and while concentrating take my foot off the break... not a problem if I had already put the car in park - or did I? No I did not. I did put my foot on the break very quickly after the slow lurch forward hitting the house. It's not that bad actually, you can't even tell really. I actually only hit the decorative foam casing around the garage. I even thought about not telling my husband but knew I would be in bigger trouble if I didn't. Although he got home before I did and didn't notice the damage at all! So when I told him, he again asked how in the world I did it. I was getting defensive at this point and after explaining myself I told him bad luck comes in 3's and I got one more. He looked at me angrily and said, "That wasn't funny." I tried to explain to him that I wasn't trying to be funny but it is happening. You know we'll have to fix this too as the foam casing is cracked open so it will probably discolor or something and be noticeable within a few months if we don't. Now I am in the doghouse... and we don't have a dog! Number 3 happened last night while I was sleeping. Can it really be my fault then? My husband is on a business trip and doesn't even know yet. I left the hose running to refill the pool all night long! Well not all night actually, my daughter work me up at 3 am so I turned it off then. The water bill will be high this month. I am just glad it's over. Everywhere I drove after number 2 had me going a little crazy. I was quite nervous that I would do some big damage. I am free and clear with no worries.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Monday, July 10, 2006
Ads are not necessarily the way to go for the startup. They will be useful down the road, but in the beginning when you don't have the finances, don't put out ads. At least for me, they don't give me any sales anyway. Get people interested in your products to want to talk about them to others. People trust their friends, relatives, etc. and get advice on many products and ideas. But how do you do this on a much larger scale? I am now going to market Kaboodle Kids by participating in giveaways from blogsites, which usually provide editorials of your products, which is in essence your ad, but the difference is it is coming from someone who is trusted. People trust these blogsites as they have set standards and request samples of your product. I know my products are excellent. Many moms have told me so. I just need someone else that other webmoms trust to believe it as I do and tell them. Secondly, the editorials are usually archived so I'll always be linked to them. Ads are only temporary, whereas links from editorials are forever. This will improve my google ranking. Someday I will be ranked higher than zero!
Monday, July 03, 2006
Well this particular Saturday was steady but not the usual busy I am used to seeing. To top it off, quite a few dads walked in with their boys to get haircuts. Dads never buy. There were a few moms I spoke with that might be internet buyers at a later time though - for their girls. I gave them my flyer, that shows both boys and girls clothes. Maybe my being there was a putoff, although I am not aggressive or pushy, and I'd like to think that I sense those signs of buyer vs non-buyer.
So the clothes will stay there displayed on their own. Maybe the midweek mommies will show up and make a few purchases. It was also a bad weekend, being the weekend before the 4th of July. I am still hopeful. There's other alternatives too... entice with a few girls dresses on one side of the rack! I am sure that will work. ;-)
Thursday, June 22, 2006
I need to figure out how to add other people's blogsites to my side panels. Someday I promise to do that.
Today I went back to Lion Country Safari for a replenishment order. It looks like they went through about a quarter of the stock. So that will be a nice order to fill. I'll probably go back next week to bring them the stock. That makes me delightfully happy! I am also pleased to see them sell some stock that I can't seem to sell. I gotta get with Animal Kingdom at Disney and Busch Gardens. Here I come!
Then next week I'll be at the hair cutting place to sell only boys clothing. I hope that goes well. I also have a meeting with a school next week to discuss fund raising options with them. Sounds very promising!
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
I do have another possibility next week. Since I am having trouble selling the boys clothes (moms always buy more for the girls), I found a great place to display boys clothes only... a kids salon! The owner reminded me that her bread and butter are the boys that come in to get their hair cut every 4-6 weeks, not like girls who can wait months. And one of the ladies who cuts hair there piped up the fact that it is hard to find unique clothes for boys (she has boys). So there it was settled. We agreed that I will bring in the boys clothes Saturday, July 4 and we'll see how it goes. I am uplifted yet again.
To top it off, I had lunch with not only my old pals from work, but also a boss I had four years ago. It was great to see them. Boy do I need to get out more and socialize!
Monday, June 19, 2006
Tomorrow starts another 2-day display of my goods in a daycare. This is so far my best marketing. Don't make moms go out to shop, bring it to them where they are, dropping off their kids before work. Get them on that impulse shopping, while other moms are ooohing and aaaahing the clothes, they can't pass it up! I should know, I am a mom too.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
You know the first person I called was my husband and I couldn't reach him by his cell. Now he gets on me all the time for not carrying my cell on me at all times (for when he needs to get a hold of me - like when he wants me to pick up something for him :-) So I nailed him. That was fun!
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Well time has flown by and I have not had a chance to hear the interview that will be playing this evening. I hope I can stay up long enough to hear it live on the radio. It should be fun. I hope it sounds ok. I am a little nervous just thinking about it.
Friday, June 09, 2006
I went in today to pre-record my very first radio broadcast! We were going to do it live but as things turned out, we were delayed and since I was a little bit nervous we had the time to pre-record it. It was a lot of fun! and we were actually live for a while during the testing of the mics, we were just talking and our voices actually came through live underneath the live broadcast. I guess people were calling in saying they could hear people talking and that was me and Ambassador Monzell. That helped to make me feel a little less nervous.
Actually Ambassador Monzell made me feel very comfortable and I found that I have the gift of gab. Yes I couldn't believe it myself! Once I got going, I could talk for hours. It was a good thing I was being interviewed and controlled. So Ambassador Monzell asked me questions like what Kaboodle Kids was about, how I got started, why did I choose South African clothes to sell, my involvement with Feed The Children, etc... He did an excellent job of flowing it all together. He's going to add background jazz and it should be awesome. I'll be able to hear it on Monday. It goes live on WEXY1520 AM on Tuesday night midnight or you could say very early Wednesday morning.
So that reminds me to do something to the website. There is a question at the end of each customer's purchase on the website to state how they heard about me, I am going to now add radio broadcast. Now that is cool!
Don't worry this is not going to my head. Well it can for about a week or so then I am back to being me again.
But my day did not end there... I had just got my flyers completed and I was driving around businesses today to drop off and I was able to get some new business in two different areas that you'll hear about in the coming blogs. It was a great day! Praise God! He's definitely working my business.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Monday, June 05, 2006
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
I am a member of Ladies Who Launch, which is an organization that helps women launch into the entrepreneurial world. I find it very uplifting to get their emails each week and learn about yet another woman and her success. This week's featured lady gave me some insight that will be very beneficial.
I also met an extremely talented and focused person like myself the other day and we're trying to find a woman's group to join together. She told me about the group Christians In Action and that they had a meeting the very next day but she was out of town and couldn't attend. So I attended and not only did I meet a very nice couple there, they can help me improve my search engine optimization for my website. I'll let you know the outcome once I have the scoop. I also won 15 minutes of free radio time on the Christian radio station 1520 am at 12 midnight next Tuesday night. I figure someone will be out there listening. So as I am organizing my thoughts, the featured lady referenced above talks just on the very topic of public speaking and gave out tips on public speaking. Small world isn't it? Her tips made sense and I am going to use them.
I now think it's good to belong to a few organizations for support.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Now the only bad part of my day was that as I was driving to Lion Country Safari, I passed the entrance and when I doubled back I was pulled over for speeding! Bummer - there went all my profits!
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 15, 2006
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Monday, May 01, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Monday, April 10, 2006
So today, I spent all morning looking for other potential sites to put advertisements on. I believe the Mommies with Style blogsite does hit my target audience and will keep advertising there. I also like the exposure to new prouducts the site provides me personally. I just need many more webhits and having multiple advertisements out there is key. In my review today of other potential sites, I noticed the same ads over again. So I am not wrong in my assumption, as this is what everyone else is doing.
I need to remain persistent. I remember the first job I got as a teenager. Had it not been for my persistence, I probably wouldn't have gotten the job. I need that same energy I had back then.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
My husband introduced me to the blog world and of course the blogs he's interested in. I am really trying to find woman online communities to connect with. I spoke with a friend/neighbor at the park yesterday who mentioned a particular blogsite Mommies with Style that she regularly visits. This particular blog's sole existence is to help moms find products that all moms are interested in, which ranges to just about everything! Can you imagine one stop shopping while the kids are in bed? What a great idea!
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Monday, March 20, 2006
I was working on the test website tweaking the category pages and metatags trying to get everything done so that I could go live soon. Periodically, I was checking emails as I was expecting a specific email to come in when I noticed an email notifying me of an order. I thought that was funny as I hadn't put through a test order so I checked the order menu in the admin panel and sure enough I had my first order of $35.00 which had gone through the credit card authorization process. I realized that I have a real order, but how did it happen? I thought I was in a test region. I realized the domain switch must have occurred and I am finding out that technically it is a live test region once the domain is pointing in the right direction... which did happen today!
So I called my first customer and congratulated her for being my first customer. She was tickled pink and what was great was that she didn't see those pages missing some text that actually stated blah blah blah (those were my reminders to put text there)! So, of course, I took out those blah blah blahs and I am still working on putting that text there. Hopefully I'll have all this completed before I send out my mass email to the 132 people on my mailing list that I hope are still interested in Kaboodle Kids, as I was led to believe.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Friday, February 10, 2006
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I am very pleased with Volusion however. As I am putting together my website, Volusion's technical customer service is phenomenal! I call them often and they don't seem to mind.
Monday, February 06, 2006
I first received four different designs. Initially none of them wowed me. So I looked on the net and tried to understand what other companies do to make catchy logos. What I saw in other logos was that there was a design or picture around or using one of the letters of the company name. That's when my husband came in and took one of the original 4 designs and made some high level adjustments using Paint Shop Pro to give us an idea of what his idea could look like. We did like the font on one of the designs, called Happy Happy Joy Joy. I must say, The Logo Loft is very good at following our instructions once you give them the creative changes. It was a dual role on both parts.
I should be getting my final logo very soon and am happy with my final company logo.
Friday, January 27, 2006
In our research, we found out what my true needs were for Kaboodle Kids:
1) visability - SEO (search engine optimization) was important - SEO friendly, meaning that my site is more apt to be picked up by yahoo and google and I need help to get me a higher ranking than other sites.
2) to have an amazon like shopping experience with shopping lists and browsing capabilities, basically a sophisticated on line shopping experience with backend tools to help me understand what panels the customer is viewing.
3) ability to support an affiliate model in the future - which rewards those sites that drive other customers my way.
4) overall quality and support.
These forums told me that other merchants support Volusion. Volusion was started by ex-Del employees that seem to know their technology. As I am finding out, Volusion does what Monstercommerce does and... alittle bit more.
If you are insterested in the forum, check it out at ecartreviews.com\forums.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Friday, January 13, 2006
I am working on the logo for my company. Boy is this fun. It's great to think I put this altogether.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
I am currently working out the orders for my two suppliers and working on a third supplier. I have a bank account and need to start working on my website. So much to do... I know, don't feel overwhelmed, take one task at a time.