Friday, September 21, 2007

Revenge of the Business Plan

I finished my initial business plan about a year ago, and decided to revisit it. I had very high expectations for my little company but needless to say, I didn't even come close to hitting my mark. Part of it was unrealistic sales goals, and a low budget for advertising. I tried a number of advertising ways when I first launched from google adwords to submissions to mom focused shopping blogs - did not get any sales. I have however gotten a bunch recently due to an editorial in a magazine. This is by far the best way to get your name out. It's hard as hell to get into one - unless you are paying for advertising in the magazine - but the payoff is huge.

I digress... I have signed up for a free business training course offered through a local bank and inconjunction with the Women's Business Center. I have high hopes that someone can help resurrect my business plan. I have also found a free online course too that will walk you through writing your business that's easy to understand. (Through SBA.) When I first did my business plan - I just put together numbers that made sense at the time - overhead costs as well as an advertising budget. This was all well and good, but it is useless if you don't revisit your plan on a regular basis. Later tonight I will start fleshing out my new plan with concrete numbers, research as well as goals for my business. It's a little daunting but it needs to be done. I can see Baby Starlet becoming a huge success with multiple spin off companies offering products from diaper bags to maternity as well as line of hip baby and kids clothes.

On an inspirational note, while watching the Emmy's this past Sunday, I heard Jamie Pressley's acceptance speech and loved the quote "the little engine that could". I can completely relate to this as I am as indie as it gets; a one woman show with two little kids to take care of at the same time. I know a lot of indie businesses may be in the same boat as me, but it's nice to give myself a pat on the back once in awhile. There is nothing wrong with a little pride, right? So watch out world, here I come with my ultra fabulous company complete with great business operational ideas to innovative products.

Well keep on pushing all you little engines that could.

BTW - even if you are small, it's always smart to have a plan for your company.

Rock On!


Monday, September 17, 2007

Another typical day on the homefront

I love being a mom. Today was one of those days where I really treasured every minute. This morning I worked on my third of sixteen panels (curtains) for my porch. Currently we don't have anything up and the winters around here are brutal - so I have stepped up my efforts to at least start them before the first snow fall. Anyway, I worked while my girls played, hung the curtain and made mac and cheese which all three of us ate for lunch I know it comes from a box but damn does it hit the spot on a cool day.

After lunch I put my toddler down for her nap and took a walk to the library with my 3 year old. (My husband works from home so I did not leave her home by herself.) We picked out some new books, rented a video and then crossed the street for some playground fun. Some of the other moms gave me that "what the hell are you wearing look" but f*** em. I have been getting looks like that since high school so it really doesn't faze (spelling doesn't look right) me anymore. If you must know I wore/currently wearing jeans with a brown long sleeved thermal shirt layer under a summer dress. Anyway, I thought it was cute. Then it was back home to finish an order for an Eiffel tower onesie which btw has been a huge seller for me these past couple of days. I also packed up an order for one of Star Moses baskets to be shipped out to Colorado.

Once my toddler woke up so it was drinks (dirty dirty minds) milk and snacks for the girls and then a trip to the Post Office. Since my boxes for my Moses baskets are HUGE, I decided to put the box on the stroller and let the girls walk. It looked a little silly - all right -a lot silly but it was such a nice day. We all held hands and crossed the streets together - *heart melting just thinking about it* and made our way to the PO. We were about 2/3 of the way there when we meet up with our neighbors whose son helped us the rest of the way. I put my toddler in the basket under the stroller - although initially confused about the situation - she really enjoyed the ride.

Then a be boppity ride home and then some gardening outside. My youngest stayed near us the whole time - she typically wants to head for the hills on some detailed plan of escape - or atleast that's what I think. Then it was a video for the girls while I made dinner. For those of you who know me - know that I don't usually cook. It's not that I hate cooking - I do enjoy it - I just hate having to put together a meal every night. Thankfully, my sweet hubby takes care of this. In exchange I clean the house and bathrooms - which he is thankful I take care of. So it all works out.

After dinner, we all went to the park and ran around a bunch and then the girls had their bath. Lately my toddler has been hating bath time. I mean really HATING bath time. To the point where she refuses to sit down and clings to my husband to get her out. Now, we just dump a hole box full of toys in the tub and she is happy as a clam. So much so that she SCREAMS when we take her out. Damed if do, damned it you don't. Anyway she is asleep now along with my 3 year old and I am sitting in the dark on my curtainless porch so that the entire neighborhood can't see that my shirt needs to tucked in bit.

As I said I love being a mom. A friend of mine once told me this quote "The days are long but the years are short" and it is so true. I am looking forward to watching my girls grow up, but not too fast though. I need them to stay little for just a bit longer (well maybe a lot).

As always Rock on!


*a teary eyed* Deborah

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Babes in Business

I just finished writing up my press release and mission statement for the networking group I started – Babes in Business. Inspired by Jennifer Perkins’ Babes in Business Bonanza in Austin, TX, I wanted to help create a similar group in Central New York. The group meets monthly and will feature a different speaker everymonth taking about her experiences as a business owner. Anyway, I am very excited and have gotten some help from two fabulous women – Thanks Jodi and Laura. The next meeting will be September 27th (still figuring out a location) but it will be the last Thursday of every month. Our goal is to build a community of women who can act as mentors, friends, and provide support in the ever uncertain area of starting your own business. This group is open to any woman looking to start up her business, works for a business, or owns her own business.
Anyway, I’m super excited about it. I know I already said that but it is going to be great.
We are also putting together a myspace page. I’ll let you know when it’s up so you can add Babes in Business as a friend.

More to come soon!
Here’s a big HELL YEAH to all you fabulous babes rockin your own businesses.

Monday, September 10, 2007

New Collections!

I just wanted to post some more info regarding my new collections. As I mentioned yesterday, they are crazy cute and I'm totally in love with them.

Here's the descriptions:

Only the best for your baby! Gorgeous red and black cherry blossom brocade is paired with a rich earth tone leopard print to create the ultimate in Far East luxury.

The regal elegance of the Kensington collection comes from the paring of tasteful equestrian print with sophisticated black and white hounds tooth check. Perfect for your little crowned jewel.

A must-have for your little diva! Fashionistas of all ages will love the fabulous Parisian and trendy prink and black leopard prints of this sassy number.

Your little skipper will drift off in comfort in this nautical-inspired basket. Delicate blue and white marine print is matched with coordinating stripes as fresh as the ocean air.

Get your little cowboy or cowgirl ready to saddle up for some down-home comfort! A rustic cowboy pattern is partnered with a black and white cow print for a basket with just the right amount of western flair.

My new fabulous blankets are backed in the cream chenille-yummy and soft-and my burp cloths all feature my sassy star applique.

Coming soon...bouncy chair covers.

Rock on with ya bad selves,


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Back in full force!

Ok. I know. It's been like forever since I blogged. Summer was crazy. Well not quite Three Weddings and a Funeral but it was Two Baby Showers and a Wedding. Anyway, I am happy to say I'm back. I have also been working like mad trying to get my house finished. I moved in almost 2 years ago and the interior paint was probably 30 years old. Is that possible? Anyway I have painted my kitchen, pantry, downstairs bathroom and dining room. I also made curtains for the bathroom and kitchen/pantry area. Sooo, I have been a little busy.

Now that it's September and Baby Starlet is officially One. Hurraayy! I have new designs currently being photographed. Just to wet your palate a bit - some of the fabrics include: a rich jockey/horse print, line drawn schooner print, fabulous Paris design, pink leopard (uber cute) and a houndstooth check to name a few. I have to say I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new collections. I switched up the names a bit and changed basket styles. It's a new company - they ship out fast and their baskets are just BEAUTIFUL. Great craftsmanship and better quality.

I also changed up my clutch a tad. The overall look is the same but I added an interior rubber sheeting layer, used thicker vinyl for the exterior, and added a ribbon design feature to the new two interior pocket design. I'm crazy in love with them. They feel much more substantial and can tackle the poopiest diapers with style and grace.

So, sorry I haven't written - no I didn't fall off the planet (though it felt like in terms of Baby Starlet), but I'm back. Fabulous new lines, better quality fabrics and unique design and construction.

Stay tuned for more.

Oh, I'm thinking about doing the Baby Celebration event out in LA in April. If anyone has gone as a guest or vendor - I would love to hear your thoughts.

Rock On!