Archives for posts with tag: WAHM

Shop is Closing for Two Weeks

The Work At Home  and running your own business thing has its perks!  I’m taking a vacation from the shop to hang with the kids.  Many working moms can appreciate this break you just have to take.  I’m hitting the OFF button.  After I started up the shop again 6 months ago, it’s been non stop trying to grow and ramp up here in our new country and market.  The Canadian Dollar slippage hasn’t helped us and growth in the USA market certainly has its challenges.  I’m grateful to have such a loyal customer base and Baby Wisp has a recognized brand name which has helped keep the flow… But…I’m wiped out!

Sooooo……No more hair bow making, hair clip packing, headband photographing and baby toddler photo editing and website updating for me…well, for two weeks anyways. 🙂

California Toddler Girl So Cute

Latest photoshoot with American Toddler Girl

I hope you took advantage of the big discounts on the star spangled patriotic fourth of July sets as I am busy packing up all those orders this weekend!

 

I am taking a much needed two weeks off!  Emily is still working full time in Toronto and is available to assist you in anything you need EXCEPT shipping out Baby Wisp products.  Feel free to contact her via email, facebook or instagram.

Next Ship out June 30

You can grab 20% off orders over $25 from now until June 28 with coupon BREAK20.  

Find out more here

Yes, I recently finished reading the book, “50 Shades of Grey” and um, well I only read it because it was on our book club list and I want those hours of my life back.  ;)…but my  blog post has nothing to do with the book, it has to do with business reasons to limit your colour offerings of products.  

50 Shades of Pink

In the case of Baby Wisp, we are able to offer a large variety of shades of Pink, but not very many of blue or special colours like this season’s hot tangerine trend.  Why?

This post is inspired by the 5 or so emails I received in June for special request colours to be offered in our products.   I thought it might be a good opportunity to share a business lesson I learned the hard way.  This, of course, is in my humble opinion only based only on my personal business experience so take it or leave it (for those who are interested in this blog for the business advice I share).

Running a girl’s accessory company, I can tell you that Baby Wisp sells more pink than all other colours combined.  How is this possible?  First, consider that we offer at least 3 different pinks in each collection. We have close to 30 collections which means we stock more pink than any other colour.

Pink Polka Dot Bows

Take, for example, our polka dot mini latch clip 5 pack.  3 pink variations of polka dot ribbon at the top while our other polka dot pack is more mixed with only 2 pinks.  We sell more of the pink packs 3:1.  I could illustrate this across many of our offerings.

From a customer perspective, you can easily see the logic for the purchasing of pink over other colours.  The majority of a girl’s wardrobe in Canadian  society is pink (yes, gross generalization and no stats backing that claim up- opinion piece here people!) so it would make sense that when accessorizing, you would purchase accessories that would get the most use possible out of them.  Especially, for high end, high quality boutique accessories, it just makes sense to optimize your investment.  For gifting purchases, you are pretty much guaranteed that buying her a pink hair bow is going to match something in her wardrobe.

Orange Mini Latch Clip Baby BowFrom a Business perspective, consider the cost of stocking say…ORANGE.  We sold approximately 10 last year online.  Selling ten bows in a year could not sustain our business.

It’s the only orange product we carry so it’s not that it’s in competition with other styles.  It’s the colour itself that is limiting it’s sales.  We did sell ten though, so there are customers who want it…but to take up expensive inventory space and divert cash away from investing in other stronger selling products that move at 100 or 500X faster rate; it does not make much sense.

Being a specialty boutique does mean we offer unique products, styles, and colours so we do try and offer grey, yellow, navy, orange and green but the balance we strike is that those colours are very, very restricted and cannot be offered across all collections due to warehouse space and cash reasons.

We take very seriously the feedback of our customers in our growth strategy so with enough emails, phonecalls, tweets and facebook messages from our retail and wholesale customers we continue to expand to new styles and colours each season.  Trend-setting based on customer driven styles.  Speaking of, what type of new products or styles would you like to see Baby Wisp carry?  Join the facebook conversation or comment here.

What do you do when you have a side business that takes up your nights and weekends, work full time at a corporate gig and have a hubby and two small children under 3 years old?  I had to make a choice on how I was going to handle it all.  Whichever choice you make, is best for you and your family so no judgements here. I’m so lucky that Intuit – Quickbooks gave me the opportunity to share my “big story”  – can you relate?

I started this blog not just to talk about baby wisp products but to also share the entrepreneurial journey I’m on.  I often share articles or videos related to the business growth.  I’ve met a lot of other moms with businesses that want to talk about how to grow our businesses together so why wait for the coffee dates when we can share over our blogs!  🙂

Are you a budding entrepreneur also?  Or have dreams to become one?  I’m always drawn to entrepreneurs with high energy and positive messages and having watched this video of Spanx founder, Sara Blakely I think you might enjoy it too.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2012/03/07/undercover-billionaire-sara-blakely-joins-the-rich-list-thanks-to-spanx/ .

 

It’s thrilling to hear how she took a great product and idea to new heights.  What an elite club of women she has joined, to be recognized in Forbes Billionaire list and also become a household brand.  Self-made and 100% privately owned is the other very impressive part of her story.  It comes back to the Dragon’s Den dilemma doesn’t it, is it possible to keep your company to yourself but still take it to “the next level”?

 

I recently saw the question posed on Mally’s Bibs Facebook Fanpage as the owners consider auditioning for Dragon’s Den in just under a week.  Their bibs are already a national favourite as this is a very cool Canadian Mama and her hubby owned company.  They currently design and manufacture their products in BC, which is no easy feat, given current market trends and margins.  I met them both last year at the One of a Kind show in Toronto and have nothing but pure respect for their accomplishments including global distribution in a competitive market.  That’s not even mentioning the quality bib that has lasted so long and still looks new – here’s the bib I have- so cute isn’t it  (picture courtesy http://mallybibs.com/item/hippo-leather-bib ):

Mally Bibs

My favourite Mally Bib

 

Having only read and watch the video about the Spanx creator and read a few articles, a consistent perception about her has emerged.   She appears happy, genuine and high energy plus has personal  involvement with her products in the design, marketing and future direction.  I find myself appreciative of how she is sharing her positive insights into success.  Not once does she talk about things she didn’t do or waste time focusing on bad stuff other people do.  I think this keeps you positive and ensures that by limiting your negative posts, you can keep yourself moving forward.  She has reminded me to try to focus on growth and keep the positive messages flowing.   At times, you may be down of course, but what you project should be what you want to be associated with, right?   I continue to see that a public brand perception is closely linked to your personal brand image.  I want mine to be positive and happy!

What kind of brand image do you want to project and how do you take steps to project that?  Do you share the good stuff?  Do you know of any other great female business owners that have a strong and inspiring brand image- who keep you feeling positive about what you do and what you can potentially accomplish?

It seems only fitting to talk a little about Steve Jobs today as he just passed away yesterday.  There’s been a flurry of link sharing, odes, quotes, biographical content and inspiration flying about on twitter, facebook, and generally,all around us.  Celebrating the impact of one man on our generation…globally.

I just saw this video of his stanford address again.  I vaguely remember watching it a few years ago but it didn’t resonate as much as it does today.  Partly, because of his death and partly because I am probably older and understand a few of his points a bit more.

You can watch the video here: http://youtu.be/UF8uR6Z6KLc

Inspired by Steve Jobs

Baby Wisp does not own this image

These are the quotes that I can relate with:  “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do,” ….

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”

I like what he’s saying both from a career and relationship standpoint because I feel that I have found both.   I recently celebrated my 8th wedding anniversary and Baby Wisp is 3 years old tomorrow!  With 100% sincerity I can tell you that that as the years roll on, all the learning and growth is getting better and better.  You can hear my passion for BabyWisp when talking to me.  I bounce up in the morning to go to work and at night, it’s the last thing I check on (after my kids hehe).  I am the main part of my children’s lives in their formative years.  This flexibility with my family life would not have been possible if I had returned to a corporate position after giving birth to my son.  The success with the brand’s growth is really a great reward but like Jobs asserts, it’s really not the core of what drives me every day.

I was on the phone yesterday with a computer programmer I met while I was an I.T. consultant at a large consulting firm (few years back now)  and we were catching up as it had been some years since we last spoke.  I told him what I was up to with the “hair clip business” and I expected him to laugh/ scoff.  But he didn’t.  He said, “Good for you!  You were looking for something more and now you’ve found it.  ”  It was really sweet to hear this.  I didn’t have to explain anything to him.  It’s like the years didn’t matter, all that happened in between didn’t matter, he knew me and he knew what would drive me to throw everything into Baby Wisp.

 

It’s kind of silly really. Every time I hear/ read a story about a woman who has launched a business that is crazy successful I get fanatically motivated to work even harder at Baby Wisp.   I wonder how they did it.  What makes that business so different from the rest?  Yesterday, I met with some ladies from Mommy Connections (Directors from East Toronto, West Toronto and Mississauga South) and a Stylist from Stella and Dot who had only glowing praise for their company’s founders.

Consider the founder of Stella and Dot (who incidentally sold her first company for 90 million when she was 25 years old HOLY SCHMOKES!), who provides people like Mirjana an opportunity to be a Jewelry stylist for the company and take care of her 3 year old.  She was intensely flattering of the lifestyle she is able to enjoy having ditched the office job to be a stylist.  What these 5 ladies talked about was FREEDOM! SUCCESS! MONEY! ENJOYMENT! But most importantly-their families and trying to be there for the early years of their children’s lives.

I find myself looking into more women in business and their stories (of course I read about the Canadian Inspiration Sandra Wilson (creator of Robeez)  http://ht.ly/6qPDX ) and when I gab with other business women – we all have these huge dreams of business success.

Success may be defined in different ways by each business owner as not everyone is motivated by what annual sales are.   Recognition, work-life balance, community involvement, and personal fulfilment are all part of the “success” in successful business in my definition.  I wonder though; what gives us a better shot at getting there?  Let me share one observation-  all these successful creators /business women aren’t shy about having their own profile pictures plastered in print, web, social media, etc., -basically anything media.   This is something I’ve been too shy to do (Yah, stop laughing to those who know me I AM SHY sometimes hahahaa!!) Ok, so here’s my “coming out” party!  Thanks to Carrie Duncan for taking this picture of me a few weeks ago at the Lakeshore Mardi Gras.

baby wisp creator

August 2011 - Beena Masellis

As I notice more things that accomplished business owners  do to grow their business, I may mention it here or try it.  Please feel free to share any of your tips or feedback that you’ve come across in your journey.