Thursday, July 31, 2008

Daily Candy Kids!!

Wow, what a week! I must say this is one of those days that I am on a total rush and enjoying every minute of this business. I am also counting my blessings every chance I get!!

I mentioned a few months back in a seperate blog post about this super sweet girl that I met that was a new mom and also in the fashion industry. She is a writer, tv host, name, she does it all! She found RuffleButts online while shopping for her little angel, but then heard about our company through an Associate of her husband's. Anyway, she was so sweet and asked to write about RuffleButts for Daily Candy Kids!!! Yes, you read that correctly, she is a writer and editor for Daily Candy Kids! I could not be more grateful to her, as our article just came out this morning and you can not wipe this smile off my face!

I have said all along that I have 100% faith in our products and moms write me all of the time to tell me how happy they were to find us, but it just takes time to let moms know about this fun new brand without having the financial $s of a big-name corporation to advertise to them. That's where fabulous publications such as Daily Candy Kids and babytalk Magazine come in. They have access to these awesome moms that are excited to learn that there really are fun and feminine products out there for their little girls! And for those of us that grew up in the little ruffled diaper covers...they are back to stay!

So, to make a long story short...I am thrilled to share our so well-written write-up on Daily Candy Kids. Be sure to check it out for yourself!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New homepage!!

My hubby has been hard at work again with his creative and crazy-brain talents! I am so excited to launch our new homepage at It is still the same website everyone is used to, but we have changed up the main page a bit to give us a little face-lift.
When running this business, there are always so many things on the to-do list, it is tasks like these that continue to get pushed down the priority list. My husband has been so great working till midnight after work every night to try to help me. I think he did a great job and I am happy to share it with all of our customers!

We also spent part of our day working on our very first print ad!! This is a super big deal for me, as this is a huge step for our business and the biggest financial commitment to marketing that I have ever made. There comes a point in a business when you have to spend money to make money and although we are so very fortunate to receive regular editorial and reviews, which is so greatly appreciated, I am commited to this brand and have to take the next steps to continue our amazing growth!

Fun photo shoot

I always have such fun when it is time for a RuffleButts photo shoot. This one was quick and easy, as we only had a few new styles that needed pics, but taking time out of the office and seeing our creations on this sweet little angel (named Connie) is such a nice reminder of why I do what I do! I also sent out a little email notification to all of our newsletter subscribers, so they would be the very first to know about these 2 new limited edition tees. Check out the sweet pictures below:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Contest! Prize Package worth OVER $2000.00 - Moms United In Business

Contest Deadline: Friday August 15, 2008 11:59pm EST. Winner will be chosen via random drawing and announced Monday August 18, 2008. Prizes have been generously donated by members of Moms United in Business.

For my fellow moms in business, this is a great opportunity to win a ton of cool prizes, including FREE ADVERTISING! I was not extremely familiar with this organization, but after reading the short description below, I have to say, I love what they are doing!

"We are not merely a business community, promoting women and their businesses. We are an organization of motivated and energetic women offering inspiration and support not only as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and/or friend, but as a woman in your own right!

We believe that by following our own dreams, listening to the whispers of our hearts and by nurturing ourselves we are then able to give more abundantly to our families and our businesses.

We are dedicated to supporting you as both a Mom and a Business Professional. As we all know, the key to a successful business is networking and to a successful life is balance!"

Monday, July 28, 2008

My RuffleButts Experience

Ruffle Intern V:

"The best changes often start as a single, simple thought. Think big, and discover the ways to make your dreams real."--Hearts and Minds: Information for change

This is one of the major ideas I have discovered over the course of my internship here at RuffleButts. I feel as though nothing is more applicable to how this business got started; but I also feel that it is an ideal that we can all share and adapt as our own mottos in our everyday lives.

Working at RuffleButts this past summer has been an extremely rewarding and fulfilling experience. I am happy to say that my first major occupational endevour has been a complete sucess in my eyes and as a bonus, filled with some really great people. I have learned a lot about myself over these past three months and discovered that I can push myself outside of whatever pre-established comfort zones I might have and pursue different aspects of my field and business in general that I normally would not have attempted or looked into. Let me tell ya, it feels really good to tackle something that use to make you uneasy. I have grown a lot through my trials and pursuits at RuffleButts and I have definitely come out of this experience a more occupationally confident and independent person.

I can't express how much I appreciate all of Amber's guidence and support in my position this summer. I never imagined I would be able to work so close with a designer who is so willing to share every aspect of the business. The extremely personal experience of my internship made this decision all the more fulfilling and beneficial. I have to thank Amber for all of the opportunities she has given me this summer included mass producing my apparel designs and allowing me to try my hand at several different creative endevours. She has also shown me the nitty gritty aspects of running a business and all which that entails--something I could not have possibly gained from a classroom or a studio. However, one of the most inspiring things she has shown me is what an incredible amount of determination and passion one must have to run a business (especially in the fashion industry!), qualities which I am anxious to display in my own independent business endevours.

Before I finish up my final RuffleButts Intern posting, I would just like to say what a pleasure it has been to work with all of our customers. You guys are wonderful and all of your positive comments and support are a major part of what makes working here so rewarding, and reminds me of why going into children's apparel was a step in the right direction. Thank you.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nana update

I try to use the blog as an inspirational tool for the business, but today, I am cheating, so please excuse the big belly pictures! Since my husband and I currently reside in South Florida, we are many, many miles away from all of our family and many friends. As this is the first grandbaby for my mom, now officially "Nana", I'm sure you can understand how excited she's been through this whole prego process! My mom is not only a incredibly supportive mom, but also my best friend, and I am thrilled to share this experience with her. So, mom, here's your promised pic...I am getting rounder by the day!

Our little "RuffleButt" is a mini-acrobat and it is so fun to watch her grow so much at this stage. Although we are super busy with the business right now, Mark and I finally took some time this weekend to go check out some needed baby products. It is such a funny feeling walking through the store with our little registry gun, realizing that we really have NO idea what we are doing as 1st-time parents!! There are so many products out there, I am really depending on my mommy friends to guide me in the right direction.

I also have to take this time to thank all of my super supportive fellow-mommy business owners. Your warm wishes, emails of support, and baby gifts are incredibly appreciated! I am so excited to deck out our little "RuffleButt" in so many of my favorite small-business brands. And you better believe I will be promoting the heck out of your businesses to all of my new mommy friends! I couldn't ask to be a part of a more supportive group of are all fabulous!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Up and down

Any mom, grandma, business owner, or really any person can relate to me here...but sometimes I am just plain worn out! As women, we sometimes have the natural tendency to look at others and wonder how in the world they hold it all together. We compare ourselves, and resurrect that nasty little emotion called guilt. I keep in touch with a few other business owners and one of them yesterday just kept telling me how she was a bit overwhelmed by this whole business thing. I can totally relate to her and told her that I understand, but she will get through this and is definitely not alone!

Well, today, I need that pep-talk of my own. Please don't get me wrong, I totally love what I do and feel enormously blessed to have this opportunity, but today, I am just tired. I have decided that our little angel-to-come is a future gymnast, or karate champ, or something else crazy active!! She has a little pattern of getting a little wild and crazy around 5:00 in the evening and it continues all night long! Last night, after a 12 hour day at the office, I was just so darn exhausted, I slept through most of it, but I can't say that for the night prior.

Okay, I am almost done with my whining, I promise!! So today, I am finalizing those big decisions that I mentioned earlier this week and dealing with more production delays (I am learning that production delays are just a requirement to be in this business!). The delays don't affect any of our customers (yet), since I planned so far in advance - learned my lesson last season, but it is still a big headache and keeps me up at night! I am so glad today is Friday, as it is a welcomed break this week. I have been so excited about the business lately, and I definitely am still on that up, but I just need a little rest to keep me going.

See, you are not alone!! We all have our days. I used to feel extremely guilty about them, but I am starting to accept the fact that I am human and just have days a little less up than others.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Share a Smile Day!

I wasn't sleeping well last night and found myself with a million designs for RuffleButts, conversations that I needed to have with vendors, registering for the baby, and then the thought crossed my mind...what I have I done to share a smile lately? This is always a number one priority for me personally and with this business, but sometimes I find myself so caught up in my daily life, I forget to take a minute for someone else.

So, today my goal is to share a smile. I am also going to call the local Starlight Starbright Organization to plan a day for RuffleButts to volunteer our time.

This is your little reminder to think of something small that you can do today to share a smile with someone in your world. Maybe making a call to schedule your own volunteer project. Or possibly you have a mommy friend in despirate need of a little help. Maybe a phone call to your grandmother/grandfather would totally make their day (oh, I need to add that to my list too!).

I also have to take this moment to thank those of you that take the time to comment here at the RuffleBlog. I know sometimes it can be impersonal when you type in your comment and don't receive a reply, but I want you to know that every one of your little comments, words of encouragement and input, always puts a smile on my face. It is just nice to know that someone out there cares about what I have to, thank you!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

No Slippy Hair Clippy

You all know how I am always preaching about how much us entrepreneurs have to stick together in this crazy world? Well, I needed advice, so I turned to the owner of this fabulous company, and she totally came through! It is extremely important to me to support my fellow business owners and give advice whenever I can (not that I am the oh-so-experienced one), but if I have a lesson learned to pass along, I am always more than happy to do so. Unfortunately, I have learned in life that not everyone is on this same page, especially in business. I understand why and respect others business practices, but my philosophy will never change.

So anyway, I needed some advertising advice and decided to call Annie, the Co-Founder and President of No Slippy Hair Clippy, whom I had met at the Boom Boom Room in CA this past January. Annie was so friendly, that when I noticed her company in a publication that we were considering for marketing purposes, I decided it was worth a call. Annie was beyond friendly and supportive, giving me her opinion and feedback from her past experiences. No Slippy Hair Clippy is an adorable company that has done a fabulous job of branding themselves...something I also hope to accomplish! I highly value Annie's opinions and am so grateful to her for sharing.

We have never really done any advertising in the past, but are at a crossroads in our business where I believe it is time to take the month marks 1 year in sales!!! We are ready to ramp up, so wish me luck, as I have some major decisions to be made this week!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thanks Robin!

I must say that it totally made my morning when I checked our google analytics (by the way, if you are a website owner, this program is a must-have) to find a larger than usual amount of traffic coming from Turns out that this sweet lady who saw our RuffleButts in babytalk Magazine, shared her find with other moms on the message board...

" I saw this ad in a magazine I was reading at the doctor's today, I just thought they were too cute! I'm sure there's places to buy the same thing other than this website, I just haven't found it yet. Just thought I'd share!!!

I know it sounds silly, but it is always such validation when I receive feedback from others who appreciate my work! Of course, I have faith in what I am doing, but it is so tremendously rewarding and makes it so exciting to keep plugging away, when others agree!

If you are a fan of RuffleButts, I am so grateful when you take the time to share your opinions about our products...on blogs, message boards, and recommendations to tv shows, magazines & websites. You would be amazed what a little posting like this can do for a small business. Back when Kari Way took a few minutes out of her day to recommend RuffleButts to, we received more website hits in one day than we had ever received before! It really takes a ton of time and even more work to share our creations with the world, and I am so touched, as always, so have the support of so many amazing women out there behind us!

Monday, July 21, 2008


Looking for a hip mom networking site. This is one I have really enjoyed as a social networking site for the business as well as an advertising forum...

Posh Mama Online Magazine and Social Network is a positive and upbeat community made up of women from around the world. You will feel immediately welcomed as it is the sweetest spot on the 'net. Come hang out, network and make some great friends at

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mommy question

Okay, I am calling on our mommies for some design input here...

On the little summer tops with the thin straps, do you prefer that they tie, so they are adjustable, or do the ties make you insane?? We have a new style for Spring 09 and I am debating as to whether or not we make the ties adjustable, or we sew them in place with a bow, so they have that look, but don't come untied.

Thank you in advance for your time and help!!

Now That's Progress!

Ruffle Intern: V

This week has taken me in a million different directions...
I feel as though everything that needed/needs to be done was sort of shoved into this one week. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing but it has certainly been kicking my butt to get on top of everything on my agenda, both work-wise and in a personal sense. 

Coming home from school for an extended period of time usually means playing catch-up on taking care of myself and making sure I'm healthy and doing what I need to be doing. In other words, doctor appointments...lots and lots of doctor appointments. Unfortunately I had to schedule one of them during the work day so between that and Amber being out of town earlier this week, I haven't had much in-office time. 

And yet! I feel like I have learned and progressed a lot this particular week! I took on many tasks including graphic design, web design, and customer service. I really enjoy the creative aspects of this field, and I especially love designing graphics for various projects. This week I worked on creating a couple of banners for different apparel sets for the RuffleButts website. I've never done graphics for a website before and it was interesting to work within a different structure. 

I also handled a lot of customer/retailer phone calls, which was great for me because as you may know (and as I have mentioned a couple times before :P), phone skills are not my strong point. But it was no problem! I tell ya, it is so important to push yourself out of your comfort zone and get acquainted with something new. It's a great feeling to tackle something that previously made me uncomfortable. 

I appreciate everything that comes my way here at RuffleButts and am going to make the most of my last week and a half!


P.S. The "Make Your Mark" shirts finally came in! They look great! I am so anxious to hear what you all think about them :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Keep your head up

Since starting this business over a year ago, I have had good days, rough days, days when I am walking in the clouds, days when I want to hide in my bed, days when I want to strangle someone, and days when I just can't believe how lucky I am to be pursuing a dream and running my very own business! This job is like any other in many ways, it is not perfect, it requires a TON of work, and it definitely keeps me on my toes. The major difference is that it is very personal. They are my creations that I am sharing with the world, my customers, my sales goals, my successes, and my failures. As much as you say business is business, it is still very personal.

Through this experience I have been so fortunate to "meet" some amazing people on this same roller coaster. Women that have launched their own businesses, pursuing their own dreams. Over the past week, I have spoken with three incredible women, Lina of Mia Belle Baby, Rachel of Comfort Matters Inc., and Maria of MamaOm, all on a very similar path. Yesterday, I spoke with Lina on the phone after receiving an email from her that reminded me so much of myself in the early stages of launching Lina is a super talented designer, but also, so importantly, she is a hard-working business person. As she is launching her line, which she has been developing for the past year, she is facing the same obstacles that so many of us face, not only in the beginning, but many days along this journey.

Lina went on a few sales calls last week and although she received orders for her brand new products within the first few sales calls, which says a ton about her line, she heard her first negative reactions. This is always so tough to swallow because any negative feedback makes you second guess your own decisions. This conversation with Lina took me immediately back to my very first trade show, where IF someone actually stopped to talk to me, half of them had their own opinions to contribute..."you should have used a different color button", "this print is awful and won't sell well", "oh, this will be your best seller". Funny things is, they were all wrong!! I took their opinions so seriously the first time around, but as I slowly figured out that they were just that, the opinions of a few, I realized that I should trust my gut. I won't always be right, but so far, so good. I also quickly learned that your products will not be liked by everyone...there is not a single product on this planet that is.

So many of us will have these days where we second guess ourselves...our design choices, fabric selections, advertising options, do we or don't we hire help, do you take on PR on your own or work with a specialist, who do you trust to manufacture your products...this list goes on and on. Sometimes I second guess the way I handle challenging situations. Sometimes I come down hard on myself when our sales slow down for a few weeks. But I guarantee you, no matter how little or how long you have been in this business, or any business for that matter, you are not alone. We are all on this insane roller coaster of a ride with loops, hills, twists and turns. Have faith in yourself, push through to tomorrow, and take time to reward yourself for little victories. To be honest, one of the things that gets me through my really rough weeks is to pull up my old emails from customers praising our products and my business. I am blessed to have the most supportive, considerate, amazing customers in the world and they make what I do worth it.

Keep your head up and your sights set forward, don't compare your business and/or products to others, turn to mentors when you can, and share your knowledge with those behind you.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The End Is Near!

Ruffle Intern: V

I tell ya, this week it really hit me that summer is beginning to wind down.
I sat down with Amber at the beginning of the week to discuss how my internship has gone thus far. We discussed my progress as well as things I still need to work on (Phone skills! It's just not my thing!). My internship will be over come the end of this month and I can't believe how soon that is--the days are creeping past me. There are still so many things I am looking forward to this summer before I head back to New York for school, but then there is also the ever-looming summer projects for my senior thesis that I am working on. Unfortunately, those deadlines are creeping up too.

Over the summer I am suppose to design three major apparel collections. Of those three collections, I will have to choose one next semester and create it for my senior thesis. I am so nervous! This is it...the final push, the final year of college before I'm out. I hope I can create something that I am proud of and that shows off all the hard work and effort I've put into the previous three years.
We shall see...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What are you waiting for??

Nike says it best, and I know it is a bit over-used, but it is just so true! I found this picture on another website, and it hits home. I must say, Nike got it right!

So, you know if I am talking to you you have a drive to do something different, something bigger? Do you have a business idea that you think and/or talk about all the time, but just can't seem to get through the fear of failure? I know we all have different reasons and different factors in our lives. I know we all can't just pick-up, quit our jobs, and go after a long lost dream, but this is just a little reminder that time is ticking by. If there is going to come a day in your life when you look back and think that you let this opportunity slip by, I am telling you to get to work!!! You don't have to dive in completely, but start with a little research, take your idea to the next level.

I have told my story many times before, but that is exactly where I was when I made the major decision to go for my "RuffleButt" dream. I had worked in multiple careers - pharmaceuticals & real estate, but something was missing. I always knew that I wanted to start my own business, but it wasn't until that "light bulb moment" outside of the shopping center when I knew in my heart that I had to give it a shot. I am just your everyday girl, went to an everyday college, lived an everyday life. I didn't have any fancy background or money flooding my bank account, but I was determined to make this work. I knew with faith, determination, and the support of the wonderful people in my life, that I could make this something big.

I am just in the beginning steps at this point. After almost a year of sales, I have been so tremendously blessed by strong sales and such a warm response from our customers, but I am only getting started! I want to turn this into something big, a brand that everyone knows and loves, a company that touches lives around the world, and a charitable giving budget that allows our customers to make an impact on the lives of others through their purchases!

Your dream does not have to be anything like mine, but I want you to know that it is possible, whatever it may be. As long as you have thoroughly done your research and know that it is a viable business opportunity, all it takes is a LOT of hard work, an incredible amount of determination, and heart.

Be sure to keep in touch, post your updates in the comments section - I would love to hear your stories and goals!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's a RuffleButt Girl!!

Well, we were just hoping for healthy and happy, but I must admit that it's an extra treat to find out that IT IS A GIRL!! I really wasn't ready to start a line for boys, and now I just can't wait to decorate our own little RuffleButt with little fun & frilly booty ruffles! I am so appreciative of your thoughts, prayers & support. I truly could not ask for more amazing customers and friends!

By the way, aren't those ultrasounds just mind-blowing?!! We had our 21 week ultrasound this morning and our little angel decided to go extra cute for the picture, sucking her thumb! As a first-time mom, every little thing just amazes me!

It is also so nice to start my day with such a grounding reminder about what is important in life. I am back at my office now and I just have such a positive outlook this morning, it is quite refreshing. Life is a miracle, and we just can't forget that!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!!

I have to say that I just love holidays!! For the many reasons that come to mind, but also for the oh so peaceful opportunity that exists to work on my business in a quiet office with no phone ringing, no meetings, just a clear mind and the chance to actually think ahead.

When running a business, you can get so caught up in the daily activities, and I have found myself quite guilty of this lately. I come in with really great intentions and some creative ideas, and then I look down at the clock to find that it is 10 minutes till 7:00pm and rush out the door to get our last minute shipments to the post office. I find that sometimes I actually have to plan to plan. Sounds funny, right? Well, I learned this one from my dad - yes Dad, you do have some great advice at times! - as a business owner, he actually puts planning weeks on his calendar, where he takes time out of his office to plan for the business. It is super difficult to take time out of the office for any business owner, but especially the small business owner. As many of us know, if you're not there doing it, then no one is, but in the long run, this can be extremely beneficial and ultimately profitable! My goal this week is to do major planning for the rest of the year and also put some time into some creative, out-of-the-box press and sales. I can't afford to take time out of the office this week, but this 4th of July holiday has given me that needed extra time to start on this goal. I can't wait to share the positive results with you very soon =)

I hope you all are enjoying this wonderful weekend!! Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

No more back-orders!!

I am very happy to share that our replacement stock has finally arrived from our factory, and it looks great! I have learned that no matter how proactive I try to be, there will always be delays and everything takes longer than expected. If you are starting your own apparel business, my advice would be to add about 4-6 weeks into your planning schedule for unexpected delays, especially in the beginning. We are still missing just a few sizes and styles here and there, but we are about 90% there and should be at 100% by mid-July. My biggest concern was and is my customers. I hate to have anyone, mom or store, waiting on stock to arrive. But, I am happy to say that almost all of our moms have now received their back-ordered items and our stores are shortly behind.

I have to give Veronica a ton of credit here, as she has spent a good portion of her days filling orders for the past few weeks, and has done a heck of a job! We hope to get our retailer orders filled and shipped by next week at the latest, so we should be back on track at that time.

Although stock can be a really tough thing for a business to balance financially, I believe that it is hugely beneficial to have our products available year-round to our stores. This allows them to place re-orders anytime they are needed and have them in a matter of weeks! In the beginning, I was afraid to order too much, but with our strong growth and sales, I now feel so much more comfortable having a good amount of product on-hand and in production for replacements. I must admit, that is a good feeling that I am very grateful to have achieved.