Friday, September 26, 2008


This has been an exciting week here at RuffleButts, as I have been in the interview process to add to our team! I have had the privilege of meeting some incredible women here in the Charlotte area. We are adding both an Intern position as well as a Part-time Office/Sales position, which will be such a fabulous step in the business. I never realized how tough the process would be though...I find myself wanting to hire almost everybody!! They all have such fantastic qualities, just all very different. With a few more interviews early next week, I am hoping to have someone officially hired by October 1st!

With the baby coming in late November, time just seems to be flying by at this point. It's funny, it seems that the first 6 months or so go by pretty start to feel like you've been prego forever, but now that I am into the 3rd trimester, it seems to be going by at light-speed!! Maybe it's just because I feel like I have so much to do before she gets here.

Which by the way, I have to brag about my super sweet husband...when I arrived home following my trip back home for my grandfather, I came home to find that Mark had surprised me with a painted nursery and put-together crib!! I must say that it is such a nice feeling to at least have the room painted and ready for furniture. We already have the bedding (which was a very thoughtful gift from my mom), and he even put that all together!! The room is looking a little empty at the moment, but I am working on the decor and furniture here over the next week or two.

Lastly, on a different note, I want to thank all of you that have taken the time to give me your input on our big fabric dilema. I think we are going to try a new wash on our fabric with natural enzymes in order to keep it 100% cotton, but to soften it a bit, preventing wrinkles and shriveling after being washed. It is such a tough decision, because it would be easier to just go with a poly/cotton blend, but it is important to me to try to stay 100% cotton, which is more natural and just a nicer fabric. I am trying so hard to get rid of those darn wrinkles, so maybe this is a perfect solution. We are doing some testing now and should have samples here in the next few weeks.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cookie Magazine

I happened to be over at a friend's house last night and she mentioned that she had just received her new Cookie Magazine in the mail that, I turned to the back advertising section, and was super excited to see RuffleButts staring back at me!! If you are a subscriber to this really great new magazine, be sure to check out your October issue!

As a small business, it is always so difficult to make advertising decisions, as I truly never had any idea how expensive advertising can really be. Throughout this first year of sales, our advertising budget has been next to nothing, but we are now just at the point where we have received a great response to our product, and need to let more people know that we exist. I made the decision a few months back to try a run with Cookie Magazine, being that this seemed to be the best fit for our company. I would also love to advertise with babytalk or American Baby, but we simply can not afford to do so. October is our very first advertising issue with Cookie, and although we had to use old pictures since our new ones hadn't arrived by the ad deadline, I think it turned out pretty well for the 1st go around. We also ran an ad in this month's Baby Couture magazine, but I don't believe that one has hit newsstands just quite yet.

I must say that it was really exciting and tremendously rewarding to see my very own company and creations on the page of a national publication! Now if we could just get a few more sales coming in to pay for it =)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Fall Fashion Show


I am so excited to share our new Fall Slide Show!! As I mentioned earlier, we started working with the most fabulous photographer out in CA and I am just thrilled with this first round of photos. If you are a store owner in need of a professional photographer, I highly recommend Amanda Elkins Photography. She has managed everything for me long-distance, and I truly can not speak highly enough of my pleasant experience with her! I will write more about this experience at a later date, but in the meantime, I would love to share with you our new and improved Fall Fashion Show!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Granddaddy

These past days have been extremely emotional for me, as I just returned home from Louisville (my hometown) after five very long, difficult, yet inspirational days. I have a renewed appreciation for life, family, health, and determination.

My grandfather, known as Granddaddy to me, has been in and out of the hospital fighting a weak heart for a while now. They finally diagnosed the problem and scheduled him for surgery, but about one week before the surgery, he experienced yet another heart attack and went back into the hospital. I was on the phone daily for the past few weeks to follow his status, but after learning that this time was much more serious and that he had requested the removal of his breathing tubes, I immediately booked a flight and headed home.

I arrived early on Thursday morning and spent some very emotional time with my Granddaddy and the rest of my family, as the doctors prepared us for the most likely scenario when life support is removed. The amazing thing was, that minutes after removing these tubes, none of these expected scenarios played out. Instead my Granddaddy peacefully looked around the room, and then asked about the weather. As you can imagine, at such an intensely emotional time, this very light-hearted question brought out a round of laughter from almost every family member (nothing new for my Granddaddy!!).

The three days following were days of miracles, struggle, strength, humor, and bonding. I witnessed strength from a man that I only knew as gentle, and humor in a time of typical sorrow. I witnessed the miracles of God and the gift of family. My Granddaddy gave me the gifts of love, joy, hope, determination and acceptance. He also unknowingly gave me a swift kick in the butt to remind me of the importance of family and true priorities.

My grandfather fought an amazing battle, but ultimately his physical body is ready to rest...although I have no doubt that his spirit will go on stronger than ever! My Granddaddy was an amazing man with many, many amazing stories to tell. I only hope that I inherited one ounce of his strength!! I am grateful to God for these past days, as difficult as they were, and don't ever want to forget to take time to celebrate the many miracles of life!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Decisions, decisions

With all of the craziness lately, I have been faced with many, many decisions. Our last intern, Veronica, used to tell me that she was amazed by the number of decisions that had to be made in our business on a daily basis. Well, with all of these recent changes, there are even more!! Over the past week, I have been faced with a whole list of them...making a decision on our new intern/employee, selecting a new phone provider (since our 1st option didn't work out), accounting/IT decisions, selecting a new embroidery vendor, and looking at fabric options for our upcoming Spring 2009 line (which is where you come in)...

I need your opinions, PLEASE!!

1) How important is 100% cotton?? Although it was extremely important to me when starting this line that we use 100% cotton fabrics, I have recently considering adding some other fabric options that offer easier care. All of our current garments are machine washable, but cotton naturally crinkles when washed, and in my opinion garments never looks as good after being washed the first time. Don't get me wrong, they are still absolutely precious, but the ruffles are just more ruffled/crinkled after being washed. I am considering a change to a blended fabric that looks exactly the same after being washed as it did before. It is a little softer to the touch and has a very slight sheen. The only problem is that it is not 100% cotton. Would this affect your purchase decision, and if so in a postive or negative way??

I have also been faced with a very difficult decision lately on how to deal with our production issues. I have come to accept that there are ALWAYS production issues in this business and this time is no exception. The only difference is that it is partially out of my control. With all of the recent hurricanes in the south, our products have been delayed in transport. Our completed items are stuck at port in Miami and have been for the past week (including our now backordered pink and fuchisa bloomers), and our fabric for our next production has been delayed going out for almost the past month! I am hoping that as Ike comes and goes this week, that we are able to get back on track and get our new production going quickly. I am always amazed at how far out I can plan to prevent issues like this, but everything is still always just a bit delayed.

On a more fun note, I want to share this adorable picture with you. The gorgeous little model is Isabelli, the daughter of our new photographer, Amanda Elkins. Amanda is an incredibly talented photographer out in CA, and has done a fabulous job on our new images for the Fall Collection! Check out our brand new Fall Fashion Show with her images on the website!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Getting settled

Well, as expected, this past week has been absolutely insane!! I apologize that I have been so horrible about keeping you all updated, but I feel so behind on everything at the moment, the blog keeps getting pushed further and further down the list.

I thought I could pull off a quick transition, but everything is taking just a bit longer than expected (surprise, surprise). I can't figure out if I am just overly optimistic or if I just take too darn long to do anything!! Anyway, I think I am almost there and promise to post pictures later this week!

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend and I promise to be back soon with more RuffleButts drama =)