Monday, March 31, 2008

Under the weather

As I've said so many times before...I really try to express and share the realistic side of starting and running your own business through my experiences. I always love sharing the positives, but sometimes things are just a bit more challenging. Although things are going super well with the business right now and I am so very grateful for that, my physical body is putting up a bit of a fight! I have been under the weather for almost a week now and I am torn with guilt lying around the house (although I have to admit a little bitty piece of me is enjoying the break)! I have so much to do and so many orders to send out, but I am stuck working from the couch for today. I am really hoping and planning to get back into the office tomorrow to get all caught up, so for any of you waiting a little longer than usual for a reply, I sincerely apologize and promise I'll be back in the swing of things very soon.

Can I just add, I really can't wait to have an employee!! I absolutely love having Kristen (our RuffleIntern) on board, and I really look forward to having a full-time RuffleButts team. Someday, it will be =)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Get the Word Out!

As seen through the eyes of the RuffleIntern...
Finally, it is spring break! I could not wait to spend extra time working with Amber at RuffleButts. During my break, I was able to use my creative imagination and design a P.R. (public relations) chart for a three month quarter for RuffleButts. We decided upon a few goals for the company to accomplish withing the next three months. As we accomplish the goals, we place a cute, hand drawn cut-out of a RuffleButt in the space that coordinates with the accomplished goal. Hopefully by making the chart, it will give RuffleButts the opportunity to aim towards our highest goal, to be on a national television show; whether it be the Tyra Banks Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, or Ellen DeGeneres. Amber has already accomplished so much with RuffleButts Inc. I plan to continue helping Amber expand her company by getting the name of RuffleButts Inc. out to the world! Spread the word!--->RuffleButts!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fall Collection Announcement

I am so excited to say that I was finally able to send out our Fall 08 Collection announcement out to our retailer contacts. My husband and I have been working on this HTML email for weeks now, tweaking and adding everything so it would be as close to perfect as possible. I have to say, I have always taken those email newsletters completely for granted up to this point! Although I've sent newsletters in the past, this one was definitely more complicated. And considering that it held so much important news, I really wanted it to be great!

I am so blessed to work with some amazing retailers across the globe, so I hope this email helps me to add to this list. I also hope our current retailers are as excited as we are about this new collection! The collection will be available on the website and in retail stores beginning August of 2008, so keep your eyes out! If you have a local boutique that you love and they aren't yet aware of this new ruffled brand, I would be so grateful for you to recommend us next time you are in! Thanks!!!

Just click on the picture below to view our
Fall 2008 Collection preview Fashion Show!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Roller coaster

If you read this blog regularly, you are probably well used to my roller coater of emotions. This business has really forced me to dig deep, uncovering much of myself that I didn't know (some parts of which I preferred this way!!). I never knew I could be so day thrilled with optimism and excitement, the next just totally overwhelmed! I always try to tell myself that I can handle this, but some days it is just so much! Okay, I'm done whining, I think these 12 hour days are just starting to get to me...on to the update.

So, over the past week, I have had to send numerous emails to customers informing them of product back-orders. I have tried to post these back-orders on the website, but it can be a bit confusing with our multiple fabric options. I am STILL struggling with our past manufacturer on replacing all of the damaged and low-quality goods that were shipped to us months ago. I refuse to send poor quality items to my customers and am trying desperately to get in high-quality replacements to send out. I am so happy to say that our sales have been better than expected for our very first season, which is why it is killing me to not have products to send out when we receive an order.

I have spent so much time over the past few months trying to find a good manufacturer that is high-quality, dependable and ethical...doesn't seem to be too much to ask for, does it??? Well, this has proven to be my biggest challenge to date with this company. We are now working with multiple manufacturers to find the best fit and to reduce any risk of repeating the same mistake twice. We are finally expecting delivery of some small replacement orders early next week, which is a step in the right direction. If these come back to our quality standards, hopefully we will be able to get caught up in time for our upcoming Press in April!

So, one step at a loop, after hill, after climb. For those of you out there that ask me what it's like to own my own business - my answer is that it is one heck of a roller coaster ride! I must say I wasn't a big roller coaster fan before this, but I feel myself growing leaps and bounds!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


So I am usually one of those grouchy non-forwarders, not because I don't appreciate the inspiration, but because I am just overwhelmed by the number of emails in my inbox, and the sight of Fwd: screams "time-waster" at me! With that said, I received the story below from a friend today and it is so worth your time. This is exactly what I was trying to convey with our last "Smile Project" !

Please use this as a reminder and inspiration that you have the opportunity to leave a legacy everyday. Take just a few minutes out of your day today to share your blessings with someone who needs them.

From the email received today:
I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.'

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible 'dirty body' smell, and there
standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was 'smiling'. His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance. He said, 'Good day' as he counted the few coins he had been clutching. The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation. I held my tears as I stood there with them.

The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted. He said, 'Coffee is all Miss' because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm). Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.

I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'Thank you.' I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, 'I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.'

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope.' We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give.

We are not church goers, but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love. I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn: UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Goals update

This year is already flying by, so I figured it was time to post a little update on my "Goals" from December.

1. I am trying desperately to get organized and I am slowly making progress here. We did finally receive our production in late January, and I have been going at 150% to get everything back on track. I am very happy to report that things are moving forward and I am having a blast! We are already sold out of a ton and I am running a replacement production for Spring now. Needless to say, I am working with another manufacturer on this, but am still on the search for a long-term reliable manufacturer for our Fall line...any recommendations??

2. The de-stress/workout plan is now in place, and I must admit, is contributing massively to my sanity! It is very difficult to make time everyday, and I have to say, I haven't quite achieved my 1-hr/day goal mentioned in the December post, but I have started yoga and have been taking classes at least a couple days a week. Although I am working about 12 hours/day, I am starting to feel like my old self again. I guess what they say about working out is true!!

3. Sales - well, I add to our retailer list at least once a week, which works for me right now. I have not personally spent much time on sales, but fortunately my products are selling themselves. I did bring on our 1st sales rep out in Dallas and she is fabulous! I got super lucky on this one and hope that I can find more just like her!

4. Last but not least, I don't have any exciting news to report on the personal little "RuffleButt" front. I still have 100% faith that God will give us this gift when we are good and ready, and we'll just wait patiently for that time to come. I think he is just giving me a little time for this "baby" first, which is probably a very good thing. I will just continue to adore all of the other little angels and decorate their little bums for now!

I would love to hear about your goals! Be sure to post your comments below, so we can encourage and support one another. Jennifer over at Babyations wrote to me earlier this year with support - one of her goals was to start a workout plan as well, and she did it!! Go Jennifer!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pattern, after Pattern, after Pattern

As seen through the eyes of the RuffleIntern...
This past week I was introduced to our new Fall line! Mothers get your little angels ready for the new collection. Can you say ADORABLE (times one million!) I am really excited to see how the fashion industry works when it comes to a new season's line. I have no doubts at all about the new RuffleButts fall line. These designs are amazing and the fabric choices and colors are perfect for little girls! During the hours of my internship this past week, I engaged myself with the new fall line patterns for the clothing. My duties were to copy and cut out all of the patterns for the Fall line. I now have nightmares of cutting out patterns. (Just kidding) Pattern making is one of the very first subjects that I learned about in fashion school. Sometimes it can become extremely difficult to make a single pattern, and sometimes it is as simple as a snip, trim, a cut, and you're done.
However, I now realize how important it is to be knowledgeable in patternmaking. All of the patternmaking classes I have taken so far in school truly paid off. I should really thank my teachers. I cannot wait until the fall fashion show appears on the RuffleButts website.
As soon as the Fall line fashion show premiers, I hope everyone views the show, and I am sure you will fall deeply in love with the RuffleButts Fall line; I know I fell in love!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fun photos!!!

What a fabulous day I had on Friday! I tell you what, it really is days like these that I really just love what I do. You can get so caught up spending hour after hour, day after day, staring at a computer screen, putting out manufacturing fires, packing orders, but it is seeing my designs come to life on little smiling angels that makes what I do so very rewarding! I am working on the Fall Collection fashion show now, but I wanted to share a little sneak peak. I was honored to work with two little angels by the name of Alice and Gigi, making my designs look even cuter than I had hoped. I hope my new creations bring a smile to your face as well!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Intro To RuffleButts!

As seen through the eyes of the RuffleIntern...
Heart racing, palms sweating, stomach turning. That was the way I felt as I approached Mrs. Amber of RuffleButts Inc. It was February 20th, 2008, a Wednesday, when I entered the convention center for the internship fair. Not knowing what to expect, I brought my good friend Elana with me to keep me company. I felt so nervous to interview with Amber of RuffleButts Inc. but when I walked up to her and introduced myself, I began to relax and started my interview.
Maybe thirty minutes went by, when the interview was over. It was now time to wait, to see if I was the chosen one, to intern for RuffleButts. Several hours went by, when I received a phone call from an unrecognized number. I answered the phone, and to my excitement, it was Mrs. Amber! She had explained to me that she would love to have me as a part of her "team." Once again my heart started to race, this time with joy! Becoming an intern for a fashion company is the absolute best way for me to receive the knowledge that I need to learn more about the fashion industry. With the wonderful opportunity that Mrs. Amber had given me, I knew I was not going to let her down. I started the internship the very next day, bright and early!

It is now my third week at RuffleButts Inc. and I have to say it is an amazing experience. Mrs. Amber is extremely sweet, and knowledgeable, and is teaching me so much! Her designs and ideas are fascinating, and I know RuffleButts will go farther that it has already gone! I plan to continue my internship with RuffleButts as long as I can, and hopefully one day work for Mrs. Amber at RuffleButts Inc. During my internship, I will be filling everyone in with what it is like for me to intern at RuffleButts Inc. Everyday so far has been exciting and productive, and I would love to share my experiences with everyone. I would like to take a second and again thank Mrs. Amber for allowing me to intern for her company. I understand that it is a huge deal to invite someone into a company and share information and ideas. I appreciate everything she teaches me and I hope to give Mrs. Amber some of my knowledge, and my hard work and help RuffleButts grow. Thank you Mrs. Amber!