Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nice Challenge

Okay, here is my challenge to you...I guarantee that something positive will come your way in return!

So, I am challenging you to pick up the tab for a random stranger. Do it at the coffee shop, or maybe the McDonald's drive-through. It could even be a $.99 cup of coffee at the gas station. It doesn't have to be much, but I guarantee you will make someone's day!

So many of us are loaded up with responsibilities and stresses. We have a lot resting on our shoulders, and even if we could afford that cup of coffee, it would be so much more fun if it were free! And the best thing in life is that all good deeds come back at you ten plant those seeds and let them bloom. If nothing else, someone will have a better day all because of you!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ali Landry & daughter Estela in RuffleButts!

We were pretty excited when we received an email from Kelly (one of our RuffleButt model moms) informing us that she had just spotted RuffleButts on TMZ! Turns out Ali Landry and her daughter Estela were out playing on the beach when the papparazzi got a few shots. They best part is, Estela was looking absolutely precious in her Swiss Dot RuffleButt Bloomers!! I mean seriously, Ali is one hot Momma (I must admit I am a little jealous of that killer body) and her daughter could not be cuter!

I actually met Ali out in LA at the Pre-Golden Globes Gifting Suite in January of 2007, just after launching RuffleButts. She was super nice as we laughed about the stories of our own 'rufflebutts', having grown up in the south. Well, I grew up in KY, but it is more south than many of the states beneath us! Anyway, she told me that her daughter loved her ruffled bloomers and now ours would be the brand of choice! So, it was very fun for me to see Estela having a blast in her RuffleButts a year and a half later!

We found the pictures all over the internet including and iBabyCouture, among many others. We are crossing our fingers that they make it into one of the weeklies, but I am completely honored either way!

Monday, July 13, 2009

LA photo shoot

So, I have been horrible about writing for the past two weeks, but once you read this, I think you'll understand why! I just returned from our photo shoot out in LA and am now back in the office, but here's the events of the past week alone...

- Worked until 1:00 in the morning trying to confirm models for Saturday's photo shoot
- Found out that our production coming from the factory was going through the forwarder and was now going to arrive on Wed or Thursday, instead of Mon or Tues as expected
- Found out that our photo shoot samples were FINALLY sent out and due to arrive to me today

- No photo shoot samples
- No production delivery
- Waiting to hear back from the models
- Production for big Nordstrom order due to ship out from the factory today or tomorrow

- Photo shoot samples arrived, missing about 25% of the items
- One fabric made with the wrong background color
- One t-shirt made with the wrong print colors (we sent them corrections after seeing the first sample via photo, but they didn't correct them)
- No production delivery
- New RuffleButt denim for photo shoot missing from samples, now due to ship overnight today

- Notified that production cleared customs and should be delivered today
- The rest of the photo shoot samples arrive, still no denim
- Receive notice that denim is not being sent in time for photo shoot
- Production never shows up

- Still have not received confirmation from all models for photo shoot
- Production finally arrives...yay!!
- Find out that Nordstrom order never shipped out to us, and we are supposed to use the production we just received to fill that order...which leaves us with no production to fill the rest of our orders, and not even enough to fill the Nordstrom order!!!
- Sent out all back-orders (more than 30 of them!)
- Go through all samples and pack for photo shoot...until 1:00 in the morning

- Get up at 4:00 am to leave for airport
- Lug all photo shoot apparel and Aubrey to the airport and take of for LA, all before 7:00am
- Play with my adorable (but not acting adorable) little one for 5 hours on a plane. She slept a total of 20 minutes of the 5 hours =)
- Arrive in LA and drive to straight the photo shoot. Stuck in LA traffic for about two hours and arrive almost an hour late!! (We only had less than 2 hours to use the first location)
- Drive straight from 1st location to 2nd, arrive 30 minutes late due to time crunch at 1st location.
- Shoot all of the models and then Aubrey at the end. She was tired, not happy and completely thrown off...wouldn't smile for anything =)
- Get back to our hotel around 8:00pm LA time, 11:00pm our time.

- Up at 6:00am LA time, played with my little angel and off to the airport by 8:00am
- Aubrey was so sweet to me and had a wonderful flight!! We played together the entire time and I felt so blessed to have this devoted time with her where I couldn't work, couldn't accomplish anything around the house, and it was just 100% Aubrey all day. She was a joy!!
- Hubby picked us up from the airport shortly after 7:00pm and we were very happy to be home!!

- Back to work =)

Still want to start your own business?! This week was a tough one on me. Emotionally, I went through the ringer with our factory and production. Physically, I am exhausted. But, with all of that said, I absolutely love what I do!!

The good news is that our new factory is really great at what they do and they are working hard to make it all right. Hopefully we will get back on track very soon. The good news is I am thrilled with the new collection, as some of the new shirts came out even better than I expected! Stay tuned...more to follow soon!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Life of an Entrepreneur

I've said it before, but I'll say it again...we are a unique breed. Entrepreneurs are just different, often misunderstood. I knew from a very young age that I would one day become an entrepreneur. When I was a teenager and adults would ask me the "what do you want to be when you grow up" question, I always answered that I wanted to start my own business. They would always chuckle with that "Oh you little child, of course you want to own your own business...good luck with that" kind of thing. No one really took me seriously, but probably because when they asked me "what kind of business", I never really knew. It may have sounded flighty or naive to them then, but I am now learning that is the foundation of an entrepreneur.

You don't have to know exactly what business you want to start, you just have to have that little fire inside that says you want to take a risk; you want to do it on your own; you want to plant a seed and watch it grow. More than that, it means that you are willing to take on the instability, the chaos, the long hours, the ability to think ahead of everyone else, the discipline to pass on the gatherings when all of your friends are having fun and you are at the office. You don't have to have the big idea from day one, but you have to be willing to work hard enough to achieve it.

As an entrepreneurial mom, I feel like this adds an extra layer. There aren't a lot of other moms out there who understand where I am coming from. Other mommy friends are hard to come by because I don't have any spare time to invest. I hardly even have time to respond to emails. From the other side, I'm sure it comes across as selfish, but I truly have to choose between personal emails and business emails during the day. My days are so jam packed and now that Aubrey is my top priority, I have to let some other things slide. The good news is that I have finally hired an Assistant, so hopefully that will help me on this never-ending journey towards balance.

So, I have learned in life, that I will never make everyone happy, but for me, this is happiness. I am working super hard at the moment to try to build something for the future. Mark and I are paying the price, working 10-12 hours a day, weekends, and then some to build a life for our daughter. I hope that putting in the extra hours now, while she is young will enable us to spend more quality time with her as she gets a little older. I think I was just born with that fire. I am not satisfied any other way. I just count my blessings that I have found the perfect husband to join me on that journey, and a few incredible friends who support and understand.