Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Meet Amber & Aubry

This was just kind of fun...I received an email from one of our RuffleButt customers. "I have been telling all of my friends with girls about Ruffle Butts! Her outfit is ADORABLE! I definitely plan to order more." Turns out her name is Amber and her daughter's name is Aubry!

So, meet Amber & Aubry (great name choice by the way!!)!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Reach Out

I must say that I have learned a lot, A LOT, of lessons since starting this business, but one of those lessons has been that you can not sit back and wait for things to come to you. Those that put themselves out there, work hard and think outside the box, are the ones that stand out from the crowd. So, when I received this email, I knew that this gal has something special. She is willing to go above and beyond, she is not afraid to ask for help. This is truly the 1st step to success. And, not that I am the master at any of this, as I am still learning everyday, and try to remember to do these types of things myself. So, I wanted to share her email and support her in her new endeavor, as we all start somewhere and she is obviously working hard to do it right!

"I love your website and how you talk about how great it is for women to start up their own companies, be creative etc. I'm a preschool teacher who has started a baby gift business on the side. I'd love any advice you have, Rufflebutts seems like it is everywhere these days!! My website is www.BlissyByBrittany.com if you want to take a look and let me know if you have any ideas for me as to how I can best get my name out there! Thanks so much, Brittany"

It is so tough, as we are all so busy, and unfortunately, I don't have enough spare time to keep in touch with many of the incredible women that cross my path. But, just know this, if you are on this same journey, at any stage in the game, we are all in the same boat. Some days are good, others just stink. Some people are great, supportive, encouraging, and others want nothing more than to sabotage your efforts. This is just life...in any job.

As an entrepreneur, sometimes we feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, but if you give it your all, make the best decisions you can with the information at hand, and most importantly, do it all with the integrity you would be proud to show the world, then you are doing well. There are many days when I second guess myself, when I wish I would have done something differently, when I wonder if I am making the right decision. There are days when I wonder if I am good enough to make this work. Then I open my email to find pictures or notes from some of the most encouraging and amazing moms & grandmas out there, and I remember what I am really doing everyday. Obviously, this is a business. I work so hard everyday to build this company and some day create financial stability for my family. But, what really drives me, what truly gives me that incredible fulfillment that I longed for, are those precious little angels grinning from ear to ear in my creations. Watching the moms and grandmoms ooh and coo over their adorable little ruffled princess.

Brittany, work hard, don't let anyone discourage you. Keep thinking outside the box, reaach out for help, be true to yourself. And, be sure to run your business in a way that will make you proud.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

$5 Bloomer Deal!!

We don't do this often, but I had so much fun giving away free t-shirts last month, that I wanted to do something again this month. So, for a VERY limited-time, we are offering our Lime Knit RuffleButt Bloomer for only $5 with the purchase of the matching "Monkey Fun" rhinestud tee!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Drop Shipping Guide

We made the decision early on, not to offer drop shipping to our retailers. This decision was made for multiple reasons, one being that I was so new to the business and really didn't fully understand the costing. If you are a entrepreneur fairly new to the business and in the decision making process, I thought you may find this information helpful. I only wish I would have discovered something of this detail when starting RuffleButts!! I also give major props to Lisa Otto from Boutique Up! Daily for writing such a fabulously informative guide.

You can go directly to their blog to download the free ebook, How To Drop Ship Your Product. Be sure to take advantage of this today, as I think it is only a 1-day thing. I'm sure if you browse around a bit, you'll find a ton of other very useful information. Hope this helps! Sell, sell, sell =)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A mom is a mom

We are seemingly surrounded by celebrity baby buzz on a daily basis as celebrity moms grace the covers of many a magazine and their little tots are followed around by the papparazzi like they are celebrities themselves! I think we tend to forget that these talented women are really a lot like us in many ways. I am finding that a mom is a mom, and when it comes down to it, that title alone unites us in some weird way. Weather you are a business owner, actress, accountant, or stay-at-mom, once you bring a little life into this world, you just understand.

So, I received an email from a well-known actress and she couldn't have been sweeter. I am always thrilled to receive positive feedback from our customers, as it truly makes what I do so incredibly rewarding! I have to share, not only because this really made my day, but also to show you how down-to-earth and gracious some of these celebrity moms truly are...

"Thanks so much Amber!! Yes, it is heaven. We are having so much fun.
I'm a big fan, and of course I would LOVE some personalized rufflebutts! Dolly and Charlie are the names...Yours are the cutest baby clothes I've seen. I can't wait to see our little girls wiggling around in them.

Rebecca (Romijn)"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Day at the Park

It was 75 degrees this weekend in Charlotte and was such a nice little infusion of sunshine! Aubrey was born in November, so naturally we have spent quite a bit of time indoors over the past few months. Working 10-12 hour days also doesn't help the matter. But this weekend was different!! Aubrey's Mimi and G-Daddy (yes, that is actually what my dad goes by nowadays) were in town for a few days, so we introduced our little angel to the sunshine. I think I forgot how much I love a beautiful, sunny day! Friends and family are always telling me to take a break and get out of the office, and I rarely listen, so, I am passing on the advice...sunshine is just good for the soul!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Website Upgrades

So, Amber has been extremely busy over the last week and unfortunately unable to find time to do a blog posting. (No this is not her writing in the 3rd person !). As the COO of RuffleButts, father to Aubrey, and husband to Amber, I'm in charge of a lot of the back-office items that no one likes to talk about (let alone do), but still need to get done. Accounting, web design, marketing creation, technology management, and a lot of other not-so-glamorous activities are just a few of the items on the list. In order to help her out a little bit I'll give you a little taste of what's been going on behind the technological scenes here at RuffleButts.

We're always trying to make our brand and site more fun and easier to explore, so we've gone thru a series of website upgrades over the last few weeks. You've probably noticed some of the changes, and I can assure you, there are many more to come. Here's just a few of the 'tweaks' we've made:

1) Homepage layout redesign. We weren't 100% happy with how our homepage looked, so we spent some time redesigning it. There was just too much text on the old page, and not enough focus on what the focus should be on, our fun & frilly products. A few scrolling and fading images help to get across more design ideas, while taking up less real estate (HINT: you can hover over the moving images to pause them, or click on them for more details). A contrasting Shop Now section will make it easy to get straight to what you're looking for without having to click all over the place to find it and smaller / less text oriented testimonial and RuffleBuzz sections help to get the same points across quicker and easier.

2) Dropdown menus will now appear when you hover over our main/middle navigation bar. This provides much quicker and easier access to our products and make is simpler to see what pieces can mix and match with other items on the site.
3) We added a 'hidden' newsletter sign-up 'tab' on every page. Anyone not on our mailing list already is missing out on some tremendously great deals that we email out periodically (Did you get the Free Fuchsia High Maintenance T-Shirt offer?!?), so we've made it easier to sign up quickly. Simply click the NEWSLETTER SIGNUP white on pink tab at the top of any screen and watch as the sign-up boxes magically appears!
4) There are a ton of other minor tweaks from a more friendly and eye-pleasing ADD TO CART section on each product page, updated image borders, creating state boxes for our retailers section, enhancing our contact us email section, to improving our entire back-end wholesale section in order to make it easier for stores near you to order and carry our products.

We hope the above modifications only serve to improve and enhance both our brand and your time spent on the RuffleButts website. If you ever have any suggestions as to what could be done to make your experience at RuffleButts.com better, we're always open to hearing them!