Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Social Networking

So, I have given Mark yet another 'official title', 'Director of RuffleButts Social Networking'. When running a business, there are so many factors that people really don't have designing, researching, selling, accounting, marketing, of course the daily tasks like fulfillment and customer service, and now you have social networking. I guess this really falls under marketing, but since I graduated with a degree in marketing more than 9 years ago now, it does not fall in my realm of expertise.

I know, I have to stay ahead of the game, and it does make sense for the most part, but with everything I have crammed into my short days, including the top priority of my little angel, I just couldn't grasp the concept of Facebook or Twitter on a daily basis. When I started RuffleButts, we had a MySpace page, as that seemed to be a decent way to spread the word, but as we quickly learned, our customers were more about Facebook. So, on we went to learn this new marketing tool. Honestly, it has been kind of fun, making new friends, and staying in touch with a few old ones, but it is now just one more place where I am a horrible friend =) I am too busy to get on there daily, so I don't respond promptly and I post a 'status update' about once a month. So, when we realized that we really need to utilize Twitter as well, Mark was up to the task. This is one of the things that I love about him...when he decides to take on a project, he does it right. He has designed our page, done the research, does our daily 'tweets' and I definitely see the benefit to the company. I have a hard time getting into it, but anything that helps our customers and our business is a win-win in my mind!

So, if you are toying around with the idea, here are a few good places to start:
- Tips for Beginners at
- Tubby Bundle's helpful explanation of Twitter
- Duct Tape Marketing Blog - this is an awesome resource for small business marketing, including info on how to utilize Twitter and Facebook in your marketing

If you are already on Twitter, Mark has found the application TweetDeck, to be very helpful. This allows you to stay organized and really maximize Twitter for your business.

And, be sure to join us...

Me on Facebook
The RuffleButts page on Facebook (become a 'fan')

Friday, April 24, 2009


So, I had this small realization last night, though not sure why it took me so long to realize this. Mark, Aubrey and I were driving home from a big night out at Moe's Burritos and it dawned on me that I have spent my whole life focused so much on the future, that I didn't always stop to appreciate the present. I turned to him and said, "do you realize that at every stage in your life, you have more responsibility?" He said that he had heard this story on a Christian radio station about a dad telling his son that he will never have less responsibility than he has at this moment in his life. This is so true!! And it doesn't really matter what point in time that moment may be. Until you reach retirement, you pretty much just keep piling on the responsibilities.

I realized that my entire life has been spent anxious to reach the next stage in my grade school, I wanted nothing more than to be a teenager in high school. Once I was in high school, I just wanted to graduate and move off to college. I went to night-school the entire summer following my Junior year in order to graduate a year early. I moved out of my mom's house and off to college at 17 - more responsibility. In college, I was only concentrated on my career, so I worked at a radio station and took some of my classes in the evening - more responsibility. When I finally graduated, again a semester early (after cramming way too many classes into my schedule), I was so excited to start my big career. I hated it!! I thought, "this is what I have been working so hard my entire life to achieve?" Everyday was the same, I was unfulfilled, and I realized that I never took the time to have fun. I quit my job, took another job, and got a puppy - more responsibility. I bought a townhouse - again more responsibility! At this point, I felt like I had accomplished many of the things on my 'to-do list', next down was the whole family thing. I then met my husband, and was married less than a year later (that is a whole other story in itself!!) - yet again, more responsibility. This story could go on and on, but to get to the point, we bought a home, moved a few times, started RuffleButts, and then came our precious Aubrey. Holy cow, more RESPONSIBILITY!!

So, I realized last night, that I totally and completely love my life and every single one of my responsibilities (okay, maybe not the whole house-cleaning thing), but for the most part, I wouldn't change a thing. I just wish that someone would have told me (I'm sure they did, but knowing me, I just didn't listen), to stop and smell the party a little more in college, to lay on the couch a little more in high school, to spend more time with my friends and family, before we were all consumed by life's responsibilities. Then, I realized, that although life is super crazy right now, and I've never had more responsibilities, that I need to take time to stop and enjoy my life. I should cuddle with my husband when Aubrey goes to bed at night, I should kiss on her every bit I can while she'll still let me, I should go out to lunch with girlfriends even if I'm behind at work. Life is short, it goes by fast, so yes, you probably have more responsibilities right now than you ever have before, but enjoy this moment, cause I guarantee you'll have more in the future!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fargo Floods

We so often see things on the news, and our hearts break, but we get on with our day, thinking there is not much we can do. Well, as a sat watching Good Morning America one morning while feeding Aubrey, I look up to see a picture of Fargo, ND covered in water. There were families telling their stories of loss and heartache, and I felt so helpless. Then, I remembered that one of our favorite stores, Pout Baby Boutique, is located in Fargo. My first thought was fear that they would be affected as well, but with hope that the store would be okay, I realized that this was my opportunity to help.

I immediately emailed Kris over Pout. Of course, she is so sweet, that she took the time to respond to me in a time when I'm sure she was bombarded and overwhelmed. She was completely on-board with my plan, so we packed up a box of RuffleButts goodies and shipped them on their way. Kris is now distributing those garments to families in need.

If you are a customer in the Fargo area, be sure to check out this baby boutique. They regularly carry a fantastic selection of our woven ruffled bloomers. Kris always orders a great color variety to offer to her customers!

Pout Baby Boutique
4325 13th Ave S #6, Fargo, ND 58103

When I started this business, it was extremely important to me to do more than just sell baby apparel. I truly wanted to touch the world in some way. Giving back is just one small way that I can do good for others. Although we're not an enormous corporation and we can't write Million Dollar checks or build schools around the world, I hope this small box of apparel was a blessing to someone. Someday, I hope this business can benefit millions of people worldwide!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Friendship Rocks

This weekend, I was thrilled to make a last minute trip back to good ol' KY to visit the folks! It was Aubrey's very first plane ride and her first introduction to many family members. As you can imagine, I was a bit nervous, especially considering that the flight was not direct. And after much bragging about how well she did on the way there, she had a total meltdown on the way home. I was so that lady with the crying baby!! It was completely worth it though, as we had such a great weekend!

On Sunday morning, we joined "G-Daddy and Mimi" and "Aunt Shannon" (Mimi's niece) for church at Southeast Christian, which is this enormous church in Louisville. But, it is sermons like the one I heard this weekend that remind me why it is so enormous! This pastor is incredibly gifted!! He is in his mid-twenties and can touch the lives of thousands in the way that he delivers his message. So anyway, as I was listening to his message on "Friendship Rocks", I kept trying to remember all of the great points he was sharing, so I could share them with you. Finally, I got to the point, where I had a list of about ten different points, so I thought I would just share the entire sermon instead. I know most of us don't have a spare 35 minutes to stop and watch a video, but I am telling you, this one is worth it. It was such a nice reminder of what life is really all about. It also gave me the little kick in the butt that I need every Sunday to work on myself. We all have room to grow and improve, and the day that you stop trying is the day that you lose yourself.

So, when you have a minute this week, I highly encourage you to listen:
This is the video -
Or get the podcast here -

I have always been one to have many acquaintances, but only a very few close friends. Sadly to say, I am also one to quickly let those friendships fade as things get tough or too busy. I rarely let my friends see the un-pretty side of my life, although I know we all have one. I accept these faults and vow to work on them. I know how blessed I am to have met some really incredible women over the past few years, and this is my (not so private) commitment to make those friendships a priority in my life.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Design Time

I am digging deep this week for my creative inspiration. It is that time of year and we are working on our soon-to-debut, brand new knit Collection. I am pretty excited, as I love our new colors and prints! This week, I am working on the t-shirt embellishment designs. I realize how nice it was to be so naive in the beginning. When I designed our original t-shirt line, I had no background in kids wear. I really didn't know what would sell and what wouldn't, I just designed from my heart. Needless to say, this is when our "So Blessed" shirt was born and is still our very best seller today. Now, I try to listen to my heart over my head. It is just natural that our past sales number sneak into my mind. I don't want to play it safe, but also don't want to get too crazy and have the inventory sit in the stockroom. I have a couple of visions and knew exactly what I want on some, but I still have to reach for the last few.

That is truly one of the things I love about my job - it is so very different from day to day. I am not the most creative of people, but I do love the challenge. There is also no feeling like the one when you see little angels running around in your creations!

The new Knit Collection will be available this summer, so be sure to check back. And even more exciting, we are now producing our own fabrics and colors, and these new knits are incredible. They are a little heavier and even softer than before!

We just keep moving forward, one improvement at a time. If you are a potential entrepreneur waiting until you know everything to pull the trigger, let me tell you now, it will never happen. There is so much to learn and you have to start somewhere. Just do your very best from day one and improve daily from there.

Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.”~William Pollard

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Give up

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." Thomas A. Edison

Is this you? Are you at the end of your rope? Sitting here today, I am overwhelmed, overworked, overtired, yet overjoyed that I get to do what I was meant to do! I remember clearly one night about 16 months ago when I was completely rationalizing in my head how to gracefully shut down the business. I was thinking through my options of selling off the inventory, or maybe calling some big company and sharing my grand vision to see if they wanted to buy it. I knew I was crazy, and what company would want to buy a brand that even the CEO and Designer does not have enough faith in to continue? See, that was it, I did have faith that this idea could be big...that this brand could spread ruffles and share smiles...that I could do something that I love and do good in the world at the same time!

Thomas Edison was so right, and I was almost one of those failures. I didn't realize just how close I was. With hard work, MANY hours, and a lot of determination, I am finally within reach! When I would try to explain it to my closest friends, I would use the analogy of hiking over a mountain. I felt like I was a little stuck on the uphill and just couldn't see the top. It was foggy and the peak was just not quite in sight. I followed my gut, kept trudging. I was tired, bruised and battered, but I knew what was on the other side of that mountain would change my life. I wanted it and I wanted it badly.

Some days I still feel like I am fighting an uphill battle, but now things are different. Now I have a compass. I also have the positive encouragement of thousands (literally thousands!) of customers pushing me right on up. This is not to say that all days are easy. Actually this week has been one of the most exhausting yet. But, I count my blessings daily that this is what I do for a living!

Where are you on your hike? Do you know where you are headed? Do you look around to compare yourself to others? This is your journey, not theirs. Go at your pace, keep your goal in site, and think about Edison's words. It doesn't matter if your journey is creating a business, being a mother, finding an occupation, following your heart, discovering your calling - whatever it may be, understand that the timing is different for everyone. Pray, ask for guidance. And keep walking!

I will never forget my prayer commitment that I made prior to starting RuffleButts. I was working a job that I loathed. I did not respect the people that I worked for, and didn't trust the people that I worked with. That is a bad combination! So, I committed, to myself, that I would spend 5 minutes in the car every morning, before going into work. I prayed for the strength to make it through the day. I prayed for the peace to maintain my core values when challenged daily to lose them. I prayed for the guidance in discovering my true calling, my big idea. I also prayed for the people that I didn't like, that God would lead them to their own happiness.

I will never know exactly why I had the idea to create RuffleButts, but I 100% believe that it came largely from those prayers.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

So Blessed

I was fortunate enough to spend a gorgeous Saturday at the park with my two favorite people. We shot a few pictures and when I saw this one, I had to share. I knew I loved this shirt when I designed it, but now that I have my own little blessing, I love it even more!

Friday, April 3, 2009


We are at it celebrate Easter and our many, many blessings, we are sharing the love! Purchase any on of our Sundresses and add the matching Bloomer for only $5 more!! These Bloomers are usually priced at $21, so this is a $16 discount. The best part is that two of the dresses are already on sale at 24% off, so you are saving $27 on these!! So, if you are looking for a sweet dress to kick-off Spring, this is a great opportunity to get a good deal.

Go to now to get in on this limited-time offer. Also, fair warning, that these dresses are all limited edition, so once they're gone, they are gone for good!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Calling all Camarillo Moms

If you live in the Camarillo, CA area, you definitely want to read this! Our photographer, Amanda Elkins, is holding a Moms Mini-Session and is offering a little added bonus to any RuffleButts customers. I am super jealous, as it is a little far for me to travel for a photo session, but this is such a great idea. My favorite pictures are those that are just caught in the moment, not posed, not forced, just fun! Amanda has an amazing talent of capturing these moments.

You can go to her blog to read more details, but be sure to reserve your spot as soon as possible. This is a really great deal, and the first time I have ever seen her rates this low!! When you call her, just be sure to mention that you are a RuffleButts Fan, and she will give you an extra 5x7 print of your choice!

Go to to find out more!