Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and is making plans for a happy new year.  I am tired, exhausted, drained, beat, bleary, dead tired, done in, drained, enervated, frazzled, run-down, wearied, and worn out.  I'll see everyone again in 2009, after I have a chance to catch my breath...

Monday, December 8, 2008

As the Year Draws to a Close...

A few random thoughts...

First, no more blogging after this until every last order is on its way out the door for Christmas!

I am SO tired.

Which leads to the thought in my head that I will be taking the month of January off.  Its not for sure yet, but I sure am leaning toward it.

My mom is here for the week to help me!  I have ambitious plans for everything I hope to accomplish by Friday.

I am SO frustrated by the lack of people taking the new CPSIA legislation seriously.  On Feb. 10th, there will be a big "I told you so" here.  I can not begin to express how much I ache for all the people whose businesses this law is going to ruin.

There are only 17 days left until Christmas, wow....

And lastly a pic: far we've come in the past year...there's A LOT more to come....STAY TUNED!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

National Bankruptcy Day and its Implication for Small Businesses...

So this is kinda crazy, how something you've never even heard of snowballs into this thing that completely will affect your business in a pretty major way (all you fellow crafters, would be designers and lurking competitors, this blog entry really pertains to you, so pay attention).

For me, I saw CPSIA "stuff" on the internet, but I really didn't pay's about lead, and phthalates, blah, blah, blah...

Then (the totally awesome) Kathleen Fasenella made a comment to me on the fashion incubator forum, simple enough, it said "Re: toys, are you following the CPSIA news?"

Then I got an email from Amy Shearer from Journal Modiste.  Suddenly this darn thing is everywhere!  What is it?  Here's Amy's email and it sums things up nicely:

In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsource their production violated the public's trust. They were selling toys with dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small part, toys with improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made from chemicals that made kids sick. 

The United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August, 2008.  Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys, mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number. 

While we all applauded efforts by the federal government to tighten the safety standards for toys, we all got much more than we bargained for.  The law that was passed extends to all products directed to children 12 years of age and younger, and includes such things as clothing & toys and much more, with very few exceptions or exemptions.  That wouldn't be so bad, but there are a few requirements that, if left as is, will force most small businesses (and many medium & large sized businesses) out of business....including retailers, and work at home moms. 

How this affects retailers and manufactures:

1. Existing Inventory:  The law states that any affected product that does not meet the new standard (with the exception of phthalates) cannot be sold from the shelves after February 10th 2009.  The problem is that the law includes many new items that have not been under a previous regulation, and have not been tested.  To test these items now, on the retail or wholesale level is prohibitively expensive, and/or simply not possible.  So it is very difficult to confirm compliance (although most items in most companies would be compliant), and at the same time, penalties for selling anything that doesn't meet the standard are very stiff.  The options for anyone with inventory are not pleasant.

2. 3rd Party Testing by SKU: The law will require 3rd party testing in the future for each sku (or style).  The large pair of jeans have to be tested separately from the medium size of jeans...even though all materials are the same.  This makes testing prohibitively (impossibly) expensive.  There are other ways to form a testing regimen and be just as satisfied with the results.

3. Markings: All products manufactured after August 12th, 2009 must have markings on the package and permanent markings on the product indicating where, by whom, and when the product was made. Large corporations can afford purchasing multiple dies to do this.  Small companies cannot.  European companies with limited sales to the USA likewise cannot.

4. Complexity: The law is extremely complex.  Needlessly so.  It is requiring companies to hire lawyers just to get a grasp of what is required of them.  Also, the requirement of including certificates of compliance of each product shipped, with each product is overly burdensome.  Electronic certificates has been approved, and will help, but even then there is a substantial cost to the additional administration---which does very little, if anything, to improve the safety of our toys.

5. Frequency of Testing:  We are still trying to get a clear grasp of this.  However, it is very possible that each batch must be tested/certified.  This is fine for large companies running 10,000 or 100,000 pieces per batch.  For small manufacturers, with small runs, it multiplies the enormous cost from point #2, even higher.

What this means is small, innovative companies that typically make niche products, will be forced out of business, or forced to narrow their product range and sell to the mass market.  Product availability and selection will diminish.  We will be primarily left with imported plastic toys from China.  Yes, quite ironic isn't it.

The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection was SUPPOSED to hold an oversight hearing to examine the implementation of the CPSIA on Wednesday, December 10th, but it has been cancelled.

What else can you do?  Pass this on in your blogs, your parent groups, your local community lists, among your friends.  There is much misinformation in the market, and it is up to us to warn consumers and colleagues of the pending disappearance of the natural & specialty toys we have come to rely on in the recent years.  Sign petitions, and pass the link on to friends.

This is a critical time to raise our voices and be heard.  Please do not say it can wait until next week, or after Christmas.  

What else can you do?  If you are a crafter join the Handmade Toy Alliance, join the online community cpsia-central and become informed & involved.  Contact the media, discuss this in forums and in your own online communities.  It isn't just our businesses that are at risk, it is the very nature of the toys & products our children & grandchildren will have access to in the future.

Please pass this on!

The WAHM Solutions site summed everything up this way:

A partial list of affected businesses starts you thinking about who else these potential closures will impact. If a significant number of the following businesses go under because of these burdensome rules, we will also see related and supporting businesses suffer. Think about how many web designers, copywriters, suppliers, shippers, and other businesses will lose business if all of the little guys and gals go under.
Essentially, anything handmade or one of a kind will become impossible to produce legally. Many other products will just be too expensive to test and will have to go away. Some products that will probably be too costly for individuals to produce under the existing interpretation of the lead rules:
Children’s hair accessories
Baby blankets
Stuffed animals
Felt pretend food
Wooden toys
Knitted or crocheted baby clothes
Boutique dresses
Handmade christening gowns
Flower girl dresses
Adaptive products for special needs kids (often made in very small or one of a kind batches)
Homeschooling books and materials
Kids craft kits - imagine tracking each popsicle stick to its origin and testing it!
Handbound books and journals 
Doll clothes
Do a search on Etsy or eBay to get an idea of how many tiny businesses are going to go belly up if this law is applied in this way. Don’t wait to speak out! If it does not affect you today, it may in ways you do not expect tomorrow.

Another website for information is

Did you catch the name of that site- National Bankruptcy Day?  This is serious.  How will affect Hero On My Arm?  We won't be able to make anything that's intended for use by children under 12, or could possibly be used by them (teddy bears, burp cloths, etc.)  It's really not the end of the world for us, will it change our product line?  Yes.  Will it drive us out of business?  No.

But that's not the case for thousands of other WAHMs and small businesses.  Merry Christmas from the United States Congress, thank you very much.  If you are reading this, take 10 minutes and call or write to your representative.  Here is an excerpt taken from the WAHM solutions blog on speaking to your congressman:

The following information is intended for phone or personal contact, but applies to emails as well. The same information applies even if you are speaking to an aide instead of the member.
A good place to start is by THANKING them for trying to keep kids safe. In the end, that is what this rule is supposed to do. We are not at war with them, we want them to see our side of things and how this law is having potentially devastating side effects. They were trying to keep lead paint away from kids. We have had a problem with lead paint on toys, they solved it, we thank them. “Here is how it is hurting the little guys.”
Keep your comments as brief as possible, but make sure you get your points across. You can also tell them that you are going to email a follow-up so they can have all of your information at hand for review. Don’t let them get away with saying they are busy now and will read later, just let them know you value their time and want to make it easy for them to reference your points.
While different industries are asking for different things, the following are some key points that apply to most small businesses. Feel free to add your own thoughts as you speak.
For most products testing of materials instead of finished products would save millions of dollars in testing fees and make the law less burdonsome on the small business owner.
Explain that as it stands, this part of the law will put thousands of small businesses out of business - hurting our economy and causing even more loan defaults.
Point out that requiring testing of finished products makes it impossible to legally sell handmade products for children. This removes consumer choice as well as devastating businesses that specialize in handmade items.
Explain how offering consumer choices is going to be incredibly expensive - having to test every product over and over even when the materials are the same and only details such as size or fabric print change will make it too expensive for small businesses to carry a broad variety of products.
Explain that you believe there are alternatives that are workable solutions and still protect kids.
Explain that this rule favors those who sell in mass quantity and hurts smaller, more varied businesses. Walmart is going to come out a winner due to the massive amount they sell. Grandma is going to be a felon if she sells baby items at craft fairs.
Let them know that you will be following up after the next hearing to talk further. Let them know that the law is going to hurt YOU as a consumer as well as any businesses you may have.
Offer some alternatives to help them out. No Congressperson is going to want to stand up and say, “Let’s make toys unsafe again!” If you offer them some workable ideas, you will make a lot more progress. Some alternatives that have been suggested:
Exempt products made from materials that are very unlikely to contain lead - fabric, paper, wood, etc.
Exempt categories of items such as books, textiles, or handmade items made in the USA and Canada.
Exempt products that are low risk that are made entirely in compliant countries such as Europe, Canada and the US.
Be sure to thank them for their time.

Sorry everyone, I know this post was long, but it is very important.  Forgive me to cutting and pasting so much, its just everyone else said it better than I could have.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy December Everyone!

This will be my last post for awhile, this is such a crazy time of the year, there's just not enough hours in the day for everything I want to get accomplished. I realize now that business has grown to the point now where it is just overwhelming, and I will have to make some big changes in the new year. Not really sure exactly what those changes will be, but I know I just can't keep up this hectic pace for another year.  Over Thanksgiving break I did get a chance to go fabric shopping at Hobby Lobby (something I haven't been able to do in 11 months!) and I bought quite a few new fabrics.  All in small quantities, though, these will used on new product samples for 2009:

We did take an afternoon off to decorate the house for Christmas...

And put up the tree: 

This is my Mom's snowman themed tree, she gave to me when they moved...

The crocheted ornaments and snowflakes were made by my Aunt...

I had more pictures, but blogger is being a pain about uploading them, and I've lost my patience.  Some old school George Strait, in honor of my mom, who was waiting to see pics of the decorations!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What I Am Thankful For...

I am thankful for...

my wonderful husband, who, while he may have used up "seven of his nine lives" in Iraq, is here with us now

my two beautiful children, who every day exasperate me more than I ever thought possible and then make smile and laugh and forget everything else

my home, and county we live in, God Bless America

my old friends, even though we don't talk as much as we should, who are always there for me- Kate, Karla, are the sisters I never had

my new friends, who are just as dear

my "business" friends, Kelley and all my sales reps, you keep me going each and every day that I just want to quit

my customers, who are so sweet, and constantly remind me why I do this

my business, which is exhausting, which teaches me that I can't do it all, that pushes me, that has given me a purpose

I am truly blessed and have so much to be thankful for.

I hope you and yours have a Happy Thanksgiving, and if your soldier is deployed, I wish them a safe and speedy return home.

Much Love,

PS- The music has no particular meaning, just a sweet song, to make up for my previous mood and song selection, lol.

Friday, November 21, 2008

End of the week frustrations...

Forgive the music playing (It's Idina Menzel, again, singing No Good Deed), that's just how I feel right now, like yelling, so it suited my mood.  Its the end of the week and with next week being Thanksgiving, I had so hoped to be caught up right now, but once again I am not.  I still have 6 days, but it is just so FRUSTRATING!  I have so many NEW things I want to do and so many things on my "to do" list, but until I get caught up on orders, I can't even think about them.  Really, I just feel like screaming....

I did at least get quite a few orders in the mail this week.  Although sometimes I think my postal carrier must hate just can't win.

I hope you all have a good weekend at least!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Craft Show Craziness...

Yesterday was the Holidays in the South Bazaar here at Fort Rucker.  I am so tired today, but it was a lot of fun!

The great things about the show were:
*location- we were in an old aircraft hanger, which was great, and very fitting, being its the home of Army aviation and all
*traffic- there were tons of people.  At one point I went to get a soda and it was hard to even get through the aisles there were so many people
*people- I got to see quite a few friends and make some great new contacts, too.  
*the niceness- seriously.  All the ladies from the spouses club were so incredibly nice, and I even got to meet one of my "competitors", and she was just so sweet and nice, too.
*the purses- lots of Hero On My Arm bags got new homes yesterday, yeah!

The not so great things about the show were:
*no electricity- there was electricity in the building (duh), but they didn't offer it to the vendors.  I would have loved to have taken my embroidery machine with me and personalized on the spot.
*the sauerkraut- for some reason, they served bratwurst and sauerkraut at the show.  We got there at 7 am to set up, and by 8, the smell of sauerkraut was just everywhere.  By lunchtime I think we had just gotten used to it and it sort of went away, but it was the strangest thing.

Overall, it was a great day.  I spent most of today putting everything back (tables, picture frames, etc.) in its right place and packing up what inventory I had left over to send on to the next show.  This week will be busy, busy, busy with orders but I hope to have some time off next week for Thanksgiving and Christmas decorating!

You are listening to When Its Christmas Time in Texas from George Strait's Merry Christmas Strait to You, another really great Christmas CD.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Prettiest Girls EVER... (Said the Mom, who isn't the least bit partial)

Since I have a show this weekend, and know I won't have a lot of time to blog (when do I ever?), I thought I would at least leave you all with some pretty pictures, since they will be up for a few days.

And yes, I am a sucker for the matching Gymboree outfits.  (These ones were 60% off, too!)

Enjoy the Christmas music, there are only 43 days left until Christmas Day.  You are listening to Harry Connick, Jr. When My Heart finds Christmas, from the album with the same name- one of the very best Christmas CD's ever!  Seriously, it's that good.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

And the Craft Show Preparations Go On...

Hero On My Arm is participating in four craft shows this weekend, and the preparations are very time consuming. I have so much to blog about, I've even created a list, but it will just have to wait until next week, lol.

If you happen to be in Little Rock, Colorado Springs, Killeen or Fort Rucker this weekend, come out and say hi!

You are listening to the movie trailer for Tinkerbelle. We watched it this past weekend- so cute!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Where I Wish I Was...

Was everyone at the Houston International Quilt Market??? My goodness, catching up on my blog reading it felt like high school all over again, everyone bragging about the party they got to attend, and pooh-pooh to you if you didn't get an invite, lol.

That's okay, I have my own little secret. Wanna know it? Okay, come goes...

I don't like quilting

Now, before you all start sending me hate mail, I'm not trash talking quilting, I'm just saying that me, personally, I don't really care for it, not very interested in it, don't really get all the cutting things up into teensy little squares and triangles. Its just not my style, that's all.

So where do I wish I could have been last week?

Atlanta. The Fox Theatre. Wicked just wrapped up a run there. *Sigh* I really wish I could have gone, but sadly, it was just not to be. The show will be in Birmingham in April and I am definitely making plans to catch it then!

Until then, you are listening to Defying Gravity, as performed by the original Broadway cast members, Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel.  Aren't they just AWESOME !??! 

, again.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Election Day!

I still have a an entire week's worth of work before I am officially caught up, but I will be sooooo excited when that happens!!!

Meanwhile, don't forget that Tuesday is election day. VOTE!

I hope you are enjoying the music. Check out the Hero On My Arm blog to see the video that put this tune in my head on the eve of the election.

Who would I vote for?

Vinick, of coarse! Because we all know...

And if you don't get it, well then, that just means you aren't as big a nerd as me, lol! It's okay though, it takes a lot to beat me in a nerd contest.

Happy voting Everyone!


Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

So, I know its a carry over from my eBay days, when sellers used to catch all kinds of heck for having outstanding orders, yet still having the time to blog away... but I still can't really bring myself to post here if I have work I should be doing instead...however...I hope you all will forgive me just this once, it is HALLOWEEN, after all...

We started the day off with CANDY...

And yes, that is my OCD coming out, we separated it all into individual bags for the TRICK-OR-TREATERS...

Then we had to carve our PUMPKIN...

I decided to roast the leftover pumpkin seeds, so I googled a recipe...

Don't they look wonderful??? No? Well they tasted really bad too! Ya know those blogs where people post recipes and rave about how wonderful their cooking is? Yeah, that's not me. But, hey, at least I tried...

In the spirit of all things HALLOWEEN, we even dressed up the dog!

And away from the kitchen, and on to something that I actually am good at, lol, I did make both of the girls' COSTUMES...

Sydney requested to be Snow White and Sophie has been repeating for the last several weeks "I be Ariel, with a tail", so she was the little mermaid.

It is somewhat cold here, so we headed out for trick-or-treating rather early, and both girls were extremely happy with their candy loot. After we washed off all the glitter in an extra bubbly bubble bath, they are now fast asleep, and I will be following them soon...

Then tomorrow, back to work!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Taking Time off for Business...

Its always good to be busy. Since moving into the new house and studio I have been too busy. It was time to do something drastic, so I am "unofficially" closing for a few weeks to catch up on existing orders and knock a few pages off my "to do" list. I'll be back on November 1st, so stay tuned...


Friday, September 19, 2008

One more post and I am outta here...

...but just for a week, lol!

I'll be away from the office starting tomorrow, through September 29th, so this is my very last post until then. Of coarse I have more pictures to share!

This first one is for all my sale reps (I love you guys!) so you can see that Lindsay is working on your swatch rings as we speak:

So sometimes you just can't know when inspiration will hit, or where it will come from. My latest inspiration was this newly arrived Michael Miller print. It inspired this adorable drawstring bag (which I am LOVE with),

I snuck it inside this wristlet, its like a colorful surprise as you reach for your phone...

And I used it to spice up our CLAUDIA bag, too:

And the best part is- I still have some left over!!

So I will leave you all with a question. What do you think of the label on the outside:

I always put them on the inside, I think they are less obtrusive (so maybe I'm answering my own question, lol), but what do you think???

Have a great weekend, and good night!

Random Pictures

I can never read blogs without pictures, so I always try and take pictures with the intent that I'll add them to my blog later- problem is, I'm not the best photographer, so the pictures never turn out as fabulous as they are in my head, or like they are on other blogs. Oh well. Here's a few I found when I was cleaning out my camera (I also posted some new purse pictures on the business blog):

This is half of my sewing studio, the machines are on the other half! My desk (with trusty HUGS bear for inspiration), my cutting table and my design boards.

This is Sydney, Sophie and Steven making waffles just after we moved in. We got one of those restaurant style waffle makers and went a little crazy- we had waffles every morning for a week!

So obviously, these aren't in order, lol. I snapped this the morning that we were moving into the new house. I'm in love with all of my windows...

This one made me smile when I found it. Sydney, Sophie and our friend, Hunter, at the strawberry patch from earlier in the summer. We try to embrace wherever the Army sends us (instead of complaining about it- what can you do about it after all?), and this was a fabulous find recommended to us my Hunter's mom- a farmer's market, fruit orchard and strawberry patch, where you can actually go and pick your own berries. It was tons of fun and hopefully a great memory for the girls.

That's all I have for now. Sophie's birthday is next week, so I'll have lots more pictures to share. I really should take a photography class!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wise Words....

Hi Stalker!
This is for you:
"Whatever you do, don't copy another artist, because originality can lead to success"

The Most Amazing Feeling...

When I went outside this morning- a COOL BREEZE!

As in fall is on its way...
Changing leaves...
Football games...
Halloween candy...
This is absolutely my most favorite time of the year.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ummm, Creepy...

So I guess I have a stalker, lol...
I guess I should look at the positive side- at least I know SOMEONE is reading my blog!
But seriously, and you know who you are, this one's for you:

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I am, no joke, just falling down on the floor EXHAUSTED. I am slinking away from the computer tonight (after replying to the 82 messages in my inbox from this weekend, lol), finishing mailing out a *slight* backlog of orders (see above pic) this week, and then taking A DAY OFF. Maybe two. And then I'll be back, refreshed and ready to dazzle everyone with some great new things just in time for the Holidays!

Good night all,

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stay Tuned...

I can't believe how long its been since I posted anything, and I can't believe that in my last post I actually thought we were about to move into our new house!! I don't think we will EVER move in- GRRRR!
No actually, we are supposed to move in this Friday, but I am not placing any bets on that. A girl can hope though!
I am officially "closing" after I catch up on emails this evening, and will be off until August 15th. If I have time to blog while we are moving in, I will, and if not, I'll just update everyone as soon as business "reopens". Our household goods have been in storage for more than 200 days, so, unfortunately, I'm afraid I will have lots to share...
See ya in a week and a half!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Shipping Purses, Moving, and Yummy Chocolate Lollipop...

This week is being devoted solely to shipping purses!
I will be a mad woman finishing and shipping orders...BECAUSE....

We will actually, finally be able to move into our house next week!!!!

And just to leave you with some pretty pictures, here's my new purse (after someone used a picture of my old one, I felt like I needed a new one!):

This is small ABIGAIL, I used three fabrics from Anna Maria Horner's Chocolate Lollipop collection. Its actually an older collection, she just released her new fabric collection, Garden Party, but this is a fabric that grows on you. Amy, one of my reps, first introduced me to this collection when she commissioned a bag made using it and some of Amy Butler's Moon Dots, so I've had it for a while, and it finally just won me over and I had to use it in my bag:

So what do you think? The Anna Maria Horner fabrics are more expensive that Amy Butler and Michael Miller, but I'm considering adding some of them to the fabric choices- yes, no, maybe???

GASP! I'm Naming Names!!!

So this is the fourth time this year, that this happened to us, and to be perfectly honest I am just tired of it. Previously, its been our policy to deal with copyright and intellectual property violations privately and as amicably as possible, but apparently its just not working, so I have no problem publicly outing these dishonest sellers.

Here's how it started today: I got this email :

Okay, so I go check it out. The My Space page in question has 9 pictures on it. I recognize one of the pictures as belonging to another purse designer (not me, but also not the person in question), and the last one (the 9th one) is this:

So, hummmm....Look familiar??? I sure think so, since that's not only a purse Hero On My Arm made, it actually my purse, as in me, Seneca, this is the purse I carried around at Ft. Hood for over a year:

Okay, so contact My Space Admin, ask them to please resolve the issue. Then email the person directly, please remove the picture, it's ours, it's a purse we made, its wrong for you to post a picture of it misrepresenting it as your own, thanks for your time, etc. etc. etc.

And this is what I get back:

And then as if that wasn't enough, just one more mean message:

So, obviously I'm not actually going to hand out this dishonest person's name or her website, and I've covered up that information, but if you happen upon her, this is what her profile looks like:

If you know this person, take a minute to let her know that what she's doing is NOT COOL.

Those of us that have been making purses for years and operate our businesses with integrity don't mind if new designers enter the market. Everyone has a different style, a different taste, and can find a designer that suites them. Its a TRUE and GREAT HONOR every time a military spouse entrusts you with their soldier's uniform to create something special. I am gracious for every single customer Hero On My Arm has ever had, and all the customers we will have in the future.

That being said- all you dishonest sellers- PLEASE rethink what you are doing, it is WRONG. There is NO GRAY area, this isn't a designer accusing another of copying a design or a concept (I've NEVER said to anyone "You copied our purses!"), this is about STEALING photos from purse designers and trying to pass them off as your own. It will be my policy from now on, every time that it happens, I will not only document it, I will post it here. It needs to stop.

...Climbing down off my soap box now.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Accomplishments for last week and my schedule for this week

I feel like I got a lot accomplished this past week. On the business side of things, we introduced a new product, the HUGS bear, we added font choices and embroidery designs to the website.

On the non-business side, Sophie learned to tell her left from her right (a pretty big accomplishment for a 21 month old, says the proud mom!), we visited some friends over the weekend, had some GREAT food, an even better time, and the girls had a blast playing with two other girls their ages.

The (business) plan for this week is as follows:
Monday: Cut up uniforms for this weeks orders, return phone calls
Tuesday: Wallet and make up bags (My accessories seamstress is out of town, due to a family illness)
Wednesday: Stuff for the Sales Reps
Thursday-Sunday: mail the next 48 purses ready this week (we'll see if I can get them ALL in the mail by Monday)
It actually a pretty full week, so I will stay off the computer (except for checking emails) and check back in a week, see if I got everything done I have planned!

Friday, July 11, 2008

New things

So you never know, when you have a new idea, if it is good one or not. As an entrepreneur, you are always coming up with new ideas. The last really big "new" idea that I had was for themed shopping cart covers, like flowers, baseballs, footballs, etc.

I wouldn't say that they were a flop, but they certainly didn't make me famous, lol.

Now comes my next big "new" idea, the HUGS bear:

We've been making purses from military uniforms for almost 4 years now, so we thought that it was time to add something for the kids as well. I've been working on this for so long now, and really I need to get some better pictures (cause it doesn't quite show in the pic, but they are SUPER cute!), but I have been so anxious to reveal this new project that I just couldn't wait any longer! I even designed my own logo:

I'll probably go back and have this professionally done, but it will do for now.

How did this idea start? Well, most people are familiar with the Daddy Dolls, my oldest daughter Sydney even has one. But my youngest daughter, Sophie, was only 3 weeks old when my husband left for Iraq this last time, so the Daddy Doll wasn't something that she really associated with. But she does have a special teddy bear (in fact, she's sleeping with it right now). So somewhere, some how, the two things sort of just merged in my head- a deployment doll and a teddy bear!

Then a mad dash to see if someone else had already thought of it (which I haven't found), and then the real work started- actually designing the bear! I wrestled with plastic eyes and noses forever, before I finally decided that if they ever came off, they'd be a chocking hazard anyway, and so embroidered eyes and noses were best. The final version is bear #6, and our testers have had them for about 4 weeks now, they've been washed, loved, beat up and generally well broken in, so we felt like it was okay to finally introduce them.

I am so anxious to see what everyone thinks? Are they the next "must have" or will they be a flop? You just never know, and that's the exciting part. I suppose if poor copies start popping up on MySpace and Craigslist, then I'll know they are a hit. After all, if they are good enough to copy, they must be a success.

We'll see....