Sunday, March 25, 2007
"A rising tide lifts all boats."
One of my favorite things about this type of work are all the amazing people I am in daily contact with. I am fortunate to be surrounded by many independent, inspirational woman who run major companies while maintaining a happy household. I could name at least ten people that have helped me, but I want to highlight one in particular- Marina Westerdahl of Comfy Crawlers. She has been a guest contributor for MiniMe BabyGear Blog in the past, and I currently sell her adorable crawling pants on my site. She was having professional photos done of her products, and asked if I would want one taken of the breastfeeding buddy. No wonder COSTCO magazine has chosen her as one the of top seven woman entrepreneurs to look out for. Good things really do happen to good people, and I am honored that so many smart and talented business women have been so willing to help me.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I think it is safe to say in this technology-driven economy that a website would be a great place to start. Many people I know use a website template (kayzoe.com and sheandidesigns.com are just two to name a few) that allows you to start for minimal costs and little html knowledge. Following are a few of my favorite resources to help you along your path:
One of the most valuable things is to find a mentor. I have a few friends that I consistently ask for advice, and it has proved invaluable. About six months ago, I wrote a friend to express my being overwhelmed with the various aspects of business. This mentor gave pointers on what she did, and simply said, “I believe in you”. They are the best cheerleaders to get you through a tough day. I love learning from other people that are successful. Most people are willing to share, as they at one time are where you are.
Read, Read, Read! I read everything I can get my hands on. Fortunately, the library has many wonderful resources free of charge. My favorites:
- Mothers Work by Rebecca Matthais. Recommended by a friend, this book holds a wealth of information on starting and maintaining a company. Matthais turned a 4 page catalog into a maternity apparel empire. Read more here
- Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. I did a review on this book here. This book is great for creating customers that will come back again and again.
- Martha Rules by Martha Stewart- This book overviews the basic business structure and how to start/maintain your own business. I found many of the stories easy to relate to, and practical to apply to my own situation.
StartUpPrincess.com- daily blog offering advice and tips from other women entrepreneurs. Included are discussions on various aspects of business including how to get press, organizational tips, business plans, balancing work and family. I highly recommend adding this site to your favorites as it provides a plethora of information.
The Small Business Administration is also an excellent resource. I have my own rep, and bring questions to him three or four times a year. He helped me find a reputable accountant, and has answered many business operational questions for me.
Patience. One of the hardest things for me, as I am all about immediate gratification. It takes time to build word of mouth, traffic, a website. Everything takes time! Remain patient and knowing that hard work will build the business you always dreamed of. God has blessed me and I hope that these small tips will bless you too. One of my favorite business quotes is "Not failure, but low aim, is crime" James Russell Lowell
I believe in you. Keep me updated!
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Friday, March 9, 2007
- Changing the website- it is still functional, and I am hoping to have all of the "kinks" out as far as page design by the end of the weekend. Thanks for your patience!
- A celebrity baby will now be wearing MiniMe BabyGear! Kobe Bryant's daughter will be sporting both the Daddy's Little Princess and the Princess rufflebutt onesie.
- Wild on Houston is featuring the Wet Happened? Zippered Wet bag in an upcoming Trendy Babies segment.
- A few new retailers selling MiniMe BabyGear- GissyBella, Mom4Life, Crafty Babies, InStyleMoms, Miss Priss, Love Bug Lane, Oh BabyLove, and the Baby Boutique at Widow's Womb.
I am so blessed to be doing what I love- so thanks to all of you customers that come back again and again and tell your friends about me. I am truly grateful!
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Monday, March 5, 2007
Before I had a home-based business, I was a waitress at a local restaurant. Detesting all the side work involved that kept me long past my last table, I knew I needed a change. Here I was rolling the never ending stash of silverware when I wanted to be home with my family. I started MiniMe Baby Gear about one year ago, and am so thankful. My husband and I recently ate at that very restaurant, and I just kept thinking, "I am so glad I no longer work here".
One of the many perks to running your own business is the flexible schedule. It never fails when I tell someone what I do, they tell me that they would love to work from home and bring in a little extra cash. I wanted to write down what I tell each and every one of them in the hopes it will help you, too. My next few posts will be devoted to a few things that worked for me, not the one and only way to start a small business.
One of my favorite movie quotes is “Brick by Brick my citizens”. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your business won’t be either. If nothing else, hopefully I can encourage you to try! I would love comments from other WAHM if you have any tips.
Once blog I visited listed 100 interesting things about herself. I am going to give 25, since I do not have 100 interesting things to list:-) I am so glad Susan and Janice came up with this fabulous idea. If you have not checked it out yet, go to 5minutesformom, and join the fun!
In Random order:
1. I am a true redhead at heart. Temper and all.
2. I love Quiznos. I used to work in Riverside, CA, and they had a special sandwich ready for me every day at noon.
3. Mentioned this before-I love late night TV. Jay, Conan. I watch them all when I am up late sewing.
4. I am not a huge music lover. I have certain songs that I listen to over and over, but I could drive not ever listening to music and that would be fine with me.
5. I have two younger brothers that I adore.
6. I love to be scared (in a controlled setting:-)
7. My son was a twin, but I lost his twin at 10 weeks. I still think about what could have been whenever I see twins.
8. I love animals. We currently have two turtles, two dogs, and 1 fish. Used to be two fish.
9. I love to bake, but am a horrible cook.
10. I hate to clean. Please call before you come over so I can do the half hour "tuck" before you arrive!
11. I never make my bed, and rarely share the covers at night with the hubby.
12. I am a Christian and really love the church we just joined.
13. I started wearing contacts in fourth grade because my eyesight was so horrible
14. Fellow moms will appreciate this- I was in labor 26 hours, no epidural. Not by my choice.
15. I love wearing slippers, mostly because 90 % of the socks I wear have holes in them.
16. I only have about ten pairs of shoes.
17. What I lack in shoes, I make up for in blue shirts. I have more than one of every style of blue shirt. My whole closet is blue.
18. I love to ice skate.
19. My gas fireplace might have been the best present I ever received from my hubby.
20. I love gardenias and orange blossoms.
21. My husband is 6'8" and we are asked constantly how tall he is, and if he plays basketball.
22. My son is, and has always been, in the 100th percentile.
23. I really enjoy sewing, and my only problem with being a work at home mom is time management.
24. Being a mom is what I was made for. I love watching my son sleep, laugh, really anything. I really wonder what I did before I had him for joy.
25. I have used under eye cream since I was sixteen and wear sunglasses everywhere in the summer to prevent eye wrinkles. I am not sure it is working!
Thank God! 25! It is hard to come up with 25 things, although I am sure I will think of 40 more in the next few days!
Happy Blogging, friends!!!
Friday, March 2, 2007
For all of you stopping by from 5 Minutes for Mom: My name is Jamie, and I am a work at home mom. I have a 2 year old, Kayden, that keep me pretty busy. Terrible Two's is a perfect description for this stage of life. He is a true joy to have, and I love that I get to stay home and watch him grow up. I run a small business out of my home, MiniMe BabyGear, that specializes in personalized, unique products made by me. Leave a comment to introduce yourself and I will pop over to your blog:-)
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Foamy Paint for the bathtub
1 can shaving cream
Place a small amount of shaving cream into several small containers. Add 1-2 drops of shaving cream and mix thoroughly. Seal. Great for use during bath time as an alternative to colored soaps.
Bathtub finger paints
1/3 cup mild liquid dish detergent
1 TBS cornstarch
Ice Cube Tray
Mix all ingredients except food coloring in a mixing bowl. Pour equal parts of the mixture into several sections of ice cube tray. Add one or two drops food coloring to each section and mix with a small spoon. Let set.
Solution A: 3/4 cup warm water, 1 cup white glue
Solution B: 4 TSP Borax, 1 and 1/3 cups warm water
Mix the two solutions in separate bowls. Pour solution A into solution B. DO NOT MIX OR STIR. Lift flubber out.
1 and 1/2 cups cornstarch
1 cup water
Mix these two together. You will end up with a product that looks at first like a solid. But, if you set something on top of it, it will act like a liquid.
6 TBS salt
6 TBS liquid bluing (in laundry aisle)
6 TBS water
1 TBS clear ammonia
Several charcoal briquettes
Arrange charcoal in a glass bowl or pie plate. Combine salt, bluing, water, and ammonia. Pour over charcoal and drop various colors of food coloring all over. Crystals will begin to grow for several days over the charcoal.
Open white glue bottle and add a few drops of food coloring. Mix Well. Put lid back on bottle and screw on tight. Place pattern (such as coloring book picture) underneath transparency sheet. Trace the patter with continuous bead of glue and fill in. Let dry for at least 24 hours. Peel off and place on window. Store between wax paper.
Magic Wishing Potion
Tall pilsner type glass
1 TBS baking soda
Place the glass into the bowl. Put the baking soda and a few drops of food coloring in the glass and add the vinegar. This will boil over like a magic wishing potion.
Fruity Lip Gloss
2 TBS solid shortening or petroleum jelly
1 TSP sweetening fruit flavored powdered drink mix (we used Kool-aid)
4 drops vitamin E oil
Small plastic container (Michaels has great ones for this)
Mix shortening, vitmin E oil, and drink mix together until smooth. Microwave on high for 30 seconds until mixture is liquid. Do not overheat. Allow mixture to sit about 5 minutes to allow sugar to dissolve. Stir. Refrigerate until firm.
Light colored paper
Same color crayon as paper
Paintbrush or sponge brush
Draw a design on the paper with the same colored crayon. Brush different colored watercolor paint over the paper to reveal a secret drawing.
Please note that in many cases, mixing sticks are not mentioned in the materials needed, but we had a bunch on every table along with wet wipes and paper towels. A trash can nearby would also be wise.