Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Dance

In January, it will be five years since I started MiniMe BabyGear.

Today I was cleaning out my desk and came across my goals from that first year of business:

~Create a job in where I can stay home with my kids yet still contribute financially
~Be creative and come up with a few innovative products
~Grow consistently, at least 20% a year
~Make new friends out of customers and other businesses

I would say I can put a big, red check mark next to each and every one of those. I am blessed.

Did I ever tell you that my original site was MiniMe Embroidery? Then I watched someone type in my URL address and realized embroidery is kind of hard to spell :-)

I made one product that took off right away:

A dedication/baptism/christening pillow (or blanket) with "God Bless This Child" and their name on it. Some days I think about bringing it back, but my husband is quick to remind me how much work is involved in personalization.

In late 2006, I introduced the Wet Happened? wet bag, and very soon after I commenced making all other products. I could not keep up with sewing, which was a wonderful feeling!

I remember the first time I received 10 orders in one day. I called my mom to take my kids so that I could get to work.

How exciting it was being featured on the Daily Stroll and subsequent 130+ orders that came through during the first hour. Also, how difficult it was to sew all of those in a short time frame.

The phone call I got from Target, wanting me to fly to Minnesota to be a part of the Parent Inventors program. Seeing it on the Target shelves the first time.

All of these were such great moments, this product was almost like a third child to me!

Feeling very out of my league during the year in Target, and stressed about the manufacturing process in general, I often prayed for some sort of change. Since my husband does not work during the summer, he became full time dad so I could tend to the business of Wet Happened?. 50-60 hours a week was spent checking over bags, ironing, reworking bags that were damaged, sewing, shipping, invoicing, and packaging. Being a one woman sweat shop was not on my goal list (see above), so something had to give.

Then I partnered with Itzy Ritzy. Their company vision, attention to quality and detail, chic style and fabric selections, strategy for growing the Wet Happened? wet bag....I just knew it was meant to be. What I had prayed for.

I won't pretend it was easy to let go of such a huge part of my life. But, on the other hand, it is really satisfying to see someone else have so much faith in a product you created. Because they are incredibly business savvy, a lot of great ideas have been implemented that I never even thought of (like the Wet Happened/Snack Happened fundraising program).

And then I see this picture, taken by one of their fans, at a Nordstroms. My heart swells in a completely different way.

Still as proud. Still a huge accomplishment.
They just look so pretty, don't they?

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