What the hell is going with the Braduct, you are probably asking? I have not written about the Braduct in a long while and this has been intentional – I have been in a regrouping phase of Research and Development. Believe me, I did not want to deny any of you information or updates, I just needed time to regroup on the arduous path in front me. You all know that I am extremely impatient and, therefore, set ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS timelines for myself. After a bit of searching and examining what I was really trying to do, I am now able to proceed forward with the R&D phase.
Just to bring all of you up to speed…..last year, I had an inkling of an idea for a bra-related product. I began the VERY LONG journey of nurturing this idea from the confines of my brain to the Women of America. Along the way, my ten-year old son (who blushes endlessly when he hears the word bra) exclaimed that I was not working on a bra-related product but rather a BRADUCT. The term Braduct was born after this, and although this is not the official product name, we now affectionately refer to the item as a Braduct.
Did you ever meet someone and just know that meeting them was a life-changing event? A few months ago, I met Vivian Tenorio at Spark & Hustle. Upon meeting Vivian, I knew that my life was enhanced in a new way. Why? Determined and bright, Vivian is a breath of fresh air from the norm, and a woman I am happy to consider a role model. Vivian has set a new standard for being a woman entrepreneur/mompreneur, developing a delicious product, AND placing that product on shelves. Vivian is approachable, real, and compassionate towards budding mompreneurs; truly someone to be admired.
Vivian recently published a book, From Pink Slip to Product Launch in a Weak Economy. Vivian’s story of determination and success as a woman entrepreneur is a must read for any woman with dreams of starting a business of her own. The book is an amazingly quick read that immediately grabs your attention. Vivian’s story is riveting from the beginning to where she is now, which is by no means the end. Vivian is going to go much further than she already has travelled.
It has been a roller coaster of a winter that began with my mom having major back surgery and ended with my father-in-law passing. I do not want to make this post all about the ups and downs of my life over the last few months, but rather about where my life will take me now. Beyond still supporting my mom, being there for my kids, and lending a shoulder for my mother-in-law to cry on…..I also really need to get my ass in gear with my mompreneur travels. Throughout the winter, I felt proud that I was still continuing to check items off my to-do list while dealing with the swell of personal crises surrounding me. Now that spring has sprung (I think – it is snowing a bit today), I am ready to forge ahead with a new attitude. Just like the sun will be shining daily (maybe), I plan to sparkle again in my pursuits.
Last Friday, our country woke up to the devastating news of the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. For me, it was hard to concentrate on anything but the media coverage of this terrible natural disaster, and hoping and praying for the safety of those affected. It is in times like these, that we are thankful for the little things in life, and take pleasure in what we have around us. I took comfort in my 2 boys and the opportunities that are in front of them. The boys’ creativity, vibrancy, and outlook on the world is so reassuring. I decided to reflect a bit on these 2 mini-entrepreneurs.
A few years back when my older son was in kindergarten, I had a good friend that worked at his school. This friend lived right near a place that sold my fave low-fat brownies (I know – they were probably 1000 calories a piece, but that is another blog). It was a great set-up: my friend would get a week’s supply of low-fat brownies, put them in my son’s backpack at school, and I would have my most indulgent nighttime snack all week-long. It was my own personal low-fat brownie underground operation. UNTIL, one day in the carpool lane, I received a phone call from another mom saying she owed me money for the chocolate treat?!?!? I had NO idea what she was talking about until I pulled up further in line and my son got in the car.
Guess What? My son, who was 6 years old at the time, decided to turn the carpool waiting area into an entrepreneurial venture. He opened up the packs of brownies (2 per pack) and sold 1 brownie for a dollar each! At the time, there were still vending machines at school. so some kids had money for snacks, and for a few close friends, he issued credit. When I suggested that he return the money, he said “No Way!” He argued that the kids had their brownie and ate it, and it was only fair he keep the money. What he did not account for was that I was his financial backer with the brownies, and he would have to take the initial investment out of the gross (his first lesson in biz). This was the day when I realized that I was dealing with a kidpreneur.
My older son is lucky to have a little brother that is never afraid to speak his mind, thinks out of the box, and acts as a “profit coach” of sorts. Together, the two boys make up a great pair – one is very serious and “crosses every T and dots every I”, and the other brings the ingenuity and creative thinking. They appear to be on equal footing in their biz ventures because each one holds a different skill set, and they realize that! This is another valuable lesson in business for them – know your strengths and weaknesses and align yourself with someone who can fill your gaps.
Katy Perry may be a Firework, but I am a SPARKLER! That’s right – a SPARKLER!
If you have been following me over the last few months, you know that attending SPARK AND HUSTLE with Tory Johnson was on my agenda. Well, I came, I went, I heard, I absorbed, I networked, and I am ready to SPARKLE!
Oh….the packing dilemma! I am leaving tomorrow for Spark and Hustle with Tory Johnson in L.A. I also get to spend some time with two great girlfriends in the City of Angels. I am looking forward to this trip on so many levels….too many to even mention. I have babysitters and dog walkers lined up to help the big guy with the 2 legged kids and the 4 legged ones. I have a visiting nurse scheduled to help with my mom after her surgery. Now, it is time for me to ditch my UGGs (required pedi) and head out to Southern California, and I have packed and unpacked three times today. Oh….the packing dilemma!
I have not been away by myself in a long time, and I want to make the most of every moment! Of course, I want to dress perfectly for each one of those moments. Instructions were business casual for day and fun for evening. Being from Pittsburgh, I am wondering if business casual and fun mean something different in Cali? So, I just keep adding and subtracting from the suitcase (actually mostly adding more).
There is also the issue of being true to my style…my brand. Not the actual label brand, but my Backngruv-Brand. I feel like my overall style should exude getting my ass back in the groove. Not to mention, I am working on lingerie-related products. One person suggested I should show a little bra – I don’t think so! BUT, I do think that I live and breathe my brand. So, the skinny camo pants are staying in the suitcase, but my bra will remain under my shirt.
(I am packing the Incredible Demi Racerback Bra by V.S. Which is Bckngruv-Recommended).
The pile is growing – slacks, jeans, sweater dress, tights, boots, my workout gear, and of course – a Steelers jersey to travel home in on Super Bowl Sunday! Now, that I am opening up the suitcase for the 4th time, I face a weather dilemma! Winter storms throughout the midwest are screwing up flights all over, so rather than obsessing over weather, I will probably pack and unpack for a 5th time.
What is your best packing suggestion?
Last week, I received an email AND a phone message from two local moms that they were loving the blog. Awwww….they made me feel so awesome. What I could not believe was that the email stated that I was an inspiration. Me – an inspiration – no way! I could have floated to pick the boys up at school that day; I was on Cloud 9.
I started to think a lot about inspiration after this…..and, who inspires me. Turns out, I have a pretty lengthy list of celebrity and personal inspiration, so I decided to share just a few with you.
No surprise that my celebrity inspiration list begins with Mark Zuckerberg (I love facebook). Zuckerberg changed and continues to change the way we live, communicate, and interact while creating his social platform (he left Harvard without graduating to pursue his dreams)! I find it amazing when someone has such open-ended passion and vision. Zuckerberg is the type of inspiration that my boys’ generation and ones thereafter will continue to channel.
The last few days have been filled with phone meetings with “prototype guy” and a lawyer or two, bank appointments, marketing related emails, and a major trip to Costco to finish out the year. They have not been too terribly exciting – just doing due diligence to get to the fun part in 2011. Especially, since my boys only have 5 more days of school before WINTER BREAK, I am really working against the clock.
I have been busy setting goals for 2011 – I am hoping to have a rough model of the prototype by February and to have melded the name ideas that I have into one great name by the same time. Along the way, I have to be refining the business plan with added details and research.
Editor’s Note: As I think about this – I am thankful for a home office – Right now, I am warm with a beagle in my lap listening to holiday music and working. This will make writing and research in the dead of winter tolerable.
Do you have goals for 2011? If so, what are your priorities? How do you plan to stick to your goals? What types of checks & balances do you have in place? Please comment below –
I think that it is easy to set fabulous goals in December for the coming year, but not so easy to make sure that you stay on target. After all, don’t we all say that next year we are going to lose 5 pounds.
One way that I am making sure that I am going to stay on target is that I am scheduled to “Spark & Hustle” with Tory Johnson in February. I need to be ready to dive in!
I am looking forward to hearing what goals all of you are working on and your strategies for staying on task. Then, we can all hold each other accountable!