Archive for August, 2011

Behind

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

We are back from a week in Southern Ohio and I’m behind.  Really, really, I can’t see the bottom of my inbox, behind.  I think this is how it’s supposed be, but I can’t tell.  Is this when you hire an intern?  Might be time…

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Sunday Grocery Shopping

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Grocery Checkout LineThere are two kinds of people at our grocery store on Sunday.  People coming from church and people going to the beach.  (Thankfully, the outfits for each a quite different.)

I’m in the lesser known group – “Business woman working to make her week easier”.  It is a proven fact that meal planning and grocery shopping for makes your week 32% easier.  Well, at least mine.

Hope you’ve had at time to do at least one thing to make your week better today.  I’m ready to execute this week.

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Ah-Ha, Uh-Oh Moment

Friday, August 19th, 2011

As I was driving home one night this week I had a moment where this process felt long.  Like, “Oh, what a minute.  It’s going to take me longer than I thought to make money” long.

When I sell out of this first run of bags I’ll (obviously) have money.  I won’t be able to pay myself or anything, it will all go back into the business.  This could go on for a few years.

But don’t cry for me Argentina.

Most days I don’t feel like this.  I like building something.  I relish in the little wins.  And I can feel momentum building.  There will be a day when every, single step won’t be so difficult.  Maybe I won’t be talking about my other, other Benz but I sure as hell WILL be talking about my other, other Manolos.

Now, THAT will be a damn fine day.

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Alesya Bags Ambassador: Helen Zhao

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Helen ZhaoThe next Alesya Bags College Ambassador is Helen Zhao.  Helen has just graduated from the Boston Latin School and is on her way to Harvard to be part of the Class of 2015.  I just talked to her on the phone and she’s moving in on Friday.  Exciting times!

Helen’s essay was excellent.  Here are just a few highlights:

  • An ambassador will have to be a walking advertisement, and I would definitely rave about it to all my friends. Throughout high school, I’ve always been very active and was a part of many in and out of school organizations. I already have learned the importance of networking and hopefully I”ll be able to do the same in college.
  • As a dancer, I always do a lot of promotion for events and shows, which sometimes involves approaching people that I’ve never talked to before and getting them interested in a performance.
  • My brother works on Wall Street and I feel like this bag is something that some of his female co-workers may even be interested in. Since they are young, driven, and stylish. Although I’m not directly connected to them, I could ask my brother to help me reach out to them as well. As an upcoming brand, I’m sure many of them would be interested!

And my favorite line of the whole application:

I am on the internet very frequently, and I would take my job as ambassador very seriously!

Music to an entrepreneur’s ears!  We know all about taking this job seriously.  Welcome to the team Helen.  I can’t wait to see a picture of you on your new campus with your new bag.

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Alesya Bags Ambassador: Anne Dreshfield

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

 

Alesya Bags Poster

The second Alesya Bags Ambassador is Anne Dreshfield!  Anne got my, ahem, attention when she sent me the poster above with her application.  Does she look motivated or what?

Anne attends Scripps College.  It’s a small liberal arts all girls school in Claremont, California.  Her major is Creative Writing for Contemporary Media.  (I know, I wish that had been my major too.)

Additionally, Anne has already gotten the word out about the Alesya Bag!  She’s responsible for this feature on The Working Wardrobe.  Impressive.

Congratulations Anne!  I can’t wait to work with you and get your bag out on the West Coast.

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Ambassadors Announced Today

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Alesya Bags - Kelly GreenAs you might have seen over on Facebook, I’m going to announce the first set of Alesya Bag College Ambassadors today!  When I was going over the applications here’s what I was looking for:

Overall Quality – Did you answer all the questions?  Did I feel like you understood the bag?  Did you sound passionate and enthusiastic?

Diversity – I was looking for a big range in terms of school year, location, major, etc.

Online Influence – Anyone who was active in social media had an advantage.  I wanted to see how you’d get the word out!

All told, there were 32 amazing applicants.  I picked five of you to be ambassadors.  Results coming….soon!

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Results from Penelope Trunk

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Penelope TrunkJust posted a comment on Penelope Trunk’s blog post including Alesya Bags and wanted to let you all know the results too.  Here’s the comment in full:

Hello fellow Penelope readers! Thanks for your nice comments about the laptop bag. I really appreciate you taking the time to look and comment.

As many of us are entrepreneurs, I wanted to share the results of being featured on Penelope’s blog. The business is about 7 weeks old and this is, by far, the biggest mention I’ve had.

Yesterday, I had over 2,000 page views on AlesyaBags.com and almost 500 on my blog. On a normal day those numbers are more like 200 and 175. Some new folks also found the Alesya Bags Facebook page and found me @Alesya on Twitter.

In the last 24 hours, I’ve had 5 bags sell that I’m sure are a result of Penelope’s influence. So far, my normal sales rate is 1 bag a day. (Which I did have, from a woman my father works with.)

Most surprisingly, I also had several overseas requests. One from Amsterdam, one for Melbourne and one from Israel. Wow!

In today’s economy, $265 is still a good sized purchase for most. I’ve found that some people need time to consider such a purchase, so I’m sure I’ll see a few more sales as a result.

I also received emails from one person who wanted a vegan bag, one who wanted a magnetic closure and one who wanted a bag to review on her own site. While not as good as sales, this kind of interest is still important to me.

Personally, yesterday fell into the “big freaking deal” category which counts for a ton too. I’ve read this blog for years and I’m still in shock to see the bag here.

Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about the business, etc.

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Holy Smokes! Penelope Trunk!

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Penelope Trunk - Alesya Bags - Photo by Melissa SconyersPhoto courtesy of Penelope Trunk by Melissa Sconyers.

Welcome to all my fellow Penelope Trunk readers!  If you came directly from her blog, you know today is a big freaking day for me.  The biggest career blogger in the world wrote about the bags.  HOLY SMOKES!

This is a huge, full circle, I-can’t-believe-it moment for me.  I’ve been reading Penelope for years.  Following her career advice, reading books she suggests, taking her blogging suggestions …etc. etc.  To me – and I know of many of you – she’s THE blog you read.

When I started this bag journey my coach Jackie Trepanier suggested I attend a Ladies Who Launch workshop.  Jackie Cuyvers lead the class and said we should all read Penelope’s blog.  So I did.  Like it was my job.

Whether she knew it or not, Penelope followed me through every step of my journey.  When I needed help I’d search her site.  When I needed a break I’d search her site.  When I needed a kick in the pants, I search her site.

And now – with a pitch to a blogger I thought I’d never hear from – Penelope wrote about the bags today.  Wow.  I can’t thank her enough.

Another huge thank you needs to go to Melissa who championed me and loved the bags from the start.  I can see why Penelope likes having you around.  You just get it.  And I hope you know that is really the highest compliment I’d give someone.

If you’ve just now found me of course, I hope you buy a bag.  (And one for all your friends, siblings, cats, etc.)  I also hope you follow my journey.  Please feel free to let me know your thoughts and business advice.  I simply can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

 

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Tax Free Sales Report

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Alesya Bag British TanThis past weekend was Tax Free Weekend here in South Carolina.  As an added perk, I gave out a free shipping code so everyone could get enjoy some kind of discount.

With these incentives five bags flew off the shelves.  Which is the most I’ve sold in a weekend!  A good lesson learned: Clients need a reason to buy.

In case you were wondering, Equestrian Tan was the most popular color.  I’m going to chalk that up to fall being right around the corner.

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No Tax & Free Shipping

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

south carolinaThis weekend there’s no tax on all back to school items in South Carolina.  (Yes, that includes laptop bags!)  But why keep all the perks to ourselves?  Today and tomorrow only you can also get free ground shipping by entering the code “freeship” at checkout.  Enjoy the savings and let me know what kind of tax free goodies you get!

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