Archive for April, 2012

Capital & Water

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Nordstrom in Columbus OhioMy next big step is to get the bags into retail stores.  But there’s a catch:  If a department store (Nordstrom’s…are you listening?!) places an order they don’t pay for it until the order is in their warehouse.  Nice.

I have to figure out how to pay for the order to be manufactured and then shipped across the ocean before I ever get a cent.  For you fellow Shark Tank viewers, this is why people in the tank are always saying “I have orders I can’t fulfill!”   To avoid this problem, I’m going to need some kind of capital.

Suntrust LogoOn Tuesday morning my husband and I went to the bank to talk about a loan.  We bank with SunTrust for everything.  They have our checking, savings, personal and my business accounts.  They also have our mortgage and my husband’s business uses them.  They are a regional bank – see map below for locations – and we really like the personal touch.   My local branch even called me last week to see how I was doing!

During the meeting the bankers suggested we apply for a line of credit.  This would be ideal because you don’t start paying interest on the capital until you use it.  With a loan you start paying the moment you get the money whether you are using it or not.  The rate on the line of credit is prime plus one or two percent.

Map of Suntrust Bank LocationsIf we don’t get the line of credit approved, we’ll apply for a loan.  I’m also meeting with some private investors in Charleston on Friday.  The drawback to a private investor is the interest rate is higher.  The upside is you often get an advisor which you don’t with a bank loan.

Among all the options I’m confident I’ll figure something out.  In other words, come hell or high water, I’m fulfilling those retail orders when they come in!  OK, Nordstrom?  I’m ready for you!

Now you’d think the most nerve wracking part of a bank meeting is asking for money.  But it wasn’t.  On Monday I had a doctor’s appointment where my OB checked to see how far along I was.  With 4 weeks left to go I was already dilated and a non-stress test indicated I was having slight contractions.  My doctor said “Pack a bag.”

Um….what?!  There was a chance I could go early?  After being two weeks late with my daughter the thought I could be early with with this PLANNED c-section never crossed my mind.   While I was going to the bank, all I could think was I hoped my water didn’t break in the office.  What a scene!

Of course, it didn’t.  I’m still pregnant and waiting to see if I will go early.  Either way we’ll figure it out.  In the meantime, I have a mountain of paperwork to fill out for the bank.  I’ll keep you posted on progress – on both fronts.

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Wanted: YKK Color Card

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

YKK Zipper Color Card

Do you know anyone – maybe even here in Charleston – who has the YKK color card?  I need to look at some zipper tape colors and this is the only way.  I’m also going to try and order one from the company, but thought if someone has one on hand that might be faster.  Thanks!

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Wanted: Pattern Maker

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Making Patterns

As the line expands, I’m looking for a bag pattern maker to help me bring the designs to life.  If you know someone who’d like to work with me please send them my way or drop me an email at alesya (at)alesyabags.com.  Thanks!

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Baby Update

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Alesya Nursery

Many of you have sent kind notes asking about how I was feeling, etc.  Thank you!  Here’s an update on the baby front…

As of today I’m 35 weeks along.  Four weeks from today I’ll be having a c-section.  It’s scheduled because I had a c-section with my daughter after 26 hours of labor.  (Good times!)

We don’t know whether it’s a boy or a girl but popular consensus says I’m carrying like it’s a boy.  However, given how ill I was the first three months of this pregnancy others are saying it has to be a girl.  Looks like I’m back to 50/50!   We have names picked out either way.

I’m having all the normal side effects – trouble sleeping, back pain, fatigue etc. – but nothing out of the ordinary.  Like most people we’re hoping for a healthy baby and a uneventful surgery.

Alesya Nursery

As you may have noticed, I’ve decorated the nursery in aqua, khaki and white.  No, I don’t know something you don’t, I just think aqua could be either for a girl or boy.  Call me crazy.  Or perhaps just fashion forward.   If you’d like to see some of the other things I’m considering for the baby you can see them on my Pinterest board.

As my energy level gets lower and lower I’m made the conscious choice to keep Alesya Bags moving at full speed nonetheless.  It would be easier for me to take a step back, but it’s not something I want to do, nor do I think it’s best for the business.  Once the new baby is here I’ll have the task of running a company while not getting much/any sleep and it wasn’t wise to get behind now.

There’s no such thing as maternity leave for an entrepreneur.  It’s just a fact.  Would it be easier if I was male?  Of course!  But I don’t have that choice.  And frankly, I’m not sure I’d want it.

Again, thanks for all your concern and well wishes.  We’re on the official countdown now!  ~A

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New Bags Update

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Alesya Bags Leather SwatchesLast week the official order went in – 600 bags, twice the amount I ordered last time.  You’d think I’d be twice as nervous, but I’m actually just twice as excited.  I’ve had some amazing support and encouragement over the last year which makes it easier for me to say that.

Of course, emptying out your bank account to pay for a large order can’t ever be classified as exciting.  It has to be more in the necessary evil department.  I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to calling the bank and telling them to send thousands of dollars to some random numbers on the other side of the world.

Timing

The new bags are scheduled to be here in July.  As we all know, things can change, but that is what I’m expecting.

Colors

I won’t be announcing the new colors until the bags are available for sale.  Need some hints in the meantime?

  • As a reminder, this is the Fall 2012 line.  Think fall.
  • Clearly, I run this company (I mean, it’s my name on the tag for goodness sake) but I do so with a TON of input from you.  I’ve been listening.
  • For the timing being, I’m not bringing back any of the old colors.  These will be new colors.

Wait List

The best way to get a bag quickly is to sign up for the Wait List.  I won’t be taking any pre-orders, but by signing up for this list you’ll be the very first to know when the bags are available.  You can watch Facebook and Twitter for updates too.

Blog

Like in depth, blow-by-blow kind of info?   Subscribe to this blog.  I’m back now and will keep you posted on this entrepreneurial journey.

Next up?  Meeting with the bank.  I’ll tell you why next week.  Tomorrow look for a short personal update.  As always, I can’t thank you enough for your support.  It’s a huge freaking deal.

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