Archive for the ‘Entrepreneurs’ Category

Entrepreneur TV

Friday, January 20th, 2012

In case you didn’t hear the big news…SHARK TANK is back tonight!  I’ve already set my DVR for 8:00 PM on ABC, channel 4 if  you are in Charleston.  I normally tweet live during the show but I’ll be enjoying a much needed dinner out with friends.

Every business owner with a dream that I know watches this show.  Over and over again.  (You can watch many of the old episodes on Hulu.)  If you’d like to see a preview of this season ABC posted an inspiring women entrepreneurs video over on their Facebook page.  I also noticed there is a new female shark and I’m really looking forward to learning more about her.

The other show that has sucked me in is Project Runway All-Stars.   At first I was snobby about it – no Tim?  No Heidi, Michael or Nina?  No thank you!  But I have since changed my tune.  Creative business owners chasing their goals is still something I want to see.

Last night’s episode was especially fun because the client was the one and only, Miss Piggy.  She was the subject of my Pecha Kucha talk and I consider her a role model.  Go strong women!

If you like Project Runway, you’ll dig the All-Star version even with their changes.  I’m rooting for so many of the designers, but would love to see Austin Scarlett win it all.  Do you have any favorites?

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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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The Middle Finger Project

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Today I have a meeting with Ash from the Middle Finger Project.  We have a two-hour strategy session about one of my very subjects – marketing.  I’m pretty geeked about the whole thing.  Once we’re done, I’ll let you know how it went.

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Why The Internet is Awesome

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Yesterday, I saw one of my friends on Facebook “liked” Art & Copy.  I thought it was a blog, so I clicked on it.  Through the trailer, I found out it was a documentary on advertising.

Intrigued, I went to the website.  From the website I clicked to iTunes and rented the movie.  I promptly watched it.  Twice.

Now I feel totally different about the way I’m going to market my bag.  Energized.  Truthful.  BRAVE.

And that, my friends, is Why the Internet is Awesome.

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New Editorial Calendar: Possible Subjects

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

As I posted yesterday, this week we’ll be discussing ways to change this blog.

Today’s topic is The Editorial Calendar.  This simply means I’ll be posting on the same subject on the same days of each week.  For instance, if you had a Book Blog perhaps Mondays would be Mysteries, Tuesdays would be Biographies, Wednesdays would be Chick Lit, etc.

Here are the subjects I’m considering.

There's a Sample Bag in here I'm dying to show you.

Have to Be Included Come Hell or High Water

Alesya Bags Updates – This is the whole point of the blog!  To keep you updated on the business.  Are there any aspects you’d like to hear more about?  Is once a week enough?  Perhaps I should do biz updates on Tuesday and Thursdays for instance?

Food – Everyone can relate to food.  We all need to eat.  It might as well be tasty, great looking and maybe even a little bit fun.  I love sharing what works for me, how I get dinner on the table and what I make for guests.

Flowers makes things happier.

The Maybe Pile

Entrepreneur Advice/News/Profiles –  I look for business advice like its my job.  (Oh…wait…)  I’d be happy to share it.  But are you interested?  Are enough you other business owners?

Fashion – This subject is a conundrum for me.  I’m in the fashion industry.  But I don’t have a full line.  Perhaps I could discuss work clothes?

Crafts & Entertaining – Flower arrangements, tablescapes, crafts with a purpose.  I get a big kick out of it all.  It seems like you do too.

Charleston – Have you ever heard Oprah talk about how much she loves Chicago?  How she just felt like home?  I didn’t get that until I moved to Charleston, SC.  I love it here.  LOVE.  IT.   I believe the world needs to know about the culture, divine cuisine and fabulous people.  This would be beneficial to travelers and residents alike.

This is Mr. Moo. Do you really want to hear more?

Can’t Be Included.  No Way.  Now How.

Mommy Blogging – I have so much respect for people who do this and do it well.  I read a ton of Mommy Blogs and oohhhh and ahhh over the pictures, nod my head solemnly in solidarity when the going gets tough and LOL at the funny moments.  I might post things related to my daughter from time to time, I’m just not prepared to write about her.

Interior Design – While I thoroughly enjoy it, I’m no expert in home design.  I’d be doing you a disservice by even trying to touch this genre.

Photography – The only way I could honestly blog on this subject is from a novice perspective.  Unless you count my experience as a photographer for my high school yearbook.  Which I don’t.

So those are my thoughts.  What are yours?  What would you like to see on the editorial calendar?  Please do let me know.

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Clothes That Work at Work

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

After reading Brandon Holley’s Editor’s Letter in January issue of Lucky Magazine I immediately turned to the article “What Works at Work”.  The way she described her own 15 piece edited work closet gave me high hopes.  I was not disappointed.

Here’s the problem with most “Work Clothes” articles and/or books.  They start with a suit!  This isn’t the life I live.  Moreover, it seems to be the life hardly anyone lives anymore.  Who can invest in a full suit when they never have a good occasion to wear one?

The article starts out with the following pages:

Then, in typical Lucky fashion, they break down each personality into specific wardrobe pieces.

The Polished Sophisticate

The Chic Pragmatist

The Boy’s Club Inductee

The Risk Taker

I’m not sure which “personality” I am, but I know I’m not “The Boy’s Club Inductee (been there done that).  Which one do you most associate with?  How’s your closet shaping up for the New Year?

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This is a Terrible Week to Set Goals

Monday, December 27th, 2010

I love this week.  The week after Christmas and before New Year’s is one of my favorite weeks of the year.  When I had a “regular” job I used work to take to off.  It was one of those weeks you could take vacation and not miss much.  People understood why you were out.  The chance of getting an “emergency” call was about 22% rather than 98.9%.

Now if you’re one of those people who likes to be in the office alone, this is a great week for your to be at work.  But it is a terrible, and I mean really awful, week to set business goals.  Don’t even think about.  Here’s why:

1.  You need to reflect. You just completed your 2010 goals.  Or maybe you didn’t.  Take some time to reflect, analyze and hopefully, celebrate.  Think about what you really accomplished.  Ponder on what you want your 2011 to look like.  Stew.  Meditate.  Breathe.  Think.  Your goals will be clearer, better and brighter if you take the time to do this.

2.  You need to get input. Your right-hand gal is in the Cayman’s, your husband is watching bowl games and even your son can’t be bothered because he’s got that new PS3 game on the 43rd level already.  People are busy right now…busy not working!  Don’t set a single goal without getting some kind of feedback.  You’ll just have to reset them later when everyone gets back in the office/back to reality.

3. You need to give people a break. I know you.  You’re an entrepreneur.  You’re thinking about your business every single day of the year.  Your mind doesn’t take a holiday and neither does the bottom line.  But people need a break.  They don’t want to hear from you with the “Oh, sorry to bug you on your holiday, but…” call or the “If you happen to be checking email, it would be great to get a quick answer on this…” email.  Your hard-working, loyal, creative, A+ team needs a break.  FROM YOU.  Give it to them.  And while you’re at it, give it to yourself.

I will admit, watching the days on the calendar count down makes me nervous.  I’d like to have my 2011 goals set, but I know it’s just not feasible.  After talking to my coach, we decided setting them the week of January 10th was the best idea.  In the meantime, I’ll look forward to giving myself a break.  I hope you will too.

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Top 10 Things I’m Looking Forward to at Lavish

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Lavish! (the unconference for lifestyle bloggers) is this weekend.  I’ll be arriving on Saturday and already have my top ten things I’m looking forward to at the event.

10. Meeting Shameeka Ayers (a.k.a. The Broke Socialite), the founder of this event and  a woman who left a job she disliked to create an empire all her own.

9. Checking out all the fabulous outfits on the attendees.  (Ladies, I know you’re going to be impressive.)

8. Staying at The Mansion on Peachtree and trying one of their signature cocktails – The Eternal Rose.

7. Meeting all my new Twitter friends IRL.

6. Learning new ways to have fun with this blog while writing all my fabulous insights in my notebook.

5. Secretly spying on everyone’s laptop bag to see what they are using and how they are using it.

4. Not being the only geek there who is constantly checking email/blogging/tweeting/facebooking/texting/taking pictures/loving technology.

3.  Seeing the entire design*sponge team in action and hoping some of their mojo rubs off on me.

2. Hearing all the speakers who I’ve been following on my Twitter list for over a month now.  Do I have to pick just one track?  I want to see everyone!

1. Returning home with a whole new network of women who are inspiring, amazing entrepreneurs who generally kick-ass.

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iPad Update

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Mr. Jobs I don't need you to call me directly. Just one of your peeps. Thanks.

Yesterday I asked you whether or not an iPad should be on my Christmas list.  The consensus here, on Twitter and on my personal Facebook page was to wait.  Apparently there’s a new version of the iPad coming out in February and there’s no point buying the current version now.

Having that information was valuable, but Jennifer said it best in the comments section:

Another downer for the iPad is that you really can’t develop much content on it – I’m sure that’ll change with the next generation so perhaps wait for that to come around?

It is a BIG downer.  No content.  I take my laptop everywhere with me for that exact reason – it helps me create the all important content.

I’m putting it out there right now.  To my friends at Apple, Adobe, WordPress and whoever else is working on this.  I know you know who is creating the best blog software for the next generation iPad.  Don’t you need a few real life testers?  Someone to get the ball rolling?  I’m sitting in the front row and waving my hand.

While I have your attention, here’s some features I’d like to see:

  • The ability to create horizontally scrolling stories
  • Taking high quality videos and photos from the iPad and incorporating them directly onto a page
  • Beautiful photo galleries
  • Features that let the reader dive deep into a story – animation, sidebars that appear with a touch and voice explanations
  • New ways to connect to Twitter and Facebook
  • Ways to seamlessly link to posts that relate to the current post – no clicking or hunting needed
  • Help the reader interact with the ability to comment on several areas of the post, share only a photo or video or send back their own voice message
  • On screen photo editing with several ways to add a caption
  • Did I mention I want photos?  Big ones?

iPad blogging software beta tester #1 reporting for duty.  Where do I sign in?

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Eileen Fisher

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Entrepreneur Eileen Fisher

This in this month’s edition of Inc. Magazine the How I Did It Column featured clothing designer and entrepreneur Eileen Fisher.  So many parts of it struck a cord to me that I had to share them here.

The article excerpts, as told to Liz Welch, are in purple while my comments are in italics underneath.

When I decided to go to college, my dad said, “Well, Eileen, since we don’t have the money to send all the kids to school, we have to save up for your brother. He’ll need an education to support his family one day.” … I paid my way through the University of Illinois working as a waitress.

I was shocked at this!  A real sign of the times, I suppose. It made me think, if she didn’t complain about that, who am I to complain about anything?

I never set out to be a clothing designer — I was an uncomfortable person, and so I wanted comfortable clothes.

I wouldn’t classify myself as a designer either.  Nice to know you can still succeed in the fashion industry.

I had three weeks to produce my line, $350 in the bank, and no idea how to make a pattern.

Always love to hear the dollar amount people start with.  Makes me realize you can make any budget work if you really want to get it done.

I sold $40,000 worth of clothes and took the stack of orders to the bank to borrow money to make them. They laughed. “How do we know that these are real orders? Or that these stores are creditworthy?”

People are going to doubt you.  You just can’t doubt yourself.

I had my son Zack a few days before I turned 39. … It helped me understand how hard it was juggling kids and a job. We have a lot of flexible work situations as a result, as well as a woman in charge of work-life balance.

This is something I want to do for my eventual employees too:   Flexible schedules.  Trust that you will get the work done.  Ability to be a woman, have a family and a successful career.

A major turning point for me was meeting Susan Schor. It was at a party in 1999. Her expertise is in organizational development, and so when I told her about my company and my philosophies, she asked, “How are you assured that the culture disseminates?” She worked as a consultant at first, to help me integrate the company and answer that question.

There are two high level people who I want to hire.  Having them support me already has been a turning point in the way I think about the business.  Its a big deal to connect with these pivotal relationships.

I thought about going public, but it seemed way too complicated. I don’t think about my business so much in quarters or in numbers that way. I think about getting the product right. If you do that, the money will follow. The ESOP is an extension of what I always wanted for my company: a sense of inclusivity. My employees run the business, and they deserve to own it. We’ve done profit sharing for years, and it makes people feel really connected. It’s not us and them. It’s us.

Wow!  I didn’t even know you could do this.  But it makes so much sense.  I’d be much happier working toward this goal than the going public one.

After reading the article I reached out to the author, Liz, to thank her.  She then forwarded my note to Eileen Fisher’s company.  In a matter of minutes, a PR person from Eileen Fisher emailed me with a grant opportunity.

While I didn’t qualify, it made me admire Ms. Fisher an her company even more.  What an awesome role model.

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