Archive for the ‘The Process’ Category

Preview of this Week

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Thanks to all of your feedback, I’ve finally decided on my Editorial Calendar.  I’ve now linked to it at the top of the blog.  This will be my first week taking it for a test run.

Also this week, I’ll be telling you my Top 5 Goals for 2011 – I’ll announce one each day.  These are my real, a little bit out of reach, sometimes crazy sounding, goals for this year.  If you don’t believe me just ask my coach.

Its scary because if I don’t make one or more of them you’ll know.  But its also exciting to have them out there.  Great week ahead!

 

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Sunday Posts

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

During this year of posting every single day, I think Sundays will be the most difficult.  I need to put the finishing touches on my Editorial Calendar so it gets easier.  Much easier.  Otherwise, I’ll be focused on posting everyday rather than building a business.  And that would be bad.  Very bad.

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Thank You & A Hey Girl & Year of the Bag

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

A video update from me. ~A

[wpvideo gb73fNYi]

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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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Help Wanted: Blog Advice

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Its time to change the blog and I need your help.

It was scary to start this blog.  It made having a my own business very real.  And very public.  But eventually I read Penelope Trunk’s Guide to Starting a Blog for the 233rd time and starting writing.

In the beginning I wanted to chronicle my entrepreneurial adventure while I launched the Alesya laptop bag.  Then I started posting weekend content on other subjects.  Eventually all topics melted together.

Through Twitter, Lavish! and my exploration of other blogs I learned a lot in 2010 about blog strategy.  Grace Bonney’s second presentation at Lavish! was especially influential.  (For an awesome recap of her first presentation about tasteful biz promotion, check out the 5th Joy.)

Now its time to make this blog better.  Much better.  Exceptional.  Besides blogging every single day for the next year, I’ve identified three key changes to make:

1. Editorial Calendar – The same subjects on the same days during the week.  Consistency.  Tomorrow (Tuesday), I’ll be posting a list of possible topics to fill a weekly calendar.

2. Length of Post & Frequency – Normally, I’ll do one long to medium post a day.  I’d like to do short, medium and long posts while also posting more than once a day.  Will I be able to post more than once a day everyday?  (YIKES!)  We’ll explore that further on Wednesday.

3. Blog Design – When I launch the bag in April, I’ll also be relaunching this site.  Of course, that will include the blog and its design.  Thursday I’ll be showcasing a few blog designs I adore and would like to take inspiration from.

On Friday I’ll be recapping your thoughts while revealing my new direction.  Please, be blunt and direct with your feedback.  I can’t wait to hear it!

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Posting Everyday in 2011

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

WordPress has started a project encouraging people to blog everyday or once a week.  Since I’m already up to 5 times a week and sometimes 6, I’ve decided to sign up for the “Everyday” challenge.  I’m most worried about blogging on the weekends, but confident I’ll find a system that works.

Speaking of systems, I’m going to be changing the format of this blog.  How?  Good question.  I’ll be exploring it with you next week.  Look for a post on Monday outlining my thoughts.

In the meantime, I hope you’re celebrating the New Year with much happiness.  I’m more excited for 2011 than any other year I can remember.  Looking forward to sharing it all with you.

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First Impressions

Friday, December 31st, 2010

You can tell when its not high quality.

This week I had a hard choice to make.  The leather costs came in higher than expected.  Not just a few dollars more, but 27% more.  Times hundreds of bags.  Ouch.

Wendy and I looked at other leather samples.  Of course, to get a lower price, we had to look at leather of a lower quality.  From the very beginning Wendy wasn’t happy with it.  The texture wasn’t the same.  The colors weren’t the same.  And to top it all off, we’d have to put an extra finish on it to try and fake the quality.

After crunching the number and cringing a little, I passed.

This first line a bags is so important because they are my first impression to the world.  I’m not going to start out with anything but high quality, high end leather.  I don’t want to be known as anything less!

And frankly, I’m sure you’re not expecting anything less.

 

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First Sample, Last 2010 Goal

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Wendy sent a picture of herself from China so I'd know who I was working with.

Due to some “what day is it on the other side of the world” confusion, I thought my fist sample bag was coming next Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.  Yesterday, Wendy sent me a new tracking number and it turned out the bag was coming – yesterday!  I about died.

After updating my Twitter and Facebook status, calling UPS twice and my husband standing out on our porch trying to flag down another UPS driver, the bag still wasn’t here.  It was 6:15 and I had to leave for my cookie exchange.  So, I got it the car and hoped UPS was working overtime.

At 8:30 I received the following photo on my phone:

 

The Frist Sample

The package was here!

I raced carefully drove home and made a beeline for the bag.  My husband cracked open a bottle of campagne while I opened the package.  When I finally got the bubble wrap off I just look at the bag for a minute.  There it was!  Finished!  We lifted our glasses and toasted to my last 2010 goal accomplished.

Now, I’d love to tell you that’s the end of the story.  I’ll place my order and live happily ever after.  But, of course, its not.  I’ll be testing the bag, making tweaks and getting feedback before the final order is placed.

But I’m thrilled to have this BIG step done.  2011 is going to be one hell of a good time.  Thanks for coming to the party.

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To iPad or Not to iPad

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Gourmet Live on iPad

Should an iPad be on my Christmas list?  I need someone to just give me a definitive answer.  A final answer with which iPad is best for me.

Here’s why I think I might like one:

Glamour for iPad

 

Magazines

I’m obsessed with magazines.  The layouts, the glossy pictures, the excellent writing, the new information, the inspiration…its amazing to me that for such a low price all this comes directly to my mailbox every month.

I love flipping through the pages, cutting out pictures for future reference and seeing two page layouts.  Maybe I’m living in 1999, but there is just something about the paper that I dig.  There’s a quality to it I enjoy.

Will all this translate to a digital device?  Will I be missing out on new content if I don’t have an iPad?  I don’t know if I could handle that.

 

Blogging

Pulling out my crystal ball for a moment, I can see the world of blogging going towards a more interactive platform.  I want to be on the forefront of that.  Period.

However, I don’t have the skills to program an iPad app.  But 5 years ago I probably didn’t have the skills to crate a blog.  Now the software is so easy anyone can do it.  Will this kind of software be coming for the iPad?  Or will I be able to reasonably hire someone to do it?

If my crystal ball is correct, shouldn’t I start getting comfortable with the iPad now?  So I’m ready to fire on all cylinders will the time comes?

 

The Bag

As you know, I’m creating a laptop bag.  I still believe a lot of the world will need to use laptops for work.  Also, pretty much everyone I’ve talked to says that there are limitations to how much typing you can do on the screen.

But I’m no fool.

Clearly, this is the way technology is going.  Smaller.  Sleeker.  Sexier.  My bag needs to evolve too.

So I’m asking you for help.  Are you like me?  Do you like your iPad?  Or why haven’t you decided to get one?  Any and all advice is welcome!

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Notebook Choice

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Upfront Disclaimer:  If you are one of those people who doesn’t obsess over things and thinks people who love all the little details are nuts, this post is not for you.  Click away now.

The Notebook Hunt is over!  The Miquelrius large notebook won over, for many reasons which I will discuss below.  To my friends at EcoSystem – I still adore your colors and hope a bulk order will be coming your way sooner than later.  Russell + Hazel – the price was just too high for a start-up.  The next time I’m in Minneapolis though you’d better watch out.

So, here’s my new notebook.  Exciting, right?

My notebook closed

The open view

Oh, but it IS.  For starters, there are six different sections each indicated by a different color.

My Alesya Bags notes are in the fuchsia section.  (I like to write a lot of notes).

Not surprisingly, my coaching section is in green.

Also, I like the notebook because you can fold it over on itself.

And if you write something really brilliant, you can easily tear out the sheet because its perforated.  Plus there are holes already punched for binder filing.

If I’ve convinced you this is the notebook for you, head to your local Barnes & Noble and pick one up.  The locations in my area had quite a few to choose from.  Here’s the logo you should be looking for.

Have a great Friday and enjoy the weekend!  Hope the holidays haven’t taken over your life yet.

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