Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Whew! New employee, space, packaging, wearing instructions, zippers


I have hired a new employee, but she doesn't start until June 12. May was our first month with only one employee in over a year. Wouldn't you know, in May our sales almost doubled. We sold almost twice as many slings in May as the January - April average.

Sunday my sister Jennifer helped me totally re-arrange the stock room. It was an all day project. We added 30% more shelving. The slings in packaging take up more space than slings not in packaging, so we had to add more storage capacity. The new layout has better flow (more of a line dance than a square dance), but leaves less open work space. It's getting claustrophobic, but we're not ready to move out yet.

All new slings that go through quality control are going into packaging. We haven't converted the existing inventory into packaging yet, though. I was about to start that process, but we realized we were running out of wearing instructions. So we had to print more wearing instructions ASAP - without the new recolored drawings to match our new logo.

We are getting so close to completion with all the wearing instructions. We're about to send the pouch wearing instructions to the printer. It's been difficult to work in all the wearing instruction creating and editing, with everything else going on recently. The attached photo was from our wearing instruction shoot.

We're ready to make the gorgeous new brown/teal slings...but we still don't have the zippers. The zipper company (probably the same one on your jeans or jacket - they are a huge company) actually makes the zippers to order. We do finally have the turquoise zippers, so we are cranking on the turquoise solarveils now.

Exclusive for Isis Maternity


Still not sure on the name.

OTHER new exclusive print for ATB: Zen Garden


We're going with the green zipper.

New Exclusive Print for Attached to Baby: Pretty in Pink


We have this fabric and we are working on cranking out the slings soon:

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Valerie and Alec


Alec is a total sweetie, and Valerie is a great model - her personality comes through.

These solarveils with print pockets are in QA this week.

HELP wanted

I'm hiring again. If you know anyone who is looking for part-time work in Austin, this is a really cool place to work.

Office Assistant: http://austin.craigslist.org/ofc/163915439.html
Production Manager: http://austin.craigslist.org/med/163913629.html

We really need more help around here. I'm up to my eyeballs in work, and Shelly, well, I can't even find her in the piles of work.

Oh, and the intern? E-mailed me the day before she was supposed to start, saying she wasn't going to do it. No explanation. Nice.

Monday, May 22, 2006

photo shoot #1

Monday, May 15, 2006

site improvements

Joe made some nice changes to the site over the weekend. He added a bestsellers to the home page. He was just going to list colors, but black and posie showed up twice. Turns out that black slings AND black pouches are in the top 6, and posie slings AND posie pouches are in the top 6! Out of about 20 fabrics available in the last 30 days, black and posie still won by a landslide.

Joe also added a "sort by column" feature to the retail stores, distributors, and events pages.

The text on the home page has been updated as well.

We have lots of work to do on our press page - lots of great press lately!

zzzzzzzzip


Whoops! Out of solarveils, have fabric, rings, NO ZIPPERS! Have been awaiting sample of new zipper before ordering, found out today it was sent to former associates in Los Angeles. Brilliant.

Intern starts NEXT WEEK. Keeping track of these production details will be her job. I will oversee her, but I think it will be great experience for her to see the level of detail needed to keep things going. Production can be held up by CARE LABELS if we run out! Most of these things take many weeks to receive, once we order them. It's totally maddening.

Working on new pouch wearing instructions.

Settled on temporary packaging. Looks good. Starting to phase it in. How will we store our inventory now that the slings will be in packaging? Have to figure this out ASAP.
The photo is the temporary packaging w/ wearing instructions in front. DVD is in back.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

prints


I am starting to freak out because we are running low on prints. I ordered a custom batch of a really cute pink/tan floral. I don't have a name yet. It reminds me of my sister Jessica, and she loved this print when we first saw it a while back. Hopefully the fabric will be here in about 10 days.

But I can't just have one print! Yikes! Slow deep breaths....

We did a sample of the new silk and it is stunning. The hilarious thing is that I did not realize that it is the same brocade design as my old lilac floral brocade. My seamstress, who made God knows how many of the lilacs, recognized the print when she laid it out to cut it. But even then, we were not totally certain until we held the 2 next to each other. It looks SO different in brown and teal. And SO GOOD.

My new production intern starts tomorrow. Supa coo!

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the fabulous mamas out there. I hope you all got to sleep in this morning.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Oh Canada

We're in Canadian Family Magazine's summer issue. "Most stylish sling" in their "battle of the baby carriers" article. Cool!

Sustain


New logo for our organic cotton slings. I love it.

We called it "sustainable" instead of organic because I plan to add other sustainable options someday.

Recycle someething today, baby.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

What's Your Personality Type?

What's your personality type?










Your #1 Match: ENTJ




The Executive

You are a natural leader - with confidence and strength that inspires others.
Driven to succeed, you are always looking for ways to gain, power, knowledge, and expertise.
Sometimes you aren't the most considerate person, especially to those who are a bit slow.
You are not easily intimidated - and you have a commanding, awe-inspiring presence.

You would make a great CEO, entrepreneur, or consultant.


Your #2 Match: ENTP




The Visionary

You are charming, outgoing, friendly. You make a good first impression.
You possess good negotiating skills and can convince anyone of anything.
Happy to be the center of attention, you love to tell stories and show off.
You're very clever, but not disciplined enough to do well in structured environments.

You would make a great entrpreneur, marketing executive, or actor.



Thursday, May 04, 2006

typo

Yay! We finally got our new printed wearing instructions! These have a snazzy new layout with the new logo.

Oh. The word "style" is misspelled. On the cover. It says, "sling-stlye baby carrier". On 1,500 beautiful, printed documents.

How totally frustrating!

Other than that, and a few more minor typos that somehow we missed in all our checking, they look nice. I am always impressed by the quality of offset printing.

We are expecting our new DVD's today. I will breathe such a sigh of relief when we are well-stocked in both of these, as juggling the last of the old design ones has created a lot of stress over the past couple of months.

We got a new printer. It's super fast, but I'm not sure the printouts look as good as our old one. I think we need to tweak it. It's also BIG. Joe calls it the Death Star.

We took down our photo equipment, which is a good thing, because right now the office is full of slings. However, we already have new things to photograph. So we'll need to set up and do another photo shoot soon.

We've had a burst of production lately, and our quality control guy is out of town, and one of the moms who does it is busy doing doula work. So we have a backup mom doing it, and we really need more help. Finished but un-checked slings can't be sold, and they are stacking up in the office. If you know someone in Austin who wants a bit of part-time work and has attention to detail, let me know!

Daily Stroll

We're in the Daily Stroll today. Very nice article!

Close To You

Have I mentioned how much I love baby wearing? I don't do it all of the time because most of the time I am at the computer and well, that doesn't work out too well with 22 month old, she likes to type way too much. However, anytime I get the chance Ruby is tucked in to a sling and we are on our way.

I have been hesitant to try new things since I have been loyal to a certain baby carrier company for a while now. Recently we were sent a few different slings from a few different companies to test out, and my new pick is Zolowear. It just makes the most sense.

I found Zolowear easy to use, lightweight, and the most stylish. Did I mention it has a bit of extra fabric hanging to use as a little nursing cover up, or extra wrap around the baby should you need it? It does. It also has a zip pocked for keys, wallet, whatever. Zolowear also struck me the least complicated of the new brands we tried, mostly because compared to some of the other ones out there, it doesn't have what looks like 10 yards of fabric that I have to figure out what to do with. I am a classic klutz so I can't be trusted with too much origami in a baby carrier. The Zolowear company wants you to be safe and they have a very informative website to make sure that you and your baby are tucked in correctly.

I love my Zolowear and look forward to using it for a long time.