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Oh my goodness.


daniedb
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Well, I'm completely overwhelmed, in a really amazing way! I have a boutique that carries my line here, as a wholesale account, and she just called me yesterday. They sold almost all the products they bought for the holidays, and she wants to move me into a full vertical display, keeping it completely stocked with weekly reorders, and wants everything I make in each of 4 scents. B & B, candles, home cleaning supplies. Wow. I meet with her today at 1 pm, so I'll have a better idea about how much she's talking about, but wow - I'm just so excited!

This is the same woman who's going to take me to Market in Dallas in a few weeks - she recently told me that she has contacts at FOUR showrooms, and she wants me to shop around for the best pricing tier, so I guess she's assuming they're all going to want me...I'm so nervous, but also very excited. What a time of transition!

I'd love to hear some details from some small business crafters who have grown into a larger business, and what the transition is like, and most of all, advice about how to make that next step smoothly and with a minimum of conflict and stress. I have a 2-year-old, and that is my main job, being a mom, so I am getting a little anxious about keeping my priorities in order - I know that God has intended for me to make sure that Henry (my toddler) gets the best of me, and I stay home with him, so it's really important to me that we don't lose sight of that larger goal, KWIM? I'd love some advice! :grin2:

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Congratulations!!!!!! Is this Dallas Market like a trade show.? If so, be prepared to get hit with alot of potential accounts. And learn to say no!! Its hard to..expecially when that money is talked about. If you take on to much and then can't follow through it will hurt your reputation big time. Buyers will remeber you for ever as the person who didn't follow through and they have to scramble at the last minute to find product to put on their shelf. You know how much you can produce at any given time. So just don't over do it.

Do you have an accountant. If not..you might want to get one.

And hire a personal assistant. One that can personally label all yor products for you. LOL After spending two days labeling lotion and packaging bath bombs I finally asked my teen nieghbor if she wouldn't mind comming over every thursday to package this stuff. Money well spent. I'm not even close to being "big time" and I still feel like I have too much to do and not enough time to get it done. I work damn near 15 hours in my candle room everyday.

If Schwan didn't deliver my food my family would starve. If my hubby wasn't home to cook it they would eat it frozen.:o My two kids are both in school and that helps. When they where young I only took on two wholsale accounts and turn away alot...I couldn't change a diaper and pour a pillar at the same time.

I wish you the best of luck.

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I couldn't change a diaper and pour a pillar at the same time.

Isn't that the truth, LOL! ITA, it's been driving me nuts how long he watches Thomas the Tank Engine when I have a big order to fill. I think that's wonderful advice - I will start putting out feelers for a labeler/packager. That really eats up a LOT of my time. Market is a huge trade show, where the big stores come in to buy at private showrooms from reps who carry wholesale lines.

I think what I'm going to have to do is go step by step - local (where I am now) to regional (South Texas only, with a limited number of boutiques), then on to bigger scale. Unless I can hire 5 people right now, I can't go any bigger than regional.

Thanks for the help, and the words of encouragement, Glowlite and pdevine!

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It sounds like you have your priorities in order and you have your plan lined out perfectly and sensibly. One other point to ponder. If the big wigs come to your booth..like target or dillards just hand them your packet and say I'm not able to fill your needs now, but check back with me next year ....they will remeber you and don't be suprised when they do. Buyers keep good records and if your product caught thier eye they won't forget about it.

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Congratulations on the opportunities coming your way. All your hard work is paying off. Sounds like you have a viable plan and are getting good advise from Glowlite. Know you want to be a SAHM but you may want to consider 1 day a week in a child care facility for Henry. Give him a chance to interact with other kids his age and give you a day to do some serious work.

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Yay, good order! Not too huge that I have to run out and buy 100# wax melters, but big enough that I'm going to be buuuuusssssssy for the next 3 weeks.

And I called today to pitch them my Valentine's gift package idea, and they bought 8 of them, on top of the other products! Wow!

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That sounds great!

Really look at how much you can expand without hurting the family. How much more you could do with a bit of investment and more organization. If you get to Market and make contacts, you could be over your head very quickly - when people start throwing money at you, you tend to lose your head and overbook yourself easily :) A cause of business failure can be growing too fast.

Sounds like you're planning well, good luck!

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That sounds great!

Really look at how much you can expand without hurting the family. How much more you could do with a bit of investment and more organization. If you get to Market and make contacts, you could be over your head very quickly - when people start throwing money at you, you tend to lose your head and overbook yourself easily :) A cause of business failure can be growing too fast.

Sounds like you're planning well, good luck!

Yep. Done it twice. Got more work than I could handle. Couldn't turn it around quick enough. Lost all my customers because of it. The first time was with a garage I owned, the second was a print shop. So it's not specific to any one type of biz.

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I'm reeeeeally disquieted about the idea of Market. I've already got a sales rep who is going to be shopping just the candles after the 1st of the year, and I'm certain that three boutiques total are all I can handle right this moment, at this season in my life. What I really desire to do is grow deliberately and slowly. Three, then hire some part-time help, then 5, then more help, more professional equipment, etc, etc. So, I'm having qualms about Market for that reason. I just will NOT be able to fill large, chain orders at this time, although who knows where we will be in a year? But now...nope.

DH is encouraging me to go simply for the exposure - handing out cards, making contacts, so that if we are ready to move forward in 6 months with the next step, rather than a year, we've already got some contacts. Or if next year, when we're set up for larger volume, then people will remember the product and us. I absolutely see his point, but I'm leaning more toward, why go if you can't produce? I dunno, I just want to make B&B and candles and raise my kid, KWIM? I mean, I want to have a profitable business, and have a stellar product, but I'm really happy being in 5 stores in S. Tx until my kid (and eventually kids, hopefully) go to school and I have time to devote 5-8 hours a day to a business.

Although I know that putting him in daycare would be helpful for me to work, I just do NOT feel a peace about it. I really turned it over and over, and I just firmly believe that for our family, I'm supposed to be devoting my energy and gifts to my child(ren), and that after this season of having little ones at home is over, then the time to pour my energy and time into a business will come in its own time.

We'll see...I'm praying about what to do, within the parameters of first and foremost being a stay at home mom, without sacrificing the responsibility I have for Henry's upbringing or my relationship with my husband, family, etc, one iota.

Thanks for the advice, everyone. It's very helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to invest your thoughts and energy into my life. :wink2:

Fern-Marie, :tiptoe: ! :D What a nice thing to say. Back atcha. :)

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From what I have read, you have a very good handle on your priorities right now. I was always raised to believe that if it doesn't feel right, it isn't right. If you feel that now is not the time to expand this quickly, then it isn't. You are on the right track and "growing deliberately and slowly" is a good plan. Having your product in three stores is certainly nothing to sneeze at, and if it affords you the opportunity to stay at home and continue to raise Henry and other children that may come along later, your business is already a success. Whatever you decide, I wish you the very best.

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If you go, think about taking their cards and telling them you will call them when you are set up to handle them.

You will be surprised how hard it is to say no to the money. The excitement gets you and then you are over your head. I have had to trun people down, I hate it, but there are only so many hours in the day. I just moved to a warehouse so I can produce more, without bumping butts (literally).

I have a couple of people working part time right now, it is hard to hire somebody you trust enough to not take your secrets.

I hired an accountant last month when a distributor came in and ordered for 5 stores. I can only do so much and I hate that part.

I see what you mean about your family. You won't have much time, my kids are gone and hubby travels, but I work from 6am til I drop at night. I hope the warehouse works as i can get the ladies to work full time and maybe I can enjoy a little of my grandkids.

Money isn't everything. Think about making contacts for later. Tell them your are in the early stages,and be sure to watch what you think you can make. I would not buy from somebody that was late with an order and I had empty shelves. I have actually dropped several lines (big companies too) because of their poor shipping and cs. when I order, I want it in a reasonable time. but if I found something I liked and they weren't ready yet and told me upfront, I would be pleased when they were ready and called me.

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Indescent! There you are, girl! WHERE have you been and who said it was okay for you to leave?

I actually have been thinking of you as I went about securing this account, and your, "I don't have time for cute." So, I got all dolled and up and professional and said, "Yes." "No." "Thank you." Not, "Ohmigosh, it's so totally kewl." That helped me a TON - I usually tend to overcompensate with my personality, b/c I'm nervous that my products aren't good enough to stand alone. This time, I stood back, let the products take center stage and voila! A new account! So, thank you for the encouragement and the honesty, it helped so much!

So, how the heck have you been?

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I have told you this before, but I'm gonna say it again, because I am soo proud of you~~~ From the very first moment that I saw your website, I knew that you were going to be HUGE one day...in fact, I actually thought you probably already were! Market will be VERY good to and for you when you are ready for it...and if you trust that all things happen ONLY when they are supposed to happen then you know that you'll do the right thing....I have no doubt in my mind that the world is ready for Purehenry, and that it won't be long before you are ready to take on the world. :highfive:

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Although I know that putting him in daycare would be helpful for me to work, I just do NOT feel a peace about it. I really turned it over and over, and I just firmly believe that for our family, I'm supposed to be devoting my energy and gifts to my child(ren), and that after this season of having little ones at home is over, then the time to pour my energy and time into a business will come in its own time.

You might try a compromise, of daycare a day or two per week. Might be that you can get more done on those days and have more quality time on the days he's home. Might cut down on the whole seperation anxiety thing, when it comes time for him to go to school, to.

Just a thought. :smiley2:

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Ohhh, crap, do I feel dumb.

Good thing Donna mentioned the web site. I just checked it out...spectacular by the way.

One problem for me...I have been purchasing "Natural" cleaning items from

drugstore.com . Very expensive. Waaaayyy more expensive than yours.

Oh, boy, do I feel taken. Man. Doesn't that just tick ya off!

Well, D, looks like you have a new customer.

I am using Green Tea and Patchouli cleanser from Caldrea. I am not a patchouli fan at all, but this stuff smells fabulous. I just bought a huge bottle of the Nugmeg to try based on 'rave reviews'...gag a maggot...hate it!

Well, just as soon as I run down some of these, I will be visiting your site to order more.

Fern-Marie

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Hey lady!!!

I am in such AWE of you! I am really proud of you. Wow, how nice of you to remember me! I'm glad that your work is being acknowledged and respected for the art that it is! I love everything about it!

Where have I been? Girl, don't even get me started. I had a breast reduction and it took me about a month or so to recuperate. Then I started teaching Spanish at my daughter's school to grades 4th-8th, still event planning (next big task is my high school reunion). My DH is home from Iraq on leave right now (big ole YAY).

That's about it! I've been lurking as of late and waned to slow down and give you props! I am so very happy and proud of you. You're making that baby a household name!!

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Hi Indescent,

I did not know that you had a hubby in the Armed Services, let alone serving in Iraq.

Could you please thank him for us for his service to our nation. Let him know that we pray for our troops and appreciate their sacrifice.

It can't be easy for you either. We wish you all the best. I don't know how you have kept your spirits up, I would never have even guessed.

Heroes come in all shapes, sizes, and genders.

Best Wishes to you both for the New Year.

Fern-Marie

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Oh Fern Marie! Thank you!

Actually my husband is over there as a civilian. Its hard to tell people b/c sometimes they say, "Oh", in such a disappointed tone and almost want take back their thanks! Little do they know how important his job is and how he puts his life on the line every day, just as much or more as any soldier :) I stay as busy as possible and that helps time pass. Its taken a toll, but we've put our 3 yr old in school and the baby is pretty much flexible! However, I can't tell you what a joy it has been having him home. His company keeps giving him an extension in the States, which I am grateful for too-- especially since he can celebrate our baby's 1st birthday on Tuesday.

Thanks again for your very appreciated and kind words.

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