Archive for the ‘The Bag’ Category

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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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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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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A little business before we get to the post…

The first package from China waits on my porch.

Yesterday, my first real package from China arrived.  It came to the door like any other delivery, with no more fanfare than a doorbell.  But as I found the package on my porch and my eyes went to the return address I could feel my breath catch when I saw the word “Shanghai”.

All the hardware pieces came packaged like this.

After carefully cutting the opening, I removed each piece as if it was a precious artifact.  Seeing it all laid out in front of me was a big moment.  It was a moment I’d imaged when planning this new career.  “Oh, I can just see myself pouring over leather samples.”

And now, it was a real.  I’m litterally sitting here staring at several varations of one color.  Looking at the grain.  Discussing the merits of the quality.  Wondering about price.  And most importantly, deciding what a laptop bag owner would most like to have.

So please, take make 3 second poll at the top of this post.  You never know when your vote will show up in a bag.

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Interior Fabric Texture

In the midst of all this Holiday Hoopla, real work must still go on.  To me, its one of the most stressful things during this time of year:  Trying to live your “normal” life and keep up with your tasks while still getting all the extra things done.  But woman cannot live on turkey alone, so the show must go on.

Wendy sent me leather pictures last night.  (Her Wednesday morning).  I have to say, I was very, very pleased.  The goal is to do the first season of laptop bags in three colors and I think from the 15 or so samples I can have at least three wonderful options.  Remember, even though these will come out in April, they are the Fall 2011 collection.  That should give you a good hint on what the color pallet might be.

Also last night, she sent me dust bag and intererior fabric samples.  Looking at 50 shades of the same basic color can make you go cross-eyed.  I’m anxious to get the samples in my hand so I can make the final call.  In the meantime, having choices is always a good thing.  (This holds true for just about everything, by the way.  Ladies, make sure you have choices.)

The next contact I have to make is the customer broker.  This is the person that helps you get your goods into the United States.  The most frustrating parts are the fees involved.  Taxes and shipping are (as my father likes to say) enough to knock your socks off.  Time to revisit the budget.  Let’s just hope I don’t get it mixed up with the brining recipe.

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This palette of fabric is coming to a mailbox near me.  It was mailed today from Shanghai.  How long will it take to get here?  Two weeks?  I’ll be stalking the mail truck until then.

Also coming soon (if not in the same package) are my hardware and leather samples.  I told Wendy I’d be doing a happy dance when they come.  Not sure if that translates accurately, but I’m sure she understands the sentiment.  Sake bombs all around!

In the meantime, you can find me with one eye on my computer and one on the front door.  To get something tangible will certainly be a red-letter day.

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If I'm not careful, this could be my Thanksgiving menu.

One of my Twitter friends, Stacey Huggins, sent out a tweet yesterday that made me break out in a cold sweat.

shuggins1229 (Stacy Huggins) Holy Fried Turkey! Why didn’t anyone tell me Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks from TODAY?!

Holy fried turkey indeed!!  For some reason I thought I was in the three weeks range.  Yikes!

Part of the reason I’ve lost the calendar is this has been a great week for Alesya Bags.  Wendy sent me 8 new hardware samples, two leather samples and we decided on a direction for zipper pulls.  She also mailed me about a dozen interior fabric sample.  These are all exciting details that bring the bag to life.

But with one tweet, now I have a list of things I’m concerned about having nothing to do with work.  Because you know what comes RIGHT after Thanksgiving – Christmas and the New Year!  In no particular order, here’s my holiday list of concern for the moment:

  • Thanksgiving Tablescape
  • Thanksgiving Menu
  • Thanksgiving Final Guest List
  • Holiday Cards
  • Holiday Photos
  • Freezing Cookies
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Ribbons & Tags
  • Getting the house ready (read: clean) for guests
  • Organizing the Pantry
  • Gifts, Gifts, Gifts
  • Christmas Meals
  • Around Christmas Meals
  • Dessert for New Year’s Day
  • Football
  • Outside Decor
  • Lights & Blinking (NO!)
  • Fresh Greens
  • Inside Tree
  • Homemade ornaments
  • Candles
  • Water Glasses
  • Sequins

Please tell me your list is at least this long.  Please.

While I’ll still be posting on the weekend from time to time, I’m now going to incorporate my weekend themed posts into the week.  Sometimes I wish I could just focus on “work” during the week and “fun” during the weekend, but I think we all know that’s not how it goes.  Time to make this blog reflect real life a little more.

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