Bags in South Carolina!

Got a call late in the day yesterday to tell me the bags came in to the port last night!  That mean they just might be delivered to my warehouse…TODAY.  Just waiting to get the call!

Alesya Bags - CustomsAfter finally getting through customs (see above), the bags are on their way from New Jersey to the port in Hanahan, South Carolina.  They are supposed to be there…TOMORROW.

Holy smokes!  Holy Toledo!  and….WOW!

If all goes well (she types while holding her breath, crossing her fingers and clicking her heels three times) that means the bags could be in my warehouse by Friday.  Amazing!

The plan is to launch the site to the Wait List on Tuesday and then to the world on Wednesday.  I’m sure about a million things could happen before then, but that’s what I’m shooting for.

As always…look for the latest updates here, on Twitter and on Facebook.  I’m off to prepare the press release!

Christmas in July

Happy First Day of Summer!  While it’s sunny, hot and humid here in Charleston I’m thinking about Christmas.  As in, whether or not I can place an order for the Christmas season.

Here’s the problem:

As you know, the bags are on their way out of customs.  I’m not sure when they’ll make it to Charleston, but I hoping sooner than later.  If they come at the beginning of next week I can launch the company.  If not, I need to wait until after the 4th of July holiday.

If the bags sell out right away, the decision will be easy.  I’ll place another order the first week of July.  Wendy told me last night that if I can do that they can get the new order of bags on a boat before October 1st.  (Which is good because there is another national holiday in China from October 1st – 7th)

But what if…

The bags don’t sell out?
They sell out after July 15th?
I sell 2/3’s of my quantity in the first week and then only a few?

Should I still place an order and cross my fingers and toes that they get here for the holidays?  And if so, how many bags should I purchase?  You can see my conundrum.

In the meantime I’m waiting to hear the ETA of the first set bags from my shipper.  And you all know how much I love waiting…



I would like to kiss and hug the customs officer who just RELEASED my bags from customs!  (Even thought they frown on that sort of thing.)  Great victory for a Monday.  Yea!

Now I’m waiting for the final invoice from my shipper which will include examination, import and shipping costs.  Once that is *ahem* taken care of, the bags can be on their merry way to Charleston.

Could the Low Country see Alesya Bags in the month of June?  Dare I dream?  As soon as I know, so will you!

If you’re on Twitter, you know about Gary Vaynerchuk.  He’s famous for starting Wine TV (retired this year at SXSW on its 1000th episode) and writing two best-selling books – Crush It! and The Thank You Economy.  Also, he’s CRAZY on twitter and replies to an INSANE amount of people.

Turns out he thinks you should too.

This weekend I watched three of his keynotes and one long Q&A Session.  My favorite was from SXSW of this year.

After listening to him I wanted to learn more.  He’s that kind of speaker – he’s not just inspiring, he inspires you to act.  I downloaded the enhanced version of The Thank You Economy for my iPad.  (It includes audio and video!  Now THERE’S a perfect reason to use an iPad rather than a Kindle.)

I ripped through the whole thing yesterday.  It was that good.  Some of my favorite points:

  • Our grandparents know more about how to treat customers than we do today.  We need to learn how to interact with customers on a one-to-one basis.
  • The concept of “Shock & Awe” – What are you doing to make your customer talk about you?  (Takes the concept of Raving Fans to whole new level.)
  • What to say when someone asks you what the ROI is on social media.  This is a maddening questions marketers have to answer ALL.  THE.  TIME.

He confirmed a lot of what I already have been thinking – you have to “give a shit” aka really care about your customers.  The days of hiding behind the internet are over.  Be transparent!  (Yep, what’s I’m doing with this blog.  Nice.)

There was only point I disagreed with.  In one of his presentations he says if you what to start your own business you should work your day gig from 9-5 and then do your own thing from 5 PM – 2 AM.  I couldn’t do that and if my husband tried….let’s just say he might find the flat screen he watches the Jets on every Sunday mysteriously broken.  (To be fair, this point is from Crush It! which I haven’t read yet.  Guess what I’m doing next weekend?)

Now I get what all the hype is about.  Don’t let all the swearing and New Jersey charm fool you…Gary’s the real deal.  Start learning from him ASAP.  I’m glad to finally be one the right side of Gary Vaynerchuk history.

Behind the Curtain

If you go to AlesyaBags.com right now it will prompt you for a password.  We’re about 95.4% done with the site and it is in beta mode!  I’ll be sending it out to 2-3 folks over the weekend.  The extra sets of eyes are invaluable after I’ve looked at the site a few hundred times over the past couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

I haven’t heard from customs if my bags have been released.  If  they are taking the time to go through every, single box and bag it’s going to take a while.  I’m trying to take the advice from Matt Hanna and “Just relax”.

There’s something very exciting about dealing with all this.  It’s like I’m doing something big…something the United States Government cares enough about to check out.  I hope those agents like the bags and maybe even get one for themselves or their significant other!

As far as my launch goes I’m still in limbo.  It seems like it will be July at this point.  I know, it’s a bummer.  I need to avoid the July 4th holiday, so my best guess might be the second week in July.  (Even typing that stinks.)

Today I’ll be reaching out to all the bloggers who will be writing about the bag and telling them there is a delay.  Nobody likes to hear “delay”, but sometimes it just has to be done.



Patent Leather Swatches - Alesya Bags

Pantent Leather - Alesya Bags

Let’s end the day on a positive note.

I received the first picture of leather samples for the Spring 2012 line. (Pictured.)  These are all patent leathers.  Any favorites?  I see some exciting options!