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Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneur’

Let the festivities begin!  Here’s a message from me as we begin the day of launch.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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I didn’t plan on writing or sending out a press release.  It feels very old school to me.  Isn’t this the age of social media?  Online magazines making traditional print publications very nervous?  The end of television automatically succeeding?

But it’s become clear I need to send one out.  It’s still how most media outlets receive information.  And while I’m not looking for a ton of main stream media wins, it would be nice to have them know I exist.

If I must do a press release, I’ll be doing it my way.

During my time at ePrize we had a huge angel investment round.  Of course, we wanted to announce it but one of the main investors didn’t want to give a number.  As in, he wanted us to say we were taking an investment but didn’t want us to say how much it was.

I put my foot down.

Well, I put my foot down as much as a person who wasn’t exactly sitting in the board room could.  When the investor was at ePrize for a meeting I said to him outside the elevator, “We need a number.”  He replied, “No, no, no…”  Again I said, “Name, we need a number!”

(I know, I’m so brave, right?  My outburst aside, it was Josh Linkner who ultimately convinced the board to let us release the investment details.)

Eventually we did get to say the number – $32 million – and we got the most press on a single story in the history of the company.   Lesson learned:  The media wants all the facts.  All the details.  ALL the numbers.  Fluff doesn’t fly.

In this blog, I’ve been very open about Alesya Bags.  In the press release I plan on doing the same thing.  I’m going to tell everyone how many bags I have, what I’ll be doing with the revenue and how much revenue I hope to make.  It will be the story of a small business.  A truthful one with all the details and no fluff.  A press release the Alesya Bags way.

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Sharpie Highlighter

I’ve spent the better of today and some of the weekend reviewing the first full version of the website. My husband happen to see it (I was testing it on different screen sizes, etc.) and his thought was that one of the colors was “too bright”. As in “It’s blasting out the color of the bag.”

Riiiight.

In all honestly I’d wondered the same thing on his screen (although not in those exact words) so we’re looking it making the color look less highlighter-esque.

Going through the teeny tiny details on a website review is really not one of my favorite things.  However, I was so grateful to have my experience from ePrize (where they launch dozens of sites a month) to at least have a clue as to how to conduct a review.

One my biggest learnings is that I need to get more eyes on the site.  For right now, the reviewers includes me and the team at Stitch.  But once we have the big wrinkles ironed out I’ll be sending the page out to a group of beta testers.  Always better to make a jerk out of yourself in front of a few friends rather than a real ass in front of the world.

And you can highlight that last sentence.

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