On Monday the 27th I appeared on “Good Morning Texas” on Channel 8, WFAA-Dallas (ABC). I was featured on a segment called ”Mompreneur Monday.” The show filmed live at the Texas State Fair in Dallas. It was such a great show with tons of fun segments including ultimate dog show, a squealing baby pig, African dancers and healthy (yes, healthy) fair food. I was interviewed by WFAA’s Amy Vanderoef. So many of my friends have commented on how well the interview went because of Amy, who really did a great job of showcasing the shows for the viewers. I was pretty nervous, but Amy really was awesome!
After we were done filming, me and my friend Michelle Marketos checked out the Fair (food). We both wanted to have some yummy (not healthy) fair food. Michelle opted for the famous corn dog, but I really wanted something sweet. So it was narrowed down to fried cookie dough or fried snickers. Snickers won and man was it good. Nothing you could really imagine. After we finished checking out all the fried food we headed out and I got back on the road to San Antonio.
It was a super long drive Sunday and Monday alone but I was so happy to see Michelle and her family and to be on TV in Dallas. So far, the appearance was a success with lots of great orders and tonz of positive publicity.
I love that Momprenuers always support each other. It really is a group to be proud to be a part of.
I am so excited about appearing on “Good Morning Texas” on channel 8, WFAA-Dallas (ABC) on Monday, September 27. I’ll be on a segment called ”Mompreneur Monday.” It was originally created by Paige McCoy Smith who also has a popular blog, Not So Perfect Parent.
Tammy Jones with A Mom Entrepreneur who lives in the Dallas area suggested I contact Smith. So I went to her website and found some great information and videos of previous Moms who have appeared on Good Morning Texas.
MompreneurThe Mompreneur movement continues to grow. More moms are taking the plunge and developing their own businesses or creating their own products. Many moms are able to work from home and strike a balance between bringing home the bacon and bringing up the kids. The internet has also opened a world of possibilities making this an ideal time for Moms to launch their own enterprises. Still, the notion of launching an enterprise (regardless of size) can be overwhelming, intimidating, and downright terrifying. So before you empty your savings account or refinance your home, consider these tips to ensure a successful transition to the world of Mompreneurs! –The Not So Perfect Parent
Her website and show are a perfect fit for Lizzie Lou Shoes, so I emailed Smith and within a few minutes I hear back from her. Here is her kind note to me:
“This has to hold the record for the fastest I have EVER responded to a potential Momprenuer. I was getting ready to leave for the day and saw this email and fell in love with your products.
I would LOVE to feature you and your awesome Flip Flops on our show.” –Paige McCoy Smith
So that was all it took for me to be heading to Dallas to appear on the show. A huge thanks to Tammy Jones for the suggestion and help with finding Smith.
Thank you for your patience! As we were reviewing…and reviewing…and reviewing the many amazing entries into our Super Mompreneur Conference Giveaway, it became too hard for us to help just one smart mama get to NY in October. So we pleaded our case with the very generous organizers of the event and we were able to cover the conference fees for 10 more of you!
Here is the nitty gritty on the winners:
THE MOTHERLOAD WINNER – Airfare, Hotel and Registration Fees to Event!
Walk awhile in Sheena Edwards’ shoes, as she talks about her new business Lizzie Lou Shoes, which takes flip-flops to a whole new level. This mother of three, designs these high-end shoes after a long day as a stay at home mom, then sells them online and in designer boutiques. Find out how this busy ’95 graduate has come to personify a ‘momtrepreneur.’
By Donna Parker
Sheena Edwards, who received a bachelor’s degree in communication from Trinity in 1995, was out shopping one day with her family when they spotted a really cute pair of flip-flops…for $200. Most people might smile and keep walking, but for Sheena, it was the germination of her business, Lizzie Lou Shoes, which is named after her daughter.
“The actual concept for Lizzie Lou Shoes started in July of 2008. I had been designing jewelry and wanted to do something on the side while caring for my three children. My family and I went to visit family in India where I talked with my cousin who had design and manufacturing experience. We decide to give it a go!” says Sheena.
Lizzie Lou’s website featuring adorable flip-flops adorned with colorful crystals draws clients from all over the world, but Sheena really began the sales process on her home turf of Stone Oak in San Antonio, where a designer boutique, Janie Christine’s, helped her with projecting customer’s sizes and preferences.
“We began with 300 pairs of shoes which are now gone! Since I started in the designer flip-flop market, there is more competition, but our shoes are unique because they’re a design inspiration. I study fashion and color, seeing what’s out there and popular. Generally, I sketch a drawing and e-mail it to India, along with swatches. These colors then are blended with custom crystal, sewn onto the leather uppers of the shoes.”
Sheena says her Trinity professors were instrumental in preparing her for the business world.
“Sammye Johnson, department of communication, was a stickler for rules on public relations and press releases and that really stuck with me,” she laughs. “I worked with William Christ, department of communication, senior year on an internship that was invaluable. Also, my many company internships while a student have served me well. I worked at Halo Distributing, County Line BBQ, San Antonio Museum of Art, and then went into a paid PR position at Destination Southwest.”
Sheena and her husband, Matthew ’94, also a Trinity graduate, met in school in 1993 and were married in the Marguerite B. Parker Chapel on campus in May 1998. Since then, they’ve welcomed Emily, now 10; Lizzie, 7; and Vince, 3.
“The reason I named my company after my middle daughter is because we were on a shopping trip in Bandera, Texas when we ran across the first pair of designer flip-flops. She fell in love with them and wanted to know if they had them in her size!”
This started the mother-daughter business which was launched on Mother’s Day weekend.
“We had always called our daughter Lizzie Lou,” chuckles Sheena. “And, the ‘shoes’ part certainly rhymed! In fact, my kids now even name each pair of shoes (one pair is called Emily Morgan) and the shoes and their names are a real conversation starter.
“I’m determined not to let anything slow me down. We’ve had some glitches, but found a way to fix them and now we’re firmly on our way!”
Retail Stores: You have a great product, your online sales are steady, but now you are ready to start wholesaling your product. Where do you start and how do you go about contacting potential retail stores?
Before contacting any stores, you need to prepare all your wholesale documents and pricing structures. This is important so that the store has something to refer to during your initial meeting. See sample wholesale document.
Next, you need to make a list of stores that fit your target market. This is the key to getting your products wholesaled. If the store is not a good fit for your product, it is unlikely that they will be interested, and even if they do purchase initially, the product won’t sell well and they won’t reorder. (Trust me—I learned this the hard way.)
Once you have narrowed down your first stores, you want to contact each store’s buyer and provide your information including your website and wholesale price structure. Follow up with a phone call to confirm they received your information. If not, resend it with a personal note to the person you spoke to on the phone. If the store is close by, try to set up an appointment to show them your product.
ConsignmentOption: If you are having a hard time getting stores to purchase your product, approach one close to home and offer a consignment deal. This can be a win-win-situation: The store doesn’t have to make a cash outlay to carry your product, and you get the opportunity to establish your brand in a retail store; the store gets to test the salability of your product, and you get feedback from customers. If things go well, you might be able to establish a permanent relationship with the store, perhaps even to convert it to a straight wholesale arrangement.
Interview with Retail Store Buyer: I interviewed one of the managers of my first store, Wendy Hajj of Janie Christine’s Boutique in San Antonio, Texas. My relationship with this store, its staff, and its customers has been the key to my success. They’ve taught me how to successfully work with a retail store and provided me with essential feedback from their customers. My relationship with this store began as consignment, and since it works so well for both of us, we have continued doing business on consignment. The store is two miles from my house. They stock all of my sizes and styles, and they pay me a slightly higher percentage than wholesale. If you also find the perfect store, don’t take no for an answer—offer them a consignment relationship, you won’t be sorry.
Here’s my interview with Wendy:
SE: When looking for new products, where do you begin your search?
WH: We look online at market websites, and we pay close attention to our customer’s recommendations as well. We have a lot of representatives from the companies we currently purchase from who stop by to show the latest in gift, fashion, and other seasonal items.
SE: What’s the best way for a new company to contact you about getting its product in your store?
WH: I prefer they call or email first. A website or an email of the product pictures, information, pricing is huge for consideration.
SE: Do you expect a new company to send a sample before you put in an initial order?
WH: If they can send samples, it helps a lot. We are just like our customers—to touch and see a product makes it more enticing to buy!
SE: When you are approached by a new company, what kind of information do you expect (e.g., website, references, sales statistics, etc.)?
WH: The biggest thing is how well the branding is done. Having labeling and suggesting pricing for retail is first and foremost. It makes it easier for the retailer to inventory the product and get it selling. Experience, websites, references and all those other things help but don’t necessarily make or break a deal for us.
SE: Is there any approach from a new company/salesperson that would decrease your chances of carrying their item?
WH: Showing up without an appointment usually is a good deterrent. Call beforehand and set up an appointment so that you may have ample time to show off your goods without distraction. Don’t spam your product via email or by phone. A good rule I learned long ago in sales was “Two Nos And You Go”. So if they say no once and twice, move on to the next lead.
Janie Christine’s has been serving the Stone Oak area with specialty gifts since the spring of 2004. We would like to welcome you to visit us for any and all of your gift giving needs. We’re sure you’ll find a unique gift to show that special someone just how much you care!
Tiffany, Cindy, Wendy, Jessica & Jillian
Sheena Edwards is owner and designer of Lizzie Lou Shoes. Edwards was a stay-at-home until May of 2009 when her vision of the perfect flip flop hit the market. Like many of her customers, she is a mother juggling all the duties of working from home and caring for her three small children. Edwards has a communications degree from Trinity University and has experience in marketing, public relations and project management. However, her practical experience as a mother has been key in the success of her product.To learn more about Lizzie Lou Shoes, visitLizzieLouShoes .com.