Monday, January 31, 2011

Interview with Sheena Edwards – Designer of Lizzie Lou Shoes

Interview on The Work at Home Woman website 

It is a huge honor to be featured on one of my favorite websites that helps the work at home woman/mom.  I started working with Holly Hanna the owner about a year ago and have enjoyed following her site.  She offers so many valuable articles and postings for women who want to stay at home but continue to work, including legitimate job postings.  You can follow Holly on twitter @ and Facebook

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.
I’m a stay-at-home mom to my three kids, Emily (10), Lizzie (7), and Vince (3).  My journey began one July afternoon in 2008 while I was out shopping with Lizzie (aka “Lizzie Lou”), who was then a shoe-obsessed 5 year old, when we stumbled upon the most beautiful pair of crystal flip flops.  Lizzie asked if they came in her size, and at that moment it dawned on me to create a mother-daughter line of crystal flip flops.
It took nearly a year to bring the shoes to market, and my fabulous jeweled flip flops launched at high-end specialty boutiques in San Antonio, Texas and online in May 2009.  Since then we’ve produced 17 different styles of women’s shoes, and we have more in development for 2011.  We’re also working on some new product lines that we will be launching soon.

How did you fund your business?
We dipped into our personal savings and took out a home equity line of credit for use when needed.  I’ve also taken care of as many aspects of growing my business as I know how to, and in the process learned a great deal more, in order to keep expenses low.

What did you do before launching your own business?
As a stay-at-home mom who hadn’t worked in 9 years, getting back in “the game” has been a learning experience.  I have a bachelor’s degree in communications, but things have changed a lot in the past 15 years since I graduated.  Luckily, social media has been a good experience for me. If only I could master all the new software programs I use daily!

How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent is your home office?
I’m not sure I would call it an “office,” since I often have several kids at the desk with me or trying to take over the computer.  How much I work depends greatly on the time of year and the amount of orders.  September through December is my slow season, but now we’re in high gear again, preparing for Spring/Summer season.  I would say I average 30 hours a week, but I’m usually doing more than one thing at a time.

How would you rate your success?
Designing my own shoes and having friends and family wearing them…well, it just couldn’t get much better than that!  I love doing something that I can share with so many people.  I’ve had more support from my fellow moms than I ever could have imagined.  The best is when someone I’ve never met tells me how much she loves her Lizzie Lous.  It’s fun to see people out and about sporting my beautiful flip flops.

What has been your biggest business struggle as an entrepreneur?
I constantly struggle with having enough time, keeping organized and managing stress when it’s busy.  Of course, not having a big marketing budget also makes it hard to properly promote my business, so I have to do a lot more things myself, which then takes up a lot of my time.  Time is something that I need more of every day.

What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
Do something you love, because having your own business is a lot of hard work and sometimes with little financial incentive.  If you don’t like what you are doing then you are going to have a hard time putting your heart into it. 

How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?
I wouldn’t actually call it “manage,” it’s more like juggle.  Some days I juggle better than others, but that’s just kind of how it goes around here.  I know my priority is my family and my three kids so if something comes up or one of the kids is sick, work has to wait. During my busy season, I will be working in the evenings a lot more to keep up with orders and workload.  I don’t mind the hard work, but I do get tired.

Website: Lizzie Lou Shoes
Twitter: @Lizzieloushoes

Facebook Fan Page: Lizzie Lou Shoes

Monday, January 17, 2011

Good Morning Texas Show

Lizzie Lou Shoes on Good Morning Texas

I'm getting ready for my second appearance on “Good Morning Texas” on Channel 8, WFAA-Dallas (ABC) this coming Thursday, January 20th.  

Paige McCoy Smith, who also has a popular blog, Not So Perfect Parent, will be interviewing us since she is back from maternity leave. I am super excited to meet her and to appear on the show.

Colleen Wilks from Womentorz will be with me to talk about an exciting new project that we're working on this year. We'll also be showcasing Lizzie Lou Shoes and four other amazing mompreneurs products. I've been working with Womentorz and these women inventors it seems since the beginning of Lizzie Lou Shoes, so I am thrilled to be representing them on TV in Dallas. I can't wait to talk about this network of women that I am so thankful to have found.

Here are the products we will be showcasing:

Carry-Her® Doll Carrier Backpack
Carry-Her® is a doll carrier backpack for 16"-18" dolls, such as American Girl Doll®. It is lightweight and easy to use. Moms love it just as much as little girls. Moms hands are now free, and so are her little girls. Your daughter will be proud to bring along her doll, as Carry-Her® makes it easy.
A comfortable design allows the doll to piggy back all day long. Fatigue is not an issue, with the lightweight design and adjustable straps. Your daughter won't even realize she is carrying her doll all by herself!

FICKLETS - Eyeglass Charms
Do you struggle to get your child to wear their eyeglasses? Kids think eyeglasses are geeky. Ficklets makes them Hip & Cool. Introducing Ficklets, the first interchangeable eyewear charm hugger, designed to adorn eyeglasses with a fun, fresh twist to help kids feel comfortable in their glasses and make the whole experience more enjoyable.

Another reason for Ficklets? Prescription eyeglasses are expensive. Ficklets give tired, old eyeglasses a quick, affordable update. Best part, your child will find the "eye-popping" designs irresistible. ~PATENT DESIGN

The Gift Series By RaeCole
Now consider the daily pressures and mixed messages continually posing a threat to a girls self confidence in today's world. Mass Media, Social Networking and Peer Pressures relentlessly continue to influence their worlds. Though you are not able to completely control all of these factors, you can give "The Gift" to support and encourage your girls to recognize and claim their self-worth at the most critical time of their lives.

The Chair Bib - Protect Your Chair In Style
Ok Moms how many of you out there have chairs you want to protect or have chairs that are getting ruined? It's no secret kids are messy eaters! If you don't know this yet, please take my word for it! I invented The Chair Bib after I realized my son's booster seat scratched my new chair and now it needs to be re-finished!

No more "stressing" out about your kids eating on your nice chairs, NOW you can use The Chair Bib to protect them! Grandparents love them too! No more putting towels down!

You can follow Smith on Facebook:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Personal Interview: Sheena Edwards – Lizzie Lou Shoes

Find out about the MoM behind the business:

Tell us about your family:
My husband, Matt, and I have three kids:  Emily 10, Lizzie, 7 and Vince, 3.  We live in my hometown of San Antonio surrounded by friends and family.  My husband is an attorney and I have been blessed to be able to stay at home since Emily was born.
What is your business and how did it get started?
I am the designer and owner of Lizzie Lou Shoes which began as a mother and daughter matching line of designer flip flops inspired by my daughter, Lizzie.
Since our launch in ’09 we have produced 17 different styles of women’s shoes, and last year sold over 200 pairs of flip flops.  I expect 2011′s sales to at least double 2010′s.  Our flip-flops retail for $99 and up. They’re known for their comfort, beautiful designs and brilliant crystals.
Between family and work, what does your “typical” day look like?
I would say it is a constant scramble of kids, housework, errands, homework, after school activities, and trying to keep up with the demands of my growing business.  I have to constantly remind myself that my goal is to be a working stay-at-home mom and sometimes the kids have to come first.  During my busy season, I will be working in the evenings when my husband comes home until I go to bed to keep up with orders and workload.
What keeps you motivated?
I love having my own business and working for myself.  My positive customer feedback and return customers keep me motivated to continue producing a high quality product.  I love hearing from women who own Lizzie Lous about the compliments they receive and how much they love the look and comfort.
What are your biggest struggles with your business?
I just don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done.  I really can’t afford to hire anyone right now so I often just can’t get enough done.  I would love to have a full-time public relations/salesperson on staff that could take over getting the shoes in new stores.  I know this would really help me expand faster.
And on the flip side, what is your biggest accomplishment?
I think developing my own line of flip flops is pretty amazing–I think of the feeling I got when the first shipment arrived from India, where they’re manufactured.  And in my personal life, I love being a mom of three kids.
What advice do you have for other MoMs and DaDs in small business?
Most important do something you love because having your own business is a lot of work and sometimes with little financial incentive.  If you don’t like what you are doing then you are going to have a hard time putting your heart into it.  Designing my own shoes and having friends and family wearing them…well, it just couldn’t get much better than that!
Do you have any long term goals for your business?
Expansion is going to be key in ’11.   I need to break into new markets and reach out to stores around the US.  I want to continue to design new styles that offer my customers more options in color and style.
What are you three favorite websites? Only three?  Wow, that is a tough question.  I love www.realsimple.comand the magazine. Always easy quick articles to read and always very informative for a busy mom.
Two of my favorite business sites that help out small business owners like me are (of course) and  These two sites offer valuable information and assistance not only to women but to stay-at-home moms.
How are you Living Your MoMent?
Taking a risk starting my own business and investing in myself.
Anything else you would like to add!
I would love for your readers to sign-up to be entered in a drawing for a free pair of shoes.  Enter your email on my website to be entered.
What ways can people get in touch with you?