Archive | December, 2010

Happy New Year

31 Dec

Happy New Year everyone. Here’s hoping it is a year filled with warmth, comfort, and best of all love!

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Working on promotion today

30 Dec

I have the next two days off from “regular” work and am working on Blanket Statements! Running errands early today, going to the bank, post office for a PO box for the biz, and some other places. Then I will be working on creating some flyers and ads and wish lists.

I’ve been running SEO reports and watching stats on the website. There are several things that we must do: increasing incoming links to both the website, and here on the blog, and just basically increasing word of mouth and traffic to all of the sites. Primarily the main website www.blanketstatements.org and also to the Facebook page and Twitter feed. Not sure how to do that yet other than being pushy with the people I know. (And anyone who knows me knows I am NOT pushy…lol!). I have also been reading a lot of Mompreneur websites. Pretty interesting stories. I am hoping to get involved on those and maybe pick up some tips and tricks as well as links. (Sales would be good too!)

 

Exciting Night!

28 Dec

Blanket Statements received its first order tonight! And a lot of word of mouth is being spread. I’m seeing many forwarded emails – and hopefully that will turn in to a lot of orders and a lot of blankets donated to the women of McHenry County!

I will be putting an area up on the web, probably on the Share page, listing the numbers of blankets donated (and to which facility, once I have more shelters on board) and hopefully some pics too. I am really looking forward to starting the sharing.

Thanks to everyone who has played a part in this journey so far. The constructive criticism, the words of encouragement, the word of mouth advertising – it is so very much appreciated. I am blessed to have such wonderful friends.

Almost there!

28 Dec

Moving right along. I finally got the checkout page/button issue worked out. I’m pretty confident that it is functioning now, but need to have someone buy a blanket to check it for sure! As I was working last night I came up with a whole ‘nother list of things to do. And I still need to finalize shipping details and load that info into the shopping cart. But we are darn near close now!

Getting lots of great feedback from the focus group. I’ve heard back from 7 ladies so far, and thanks for the compliments on the website. I really do love putting together websites. And welcome to the newcomers on the Facebook page. It is pretty neat to check in and see brand new people joining!

I did some stumbling around on StumbleUpon last night. Anyone use that service? I’m still trying to figure out what it is all about. Did find a video of an awesome spray paint artist on there. But not really sure if StumbleUpon will be useful for Blanket Statements. Looking into setting up a Twitter account too, although in my experience Twitter hasn’t been as useful as Facebook.

Also on my list of things to checkout: robot files, legal disclaimers, iphone site compatibility, sitemap, press releases…all that good stuff. I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff too.

Again, thanks for joining me on this journey!

Two posts in one day…woot!

27 Dec

Since returning from the “day job” I was able to just about finish up the website. Still need some shipping information and gotta figure out that checkout link, but the cart does appear to function properly. I may just remove the “Cart” link if I can’t figure it out in the next day or so.

I also invited 19 wonderful women to join my “focus group” – to provide some feedback and see if the idea even makes sense. It made sense in my head, but as I’m programmed to doubt what I think I always like a little feedback ;). Just to prove to myself I’m not crazy.

So far the response has been very positive. Thanks to all who have visited so far!

(And even if you aren’t on the official “focus group” feel free to shoot me a message and let me know what you think!)

Back to the week inbetween

27 Dec

I have the product pages up. Still need to test the add to bag buttons and make sure everything is working correctly. Also working up the shipping info/costs/times, etc. Heard back from two more shelters…one is a definite go! The other, not so much. But I will re-contact them and see if I can clarify the program for them. One other one I need to contact on the telephone. That is definitely my downfall. Phones.

But most everything else on the web is going pretty smoothly. Yippee!

It’s the day after…

26 Dec

It’s been a busy holiday season. Juggling kids, work, shopping, worrying, and of course, working on this new venture!

The day before, I was working on securing some shelters to work with. I have identified 4 in my area alone that do wonderful work. I emailed, realizing, of course, that it was the day before and I likely wouldn’t hear anything until next week. Bu low and behold – I heard back from one already. Will contact them next week and get the ball rolling on filling out the resource area with some contacts!

Let’s see…in other business, I think I finally figured out the shopping cart (or bag in my case) buttons. I *think* I have it the way I want it for the first blanket item. Now the goal is to get the rest of the buttons made and working. And to decide if I need to trim down the blanket selection. I do so wish I have a huge bank roll to work with and could stock all the blankets and have immediate access to them. But as it is, I probably spent too much of my Christmas money on obtaining blanket stock as it is.

So here I am working on the webpages some more. Finalizing the shopping system, updating footers, fleshing out other pages, etc. I also received my paper order a few days ago. Really looking forward to working with the kraft cardstock and make up some more card samples. Also need to look at business card designs, and press kit info. You know, for when Blanket Statements really takes off!

One thing that I really wanted to focus on, and it is a long term goal, I guess, is to feature organic and USA made products. That is an important feature to me. That was part of the driving force for creating this company/business/hobby. So towards that goal, I have found the recycled kraft paper and recycled card stock to use. I am researching finding some organic ribbon to use for the ties. I have located a couple organic blankets. And some made in the USA blankets. It is my goal to help as many people with this project as I can. From USA manufacturers, to independent craftspeople, to women who just need a little comfort and support.

That is the goal. That is the purpose. One blanket at a time.

Ho ho ho

17 Dec

Good morning! Life is getting the better of me as the holidays are quickly approaching. I am working in the background on the new website – have lots of work still to do though. I did get some card stock ordered yesterday though, so I can start work on the notecards that will go with the blankets. Also working on shoring up the shopping cart/payment system. I would love to say we will open by January 1, but I think that is going to be a little too optimistic. But sometime in January would be good!

Touching my heart

14 Dec

Did absolutely nothing with the site last night and was going through serious withdrawals. My computer was “in the shop” being backed up and reformatted to fix a disk error, so it was an excruciating night. Not the company, mind you, since my business partners were my guests, and we had a lovely evening eating tacos and discussing Shakespeare and high school drama. But there were so many times I just wanted to grab the laptop and look something up, or check my email, or just do something! Ah, I think I need to unplug once in a while.

This morning I was overwhelmed with 3 more emails from dear Flickr users saying I could use their photos on the site AND that they loved the Blanket Statement idea. That just touches my heart because as one who is overcoming that serious lack of self confidence, I just assume that whatever I’m thinking is wrong and bound to fail. I’m trying to get away from that automatic assumption and rely on only myself for my value and self worth, but gotta say, it sure is nice to hear from others that I’m not crazy! I do have good ideas!

And honestly, I hope for the good of all that the website is a great success. It is just a little thing, really, blankets. But to me, they embody that spirit of warmth and comfort and acceptance and love and just the feeling that everything will be ok.

I’ve been needing that for a long time.

Busy, busy, busy!

14 Dec

Well this has been a whirlwind of a weekend plus a day! Set up the website on Friday night, I believe it was, continued working Saturday, Sunday and it is looking pretty good! I am working on securing some photos – stock photos are proving to be too expensive, so I perused Flickr for several hours and requested photo use from 10 people. Heard back from the first one today – permission granted! Woot! My second “official” photo on the website (after the one of me). Things are moving right along.

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