Pinterest and the Business Dilemmas

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As a small business owner I have been driven like most of us to the wonderful world of Pinterest. Love it, addicted to see pins and share. I’ve even already once posted a blog mention about Pinterest earlier this year. Old Pinterest Blog Found Here

Today I wanted to talk more from the perspective of business owners and using Pinterest platform to engage with consumers/customers visually. I loved this idea the minute I heard it. For a change something really great for the Non Service industry that is appealing to potential customers.

One comment that I find myself dealing with is the “put pricing” or “not to put pricing”. Do you make your business Pinterest as if it’s not a business and you’re casually sharing information or, hello, it’s a business and it’s another marketing tool to use and be upfront with that. I myself have been really struggling with this. I personally don’t like to read all the business stuff on there and pushy stuff or hard sales that I sometimes see. I also though have had comments about pricing on my Pins and well, something I have not had an easy time with determining.

So my friends…. thoughts? I really feel that if you’re a business you have to put it out there and not try to look like you’re faking something about your Pins. I mean it’s a tool to use to engage people. I in no way really expect sales from pinterest directly, but really want people to like, share and hopefully they will remember this cool bag, tote, clutch, toddler dress that when they are ready they will come and shop.

Would love to know thoughts on this from all perspectives. Consumers and the Business Person!

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Where is this going?

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I have been speaking quite a bit about a few things regarding my business and this amazing thing called House of Minerva. I figured that it was time to talk about it and put in writing so that everyone is clear. Seeing it in writing also makes it more real.

I need to make it very clear about a very strong business model that I have envisioned. House of Minerva is a small design house, and when I mean a small design house, I do business, designing, sewing, shipping, and all other aspects of my business from my home. I am very lucky and fortunate to do this. Spending years in the corporate world, commuting over an hour a day, one way, to my job for years I am the luckiest woman in the world to get to do business completely out of my home. From start to finish. I can cook during the day, get my chores done, and also be there for my family. Taking care of things!

By no means is working from home easy. I plan on talking about that in another blog, coming soon. That's a whole list of problems, issues, concerns, and hurdles that I can help explain how I handle them. Look for that soon.

Getting back to HoM being a small design house, out of my house… I am very content with this arrangement. When I decided to do this business I never wanted to be some mass produced set of products and never contemplate ever being in Target, Walmart, or any of those big chains. Was never in my mind. That would never be a direction for my company.

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The idea behind HoM is to always stay very connected to my customers/fans/community. The day I have an automated message tweeting for me, responding to emails, or taking away the personal connection that I know I have and feel with my customers and followers is the day HoM will no longer be run by me. I think I can fight off those Avatars!

HoM wants to stay small, opening a small manufacturing space to employ local people but keeping my family in touch with our customers and what they want and need from us. I’m always directed by my own racing thoughts but encouraged by all of my customers.

Making a profit is important. That’s the whole success piece behind it too, but it’s more than that. Way more than that. I always said. “The day that this is no longer fun for me, I’m walking away. The day that some suit tells me what I can and cannot do or produce and how and when.. Feet don’t fail me!” I will never change, and will always wear my feelings about this on my sleeve.

House of Minerva is starting a wonderful direct marketing campaign, directing their product placement in some amazing small boutiques, shops and salons. Limited Edition on everything we do and always evolving, improving but having fun doing it! We want our buyers/shop owners to always have that direct contact with me or my team to develop more products, better products and know that we will always be here for them. Charities, parties, share success with our followers. It’s all so important to me.

Look for updates as we walk, run, take a car ride to this end result. And more importantly, wish us luck!

I’m always looking to hear from others about “Making a Living” vs. “Becoming a Millionaire” business desires. Please comment and share your thoughts. Me personally, not interested in being a millionaire off of HoM. I just want to be happy with my work and hopefully give some people some jobs to make a living as well. All doing this while we have a grand time doing it all.

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House of Minerva Newsletter 11

We’ve just posted a Newsletter. 

House of Minerva posted a newsletter. 

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IPad Sleeves

House of Minerva has decided to take the leap into the Tech World. We are now doing some great, ok, awesome, IPad Sleeves. We are making these really custom made. We are going to post fabric choices that you pick from, for now thought we have some really awesome stuff. I have used so many, and I need convenience and ease when I’m out and about, no zipper that I is ridiculous. something that’s awesome, padded yet I can pull it out.  (That’s what she said, LOL). But you get what I’m saying here. Anyway, check us out!

We have options to have these horizontal or vertical with the closure. Who’s doing that for you? I like horizontal cause it fits my Bucket Bag so awesome, but hey, vertical, all good. 

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Ladies Supporting Ladies

So tonight I wanted to spend a little time on ladies supporting ladies. Women supporting other women in the world. In particular how we can succeed if we can only feed off of each other in this world and not be the spiteful, twisted minds we at times succumb to.

I’ve recently joined a networking group, this one is different and I knew that I wanted to participate in this group because the ladies that created it, are tough, living life, been there done it, know where I’ve been and where I’m going, kind of girls. Looking to really do good to help women and help themselves with meeting different women as well.

I tend to cringe at groups, I’m not going to lie. Most groups I lose attention quick because it’s the same initial enthusiasm and then drop off to no longer keeping me interested that this is worth my while. Different group. I can’t talk really about it, it’s a SECRET GROUP.. LOL.. it’s called Women Empowering Women.

What makes this different. They only allow one type of business from an area in the group. Meaning you’re not having to compete with the other 20 other business owners for time. You’re special within your trade, business or craft. Local pretty much now, but their idea and their vision is to bring it national.

Oh wait…. one more really big deal. Everyone pretty much has a charity they work with, on a board, give to, support, etc. Walks, money, donations, you name it, these women are something to deal with in the charitable world of making a difference.

Very proud to be part of this and I won’t name drop, and won’t with this group. These ladies know who they are.

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Customer Complaint

I wanted to share my very real and personal experience of a customer complaint. You’re wondering why I would share a customer complaint for my small business, that could be suicide. But it’s not. No small business, nor large one is perfect. It’s what you do to handle and understand your customer, the consumer and make it right.

So we do these amazing toddler dresses and I’m very proud of the product I produce and the handmade high quality product I produce. We had a young lady order a dress. Note, the dress she ordered was a big hit and the size she ordered was not even available without me sewing it that day, which I did. So the order’s placed, let’s say on a Tuesday. Annabella cut it out the same day, I sewed it the same day and was out the door for shipping Wednesday. I’m very proud that we turn this stuff around and unless there is an issue with the fabric, meaning, we sold quite a few in the week and now we are short on the fabric and have to reorder, your product is shipped same day or next! Really proud that my customers always say handmade, quick shipping is a perk. Also, every order I try my best to handwrite a thank you card to each customer. That’s what’s so important to me! I will do that as long as I have a hand to write!!!! But back to my story, or my complaint.

So we sent the dress. The dress actually was the last of the fabric and we can’t get the fabric anymore as well, it was a good seller. So Wednesday the dress is mailed, Friday I get an email. The person received the item and let me just put pieces of the email… and those who own businesses and get things like this, it’s tough…

“I ordered a child dress off of the site and it’s not the color I ordered. I ordered the dress because I thought it would be perfect for my daughters first bday and now EVERYTHING is ruined” and more of this was around the color ” I get the dress and its green and I hate green I never wouldve ordered this color for my child.”

Let’s just say that as a designer, a business owner, tough to swallow and hate this.

We researched the order and the picture we have, the top of the dress is tough, it does come out a rather more blue than green, but the details we have online says “deep dark green with aqua green polka dots.

My response was how sorry we were and how we stand behind out product and stand behind our return policy. I then gave her my personal cell number to call me so we can figure it out.

She phoned! I was so happy, I answered immediately. We spoke, she picked a new dress and HoM overnighted it to her along with a per paid envelope to return the dress that she didn’t want. And she was so great in knowing she was speaking with me and how she appreciated out customer service. More importantly, her daughter is turning 2 and will be wearing an HoM dress for her bday party and I’m happy to do that. I will refund her the money and this one is on us.

I’ve been there and purchased something off line and it’s not what I thought, and how I knew I couldn’t do anything. But you know what. I will sell that dress somewhere, and I hope that our response and my TLC will go a long way! One can only hope!

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Television and Why it’s Not Funny Anymore

So I’ve been trying really hard lately to embrace the “new” television. I had my time with the random Reality TV that we all have. Don’t lie, you know you were watching something religiously. Big Brother, Survivor, Real Housewives. We’ve all been victims. Good, bad and the ugly, the ugly would be Bad Girls Club..

My rant tonight is focusing on the lack of great comedic writing. The stuff that doesn’t get old. I’m not saying there’s nothing good out there, but there just doesn’t seem to be that iconic funny that I’m so use to.

The Office, great, better in the UK then the US, but good stuff. Good writing, but eventually got old and stale. Hence why Steve Carell left the show before it blew up in flames. It did it’s time, was on for it’s time, but not for the 10-11 years some of us know that comedy shows can do.

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And let’s talk about what I think is great TV now, but they get to do all the bad things that years ago writing couldn’t do and had to be funny without saying it, implying it only. But these great shows like Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Workaholics is funny, mostly because it’s sick humor and gets away with what comedy never was able to do before.

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I could go way back, I Love Lucy days, where funny had to be funny and physical. Lucy knew physical comedy. Carol Burnett got that. And was to me one of the best! And then there is one who I think never received their props for physical comedy, John Ritter. “Three’s Company”, John knew funny and knew what to do in physical comedy to make you laugh. Today, still funny.

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Let’s then talk about Larry David, there would be no Seinfeld without him, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, well come on. Some of the best, over the top, are you kidding me, sort of comedy. But disturbing to the point that you love and laugh. Definitely iconic in comedy writing. Remember I’m speaking TV not Movies (that’s another Blog)

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But what can I say… Writing, actors and the moon and the stars were aligned and never will align like this ever again. The Golden Girls. I cannot tell you how the writing of this show and the actors/actresses that pull this off, could never be anyone else. It’s like saying that someone else could have played Scarlett in Gone with the Wind.. shut your mouth if you think anyone could have been Rose or anyone else be Dorthy. NEVER!

But the writing. The writing is by far the funniest, wittiest, clever and on point writing that you will never have again. It’s funny today, 20 years ago, and will still be funny 50 years from now. It’s like cereal, it’s a staple in my house. Pour myself a bowl every damn day and enjoy it! I said it!

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So if you haven’t, get yourself some dvds or watch a Sunday afternoon of my girls. And if you understand comedic writing and how hard it is to do it all the time and not get old and stale after 2-3 seasons, these guys did it for a long time, but not long enough in my opinion. I never said.. oh no not this season “It Jumped The Shark”. And if you don’t know what that means, you never got to see the very embarrassing episode of Happy Days when The Fonz literally jumped a shark on jet skis.. turn it off turn it off.. LOL

Here’s the link for you if you’ve never seen it.. had to share this hot mess.Here is the link of the Fonz

oh and note, this is american tv, not british, hence why I didn’t include AbFab or Gimme Gimme Gimme or the other million other great shows they have. Yes Minister, another.

And yeah I have the complete series of GG and it came in the Sophia Purse.. LOL

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