Star Sequin Cami (my newest design)
I didn’t have a chance to blog last week and boy, was it a week. My kids, hubby, parents and my sister and niece all came out to Mountain View to spend time with me (and my sis) as we go through the program at 500 Startups. If you missed it, my company T&J Designs, was accepted into Batch 17 at 500. The Venture fund invests and mentor us through growth and fundraising. The program ends in August (and wish us good vibes on fundraising). Traveling back and forth from Chicago to SF has been interesting and a bit tiring but the learnings make it all worth it.
In addition to working, I had been planning a huge birthday bash for my husband in Napa. It finally happened last weekend and 10 of our close friends came out to eat, drink and spend time together. My lovely parents watched the kids while we went away for 4 days. Yes, they are amazing for doing so!
It was a great time despite feeling under the weather. We couldn’t be more appreciative of our friends who flew out, drove out and got child care to spend the weekend with us. Cheers to you!
So I often get asked what my day or week looks like and this past one was so crazy I thought what a great post to show why sometimes I seem overwhelmed. Lots of good things happening, for sure, but also some surprises that round out the week.
The weekend away was relaxing, the rest of the week looked like this.
1) Launch of new arrivals
We launch new arrivals about once every two weeks. It’s a variety of new tees, apparel or accessories but I work on designing, merchandising, pricing, production every single week. Finishing up my summer, reviewing my holiday samples, and than looking around for inspiration was also on the agenda this week. I head to China this Sunday to finish up Fall/Holiday and my gift giving collection so the pressure was on to wrap up some stuff before I leave.
2) Summer Sale!
Every week I look at marketing and what needs to move through the site – our sale is pretty awesome right now with jewelry as low as $10. I go through styles, list out and mark down items for the week and work with my graphic designer on emails to head out to all our customers.
3) Logo change: One big thing we analyzed for over a week was changing our logo. We had a brand marketer meeting at 500 and she had some great feedback on our old logo. With this new feedback we headed into looking at over 20 designs (with our graphic designer). Thank goodness for my awesome graphic designer, we literally looked at logos for days. We nailed down one this week, and than had to change all packaging/label logo designs. Check out our new logo here. The logo is the first thing people see so we wanted to make the right decision.
4) We are hiring a Social Media Assistant!
We are searching for the next social media superstar to join our team. Details of responsibilities here. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The hardest part about owning my own business is hiring people. We are a start up and we work a ton and yes, I have extremely high expectations. Managing people, covering payroll every month, encouraging, yet giving feedback to my team, it’s all a part of my job that happens daily and sometimes surprises like this throw us in a loop. But in the end, everything happens for a reason and I think the timing, although horrible (with us going through 500, traveling back and forth, in high growth stress sessions), is not great, we always come out on top. Passion, heart, growth and love of what I do will continue. The best is yet to come. If you know of anyone perfect for the job, please email me!
5) Other things we are learning and doing crammed onto our workload: analyzing Facebook advertisement, conference calls to go over our emails and how they can be improved, learning how to use a newly implemented analytics tool on our site, hiring a web developer to make improvements on our website, finished our July/August tee shirt designs, working on version 10 of our pitch deck, starting our email deck (decks have to do with pitching your company to investors), and reordering items sold out on my site. These were all done this week and taking blog/site photos as well as blogging on here took a back seat.
6) Last but not least (actually what’s most important), I got to see my kids more the past two weeks than the past month. Deciding to be a part of 500 Startups did mean sacrificing time at home,with my kids and husband. I constantly feel guilt and question myself and I tell myself I better do well as I’m sacrificing my time with them to push T&J Designs to the next level. I struggle daily on finding balance but I just have a good feeling overall that this year will be great. My husband said to me something that stuck. If you were a man, no one would question why you are doing this or ask you how you felt about doing this and the impact of it on your family. What he said resonates with me and having his support is truly amazing.
Next week I’m in China, hoping I can snap (find me under jenworman) while I’m there to show my adventures but if not find me on instagram @redsolesandredwine.
Leaving off with some sales and style steals that can’t be missed as you know I love fashion and shoes. With me blogging only once this week I didn’t have time to share more fashion.