Freshly Launched :: You! Lingerie

Freshly Launched :: You! Lingerie
Launched ::  Uyo Okebie-Eichelberger

Launch HER says :: Calling all fashionista mommies!  Okay, confession time… checking out You! Lingerie made me think, “OMG.  I would love to be pregnant again just to wear these!”  I’m sure that you’ll agree that the You! Lingerie products are positively incredible.  Even more, Uyo struck us as a kindred spirit, as a woman who left a promising and lucrative career in corporate America to become a mom-preneur.  We counted down to Uyo’s October launch with her, and we are thrilled to share You! Lingerie with you today!

In HER words ::

It’s no secret that beautiful lingerie can make a woman feel fabulous and boost her self-confidence. This does not change when a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding. I believe it’s even more critical during this time to look and feel sexy. Yet, so many expecting and breastfeeding moms settle and replace their once fab lingerie drawer with drab maternity and nursing underwear because of limited options.
That was the situation I found myself in 2009, after the birth of my daughter. I became frustrated after searching high and low for affordable nursing bras that did not look like something my grandmother would wear. Like me, the vast majority of women have to choose between the default functional nursing bras that are usually void of color and pizazz. Or they can choose to find something more exotic but most are left with sticker shock from exorbitantly priced nursing lingerie that may not provide the comfort and fit they seek.
I have always had an eye for fashion but chose to pursue an MBA and a role as brand manager at a Fortune 100 company. However, after performing some initial “market research” and nudging from my husband, I decided to trade in my long days managing Kraft’s Mac & Cheese brand for even longer days & nights as a mompreneur.  I passionately believed in the idea that breastfeeding moms could have the best of both worlds – fashionable and affordable! So I took matters into my hands, resulting in the playful, flirty but affordable You! Lingerie brand.
The mission of You! Lingerie is to make breastfeeding mommies feel confident and look beautiful everyday! I believe that pregnancy and breastfeeding are beautiful, so why wear unflattering lingerie or pay an exuberant amount for beautiful ones? Our fabrics, designs and colors are made with a fashion-minded mom in mind. They exude luxurious sensuality, playful styles and femininity in its wearer without sacrificing quality and the functionality of discreet feeding, support and comfort. Basically, giving mommies an Affordable Luxury!

We just launched in Oct but you can already find us in 18 stores across the US and Europe.

You can find You! Lingerie on Twitter and Facebook, and you’ll want to visit their online store

Just for LaunchHER readers ::

Receive a 15% off Discount on your order! Visit You! Lingerie online store and enter coupon code LauchHER15 at checkout until December 15.  The perfect gift for the holidays!! 

LaunchHER Scoop :: Lordy, Lordy, look who’s 40!

Hello, friends! Sallisha here. I’m hijacking the LaunchHER blog today for a very important reason… to celebrate the 40th birthday of my friend and business partner, Kara Jensen Zitnick, Esq!  Before you think… “Oh my goodness, I can’t believe Sallisha is telling us how old Kara is!”  Let me remind you that Kara announced to the world the upcoming 11th celebration of her 29th birthday in our LaunchHER 40 under 40 :: Profiles of Women-Owned Brands this past October… So, I think that announcement gives me the right to celebrate Kara’s 40th with our LaunchHER friends. Yes?  Yes!

Most of you are familiar with Kara Jensen Zitnick, Esq. as the “attorney half” of the LaunchHER team.  Yes, Kara is an experienced attorney, specializing in the needs of the small-business owner. And, it’s wearing that “hat” that she’s gotten to  know so many of you… through her much-acclaimed LaunchHER Law series, through her insights on Twitter, and through her partnering with you as legal clients.  Anyone who knows Kara professionally knows that she is the best of the best – the attorney that you want on your team, when starting or developing your business.

But today, as we celebrate this exciting milestone of turning 29… again… I want to share with you more about Kara – the woman that I am so very honored to call not only my business partner, but also my dear and precious friend. 

All of us who have the joy of knowing Kara ‘in real life’ know that, above all else, she is a woman of absolute integrity.  She is a cherished wife and, with her husband, is raising two young boys to be men of character and wisdom.  Whether it be cooking for her family or working with a client or leading our “Moms” group… Kara performs every task, every “job” with absolute excellence.  She is creative, funny, witty, and a true pleasure to be around.  Plus… she has a FABULOUS sense of style. :)

But, beyond that… on a good day, a bad day, when I have a funny story to share, need to vent, or maybe just need some encouragement, Kara is my first phone call.  She is the friend that we all search for, but so few of us find.  Today, and every day, I am thankful for the blessings that I have been given in this friendship and am grateful to partner together with Kara through LaunchHER. 

Happy 40th Birthday, Kara!  May this year ahead be one of incredible success, blessings beyond measure, and overwhelming joy!

LaunchHER Gift Picks :: Profiles of Women-owned Brands

Hello, Black Friday!

Here at LaunchHER, we are typically big shoppers. We love a bargain and truly enjoy the thrill of the hunt in the quest for the perfect gift to give. Sounds like Black Friday is the day for us, no? Not this year, friends. The exceptionally cold weather we’re experiencing here in Minnesota today has us putting an extra log on the fire and adding a few more marshmallows to our steaming mugs of hot chocolate. Instead of bundling up and braving the below-zero temps, we are shopping online today!! Read on to see our top gift picks for Christmas 2010 from women-owned businesses we love! The best part? Supporting small, indie and local business.

Kara says :: With two family birthdays in the week following Thanksgiving, there’s a whole lot of shopping going on at our house this time of year! Since one of my personal missions this year has been to declutter the house, my focus for gifts this year is to purchase only items that are truly useful and meaningful. While my boys may not initially appreciate the lack of toys under the Christmas tree, I know my picks for them will be getting daily use well into 2011.

1. birdzNbeez

My second grader is really into watches, robots and “cool guy” necklaces. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined finding a watch robot pendant! Only on Etsy, right?? An added bonus are the really great pendants for others on my list, too!

2. sarah + abraham

Finding the perfect gift for a soon-to-be 3 year-old isn’t as easy as one would think. Especially with my “no clutter” mantra this year. But since a certain little man in our house practically lives on Stonyfield Organic French Vanilla yogurt, I know this darling personalized bowl will get daily use. And since it is BPA-free, the good qualities of the organic yogurt won’t be canceled out by gross off-gassing.

3. Housewife Bliss

My mother has a gift for domesticity. She has turned every house into a home in seemingly the blink of an eye. Coryanne Ettiene has the same gift. Her charming site, Housewife Bliss, focuses on nesting and the finer points of domesticity. Love it! And her marketplace? Genius. I so enjoy all that Coryanne offers. These baskets (mom made!) will do a stylish job of corralling all of my mom’s Martha Stewart magazines.

4. Red Letter Words


My in-laws have the most amazing art collection. What makes it so amazing, I think, is that many of the pieces were purchased while my father-in-law was in the Army and moving, quite literally, around the world. But being born and raised in Chicago, it’s where he is “from.” I know the Chicago City Sights art print will be the perfect addition to their already-personal collection.

5.The Black Apple


Emily Martin’s unique and charming designs have come to life in a paper doll book. Oh my!!! I’ve followed Emily since practically her first day on Etsy. I was overjoyed the day she joined Martha to sew a doll. What girl doesn’t love a doll? Growing up, paper dolls were my favorite. So I am giving this wonderful book to my nieces. My hope is that they, too, will grow as fond of paper dolls as their favorite aunt has. And, it will be super easy to send to them across the miles. Now to work on getting a signed copy…..

6. Garnish

If you know me at all, you know that I love to bake. I mean, absolutely LOVE to bake. And I love to give. So naturally, one of our traditions is to gift bake goods to neighbors, teachers, and loved ones near and far. A few years ago, I searched high and low for attractive packaging that wouldn’t detract from the goodies inside. The search was difficult. this year? My search is over. I have found Garnish. Oh joy! I’m ordering these for my cinnamon raisin mini-loaves, these for the chocolate toffee fingers, and these for the dipped pretzels.

I’m going to jazz up the simplicity of the packaging with DIY printables from Anders Ruff!

Tie it all up with this darling twine and let the gifting begin!

7. Preppy Poppy

In addition to the home-baked goodies and a Caribou Coffee card, the teachers on my list will also get a reusable lunch tote, monogrammed, of course! The impeccable quality and style of Preppy Poppy’s goods are just so amazing! Teachers have been known to still use these darling bags years after receiving them. Now that is the sign of a great gift!

8. Perideau Designs


Bridgett’s personalized holiday treat bags will be my first purchase today! Not only is she offering a great discount on her site for today only, I can think of 100 different uses for these sweet bags! Perfect not just for actual sweets, but for trinkets and small items galore. And knowing my boys, they will use the bags to tote trinkets around for months to come.

9. Sarah Bohl Designs

I’m giving myself the gift of help this year. For just $49, Sarah Bohl is designing my fireplace mantel. Yep. And she’s not even stopping by my house! I just emailed a photo to Sarah, she works her magic, and sends me her ideas, complete with where to purchase recommended items, if I so choose. She’ll even work with decor you already have. This genius service of Sarah’s is just too good to pass up. I have struggled with the seasonal decorating of my dining room fireplace mantel for as long as I have lived here (8 yrs, to be exact). The struggle is over, people! Act now if you would like Sarah’s assistance, though, as the service is seasonal and is good only through the weekend. sarahbohl@gmail.com

10. Pink and Polkadot

My sister has been on a mission to spruce up her house. While she likes the lines and size of her current sofa and loveseat set, the plain cream upholstery could use an overhaul. Because she appreciates the ease of a washable slipcover as much as I do, (and who with small kids doesn’t, really?), I am getting her this wonderful e-book, The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Custom Slipcovers. Armed with her sewing machine and her basic sewing skills, I am confident she will have just the slipcovers she has always wanted. All without breaking the bank.

Sallisha says :: This year, we decided to put up our Christmas tree before Thanksgiving – this past Sunday, to be exact. At the time, it sounded like a grand plan (and it looks FABULOUS by the way!). But, what I quickly found was that the early-tree-set-up-of-2010 has the added… um… “benefit“… of giving my children extra days to ask me non-stop… “Mommy, what’s in this present?” or “Can we open this one and then re-wrap it?” or… my personal favorite… “Can we just take a peek? We won’t tell Daddy!” So far, I’ve stayed strong… but today, I’m thrilled to share with you some of the packages that will be under my tree this year! Shhh… don’t tell my kids! :)

1. Pure Belly Exclusive Maternity Products

Like many of you, this year I am shopping for so many dear friends who are expecting a precious little one. For these blossoming bellies, I am heading straight to Pure Belly Exclusive Maternity Products. They just launched this year, and their fab OB Endorsed Maternity Products have already become a go-to brand of the stylish mommy-to-be! Their Pure Comfort Backless Tank is my gift of choice to my pregnant pals… and almost makes me want to have another little one. Almost.
2. WH Hostess

Looking for the perfect hostess gift? Or custom social stationary? Check out WH Hostess (stands for Well Heeled Hostess… LOVE the name!). My bottle of wine hostess gift for parties we’re attending will be snazzed up with wine bottle labels this year… and I’m in love with these Party Theme ideas! And I’m gifting some fab friends with these Lucite Trays… well, unless I just keep them for myself. :)
3. Untamed Petals
A few weeks ago, I started the hunt for the perfect accessories to wear to our Holiday parties this year. I was especially looking for a beaded headband to wear with this amazing silver dress that I can ALMOST get into (as I eat sugar cookies while typing…). A Twitter friend of ours suggest I check out Untamed Petals… and right then and there, I found my new favorite accessories shop! So, here’s a very transparent hint to a certain DH that I hope to find the Leona – Crystal Flower Headband from Untamed Petals under the tree this year! :)

4. Dolce Vita Mia

One of the joys of being an aunt is getting to spoil your nieces and nephews! In my case… that means getting the chance to find super sweet gifts for my 9 little nieces this year – and Dolce Vita Mia has provided me with the ideal “handmade sweetness” to wrap for these darlings. I’m a sucker for hair accessories, and these are my absolute favorites this year. They are so reasonably priced, they would be a great stocking stuffer for your little angel, too! I can’t wait to see them on the girls!!
5. Bakerella
Have you ever had a cake pop? Oh my… they are my new infatuation. I had my first just weeks ago at the Maiden Minnesota event, courtesy of the ridiculously talented Cocoa and Fig (which, by the way, I TOTALLY want to use to cater an event at my home… but that’s another post!). Each year, our family delivers baskets of baked goods to our neighbors, and due to my love affair with the cake pop, I’m determined to make them this year! On the phenominal Bakerella website, I’ve found directions that will be sure to make me the favorite neighbor! :) And… not to spoil the surprise.. but my baking friends will be getting their own copy of the Cake Pops book this year, along with a few homemade tasty treats!
6. Nelle
Another brand I was introduced to at the Maiden Minnesota event, Nelle first caught my eye because I am personally always on the look out for an incredible clutch. (Am I the only one who thinks perfect clutches are practically impossible to find?) The Cherub clutch was my first Nelle love… and as I started putting together my gift list for my family, I realized that my sister would adore… and absolutely NEEDS the Chevron Handbag this year!
7. Vintage Pearl
You know those women you call when you’ve had a great day and want to celebrate? And how, if you’re lucky, they are the same women you call when you’re about to lose it… want to cry… or need a word of advice? This Thanksgiving, I am overwhelmingly thankful that my list of “go-to” women is long… and I have been blessed with a group of friends who have supported, encouraged, and inspired me over the past year. So.. what in the WORLD to get these ladies? I’m going with unique, sentimental jewelry from The Vintage Pearl. And, let’s face it – everyone loves a personalized gift!
8. J.J. Boyles

What do you get the man who doesn’t really WANT anything? (And does anyone else get frustrated with that!?) Well… this year, I’ve found the absolute perfect gift for a certain DH of mine. I love, love, LOVE the Special Edition One Year Diaries (with free monogramming – SCORE!). We journal to our children… so this is an ideal gift! I am so excited about J. J. Boyles that I already sent the link to DH… who is now going to pick up gifts for his staff from this fab shop. Yep, the Armours are now J. J. Boyles groupies.
www.etsy.com/shop/julieboyles

9. Illume Candles

Now, what to get the many teachers and instructors who impact my life (and my children’s lives!) every day? I like to put together a Holiday giftbag including a personal, hand-written note, a Caribou coffee gift card, and a “little something extra.” This year, the “little something extra” is a Monogram candle from Illume Candles. Another local brand, these celeb-favorite home fragrances are a perfect, personalized addition to a gift to say thank you and Happy Holidays!
10. Ona Jean’s Children’s Boutique and PinkyBlue

Anyone else have a 4 year old boy? Is this not the perfect age? He still thinks you’re the greatest thing EVER, has more energy than the rest of the family combined (okay- that’s a mixed blessing, I’ll admit), and still lets you dress him. :) The latest rage for my son is Robots. So, I’m putting together a Robot-themed gift that will include his favorite toy from the big-box shop and robot-themed, handmade apparel! Checkout this adorable hat and robot shirt, from two great Etsy finds. Guaranteed to get this mommy lots of hugs and kisses!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/IMarriedMrRogers

Happy Black Friday shopping!! Please support local, indie and women-owned businesses this holiday season.

The businesses profiled here and items picked are the sole opinions of LaunchHER. Kara and Sallisha were not compensated in any way, shape, or form for their gift picks. These truly ARE the gifts that the gals of LaunchHER are purchasing this holiday season.

Freshly Launched :: Anders Ruff Custom Designs

Freshly Launched :: Anders Ruff Custom Designs
Launched :: Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff

LaunchHER says ::
From our first introduction to Maureen and Adria’s incredible women-owned business, we were drooling over their creativity, their sassy style, and their amazing products!  Not only do their designs make us giddy with excitement (and want to throw a party!), but their business savvy and entrepreneurial spirit is exciting and inspirational!  Check out these women and join us in our love for Anders Ruff Custom Designs!

In HER words ::

We are Anders Ruff Custom Designs (Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff).  We were complete strangers until a preschool open-house in January 2010.  In the hallway before parting, we realized that we had a lot in common – the love of all things paper, design and parties.  From there a wonderful friendship formed and we decided to embark upon a business together.  With both of us devoted and passionate about graphic design, we hoped to change the face of celebration style for those who love it as well.
We are focused on creating printable graphic designs that are geared towards accessorizing celebrations.  
With the boom in demand for everything personalized in the party planning market, we decided to offer custom graphic designs tailored to themed events.  More and more people want quick turnarounds when they are planning parties and so offering our designs as DIY printable packages seemed to be the way to go.  Not only does that allow for an economical product but it gives our creative clients flexibility to print the designs as many times as they need and use them in a variety of ways.
Our designs include everything from invitations and thank you notes, to favor tags, cupcake toppers, water bottle wraps, food labels, address labels, banners, party signs and more.  We format our designs as a printable digital file with instructions that make styling a party unique and cost efficient.
Our style ranges from classic and contemporary to vintage and hip.  Our contrasting styles allow us to appeal to a large client base.
Our photographer, Becca Bond, put it best… “Maureen (Anders) has a classic chic style, with a sweet and charming personality to match.  Adria (Ruff) is as vivacious as they come, with an edgy, vintage-inspired style.  Both of these elements work so beautifully together to make their work stand apart from anything I’ve seen.”
You can follow Anders Ruff Custom Designs on Facebook, Twitter, and through their Blog!  Be sure to check out their shop to find out more about these incredible entrepreneurs!
Just for LaunchHER readers :: Enter code “LaunchHER” in the notes to seller during check out and receive FREE printable Advent Calendar Cones or printable Sant Gift Tags.  Please specify your choice in the notes.  Happy shopping!

LaunchHER Law :: You Had Me At Hello, And a GIVEAWAY!

You Had Me At Hello —
5 Considerations For Hiring An Attorney
By
Kara J. Jensen Zitnick, Esq.
Jensen Zitnick, P.A.
Kara@LaunchHER.com
Twitter :: @LaunchHERLaw

The material contained herein is meant as general information only and should not be taken as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists as a result of merely reading this article. Should you require legal assistance, you may inquire further via email at kara@launchher.com

Through the course of past LaunchHER :: Law articles and the legal topics discussed, I’ve nearly always recommended you seek out legal counsel for questions and specific advice regarding each topic and how it may relate to your small business. As a result, so many of you are left wanting to know what to look for when seeking out an attorney to handle such business matters. To assist you in your search, here are what I consider to be five important considerations when searching for a small business attorney.

1. Experience In order for you to get the most out of an attorney-client relationship, an attorney who has had actual experience or first-hand knowledge of your industry, craft or endeavo,r will serve you both well as you will likely be starting off the relationship with the same base knowledge.

2. Relatability Is this person someone you feel a connection with? Can you relate to each other, either because of similar backgrounds, life experiences, or other commonalities?

3. Fees Don’t be shy about asking the attorney about their fees and their fee structure. No matter how much you think their experience and background matches up with your business, if you can’t afford the fees, you might as well move on and keep looking. It doesn’t make sense to put your entire profit stream in jeopardy just to secure legal protection for your business.
4. Rapport How does a conversation with the potential attorney make you feel — energized, optimistic, relieved? At a minimum, an attorney-client relationship with mutual respect for each other’s talents and abilities can go a long way toward building a positive professional relationship.

5. Sincerity also known as “the smarmy factor.” Let’s face it, every profession has its share of smarmy people. The legal profession may seem to have more than its fair share, but hopefully you have no personal experience in this area. When you speak with an attorney for the first time, you should be able to tell whether the attorney truly cares about having you and your business as a client. Are their comments just a lot of puffery? Do they seem to promise a lot for a very small fee? Sincerity is a quality that is tough to fake. You either are a sincere person or you aren’t, in my opinion. Whatever that feeling is deep in your gut about the attorney you are interviewing, whether they are trustworthy and honest go with it. When was the last time that feeling was wrong?

©2010 Kara J. Jensen Zitnick, Esq. All rights reserved
No part may be copied or reproduced with express written permission from the author.
Jensen Zitnick, P.A.

AND A GIVEAWAY!!
In celebration of Small Business Saturday, this Saturday, November 27, we here at LaunchHER are giving away a sponsorship ($65 value) on our site for the month of December!
Just in time for holiday shopping and sales, get your site listed and featured!
TO ENTER:
1. You must comment on this post and list your email address.
2. Optional Additional Entry: Follow Kara on twitter, @LaunchHERLaw, to stay in the loop on all things legal for your small business! (Then come back to the comments and tell us you are a new follower!)
3. Optional Additional Entry: tweet that you follow @LaunchHERLaw for an additional chance to win!
Drawing closes at midnight, Saturday, November 27, 2010, with the drawing taking place Sunday, November 28th, 2010.
(Winner will have 24 hours to respond to email before another winner will be chosen.)

Freshly Launched :: Evolution Vintage

Freshly Launched :: Evolution Vintage
Launched :: Lisa Graystone

LaunchHER says ::  Put together an incredible writer, fabulous entrepreneur, and vintage styles that we are drooling over… and you get Evolution Vintage!  We love Lisa’s sense of style and admire her business savvy.  Can’t wait to see what’s next for Lisa and Evolution Vintage!

In HER words ::
Evolution Vintage is the newest resource for the Eco-Fabulous woman. I offer unique, hand selected Vintage clothing and accessories to help today’s woman style fashion’s past into her fashion future. I personally select each garment and/or accessory and create styling scenarios to style the item current. Evolution Vintage is also a GREEN, fashion recycling initiative.

I encourage my clients to re-use, re-style and repurpose their clothes and buy used clothing (vintage or otherwise) to work into their current wardrobes to minimize the impact the unused textiles have on landfills worldwide. I also offer my clients Designer re-sale items at a fraction of the original cost. Some of the designer items are vintage and I also have contemporary selection as well, the items are new with tags or previously loved.

My business was created to empower and inspire women. Every woman deserves to feel beautiful and fabulous regardless of their budget, size, shape or unique taste. The items in my eBoutique start at $5 and I feel like there is something for everyone. I am constantly searching for unique and amazing pieces for my clients and updating the eBoutique on a regular basis. I also have a line of Vintage style burnout t-shirts for men and women as well as reusable eco book bags & totes. I will also be designing and launching a line of Vintage inspired hair accessories (Stay Tuned). And, I have a lifestyle BLOG called Evolution Revolution

My overall goals in creating Evolution Vintage is to assist women with styling, inspire them to push their fashion boundaries while having less of an impact on the planet by recycling fashion’s past and styling it current. I am a one woman show; I select all the clothing, measure, photograph and list them in my eBoutique in conjunction with social networking sites. I blog and also write a fashion column for a local publication.

I’m a MOMpreneur on a mission to bring style to the masses while reducing their impact on the same environment they are making fabulous.

Check out Lisa and Evolution Vintage on Twitter, Facebook, and through her new blog.  You can find your new favorite Vintage shop through her site!

Just for LaunchHER readers ::
Type the word LAUNCH into the Paypal notes on check-out, and receive a FREE Evolution Vintage eco-book bag!

LaunchHER Law :: More Than A Handshake

More Than a Handshake
By
Kara J. Jensen Zitnick, Esq.
Jensen Zitnick, P.A.
Twitter :: @LaunchHERLaw

The material contained herein is meant as general information only and should not be taken as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists as a result of merely reading this article. Should you require legal assistance, you may inquire further via email at kara@launchher.com.

There was a time when business arrangements could be decided and sealed with just a handshake. In this day and internet age, I think the only person who still literally operates this way is my 90 year-old grandfather. But figuratively speaking, I encounter clients on a regular basis who are conducting business in various forms without a written agreement. Here are the 4 most common business situations where a written agreement should exist:

1. Non-Disclosure Agreements
Before you start talking to anyone about anything relating to your new business idea or fabulous invention, have them sign a non-disclosure agreement. No matter what their relationship to you.

2. Co-Blogging
Blogging with a friend is becoming more and more common. It makes so much sense, really, to share the blogging duties. Not only do you share the work, but presenting blog posts from a different perspective adds a whole new dimension to your content. Which adds a whole new dimension to the business of blogging.

3. Guest Blogging
Even the most popular blogs around utilize guest bloggers from time to time. Whether a guest blogger is asked to write as an expert on a particular topic or provide new content while the blog owner takes a much-deserved break, a guest blogger relationship presents yet another business situation that should be covered by a written agreement.

4. Independent Contractor
In the world of a small business owner, the term “independent contractor” can apply to a variety of different people. Vendors, graphic designers, virtual assistants, web gurus, and PR consultants can all be characterized as independent contractors, and should be working with you under the terms of a contract.

Now that you know what situations should be covered under the terms of a written contract, and not just on a “virtual” handshake, here are the terms such a contract should address:
  • Ownership of material — whether it’s a post from a guest blogger or a co-blogger, who owns what material published on a blog should be addressed.
  • Compensation — it’s a sticky subject and one that most people want to avoid. But if you don’t address the matter of compensation, whether it is it for an independent contractor or someone blogging for you, the situation will only get stickier the longer the matter isn’t addressed in writing.
  • Scope of Duties/Expectations — reducing the expectations of a a guest blogger, blogging partner or an independent contractor down to a written document clearly defines the parameters under which all parties are expected to perform. Having a conversation about duties and expectations before a relationship is truly formed may seem awkward, but waiting to have the conversation until after the guest blogger submits material and posts it, will only make the situation more awkward.
  • Termination of the Relationship — coming up with an exit strategy at the start of a business relationship will make ending the relationship, if it comes to that, so much easier. Clearly defining termination terms at the beginning, before much time and effort is expended on behalf of the business, is actually an easier conversation to have than one may assume.

As silly and impossible as it seems in this day and age to seal a business relationship with a simple handshake, when you operate your business venture without a written agreement, you are doing just that. While having the necessary conversations, up front, to draft the documents necessary to form a good business relationship may seem too uncomfortable, imagine your discomfort when the business relationship falls apart and you both address, for the first time, the terms of the business arrangement.

When entering into a business arrangement, take a moment to reduce the expectations of all involved into a written document. You will be glad you did.

As a practicing attorney specializing in providing flat-fee legal services to independent business owners and entrepreneurs, especially in the start-up phase, Kara Jensen Zitnick can draft any agreement necessary to protect you and your business interests. Ms. Zitnick proudly offers custom contract drafting starting at just $150.00 and can be reached at kara@launchher.com.

©2010 Kara J. Jensen Zitnick, Esq. All rights reserved
No part may be copied or reproduced with express written permission from the author.

Freshly Launched :: StormSister Spatique

Freshly Launched :: StormSister Spatique
Launched ::  Becky Sturm

LaunchHER says ::  There are so many reasons to love Storm Sister Spatique… they’re local here to the Twin Cities!, they have a great family story, and well… their products rock!  An incredible entrepreneur, Becky Sturm has developed the Storm Sister Spatique brand from a storefront in St. Paul into an exclusively online shopping experience.

In HER words ::
I grew up in my grandmothers’ beauty shop and have been a hairdresser for more than 23 years. I graduated from Minneapolis Horst Education Center, today known as The Aveda Institute, in 1985. My passion to explore new and unique products combined with my drive to educate my clients facilitated the growth of my passion for retail during my salon/spa years. Eventually, my entrepreneurial spirit pushed me to
start my own online shopping business. The website’s success (also known as StormSister Spatique) enabled me to open the brick and mortar version of StormSister Spatique in November 2006.

Having an online boutique for 5+ years as well as a storefront for 4 years has inspired me to move forward with development of my own beauty/grooming product. (Shhh!!! It’s a secret for now!)

Recently, with my focus on moving forward with the StormSisters products, I made the difficult decision to close my storefront and concentrate fully on my necessary next steps: locating an investor, product development and developing the StormSister Spatique’s online shopping experience. This truly is the next
logical step for my StormSister Spatique brand.

So, where did “StormSister” come from?  When my sister and I owned our spa together, we had a client who called us the “Storm Sisters” whenever he greeted us. Sturm = Storm in German. When I left the salon/spa to open my online/storefront retail boutique, ‘StormSister’ just felt right.

Did you know that PEZ is the official StormSister Spatique candy? Much of my heritage is from Austria/Germany and since PEZ is originally from Austria I wanted a fun candy from that region to be part of the StormSister Spatique experience. A fun-size PEZ is included with each online order and with each purchase.

Want to learn more about StormSisters?  Follow Becky on Twitter or on Facebook.  You can keep up to date through her blog also!

Just for LaunchHER readers ::  enter LaunchHER at checkout to receive 20% off your entire boutique purchase!

Welcome New Sponsor :: The Spotted Olive

Welcome New Sponsor :: The Spotted Olive

LaunchHER says ::  A long-time favorite of LaunchHER, we have been so impressed with Debbie’s business know-how and entrepreneurial savvy.  She took her home-based business and made it into her full-time job, which we now know as the extraordinary The Spotted Olive!  We’re thrilled that she’s joined us as our new sponsor, and are excited to recommend her to you as well!

In HER words ::
Hello there! I’m Debbie, the designer and owner of The Spotted Olive™. I am a professional graphic designer with over 14 years of creative experience in the hospitality, vacation rental, real estate and leisure industries. In 2008, I partnered with Zazzle and started The Spotted Olive™ as a creative outlet from my daily job as a corporate graphic designer. I thought it would be a fun way to express my creativity without the constraints of corporate graphic standards as well as make a little money on the side. I never imagined where it would ultimately take me!

The Spotted Olive™ is your online source for funky, cute and cool designs on a variety of customizable paper goods & gifts. We offer a fabulous assortment of hip business cards, trendy paper goods including invitations & announcements, modern holiday cards, note cards, photo cards, letterhead, stationery, envelopes, custom USPS postage, personalized Avery® labels plus unique gifts like t-shirts, mousepads, aprons, earth friendly canvas tote bags, Keds® shoes and more! All of which can easily be personalized by you! I am happy to assist in personalization of items or create a design that is in my shop in a different color scheme or add coordinating items from the available products. Custom design services are

You can keep up to date with Debbie through Facebook and Twitter, as well as find out more through her site!  

Just for LaunchHER readers ::  Debbie and The Spotted Olive has a promo code for LaunchHER readers that is good through 12/31/10!  Enter code 15OFFBIZCARD to receive 15% off your business card purchase! 

LaunchHER :: SCOOP

LaunchHER SCOOP :: Diary of a Domestic Failure

LaunchHER says :: Kara here today. I just had to pop into the blog and share with you all a brand-spankin’ new venture that I am loving — Diary of a Domestic Failure. Angela Parks, of Preppy Poppy fame, is embarking on a year-long journey to become the next June Cleaver and she invites you to join her. I am so.on.board. While Angela is trading her pumps for an apron, I personally am just adding an apron (love my heels too much!).



A week ago at this time I was actually on a plane, traveling to Angela’s lovely home for an In Real Life look at her failures. Well, let me tell you, in my opinion, Angela is not a complete domestic failure. How do I know? My first clue was her magazine-perfect home. Gorgeous, classy, warm, inviting and completely family- and dog-friendly. Not an easy decorating feat to pull off, for sure. My second clue? She was the most gracious hostess. Even though this was our first IRL meeting, Angela, her husband and 2 darling girls welcomed us with open arms. But Angela assures me things may not always be as they seem; hence, her 365 journey.

Angela has a very clear plan to remedy her domestic short-comings: a Domestic Bucket List. (Um, genius!!) So as not to not overwhelm, the Domestic Bucket List consists of 300 tasks, each can be accomplished in under a day and will put you closer to being a Domestic Success. My top ten personal faves:

7. Today I will not procrastinate
15. Hang a photo collage with the multiple frames I’ve accumulated
23. Create a photo scrap book of the boys from birth
41. Do not raise my voice (unless absolutely necessary) for the entire day
53. Create Cork Boards for Homework achievements, photos, art work, etc
62. Flush Drains w/ Vinegar
122. Buy water carafe for guest rooms
131. Make homemade butter
141. Bleach all white linens
292. Create a family tradition
What I am totally loving about Ang’s new venture (she’s known as “Ang” to her friends), is complete honesty regarding her feelings toward all things domestic.  Ang doesn’t cook and readily admits her failed attempts at a crock-pot pot roast.  But she aspires to perfecting pot roast.  Love that!  I mean, as modern women, with our family and business and professional obligations and aspirations, don’t we all crave a home space that is like a giant warm hug?  I know I do.  Right now, I crave a warm, welcoming, comforting space for my family and me, so I am joining Ang on this exciting venture.  After all, I reallly do believe we can have it all.

Won’t you come aboard for the journey?

Subscribe here, follow here to stay in the loop and overcome your domestic failings one task at a time.

And stay tuned for occasional updates from moi!

Kara