Freshly Launched :: Sima Gilady

Freshly Launched :: Sima Gilady

Launched :: Sima Gilady

LaunchHER says :: We love pieces that tell a story- and what is more precious to each of us than the story of our own families?  We’re thrilled to share an entrepreneur and brand with you today that perfects personalization!  And… a GIVEAWAY!  Simply leave a comment to be entered into Sima Gilady’s giveaway… keep reading for details of the gorgeous necklace that could be yours!!

In HER words ::

Hello!  My name is Sima Gilady, and I am a wife and mother to 4 beautiful kids.  My goal is to reach the handmade lovers and one-of-a-kind fans from all over the world.

Art & Jewelry has been my passion in my life, but to personalized jewelry always captured my heart.  I create a  unique personalized jewelry in Hebrew & English.

My  handmade jewelry can be personalized, hand stamped, monogrammed, engraved and customized.
From your favorite text, kids names, favorite phrases and special dates to be remembered.  I love making jewelry and I especially love jewelry that is has meaning… with a great story…
 your quote
your phrase
your poem
Be sure to follow Sima Gilady through her Blog and Twitter
Just for LaunchHER readers… enter code BLOGHER15 to receive 15% off your entire purchase on the Sima Gilady site!
GIVEAWAY!!! 
Check out the Sima Gilady site and simply leave a comment below to enter the giveaway for this fabulous necklace!! Up to 3 personalized discs and US shipping included!  Be sure to let us know how to get ahold of you when you win!  The winner will be selected next Friday, 3/4!

Freshly Launched :: beso handbags

Freshly Launched :: beso handbags

Launched :: Johanna Penagos

LaunchHER says ::  Um… handmade handbags?  LOVE!  Check out the incredible fabrics, designs, and workmanship, and you’ll agree… beso handbags is a brand to watch!

In HER words ::

When I was a little girl, I used to make purses and wallets out of anything I could get my hands on. I loved to make paper dolls, and create their clothes and their accessories. I’ve always been a designer at heart.
 
So now, after college and grad school and a nine year detour as a school psychologist, I’ve come back to what I love, designing one of my very favorite accessories, the handbag. 
 
With my mom’s hand-me-down sewing machine and fabrics that I chose because I loved, I started beso handbags at my dining room table, sewing while my daughter was at school, and my son was taking his nap, and sometimes, late at night while my kids and my amazingly supportive husband were all fast asleep. I’ve grown a bit since then, but I’m proud to say that beso handbags still reflects my passion for design and my love of fabric.
I call my line beso handbags. Beso is the Spanish word for kiss. Spanish and English are spoken in our home, and beso is a word we use all the time. Often throughout the day, we ask the kids for besos, or kisses, and tell them we love them. Beso is also a word that just reminds me that I love what I do, and I’m now doing what I’ve always loved.  
 
All of the handbags that you see are my own designs. This fall, I’m so excited to incorporate my own collection of vintage fabrics into the mix. I’m so excited to give each of these gorgeous vintage fabrics new life. Each bag ordered will feature a beautiful fabric from the 1950’s, 60’s or 70’s and will be accented by luxurious faux-suede in a complementing color. Each vintage fabric is available on a very limited basis, so if you see one you love, snatch it up before its gone. 
 
Thanks so much for being a part of beso handbags. Enjoy!
 
Be sure to follow Johanna and beso handbags on Facebook and Twitter!
Just for LaunchHER readers :: Enter code Launch15 to receive 15% off your entire purchase on beso handbags!

New to LaunchHER :: Madefor3

New to LaunchHER :: Madefor3

LaunchHER says ::  It’s our joy today to introduce you to one of our sponsors, Claire, from Madefor3!  Enjoy reading a bit of her story and checking out her site.  We especially love the story behind her shop’s name!

In HER words :: Hi, my name is Claire, I am in my late 20’s I live with my partner of 13years! I am blessed with my 4 beautiful daughters.  My business is “Madefor3”, I chose the name “Madefor3” as at the time I had 3 daughters and each time I made something I would have to make it another 2 times, making 1 item 3 times, so they all had 1.

Madefor3 started, after a career change in 2010. I wanted to start something from home that would still provide for my family as well as offer the flexibility that is needed when raising a young family.

I started researching blogs and online handmade communities to see what was already “out there” and working. I was instantly inspired and I knew that I had made the right decision; it was now up to me to make my dream work in reality.

My online shop is filled with products that inspire me, something to bring a smile, I love colour and experimenting with different fabric prints.

I originally started with headbands.

A girl can never have too many hair accessories, right?

My girls love hair accessories, but buying 3 lots of headbands, clips and slides was becoming expensive, so I decided to create something that was unique to them and cost effective.

Soon after starting Madefor3, I found out I was expecting my fourth baby, which came as a bit of a surprise, it made me more determined than ever to make my business work for me.

As my pregnancy progressed I started shopping for accessories for the nursery, or in my case “lack of” they were either not suitable or very over priced, so I decided to make my own, which then inspired me to add a range of nursery items into the shop.

My new range includes cushions and bunting (fabric banners).

 

 I have also started a new design of headbands…..

 

I am constantly overflowing with new ideas and inspiration, which I write about in my blog, which has also been a great learning experience for me; I have connected with so many great people and made some lovely friends who have helped me along my journey.

Just for LaunchHER readers :: Offer Code LAUNCH for 15% off all products in Madefor3’s shop!

You can follow Claire on Facebook too!

*This is a sponsored feature , if you are interested in more information about becoming a sponsor on LaunchHER please click or contact us {hello@launchHER.com}

Freshly Launched :: Blush Printables

Freshly Launched :: Blush Printables

Launched :: Jen

LaunchHER says ::  Customized, personalized… an perfect for the do-it-yourself bride!  Love the story behind this entrepreneur… and love the products!  Kinda makes me want to plan a wedding!

In HER words ::

My great-grandmother put a paint brush in my hand when I was 3 years old, and let me paint her dining room walls.  Yes, her dining room walls!!  My great-grandmother was a painter, and had the most beautiful home in Santa Barbara.  My mother may have scolded me and not let me go to the park that afternoon, but my great-grandma beamed with pride at my masterpiece.

I started taking private art lessons when I was 5.  My favorite medium was oil paints, and I was in several art shows throughout the years.  I was a Featured Artist a few times, and my great-grandma was my #1 fan.  After she passed away in 2001, I had a really hard time picking up a paint brush again.  I decided to give graphic design a try and instantly fell in love with it.

I’m a self-taught designer, but I took a few courses in college so I could learn more.  I spent a great deal of my college career designing posters and fliers for local bands, and after college I got a freelance job as a designer for a local rape crisis clinic. 

I fell into my craft, though, when my husband and I were planning our August 2008 wedding.  I’d been involved in graphic design for years now and loved it so much that it was a no brainer that I would design our stationery.  I had so much fun with it, and gained several clients after other brides got a hold of my work.  I had so much fun making their visions come to life that I opened my own shop on etsy.

Today, I design printable stationery for the do-it-yourself bride.  Everything in my shop is fully customizable, which truly creates a personalized look.  I find that a lot of the women I work with are tired of the cookie-cutter look and are pleased to find that I offer color-matching and free proofs.  There really are no limitations when it comes to Blush Printables, and I welcome custom orders.  Like I said – I really love bringing others’ visions to life!

You can check out Blush Printables on their site, blog, and on Twitter!

Just for LaunchHER readers :: Use code LHB218 to receive 15% off products in Jen’s Etsy Shop!

Freshly Launched :: Pork Chop Kids

Freshly Launched :: Pork Chop Kids

Launched :: Meaghan Resenhoeft

LaunchHER says ::  After practially wrestling with my one year old this morning, in an attempt to get her socks to stay on… I’m even more thrilled to {freshly launch} this brand today!  A successful mom, business woman, and inventor, Meg inspires us all in her words today!

In HER words ::

I have been in the fashion industry since college; after graduating from school I moved out to New York where I was an Associate for a buying office in the accessories department.  After a few years in the Big Apple I received a phone call from a business owner in the Milwaukee area asking me if I was ready to move back to the Midwest.  A few months later I made the move back home where I was the head buyer and merchandise manager for an upscale women’s boutique… 

After having my daughter, Tess, a constant issue presented itself, by the time I turned to grab a shoe for her she had pulled her sock off.  Another challenge was getting her dressed during the Midwest winters… She needed to wear a dress and obviously needed something to cover her legs, but who wants tights over a diaper and a onesie??  As every grown woman can attest tights aren’t comfortable without those two extra items so why would you want your little one so restricted?  I researched my idea and found legwarmers, tights, leggings etc., but not a thigh-high.    A children’s thigh-high would solve both of these problems and a few others! 

Thus, Pork Chops were born from the evolution of necessity…warmth, protection, easy diaper changes, no missing socks  and runway-ready fashion!   We have over 30 colors/prints, adding a few new designs every few months.  We recently began manufacturing exclusively in the USA!  

Be sure to keep up with Meaghan on Twitter and Facebook!

Just for LaunchHER readers ::  Use promo code LaunchHER to receive 20% off your entire purchase, through 2/28/11!

Freshly Launched :: Baby Bindle

Freshly Launched ::  Baby Bindle

Launched ::  Sandra Frawley

LaunchHER says ::  We love the incredible ingenuity seen in our {freshly launched} entrepreneurs, and today’s brand is no exception!  Check out her story… and be inspired!

In HER words ::

Losing my keys one too many times, I was tired of never having enough hands to carry my diaper bag, keys, wallet, my other child and everything else I needed to get wherever I was going. Realizing that I really only needed a few things, and that most diaper bags are big enough to fit the entire nursery, I created the SeatPak™, a versatile diaper bag that attaches to the side of your car seat, stroller or even your purse and is pint-sized, so you don’t have to carry a bulky bag, but still has plenty of space for the things you reall need.                                                  

Sitting down with a pencil, a few pieces of paper and my sewing machine, I made my very own unique diaper bag in August 2009 and in January of 2010, the first SeatPak™ prototype was created.

Shortly thereafter, I learned of Huggies® Mom Inspired™ contest, which I entered  in June and was informed in July that I was one of the 12 women that won the contest. I was awarded a $15,000 grant to kick my business into full-swing.                         

SeatPak™ – the latest in diaper bags, merging style with real-life functionality. Petite, yet sizeable for you and your baby’s essentials – diapers, wipes, cell phone, car keys, bottle, wallet and more!

Over the last year, I created a new product, started a business and successfully launched a new brand in a questionable economy. I also plan to release three additional innovative, quality products aimed at making Mom’s life a little easier over the next three years – so look out world, here I come!

You can follow Baby Bindle on Twitter and Facebook as well! 

Just for LaunchHER readers ::  Enter code Launch2011 to receive 15% off your order! Expires February 28, 2011.

Freshly Launched :: Lulubelles

Freshly Launched :: Lulubelles

Launched :: Gretchen Black and Natalie Gerlack

LaunchHER says ::  Vintage pieces + handcrafted, feminine designs = LOVE!  The dynamic duo of cousins Gretchen and Natalie have created a line that we just can’t get enough of… and a business model that is leading them to great things in 2011!  Be sure to leave your comments below to enter their giveaway for an incredible couture piece!  It’s GORGEOUS!

Gretchen Black

Natalie Gerlack

 

In HER words ::

Cousins Natalie Gerlack and myself Gretchen Black founded the company a year ago. I (Gretchen) am married and have three boys, and Natalie is married with 2 children, a son and a daughter. We have always been passionate about fashion and design and we love all things creative.

Natalie and I have been crafting together since we were allowed to hold a pair of scissors. We enjoy shopping and love high end jewelry pieces, but not the price tag that would accompany them. So we embarked upon the adventure of creating our own jewelry line that would be affordable and fashionable.

We enjoy going antiquing with our moms in search of the perfect vintage piece that we can turn into a fabulous necklace, bracelet, ring, or even earrings. We also look for interesting semi precious stones, beads, and silk ribbon to incorporate into our pieces.

As of now we carry a line of earrings ranging from $18-$28, rings made with vintage earrings ranging from $25-$30, bracelets (i.e. charm bracelets, and various cuff bracelets) ranging from $30-60, and we have necklaces ranging from $38-$58, and our new LuluCouture line of necklaces made with semi precious stones and vintage brooches that range from $70-$125.

All of our LuluCouture pieces are special one of a kind pieces. We also have been making special occasion necklaces for bridal parties. We are continuing to grow our business and product line. We currently have trunk shows in Louisville and Lexington, KY. and the Cincy area. Our website is Lulubelles.com!

You can find out more about Lulubelles through their site, or on Facebook !

GIVEAWAY!!!

Lulubelles is GIVING AWAY this incredible, one-of-a-kind necklace to a LaunchHER reader!! Simply leave a comment below, on this post, to be entered in the giveaway!  The winner will be randomly selected and announced on February 14th, 2011 – Valentine’s Day!  Gretchen and Natalie will ship it FREE to the lucky winner!

 

LaunchHER PRO :: New Biz Top 10 List

LaunchHER PRO :: New Biz Top 10 List

PRO :: Molly Hillenbrand Vernon of Luxaby Baby and Child

LaunchHER says ::  Molly’s initial PRO piece was such a huge success, and we’re thrilled today for her to share her Top 10 list of consideration when starting a new venture!  Whether you are just starting our or looking to {re}launch this year – what incredible advice to read and follow, from a seasoned pro!  Huge thanks to Molly, and many congratulations on the continued success of Luxaby Baby and Child!

In HER PRO words ::

In January 2009 I formed Luxaby Baby LLC with the idea of combining my favorite designers of classic children’s clothing and gifts into one cohesive Collection. I had a hope that over the next 5-6 years it would grow into an online website, trunk show business and possibly even a retail store one day. Well, less than a year later I had done all three. In a time where most people were closing shop I took a huge risk and opened a high-end retail children’s store in one of the worst economies we have seen in decades. By some miracle (and a lot of luck) it worked but not without making many mistakes along the way and having a very steep learning curve on what it takes to run a successful business.
Here are the 10 things to keep in mind when starting your own venture:

1.Analyze Need. Is the market over-saturated with your product or is there a need for it somewhere. There was not one classic children’s clothing store in the area where I lived so I knew I had something different to offer that would appeal to my target customer.

2.Take advantage of economic opportunity: The top-end designers would not have given me ( a first-time retail business who didn’t even have a launched website yet) a chance to carry their line had they not just experienced a tremendous downturn in other stores buying their clothing due to the current state of the economy. This was the perfect time to come into their lives – a fresh new store who was looking to buy their clothes. They needed to take some risks and fortunately I was the risk they were willing to take. 

3. Try it out with your friends first. If you can’t trust your friends opinion than who can you trust?! I decided to have a mini ‘trunk show’ to see if my friends (who represented my target customers) would love the clothes as much as I do and be willing to pay a little more for quality clothing for their children. After a few months of trunk shows and lots of private appointments it became apparent that there was a strong need for this style of clothing in the area.

4.Create an online presence. I decided to create www.luxabybaby.com to promote the items I had and make them accessible to friends who were not living nearby. What better way for everyone to see these amazing clothing lines than a great website which showcases the clothing and gifts?! Through word of mouth – and friends forwarding the link to friends – the online portion of my business started to pick up and spread all over the country!

5. Social Media – HUGE marketing tool that is so underused. Now that I had a website and a pretty good customer base with my trunk shows the next step was to market it all. Facebook and Twitter are free social media tools that give you the ability to create and market yourself the way you want. A facebook page and twitter account for your business adds a personal connection which creates a loyal customer fan base where they feel like they know you already when they walk into the store or purchse from your online store. I love seeing other moms out there promoting themselves and definitely feel a strong urge to support them the way they support me!

6. Be Passionate about your vision. I always heard “Do something you love and then find a way to get paid for it.” Or was it my husband who finally said to me one day “you need to find a better way to justify buying all these clothes for the kids”. Either way, I was passionate about kids clothing and finding a way to make it into a business.  I believe so strongly that children should dress like children.I can go into a long lecture on the fact that kids are growing up way too fast and kids need to be kids etc..But honestly, classic children’s clothing NEVER goes out of style and can be passed down through generations. There are going to be many times you will be challenged on your vision or criticized. Believe and stand by what you are doing and selling because if you don’t these remarks could derail you – don’t let it. No one can please everyone and provide exactly what everyone wants or needs – be respectful of their remarks but stick to your guns. You are selling your passion and not theirs.

7. Negotiate – Don’t ever be afraid to ask for something. The worst they can say is no. Let’s face it there is nothing that is not negotiable nowadays: rent, website charges, shipping charges – you name it! In the beginning, every dollar counts!

8. Make nice with those doing exactly what you are doing.This is something I feel very strongly about. I have never, nor will I ever, bad-mouth another store in order to make mine seem more appealing. We are all in this together folks. If you truly believe in your store and believe in what you are selling there is no reason to bad mouth the ‘competition’. People shop at your store because they love your store. Period. The customer will decide where they want to shop – you don’t decide for them. I think it is bad practice and just plain bad manners to put down others in your community who are working just as hard as you are. Go and introduce yourself – see what they have that you don’t offer and send people there when they are looking for something you don’t have. Believe me, they will do the same back to you and everyone wins then. Learn from each other, support one another – it will only help you in the long run.

9. Advertise Everywhere. In the first year of your new business it is so important you budget enough to advertise in every single media outlet. Newspapers, Magazines, Social Media, School Auctions, Radio etc…After 1 year of this you will get a feel of what really brought people to your store. Many people will say how they heard of you and be sure to take note of that. At the 1 year mark cut back on everything but the ones that really made the difference. Focus on those in a big way. Buy the full-page ad in the one magazine that worked the best instead of all those 1/4 page ones you were putting in everywhere. I started out with close to 25 different advertising venues and am down to 5 which work the best for my particular store.

10. Give back. If you find yourself having even moderate success with your venture it is your duty to give back. Let me tell you greed has never gotten anyone anywhere.. I don’t know anyone who can’t spare even a little bit to help those in need. I have been lucky enough to be able to combine my two passions – my store and Operation Smile into one. We donate 10% of our sales to Operation Smile providing life-changing surgeries for children all over the world. Our customers feel good knowing that with every purchase they are helping fund this wonderful organization.. 

Okay, so I couldn’t get down to 10, so we’re including 11! :)

11. NEVER EVER give up! Don’t take no for an answer when you believe in something so strongly. After months and months negotiating with a very weary leasing agency who had just seen another children’s clothing store close in the area I received a call that the final decision was a ‘no’. That was not a possibility to me. I drove to their offices that afternoon with print-outs that I handed to every person in that room with reasons #1 thru 10 why they were making a huge mistake and why I believed in my vision.  You can’t argue when something is right there spelled out on paper in black and white. I read through that list 1 thru 10 emphatically stating in each point why what I was doing was different than anything that had been done before and would not fail. I knew I would not leave that room without a lease on that space and they knew it too. Perhaps they gave in to me because they were sick of having me come to their offices over and over again, or perhaps the old-school handouts did the trick, either way 24 hours later that storefront was mine…and the rest is Luxaby Baby & Child history.

Be sure to follow Molly and Luxaby Baby and Child on Facebook and Twitter!

Freshly Launched :: Dotmine

Freshly Launched :: Dotmine

Launched :: Sarah and Lisa

LaunchHER says ::  There’s nothing like a successful relaunch!  Congrats to Dotmine Group for {re}launching in 2010 and giving us the chance to celebrate their success!  Two incredible women – neighbors, mothers, multi-taskers, like so many of us, who had an idea… and have developed it and revised it into the Dotmine Group that launched in 2010!  Check out their story and INCREDIBLE promo code!

In HER words ::

The idea to begin selling planners began 10 years ago, after careers as corporate marketing gurus.  Goodbye days of selling underwear and laundry detergent.  Hello, lots of dots.

As neighbors staring with awe and love at the first of what someday would be seven usually delightful children, we created dotmine day planners.  No one else was making planners with brilliant art.  Planners that would fit in purses and diaper bags, weighing the same as a paperback.  That cost $25 or less.  That would be bold, bright and intuitive.

 

Now, dotmine is a retro product, bringing scheduling bliss to active individuals and busy families.  Our planners create a permanent record of your life, with plenty of space for recording meetings, events, notes, milestones, and best-laid plans. 

Customer input has brought tear-out margins for grocery lists, to-do lists, and holiday wish lists; stickers for events such as birthdays, breast self-exams, and date nights; and a babysitter’s info page that you complete once and leave on the counter.

 

We still get goosebumps when customers say we’ve changed their lives… 

 Lynn, an artist who directs a fiber institute in Washington, says, “The last ‘planner’ crashed, and instead of just landing on the floor, my entire schedule went blank.  Now, a step back is a step ahead, to less stress and a more simplistic life.”

There’s the solider in Baghdad who uses her dotmine planner to add a bit of beauty to her day; the woman with ADD who depends on the planner to manager her daily life, and the gentleman who mails the year’s favorite to his mom in England…

We love helping you balance this crazy thing called life.  We understand.  Today we’re selecting next year’s cover art and inspirational weekly quotes, managing Facebook and Twitter, planning a birthday party, attending a band concert, and visiting the parent we just moved into an assisted living apartment.  You know — trying to live with grace and joy.

Just for LaunchHER readers :: Enter code LAUNCHHER2011 and receive 35% off your entire purchase!!!