Copyright Simplified Ebook

{First Ever} Hello, Cyber Monday!

The simple 5-step do-it-yourself formula for protecting your business, brand & legacy

The simple 5-step do-it-yourself formula for protecting your business, brand & legacy

Today is a day of firsts ::

  • LaunchHER’s first-ever Cyber Monday Deal; and,
  • The official launch of the Copyright Simplified Ebook!

The long-awaited Copyright Simplified Ebook is now available! Get your copy here! {and use code “CM50” for half-off!}

Copyright Simplified: The simple 5-step do-it-yourself formula for protecting your business, brand and legacy is the first of its kind ebook. For anyone creating, whether it be books, illustrations, art, jewelry, designs, content, programs, music or dance, registering your work with the US Copyright Office is the best way you can protect your work from copycats.

66 pages of in-depth explanations and instructions makes it feel like an experienced copyright attorney is sitting alongside you, guiding you through a process that can sometimes be confusing and frustrating. Banish the confusion and frustration, get this book and learn how to protect your own work, whenever you like. No need to hire an attorney.

AND, in celebration of the launch and Cyber Monday, we are offering the book for half-price, today only! Use the code CM50, spend about the same amount as you would on a fancy holiday coffee drink, and invest in a resource that will pay for itself over and over again.


Mother’s Day Steals & Deals Roundup

On Monday, we put a call out via our May’s Look @ Me Monday for our

fabulous women business owner friends to share their Mother’s Day shop specials.

What an amazing response!

Thanks to all who participated ~ we appreciate you from the bottom of our hearts.

And now, THE DEALS!

Mother’s Day tea party printables from Kinder-Craze

Romantic & vintage inspired jewelry & treasures at Nesting Pretty {20% off with MOM20}

Hand-stamped jewelry & handmade items from Amy Cornwell

Smockfrock ~ stylish clothing cover for those in assisted living, nursing homes by Liz & Ett

Personalized two-tone charm necklace from Sima Gilady

Handmade dog jewelry from For Love of a Dog

Cara’s Scrap n Stamp ~ 15% off with code “MOTHER”

Bizzy Fizz Bath treats ~ 30% off with code “4MOM13”

Gourmet, handmade chocolate from My Piece of Chocolate

Luxurious & natural skin care & spa treatments from Storm Sister Spatique

Handmade herbal soaps from All Things Herbal ~ free soap with code “LaunchHER”

Fine artisan jewelry from Alison Julien ~ 20% off with code “WELCOME”

Preppy monogrammed iphone cases from Palm Beach Parties ~ 20% with code “LAUNCHMOM”

Whipped sugar scrubs from The Bath Cafe

Women’s clothing, sportswear, yoga pants ~ Title Nine Walnut Creek ~ 20% off

Party favors & gift baskets from Olive It Boutique

Hawaiian-inspired bath & body from Shaka Soap

Jewelry for the Alpha mom from Aussen Wolf Designs

FREE printables from Greyson Design

Doll baby headbands from Bella the Bear

Mini gardens in hand-blown glass terrariums by Eden Condensed

Gift candles for pet lovers from Nelli Designs

Heart jewelry from Hearts of Stone ~ 20% off with code “MOTHER”

Bags & buckets in great fabric designs from Shaggy Baggy

Chalkboards from Strawberry Monday

Eco-friendly, handmade soy candles from  The Prismatic Peacock

Antique spoon necklace from Elegantly Eclectic

Organic cotton tie dye ring sling auction from Shanna’s Tie Dye

Beautiful stationery for paper lovers from Pushing Papers

Nutty goodies & treats from Nut Whats ~ 15% off with code “nuts4mom”

Happy Mother’s Day to all!


{Brand Protection in 3 Steps} Celebrate World Intellectual Property Day

To celebrate World Intellectual Property Day, here are 3 steps you can take now to protect your brand:

  1. Register for trademark protection with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Consider registering your logo, brand name, or product names.
  2. Register your original works for copyright protection. Federal copyright registration gives your original works additional protection against copycats.
  3. Protect your business secrets with a Non-Disclosure Agreement {NDA}. Non-Disclosure Agreements prevent others from stealing your business secrets. Think this doesn’t apply to you? Think again. Business secrets may be your business processes, procedures, ideas, methods, formulas, patterns & other confidential information.

Don’t wait to protect your business’s intellectual property ~ take steps today & sleep easy tonight.

{Not sure where to start? We can help! LaunchHER offers affordable trademark, copyright, NDAs & more, provided by licensed attorney, Kara Jensen Zitnick. Contact us for more information.}

{LaunchHER Loves} Shopping for a Cause :: Maiden Minnesota

As if you needed another reason to look forward to Friday, Maiden Minnesota is happening THIS Friday!
We are excited to attend and shop this amazing event again this year. The Maidens never cease to amaze with their talent, creativity, professionalism and energy.
Can’t wait to see the new vendors and favorites from past years. Our holiday giving always includes goodies from this great extravaganza.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26th · 5 pm – 10 pm

Spend a fun evening with friends.

Enjoy cocktails, exclusive sales, and a silent auction to benefit Project SUCCESS. This stylish,
charitable shopping event will feature beauty, fashion, accessories, food, décor and more from some
of the most dynamic women-owned companies in Minnesota.

Ticket Information:
Tickets $20 in advance at $30 at the door. Price includes one drink ticket and a $5 donation to Project Success.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Licensing, But Didn’t Know Who to Ask





LaunchHER Says:  Jenny Ford, creator of Monkey Toes Shoes and LaunchHER League member, shares with us today her experience in licensing her adorable original designs. Read on to find out everything you ever wanted to know about licensing, from an entrepreneur’s perspective.

Jenny Says:  You ever talk about a subject that interests you only to have the person you’re talking to stare at you blankly? Ya, I get that a lot.  Especially on the topic of licensing.  Licensed products are something everyone has encountered, you probably own several, yet the average consumer has no idea what is a licensed product.  

Monkey Toes have been licensed.  Another company manufacturers the products for me, but since I own Intellectual Property (IP), meaning the Trademark (TM), Registered Trademark (R), and Copyright (c) , I am able to enter into a “Licensing Agreement” with another company (the Licensee).  NO, I did not sell my company.  I simply authorized, as a Licensor, another company to produce products (my example is shoes) using my Registered TM (Monkey Toes) and Copyrights (the designs on my shoes).  I still have 100% control over my company, I just now have someone creating product for me, instead of me manufacturing (hand painting) product myself. Does that make sense?  

What does the Licensee handle?  They handle the manufacturing and distribution of your products.  Hopefully they already have established manufacturers and sales channels in which your products will slide right into.  

There are Pro’s & Con’s to licensing:  

1 – You don’t make all the profit, you are paid in a percentage of sales, called royalties, BUT you don’t have to fork over the money up front to produce all the product either.  Royalties vary depending on the industry, how long you’ve been in business, past sales, etc.  Everything about a licensing agreement is negotiable.

2 – You have say in everything that your name and designs are on.  You have to be a little accommodating and compromise frequently because this is a working relationship.  Both parties are out to make money, keep that in mind.  As long as you have a similar vision, you must trust the licensee to pull it off.  

3 – Have a savings of $$ built up because you may not be paid right away.  Royalties are typically paid quarterly, it’s always good to have some money in the bank or inventory to sell while you wait for everything to launch.  Checks in the beginning can be small and seasonal depending on buying seasons for your industry.  

4 – It can be a long process – from initial contact with the licensee to launch was about 18 months, for me, which is probably slower than average – give or take a few months (my memory is foggy).  

5 – This can allow you to branch off into other categories or improve your product beyond your wildest dreams. Look at the before and after up there.  The new quality, the packaging, it’s all amazing!  And don’t think I could have done that without a mass influx of $$ resources.  

6 – The connections your licensee has could skyrocket your sales and get you into larger stores.  BUT – see #7.

7 – The licensee could make or break your brand.  Unfortunately, this can happen.  Sales slump and they can drop you OR you can drop them.  Write your contract carefully to protect yourself should this happen.  And always be thinking about other ways to license your brand so you can have multiple streams of income. Contract review and drafting services are available through LaunchHER. Contact for more information.

There are probably many more pros/cons, but these are the first off the top of my head.

How did I get my company into licensing?  Funny you should ask…  I had the idea of Licensing in my goal book years ago, not knowing much about it, but thinking it would be a good avenue for my company – since I do own a lot of IP.  A few years ago, I had sent out an email blast to my retailers announcing something (who knows what at this point), and received an email from a Licensing Agent.  Someone who is very well known in the industry (I actually did check many references) – who wondered if I would be interested in being a licensee (the one who purchases a license).  I said no, but that I would be interested in learning more and working to get my artwork and name licensed.  And there you go.  Lesson to write down your goals, you never know how it will happen.

Almost everything around you is licensed.  My favorite example is Disney.  Disney is in the business of characters and theme parks, right?  Do you think they manufacture cute little cup and plate sets too?  No, they license another company to do that for them.  I’m guessing you/your hubby/son has a baseball hat laying around with your local baseball team’s logo on it?  Look at the tags, it’s a licensed product – I know the Colorado Rockies team has better things to do than embroider my son’s hat.  They’re farming it out to someone who knows the hat/embroidery industry and has connections to move mass amounts of products.  

You might be Licensor if:  You own the Trademark and Copyrights to products you own.  This could also work for a Patent, but I don’t have experience there.  You have a product that can be mass manufactured.  Like Monkey Toes or Lolita Designs with her art on glassware and tons of other products – 

You might be a Licensee if:  You’d be interested in putting a license on your existing product, like collegiate logos/mascots, Disney characters, video game characters.   A great example of this is Swaddle Designs and their Angry Bird Collection, as seen here:

Any questions?  Type them up below.   If you have in-depth questions, I do some consulting in this area, and in small business too, and would be happy to set up a time to speak to you over the phone through LaunchHer.   

What’s on YOUR summer bucket list?

Summer can come and go in the blink of an eye.  We asked LaunchHER League Members to share what’s on their Summer Bucket Lists and we want to know what’s on yours too! LH summer bucket list

  • “Journal every night to caputre my thoughts from the day:  the kindness I experienced so I can express my gratefulness for it, the negative thoughts so I can process through them, and etc.  Read a non-business related book…just plain fluff.  I am totally planning on being inspired…we’ll see how it goes.  Take a bath (not a shower), well really having an at-home spa day once a week where I focus on me.”
  • “I’m planning on taking advantage of all the local events this Summer and really getting to know the city we’re stationed in. To go beyond the typical activities that we do on the weekend: Surfing Competition, Farmer Markets, Camping/Mountain Hiking, and Ocean Kayaking.”
-Kristen, Ahoy Graphics
  • “On my must-do list for the summer is to spend time with my husband and our new puppy, visit the local farmer’s market as frequently as possible, and enjoy all of the family celebrations in June and July – 9 birthdays and 6 anniversaries in a 6 week span!”
  • “spend every weekend at the beach with our 4 & 2 year old’s. enjoy the sand, beach, family time.”
-Aimee, Aimee & Co.
  • “The main thing I need to get done this summer is create my Fall line and schedule the photo shoot!”
-Charity, MadiBella
  • “Being a foodie, summer produce is like a good addiction.  I plan on cooking as many meals as possible featuring local tomatoes, corn, squash, peaches, you name it!  Yum!”
  • “Lots of swimming and frozen custard.”
  • “Lemonade stand with my kids, cones at my favorite ice cream shop, and fish tacos!”
-Tracy, LaunchHER
We want to hear from you!  What’s on your Summer Bucket List?

Today is July’s Look @ Me Monday!

LH Look at Me Monday Today is July’s Look @ Me Monday!

We’re jumping for JOY because we absolutely love Look @ Me Monday! It’s your chance to share your newest product, blog post, video, or just plain ole’ anything with us and our community.

Also, it’s a little known fact that we hand-select a few to include in the LaunchHER newsletter each month – could be you…just sayin’. It’s easy and only takes a minute, so hop over to the LaunchHER Facebook Page and leave us a link & a note and we’ll be sure to stop by to take a peek. Looking to network? Be sure to visit some of the other particpants and leave them a comment as well…great biz karma! 😉

{In case you’re a planner, we host Look @ Me Monday the first Monday of the month – so, the next one will be Monday, August 6th  – and the invite is always open!}


Spark & Hustle Wrap-up

Spark and Hustle Minneapolis

We recently had the pleasure of welcoming Tory Johnson of Spark & Hustle {of Good Morning America & Women for Hire, too} to Minneapolis for a one day conference focusing on women entrepreneurs.

From start to finish is was a wonderful conference, and we wish we could tell you each and every detail.  However, we know you don’t want to spend breakfast, lunch, and dinner reading this post – so here’s the abbreviated version…

Rhoda Olsen the CEO of Great Clips kicked off our day and  had so many valuable insights to share after so many years in business, here are just a few snipets:
  • The role of a leader is to grow and change herself
  • Leaders need to figure out the vision that drives them
  • Each of us needs to figure out what we need to do differently, on an individual basis, to be the leader that we want to be.
Jill Blashack Strahan, whom was featured last fall on LaunchHER, had all of our attention as she told her powerful business {and personal} story about Tastefully Simple
  • Keep a “Discovery Journal” — one for your personal life, home and business
  • write down what your “perfect” life would look like
  • Dream It. Believe It. Work It.

Tory Johnson did and incredible job of keeping the day lively, fun, and informative…

  • In sharing her “pink slip” moment, she reminded us all that the naysayers ask “Why would you give up a steady paycheck for something risky?”
  • When it comes to selling, know the difference between asking and hinting!
  • Every woman has the “spark”

It is always a huge joy when we get to meet some of our local LaunchHER League members in person! Here’s who we spotted at Spark & Hustle…

Spark and Hustle

Kara and Talia from Eleanore's Treasures

Spark and Hustle

Deirdre from Deirdre and Co.

Spark and Hustle

Erika from the Daily Whip and Tracy

Tory still has many cities left on her Spark & Hustle tour.  If she is coming to a city near you, it would be a great business investment to attend one yourself.  Each city has it’s own charm because Tory finds local women {and a few men} in business to share their story at the conference.

Today is Look @ Me Monday!

LH Look at Me Monday Today is Look @ Me Monday!

We’re jumping for JOY because we absolutely love Look @ Me Monday! It’s your chance to share your newest product, blog post, video, or just plain ole’ anything with us and our community.

Also, it’s a little known fact that we hand-select a few to include in the LaunchHER newsletter each month – could be you…just sayin’. It’s easy and only takes a minute, so hop over to the LaunchHER Facebook Page and leave us a link & a note and we’ll be sure to stop by to take a peek.  Looking to network?  Be sure to visit some of the other particpants and leave them a comment as well…great biz karma! 😉

{In case you’re a planner, we host Look @ Me Monday the first Monday of the month – so, the next one will be Monday, July 2nd  – and the invite is always open!}


5 Tips For Every Working Mom

We juggle, balance, stretch, and finagle to get as much done as we can in a day.  Whether you work from home, outside the home, or stay at home, here are 5 tips any working mom can for working moms

  1. Be an Early Bird – Jenny Ford of Monkey-Toes Shoes swears by getting up before her little darlings so she can get a jump start on emails and her “to do” list for the day.  Even if this means a early wake-up call, Jenny says it has been a “huge help in her 10+ years of working from home as a mom.”
  2. Drink HOT  Coffee – There’s almost nothing worse than cold coffee, but who has time to actually sit down and drink a entire cup during the morning rush? Tracy at LaunchHER likes to pour her morning coffee directly into a to-go mug, even if she’s not leaving the house immediately.  “The good travel mugs keep coffee hot for hours,” Tracy says, “and it’s one less thing to worry about.”
  3. Prioritize, Seriously! – We know you have heard it before, but setting priorities can make a big difference and Kate of Kate’s Thoughts for Food can attest to this.  “On really busy work days, I create a prioritized lists of to do’s to tackle  during nap or day-care time.  That way I am able to focus on what I really need to get done when I am able to do so and I know that some of the items lower on my list can get pushed to a different day,” says Kate.
  4. Be Present –  Ditch the mommy guilt, and gain focus. “Be totally present where you are. Enjoy being at work when you are at work and make the most of the time when you are with your children. It is not about how much time you spend at either but the quality of the time you do spend. Be present in the space you are in.” comments Molly, Owner at Luxaby Baby & Child.
  5. Have a Back-up Plan – On occasion, even the most meticulously planned workday can get spoiled.  A sitter calls in sick, or you have a client with an urgent need.  “I keep some special activities on reserve for when something unplanned comes up and I need to keep him distracted for 10 minutes!”  says Kate of Kate’s Thoughts for Food. They’re having fun, and you can get to that hot button work issue – sounds like a winning plan.