Starting again…with experience

I would have never predicted my entrepreneurial journey.  I liked the idea of having something “my own”, but I also REALLY liked the idea of vacation meaning no contact with your job – at all.  So marrying Bill and diving into his journey of being an entrepreneur was a trip!  He opened his own commodity brokerage in Fall of 2001.  For our wedding the next year it was impressive for him to take 3 days off the week of the wedding.  During our trip over New Years in 2002 he would trade commodities and check in with clients in the morning and then hit the beach with us in the afternoon.  It was his normal and my “new normal”.  WHOA!

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(Bill was trying to be overly enthusiastic here, I just thought he was really excited about the photo op 😉 )

That was the beginning of my entrepreneurial training and when the “itch” started.  And now, as I look at the next step in my career – a Matilda Jane trunk keeper – I’m actually giddy to  bring ALL the knowledge that I’ve built through the last 11 years.  The cliché that the mistakes make you better, that you can’t get to the good stuff without going through some bad, that experience brings knowledge – all those sayings are true.  I will be able to sell clothes BETTER because I can explain them since learning how to design and sew with my mom through bridget&lucy (the biz, not the kids 😉 ).  I will be able to set up my rack with quirky, stylish decorations because mom and I went to quilt market as vendors and had to stand out from the crowd.  I will be able to organize my orders and take care of my customers because I’ve gathered that information for bridget&lucy (the biz) and for Lock It and Leave It Storage.  I will be kind to every person I encounter at my shows because doing that alongside Bill for Lock It and Leave It Storage has TRULY taught me that’s what people want most, even in a business transaction.

Pederson Family!_63I will HAVE FUN and enjoy every minute.  Another thing time does for you is make you keenly aware that our time is always limited.  It’s worth packing it full of experiences and adventures because you never really know how many you get.  For me, entrepreneurship changed my “job” into my life and there are no distinct lines anymore.  I didn’t think I wanted that when I first entered the work world but now I believe that’s how you truly are able to love what you do.  You enjoy every moment, every interaction, every challenge, every hard spot and  most importantly, every victory.  Here we go again!!!

meganandmatildapic

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Compassion + Business

I just got back from my first Matilda Jane conference – whoa.

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There are so many amazing things I would like to list about this company, and I’m sure my blog posts will bend that way for a while, but there is one thing in particular I want to focus on today.

The founder, Denise, and her husband, David, recently launched a new foundation – The Mighty Acorn Foundation. They started by building an orphanage in Kitale,Kenya and are now working on securing sponsors for the many, many girls whose lives will change when they get to live at the new orphanage instead of returning to the slums of Kitale after school everyday.  The piece that was so awesome to me is that we are a group of women selling children’s clothes – BUT when you talk about changing children’s lives we are much, much more.  We are a group of mother’s with a pit in our stomach imagining ANY of those beautiful faces being our child, we are privileged Americans that can barely fathom the depths of poverty these children experience on a daily basis, we are savvy business women that can affect others’ lives by the way we do business, but mostly we are human.  We are people trying to figure out how to make a positive influence on a life that can, for many, be so so hard we will never understand their reality.

So today I am beyond thankful for the company I am newly a part of.  I am thankful for the opportunity to not only change children’s lives, but to be able to share how others can do the same.  The coolest part of the website to me is the ability to see what children have already been sponsored.  As of Friday, when we saw the presentation, there were 18 girls sponsored.  Take a look now! 😉

 

The next adventure

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Well, I think you’ve all heard enough about my, “what will bridget&lucy the biz be next” posts.  I would link them here but I’m afraid to look at how many there actually are ;).  Mom and I have closed the bridget&lucy store and our Etsy shop.  I feel like whenever we wanted to sew or be creative we would think “we still have to figure out what we’re doing with our biz” and then that would stop us – or at least me.  We both came to the conclusion that the bridget&lucy ride was AMAZING, but it was also OK if it didn’t continue.

Life is moving forward and there are adventures happening!  Bill and I opened Lock it and Leave It Storage and it has been an experience!  We have learned a TON and now work in the same office – so far so good ;).  The biggest thing I have learned so far – if you are nice to people who want storage they will be blown away and be your best customers.  Why are there so many crabby storage facility owners?  Luckily for our customers – Bill and I are not crabby! (most of the time).  Check your listings for Storage Wars Sioux Falls – I’m sure the network will be knocking on our door when they figure out I’ve unlocked the universal secret to being a good storage facility owner – being nice.  Kidding – I’m pretty sure “being nice” doesn’t sell reality TV – but it should!

Next big adventure – I’m now a Matilda Jane Clothing trunk keeper (super cute and fancy word for – saleswoman! ;)).  I have LOVED this brand forever and have dressed my children in their clothing for just as long.  About a month after officially deciding to close bridget&lucy, the opportunity to join the company presented itself.  Talk about divine timing – lucky me!  If you love the clothes too and are dying to have a party – I know a girl ;).  And to finalize – a gratuitous picture of my children in the clothing I’m now selling – shameless plug or passionate businesswoman move? You decide!

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What happens when creativity is sidelined?

Life – you crazy cat you. What happens when you take time to build a creative business; build the brand with fancy things like a blog, a twitter handle, a facebook account, etc. etc. – and then plans change? Do you scrap all the work? Do you close down the whole deal? I’ve wrestled that idea over and over when thinking about bridget&lucy – the biz – I promise not to scrap the two small peope that live with me who go by the same names 😉

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I don’t believe bridget&lucy has hit the end of it’s journey.  It’s in a resting phase.  Mom and I jumped ALL in – with sewing knowledge (hers) and some tech saavy (mine) and went for it!  We got to a point in producing clothes where we had to start finding more outlets to sell our clothing – crap!  We didn’t know how to do that yet!  SO – we decided with life as it was, we could produce our original designs as sewing patterns and sell them to sewing stores and digitally.  So we went to Quilt Market – and it rocked!  Awesome!  Then, as ALL sewing pattern writers experience, we started dealing with people copying our designs and selling them on their own.   Oy – not something we liked dealing with at all!  (Am I right Art Moms and Rebekah Scott?)  That being said, it’s the reality of being in the creativity biz.

SO – what’s next?  We have a million ideas brewing and we’re just waiting for the next one to jump out at us – cause we’re not done! In the meantime I’m going to try and blog about the creativity that is going on right now – like knitting this adorable pattern by pink brutus for the girls –

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Adorbs.  I won’t be including the tattoos for them at this point :).  Although I’m contemplating a new one for me.  Another big something that has snuck into my life – Reiki!  I’m now a level two certified Reiki pracitcioner.  It’s amazing. Life is good people – LIFE IS GOOD!

What’s everyone doing to stay creative right now?  Since I JUST took Christmas down(you can laugh) I’m having fun rearranging the house and decor.

 

 

 

 

This internet thing is pretty awesome

I had to share this great story.  We just listed custom Ruffle Joy skirts on our site and our first order came rolling in this morning.  Since we need specific information I responded to the order with a  list of questions.  This is the email I received back with all names changed so I don’t over expose someone else’s children on the internet – I do that enough with my own 😉

“Dear Megan,

I am your Mom’s dear friend from High School, Susie. I have to run and pick up Annie who the skirt is for and her big brother Nelson. I will get the measurements while they spend the afternoon with me and get back to you. I look forward to having this beautiful skirt for Annie. It will mean alot to me. I spent time watching your Mom sew, and could never believe how amazing she was. I do remember when she was sewing her baby blue prom dress that was a very beautiful, but heavy fabric, and she sewed through one of her fingers! That is my memory anyway. Is Kim currently on vacation as advertised in the x-mas card? I do need her e-mail as I am going to send her a photo of us in our prom dresses!!!
Thanks so much,
Susie”
Seriously – is that the BEST email order ever?!?!?  It truly is amazing how small the world gets when connected through technology.  Now if I only had a picture of that prom dress…

Contest to Help Us Out!

We need your help.  In 14 days bridget&lucy will be pitching two different book ideas and a gift line to experts in the fields of publishing and wholesaling.  With the new social media buzz, publishers and wholesalers like the idea of a social media presence.  Here’s where you come in and we reward you.  If you could forward this to friends you think would enjoy bridget&lucy and encourage them to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter we would be THRILLED!  {Facebook page  http://www.facebook.com/bridgetandlucy.handmadegirls  Twitter page http://twitter.com/#!/bridgetandlucy }  And the good part for you – we will choose a winner on Facebook AND Twitter to each receive a Ruffle Joy skirt and Mop Top hat.   ALSO – if the winners are new followers or fans the person that referred them will win their chose of 2 free patterns or a clothing item.  It’s a WIN WIN!!!!  Thank you so very much for helping us out along this wild journey!!  – Megan and Kim

A little love for photographers

I’m a serial photographer hopper.  It’s not something I’m proud of because I think there is something special to having a long term connection with your photographer.  But – there are too many good ones in our area to use just one!  I have heard feedback from photographers I’ve used and some I haven’t yet, that it would be a good idea to focus some groupings of products for photographers.  Their wish is my command.  Enter bridget&lucy’s closet – the originally designed clothing and accessories line making a splash with photographers and their clients.  We put together some skirt groupings, specially priced, aimed at photographers and their prop and clothing stash!  You will also notice a new header at the top of our blog page – *Photographers* – that talks about the concept.  Here’s one of my favorite photos of our products by Rod Evans.  I feel like it captures what our business is all about.  And that is what all these amazing photographers do – capture our very special, very fleeting moments.  ENJOY!

Oh boy – we figured out video!

So one of the many inspirations from Mom2.0Summit was to use more video.  Since mom and I are SO visual and SO social – video seemed like a perfect match.  I set up a YouTube channel and had mom come over for our first taping.  The whole thing weirds her out, she doesn’t understand anything I’m talking about when I discuss “YouTube channels” but she’s game for about anything!  The first video we had to do was our trick to smoothing ruffles.  It’s so easy to get frustrated with your Ruffle Joy or Ruffle Playdate skirt if your ruffles are crumply or wrinkled.  Well – we have solved that problem and made a video to walk you through it.  Mom is going viral – I can feel it!