From Holiday Event to “The Mall” in 48 Hours

I officially “launched” sweet & charming one week ago with Holiday Events for children. The main reason I decided to do “Holiday Events” was because I couldn’t afford to be in the mall… little did I know what was around the corner!

After investigating the upfront costs to do the branding, marketing, deposit, rent, staffing and stocking, it felt like a lot of risk and stress to open a Christmas kiosk at $4250 a month (Nov/Dec), so my Board of Advisors and I decided to test our products and concept in a low risk environment and then re-evaluate in January and open at the mall in the Spring when rent is only $1180 a month for a kiosk.

I remember leaving that August Board Meeting feeling relieved that I didn’t have to sell my Audi to pay for the deposit/rent (basically my only resource), relieved that I “would have one more Christmas Eve with my kids” (it’s a known fact everyone in retail works Christmas eve), but I was disappointed that I would not be apart of the best time of year for sales at the mall. I knew my Board knew best that I couldn’t afford to do it “my way”, so I thanked them for their wisdom and settled to make the Holiday Events smashing…on a limited budget. And they were! I prepared for those events as though they were every bit as important as opening a kiosk (although I would have had more stock).

Because I had inventory, and essentially a great couple of “dress rehearsals” I was not so overwhelmed or scared about moving from “event to mall in 48 hours” when Carolynn Duncan approached me to share a kiosk at the mall for her experiment.

Yesterday in an interview filmed by our friends at Copper Rain for The Hundred Dollar Business experiment (for Carolynn’s blog and media blitz), I was asked what the #1 thing I have learned from all this and I answered, “Be Prepared”, because if I hadn’t had inventory, if I hadn’t thought through what I wanted to sell and how I wanted to represent the sweet & charming brand, then I would have lost an opporunity of a lifetime. I am amazed at how God set this all up–low risk, MALL AT CHRISTMAS, testing products, and I can focus on what to sell, creating the buzz, and planning/executing special events, but I am not required to staff it…unless I want to! (That is priceless at Christmas when you have 3 kids! 😉 That it isn’t required with my contract with Carolynn. I will see everyone often however, I love to be there when I can.

images.jpgToday’s Magic Wand: Be prepared…you just never know what’s around the corner, your dreams are waiting to be fulfilled.

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