Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bad, bad blogger (family update)

OK, I realize it's been over a month since I last posted but I have good reasons =) I have been busy with the 2 businesses, Evan's therapies, and all these holidays! Unfortunately, I pulled something in my back which I thought was better until the other day, and snap! It's back and worse! I called my insurance company to see if I could get approval to see a chiropractor and they said we haven't had insurance since November! So, I am treating myself through my heating pad and old muscle relaxers left over from my TMJ pain. I can stand up for about 5 minutes before it starts to pull again. Hopefully Adam will get the insurance thing worked out soon.

Luckily, the kids are still insured which is needed for Evan's hearing test coming up soon that he has to be sedated for- I would hate to see that bill!

Evan has been showing improvements in all of his therapies, so his 33% delay is now at a 25% delay which dosen't seem like a lot but we're heading in the right direction. We're hoping the hearing test will give us some answers.

Dylan is doing really well in Kindergarden and I recently had our first parent/teacher confrence and the teacher says he is a great listener, helpful, and patient! He is on holiday break now and is "sooooo bored" but I haven't been able to do much with my back so Adam took him to the movies the other night and last night he went to Grandma's house... THANKS MOM! You have single handily saved my sanity today.

As for the holidays, this year we celebrated Chanukua early with my in-laws at Thanksgiving time, so we did X-mas with my family. We decorate our "Chanukua tree" with blue and silver as usual and added our new star of david ornament we found at Disney but I didn't take pics this year because Evan pretty much would take the decorations off, even sliding his chair over to reach further! He then decided to decorate it with his Hess trucks! Really, I found a truck smack dab in the middle of the tree. Looks like it may have been flying when it crashed =)

We went to my mom's for x-mas and exchanged gifts. Every year my sister gets something noisy for my kids, so this year I thought it would be funny to get a child size drum set for her 1 1/2 year old daughter, Trista! She actually plays it! I think this one may back fire on me next year......

This year was incredibly tight financially, so we didn't spend a lot of money but still had a good time with family which is the best part anyway. Evan got a red Radio Flyer tricycle (with a very cool compartment on the back that he likes to hide thigs in) and Dylan got a really cool scooter that he was actually able to ride the other day at the park due to some strange warm weather we had.

Tonight we are looking forward to going to a family friendly New Year's party that one of Dylan's friend's parents are having so that should be fun- wonder if I can bring my heating pad??

See you all in 2010!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Vote for the Bubele Loop & Snappy on Yak About It!

Stop by at Yak About it to vote for my invention, the Bubele loop sewn into baby clothing and accessories and Snappy to attach a pacifier! Today, I am up against People Food for Dogs, and they're winning, so C'mon, help a fellow mama out and vote for me!! =)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Business coaching for momprenuers

Ever hear of business coaching? It's a person you hire to give you information/advice to improve your business. It could be improvements to your business plan, marketing, website, etc...

Over the past couple years while developing Bubele and joining tons of social networking sites to help spread the word about my new brand, as well as connect with other small business owners to share tips, I have come across tons of offers for "coaching." I always laughed at the idea of having someone coach me, thinking "what are they possibly going to tell me?" That doesn't mean I didn't think I knew all the answers or I had the perfect marketing plan but I did know that I had certain problem areas that needed improvement and that I just needed to focus more to change those things. I thought having a coach would just point out what I already knew what was wrong. I didn't want to pay for that!

Even though being very skeptical, I have been following "The Mogul Mom", Heather Allard, a business coach, on Twitter, facebook, and I have been receiving her newsletter for a year I think. I have to admit, I am one of those newsletter subscribers that just skims through a newsletter, half-reading it and then deleting it! But after a few of Heather's newsletters that are jam packed with solid advice, those emails same became my partner. I began labeling several of these emails, such as "marketing" because it just wasn't one of those emails that gives you a tid bit of info, no, her newsletters were actually useful. There are plenty of times when Heather outlines a very important tip and how to implement it.

Like all good blogs, Heather offers contests. It just so happened she was offering a free coaching package that I had won! After seeing how skeptical I am about coaches (if you've half-red this post, see above =) you may wonder why the heck would I try to win this coaching package? Well, Heather is just not any business coach, she developed her own baby product, marketed it, and sold the company. This is how she became a coach for mom entrepreneurs. She knows the business and I wanted a glimpse!

So, what did I get out of it? A kick in the ass!! Yeah, she mentioned some problem areas that I already knew about but she had instructions of what to do and how to change it! It was basically like having a partner for 2 weeks. I let her know my problems and concerns and she always had an answer! I wanted a way to get more sales, she said go here and place an ad. OK, done. She noticed I was not describing my patent pending feature, the Bubele Loop (to attach a paci) well enough on my website. I began changing pictures and descriptions on my site to better explain my features and why you can't live without my products! OK, this one is going to take awhile to finish, but at least it's a start!

Anyways, I had problems, Heather had answers! So, now what do I think of business coaching? Well, I definitely know what they are all about now that I have worked with a great coach so I can share what I have learned. A great coach, like Heather Allard, will get to know your product, website, and your market in order to give you valuable ways to improve your business. Obviously Heather is so good because she was a mom entrepreneur who knows my market, who's been there herself! Maybe this is the key to a great coach.

If you're running around in circles trying to figure out what your next step is, or if you need someone to help you acknowledge goals, or even help carry out your own goals you set for yourself, I will tell you Heather is worth every penny she charges! Forget about wondering if it would actually work or not, it will! How much money did you waste this year on trying to figure out what works? Let Heather get you focused for the new year and I guarantee you will be thanking me!

Now, if you are just starting out as a new mom entrepreneur, hire Heather now! If I would of hired her 2 years ago, it wouldn't have taken me the past 2 years to learn what I have learned.

I've contacted Heather to let her know I am going to ramble on about her services and she let me know she has this special going on right now:

I've extended the 20% off coaching special until Sunday, November 15, 2009. Just use THANKS at checkout for 20% any coaching package.

Don't overthink this one, just do this! It's not expensive and after she's done with you, you'll wonder why she dosen't charge more =)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Update on Evan's early intervention

It's been a few months since Evan started in the early intervention program and he defintely is making great improvements! We started out with one day a week of speech therapy and one more day another teacher would come and just work on general stuff. After seeing some imporvement, we wanted to push! We then requested to increase his speech services to 2 times a week where one of the days the therapist would go to pre school with him. So far so good! He has been learning some basic signs like "help" "more" "eat" etc. He now uses words with the signs and is a little easier to communicate with him- before he was so frustrated!!

A few weeks ago, it was time for EI services to review his progress and they determained that he was really delayed in gross and fine motor skills =( When I found out, it was like a kick in the gut and I just wanted to cry, but we are moving forward! Evan now receives 4 days a week in therapies. A new OT, Beth has started with him once a week on top of his other 3 days of therapy- PHEW! It's a lot, but we are hanging in there and juggling it all!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bubele Bums New AIO Diaper Giveaway! *CLOSED*

I have been wanting to do a giveaway for these new dipes for awhile and I'm so sorry it has taken me so long to do this!!

This giveaway is super special to me because as some of you may know I had a hard time financing these diapers that I counted on selling at competitive prices to raise some capital for Bubele. Well, now they're here and quite a few moms say they absolutely love them!

So, because this is a special giveaway, I want to do a big one as a way of saying "THANKS" to all those cloth diaper mamas who keep spreading the word about Bubele!

Let's do this!

What you'll get:
*1 Chocolate/Sage dots minky AIO
*1 Chocolate/sage basic AIO
*Your choice of 1 chocolate/blue dots or chocolate/pink dots minky AIO
*1 Wetbag
*3 Snap in liners
*3 Snappies

How to win:

1. Visit my online store and tell me what you love (I like compliments =)

2. Tweet about it

3. Follow me on Twitter @bubele

4. Add me on Facebook

5. Blog about me or the contest

You will get 1 entry for each one above! Please post each one separately for an accurate entry count. Also, please post your email or a way to get in contact with you if you are the winner!

Good luck!

Contest will end Tuesday Oct. 13, 2009 at 9 AM EST.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Bubele Bums AIO diapers are here!!

I am so excited to introduce these new AIO diapers! This shipment came to me today which was a good surprise because I wasn't expecting them! Good thing they came in the morning because we had Evan's teacher coming to the house in the afternoon and tons of other stuff going!! I'm a little overwhelmed with the amount of stock I have now.....

I have a couple different options with these great AIO diapers. I wanted to do a competitive price on a bulk starter pack so I am offering these on my website:

12 Basic AIO diapers
12 Snap in boosters
6 Cloth wipes
1 Wetbag
1 Snappy

But for my very supportive Ebay Mamas, I am offering an Intro price where you can win one diaper to give these a test drive =)
You can try your luck at one of the auctions starting at $1 or buy them for $12!

Don't forget to check out the super cute printed Minky AIO diapers on my site: MINKY AIO
These are a little pricier at $24 but match them with my clothing or leg warmers and it's well worth it!! The leg warmers are a little delayed but will be here soon.

Stay tuned here for contests and keep checking on the website because I am adding more cute product pics as all chocolate prints will be in next month so BUY BUY BUY! Please!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Explaining death to a 5 year old....

This picture was taken the last time we saw my father-in-law, Marty or AKA "Grandpa Marty". He has been battling Crohn's disease all of his life and has been very sick on and off for quite some time. He actually was going to cancel the trip to meet us in NY because he was recovering still from being very sick. This was in May and we knew it would be a special trip to take the boys to see a Mets game with Grandpa Marty, but I would have never guessed it would be our last time together.

We drove down, which is about 5 hours from us to pick up my FIL from the airport and drive to the hotel near the new Mets stadium. It ended up being a dive of a hotel, but we made the most of it! We had some time before the night game to grab some dinner so we decided on Chinese. Since Marty worked at JFK for years and knew the city pretty well, he wanted to try and find a really good authentic restaurant. So, we asked one of the driver's and away we went!

I have never had such great Chinese food before. It was extremely fresh. I remember what we all ordered to. It's like family style, so you order platters of things and pick out what you want. Of course I got the kids sweet & sour chicken (which is fried) so I also ordered vegetable lo mein, grilled chicken and broccoli, and Marty got steamed fish (he was trying to be good). But the longer we sat, the more me and Marty started to pick at all the left over food- there ws no way of eating it all.... Of course, Marty wanted to take it with us.

We freshened up and went off to see the Mets! We were all decked out in our gear. We had our Mets hats, Dylan in his Met shirt, Adam in his Met Jersey and he gave Marty a Met jacket. Dylan belongs to a Kid's fan club so he got all kinds of cool stuff like a lanyard, backpack, and hat! We were on our way to find our seats (which weren't the best, but not the worst) and Adam said he had to go off to the ticket office to get something that came with Dylan's flan club pack. Minutes later, Jen (from the Pepsi giveaway crew I think) came up to us and says we have been randomly selected to get an upgrade on our seats!! I called Adam immediately so we could go check out our new seats which was only a few rows away from the field! It was crazy... Adam had been talking about bringing his dad to a game for awhile and we actually did it and got this awesome upgrade!

Marty was a trooper. He had restless leg syndrome as well as severe gout in his legs right before he came, but he sat through most of the game, clapped and laughed with the kids, and of course made some jokes which he was famous for :)

I am so glad we got this time with him because we rarely get to see Adam's parents who lived in Florida. Once we had the kids, we started only coming once a year right after we visited Disney which became the tradition.

Over a month ago, Adam got a call that he should get down there ASAP because his dad was back in the hospital and he was not doing well. He seemed to be going back and forth with his heath but it didn't look good, so Adam went down as soon as possible. At that point, he was on life support and unresponsive. As the days went on, the prognosis got worse. Other family came to see him, so Adam came back home and we had to start planning on the worse case scenario and how we would all get down there, and then there's telling Dylan.... We decided to wait until we knew for sure what was going to happen. He knew Daddy was visiting Grandpa Marty in the hospital because he was very sick.

This was one of the hardest things we had to do.... look Dylan in those big blue eyes and tell him Grandpa Marty was dying. How do you explain this to a 5 year old? We thought about it for awhile before we actually approached him together. As Adam began to explain how sick he was, Dylan's eyes grew bigger and I could see the anxiety inside him, he knew. We had talks about death so we think he understands when we told him what was happening. He cried some and snuggled up on my lap. We wanted to be as open with him as possible and encouraged him to ask questions, which he did. At this point, Me and Adam were crying a bit and then Dylan looks up and asks "What are eyebrows for?" OK, we burst into laughing. Adam actually answered the question (in great detail) and then we talked about Grandpa Marty some more.

A couple days later, they decided to take him off life support knowing that he would not want to go on like he was. We started the 24 hr. drive to Fl, stopping once half-way through. Dylan knew that when we got to FL, we would stay awhile and end up going to a funeral which was explained to him at home. We were in the car, when we got the news that He had passed away. Luckily Adam's sister got to be with him.

I don't think we told Dylan right away, I think we may have waited until we stopped to rest. In fact, I think he actually brought it up. I had a long time in the car to think about all the great memories we had with him. I was mad, for selfish reasons, that Evan would not be able to get to know him like Dylan did. He was truly great with Dylan. He called him "Hollywood".

In the Jewish faith, you have to be buried right away, so the funeral was just a couple days later. We did take the boys to it. Evan wasn't old enough to really understand what was happening, but Dylan certainly did. We felt he needed this as closure, and I let him take some of the sand from Israel and place it on the coffin.

It's so hard to know if you are doing the right thing or saying the right thing to your own children. We didn't want to do something that could traumatize him for life, but we knew that Dylan could handle this. He very bright and intuitive for his age. He knows what is going on around him.

A couple days later, we decided to start back from home. As I mentioned earlier, we always go to Disney and then to Grandma and Grandpa's house. Well, while we were in FL, it was actually only a couple weeks before we had flights to head down there, to visit them first before heading to Disney this time around. We decided to go back home so we could separate this expedience from our family trip.

My biggest regret is not thanking Marty for the help with my business. He was a freight forwarder for years at JFK, so when it came down to me needing assistance with this part of my business, he took care of me. I always thought I would have more time to thank him, and I should know better than anyone that you can't put things off because things can happen!! So, this is another great life lesson learned, and that is all we can do from these experiences is learn.

Grandpa Marty, you will be in our hearts forever and will be truly missed!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Clearance! 75% off of everything in stock!

It's about time I get some new stock in, right? Well, it's been long overdue but it's coming soon!

I have made a few changes to the patterns and have completely changed the pink color so I have to move out this old stock to get ready for all the new stuff coming in!

I recently changed my site, so not everything that is in stock is online. I have many long sleeve body suits that are available so please email me if you would like these. I will be putting them online later this evening!

Enter code "clearout" at checkout or if you are emailing me your order to check what else I have in stock, I can send you an invoice with the sale prices.

Now off to go bike riding with the family! I haven't rode a bike in years so this should be interesting!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Navigating through early intervention

For the past few months, we noticed a slight delay with Evan's speech (he's now 2). At first, I was a bit in denial thinking that every child is different and he would soon say more words, but after bringing it up to my pediatrician and due to the trauma during birth, we should have him evaluated.

So, we made an appointment with early intervention and had a special education teacher as well as a speech therapist come out and do an evaluation. I knew what to expect during this meeting because I use to work as a behavior therapist for a school district on Long Island before we moved upstate.

They came out and sat on the floor and brought a "bag of toys." Little did Evan know they were there to test him, not really to play. Well, he became tired and frustrated with the teacher and they began to see how he does not transition well between activities! He had to go down for a nap and then they calculated his scores and they did see a slight delay in a couple of areas.

A final report came in the mail the other day and we set up an appointment with a service coordinator where we went over our goals we would work on with Evan. We will be working on speech obviously as well as some fine motor skills.

It's really tough being the parent in this process as I am used to being the one on the other side of the table. I am lucky that there is nothing major going on with him and that I should just count my blessings, but I can't help but feel guilty! Could I be doing more? Is there something I should have been doing differently? I am not the greatest mother, but I would like to think I am a pretty good one.

Dylan (our 5 year old son) is at summer camp during the day, so we will be focusing a ton of attention on Evan this summer. It will help that next school year he will be going to preschool which will help with his social skills.

It's a scary thing to go through, but I am glad we are doing it. I think it's better to be cautious and get him the extra help and attention he needs to grow. I was reminded my by mother than my brother had speech therapy when he was in kindergarden and he overcame it and did well. So, all in all, I think it will turn out to be a good thing having all this one on one instruction for Evan.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cloth Diaper Sale!!

Blue minky dot now on SALE!! I have discounted these diapers to help move out some inventory! Get them on ebay for $6 a piece plus shipping. Don't forget, I offer $5 flat rate shipping, so stock up now!!

These have a pink fleece inner which was actually a mistake but turned out super cute! Some customers say they still use them for a boy because once on, you can't see the pink :)

Stop buy ebay, mention this blog and get a free bamboo terry stuffer!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Preview of what's to come for cloth diapering!

OK, here is is... drumroll please!

I have decided not only to do boxed sets of basic PUL diapers that will include pretty much everything you need to get you started with cloth diapering (dipes, bamboo stuffers, wipes, liners and possibly a wash). I also decided I have to do more of the printed minky! Even though they are a bit hot in the summer time, the layer of minky works so well as an overnight diaper! Not to mention they feel so luxurious and will make your friends jealous!!

I will be pairing up some of my printed minky dipers with coordinating leg warmers. Here's a picture of the leg warmers with one of my current diapers, but the actual designs are still in the works and will be revealed as soon as production is completed! Stay tuned for contests....... =D

Monday, June 1, 2009

Need to look for a partner/investor for Bubele

I have put it off long enough I suppose. I keep thinking "If I could just get a few BIG sales" than I could afford to keep doing it on my own, but reality is quickly sinking in!

The cloth diapers continue to sell well, although I need a surge of money right now in order to finish my current clothing productions to fill all these orders! I will somehow have to pull it all together and manage it, but I will soon need to find someone who will invest in my business. I know I can't be picky, but ideally I would love someone who could be a partner in the business as well- someone who has interest in my products. I know it's going to be difficult to find someone to invest... I have no idea where to start! Where does one go when they need money??

If I can't find an investor, I won't give up, but I will have to shrink my line quite a bit to make it work. Where is Daddy Warbucks when you need him?

Let's see how this plays out... I am sure plenty of inventors and designers go through this same problem. Next season is quickly approaching and I need a plan!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

May is a tough month personally

Some who have been following me since the beginning already know why May is extremely tough for me so I apologize if this seems like I am repeated myself every year! :)

I lost my first son years ago on May 17th and some birthdays are tougher than others. I have a routine on that day, which is to pick out flowers for the cemetery. I pick out 2 hanging plants, and I pick out flats of flowers (typically pansies) to plant in his planter near the stone. I always get too many, so I started planting the extras outside my window every year. In a crazy way, it just feels nice to have some connection with him.

Last year, as you can read from my old blog, I was at peace with everything that had happened because I know have a new tradition of celebrating life.

2 years ago, while delivering Evan, I stopped breathing. I had an "amniotic fluid embolism" which caused me to go into DIC and cardiac arrest. They performed an emergency c-section while trying to resuscitate me. After nearly 45 mins. later and about 25 units of blood, I was back. They didn't think I would make it through the night. After making through the night, they thought I would never recover and may suffer from major brain damage.

I was in the ICU for some time in a drug induced coma (so my body could heal). Every day they would wake me and see where I was at. Finally, after a couple weeks, I started talking although I could not remember anything. I was soon moved back to the maternity floor and they kept Evan in the hospital so he could be near me. Eventually I started remembering who everyone was and I received some physical therapy that got me up and walking. Needless to say, I had tons of doctors stop by to see how I could possibly be still alive, and walking and talking!

So, May 21st is Evan's birthday and the day I celebrate being alive. Last year I was more at peace with it, but this year was difficult for some reason. I am very thankful to still be here, but I often question why I was saved and not the mother before me?

Anyways, I am working through it. I keep busy with work and the kids. I wanted to share this with my new readers, not because I am fishing for sympathy, but because I want to share my story and hopefully may inspire you to enjoy life more :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The diapers are coming!

YAY! The diapers are in and they are on their sweet way to me and will be here in just a few short days! I am so excited to sell off these 550 while my beautiful new production is under way. Think luxurious micro fleece in Bubele's colors chocolate and sage! I am also introducing an AIO diaper and matching minky prints with Bubele leg warmers! I promise to post a preview of what's to come very soon. In the meantime, stay tuned because I am going to be giving away some more Bubele Bums right here!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Business Ethics... Who Needs 'Em Anyways?

We know we all need them. We all feel strongly about being fair in business, don't we? Of course we do. I'm going to share some of my experiences with business ethics over the years in the clothing production business.

About 5 years ago, I started High Style Productions, Inc. where I would work with medium sized clothing companies and source their clothing productions with overseas factories. At first, I loved it. It was new and fascinating to work with other companies on their designs! But, it quickly become a big game in racing to get the cheapest price, not the best price, but rather the cheapest price. I was a small business owner making very small commissions while competing with larger companies who sourced at cheaper prices.

Needless to say, it was too competitive to work with larger companies who wanted me to constantly drive down the prices at factories while they maintain their prices and the factories make less. Oh, the first to suffer are the actual labor workers who sew. Larger companies will often hire someone to source their goods for them who then will give the order to the cheapest and fastest factory. I am beginning to wonder if these large companies even know how their goods are being sourced or if they are turning their heads because they don't want to know.

A couple years ago, after working with a few smaller, private clothing labels who demanded high quality, I secured a production unit in India that works with us on smaller minimums while maintaining high quality. I was then motivated to focus on these customers! This was at the same time I started designing Bubele.

I have come in contact with so many other great small companies since starting Bubele, especially other momprenuers who have created their own items to sell! But unfortunately, I see a lack of business ethics on this side as well. Recently, when working with a customer who was actually referred by another customer, they ended up cutting out HSP from their orders and going straight to my sources. How did this happen? Well, it was a freight forwarder we used for these particular shipments who we believe put them in contact. The first step was making sure we never use that forwarder again.

I need to vent a little bit about this one because this company who was started by a mom who took on a partner to expand her business keep driving down the prices and also was very concerned about how workers were paid and treated so much that I had signed a Ethics Statement for them. I had no problem doing this because 1. We check all factories we use to make sure they comply with all environmental and labor laws and 2. We had a contact do a private inspection of this specific factory.

I guess that's part of the reason I feel so burned. That and the fact they had guaranteed future orders with us, so we cut our commissions and pre purchased some of the sourced fabrics in bulk. I have spent countless hours sourcing that fabric!! Not to mention that after they had gone behind my back, they had the audacity to say that they had their eye on the Bubele line for the future! I immediately looked in the mirror looking for "stupid" on my forehead!

To them, I am sure they thought it was better for their business to get cheaper prices without considering the implications on my company who sources all of their materials (which is not known to the actual factory for this reason) and spends a lot of time perfecting their productions. I was thinking it would be the right thing to do to tell them that the way they are pushing low prices with the factory is going to affect their quality, but I think I need to completely step away from this.

So, lots of lessons learned in business. Especially this past year with Bubele!

Even though my trust has been tested time and time again, I still do think it's possible to have trust in business relationships, but with caution! I am making some more changes to my business practices that will get us more organized and better protected.

I think we all need to remember that we need to have a certain level of respect for other businesses and treat them as you would want your own business to be treated! Simple, huh?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Patent Process Update

If you are fellow mompreneur or a small business and you want to patent your original idea then I hope you will find some use in my experience through the whole process! If you are not sure you need a patent or want a patent, then do very extensive research. You do not need to hire anyone to do this. Just research online- there are tons of info available! If your idea is original, I do suggest trying to protect it. I recently ran into some issues where my trust was broken (by the least suspecting person- a fellow momprenuer) so while you should remain trusting, I do advise that you hold your business as #1 priority when it comes down to protecting yourself and your invention. Enough about that (I will blog about ethics later after I cool down:)

I recently submitted my non-provisional application for the Bubele Loop to replace the provisional patent I had. I did put together all the documents as specified on the USPTO.GOV website and I submitted a small fee.

Well, I got a couple thing back in the mail already from the USPTO just yesterday. First, I received an outline of what the things that were not acceptable and why they were not acceptable. It was pretty easy and straight forward to read. When I had prepared my documents, I had made only one pdf file that contained all the parts of the application (abstract, summary, claims, description, etc.) but one of the main reason my application has to be corrected is because this file needed to be separated into separate sheets. Pretty easy. I just split up my document and printed out the entire application documents. I also have to include a copy of the letter sent to me as well as an amended declaration page. I also have to send in the $65 surcharge fee which I think is because of the needed corrections.

I do also at some point have to pay the $270 search fee and the $110 examination fee (for small entity). This was optional at the checkout screen when submitting online but I knew that it would be due eventually.

I have my revised application now ready to get sent off and hopefully is OK to go into the next stage of this process!

I also received a filing receipt of my non-provisional application.

I will list some links below that helped me in this process:

Basic facts about patents

Info about provisional patents which protect you for 12 months while you give yourself to market and find funding

Filing Online

Forms that are often referred to in the application process


Inventor resource center

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Getting creative with funding

I hit a big wall lately with being able to afford to produce every single color and pattern of my clothing (not to mention my new styles)! As a designer this is incredibly frustrating because I know I can sell my stuff, but I need to get it out there! I am sure other businesses face these same issues and some bring in investors or a partner but I wanted to keep Bubele all under my control for now. I am still looking into the possibility of looking for more of a partner who invests rather than an investor who just wants to see a big return. I want to keep my prices low while maintaining high quality.

So, I have decided to take funding into my own hands. For over a year I have been sewing cloth diapers and more recently decided to sell off cloth diapers with the tons of stock fabric I have here on ebay. Well, I wasn't making very much off of each one I sewed because I just wanted to get rid of all this material! After most of the material was used up, I decided to run a production of the cloth diapers using left over materials so that I could sell them at discounted prices on ebay.

My plan: 600 cloth diapers just finished production and are on their way to me (50 were sent by express so I have them now to sell). So, these 550 are due in May 20th and I am preselling so that as soon as they come in, I can ship them out to customers and pay for my large shipping bill :)

These profits from the 600 diapers will go towards producing 1200 more diapers, but with custom colors this time around! These will retail and wholesale. I also plan on selling some to my ebay mamas who continue to support me! Thanks ladies!

By doing larger production runs and selling in bulk, I plan on funding my Bubele clothing. It's a long winded way of securing funds, but I refuse to give up on my dream!

To celebrate the introduction of my Bubele Bums Cloth Diapers, I am giving away one free diaper (stuffer not included). To enter do one of the following (or all to receive more chances to win):

1. Leave a comment
2. Tweet and send me the link
3. Follow me on twitter
4. Blog about it and send me the link
5. Face book about it and send me the link
6. Follow my blog

The give away will end on Friday at 12 AM EST. The winner will be chosen by and will be announced Saturday. Make sure you leave your name and email somewhere so I can contact you! :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Being a WAHM.... easy, right?

I am sure every WAHM gets comments from people every once in awhile about how easy is must be to work from home while you take care of your kids. Well, my 5 year old was on spring break this week and it is now Friday and I love him dearly, but I am about to pull out my hair out and cry in a corner!

Yes, maybe I get to stay in my Pj's a little bit longer than moms that go to work outside of the home, but most days I feel like I work from 7:30 AM to 11 PM. I am not complaining because the best perk of being a WAHM is I can take a mini break and play with my kids any time I want. But to say it is easy, is not true at all!

Shortly after I can manage to get out of bed (after baby throws paci on the floor and yells uh-oh! for the 100Th time) I make the kids breakfast (and coffee) and go straight to work. There usually is some pressing issue that I have to take care of right away and as soon as I start my work day, I can get stuck at the computer for hours.

Of course during the morning rush, I have to change diapers, entertain a 5 year old and break up any fights/tantrums(Usually the baby starting a fight w/big bro). Hopefully I get lucky enough to break for lunch which often gets spent back at the computer.

Most days, I do try and not answer any emails after 4 or 5PM so I can start dinner, play with the kids and then... bedtime! Lately I have been lucky with the kids going to bed pretty easily!! Afterwards, I go back to work for awhile to follow up on any loose ends from earlier and then I take a break with hubby to watch TV. Before bed, I check emails to make sure everything is on track so I don't wake up to any disasters!

With all that said, I know this will get easier when the kids are both in school all day long. It's very difficult now to balance things just right because as a WAHM you have to focus on several things at once! Hopefully, with a little more organization on my part, I can find a way to balance family and work a little better than I have been! I wish I had some secrets to share to give other WAHMs some hope but the best advise I can give is be productive as possible each day to get closer to goals you set but set aside time throughout the day for kids. If something doesn't get done as fast as you would like, the world is not going to end!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sold Out

Well, most of my inventory is gone- so long inventory problems! Well, for now at least! I am having a new production started that will have all the mix and match colors back, including a new one: sage on chocolate. I haven't produced this color on the chocolate yet because I was limited last time around. I am still limited (very limited on funds) but EVERYONE has been asking for it.

I am also introducing a few new styles this summer including:

A dress which can be worn as a top and matched with the pants to make a super cute outfit.

Lap tees in all of my mix and match colors which will go up to 3T.

And a baseball tee (raglan) that will also be mix and match and go up to size 3T.

All will have the Bubele Loop of course to attach a paci! :)

I am so excited to move forward with the new styles and produce more of the original styles. I am not sure how I am going to manage a large inventory here, there is simply no room for it!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Patent Process

Last April I applied for a provisional patent for the Bubele Loop. By applying for a provisional patent, an inventor is able to cut costs and is given a full year to test the market with the new invention. Well, my year is almost up! I prepared the patent paperwork myself which is not advised but given that I do not have thousands to spend on a patent attorney, this was my only option. I spent hours researching the right way to prepare the required documents and I used an online manual provided by the website.

I did the search on my own because this can be an expensive process. A search is when you spend countless hours searching any similar terms to your invention through filed patents. It is recommended that you pay for the search before you file because if you file and then their search comes back with a similar invention then you get denied and you lose the filing fee. But, since I was able to file as a "small entity" it only cost $82 to file for a non-provisional patent. The search would have cost more than this so it works out better in my situation just to go ahead with the filing process.

It is exhausting going through all the information needed, but it will be worth it in the end if a patent is granted and I was able to save all that money! Some worry that if they file the documents themselves that it will be rejected but I filed my own provisional patent and I filed my own trademark application and even though I had to fix a few errors and pay an extra fee, it was still a ton less than hiring a lawyer.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Updating inventory

Keeping a constant eye on inventory and updating on a regular basis is essential! The last time I did inventory was before I updated the site and before I hired a sales rep in the Mid West. After online sales and sales from retailers, I thought I should go over inventory again. What a mess!! :)

My actual inventory is way off of what I had counted and tracked last time. Why is this? Well, one reason may be when I need to send off media kits in a hurry, I just grab something and NOT mark it down. Or I mark it down, but not on the actual inventory sheet.

Because my items are mix and match, I really need to know exactly what I have in stock at all times. If a retailer calls me on Monday morning and asks what I have in stock for immediate delivery, I better know what I am talking about!

So, my advice on inventory control if you are a start up clothing line is to ALWAYS keep track! Find what method works best for you. I think I may need a clipboard hanging up in my face that I can grab and mark down quickly if something goes out. I have inventory management software which is good but doing both and reconciling at the end of the week is what has to be done.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Giving to charity makes sense

I had a great discussion today with my 5 year old. It was about giving to charity.

Adam was loading up the car (the tiny prius) full of things we didn't need any longer to drop them off at the Salvation Army. Dylan asked why daddy was putting all of our stuff in the car and I told him where it was going and of course he wanted to know more about this whole charity thing...

I said, "Well, when we don't need things any more like this old rocking chair, we donate it to a place that gives it to people that may need something they can't afford. A new mommy may need this rocking chair to rock her baby."

He looked at me and said "OH! That makes sense!" It was like a little light went off. He understood that there are people out there who would like some of the things we have for ourselves that may not be able to afford it. He knows all about money and how it works. He has had his own little bank for the past year and when he wants a new toy, he has to save for it. So, the basic concepts are there.

The conversation ended with his ideas for that new mommy to utilize the cool side pockets in the rocking chair. Kids are compassionate by nature I think.

I have some charities that have been on my mind lately that I want to donate to. I will be setting that up soon through Bubele and will post more info at a later date :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Selling to retailers

It's been almost 2 years since Bubele was started and I recently found a sales rep in the mid west and decided to hire her to show Bubele at the trade shows she does. So far, so good. She has brought in quite a few orders! I was hoping that I would have more of an idea what retailers would want and narrow down what I should reproduce.

Due to lack of funding, I only have very limited stock of each style and color. I did this so I could have more variety with the Mix and Match pieces. Now, I am getting ready to finalize my reproduction and I am so confused! The design I thought would be the least popular- the multi stripes- is actually selling. It's a good thing, but I had planned on phasing out the stripes and bring in a new print to mix and match with the dots and regular stripes.

I also planned on introducing 2 more styles: t-shirts and girls top/dress. Each will have the Bubele Loop and will be mainly for replacing the bigger sizes in the Bodysuits I decided to drop. I found that bodysuits over size 12 months do not sell very well.

I am producing more than I did last time, although I don't think it will be enough for the sales I am projecting. I am not worried about ordering too much, I know they will sell eventually. I am worried about funding all this up front! Awhile back I considered bringing an investor on board but decided against it. But, if I don't produce enough stock then I am stuck telling retailers that I am out and possibly losing those and future sales.

I am all over the place with this! Any one have advice for how they plan how much stock to keep?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Being a WAHM and staying healthy

I am sure many work-at-home-moms find this as difficult as I do. The main problem is we rarely leave the house. We work from home and stay at home with the kids so it is difficult to get out and get that exercise we need! Not to mention, if you live out in the country and get tons of snow like we do, leaving is not an option this time of year!

There is also another problem: eating healthy. While managing 2 businesses from home, sometimes I don't pick the healthiest choices. I do try and cook healthy for the kids, but I refuse to use unnatural ingredients while cooking for the kids. Using natural ingredients adds flavor and sometimes more fat to food. While the kids eat the portions they should, I just grab and go, not noticing how much I am actually eating.

I am also a bad snacker, especially when working. I often like to munch on anything salty or sweet for a quick snack while I check emails.

So, I have decided that I need to live healthier so I feel better and have more energy. It's not impossible. I already identified the problems, now all I have to do is fix it, right? ;)

Here are some of my solutions I have come up with to my problems:

1. Getting out of the house to get me time/exercise. I am looking into local gyms and even though we live out in the country, I found a nearby Curves that I may join. I am going to go check it out and see if I feel comfortable there. Not everyone may feel the need to exercise out of the home, but considering I work from home (and so does Adam) I would like to take the opportunity to get out and do something healthy for myself!

2. Portion control. I have had a membership to Weight Watchers online for awhile because I have used it in the past and it worked. I have not been strict about keeping track of what I put in my mouth. I leave the tracking tools open on my desktop so I have a constant reminder to keep track.

I sometimes do buy ww frozen entrees for myself but I have also started making dinners for myself that are low fat and I enjoy. I make several portions of the same dish and measure it out into containers and freeze.

3. Snacking. I need snacks that are pre portioned. I bought several ww and 100 calorie snacks that are all 2 points so I emptied them all into a bag and I can grab one when I feel the need. I have also taken a look at my eating habits and I make sure I keep enough points for those snacks I crave!

Any WAHMs out there on WW? Leave a comment or connect with me on twitter: to support one another!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bubele Giveaway: Chocolate bodysuit with loop and Snappy

This week's product is the Bubele Bodysuit with loop and Snappy!

Our super comfortable bodysuits are made from 100% combed cotton and come in colorful colors and patterns. All Bubele bodysuits have our exclusive loop on the side seam for attaching a pacifier or toy.

Contests will end on Fridays at 12am est. A winner will be chosen by
Please leave your email address so that I may reach you if you win!
For extra entries:
1. Twitter about the contest
2. Post in your blog
3. Add the Bubele button to your site/blog (found on bottom right)
4. Post on facebook
5. Follow this blog
Thanks and looking forward to reading comments!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A video review of the Bubele Bib!

I had the awesome opportunity to work with a new online vblog site called
who reviewed some of my products. It's a new site dedicated to mom video bloggers!

A new mom reviewed the Bubele Bib:

Thanks to and new mom Nell from

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday Giveaway: Set of 4 Snappies!!

It's time for the Tuesday Bubele Giveaway!

This week's product is the Bubele Snappy. You will receive a set of 4 Snappies (your choice of boy or girl set). I designed the Snappy for the bodysuits with loop but they can snap onto just about anything! Never lose that pacifier again!

Our snappy string has simple snaps on each end for connecting to anything! Clips slip off and our snappy string is perfect for attaching to our bodysuits with loop and our burpies!
You can never have enough of these! Snap them to your car seat or stroller and have that pacier or toy stay in baby's reach!
Now improved! Third snap in center of string to shorten length!

Contests will end on Fridays at 12am est. A winner will be chosen by
For extra entries:
1. Twitter about the contest
2. Post in your blog
3. Add the Bubele button to your site/blog (found on bottom right)
4. Post on facebook
5. Follow this blog
Thanks and looking forward to reading comments!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tuesday is Bubele Giveaway Day!

I have decided to run my own weekly giveaways of Bubele items! What better way to clear out some clearance items and make room for new inventory! I also think it will be a great way to get some added exposure online while giving some products away to moms!

Every Tuesday, I will post a new item. In order to get an entry, you will need to visit the Bubele site and post which item you like best, or simply a comment about the site or an item in general(I love feedback).

Contests will end on Fridays at 12am est.

For extra entries:

1. Twitter about the contest
2. Post in your blog
3. Add the Bubele button to your site/blog (found on bottom right)
4. Post on facebook
5. Follow this blog

Thanks and looking forward to reading comments!!

Today's item:

Bubele Swaddling Wrap

The Bubele Wrap is over sized (42x42") and is 100% breathable combed cotton. It's stretch allows parents to swaddle baby more securely. Fold over to swaddle a newborn. It's generous size allows you to find the right fit for your baby!

This wrap is also great for nursing. I used to throw over my shoulders on a chilly day at the park!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Organize your shopping list!

I love my new Smartshopper! It makes grocery shopping so much easier. I am not an organized person by nature but I am trying really hard to get organized and this little machine is perfect!

It is an electronice list maker that can be put on the fridge. All you have do is press a button and speak the item you want added to the list. For example, when I am running out of coffee, I go to the fridge, press the button and say coffee.

It categorizes everything into dairy, canned goods, etc.

It comes preloaded with several foods and you have to program it, but once you do, it is so easy to use. I programmed different lists so that I can have seperate lists for each store I shop at. For example, I like to have a grocery list and then a B.J.'s (wholesale club) list.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chocolate ice cream banned

..... only from our house!

I have decided that if anyone in our house wants to eat ice cream, it will be a flavor that I do not like. I can pretty much pass on any other flavor, so they have a lot to choose from!

I have found that when I am stressed or tired, a big dish of chocolate ice cream is so yummy. Therefore, it is banned.

I am sorry chocolate ice cream, you are no longer welcome in my house. I am replacing you with a fruit smoothie with maca root.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Putting together media kits

I put together my own media kits with the help of a list that my copywriter gave to me on what to include. I decided I wanted to keep it as simple and straight forward as possible. I wanted the magazine editors to be able to open the package and have all the info they needed in front of them without having to sort through too much info.

These are the things I decided to put into my media kit package:

Press Release
Current Product Reviews
Q&A Sheet (or FAQ)
Product Photo Shots
Retail Price List
CD with high resolution images
Hand written note to editor
Business card

So far, I haven't had any requests from major magazines like Cookie or Parenting but I have pretty good responses from local magazines across the U.S.

And no, Ellen Degeneres still has not contacted me!

Friday, January 16, 2009


I recently hired a copywriter to write a new press release, but not only does he write them, he sends them out to a custom media list. I even have the list to make follow up phone calls.

I just had this done and it's only been 2 days. I got about 15 good responses, although I was hoping for more before the weekend. I am going to give it another week or so and then as suggested I will start making calls on a daily basis.

The custom media list included magazines, talk shows, and freelance writers. The contacts I have made so far have requested samples, as well as extra samples if I wanted to be included in reader giveaways. I looked at my inventory and said, sure why not!

The biggest contact was the Tyra Banks show which gave me great feedback and was super nice about everything! The most annoying response I got was asking me to pay a really hefty fee to advertise in their magazine. I told them I was looking for coverage first and they responded, "we need to made a living too... it would be like asking you to give away your products for free." Well, yes, actually I do give away my products for free in exchange for free publicity.

That's a big lesson in this business when you are just starting out: everyone tries to convince you that you need their services. But no matter how good it sounds, you really have to look at what the costs are and if it will really benefit you.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to work!

The holidays are finally over and it's time to get back to work in full gear! Is it just me or do the holidays start way to soon, so by the time the holiday actually comes, you wish it was over already..... It seems like it lasts for months!

I have to get motivated to finish some of the projects I was working on, like organizing and several things I am working on for Bubele. I have 2 reps now.... which I can't believe took me this long to find! I am looking forward to the Januarary shows which will be my first. I am not going to get my hopes up because I heard you don't get a lot of sales from shows, but I am hoping the reps I have can sell my products well. I am relying on the fact that I have 2 unique items and that my items are reasonably priced (good in this economy).

Over the break, I worked on social networking through Facebook and LinkedIn. I am amazed at the connections I have found on LinkedIn. Everyone has been so helpul! One connection I made knew I was looking for more reps and send my info across and ended up going through 2 of her connections I believe to a woman who told me to call her. I called today and she had a name of a rep for me in New Jersey! I really hope that call goes well tomorrow :)