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 random.org 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!