Sunday, December 15, 2013

An amazing, awesome, mind blowing, unbelievable year...

365 days ago my entire life changed. 365 days ago a lot of blood, sweat, tears, but also excitement, creativity, tenacity came together. 365 days ago Nikki's Magic Wand opened for business! The years leading up to that day held so many new emotions, experiences and educational opportunities. On December 16, 2012, a Sunday, my lovely website master said, "It's READY. I'm flipping the switch." And I did what I always do...I ran to Facebook and spilled the good news, "You may NOW place your order for your very own Nikki's Magic Wand." It was a surreal moment but little did I know, it was just the beginning for those kind of moments. What some may not know is that on that day, I was biting my nails, praying and sweating that the Wands would make it from China in time for the official launch a mere six days later. You can imagine my relief and elation when UPS rang my bell late one night, a few days later, with eight boxes, stuffed full with the final version of my "baby" which had gone through MULTIPLE reviews and edits and was NOW on my doorstep. Whew!

The Nikki's Magic Wand launch, held on December 22, 2012 was a party of a lifetime. It was the official introduction of the Wand, in the flesh, to friends and family and press. It was honestly a dream come true. The love and support in that building was palpable. Little did I know that party was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to love and support. In the months to come, friends and family showed up and showed out by flooding the website with orders, popping up in my Facebook Inbox with idea after idea about how I could further expose NMW. The networking took on a life of its own with introductions by kind people to generous new friends who wanted to help in any way they could.

We continued to be guided by the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, on Pitt's campus but a lot of decisions were based on our guts. Doing what felt right, avoiding what felt wrong. We made the pact to live in each moment, thankful for whatever was happening at that second. Accepting rejections quickly and focusing on the lesson we were to gain from it. We brainstormed about ways to spread the word of NMW; we did Valentine's, Mother's Day, Nikki's in a Good Mood promotions. In February, we added as a distribution channel. As of this writing, we remain 5 star chicks on that site (NMW has garnered a rating of 5 stars from each reviewer). We gave away hundreds of Wands and did multiple BOGOs just to get them in hands. We sent them to bloggers and started to gather some glowing reviews. We kept on that path and coasted through the first half of the year. Then at mid-year, things started to really pick up. I appeared on the Lynne Hayes-Freeland show and then more blog reviews started to show up. We were fortunate to engage a summer intern (Sean) and he began to diligently work through our marketing plan. Sean started contacting more bloggers and beauty schools but he made two very important connections. He called GBK Productions (a company that produces gifting suites for celebrities at major events) and arranged a call with me and the best friend/biz partner. GBK's next event was NY Fashion Week and they thought NMW would be a great fit. I have detailed that trip here but I will just quickly say again, it was one of the best four days of my entire life. We placed NMW in celebs' and press' hands and as exciting as it was to meet these phenomenal talents, the fact that they genuinely liked and "got" NMW was fortifying and amazing. While we were planning to attend NY Fashion Week, we were also preparing to be featured in QVC's Sprout program. Lo and behold, unbeknownst to us, Sean, the intern, had submitted NMW to them and they were interested. After sending them samples and being fully evaluated, we started competing against two other products at midnight on August 31, 2013, (the first set of products featured after the Sprout program's summer break). Of course I ran to Facebook to encourage, beg, plead for votes.  By the time we returned from Fashion Week, we had one more week of voting and on September 13, 2013, it was announced to the world that Nikki's Magic Wand had WON the contest. WHAT????? I started getting calls to be featured in local newspapers, the blog reviews continued and now new reviews were cropping up from the press that we met in NY during Fashion Week. Man oh man, September was a mind-blowing month for us. October was not too shabby either, as I was invited to be a guest on "Our Region's Business" with Bill Flannigan and that interview led to orders and more connections. It was also the month that our newly hired PR person started working and striving to get us some features in a few glossy magazines (she's still working for us at this writing). Throughout all of this activity, I attended every vending event to which I was invited, selling Wands one by one and meeting new friends.

So many wonderful things happened this year that I haven't even mentioned, like the fact that there are Wands in the White House (thank you Ali).

At the end of the day, well year, one phrase keeps swirling around my head....Thank You. We are just so thankful to everyone who bought a Wand, who wished us positive thoughts, who spread the word, who invited me to attend a vending event, who wrote about me or the Wand. Thank You for believing and trusting in me and the Wand.

I couldn't be more excited about what 2014 will hold. We've spread the word, had some great exposure but there's still so, so much more to do. This year we WILL apply to Shark Tank, we WILL make connections to get to the buyers at Sephora, Ulta, Target. We WILL begin to work on the next product in the Nikki's Magic Wand line. And we WILL continue to go out of our way to give you a great product, that saves you money, while providing great customer service and most importantly by showing you just how much we appreciate you.

As always, thank you for reading. There's so much more to come!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

How is it December already??????

Oh My Goodness! I don't think this much time has ever passed between posts and for that I apologize! It's been a busy time but that's no excuse because it's always a busy time. I CANNOT believe we are coming up on ONE year since we launched! That amazes me! Me, Nikki from West Oak Lane in Philly, has been a business owner for a year?! What?! Crazy. On 12/16/2013, I plan to enumerate all of the AMAZING things that have happened in the last 365 days--- exactly one year since we opened the website to take orders.

Since we last chatted on 10/16, things have been progressing well. Wands continue to sell on, Amazon and We love having distribution channels where people can drop Wands in their "cart" and try out the BEST cosmetic tool ever! :)

Oh, remember, the last time I told ya'll I'd been invited to be a guest on "Our Region's Business" with Bill Flannigan? Well, I did the show and it was a WONDERFUL experience. Really great! I even got to hang out in the "green" room like the celebs waiting to go on tv! :)

Check me out:

Right around the time of my last post, a public relations person that we hired started working for us and she's been making contacts with big, glossy publications like Allure, Shape Magazine, etc. AND, we were featured on!!!

Check out the review:

At this time, we are gearing up for the holiday season. Can you think of a better stocking stuffer? Of course, I can't. :)

The best friend/biz partner and I are in reflection mode:

1. Did we do our best to spread the Nikki's Magic Wand name in 2013?
2. What could we have done differently?
3. What will 2014 hold?
4. Where do we put our precious dollars?
5. How do we make NMW a household name?
6. Do we try to get on Shark Tank like every single person has asked us? :)

I can't WAIT to list all of the phenomenal things that have happened since we launched almost a year ago. Stay tuned.

As always, I can't thank you enough for going on this journey with me. I've been writing this blog for over a year now and it continues to bring me joy.

Happy December!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wait...there's more....

Hi! How are ya? I haven't chatted with you for a few weeks so I wanted to check in with ya and bring you up to date with all things NMW. As you know, we returned from NY Fashion Week on 9/8/2013, completely energized and excited about our next step. We had met so many amazing people and spread our brand far and wide. We were ready to keep moving!

Before we had left for NY, on 8/31, at midnight, voting began on for their Sprouts program and we were one of the products for which the public could vote. This program gives up and coming companies the chance to compete with other such companies and the world gets to vote on which product they'd like to see featured on QVC. The voting was to run until 9/13 and we had been encouraging everyone we knew to vote, vote, vote because, if we won, we'd secure a purchase order from QVC and who doesn't want THAT? :)

So, it's 9/13 and I am participating in a fundraising event at my 9 to 5 but I check my phone and there is an e-mail informing us that we came in as runners-up in the competition. We were a bit bummed but, hey, Jennifer Hudson didn't win Idol and look at her! So, we pulled ourselves together and kept moving. A little later on the same day, the best friend/business partner calls me and says these words, "Nikki, we won!" Huh? She begins to inform me that there was a correction e-mail sent and we did indeed win the competition. OMG!!!!!!! We were OVER the moon! After having just returned from a successful trip to NY, we won the QVC contest and would now be able to sell on QVC. Wow wow wow.

After having a packing party (thank you to my packing team) I shipped off 250 units of NMW 3 packs and they began selling on QVC. As of this writing, we are not only almost 1/2 way sold through, but we also have ALL 5 star reviews on We remain 5 star chicks! :) (We have all 5stars on :)

In addition to all of that excitement, the newspaper articles, reviews and blog posts that have been coming out since early September have been absolutely amazing! I have been invited to speak at a few events (which I LOVE). I was invited to be a guest on "Our Region's Business" with Bill Flanigan, on WPXI and just this past Monday, I was honored to be featured on Ola Jackson's blog radio show, to discuss being an inventor and entrepreneur. Check it

Wait, there's more! :) While in the gifting suite in NY, we met a woman named Margot Black who happens to be a Publicist and we decided to hire her to get our brand out there even more. Fingers crossed she can secure some glossy magazines and tv spots. She says we'd make THE PERFECT feature for last minute stocking stuffer items. Let me tell you, if I see Nikki's Magic Wand on a table, being featured on the Today show, I'm going to fall right over!

I can't mention all of this without also mentioning how absolutely stunned and thankful I am for all of it. I don't take any of it for granted. The fact that an idea I, Nikki from West Oak Lane in Philadelphia, PA is now a product which people far and wide are not only using but enjoying....I'm just amazed, proud and oh so thankful.

As always, thank you for coming along for the ride.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Nikki's Magic Wand TAKES OVER NY Fashion Week- The Final Day...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hi!!!! I promised to tell you about the final day of our time at NY Fashion Week and boy was it amazing! So, we headed back to the suite to start our day of celeb schmoozing, networking and new friendship forging. The energy was still very high and all of the vendors were anxious to see who would come visit us that day. The day before, we worked our strategy of engaging each person who came by our booth and we were amazed at the HUGE stack of business cards we had collected. We planned to follow up, via e-mail, during the week after NY Fashion Week concluded. We were excited about the possibilities of making new connections and being featured in publications and blogs.

So, there we stood, on the last day, determined to make it the best day ever. The celebs started to come through. We had been given a list of those that were due to come through and I was hoping to see the Hilton sisters and Robert Hergevac from Shark Tank. They did not come but there were some other amazing folks who DID come. The infamous Ms. J from America's Next Top Model came to visit and spent time with us and took lots of pictures. One of my faves, who I didn't even really know much about before NY Fashion Week, was Big Ang. She was SO kind and genuinely interested in our presentation. She said that the Wand was her favorite thing in the entire suite and said, in her smoky voice, "You should see me digging in my lip gloss like a LOSER!" :) She spent lots of time with us too, posing for pictures and hanging out. All in all we found the celebs to be warm and easy to chat with.

The day moved along and we met some other lovely people. They were representing different press outlets from all over and they were all very kind and receptive to the Wand. We were chatting with a group of young women when someone mentioned being from Philly and the one woman and I realized we'd both gone to the same beloved high school, The Philadelphia High School for Girls. We grabbed each other up, like Girls' High Girls do and shared a great moment. Shout out to the 243rd class from a proud member of 233!

The day was winding down and a woman named Africa came to visit. She told us she LOVED the Wand, thought it was genius and hung out with us for a bit. She asked what we were doing later that evening and we said that we weren't doing anything so she asked if we'd like to go to a fashion show. Ummmm, YES!!! She texted us the address and off she went.

Well, the time had come to break down the booth and start to pack up. We hugged our new friends good bye and everyone shared their left over products. We scored some MAJOR goodies from our fellow vendors. It was a Win Win all around!

We want to send love to Jeff Duckwall, Felix at Kefir, Yumi, Alice and Irene from Hard Candy, Candee and her co-worker from Oasis Hommus, The Pilot Pen Girls, Margot Black from Black InkPR and my newest partner in crime, Robin from IlluminationsPR. We made connections that will last a long time.

We headed back to the hotel, rested just a bit and started to get ready for the Samantha Black fashion show. We cabbed it over there and Africa greeted us warmly and gave us the opportunity to give Wands to tv and movie star, Elise Neal and reality diva Tami Roman. We were elated! After the show, we headed to Nobu for a late dinner. We marveled at the last three days and felt blessed, overwhelmed (in a good way) and joyful.

NY Fashion Week was exactly what we needed it to be and much, much more.

As always, thanks for reading. Next up, Nikki's Magic Wand TAKES OVER QVC!!!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Nikki's Magic Wand TAKES OVER NY Fashion Week-- PART TWO!!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

The best friend/business partner and I woke up in the Big Apple filled with excitement. We'd had a GREAT first day in town and had already met some amazing people. Today was THE day to meet some celebrities (oh who would come?????) and press too! We checked and double checked our gift packages, grabbed our brand new banner and hopped a cab to The Empire Hotel. We were to report there by 7 am for set up and we arrived right on time. The room was abuzz with other vendors setting up for the first day in the gifting lounge. We got to work at our little table, erecting the banner, deciding how to creatively display the Wands and planning our strategy. We had already discussed making sure that we gave each visitor to our booth our full attention and also gaining their contact information. We had a tag team plan ready to launch. We got all set up and were ready for the day.

We didn't have to report back until about 10:30 am for a meeting with the owner of the gifting suite company so we grabbed some Starbuck's and relaxed a bit (as much as we could). We excitedly headed back to the suite to get this party started and what a party it was. Bre and I stood at our table and one of us would start the speech by opening a tube of lipgloss and holding the applicator alongside it to show how it couldn't reach the bottom, while the other one then showed the Wand and a ridiculously empty tube that the Wand had emptied out. That's when we got what we call, "The Face," It's when people are just listening and then realize what I'm saying the Wand will do and they go, "Ohhhhhhhhhhh, so you can get it all OUT!" We LOVE LOVE LOVE "The Face"!  Anyhoo, the day progresses and we are eagerly and anxiously seeing who is coming next. Each celebrity had a person with them holding a sign with their name and their latest project and another person held a HUGE duffle bag of their goodies that all of us vendors were dropping our gifts into. The celebs were required to spend a few minutes with us and honestly, no one gave us the bored face, no one tried to rush off and no one was mean. Each one was kind and interested and many of them gave us "The Face." :)

I have a few pics for you from that first day...

Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola

Adrienne Bailon

Aren't they gorgeous?? So, the day was exciting and high can't really eat or go to the restroom high speed but it was a successful day by all accounts. We worked our strategy and collected a HUGE stack of business cards and when folks told us they were fresh out of biz cards, we had pre-printed cards for them to fill out. You'd be surprised how many celebs happily jotted down their gmails or yahoo e-mail addresses.

Well, 7pm came and we were officially exhausted and ready to head back to the hotel room to chill before dinner. The best friend/business partner had made reservations at Le Cirque, a very  Chi Chi La La restaurant that she'd been wanting to go to. We got all cute and headed out.

At dinner, we recapped the previous two days and excitedly discussed our favorite parts.

The final, PHENOMENAL day to come!!!!

Chat very soon,

Friday, September 13, 2013

Nikki's Magic Wand TAKES OVER NY Fashion Week!

Fantastic... Amazing...Surreal...these words barely touch the reality of how things went at NY Fashion Week. As you know, we were BEYOND excited to be heading there and I promise you, once we got there, it was everything and more than we expected. I want to give you some highlights from the trip and share some pictures too.

Thursday, September 5, 2013
The business partner/best friend and I land at LaGuardia at 8 am and make our way to the hotel. We scope out the gifting lounge where we'll introduce NMW to celebs and press over the next few days. We LOVE it! Then, the biz partner has a great idea. She suggests we hand write letters to Jane Larkworthy, the Beauty Editor at "W" magazine and Anna Wintour, the Editor-in-Chief at "Vogue" and deliver the letters, along with Wands to them at their office buildings. We sit in a little cafe and craft the letters then off we go. We are directed to the first floor mailrooms in the two office buildings. The first one is "Vogue" and we want to shout out  Alex who hand delivered the Wand package to Ms. Wintour. Then, it was off to "W" magazine and there we ran into James who very kindly took our package to Ms. Larkworthy, after posing for a quick picture. Want to see our new buddy, James?

Here he is:
So, with that taken care of, we headed back to the hotel to assemble the Wand packages for the 100 press and the 70 celebrities who were expected over the next two days. We also wanted to chill for a bit, eat, sip some wine while we took everything in and prepared for the Patricia Field party later on. I want to show you some pictures of us as we were headed to the party. I also included a pic of THE Patricia Field!

Stay tuned for what happened on Friday, September 6, 2013!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

FOUR days 'til Fashion...

Hello! What a CRAZY, EXCITING time for Nikki's Magic Wand! I have some updates for you since my last post. I had mentioned that we were waiting to hear from QVC. Well, since we last chatted, we got word that we were being placed in their Sprouts competition with two other products where the product with the most votes secures a purchase order form QVC and can sell on their website and possibly on the air. We had to submit pictures, a write up about the product and inventor, a video and a sample. The submission was thoroughly evaluated and vetted and we got word that the competition/voting would begin at 12 am 8/31. As soon as I knew, I let EVERYONE know and once again, my support system has stepped up in a BIG way. High school and college friends, co-workers, new friends and old friends have been posting the link on their Facebook pages. The word is spreading and I am beyond thankful. The voting runs until 9/13/2013 so if you haven't voted, please do at and tell your mom, mailman and hairdresser to vote too! :)

In equally exciting, amazing news, Nikki's Magic Wand will debut at New York Fashion Week in FOUR short days! I am experiencing so many emotions. Angst, excitement, amazement and panic, consumed with making sure that I am fully prepared. There will be stunningly, gorgeous people from all over the world and I want to make sure that Nikki's Magic Wand and I put our best feet forward. The beautiful thing is I believe in NMW 100%. I have never doubted my "baby's" effectiveness, usefulness, purpose. I honestly believe that if we can get this cosmetic tool in the RIGHT hands then it will TAKE OFF. My dream (one of many) is for Nikki's Magic Wand to become a household name like Kleenex or Xerox. I want people to say, "You need to 'Wand' that tube if you want to get it all out!"

Each step of this journey has been an adventure and this time in the business' life is no different. I am going to document each step of NY Fashion Week, from flying out of Pittsburgh to flying back to Pittsburgh. I want to take each one of you with me because you've really been with me the entire time.

Stay tuned for updates and pictures from Fashion Week as well as the result of the QVC Sprouts contest.

As always, thank you SO much for reading!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Countdown is ON!

Hi! I am excited to write because in exactly two weeks, Nikki's Magic Wand will be in the Big Apple for NY Fashion Week!!!! I can't believe that the time is almost here. The best friend/business partner and I are in overdrive, counting up business cards, Wands and postcards. We are figuring out how to e-mail huge picture files so we can have a new standing banner made. We are gathering our wardrobe choices, complete with shoes and jewelry. I even got a WHOLE new hairdo, partially because I've been working out and was starting to look like the front of Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall" album, but also because I wanted a FRESH, NEW look for Fashion Week.

Let me tell you why all of this is exciting and crazy for me. First off, as I mentioned in my very first post on this blog, I never, ever had any entrepreneurial aspirations. I mean like never. ALSO, I've always been the plain, Jane girl who just made sure that her clothes were clean and matched. No real fashion savvy here. But look what has happened. A better plan was created for me, right under my nose. I had an idea that turned me into a business owner AND, in 14 days I will find myself among the most beautiful people in the world. How did THAT happen? :)

I can't wait to get to that celebrity gifting suite and see who comes through. The fact that we have an opportunity to get a Wand into a celebrity's hands and maybe, just maybe make it into their cosmetic bag is making me all jittery. :)

I promise you, you can plan out your whole life, down to the year you'll retire, when your house will be paid off, etc and then something will show up like BAM!!!!!! Nope, change of plans!

Ok, let's see what else I have to tell you. We are getting closer and closer to being featured on so please stick close to see when it's time to vote.

When we get back from NY Fashion Week, we'll have a whole strategy, a plan of action of how we intend to proceed. Do we hire a broker to talk to the big retailers on our behalf? Do we buy airtime? How will we grow our Magic Money Maker program. There is SO much to discuss and plan so it's great that the best friend/business partner and I will have the opportunity to really get down to business.

Well, that's about it for now. Short, sweet and to the point. I'm going to write again when we're about to head to NY and OF COURSE I'll be filling you in on who we saw.

Who do you want me to give an extra long hug to? :)

As always, thanks for reading and for following along with me as I chase this dream,

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Stylish, Fashionable Nikki's Magic Wand...

Happy August, ya'll! I know it's the 6th but I haven't chatted with you since July. Nikki's Magic Wand is moving along. We have been busy bees and I've got some updates for you.

QVC: When we last chatted, our intern had submitted us and we heard back from them. Since that time, I gave them a sample for their Quality Assurance area to review and we passed the review with flying colors. :) Next they needed an Inventor's Bio, some pics and a video, which we had to feverishly shoot so, now we're ready for the next step, being featured on and having YOU vote, so get ready!

Style Week Pittsburgh: We are a "Chic" Sponsor for this inaugural event and I attended the kick off party at Spa Jema (, which is a lovely spa in downtown Pittsburgh with amazing services. You MUST check it out. And GUESS WHAT???? The lovely Jennifer, who owns Spa Jema, is going to carry our Wands in her retail area. *Big Smile*. Style Week runs from August 7th to the 11th and I will be attending a number of the fashion, beauty events so maybe I'll see you there!

NY Fashion Week: This is only a month away (where does the time go????) so we're preparing to attend and VERY excited! As I mentioned, we will be in the celebrity gifting suite and I am very eager to see who will be there and I am claiming that we WILL make a connection with someone fabulous who will LOVE Nikki's Magic Wand so much that they will want to endorse it.

TV: I have a meeting with Tim from a local tv station here to discuss airing a commercial. That meeting is this Thursday, so I'll let you know how it goes AND I got this e-mail a few days ago:
Hi Nikki,

My girlfriend loves your product. Her mom, Myrna, sent her one...

I have been in the live TV business since 1987.

I wonder if you'd be interested in doing a two minute spot or selling on HSN or QVC. I may be able to help.  Please let me know if you're interested.

Best regards,

Can you see my Happy Dance? I read a quote today that said, " A woman who walks in purpose does not have to chase people or opportunities. Her light causes people and opportunities to pursue her."  I really, really believe that because e-mails like Tom's are coming.

I had a recent chat with our Chinese liaison, Daisy and she shared that they're in a bit of a financial crunch over there so if you (or anyone you know) need some moldmaking and/or manufacturing done, let me know and I can put you in touch with Daisy. She is great to work with and I'd love to send some work her way if possible.

Well, I think that's it for now. As always, I thank you for reading and please keep checking us out.
I promise you, we're going to BLOW UP!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I'm a STAR, baby!

You know how this blog is called "A 9 to 5 chick takes over the world," well I should change that to "A 7 to 7 chick takes over the world." Work has been, wow, I have no words for it but that's not what this is about. It's about the Nikki's Magic Wand journey and boy do I have some things to tell you!

First off, I am a TV star ya'll!!!! Well, ok, not really a star but I did do a segment on a local tv show and I must say, ya girl was quite comfortable and felt good because I really feel I said everything I needed to say. AND my granny said I looked pretty and professional so that's all that matters. :)

Second, GUESS WHAT???!!! Our fab intern took it upon himself to submit us to QVC's Sprout program and do you know they LOVE the Wand (their words, not mine). So, we have a chance to be placed on, have people vote for us and then secure a purchase order from QVC!!!!!!!!! So you KNOW you have to vote, right? I'll let you know when.

Third, the "Magic Money Maker" program had a GREAT week last week. You remember what that is, right? You buy Wands from me at the low wholesale price and then sell them at the retail price so you earn back 100% on your investment. Shout out and thank you to Tanisha B. (our FIRST MMM), a lovely rep in Mexico, Chanel S., Esther C., Jackie W., Nicole W., and Alex M. We are REALLY pushing the program and our Magic Money Makers will be getting special incentives and promos so if you want to be one, (you know you do) contact me at or Inbox me on the Nikki's Magic Wand page on Facebook.

Fourth, Nikki's Magic Wand is a "Chic" sponsor for Style Week in Pittsburgh in August. It's the inaugural year so we are a presenting sponsor and very excited to participate in this fab event and spread the word.

FINALLY, GUESS WHAT?????? Nikki's Magic Wand will be at NY FASHION WEEK in one of the celebrity gifting suites!!!!! YES! We will be hobnobbing with some celebs, telling them about NMW and snapping pictures with them to share with you and the world! So very excited about that!

Well, I am pretty whipped but I HAD to come tell you everything that's happened since we last chatted.

Oh, one last thing, the super sweet Tori did a lovely review of the Wand since we last met.

Here's the link:

As always, thanks SO much for reading,

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bloggers, Vloggers and PR firms...Oh my!

Wow! I don't think I've let this much time pass between posts but I promise you, my life has been absolutely crazy. I thought of you often, wanting to have a moment to sit and share with you and I've finally grabbed a moment. There's plenty to share. Let's jump in...

Since May 20th, Nikki's Magic Wand has had the good fortune to have a VERY competent intern, Sean G. working with us. Sean understands our goals and in this last month, he has been doing a fabulous job! He has been reaching out to Bloggers and Vloggers, calling PR firms and Beauty Schools and getting us connected with companies that do gifting suites at celeb events. Sean has been the extra set of hands we so sorely needed. We even have him hooked up with our pal, logo guru Julie and she is showing him the website ropes.

In the last month, we applied for "Shark Pool" which is a competition for business owners, being put on by the African American Chamber of Commerce. We are happy to announce that we made it to the second round and are a bit closer to securing a cash prize! We are SUPER excited about that!

In the last few days, we have made a connection with the lovely Ms. Taylor, who is putting on Style Week here in Pittsburgh. Nikki's Magic Wand is planning on being a "Chic Sponsor" and super excited about being a participant.

AND, on June 29, I am hosting a1/2-versary Launch Party, where I've invited friends to BYOB and bring a buddy to network and also learn more about what women in our community are doing. I'm excited to have other business owners selling some of their wares so we can all support one another. The event happens in 9 days and I can't wait!

So, those are the updates but I want to take a moment to share some real thoughts and feelings with you. Nikki's Magic Wand has been open for business for six months now and boy has it been a ride thus far. I mean, we're in the White House for Heaven's Sake! I have learned that starting a business is an interesting thing. It really is, a lot of time, relying on the kindness of strangers. Yes, your friends and family come through (and boy have mine been SUPER supportive) but when people you've never met, hear your story, decide to tell another person, who ultimately buys your product, well, it's a feeling like no other. I understand that people buy and sell stuff every day but never before have I been invested in what people bought...only what I could buy. Times are tight and people are holding their money even tighter. That was THE driving force for me on 12/19/2009. I could not let this little lip-gloss best me and only give me 50-75% of what I paid for. No way. So six months later, I remain thankful, in awe that this is actually happening, all while growing this business so that Nikki's Magic Wand is a household name like Kleenex or Maybelline. You wait and's gonna happen!

We'll flashback next time.

As always, I am thankful to you for reading. It means a lot.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

More Magic Money Makers!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! I hope you're having a relaxing time. I just returned from a fab time in Orlando, FL with the husband, celebrating our 10th anniversary. I was able to unwind AND conduct Nikki's Magic Wand of both worlds. When we last chatted, I had just returned from the Michigan Launch and we had gotten news that we had a new Magic Money Maker (MMM), in MEXICO, no less. Well, we have since added another MMM in Orlando, FL. She has chosen to invest in NMW and herself by getting in at a low wholesale price and then selling Wands at a desirable retail price. It's a Win Win for her and she will make 100% back on her investment. Now that's awesome! You will be hearing more about the Magic Money Maker program soon, so stay tuned!

On May 20th, we had an addition to our team. Sean G. joined us as an intern and he's a gem! He's totally invested in NMW and has been rolling along. He starts his second week tomorrow and we have LOADS for him to do. We are excited and honored to work with such a bright dude. :)

I just got off the plane today, so this won't be a long one but I do want to flash you back quickly. Last we chatted about the past, we were in "Prototype Land." So, here was the goal; we needed to figure out the right formula to do the following things: have the stick be flexible but not too "bendy", have the tip sturdy enough to swipe the tubes clean but still be soft enough to apply directly to your face. We wanted the cap to fit snugly and we needed the logo to line up correctly. The liaison for the factory sent various tip weights so that we could choose which was best. Tip weight #110 was way too stiff to swipe well and didn't feel good on the face. Tip weight #65 was ok, but still not quite flexible enough. After many discussions and e-mails, it was determined that a Tip weight of #30-#35 was just right. I know you don't necessarily care about this detail but I wanted to share this because I promise you, I had ZERO knowledge about this previously and now look at me, spouting off Tip weight #s! :) Just trying to illustrate that we all have the capacity to learn things we never thought we would. Outside of the functionality, we had a very clear vision on what we wanted the Wand to look like. We wanted the exterior to be a high gloss black, with a gold logo. Let me tell you, there are SO many gold options out there! So many more than you would think! The final version of the Wand was being sent and we were READY to see it. I have to stop here and tell you about a crazy thing that happened. Well, long, sad, frustrating story short, the Wands ended up in Wisconsin and instead of the Wands, I received a decorative oar. Yes, an oar. I lost precious manufacturing time crying and screaming on the phone trying to get the Wands from Wisconsin while everyone was acting as if they didn't quite know what I was talking about. Well, they finally arrived, with a bronze (NOT gold) logo with a gap in the middle of the logo. I had been wrestling with all of these decisions and delays of choosing the right version and the official Launch was looming so I was weary and ready to just go forward with that but the best friend/business partner said, "Wait, this is not what we planned. We wanted gold, not bronze and we wanted the logo to come completely together when the cap is on. We have to go back to the drawing board." I gritted my teeth, postponed the Launch party again and we did just that. I have to share that taking our time and getting it JUST like we wanted was the BEST thing we could have done. I am very proud to pull my "baby" out of its perfectly designed box (thanks Julie) and show the world. We're getting closer and closer to when this Blog started and I hope you've been enjoying the journey with me.

I'm going to stop here.
As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read. You're awesome!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Go West Young Woman.....WAYYYYYYYYY West!

Hi NMW Friends! I LOVE chatting with you, filling you in and boy oh boy do I have some things to share. We've been pushing along, growing Twitter followers, Facebook "Likes" and spreading the word on Instagram and Pinterest. Brand new glamour fans are finding out about Nikki's Magic Wand every single day. We've been very pleased with the progress.

This weekend was a stellar one for us. A dear friend, who has been supportive of us since the Wand was just a sketch on a page, hosted a launch for us in Michigan. It was held yesterday, at the gorgeous Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, MI. The guests were gracious and kind and bought lots of Wands. It was such a pleasure making new friends in Michigan and we had a blast, nibbling on such delish goodies as curry chicken tartlets and chocolate covered strawberries. The launch was a hit AND I got to see some of the sights in Michigan, which was a great bonus. After the party, my friend took me to a few spa/boutiques to tell them about the Wand, drop off a few samples and fingers crossed, they'll want to put them on shelves.

It was time to return home today and I was driving along, reflecting on the phenomenal weekend when I get a call from the best friend/business partner, who is crazy excited. She tells me that Nikki's Magic Wand will now be INTERNATIONAL! You will recall in my last post, I mentioned our new program called the "Magic Money Makers" where Conscious Glamour Divas (and Divos) can buy the Wands in bulk, at a discounted price, and sell them for a nice profit. Well, we have secured a new rep in MEXICO!!! Can you see me doing my happy dance? I am pretty sure my car floated the rest of the way home. This is BIG news for us because we are planning to really push this program and the fact that we now have a presence in Mexico just makes me want to cry. If no one ever told you or you haven't seen it with your own eyes, trust me when I tell you, DREAMS DO COME TRUE!

I won't flash back today because I want you to be in THIS moment with me. I am sitting at this computer so overwhelmed (in a good way) by this weekend's events. I am going to strive to hold onto this feeling for a good long time.

As always, I thank you for reading.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet....

Hello! I MUST apologize for being away so long. You know from the name of this blog that I am a 9 to 5 chick and things in Corporate America have gone wild. I have been busier than ever before and by the time I get home (prime Blogging time) I am ready to pass right out. But, writing this blog makes me happy so I was excited to get a few moments today to sit down and fill you in. Last time, I mentioned that we'd hired a Digital Media Consultant (WGC Interactive) and let me tell you, that was one of the BEST decisions we've made. He has been growing our online presence and followers on various social media sites and we are just at the beginning of his action plan. Every time we get notifications of new followers on Twitter or Pinterest, we smile.

We have a few other things cooking too. We met with our business consultants over at The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence ( and we discussed crafting a sales model that would include having sales reps for NMW. Let me tell you why I am SUPER excited about this and why you should be too. Think about it, you buy a bulk number of Wands (say 110 for $4.75 a piece---$522.50) do you know that by selling the Wands and charging $10 a piece (suggested retail price) you can make $1100!!!! How many other ways can you earn that kind of return on your money? It's a Win Win! You are selling people something that will help them solve a problem, save THEM money, and look beautiful in their bags, while YOU more than double your money. As we were brainstorming, I threw out the name, "Magic Money Maker." What do you think of that name? Seriously, I want to know.

We are also VERY excited about having an intern work with us this summer. There is nothing like fresh ideas and different ways of seeing things. This is how dreams come true. Collaboration and hard work!

One last update before I get into a flashback. Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an event with my mother-in-law. Every few months, her group, the Grandmothers of Pearls, meet and get together to eat, socialize and have a speaker, movie night, etc. Well, I was honored to be invited to their gathering yesterday and told them all about Nikki's Magic Wand. These dear, kind grandmothers bought 21 Wands in 10 short minutes! I was so thankful for their support but also for the confirmation that this product is for EVERYONE!
Time for a flashback... When we last flashed back, I told you that I'd tell you about tip weights and UV paint. Well, we'd found the overseas manufacturer that we were going to use (Thank Goodness!) and now we were ready to get things rolling. Now, I have to take a moment here to get sappy. Because this whole process was 100% new to the best friend and I, we were so consumed with learning what to do, trusting the experts and funding this venture that we really didn't have the time to sit and reflect. Reflect on what you may ask? (Here comes the sap...) Reflect on how absolutely amazing it was that we were actually working on a dream...a thought that popped into my mind. The best friend asked me one day, "Nikki, why aren't you on the rooftop screaming about how amazing this is?" I replied, "I don't have time to climb onto the rooftop, I have to decide on tips weights and the up charge on UV paint." There was no time to do a happy dance, it was time to WORK! That being said, I want to keep my promise and tell you about our next steps. The final design was done and we were very happy with it. The kind of plastic had been decided upon, the color, the length and width of the Wand, the way the cap would fit and the fact that the logo would be printed right at the spot where the Wand and cap met so that when you pulled the two pieces apart, the "N" would separate into an "M" and "W" (Nikki's Magic Wand)---pure genius on Julie's part.

This portion of the project can only be called "Prototype Land." With the specifications in hand, the overseas manufacturer had everything they needed to make my brain child something you could actually hold in your hand. They went away and started working. We patiently waited, excited for that package to come in the mail. They were working on both the Wand and the packaging so we had an array of goodies coming in the mail. The first prototype came and I feverishly ripped it open. There it was...the Wand. It had a metal shaft, a tip weight that was too high (stiff), and a dull, black finish. The box was too large, the paper was too thin and the color was off. Surprisingly I didn't freak out. I knew this was how the process went....get a prototype, give feedback, tweaks, etc. I will never forget that the inventor of the Dyson vacuum went through more than 5000 prototypes before he got it right so I knew that we would get it JUST the way we wanted it.

I'm going to stop here because this post has gotten lengthy and I don't want you dozing off. :) I will tell you next time about the process to get it right...including a trip that the Wands took all by themselves to Wisconsin! :)

As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Wands in the White House!!!!

Hi Friends! Happy April Fool's Day! No tricks for you today, only treats (oh wait, that's Halloween:)). It's been a little while since we chatted and it's time we get caught up. As we had hoped, not only did we start March with a roar, we ended it that way as well and let me tell you how. The internet is such a regular part of our lives that we rarely think of its power, that is until you find yourself growing a business and are focused on what it can do for you. We've been using Facebook, Twitter, our own site, (with Instagram and Pinterest to come) and Youtube to a very small degree. Boy did we get a lesson in Youtube and its marketing power the last week of March! In February, we had a campaign where we asked friends to pass along Wands to make-up artists for their use and hopefully to spread the word of their eternal love for the tool. Well, a Wand landed in the manicured hands of Tracy, of Stellar Visage. This beauty shared that she not only loved our Wand but planned to shoot a video giving her expert opinion of it. We couldn't wait to see the finished product and let me tell you something, it is a FABULOUS video! I am going to attach it here so you can see its loveliness.

See, I told you it was awesome! :) Ms. Tracy, the star of the video, posted it everywhere and guess what happened???? Wands started to fly off the shelves!!!! Want to see? Wands are headed all over the country!

Oh there's more to share. In December, when we launched, a dear friend from high school told me that she is friends with the Biden family and it was her personal mission to get the Wands into the White House. Well, she told me a few days ago that she has passed Wands off to the Bidens, who have also passed one to Michelle Obama!!!!!!!! *Happy Dance* I can't fully express to you what that was like for me to read. Amazing! We got the sweetest message from Sara Biden who said she loved her Wand and that she was going to continue to spread the word. Yippee! So, just like the faces that Tracy from the video paints, March was STELLAR!!!

We have just hired a Digital Media Consultant who will assist us in growing our web presence, with the sole plan of spreading the word of Nikki's Magic Wand FAR and WIDE. Look out for us on Instagram and Pinterest VERY soon!

I know I promised a flashback this time but I had so many late breaking, awesome things to tell you and I never want you to be bored reading so I'll stop here.

As always, this 9 to 5 chick is thankful that you keep reading. This journey twists and turns each day and I'm SO glad you're along for the ride.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Channels, Channels and more Channels...

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Nikki's Magic Wand Friends! I hope everyone is having a great weekend. St. Patrick's Day has turned out to be quite a green holiday for NMW. On the last post, I told you that we were roaring into March like a lion and we planned to keep roaring. Well, since that post, we have stuck our toes into new waters. You may know that we are selling on, and now at four retail locations. BUT, we just added yet another distribution channel (listen to me sounding all business-y). We are now in partnership with a couple who has purchased a bulk amount of wands under a wholesale agreement, for the purpose of selling on their own. It's a Cha-Ching scenario for all involved. How many investment opportunities offer you a chance to double your money? We are VERY excited to have entered into this partnership and all parties involved are committed to keep it going for a long time. We have all read that we need to have multiple streams of income, well this is the same thing. We are looking for ways to expand our brand, our reach and get the word out far and wide so EVERYONE can join the make-up saving revolution!
Also, we are still looking for a subject matter expert on Search Engine Optimization, Social Media and all things related to making the internet work its hardest for us. I've told ya'll before that there are a MILLION things to learn. It can simultaneously feel exciting and confusing. But as each day passes, we plug away, learn something new and come out just a bit wiser. One BIG thing I have learned is that there are many, many ways to get a Wand in a consumer's hand. I happened to be at a girls' get together yesterday and the host asked me to bring some Wands and I am happy to say that they sold like hotcakes. Might have to add home parties to the list of sales options. NMW is easy to hawk because it's not only nice to look at (thanks Julie and Vince), but it also serves a great purpose so it makes a non-saleswoman like me talk it up with ease and in turn, would be an easy sale for others.

Oh, there's more to tell you. NMW will be featured in Ambition Box's first shipment in April (check out their Facebook page). For a small membership fee, you can get a box of  goodies delivered to you each month. Imagine a treasure chest of beauty booty on your doorstep each month. Cool, right? Hurry up and join and you too can get a Nikki's Magic Wand, among other treats. Let's support these women as they grow their business.

The best friend/business partner is being considered for a reality show so you may get to see her soon and I have submitted my picture for People magazine's Real Beauty campaign. If you are so inclined, please vote for me (Nicole, 41 from Pittsburgh)! :)

Well, I really just wanted to tell you what's been happening. I promise to flashback next time.

As always, thanks for reading.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Hi! Happy March! They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well, as far as sales go, we have started March like a lion and our plan is to keep roaring throughout the month! We also ended February on a high note. As I mentioned in the last post, we were supplying the souvenirs for a sorority luncheon, so we got 200 Wands in attendees' hands and everyone seemed excited and pleased to have them. Let the money saving begin! It was also a great networking opportunity and the hope is that we will be able to make additional connections from the luncheon.

Next week we have a meeting with a young lady who does Digital Marketing Consulting: Social Media/Online Advertising/Search Engine Optimization/Websites/Strategy/Training/Tactics. We have tapped family and friends and are starting to get to the second layer of friends but we need to start to really touch the "stranger" market.. We need to get out there into the world. Don't get me wrong, we're seeing orders from people we don't know and we're starting to get e-mails from other business owners who have heard of us, so that's great, but we KNOW it's time to reach even further.

One thing we're really after is a celebrity endorsement. Who would you like to see holding Nikki's Magic Wand on a commercial or feature story? Hmmm, there are SO many great options. Nikki's Magic Wand knows no age, race or income limit so any glamour puss could do it. We will keep pushing to make those connections and if you have an "in" with a hot celeb, let us know! :)

Time for a quick flashback...
So, when we last went down memory lane, we were ready to lock down a manufacturer. Vince, the design guy, said he'd go out and get some quotes. This was great news to us because, as usual, we didn't know how we'd proceed with that. He communicated our needs (a plastic stick, with a rubber tip and a cap closure). He sent along the dimensions and some ideas for materials that could be used for the Wands. He sent out very intricate and fancy drawings to potential manufacturers and let the quotes roll in. He received two quotes from the US and two from overseas. My top choice was to have the Wands manufactured in the US. I wanted to go to the factory and cry as I watched the Wands rolling down the conveyor belt. I imagined what that would be like...watching an idea that popped into my brain actually manifested into something that could be held in your hand. So, I was eager to see what the quotes would be like. Now, let me tell you first what made up the quote. Each manufacturer gave us a quote on the mold for the Wand and cap and the per unit price once the Wands were manufactured. Well, my vision of a teary me standing in the factory in say, North Dakota (don't know why I chose N. Dakota :)), was dashed when the quotes came back. I had always heard that China was the place for small plastic production but I still held out hope. Well, the US quotes for the molds were more than 6 times the lowest quote in China. Yes, you read that right, SIX times more. It became clear very quickly that we would be manufacturing overseas. So, after we chose one overseas manufacturer over the other (the more reasonable overseas manufacturer was offering only a one cavity mold, while the one we went with was offering a four cavity mold, meaning four could be created at once, as opposed to one at a time) it was time to really get down to the business of specifications and making this thing pretty. Next time we talk, I'll tell you ALL about tip weights and UV paint.

I am going to sign off now but I do want you to know that we are going to have some fun March promotions and discounts, so stay tuned on the Facebook page and on the site. We WILL eventually put a Wand in EVERY hand!

As always, thanks for reading. You are the cat's pajamas!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Spreading the word...

Happy President's Day! There is nothing like having an extra day off from the 9 to 5 to get some things taken care of. It is particularly appreciated when you have a budding business that you can never seem to find enough hours in the day to manage. Thank goodness for the best friend! We are finding that our partnership is rolling along quite well. It is absolutely wonderful to have someone working every day, as hard as you are, with the same exact domination! :)

I have some updates for you. A BIG one is that we are NOW being sold on!!!! We are very excited about that because, as any frequent online shopper knows, Amazon is a powerhouse and we hope to be able to reach a much larger buying audience! The reviews have been rolling in and I am happy to say that we are "5 Star Chicks." :)

Another BIG update is that we are NOW being sold at Elliven Spa in Bridgeville, PA. Our placement there was facilitated by a newer friend of mine and I am very thankful. Big tight hugs to Darlene P. And an extra special thank you to Ashley T. who is AWESOME and welcomed Nikki's Magic Wands with open arms at her beautiful spa.

The final update I'd like to report is that I spent a large part of today preparing gift bags of Nikki's Magic Wands to be used as souvenirs for an upcoming sorority luncheon. I am VERY excited that there will be a room full of people 150+, who will leave with a Wand and hopefully spread the word far and wide.

The best friend and I have been busy researching bloggers' e-mails and mailing addresses so we can send them Wands, in an effort to get them talking about it. We will continue that grass roots effort as we know it to be effective AND cost effective. We did meet with and subsequently wrestle with the idea of signing on with a PR type online firm but with a price tag of $4500, we decided to keep the PR in house and handled by us right now. Thankfully, there are still many ways to get the word out that we haven't touched yet. We have just passed being "open" for two months and I think we are progressing nicely, if I say so myself. :)

We have had the website analyzed and have reviewed the results, so we are aware of areas for improvement. The goals are 1. Excellent Customer Experience and 2. Search Engine Optimization (when someone searches for a make-up tool that does what ours does, then Nikki's Magic Wand will pop right up.) We will continue to enhance this and get it right where it is supposed to be to run as effectively as possible.

I'm going to keep this fairly short today but as always, I thank you for reading. I genuinely enjoy sharing this journey with you.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Designing Women...and Men

2012--When last we met and flashbacked I was telling you that we had our first ever prototype in our eager little hands and had surveyed various people to see what they thought. Thankfully, they all thought it was a great idea and that it worked well. So, it was time to chat again with Vince (the design guy) to discuss what the actual Wand was going to look like. The best friend and I had always been clear about our "brand." We knew we wanted sleek, chic, and high gloss. We wanted the Wand and its packaging to look expensive, without actually being expensive. We communicated this to Vince and Julie and they got it right away. Julie was/is in charge of the packaging and Vince was in charge of the Wand design itself. Wait until I show you his first ever rendition of the Wand. It looks EXACTLY the same as it does right now. He "got" it. So, in addition to knowing how we wanted it to look, he also needed to make sure he had a grasp on what materials would work well. Any of my make-up folks out there know that the entire inspiration for this invention was the inept applicators that come with the products. We needed to think outside of the box when designing this tool to determine how to make it more effective than what was out there. Meaning, clearly we had to make the Wand longer than the current applicator (so it would reach the bottom) but we also had to make the Wand thinner in diameter, so it could maneuver in those small tubes well. If we made it as thick as current applicators then it could not flex as well and would not be able to reach the tops of those tubes. That was very important because we wanted to make sure the consumer would be able to FINALLY clear the illusive bottom of the tube, but also the tops and upper sides, where there was always product left. And left over product = wasted money. So, Vince had all of his ideas and plans and stepped away to work his magic (pun intended). :) When he returned, with his presentation, let me tell you, I could have cried. I mean, this idea popped in my head...Ms. 9 to 5 chick, who could barely draw a stick figure. I, of all people, had thought of something that required some ingenuity and now, after sharing this vision, someone had turned it into something REAL.  It was a feeling I can't describe and quite frankly that feeling has stuck with me--the amazement and downright shock that this came to my life. Want to see a picture of the first Wand design?

Isn't it beautiful?

So, the logo was in place, the brand solidified, the Wand design complete, experts firmly on the payroll and we were beyond ready to move full steam ahead. The best friend and I were in constant talks about next steps and now manufacturers. I'll stop there because the manufacturer piece is a HUGE one and talk about a learning curve! Wow!

Right now we are focusing on Marketing and building the brand. We are spreading the word through social media and through actual word of mouth. We have a meeting set with our business advisors in a few days to discuss the results of the website analysis (want to ensure it's doing all it can and is user friendly) and to continue to craft a marketing strategy. We are busy bees.

As always, thanks for reading...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Learning, learning, always learning...

Going to jump right in with today's little life lesson, epiphany, whatever you'd like to call it. I have mentioned, in past posts, how this process of inventing something and getting it to market was brand new to me and the best friend. I mean we had ZERO clue as to what to do from one moment to the next. My risk averse, super concerned self has always said that it was of utmost importance to try to avoid making HUGE mistakes. I didn't want to lose my money. I didn't want to lose the best friend's money. I didn't want to make a decision that we'd have to pay for, for years to come. Imagine what a mental drain it is to be spinning in circles, desperate not to make any mistakes, when you have NO idea what you're doing. It's like getting behind the wheel for the first time ever, jumping right on a busy highway and stressing and challenging yourself to remember every turn signal, every road rule and not ram into another car. It's crazy stressful. So, a part of my growth through all of this is to cut myself a doggone break if I don't do something JUST right; if I forget something or if I flat out mess something up. I will say though that we have put things in place to mitigate this desperate need not to make mistakes and that's where our business advisors, various attorneys, accountant and insurance agent comes in. They guide us, with their wealth of knowledge, and allow us to be creative, while lifting some of the business stress off of us. So, the new thing that the best friend and I are neck deep in, but also learning about every day is Marketing. She has more knowledge than I because she already owns a business but hers is service related as opposed to product related so this is different. We have advisors on Marketing but it is on us to execute the strategy. So, we're looking for bloggers to get the word out, we're sending Wands to magazines, we're sending Wands to Home Shopping shows. We are executing a ground swell campaign and we've had successes. Word of mouth is SO very powerful and when you couple it with a tool like Facebook, it makes you wonder how anyone ever sold anything before. We have recently been trying to connect with make-up artists because we feel that if we can get Wands in their hands and they use them regularly, they will see just how much make-up they can retrieve and hopefully spread the word for us. As I mentioned the last time, we have managed to get ourselves in two retail establishments and so now we're charged with checking up on sales there.  The best friend and I have put in major cash, time, sweat and tears (mine, she's not much of a crier :)) and we are SO serious about making this a BIG success and BLOWING UP! We need that FIRST BIG break, but we are loving the breaks we've been having along the way. We are running a slow and steady race and we are determined to win. So, I know it seems like there were multiple little messages in here: cut yourself a break, get some advisors in place to lift some of that business stress and always remember that you're going to learn something every day. It's past my bedtime, but I promise to flashback next time. I've still got plenty to tell you about this invention thang. :)

As always, thanks for reading...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

One amazing, remarkable, surprising, busy month...

I know it's been a while  since I last posted (my goal is to do a blog entry once a week or so) but I got some kind of cold bug that knocked me down and out. The cough lingers but I'm back in the mix and ready to chat again. There have been SO many things cookin' with Nikki's Magic Wand. We opened the website for pre-orders exactly one month ago today, December 16, 2012 and what a month it's been. Orders have been coming in steadily, sometimes a monsoon and sometimes a drizzle, but consistently. The business consultant asked if we'd been noticing that orders were coming from people we did not know and I am happy to say, yes, we have started to get orders from total strangers. I want to take a moment to thank those folks, who don't know us personally, but are intrigued and willing to try a brand new product. Of course my love continues to go out  to those friends and family who have been buying and buying and buying. You may never know what your support means to me.

We are laser focused on ways to grow sales on, while simultaneously chasing down retail establishments. I have a few dream scenarios, that include exploding online sales, selling out on HSN and/or QVC and of course being picked up by a major retailer, nationally and shoot, globally. There are so many things to consider. The best friend/business partner and I have been in constant talks about wholesale and retail prices; insurance and accountants. There is literally ALWAYS something to do and decide. As I mentioned in my very first post, since I'd never had any previous interest in pursuing entrepreneurship, this is all super new to me. I am learning to adjust and fit my life into it because I quickly realized that there is no fitting it into your life. But I will confirm something that I'd heard but never really believed. The constant movement: worth it. The racing mind: worth it. The non-stop work: worth it. The need to think outside the box: worth it. The bottom line is that, the business/product is your baby, under your charge, to keep safe and help grow. Do I bemoan ALL that I have to do to take care of my actual children (well, ok sometimes:)) but do I LOVE that I get to do it? Absolutely.

Since went live one month ago, we've been featured in two newspapers, had a well attended, flawless launch party, were highly recommended by the Fashion and Beauty Director of a magazine, were placed in our very first retail establishment, reviewed by a heavily followed glamour girl on Youtube, and sent Wand packages all over the country to spread the word and hopefully attract the attention of the powers that be.

As they say, we are on our grind and working hard. We're either collapsing in bed or staying up late, managing Nikki's Magic Wand stuff.

2012-- I want to give you a  flashback, but a quick one, because, yep, you guessed it, I'm exhausted.  Last we spoke, I was carting my crazy looking Wand prototype around, asking folks if they liked it, would they use it, etc. The results were good. They had the same problem I had when I thought of this. They would buy it and they shared what they'd be willing to pay for it. I was fortified that it wasn't a loony idea, although I never once for a moment doubted it. There aren't many things I've been able to say that about but it's true here. I have NEVER wavered about whether this idea was a good one. I have NEVER second guessed its usefulness, NEVER.  And I'm telling you, some days that was the ONLY thing that kept me going, when there was no money and no idea of what to do next. So, back to Vince we went and said, "Ok,  it works. The tip is perfect and it works like a dream. Now, let's talk about what the real one will look like."

Ok, let's stop there for now. Please know that I think you are the cat's pajamas for reading my thoughts...a chick raised in a row home in Philadelphia who decided to try to solve a problem for the masses.

Chat soon!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Closed Mouths Don't Get Fed...

As you found out in the last post, I was flying high just after the Launch. It really was one of the very best nights of my life. Since that time, I have been on a holiday break with the family and had some time to regroup. I basked in the afterglow of the Launch, while being fully aware that it was time to REALLY get to work growing this business. Now I have to share something about myself with you. Sales has always intimidated me. I was never the chick who sold Mary Kay or Avon, Tupperware or candles. Just never did it. Went to the parties, bought the stuff, never sold it. If my kid got two school fundraisers close together, you'd never know about the second one. I'd just write a check. Scared of being a pest. Now think of where I am now. My SOLE purpose in life (well you know, in addition to working my 9 to 5 and rearing children) is to SELL something. That's pretty hilarious. It's like God saying, "Oh you WILL learn to be a salesperson yet!" I've discovered something, however. This is very different from Mary Kay or Avon. MY name is first in the title of the product. This is MY baby, birthed from my brain (sounds all Science-Fiction-ish) :). I am finding that the sales part is coming naturally to me. Well, folks are still pushing me a bit, saying, "Nikki, tell them about the Wand!" I don't enter a room talking about it because who wants to be THAT chick? But let me tell you where I thrive....Facebook! It's like I'm in my sales element there. I write my little posts, take testimonials from my personal page and scoot them over to the Nikki's Magic Wand page...I love it. It's easy and feels natural. Just last night, I wrote a post thanking my friends for being so generous with their time and enthusiasm by spreading the word, my website link ( and pictures. I also mentioned that our business consultants want us to have 250 Facebook "Likes" by the end of January 2013. You should have seen these folks take action. There were 20 new "Likes" in under an hour. I was being tagged in messages to THEIR friends  AND orders started coming in too. My post, expressing thanks and making a request was the "sales" push I needed to make. That's what the title of this post means. I opened my mouth, instead of sitting on the sidelines, hoping with crossed fingers, that someone would ask for a wand and look what happened....I got "fed" additional "Likes" and orders. The "take away" for me and for you is that you MUST step out of your comfort zone to grow. Sales has always felt uncomfortable, but I'm finding that when it's something that means something to me, it's not hard at all. I could stand up in front of people and talk about Nikki's Magic Wand all day and then tell people exactly why they should own one. I'm going to be a salesperson yet!!!!

Preparing for the Launch had taken so much energy that I haven't flashed you back in awhile but there's no time like the present...

Early 2012--When we last chatted about this journey, Julie had designed the logo and we were planning the "look" of the product and brand. Also, the very first prototype came in the mail and worked like a charm. So, what to do next???? Nope, I didn't know either so I sort of just walked around with the thing, marveling at it. But, someone had the bright idea, Vince maybe, and said, "We need to test it. Have people hold it, try it, see if they like it." So, we crafted a survey of sorts--a list of questions to ask people when they saw it. We asked people if they had any trouble getting their make-up out, would they use this, what they'd be willing to pay. Before I could really get going with the testing, guess what happened. My beautiful prototype snapped right in half. Turns out prototype material is FAR different from final materials so it was on the brittle side and snapped. Trust me, this was devastating for many reasons, not the least of which was that this little brittle thing cost $400. Yes, you read that correctly. $400! Thank goodness I was the one to break it because that could have ended a friendship on the spot. I'd like to tell you I'm joking but I'm not sure. :) So, I took my 1/2 of wand, stuck it down into the internal part of an ink pen that holds the ink and had people use that. Thinking back, I know my testers were thinking, "What is this mess this chick is trying to convince me to like and then buy?" But, I kept showing it around, with the caveat that it was not the best looking, but worked great.  I'll stop here now...but I've got plenty more to share.

As always, thanks for reading and remember, if you want something, you'd better speak up!