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...