February 2013

Pajama Day

by Cat on February 28, 2013

Sorry for the late post… It was another all nighter to beat a deadline, coupled with my turn to ride the virus carousel that has been going ’round the household.  What I am in the mood for if I didn’t have a second deadline to face today? A foot massage, these pajamas and a scoop of the infamous Secret Breakfast ice cream at Humphrey Slocombe.

secret breakfast (bourbon and cornflake  flavor) ice cream at humphrey slocombe SF :)

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Make: Family Cards

by Cat on February 27, 2013

I see more and more families sending out “New Year” cards each year and you can bet those by the Designing Moms can be head turners. Designing Mom Ryan of Tin Parade sent me hers the other day and without fail, it captured her family’s spirit to a tee. If you want to take a look her new table banners have a look here too…

photo: Beautiful Day Photography

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Make: Kids Activity Calendar

by Cat on February 26, 2013

Activity calendars and organizers make my nose wrinkle because I have traumatic childhood memories of trapper keepers and really bad magnet wall calendars. When Designing Mom Shinmin texted me this photo of the weekly fridge calender she whipped up for her three old daughter I felt cleansed. It not only looks wonderful, but it’s an easy DIY and something the fam and the fridge can be proud to display…

from Designing Mom Shinmin:

Ever since the arrival of her new baby sister, Mila has become nervous about her days.  Each morning, she asks with urgency, “Where am I going today?”  I realize that she’s upset because, in her view, she is getting dumped somewhere everyday while the baby stays with me and gets all my attention.  No matter how many times I tell her, she doesn’t remember her weekly routine and she gets increasingly more anxious.  So I decided to make her a calendar of her weekly activities so that she can have a visual display of her days.

I made refrigerator magnets by using this tutorial.  Then I drew icons of her activities (i.e. school, ballet class, swim class, gymnastics, even our weekly trip to the ferry building).  I “laminated” the icons by sticking clear packing tape to the front and back.  When an activities changes I swap out the icons.

Since I started doing this, she is more at ease.  Now she feels important.  She is not getting dumped somewhere.  Instead these activities are planned exclusively for her.

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Featured Designing Moms: Initials Inc

by Cat on February 25, 2013

Founders Britney and Ivy of Initials,Inc. faced an all too familiar scenario when they started to build their families. Bree at the studio had a chance to ask them about their journey and how their entrepreneurial spirit forged a nation-wide company…

 

What was the main idea behind Initials, Inc. and how did you get started?
Initials, Inc. has been an incredible journey. As young mothers we loved being there with our kids, however, we also recognized that there were three things that we really needed to keep our “cups filled” in order to be great mothers, wives, friends and neighbors in our community. We found we didn’t want to give up that time with our little ones but craved a creative outlet, the ability to contribute financially to our homes and much needed adult time. Our solution? We started a home based design company that offered handbags and home organization items for women. We quickly realized we weren’t alone! The solution we created for ourselves resonated with so many other women. We launched nationally and quickly became Moms on a mission to bring on trend personalized products to the modern woman!

Where is Initials, Inc. today?

This month Initials, Inc. celebrates its 8th anniversary and is represented by thousands of consultants across the country in all 50 states.

Through the evolution of the company we have worked to celebrate women for who they are. Each woman is different, with different needs and desires. We want to encourage women to live a bold life for themselves and their families. Our core philosophy is “There’s Only One You!” we celebrate this through our personalized products but also through our business opportunity for women. We offer a woman more than the ability to design her own handbag, we offer her tools to design her life.

We love the whole vibe of Initials! How important is presentation and style when launching a company? Any advice for how other moms can embrace this?

The look and feel of the company is definitely important when launching. However, great companies rarely stay the same. Because of this, we are always open to evolving and growing. Change is good.  As the company has grown up, so has the flavor and how we present the company. It is a beautiful process. As you grow, you become more confident in who you are and as a result, you can more easily let go of what you are not. Never stop changing.

You guys have a relatively small team running quite a big business! How do you manage to juggle so many aspects of business and personal life successfully?

Equal parts organization and humor! We have an incredible team that fully supports one another and a company culture that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It has proven to be a strong recipe for success. We have embraced this through our Company Promise; Happy. Hip. Helpful. These three simple words keep us focused and driving to the same goal for our customers, consultants and employees.

You mentioned ‘wanting more’ and needing an outlet for creativity. What is your everyday mantra now that you have accomplished this?

It isn’t so much our mantra has changed as it is our focus.  Originally, we were seeking more for ourselves, now we seek more for others. When we began to see the impact that this business could have in the lives of other women it was incredibly humbling and motivating at the same time. It is what drives us each day.

What was the most difficult challenge that you faced while starting Initials and how did you manage to overcome it?

We wouldn’t say that any one item or event has proven to be the most challenging. I think our biggest surprise in starting a business is realizing that rarely will everything  go smoothly. We love the saying… “I never said it would be easy. I said it would be worth it.” Early on we were both amazed at all the challenges that come to you when you are starting a business. Things changed for us when we began to see each challenge as an opportunity; an opportunity to improve. As the company grew, we made sure we added team members that saw adversity in the same way. We all became Solution Seekers. It completely changed the way we handled and viewed difficult situations. I would encourage everyone to become a Solution Seeker in their own business. It is empowering!

What’s your personal favorite ‘part’ of Initials and what is next for you girls?

 Believing in what you are building, for yourself, your family and others is an incredible experience. What started out as a solution for ourselves is now building up families across America. To know that we are a part of their lives and helping shape their future is incredibly. We have no doubt that this is the purpose God has for us. The people are truly our favorite part. What’s next? We keep growing, sharing, improving, designing and watching women build incredible business.  It truly is the journey of a lifetime.

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Happy Friday : Teepees

by Cat on February 22, 2013

I’m new to this…the whole summer camp rigmarole. Everyone has told me they fill up fast and to get yourself on a wait list. So the registration catalog has been in my bag for two solid weeks where I peek at it when I’m stuck in traffic. And my back up? If I’m wait listed out to timbuktu then I’m going to pitch a teepee on the deck and conduct my own summer camp…  I’ve been bookmarking tents and here are some great    Teepees on my list.
Have a Happy Friday and weekend everyone!
Teepee Child Play with Space Wall Art - As Seen in Studio Bambini
Teepee Tent Hideaway - Multicolour Stripe Secret Forest Play Tent with giraffes in the trees
Teepee Bunting Style - navy blue and bright cars fabrics OOAK
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