Saturday, July 29, 2006

How Not to Act on JDate

My brother Ted sent me this, and I have not laughed out loud in shocked disbelief like this in a very long time.

Niche Market Research

Have a great idea for a biz, but unsure if it will actually work or not?

I find myself coming up with ideas all of the time. The lightbulb moment is often followed by one of several thoughts:
*Is this crazy?
*Do I really have the desire to anything about this
*could this really work?

here is a great article from Slacker Manager on how to do some quick, down and dirty market research on your biz idea for almost zero dinero.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hell, yeah...

“We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.”
– Frank Tibolt

Inspirational Interview: Megan Ducket

Ok, so a "custom theatrical drape maker," may not sound like a home run for doling out small biz advice, but Megan Ducket from Sew What has seriously got it goin' on.

Read her Interview with

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Advertising Online

Managing our google campaign is as distateful to me as going to the dentist. I just don't quite get it most of the time and have yet to properly figure out how to finesse it so that I'm spending a certain amount of money and bringing in double that amount with new customers. That's my lofty goal.

So, I loved this article Promoting your Business through Search Engines that talked about the difficulty and importance of online search campaigns. However, after reading that a guy with a "pig chef figurine" business was making $1000 a day selling his wares, I must confess to a slight inclination to go jump into the Hudson River. Pig Chef Figurines!?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Need some Inspiration?

One of the most common questions I get when mixing and mingling with other biz minded ladies is: "how did you start your company?" Though a seemingly simple query, this question really could not be more complicated for me. Oh how I wish I could say: "well, I did this, that and this followed by a large dose of that and, voila! My company was born." The truth is, I just sort of did it--not very glamorous, I know, but its the truth. I did not have a finely tuned gameplan, a sharp business advisor directing me or a step-by-step to-do list. I did, however, have the advantage of more than a few helpful peeps along the way who shared advice, experiences, opinions and outlooks based on their own trials and tribulations and that really was truly invaluable for me.

So, I was super psyched to see that our good friend i *heart* paper started a new paper-focused community called The Inspiration Board to help others who are on the same path. While the board will hone in on a number of paper specific issues, it seems like a good deal of info will be useful for all sorts of other peeps, so you should definitely hop on over, register and start posting!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Shipping Shenanigans

After being in business for over a year now, I've developed an equal level of disdain for pretty much all of the major shippers. They are expensive...often unhelpful...and they ALL make mistakes. I've also discovered that one size definitely does NOT fit all when it comes to shipping. There is not currently one method of shipping I would feel comfortable using exclusively. From my experience, this is what I've uncovered.

*For very light packages, USPS is the way to go
*For heavier packages that are not going a great distance (i.e. a few states away), Fed Ex Ground is my choice
*And for heavier packages going a further distance (i.e. NY to CA), UPS has been my best bet.

Mind you, with gas prices constantly on the rise, these stats can easily change. I've never really given DHL a fair shot either. So I was happy to come across RedRoller. RedRoller lets you easily compare shipping costs across all of the major biggies with just a couple of clicks. So now when we're sending an 18 pound box to a store in Northern California, I can easily check and see the most economical way of getting it there.

(via LifeHacker)

Paper Mama in the Wall Street Journal

Check Paper Mama out in the Wall Street Journal.

This article also mentioned our friends Anna Bella Baby and Tiny Prints.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

How to Retire Faster

NOTE TO SELF: Read this article on How to Retire Faster. Do everything it says. Repeat.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Paper Mama is the Belle of the Ball

I know sometimes moms, teachers, camp counselors or anyone else who deals with kids often go to great lengths to ensure they do not show any favortism toward one child over another.

I'm not a mom, have never been a teacher, and gave up my camp counselor days when I was 18, but I struggle with this a lot in terms of who gets my love: Paper Bride or Paper Mama. But today, there is no struggle: it's all about Paper Mama.

My partner and I are throwing a fab Editor's tea today at HTwo at Saks to launch our Paper Mama line. Yes, I realize that its July, so we will be having iced tea, but you get the point.

I was up half the night preparing our new Tip Kits, and am now camped out in our building's mailroom awaiting an early shipment of our new catalogs from overseas. Oh yeah, and I need to get a manicure pronto, run out to kinkos to get copies made, have my hair blown out, buy extra ribbon, finish packing up my suitcase of supplies and pray that I don't immediately sweat through my dress within the first 10 minutes (I may need some group prayer for that one). Also crossing all fingers and toes that the predicted NYC thunderstorms don't end up thundering.

BUT...we have some awesome gift bags, thanks to donations from some pretty talented ladies and an AMAZING list of RSVP's, so I'm hoping that we seriously rock it out today. Are you wishing me cyber luck?

Podcast Love Revisited

I've already shared my deep and undying love of podcasts with you all. So, of course I was pretty head-over-heels to find this post on even bigger and better ways to listen to and search for podcasts.

Have you guys started podcast listening yet? Seriously, are you listening right now???

(via lifehacker)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Repackaging Packaging

Barcodes reinvented

Man, the Japanese are pretty much on top of *everything* in the world of design!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ready to Wholesale?

Really, ready? Are you sure?

Our friends at i *heart* paper have a great post about why you need to stop, look both ways and check the traffic light before "crossing" into the world of wholesale (this is coming from the girl who is *still* sitting on most of her NSS orders, so read it!).

Monday, July 03, 2006

Marketing through Myspace

Like many others, I DO have a myspace profile for Paper Bride (still need one for Paper Mama), but truth be told, I barely ever hang out on myspace and have yet to learn how to really "work it" in terms of promoting my businesses.

That is not the case, however, for Kalon Clothing, a start-up apparel company that has gained popularity and enjoyed steady sales all thanks to promoting themselves on

Here's a great article on how, without spending a dime on advertising or marketing, they did it.