July 23, 2008

My Secret Plans for Global Domination REVEALED!

I just can't say no when people ask me to participate in their giveaways! Smoochiefrog is celebrating her bloggiversary this week and hit me up for a giveaway. She is giving a commenter $30 Flaky Friends store credit plus 20% off your store purchase for anyone who uses the code "Smoochiefrog" when they check out during her giveaway (ending midnight, July 26 EST). Plus I'm offering free shipping on everything through the end of July. Now if THAT doesn't get you buying a Flaky Friend, I don't know what will. Here's her giveaway link.

By the way, for anyone wondering why people are asking you to leave a comment with your favorite item, it's because ...

(this is big news folks)

are you ready --- I'm going global!! That's right - I currently have a two overseas factories working on prototypes of three Flaky Friends that I'm hoping to get manufactured (in both China and Indonesia). It costs a TON of money to do this and it's a big step for someone who has only been sewing for seven months, but I would just hate myself if I didn't try. I'm not completely sure which one of my characters has the broadest appeal so I'm trying to get some informal "focus groups" through the blog network where people respond to my shop and say which one strikes their fancy. Although it's hard for me to let go of the artist aspect of each Flaky Friend being personally handmade by myself, I've already made about 300 items and the idea of a toy virtually the same for a price that people can actually afford makes me happy. I know that most people out there will never by custom plush, no matter how much they like it because it's just too darn expensive to pay us hoity-toity U.S. artists!

Right now I have Gerty the Hippo, Lester the Giraffe and Greg the Shaggy Sheep in the early phases of production and hopefully will be receiving a shipping container in a few months with 1,500 of my toys. I'm terrified, excited, and really terrified. A month ago my husband and I had decided it was time to get me a new car - I'm swapping that new car money in for a shot at this business and am going to stick with my junky old car for a few more years. We are both prepared for the whole plan to implode, but are hoping like mad it will be a smashing success.

I'm hoping to follow the Beanie Baby/Ugly Doll models. Unfortunately, the only part of that "model" that I understand is to be a household name. This whole process is extremely difficult because there really is no real business model out there I can follow other than just begging stores to carry my products once they arrive and hoping they take pity on me. Any bored MBA/Advertising/Marketing gurus out there who need someone to talk with on a Saturday night should call me for a good time.

By the way, sweatshop shopping is really fun. But that's my next post. No really, it is. I've got pictures and everything!

So here I go. I'm just going on the assumption that if I take the leap, the net will appear. And if you are ever in need of a giveaway on your blog, let me know. I love the free advertising and the feedback from comments is invaluable because I'm too cheap to conduct real market research or focus groups.

So there you have it. I've unveiled the scheme. Now I'm going to feel really silly in 20 years when I still have 400 boxes of stuffed animals sitting in my garage. Wish me luck - no really, I need it!

22 comments:

Z Lister said...

I vote for all three! I am a sucker for giraffes so he is my favorite! You really have something here, I think the "Ugly" toys are soooo cute! If they were cheaper I would get some for my kids, just can't justify spending that kind of cash on a stuffed animal!

Hollywood said...

Thanks, Z! After doing all the research on this, I'm in awe that ANY stuffed animals get sold for under $10. My first run is probably going to cost a little more, but hopefully once I get the designs and a solid customer base hammered out, I can make a bigger order and get a really great price.

bythelbs said...

I think we're all looking forward to the day when we can say, "We knew her when..."!

Colleen said...

That is AWESOME. Wow, I'm totally going to look back and say, "Hey, remember when we came home from L.A. covered in florescent lint? Who'da thought that was the beginning of a billion dollar empire?" I vote for Lester. He is darling.

Heffalump said...

The turtles are my favorite...I love them all!

quitecontrary1977 said...

i think it's awesome that you're going full steam ahead into your dreams! is there any other way to do it? i'm hosting a giveaway right now. come throw your name in the hat! http://nowenteringmomville.blogspot.com
if you ever need someone t host your giveaways, please contact me! i love the giraffe too, by the way!

Kate said...

That is all kinds of fantastic!! I really believe that you will have tons of success; I for one *love* all your creations.

GOOD LUCK!!!

Nancy Sabina said...

Bloggy Giveaways (http://www.donttrythisathome.typepad.com/bloggy_giveaways/ ) is hosting what she calls a "carnival" next week. You host a giveaway on your blog, but you link back to her site and it drives up your traffic like crazy. You should check it out. I get lots of sales from this and lots of traffic.
And congrats on going global! I'm sure your friends will do great! I saw the giraffe at Grandma's and was even more impressed when I saw one in person. They're great!

Carolyn said...

Oh wow, they are all three really cute. I also really like your turtle collection. And I love Baaab Robertson! Something about those mismatched eyes. It gives him a homemade look for sure, but it also makes him look uniquely wild!

Jessica said...

I love the giraffe (I play with it at grandma's house) but my favorite is the sheep- probably because we have sheep, and live on a farm. Our kids have some mice that they lug around everywhere too.

Calidaho said...

My personal favorites are the shaggy dog, the basset hound and the flying pig. But the three you have chosen are also adorable. There are a couple of ways to approach it--either go for an animal that has a big fan base already--people love to collect cat stuff, for instance. Or you go for the thing that is so unique that it will really make a mark for Flakey Friends. Which item inspired you to start making the friends? Which one will make the most interesting story to talk about on Oprah?

flip flop mama said...

Good luck!! I love Gerty. That is my favorite that I put on bythelbs giveaway. I hope I win!

Jen Morrison said...

Okay when I saw the rainbow elephant I went into major gimmie mode! I totally want it for my baby! I blame Colleen who got me hooked on reading your blog. Too bad hubby won't fork over the money for rainbow elephant but runner up would definitely be the sheep but seriously they are all adorable!

amanda said...

Baabs the sheep has my vote for the next batch too. I personally love the shaggy ones the best. I like how when you do something you really do it right.

Breanne Vasquez said...

Good luck. I really like them all but my fav is the Llama.

Kari said...

That's so awesome!! Good luck!
I don't personally have any giveaways, but I know that the "Because I Said So" blog has an off-shoot blog called "mamas like" and they exclusively do product reviews/giveaways. They have a huge readership. Here's the link:

http://mamaslike.com/

AB1 said...

You are so awesome and Brave!!! Way to take a risk! I like your selections -- My second votes would be for Barbara the beaver and Baabs robertson.

If you ever want to talk advertising shoot me an email. I don't know if I can help, but I might be a decent sounding board.

Shiloh said...

Hollywood!
ab1 is a great gal to talk to in the advertizing biz, even if I am biased.
I am also dearly in love with Baaab Robertson, as evidenced by the fact that I purchased one and keep it on my bed, and show it off to all my friends!
You are the best!!!
Wishing you So Much Good Luck!!! :D

Hollywood said...

All right! I'm going to get in touch with all of you who said you'd like to host giveaways - it's seriously good PR for me. And AB1, I'm going to be picking your brain a bit. I'm doing all my marketing research online and it's a bit of a disaster so far. Thanks, everyone!

Jill said...

Forget blog giveaways, the best advertising you could get would be for one of your Flaky Friends to be seen with Suri, Shilo, or Brangelina's new twins.
If you can't actually get the toys to them, photoshopping them into an already existing picture might work also.

I also like Baaabs, and the basset hound. My daughter likes the flying pig.
I think my all time favorite would be the rabbit with the hook.
Good Luck Hollywood!

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

I'd love to do a giveaway. And all 5 of my readers have kids! ;o) Baabs is one of my favorites too, but each one is cute in its own "special" way!

mommyofthree said...

Hi. I'm one of Lindsay's friends. Your animals are adorable! I love Lester, and the penguins. Probably because they are my girls' favorite animals. Your animals all have a charm and character that is just sweet. Well done!