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!