Goodmannerskidsstuff’s Blog

Archive for August 2009

Good morning! 

I believe I am in the better posting section because there is plenty of room to write and also the ever handy spelling correction tab!

I was so preoccupied last post with the confines of my format and worried about how many mistakes I was making and how I was going to gracefully end it, that I made a big mistake!   A real one — not  a grammar or spelling mistake or typo or bad formatting.  But something important I actually left out!

I had to get back on and tell you this missing information because it’s the most  important part of why Good Manners Kids Stuff exists!  And as I am starting at the beginning of the journey, it needs to be put in the right, chronological place!

So, when I left you last post, I had been let go.  But here’s what happened before that happened:

After I settled back in at work and before my creative department was let go, I made placemats! 

They were very cute — very labor intensive, but very cute!

I asked an artist that worked with me if he could make some designs for me:  a little boy, a doll, a dog and a cat.

He drew the illustrations with pantone  markers.  They were so cute!  In fact, he asked to use a picture of my daughter as the model for the doll (not her head — just her body and cute little smocked dress sitting on a little chair).  Everyone loved them. (Ultimately I paid him to design 9 designs.)

It’s hard to believe today with all the technology we have available to us, and all the print on demand, etc., just how hard it was for me to make these!  I had to color copy the design on 8 1/2 x 14 inch paper, and then color copy a bigger backing sheet ( 11 x 17) which I had to cut down to be a margin around the drawing and make it into a bigger mat to fit plates and utensils. 

Once I glued it together, I had to take it back to the copy center to laminate.  Then I had to trim the edges so they “wouldn’t take someone’s eye out!”

So what did I do with these placemats?  I sold personalized ones at our daycare.  I actually sold a decent amount — personalizing with the child’s name, birthday, etc.  So each time I wanted to make a placemat, I had to type in, format and print out information onto the 8 1/2 x 14 inch sheet I had already printed (in bulk) at the copy center.  And then attach the trimmed-down back and went back to the copy center to laminate it.

All those different steps cost money and took a lot of time.  So while I had fun with the whole idea and selling some, I didn’t make much of a profit.  It certainly wasn’t going to allow me to stay home and it actually took me away from my daughter during the little amount of time we had together.  (I specifically remember driving over in the pouring rain one night to pick-up laminated mats in order to get them to the daycare the next morning as promised and she had a horrible ear infection and fever!)  I couldn’t figure out any way to make it easier or cheaper.

So, that was that.   And that’s when the lay-off happened and I moved on to a new job.

Okay — phew — now I’m back on track with the right chronological info!

Now I can get back to the story with my next post.  Until then,

Leslie

I’m finally back for my second post. My first one was back on May 13th. How embarrassing! I promise you that I have been very busy since then.

I am now writing 3 other blogs: http://www.goodmannersmom.blogspot.com, http://www.goodmannerskidsstuffpress.blogspot.com and http://www.goodsportbadsport.blogspot.com. I’ve also been working on my site http://www.goodmannerskidsstuff.com, getting links and some new products.

In my first post I told you I would share my story and journey with you. Well, here’s a tiny bit to whet your appetite.

When my first daughter was born, I was a working mom (I still am) and I was very sad that I had to leave her to go back to work.

Like many new moms in my situation, I looked for all kinds of ways that I could stay home and also make money. I am ashamed to admit that I sent away for a Carleton Sheets real estate course off of an infomercial, and some other things that I can’t remember today. I poured over all the parenting magazines and sent away for some of the moms work at home information advertised in the back. I even found myself glueing fake tiny evergreen boughs to tiny wreaths for the (apparently huge, they said) tiny wreath market. I was all thumbs on that, glueing my fingers together!

There was not enough time in the day to glue enough wreaths and make enough money to stay home with my daughter — so I resolutely went back to work.

You know, as I read over what I’ve just written, I hope it doesn’t sound like I selling you a get rich quick scheme. Believe me, it isn’t! This is just my background, how and why I got started on the path that has resulted with me here, today.

Okay — now that disclaimer is out of the way, the next think I started looking into was selling personalized children’s books.

Now, I am a huge author-to-be and an even more huge (?huger?) reader so that seemed like it could be appealing. But I would need to spend $35,000 to buy a franchise and I was also going to have to do a lot of traveling — sort of defeating the purpose of staying home with my daughter!

After that I sort of chilled. Then my company was bought and they let go all of the creative people. There I was with a very nice severance package (23 weeks) but I wasn’t able to enjoy it because I needed a job and benefits (I forgot to mention that my husband is self-employed and I carry the benefits — even back then). I got networking and interviewing and within 2 months I was gainfully employed at a direct response agency 1 hour from our house and daycare.

Still not my vision of my ideal existence!

Well, I think that’s all I’ll share today! I am not that familiar with WordPress and I seem to be in some QuickPress section that isn’t allowing me to see the whole blog. (Not optimum for an English major who writes for a living!) Plus, I need to get my linkages activated.

I hope to check back sooner than 3 months this time — thank you for reading!

Leslie