Thursday, April 29, 2010

In Good Company Workplaces

Adelaide Lancaster and Amy Abrams are two smart, talented ladies you want to get to know.  They are the proud founders of In Good Company Workplaces.  If you are a NYC entrepreneur- you need to visit their space, but if you are hundreds of miles away like me, I recommend subscribing to their newsletter chock full of resources, small business news and innovative ideas.
our story

Our years of consulting to many talented and enterprising women helped us to identify several common themes and challenges that affected our client’s success. We frequently met and worked with entrepreneurs who felt isolated as business owners; had difficulty finding affordable office space; lacked a collegial community with whom they could share resources and tricks of the trade; and struggled with where to go when faced with challenges. Not only were these challenges pervasive but they resonated with us strongly as business owners ourselves! We began to wonder if there was a solution that could address these common needs of women business owners. And so the market research and business planning began...
Flash forward 18 months later, and In Good Company WorkPlaces is launched! Finally - an innovative business that is designed with women business owners’ success in mind!
In Good Company’s purpose, practices and policies reflect our core beliefs about women entrepreneurship and their offerings are based in our overall mission to elevate the status of women entrepreneurs, which we do by providing solutions and connections that enhance the success of women-led ventures. In Good Company is also committed to finding ways to collaborate and support other organizations and non-profits who are also promoting the professional development of women and girls. Organizations include: Nest, Step Up Women’s Network, GEMS GIRLS, WIBO, Make A Wish Foundation, and The Vibe Theatre Experience.
A complaint I often hear from my clients is that although they love fulfilling their dream of being a business owner that they miss the collaboration and camaraderie of previous work environments.  The community that Amy and Adelaide have created empowers women business owners to come together to work, meet and learn - all in good company.  Kudos ladies! 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


If you’ve utilized the small business association to help get your business off the ground, you may have also heard of SCORE.  For those of you that haven’t, SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide.
Want a free online evaluation of your business?  Click on the Small Business Assessment.  After a quick questionnaire you will be presented with customized report with resources and topics that will interest you in your current phase of business.

The resources they provide are fantastic- suggested books, articles, and websites to review.  Also, don’t forget to check out what webinars are coming up.

If you want a little bit more interaction, you can email questions directly to business experts.  Prefer an in-person consultation? You can easily find an office in your area to set up a personal appointment.   When was the last time you were offered 24/7 mentoring advice for free?

SCORE has a proven track record of helping small businesses. Ever hear of Jelly Belly Candy Company? Vermont Teddy Bear or Vera Bradley Designs? Yep. All have used SCORE.

If you’ve worked with SCORE- we’d love to hear about your personal experience.  For the rest of my budding entrepreneurs- check out SCORE today!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Big Box vs Mom&Pop

Target had me at hello.  I admit it. I am in there once a week (at least).  What sucked me in, as I suspect it did for many of you dear readers, it its one-stop shopping experience.  I don’t need to go to AutoZone, Stride Rite, Hallmark, and Harris Teeter all in one day- instead I head to one place. Better carbon footprint, no?

What I’ve recently come to realize, is that I’ve limited my shopping experience mainly to major corporations.  Hardly a Mom&Pop operation in my retail repertoire. 

Cinda Baxter would like to change that. She has started a Mom&Pop revolution.  Cinda’s brainchild The 3/50 Project- is a movement to save the brick and mortar businesses that our nation was built on.  Consider these thought provoking points:

3                    What three independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared? Stop in. Say hello.  Pick up something that brings a smile.  Your purchases are what keeps those businesses around.

50                If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue*.  Imagine the positive impact if ¾ of the employed population did that.

Have you ever given much thought to your local economy? I know I surely haven’t- until now.  Join me in supporting The 3/50 Project- and shop some great businesses in your hood.

*Employment statistics courtesy U.S. Labor Department 2/6/09 report; 68/43 stats courtesy Civic Economics 2008 study.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

PictureThatSound exhibits at Creative Keepsakes Convention

Friends, Crafters, Memory-Keepers: Join PictureThatSound at its first ever consumer trade show.

Mesa AZ
April 16-17th

Jenn Furr, founder of PictureThatSound will be on hand providing product demonstrations and discussing her innovative new products!

Each 5” x 7” PictureThatSound paper card features a creative but simple photo matte with a high-quality built-in recording device. The colorful card gives the memory keeper an inspirational starting point to record sound, add images, embellishments, and handwriting. The result? A unique family heirloom to be used in scrapbooks or as a stand-alone custom piece of art.

The card also features 20 seconds of recording time, archival-quality acid-free and lignin-free paper, an easy-slide battery tray for simple replacement and a pull-tab to prevent accidental over-recording. The archival paper, replaceable batteries, and high-quality memory chip ensure the card will last for generations.

“There are so many sounds that we take for granted, that we think we’ll always remember… We provide a product that allows you to capture a photo and an audio snapshot of that memory, all in one” explains Jennifer.

Looking for a fantastic Mothers Day gift for your mom, grandmother or aunt?  Order yours today!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wardrobe Safety Blanket

You have one in your closet. At least one.  A go-to piece of clothing and when all else fails, it comes out to make an appearance. Maybe it appears so often that you could be featured in the weekly magazines “I love my ____” segment that they usually reserve for celebrities holding the handbag-du jour. 

I was having a little wardrobe crisis for the neighborhood egg hunt- the cool temperature took me by surprise and didn’t now mesh with my outfit choice.  What did I do? Gravitate towards my safety blanket. A 2004 GAP scalloped-edge jean jacket.

In my career I’ve been lucky to have worked for companies where corporate-casual was the accepted attire. So the jacket not only makes appearances on the weekends or in the evenings, but has been incorporated into my work wardrobe as well.  When I travel, it’s a must. Perfect for cool summer evenings, but also great for Carolina winters when layered.

I keep waiting for one of my pals to call me out on the jean jacket. “It’s done Eileen. Retire the jacket.”  I remember the Spring lunch hour in DC where I went in, tried it on, put it back on the rack, walked out and walked halfway down the block before turning around to purchase it. I paid full price for it. We have quite a thing going here.

Ready to break up with the jean jacket? I don’t want to become one of those women who hasn’t tried out new trends in years because they got stuck in their favorite year of fashion or self-body image.  Shoot! Am I already there?

If I channel Clinton Kelly I think he would say that the jackets in good shape (ok, I’ll admit to a tiny bit of fraying on the sleeves), but it is 6 years old. Might be time for an upgrade with a darker wash.  I’d also like to think that he wouldn’t make me throw it into a steel trash bin but that instead he’d strongly suggest that I start to cut down on its use.  Or mix up some additional accessories with it- like a fun flowery pin or a broach.  (Great idea Karen Naylor!)  Probably good fashion advice.

But it's my jean jacket- a hard habit to break.