Monday, April 30, 2007

Even the gov't knows we're doing this!

Lara and I are motoring through all of our to-dos! Today we accomplished registering our business name, and getting a business number. It was very exciting, and having the boys there with us also made it feel real! I mean if it weren't for them, we wouldn't be starting this awesome business! I'm feeling very pumped and excited about this business venture. Everything about it feels right, and things so far just seem to be falling into place.
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When we decided we wanted to start this business we never realized how hard finding the perfect name for our business would be. We knew that our concept was to have unique clothing; witty sayings, things that make you laugh. We played around with some names and came up with KidWit, or possibly KidWit Closet of KidWit Clothing. We put it in our market research survey and didn't get quite the results we thought we would. Here are a few samples of responses:
  • Kid wit has abit of an odd ring to it...
  • I find "kidwit" really hard to remember
  • "KidWit" sounds sort of like "nit-wit" and I'm sure that's not what you are trying to get across.
    Or my favourite:
  • wit is too close to the word twit - wouldn't want to be thought of as a site for twit kids
So, kidwit went in the garbage and we started over. Trying to come up with something that wasn't too cheesy, that spoke to us and had meaning was tough. Then came the name that we really liked, Apples'n'Oranges. It's sort of vague, and yet, has meaning.

Vicky and I both gave birth to baby boys this fall. Born six weeks apart, weighing exactly the same weight - 7lbs 1oz, you'd think we were in for similar rides :) And yet, they couldn't be more different. As we've watched them grow these past 6-7 months, there's no comparing them; they are as different as apples and oranges - get it? ;) So there's that meaning. Plus, the whole goal is to find unique and different items, which fit well with our name.

So hopefully you all like the name, because we went with it. We have the URLs: and
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Sunday, April 29, 2007

From mommy to entrepreneur

As Lara put it, we are really going to do this! I remember saying those exact words when my husband and I decided we were finally ready to do away with the birth control! The result- a wonderful, charming and oh-so-adorably cute little boy named Joel. The past 6 months have completely changed my life, and opened my eyes to a whole new world of baby products that I never knew (nor had a reason to know) existed!

Surviving an Ottawa winter with a baby means spending a lot of time mall walking, which I most certainly did my fair share of. And with mall walking comes, SPONTANEOUS baby purchases! Ok, so well not all of them were spontaneous, Joel REALLY did need those blue sunglasses from the Children's Place, and of course all of those clothes. Ah yes, the clothes, more specifically, the lack of baby clothes that aren't- to quote my husband - lame. Why does everything for boys have to have a cartoon character smack in the middle? I'm sorry if I don't want my son looking like he just got out of a Disney Cruise giftshop. Where am I going with this... I guess what I am trying to say is, when Lara told me about her idea to start an online business selling funky clothing and accessories for babies and children, how could I NOT jump on board!

Before Joel was born, I was put on bedrest for a few weeks due to hypertension. Being at home, and confined to my living room couch, I had a lot of time to think. Among the numerous books, movies and magazines my friends kept sending my way, the thing that I did the most was to think about my career in Communications and what I was going to do with about it. I have been working in Communications for the past seven years or so, jumping from job to job constantly seeking something that would make me happy. I would stay at a job for a year or two, just long enough to complete a learning curve and get bored of the work, and move on to something else. My last job hasn't been that bad, I worked with some great people and got to plan a few events working with children. But being at home has really made it clear to me that the reason why I keep job jumping every couple of years is because I'm obviously not happy in communications, regardless of the job- government, private or non-profit. Before I came to this realization the thought of giving up on the field entirely had never occurred to me. It seemed like a bit of a waste to throw away a degree and a PR diploma! Not so, Vicky! It won't be a waste! I will put my education to good use by starting a business in something that I am already passionate in- the field of babies and children. Not to mention the fact that both Lara and I have PR/Communications backgrounds will really give us an edge to succeed.

So friends, gather round and read about a wonderful journey of two friends and new moms who are about to become entrepreneurs.
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We're really going to do this!!

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to have my own business. I never knew what I would be doing, I just knew that ultimately, I wanted to work for myself. So, over the years, I've daydreamed of ideas for businesses and wondered what I would one day be doing - I certainly never thought I would spend my entire career in one job! A few years ago I dabbled at my own communications consulting business, but, that never felt right. It was more of an excuse to leave a job I wasn't happy in than a passion that I felt would go the distance.

And then came along the idea that felt different. :) The only career I've ever wanted more than ANYTHING in the world my whole life, even the idea of having my own business, was the one of being a mother (cheesy, but true). This idea lets me be all baby crazy and justifies it the entire time!

The idea, in short, is to open an online children's boutique. It's been done before, but I think that we (my partner Vicky and I) can do it better. Or at least well enough to compete well in the market. :) We have a lot of great ideas for finding unique clothing that is hard to find elsewhere, we are going to make a great effort to find Canadian products, and we have a twist of an idea that will help in the local market - the in-home party.

SO many people balk at that idea, I know. Too many Tupperware, Pampered Chef and PartyLite parties has put people off of the in-home parties. Well some people, I still enjoy going to them and I know a lot of other people who do too. But, a lot of people don't like them, and those people are going to be particularly hard to convince that this is a good idea. But, the in-home party idea is evolving, and I'm ready to jump on that band wagon.

The low-pressure in-home party! I've been to two, by two different companies (check out Sugar Daddy Shop, their stuff is loads of fun and I got a great wallet at an in-home party!), and it simply is a display, like going to a store, but in someone's house. The store comes to you (you buy your merchandise on the spot) and you get to hang out with your friends, and the host gets some benefits for their effort. I think it'll be a fun way to really promote the online site in the Ottawa/Gatineau area.

Being me, I want to blog about the entire experience. I want to document the journey, and share it with people. Our goal is to launch in January 2008. That gives us eight months to get this business up and running. There's a lot to be done, but at least I'm still home on maternity leave for the next four months so hopefully that will give me a bit more time to focus on the business during Kiernan's naps (ha ha - you can read my mommy blog to find out more about that ;)

I hope people will read, and find our journey interesting. We'd love feedback, so comment away! I'm so excited we're really going to do this!
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