Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: a photo shoot

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Congratulations to our winner!

Elizabeth from The whole family is the winner of our Apples'n'Oranges giveaway for the Dog days of summer!

Congratulations to Elizabeth who said "That's just what I need for my little booger that doesn't want his pic taken!" and we hope to see a photo of him in it. he he he!

And check back soon because we'll be announcing another contest within the next few days! (the contests just won't stop coming! ;)
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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Notice anything different? :)

Our web site design is done and thanks to Eric, our blog now has some of the elements of the web look! We're really happy with how it looks, and hope you like it too! Won't be long until we can unveil the actual web site (we've been busily inputing all the stock we're receiving while Eric works on making the look with our shopping cart system). IT'S SO EXCITING!
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Opening soon!

If you are still wondering what's in those three boxes below in our WW post, it's the first shipment of Apples'n'Oranges inventory! It arrived the other day, so we had to take a picture of it to capture the momentous event!

In other news, we are hosting an exclusive inventory preview for all our friends and supporters in Ottawa, Ontario. If you are in Ottawa and would like to attend our preview on August 19th, just send us an email at info@apples-n-oranges.com and we'll send you the details. In exchange for your feedback and comments at the preview, we are offering a 20% discount on all purchases.

This is all so very exciting, and I sometimes have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. A mere three months ago Apples'n'Oranges was just an idea. Now it's a real company, with real stock, and with real business cards which will be ready tomorrow!
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Do you know what this is??!!

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Prizes prizes prizes!

Following closely on the heels of our last giveaway, we have yet another one! (and expect to have contests almost every week for the next 4 weeks so keep checking back!)

We're taking part in the Dog Days of Summer - a Bloggy giveaway (brought to us by Rocks in My Dryer)

If you like giveaways, this is the week to go nuts entering them because there are going to be lots!!

Here at Apples'n'Oranges we're giving away a shirt, size 0-12 months (I would say it would probably fit an average sized 9-12 month old...) from Twisted Twee.com

Sign the Mr Linky and leave a comment to enter the contest. If you don't have a blog, that's ok, leave a comment and email us at info(at)apples-n-oranges(dot)com to let us know how we can let you know if you've won. The contest closes on 12:01 a.m. this coming Friday morning, July 27, and we'll draw a random winner from the list. We're in Canada, but international entries are welcome.

And don't forget to visit the Dog Days of Summer Headquarters to find out about all the other giveaways you can enter!! Good luck!

***Elizabeth from The whole family is out winner. Congratulations!!***

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

We have a winner!!

Congratulations to Our Seven Qtpies winner of our giveaway of a little blue dog sleeper! Visit her blog and say hello!

And stay tuned on Monday because Apples'n'Oranges is taking part in the

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Checking things off the to-do list

Yesterday Lara and I had an EXTREMELY productive day! The boys spent the day with their grandmothers, and we took advantage of that free time to start checking things off our to do list.

We started with a meeting at Scotiabank to set up a business account. This took over an hour and a half because the guy we were working with was a bit slow, but very helpful and friendly. Apparently he has an assistant to help him with the inputing but she was on vacation. We got out of the bank at 11:30 and headed to Wendy's for some lunch.

Then we went over to Lara's and went through all our suppliers and started paying them! Eek! It starts to feel real when money is involved! I have to say that all the suppliers we are dealing with are so supportive of our business and ready to help in anyway they can. We should start receiving some inventory next week so look for pictures soon!

After that Lara and I headed to a packaging store which was recommended by Karen at Sugar Daddy Shop. They had a very extensive selection of shopping bags, tissue, ribbon and packaging. We picked out a really cool brown bag, and some green and orange tissue. However this was one of the WORST customer service experiences I have EVER had in my life! When we arrived, there was a reception area with a man working at the front desk. We asked where the retail store was and he pointed behind us. Lara and I started looking around and when we had some questions, I turned to another guy sitting at a desk who didn't look up once when we were there, and never asked us if we needed help. So I said to him "Can I interrupt you?" His response was simple "The guy in the front." That's it. Obviously I was disturbing him by simply even being in his shop! So Lara and I asked the guy in the front, and he came back to help us. We started going through some tissue paper colours, trying to pick out the right green and orange, and seriously there were maybe 2 orange colours, and 5 greens to choose from. The samples were hung on a rack, and what happens when you stack tissue paper? It looks darker! So we asked if we could pull out a couple of pieces to see how it would look in our bag. And you know what the guy at the desk said to us "You could be doing that all day! Why don't you just hold the bag up to it." Geez. It's not like we are actually going to be spending money in your store is it???? At one point I made a comment like "You are obviously very busy and we are taking up your time so we'll try to hurry", and then Lara gave me a bit of a 'tsk Vicky!' ;)

So we decided on the tissue and on the bags and went to the front desk to pay. Did I mention that the guy at the front desk had yet to even say 2 words to us? As he was ringing up our order, Lara asked if they had a price list for bubble envelopes (they had about 10 different sizes) and shipping boxes, and she received a blunt "No." Ok- do you NOT want to make another sale? Are you NOT interested in a potential future customer? I couldn't believe what a chip on his shoulder this guy had! Lara and I both left there thinking "Is there another company in this city that we can use???" I would seriously avoid going back there if I could.

And, if I didn't think we would need to purchase more supplies from them in the future, I would give them a piece of me! Which reminds me, the guy at the back desk had a note pad on his desk that was about the size of a gum wrapper with a note about it that said "Please print your complaints in triplicate." I guess he must get a lot of complaints!

Anyways, after that not so friendly exchange, we headed off to IKEA to look at some storage boxes, and picked up some orange and green napkins for our launch party, as well as a clothes rack.

We got a lot done and our getting closer and closer by the day to launching our new store! Stay tuned!
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - working hard at the retreat

Don't forget about our contest.
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Monday, July 16, 2007

What's that buzz, tell me what's happening?

We are definitely experiencing some Apples'n'Oranges buzz today! Lara and I have been busy ordering up a storm of inventory, and the responses we've been getting from our vendors has been nothing but positive. We are getting many positive reactions to our name- everyone seems to love it!

The highlight of my day was speaking with another fellow Mompreneur named Jessica (I won't spill the beans and tell you what company she is from), but she offered up so much praise and flattery by saying that she is very selective about choosing her retailers and was very impressed with what we were doing with A'n'O so far.

I'm so excited about how well the business is progressing that I'm getting butterflies! The inventory is going to start coming in this week and it's going to feel like Christmas opening up all the boxes!

Lara and I are going to do some errands this week; namely setting up a business bank account, going to IKEA to look at some storage options, and possibly visiting with some packaging companies.

Don't forget about our contest.
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Shopping spree!!

We've started ordering stock!! It's going to start arriving, and we're going to get to start sorting it, and pricing it, and then selling it!! Woo! We're so excited we can barely contain ourselves!
We have a list a mile long of things we will need to do before I go back to work and Vicky starts, but we'll get there.
We've even decided to have our first test party in September! If you're in Ottawa and you're interested in attending the test party, let us know by emailing us at info(at)apples-n-oranges(dot)com - we're starting an invitation list.

Don't forget to enter our contest!
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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sharing the love - A Giveaway!

We've extended the deadline for our "Sharing the Love" contest. Here's what you do: just add our banner to your blog, in a post, or even better in a sidebar, and then sign the Mr Linky below! That's it, pretty easy!

Black Background:

White Back ground:

The prize: a very cute sleeper (size 12 months) from little blue dog

Contest deadline is midnight (EST) on Saturday, July 21st. As a new business, we really depend on your feedback and support to keep us on track through our journey in the entrepreneurial world!
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Friday, July 13, 2007

If I put it in the closet as soon as I get home, maybe my husband won't know how much I've spent.

I used to love shopping for clothes, before I had a baby. Now I find it incredibly frustrating and I try to avoid it. I never find anything that fits properly, and well to be honest, I am too easily distracted by clothing for my son! It's so much more fun buying him cute little pairs of shoes, jeans, polo shirts and t-shirts. The best part is, *I* don't have to try anything on at all.

So my question to you is, what's your favourite thing to shop for for your baby? Are you as obsessed with baby shoes as I am? How about t-shirts? Does your baby have more than he or she would ever wear? How about girly girl stuff- I don't have a girl so I don't know- but tell us about the *just couldn't resist* purchases you've made.

Have you ever brought the clothes home, and put them right in the closet to blend in with the other hand-me-downs or garage sale finds, hoping your husband won't know that you spent another $50 of his hard-earned cash on baby clothes, AGAIN?

Don't forget to enter our contest!
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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Office retreat

Vicky, Joel, the boys and I are off to the cottage this afternoon until Friday - yay! Relaxing, talking about the business, making bibs, swimming, relaxing, sleeping, eating, oh ya!
Enjoy the rest of your week - and enter our contest!
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Sunday, July 8, 2007

The end is approaching

A one-year maternity leave is truly a blessing in this country. Lara and I are enjoying every minute of it, but we don't want it to end! Here's a little she said/she said on the matter :)

Vicky says:
It seems like every week someone I know is going back to work after a year of maternity leave. I have to say, I don't like it. I've really been enjoying meeting so many new moms who are also on leave this year. It's been great having other moms to get together with, just to get out of the house or chat about the latest baby-related things that are going on in my life.

My maternity leave technically ends on October 29th, but now that I'm going back to school it will end on September 3rd. To be honest, I haven't been thinking about the end of my leave; I guess partly because I still feel like I have until almost November, and partly because it has hit me that I'm actually going to school in September. But it just hit me recently, I only have 8 weeks left with Joel before I start school! That's not enough time! I don't want to miss out on his daily giggles, and see his smile as I pick him up after his nap. I'm really going to miss the time I get to spend with him.

It's going to be a busy year, balancing school and the business, but I'm really looking forward to both. I'm starting a new chapter in my life that is all about kids, and I couldn't be happier.

Lara says:
The countdown is really on for going back to work; I potentially have only 5 weeks until I go back. I thought it would be easier, but as Kiernan gets older, and he does more and more stuff, I realize all the things that I'm going to be missing. As I've realized increasingly over the last couple of months, what I really wish I could do is work part-time. I need to work and get away from being a mom 24/7, but I don't really want to be away for most of Kiernan's awake hours in a week.

As hectic as going back to work and starting a new business is going to be, I feel more and more confident that this business is the right thing for us. If possible, within a few years I will be able to stay home and become a work at home mom and find a way to split my days between working and some daycare, and being home for my kid(s).

Until then, I'm thrilled that I have a childcare provider that I trust will take great care of my baby, and I try not to think too much about leaving him, cuz it makes me a lot sadder than I want to be.

The plus side to all this is, the sooner I'm back at work, the closer we are to Apples'n'Oranges launching, and I'm REALLY excited about that!
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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Clothing for kids

So we've hmmed, and hawwed, and tried different combinations, and tested our ideas with others, and in the end, none of the tag lines we tried were quite right.
Since we went through a fairly similar process with our name (remember kidwit? ;) we aren't too discouraged. For now, 'clothing for kids' describes what we do, and since Apples'n'Oranges doesn't describe itself all on it's own, we'll use that as our descriptor.
So for now, nobody wins the contest (I guess we'll have to come up with another contest to get rid of our prizes ;) but if anyone comes up with more ideas for a tag line, keep sending them our way. And don't be surprised if you see some of the ideas we had as sound bites on the site in the future - they won't all go to waste!
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