Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Power of One Contact, My Journey to Queen B.

As many of you know, I started my business back in December of 2007.  It was a small endeavor that was born out of a love for handbags. I attending a "Shecky's Girl's Night Out" shopping event in the Design district of Miami in support of a friend's handbag business.  While there I fell in love with this amazing leather handbag.  So I bought it!  The handbag was given to me in a plain brown shopping bag, and as I left the event, I thought to myself......hhmmmmm, she should make dust bags for the handbags that she sells.  Much like all the other medium and high end handbag designers make.  Since the bags were not her original, the dust bags could bear the name of her company and would add a really nice touch to her presentation.  So I went away with that thought in my mind.....I even called and offered it as a suggestion to further her business along.  Not even thinking that I could make these. 

The next day, I woke with the thought in my head that I would attempt to make them; after all why not?  So off I went to Walmart where I bought a Singer Simple sewing machine and some scrap fabric.  I came home and took apart one of my dust bags and goes!  And so Bags for Bags by Andrea was born! 

I hosted a launch party at home with a few friends who all thought I was on to something! 

I made bags for Shoes, Bags for Wallets, Bags for Handbags, Bags for belts, Travel Laundry Bags, Lingerie bags, etc.  I got orders for Christmas presents and pretty soon I was buying more and more fabric.  I even ordered hang tags for my products!  This was becoming official.

Then someone said, you know you can do truck shows, craft fairs and home shows.  So I started to research local shows.  I jumped right into the craft show circuit and soon the requests started coming in for new items.  I started making Hanging Grocery Bag Holders and those became the best selling items at every show.

I did the craft show circuit for about a year and eventually heard about ETSY, so I opened my ETSY store and found that I was a small fish in a huge pond (no Ocean!).  I built my first website with the help of Yahoo Web Services...what an learning experience that was!

Then on March 22, 2009, I did a show in Coral Springs Florida.  It turned out to be my worst show and my best show at the same time.  The booth fee was $69.00, I donated $15 worth of products to the charity of the day and I sold $37 worth of products.  You do the math!  I also met someone who was just starting out on the show circuit as well and we hit it off right away, over a Green Handbag (from her booth) and a Exotic Print Dust Bag from my booth.

Here's why that show was also my best show ever!  When I met Queen B, we started to share our upcoming events, we shared booths to keep our entry fees down (Oh boy...we and our products almost got washed away at one rainy day event!).  We shared business ideas, often via Black Berry messenger or a quick phone call or email,  and then we hit the Social Media circuit....Facebook has taken us to Countries that are only on our own personal Bucket List.  Our businesses have gone to New Zealand, China, UK, Australia, Jamaica and so many more.

Today we continue to share ideas and share in each other's successes.  Bags for Bags by Andrea is now Fabric Creations by Andrea and Queen B's Accessories has added a few more ventures to her family.  She is quite Empressive!!!

That my friends is the power of networking!  Sometimes just one encounter can be the platform for unbelievable growth and success.

To my friend Queen B, I wish you much success.   I lift my glass to our continued Tweets, Facebook posts, Blog entries and local events!

Be Creative!  Be Blessed!!

No comments:

Post a Comment