8/16/11

The Lazy Days of Summer

I've really dropped the ball on this here blog of mine. It was all those days relaxing at the pool sipping on margaritas that did it. Wait, did I say relaxing?!?! I meant spinning myself into a crazy ball of activity all the while hearing, "Mom, what are we going to do today?" You all know what I mean. It's the sound of summer while working from home with kids. Back when I was building myself, I'd actually haul the table saw out by the pool at our old house so I could saw while they swam. Now, since expansion happened with my Amish manufacturer (YAY!), I'm finding I'm glued to my office chair in the kitchen while the kids run in and out. UNTIL THIS WEEK!!!!!

Glorious school started!! On Monday!! Well, it did for my 3rd grader. I'm feeling like I have my work life back where I can concentrate for more than 15 minutes at a time and I don't have to save everything for nighttime when I'm super tired and caring more about what happened on Real Housewives than my marketing materials.

I've been gearing up for the ABC Kids Expo in Louisville, Kentucky September 23-26. In fact, one of my business partners, the fabulous Katie Hatch, sketched up this awesome booth design for the show (below). And my insanely talented and loving father will build it in Ohio.  I've done one other trade show in my years and my husband and I built the booth walls but this time around, I'm gladly handing it off to my carpentry mentor. :)  I've been busy running the daily operations, customer service, invoicing, accounting, marketing, sales and PR.  I'm working on the press kit now and a few other marketing/sales items like hang tags, etc.  Thanks to Jenna for a fantastic one-sheet design that gives a brief overview of Mod Mom Furniture.

I'm so glad the lazy days of summer are over!

Booth 2639 in the Modern Child section!  Come see me!!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Kiersten,
Your beautiful toy boxes seem to be hidden from sight being on those shelves. A more open display would showcase your lovely work much better.

V.

Mod Mom Furniture said...

Hi V! Thanks so much for your suggestion. The booth is only 10 x 10 and the focus for the show will be more on the new Owyn Collection (Bed, Dressers, etc) so we had to make a choice. Most of the buyers I know are already familiar with the boxes but the bed/dresser/etc is debuting at the show. Maybe next year I'll be able to get a larger booth to make it more open. :)

Sharon Thomas said...

Just saw you on Shark Tank. Love your story and beautiful designs. Excited to see it in person at ABC. I will send you an invite to our fabulous networking breakfast. See you in Louisville.
Sharon Thomas
The Bump

Anonymous said...

I am totally wondering if being on Shark Tank did your sales any good at all. I found your shop on etsy and your sales didn't seem to increase with your appearance on Nate Burkus OR Shark Tank. Does that concern you at all? Big media features and no sales? I have seen some businesses that were on Shark Tank have huge sales after their feature. I know you have your own website, but it doesn't look to have much traffic, either. Hoping you do well!

Mod Mom Furniture said...

Thanks for your well wishes, Anonymous (at the bottom)! Actually, I only keep my Etsy site open for random folks to stop by - no traffic was directed there whatsoever. Shark Tank was great for exposure but as you probably guessed, my product is not an infomercial-type product. Those are the kind that really do gang busters from a show like Shark Tank. My designs are products that celebrities, high end designer and clients buy -- it's more of a lifestyle brand. My retailer list has tripled (need to update on my website) and I'm in talks with major companies here in the US and in Europe and for the most part, those folks did not find me on Shark Tank. I am phasing out my direct to client retail on my website to do what all my competitors do, which is become solely devoted to wholesale accounts.

Modern design is a niche market and the demographic watching Shark Tank is very broad. I never expected to sell a million toy boxes from Shark Tank. What I hoped was that I'd get an investment deal and be able to expand my manufacturing in order to stop turning retailers away because I couldn't handle the volume. Turns out that while just prepping for Shark Tank, I managed to (with the help of amazing mentors) expand production without capital and strike a partnership deal with my awesome Amish manufacturer. I lined all of that up in October before I went into the tank.

I learned a lot from Shark Tank about business plans, reality TV and the retail/design world, and I am very thankful for the experience!

Mod Mom Furniture said...

Oh, and sales have tripled. Now that I'm not turning away retailers, the designs are being recognized in international design books, and I'm not building every single one, MMF is doing what I always felt it had the potential to do. Grow. :)

Becky Jane said...

Enjoyed watching both videos from your previous post! You have such great composure! Excellent products!

Visiting from Playful Decor
Thanks, Becky Jane
http://riseaboveyourlimits.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

HI, I´m George, I just watched Shark Tanks here in Italy, I love your designs.

I just want to know if by any chance you have a twin sister, single ofcourse. We need more Kiersten Hathcocks here in Europe.


Wish you and your family the best.