Sunday, October 30, 2011

Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

As the head Buyer at Friendly Rooster, I get to look at shoes quite often.  And I must admit I have a bit of a baby shoe fetish (thus, my reason for joining Friendly Rooster).  I just love baby shoes, especially good quality baby shoes.  That is why I am so excited that we are going to be able to offer Tip Toey Joey shoes to  moms in the US.

Tip Toey Joey is a brand that I carried during my Babystyle years.  This brand continually was one of the top 3 brands I carried.  Unfortunately, when Babystyle closed its doors, Tip Toey Joey no longer had a platform to sell to US customers.  At the same time, the Brazilian economy started to climb, and it took all of the attention away for the owners, Scott and Ana.

I love these shoes.  They are such great quality, and they are wonderful for baby feet.  They look more like an actual shoe (vs Robeez that look like leather socks...albeit very cute leather socks).  Yet they are functional.  As we all know, as baby is beginning to walk it is best to be in bare feet.  However, where is the style in that?

Seriously though, TTJ shoes are made of super soft leather that is non-restrictive and allows baby feet to grow and move.  Good quality footwear is important for babies whose bones are still malleable and growing faster than at any other time.  The shoes also have a padded leather insole that pulls perspiration from their little feet while giving added comfort.  The bottom of the shoes are made with thin, non-skid rubber soles.  They are flexible...allowing for natural development of foot and leg muscles, as well as helping to maintain good balance and posture.

In my opinion, the best part about these shoes (besides style, of course) is that they stay on little baby feet.  They easily slip on, but the elastic ankle band keeps them in place.  This way, baby can't take them off and lose them.  Then again, it will give you a built in excuse to buy a new pair!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Gotta have class...

CPCC offers free classes through their entrepreneurial institute for "starting your own business".  So far as a group, we have been to three of them....

First class was about using online profiles to market your business.  NOT their best class.  The instructor spent the first twenty minutes explaining what Facebook is.  Um...think we got that one covered.  One good piece of advice did come from the class.  Many email marketing websites will give you one month free trial.  If we can find 12 of them, we can get a year free of email marketing...score!

Second class was outstanding!  It was called "Getting your Business Started".  The teacher was knowlegable, we got great advice on business plans, discovered a way to get free law services, and most importantly we learned that some of the decisions we had already made involving the business was on the right track.  Go us!

Last night's class was on trademarks, patents, copyrights, etc.  We learned that trademarks, patents, and copyrights are boring.  (Just kidding...we already knew that).  We did learn that protecting our name/logo is uber important with online retailing.  We also learned that until we are up and running, this can move down lower on our to do list.  Moving on...

So, all that is left is:
-Funding your business
-Creating a meaningful brand
-Demystifying google adwords (which luckily we might not need, since our facebook page is already the 6th entry when you Google "Friendly Rooster"...yay!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Website madness...

We JUST got off the phone with the web developer.  Luckily one of us, we're not saying which one, joined a fraternity back in the day and happens to have a bro that does web design/development.  The guy is helping us out on his own time for a nominal fee (and we do mean nominal).  We're am so excited after speaking with him!!!!

So...where are we now???

LLC and Fed ID...check
Logo/Icon in works...check
Business credit card ordered...check
Native, Me in Mind, Neon Eaters, and Mad Pax inventory ordered....check

To do in the near future:
-meet with web design to build template
-meet with logo/icon guy to finalize (in time to show to web design)
-finalize Tip Toey Joey....REALLY want this product on the site!!!
-finalize rest of assortment

Lots to times!!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We're official!!

Yesterday Friendly Rooster was given its Employee Identification Number (EIN) from the Federal government.  Basically, this is our business's social security number.  This allows Friendly Rooster to borrow money and pay taxes (doesn't sound like very much fun...does it?!?!).  The funny thing is that it was SUPER exciting when it came through.  We had been trying to apply for it online for over a month, but the IRS system kept kicking us out.  Today, we decided to give it a try...fully expecting to get kicked out for our 51st time...but instead it spit back a number and told us congrats!  Woohoo!

So, we've narrowed our launch date to February 29, 2012.  Gotta love leap year :)

Stay tuned...

Monday, October 10, 2011

The latest

Children's product is amazing....really it is.  We had SO much fun checking out all of the showrooms.  It is nearly impossible to look at the product without ooing and awwing and squealing... We're glad we decided to go for it!

So, the shoe thing we think we have down pat.  Brands we plan to carry:
-Tip Toey Joey (mostly exclusive in US)
-Native (GREAT line!)
-Me in Mind
-Either See Kai Run or Livie and Luca (probably the latter, because they aren't as mainstream)
-Banana Peel flip flops
-Morgan and Milo (maybe...probably not in the beginning)
-Pediped (also probably not out of the gates)

Our goal with the shoes is to have some exclusivity, some known names, and a nice mix of more obscure brands. We're really excited about how it's going to turn out.

Now...on to the "fun stuff".  It is "Shoes and Fun Stuff for Baby and Kids", afterall...  The "fun stuff" is what we had to do some narrowing on in market.  There is so much to choose from that it is mind boggling.  And you really do want all of it.  Here are pics of some of the really great stuff that was out there:

Monster blankie and rattle from Angel Dear

Howdy Cows by Trumpette

Native shoes and Mad Pax

Socks and Bags from Trumpette

Super hero towels

It's going to take a week or two to sort through all of this.  Some will be based on availability.  Some will be based on who will sell to us at this stage in the game.  Either way, we're super stoked on how great the assortment is going to turn out.  Now, if we could just get ourselves together and decide on a web package we'll be on our way :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


We are sitting on the plane on our way to LA to visit the showrooms, look at product, reconnect with old vendors, and collect countless email addresses and brochures.  It will be good to see some old business partners.  That being said, we're sure to be surprised at how unimportant we will be to these vendors since we will not have the buying power of a larger store (which has been our experience with past companies).  Offering product online versus in 20 (or 750) stores are completely different ballgames.

We are still all over the board in terms of what the product offering will be.  Considerations?

  • What age span do we want to carry?  Start with Baby and grow into kids?  Start with baby AND      kids?
  • What penetration is boys to girls: (depends on categories carried)
  • How many different vendors do we want to do business with?
  • Which product categories do we want to feature?
- Feet (shoes, sox, tights, leggings, leg warmers)
-Head (hats, clips, bows, bands)
-Bags (back packs, snack bags, diaper bags, slings/carriers, purses for little girls)
-Cold Weather (scarves, hats, mittens, mufflers, boots, ponchos)
-Playtime (books, plush, costumes, toys)

Once we get to touch and feel the product we will have a better idea of which direction to head.  Then once we get back to NC and lay out the product and brochures we'll feel more solid.

Today the LLC paperwork was sent in, so we’re moving along.  We’ve also put together my launch schedule.  Not sharing the details yet, as we also don’t want to jinx the start date..but stay tuned.

(As a side note, would the dude standing up in the back of the plane and running his mouth incessantly PLEASE sit down and stop talking.  Already been in the air 2 hours…if he keeps this up it’s gonna be a looooooong flight!!!!)