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Thursday, October 27, 2005

This tradeshow was actually better attended than MagicKIDS. The aisles weren't packed as I had been led to believe but there was a lot more going on there than in Las Vegas. Lots of really fantastic vendors that impressed me.
Ashor's Room
my favorite vendor by far. really original stuff and way far ahead of me with the organic shirts.
They were doing really cool kids jackets. Saw something like what BonnieheartClyde is doing except on jackets.

Fauna shirts distributed by Areaware
they were pricey but did cool stuff with the sustainable line at AA. Love their screenprints.
I think out of all the shows I have attended I would definitely recommend this one over all the others. The company we shared our booth with did really well. Pooki picked up a huge order from Barney's and garnered some press attention as well.
It was great hanging out with Marie and Thomas. They are simply some of the nicest (and funniest) people I have met. I like Pooki's because there are some very real stories behind those critters. They might not be told on their website but they make Pooki's special in my mind.
But from this experience I have discovered that tradeshows are simply not for me. My selection too overwhelming, my inability to put together a decent catalog, the exclusive use of American made blanks and my desire to produce new stuff at a drop of a pin makes it more of an Internet product and much less of a wholesale boutique product. This show has made me realize that I need to refocus on my Internet sales and drop the entire tradeshow circuit. It is simply not right for the product I am making. Also, doing tradeshows is a painful experience for me. It is the place people steal things from you and every time I attend one I get some cease and desist order the next week (Dr. Seuss, thing 1 and thing 2, KISS for my take off with KIDS etc) Not only that, it costs of ton of money to attend, takes me away from my daughter and husband and stresses me out. The whole scene makes me feel bleak and want to belch at the people who run it because they need someone to belch in their face.
I have a great little antidote that encapsulates my experience at ENK.
The second day at the show around 3 pm I suddenly become seriously ill. I call my hospital in Portland, OR and they tell me to immediately go to the nearest emergency room and not to go alone. Thank goodness my sister is there with me. We knock at the ENK office asking if they can help us get a taxi to the nearest emergency room. She takes us over to a man who pulls out his walkie talkie and asks if we need an ambulance. I tell him a taxi is fine but I do need to get to the ER ASAP. He summons up a "car" and we run out to find an available taxi just sitting there. He shoos it away to let his car pull up. We are rather surprised. We ask how much his car is. He tells us it is $20. He then tells us it will be very difficult to find a taxi at this point ($8) so we give in and get in his damn car. The driver takes us to the wrong side of the hospital and charges me $27. I have to walk around the entire hospital in Wilma's passing wrath. Yup. That sums up my experience at the ENK show. Thanks Stanley for not much of anything.
I talked with some folks at the show who told me VT had the largest concentration of organic farmers in the US.
I visited the Marlborough Gallery and found my great uncle's work selling for 300K. I guess I won't be picking up any of his pieces anytime soon. He is apparently becoming a rather big deal as he is one of the first Chinese artists to bridge the eastern/western gap. I know I inherited some of his artistic talent. I can recreate any color from paint just by looking at it. That is pretty cool, eh?
I hooked up with Tanya and J and can't believe they live so far away now. I also realized they aren't coming back to Portland because they found it way too clique and white. This depressed me. Made me want to move to New Zealand.
I spent more time with Violet from www.kungfubambini.com and really like her. She is good folk. She is going to help me get the Misfats to play at Jim's book signing next year. Should be a good party.
Gabriella stopped by for a quick visit and it was so good to see her again. I hooked her and Thomas up so hopefully they will contact one another when back in Paris.
We just got in our garment dyed long sleeved one pieces and we cannot believe how good they look.
So here is an example of someone stealing my idea of putting cool transfers on kids shirts...they even took some of my images:
No mailing address, no phone number. Did they buy all of Holoubek's old man's vintage stock or are they just out and out illegal? Funny, because before I chose baby wit I as going to go with retrobaby but the url was already taken. Whoa. Weird.
I wonder if they are from Florida because I just got a call from some dude in Florida who saw we were dropped from google (been waiting around for that one I am sure) and wanted to buy our URL because he owns a ton of kids shops down there. Hmmmm...

Out of the google index

Friday, October 21, 2005

We are no longer showing up in the google index and we lost 3/4 of our traffic flow.

So, postponed my trip to NYC and am building an affiliate section, an ebay store and am going to have to market to all my old customers. This is a real test to whether or not babywit can actually make it until we get reindexed. With this loss of income the entire idea of moving into a more sustainable method of production is put on the back burner while I go out and market the storefront and build up more traffic. Please spread the word and book mark your page. Hopefully we will show up again in the future.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

We love google. We adore google. It was the first search engine I developed a personal relationship with. 2001. I even remember the first time I used it and I haven't looked back. I loved the simple, uncluttered interface (something I can't seem to achieve...uncluttered I mean) and adored its sense of humor. But, we are sad that they are going corporate. We are sad that they have made people create ridiculous link exchange pages that have nothing to do with anything. Huge taxonomies that are not based on a damn thing. Link whores. I hate going to someone's site and finding useless links you need to sift through to get to anything good. Now, sites like punkymoms.com or the bust.com directory are awesome because they commit to some editing but I don't get those sites that allow you to add your site willy nilly without any editing simply for providing a link back. UGH. Just wondering if google's algorthem factors in at all the depth people go into the site once they have found it through a search term? The further people tool around on a site the more likely it is relevant to what they were looking for in the first place; either that or it is simply a way cool site. Jim suggested that google just let folks see behind the curtain. This site ranks high because tons of other sites link to it. Or this site ranks high because of its relevance to the search term.

I am making a shirt for myself that on the front says FUCK BUSH FUCK SWA FUCK YOU and on the inside is the 1st amendment. Just in case I get stopped while flying. Jim thought of this little jewel.

PS I applied for a dream job at google about three years ago. They never wrote me back.

Keeping Books and Long Term Plan for BW

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

My head is throbbing. Has been all day long. I think I need reading glasses. I have been in a simply awful mood. I started trying to catch up on bookkeeping and I haven't done any since ummm April. I started doing it on one computer because my husband kidnapped my laptop due to a virus invading his. My sister also has a computer virus. My hatred for spamming is unending. Anyways, I managed to work on the file on one computer and then forgot to bring it to my new computer so I just lost 3 hours of work performing the task I hate the most.

BTW, Jim pointed out that my last blog may have implied that I either had a boyfriend or I was Kristin's lover, neither of which is true (although Kristin is a cutie pie!) So, just to clarify what I meant to say that we miss Tanya. We call her every day and we are having difficulty getting used to someone taking her place. I was making a very ADD analogy between Tanya and that boyfriend. My apologies. My thoughts are all over and I jump way too fast.

So many things happened this weekend that I hardly know where to begin so I will give a brief overview.

People are constantly asking me about my business plan and I always come back with "I have no idea where I want this to go." I mean I started it as a bit of a joke and never expected it to take off (thanks to google!) Well, now I do. I know exactly where I want to go. I watched "The Corporation" and "Blue Vinyl" this weekend and realize now that my long term goal of 10 years is to be making infant products that are 100% sustainable. I am running over with ideas. Insane ideas but at least now I know how I want to steer this boat. I also took my first screenprinting class this weekend and came away only wanting more.

I am making Kristin & Stephanie watch "The Corporation" and then I am going to meet with them and we are going to get BUSY.

Also, AA's CEO stood right in front of my friend's booth and asked one of his female models to put on a different shirt. She said she didn't have anything underneath and he still asked her to do it so she stood in a tradeshow and exposed herself and not willingly. Can you imagine being that girl? I was so messed up from hearing this and am extremely disappointed because of where I was going to go with AA's sustainable line. Obviously I can no longer consider this and have to really think about moving away from AA, plus it will take me longer to find an organic source I can afford.

Have any of you ever done this?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Met the perfect boyfriend only to find he was moving away and when trying to replace his presence because you missed him so damn much you did psycho things like date really great guys but dump them right away because they just weren't the same? Kristin and I are on the rebound. Enough said about that.
Tonight I am going to go check out some stencil artist. I really want to get into this art form so I am excited about what I will see.
So about working with retailers....I have a huge problem. Everyone else plans their fall and spring lines way ahead of time. They sell them months in advance. The designs don't come out for a year after thinking of them. It seems like the fashion and publishing industry move at the same pace and here I am making new designs that have to get on a shirt that month or it is old news to me. Every month I am adding at least 5 new designs and so when I go to print with a catalog, by the time it is shipped out to stores, at least 5 to 10 new designs are not in the catalog but are being sold on the site. And, get this...I can't stop myself. No way. I love making new shirts and to have to wait an entire season to bring it out...?! I want to see people choke on their soda today, not next season. My dilemma I know and I am dealing. Counseling has been suggested. I just think that eventually the Internet will speed up the fashion and publishing industry. Here is what is funny...the big fashion trend site that sets fashions way ahead is already behind! They are talking graffiti elements for next year and it is here no...ta da.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Get SMART and volunteer! Join thousands of Oregonians to give our children the chance they deserve to succeed.
I chose to donate to SMART because of their tagline. Most non profits make me feel like I am some sort of do gooder, which I am definetly not but this tagline says it all. The chance they DESERVE. The whole crux of the matter lies here. Our children, as citizens of the US of A deserve a fair shake. Deserve to be educated and deserve to be clothed, housed and fed. If there is a lot of anger it comes from the fact that these kids deserve these things and they are being denied access to these things. I know that if I saw my kid falling behind because I couldn't be around to guide her, feed her, do her homework with her after school AND the education she has been promised is a joke AND the school lunch she does get is a load of crap I might just be pissed off too. And, to make it all worse people made me feel like I was taking a handout and should be grateful for it every time I used a WIC check to buy some nasty assed hormone filled Milk for my child from some pimply faced grocery clerk, I'd be even more pissed off.
The tagline for this non profit is telling us that there is something WRONG with our educational system because these kids DESERVE this. It is their right and they are not getting it and as good citizens we should volunteer for this project. And, not because we are Christians or do gooders trying to creep into heaven but because we are trying to protect the very heart of what this country is built upon. So, get out there and read to some kids because the best escape from the world you are in is having the ability to fall into the words of another world which in turn fuels the hope, the imagination and the drive to mesh the world one reads about into one's own.

Personal Testimonial For Power Bars

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

So yesterday I am pulling out laundry from my washer and an enormous rat (the largest I have ever seen with a span of over 9 inches sans tail) ran out from under it. It was so large I don't even know how it pulled itself out from underneath the washer. I am NOT exaggerating... giant freaking rat in my basement streaking across the floor, not even sure what I saw...capybara journeyed over from S. America and somehow ended up in my basement and I don't know how he burrowed into the house. I tell my husband about it. Of course he doesn't believe me on the size but I AM NOT EXAGGERATING. That very night he hears it in the wall, digging, nesting, biting, scraping and he starts to believe me. This afternoon Jim comes to me and tells me he knows why that damn rat is so big. The rat is a rat that is now physically optimized as he has a penchant for energy bars and has discovered our motherlode. Apparently he's a little body building rat that has been snacking on a huge box of power bars. All the wrappers are scattered about and not a crumb is left. We are talking about one physically fit rat. Yes Sir. This rat is no normal sized rat. He has feasted on over ONE DOZEN power bars. Think of what that does to a human. No doubt he would break any rat trap in two with his hard little rat body so we have turned it over to the Rat Zapper...on its way in the mail today.

Today we are mourning the loss of our Tanya. We are trying to replace her but no one has fit the bill quite yet. It is rather like when you were 16 and your best friend had to move to another state...finding a new best friend took months, years, maybe you are still thinking about her.

I am a totally clueless person. I admit it. My tagline is not accidental. I am so uncool but not uncool enough to be cool. I am just not cool. I don't know what is what and all. I generally feel uncomfortable around people and my favorite time is when I am alone. So...

I get a call from a paper as they are doing an article on political infant tees. I pass on the names of all the customers in the NYC area who have ordered political infant tees in the last month and I get an email from one of them telling me the reporter was leading her to say something about what it means to put her child in political shirts at such a tender age and because I have no idea which way the paper leans as I read nothing these days because I spend all my time doing tedious chores like fending off giant rats, washing clothes, bookkeeping, child rearing etc; I click over to the paper in question and on the COVER is my old boss Nick Denton. I am like, wow, the last time I heard anything about him he was running some network of porn sites. Shows you how much I know. Heh. Gawker Media is what blogging is all about. Tidbits of voices grouped by together by whatever fuel your habit might need. Too much fun and inescapable once you have entered. Plus, apparently Nick throws one fantastic party!

All I remember about Moreover is writing some report about how our search technology was all that, how Nick/David were into getting Blogger and how my stinky-assed dog (the marketing mgr asked me to please never to bring my little beast back into the office because he would go and stand next to her desk and release the most noxious of odors) went in poo pooed in the board room before an important meeting between Nick and some press people and I was out to lunch and my coworker Julie tried to cover the offending matter up with a napkin but it still stunk up the entire meeting room. Igor never came back...What was interesting though was that the meeting room was all glass so I could see my dog's shit covered with a napkin while the meeting was going on. The napkin fluttered a bit. I remember that too. The fluttering.

Paranoid? Probably but the results are good

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I threw out all my skin products, shampoos, creams etc because they all contained parabens and other assorted goodies. I think I only have a couple of products that made it through the raid. I have gone all the way to the other side and even installed a water filtration system for the kitchen sink and the shower and I have to tell everyone the results. At first my skin reacted negatively and I got some veeeery large and scary blemishes but seriously folks, I am not kidding, after two weeks my skin is softer and younger looking than it has been in years. And, this is all from using products that have ingredient lists that I can actually decipher. I also tend to avoid products with wax or other heavy substances in them. WOW. I am touching my skin right now and ooooing. ooooooohhhh!.
I am ordering all my stuff from either Toms of Maine, Dr. Bronners or my sister-in-law's sitebecause these are the only products out there I have found that are affordable and have an ingredients list that is pretty simple. Also, Sarah's product is pretty cool. She does her R&D over her kitchen sink while her three kids are running around so I KNOW she doesn't put anything in there she wouldn't want to expose her kids to. Plus, it smells so darn good.
I am behind in marketing. We have a new employee (Shannon) coming in Monday so I need to clean up and make her feel welcome. Also, a new intern from the fashion institute starts this week. Pulse underwear picked up our last one and she is now a full time designer for them. Go Briana!
We have some seriously hysterical shirts coming out next month. I won't give anything away but I am laughing just thinking about them. Hoodies are up! Flock is up! New shirts are up! We have some l/s garment dyed onesies on their way!