Thursday, May 31, 2007

Getting Your Name Out There

The very first question on my blog is from Kelley Scarsbrook, founder of the Stay At Home Mother, a company which provides inspirational workshops and consulting services for moms. I spoke at one of Kelley’s workshops in January 2007. (

What did you do to get the Robeez name out there in the marketplace when you were just getting started?

Because I was introducing a new product, the first thing I did was focus on distribution. I approached a number of local consignment shops who agreed to sell Robeez and provide me with customer feedback on the product. The response was very positive so I started to approach local children’s boutiques to sell Robeez. And I decided to attend a local tradeshow. This was a great opportunity to speak to a number of retail buyers in one location.

Because I live in Vancouver, starting with boutiques in my area was the easiest place to begin. But as time went by I knew that if I wanted my business to grow, I would need to look for ways to distribute in other areas. That’s when Liz walked into my life. I met Liz at a tradeshow in 1995. She was a new grandmother and former real estate agent. She loved Robeez. And I knew that her sales expertise would allow me to focus on production, customer service, packaging, and shipping. She agreed to take on the line and Liz became my first sales rep. She called on accounts across Canada and established distribution across the country. Liz’s passion for the product formed the basis for many of Robeez’ early sales reps – moms and grandmas who loved the shoes and wanted to introduce them in their local markets.

I answered this question from a product perspective because this is where my experience lies. If you have some tips to share from a service perspective, it would be great to post them in the comments.add to sk*rt

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My reason for blogging

Over the past few years, I have been approached by moms and dads with great business ideas. They just don’t know where or how to start. When I first started Robeez in 1994, I was in the same boat. Along the way, I asked lots of questions, guessed at a few of the answers, and learned a lot from my mistakes. Now, I want to help others in similar situations. That’s why I have started this blog. Many of the questions I am asked overlap so a blog is the perfect forum to post answers for all to see. Send me your questions and I’ll see if I can help!

I think it’s safe to assume that if you’re reading this blog, you are familiar with the Robeez story. But just in case, you can learn more about me here.

Look for my first advice post in the next few days.
Sandraadd to sk*rt