Brandee…the little engine

OK,

 So I’ve neglected my blog…

My apologies.

Eleven months after my launch…an update.

Sales have been slow:)

Scary!

But I’m still here.

I feel a bit guilty that I have not become the overnight millionare that my ever so supportive circle expected.

So I sit.

I’m not the Donald Trump of nursing bras…yet.

What a sad case of events that I launched at the exact time of a global economic meltdown. Who would’ve thought?

Just my luck.

I worry that I have disappointed the people that believed that I would be a trailblazer in business.

A trailblazer?

Didn’t happen.

I’m treading water, keeping my head up.

I’ve blazed no trails, but in keeping with the idea of treading water…I’m kind of like a business humidifier, making a wee bit of progress by still steaming.

I think about my little man (who is 5…gasp) who loves trains, and thinks I’m that little business steam engine “that could”… and WILL, given time.

Wishing all my supporters a blessed Spring season…minus the allergies…from the little engine:)

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April 22, 2010 at 7:13 am 2 comments

Brandee…the Topless Salesgirl

Hello all!

It has been such a long time since I last posted a blog. Time has a way of getting away from me.

Such a journey. I can now officially say my business is up and runnning…and running away from me at times. Given I wear all the “hats” in my business, it’s been hard to keep up.

The update:

Bras are out and being well received. It’s been such a learning curve for me. As a bra fitter, I figured selling my product to stores with qualified fitters somehow eliminated me from providing product knowledge.

Ooops 🙂

I delivered the product to stores only to find that some were having fit issues. My product is unique in so many ways, I can’t believe I overlooked this step. Given the way it is designed, a wired nursing bra that has adjustability in addition to support and a variety of sizes, I just assumed bra fitters would automantically know how to fit it.

Mistake #546.

I have to say, though, I love being out in the field. After being cooped up for nearly two years, isolated in my office trying to hammer out the details of this project, I find talking to real people face-to-face so refreshing and fun.

And after numerous sales meetings, I realized something very interesting today:

I have wound up topless at every single meeting.

When showing my line and educating store staff on my product features and benefits, I find it easier to wear my bra (and yes I do wear it, it’s comfy and gives great shape) and show them how the product fits. I’m a real woman with a generous cup size — “F” for fantastic anyone? — whose breastfeeding career spanned years rather than months or weeks. So my girls are really good representatives for my bra.

I’m happy that at least, so far, I haven’t offended anyone by whipping off my shirt.

It seems to be the best way to showcase what my bra actually does and demonstrates why I believe in what I do so much.

There have definitely been times when I have wondered what it is that I have gotten myself  into…but at the end of the day, I love what I do. I can’t imagine going back to the daily grind of 9-to-5 or working for anyone else, which only drives me to do better…even if I have to “work without a shirt”.

I mean let’s face it…with a name like “Brandee” it was inevitable and almost prophetic that I’d be naked at some point in my career. I’m just glad it’s for such a noble purpose as supporting moms feeding babies.

I can live with being coined as the only topless sales person in my region, in the country, for that matter…as I don’t think there are many that will expose themselves with the promise of a sale that isn’t a lap dance. 

Cheers, and thank you to all my faithful readers who have been patient with my absence. I won’t stay away so long next time.

July 22, 2009 at 7:21 am 5 comments

The Land of Milk and Honey

Hello all!

After a significant amount of blood, sweat and tears, Honeymilk has finally been delivered … to stores! I’m such a proud mama right now and my new baby has been christened with some great reviews.

I have to admit, I was a bit unsure about sales. Not from a dollar point of view, but with the anxiousness of a parent sending their creation out into the world. I want everyone to love my product as much as I do, which has left me running on a bit during sales calls, I think. I tend to talk too much. (Verbal vomit anyone?) As a mother, I want to keep my bra safe and free from judgment. Silly, isn’t it?

As a business woman, as well, I am never free from stress or sleepless nights; but I am happy with where I am. I have worked so long and so hard to get to this point. Yet, while one job appears finished, my work is only  just beginning. And it’s exciting!

 For those of you who are interested, please visit my website and look under “Store locator” to find out where to purchase my product. HMD has also been featured in numerous publications, as well, which you may read about under “Honeymilk Buzz.”

Blessings to all who have supported Honeymilk Designs!

February 27, 2009 at 6:37 am 5 comments

Sales Calls

Happy New Year everyone!

This is an exciting time for Honeymilk Designs. We are embarking on our full production run with product in stores in by the end of this month!

Yeah!

It’s been a long time coming and all my efforts will be realized soon.

This morning I went out on my first professional sales call. Even though it was with someone I knew from my time as a bra fitter, it was still intimidating. I wanted everything to go perfectly, or at least somewhat smoothly. I was very nervous and I realized I am really in need of a better deodorant.

On my way out the door, I checked to make sure I had everything I needed, product samples…check…purchase orders…check… company info…check.

I waved goodbye to my son at the door. He was without socks or pants, but his teeth were brushed and he was wearing underwear.

A small victory!

Starting my Jeep I did one last mental check. I had everthing I needed. Did I look professional? Hair…so-so, a few greys and minor root regrowth strategically covered by texturizing balm. Too bad I broke my flat iron AGAIN. They really need to make those things more damage-resistant when dropped on the floor. Pants… a wee bit tight, from too much baked camembert over Christmas but masked by my favorite coat. Boots…fantastic. Make-up …well done. Eyebrows…nicely sculptured. What’s that? A nose hair!? NO! False alarm, just a rouge bristle from a cheap blush brush. Thank God!

I dug quickly in my purse to find my liner to give a bit of help to my pucker. The liner wasn’t working that well and I made a mental note to go and get a better one that went on smoother. It took  me three minutes to realize I was attempting to line my lips with a crayon.

Crap.

At least I got the color right.

The joys of being in business with a small child.

Note to self: remove said crayons (given out by well meaning restaurant hostesses) from bag.

So, it was definitely time for a coffee. Thank goodness for drive through coffee houses.

I guess I’ll get better at this as time goes on, although things went well and I believe the product met their expectations.

The wrinkles will get ironed out.

If only the same could be said for my face.

January 10, 2009 at 7:53 am Leave a comment

Bra-sizing “D”mystified

So again, I have been searching the internet to try and find a great “bra size calculator” (ie. you plug in some measurements and voila! you have your perfect size).

Ladies, because of my experience as a bra fitter, I advise you to RUN AWAY from these things!

All brands fit differently and, as I have mentioned before, there are no recognized standards in terms of sizing. That being said, I know that I range from a 34 F to a 32 E, depending on brand and style. Some styles don’t fit me at all, particularly those made in China (the brands will remain nameless… do your research). And let’s face it, after this past year and a half, with all the recalls, are we confident with ANYTHING made in China?

From using a variety of “bra calculators” I have been sized anywhere from a 38 C to a 32 J and, horror of horrors!, a 40 AA!

That’s just ridiculous!

In my humble opinion, A’s and AA’s don’t really exist, unless you are under 100 pounds or are 12 years old.

I did a fitting on a woman today who told me she was a 36 A and it turns out she was a 32 D.

Ladies!

Get your “girls” fitted properly!

In a lingerie store, with a variety of brands and sizes.

Be wary of chain stores, websites and manufacturers who “claim” to want to help you find your “perfect” size in “their” brand. Translation, they just want to sell their own brand of bra. No brand or style will work for every woman, mine included. 

I am a bra manufacturer, but a bra-fitter first.

Wear something that supports you, and go to the right people to make sure this happens!

Stay away from the measuring tape! Or anyone that uses one to determine your size!  Bra fitting is part art, part science. Only trained fitters will be able to determine your size and the proper fitting style for you. 

Blessings, from the bra fitting militia.

November 23, 2008 at 4:31 am 1 comment

Website Launch

WOW! Today was an amazing day.

My website launched.

Another milestone on this entrepreneurial journey. Product is not in stores yet but women and retailers can see what I’ve been blogging about for the past year and a half.

Exciting!

I can finally see the light at the end of the manufacturing tunnel.

I wasn’t prepared for all the emotions I would feel because, I’ve sent my baby out into the world. So scary! I really appreciate all the positive feedback.

I read all my emails but my mind, as always, wasn’t focused. I thought about the work that still needed to be done and I wondered: was the product perfect? do I need to make any more adjustments? is the website too sexy? are there any more spelling errors? how much did I pay for potatoes? why is my son “snorking?” OK, well at least he’s saying “excuse me.” I need to get more foundation, my last purchase of face make-up boasted it would “let my natural beauty shine through.” I found out my natural beauty consisted of raccoon eyes (from being woken up five times a night by a nightmaring three year old who is terrified of the Pillsbury dough boy) and the odd breakout. Clearly, “natural beauty” isn’t for me. I need coverage…in the form of an industrial oil product, or perhaps polyfil or spackle.

What’s that saying? “Time marches on, and eventually you realize it’s marching across your face”.

How I long for the days when I thought “crow’s feet” actually happened to your feet.

Oh well, I’m in business.

For those of my followers who are interested in seeing my product and the scope of my company…have a look.

www.honeymilkdesigns.com

November 10, 2008 at 3:27 am 4 comments

Ready (almost) to launch

Wow, it’s been such a long journey. But here we are. We have great fitting samples and the business is ready to launch.

I have never been so excited and so afraid at the same time. I have nightmares about drowing in bras and panties.

It’s been such a long road. One I wasn’t really prepared for. Did I think this would be so hard? Was I prepared for the vast number of people who had no idea what I was doing except spending vast amounts of money?

Not so much.

I feel like I did before I gave birth.

This is my new baby. One I have so many feelings about. I’m so tired, and happy and confused and…freaked out!

This must be what they mean when they say “if it was easy, everyone would do it”.

I guess going into it with my experience and preparation, I thought it would be easier.

Being naive is both a blessing and a curse, because if I really knew what I was in for starting a business — a manufacturing business nonetheless — I probably wouldn’t have done it …

Ok, I lied, I soooooo would have. 🙂

I need the drama and challenge in my life.

Cheers to being “almost” ready to launch.

August 30, 2008 at 4:50 am 4 comments

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