Friday, April 30, 2010

Off to the Big Apple!

Hey everyone,

We're off to New York this weekend to check out some more trade shows Monday - Wednesday and hopefully fill out the rest of our Fall orders. Very exciting! We've got a whole list of brands to check out and are a bit more organized this time around so *hopefully* it won't be as bewildering as our experience in LA. I'm sure we'll still feel silly at some point during our visit, but we're pretty used to it by now--and that's how you learn after all!

Looking forward to fun in the sun (dear San Francisco, is this really what you call Spring?) and spending time with our faraway friends. Wish us luck!

xo C+C

Monday, April 26, 2010

By Golly, We've Been Duped!

In most cases we would keep something like this to ourselves, because well- it's SO embarrassing. But in the spirit of keeping an open and honest dialogue about what happens when you start your own business, I thought we'd share this with you so it doesn't happen again to some other poor unsuspecting friends :(

On Saturday morning, Chris and I were having a lovely brunch on the back patio at Zazie with my mom and step dad - talking about the business. I was lamenting the fact that sometimes letters just show up the mail requesting random government fees be paid in relation to the LLC and it is SO annoying. Chris piped up to say that when he worked for his Dad back in the day that their business used to get all kinds of fake letters all of the time -looking official and posing as the government - asking for money. I KNOW - I AM IN THE FUTURE ALSO.
(To quote one stand-up comedian)

Needless to say, when Christine and I met at her house later that day, I told her what Chris had said, and we both had a sinking feeling as we thought of a ridiculous $175 fee we had just paid to the "California Business Collector" AKA the CBC. Even the name sounds slightly suspect. We quickly googled the name and found an entry on the Better Business Bureau's website detailing the scam. Guess what? The CBC has a big fat "F" from the BBB. The Secretary of State website also has a posting about scams and the first one that came up was for letters from the CBC. CRY.

So anyhoo, the moral of the story: When people ask you for money in regards to your business - look it up. It doesn't matter if the form looks all official - it's called photoshop guys ( I am also telling this to myself right now, don't worry).



Monday, April 19, 2010

Inspiration: Best Coast

I just found out about this band from LA called Best Coast, and I am in looooove! Check out their seriously amazing music video here, and listen to more songs on their MySpace profile here.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Milestone...

We have placed our very first order! It's only for three items (an awesome dress, a really cool blazer and a colorful skirt) but we feel 100% about all of them. When we were looking over the notes we made in LA, we saw that we had written down a bunch of "maybes" or items that we felt so-so about, but we decided just to cut everything we're not fully excited about. If we wouldn't wear it/buy it online/pay $XX for it, chances are neither would you! If this means that we launch with a very limited selection, so be it--we're not exactly trying to compete with sites that have a huge volume of merchandise anyway. On the other hand, it is tricky because while we definitely want our site to have a curated feel, we also need to select the right pieces that make sense together--and it's not as easy as it seems! I think it's also a bit more difficult since we are starting with zero merchandise, I imagine it'll get easier as time goes on. For now we're sticking to cherry-picking our favorite pieces from each line, which means that we could have a lot of different stuff that doesn't necesarilly translate into a website with a cohesive look in the beginning, but we're definitely working on it.

On a side note, I have a bit of advice for all of you: invite Carly to your house to cook you dinner! Seriously, she is a master! In 20 minutes flat, we were feasting on a fresh corn and asparagus hash with truffle oil, and delicate tilapia filets with crunchy breadcrumbs seasoned with Meyer lemon and cilantro. A very wonderful departure from our usual fare of whole wheat tortilla veggie burritos. Yum!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

5 stages of starting a business

You've heard of the 5 stages of grief right? I think there is a similar kind of progression when you are starting your own business

1. Excitement : "I have a great idea, maybe i'll make it into a business! Man, that is so exciting!"
2. Uncertainty: " Starting a business is a lot of work - I wonder if I can really pull this off"
3. Motivation: "I'm going to do this thing! I'm going to eat breathe and sleep my business until it's perfect!"
4. Frustration: "This is hard, and confusing, heeellllllpppppp!"
5. Delirium: " I think this might actually happen , this is weird, where am I? Is that a sandwich?"

And here we are now. Delirium. as Christine and I met up on Thursday night after we both had full exhausting days at our normal jobs, I could barely make it through our planned tasks without giggling uncontrollably and calling Christine "Sir" in a Cockney accent. Everything sounds funnier in Cockney accent for some reason have you noticed that?

We set off to take a second look at everything we had written in our orders for Fall so we could re-group and make sure our selections made sense. Unfortunately, we realized that every website we wanted to log into required us to submit a detailed request about who we were and what our store is like. We have obviously had trouble with this because, well, our store isn't exactly built yet. If you go to right now you get some jumbled Go Daddy mess. That ain't gonna fly with those vendors. So we try to convince them that we have a great idea that just hasn't been executed yet.
In 3 weeks we head off to New York to find the rest of our fall stock and meet with our web development team. Things are definitely still moving but it all still seems unreal. I move along deliriously hoping there is a 6th stage somewhere in the process where everything becomes clear and the business feels real.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

honk if you're lo(a)nley tonight

sorry for all the puns and cheeky references around here lately, but boy are we loansome! by which i mean we didn't get approved for our bank loan. so sad, i know. we have a few other options before we have to spend our weekends washing people's cars but if you have any sage words of advice, don't be shy--let us know!