We actually found that to be true! We realized early on that for consumers and retailers to better understand our product and its benefits; clear, demonstrative and trendy photography was key to complimenting our product literature and brand image. In the early days we took it upon ourselves to take the lifestyle pictures and stage the product, and while they worked and served their purpose, once we had a professional take over these duties our brand image reached a new level.
Thinking back to all of our various photo shoots brings a wide mix of feelings and memories –
Nostalgia for when little Lilly (the inspiration for the company) was the first baby model – now almost 6 (another child and dog have since been added to the LillyBit family)
Adventure both filled with excitement and pure anxiety as we took pictures of our first line that was manufactured getting ready for our first trade show where we would debut the Uptown Diaper Clutch to the industry for the first time. We will be attending our fifth ABC Kids Show this October (trade shows will be its own blog post as I could go on and on and on – for another day).
Understanding of how we could make the Uptown Diaper Clutch the best product it could be by tweaking and redesigning to optimize every little inch of the clutch to better serve moms! The photo shoot of the new revised line was also highlighting our first product manufactured overseas – which as we’ve touched on before was another completely separate host of emotions.
Comfort of having several of the photo shoots so close to home (some even in the backyard). Not to mention the photographer being a very close friend and several of the models as longtime friends and neighbors. We still laugh that when they signed up for the gig they had no idea they would have their face show up all over the Internet, product literature and soon… in-store packaging for major mass retailers!
Opportunity, growth and optimism as we get ready to receive the largest shipment to-date from our factory of all exclusive LillyBit print designs. Just this week we wrapped up the latest photo shoot of the newest line and are sooo excited to share these images. Even though it was well over 100 degrees and we were all sweating bullets (sincere apologies to the model) from what I could see behind the scenes, we got some fantastic shots!
Take a look at some of our behind the scenes images of our shoot just three days ago. A big thank you to Becca Pento of Be You Photography for always capturing the essence of our brand!
There are a lot of stressful sides of building a product and business but worrying that someone might take your idea, the baby you’ve so carefully created and cherished ranks up there pretty high. Looking back at the beginning… after we made the final adjustments to the original prototype and manufactured the product (of course with a non-disclosure agreement), we were fully aware that to get the attention of buyers and media we needed to attend trade shows and start showing lots of people our product; but that would mean LOTS of people would actually see it, and what if they wanted to capitalize on our idea too?
We are pretty trusting people and generally feel most individuals have good intentions, but the advice we did keep receiving was to try to protect the product as best we could before putting it out there to the masses. That’s where the attorneys came in, pretty early on actually. After several meetings and wonderful recommendations from our legal team, we all felt pretty confident we could get (or at least go for) a utility patent on our product. Before our first show we made sure we had filed a provision patent application which would allow us to use “patent pending” when referring to the Uptown Diaper Clutch for a year. Now looking back (to 2008), I’m sure we were pretty obnoxious when talking to potential buyers or those that approached our product by always referring to the diaper clutch as “patent pending” so no one would get any ideas! I also got really nervous when random individuals would walk up with a camera and start snapping pictures of every angle of the product. At some point though, you have to realize this is life and this is business so you do what you can to protect yourself and move forward full speed ahead building your brand name and creating a following.
After the year of filing the provisional patent was up and realizing we had a really great response to the line, we knew we wanted to keep going and try to get the actual utility patent – so we made the decision to go for the non-provisional patent. And, now we wait… and wait… and wait…. After three years (which I hear actually is pretty quick in the world of granting patents) and a few revisions between our attorneys and the USPTO we were granted our utility patent in October of 2010. And boy did we celebrate. We have a lot of plans for our patent, not only does it legitimize the true uniqueness and functionality of our product (not to mention PROTECT it) it allows us to move into other industries as well as explore licensing opportunities.
We have lots of friends in the industry that are successful mompreneurs and have had many battles and struggles with larger established companies ripping off their products, so please, when you can, support the small companies that put their heart and soul into creating a solution to a problem, making parents lives a little easier!