Are you ready for fall weather, pumpkins and a change in wardrobe? The LillyBit team can’t wait, and to share in our excitement we decided… what a better way to celebrate than a Fall Giveaway with a prize pack valued over $100.00! The winner will receive a Chevron Uptown Diaper Clutch, a super soft fuchsia infinity scarf – the perfect accessory for any outfit, a bottle of OPI “LUCERNE-TAINLY LOOK MARVELOUS” shimmery nail polish with the perfect name, and of course… a LED Hoot Owl Pen. To enter simply “Like” this post and “Share” the giveaway on your Facebook page and you will be entered to win!
Giveaway Starts September 20th and ends September 30th!
Our friends just launched an amazing product. It’s called Trellie!
Trellie is designed for the 80 percent of women who carry their phone buried in their purses and can’t hear it ring. Women, especially moms, have unique needs and currently there are no products designed to help.
The company, Trellie Inc., created a patent-pending, ultra-simple device which notifies the user of an incoming call to their mobile phone through bright flashing LED lights. It’s worn on the outside of virtually any handbag as a fashion accessory and provides a simple solution to this very common problem.
Trellie just launched on Kickstarter and needs to raise $30,000 to bring this project to life. They have great momentum but still need help if they are going to meet their goal. Check it out and if you like it, consider backing it. The best selling LillyBit Gray Damask Uptown Diaper Clutch is available as one of the prizes! Simply click on a “pledge” in the right column and follow the instructions.
What a fun way to start the year. We had a great time this morning at KC LIVE! Lyssa, Lilly (the inspiration for LillyBit) and I met Michelle Davidson and the KC Live staff to show off the latest Uptown Diaper Clutch collection to our home town.
As promised, we are giving away three LillyBit Uptown Diaper Clutches to honor our 3K Facebook friends, don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway below.
Here are some behind the scenes shots on the set of KC LIVE…
During our trip to Louisville, Kentucky for the ABC Kids Expo, we met the team from AppleCheeks. An energetic cloth diaper company with a unique design.
We often get questions on whether or not the Uptown Diaper Clutch will hold cloth diapers. While most brands are too bulky, we found that AppleCheeks fits fabulously!
“The things that make our diapers different from other cloth diapers is our customer service.” AppleCheeks comes in a variety of colors and features a unique design with an envelope opening and elastic on the back and tummy that prevents blowouts.
Winner will receive:
We LOVE you, AppleCheeks!
Our bags are packed, our booth is shipped and the shellac on our nails is fresh! We are ready to show off the latest designs of the LillyBit Uptown Diaper Clutch to the industry.
It’s hard to believe this will be our fifth year exhibiting at the ABC Kids Expo where we have the opportunity to meet with lots of wonderful juvenile industry folks. While it’s one of the most emotionally and physically exhausting weeks, it’s also filled with optimism, excitement, highs, lows and a bit of wine!
We can’t wait to share the experience with our fans. Check back often to see pics of the road trip, always entertaining booth assembly and random takes in between all of the craziness.
2012 ABC Kids Expo – here we come!
P.S. if you’re going, come see us at booth 1002.
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!
A blog post on manufacturing could take several pages, but we’ll spare you most of the details!
The diaper clutch as a concept was soon turned into a real product after lots of sketches, sewn prototypes and many “focus groups” were conducted. The original idea was to have each clutch handmade as orders came in, however, when we were FINALLY satisfied with all of the features, compartments and fasteners created to make the clutch truly unique and functional, we quickly learned it would take hours and hours to complete each clutch. For some reason Jessica wasn’t on board with this reality so we found manufacturers in Los Angeles. We were so excited to be able to provide a product “Made in the USA” but soon after we manufactured and launched the new line the recession hit. As disheartening as it was, we found most consumers were more interested in price than country of origin. We wanted to be affordable so we moved the manufacturing to China.
Whoa, moving our production over to China wasn’t as easy of a task as it sounds above. Who to trust to help us navigate all of the unknowns, using a factory that adheres to social compliance, trying to predict demand, choosing fabrics and re-choosing fabrics once we found out some were discontinued and then shipping them to China, rounds and rounds of prototype approvals and then praying the product made it safely on a boat to the US defect free – never have we been so terrified that actual pirates might choose to take hostage a ship carrying a bunch of diaper clutches! Yes, I realize how ridiculous that actually sounds, but it was a real fear.
We are in the throes of our third round of manufacturing as we type. The first experience a little over a year ago didn’t go so well due to defect issues so we had to start again with a new factory because we will not compromise the quality of our product and the reputation of our brand under any circumstance. I will spare you the feelings that went along with that experience. However, we did learn very good lessons and have since found new factories that produce very high quality products and have delivered beautiful diaper clutches. Our newest line, with all exclusive LillyBit prints, is set to hit the high seas next week, WE CAN NOT WAIT to get this product in our warehouse and provide you with new fresh and fun LillyBit designs. Hint hint, take a look at the pictures of the samples we were reviewing to get a sneak peek at the new line! We are so blessed to have such great customers and retailers we pre-sold over 90% of the initial order so quickly that we added on to the production run just in time!
Now, let’s all cross our fingers that the ship has smooth sailing in more ways than one!
Until next time…
We often get asked to share our story and how we’ve navigated through the knowns and unknowns of creating a brand from the ground up in a saturated industry and of course the ups and downs of starting and running a business.
We’ve also known for a while now we needed venture into the blog world. But before we committed to blogging we wanted to make sure to deliver original, interesting and hopefully useful information. So instead of re-purposing existing content on various topics, we’ve decided to share our own journey and look forward to taking all of you on our ride! Every week we will blog about a new destination on our fun, scary, exhilarating, exhausting, empowering etc etc journey. We also look forward to hearing any questions or comments you have that we will incorporate into later blog posts. So feel free to jump in anytime, we love hearing from our customers and followers.
Little did we know this venture would turn into the ride it has!
Stay tuned for next week when we take you on a trip to the far east…