Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Get your Networking on! Shipping.

WI Food Drive: 15 Bags

When I started writing this blog, I had just found out about the casting call for Women Inventor.

Always having a passion for writing but an attention span too short to actually write a book (ha!), I created a blogger account and now, here we are, a bunch of wonderful inventors trying to find a way to improve/promote our businesses!

It was suggested that we touch on a topic that pertains to all of us: Shipping.

When I was shipping out Wear Your Manners Tee's, I would have loved to have known how to save money on the packaging and postage.

So Ladies, share your money/time saving ideas with us and know you are doing something so wonderful...helping a fellow inventor!

*On a side note: I would love to see 5 more bags of food go out to the hungry so by Christmas Day, we would have donated 20 bags to feed the needy! I know we can do it!


  1. I don't know if you can move the post I made on shipping over here but let me know if anyone wants more info on what I said. If anyone knows of a better way to ship for 300 packages a month please let me know. I think Free accounts with Endicia and using Dymo printable postage (with knock off labels bought on Ebay) is a good way to start off.

    Shipworks has helped me cut down on the cut and pasting of addresses for labels.

    The Twin Turbo Labelwriter is great because it uses no ink and it prints labels out one at a time. There's no need to run a sheet of labels through a printer and then have to reload it and figure out what label you are on (and whether you have it loaded in the printer correctly). Sheet labels are such a hassle.

    If anyone has any better solutions, please let me know.

    Thanks Tracey for letting us all network about the things we need help with.

    Cherie Alexander

  2. I thought of one more thing I'd like to add. I ship a lot of shirts out and my slings are lightweight fabric covered foam. I switched from paper envelope to poly mailers recently. They feel flimsey because they don't have any rigidity like a paper envelope. However the PO says it has no problem with them and they seal much tighter than a paper envelope (you practically have to cut the package open to get in them). Plus they are waterproof, lighter in weight, and much cheaper than paper envelopes. You can get them in a variety of sizes for a deal on Ebay if you buy in bulk. I use a 7.5 x 10" (for shirt only orders) and a 10 x 13" (for slings).

    Hope this helps!

    If anyone knows of a great supplier for cheap boxes, I'm all ears.



  3. I've tried to be encouraging and offer another example of how an invention can succeed outside a TV show. It's been received negatively despite best efforts. I'm not interested the kind of responses posted.

    If anyone would like to network, please contact me through my website at . I can give you the names of people who MAY be able to help get you in the door with Walmart. My product is not ready for Walmart but if yours is then I will be happy to give you the contact information. I will be talking to buyers with JC Penny soon and hopefully the Baby Depot. I'm looking for help in approaching Babies R Us or Buy Buy Baby or any other baby retailers. I'd love to know of some good sales reps too. I can tell you what I've done in terms of getting my sister websites to rank 4 and 2 in 2 different search phrases I've targeted. In addition I have worked with 2 different great manufacturers in China who can provide all types of molding and can provide the tooling for the molding as well as manufacturing for all kinds of soft goods. They are truely a one-stop shop that can do everything including packaging for you.

    I want to start networking with others WHO WANT TO NETWORK. I think we can help each other.

    Again contact me direct. I'm not interested in posting here again. Again no offense to anyone. It's just not in my best interest.

    Best Regards,

    Cherie Alexander
    Bebe Bottle Sling, LLC

  4. Best of luck to you Cherie! I will be on the lookout for your Bottle Sling! Have a very merry Christmas!

  5. Hey Everyone,
    It’s Jill with LipStix ReMix. I just returned from celebrating Christmas and I was catching up on all the comments. I enjoy this blog and discovered it only after a Google Alert came in for “Women Inventors.” I downloaded a video for the Kelly Ripa/TLC show and I decided to chime-in (on the blog) to inquire about how some of you found out about the deadlines for the call-backs, etc. I received an email request for photos of me and my product – I sent the email – and then heard nothing. After one of you referenced a contact for the show, I sent her an email and she quickly responded to let me know that I was not selected, etc. I had closure and that was a good feeling. As a fellow entrepreneur, it’s nice to come here and relate to each one of you in some unique way. We are all so different with personal histories that have influenced us along the way. If we were all in the same town, would we hang out after work or on the weekends? Maybe not, but there is one thing we all have in common. There is one thing we all share – that would be how we have to deal with negative comments, listening to the nay-sayers and fighting through the self doubt that we all struggle with to make the best decisions for us, our products and our loved ones. Eventually, if you haven’t already done it a thousand times, you will question your own sanity about all the sacrifices you make to follow this dream and take your product to market. Financially, emotionally, physically, etc. I have been pursuing my plan for almost 6 years and I have invested approximately $100,000. Thank the good Lord that I didn’t know what the scope of my investment would be before I committed to the mission.
    It was a little disheartening to read some of the previous comments – unfortunately, it is far too easy for us to focus on the negative. We need a place where we can disagree, change our minds, and get all our frustrations out just as much as we need a place to encourage one another, offer insights and ask questions. Each one of us may be @ different points on the product time-line. We may communicate our message very differently, but one thing is for sure, we are here because we get something out of the blog. I want to challenge us to continue to be open and honest but also to take a 2nd look at your message before you post. Is it something that will be a slap-in-the-face to one of us? For something that takes a few seconds to type, it can leave a lasting mark. You may not feel like building someone up – that’s okay. You are not forced to be anything at all here –what a relief, right?
    Okay, I just had to get that off my chest (thanks Tracey!). Now for some exciting news, I filmed an episode for ABC’s SHARK TANK in July. At last, 6 months later, the episode is slated to air on Jan. 22 or Feb. 5! I can certainly relate to those of you who are waiting on confirmation from MiloJo – I’ve been there sisters! I can also relate to the sincere feeling of being sick of waiting and even downright mad. It is really easy to hang your product on the hope of what may come – I’m happy to hear that many of you have continued to focus on your product and be productive. I signed a 43 page contract from Mark Burnett, and started telling everyone about the incredible opportunity for exposure. As long as I don’t mention anything that happens on the segment (until after it airs), I can leverage my “opportunity” to the max. Just be prepared for a possible roller-coaster ride…it took me 6 months and my episode still hasn’t aired!

  6. LipStix ReMix,
    Thank you for taking the time to write this post and congrats on Shark Tank! I can not wait to see it!!!

  7. For anyone who is interested we're doing some great networking over @Womentorz! We continue to believe strongly in the philosophy that we are much more powerful as a mutually supportive group vs. going it alone.

    We are gaining national media exposure and I am currently working with Karen Rogers of 6ABC Action News here in Philadelphia to tape a segment after the holiday madness ends. 6ABC Action News is the FOURTH LARGEST market in the country. One thing I am continuing to learn on this adventure is that the little things are stepping stones for the bigger things. There are people watching quietly in the wings - people who have the power to open big doors. We've got the west coast media coverage checked with the King 5 Seattle News coverage with Melinda in October and several radio interviews under our belts. We have had two of our members offered licensing deals due in part to the exposure they received on the Womentorz website. Several of our members' products have been featured in holiday gift guides and Amy Sapirstein's Mommy Mitten was just featured in Open Baby Magazine - she is also now part of Babies R Us online catalog!

    By the way - for those of you who may not know us, we are all fellow Milojo casting call rejects (I know some of you are not and we are SO excited for you and to see the show when it finally airs!!)

    Melinda Knight has put her heart, soul and wallet into the belief that you can create a marketplace to help women get their products noticed - and we are - to the tune of 1,000+ visitors to our site daily. We have over 1,000 fans on Facebook, 2300+ followers (legitimate) on Twitter and continue to work every angle to get our members noticed.

    If you "get it" - why not come and see what we're doing? I know Tracy get's it :)...

    Personally, I believe that it is possible to be successful while helping others!

    Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays and remembering that if you take a moment (or two or three!) to reflect and really shut out the "noise" the simple things that are most important come right to the forefront.

    Wishing you all blessings and peace.



  8. Jen - it's good to hear from you. I will check with womentorz...I feel like such a ding-dong because Melinda has tried to send me the pdf application several times and I can never open it. It's the only pdf I've ever had trouble opening, but I will try again to contact Melinda.
    thanks for the reminder and congrates on all the great press and 2 success stories!

  9. Hi Ladies,

    Happy New Year. 2010 is going to be exciting for all of us. I am a casting call reject and very proud. I have met so many women from the casting that have helped me get my product out there. I have learned many things...but the one thing that is clear is that I cannot do this alone. I need the help from my fellow WI's. We all have something to bring to the table. Some of us have been doing this longer than others. Some have 1,000's of dollars invested...we all have different products....but we all have the same goal. We want our product out there. The women I have connected with have been willing, free of charge, to help in any way they can....and in turn I have helped others and paid it forward.

    If you have not checked out Wometorz should. We are women just like you. There is a monthly fee to have your product on the site. With that monthly fee you get more than just a listing. We are all getting HUGE press. Press that I certainly could not afford. We are also getting something else. We are promoting all of our products every time we send someone to the site. We are working together as a team and continue to find new creative ways to help one another. From chatting about what has helped make a person’s business profitable, what works and doesn't, what to spend your valuable $$ on....and what connections they may have that can help you - it is money well spent. I know a lot of you are waiting it out to see if Womentorz is going to take off....before signing up. Like Jen said, there are influential people watching and waiting. Simply put, the more members we have the more we will get noticed! Ask yourself what kind of press you are getting doing it alone. I am excited to be one of the first guiney pigs. There are lots of eyes on my product and in less than a year CH is selling in 48 states in the nation. I would not have been able to do that on my own. I did it with the help of some of you ladies. You know who you are (too many to list) and I THANK YOU!!

    Thank you Tracy for starting this blog. It has helped so many of us. Those of you who are anonymous and do not have contracts....we can't help you if we do not know who you show us who you are!! ;) Those of you with contracts-whoo-hoo for you. When the show airs we will all be rooting for you.

    May you all start out the new year staying positive and paying it forward.

    Big things are on the horizon.


  10. First and foremost - yes, BIG thanks to Tracy for this blog and for being so open to our communications here. Thanks also to Ro who I am so happy to have met in person and lucky to count as a true friend.

    Just a little tidbit for everyone to think about and I will apologize in advance for being a bit vague. I also realize it's a tough time financially for lots of folks out there.

    With that said, we are hoping you will consider that the more Womentorz membership grows the more likelihood (sp?) of receiving the coveted 'tap' of recognition from those "watching quietly in the wings" people I've been referring to.

    There's power in numbers, not a new concept I know. But Womentorz is unique, special and I believe it's going to have a bigger impact than any of us imagine.

    Happy New Year to everyone!!!

    Sending out all the love I got!

    MUaaa! xoxox


  11. Couldn't have said it better Jen! Womentorz rocks! I look forward to an explosive year in 2010... Let's Do It Ladies!

    To Your Success...

  12. Ros-
    I agree...Womentorz does rock!!
    2010 is our year....we all can feel it!!

    Tracy-hope you come join us with wear your manners.


  13. Oops-forgot to mention....Womentorz is now advertising on Mom Invented. We all know how powerful Tamara's site is for all of us. It is what inspired me to get the ball rolling.

    You can become a Womentorz member for $1.33 a much more than a listing.


  14. Ok, I think it's time for me to place a call to Jen C! :)
    Jen, could you go into more detail about what a "membership" entails?

  15. Stay tuned...I will be happy to spell it all out here a little later this evening. Gotta get the girlies fed, bathed and in bed - oh and Daddy comes home tonight too! Woo hoo!

    I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it....Ima 'bout to lose control and I think I like it!!!

  16. My words exactly Jen! Loved the phone conversation - great things to come!

  17. Today has been a "red letter" day. Tracy, I look forward to meeting you in person very soon! With that said let's get to it.

    Think of Womentorz like eBay without the bidding. That is how the site has been set up so that each Seller has control of their product.

    To become a member on Womentorz:

    Go to Click on the "Sellers" tab right above the flowy-haired lady having a light bulb moment. Once there you will find some information and two giant buttons. Simply click the one that says "Register as a Seller" and the rest is self explanatory.

    There is a $40 monthly fee, paid on a month to month basis, plus 5% of sales also collected on a monthly basis.

    Note: Some people freak out when they read the part about carrying a certain amount of insurance. Please remember that this only applies to certain baby products, creams, food, you know, stuff you could get sued over!

    What you get for your $1.33 per day membership:

    Your very own storefront to make your product shine (tip: good quality photos make the best first impression)

    The ability to upload a video from YouTube

    The ability to link your Facebook Page to your Womentorz listing

    The ability to go in and make changes (e.g., have a sale, change the pricing, description, add new photos, etc.) anytime you like

    A special showcase on our blog complete with Q&A to allow everyone to get to know you and your product better and really, in the great words of Ro, "fluff your feathers".

    Mel, myself and your fellow Womentorz members will all be all aTwitter about you along with our wonderful and talented PR team headed by Kat Spellman of The Spellman Co. She's got connections at every major network in the country including folks at O Magazine, The Today Show and more! When these media opportunities arise EVERYONE gets noticed.

    You will be showcased on our Facebook Fan page where we currently have over 1,000 fans and counting.

    Melinda has launched a major advertising campaign including a large front page ad on Tamara Monosoff's Mom Invented site! Not only is she very impressed with what we are doing, she contacted Melinda recently to tell her so and to find out how we can work together!

    Note: We are currently receiving over one thousand visitors per day to the site.

    Kat Spellman has been very successful in finding some incredible opportunities for our members. For instance, Amy Sapirstein's MommyMitten was just featured in Open Baby Magazine, a couple of other members have been featured this season in holiday gift guides and there is much more on the horizon. A couple of our members have also recently been offered licensing deals.

    When you list your product on Womentorz you will instantly become part of a special group of women operating in the spirit of mutual cooperation, support and sharing of information. It's a "one for all and all for one" kind of attitude we're sportin' and we're proud of it!

    What you will not get is a listing where you are competing with similar products, or being thrown in with hundreds or thousands of others hoping to be found!

    I would challenge anyone to find ANY online marketplace who offers to work for you the way we will for $40 a month!

    We are inventors just like you. We want to see you succeed. We are here for you.

    If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me directly at

    Thanks again Tracy!