Friday, December 23, 2011

Three men and SassaB

I never go anywhere without tons of SassaB in my car. I figure if I have SassaB plastered on the back window, I should at least have some to sell on the spur of the moment.

*If you haven't see the back of my car, go to our FB page and check it out:

Last night I met my Cousin at a restaurant where I ran into three men that had not finished their Christmas shopping. And wouldn't you know, they all had daughters?! They saw SassaB on the back of my car, asked me about it and ended up buying all 30 packs that I had in my car. Just like that!

It is pretty cool to think of all of the kids that will be receiving SassaB, MY invention, for Christmas! I feel so blessed!!'s not all about me...I saw this on The Today Show this morning: If you don't have much time but want to spread some holiday cheer, go to K-Mart (or a store like it) and anonymously pay off someone's layaway. Or pay what you can towards it. When that person show's up to pay off their bill so they can take their Christmas presents home, they will be surprised to see that someone special had already paid it for them. Imagine their delight!!

There are so many ways we can think beyond ourselves and I have to say, doing so is a welcome break!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ticket to Ride

What a rush! How frustrating! So exciting! How disappointing! 

Selling your own invention is quite the mix of emotions. You never know what the day will bring...but that's the fun of it...and I'm hooked!

Example: Walking into Walgreens and leaving with contact info to start selling in January 2012 - What a rush!
Sending out emails and waiting and waiting to hear back on some big deals - How frustrating! 
Setting out our SassaB Spinner and within 5 minutes, selling all 30 packs - So exciting!
Being turned down by a big online store that I know would successfully sell SassaB - How disappointing!

When I go on a sales call, I hope I'll walk out with a check but you never know. I've been fortunate enough with SassaB that 70% of the time, it's a "yes!" However, when they "pass," it's a let down. 

See what I'm saying? The highs and lows are a daily occurrence...if you don't mentally prepare for this mix of emotions, it can totally exhaust you!

The bottom line: The roller-coaster ride of being an entrepreneur is a fun one! I'm thrilled to have a ticket! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Walgreens rocks!

It's not often that I post two entries but it's been a red letter day for SassaB!

First, SassaB got a stellar review on Well Adjusted, Or So They Say (see the post below). Looks like SassaB Style is taking hold and making it's way to the East Coast.

Secondly, we have some very big news at SassaB Headquarters...SassaB is kicking off 2012 with a bang! Walgreens has just picked us up and starting January 2012, SassaB Linkable Charms will be for sale in several Walgreens in Pinellas County.

As you can imagine, we are all on cloud 9!

Shortly I will post more info but for now, we wanted to share our good news with all of you!

Thanks for reading and (in my very best saleswoman voice) don't forget to tell your friends! :)

Well Adjusted, Or So They Say...: SassaB ~ Fun Fab Stocking Swag!

Well Adjusted, Or So They Say...: SassaB ~ Fun Fab Stocking Swag!: Christmas is around the corner and I'm always trying to find fun stocking stuffers at the last moment. It's a double bonus when I can suppo...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

First SassaB Facebook Contest/Giveaway!!

We are doing wonderfully with sales locally but we want our friends all over the country to know about SassaB Linkable Charms! Let's spread the word on Facebook!

Tell your FB friends about SassaB, like our page (if you haven't already), share our link (or all 3) for a chance to win some SassaB Style!!

One lucky winner will be chosen at Sunset tonight - December 4th, 2011.

Good luck and see you on Facebook!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Top Ten Things to expect once you have launched your business

Top Ten Things to expect once you have launched your business:

1. The first day that your product is officially for sale, you will feel like you are on cloud 9! Everyone will be congratulating you, you will be smiling from ear to ear and you will want to celebrate the fact that all of your hard work has paid off!

2. The next day will be like the day after Christmas. You will be totally bummed that your "official" launch date has passed.

3. Full speed ahead! You will be a selling machine!

4. Shockingly, you will hear your first "no." And believe me, it's a shock! After all, this is YOUR perfect invention and you were SURE everyone would absolutely LOVE it and HAVE to have it! But nope...not everything is for everyone.

5. After hearing that "no," this is where you will find out what you are made of. Will you go home and pout or will you shake it off and try, try again?

6. If you can not find someone to talk to about your product/business, you rather not talk at all. The only thing interesting to you in the first couple of weeks is your product, how it's selling, how BIG you are going to be, how you are marketing your product, etc. It's all about your Product X.

7. You get sick of yourself. You start to look at Product X like work and not just "your dream come true." After all, it's sales and sales IS hard work.

8. You become more realistic about what to expect out of your product and business. You now realize that launching your website did not equal instant sales and you are able to carry on conversations with family/friends about topics other than yourself.

9. The product you launch with will not be the product you sell in the end. Believe it or not (I did not), there will be something wrong with your product that you will have to spend money to fix. An over site or a glitch that you will have to correct but don't worry, if you took the advice of almost everyone that has created a product, you have launched in "your own backyard" and are able to quickly fix the problem. Happened to me. I promise, it will happen to you...if it hasn't already.

10. You are SO grateful that you "did your homework!" You read your books, did your research and paid attention to the valuable tips you've received along the way because NOW is when that all pays off. You are armed with a slew of information and that's a very powerful thing. You are in the trenches and working hard at selling your brilliant idea and you will not take "no" for an answer. You are a true Inventor and very proud of yourself because you are following your dream. Good for you!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wow! She was SO rude!

You're in Sales?

Put your "big girl pants" on and strap on that "tough skin" because you are going to need it. While you're at it, practice smiling through all of those "clever comebacks" you WISH you could say as you bite your tongue.

Case in point...I was in Tampa, hitting up a very popular Girls Boutique... I met one of the boutique owners...she loved SassaB. She asked me to come back tomorrow to meet with the other owner. She asked me to leave my samples. And I was "dismissed."

I left feeling pretty good and got my SassaB spinner ready for delivery the next day.

Here is how the next day turned out:

Me: Hi! I'm Tracy with SassaB! (I am walking towards the other boutique owner who is sitting down).

BO: (Boutique Owner) Not standing up, she said in a very "dead pan" voice, "Yes, I just saw your samples in the back."

Me: Great! (I'm still making my way to her in the back of the store since she is not standing up to greet me)

BO: Umm, I don't think so. (please re-read that and insert the voice you'd use talking to dirt)

Me: Oh! (I was surprised she was not interested in SassaB after the positive feedback I received from the other owner but I was also taken aback by how rudely she was speaking to me. And that she is still sitting down. And that the two ladies that are shopping in the store are now staring at me)

Me: Ok...(she is just sitting there looking at me and it feels like time is standing still) Can I have my samples please?

BO: You want them back??? (snarl while reading this, and have a "shocked" tone in your voice like I had just told you to crash your car into a brick building)

Me: You want them? (this is where I wish I had more sales experience)

BO: We may change our mind. (Deadpan, snarl)

Me: Sure! Thanks! Have a great day!

Ugh! That was awful! However, the more experienced I get in Sales, this entire scenario could happen again with absolutely no effect on me. And those shoppers that watched all of that unfold...I would like to think that they put down their merchandise and walked out not wanting to support a business that speaks to people like poo.

I got in my car, ready to leave Tampa and this experience behind me when I noticed another boutique four doors down. I walked in, the store owner LOVED SassaB, sold the spinner I had ready for the other boutique and walked out with a check in less than 5 minutes! That felt GREAT!!!

No matter how rude someone is or how many "No's" you get, there is always someone else waiting with a smile and a "Yes" so don't give up and don't let the "yucky" people get you down!

In sales and in life...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Inventors Showcase-TAGIE NOMINEES 11/13 by SPEAK YOUR SUCCESS | Blog Talk Radio

I had a blast interviewing some great, young entrepreneurs that are nominated for the Tagie Awards. Remember Flipoutz from Shark Tank? Listen to where they are now and hear my story about SassaB!

Inventors Showcase-TAGIE NOMINEES 11/13 by SPEAK YOUR SUCCESS | Blog Talk Radio

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What I've learned in 1 week of launching SassaB

It's been a whirlwind of a week!

Once upon a time, if I did not sleep well, I could catch a cat nap on the sofa. I went to the grocery store and sometimes the gym. Ok, not the gym but I would wear gym clothes with good intentions.

But...not now my I am a selling machine! And this is what I have learned in just one short (but long) week of selling SassaB.

* Be ready for change. Launch in your own backyard so that when you make changes, it won't be too late and you won't embarrass yourself (I embarrass easily).

* Do not undervalue your product. I did and I ended up getting "schooled" in the lesson of price points. Turns out I was selling SassaB TOO low and my margins were not right. Insert embarrassment here. Now SassaB is sold for a retail price of $8.99 and it has actually HELPED sales! One store ordered 60 units just because we were priced RIGHT for the market.

* Leave your ego in the car with your extra samples of product because sometimes, people are just not nice and it's going to sting. Example: There is a store in Dunedin that I thought would be a good fit for SassaB so when the store owner was rude to me and actually handed me my business card back, I wanted SO badly to give her a piece of my mind. Like, for example, "I don't NEED to sell SassaB in here, there are plenty of shops on Main Street and the fact that you are just basically a jerk, I not only will not sell you SassaB, I will no longer shop in here myself and I will tell all of my friends and family to never step foot in your store again." This lady was SO full of herself...I can't stand that. BUT...I simply smiled, took my card back and said "Thank You." And guess what? The next store took that EXACT same business card  and placed and order for 30 units. SO THERE mean lady. Teeheeehee....

* Don't get discouraged. After the incident with the mean lady, I wanted to go home and just promote online but if I had done that, I would not had gone on to sell 90 units that day. So stay strong!

* Stick to your guns. A store owner in Belleair wanted to carry SassaB on consignment. We had decided right in the beginning not to sell consignment (we just felt that we didn't need to and so far, we were correct). She wasn't happy about it and did not place an order however, we sold SassaB in two local stores in her area so...stick to your guns.

* Have fun, get excited and get sleep, you'll need it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Time to shop ~ SassaB is now for sale online!

We are excited to announce that you can now purchase SassaB Linkable Charms at!

SassaB Linkable Charms are perfect for Birthdays and just in time for the Holidays!

When you purchase, you will receive two SassaB packs with a total of four random linkable charms, a SassaB hair tie with link and a bobby pin with link ~ perfect for Creating Your Own Style and trading with your friends!

If you haven't already, stop by and "like" our SassaBLLC Facebook Fan Page at

Thank you for supporting your fellow Inventor and don't forget to tell your friends!

Friday, October 28, 2011

SassaB™ has launched!

SassaB LLC, is the maker of the first-choice-in-fun, must-have accessory charms for kids of all ages to wear, trade, collect and share. Inspired by her daughter’s minor fashion emergency, Tracy Sanders founded SassaB to fill this popular marketplace niche.  Our motto:  Create Your Own Style!

Tracy Sanders, Founder/CEO of SassaB LLC,  sits down for Q & A with Jennifer Cannon of JenCann Productions:

Q:  Tell us how you came up with the idea for SassaB.

A:  Like a lot of great ideas, it happened almost by accident.  One day my daughter, Brooke, was looking for something to wear in her hair for picture day at school.  She was tired of the same old bows, barrettes and pony tail holders she had in her drawer.

Knowing how much Brooke loves charms, I went into my room, picked out a cute charm from my own bracelet, slid it on a bobby pin and put it in her hair. She looked in the mirror and very excitedly said, “I love it! I’m going to wear it to school and start a trend and trade them with my friends!”

As soon as I heard the words, “start a trend”, I saw an opportunity to create a fashionable, fun hair accessory and immediately went to work.  I have always wanted to start my own business and I knew this was “it”.

Q:  What were the most important factors you had in mind when designing SassaB?

A:  I wanted to create a unique hair accessory that would allow the charms to link together creating endless design possibilities for imaginative kids. I researched the highest quality charms, bobby pins and hair ties before creating the one of a kind SassaB charms.

      Price point was also very important to me. In this economy, I’m proud to sell a high quality product that’s fashionable and affordable!

Q:  What makes SassaB unique?

A:  SassaB’s patent pending, custom molded link is what sets them apart from other charms on the market.  Our design makes them easily interchangeable and versatile enough to be used in many different ways. 

By the way, they’re not just for girls!  …Or even, dare I say, kids… The possibilities are endless:

·        In your hair
·        As custom necklace, bracelet or anklet
·        On backpack, book or sports bag
·        On lunch box
·        On shoelaces
·        On doggy or kitty collar

Our motto:  Create Your Own Style!

Q:  Behind every name is a story, what’s yours?

A:  Our kids call my mom “Sassy” instead of Grandma.  Sassy and Brooke are always talking about one day opening a restaurant called “Sassy and the B”.  So the name SassaB was born from there and it feels catchy, so it stuck!

Q:  We are becoming more aware of young entrepreneurs today.  Will Brooke have a role in the company?

Brooke is, and will continue to be an important part of SassaB LLC.  She’s my “go to” girl when design questions come up. After all, if it wasn’t for her fashion dilemma and vision of “starting a trend”, SassaB…wouldn’t be!

My son Hudson also has some ideas of his own for a future line of charms.  It feels really good to have the whole family involved on this exciting journey!

**So here it is, MY Product X! To see what SassaB looks like, go to You can email me to purchase SassaB or just to say "Hi!" SassaB retails for $6.99 and comes with two linkable charms, a SassaB hair tie with link and a bobby pin with link. We have a minimum order of two packs.

I can't thank you enough for your support and I can't believe this day is FINALLY here! We have another exciting announcement of how SassaB will be sold in the marketplace so keep checking in.

Much love,
Tracy Sanders
SassaB LLC

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oops, I messed up

On my desk, in my office, SassaB hanging on a counter top spinner. But I've made a huge mistake!

I forgot to order the poly prop bags that SassaB will be loaded into. Yep. Forgot. So while I have the insert cards that were delivered today(!), SassaB, and the spinners for the retailers, I do not have that last bit of packaging to get SassaB into stores.

There is something else I am waiting website guy to put up a SassaB landing page. We have added a QR code to the back of the packaging so that when scanned with a smart phone, you will be directed to our website. Right now if you go to, all you will see is that the site is hosted by Doster. Not a good look for new customers.

So for now, we will work on assembling SassaB packs and paperwork.

Once our landing page is up, I will announce what SassaB seems like forever! Thank you all so much for waiting and showing your support through this last year. I hope I have been able to shed some light (in real time) on what it takes to have an idea and bring it to market.

Much love,

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Don't show effort" ~ Billy Mays

Let me share something with you...from the heart...

I'm having an "emotional roller coaster" kind of day. We are launching SassaB this week and all day I have been asking myself, "Why aren't you EXCITED?!" Well...I figured it out.

I'm terrified. Will SassaB™ be the huge success I think it will be? That I am planning it to be? That I am praying it will be?

And I really didn't want to let you all know that. I want to be super confident and not let you or anyone else know that I am nervous. Doubting when I should be confident. Questioning when I should be certain. But...I want fellow inventors to know that it's OK to be nervous before and during the process of making your dream a reality. And maybe I had to let myself know that as well.

Billy Mays used to say, "Don't show effort." And I think we can apply that to many aspects of our lives, not just when shooting a Mighty Putty infomercial.

So mostly you will not see me show "effort" and instead you will hear of all the fun, hard work that I am putting into SassaB but for now...just to let you does take "effort" and not always the "make it look easy" kind.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Welcome to the SassaB™ office!

A few exciting things have happened...I now have an official SassaB office, a SassaB bank account, a SassaB barcode, and a SassaB office phone number. It's the finial few things that needed completed before our launch!

The office is in much need of updating, cleaning and organizing but not to worry, I am so excited about it all that I have tons of energy. This is the fun part! Well, actually, I think it's all going to be fun...Yes, it'll be hard work but worth every minute. I just can't wait to start selling!

Speaking of selling...we are ALMOST there...we are just waiting for our graphic artist to put the pictures on the back of the insert card. Then it's off to the printers. According to our graphic guy, we should have SassaB all ready to go by the end of next week. END OF NEXT WEEK!!! But...I have gone through this enough times to know to expect a delay...either way, it's not much longer.

What would be super cool would be to have SassaB ready for purchase before November. November will mark the one year point of when the idea of SassaB was born. I would love to have completed everything the month before so I can say, "We launched in under one year."

Stay tuned to Product X...SassaB will be announced here first and then...Product X will actually have a face!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Crunch Time!

"Create Your Own Style!"

That's our tag line and really, that says it all! The beauty of SassaB™ is exactly two designs will be the same and everyone can "create" their own personal look. Pretty exciting!

We had our photo shoot on Sunday and the pictures came out amazing. The photographer is a friend of mine and did a really fabulous job...he is very talented (shot the opening for Live With Regis and Kelly among many other big jobs) so I knew everything would be top notch.

We had seven models, all of whom had never seen SassaB™ so I was anxious to get their feed back.

This is what I heard:

"These are SO awesome!" " I can't wait to start wearing them!" "ALL of my friends are going to want them!"

The Mom's loved them too and was especially impressed with our price point. "Very affordable!"

I spoke with my Graphic Artist and to quote him..."We should have everything ready for you by the end of next week or the beginning of the following week."


Now...I'm somewhat panicked...but I knew that was to be expected. I still have tons to do before we start selling and now it's crunch time. I work best under pressure so I know it'll get done but holy cow...there's a lot to do!

So off to work I go...yay!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's called a Roller Coaster for a reason

When I received the email saying the remaining pieces of SassaB had been shipped, I was counting the days until the shipment arrived at my door!

So when the 3-5 business days had passed, I called DHL and was told, "I'm sorry but it doesn't look like anything has been shipped to your address and we can not locate the tracking number you are providing."


I honestly thought, this is it, I can't do this anymore...this whole inventor thing stinks...SassaB will never get off the ground. I was having a full out pity party.

And then...the door bell rings...I can see the bright red and yellow uniform through the glass in our front door and I literately RAN to open it. The DHL guy must have thought I was nuts because I was jumping up and down (really, I was!) saying, "You're here! You're here! Yay! It's finally here!"

DHL guy looks at me and says, "Miss, these packages are really heavy, where could I put them down?"

I was so busy gushing that I had not even let him in yet. Ha!

Besides being thrilled that all the pieces of SassaB had arrived, the point to the story is this: Being an inventor/business owner is a mental roller coaster! Just when you think you're kaput and just can't take it a minute longer, something wonderful happens to remind you that this is YOUR dream, your vision, your hard work and DON'T GIVE UP!

*Note* I called DHL to ask them why they did not see my order in their system and their response: "I'm sorry, you spoke to someone who did not know what he was talking about."

Yes...emotional roller coaster...but one I am happy to be on!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Does Religion Have a Place in Your Small Business?

I'm a Christian. I'm also someone whom believes in "live and let live." I mind my own business and I don't care what religion you are as long as you're nice.

So when it comes to SassaB, I wonder...does religion have a place in my small business? Actually, let's ask, "does religion have a place in my BIG business?" I mean, why think "small" anyway?!

I know from the bottom of my heart that I have God to thank for SassaB (and everything else, for that matter). However, will knowing that I'm a Christian prevent you from purchasing SassaB? Will you rather not know that I pray every night, watch Joel on Sundays and listen to Mercy Me?

Business people tell me "to keep the religious thing quiet." Christians say, "Shout it from the roof tops!" What about Christian Business people?

If it weren't for Him, SassaB would I wonder, am I given this amazing opportunity to sell a really cool product so that I CAN acknoledge God's gifts for everyone to see and hear?

Or, do I quietly praise God, give to my Christian charities, keep John 3:16 off anything SassaB and not rock the "sales boat?" After all, the more money SassaB makes, the more I can give...

For now, I'll tell you that I consider myself "blessed," not "lucky" and tonight when I go to bed, I'll thank God for everything He has given me... but I might have to keep such things off of my business card.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A little less conversation, a little more action please!

4,000 + 6,000 = Launch!

We will be getting the remaining 6,000 pieces of SassaB in less than two weeks and then it's full speed ahead!

Photo shoot is next on the agenda ~ we have a very talented photographer (he actually shot the opening of a prime time morning show) working with us...very blessed!

Once we have the photos, we will be getting the insert cards's GO TIME!

 I'm just so thankful, excited, beyond amazed that SassaB is almost for sale! I'm tired of talking about SassaB...I'm ready to sell SassaB!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I could stare at you all day!

Let me quote my neighbor, "It's amazing how all of this has come together so quickly!"

What?!?! I know it hasn't even been a year but...I feel like it's taking FOREVER! I think it's just my excitement of wanting to see SassaB on the shelves!

But she does have a point...I now have the insert card designed by a genius graphic artist (second time is a charm) that looks looks like a REAL product now...SassaB is really coming together and as I like to say, "We are in the finial stretch." *Insert big sigh here*

I printed out my insert card, took two pieces of SassaB and put it all together to get an idea of what my finial product will look like and I tell you, I could have stared at it all day long!

Now I am focusing on my Marketing Plan...first and foremost I will sell SassaB here in my backyard (Learning Express, Moxi Hair Co, Local Walgreens, will be my "test stores") and then I will go to Markets, Trade Shows, etc.

I am anticipating that filling orders (quantity) in a timely manner will be challenge...but knowing that now will help us in the future as we are working out the "kinks."

Product X, aka: SassaB, is about to be revealed....thank you all for the support, kind words and encouragement along the way!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ellen DeGeneres on the importance of female inventors

In the October issue of Glamour, I found this great snippet by Ellen DeGeneres taken from her new book Seriously...I'm Kidding:

"I'm Very Proud To Be a Woman"

The bra. Disposable diapers. Liquid Paper. Windshield wipers. Chocolate chip cookies. What do all of these things have in common? They were all invented by a woman. Not the same woman. They were each invented by a different woman over the course of the  last hundred years or so. Ant those are just a few of the things that female ladies have invented. The list goes on and includes things like the dishwasher, Spanx, and perhaps one the the greatest inventions of our time, the trash can with a foot pedal. We take so many of these things for  granted, and yet without the women who invented them, we would be filthy people with soiled dishes, disgusting cans and unruly breasts. Maybe at some point we won't have to break success down along gender lines. Maybe we'll just be able to say this wonderful, creative person did something extraordinary. But until then, I'm proud to be part of the sisters who are doin' it for themselves.

Pretty cool!

Women Inventors are certainly in the spot light at the moment but I do agree with Ellen, I hope we won't have to break success down along gender lines. Yes, I am a Woman. And a Mom. And an Inventor. But most of all, I am driven, passionate and blessed. Male or Female, you can't ask for more than that!

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Your Homework is what is going to make you money"

A friend of mine is in the beginning stages of manufacturing her invention and came to me for input, advice and insight as to what to expect.

I sat with her for two hours explaining the in's and out's of what is ahead of her from working with China, getting the right Attorney, branding, sourcing, becoming compliant with your product, product displays, retail pricing...phew, it was A LOT! But how cool that I now know all of these things. Don't get me wrong, I have tons more to learn but it felt really good to see how far we've come since November of 2010.

I never liked homework while I was in school but when it comes to launching your own product I am going to quote Daymond John's Mom, "Your homework is what is going to make you money."

My advice, read as many books from others that have successfully manufactured/sold their products. Three I recommend...The Brand Within by Daymond John - a great story of how he successfully launched FUBU with helpful tips for anyone starting out, Mommy Millionaire by Kim Lavine - an inventors bible and if you are sourcing from China for anything, Sourcing Smarts by Edith G. Tolchin - this book I wish I had read before I even started out.

My Cousin is already talking about the book I am going to write. Ha! Who knows...

While I am doling out advice, I will pass on what my Husband advised me to do (sadly I did not listen to his advice and paid the price for it) "Do not sign any contracts!" At least not in the beginning...things change too fast when you are first starting out.

I jumped the gun and signed a contract with a graphic artist (see my post, It's Business, It's not personal) which I am now being charged a ridiculous amount of money for work I could never use. My daughter could have created what I am paying her for. BUT, I did sign the contract and I will never, ever be known for not keeping my word. MAJOR lesson learned! *I'm sure I could write an entire chapter in my "book" about this lesson*

One last thing, expect to take three steps forward and two steps back...but don't worry, you'll get there...just like I am with SassaB™!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's Business It's not personal

The saying, "It's business, it's not personal" has been around for years but I remember it best from one of my favorite movies You've got Mail. Just thinking of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in this adorable romantic comedy puts a smile on my face. But this post isn't about romance or movies. It's about getting a thick skin and putting on your "business hat."

I've had a recent experience with a very young, inexperienced graphic artist whom I had hired in February  that has not ended favorably. After a few months working together I realized that this business relationship was not going to work out so I explained that SassaB was going in another direction and to please send me an invoice for the remaining balance of our contract. That was April. I never received an invoice.

Ten days ago I ran into this young, inexperienced graphic artist and when I cheerfully approached her to say "Hello" she curtly said, "We are still under contract." Because I had not received an invoice four months ago when I requested one and had not heard from her, I assumed we were all square with payment. Apparently not.

Long story short, I have requested an invoice three times now (via email) and still have not received one. I'm not sure why she is not billing me but I can only chalk it up to her lack of experience working with clients and hopefully this can be a learning experience for her.

What I have learned is that you get what you pay for and...It's business, it's not personal.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Setting our sights on October

I woke up this morning with an email telling me that 3,000 units of SassaB™ are on their way. I am waiting for 6,000 more and I have 1,000 here already so once I get all 10,000 pieces, I can launch!

But here is what I have to do in the meantime: Get Product Liability Insurance, Have photos/video taken (can not do this until I have all 10,000 units), order die cuts (need pics for die cuts), order floor and counter displays (need photos), have website designed (need photos/videos for this), purchase/decide on a mailer to send out samples.

As you can see, most of what I have to do can not be done until I get photos and I can not get photos until I receive all of the product. So what we are looking at is launching one month from the time all of the product is in our office. Let's check the calender...if we go by past orders/timeline, I am looking at the first week of September for receiving the finial products.

That puts us in October. That is one month before the year anniversary of the idea of SassaB™. One year. Wow...that year went fast!!!

If you remember, I was planning on launching in March (so naive!), then in June which turned into August and now I am setting my sights on October. Let's hope October it is!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Work vs. Love - why not have both?

While my Husband and I were talking business on date night, he kindly pointed out that I do not like to work. Thanks Babe. Let me ask you this, who DOES like to work? Work is called "work" for a reason.

But the beautiful part is, SassaB™ is not "work." Yes, I will be really, really more catching up on Bravo in the middle of the day but I couldn't be happier. I am following my dream and I am blessed to be able to say so.

If you knew my Husband, you'd know that he is quite the skeptic. It takes a lot to get Jason excited about something. Some would say he's a pessimist. I prefer "realist" but either way, when Jason is on board with something, you know that "something" is pretty darn good. And...yep, he's on board with SassaB. Phew.

Last night he told me, "You have me totally convinced that you can sell 5,000 units of SassaB like that" (insert snap here).  It doesn't hurt that every retailer we have shown SassaB to wants to place an order. That's 100%. Our friends and family love it to and rave to Jason what a genius I am. Ha! I love that part!

So I will work, work, work the day away and love, love every minute of it!

I hope you are out there doing what you love as well!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If you would have said...


Yesterday was a good day!

We received a huge shipment of a key component for SassaB™ and they turned out beautifully!

If you would have told me 6 months ago that I would know what our Federal Guidelines are for SassaB and how to go about becoming compliant, I would have said, "No way could I understand that!" If you would have told me that I would learn how to be my own Sourcing Agent, I probably would have rolled my eyes. Um, yeah right. If you said, "Tracy, you are going to learn about Patent Laws, Trademarking, and Branding, I am sure I would have said, "That sounds way to complicated!"

See, I was naive. Here I had this wonderful idea for a totally unique product that the market has not seen yet and I thought it would just "happen" but noooooo, nothing is THAT easy, right?! However, I am so happy that I was basically forced to learn all of this myself because I have such a greater understanding of my company.

One thing I have been saying a lot, "I wish I had someone to hold my hand and walk me through this process of launching my product, it's so hard...confusing to understand." And yes, I wish some Entrepreneurial God would come down and show me the (easy!) way but until that happens, I am taking baby steps and learning what it takes to be a successful Entrepreneur all by myself. And that feels good.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dinner with Mr. Daymond John

What $1,000 will get me:

* 10,000 pieces for SassaB™
* Our website built
* A professional logo
* Half of the cost of a patent search
* A half hour skype consult with Daymond John

What do you think I would want to spend that $1,000 on? Yep, the consult with Daymond John. Better yet, I'd spend the $1,500 to have a 30 minute face to face. And if I was REALLY made of money, I'd take him out to dinner for $2,000. And you know I would drag that dinner on and on and on...

However...I am now a - ahem - serious Entrepreneur/Business Owner and instead of spending a big chunk of our company's budget on what I KNOW would be a life changing, product building, business advice gold mine, I have to be realistic and put that $1,000 elsewhere. Bummer.

My Husband (patiently) asked what I was hoping to gain from a meeting with Mr. John since we don't have sales. Heck, we don't even have the product yet!

Here is the dream scenario: After the containment of gushing on my part, I would show Mr. John SassaB™ and pitch what I believe to be the upcoming hottest new trend on the market. I would gladly explain that we have not even sold one unit yet but I am certain that we will sell millions and millions once we launch. Daymond (we are now on a first name basis) would say, "Tracy, this product is genius! I want to get in on the ground floor and partner with you. We are going to make SassaB™ the most sought after product the market has seen in years!"

See, I believe in those rare but real fairy tale endings. I am convinced that the above scenario would become a reality if I could blow our budget on a dinner with Mr. John. But, sadly, I can not. So it's back to figuring this all out on my own...and one day, when SassaB™ IS the hottest new trend on the market, I will schedule that dinner with Mr. John...I'm thinking Pastis...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

On the up-swing

After sitting on my hands, waiting for my manufacture to get back with me, SassaB™ is on an up-swing once again. That is what I have noticed...nothing happens for weeks and then all of sudden we are full steam ahead!

I have struggled for months with communicating with our manufacture in China so I am excited to report that we have hired a Sourcing Agent. This was suggested to me months ago but I wanted to give it a go myself and save money. Very quickly I found out that "doing it myself" was not an option. It's a relief that I can turn over the negotiations and order placing to someone whom understands the business and the language. It'll be worth the money, for sure!

We still do not have a logo...I'm almost in the frame of mind to type SassaB™ in bold black letters and slap it on the dye-cut. Of course I am kidding but some days I do feel like taking the easy way out. Here is where that word comes into play again...tenacity.

Unfortunately, we will be missing the "Back to School" launch but honestly, I'm just glad to be moving forward at all. I have learned that just because you have a great idea for an invention and the best intentions for making your invention a reality, does not mean there is any guarantee that it'll one day be for sale.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Shark Branding Product Search

New Product / Invention Submission

While I wait, wait, wait for the next steps needed for SassaB™ I wanted to let you know about this great opportunity.

The process to make your invention a success is a long, challenging one.

Product searches like this can be the answer you were looking for!

Let me know if you submit yours!

Good luck!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

One thing you have to have

As I am making my way closer to the launch of SassaB™, I am finding that the one thing you have to have when starting a company is tenacity.

When I said (or kinda yelled) to my Husband "This is SO hard!", he calmly replied, "That is the reason most business owners do not make it. They give up because it is NOT easy." How true it is...

I have suppliers that threaten not to make something I need for SassaB™ if I ask them "how much longer will it take to receive my goods" one more time or suppliers refusing to accept any other type of payment other than a money order (which costs me $50 each time) so I am forced to go on the hunt again for another supplier. All of which is very frustrating.

Then there is the logo...I wish I was even a smidgen talented in graphic design so I could work on this myself...I know it'll be worth the wait but it is a lengthy process.

Without having any previous business experience, I am learning all of this as I go and that alone is enough to make me throw my hands up in the air and say "FORGET IT!" but...I refuse to do that because of...tenacity.

If you are going to start your own business, launch your very own invention, please learn this from CAN do it but do not think for one second that it is easy or will happen quickly. It isn't and it wont. BUT all of your hard work, hours of frustration, bouts of pulling your hair out will one day pay make the word "tenacity" a part of your'll need it!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lots of name dropping and money being spent!

 Thank goodness I set a deadline for launching SassaB™. 

This is not easy...but I have to say, it is FUN! Getting SassaB™ to market is a great challenge and you all know I love a good challenge. 

Here is where I am at (grammer?!): The decision on the logo and background color for the die cuts (the 3x5 card SassaB™ will hang on) has been quite the dilemma. This decisions is taking weeks. Do I use a black background with vibrant colors/logs? Or lime green? Or white, maybe. Do I create some sort of cute animal/person/design for a logo or just use our name and font/color as our logo. *Sillybandz did that.
I have hired my second graphic artist and hopefully he will just show me something wonderful so I can stop fretting about it. Yep, I said "fretting." That is truly how I feel. 

Shoot! I forgot to go to the bank today to pay for a part of SassaB™! I LITERATELY just remembered! Ugh.'s that deadline but SO much to remember!

Moving on...I have been studying the Boogie Wipes website...these Ladies have a "resources" section that is so full of info that it would take all week to read! Thanks Boogie Moms!

I officially have my LLC set up and TM SassaB™. *If you want to know how to put ™ next to a word you are typing, it's Alt 0153. Thanks Jen Cannon! Not only is it an effective way to "claim" your name, it's fun to do!

Did I tell you that out of the blue I figured out how to put SassaB™ (is it totally necessary to ™ every time I write SassaB™?) on a part of my product? It's a very cool way to keep branding the product! I am waiting for that item to get here any day now. And I ordered 10,000 of them so I hope they look good!

Lots of money going out now for SassaB™ but that means we are getting closer to launching! Yay!

If anyone is interested, I found the below link...wanted to share it with you on Product X (aka: SassaB™).


Monday, June 13, 2011

Shark Tank and the EM

It's funny, when I found out that Shark Tank was auditioning for season three, it never occurred to me to submit The Everything Marinator. I guess that I am so busy with SassaB™ that the EM has slipped to the back of my mind.

That is until last night when I caught a re-run of Shark Tank and saw a woman pitch her Turbomarinator to the Sharks. The beauty of it is, she was pitching her prototype...her brilliant idea and like myself, she did not want to invest the money it took to manufacture her product. And then the money to promote it. And ALL the work associated with it. She simply just wanted to see her product on store shelves and make some money in the process.

She, the Turbomarinator inventor, ended up licensing her product to Kevin Harrington for $35,000 and a 2% royalty. Cha-Ching!

This scenario would be my blueprint for the bright and early this morning, I sent in all my info and then some...I attached the video of me pitching the EM. Fun!

My plan is simple, sell the EM and use that money for SassaB™. A win win for both inventions!

If you are interested in submitting your invention, go to to read the fine print and find out how to apply.

Good luck!

Monday, June 6, 2011


It feels great to type it, say it, talk all about it and put my little ™ by it!

Product X IS SassaB!

When I was going through the process of trying to come up with a name for my product, I thought the obvious choice was to name it something "obvious." However, per my Attorney and several other Inventors that I had spoken with, what you really want to do choose a name and not have it describe your product at all. Good examples are Jibbitz and Spanx.

Two, you want the consumer to be curious as to what your product is and approach your product to find out. Hopefully that will result in a sale. The other reason is that you want to have a "good story" about your name and how you actually came up with your invention so you can connect with your consumer. Oh yes, and it also should be fun to say!

I love my story of how I came up with the name SassaB!

When my Mother became a Grandmother, she did not want to be called Grandma, Nana, Granny or any other typical (translates to "old" in her book) Grandparent name so she came up with "Sassy." If you knew my Mother, it suites her perfectly and the kids love calling her Sassy.

My Daughter's name is Brooke and she and her Sassy are very close. So close that they joke about one day opening a restaurant named "Sassy and the B." I was reflecting on this sweet idea that they have while brainstorming about what to call my invention, the word "SassaB" came to me and I thought, "That's IT! That is the perfect name for my product!"

I love the fact that this whole invention is a family effort. If you remember, it was Brooke that came up with the actual idea of SassaB so it is only fitting that some part of her name is in the product name. "B." I'm close with my Mom so it's fun to have "Sassa" (Sassy) there as well.

My Husband came up with one very important component of SassaB which I will talk about when we launch. It was my son that gave us the idea of how to incorporate a boys line into SassaB which turned SassaB from a one item product to an entire line. My Cousin Michelle is my right hand (wo)man so as you see, SassaB is a family effort!

And a fun one it is!

We plan on launching in August and it will be here on Product X - aka: SassaB - that I will announce it first!

Thank you all for your support before, during and after SassaB ~ I appreciate each and every one of you!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The "official" name for Product X is...

Alright Product X people, per the request of my attorney, I will be announcing our Product and Company name in the next post ~ stay tuned!

Monday, May 30, 2011

We have a deadline

I have given us a deadline and I'm not budging from it. I have found that by committing to a launch date, I am more focused on completing the tasks on my "to-do" list and not just saying, "I can do that tomorrow." It really has worked. Product X will be for sale by the end of July/beginning of August!

I am very protective of showing Product X to people that I am not close with but there is this adorable boutique on Main Street and I just had to know if they would sell Product X. The answer was a very excited "YES!" She loved it and even though it's not Macy's, Nordstrom, Dillard's or Toys R Us, it was validation to what I have been saying all along..."Everyone that sees Product X will want to purchase it." **Insert big smile here** Now I have Learning Express and the boutique on Main Street ~ it's just the beginning.

I have been resistant to doing a business plan because it's so hypothetical but  everyone seems to think it is a MUST. Daymond John (Shark Tank) sent me a DM on twitter saying just that. So, I am working on it...

As I was placing an order for one of the pieces of Product X, it occurred to me that if I could put my company name on this piece, it would really help my brand. Luckily for just pennies, I am able to do that!

I am still amazed how this simple, little idea I had has turned into a REAL business! We have our own molds, patents, trademarks and social media sites. A dream come true... 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Product X Samples arrive!

Our samples arrived and they look better than I could have even imagined! It was truly a moment of bliss to see my idea come to life and have the actual product in my hand. I sit here now, still in awe, that this is really happening!

Now comes the busy work of getting everything in place while we wait for the other 9,000 units to arrive. First and foremost, we have gone ahead with trademarking our product and creating our LLC along with including our tag line.

It's funny, I thought for days...weeks actually...of a little catchy slogan (or tag line) that would be unique and appropriate for Product X but to no avail. My mind was blank or worse yet, I would blurt out tag lines that were ridiculous. Then one day when I wasn't even thinking of it, it came to me. Just like that. It was a great relief!

I am so determined to have Product X launch in time for "back to school" but it's not just up to me. Hopefully the other pieces of Product X arrive within the time line I was told along with getting the logo created, the die cuts made and the website up and running.

My "to do" list is a long one but I am so driven to see this succeed that there is no doubt in my mind that Product X will soon be for sale!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shark Tank and PR Update

 Mr. Daymond John is a very powerful man and one that I want to have in my corner. Product X is going to be amazing but I know with his help, Product X will be crazy huge!

If you remember, I have meet with Kevin Harrington several times and I am friends with Kevin's Executive Producer (Military Shopping Channel), John Cremeans. If it's not completely obvious, I am totally "name dropping." *Hope you don't mind John* :)

I am a huge fan of "invention TV"...Pitchmen, Homemade Millionaire and Shark Tank. At the moment, Product X is not ready for Reality TV. However, Product X is ready for a powerhouse such as Mr. Daymond John. With his knowledge, expertise and success in the world of fashion, Product X could become liquid gold.

 Product X has had a good week on twitter. Along with Mr. John sending me a message on twitter, the Today Show is now following me. Why this is huge...The Today Show has 796,087 followers and follows only 6,472. That is less than one percent of people who follow them and I am now in that one percent. This hopefully can be great news for Product X one day!

As you know, I love PR and while I wait for Product X to be produced, I am doing all the PR I can!

I have readers all over the world and I am so grateful for every one of you! Keep checking in...we are still planning on launching in late July/early August.