Category Archives: Networking

The Wonders of Social Networking

Chances are if you are currently reading this post – you are a fan of Little Pea’s Facebook page or perhaps follow @LittlePeaTweets so I can only assume you are on the up and up in the realm of social networking.  A year ago, these concepts were relatively unknown to me (shock, gasp!). Of course, I had heard of them, dabbled with Facebook to stay in touch with friends but never really thought these outlets would become a part of my daily routine.  However, as I embarked on the all encompassing journey that is Little Pea I found that these tools were a necessary and extremely useful component of my marketing strategy.  Hence I dove right in – set up the accounts, daily updating, linking to press, posting current news, and befriending like minded businesses.  I can honestly say that under this regime the business has flourished.  Greater hits to the site, purchases on the online store, and the nurturing of business relationships.  All a gradual progression of course (it takes time and energy!!) but a successful one and I couldn’t be more excited about the business results.

The slightly unexpected result of entering the realm of virtual networking are the friendships and connections I have made.  You see, I have always been a people person.  In my past life (before Little Pea) part of what motivated me to go to work every morning was the interaction I had with other people.  I have always worked in sourcing and development for design and manufacturing companies. Creative environments, full of savvy, smart, and assertive individuals and I loved it.  I really, really loved it – my peers were often women, some became mentors, and many became friends.  I have seen these women progress in their careers, start businesses, get married, have children.  To this day, I still foster these relationships.

When I made the decision to start Little Pea, I severely underestimated how much I would miss those daily interactions.  You see, for me being a business owner is a little like being on an island.  I work from a home office, often just me and my computer, surrounded by sketches and fabric swatches and to be quite frank I miss having people around.  I miss the daily interaction and the immediate feedback you get from working in an office (with other people).  That is where Facebook and Twitter come into play.  I have been so fortunate to have befriended so many wonderful and talented people on these social networking platforms.  Many of the individuals who I have connected with, like me are business owners – we share experiences, provide feedback, and serve as each other cheerleaders.  At first, it was all about building the business, making the right connections but as I have gotten to know some of these individuals I strongly feel these “virtual” relationships become more than a business function.  I check out their fan pages and tweets, read their blog posts and do what I can to provide useful commentary, promote their successes, and provide general encouragement and support.  In using these platforms, I do feel I’ve reclaimed some of the social dynamic which I thought I had lost when starting my owne company.

So in closing, dear readers – am I totally off base in this?  How do you feel your personal life has been enriched by Facebook or Twitter.  I would love to hear your thoughts!!

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Filed under Industry, Networking

Thanks to my fellow blog friends!!

It has been so crazy around here, I am so looking forward to this coming Friday when I can sit back and relax a bit.  Needless to say, I am playing a little catch up and wanted to post a few links here.

A few weeks back I was featured in 2 blogs and although I have shared this on the face book fan page wanted to also give a shout out to these 2 exceptional women here at the Little Pea Blog.  So to Shannon and Marla, a huge thank you from all of us at Little Pea.  It is always a treat to be featured and I so very much appreciate the reviews and support.  In fact, I have already been contacted by a few individuals who apparently saw the posts on your blogs.  So thanks again!!

So here’s props to these wonderful ladies.  Please take some time to check out their blogs, they are sure to please. Links are below – enjoy!!

Ugga Mugga Blog

Keeping Up with Stella

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Portland Mama’s Unite

One of the aspects of being a starting Little Pea that I love best is having the opportunity to meet new people.  Wether they are buyers, sourcing partners, fellow designers – my overall experience has been nothing but positive.  I have always found these meetings eye-opening and enjoy discussing the opportunities, challenges, and triumphs of my colleagues.  This week I had the opportunity to meet and chat with two awesome and fellow mamapreneurs.

Earlier in the week, I met with Britt Howard, a co-owner of Portland Garment Factory a locally owned and operated sourcing operation.  They offer design, pattern making, and sewing services and specifically work with designers seeking a more artisan approach to their collections.  What a great niche, as a start up business myself I see and understand the challenges smaller designers face in regards to production minimums and think Portland needs more of these type of sourcing outlets to help sustain our locally owned apparel businesses.  Kudos to Britt and her partner Rosemary!  From what I can tell the they seem to be on the up and up – and I can’t wait to see how their business matures.

I also had the pleasure of meeting with Rebecca Kaykas-Wolff a fellow Portland designer – her collection Petit Couture launched last year to a great response.  I throughly enjoyed chatting with her about the experiences she has had in launching her brand.  Having just recently launched Little Pea I definitely could relate to some of the challenges she has encountered.  I found her to be very much like her collection – fun, innovative, and extremely refreshing and am hoping we continue to meet up periodically to share war stories.

Best of luck to both of these fabulous women and I hope to collaborate with both of them in the future.

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Filed under Industry, Networking