I was first introduced to the 3/50 Project by a local Portland based retailer, Bambini Boutique and was instantly interested in the philosophy behind the project. In a nutshell, the 3/50 Project encourages all consumers to direct $50 of their monthly spending to locally owned brick and mortar businesses. So instead of buying a birthday gift and card from a big box retailer, head over to a locally owned boutique and pick up that something special while also helping to build revenue for independently owned businesses. Easy, direct, and makes sense.
What I like about this philosophy is that it isn’t an all or nothing approach. Don’t get me wrong, I try and patron locally owned businesses when I can. Shopping at the Farmer’s Market, drinking Stumptown Coffee, buying children’s clothes and toys from local boutiques. (Just picked up some great items at Posh Boutique this past weekend.) However, a girl like me also loves her Jimmy Choo’s (well Nordstrom is based in the NW, does that count for shopping local?) and the ease of running by Target for a box Huggies. So, the 3/50 philosophy works in terms of my shopping habits, as I think it does for the average consumer.
However, with this in mind I started thinking that it goes above and beyond the end consumer. Honestly, a similar philosophy could apply for local retailers as well, right. As many of you already know, the Little Pea Collection is produced locally in Portland and as I am approaching NW boutiques I feel this factor is one of the compelling reasons for these Portland based retailers to give Little Pea a try. Although the collection has been well received in the NW, I would love, love, love to see Little Pea in more local boutiques.
In addition, this methodology could apply to all US based retailers as well. In speaking to other brands that produce their lines domestically, the choice to do so is heavily based on the belief that domestic production is better for the environment, better for our economy, and in some ways better for the health and well being of our children. That said, I will get off my soap box for today in the hopes that a few local boutiques or even US boutiques will read this post and head on over to the Little Pea website to check out our wares. Lovingly crafted in the Portland, Oregon, USA!!!
Well…I am back in the states after a wonderful trip to the UK!! Despite, the 24 hour trip home – which included 2 children under the age of 4, 3 planes, 2 layovers, and to boot the car wouldn’t start when we arrived back in Portland at 11:00 pm!! I am happy to say, I am feeling incredibly relaxed and looking forward to ringing in the New Year with family and friends this evening. Let the champagne flow – woo hoo!!
That said, I started to think about a few resolutions I have for myself and thought I’d share them all with you.
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff – learn it, live it, love it! Moving the button on a dress down by 1/4″ isn’t going to solve word hunger.
2. Learn to appreciate the small milestones in life instead of always looking at the big picture. Building a business takes time you know.
3. Let go at the end of the day – perhaps it’s my Type A personality but I am always checking, double checking, sneaking off after dinner to check work mails, this year I resolve to turn off at the end of the day so that I can give my family the full attention they deserve!!
4. Do my best at the multiple roles I have: wife, mother, business owner and accept that sometimes something will have to give.
5. Continue to build Little Pea – give it my all, knowing that I do not have a crystal ball. Regardless of what happens with Little Pea be proud of how far we I come and what I achieved!
There you have it folks, my top resolutions for 2010. Have a wonderful New Year! Eat, drink, and Be Merry and best wishes to all for a happy and prosperous new year.
Sorry for the lack of posts lately it has been a little busy here at Little Pea to say the least. With our first production cycle in full swing, the last few weeks have been a blur. Ordering materials, labels, checking PO’s, product testing, tweaking the Fall collection, closing out the budget for 2009 all normal business functions yes, but with it being the first season I want to make sure I had dotted all my I’s and crossed all my T’s. So far, everything seems to be in order and I finally feel I can step away for some much needed R&R.
Tomorrow I leave for London – bags are packed and kids prepped for the 15 hour journey. Luckily, for my girl’s this is a familiar trip so I am hoping we can keep them entertained them with treats, movies, and the craft bags I put together every time we fly. They love traveling and I am pleased to say they are extremely well behaved even on the long haul flights. Yeah for mommy!! Honestly, even I am buzzing in anticipation for tomorrow’s departure. I will admit, I am really looking forward to stepping away for a while and just spending time with family and friends. The launch of Little Pea has been so exciting, we have had high points (hooray) and challenges and at times it can be hard to strike a balance between work and family. But with every milestone I reach (no matter how big or small) I can look back and see just how far Little Pea has come and I can’t wait to see what is in store for us come 2010.
So, I will leave you all with a one last message….
MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!
Each year, come Christmas time I seem to be in a complete state of surprise that yet another year has almost come and gone. Where does the time go? I mean really, it seems like just yesterday that I rung in 2009 and now here we are about welcome in 2010. This past year in particular has flown by. With the launch of Little Pea this August, I have spent the last few months in a constant state of motion. We have made progress, but like all businesses there are growing pains. With knowledge comes wisdom – or in my case worry. 🙂 Ignorance is bliss, you bet it is. As the brand has developed and as I have become a little wiser to the in’s and out’s of the children’s industry I have become more aware of each and every aspect of this endeavor from sourcing, testing, production, marketing, photography the lists goes on and on. Challenges both anticipated as well as unexpected have crossed my path and I have addressed each hurdle head on. I am learning, asking questions, reaching out to people, and when needed asking for help. So this year as I prep for the Christmas season, I am making a conscious effort to slow down. Instead of focusing on the challenges ahead taking time to enjoy the triumphs (no matter how large or small). The development of my brand is going to take time, patience, and a whole lot of elbow grease but I am confident that I am taking the steps needed to make Little Pea a success and I can honestly say, I cannot wait to see what 2010 has in store.
Hope you all had a fabulous Turkey Day. I know I certainly did and am now reflecting on just how much I have to be thankful for. 2 wonderful children, an equally wonderful husband, and a growing business. Wow! Who could ask for anything more, right? Okay, yes times can be tough- as a small start up business my days are often spent well, how can I say this – juggling!! Juggling my responsibilities as a mother, wife, designer, CEO, sourcing manager – you name it I probably fill the role. I wear many hats and constantly going, going, going. However, despite the constant movement I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity and I am so looking forward to watching Little Pea grow and mature. So to all of my family and friends (old and new) out there. Thanks so much for all the love. I truly find the outreach of support amazing. Since the start of this venture, friends have come out the woodwork to congratulate me, family and friends stepped up to help with design (thanks Kari!!) and technical support (thanks Jon!!), and my Facebook fans continue to grow (thanks fans!!). So here is a special post Thanksgiving shout out to all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support and encouragement! Little Pea would surely not be where it is today without all of you!!