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161 – “Frankensteining It” with Wendy Santini of Pinzit
Episode 1617th May 2018 • Gift Biz Unwrapped • Sue Monhait
00:00:00 00:42:55

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Wendy is the founder of Pinzit Limited. Actually, this is Wendy’s third career. She also co-owns a family flooring business and practiced as a registered nurse too. Wendy’s product, Pinzit, is a women’s fashion accessory invented quite by accident. She was trying to solve a problem she was having while wearing her favorite new sweater and suddenly, the idea for Pinzit was born. But once Wendy had her idea, what was she to do next? She knew nothing about product development and manufacturing when she got started. But she sure does now!

The Start of Pinzit

One morning Wendy was trying to figure out how to wear her sweater so that it would in place. She was sick of using a safety pin to keep the shrug from slipping. So she searched through her jewelry box and found a pearl earring to do the job. Unfortunately, the clasp on her earring wasn’t made for that and the earring quickly loosened and fell away – lost forever. However, when Wendy recognized what happened, the idea for Pinzit was born.

Business Building Insights

  • If you can dream it, you can do it.
  • The way to find resources and help is to ask those around you. You never know what connections others have, who could be the contact you need to advance your business. But you have to let people know what you’re looking for.
  • Product creation is a series of small tweeks until you land on that perfect design.
  • With anything, when you do it, you get better and better. The key is in the doing.
  • As you start out, test out your product at a local trade show or craft fair.
  • Business development is an evolution. Get your product right, then move on to creating your website, then enhance your packaging, etc. Step by step!

Candle Flickering Moment

Finding manufacturers in America was quite a challenge. First it was getting a designer for her prototype and then it was finding someone to make them in mass. In the beginning, Wendy became her own manufacturer creating over 5,000 Pinzits right out of her house. Luckily, those days are behind her.

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If you found value in this podcast, make sure to subscribe and leave a review in Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts. That helps us spread the word to more makers just like you.
Thanks! Sue

Transcripts

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This is gift biz unwrapped episode 161.

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It was a good thing,

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even though I lost one of my favorite airings at that

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same second is when I said,

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wait a minute.

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What if it was pretty on both sides and not locked

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Attention? Gifters bakers,

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crafters, and makers pursuing your dream can be fun.

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Whether you have an established business or looking to start one.

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Now you are in the right place.

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This is gift to biz unwrapped,

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helping you turn your skill into a flourishing business.

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Join us for an episode,

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packed full of invaluable guidance,

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resources, and the support you need to grow.

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Your gift biz.

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Here is your host gift biz gal,

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Sue moon Heights.

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Hi there,

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And thank you so much for joining me on the show

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today. And you're going to be happy that you did because

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I have a special announcement for you at the end of

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this month.

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And if you're listening live it's May,

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2018, my book is going to be published and out to

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the world.

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It has been a long journey to be sure I've been

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telling a lot of people lately that I go to sleep

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at night.

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And all I see is words flying in front of my

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eyes from all the editing and all the detailed work that

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needs to be done.

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When you're publishing a book it's called maker to master find

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and fix.

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What's not working in your small business,

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and guess what I want to offer it to you.

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My very special group of podcast listeners for free.

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Just go over to gift biz,

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unwrapped.com forward slash free book,

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enter your name,

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and then you'll be added to a list to be notified

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when the book is available and how to get your hands

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on it for free as with all good things.

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This is only available for a short time.

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So make sure not to miss it.

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That link again is gift biz unwrapped.com

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forward slash free book.

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And now let's move on to the show with Wendy Santini.

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Wendy is the owner of pins at limited.

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Actually this is Wendy's third career.

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She also co owned a family flooring business and practiced as

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a registered nurse.

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Wendy's product is a woman's fashion.

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Accessory invented quite by accident.

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She was trying to solve a problem while she was wearing

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her favorite new sweater,

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and suddenly the idea for pins,

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it was born.

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But once Wendy had her idea,

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where does she go next?

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She knew nothing about product development and manufacturing when she got

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started, but she sure does.

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Now she's here to tell you her story,

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Wendy, thank you for joining us and welcome to the show.

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Thank you,

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Sue. Thanks so much for having me.

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I like to start out our show in a little bit

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of a different way,

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Wendy. And that is by having you describe yourself through the

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image of what would be your ideal motivational candle.

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So if you were to share with us what your candle

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would look that really resonates with you,

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what color would it be and what would be the quote

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on your candle?

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I love the color fuchsia.

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That's part of my logo.

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I'm Pinza I always told my children every night before they

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went to sleep,

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if you could dream it,

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you could do it.

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And I believe that's what I would have on my candle,

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because I really believe if you feel you could dream it,

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you could do it.

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Yeah. You know,

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it speaks to possibilities,

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but there is no possibility if you don't start with a

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vision with a dream.

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Right. Exactly.

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And that's how things happen.

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You have to envision what you want to do with whatever

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you're dreaming about.

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Yeah. Because honestly,

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if you would have never had that moment,

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when you were trying to figure out how to wear your

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sweater, none of this would have happened.

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Correct? Yeah.

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We're peaking the curiosity of everybody.

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So tell us the whole story.

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I didn't want to give it away in the intro to

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tell us the whole story,

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what happened.

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So I bought this sweater and I was constantly putting a

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safety pin on the sweater because I'm a big,

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but you know how shrugs just fall off your shoulders.

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And I really liked wearing it.

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So I kept using the safety pin and I was like,

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God, I'm so sick of the safety pin,

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trying to pin it inside.

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And then one day I went through my jewelry back.

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So I'm like,

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I gotta have something.

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And I ended up finding one of my Pearl earrings and

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I'm like,

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Oh, this would be so cool.

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Let me just put it through.

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So I put it through this sweater and I had it

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on and like most things that don't have a locking system

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when you spread your arms,

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open things,

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come apart.

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I didn't realize that until later when I lost my Pearl

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earring. Oh no,

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but it was a good thing,

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even though I lost one of my favorite airings at that

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same second is when I said,

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wait a minute,

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what if it was pretty on both sides of that lock?

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So really in that moment,

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it was that day.

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I called my daughter and I was telling her she was

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actually in high school at the time.

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And I called her and she was like,

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Oh mom,

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I think that's a good idea.

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And then I called my mother,

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of course.

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And I told her the same thing.

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And she's like,

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I think it's a really great idea to,

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and then we happened to have one of our flooring sources,

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right by a fabric store that has all those arts and

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beads and craft supplies and Joann fabrics.

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And I went there and I just kind of,

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they call it,

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Frankensteining it now,

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but I just kinda mocked up what I was visioning.

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You know what I mean,

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what I wanted to do.

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So I just gathered anything in that store that I thought

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would be possible to describe to somebody what I wanted to

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do on the functionality of it.

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And that night I actually sat down with my husband Mark,

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and we just started playing with drill bits and different things.

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And I got the idea so that people could actually visually

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see what I was talking.

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So were you thinking already,

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right from that moment that you wanted this to be a

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product you were creating or were you just making it to

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see what you could make for yourself?

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Well, at first Started out,

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like, I'm just going to make this from myself.

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And then as I started telling friends,

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we all wear scarves,

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shrugs, Cape shawls,

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all those fashionable clothing.

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But a lot of people had the same problem that I

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was describing.

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And so with me telling them all about it and then

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showing them because I was able to actually make this product,

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I actually use a sewing needle from a sewing machine to

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start it.

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And then I drilled it into a bead and then I

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drilled another side.

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So I was actually able to show the functionality of it

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to them.

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And they really started going crazy because they all wanted it.

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Cool. When you figure out a product and over and over

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again, you get confirmation that it's something that really people need.

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Right. But at the same time,

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it's like nerve wracking.

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Cause like,

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is this really something?

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Or they just,

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my friends telling me,

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you know what I mean?

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Very true.

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Yeah. The confirmation is great,

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but you're not sure if it's true.

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So what ended up happening?

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My best childhood friend.

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Who's like,

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my brother is a patent attorney and an engineer.

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And I actually researched the idea.

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I read pin patents for probably six weeks.

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I want to say,

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because I couldn't believe that something like this didn't exist.

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But what instead I found out is that like,

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everything is a pen,

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just so many things besides car parts,

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but parts of your door jams.

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It was crazy.

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Just reading about the different things.

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So then finally I got the nerve up to call him.

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Cause I didn't want to embarrass myself because I was thinking

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it still was out there somewhere.

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Yeah. Cause you always feel like if it's your idea,

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it's really not worth it.

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Right. Because how could you think of something like that?

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That could be big.

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Right? Exactly.

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That's the whole thing is that's why most inventions don't take

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place as I've talked to more and more people.

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So many people have said,

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I thought of this.

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And could you believe this came out?

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Even for the phones,

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you know,

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you lose your phone,

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put it on your purse.

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Yeah. Someone at one of my shows that I've gone to

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over the past few years.

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So when I was telling me that they've thought of that

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idea, there's another person that was telling me about this different

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toothbrush that they had thought about this idea.

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So you just find that there's so many people that have

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regret, Oh,

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you mean,

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they thought about the idea,

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but they didn't follow through on it.

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Exactly. Never follows because it's a hard process.

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It's just not an easy thing.

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So I called my best friend,

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Jeff and I sent him a picture.

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Actually it was like super bowl Sunday.

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I want to say it's three years now.

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And he was really curious.

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So then he ended up researching it for me and it

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didn't exist.

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So in March I filed my first patent.

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You have to find provisional and non provisionals.

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Talk this through for people who are thinking of creating a

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product, this would be helpful.

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Yeah. You have to file a provisional and a non-provisional patent.

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You file it.

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And then you have a year to basically make your prototype

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of whatever you're inventing.

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And then after the year is up,

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you have to have your prototype and then you file your

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next patent,

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your non-provisional.

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And then when you do that,

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only after that point,

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can you really go out and do like the trade shows,

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do the arts and crafts fairs,

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because you're not really protected until that point.

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You mean?

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So you don't go out,

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do you don't want to exposure to it because you don't

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want people to know exactly.

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You don't want people to know.

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Yeah. So originally with the provisional,

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you just had your prototype,

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right? The one that you and your husband were making Drew

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pictures. I worked with an engineer.

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Okay. And it took me a year with this engineer and

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he was a man.

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Who's a great man,

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nice man.

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Love him.

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But he kept wanting to make this fancier than it needed

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to be.

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And he came up with six different locking systems,

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which cost again,

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a lot of money,

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a lot of time.

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And only to go back when I finally made the one

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out of the six that I liked,

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but it was like six different parts just to get this

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locking system.

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I found a local company,

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which was very unusual because there's no manufacturing around that will

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do anything in the United States.

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It's just a horrible learning life lesson that we really need

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manufacturing back in our country.

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But I finally found this local guy by desk talking to

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everybody, any person that was interested in hearing about what I

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was doing,

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I would ask a question.

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Do you know anybody?

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Do you know anybody?

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It was like the repetitive question I asked.

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And finally,

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one day I found someone who happened to be a friend

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of my accountant that has a small machine shop.

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And he was able to make my prototype.

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But at the same time,

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I met with him and explained to him how I didn't

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want it to be so complicated.

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I really wanted it to be simple.

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Like my original idea.

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It was very simple.

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And he in turn,

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made my prototype for me,

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which costs like a thousand dollars to make five of them.

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It was crazy.

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And at the same time he proved my original invention and

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my original locking system.

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So I of course went with the easier route because manufacturing

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again is so hard to find anybody.

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I had 10 companies bid out just trying to do my

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prototype. It was the only person that got back to me

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because nobody was interested in doing it.

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Wow. No kidding.

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The other thing I really liked so far about what you're

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talking about is the engineer or the person that you were

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using to do all of the locking systems.

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Isn't really your target customer.

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It's more women focused.

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Right? I don't know that guys would use this.

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I be wrong.

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No. I bet A couple of men who have stopped and

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said they would use it for certain things,

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But primarily women,

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right? 99.9%.

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Yes, of course.

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Yeah. So you knew what we would want.

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Well, we just want it Simple and most people don't want

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to complicate that thing.

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All I wanted was to be able to twist it,

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to lock and twist it to open it.

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Righty. Tighty lefty loosey.

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It was just a very simple product.

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I didn't want it to go.

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So elaborate on,

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I don't want six different parts.

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I wanted the two fillings,

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the end and the pen.

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That was all I wanted.

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So you landed the design side Design,

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but then again,

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fast forward,

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we don't have manufacturing.

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I couldn't find any company went back to the same companies

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that asked,

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do my prototype and nobody would get back to me.

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As far as making this product,

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give me a price.

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I had no idea where to go.

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I went online.

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I contacted all these various companies.

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Nobody wanted to do it.

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So finally I called back my engineer and I said,

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what do I need to do to make this product?

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What machines do I need?

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What are the drill bits that I need?

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What are all the tools?

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So he gave me a list of everything and I ordered

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all these many breasts.

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So you were thinking you were going to do it yourself.

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I got so frustrated.

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That's why I ended up just doing it myself.

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So this was again a year and a few months later

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after doing the whole locking system,

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getting back to that machinists to prove my original product.

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And I ordered everything and I just started playing.

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I never used a drill in my life,

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but I learned how to use a mini jewelry press.

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And I ordered all these drill bits.

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I found out the ones that work better,

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the ones that don't do as well.

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I started using little dremmel machines at first and just to

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tweak it and tweak it and tweak it and get it

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to the point of liking my product.

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I didn't want to embarrass myself and go out there and

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had something that didn't work.

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Right? So it ended up that I finally figured it out.

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And after three months of making a thousand of them,

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you get better.

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As you do each one,

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you learn about the sharpening,

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the threading,

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the drilling,

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as anything.

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When you do it,

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you get better at it as you do more.

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So what ended up happening is I did a show,

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my first show,

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I decided to do a really big venue because I wanted

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the mask.

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I wanted a lot of people to see it,

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to get a really good judgment of price point and what

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they thought of my product.

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So I signed up for the Novi women's expo show,

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which is in Michigan.

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And that was in may.

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That was my first show that I did.

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And there was public.

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I want to say like 18,000

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in attendance,

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I guess.

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Normally they say that 30,000.

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That's why I picked that show because I want a really

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big quantities of people and women.

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But I ended up my first weekend,

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I sold $4,500

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in retail sales.

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Good for you.

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Yeah. So it was like,

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okay. I think they like it right.

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There was a lot of pieces that units that I sold.

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Yeah. Okay.

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So let me stop you.

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I have a couple of questions for you here.

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I love the fact that you're talking about your first show,

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being a place where you can test everything out.

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Right? I think that's so important because you can test receptivity

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of your product,

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right? If people are going to be interested and then if

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they'll buy at the right price point and then all your

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functionality, packaging it up,

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actually shipping it.

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How much inventory you have.

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Everything a show is so great when you're starting out.

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I really,

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really am glad that you mentioned that thinking back to it.

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And now that you've been through that process,

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is there anything that you would tell somebody who's just starting

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out and going to their first show that you wish you

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would've known at that time?

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Well, I would probably do a show closer to home.

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I didn't realize there were so many venues actually around here

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that had women's expos as well.

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Like there's one in the city.

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And I think there was one at Rosemont because you start

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adding all the cost factors into the hotel,

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the driving,

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or your food,

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your gas.

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Not that I didn't still make money,

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but I didn't realize I could have done that right here

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in the city of Chicago.

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And do you feel like you needed to go to as

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big as show?

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Could you ever gone to a smaller show closer and gotten

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the same information,

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obviously in not necessarily the same sales,

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but the same learnings that you were looking for?

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I dunno.

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I think the women's expo.

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There's a lot of great people,

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a lot of great experience with those shows.

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Not that I really love doing them.

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To be honest with you.

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Most women's expos.

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The people tend to just want everything for free.

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I know that sounds horrible,

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but they promote a lot of grocery stores that bring in

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stuff. A lot of people go to them for what they

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call freebies.

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So they just more giveaways.

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So just from experience,

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I don't mean to be rude.

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No, We want the truth here,

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Wendy. Yeah.

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I Wouldn't really recommend them.

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I did a second expo in Arizona cause my kids go

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to school out there and it was a great show.

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Again, you meet lots of wonderful women and people like yourself,

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but it's a lot of money.

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It seems like it's triple the money that you could do.

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Just a regular other show.

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Okay. Gotcha.

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So an art fair could cost you $350 for a space.

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Maybe could go up to as high as a thousand dollars,

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but the expos are well over a thousand dollars generally.

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Right? It's just money.

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And it just took the price point of your product.

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My price point is $15.

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So I have to sell a lot of pens when I'm

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doing a big show like that,

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which I do.

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But I could say you could probably make the same amount

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of money just doing that local smaller show.

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So when you went to that first show,

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Wendy, did you already go in thinking the price point was

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going to be 15?

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No. I thought the price point was going to be 20

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because I was basing it on time.

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And first I spent so much time making each and every

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one, but as the show went on,

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I actually started just in the morning for a few hours

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and I made plenty of sales at 20,

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but I found that everybody likes a gimmick more.

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So I did 15 and two for 25.

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Oh, there you go.

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Yeah. I was playing back and with that,

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but I think my husband was like,

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you should try for 20,

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but you put so much time into it,

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but I didn't really see the value at 20.

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I thought 15 was a better price point.

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And did you see most people were then going for the

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25 deal instead of the 15?

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Yeah. 90% of the sales that I make it pretty much.

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All of my shows are two for 25 and it's always

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like a friend or a sister or they're buying a gift.

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So they always feel the value of two for 25.

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Right. You want one for yourself and then one to give

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someone else,

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right? Yeah.

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And I'm going to stick with that price point.

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I think it's a great price point.

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Just wait until you hear what Wendy does next.

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We'll hear that right after a word from our sponsors.

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for more information.

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And now I've moved on to finally finding a manufacturer.

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Oh, I was so open.

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You were going to say I was going to get to

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that in a minute.

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Yay. So talk us through how that happened.

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So again,

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when you're doing anything new,

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you just have to talk to everybody.

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You have to just ask question after question after question and

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everybody at these shows,

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like you said at the beginning,

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they're just like you or me.

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There's a lot of first-timers,

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but there's a lot of people that have been doing this

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for 10,

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20 years.

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So I just kept asking finally,

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just recently I did a show in Schomburg and the man

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next to me,

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he was a manufacturer.

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It was meant to be windy.

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It was crazy.

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It was just crazy.

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So I just couldn't believe it.

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So I had him sign my NBA cause my attorney makes

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everyone, I talked to sign an NDA and I gave him

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my samples of my top 10 products.

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And he said,

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I will be in touch with you in January.

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And he is in touch with me in January.

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And I just received on Friday,

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my first sample of my manufactured product.

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And what's the verdict.

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Is it good?

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It's great.

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He did a great job.

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What ended up happening is he has to make the shaft

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of my pen a little bit thicker,

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which I was very worried about.

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Cause I really wanted to keep it with the gauge of

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a medium safety pen because I didn't want people ruining their

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clothing, obviously when they're using it.

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But primarily my product's meant for sweater materials.

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It's really the sole purpose of keeping your shrugs,

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your scarves,

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your shawls,

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mostly knit material close.

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So I tried it on with every single item in my

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closet that I would wear it with and it didn't ruin

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any of the materials.

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So it was a success.

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That's a beautiful thing for sure.

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Yeah. Yeah.

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I was very,

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very nervous about the thickness of it,

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but they did a fabulous job.

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It's so pointing.

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It just goes right through.

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Even my silky blazer that I wear.

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Like once every show it went right through that too.

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And didn't damage it.

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Perfect. Because honestly,

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if you were going to keep doing production,

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there is no way you'd ever be able to scale the

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business. Not a chance,

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Not a chance.

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So what ended up happening in the year and four months

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that I've done shows,

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I've made 8,000

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of my pins.

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So you golf 8,000

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and I'm not your typical person making I'm the owner of

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the business.

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So I've put so much of me in it and I

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want it to be perfect.

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So even though I've tested it,

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broken it down by the hour,

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how many I could drill,

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how many I could put together,

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et cetera.

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It still ends up a lot more time because it's my

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name on it.

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I'm putting out there,

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I'm in front of you for every show that I've done

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and I want it to be perfect.

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So out of the 8,000,

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I've only had a handful of them get returned and I

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just give them a new one.

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There you go.

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Yeah. Cause I'm not perfect.

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I'm a human and I'm not Saturday.

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I'm just using gorilla glue.

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You know what I mean?

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So now your whole price structure looks different.

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Not in terms of the price you're offering to the customer.

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Right? Because you've already said you're staying at the 15 and

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25. Right.

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But I'm thinking you're back at numbers.

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Now look much better.

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The profitability on the product looks better because you're not putting

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in the time now,

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even though you've got someone else making your product,

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Right? Yeah.

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So it's much more free time for me.

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The only issue I'm working on at the moment now is

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packaging, which is another learning process.

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Like everything you're doing when you're inventing your product,

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each step takes time to figure out.

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So again,

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I'm reaching out to all my contacts.

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My best friend owns a company who is worldwide.

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So they deal with a lot of packaging.

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So he's actually right.

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We're meeting on Thursday so he could give me all of

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his list of context.

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Cause I want it to be a really pretty item.

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I want it to look like a present in a box.

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I don't want to keep doing my little plastic bags and

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paper bags.

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I want to kind of upgrade it a little bit.

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Okay, perfect.

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So that was the answer to the next question.

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You're always foreseeing what my questions are going to be Wendy.

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So that's perfect because my question was going to be to

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you now that you have more time,

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what are you doing to advance the business?

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So you've just said,

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now the next thing you're looking at is the packaging you

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want to upgrade it.

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And all of that,

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the one thing that I hear you continuing to say,

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the teller,

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you move to the next step over and over again through

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your story is reaching out to others and seeing who they

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know. Right?

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So with that,

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you did that for your legal,

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you did that for your product sourcing now that you have

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someone or factory that can make for you.

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And then now you're doing it again with your shipping.

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How are you approaching or finding people or starting those conversations?

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I mean,

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I talked to so many people,

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obviously because I'm in retail,

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but it's just asking anybody,

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anybody in the conversation,

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you don't always want to be talking about yourself and your

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product obviously.

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But my real estate broker,

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he is the one that put me in touch with the

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engineer. And then my engineer is the one that helped me

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with all the ordering.

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My accountant,

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like I said,

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is the one that ended up finding me this machine man

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to make my prototypes.

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So I have another,

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one of my commercial accounts then helped me with a contact

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and other things with shows and stuff like that.

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I guess the big point is let people know what you're

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up to.

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Well, exactly.

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Yeah. I mean,

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I know again,

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a lot of people get scared and they don't want to

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talk about their product,

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but you have to believe that not every person in the

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world is vindictive.

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You have to just have faith in people that they're not

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going to go and steal your idea.

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You know what I mean?

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Well, and seriously look at how difficult it was.

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I mean,

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you've mentioned a couple of challenges along the way already.

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The majority of people aren't going to do that.

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Right. But there's so many people that get so scared to

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talk about anything.

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And it's like,

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I just kind of learned like even the NDA,

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I'm like my non provisional,

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my provisional,

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their signs.

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So I don't really technically need to have all that,

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but legal,

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my attorney,

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he wants everything signed.

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Okay, fine.

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Yeah. The NDAs,

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the non-disclosure agreements share with our audience,

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what those are in case we have some people here who

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aren't sure,

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Oh, it's just an agreement between you and whoever you're speaking

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to let it be a manufacturer,

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that'd be just someone who's an engineer or someone working to

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make your web design or pictures.

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And it's just stating that they will not take any of

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your information and use it for their own purpose or give

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it to others.

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Okay. And at what point in the conversation,

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do you ask them to sign an NDA Pretty much right

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at the beginning,

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or you want to ask for their services if you're interested,

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but you also,

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at the same time,

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want to make sure that they're willing to sign an NDA.

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A lot of companies have no problem with it.

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And sometimes you'll get people that make you change a million

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things on it.

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And I just kind of realize those are the people you

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don't really want to deal with.

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Hmm. Good point.

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Well, it's just more Legal fees for yourself.

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And if they're making you take all this information out,

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then they're really not going to want to work for you

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anyway. Right.

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If it seems too difficult,

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you're probably going to run into trouble later too.

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I think that happens with lots of different things,

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including customers of you have someone who's just so challenging.

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It's better to just agree that there isn't a good synergy

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there or whatever,

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and move on to something else.

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Sorry, started,

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we call it the 2% rule because there's just 2% of

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the people that you just,

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as much as you try to please,

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everybody, you just can't please.

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Everybody because people we're all human and we all have different

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expectations, I guess.

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Yes. That's a very wonderful and nice way of saying that.

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I like,

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I like it.

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I want to take you back to that first show.

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How did you set up your initial display?

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So you're starting from really just your product.

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What did you do?

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Just get started in that?

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Oh, that was hilarious.

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And when I think back to that,

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we ended up renting a trailer and I brought everything humanly

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possible that I can think of to the show.

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It was hilarious.

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This particular show you had to have flooring in your space.

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So I brought a 12 by 15 piece of carpet and

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it was a 10 by 10 space.

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My tables.

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I did a mock up in my basement.

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So I wanted to have six tables that were each five

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feet by two.

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And I wanted to go to the perimeter.

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I wanted to have all my mannequins.

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I brought like six mannequins and I didn't really have anything,

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but like two picture frames that I laid my product loosely,

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each one on them,

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there are glass picture frames that are really actually kind of

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neat. But in retrospect I was so unorganized when I think

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back, I feel sorry for the people that had to sit

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there and wait,

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because I had plastic bags with 40 different styles of my

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product because that's when I started,

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I had so many different ones that I wanted to put

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out there,

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but I wasn't smart enough at the time to have an

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organizational system in place.

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Okay. And so how has that changed now today?

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Oh my God.

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Now I have two filing boxes.

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There are pretty cause everything when you're doing a show has

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to be pretty.

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I found these black great boxes that Michael's or John fabrics

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and I just put file folders in them.

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And I labeled each file folder with the style of the

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design and I had them organized and all filled up before

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the show starts.

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And then I have a third basket that has all my

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bags with my thank you notes on my cards and my

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labels. And now I find a product in five seconds as

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opposed to five minutes,

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Which you're right is really,

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really important because if people have to wait too long,

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it's not even that they won't necessarily wait it's that they'll

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get distracted by another booth or their friend will come in

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and say,

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Oh my gosh,

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you've got to see this.

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She got calm,

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calm, calm.

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I want to show you something.

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And then sometimes they forget to come back.

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Yeah. And my booth happens to get three,

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four or five people deep.

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So I still am having the issues of people sometimes getting

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frustrated because my product,

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because I have so many to choose from,

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which again is while I narrowed it down,

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back down to just 10 that are going to come and

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gold and silver,

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that it,

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it would be the people made such a hard,

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it was a hard decision.

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It shouldn't be that hard.

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Okay. This is a super good point too.

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I have like 7,000

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topics I want to go with,

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but I'm just going to grab a couple or else.

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This is going to be like a two hour interview.

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All right.

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So let's summarize one more time.

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Just your booth.

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The one thing that you did was make sure that you

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were organized enough so that you could move through who were

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making a purchase relatively quickly after they made their selection.

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Exactly. And now we're talking about the fact that you've narrowed

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down what you're offering,

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which is so important.

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I'm actually working on a project right now where I'm talking

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about that specific thing.

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How research has shown you give people too many options and

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they get so overwhelmed.

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They purchase nothing.

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I can tell you from retail point of view,

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same exact thing.

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We have such a huge store in Vernon Hills.

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I mean it's 10,000

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square feet.

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So people come in and it's overwhelming to them.

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So you really have to narrow the process for them.

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So I found the same thing with pins.

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It it's overwhelming when you have two trays of product people

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can't focus.

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So were you seeing people walking away?

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Sorry. Sometimes I would see people struggled to the point where

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I have actually backup trays now.

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So I have two trays on the front,

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but I have two backup trays.

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So I could push those people to my side table and

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say, take your time and look at them just because other

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people behind them would get so frustrated.

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Right. So now you've narrowed down from,

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what did you say?

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40 designs to 10 Originally I had 40 and on my

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website, I think there's 24 that I still show,

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but as it goes forward,

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like I just have my first sample,

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that's going into production and then he's going to do six

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more within the month.

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And then the last three,

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the month after that.

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So I'll continue to do shows with the product that I

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made and then I'll continue to add in as I go

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forward and narrow down at the same time.

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Got it.

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So I'll run out of my inventory.

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I'm not buying beads anymore.

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I'm not filing shafts anymore.

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So once I run out of my inventory,

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I'm going to just replace it with,

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or kind of do it at the same time.

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Perfect. Yeah,

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because you have an investment already in that inventory,

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so you might as well use it.

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Yeah. So I still have,

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I think five or 600,

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but I'm going to end up ordering like 20,000

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pieces. Sure.

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Yeah. So it's another cliff to jump off of,

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but again,

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I've sold a lot of them and I really want to

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grow my company.

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And the only way that I could do that is to

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get in bigger areas like an HSN or QVC,

Speaker:

or I want to do the today show,

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which is all part of your last question.

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I know you're going to ask me,

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go to America.

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I'm not going to do the shark tank.

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That's ruled out a hundred percent,

Speaker:

but if I want to go that route bigger,

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I need more inventory.

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Sure. Let's talk a little bit about customers after they make

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a purchase from you.

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Are you staying in touch with them or what are you

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doing after someone buys What I just do in my bag

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that they give him a thank you note.

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I give them my car to tell them about my website.

Speaker:

I get a ton of repeat and referral people.

Speaker:

A lot of people have bought online as well.

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And what happens with me I've found cause I'm so have

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been pretty much in the Chicagoland area,

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doing my shows.

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I've done a couple of nerds on,

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I did one in California.

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I'm going to try to do a couple on the East

Speaker:

coast, actually the summer.

Speaker:

But I find that I have so many customers out there

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that they all go to.

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These art shows,

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they all go to the same art fairs.

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They all go to the same craft fairs.

Speaker:

So I'm constantly seeing people and reconnecting and they think me

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and that type of thing.

Speaker:

But as far as anything directly,

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I haven't done anything.

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Okay. That may be a next phase down the road.

Speaker:

Yeah. I'm researching and looking.

Speaker:

I met with these younger kids.

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They're young.

Speaker:

I call them kids because they're in the early twenties,

Speaker:

but we talked about the search engine optimization,

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the SEO's on the internet and my type of product.

Speaker:

Again, it's so specific.

Speaker:

You put in every word,

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a sweater you put in pin,

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you put in sweater pins,

Speaker:

but there's so many things that come up.

Speaker:

You know what I mean?

Speaker:

So their feelings were,

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I would be spending five to $750 a month.

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They didn't think I would get much bang for my buck.

Speaker:

I don't know if you've ever been on the Etsy platform,

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but if you list any of your products on there and

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you have to use all their search engine words,

Speaker:

so use every one of them,

Speaker:

they give you I think 20 options.

Speaker:

So I do sweaters.

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I do pin.

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They do the scarves.

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I do shells.

Speaker:

I do capes.

Speaker:

And so I utilize all of that so that when someone's

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searching than my product comes up,

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when they put that word in,

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got it.

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No, I mean,

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that's a hard part.

Speaker:

The web itself is just a hard thing.

Speaker:

You have to really pay a lot of money to do

Speaker:

the advertising.

Speaker:

And are you using social media at all?

Speaker:

I just have Instagram and I'm working on updating my Facebook

Speaker:

page with my son.

Speaker:

Actually, I'm going to Arizona next week and he's going to

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help me better with that.

Speaker:

That's where I lack.

Speaker:

And that's where I need help on making my webpage better

Speaker:

and making my Facebook and I think Instagram.

Speaker:

So that's the point also where I need to probably reach

Speaker:

out towards professionals now.

Speaker:

Well, there's a lot of opportunity out there for you in

Speaker:

that end too.

Speaker:

So now your product is solid.

Speaker:

Your production is solid.

Speaker:

Your packaging is going to be solid,

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right? You're making money.

Speaker:

I mean,

Speaker:

there's a lot of learning already that you've done.

Speaker:

And so you just keep building as you go,

Speaker:

right? It's a work in progress,

Speaker:

Always a work in progress.

Speaker:

So my next step is just like we said,

Speaker:

the packaging and I need to work on my social media

Speaker:

and my web design and my photographs.

Speaker:

So once I end up finally getting my 10,

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then I'm going to manufacture.

Speaker:

And the two colors,

Speaker:

I'm going to work with a professional to actually take pictures.

Speaker:

And again,

Speaker:

someone recommended like even going to a college,

Speaker:

they said,

Speaker:

there's probably lots of kids that are willing to take it

Speaker:

that are just learning.

Speaker:

You Know what I mean?

Speaker:

Absolutely. I would almost even do some type of a brochure

Speaker:

where if people are waiting at the booth,

Speaker:

they could look at all the options and even check off

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which ones they like or something.

Speaker:

Exactly. That's a great idea.

Speaker:

Yeah. Going to a local college because you can get them

Speaker:

for free many times or high schools,

Speaker:

even Wendy,

Speaker:

because they're doing college applications.

Speaker:

So if they could come in and even intern with you,

Speaker:

not necessarily in your location,

Speaker:

but they could do something for you.

Speaker:

They can use that then for their college application.

Speaker:

Exactly. Yeah.

Speaker:

They said that same thing for both for web design and

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for photography,

Speaker:

for sure.

Speaker:

All right.

Speaker:

So what would you say to somebody who is just starting

Speaker:

out in business?

Speaker:

Maybe they have invented something like you're talking about,

Speaker:

or maybe they make cupcakes or knit scarves or they're hand

Speaker:

doing beaded jewelry,

Speaker:

any of that,

Speaker:

but they haven't gotten started yet.

Speaker:

What would you say to that person?

Speaker:

Well, I,

Speaker:

I would recommend probably that asking where do you want to

Speaker:

go with this?

Speaker:

Do you want to be bigger?

Speaker:

Do you want to see more people?

Speaker:

And I would probably recommend that they do maybe a craft

Speaker:

fair to start a smaller venue sometimes is easier than doing

Speaker:

what I did,

Speaker:

but it's less money.

Speaker:

It's less costly.

Speaker:

But you generally even a small craft beer of bringing in

Speaker:

a couple thousand people.

Speaker:

So at least you'll get some type of survey.

Speaker:

That'll be factual.

Speaker:

You know what I mean?

Speaker:

It'll give you an indicator.

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If there's 2000 people and 25 bought,

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maybe there is some interest,

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you know what I mean?

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Yeah. And you get to interact with your customer too.

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That's the other thing about craft shows.

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You can talk to them.

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You can see what their thinking is.

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You can observe.

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But I like what you said initially,

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which is have a vision,

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have an idea of where you think you want it to

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go and then do a craft fair to reinforce or see

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where you might need to adjust to get to where you're

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planning on going.

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Right. Exactly.

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And a lot of people like myself,

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I mean,

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I started up now.

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I didn't know anything.

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I didn't know what I wanted to do.

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I knew I wanted to get my product out there.

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I really feel that every female in the United States or

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the world can use my product and some form of clothing

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that they own because we all just have something in our

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closet that we always want to pin.

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But I had no idea at that point.

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I was just,

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I had an invention.

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I thought it was great.

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I thought everyone could use this.

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I solved the problem.

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But you don't really think at the beginning that you're gonna

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be everywhere.

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You know what I mean?

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Cause you're always protecting yourself too.

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I have to take opportunities as they present themselves to you

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too. And you never always know what those are going to

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be as you start going.

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Right. But you also have to remember the other hand.

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You never know who you're talking to at one of these

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events, it could be the owner of a bakery.

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It could be the owner of a boutique or it could

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be the buyer for Nordstrom.

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You never know when you go to a show who you're

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going to meet.

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So that keeps it really interesting and keeps you pretty professional,

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too Good point.

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Or she should be anyway.

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Right? It's something to remember so that you are well,

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you're just,

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You have to always remember that you don't know who you're

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really talking to.

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That's true.

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Kind of something that,

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Yeah. So Wendy,

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at this point,

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I want to invite you to dare to dream what is

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coming in your future.

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What's next that you don't know about?

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Okay. I'd like to present you with a virtual gift.

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It's a magical box containing unlimited possibilities for your future.

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So this is your dream or your goal of almost unreachable

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Heights because I really want you to stretch.

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So something you really would wish to obtain,

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please accept this gift and open it in our presence.

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What is inside your box?

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I think I've already given that away and you got to

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tell us again right here.

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I think it would be QVC or HSN.

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That would be my goal to get to those places.

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Part of the reason why I asked this question is for

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people to put it out in the environment,

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like the law of attraction thing and your product,

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I could totally see on one of those.

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I mean,

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it's just perfect.

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It's a perfect fit for things that they sell there.

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Right? Yeah.

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They just told me I'm not,

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I mean,

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I'm not ready yet.

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One of the other things just to go back to is

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from my first show,

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I met some people that I still talk with today.

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It's a year and a half later.

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And they are people that have other contexts that have helped

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me make more context too.

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And one of them happens to be,

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she just recently signed a contract with HSN.

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So it's pretty exciting.

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Not for me for her,

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but it's an Avenue that maybe when I'm ready outreach.

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Yeah. I mean,

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you've got to get your production in line because if you

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sell a ton of pins,

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it you've got to be able to deliver well,

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exactly Right.

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And so that brings me to starting more on a smaller

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venue, like the view or they have their steals and deals

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and good random America has it as well.

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And the access Hollywood has it and today's show has it.

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So there's a lot of those ones.

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I don't need to have 10,000

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of each item where you'd need that for HSN.

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Well, you are a woman with a plan.

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I am,

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I'm doing the grind.

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I'm having fun.

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And now I'm just investing more money,

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but that's again what you have to do when you're building

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it. For sure.

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So how can our listeners see what pins it is all

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about Wendy?

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Where would you direct them?

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Www dot pins.

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It, that net.

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And that's my way.

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All right.

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Well thank you so much.

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I really appreciate you walking through your entire story.

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Where would we be in this world if you didn't move

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forward and make this because I have a pins.

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It, I use it all the time.

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So does my friend Barb,

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because the way I ran into you was at a craft

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show and I'm like,

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wait a minute.

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This is really,

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really good.

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Let's talk,

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find out what the story is.

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And we talked a little bit,

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if you recall,

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and I'm like,

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okay, stop.

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Don't tell me anymore.

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Will you be on the show?

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Right. Right.

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But it's such a great thing.

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And your biggest overall message is I think for our whole

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audience is if you have an idea,

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take action on it before somebody else does.

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Cause someone else might come up with the same thing because

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we all had the same problem.

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Right. Right.

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Exactly. But you are the one who actually took action was

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really resourceful and figuring out how to get it done and

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look you're well on your way.

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So congratulations with that.

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I wish you all the best and we are going to

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keep track of you for sure.

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Thanks. So I appreciate everything.

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Have a great day.

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You too,

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This episode is all wrapped up,

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but fortunately your gift biz journey continues.

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Are you eager to learn more?

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Our gift biz gal has a free download just for you.

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Head over to gift biz,

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unwrapped.com/twelve steps to get your copy of the 12 steps to

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starting a profitable gift biz don't delay,

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head over to gift biz,

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unwrapped.com/twelve steps today.