Louise Dewey | 30 Women Who Mean Business Series

Louise Dewey is the host of the Baby Boomer Babe podcast and a real joy to be around.

Describe your business in 3 to 5 sentences.

My business is evolving every day, but the gist of it is to assist women between 50 and 70 (Baby Boomers) who want more out of life. Some may just want more friends, and fun places to go and do things; others may want to start a business; or they may have lost their spouse and want to know how to come back and be a part of this new world in which they find themselves. Having experienced all of these things and re-created my own life several times, I feel qualified to guide them, using classes, Lunch & Learn meetings, webinars, and private one-on-one training.

How did you get started in your business?

BOREDOM! After I retired and moved to the country in 2008, I re-created myself as a ‘lady farmer’ – tending my yard, garden, and a small orchard. I even became a Certified Master Gardener. It was a good life for nearly seven years, but I missed being around people and helping others. That’s when I got creative (my middle name is ‘MSU’ – that stands for ‘Make Stuff Up!’ I came up with The Baby Boomer Babe. I am a Baby Boomer who will never stop learning and sharing what I know with other women. We need each other! Sometimes my sharing is in the form of encouragement, just listening, or training classes; and other times it’s in the form of a swift kick in the pants! Whatever works to get women off square one and back out into society in the way they choose.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?

I am still forging through the biggest hurdle in my business – becoming known and recognized as an ‘expert’ who helps Baby Boomer women re-create the life they want. Sometimes these women have no clue what that looks like; and most times they do not realize the value they bring to the table. It’s my job to bring that to the surface and help them move forward and enjoy and capitalize on the new woman who emerges.

Top 3 books for personal and business growth?

The titles of all these books say it all –

I have sooo many books that have helped me, so here’s a fourth book:

What does gratitude mean to you?

Gratitude is a word of very deep meaning to me as I have so much for which to be grateful. Yes, I was widowed at 44, but the last 25 years have been very rich with learning WHO Louise is and what she is capable of doing and being. I feel that all I have been through, and had to learn the hard way, are just what I am to teach other women so they can learn the easy way. I am grateful for all of these life lessons that have made me who and what I am. I am to be of service to other women, and I am grateful – my ‘cup’ does truly ‘runneth over!’

Louise Dewey, Baby Boomer Babe

Louise Dewey, Baby Boomer Babe

Who do I appreciate? Why?

I appreciate my parents most of all. They worked hard all their lives and taught me that everything of value is to be earned, not handed to me on a silver platter. I learned early the lessons of ‘being responsible’ for myself, standing on my own two feet, fighting my own battles, learning the life lessons put before me, and sharing whatever I have, both tangible and intangible, such as knowledge. My life is so beautiful in so many ways, and so rich in family and friends. Who could ask for more? Not me!

Connect with Louise Dewey

More from Gratitude Geek

Customer Retention Strategy: Treat Your Clients to a Halloween Treat

Customer retention is not as hard as you think. If you want to keep them coming back for more, treat your clients to an occasional treat. Halloween is the perfect time to do so!

During the major holidays like Christmas, your clients are inundated with cards and gifts. If you send something when everyone else is sending, your gesture is likely to get lost in the crowd.

When was the last time someone sent YOU a Halloween treat?

Oh really?

Never?

Think about it, if no one is sending YOU a treat this month, then no one is sending your clients a treat! The trick to customer retention isn’t really a trick, it is standing out. Sending Halloween treats makes you stand out.

Grab Their Attention by Sending a Card

If you are on a budget, sending a Halloween card is a cost effective customer retention tool. You can include a note along the lines of “it’s a treat to have you as a client” or “it’s never scary doing business with you.” The note should reflect your personality and be in alignment with your company culture.

Trick or Treat Halloween Greeting Card.   Click the card to send today.  The first card you send is FREE, on me.

Trick or Treat Halloween Greeting Card. Click the card to send today. The first card you send is FREE, on me.

Have a Wonderful Halloween Greeting Card.  Click the image to send the card today.  The first card you send is FREE, on me.

Have a Wonderful Halloween Greeting Card. Click the image to send the card today. The first card you send is FREE, on me.

Vintage Halloween Card with a Victorian Era look.  Send this card by clicking the image.  The first card you send is FREE, on me.

Vintage Halloween Card with a Victorian Era look. Send this card by clicking the image. The first card you send is FREE, on me.

Send a Gift and They Will Never Forget

If you really want to make an impact on your clients and ensure customer retention, send a gift. Here are a few that you can send along with a greeting card through SendOutCards. Contact me privately for more information on these and other ghoulishly amazing Halloween gifts.

Halloween Candy Jars.  Choose from Bite, Beware, or Bone Appetit jars and get the candy to match. BOO!

Halloween Candy Jars. Choose from Bite, Beware, or Bone Appetit jars and get the candy to match. BOO!

Gourmet Caramels in an Orange Halloween Gift Tower.  This beautiful gift tower includes Golden (vanilla), Pumpkin Spice and Sea Salt Caramels. Created in small batches, these scrumptious treats are handcrafted using only the freshest, local ingredients. (1.5 lbs)

Gourmet Caramels in an Orange Halloween Gift Tower. This beautiful gift tower includes Golden (vanilla), Pumpkin Spice and Sea Salt Caramels. Created in small batches, these scrumptious treats are handcrafted using only the freshest, local ingredients. (1.5 lbs)

Pumpkin Patch Candle Perfectly capture the inviting scent of brown sugar sweetened pumpkins, baked in simmering spices of clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Pumpkin Patch Candle Perfectly capture the inviting scent of brown sugar sweetened pumpkins, baked in simmering spices of clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Customer retention is easy when you send cards and gifts.

Leave a comment with your tips and takeaways. What do you do to keep your clients coming back time and time again?

Spring Gifts Have Arrived!

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Want to get a sneak peek at more upcoming new gifts? Check out Spring Gift Guide now. View the digital version HERE or head over to the SendOutCards Gift Shop to get physical copy for yourself! Happy sending!

Send a Greeting Card and Change a Life Today!

Cynthia Powell Shares How She Got to the Top of Organic Google Search | Podcast #008

Cynthia Powell, mother of three boys, has been a work at home for 15 years.  Her company, Chicks and Cubs, offers heirloom baby shoe bronzing services.  Her background in chemical engineering did not prepare her for the realities of business ownership.  However, she has learned to step outside of her comfort zone and embrace challenges.  Today, she shares the marketing secrets that keep her website at the top of organic Google search for her niche, year after year.

Cynthia & Kandas

Cynthia & Kandas

She’s Come a Long Way, Baby

Kandas:  Sum up your business in three sentences or less.

Cynthia:  I help families preserve childhood memories by Bronzing and Pewtering baby shoes, pacifiers, ballet shoes and other special items. I offer an heirloom quality product with present and future value.

Kandas:  Why did you choose to start your business – do what you do?

Cynthia:  Because I wanted to be HOME but it was hard to leave a Chemical Engineer’s Salary. And I have keep doing it because I have to have something that is MINE, that fills my need to be “productive” (and doing dishes, washing clothes, cleaning toilets does not fill that need for me.)

Kandas:   Where do you find inspiration?

Cynthia:  I am most inspired by people’s whole story. And the more I study successful people, the more I realize that we all have a story – MOST if not all are NOT overnight successes. From Athletes, to Movie/Music Stars to Entreprenures… we all have a long life story. THAT inspires me to keep on my journey, so I can encourage and inspire others with my story.

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Chicks & Cubs Baby Shoe Bronzing

Kandas:   What makes you different from other people in your industry?

Cynthia:  If you look back at the Baby Shoe Bronzing business, most was done Door to Door OR at the local big Department store. That is NOT our world today. Most others doing baby shoe bronzing today do it from gathering leads at shows/fairs or store displays. I have been able to set myself apart by generating my leads by being top in Google search, and internet advertising to make people realize that this is something they CAN still do today. The other difference is my prices are UNDER suggested retail. I have talked to clients in NY and CA that paid 3 times my prices for the same product. On the other hand I have really cheap competition. Their prices are under my costs – where we differ is QUALITY.

Kandas:  Why should someone purchase from you instead of your competition?

Cynthia:  I am the ONE that is providing VALUE – the best products for the best price and with a mom’s heart for their keepsakes.

Kandas: Define your style?

Cynthia:  No nonsense – I’m practical, to the point, detailed oriented, and can come across blunt. But my heart is HUGE and I care very deeply about people and their success.

Kandas:   Tell me about your typical day.

Cynthia:  Up by 6:30 – kids to school, usually back home by 8:15 – work any which way I can till 2:30. Pick up kids, then all the after school stuff and sports and then back to “work – ie: Facebook and emails” as I watch TV and to bed at some time – some days it is 8pm some days it 1am.
I do work a lot but what I have the OPTION of doing is STOPPING when I want. So I can go eat lunch at school or be the field trip mom, or serve on the PTO board or volunteer or take time to help a friend start her business or take a NAP during the day because I need it. I LOVE my life of flexibility.

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Pewter Baby Shoes by Chicks & Cubs

Kandas:   How do you juggle work and family?

Cynthia:  Probably not all that well. I LOVE my work and I work a lot because I LOVE it. It is what I do for me. But like I said above, I flex as I need and want around my family and that is what I love about owning my own business, being my own boss.

Kandas:   Three tips you would like to give to people who are thinking about starting a business in your industry?

Cynthia:

-FIND a business mentor!!

-READ anything you can find about business, sales, success – decide that you have a lot to learn and get to it.

-Don’t spend more that you have – do your very best to find a way to do things without going in debt.

Kandas:   How have you grown as a person since starting your company?

Cynthia:  I am a better customer/consumer. I think more people need to run their own business so they KNOW that it takes to make money. People don’t have a clue what it takes to run a business, how much it takes to gain a customer and taxes and regulations and shipping… So because of that, I’m a better customer.

Kandas:   Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Cynthia:  With this business, I am working my way up to being the top single  (vs team) sales rep.

Kandas:   For whom are you thankful?  Who do you appreciate?

Cynthia:  My husband and my boys for letting me be me and not expecting June Cleaver.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

My biggest takeaway today is learn to step outside of your comfort zone.  Doing what is just a little bit harder than what you are comfortably doing could have exponentially greater rewards.  You won’t always be able to see what’s outside that comfortable zone where you exist…  and you will never know unless you have faith and take a step!

Connect with Cynthia Powell

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Luck of the Straw… err Draw

Did you hear my blooper in the podcast? It’s right before we chatted about how awesome Audible
is… Cynthia and I both listen to audio books while we fold laundry. It’s a great way to get some personal development in. You can get a free audio book using my Audible affiliate link.

Cynthia’s Favorite Books

Get Your Gratitude Geek On

Be sure to tune in every Wednesday to the Gratitude Geek Podcast.

Watch Coffee & Cards Conversations which are filmed on location at Conroe Coffee and produced by Shane Rodarte.

Music by Brock Rodarte.

Peggy Vincent Explains What Aspiring Work-at-Home Moms Need to Know about Pricing, Promotion and the Loneliness Factor | Podcast #006

comfy-cozy-3Peggy Vincent is the innovator of the glow in the dark pillowcase.  She was a young, single professional when she launched her company, Comfy Cozy, Inc. in the mid-1990s.  Peggy shares how her products, company and expectations all changed with marriage and children.

Common Threads

Peggy and I first met around the year 2000.  We belonged to a small, online mastermind of work-at-home moms we called SuperWAHMz.   Lynn Korff, of Korff Ceramic Originals, hand-picked our group who provided support and camaraderie as we each grew our businesses.  Lynn also created the The Mom Pack.

If you are just starting out, I can not stress enough how important it is to find a tribe.  You need other work-at-home-moms, like you, to bounce ideas off.

Both Peggy and myself have backgrounds in merchandising and national sales, so we speak the same language, and sometimes finish each others’ sentences.    In the podcast, we offers tips for creative moms on how to launch a product and run a business from home with small children including proper pricing, promotion and dealing with the loneliness factor.  Plus, Peggy offers insight on how the work at home experience changes when the kids become teens.

Be Willing to Change Direction

Kandas:  Sum up your business in three sentences or less.

Peggy:   Comfy Cozy,inc creates whimsical and inspirational gifts featuring the “original” Glow in the Dark Pillowcases. We also offer Custom Screen Printing for businesses, schools and organizations. Our focus is creating fun and functional products that meet the needs of our customers.

Kandas: Why did you choose to start your business – do what you do?

Peggy:  Always had a goal to start my own company. Created first pillowcases and decided they were the product to form new company around.

Kandas:  Where do you find inspiration?

Peggy:  Originally from my nieces & nephews, other family members. Trends & personal interest took over when I started to market the product.

comfy-cozy-2Kandas:  What makes you different from other people in your industry?

Peggy:  Comfy Cozy,inc. is the only line of pillowcases with the type of “magically” transforming Glow in the Dark images. My line is also cross generational and is not just for kids.

Kandas:   Why should someone purchase from you instead of your competition?

Peggy:  Our print quality, dedication to detail and selection.

Kandas:  For whom are you thankful? Who do you appreciate?

Peggy:  My husband, children, parents and extended family.

Kandas: What are some of your favorite books?

Peggy:  Easier to give authors: JRR Tolkein, Katrina Kennison, Robert Ludlum to name a few. Genres: Irish history, espionage, autobiography & inspiration.

Kandas:   Define your style?

Peggy:  Home decor – leaning toward some version of country chic but you wouldn’t know that if you walked into my house;) personal – comfortable without looking dowdy!

Kandas:   Tell me about your typical day.

Peggy:  Up at 5:30 w/ kids. #2 out the door at 7. Coffee w/ husband til 8/9. In my office by 9. Work til 1. Have a part time job t/w/th so I’m out the door by 1:15. Home by 6:15. Dinner, finalize homework check, relax with kids for a bit before bed. Wait for Scott to get home, usually by 9/10 ok 11. Bed. With 4 of 5 trips outside with our adorable Beagle:)
How do you juggle work and family? Carefully. Some days are better than others. Primarily I only “work” when our children are in school. There are times when I work in the evenings but try to not go back and forth from office to “family” space. It’s difficult to shut down your business brain, shut the office door and not go back in, but it’s important to let your family know you can separate the two.

comfy-cozy-1Kandas:   Three tips you would like to give to people who are thinking about starting a business in your industry?

Peggy:  Comfy Cozy, inc. is not in just one specific industry so answering that question won’t be direct.

  1. What I would tell anyone is to research other products on the market, examine every aspect of product development that goes into pricing and to establish a retail price that the sell on the market. Many people just say “this will sell at ‘x’” then realize that they either can’t cover the cost or their profit margin is not enough to sustain the business.
  2. Be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to your business AND more importantly, what you will need to do if suddenly you need to dedicate more. Can you and your family support the changes and what will the effect be.
  3.  Be willing to change direction. I realize that I should have made some changes to my product line, marketing strategy and business plan several years ago.

Kandas:   How have you grown as a person since starting your company?

Peggy:  I’ve learned that I did NOT know everything about running a business, should have minored in business and that I’m not as organized as I thought I was. I also started this company before I was married with kids. I would never have guessed that the professional, aggressive and all work/no play me would prefer building blocks and playing in the mud! I’d call that “personal” growth that required an acceptance that my “professional” growth would take a back seat for a while.

Kandas:   Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Peggy:   More productive on a day to day basis since our boys will both be in college – ACK! No longer selling pillowcases but doing more custom printing without carrying an inventory. Possibly be out of this business completely. Be able to call myself an author and have written a book or 2.

Kandas:   What else would you like to add?

Peggy:   At this time I am assessing where I am, my business plan and if this is what i want to do anymore. The “thrill” is leaving and determining what that means and where the road will take me is a huge door to open, walk over the thresh hold and shut the door with a feeling of satisfaction, accomplishment but eyes focused on the future and NOT looking back.

Wrap Up

Your definition of success is your own and you cannot let anyone else define it for you.   Businesses, like children, grow and evolve.  Sometimes you need to coddle the baby and sometimes you need to stand back and watch it play.

Connect with Peggy Vincent

Take Action

Leave a comment with your tips for aspiring work-at-home-moms.

Click here to learn how I get paid to be nice.

Send Out Flowers for Valentine’s Day

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I’ve been married now for about 16 years to a great guy.

My husband Shane is creative, and supportive, and he sucks at Valentine’s Day.

I gave up hoping years ago. Now, February 14th is just another day, and I schedule my day accordingly. I am perfectly okay with it. What he lacks in romance, he makes up for in encouragement.

Heck, he produces my podcasts and videos. He has spent hours creating the artwork, formatting the templates, researching and purchasing equipment. Turning me into a “star,” as he says, has become his hobby.

Why fret if he doesn’t send me flowers?

If he ever DID want to send me flowers, he can now use SendOutCards. Introducing the new SendOutCards Garden:

 

Valentine’s Day Centerpiece

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Celebrate your love and appreciation with the handpicked Valentine’s Day Centerpiece. This lovely arrangement is the perfect accent for a romantic date or dinner party. Featuring beautiful heart lily grass, a red rose, pink hyacinth, two light pink roses, folded red and green ti, dark pink mini cym, and star of Bethlehem.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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Twelve fresh strawberries, picked at the peak of ripeness, covered with a delicious layer of white and milk chocolate. The fine art of chocolate dipped strawberries has been brought to you on a silver platter.

Succulent Garden

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Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the perfect gifts, like our beautiful Succulent Garden. Succulents are known for retaining water and easily adapt to arid climates and soil conditions. Our striking Succulent Garden is unique and can be given as a birthday, thank you or housewarming gift.

Pretty in Pink Bouquet

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Pink roses are said to be the most delicate of all roses, with their elegant beauty there is no match to the Pretty in Pink Bouquet. Send this beautiful bouquet today and take someone’s breath away.

SendOutCards really is your one stop shop for cards, gifts and flowers!

Remember Valentines

Interview: Sandy Schmidt of You are Special Patterns and the Olde Country Cupboard

Note: It is with profound sadness that we report, Sandy Schmidt passed away on Sept 5, 2013.

 

Sandy Schmidt of Starke, Florida, cancer survivor and mother of one, shares her experiences owning two businesses simultaneously. 

MG:  What is the name of your business?

SS:  I have two pattern companies You are Special Patterns and the Olde Country Cupboard.

MG:  Where do you sell your products?

SS:  I sell my products on line via facebook and my blog, plu in CountrySampler magazine and craft shows.

MG:  How can our readers find your products?

SS:  I have 2 pattern lines: www.theoldecountrycupboard.com and www.youarespecialpatterns.com

Primitive Doll by Sandy Schmidt

MG:  How has new technology affected your personal life/business? What technology tools do you use?

SS:  I use the internet exclusively. Since I joined facebook , I would say half of my business comes from it. I started a wholesale site on facebook and it has surpassed my wildest expectation.

MG:  Where do you find inspiration for your products?

SS:  I love dolls and Christmas, most of my ideas come late at night , just before bed. I love Raggedy Dolls, most of which I have on my You are Special site. Christmas items are on the Olde Country cupboard site.

MG:  Define your style?

SS:  I would define my style as country/primitive. I don’t do the extreme prim, love it but don’t use it in my patterns. I find that in my area, the more cutesy country sells better.

MG:  How many kids? Age/Gender?

SS:  I have one Daughter Samantha Flanders who recently started her own craft business SouthernBelle Scentz. She has always helped with shows, but has taken over the tart and some of the sewing for me.

MG:  Tell me about your typical day.

SS:   I stay up late usually go to bed around 3:00 am. Get up about 10:00, do pattern orders, start on sewing orders in middle of afternoon, take a break for fixing dinner and catching up on emails and such. then usually start back to sewing after dinner, not unusual for me to sew 10-12 hours a day especially closer to show time, it is more like 14 hours a day.

Raggedy Annie by Sandy Schmidt

MG:  How do you juggle work and family?

family life, It is just me and husband at home, daughter is married and lives down the street. It is easy to craft, hubby works shift work, and is usually working 12 hours shifts in the daytime or night shift, then sleep after night shift, So I have a lot of time to myself. When I want, easy to take time off and be on my own schedule.

MG:  Three tips you would like to give to moms who are thinking about starting their own business?

  1. Start out slow, don’t take on more than you can handle especially with small children. My daughter rarely took naps, so it was extremely hard to sew and craft when she was little, I was a stay at home mom and really didn’t start my pattern business till she was in kindergarten.
  2. Go to shows and see if you product sells, if not, be willing to adapt your product for the market.
  3. Have a good support system in your spouse, make sure he is behind you 100 percent, because of the time involved. Hubby used to entertain my daughter when I got stressed with orders, he would always take over once he got home and told me to get my orders and stock done, he has always been behind all the way.

MG:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

SS:  I was diagnosed with lymphoma stage 4 cancer 2 years ago. been through chemo, now in remission. So hoping to take my business to next step through wholesaling and going to a big wholesale show next year. I advertise in Country Sampler, but want to make my business grow, for my daughter to take over one day.

MG:  What else would you like to add?

SS:  I guess what else I would to say, it is a very competitive business and be prepared for a lot of hard work. Nothing is more satisfying to me, than to hear, someone tell me they love my dolls. I love being at a show and looking up and seeing aline of customers willing to stand in line to buy my products. It fullfills me in a way, that is hard to understand, crafting takes my mind off my illness and keeps me sane. I want to leave a name for myself, that people will be recognize long after I am gone from this world.