Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How do you position your product VALUE in today's economic climate?

A Night at the Movies for two

tickets to your favorite show ~ $25

Refreshments ~ $15

Gas ~ $10

TOTAL ~ $50 for 90 minutes

That breaks down to $5.56 per minute

Dinner out on the town for two

Drinks ~ $15

Appetizers ~ $10

Dinner ~ $25

Gas ~ $10

TOTAL ~ $60 for 90 minutes

That breaks down to $6.67 per minute

Stitching with a Friend

Fabric (Linen) ~ $20

Fibers ~ $12

Chart ~ $10

Gas ~ $10

TOTAL ~ $52 for 300 minutes

That breaks down to $1.73 per minute

Stitchers receive an additional 210 minutes of entertainment for less money!

Here’s a great example of how Loose Thread Stitchers shows value to our customers. How are you positioning your company to compete in this economy? Why not showcase the VALUE your customers receive when they choose to purchase your products over others? The above example would be a wonderful example to send to your customers in your monthly newsletter. Better yet ~ why not engage your customers? Creating an environment where customers can connect with your company in a new and exciting way to help build customer loyalty and referrals!

Interested? Great! Ok here’s what to do! Copy and paste the examples above in your newsletter. Ask your customers to send you more examples. For each example sent they will be entered to win a prize. Set a deadline for entries. One entry will be chosen the winner on a set date and will be announced in the following month’s newsletter.

Be sure to add a blurb about why this prize is so valuable. This doesn’t mean the prize has to be expensive. You need to convey to your customers why it is special, why do you love it so much and why do your customers HAVE TO HAVE IT!

When you announce the winner in the next newsletter why don’t you surprise all who entered with a 10% discount on said product (whatever the winner receives)? This will encourage future participation; bring traffic into your store and increase customer referrals ~ shoppers LOVE exclusive discounts!

Marketing is an essential part of any business and by positioning your company as an alternate VALUE in today’s economy in your field makes your company even more essential. These small steps will enable your company to continue to build a successful link with your customers!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Don't ever let anyone stand in the way of following your dream...just trip 'em and keep on going

I know I'm a bit feisty this morning. I can't help it. I woke up angry. Terrible isn't it? I woke up that way b/c I had a dream about a friend who wanted to start her own business and all her friends kept telling her it would never work. They said she was crazy and what was she even thinking trying to do starting her own business. Isn't being home with her children enough? Why does she want to add extra stress and pressure? What more could she possibly want? Poof, I woke up. Crazy dream right? Not really, see it was based on actual events.

I do have a friend who is going thru this right now. My dream just made it much more infuriating and I had to vent. See my girl is a fabulous woman, she is smart talented and most importantly she is starting to believe she can make this happen. The sad part is she's listening to the "chatter" around her. I'm worried she always will.

It is hard going out on your own.
It is hard not to listen to the "chatter". It is hard taking the leap ~ I know this might sound a bit harsh but ~ Tough! Anything worth doing makes you a bit uncomfortable; it’s called taking a chance. But think of the alternative. NOT doing it! Are you comfortable letting others run your life? How do you feel about putting limitations on you and what you can become? Would you feel good about looking back on your life 10 years from now and knowing what “could have been”? I don't think so.

I know it sounds corny but you can be anything you want.
I know a bit afterschool special-ish but it's the truth. Stop holding yourself back and just put yourself out there and try it. Stop listening to the “chatter” and go after your dream. Hey if you fail ~ who cares at least you went for it. I never want to look back on my life and wonder what if. No more excuses, no more thinking it over, just take the leap and get into it ~ you'll never know until you try.

Most importantly, surround yourself with women who BELIEVE in you. By believe I don’t mean women, who give lip service. People who politely nod their heads and blow smoke up your skirt. I mean real women who want you to succeed. Women, who want to support you, encourage you and be there while you are building and working to make your dream a reality. Find women who know how hard you are working and continue to find ways to help support you on your journey. These are the women of Stella and Mimi. These are the women you need to meet. These are the women who will help change your life ~ b/c they helped change mine!

~ Colleen

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Welcome to Stella and Mimi!

Dream. Believe. Achieve.

Those three words completely embody our mission here at Stella and Mimi. We are a network of women entrepreneurs who meet monthly to discuss our business goals and challenges, and network/refer business to each other.

And we do it all in sweatpants.

Please read all the info, such as our mission statement and our FAQs, and feel free to contact us with any questions!

Chapter Requirements

1) No two companies can produce the same products
2) Referrals go to chapter members first
3) Chapters can be no larger than 15 members
4) Chapters must cover topics provided at chapter meetings
5) Chapters must hold monthly meetings
6) Chapters must adhere to the set schedule provided
7) Chapters must have a website that is updated regularly by members
8) Chapter websites must link to other chapters and to the corporate Stella and Mimi site
9) Chapters are open to all women who meet the member requirements

Member Requirements

To join Stella and Mimi, you must:

1) Be a woman (seems obvious, but we had to say it!)
2) Create and own your own company (i.e. no DSA's or multilevel marketing)
3) Company can be in any of the following phases: idea, start-up, established, etc.
4) Add the Stella and Mimi button to your blog, website, etc.
5) Be willing to share experience and advice, and to support other members
6) Complete monthly goal-setting exercises

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How to Join

To join, please send a message to Colleen and Michelle at:

We invite everyone to come for a meeting and experience the benefits of Stella and Mimi first-hand!


1) When are the 2010 meeting dates?
Stella and Mimi meetings will be held every second Tuesday of the month from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
January 12
February 9
March 9
April 13
May 11
June 8
July 13
August 10
September 14
October 12
November 9
December 14
2) Who can join?
Stella and Mimi is for women entrepreneurs who want to develop and run their own businesses. Multi-level marketing and direct-sale companies (such as Avon, Silpada, etc.), while wonderful, are not permitted.
3) How can I join?
Please send an email to
with your name, contact information, and a brief company bio.
2) What if I haven't started my business yet?
Then you definitely need to join us! Even if it's just a fledgling idea, bring it to a meeting. You'll be amazed at the ideas and direction you will leave with after just one meeting.
3) What if I've been in business for years?
Unless you're driving a Bentley and have discovered all the secrets of marketing and developing your business, there is always room for growth. Come and rethink, relaunch, or revitalize the company you've worked so hard to create. If you have discovered all the secrets, start your own chapter and share your expertise with others!
4) How many business owners permitted per chapter?
No more than fifteen businesses are allowed. If your local group has reached its max, you are welcome to form a new chapter.
5) How can I start my own chapter? Why would I want to?
Contact Colleen and Michelle if you would like to start your own chapter - we'd love to personally walk you through the process!


Mission Statement

Stella and Mimi's mission is to:
Encourage women to believe in themselves and each other
Help women reach their career goals of owning and growing their business
Create a supportive place to connect, be inspired, share ideas, and receive honest feedback

"Run your business like a girl"
~ Stella and Mimi


Colleen Leader and Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes began Stella and Mimi as a way to support and grow their businesses. Both are full-time mothers and full-time business owners, and both knew the importance of a support network to keep their business plans on easy feat when you're also making lunches, changing diapers, and doing endless loads of laundry. In just twelve months, Stella and Mimi has grown from two moms in a coffee shop to a nationwide network of women business owners. Come join us and run your business like a girl today!