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    50 Shades of Pink

    Yes, I recently finished reading the book, "50 Shades of Grey" and um, well I only read it because it was on our book club list and I want those hours of my life back.  ;)...but my  blog post has nothing to do with the book, it has to do with business reasons to limit your colour offerings of products.  

    50 Shades of Pink

    In the case of Baby Wisp, we are able to offer a large variety of shades of Pink, but not very many of blue or special colours like this season's hot tangerine trend.  Why?

    This post is inspired by the 5 or so emails I received in June for special request colours to be offered in our products.   I thought it might be a good opportunity to share a business lesson I learned the hard way.  This, of course, is in my humble opinion only based only on my personal business experience so take it or leave it (for those who are interested in this blog for the business advice I share).

    Running a girl's accessory company, I can tell you that Baby Wisp sells more pink than all other colours combined.  How is this possible?  First, consider that we offer at least 3 different pinks in each collection. We have close to 30 collections which means we stock more pink than any other colour.

    Pink Polka Dot Bows

    Take, for example, our polka dot mini latch clip 5 pack.  3 pink variations of polka dot ribbon at the top while our other polka dot pack is more mixed with only 2 pinks.  We sell more of the pink packs 3:1.  I could illustrate this across many of our offerings.

    From a customer perspective, you can easily see the logic for the purchasing of pink over other colours.  The majority of a girl's wardrobe in Canadian  society is pink (yes, gross generalization and no stats backing that claim up- opinion piece here people!) so it would make sense that when accessorizing, you would purchase accessories that would get the most use possible out of them.  Especially, for high end, high quality boutique accessories, it just makes sense to optimize your investment.  For gifting purchases, you are pretty much guaranteed that buying her a pink hair bow is going to match something in her wardrobe.

    Orange Mini Latch Clip Baby BowFrom a Business perspective, consider the cost of stocking say...ORANGE.  We sold approximately 10 last year online.  Selling ten bows in a year could not sustain our business.

    It's the only orange product we carry so it's not that it's in competition with other styles.  It's the colour itself that is limiting it's sales.  We did sell ten though, so there are customers who want it...but to take up expensive inventory space and divert cash away from investing in other stronger selling products that move at 100 or 500X faster rate; it does not make much sense.

    Being a specialty boutique does mean we offer unique products, styles, and colours so we do try and offer grey, yellow, navy, orange and green but the balance we strike is that those colours are very, very restricted and cannot be offered across all collections due to warehouse space and cash reasons.

    We take very seriously the feedback of our customers in our growth strategy so with enough emails, phonecalls, tweets and facebook messages from our retail and wholesale customers we continue to expand to new styles and colours each season.  Trend-setting based on customer driven styles.  Speaking of, what type of new products or styles would you like to see Baby Wisp carry?  Join the facebook conversation or comment here.

    The Baby Wisp Story - a video to get to know us

    What do you do when you have a side business that takes up your nights and weekends, work full time at a corporate gig and have a hubby and two small children under 3 years old?  I had to make a choice on how I was going to handle it all.  Whichever choice you make, is best for you and your family so no judgements here. I'm so lucky that Intuit - Quickbooks gave me the opportunity to share my "big story"  - can you relate? [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwJkKDJA94w]

    Successful Businesses - how do they do it?

    Successful Businesses - how do they do it?

    It’s kind of silly really. Every time I hear/ read a story about a woman who has launched a business that is crazy successful I get fanatically motivated to work even harder at Baby Wisp.   I wonder how they did it.  What makes that business so different from the rest?  Yesterday, I met with some ladies from Mommy Connections (Directors from East Toronto, West Toronto and Mississauga South) and a Stylist from Stella and Dot who had only glowing praise for their company’s founders.

    Consider the founder of Stella and Dot (who incidentally sold her first company for 90 million when she was 25 years old HOLY SCHMOKES!), who provides people like Mirjana an opportunity to be a Jewelry stylist for the company and take care of her 3 year old.  She was intensely flattering of the lifestyle she is able to enjoy having ditched the office job to be a stylist.  What these 5 ladies talked about was FREEDOM! SUCCESS! MONEY! ENJOYMENT! But most importantly-their families and trying to be there for the early years of their children’s lives.

    I find myself looking into more women in business and their stories (of course I read about the Canadian Inspiration Sandra Wilson (creator of Robeez)  ) and when I gab with other business women – we all have these huge dreams of business success.

    Success may be defined in different ways by each business owner as not everyone is motivated by what annual sales are.   Recognition, work-life balance, community involvement, and personal fulfilment are all part of the “success” in successful business in my definition.  I wonder though; what gives us a better shot at getting there?  Let me share one observation-  all these successful creators /business women aren’t shy about having their own profile pictures plastered in print, web, social media, etc., -basically anything media.   This is something I’ve been too shy to do (Yah, stop laughing to those who know me I AM SHY sometimes hahahaa!!) Ok, so here’s my “coming out” party!  Thanks to Carrie Duncan for taking this picture of me a few weeks ago at the Lakeshore Mardi Gras.

    baby wisp creator

    As I notice more things that accomplished business owners  do to grow their business, I may mention it here or try it.  Please feel free to share any of your tips or feedback that you’ve come across in your journey.