2012…Let’s talk about what has been going on.
Let’s talk about 2012!
January 2, 2012
I had a lovely time visiting family in Gurnee, IL over our Christmas holiday. Hard to leave Grandpa, but we had to head back, school was starting the next day. The boys and I boarded a plane late morning at O’Hare Airport. I was ready to get back to LA and check on my business prospects.
January 3, 2012
I got a call from Valley Plastic to come by their store and pick up their version of a prototype for my caddy. Made of only American Plastic. I drive excitedly there and have a hard time hiding my disappointment when I see it. It is awful. I pay $60.00 to take it with me, as that was agreed upon but it is completely un-usable. It is a very sharp triangle. How could irons possibly hang inside a triangle? And the metal prototype of my heat cave that I left for them…it does not sit flush at all in my prototype as they had said it would. Just terrible and crushing my spirit. I drive home a bit smaller.
January 5, 2012
My friend Alice and I plan to visit Antonio and Matz Rubber Company. She offers to help me with my website sales, that is what she currently does for another friend’s business. Since she lives close to these two comapnies, she is kind enough to come with me for moral support. I truly value her opinion as well and want to ask her what she thinks of it all. We hope to see the final product from Antonio but again on the phone-he is stalling and telling me he needs a few more days. I tell him I cannot wait again. I am having surgery on Friday. I must stop by today, I fear he has not cut anything. I am really sad that he keeps delaying my job. It is stalling everything.
January 6, 2012
I have surgery to fix the scar tissue in my nose. Both my airways are almost completely blocked due to an accident I had over a decade before. I put my head into my windshield trying to stop a friend from driving drunk, should have thrown on my seatbelt first. Lesson learned, drunk friend stopped though. Anyway, Outpatient surgery, but still painful and very uncomfortable. My sons came over that day and actually it helped to take care of them and not focus on me. Happily my doctor is amazing, no black eyes!
January 9, 2012
I have my stitches taken out. Anyone who has had this knows it feels awfully weird and wonderfully freeing. I don’t do much work wise, I am on hiatus from “The Office” I am just trying to rest.
January 10, 2012
I visit Matz Rubber Company and drop off my final Trademark Logo for HairFerry Inc. We discuss getting rid of the scratches on the master mold. They are still visable on the sample mats. I walk across the street to Antonio’s and we have a long talk. I am really honest about how unhappy I am with the constant delays. I need 6 finished caddys and 2 display cases in two weeks. I had given the designs for the display cases long ago and was told they would be very simple to make. His sweet wife is there and promises it will be done. She will make sure of it this time. I ask again for a quote on a mold for the plastic instead of making them all by hand, molds can be much faster and always look the same. The ones he does are all slightly different, and they do not connect, there is a gap that glue cannot seem to hold. I am told I will have a quote soon. I leave sad at my struggle to make this all come together.
In the car, I make a phone call to Jeff in Florida. I ask him about molds and how much they can cost and what his thoughts are on them. He gives me great advice and tells me that he knows a Florida Aquarium company tha tmay be able to help. He will call and get back to me. I am grateful for any new leads at this point, I really want to get these caddy’s made! And made right, not thrown together.
January 11, 2012
I call Carl and remind him I still need quotes for aluminum from his connection in Valencia and will they do the 2″ pipe change for the price given already for steel. Can he get that in a week? (It seems nothing can be done in a day). He says he should and he will call me when he hears anything.
January 12, 2012
I speak with Nick, Jeff’s Florida aquarium expert. They deal in molds constantly and after I tell him all the details he tells me to ship one complete caddy with two heat cave cones and he will make a sample mold and give me full price quote. He is supposedly the best there is in aquariums…I am really excited when he assures me he can beat the price I am paying now. Jeff calls right after to make sure I got the call from Nick. He is very sweet! I am really excited to have a new lead who manufactures large amounts all the time and says he can do the job and not make me wait.
January 13, 2012
I stop by Antonio’s, he is working on designs for 2 display cases. He has to put information into his computer run drill.No new caddy’s are made, but thought I would check just in case. I walk back over to Matz Rubber Co and I approve a smoother look, scratches are gone. but the “TM’ logo is still very faded, it needs to look like the rest of my font type. Just as visible. She agrees, I LOVE Cara, she is a pistol, but she takes care of my concerns, makes changes and does it all so fast! This is how I want all of my prototype trials to go! Colors approved so far for my HairFerry Hot Spot Mats: Black, Clear, Red!
February 8, 2012
I drive out to Goleta to meet with Brian, a steel manufacturer that my sister is friends with. She had given him one of my steel prototypes to look at…and copy. He was to have a written estimate of how much cost per item for aluminum in batches or 250, 500 and 1000. This is the guy who told me Carl’s company was charging way too much per item. Carl said about $9 each for 250 and the price went down to $6 for 1000. Brian had boasted to my sister he could do it with aluminum for half of that. If that price is true it was worth the hour plus drive up! I am a single mom, I am looking for the best price for my new company. Whoever has it will win my business. I has asked for 12 prototypes on the phone, but Brian had offered to do double. “I can do 10, 20 50…you tell me!” His excitement was refreshing, but I told him I really only needed 12. I had 6 caddy’s I was hoping Antonio would finish. Two cones per caddy was all I needed for a show and tell to prospective buyers. I was waiting to get all the pieces before a show and tell and time was running out. I had already missed the Christmas Rush because of delays, I was hoping now to pull it together for a big beauty show in Chicago in March. If I could get going on mass production it could happen.
When I arrive at the small metal shop in the even smaller town of Goleta I am greeted by Brian and his dig who roams the building. He had made 22 prototypes! I looked at the shiny, smoothly rounded prototypes and instantly loved the look and feel of them…but was a bit put off that he had taken it upon himself to shorten the length of my prototype from the original length I had given him. This is a BIG problem as now it will throw off every other measurement for the caddy I do. I use these prototypes to adjust the height and length of the caddy’s. And I was going to send two of these to Florida for the aquarium guy…now I fear I can’t. I will If it is too short, a full length iron will not fit in it properly. I almost can’t use these aluminum prototypes at all! He also had made more than I had asked for. When I reminded him of that, he just shrugged and said “It was no big deal, once I figured out the first few it is easy to make the rest”. I told him they were shorter, he explained he choose to do that…but he could make adjustments in the future to make them longer again.
My sister had bought the pipe and paid for it, I think she even brought it to him! I offered to pay her back but she insisted she wanted to help me. That meant a lot to me. I guessed I only owed him for labor. I figured about $3-4 dollars each since he told me he could do half of my $9 quote. When I asked for an invoice he said he didn’t have one. (red flag) Then when I asked for the written estimate for the costs, again, didn’t have it done. (What is it with these guys?) I reminded him that I needed everything written out and that he had told me on the phone that he would have it for me when I arrived.
“Don’t worry about it” he kept saying. “I know your sister, I know you are good for it”.
I offered to write a check on the spot and he refused. “Let me figure it out, I will call you later and give you a total…you can just mail it.” I shook my head and just went with it. What am I going to do? He is very nice, but I am really getting tired of nice guys who cannot get it together and be professional and deliver what they say they will…on a deadline. We drove to a guy who could do the powder coating but he is a few miles away…I was hoping for all one location. He offers to do one red cone for me…and I agree because he says, it is free of charge. I drop off Brian and we agree to talk when the poeder coated cone is done. I get an oil change out in Goleta as my light has gone on in my Toyota Highlander. I love this old car! It is seeing me through all these business errands and scavenger hunts. I think I am wearing the old girl out! I drive all the way back to Burbank and stop by Matz and picked up pink, orange and even though they are too light, too transparent, I buy them, I know I can sell them. We agree to darken the colors but I leave with almost 300! Need to hustle and make some labels. Plan on stopping at a printing place soon. Selling these samples may help fund some other company needs.
I call my sister while I am driving and I explain everything that happened. I tell her how nice he is, but again I am frustrated that he was not prepared. She is upset as well, I apologize and tell her I really appreciate what he did, but he made way more then I wanted, he didn’t give me prices or invoice…it is very bad business. It made me not want to work with him. She says she will call and talk to him…and find out the cost for the prototypes. When she calls me back, after having a heart to heart with him…I am shocked that he told her he wants me to pay $750!!!!! ” WHAT?!?!?” I scream on the phone. “Are you serious?!?!” My sister is surprised by my reaction. I explain and remind her of his comment-he could do each piece for half of the $9 quote that I had from another company (which would make his cost $4-5 each) and I only asked for 12 pieces, NOT 22. He is trying to charge me $750 for 22 which equals $34.09 a piece! (or if you estimate the actual amount I asked for; 12– it works out to be $62.50 that he is charging me per item.) Clearly, not a fair price. I refuse to pay it. And I am insulted by his actions and upset that now my sister is offering to pay him. I tell her I could send a check for 12 items, $5 each=$60. But she says she will talk to him again…and I honestly never hear about it again. Since my dealings with steel or aluminum seem to be too much trouble, I decide to get rid of that element. I will use the same rubber company I have a great rapport with Matz, I can use them to make the caddy work. No more metal…period.
February 10, 2012
I stop by Antonio’s and he still does not have the plastic done. It is making me crazy. I still need purple, orange and clear. He promises to do them and have all units glued. I will be back to pay him $150 next weekend. I ask for an invoice with this cost and time on it. He has cut his costs because of so many delays. I cancel the order for the display stands, I do not want them anymore. He has not started them of course so it is easy to cancel. I walk away realizing I do not want to do business with them any more. Such a good man, but terrible at keeping my business.
February 12, 2012
I ask my son Everett to draw an American flag to use as my “Made in the USA” label on my website and on my labels. He was really excited that I wanted to use his art. He is always drawing, I thought it would be really nice to make this a family adventure/project! He makes a great flag.
February 13-17, 2012
I am working on Hot Spot labels and getting help from friends Shari and Bonnie who know how to use graphics much better then I do. So close to having it done at last! I have written the copy, added the logo, and working on adding Everett’s flag. Taking images to local printer to have them done in color, 500 labels needed.
February 18, 2012
I mail my first package to Nick in Florida. Inside I packed a black caddy, 2 heat cones, photos of my caddy in use at my station. (I had been using my prototypes at work to test them!) and I included photos of my original blueprints of my caddy’s. So he could see measurements and design details to re-design and improve what I had. He calls me when it arrives and has some great ideas but says I need to send some irons that I use to him…so he can test with them.
February 25, 2012
I mail off 6 irons, a variety of all the favorites i use at work and at home. Fingers crossed his caddy designs will be what I am looking for and I can finally move forward. Nick had been so nice telling me he was sorry for how long Antonio had taken. I had explained all my ups and downs working with hand shaped plastic. Nick assured me he could turn this around in a week or two and I could see a new prototype in two weeks! I hope this connection will pan out. I really need it to.
February 26, 2012
I drop off the finished label artwork at the printers. I ask for quotes for 250, 500, and 1000. The manager tells me he needs to call me back and I tell him I am VERY anxious to get going, call me soon. Calls back that night! Hooray-I go ahead and have them made. They are done in a week and I have them to use on my mats at last. I happily sit at my dinning table to label mats I am going to sell to Frends Beauty Supply…and hopefully to others as well!
March 1, 2012
I buy an iphone at last. 3G. I felt such loyalty to my Blackberry but I finally cave in and upgrade and WOW! I cannot believe how great it is. Makes my job of reading emails and call sheets so much easier. I love it…and take to it quickly.
March becomes a very busy month for me. I am swamped with work on the last few episodes of “The Office”. We are finishing up Season 8 and the scripts are big. I have very little time to devote to my business. My two sons also have a busy schedule of team sports and play dates. The month seems to fly by and I wrap out of our hair and makeup trailer on March 12th, 2012. Not sure what I will do for work but I am ok with working on my business for a while. I am tired, it was a busy season.
March 11, 2012
I officially join Facebook! I swore I never would but I am told by friends in marketing that social media is very important to get your business going. You can reach so many people in so many ways…so…I give in and join for the sake and future of my company. Who knew that getting “Likes” was so important?
March 15, 2012
I drop off my first batch of HairFerry Hot Spots at Frends Beauty Supply! I have 6 colors for sale. I am really excited!!!! I feel like I am moving forward…I am selling! Special thanks to the family who owns Frends that gave me support, advice and the opportunity to sell my first product ever at their store. They are WONDERFUL! I will never forget them for this.
March 17, 2012
I participated in another St. Baldrick’s event! I really look forward to this event every year. It has great personal meaning to me. I lost my mother to cancer in 2001.
The event was wonderful and a huge success! It raised almost $90,000. I raised over $500 for it and my sons won a gift basket for swim lessons on top of it all! (We bought a lot of raffle tickets, so did my sister!) It was a great day for me because it was the first time my sons came to the event with me. They watched me on stage, shaving heads and even got their heads shaved for the event. It meant the world to me to share this with them. I can’t even put it into words. I love this foundation, I will stay involved every year.
March 19, 2012
I have a job interview for a new show called “Bunheads”. It is an Amy Sherman-Palladino show. My interview is at Sunset-Gower Studios. I am really excited for the opportunity to do a completely different show then The Office. As I stop at a Starbucks, right near the studio, I am early so I decide to get some Iced Chai tea, one pump of Vanilla makes it perfect! I get a call about another show, The Mindy Kaling show. WOW! I thought I wasn’t going to work on it…I knew it was starting soon, I just figured they had all crew positions filled. The concept meeting is in 2 days, they want my resume sent over to their office and I should keep the 21st open for a meeting, I happily agree! I arrive to my Bunheads meeting and they show me a video of the pilot before I meet with the UPM. I sit in a dark, un-used office watching the pilot and I am absolutely loving it. I want this show. I meet with Maria and she is lovely, I am set to meet with Amy when they can arrange it. I look forward to doing this show, and hope I get the call to run the hair Dept.
March 21, 2012
I attend the Concept meeting for the “Untitled Mindy Kaling Project”. Mindy, B.J. and Charles, the director are all there. I am SO HAPPY to have been asked to do this show! We start filming in 2 days. I prep my department and get ready to shoot the pilot. It ends up being a great experience but long hours keep me from doing anything with HairFerry Inc.
I do enjoy giving my finished mats to Mindy. I update her on my business data…she listens and offers help. She was the one who started it all. She helped me make the idea bloom. She tweets from our hair trailer about my mats and my company. I get over 6000 hits on the Frends Beauty Supply website. With one single tweet from her. Whew. She is amazing to help me, I adore this woman.
Later that day I meet again with Jean-Marc about my website. WE go over what I want, what he says it can look like, and gives me a list of things I have to decide on. I feel a slight communication barrier, he is French and I can often not tell when he is kidding or just being blunt. He is not explaining things well to me, I just don’t get website lingo but I think we have a direction. He is a friend of a friend…I hope it all will work. He says he can start building the site and I can link on to see what he is doing and give notes. Sounds easy right? And then when he is done, I can simply take over running my site. Sounds good! I am excited to have a website to show for my company at last! I set up many other social media accounts, Linked In, IMDB.com get’s updated, Twitter, Facebook keeps getting tweeks and additions, I want everything up and ready to be linked to the final website. I am trying to line up my social media as I was advised to do.. I am proud that I am getting SOME of it done at least!
March 23, 2012
First day of filming Mindy’s pilot. I am so excited for her! I know this will be a hit. Her cast is fantastic.
March 31. 2012
My talented friend Kate Romero has offered to help me shoot my HairFerry Mats! She has a friend, Scott that has a studio photo loft downtown Los Angeles, on Sante Fe Ave. I used to do many actor head shots with her a decade ago at the same studio. She is am amazing photographer and I am thrilled she will do product shots of my line. I bring many mats, and props to show different uses, and I even get a manicure to use my hand in any shots we need to! I have an amazing day with Scott and Kate, they work hard and give me great choices in the end. I am eternally grateful, they gave me a wonderful rate as a friend. I shoot the Black, Red, Orange, Purple, Pink and Clear.
April 4, 2012
We wrap Mindy’s pilot. It was a blast, but very tired…both Roxxi and I feel a little sick from working late nights in an old hospital downtown. But I have a meet and greet with Amy Sherman-Palladino and with Kelly Bishop. I have to act ‘not-sick’. Must rest up…meeting tomorrow and final photo shoot for Mindy’s show.
April 5, 2012
I work the photo shoot for half the day and then I go literally across the street to meet with Amy and she is really engrossing. I respect her greatly, she has done so much in television and commands such a presence in a room. I like her and I grasp from our conversation that I in fact ‘have the job’ and she discusses how she wants me to design it…not a meeting of me pitching myself for the job at all. I go with the flow and we end with smiles.
Meeting Kellly Bishop was wonderful, so was Sutton Foster. Both talented ladies that I would have the pleasure of styling for the series. I cannot wait to get going on this show! My creative juices are flowing just thinking about the designs of dance numbers, school girls, and small town quirkiness in each episode.
April 17, 2012
Start filming Bunheads and it goes through July 16th. I have NO time to devote to HairFerry Inc. This summer job takes all my time and energy, but SO worth it. I love the cast and get some great press, I even post press articles on my Facebook page! I hope to use it to help my business down the line. I had Roxxi and Lotus (both great hairstylists that worked with me on the show) through the season and we worked hard and created some wonderful hairstyles. I am very proud of our work on this project. I had a great time.
I do however decide to add more colors to my already strong mat line. I currently have 6, adding 4 more colors to make a lovely collection of 10 colors total. I am really excited at how easy this is. We begin to test depth of color and I begin the approval process with each one until we get it right. It moves along nicely. Only issue is that I have just done a photo shoot with 6 colors. I reach out to Kate and ask if she knows a re-toucher that could possible make my clear mat photo into the other 4 colors. Clever idea huh? It would save me a huge amount of time and money by not going back into the studio again. Thanks goodness for Maria Muradyan. She comes to my rescue. She retouches every color for me so my images are flawless…and she perfectly adds the color to match the mats I have. I now have a full set of photos…and she even adjusts my former light pink mat in to the more ‘pepto bismal’ color mat it is today. I have her re-touch the group shots too!
|TO THIS! Thanks Maria!|
July 17, 2012
The boys and I fly to Chicago. We plan to stay thru the 21st.A short vacation but so needed. Cousin Piper always picks us up with a smile. She is a sister to me. My sons call her Aunt Piper. I am so happy to see her, be home, and have my sons with me for the whole week! The boys and I are enjoying being back in Gurnee…and this time it is just the three of us. My brother and sister did not come this time. We have Grandpa all to ourselves! Although this means now that I have to trim the hedges and clean the house by myself…but I am happy to do clean up work and I always buy a few things for my dad. This time…I notice he is still making coffee with an old vintage coffee pot, it has some rust on the bottom and he almost cuts himself with the old sharp lid. I know he is on a blood thinner, my father has had a triple by-pass only two years ago and one small cut can bleed for hours. I insist on buying him a new Keurig Brewer. He calls it his new “Whiz-Bang Coffe Machine”. I know it scares him at first. It is intimidating for him, he does not like change. But then I show him just how easy it is to make coffee..and anything else he may want in 30 seconds. Now, when he has friends stop by, he can offer them a variety of choices. He marvels at how this one machine can make so many different coffee, tea, hot chocolate cups of goodness…all with a touch of a button. No filling grounds, no mess, no fuss, he gives in and agrees to keep it. Battle won! I just tell him to let me know when he is low, I will mail more refills for him. I love my father with all of my heart. I wish I could do more for him, I am so far away in Los Angeles, I worry as much about him as he worries about me.
July 23. 2012
I begin prep for the last season of The Office. We start filming on July 30th.
August 7, 2012
Set up shop on ETSY. www.etsy.com/shop/HairFerryInc
Really trying to embrace social media!
Over the rest of the month of August I begin to expand my line again. I revisit ways I can make my caddy. I think about launching a new line of social media capes. “Clearly Capable” capes. I find a place through our prop department at The Office who can work on a prototype. I sketch designs and have a meet and greet and we agree to more forward. They will make me two samples of the cape I want. It is really cool, I am getting motivated to expand and grow again. I also want to do a hair accessory and a heat case for irons. All projects are in my head, it is just a matter of finding the manufacturer with the tools to help me.
Over the course of the last few months I am sadly realizing that my website designer is not living up to his end of our bargain. I was supposed to be able to easily take over my website. He has set it up so complicated and complex that only an experienced “techie” could decode and run it. I should have done wordpress. I realized after I talk to a friends web designer that WordPress is the way to go. I am very sad that I feel fooled, but the site is up, I like it. I cannot afford to spend another $1500.00 on a new site. Luckily Leo Canneto comes to the rescue. He is able to update my website with all of my new photos and he even updates my “about page” photo that I did not like. Jean-Marc put many things on the site as a ‘holding spot’ for what would eventually go in….we agreed that I still had a few photos that were getting re-touched and that he would put those in place of the older ones when the time came. it was part of our discussions…but it changed. These first images became the actual images in the end when we went LIVE in July. After many phone calls and emails with Jean-Marc I was feeling very let down by his misleading assurances that I would be able to run this site all by myself. He wanted me to be an expert in photoshop, dreamscape and 2 other systems I had never heard of. I didn’t know anyone who could teach them to me. He said he could not teach it, it was up to me to learn and then get back to him. When I mastered them…he said he could show me how to access the site. HUH? One of these programs was $600. Each carried pricey tags to buy and learn…I felt lied to. To make it worse, he wanted to charge me to make changes that he originally said he would do as part of the deal. At the end of our agreed website fees…he told me I could tip him for all of his “pain and suffering”. Are you kidding me? His suffering????? He built a website. He lied about how easy it was to take over. He left me hanging with a site I could not access. You cannot tell a girl she can run HER site and then make it IMPOSSIBLE to actually run it without him. The nerve. I paid him what was agreed on and silently moved on to Leo. He is going to re-do the entire site someday…I just cannot afford it now. And yes, it will be Word Press next time. Lesson learned. (the hard way).
September, October, November…ahhh how they fly by.
I had dived right into The Office. It is a busy season and the scripts are ambitious. I have delivered a few more batches to Frends Beauty Supply, my mats continue to sell there. Thankfully! I have had discussions with two beauty schools about having my mats as part of their student kits which would be amazing…but after talks with two prominent schools, nothing comes of it. I am also approached by Guthy/Renker a Direct Marketing pioneer. A scout of theirs likes my mats but they want to know what else I have in my line. I assure them I have more, but as a full time working mom…I just haven’t had the time to finish the prototypes. They sound interested but not until I have a more substantial product line. Well, I would like to accommodate that…but have no spare time to drive around and talk to those who can make it all become a reality. Again, I need to clone myself. I really do.
Between swim lessons for my sons, working full time, helping sick friends, being team mom for my eldests sport teams and spending ‘mom’ time having fun with my sons….my life is so busy I fear I am neglecting my company without meaning to. I want to make it happen, I do. I am not afraid to work for it, I have always been a hard worker…but there are seriously not enough hours in the days for me sometimes. I am constantly thinking about how I can get more exposure for my product. How can I finish my caddy? My capes? How do I move forward? My head spins just trying to fix it all.
I begin December having to do so much more…yet I commend myself on accomplishing this one thing: I am officially caught up on my blog! At long last, I can say that now I am ready for a weekly blog. I am updated and I am proud of that. So, I guess it is a good time to reflect on a quote by one of my heros. She was a great example to women and what they could accomplish if they put their minds to it.
Well said lady! I am off to work so I will end this post. Thanks for reading. Get ready for my new WEEKLY blogs. It will be a challenge to commit to, but I, like Amelia, am a very determined gal.