Archive for June, 2008

Monica Dhal Offers Advice on Rental Space

Posted in Resources with tags , , , , , , , on June 28, 2008 by loadedbow

Where you are located affects your clients, income and business overall. Where you work affects your overall being, state of mind and health as well as that of your employees. In a few months we will thoroughly cover Work Space and feature some amazing, creative spaces that are functioning as businesses and we will look at some innovative work spaces that are brand new concepts which provide freelance professionals to have a space in which to work outside of their homes. In Work Space month we will also feature work spaces that change our work habits and look at how the work space culture in general is changing.

Monica Dhal

Loaded Bow’s real estate Specialist Monica Dahl

But today we are begining our ongoing talks with real estate goddess Monica Dahl! We love her style and immense focus. Monica has achieved great success in a market saturated with agents, but her talent and personality have brought her to where she is now and let me tell you, this lady loves life!

Some questions we posed to Monica as she debuts on Loaded Bow are:  How do we get a rental space, what are our goals when searching and how does a lady keep her overhead down while hunting for the perfect venue to host her idea turning it into a business dream!?!?

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Iconic You

Posted in Identity: Who is You? with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2008 by loadedbow

Jess Foster, Kate Van de Mark, Joanne Foster

Iconic You: Jess, Kate, Joanna

Jess Foster, Kate Van de Mark and Joanna HR Foster are Iconic You.  These ladies have set out to capture the icon in you.  They have embraced the classic portrait, and are bringing it into the 21st Century.  Iconic You puts together an incredible team to capture their clients are the top of their game for an image that is truly an extension of their identity and character.

An example of an Iconic You experience includes:

  1. A consultation to explore and understand your ideal shoot
  2. A preview where Iconic You walks you through 3 potential shoot concepts
  3. A photo shoot that includes hair + makeup, stylist, 3 dress changes, healthy snacks, lunch + beverages, photographer + assistant, lighting director, gift bag, and a hand, neck + shoulder massage.
  4. A follow up to choose your favourite photos for retouching
  5. Delivery of photos

Iconic You chats with us about their story, finding your inner icon and the importance of branding yourself.

 

Globe and Mail\'s Jeanne Beker

Jeanne Beker of Fashion Television and The Globe and Mail 

LOADED BOW:  Can you tell us a little bit about Iconic You’s story?

ICONIC YOU:  Ever since we were 16, we dreamed of going into business together. That was many (many!) years ago, and we have since become individual women in our own right.  We have become experts in our various fields, whether it be photography, modelling, or selling art to professional houses. Only now have we come together to bring these experiences to women outside the industry. We want to give every woman the experience of feeling like her own true icon.

For many years, people have had their portrait taken. However, we sit down with our clients to understand what is most important to them, what gives them strength, and what they truly love and admire about something they offer people – because everyone has something to give. We then capture this element in a photograph to inspire everyone who sees it. This timeless portrait captures your inner icon.



Also, a percentage of the proceeds go to the charity 60 Million Girls to help other young women find their own inner icon.

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Lola and Emily Interview

Posted in Identity: Who is You? with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2008 by loadedbow

Lola & Emily

Lola & Emily

Launched in August of 2001, Lola and Emily is a woman’s clothing and accessory boutique that mixes a well edited selestion of the season’s trends with timeless pieces that every woman need in her wardrobe.  Lola and emily is dedicated to providing unique lines and quality customer care.  The model is based around the two characters of Lola and Emily and the location is a Montreal apartment.  Lola and Emily’s staff make every effort to make every woman as comfortable as if she were rooting through a friend’s closet.

Sally Scott and Marnie Blanchay of Lola and Emily

Loaded Bow:  How did the idea for Lola and Emily begin?

Marnie Blanshay:  I have always been interested in retail and fashion- I worked for a clothing and housewares company for 5 years in buying and retail operations before leaving to go travelling in Asia for a few months. The idea for Lola & Emily really took shape while on that trip- specifically while in India. I had a lot of free time on my hands and spent a good deal of it thinking about what my ideal store would look like. I have a whole section of a journal dedicated to the store and what it would look like, and what we would sell. Upon my return, I spent a few months looking for a new job, and ultimately decided that working for someone else was not what I wanted. I am lucky to have a very supportive family, and they encouraged me to write a business plan for the store. From that point, it took about 18 months from the first day that I sat down to write the plan until the doors of the store opened in August 2001.

LB:  Why the use of two “characters” (Lola and Emily) to present two looks to buyers?

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No Junk Mail Please!!

Posted in Resources with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2008 by loadedbow

No Junk Mail - Red Dot Campaign

For the last little while I have had a little red sticker sitting inside my mailbox.  I put it there so I would no longer receive junk mail.  I had assumed that this was a great little project based on an agreement between my lovely postlady and someone in my building.  That was a very big underestimation.

A few months ago I received a link to Do Not Mail from my dear friend, Jerry van Rooy.  I went to the site and signed the petition (it let me even though I am Canadian) and let Jerry know as much.  He then sent me to the Red Dot Campaign (Jerry is an American living in California, so I was a bit mortified that he knew about the Canadian iniative before I did).  As luck would have it, when I sat down to interview Heather Briggs of Buddha Branding I learned that she was one of the founders of the campaign.    It’s a small world after all…

Do Not Mail - Say No to Junk Mail

Do Not Mail is campaigning US Congress to establish a consumer rights bill where registrants could put an end to their junk mail.  Currently, almost 50,000 people have signed the online petition.  Why should you sign it?  Because more than 100,000,000,000 pieces of junk mail – one third of all mail sent worldwide are sent within the US annually.

The Red Dot Campaign is a Canadian social marketing venture that seeks to increase awareness and abolish junk mail.  The campaign commends Canada Post’s green Consumer Choice Program.  You can order No Junk Mail Please stickers for your own mailbox.

Here are some of the steps these great organizations suggest you do:

1. Sign up for the Canadian Marketing Association’s Do Not Contact Registry or the Do Not Mail opt out tool for American residents.

2. Encourage media distributors to cut down on flyers and junk mail within their publications.  According to the RDC, the Canadian flyer industry results in over 1 million tonnes of Green House Gas Emissions annually!  Cancel your community newspaper if you don’t read it, or consider reading it online.  Let individual retailers know that you want them to stop.  I called Capital One to tell them remove me from their list, because they were alienating me as a potential future customer.  Send an email to Sears (a particularly bad offender) through www.catalogcutdown.org

3. Keep your eye out for the Forests Not Phonebooks campaign.  Post your thoughts about trading in your phonebook for online directories here

4.  Cut down further on GHG emissions and avoid telemarketers by signing up for the Do Not Call registry in Canada and the US.

Furthermore, consider how you are contacting your clients and future customers.  According to Forest Ethics, almost 50% of mailouts go unopened and with all of the social media tools at your fingers tips, there is no excuse!

Finally, I would like to point out how cool it is that the Red Dot Campaign was founded by 3 entrepreneurial women: Beth Ringdahl of ecoeco, Charity Zapata of Squint Creative, and Heather Briggs of Buddha Branding.   Beth even used $3,500 of her own money to kickstart the project.  Cheers, ladies, for all of your efforts.  You are an inspiration!

gen+loadedbow

The Cheaper Show – Vancouver’s Smartest Art Show

Posted in Events Attended with tags , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2008 by loadedbow

The Cheaper Show is in it’s 8th year and is being held on Saturday night at Storyeum in Gastown, Vancouver.  The show’s premise it to gain exposure for 150 emerging and underexposed artists and to show 300 + international, quality works selling them for $200 each, bringing in hundreds of buyers and throwing the ultimate party top it all off! 

Megan Cole with the Cheaper Poster

Megan Cole with 2008 Cheaper Poster (she’s going too)

The Executive Director is Graeme Berglun who is one of Vancouver’s most forward thinkers when it comes to art, it’s markets, dissemination and presentation/accessibility to the masses.  Last years show saw over 1500 people at the fab venue, the Porsche Dealership on Third.  Not only is Graeme a top-notch curator and assembler of the annual Cheaper Show, but his own work had it’s own solo Vancouver debut at the Douglas Udell Gallery in 2005.  This body of work was a series entitled “The Mongrel Corridors” which featured uncannily realistic acrylic paintings of alleyways in Vancouver’s east end.  They were not only hauntingly beautiful enough to capture the attention of Udell, but also raised the bar for Graeme, challenging him to continue making the stunning work he does.  Graeme aspires to engage audiences through art, performance, literature and sound. His multifaceted career includes designing the CD cover for local indie band the Castle Project, drafting illustrations for The Georgia Straight, performing with his band and consulting on the interior design show “Love It or Lose It.”  The Cheaper Show has been a hit every year running and this year’s biggest one yet is no doubt be garunteed to be a huge hit with buyers and the art community at large. 

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Social Media guru, Megan Cole, sits down with Loaded Bow

Posted in Loaded Bow: Following Our Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2008 by loadedbow

LOADED BOW is all about connecting online, but we weren’t sure we were doing this as effectively as possible.  Enter, Megan Cole!  Social media extraordinaire!

This lady GLOWS.  No, you think we’re exagerating, but she actually has a radiant beam around her and makes you want to learn how to COMMUNICATE. 

Megan Cole

Megan Cole and Doggy

Megan is a Vancouver social media consultant, introduced to us through Isabella Egan as “the  new media goddess”.  She builds web strategies and implements technology and social media tools to help companies in community outreach and assist clients produce online communities.

This is why Megan is cool.  In order of importance.

1.  She is from Newfoundland

2.  She is the co-founder of Bridging Media and Canada Bombshell, and is the Director of Social Media for Catapult Media 

3.  She recently interviewed Kim Cattrall (Zoe squealed at this news.  Since Megan was able to tell us about this casually, we assume that she a) is just not that into SATC, or b) she interviews celebrities in her spare time as a hobby equivalent to playing table tennis or Scrabble)

Kim and Megan and camera guy

Megan and Camera Guy Interview Kim

4.  She snowshoes and drinks Guiness

5.  She recently interviewed Richard Florida of The Rise of the Creative Class and Who’s Your City? fame (Gen’s turn to squeal)

6.  She promotes independent Canadian music by co-producing and hosting ThisCityRocks

7.  She spent a year pursuing her dream of acting in LA for a year

8.  She has the most gorgeous dog.  Ever.

And those are just the top 8.

We took Megan for coffee intent on receiving input into Loaded Bow’s direction, and left thrilled to be alive and feeling wildly ambitious.  Megan confirmed many of the things we are doing are right, and gave us a list of “to do’s” to get on track with others. 

Here are the major lessons that we took away from our time with Miss Cole.

1.  Be authentic. Find your voice, people are eager to read real voices.

2.  Ask yourself, is this content/photo/comment/resource relevant?  ALWAYS think about the end user (that’s YOU!). 

3.  Make sure your titles are specific and relevant so that search engines love you.  For example, a quick visit to WordPress reveals a post titled Somtimes I Just Don’t Get It!!.  It’s a great post about the perils of preventing your child from choking on peanuts, but you – and the search engines – would never know if from the title! 

4.  Your online space and community needs to be nurtured.  Creating connections and relationships takes time.  Comment.  Participate.

5.  Facbook Groups are out.  Facebook Fan Pages are in.  Use them conservatively.  Become a fan of Loaded Bow!!!

6.  Always use images in your posts.  Your own are better than stock.

7.  Start Twittering.  At first, it will probably seem weird (are we really doing anything that’s interesting to others right now??), but there are lots of smart techy cookies on Twitter.  Add gen_ennis and zoe_pawlak to your Twitter following.  We have no Twittering friends right now.  Please be ours.

8.  Sign up for Flickr asap.  Stay tuned for our Flickr accounts!!

9.  Wired Woman and Women Who Tech are fabulously supportive and excellent resources.

After speaking with Megan, we would absolutely recommend seaking out a Social Media consultant (Megan if you can!).  She gave us some info in exchange for two eager listeners and a latte and dressed us from head to toe in her glow.

   

If you are blogging, we want to hear about how you are doing with your start-up, who have been your go-to people, and how have you defined you niche?

zoe+gen of loadedbow

Donna Fenn Interview

Posted in Identity: Who is You? with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2008 by loadedbow

Donna Fenn

We are so excited to have had the opportunity to interview entrepreneurship and small business expert, Donna Fenn.  She has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience writing about trends in these areas for over two decades.  Donna is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine (check out her Inc. blog, The Entrepreneurial Generation) and a community leader at Work.com.  In 2001, she was a co-recipient of the Women’s Economic Round Table Entrepreneurship Prize.                       

 Inc. Magazine – June 2008 

As the author of Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of the Pack, Donna introduces us to 8 exceptional small company entrepreneurs who have excelled in ordinary industries.  Their passion for their businesses is palpable in Alpha Dogs.  Of particular interest to LOADED BOW, women are prominently featured in the book.  We are looking forwards to the publication of Donna’s next book which features and examines highly successful entrepreneurs under the age of 30!

Here, Donna offers insight on branding, women in business, Gen Y entrepreneurs, and launching a business in today’s economy.

Loaded Bow:  This month Loaded Bow is focusing on Identity and Branding. In your work with entrepreneurs, what are some of the most important lessons you have learned about the significance of branding?

Donna Fenn:  The two most important lessons I’ve learned about branding is that great branding absolutely must be both consistent and authentic. That’s not always easy, and it’s not always painless. But it’s essential in today’s marketplace, where if you don’t walk your talk, someone (probably a blogger!) is going to take you to task. I’ll give you both a positive and a negative example of this. I own a luxury car, made by a company that goes to great lengths in its advertising and marketing campaigns to tell me how special I am because I own this car. But every time I took this car back to the dealer for repairs, which I felt compelled to do when it was still on warranty, they made me feel like a second class citizen. I wasn’t expecting the red carpet or a manicure and a latte, but I thought I had a right to be treated like a customer who mattered. Instead, I felt like I was wearing Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak! It wasn’t just the shoddy treatment that struck me, but the inconsistency of my experience with the company’s brand identity. And guess what? I tell that story every time I do public speaking and I’m not shy about using the company’s name. So there, BWM! You know that middle aged woman in the yoga pants and the jean jacket who needed her back bumper replaced last year? That was me. Oh, right, I forgot; you didn’t see me because I was wearing my invisibility cloak.

On a positive note, let me tell you a story from Alpha Dogs about Trish Karter, the CEO of Dancing Deer Baking Co. in Roxbury, MA. When the company was still young and small, Williams & Sonoma came to Trish and said they wanted to put Dancing Deer’s molasses clove cookies in every store. It would have doubled her sales, but there was just one problem. Dancing Deer’s products don’t contain preservatives and that’s always how Trish branded her products – all natural, no preservatives. Williams and Sonoma needed those cookies to stay fresh in their warehouse for months. Trish could have compromised “just this once” in order to grow the company, but she stood firm and said “thanks but no thanks.” Williams & Sonoma, impressed by Dancing Deer’s brand integrity, worked with Trish and her staff to come up with a product that didn’t have shelf life issues. The solution: a gingerbread mix. Today, Williams & Sonoma remains a very important customer and I can’t help but think that the relationship was solidified when Trish showed them how serious she was about staying true to her brand identity.

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