Archive for July, 2008

Zoe Pawlak is Back to business

Posted in Loaded Bow: Following Our Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2008 by loadedbow

So, I have to say that though Gen got stuck with the work of doing the OB ‘assignment’, I am actually looking forward to using the featured product in the near future.  Is that a crazy thing to yearn for as this baby kicks my ribs and happily eats away at my every calorie as I hungrily consume leafy greens while longing for real food?  My pregnancy has been nothing but pure health, wellness and joy, so I cannot complain, but to have your body back to yourself is a common (if not the most common) plea of most pregnant women.  The others who say they love ‘sharing their bodies’ or acting as ‘permanent hosts’, are liars. 

As I grow in my pregnancy though, I must say, I am also growing in my learning about this multi-faceted career called “artist.”  As I have mentioned before, it is an ongoing feat of balancing multiple streams of income and getting the actual painting done as well (which I am finding is what actually pays).  I would like to tell you about TOAE since I publicly declared my goal of taking home $5000 and then did not follow through on revealing my full experience upon getting home! 

My TOAE set up with Katie Dutton seen behind

My set up under the overhang!

The overall experience of Toronto was made especially rich since i had many friends there that i had not seen in a long time.  My booth was set up (with the KINDEST help of my good friend Dean) right by my dear friend  Katie Dutton.  (If you don’t already own a Dutton, get on it!) 

Katie Dutton’s goods

Superheros Series by Katie

Katie’s set up was stellar and she was accompanied by her oh-so-funny partner Jeremy.  On her left was Montreal’s famous Amber Albrecht who ended up taking home the “Best Printmaking” award and from whom I scored the most delicious print for a trade! 

Amber’s Prints and fans

We were blessed with many visitors including Beth Stuart and company, Mark Pennock and his so cute girlfriend Karen Kraven Luke Painter and i used to live together and he and his girlfriend Faith came by SO much we could have all kissed them they were that helpful.  The people helping out and coming by to show their support by FAR made the long hours turn from bearable to exquisite and were of the essence when it came to taking short breaks and attempting to see any of the other art that was there. Here is some work I loved by Su Sheedy and I also bought a fabulous photo by Talia Shipman here as well! 

Su’s beautiful encaustics

Being that there were over 500 artists, it was so well organized and so much diversity.  The content of the show was overall less challenging than i would have liked to see.  There was little/no performance and a plethora of consumable, buyable goods.  Since I am now a camper in that camp, I cannot so righteously take the side of “work that sets out to change it all“, but do love to feast my eyes on anything seriously intelligent, witty or limit-shattering.  Overall the vibe at TOAE was uplifting and so positive.  I left feeling a real sense of having participated in something unique, massive and really fun. 

The best experience of TOAE was seeing who my buyer is.  I was able to tell who was going to buy by the end of the weekend.  My buyers are definitely looking for ‘cabin’ or ‘condo’ art.  Upon approach I would say in my head, ‘cabin’ and sure enough I could nail it by Sunday afternoon!  It was SO great interacting with the people.  There were over 100, 000 visitors and almost everyone I talked to had been before or came religiously.  Some were first timers, and most were lookers for sure.  What it showed me is the sheer VOLUME of people that have to look at your stuff in order to make a sale!  Since I have been doing so much of my sales over the Internet and now through three galleries, keeping my pulse on who is interested, who is not, what they are looking at and what people are buying gets more and more removed.  TOAE brought me right back into the selling side of the business which i love.  I feel I closed many sales through valuing what the buyer valued and reading their style and what they were drawn to.  Never think someone cannot afford something because of the way they appear unless they say “I cannot afford this.”  Then tell them about your payment plan that ‘almost every client takes advantage of’ (optional).  I really enjoyed every person i sold to, which also shows me that you can attract a kind buyer and good people no matter what business you are in.  I kept waiting for a jerk to try and buy one of my paintings, but none ever came along.  my favorite comment of the weekend was a grandmother saying to her 8 year old granddaughter, “Now see Alice, HERE is something you could paint.”  That was reel cute…

The first day I dressed like my paintings, which is about as funny as dressing like your husband when you are wearing matching windbreakers at 50.  It was a great conversation piece, so for anyone looking to apply for the show next year, get under the overhang, be pregnant if you can, get your friends to come by and do some work for you so you can go and see the art and try and dress like your paintings so shy people have something to comment on when they approach you to buy nothing.  Ask people about themselves, since people love that topic.  Oh, and yeah, I did make $5000 on the nose.  But, I did say in my last post about TOAE that I wanted to make sure that I made $5000 after expenses were covered (about $1500 for me), so be sure to tell the universe the EXACT details of your requests, don’t just say “$5000” like I did and get stuck with the costs!

Friends help friends

NOTE:  For well done, good contemporary art in Toronto right now, I recommend:  “Damn Your Eyes” at the MOCCA on Queen which BLEW ME AWAY as far as well curated and body-transporting sound art goes!!!

Outside the MOCCA is a wall mounted photo of people taking digital photos of the Kodak building being blown-up

zoe+loadedbow

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This was supposed to be about word of mouth marketing… but ended up being about the ecological impact of your tampons

Posted in Loaded Bow: Following Our Story with tags , , , on July 25, 2008 by genennis

mighty.small.

Well, ladies, if you have been considering starting a blog, I have news that may tip the scale for you.  You can get free tampons.  Really, if that doesn’t convince you… 

This morning FedEx delivered a big box that held a tote bag filled with all sorts of goodies… and a crazy number of tampons. 

Shortly after we launched LOADED BOW Zoe and I received an email from a word of mouth marketing company out of Toronto.  After playing phone tag for a few weeks, we connected with one of the women working on the project.  We were asked if we would be interested in receiving a promotional package from o.b., and in return, we would need to talk about the products.  She made it very clear that whatever we had to say could be positive or negative. 

Considering that Zoe is pregnant, I got dibs on this particular ‘assignment’.

My initial reaction was that I really don’t have that much to say about tampons.  Then the WOM lady pointed out the difference in waste between a traditional tampon and an o.b. tampon.  That, I can talk about. 

A few minutes of online research reveals that the average woman will use approximately 10,000 tampons over the course of her lifetime.  That is a whole lotta applicators being flushed down the toilet.  Literally.  Currently, o.b. is the only tampon in Canada and the US that doesn’t have an applicator.  That is something I can advocate for.  There are feminine hygiene products are are far more eco-friendly than o.b. tampons, like The Keeper, but for those of you who are a bit squeamish, applicator-free tampons just may be a good place to start.

I have been puttering around the o.b. site for the last few minutes and I just finished watching a little animation with an ant that is supposed to be analogous to an o.b. tampon.  The screen then reads: try carrying an elephant in your purse and you’ll know how it feels.  I have carried tampons in my purse for years and not once has it crossed my mind that it felt like lugging around a large mammal.  On occassion, I feel this way when I have crammed my laptop in with a bottle of wine, but never about tampons.  No need to be so melodramatic, o.b. people.  Focus on the difference in waste and the cute little carrying package (see below) that protect your tampons (because I have pulled tampons out of my purse – in public no less – that had fallen out of their wrapper, and that I could do without).

o.b. tampons
If you’d like to try these nifty little things you can get samples in Canada and the US.
gen+loadedbow

Camels, chocolate, goats, and Ben Affleck: All in a day’s work for travel writer, Kristin Luna

Posted in Bended Bow with tags , , , , on July 24, 2008 by loadedbow

Kristin on Lake Louise

 Kristin on Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada 

What was your commute like last year?  I logged just over 2600 km to and from work.  Travel writer and blogger, Kristin Luna, however, flew 140 177 km in 2007 in the name of her career.  That is a whole lotta ground covered!  Kristin offered LOADED BOW a glimpse of what it means to travel the globe for a living and shares stories of turning emails into a career, smuggling refugees, and being held at gunpoint while on the clock.

LOADED BOW:  You made the decision to become a travel writer while overlooking the waters of Lake Como in Italy (I completely understand how this happened – the area is serious fairytale material). Can you tell us a little bit more about your journey into this career?

Kristin Luna:  I grew up with a mother who liked to travel a lot.  My sister and I were fortunate to see much of the United States as children (at 19, my sis Kari has visited 49 of the 50 states; I’m slightly behind at “just” 44!). Aside from trips to Mexico and the Caribbean, I first left the country at 15 and immediately fell in love with Europe. In the subsequent five years, I would make many return trips over the Atlantic, but it was when I took it upon myself to make a solo backpacking trek across Western Europe at the age of 20, prior to a semester abroad at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, that I was really infected with the travel bug.

Kristin in Iceland
Kristin in Iceland

I had always known I wanted to be a journalist and worked for local newspapers and media outlets from the time I was 14 on, but it hadn’t occurred to me that I could travel the world and get paid for it. While backpacking alone, I faced many challenges and obstacles, but was also met with humorous situations. I wrote all of these up as travelogues, which were periodically sent to 300 or so of my contacts back home by e-mail. Several recipients, including past professors and media professionals, suggested I publish my stories. I didn’t know where to start until a newspaper in Tennessee offered me a weekly Sunday column: the perfect forum for my ventures and the start of my career as a travel writer.

When I was chased down a mountain in Lake Como by a pack of rabid goats with menacing horns that resulted in a sprained ankle (the very shorthand version of the story), I had an epiphany: “Does this sort of stuff happen to regular people on a normal basis? I don’t think so-maybe I should write about it?!”

Kristin in Capri

Kristin in Capri, Italy

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Building Paradise – An Interview with Renée and Jim Kimball, Founders of Tranquilo Bay

Posted in Bended Bow with tags , , , , , , on July 22, 2008 by loadedbow
Tranquilo Bay
Tranquilo Bay

Tranquilo Bay is a little piece of paradise, nestled on Bastimentos Island in the Bocos del Toro archipelago of Panama. Bordering a National Marine Park, this eco-adventure lodge offers its guests a rainforest retreat amongst its reefs and lagoons, and with facilities spread over its 110 acres and 3 ecosystems, there is no shortage of opportunity for visitors to experience the biodiversity of the island.

Any entrepreneur can attest to the dedication required to launch and grow their business. Consider, however, beginning your business in a country other than your own. Local residents speak a foreign language and have a different relationship with concepts of time and labour. Logistical obstacles that would be a molehill at home prove to be mountains in this new environment. Your new neighbours – the alligators, boa constrictors and spiders – have no qualms infringing on your space. Finally, imagine that you are separated from your business partner and spouse for four years while you build your business. This was the reality for Renée and Jim Kimball, co-owners and operators of Tranquilo Bay.  While Jim set about building Tranquilo Bay from the ground up with partner, Jay Viola, Renée remained in Texas working to fund the project. She joined them in 2004, the year the resort opened its doors to its first customers. For the Kimballs and their children, Tranquilo Bay has become more than a business: it is their home and way of life. They took some time to reflect and share their story with us.

Loaded Bow: From 2000 to 2004 you were separated while Renée was working in Texas and Jim was preparing and building Tranquilo Bay. What was the decision making process like in determining that you would make this sacrifice?

Renée Kimball: We met in college. Jim sold me early on in our relationship that doing something “different” was the way to go with our lives together. We formulated a plan early about the kind of business we would like to have someday. We met Jay and all three of us began working toward that business. However, honestly we thought we would be separated one and a half maybe two years – it turned out to be almost four. I don’t think we would have signed on for being separated for that long, but once we were committed to the project we couldn’t stop.

Jim Kimball: We had years to make that decision and we were committed from the early start, it was a way of life for us. Everything was a sacrifice, it was a 10 year plan and we stuck to it religiously. So 8 years later, when the time finally came to jump, I wasn’t looking back. We had so much heart and soul invested I think I would have taken on just about anything. However, four years was REALLY HARSH! (lacks emphasis) Not in our wildest dreams had we imagined that it would take that long. Had we known, I might have said yes, but she would have definitely said, “are you crazy”. Anyhow, now that’s over and it has made us stronger.

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How to evaluate being contracted or being employed

Posted in Resources with tags , , , , on July 21, 2008 by loadedbow

This is a very helpful article i found online today and i think it may prove relevent to many women wondering if they are in the best position working contracts or if they are better served getting themselves employed.  Enjoy!

 

zoe+loadedbow

Money Talks by Jenny Duffy

Posted in Resources with tags , , , , , on July 20, 2008 by loadedbow

Last month we were all about brand and image. Your brand can be great, but when it comes to sustaining your life and your new business, the first six months are crucial. And that means keeping the books and keeping them well! We are so excited to talk to Jenny Duffy of Money Talks this July to hear what she has to say about your money in the starting months of your business.

Jenny Duffy

 Jenny Duffy of Money Talks

Loaded Bow: If I hire someone and they are doing a lot of the work in getting the business started, how would I know if I should pay them more or offer them a share in the company?

Jenny Duffy:  Shares represent an ownership interest in the Company. Generally I wouldn’t offer an employee shares unless you wanted to share control of your company and you foresaw them staying with you for many years.

Larger, publicly traded companies like Microsoft, Walmart etc. will often offer shares to their employees as an incentive for them to work harder. The premise behind this approach is that if employees work harder, the value and hence share price of the Company will increase. The employees could then sell their shares and make a considerable profit.

LB: How do I set up my payroll system?

JD:  Once you have determined how often you will pay your employees, you must ensure that you are making the correct payroll remittances for both employee and employer deductions for CPP, EI and Income Taxes. There are payroll tables and/or software programs available on the CRA website which will tell you how much to send to the government, and how much the employee’s net paycheque should be.

These are available at:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/pyrll/tbls-eng.html

Additional detailed information regarding your responsibilities as an employer can be found at:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/pyrll/hwpyrllwrks/menu-eng.html

LB: How do I know how much to pay myself?

JD: Most first year entrepreneurs end up just paying themselves what is left over after paying their creditors and employees. If you have excess cash flow and you can afford to keep some money in the Company, I would recommend saving as much as possible after paying yourself what you need to live.

LB: If I have a great month and have paid myself and rent and all employees and suppliers, should I put the rest back into the business?

JD:  Yes! You never know what unexpected expenses may pop up. A broken window, a busted water pipe, a fire etc. These little surprises can severely cramp your cashflow so it’s best to have a rainy day fund on hand.

 

zoe+loadedbow

Your Other Half: Biz Partnerships

Posted in Your Othe Half: Biz Paternships with tags , on July 17, 2008 by loadedbow
Partnership Month

For the past week Zoe has been in Toronto at TOAE.  Prior to that, I was in Calgary auditioning to be a cowgirl.  So… it has been just over 2 weeks since we have seen each other.  It feels longer than that (I was going to say that it has been a month… until I looked at the calendar).  In 20 years of friendship, we have had periods of intense contact (growing up on the same street, we found a second home at each other’s houses), and have gone months without seeing each other (perhaps I will post some of our email correspondence from when Zoe moved to Chile for 6 months in Grade 9 – oh, the drama of being 14).  Despite this, I am finding that I am missing her terribly right now.  There are definitely challenges that are unique to working in partnerships, but there are also many benefits.  Currently, I am missing the benefits of having my partner-in-crime close by.

Partnership Month

LOADED BOW is getting ready to enter our third month online, and we are looking at partnerships – of all varieties – for the next month.  We’re going to check out our own partnership pretty closely, but we are also looking at some pretty amazing biz ops that are run by multiple owners or operators.  We are going to start with the remarkable story of Renée and Jim Kimball of Tranquilo Bay.  If you think that you are working with your partner under stressful circumstances, just wait…  (Hint of what’s to come: It involves alligators)

gen+zoe of loaded bow