Archive for October, 2008

Home Ingredients and Andrea Foxman

Posted in Workspace with tags , , , , , on October 29, 2008 by zoepawlak

Hey Loaded Bow readers. We are so excited to feature this Vancouver based business genius Andrea Foxman.  Andrea has been the owner of Home Ingredients for 1.5 years and she is gearing up for her finest year ever!  We are privileged to pick this lady’s brain about how an idea can become a dream and how temporarily furnishing homes has gone from a great idea to a reality that now is a new and exciting real business. These before and after pics are better than anything you can see on any makeover show (a stretch…i think not…;) Anyways, they are pretty amazing and make me want to own everything Andrea touches.

Loaded Bow: Who would have thought this market exsisted?!! Who are the clients that most are in need of your services?
Home Ingredients: Home Ingredients consists of two primary services: We stage homes as well as rent furniture. The clients we cater to are home stagers, realtors, homeowners and special event co-ordinators.

Living room Before

LB: It seems like you have so many pieces to offer. How do you store everything?
HI:  Home Ingredients has a warehouse (1- 25 East 6th Ave) that is stocked with transitional, contemporary and modern furnishings. including custom made pieces. The warehouse is open to the public.

LB: Lot’s of women look to start up businesses with little or no initial investment. It seems as though you must have had a fair amount of furnishings and accessories to begin your business. How were you sure you would succeed with such a hefty initial investment into your business?
HI:You really never know, however after researching I felt there was an obvious need. There are only a few options for home stagers as far as furniture rentals go.

The Living room after shot!!

LB: How do you know when it is time to invest in new products?
HI:  When certain pieces are depleted, or when we need specific pieces for projects. When there are certain things we don’t have for a client we try to source it out. We really like to be a one stop shop.
LB: As an artist, I am personally curious if the pieces of art you have are originals, rentals or prints and how you select these?
HI:  None of our pieces are originals because they have to be affordable. If we have really high end homes we turn to the art galleries for originals. We select the pieces based on life styles that will appeal to the broadest spectrum of design.

Empty Office = no sale and no fun!

Fun and Sales here ladies!

LB: How do you advertise or make sure that you generate enough clients? Who do you market to and how?
HI: We advertise in various mediums such as home décor publications, community news papers, e-mail and now through social media.

LB: Has social media been an asset to your company?
HI: To be determined….. However, I believe any advertising is good and it seems social media is the wave of the future.
LB: We are really interested in when it’s time to grow. Many women don’t know when to take on their first employee; can you describe how you knew it was the right time to do this?
HI: In a business this size hiring someone right away was essential.
LB: What is the funniest part about your job?
HI: They are many funny parts, but I would say the most laughs come from naming art and inventory….we get very “creative”.

Note from Zoe: I hope this post inspires women to research niche markets where there already exsists a dire need for a product or service.  We find this to be essential to making the reality of your dream happen.  If there is a need….fill it.  When there’s less competition a warm market of excited people will talk about a businessthat has filled an existing need much more than one they participate in that was ‘sold’ to them.  Everyone gets excited about an original idea and we can use that word of mouth advertising to our advantage when realising a small business!





Being Pregnant and Taking a Compliment

Posted in Loaded Bow: Following Our Story with tags , , , , on October 25, 2008 by zoepawlak

Zoe Pawlak: Self Portrait

It has been a long time since I have done a self portrait.  I used to do them in art school when I felt outraged, wildly alive, beautiful or miserable…all of which I have felt during this last pregnancy.

I know that being self deprecating while being pregnant can often be the sign of low self esteem or exists to mask a general feeling of ‘massivness’.  Massiveness is a condition that most women suffer from during pregnancy.  Though we are birth goddesses and are supposed to carry the blessing of childbearing as a quaint gold cross on our necklaces, the meaning of the act can often come with some moments of dull doubt and general, cumbersome largeness. 

I want to thank all those ladies (who are no longer pregnant) who come up to you at the park, claiming that you are ‘glowing’.  They may even add in the odd ‘You look A-mazing!!’ and that is a real treat!  In reality you are just ‘glisstening’ from the sweat of having hauled your two year old out of the stroller…but we pregnants will take what we can get. 

I get comliments all the time from my LOVING husband (God bless him!) and though it feels a bit like your mom telling you you are the prettiest girl in school or you look so beautiful when you are bloated, it’s a compliment and I was taught to receive them graciously.  I recently was saying how my husband tells me of my beauty during pregnancy and how lucky I am to have him (blah, blah, blah) to another mother who had not experienced the same from her hubby.  In a moment of shy gratitude, I had no words but hustled home as soon as I could to smoother my man with kisses and thanks. 

I have often asked my husband if he thinks other men think pregnent women are beautiful.  He has replied that it ‘depends what a guy values and desires in his life’…meaning if the guys wants kids, he thinks it’s hot!!

I had to get my car battery jumped the other day while picking up some paintings.  I had only left the hazards on and this indicated that it is high time to actually install that battery we had bought, but kept in the trunk.  A kind, quiet, attractive 50-ish man with a big truck helped me and when he was leaving said “You look beautiful, I just think pregnant women are so sexy.”  I was speechless.  “Thanks”, I replied since I have been taught to receive a compliment and I headed home. 

A BEAUTIFUL pregnant friend

Continue reading

My workspace… and my caffeine consumption

Posted in Workspace with tags , , , on October 24, 2008 by genennis

bags of coffee 'cherries' in Kona Hawaii 

Coffee beans in Kona, Hawaii

I have been trying to quit coffee.

My last successful attempt at this was after I finished university. The year after my degree was relatively java-free. This ended abruptly with the first day of grad school. I haven’t been a student for a year now, and a few months ago I decided it was time to abandon this addiction. It’s failing miserably.

This month we have been focusing on workspace.  I just realized that mine is severely hindering my efforts.  Yesterday’s schedule:

9:30 – Met with the lovely Mhairi Petrovic of Out Smarts to chat about Loaded Bow at Bean Around the World coffee shop.

11:30 – Arrived on campus 2 hours early for a meeting. Decided I would prefer to sit in Boulevard Coffee than in the office.

1:30 – Went to my meeting.  The Chair decided we should leave the office for the meeting.  Back to Boulevard.

3:30 – Teach.

5:30 – Kevin comes to pick me up.  We have an hour to kill before we have to meet friends for dinner.  He wants to read and I had work to do.  Back to Boulevard.

So no fewer than 4 stops at the coffee shop yesterday and all under the pretense of work.  I like coffee shops because I am surrounded by others working for themselves.  I feel a odd sense of solidarity among these entrepreneurs.  So I have a new plan.  I have given up lattes for regular coffee.  Baby steps, right?

coffee expresso Kevin Hume Spain

 Kevin after too much of the stuff in Spain

gen+loaded bow

Jenny Duffy of Money Talks

Posted in Resources with tags , , , , , on October 23, 2008 by zoepawlak

Money Talks with Jenny Duffy is one of your favorites.  Here Jenny answers questions related to the money side of owning your own business.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions for Jenny.  We always love to hear from you!

Jenny Duffy

Jenny Duffy

Loaded Bow: If you hear a woman say she has earned $10, 000 and she then tries to claim only $5000 on her tax return, which amount do you write down?

Jenny Duffy: I would claim the entire $10,000. Tax evasion is a serious offence, and Canada Revenue Agency has certain checks in place to ensure people claim all their income. For example, they can cross check any T4 reported by employers, and check to see if you have reported the income on your tax return. I always advise reporting all your income.

Loaded Bow

Loaded Bow

LB: I have been told that the tax system is one based on trust. Are you held liable if one of your clients does not provide the whole truth?

JD: I rely on my clients to be honest and truthful with me, and they rely on me to provide them with excellent service. If a client breaks that trust, it impedes my ability to do my job correctly. Trust is paramount.

From a legal standpoint, my job is to prepare the client’s taxes based upon the information provide to me. If they withhold information from me, and they are later caught, the client would be responsible for paying any penalties and fines. If I prepare a client’s return with information which I know to be incorrect, then I can be fined heavily by CRA and I would also be subject to reprimand by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia.

LB: How can someone get caught if they lie on their taxes? What are the repercussions?

JD: Typically you would have to pay interest and penalties and would have to repay any additional taxes. In the most serious situation, incarceration may result.

LB: My accountant recently told me that I should save all my files for up to seven years. Why is this?

JD:  CRA can audit your tax returns for a period of up to 7 years after the date of filing. Keeping records ensures you can answer any questions they have.

LB: The second she earns any income on her own, is she then a small business?

JD: Technically yes.

LB: If I own my own business and my husband does not, should I always use my debit or credit card instead of his to pay for stuff?

JD: The easier the paper trail is to follow, the better. Therefore I recommend using your own card. If it cannot be avoided, always keep your receipts.

LB: I often have friends who are business owners who pay for lunch and take the receipt to claim on their taxes. As a business owner myself, should I be trying to accumulate lunch bills just for the sake of claiming them or only if I can a) truly afford it and b) it was truly a business lunch?

JD:  You can write off the cost of business lunches which were conducted in order to obtain new business, or maintain existing business relations.


Cinci Csere of EAT Communications

Posted in Workspace with tags , , , , on October 20, 2008 by zoepawlak

Who is Cinci: I am a marketer helping small businesses and organizations promote themselves.

My company is called EAT Communications and I work under the traditional umbrella of marketing which consists of public relations, sponsorship and promotions through advertising and events. I also do web marketing such as creating email campaigns and using social media tools to reach audiences. A Jill of all trades!



Why EAT? Why not? I get asked every day…..It’s a conversation builder. I also love to EAT, literally. One day I want to own a cute little deli that serves the finest foods! But for now this is my version of EAT.

Events, Advice and Timing: a recipe you need to promote a company or organization.

Loaded Bow: Congratulations on one full year of EAT!

Thank you so much!

LB:  How was your company started?

CC:  I started my company after I decided it was time for me to do my own thing. I worked beside many leaders and organizations, but I felt bored working on the same project day after day. During this period I was also studying marketing at BCIT. Once I finished my program I decided to follow my dreams and have my own communication agency. I wanted variety and I sure got it!

LB:  When did you transition into doing this full time and how?

CC: Last summer 2007, I was working on small projects, like promoting a play for the Vancouver Fringe Festival and managing a sales conference for a cool merino clothing company from New Zealand called “Icebreaker”. Now I am managing a full schedule with at least 4 projects a month. I decided 7 is my limit, believe me I learned!

LB: In an industry with lots of competition, what makes your company innovative or have an edge?

CC: It’s grassroots, EAT is all about EVENTS, ADVICE and TIMING. I am a traditional marketer, but I use online marketing of course as well as reach an audience both online and offline. Some people want something tangible to hold and to read and some like getting news quickly online. I also like to promote small businesses and teach how to create a strategy to get noticed.

LB: How important is networking to you?

CC: I love it, some of my friends call me the torpedo, because I whirl into an event and whirl out to the next. I love to connect and especially connecting to people doing the same thing as me. When you work on your own, you miss the support and the silly banter you have in an office environment. I love to collaborate with people too because everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. It’s pretty neat what you get out of collaborating with different folks. It keeps ideas fresh and unique.

Cinci and China

LB: What type of personality do you have to have to do your type of work?

CC: You need to be cheerful and definitely patient. Although it’s tough to be patient, you have to deal with a lot of rejection, sometimes your story is sellable and sometimes it’s not. It’s a fact of life.

LB: What has been your biggest business mistake thus far?

CC: Proofreading! I also think another mistake is taking too much on. I learned that one pretty fast!

LB: How will you grow in the next year?

CC: I want to add more players on my team. I just hired someone to help me with projects so I can manage and strategize – the fun stuff!

LB: What is your ideal client?

CC: One with a HUGE budget! Having a larger budget means being able to utilize all of the ways to reach your specific audience.

LB: In the first year of business, can you/have you said no to a client or should we take everything we can get to learn from and for income?

CC: That is funny you mention this question. In the beginning I had to take anything I could get my paws on. But now I can figure out who I want to work with and who I don’t. I actually had to turn down a project just recently because I didn’t feel passionate about it. It was pretty satisfying actually. One door closes and another opens, as they say.

LB: What have you learned about how social media is helping others grow their business?

Continue reading

Loaded Bow Ladies’ Updates

Posted in Bended Bow with tags , , , , on October 14, 2008 by genennis

A quick update on 2 of our favourite companies, Buddha Branding and Smart Cookies!

The fabulous ladies of Smart Cookies can now add another great accomplishment to their CVs.  Their book, The Smart Cookies Guide to Making More Dough: How Five Young Women Got Smart, Formed a Money Group, and Took Control of Their Finances hit the stores last month.  With the market in its current state, this couldn’t be more timely.  Go grab a copy to put yourself one step closer to financial independence!

The Smart Cookies Guide to Making More Dough
The Smart Cookies Guide to Making More Dough

Buddha Branding has relaunched as a boutique fashion marketing agency, further carving out its niche in the land of branding.  They have also created a home for their blog.



Eggdancer Productions

Posted in Bended Bow with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2008 by genennis
Eggdancer Productions

The film and television industry – anywhere – is without question male dominated.  But in Saudi Arabia, even a female-owned company had to be managed by a man.  Danya M Alhamrani and Dania Nassief did not want to settle for the status quo, so they faught and won the right to manage their company, Eggdancer Productions.  This independent television production company is seeking to inspire social change and dialogue through media.  Eggdancer took a time out to share their experiences with us.

Dania Nassief
Dania Nassief

Loaded Bow:  Can you tell us a little bit about your story?

Eggdancer Productions:  Eggdancer Productions is an independent film and TV production company based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was founded in 2006 by Danya and Dania. We are not the first female owned production company. However, currently in Saudi Arabia, a production company that is owned by a woman must have a male as the manager. We didn’t want to run our company this way. We own the company and we want to manage it ourselves. So for two years or more we fought for this right and finally were granted it. So we are officially the first production company run by females without the presence of a male.

Danya Alhamrani
Danya Alhamrani

LB:  In addition to the challenges of launching your company as women, you have also spoken about the difficulty of receiving Saudi support. In one interview, Danya describes how foreigners are brought into your country to tell your story. Where do you think this resistance stems from?

EP:  I think there is a lack or trust in the capabilities of local filmmakers as well as an ignorance of their existence in general. To be honest though, we do lack professionals in the field and so locals tend to trust people coming from outside the country to do the job before they would trust someone from here.

LB: You recently worked on an episode on No Reservations in Saudi Arabia, after winning a contest to host the show in your home country. What was this experience like for you?

EP:  It was a wonderful experience hosting Mr Bourdain and his crew in Jeddah. It was a great opportunity to be able to show the world a different side of Saudi Arabia, one they rarely see, the family, friends, fun and food.

Eggdancer Productions

Continue reading