So, I have given Mark yet another 'official title', 'Director of RuffleButts Social Networking'. When running a business, there are so many factors that people really don't realize...you have designing, researching, selling, accounting, marketing, of course the daily tasks like fulfillment and customer service, and now you have social networking. I guess this really falls under marketing, but since I graduated with a degree in marketing more than 9 years ago now, it does not fall in my realm of expertise.
I know, I have to stay ahead of the game, and it does make sense for the most part, but with everything I have crammed into my short days, including the top priority of my little angel, I just couldn't grasp the concept of Facebook or Twitter on a daily basis. When I started RuffleButts, we had a MySpace page, as that seemed to be a decent way to spread the word, but as we quickly learned, our customers were more about Facebook. So, on we went to learn this new marketing tool. Honestly, it has been kind of fun, making new friends, and staying in touch with a few old ones, but it is now just one more place where I am a horrible friend =) I am too busy to get on there daily, so I don't respond promptly and I post a 'status update' about once a month. So, when we realized that we really need to utilize Twitter as well, Mark was up to the task. This is one of the things that I love about him...when he decides to take on a project, he does it right. He has designed our page, done the research, does our daily 'tweets' and I definitely see the benefit to the company. I have a hard time getting into it, but anything that helps our customers and our business is a win-win in my mind!
So, if you are toying around with the idea, here are a few good places to start:
- Tips for Beginners at www.TwitTip.com
- Tubby Bundle's helpful explanation of Twitter
- Duct Tape Marketing Blog - this is an awesome resource for small business marketing, including info on how to utilize Twitter and Facebook in your marketing
If you are already on Twitter, Mark has found the application TweetDeck, to be very helpful. This allows you to stay organized and really maximize Twitter for your business.
And, be sure to join us...Me on Facebook
The RuffleButts page on Facebook (become a 'fan')
So, I had this small realization last night, though not sure why it took me so long to realize this. Mark, Aubrey and I were driving home from a big night out at Moe's Burritos and it dawned on me that I have spent my whole life focused so much on the future, that I didn't always stop to appreciate the present. I turned to him and said, "do you realize that at every stage in your life, you have more responsibility?" He said that he had heard this story on a Christian radio station about a dad telling his son that he will never have less responsibility than he has at this moment in his life. This is so true!! And it doesn't really matter what point in time that moment may be. Until you reach retirement, you pretty much just keep piling on the responsibilities.
I realized that my entire life has been spent anxious to reach the next stage in my life...in grade school, I wanted nothing more than to be a teenager in high school. Once I was in high school, I just wanted to graduate and move off to college. I went to night-school the entire summer following my Junior year in order to graduate a year early. I moved out of my mom's house and off to college at 17 - more responsibility. In college, I was only concentrated on my career, so I worked at a radio station and took some of my classes in the evening - more responsibility. When I finally graduated, again a semester early (after cramming way too many classes into my schedule), I was so excited to start my big career. I hated it!! I thought, "this is what I have been working so hard my entire life to achieve?" Everyday was the same, I was unfulfilled, and I realized that I never took the time to have fun. I quit my job, took another job, and got a puppy - more responsibility. I bought a townhouse - again more responsibility! At this point, I felt like I had accomplished many of the things on my 'to-do list', next down was the whole family thing. I then met my husband, and was married less than a year later (that is a whole other story in itself!!) - yet again, more responsibility. This story could go on and on, but to get to the point, we bought a home, moved a few times, started RuffleButts, and then came our precious Aubrey. Holy cow, more RESPONSIBILITY!!
So, I realized last night, that I totally and completely love my life and every single one of my responsibilities (okay, maybe not the whole house-cleaning thing), but for the most part, I wouldn't change a thing. I just wish that someone would have told me (I'm sure they did, but knowing me, I just didn't listen), to stop and smell the roses...to party a little more in college, to lay on the couch a little more in high school, to spend more time with my friends and family, before we were all consumed by life's responsibilities. Then, I realized, that although life is super crazy right now, and I've never had more responsibilities, that I need to take time to stop and enjoy my life. I should cuddle with my husband when Aubrey goes to bed at night, I should kiss on her every bit I can while she'll still let me, I should go out to lunch with girlfriends even if I'm behind at work. Life is short, it goes by fast, so yes, you probably have more responsibilities right now than you ever have before, but enjoy this moment, cause I guarantee you'll have more in the future!
We so often see things on the news, and our hearts break, but we get on with our day, thinking there is not much we can do. Well, as a sat watching Good Morning America one morning while feeding Aubrey, I look up to see a picture of Fargo, ND covered in water. There were families telling their stories of loss and heartache, and I felt so helpless. Then, I remembered that one of our favorite stores, Pout Baby Boutique, is located in Fargo. My first thought was fear that they would be affected as well, but with hope that the store would be okay, I realized that this was my opportunity to help.
I immediately emailed Kris over Pout. Of course, she is so sweet, that she took the time to respond to me in a time when I'm sure she was bombarded and overwhelmed. She was completely on-board with my plan, so we packed up a box of RuffleButts goodies and shipped them on their way. Kris is now distributing those garments to families in need.
If you are a customer in the Fargo area, be sure to check out this baby boutique. They regularly carry a fantastic selection of our woven ruffled bloomers. Kris always orders a great color variety to offer to her customers!
Pout Baby Boutique
4325 13th Ave S #6, Fargo, ND 58103
When I started this business, it was extremely important to me to do more than just sell baby apparel. I truly wanted to touch the world in some way. Giving back is just one small way that I can do good for others. Although we're not an enormous corporation and we can't write Million Dollar checks or build schools around the world, I hope this small box of apparel was a blessing to someone. Someday, I hope this business can benefit millions of people worldwide!