Friday, November 4, 2011

BookBlog: Time & Money

This is my first installment in a series on my blog which basically consists of book reports, though nowhere near as formal and organized as the ones you had to do in school.  Though I’ve always been widely read, my foray into entrepreneurship has had me delving into the business section at the bookstore for the first time in my life, and I’m learning many new things that I want to remember and share.

My first BookBlog is on Time & Money: How to Spend the Rest of Your Life, by Sonja Becker and Martin Sage.  You may recall this from a previous entry as the book I was supposed to sell as a part of my participation in the JCP.  While the book is deeply flawed, it is not totally without merit, and does pose some questions that are useful for focusing my goals, which I will answer here.

What are my values?
  • Improving the lives of women, both those close to me and those in the wider world.
  • Improving the lives of people I care about by helping them to become the best versions of themselves that they can be.
  • Helping fat women of all shapes and sizes to look and feel great about themselves, outside and inside.
  • To protect and improve the environment by striving to live and work sustainably.
  • To take care of my physical, mental, and emotional health so I do not become a burden on those I love.
  • To create a comfortable, welcoming home for myself and my loved ones, so that it nurtures and recharges us, and creates a positive feelings for the friends and family who visit us for shorter or longer periods.
  • To strive to be the best version of myself that I can be through self-knowledge and self-improvement.
Obviously, not all of these are related to my business, but these are my values, as nearly as I can sum them up.  On a more purely business related note:

What is my mission?
  • To help big, fat, and in-betweenie women to look and feel fabulous.
  • To create a company that is consistent with my values, which will positively impact the lives of both my customers and my employees.
That’s really about all from T&M that I care to blog about.  There will be more BookBlogs forthcoming, however!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Adventures of an Accidental Fat-shion Designer: DSD Reunion

Last weekend I went up to Denmark for the student reunion party at the Scandinavian Design College which, as those of you not associated with DSD may recall, is where I spent three months in fall of 2010 in the Fashion & Textile program.  Had Lars not gotten the job with Google in Munich, I probably would have been there all year, but even just those three months were amazingly rich with learning and networking and making friends, even though I was about 15 years older on average than most of my classmates.

The reunion was a great deal of fun, though probably even more so for the younger folks (after all, I can't really drink much anymore, which puts a bit of a kibosh on any serious partying).  I spent a fun bit of time getting a cartooning lesson from my friend Christoffer, though he runs such circles around me that I may end up just hiring him later to make the cartoony characters I want for using in my business materials.  I also spent nice amount of time in creative collaboration with my friend Anna Vester, a fantastically talented young graphic designer whom I've hired to design my logo and related materials.  Not only did I discover that she actually feels personally invested in my project, since most of the women on her mom's side of the family fit in my target demographic, but she also brought some fantastic feedback and ideas to the whole branding and logo aspect of my business.

To whit, one major sea change: I've decided not to call my label "Queen in my Own Mind", though I'll keep my blog address as such for now (after all, until such point as I start doing work for clients, my business really is "in my own mind", and the whole idea of being "queen in my own mind" works nicely for the fashion-diva persona I'll need to cultivate if I want to make it big in this business, no pun intended).  After considering Anna Vester's feedback and ideas, and then brainstorming a bit, I've decided that my primary design brand will be called "Queen Margaret", and my re-designs will naturally be "Queen Margaret II".

I'm really happy with this change of track for a number of reasons, not least of which for sounding more serious and having more gravitas, but also since there are and have been some fantastic Queen Margarets through history, and Margaret is not only my name, but the name of my beloved favorite aunt, who was in turn named for my great-grandmother (and there may be more Margarets further back; I actually don't know).  It fits very nicely with my plan to have my logo look something like a royal monogram (AV is excited about all the possibilities that Q gives as a letter).  I can't wait to see what she comes up with!