This Blog describes my journey to launch a business after years in corporate America. I have been at it for 6 months. Why did I take the plunge? I had an idea that came to me during a casual conversation with a colleague over dinner.
Here’s the gist:
- My colleague is one of 6 kids and has 15 nieces and nephews!?!?! That’s more than one gift a month for birthdays alone.
- She doesn’t have kids of her own (so she struggles to find the right gifts) and travels an insane amount for business (which makes it hard to keep track of paying her bills, never mind keeping up with the kid’s birthdays, etc.).
- She’s well intentioned and wants to be the “good aunt”. Since most of the kids live outside her home state, this means sending thoughtful, custom-selected gifts for their special occasions (birthdays, holidays).
Bottom line: she never achieves her goal. She calls herself the “Bad Aunt”.
Why? Simple – she gets overwhelmed by all the work involved; we’ve all experienced the challenges that get in her way:
(1) Remembering the date (without getting distracted when a last minute work or social obligation comes up),
(2) Finding the right gift for each child, factoring in their age & personality (hoping it’s in line with what she wants to spend – not too much but nothing chintzy)
(3) Getting the gift wrapped (not all retailers, even the big online one offers gift wrap as an option)
(4) Digging up the shipping address and delivering it.
Any one of these tasks is a challenge. Combined, well it’s not surprising she falls victim to gift amnesia and then feels terrible about it…The fact is, even for those of us without 15 nieces and nephews, there’s a lot involved.
I am a bit obsessed with ways to MAKE LIFE EASIER and after thinking about it, I came up with a solution to her dilemma. Then I decided to see if I could make it work. How hard could it be, right? Oy. More on that, later. Originally I wanted to call the site “BadAunt.com” but for various reasons decided to change it to “NeverMissGift”. So here I am. I joined a toy industry association a few years ago, found an agency to help me with branding (I’m on my second at this point since the first one closed down), spent about 8 months searching for a development partner (custom development is not easy and there a lot of bad developers out there) and here I am. I’ve also gotten extensive advice from experts in the toy industry, and very generous entrepreneurial friends along the way. Even with all that support, I question myself every. single. day.
I hope to share what I’ve learned from the experience: setting up a custom web site, merchandising, social media, the toy industry – which I’ll have you know is surprisingly cut throat – along with observations and interests that keep me (almost) sane. I’m obsessed with customer service (I’m the one that always fills out comment cards and surveys. I am not ashamed to admit I stalked Charlie Trotter once – hasn’t everybody?), I love innovation, including the latest tools / apps / tricks that improve our lot in life, and I always need a good laugh or a story to justify my deep and abiding love of wine.
Thanks for reading and I’d love to connect with you on twitter @nevermissgift or FB www.facebook.com/nevermissgift.