Apr 3, 2013

When God calls, you answer - Monkey Toes is for SALE

Sometimes you get a feeling.  A feeling like you're being called to do something else, but don't know how to make it happen - or free up time TO make it happen.  I believe I'm getting the feeling that Monkey Toes is meant for someone else now.  I don't know why, I don't know who, but I have it and when God calls, you answer.  You move.  

It's not a bad thing, it's actually quite exciting!  I'm excited for someone to breathe some new life into this company that conceptualized more than 13 years ago.  I'm thrilled for someone else to see value in something I created and ran for so long.  I'll be excited to see what happens next with it.

Is it YOU?  

So many great things could transpire out of this - it stays a children's shoe company with fun new product extensions (socks, hats, attire).  Or maybe it is taken in a completely new and fun direction.  Either way...I'm ecstatic for the newness - and what better time for new than Spring!

If you're feeling like this could be something for you - email or call me.  Let's chat.  Make me an offer I can't refuse.  Let's get excited about this new adventure together!!  

Blessings to you!


Nov 26, 2012

#ShopMomBiz Twitter Party - TUESDAY

Because we're mamas, and LOOOVE to give, we're giving you a chance to win many of the items listed in the #ShopMomBiz Holiday Gift Guide.  So without further adieu, you are cordially invited to the:

#ShopMomBiz Holiday Twitter Party

Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 11 am EST

Join some of the best brands, and do some Christmas shopping while you're at it!  
{hint, hint, many of them have great discount codes too!}

follow us on Twitter too - @MonkeyToesShoes

Nov 16, 2012

#ShopMomBiz this Holiday Season

You're going to be bombarded this holiday season, Shop Black Friday, Shop Small, Shop BIG, Shop..Shop...Shop!!!  I'd like to add my two cents to the mix, and hit you up early :)

#ShopMomBiz is my personal initiative to get you to shop the small mom business.  
I hope you'll make the choice to #ShopMomBiz, and give us a tweet if you do!


Join us for a #ShopMomBiz Twitter Party, Tuesday November 27, 11 am EST, hosted by Enlist Moms - Enlist Moms - Win prizes, receive great discounts from the brands involved!

Enlist Moms is a portal designed to connect Moms and Brands, Products, Events and Experiences all over the world. Join us and receive the benefits you deserve! 

Tired of lugging your oxygen around? Busy Breathers Deluxe Oxygen Backpack makes every day outings easier. We also carry other oxygen related products as well. 
 Save 10% with code: bbmillgift

Commemorate the start of the holiday season for children with our "Waiting for Santa" pillowcases. Their "magic" will put your little one fast asleep on Christmas Eve!

Save $5 with code: SANTA

Custom & Unique Step Stools for Your Little ‘Steppers’
Kt Steppers are Eco-Friendly Step Stools – Kid & Mom Approved!
Stepper to the ‘Stars’  {Celeb fans}

Metals embossed by hand, cut to shape, patinaed, and raised areas polished to reveal the gorgeous embossing.  An amazing piece of wearable art.

The Our First Year: Cost Effective Recipes from the Home of Newlyweds cookbook is filled with budget friendly, practical & delicious recipes perfect for those entering into the life of two or in need of a little inspiration in the kitchen!

Esscentual Alchemy

NaturalPerfume Sampler Gift Pack featured in The 46th Annual CMA Awards Gift Lounge.  5 different natural botanical fragrances, in a glass vial that comes gift wrapped.  $21.75 

Facebook / Twitter / Blog

Taradara makes funky accessories & covers for the woman who has everything but wants something unique. iPad Covers, Coffee Cup Cozies, Wallets and MORE!
Save 15% with code: holiday12


The perfect activity kit for adventures around town or around the world!  $50.
Save 15% with code:  FLASH

Some of the cutest little toddler shoes you'll ever see.  Choose from tons of bright colors, and bunches of fun bugs and animals.  The perfect, and practical gift this holiday.
Save 40% with code: HOLIDAYS
(good thru December 15, 2012, on in stock items only)

'Tis the season to "cuddle-up"!  Why not spoil everyone on your list this year with irresistibly soft and snuggly Ambajam blankets. Check out the Mini, Baby, & Jumbo Cuddle Blankets
Save 20% site wide with code: Gift20

Sugar Loco #GiftSugar Sweet Holiday Gift Guide
Need some foodie ideas?  Click on thru and seek out some of the top drool-worthy sweets available this season.

Oct 18, 2012

Business: Being friendly 101

I shop online a lot, I'm guessing you do too - it's the way the world has turned.  I have high standards for the customer service for both of my businesses - Monkey Toes and Sugar Loco.  Granted the customer service is different with both, considering they are both completely different, but I like to think I treat every person the same way.

I know there are a lot of small businesses who read this blog, so I am here to put my teacher cap on and make a note about something that has been bothering me about other small businesses.  I hope that this gets you more sales, and more happy customers that want to share the word about your awesome business. 

Knowing that each sale you bring in came from an individual person (like you), making a decision to shop at YOUR store, buy YOUR product after probably clicking through Google to find the best deal, product, whatever...Why wouldn't you treat those people like gold?  You get one shot to get their initial order, but that one shot could turn into a ton more orders and that customer spreading the word about how friendly and helpful you are.

A simple example here from my recent purchase at Etsy...
It's not rude by any means.  It's just, blah...almost like this person didn't care about my sale.  Hmmmmm.  I'll be honest, I didn't spend a ton of money at her shop, I didn't need to.  But you just never know when an order could turn into several more orders or talk about her shop with my friends who would then turn to order.  I personally handle each and every website order that crosses my path.  I've seen "regulars" order Monkey Toes again and again.  Could they go to Amazon or another website to purchase them? YES! do they?  NO!  I like to think it's because I treat every customer like gold.

I try to think of things in terms of, if this person was standing right in front of me, what would I say?  Would I first off thank them for their order? (YES) Would I maybe say more than 4 words? (YES).  Now I know emailing is quite impersonal and different from speaking with someone directly, but how could you spruce up your wording to make it seem like you really care that your customer came to YOUR shop, to purchase YOUR goods and spend their MONEY?  How would you want to be treated?

On another note, if you're having trouble with a customer, NEVER let them see it.  NEVER bash that customer online, be it Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Be polite, concerned, and take care of the problem in a professional manner. If it was your fault admit it.  If it was their fault, don't point a finger, breathe and then figure out how it can be fixed.  Step away from the email for a bit to cool down and come back to it.  Most likely you and the customer will have another perspective you hadn't thought of while you were fuming.

How do you set your shop apart from others?  I'd love to hear your ideas!


Oct 16, 2012

Business: Hopeless

HA!  As I wrote the title of this initially, I wrote the title as "Business:  Hopless", instead of the title it is now.  Silly, but made me giggle a little, and thank God I'm not a bunny.  

As a twice over business owner, I get it.  I get you. I get this feeling of hopelessness.  Like, this is all you've ever dreamed of doing, yet if it is what you're supposed to be doing - why do your attempts at this entrepreneurial greatness feel so futile?  Why do others seem to have it so easy?  

Going to be straightforward and honest right now in my story.  I'm writing this so you can see that it doesn't always work out the way we plan it to.  That this entrepreneurship road is full of ups and downs and that it's totally OK.  The story is being written and we just need to keep our sights on the fact that at ANY MOMENT things can change.  One phone call, one email and it's bigger than you could have imagined. 

This company has taken many, many turns.  One moment I am riding high because my step mom called to say "Uh, I think I just saw your ladybug shoes on Oprah", the next moment creditors are calling NON-STOP daily because I couldn't pay business bills or even my personal bills.  Facing a foreclosure, wondering where $$ was going to come from to pay for school for my kids or even feed them - such scary times.  And then back to the ups when I licensed my brand to a major manufacturer.  I remember thinking - This IS IT!  THIS is the break that I've been waiting for.  This is going to pay off any debt accumulated with the company, and FINALLY after 8 years of working my ASS off, it is all coming to fruition.  (s'cuse my French)

Roller coaster ride down that big hill to May of this year - I ended the deal.   I ended what I thought was going to be IT.  And I was happy with my decision, and still am.   Turns out our relationship just wasn't the right fit.  Ultimately it came down to - the visions weren't the same.   I'm not bitter, I actually see more clearly now a greater vision for my company. It's just another chapter in my book.

Trying to spin these roller coaster moments into positives, as the walls seem to crash down, hasn't been easy, but I do it because my heart and head will eternally be optimistic.  Why do I share all of this with you?  It's been on my heart to be real and share my full story so that you may know that while you might be approaching the same scary circumstances, you're not alone.  This has been bottled up inside of me for 6 months now and it feels so good to share it out loud.

Here are the positives that I choose to look at:

  • I've had one hell of a lesson in finances and how to spend money
  • The licensee wasn't a total loss, they showed me how amazing my sales could be
  • The licensee brought my product up to levels I could have never imagined - and now I've got real show-stopping pieces to show a new partner, that I could not have done myself without massive loans and/or investors
  • The company is mine and I am OK to end a relationship that isn't working out - I survived the dreaded conversation
  • I got that YES, that yes from a company who saw value in what I built
  • I haven't lost my will to dream big, nothing can take that away from me
  • I've got nothing else but God to rely on right now, the rest is out of my control

Maybe you've been an overnight success?  (I really can't stand that the media spins entrepreneur stories as overnight successes - let's get real).  But for most of us it's a struggle.  And when you're knocked down into a feeling of hopelessness it's, quite frankly, hard to get back up and fight harder.  But you do, because you've birthed a baby (aka your company), and that's what any good mom does - they fight for their baby.

What's next for Monkey Toes?  Truly only God knows.  What can I personally doing?  At this point, I have purchased the last of the inventory from the licensee, I have an agent searching for a new partner who shares the same goals and vision for this wee little shoe company.  And finally, I rest.  I rest assured knowing that this story has already been written, I'm just walking through it, line by line, page by page.  Trying hard not to be a speed reader :)

And that's my story.  


P.S.  Sometimes it's just therapeutic to get information off your chest.  I feel like I've been "hiding" this secret from the masses, but I'm not ashamed.  Feel free to post your struggles below or honestly you can email them to me so it's more private.  Either way - make this your sounding board - jenny (at) monkey-toes (dot) com

LIFE: Giving

Do you have a cause that you support?  Something that touches your heart, you can't get it out of your mind, you just have to help.  Even if it hurts?  It's what I've been taught, 

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

I didn't learn this concept until I hit hard times, and honestly there are still struggles.  Giving when it doesn't feel good is an act of faith.  If you truly believe that everything you have on this earth belongs to God then what do you care?  As a side note - it feels awfully nice to pass it along to someone that needs it too, knowing that you'll receive it back - tenfold.  

I hope that this isn't coming across as self-righteous, I just want to share this knowledge with those of you who may be struggling financially.  Give.  Give when it hurts.  Pray over it.  God knows what you're going through, give and turn your to trust in Him. 


Sep 13, 2012

LIFE: It's Halloween {Costume} Time

One of my favorite times of year, aside from my massive amounts of slacking last year, is Halloween.  Something about the candy and creativity that gets me all excited (probably the sugar buzz).  

Monkey Toes has teamed up with Cutie Pa Tutus to share with you an adorable collection of shoes & tutus. What little girl can resist a TUTU??  And Amanda makes the cutest, seriously.