Monday, August 25, 2008

Do You Hear What I Hear

StartUpNation is having a small business competition 100---last year I came in 9th place for the "wackiest" business. This year I shooting for 1st place most "innovative" or "Boomer Back in Business". Yes I am over 50 and loving the world of business. Voting for me can make it happen.
Thanks in advance for those of you who read this and act.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Holes in my Fence"

Boy, its been a crazy week---I always think that way when its time to comment on the business practices I’ve encountered all week long. “Holes in my fence” speaks volumes to the many obstacles that today’s micropreneur comes up against. Back in my college day’s I read an article in Entrepreneur magazine on alternative businessperson’s who manage and create business with the mindset that they will always run the business, the business will never run them. Today while web surfing I found a commentary on MSN Money dealing with the same viewpoint, but updated. This article spoke of the new and frugal millionaires or YAWNS---meaning, young and wealthy but normal. This online article written by Erin Burt for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, enumerated the various ways in which this group of modern millionaires don’t allow their wealth to rule them. There is Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest people in the world and he lives in the same home he purchased 50 years ago.


 So what does this have to do with the “holes in my fence”, a great deal, because new business owners can get weighted down doing fence repair work.  A fence can symbolize the boundary of what a business owner is naturally good at, such as designing products, or selling, or just working within his belief system, stuff like that. Holes are the things we forget to delegate, or to ask for help with, and end up spending a great deal of time trying to “fix”, trying to live up to someone else’s idea of success, which means you get into situations that leave the truly important undone. This makes the image of being in business pretty dismal; the business begins to run the owner, instead of him/her managing the business.  So it’s the same old song and dance, of going overboard until you are floundering, because you have lost your perspective. Whether you are a micropreneur, a YAWN, or going for corporate gold---if you don’t start early with achieving what you specifically want, according to your own set of standards, you will spend a great deal of time “fixing holes”.


Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldeth go.

                                                                        Isaiah 48:17




Sunday, August 10, 2008

"This Little Piggy Went to Market"

I am an avid crafter--my hands are seldom idle, I knit while waiting on the bus. Working a project, seeing something emerge from the bits and pieces of found items is like drinking a Red Bull energy drink, it gives me wings--so to speak. Now managing with intent is my renewed focus in growing the Denise Reed Product Design  empire. Who would have thought it, that five years ago a simple, yet totally useful idea, mainly a” loc’s soc” (defined as: a tubular shaped piece of fabric, that is usually worn over locs, braided hairstyles, Sisterlocks® to protect or maintain the integrity of the hairstyle while sleeping, working in dusty or unsafe environment,ect.) which was created out of my own need to cover my locs at night, all while enjoying a comfortable night’ rest. One thing leads to another and I’m on the web marketing this sweet little necessity of life. Following strict business principles, the clones have arrived---since 2003 the need for a “loc soc” as these beauty essentials are now known as has grown to the emergence of a, site---EEK!!!! There of course are those of us who take great pride in our workmanship, and price our products accordingly.  Ray Smith of Shades of Color (, whom I met at the Locks Conference in Philadelphia, has a wonderful line of  “locs soc’s”, using great fabrics and brilliant color selection. Totally awesome and professional in his product presentation, Ray is doing his part to elevate the image of ethnic product designers/manufacturers. Now there is also Jennipher Adkins, who has been around since 1991, designing and manufacturing head garments and nightwear. I've personally seen her products in local stores, and I love the look of the website ( So what I'm seeing is an emerging market to an old need, ethnic hair maintenance---and a lot of people filling the bill.  There Strickland Products (Hair Bonnet), Deon Leftenant of Locksdown (  all producing-loc soc's-. Deon is even working at getting his product to the NFL---imagine what doors that will open for designer/manufacturers of ethnic hair care products. Looking at the variety of producers for the same type of products makes me think of APPLE(R), PC, DELL(r) and other computer companies---they all have a place in the market. There is nothing new under the sun---except the Olympic opening ceremony, a totally awesome and completely innovative presentation, no one is going to top it.

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun. 
 Ecclesiastes 1:9

Sunday, August 3, 2008

It's Not Over, Until I Say It's Over

 Well it always easy to say that life has been moving at the speed of light when there are great gaps in between blog posting. For me, life has been moving at hyper speed---during the month of May, I received news of the final decision on my trademark application for "L.B. Soc"...for locs, braids & more. Since January of 2005, I have been trying to show that my product name in no way made the purchaser of my "hair snood" for the wearer's of locs, braids and more, think they were buying a product endorsed/sold at/associated with, or in any way affiliated with LANE BRYANT stores. Of course in the end LANE BRYANT won. I had to decide early on just how much money I would put into this fight. So I kept my debate to three official briefs, which I researched and wrote myself. Somewhere in the archives of trademark cases is the judgement with my name on it and a fairly expensive bill paid to LANE BRYANT lawyers that prepared and presented over 8 reams of paper evidence to fight a person they never met, over a product name that they would never have dreamed of creating themselves. Well as my daughter put it "Get over it Mom and move on."

So now I'm trying various new names--but mainly my name---I'm shooting for the title/image of the Martha Stewart of hair care needs, to be known as Denise Reed. Watch out I'm back and fully focused. I've just finished reading Mommy Millionaire, by fellow Michigander, Kim Lavine of Grand Haven. The book is truly full of inspiration and meaningful advice for today's new entrepreneur. Reading Ms. Lavine's story/bootstrap business textbook was an eye-opener and an affirmation that success is available to those who look and work toward it. The insight on developing a good firm handshake has served me well many times over of late. To relate an immediate incident where the handshake insight came into play, was at the recent Wayne State University, School of Business Alumni Association Golf Outing held on July 28, at the prestigious Detroit Golf Club. I've just stepped down as the WSU SBA AA board secretary and golf event gave opportunity to "hob knob" with the best of Michigan's corporate players in manufacturing, finance, services, and the auto industry (LEAR Corporation was our title sponsor), as they came together to assist in funding scholarships for Detroit area young people.  I extended my hand with confidence---Its true "Knowledge is power", and wisdom is how you use it. SIDEBAR: The Golf Outing was a great success, and I enjoyed the entire day, knowing that the proceeds of the event will aid "Emerging Leaders of Tomorrow" (scholarship title).

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth liberally to all men, and upbrideth not, and it shall be given him.   James 1:5