A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE ENTREPRENEUR - creating a skincare brand
by Maleka Dattu
I looked back over the dated notes I made in preparation for this blog. This is the entry from Monday 14 November 2011
I hired a new brand designer for MERUMAYA Integrative, Effective Skincare. This was a difficult decision as I was already working with someone else. Into the project I realised that it was not working out although he is such a lovely chap. I have been in this situation before so I am not trusting my own judgement on which of the three I selected, I should work with. I have made the decision and as a safety net, I got him to quote on what I would owe if I did not move forward after Stage One. Now, I cannot wait to get on with briefing him properly.I have arranged a meeting next Wednesday to include store visits. It wasn't nice to have to let the other three know that they have not been successful in their pitch. They are good in what they do so will try and put them forward to other contacts. One is Lisa (PinkFrog) and the other is FlipFlopDesign. The other one was easier to let down since they were very expensive. I told Jason, the Website designer that he pretty much got the job. I did not confirm 100% since he did not ask me to sign up and he tends to make me feel a bit stupid. I'm sure ( I hope) he does not mean it. Another reason why I have not confirmed anything yet is because you never know what might happen between now and actually starting work once the brand design is complete. Many a slip between the cup and the lip! Another big task today was to work my way through all the applications for the internship I advertised for. I put the internship out on two websites, one is ASmallWorld and the other is a fashion website, both are free. I have shortlisted CV's and cover letter based on the applicant's desire to progress in beauty, their evidence of communications skills and those that called and wrote (I love people being keen). Next I will shortlist from telephone interviews and arrange three face to face interviews with the remaining candidates. I had a call with the manufacturing plant. I wanted to discuss some of their terms and conditions I was concerned about. The woman is coming back to me on the ones that I thought were a little unreasonable. Some of the wording in these legal documents looks scary and makes you not want to read or address it. As usual though, actually getting on and having the conversation, asking 'what does that mean?', is easier than the thought of doing it. Note to self; JDI! (Just do it) I asked if their packaging person would give me some recommendations of options based on the photo's I sent. Lesson - ask and you shall receive - people generally like to help and in today's economic climate, most businesses will be especially helpful when trying to secure your business.
I was devastated to hear about the death of Evelyn Lauder. I was very emotional which took me a bit by surprise because although I spent 21 years working for the Estee Lauder Companies, I had dinner with Evelyn only a few times. I kept wanting to cry. I want to write to Leonard Lauder, whith whom I had so much more interaction, and tell him I would like to see him one more time before it will not possible anymore.
I tried out a potential nanny. I have decided to take on a nanny/housekeeper on a part time basis to take the pressure off trying to work while looking after the baby. Having waited so long before being blessed with a baby, I want to be sure that I have some time with her. This is why I prefer a part-time nanny(also funds are a consideration).
I am learning to be patient with my lovely husband. We are sharing a tiny home office at the moment and it is easy to become impatient because it feels like he has taken over my space. He would rather not share with me and he is far more uncomplaining about it than I am. I am also learning to blog. Don't you just hate it when you think you have produced something that is pretty good, give it to your husband to read and he gives it an underwhelmed 'mmm', followed by what feels like criticism. Oh, now he sees me typing this, he has said he thinks it's good - would you, reading this, please tell me if you think it is?
Someone who applied for my internship was so over qualified that I offered to help him get his CV to the right people where I have contacts. He deserves a break; so many people do, and I would not be here now if I had not gotten my break all those years ago at Clinique. Thanks Sharon Axten.