Lars Vs. Lynsey

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Hey, Lars here! So far Lyns has been heading up most of the social media campaign, but I’ve come up with a segment of my own. We love making creative videos, images and posts to share with all of you, but we are always struggling with new ideas. While we embark on our crowdsourcing campaign to raise money for Go Go, we thought why not crowdsource for creative ideas for post material? Over the next few weeks, the remaining time on our Indiegogo campaign, we will compete with one another and you will vote on the winner. The competitions can and will include dance offs, slam poetry, races, and anything else you can think of and we can share. Finally, we will want you to help us decide what the loser of this month long campaign will do. Will they have to Twerk across the Dover Legislative Mall, maybe do the Can-Can at the Go Go Launch Party? That will be up to you.¬†

How it will work:

We have started working on the first competition and hopefully we will have it posted in the next day or two. We will post it to facebook, twitter and other social media outlets. To place your vote, we simply ask (after you make your “get go go going” contribution of course ūüėČ ) that you leave a comment saying “Lars” or “Lynsey” on the post. At the end of the month, we will tally up the scores for each challenge and determine a winner. Along the way we will be asking for your input about challenges. Do you want to see who can fit more brussel sprouts in their mouth or who can Lip Sync to Queen better? Check out Paul Rudd doing just that on the Tonight Show:¬†

Get excited…¬†

 

Lynsey, it’s on!

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Go Go Updates & Saturday spit-out-your-coffee Laugh

Foreshadowing of Gus after one too many “Let It Go” performances by his sister & cousins…

 

We thought we would say “thanks” for your support by making you laugh so hard you spit out your coffee. This one’s for all the parents and grandparents who know EVERY SINGLE WORD of the Frozen soundtrack. And for those of you who don’t understand the blind rage caused by the 27th rendition of this dramatic musical masterpiece, we’ll send Nola over for an afternoon performance that will fry your brain. In all the best ways of course!

Our Indiegogo campaign “Project: Get Go Go Going” launched last week and has exceeded our expectations in every way. Not only have we raised $1,360 (at this moment), but there’s been A TON of interest in our idea via social media and other outlets from friends, small businesses and strangers alike! We have big plans for this coming week. A new (PROFESSIONAL) video, a guest post on the fabulous Chockababy.com, and MORE surprises…and charts of course.

Whether you’ve already contributed, you plan on contributing, or you’ve shared our project with others…THANK YOU!

We are still reaching out to other small businesses in need of advertising. Our contribution perks include advertising space on our truck and logo printing on our shopping bags. We still have 3 Limited Edition Baby Shower perks available. For that $150 contribution, we will attend the baby shower with cupcakes and mocktails *PLUS* a discount for the mommy-to-be. Cupcakes & mocktails (those are delicious non-alcoholic beverages) alone for an event would cost that much, so why not let us do it for you! This perk will be available right after we open in JULY! And lastly we still have the coveted FIRST EVER Go Go Bambino home party with CUSTOM MADE invitations, cupcakes and a special discount for the host! As this will be the first party we attend, it will be available immediately upon opening in JUNE.

So keep spreading the word. And send people our way: http://igg.me/at/GoGoBambino/x/6470544
We so appreciate it! Now let us profess some more adoration for our contributors so far. You guys are the bees knees, cat’s pajamas, the elephant’s instep, the snake’s hips, the kipper’s knickers.

The Davidson Crew
Ashlene & Dave Larson
Ken Blom
Ashley Binford
The Future Mr. & Mrs. Flis
Steph & Nick Adams
Erin Thwaites & Bel Boutique
Michelle & Dan Duke
Bridget Davila
Georgia Castellano
The Mighty Murthas
Tiffany Preston
Connie Richard & Hartly Family Learning Center
*and a few other anonymous angels ūüėČ

Operation Get “Go Go” Going has LAUNCHED!

We’re Kickstarter rejects! But that’s okay, we get it. Their guidelines call for creative projects with a clear beginning and end. During the review process, Operation: Get Go Go Going was not considered such a project. Technically we disagree, but none the less, we get it. We filed a short little appeal (you only get 500 characters), but we don’t expect them to reconsider. In the meantime, while I wasn’t screaming, “Whyyyyyyy? Whyyyyyyyy?” (Nancy Kerrigan style…sorry)— I googled “why does kickstarter hate me?”

Not really. I googled, “Why did Kickstarter reject my campaign”. My screen was a-flutter with blog posts, company websites, small business firm pages…all telling me not to give up. Lots of start-ups have had the same experience as us. Unknowingly pouring blood sweat and tears (yea, baby tears) into their Kickstarter campaign presentation, only to have it rejected. As we previously wrote about, we chose Kickstarter because we LOVED the concept of an ALL-OR-NOTHING campaign. If we reach the goal amount, it’s on! If not, no one is out their generous contribution. Well, turns out there’s a place where a lot of us K.R.’s (that’s kickstarter rejects) turn to. It’s called Indiegogo…yep, should have known it was a match made in heaven solely based on the name.

Indiegogo is virtually identical to Kickstarter. The difference comes down to the fact that Indiegogo has no application/review process. Also, Indiegogo has two forms of funding. One is “flex”- you can collect contributions even if you don’t reach your project’s set goal. BUT they also have “fixed funding” for projects like ours- the goal you set is reached or everyone who contributed is refunded. Just. Like. Kickstarter.

Don’t get me wrong, we still love Kickstarter. It’s awesome. It would have been an honor to pass their review process (which by the way is completely subjective and handled by exactly 37 reviewers, ranging in different categories…tough crowd). But truthfully, we aren’t up for any more waiting. Indiegogo is a widely used, well known solution for those start-ups who fall into the “kickstarter black hole”. So that’s us!
Here’s the appeal we wrote to Kickstarter:

Hi!
Reconsider! It’s a creative venture with a clear beginning & end. The funding we seek is for the conversion of a box truck into a mobile boutique. We speak for those “modern parents” who are tired of the big name stores’ solution to parenting products. We want quality goods for our kids and us at our finger tips! We’ll support LOCAL artisans & companies by carrying their products (literally) around the mid-Atlantic region. Vroomin’ Zoomin’ Whimsy Spewin’. Give us a Go-Go!
L,D &the littles

Not sure if/when we’ll hear back, but we’re moving on. Our Indiegogo campaign runs for 30 days from RIGHT NOW. I won’t bore you with any more details. Watch our wacky launch day video and follow the link at the end to check out the full campaign! And don’t forget to SHARE SHARE SHARE with others!

UDPATE:

Here is the link directly to the indigogo page.

http://igg.me/at/GoGoBambino/x/6470544

FAQs about GoGo & Kickstarter

In talking about Kickstarter and our mobile boutique, we’ve come across a few frequently asked questions. So I thought I would make a blog post of it!

  1. When will you be ready to open? 
    Well, our Kickstarter campaign will only run for 30 days, so we will know by April 1st at the latest if we succeeded in meeting our financial goal to buy the truck. Lars says June, I say August is a foreseeable Launch date. We can’t wait to get started revamping the truck and keeping you updated via instagram, facebook and this blog.
  2. What will be your first event?
    We are planning a launch party when the truck is ready. With an open invitation to anyone who has been interested in our journey. After that, we will booking our calendar with home parties and festivals. (one of our pledge rewards is a VIP pass to said launch party)
  3. Why are you doing a Kickstarter?
    We are campaigning for an amount to cover the truck and major renovations, after that we will cover the merchandise, insurance (auto & liability), permits and licensing. We feel that whether our kickstarter is successful or not, it has helped us TREMENDOUSLY in organizing our ideas and being REALISTIC. Doing this campaign is also building a lot more “buzz” about Go Go, than there would have been otherwise. Our business plan is organized and we’ve had a BLAST making videos to get you all involved, and that’s all thanks to Kickstarter. Sure, we could just ask family to “invest” in our idea, but it is important to us that no one puts anything into this project without absolute certainty that it will be completed. The beauty of Kickstarter is that, if we don’t raise the funds we need to get it going, no one is out a dime.
  4. Why should I pledge to your project?
    You should pledge if you see value in what we’re doing. If you’re a parent who wants a place to shop for modern, natural goods for your kids in a fun atmosphere. If your a grandparent who knows you will have a place to go for the perfect gift every time. If you just want to see our silly little truck bopping (we may need hydraulics) around the streets. If you find value in supporting LOCAL business.
  5. How do I pledge to your project?
    Kickstarter has the best, most concise video right here:  How to pledge
    I STRONGLY recommend watching this if you have any questions. It quickly breaks it all down for you, and they have their own FAQs.
  6. What if I want to pledge an amount that differs from the REWARD AMOUNTS you are offering?
    You can pledge ANY AMOUNT you desire down to the penny. The rewards that your pledge amount qualifies you for will appear for your selection when you go to make the pledge. You can choose one or not, totally up to you!

Why I became a Kickstarter Campaign Backer

Hopefully you saw our Go Go Bambino Kickstarter Campaign Ad on SuperBowl Sunday! If not, please enjoy…

We used this crazy mash-up of silly kid clips, funny memes and the gorgeous photography of Stacy Hart to announce the launch of our GoGo Kickstarter Campaign on Valentine’s Day. I’ve talked about the concept of Kickstarter a bit, but here’s a detailed explanation of how it works.

I chose this paragraph straight from the Kickstarter site because I think it best explains the Backer/Creator relationship:

Thousands of creative projects are funding on Kickstarter at any given moment. Each project is independently created and crafted by the person behind it.¬†The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Kickstarter have¬†complete control and responsibility over their projects.¬†They spend weeks¬†building¬†their project pages, shooting their videos, and¬†brainstorming¬†what¬†rewards to offer backers.¬†When they’re ready, creators launch their project and share it with their community.

Every project creator sets their project’s funding goal and deadline.¬†If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen.¬†If the project succeeds¬†in reaching its funding goal, all backers’ credit cards are charged¬†when time expires.¬†If the project falls short, no one is charged.¬†Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.

There are tons of funding platforms out there these days. Lars and I love Kickstarter because of the ALL OR NOTHING concept. It assures that those who back us will see us complete our project and successfully launch GoGo! Kickstarter keeps goals reachable and realistic. Listing our budget and risks helps even the most daydreamie entrepreneur (who me?) grounded. We will be listing in great detail exactly where your pledges will be going should we reach our funding goal. ¬†I have taken Kickstarter’s advice and become a Backer on a project that interests me. This allowed me have the Backer-experience. I like knowing that if the project doesn’t reach the monetary goal set to be successful, I am not out an investment (although, I am certain she’ll still be a huge success). BUT if it does become funded, I feel like I contributed to an idea and person I believe in (oh, and I get a dozen homemade cookies as my pledge reward…yum). Make sense? It sure does to us.

So until the big launch day, you can look forward to at least one more wacky video with more details including pledge rewards. Speaking of which, we have been brainstorming tons of reward ideas. Some will be obvious; t-shirts, cool kid water bottles, grocery totes- all with our logo. Others are a bit more EXCITING. Like oh-I-don’t-know…a guaranteed first-ever GoGo home party including major host discount and other party extras (I’m thinking cupcakes, decorations all in host selected theme). Then maybe some corporate rewards; bumper sticker placement on the back of the truck, company logo permanently printed on our shopping bags, etc. Then there’s always VIP spots at our GoGo launch party including special discounts and goodie bags. Okay, okay…I need to leave something to your imagination! I was the kid who told everybody what they were getting for Christmas weeks in advance.

We would LOVE for you to spread the word about GoGo Bambino, especially between now and the Valentine’s Day Kickstarter launch! We’re on Facebook and soon we’ll be adding twitter and instagram. Thanks for reading. With every post, I feel closer to this dream becoming our reality. My sister-in-law (and by that I mean heaven-sent angel of support & encouragement) once said to me,

I can just imagine 15 years from now telling Rose (her infant daughter), “No you can’t go out with your friends this weekend! You’re working at your Aunt’s shop!”

I don’t know why, it’s just stuck with me. And the thought always brings a smile to my face.

The most AWESOME Super Bowl Ad you will see all day…

Show us some LOVE this Valentine’s Day when our Go Go Bambino Kickstarter Campaign goes LIVE. Learn about our funky fresh rewards for business and personal pledges.
*Major Photography credit (only the beautiful photos in the vid) go to Stacy Hart- Photographer and Blogger. Check out her soulful work here: http://www.stacyhart.com/

The most boring post…EVER.

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Okay, so here it is. The dreaded budget post. We’ve had a busy week around here. Big bub had a 9 month check-up, we had a snow day (which is NOT relaxing when Daddy has to play keep-away in order to get any work done) and we seem to be battling a cold! Alas, we can’t complain. It’s a beautiful life around these here parts…this is starting to sound like the intro to a Western film.

On to the duh, duh, duuuuuuuuuh BUDGET. I did tons of research via the American Mobile Retail Association and local pricing/rates. Lars is very practical so he adds every single thing to the spreadsheet. I like to round down...Lars does not. He broke the spreadsheet into min, max, and average pricing. I like to think we will be in the minimum range considering the appealing part of this project to me is being HANDS ON. I want to DIY everything we can. Obviously we will have to outsource the mechanical and electrical aspects (for the most part). Well here, let me just show you:
GoGo get some money…

Item min max average
Truck $3,000.00 $5,000.00 $4000
Electrical/Mechanical $2,000.00 $3,000.00 $2500 Minimum $11300
Paint Job $1,000.00 $3,000.00 $2000 Maximum $19500
Interior build-out DIY $1,000.00 $2,000.00 $1500 Average 15400
Merchandise $2,000.00 $3,000.00 $2500
Insurance for the Year (auto and liability) $2,000.00 $3,000.00 $2500
Documents (License, permits, etc) $300.00 $500.00 $400

You’ll notice I bolded and italicized the MINIMUM amount, because it makes me feel better. Like the impact of the typeface will make it a definite. Maybe I should make it rainbow colors, like the logo.

Breaking it down:
There is a TRUCK, just like what we would want, on Mifflin Road in Dover for sale for exactly $4,000. Which was our average estimate. It looks in great shape and we’ll be checking it out this weekend.
Electrical/mechanical would pertain to any in-shop work we needed done to get the truck up and moving, and passing any inspections. Also, as in any boutique, lighting is key to the appeal of your merchandise. So the interior of the truck needs to be outfitted with some spotlights, overhead lights and whatever else. Obviously this requires more wiring than your average box truck would come with. You don’t want people shopping in the dark! Also, this estimate includes (hopefully) a Honda generator.
The paint job. This is could either be OUTRAGEOUS and more expensive than the truck, or relatively reasonable. There is something called a “wrap-job” that is really beautiful but really pricey. It also comes with a warranty however which protects you from fading, chipping, etc. I don’t really know if we need that, as I am thinking about having the truck painted white with the logo being the only color. We will see, definitely one of those things that is hard to predict at this point.
Interior build-out is one aspect of the truck that can be very DIY. Remember my dream shop via Ikea? I think we could use a lot of those products to create the perfect boutique experience. Tiny clothing racks, secure shelving and cabinets. The truck however will need sort of faux-walls, which I will leave up to Lars and we’ll probably bribe my dad to help. ūüėČ
Merchandising the shop will of course be MY JOB! Yaaaaaaaay. Who doesn’t love searching for and buying in bulk your favorite products?! I have been researching a lot of wholesale pricing for our favorite companies. Most require your retail tax info before they release any pricing, so I am sort of waiting on that. But it’s pretty easy to estimate. We are quite simply looking to sell our favorite things right now. Parenting tools, toys, clothes that we love and we know you will too. A wide range of practical essentials and gift giving delights. Ya like that?
Insurance is actually less complicated than I imagined. We need auto for the truck and liability for the shop. Sources estimate each at $1200 per year, so it is included in the budget but it’s not exactly an entirely upfront cost.
The average business/retail license for a mobile shop seems to be $350. We will need permits only as we go. Meaning, costs here and there for different festivals, markets etc. More to come on where we plan on opening shop later. (If anyone has other information on this topic, feel free to share! This seems to be the most confusing topic as each state has there own laws and mobile boutiques are often not covered in the fine print.)

We are planning a KickStarter campaign to help us cover some of the costs. Never heard of it? Well, that could be a whole other post. But basically it is a way to raise small business funds by seeking monetary pledges for your start-up idea. We would set a goal amount and a timeline. If we don’t reach that goal within the timeline, the campaign is null. A pledge would award each contributor some sort of “thank you” gift. We are having onesies, kid’s t-shirts and adult shirts made with the logo. Maybe some reusable grocery bags as well. We will also be offering advertising on the truck for certain pledges amounts. ie: pledge $50 and we will place your companies logo on a bumper sticker on the back of our truck. I actually think it would be really fun to have an entire section of the exterior of the truck dedicated to supporting companies’ logos via stickers. I could go on and on with ideas for pledge incentives. If you’re curious, go check out the different campaigns running right now. There are a surprising number of local companies with campaigns if you search your town! It’s a fun way to support the local economy and start-ups that you believe in.
Right now we are finishing our little video for our campaign. We will be sharing SOON! Thanks for listening, and please share any words of wisdom!

A Logo for GoGo

This week I have been working on the logo and overall color palette for GoGo. I was sort of all over the place with ideas. I have been daydreaming about kids’ boutique interior design since I first thought of Stinky Toad (the brick and mortar version). My mind always goes to Ikea, I know…whose doesn’t? With a fresh white palette for the furniture and then pops of color in bins and accessories, Ikea gets it right every time. And they really get kids. I could go on and on and make Ikea blush with my obvious crush on them…but I digress. Take a peek at what I’m babbling about…

20141_ibrs18a_01_PE381522

¬†This is actually from their “For Business” dept! Can’t you just picture these tiny clothing racks and super cool overhead lights in GoGo?! So this became my inspiration for the interior of the truck, which of course should correspond with the Logo that will hopefully be donning the side of the truck! As I searched for more inspiration for the rainbow color explosion I wanted the branding to become…I looked at our very own living room walls. And then I saw it…my favorite piece of art from an awesome company. I often hold back on the “cheese” factor when I am designing. I was always told my work was too childish, feminine, playful, bright etc when I was in school. Which was usually true! But this is one situation where it works. Childish…um it’s a baby boutique! So I am going with it. This is all preliminary and needs a lot more ironing out, but here’s the original GoGo Bambino logo sketch:

GoGoBambinoBW

I went through tons of color variations and manipulated the overall design over and over but I won’t bore you with that. Here’s the more¬†(there will still be tons more editing) finalized version with the wall art inspiration above it:

GoGoBambinoconcept4

Anyone know what is involved in having a logo put on a truck? I’m nervous to know the answer! We’re getting ready to get serious about the KickStarter campaign. Nailing down a semi-permanent logo was the only thing I wanted to accomplish first. Now back to the business side of things. Look forward to my business plan and budget post ūüėČ
…also we’re on FACEBOOK!¬†

What is Go Go Bambino?

What is a mobile boutique? 
It’s a boutique on wheels, obvi. A shop with the ability to go to its customers, whether that’s at festivals, markets or home parties. Step trucks are the most popular form of mobile shops. Usually a medium size truck (imagine a FedEx or u-haul size) with the back opening up and steps to pull out. For more info on mobile boutiques in general check out this great site developed by the owners of Le Fashion Truck. The American Mobile Retail Association: ¬†http://americanmobileretailassociation.blogspot.com/

Why a mobile boutique?
Well, frankly I saw this one and fell in love. I have been toying with the idea of a retail store for about a year now. The concept was a modern parenting boutique called Stinky Toad (a term of endearment for my daughter). I wanted to fill it from floor to ceiling with all the parenting tools I researched and could only ever find online over the last three years. Baby carriers, cloth diapers, wooden toys, necklaces (the kind that are safe for mom to wear with sneaky teething babies), nursing bras and accessories, organic clothing and bedding, the list goes on and on and on. As many of you modern parents know, these items are not cheap. They are all sound investments for sure, but who wants to spend that kind of money without being able to touch, try on, test out the product in person? This all made me want to open up shop. To provide a place where you could learn about the newest green parenting products, but also find awesome and unique baby gifts. I began a business plan and researched what it takes to run a brick and mortar store. I slowly came to the realization that with two kids under four years old, I could not commit the proper amount of time and work it takes to run a successful shop at this moment. While I want a future shop to be completely kid friendly and fully intend on bringing my kids to work with me, there was just no way I could bring a 3 year old and 9 month old to a shop every single day for 6+ hours a day. I currently work as a social media coordinator for the owner of an incredible downtown shop, so my standards for opening my own boutique are EXTREMELY high. If I am going to do it one day, I want to do it RIGHT. Thus, Stinky Toad was put on hold.

When I saw an article featuring The Passionista Truck, I was enthralled! First, it’s adorable. Second, how genius? A shop that comes to its customers, makes its own hours (within reason), requires significantly less overhead than a brick and mortar shop and could be a real adventure! While I LOVE the name Stinky Toad and the original shop concept, I wanted something that worked with the mobile shop concept as my name and branding. So Go Go Bambino was born.

family 1

The one and only Stinky Toad and her bro. Photography by Stacy Hart Photography…she’s amazing!

What is Go Go Bambino?
Well, it will be like a mini Stinky Toad. For now, I am skipping the baby carriers and cloth diapers. I have several brands I love and would love to feature in the shop. Smaller items like:
teething jewelry
handmade rattles
handmade bedding and animals
organic clothing
small wooden toys
organic bath and body (for mom and baby)
nursing bras
nursing accessories
kids Toms shoes (day dream!)

What items do YOU think belong in a mobile modern parenting boutique? What product do you love, and would love even more if you could find it in a physical shop?

Take a peek at this Pinterest inspiration…I think you’ll fall in love.