Friday, May 29, 2009

What part of "work" in WAHM do some not understand?

I have been a full-time work at home mother for nearly 3 yrs and a part-time work at home mother for several years before. The biggest obstacle I have to overcome (like most WAHMs) is not the obvious - long hours, balancing the home and kids, making the sale. The challenge is getting others to comprehend the concept of working from home. It is automatically assumed I can take time off at anytime. That is not the case. Yes I can flex my schedule if I have notice but I can't just drop and run.

I recently had an encounter where I was given a project because 2 others could not do it. One is college with a young child, no job. The other has a demanding job, no children. Now I can certainly appreciate both of these circumstances as I have been there. Problem is everyone forgot I have a full-time job as a business owner of an online handbag boutique with a consultant program. I am also mom, wife, 2 smaller businesses that I represent that I must work, heading a marketing campaign for an advertising co-op, keeping up the mini business of blogging, 2 fundraising campaigns. Now yes I will say I work more hours than the others and many times I have more stress. It comes with the territory of 80-100 hours a week.

I have to remind everyone I DO work not sit at home eating bon bons watching Oprah. Some do get upset and the first thing that usually leaves their lips is "but I have to work." Yes and so do I. Teachers this year no matter how many times I stated I work from home they always expect that I can drop and run. When I say I can't it is usually something like I thought you were a stay at home mom. No, I WORK.

This mindset is also why so many go into working from home because they don't see it as work. I am wanting to start a local work at home mothers group that not only provides support to WAHMs but also awareness and understanding what a WAHM does on a daily basis. Once all the fundraising, baby showers, marketing campaigns, and the summer craziness has slowed I will work on this idea and put it into action.

Promotional Fillers

In July Liv's WAHM Blog is going to give away Mom Packs. A Mom Pack is a packet of advertising pieces coordinated by individual members in order to broaden their advertising market to expand literally all over the U.S. and beyond. This means your business can be included in this Mom Pack for free and sent to other moms all over the US.

This is a fantastic marketing opportunity. You are reaching a new group of people you never had access to before. Mom Pack are never sold although you may be requested to provide exact shipping cost to receive one. These are given free to customers so they never have to pay to receive your fillers except for shipping cost when applicable.

You are invited to send fillers in sets of 25 to be included in our Mom Pack. A filler can be anything from a simple business card to a well package gift with your business materials and samples. Colored paper is eye catching, useful items, candy, and samples bring attention to your information. You want customers to see your information and actually look forward to seeing what you have to offer. Give customers reason to grab yours first.

This does not have to be an expensive venture. Here are some examples of fillers:
  • Business postcard with individual wrapped candy stapled to corner.
  • Brochure, business card, sample, placed in cello bag, tied with ribbon at top or stapled.
  • Business card with hole punched in corner tied to pencil with company name (oriental trading has personalized pencils cheap)
  • Instead of a traditional business card, print business cards on magnet sheets. These can be found in the office supply section of your favorite store. If you have professional cards ready to give, you can buy business card size magnets that just adhere to back of business card.
  • Part of a toy company? Print up coloring pages with your info at the bottom, attach a business card and a crayon or 2.
  • Makeup company? Create a flyer for customer to have 10 of her friends to buy a lipstick and she gets one free. Attach business card and lipstick sample if available.
  • Create a flyer about your business with your contact info and a short scavenger hunt (7-10 questions). Have customer complete and contact you to win a prize.
  • Seed packet for flowers attaching a label with your business card information. Add a popsicle stick so they can place he empty pouch near the planting grounds.
  • Buttons are fun and interesting.
  • Create a bookmark with your information.
  • With a food company? Offer a recipe card with your information on the back. Include names and how to order items from your company.
  • Business card size calendar. Calendar on one side, your business information on the other. Tip cards are great as well. Customers keep these in their wallet and next time they go out to eat, they pull out the tip card and reminded of your company.
  • During flu season offer up trial size bottles of hand sanitizer with your business label.
  • Scrapbooking companies, create blank or birthday greeting cards. Show off your products and how they are used in the creation of these. Everyone needs a card at some point.
  • Gift certificates, coupons, frequent buyer cards are also wonderful fillers.
  • Someone who sews? Create coasters to show off your handy work.
You can send fillers to:
Olivia Vidal
745 Cherokee Dr
Rio Rancho, NM 87124

Olivia Vidal
© 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Free chocolate

Mars Snackfood US, maker of M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Way, and others is giving away free chocolate.
Every Friday through the end of September, you have a chance to get a free chocolate bar or candy courtesy of the Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act. Americans can claim one of 250,000 full-value coupons each Friday beginning on May 8 at 9 a.m. EST by visiting Coupons, which will be mailed to consumers, will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis and are redeemable for any full-size Mars real chocolate product. The coupons will be limited to one per person, per week.
This campaign began to draw attention to competitors that substitute vegetable oil for cocoa butter in their products. Mars says it uses only 100% cocoa butter and urges consumers to look at labels whenever they buy chocolate to be sure they’re getting the real thing.
"Mars Snackfood US chocolate brands do not compromise on the purity and authenticity of chocolate by diluting it with a cocoa butter substitute. Remember, if it's Mars, it's real chocolate."
While bringing attention to chocolate standards, Mars is also trying to lift the spirits of Americans in a recession-plagued nation, describing the promotion as “a massive effort (that) aims to spread joy across America by giving away as many as 7 million full-size packages of Mars chocolate.”
Go to the Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act and see if you qualify to receive your free coupon.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Postage Increase

Starting May 11, to send a letter will cost $0.44. An increase of $0.02 from last year. If you purchased the forever stamps you are saving money as this will not affect you. Please make sure you have correct postage or your mail will be returned requiring new postage at the correct rate.

Click here to visit the United States Postal Service site First Class Mail

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Free Samples

Walmart always has some great free samples every week. I have changed products because I was able to test a product out. Some I keep on hand for when I need it such as laundry soap, toothpaste, deodorant (I changed products because of a sample).

Here are samples available today:

Pull-UPS Training Pants

Parents Choice Formula
GoodNites Boxers
Aveeno Hair Care

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How do you unwind?

As busy WAHMs we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves from time to time. One way I like to take a time out is to make a nice cup of tea. My favorite is Wild Strawberry from Teaporia. In the summer I take a chilled cup and sip on the front porch and take in the evening stars and air. Its a wonderful time to just take a deep breath and enjoy the quiet time to myself.

How do you like to unwind and take time for yourself?

Tell Liv's WAHM Blog about it and you can win free tea. Visit

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Where the deals are

I love finding a good deal just like everyone else but recently I have truly discovered etsy. I have been to the site many times and simply browsed without really doing much. I did a bit more searching and found some fabulous and unique handmade items. The talent these people have is unreal. I found a a beautifully crafted fairy in a bottle out of the UK that I simply must have. Its tiny, delicate, artistic, and unique.

Most of the talented people I came across are WAHMs. Being a supporter of WAHMs I am thrilled I could come across something like this. I know its been around for quite some time now but if you haven't taken a good look, do so. You never know what you will run across.
Here are a couple of shops that are my favorites so far:
Jack and Jane Boutique
Creations By Charity
Through The Cellar Door
Do you have a favorite etsy shop? Comment and share it with us.