So between spring and fall, seven million things happened that derailed me from hitting shelves in men’s and baby boutiques across the country by Labor Day.
I got my fabric. It was beautiful. (Better friggin’ be for 300 Euros for three square yards.)
I recounted my story to some friends who were graduates of the Harvard Business School. Not that they’re smarter than me with that fancy degree, but…I totally saw them as smarter. So I was nervous to tell them about my venture.
They listened to my story up to that point, and they right away said:
“Yeah. That’s a great idea. You have to start blogging. Now.”
“Uh, OK. But…about what?”
“This story. It’s an interesting story. And about your life…about your kids and whatnot.”
“To build an audience, earn brand awareness and to tell the story of building a company.“
So, I began blogging.
And then I networked with bloggers. I googled fashion bloggers and got to know a little bit of the fashion blogging scene.
People – that is a crazy wilderness of product placement and desperate hope for “likes”.
But I started assiduously writing with the plan of alternating between my kiddos and then fashion. But then – what the hell do I know about fashion? I like to look good and stay within a J.Crew budget, but I’m no fashionista.
Still – perhaps I have a slightly elevated sense of style (albeit vanilla and casual-classic), so maybe my every-man approach to fashion and baby gear will suffice? Especially for the new dad market.
Plus, way dumber blogs are certainly out there successfully garnering followers.
I reached out to a bunch of bloggers to…well…network? I didn’t know why. Several wrote back saying, ‘Yes! I’d love to meet you and talk about blogging. My consultation rates are…”
I wasn’t interested in that.
But I did meet some super-cool guys – Jor-El from Mane Man who blogs about African-American men’s grooming. He couldn’t have been nicer and friendlier with advice about regular blogging.
At that point, I’d posted three entries about building my bag.
Mark went on: “You never know who’s out there. I’ve been blogging about high fashion for a long time. You’ve got a good idea and someone will steal it. So stop talking about it until you’re about to launch. Just start blogging in a general way. You’ll find your way.”
Very smart advice. I thought I just needed to suck it up because, eventually, someone’s gonna copy the bag and have counterfeits, anyway. I told him, “I just decided to be brave and put my story out there.”
“The story, yes. The idea, no.”
That was probably the most valuable and protective cocktail I’ve ever had.
From that moment on, I stopped talking about the bag and just, well…put a bunch of words into the internet ether that hopefully will not be the sole reason my kids go to a therapist and complain about their dad.
That coincided nicely with the detour to parenting hell I was forced to endure as my younger son turned one and proceeded to #tearlesscry for the next, oh, two years. It was rough. Experienced parent-friends of mine were able to say, “Wow. He is rough.” He wasn’t an asshole. (There are definitely asshole kids.) But he was really, really demanding and whiny and needy.
But only with me.
So I looked like the jerk who couldn’t stop complaining about his kid (to the entire intrawebs), yet he was nothing but charming and sweet with everyone else.
Thank goodness my partner and I took the kids for a vacation for a week where our youngest then clung to him and wanted nothing to do with me. I happily stepped back and watched.
And my partner quickly was able to say, “Oh. Now I get it. Yeah. He’s tough.”
You can never hear “I don’t know how you do it” too many times.
So my blog served mostly as a therapy session venting about how hard parenting is. And it was helpful; especially as so many people reached out to say: “I’ve been there. And yeah, it’s very often not fun at ALL.”
I figured it’d take me a few months to be ready to stop the complaining about my kids and announce the fruits of all my hard work.
That was June of who-knows-how-long-ago.
Needless to say, it’s a good fucking thing I shut up about the bag and just chose to start blogging about everything else.
Bringing us to today…