Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Moving forward...

... I feel as though I'm the proverbial "tortoise" in Aesop's Fables.

You know, the little guy who trudged along behind everyone else, yet won because he persevered?

Terra Verde work right now is very behind the scenes and at times feels like we're moving nowhere. But the marketing plan, the product designs and packaging, and everything else that is going into this, will be foundational to our success. Action items right now are: Finish marketing plan. Finish business plan. Get every preliminary item in place so when the curtain draws, I'll be ready.

So if I keep being like that tortoise, eventually I'll win, right?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The cost of going cheap

I'm learning by trial and error.
Cheap web hosting is cheap service.
I am glad to iron this stuff out now before Terra Verde really launches.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Isn't it weird that some things inspire people but not others?

It's like the truest form of the "one man's trash, another man's treasure" theory. Over the past three days we have been seeing milder, gentler after effects from Hurricane Ike-- not to minimize the damage; we did lose some trees and a few shingles, but we're not seeing anything like those down south did. We lost power for about 24 hours, but some folks are going on their fourth day without power. I sat here with my laptop while the power was out, praying that the battery wouldn't expire too quickly...I had a burning candle, a cup of steaming tea, and warm wooly socks. I have to say I was sad when the power came back on. I found it very comforting, relaxing, and inspiring to cuddle in the dark with my dog and work on Terra Verde.

I think I have finally come to a conclusion about Terra Verde's target audience. I am not going to limit myself by choosing my target customers that narrowly yet, but I am launching a sub-brand to meet the "multitasking, do it all woman" theme. I am so excited and passionate about it. I can't wait to launch it. However, I have to separate all my ideas out and launch them one by one. If I try to blend them all together, I'd never be able to explain my train of thought or reach any kind of audience.

My website is still being designed. Bear with me while the placeholder is sitting on Sooner rather than later (hopefully), Terra Verde will have a well designed website!

This week also brought some leads in the way of clients. I now have someone to subcontract work to, and another one to subcontract from. Things are shaping up, slowly but surely. I get so excited and restless all at once. I can't stand it (in a good way).

When I sit down at my computer and start working, I always have a ton of stuff that I want to do to keep this engine moving down the track it's on. Chug, chug, chug... I think I can!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


So yeah, that's a store where I usually spend more money than planned.

But Target isn't really what I set out to talk about today.

Targets are. Customers, that is.

I had a conversation with my business coach that really got me thinking last night about my niche market. Is marketing to women entrepreneurs a nice little niche, or am I limiting myself?

And if not this niche, what niche should I choose?

Back to square one.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

working working

Lately I have been putting so much time into Terra Verde, which is exhaustingly exhilerating. I am setting up a CafePress store, which is going to be sweet. Also, I have been networking a lot. I found a group of stock investors that meets monthly. Considering that I know little to nothing about investing and will be checking it out in the near future, I decided to attend. I met some great folks who gave me great small business pointers!

Also, my husband and I went to the Rennaissance Faire in Harveysburg today. At first I didn't want to go when Michael suggested it because it took me away from Terra work, but I realized that I needed to get out and take a break. I have to have a life in addition to work or my family will suffer. (After all, Terra Verde's whole premise is based on the market need for multitasking women. Entrepreneurs need to balance work and life, and I need to practice that if I'm going to preach it!) I didn't realize what a great networking opportunity the Ren Faire would turn out to be. I collected dozens of business cards from arts-and-craftsmen while shopping, and I intend to follow up with them. I also had great photo opportunities, so I got a lot of my weekly photo shoot in while I was there. Multitasking at its finest-- so fine that you forget that you're not out just having fun. :-)

And speaking of practicing what I preach: I have a list of things I need to accomplish by the end of the week. "Buy recipe card box" is on the list. I thought one of those little boxes would come in handy for collecting business cards. I told Michael I was going to buy one, and he raised an eyebrow and said, "Isn't one of Terra Verde's core values resourcefulness?" Ha, he got me on that one! So I started digging in my closet and found the cutest abandoned silk-covered sage green box that was intended to be used for jewelry but looks much cooler than that. I didn't even know I had it. So it saved me time and a buck or two. Thanks, Michael, for reminding me what my core values are. :-) Now it sits on my desk with about 30 business cards in it, collected over the past week.

I could go on about networking. I had more experiences this week and potential customers coming out my ears. The funny thing is, opportunities come up when my salesman hat is left at home. Sometimes I am not looking for customers; they just show up. This is a great feeling.

I'm not sure how to close this blog, but the only phrase that comes to mind is "Te quiero, Taco Bell." Must be hungry. :-)


Friday, August 22, 2008

1st anniversary

Michael and I went to Chicago for our first anniversary last weekend. The actual anniversary was on Tuesday, so we celebrated over the weekend and ate greasy Chinese carryout on the actual day. Michael is amazing. I am so fortunate to be with him. I still pinch myself from time to time, wondering if it's real. It's one of those too-good-to-be-true things.

We stayed at a Country Inn & Suites, which I half expected to be the hotel version of a Bob Evans-- nice, clean, but not exciting. I was totally wrong. I don't know if all Country Inns are this nice, but this one was fabulous. It was like a turn of the century hotel. They had a lovely veranda outside with wicker furniture and served tea with petit fours every day! I was beyond thrilled. At one point I sat on the veranda with my magazine while Michael slept. It was the most relaxing, enjoyable time. (The tea was served on real china. I dig anything if it involves real tea cups!)

And in the evening, we visited Medieval Times at the Schaumburg Castle. That was amazing as well. We had an authentic 15th century meal (a big chicken leg, soup, garlic bread, and ribs with no silverware) and watched the incredible period sportsmanship. Of course Michael enjoyed the jousts best. (He really is about 7 years old at heart.) Honestly, although the jousting was cool, my favorite aspect was the horsemanship. These horses were INCREDIBLE. They were not just some dude's horse that pranced around in the arena; they were bred, trained, and primed to perform. They are beautiful, muscular animals with the most agile, fluid performing abilities. There was only part about Medieval Times that I wished was different. I wish they would have kept the horses on the property so we could see them in the pastures, too. Apparently the horses live elsewhere, though, and only visit the castle on their scheduled performance dates.

That reminds me, I *so* want to learn how to ride. I think it would be amazing, but my experience with horses has been little to none.
Ah well, there will come a day if I make it a priority!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Business friends

The past 2-3 weeks have been pretty eventful for Terra Verde. I am excited about the plethora of opportunities available. I need to keep focused, though, because I start thinking big and lose sight of what needs to be done right now.

Terra Verde is encompassing a larger theme of supporting do-it-all women. We are entrepreneurs. We are grad students. We are moms. We are jugglers. Terra Verde Marketing & Communications exists to help women in their entrepreneurial efforts-- we lighten the load, so to speak. But that is the foundational aspect of Terra Verde. We are going to expand our horizons to include health & wellness as well as home & organization. This will give our customers a way to balance their lives holistically. Hopefully we will make it more fun, too.

So here's a little bit of what's happening this week:
-You can improve your marketing with our new eBook entitled, "Big Ideas and Little Cash." It should be released within the next month. I'll post a link when it's up.
-My business coach and I have started a mutually beneficial partnership.
-I have been working with April Welch of http://www.simplyorganizedonline/. We are in the process of designing products of form & function. The brand includes cool stuff that multitasks as well as you do, because they will be chic and highly practical simultaneously. I can't wait.
-I have been working with Signature Soirees ( to plan some networking events in the Dayton area. Look out for these events. I think they will be very beneficial to do-it-all women, especially entrepreneurs.
-And of course, new customers and prospects.

And believe it or not, this is the tip of the iceberg. Terra Verde is poised for success if I remain focused. I am one of those do-it-all women, so maybe my market need is closer to home than I thought. :-)