Archive for February, 2008


Posted by at 27 February, 2008, 2:10 pm


I just love coming to “work”.? I love turning on the computer and waiting to see what the day brings.? I never know what’s going to happen from one “refresh” button to the next.? With regards to the whole PR, sales, marketing, making money thing, you need to have 20 different irons in the fire, and eventually a few will come to fruition.? As you know, I try to make at least 5 calls a day, then I also have my PR girls submitting information to publications, then I also have some projects and proposals I have done for people who are friends of friends, or who have seen me on CNBC.? All of these things are like my fishing poles in the water.? Every time I hit “refresh” it’s like checking the line to see if I have any bits.? With so many lines in the water, there is bound to be an exciting catch at least once a day.? Today was a good online order day, I also landed another wholesale account and my PR girls have told me that we got some interest from 2 publications for a product review.? That makes for a GREAT day!? I am always trying to do things that create interest in my company and product.? This weekend is the big Food and Wine Festival downtown.? I’m a vendor and this will be my first real “Booth”.? Again, I’m just trying to have as many lines in the water as I possibly can.? I’ll land the big one someday and I’ll get to tell you all about my big fish story.?


Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charmsâ„¢?

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!

First proposal

Posted by at 22 February, 2008, 1:10 pm


Long time no talk!? So sorry!!!!? I feel very accomplished right this second.? About 1 minute ago I fired off a “proposal” to a large high end Ranch out west.? I feel very accomplished because it was my very first real “proposal”.? I’m not even sure what one really is or what it should include, but I did it anyway!? I must admit, I think it looked really professional but then again, what do I know.? I was approached by the COO of this company after he saw me on The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.? I was very upfront and honest with him about my “newness” to doing custom orders, but if I can bring an idea to market, how hard could this be?? I am learning quickly that if you don’t know how to do something, that’s all the more reason to try it.? Again, I did tell him openly that he was my guinea pig so to speak. I’m not sure if that was the right approach or not but it was something I just wanted to do.? At times I do subscribe to the “fake it till you make it” theory, but not in this instance.? I’m actually giving him one heck of a deal because I really want this project.? I want it more for the experience then I do for the money.? Hopefully he’ll see the value in my proposal and give me the green light (and 50% down) and I can run with it!? ?

Another avenue that has opened up recently (thanks to me outsourcing my fulfillment) is being able to drop ship for customers.? I am now in talks with a large company who asks that vendors Drop Ship.? Drop shipping by definition is when an online or mail order merchant takes orders for a product then has the manufacturer ship the product directly from factory or distributor.? The merchant never handles the product and in exchange the merchant pays either a drop ship fee to the manufacturer or pays a slightly higher then regular wholesale price. I did not want to get involved in this prior to this point because I didn’t want to get bogged down with fulfilling orders.? Now that fulfillment is done by Janene, it really doesn’t effect me, so why not!? I like keeping Janene busy!? This is not a done deal by any means but it’s just another iron in the fire.? Next week I have the Food and Wine Festival where I have a vendor booth.? My booth is coming together.? I went to Kinko’s yesterday to get two big full color photos of beautiful meat blown up and mounted so they can be used as a back drop for my booth.? I really think they are going to look sharp.? On my table I will have a table top grill and IN the grill will be a portable DVD player with looping footage of Grill Charms in use.? It’s the footage that we took at my neighbor’s house for the Donny show.? (I love getting extra mileage out of something I already paid for!)? That’s about all I’ve got going on for now… I’m off to make my sales and marketing calls for the day!?


Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charmsâ„¢?

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!

Personality Driven Business

Posted by at 15 February, 2008, 11:35 pm

Nothing like getting back into the swing of blogging after being away for a while. Sigh. So here goes!

For those of you reading, there’s been a lot of recent activity at Mompreneurs – so many of the gals are getting local press or getting on The Big Idea. And wow, am I excited for everyone! It’s such a great boost for these gals, and there’s nothing more inspiring than seeing other moms ‘make it’.

But as my hubby and I watch the show each night (he’s now hooked too – it’s our wrap up for each day!), we watch in amazement as all these brave souls talk about their stuff. And every night, we end up looking at each other and saying the same thing: “I think it’s awesome that these people get out there, and I’ve learned a lot from this episode, but I personally would never want to be on that show!”

I know, I know. You’re thinking we’re crazy not to want that kind of publicity, right? But in all honesty, neither one of us has the kind of personality that works well on TV, and we’d look like goobers. I’m not trying to be self depreciating. I like who I am, and I’m a very social person. But if I had to speak on a show, I’d get nervous and I’d look like a total dork! It’s a moot point anyway – our product is one we only sell direct to resellers and not to the general public, so a show like this would not be a good avenue for our business. But even if it was, it would not be something that would appeal to either of us.

That really made me think about how successful entrepreneurs tend to migrate towards products or services that they’re not only passionate about, but that also fit their personalities. If you’re the bubbly outgoing type, a product that is tailor made for announcing to the world probably fits you very well. If you want to be outside 24/7, a product that can be sold in a shop at the beach may be right up your alley. If you love clacking away at the computer, a business selling web services or doing virtual assistance work probably fits you best.

It’s not enough to just have a passion for something and a great idea based on what others want to buy. We also need to look at the avenues for marketing the product or service, to make sure it fits us as a person. Only then will we have a business model that thrives with us as owners.

Category : Programming Mom

How I do wholesale calls

Posted by at 12 February, 2008, 12:40 pm

As you guys know by now, I don’t claim to know much about what I’m doing.? I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I’m just winging it the best I can.? Having said that, I want to share with you my experience in getting into retail stores.? This is not a how to manual; this is just what I have done and continue to do.? I don’t so much have infinite knowledge on the subject, but I do have experience and sometimes having experience in how to do something is worth ten times having knowledge of how to do something, so for what it’s worth, here is my “experience”.? ?

Right now I am focusing primarily on independently owned stores.? It is a good way to build your brand and from what I have found, these people you talk to (usually the owners of the stores) are receptive to at least talk with you because they too have been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug (hence them owning their own piece of the American Dream).? I get store information from people that write in from my website and say “I know this great store here in
XYZ, USA, it’s called Wonderful Store, and here is the phone number”.? I also get information about stores from friends all over the
US. ?(I ask people all the time if they know of a great Gourmet Gift store in their town) ?Once I have a store location I try to “Google” as much as I can about that store to see if I think it truly would be a good fit before I pick up the phone.? I don’t want to waste the store’s owner or buyers time,? (or mine) on a store that is truly not my target market.? There are plenty of stores out there that fit the bill 100%.? (Know your target market)? ?

I then pick up the phone, introduce myself and ask who to speak with regarding a potential vendor inquiry.? Sometimes it’s the person who answered the phone!? I LOVE that!!!? As I said, these are people for the most part that feel your passion because they are living their own passion.? I then tell them BRIEFLY about my product and ask if I may email them some information about my product.? (I like doing things electronically.? Maybe I’ll save a tree or two)? Again, they are usually pretty receptive to just seeing what I have to offer.? I then VERY PROMPTLY email them a letter thanking them for their time, explaining my product, embedding a few small photos in the email (not so much “attaching big files, a lot of people won’t open files for fear of viruses) and saying “If Grill Charms is a product that you would consider for your store, please call or email and I will happily send you a wholesale information sheet.?

If they come back and say they are interested, I then email them my wholesale information sheet (or sell sheet) which outlines wholesale pricing, minimum orders, credit terms, information on how it’s packaged, (IE 1 case contains 12 units) and MSRP.? I also send them a wholesale account form which asks for all of their information including license number so I may set them up as a customer. ?

After I have sent them the initial letter, I put all of their information on my “sales and marketing to do list”.? This is where I keep track of all my sales and marketing activities arranged in alphabetically order by potential customer name.? It is here that I keep notes of all of my efforts.? It looks something like this….?

“ABC company 866-462-XXX 2/4 talked to Roger and he said to send an email to Ronny XXX at ?? 2/4? ??ABC address XXXX?? Ronny replied 2/6 and asked more questions about product, I told him, follow up on 2/8.? 2/8? Not interested

BCD Company : Address, Phone, website email:?
Sandy is go to person at emailed info 2/9, call to follow up 2/13

CDE Company Address, phone website: ?call Betsy M-F she is the buyer for gift shop email Emailed her wholesale info 2/11 follow up 2/15”?

Now if you notice, 2 are in bold and 1 is not.? The ones in bold are “unfinished business” so to speak.? Every day when I sit down, I scan my document and look for bolded “unfinished business” and make the follow-up calls on the days I have specified.? This probably isn’t the best, most efficient way as I am sure there is wonderfully fancy software that can do all this for you… (Again, this is not “how to” but “what I do”) but this is how I keep my sales and marketing efforts straight.? Once a retailer becomes a customer, they go off this list and into QuickBooks.? Once they tell me “thanks but no thanks” they are “unbolded” and I move on.? ?

I always follow up an initial wholesale order with a personally handwritten heartfelt Grill Charms thank you card.? I am never pushy, I always LISTEN to every word they say and try to be the best vendor or potential vendor I can be.? Even though I am the best sales person this company has… (Okay… ONLY sales person… but shhhhhh) I don’t ever want to be “THAT” sales person that does all the talking and no listening, takes assertive to the level of pushy, or just doesn’t know when to say when.? ?

If you are simply sincere, nice, genuine, friendly and truly enthusiastic (and you can‘t fake the funk… people can tell!) then you will just LOVE making wholesale calls.? I really do love calling on new accounts.? My daily goal is to do at least 5 sales and marketing calls a day, whether it is follow ups or new customer calls.? 5 might now sound like a lot, but in-between going to the children’s museum, talking with my sourcing agent, assessing inventory, working with the graphic designer on new designs for the next collection and keeping a tiny bit of sanity,.… 5 is REALLY GOOD!!?

Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charmsâ„¢?

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!

Did it Play?

Posted by at 8 February, 2008, 9:16 am

YES IT PLAYED!!!? Last night The Big Idea put Grill Charms (and 3 other One Minute to Millions products) to the test in Peoria IL.? Here is a little background on Peoria and why it is so important according to Wikipedia: ?

“The saying, “Will it play in Peoria?” is traditionally used to ask whether a given product, person, promotional theme or event will appeal to mainstream (also called “Main Street“) America, or across a broad range of demographic/psychographic groups. The phrase originated during the vaudeville era and was popularized in movies by Groucho Marx. The belief was that if a new show was successful in Peoria, a main midwestern stop for vaudville acts, it would be successful anywhere. The phrase subsequently was adopted by politicians, pollsters and promoters to question the potential mainstream acceptance of anything new.In the United States, Peoria, Illinois, has legendary status as a test market.
Peoria has long been seen as a representation of the average American city, because of its demographics and its perceived mainstream Midwestern culture. Years later in the 1960s and 1970s,
Peoria was deemed an ideal test market by various consumer-focused companies, entertainment enterprises (films and concert tours), even politicians, to gauge opinion, interest and receptivity to new products, services and campaigns.”?

Last night 80% of those surveyed said they would buy Grill Charms!!!? YIPEEEE!!?


Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charmsâ„¢?

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!

Fellow Mompreneur Guests on CWAHM Radio Show

Posted by at 6 February, 2008, 8:55 am

Cher?Klosner of appeared in a special Valentines?Radio Segment at?

To make this segment even more enjoyable Diana Ennen and Jill Hart decided to open it up to other mompreneurs who would like to tell us why they love their business, or wish their someone special a Happy Valentines day.? Details Below.? I hope you join us!

Christian Work at Home Moms presents an opportunity for you to be on the air with us with our Special Valentines Day Broadcast.

Jill Hart hosts the Christian Work At Home Mom Radio Show and Diana Ennen cohosts the Success From Home Segment, but for Valentines Day they want to do something special. We want you to be on our show with us.?(Special guest that week is Cher Klosner?of

Here’s the details:

Call in before Friday, February 8th at 12:00 p.m. EST and leave your message at 214-615-6505, ext 4845. Please keep the entire segment to under 5 minutes to allow time for all who wish to share.

After the beep, take it away by giving …

1) Your Name
2) Your Business
3) Your Website(s)
4) 2 -3 minutes on why you love your business.
5) A special Valentines Giveaway form your site or a special discount. (This isn’t required, but we do highly recommend it. People love to get specials.)

Sign off, with a short — Happy Valentines Day. If you’d like, go ahead and wish your someone special (kids included) a very quick — Happy Valentines day.

That’s it! Any questions, please email or Jill Hart at

We also encourage you to tell others that you are on this show via your mailing lists, boards, etc., and if you’d like a CWAHM button, email us. (Again, not required. We just want to spread the word.)

Thanks! Jill Hart and Diana Ennen


Category : Virtual Assistant

These Lessons Are For You Ladies!

Posted by at 6 February, 2008, 5:37 am

I love, love, love going to Conferences focused on Women in Business and Helping Women in Business!




Such was the case last week when I had the fantastic fortune of attending Women in Charge?- an event in Miami Beach (the location didn’t stink!!!) sponsored by Entrepreneur Magazine and American Express OPEN (you know, the new plum card and Make Mine A Million…….and if those two things don’t ring a bell,? you should check them out ASAP!!!!).

I had signed up for the FREE (Yes!? I typed FREE!) event months ago, and then as the costs of the company were analyzed at the end of 2007, and our P&L started shaping up (or is it down!?!?!) I had resigned myself to the fact that I could not and therefore should not spend money on airfare, car rental and hotel (thinking maybe I would skip meals until I got to the event!!!!).

Then hubby came through with a work related item in South Florida, I fly free on Southwest with him at any time because he is one of their preferred travelers, and of course the cool South Florida hotel was now on him!? (I even got to eat out in Miami Beach when we arrived too!)

So – thanks for listening to lesson #1!? Don’t ever give up!? If there is a will with us ladies, there is a way!? I somehow started feeling a sense of urgency to attend this event at the last minute and really pleaded with my husband to make it work for us to get there.? So keep focused on your passion, write down what you want, and it will manifest itself into happening!

I took some great notes during the keynote and the breakout sessions (Rieva Lesonsky, the Editorial Director of?Entrepreneur, was there along with Catherine Seda who is one of their contributing writers, and both ladies delivered kickin’ workshops!!!!! on trends, PayPerClick Campaigns, Search Engine Optimization and other business related tips and techniques).? I want to share what I learned in bullet fashion.? Then if you have questions, e-mail me personally at

First For Fashion Related Businesses and Trend Watching Business Women:

  • Belong to Trade Associations that are related to your industry – they will keep you?in the loop of trends
  • Watch TV about lifestyle issues, Read Magazines, Check out Newspapers all to keep up on trends – with the newspapers make certain to read online LosAngeles, New York and even Paris or Milan for fashion people because the trends start in those major markets and work their way around – read the Lifestyle sections or Trend Section when time allows.
  • Go to and these sites will also keep you up to date on trends in your industry
  • Those of you?in fashion sign up to get newsletters from online spots of Neimann Marcus and Nordstroms for more trendsetting ideas and go to to find up and coming designers in handbags
  • Also be aware of the hottest colors for packaging, for design and for fashion manufacturing – go to and to see what is HOT in colors for the next year+
  • If you are still trying to THINK of a business to start – two of THE HOTTEST things are cupcake shops and pinkberry stores – want more info – e-mail me, okay?
  • During recession times consumers like bright colors and comfort items/food

Now for Search Engine Help and Pay Per Click Campaigns:

  • The BEST thing I learned last week – turn off Content Search in your Google Ad Words Campaign – I can’t tell you how much money this already saved me in one week.? ONE WEEK!!!? I have used Google AdWords for more than 4 years, and when Content Network Search came around Google pushed it, and I bought into it.? Never did I read or have anyone tell me to take myself off of it – that it wastes your daily budget FAST with little ROI.? So learn from my mistakes – go to edit campaign settings and uncheck the Google Content circle TODAY!!!
  • Lower your cost per click by being more specific with your keywords and keep all ads you write relevant by making your keywords part of each ad
  • Make sure the landing page is congruent with your ad copy – if you mention your specific belt – take them to that page of your site.? The home page is NOT the best landing page since most visitors leave sites after 2-3 clicks if they can’t get to what the ad told them they would see
  • Put brackets around your keywords in the Keyword editing tool [ spanish ] – Like that!

Happy Educating!? ?Sea feliz educando!? and Happy Business Ladies… Next year we must make a trip out of this one day FREE conference, don’t you think?!?!?!

Boca Beth

Category : Teacher Mom

Area code 201

Posted by at 5 February, 2008, 1:08 pm


Last night fellow Mompreneur Dianne ( was on The Big Idea (yep, something is in the water on ?cause we are all hot hot hot right now!)? She was on the American Dream Team so of course we were watching.? I was in the other room when my husband comes running in there saying “Grill Charms is on, Grill Charms is on!!”? We were DVRing it, so he rewound it and sure enough, they showed a spot of Grill Charms and said something to the effect “see former One minute to millions products from our show in
Peoria IL Thursday”.? At this point, I know NOTHING about it.? So today while my older daughter is at school, my best friend and I take the little ones to the Children’s Museum for some play time.? We then went to lunch and in the middle of my smoked salmon salad my phone rings.? I look at the number and it’s a 201 area code!!? 201 is the area code for NJ, where CNBC is located!!!? So I swallow the bite I have in my mouth and try very hard to tune out everything around me including my little one who’s struggling to eat her tomato soup while wearing a white shirt.? (What was I thinking when I ordered that for her!?)? It was the wonderful producer I worked with last week!? She says that they are taking 4 of the best past “One minute to millions” products on the road to
Peoria IL to do a segment where basically the entire town votes and critiques the products.? The “experts” had their say, now everyday American’s get to have theirs.? OMG!!!? “
America” is voting on Grill Charms!!!? Okay… I could blow off the harsh comments of 1 or 2 people, but “
America”??!!!? WOW, THE PRESSURE!!!? Basically, that’s about all I know, so I’ll be watching the show Thursday night at 10:00 just like everyone else wondering what in the world “
America” thinks about my “baby”.? I’m not sure my nerves can take it!? Well, I’ve got to run.? I have a mandatory vendor orientation for the food and wine festival today and have to leave in about an hour.? I’ll chat more tomorrow!!!?

Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charmsâ„¢?

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!

What now?

Posted by at 3 February, 2008, 12:39 pm


I think it probably goes without saying that sitting there with friends watching yourself on national TV is a strange feeling.? I came home, still in full make-up, went next door and proceeded to unwind.? It was really hard watching myself. ?I’m not crazy about how I look on TV, but I can’t say that I was disappointed in the performance.? If you missed it, go to

In the hour and a half after the show I received 19 times the daily average of hits on my website.? I was surprised though how few orders there were.? I had heard tons of stories about what an appearance like that can do for your business; but the orders did not come flooding in like I had thought.? Now that all the hype is over, it’s back to the daily activities and time to think about the next thing.? I am learning quickly that there is a lot of excitement and anticipation leading up to each little triumph, but it is over in a fraction of a second and then you already need to have the next thing lined up.? There is very little time to revel in your accomplishments. ?You are merely a flash in the pan and then forgotten. ?Friday I had a meeting with my PR girls and they had already moved on (as is their job thankfully.) No time to chit chat about the past! ??Most publications work 3-6 months out, we have the Food and Wine Festival coming up the end of the month , wedding season is also upon us so we need to hit the Groomsman angle with the local press and publications, and of course grilling season is around the corner.? That whole Donny thing doesn’t seem like it really even happened.? I can’t describe it, but it’s like it happened to someone else (I even look like someone else on the show, thanks to great makeup!).? ?

Well, THIS Leslie is going to get a little work done and enjoy the Super Bowl Sunday with friends.? ?

Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charmsâ„¢?

Category : The Journey of Grill Charms!