Thursday, February 15, 2007

Behind the scenes...

C and I were joking about how she is the "face" of Maya Road. That is SO true. At the tradeshows, everyone comes to ask for C, and that is totally fine with me :) . Not that I do not like to meet folks, but she is definitely more out there in front. C and I are good complements. Yin and yang so to speak. It is funny because a lot of folks are not sure who is the big sis and who is the little one. Since we were young (and exactly the same height and weight most of our lives), that has always been the case. We are similar is some ways and so far apart in others. It is sort of weird how we ended up both marrying guys named David, having weddings 1 week apart and pregnant nearly at the same time. I almost went to my sister's college, but she talked me out of it at the last second. C had some questions asked on her blog, so I thought I would answer a few that fall into my area of the biz. I will answer the questions from Shirley and Dale Anne. Shirley: what are the approximate steps in getting a product to market? out of all the ideas that you come up with for a show, how many never make it for one reason or another? 1. Come up with an idea for a line of products. There are always a lot of "ooh, wouldn't it be great if we did xyz?" emails flying back and forth between C and me. 2. Design the heck of out it. An idea might be, "Wouldn't it be cool to make an album to fit into our chipboard tins? That way after you are done with the tin, you can make a book to go inside." But, what size? How would it work? How many pages? What price point? How will it be used? 3. I pull out a ruler, some paper, and Illustrator and get to work. 4. Send the designs in to get the prototypes made. 5. Get prototypes back. 6. Adjust and fix, getting feedback from DT, customers, etc. 7. Decide on price, quantity, packaging for order. 8. Get final samples. 9. Put into catalog. 10. Arrange to get them to our warehouse 11. Get them on retailer shelves for you to enjoy! Multiply that process by 70 to 100x and you have our line for each release! :) I skipped over a lot of to gory details like arguing with our factory at 1 am when there is a problem or trying to wrestle a shipment out of the hands of customs. But you get the picture. Dale Ann: How far in advance do you have to think of a product & get it into production? For an example, the NEW FABULOUS stuff you had at CHA - when did you have to work on that? Ah... this is a good question. Our product life cycle is about 6 months. That is what makes CHA Summer and Memory Trends hard. They are only 2 months apart (and this year like 6 weeks!!). And then MT to CHA Winter is only 3 or 4 months. You can see the details above. Right now, we are reviewing our list of what to make for CHA Summer. I am bursting with ideas, and I am sure it will be hard to narrow down... This is my favorite time of the year. We are done with the last show and had a great reception, and the next show is in the idea phase. It gives us a breather for a bit, and some time to get our creative juices flowing. BONUS: I saw this question and I laughed. Anam_Kihaku: is being family with your business partner tough? I would say yes and no. I would say no because there is no one else in the world I trust more than my sister (other than my DH, of course). I mean, I know she not only cares about the business, but also David, Jonathan and me. I know some folks say you should not work with your family, but I disagree. As long as you have a good relationship and are honest (brutally so sometimes) with each other, then you will be okay. On the yes, it is hard part, it is different being business partners than being sisters. We started our first business together when we in elementary school, so I guess we are used to it. But we tend to spend a lot of time talking about our business and not our lives. We probably talk more than most sisters, but mostly about Maya Road. It would be nice just to spend a weekend hanging out and being together without that every once in awhile. I finally scrapbooked again! Thanks to everyone who inspired me to do so... Our crazy awesome Design Team (when I saw their stuff in the booth, I just knew I had to scrap again), Monica, CD, and Jeri. It was nice to finally make something... though my house looks like a hurricane went through it...


Blogger Shirley said...

thanks for answering the question - you make it sound so "easy"! ;) LOVE the picture!

2/16/2007 05:22:00 AM  

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