How I Got My Product on QVC

QVC's Online Cataalog

QVC’s Online Catalog

The Problem:  So, I had an idea for a novel product.  It was rooted in a frustration in my daily life.  Something so small and insignificant.  My kids were busy, I was busy.   I worked part time, my kids played sports, I packed lunches……..and I hated tearing the shrink-wrap on the cases of bottled water I’d lug home from the grocery store every week.  I keep waters in the garage…I have no blade in the garage, my kids would slice each other up (or themselves) with it.  I have no scissors here…who keeps scissors in the garage?  I keep waters in the kitchen.  Every day I scream, “Where are the scissors!!!!!”  “Who took my scissors!!??!”  I can actually still hear my own mother’s voice screaming the exact same sentence.  What is it with being a Mother?  Never finding the scissors is a right of passage for every Mom.  Never putting the scissors back where they belong is a right of passage for every kid!

The Solution:  So, I came up with SharkCut.  It’s a magnetic perforating tool.  Roll it across the shrink-wrap to put a line of dots and tear it open easily.  Roll it over a box’s packing tape and Voila!!!!  Tear it open easily.  Stick it right back on the refrigerator door, always handy for next time.  Scissors/Blade problem solved.

The Reaction:  So, what do you think my husband said when I told him I wanted to make this thing?  This thing that is such a GREAT idea for every Mom?  Do you think he said “Staci, you’re a genius!!!”  Do you think he said “That’s an AWESOME idea!  How can I help?”  Do you think he said “OMG, now THAT is a tool that will change the world.”  No.  He said, “Are you F*#@ing kidding me?  Please don’t quit your day job.  What’s for dinner?”

My Choice:  Now don’t get me wrong.  We have so much humor in our household.  Everyone is funny.  But a person needs a thick skin to be around so much “funniness”.   We tease each other and crack jokes about everything.  So here’s my choice.  I could either feel like not pushing against the system, I could be all mad and take my husband’s joking seriously and blame him for me not moving forward with this “great idea”, or I could just settle into myself and notice a good idea when I feel it.  My gut will tell me.  I chose to listen to myself.  Hear that?  Listen…..To……Myself.  Too many of us don’t take the time to listen to ourselves.  We know.  The answer is there for you.  Just take the few seconds of time to notice it. So even though my husband totally dismissed my idea, he has been THE most patient person on Earth while I’ve had a garage full of SharkCuts for 2 years.  Love you, Honey.  They are slowly thinning out.

Small Success:  So, I have no BIG success yet, but I do have some small successes that are sprouting into bigger successes. SharkCut is on QVC’s online catalog Buy It Here and its going into Bed Bath and Beyond stores in Western PA.  It’s also in some independently owned grocery stores that I’ve re-stocked several times over.  It’s work for sure!!!  So if you’re thinking about doing the same, realize it’s a slow road and it’s a LOT of work.  You really need to be up for it.

Is It for You?:  If you’re willing to work hard and take a year or two to figure it out….YES!  If not, then NO.  I’m not going to my grave saying “I wish I would have…”  That’s for sure.  I put my mind, money, effort, resources and creativity into something I believe in.  Will it work?  Maybe.  It’s getting there.  If it doesn’t?  Well, yeah I’ll be disappointed and I’ll be digging myself out of a debt hole, but I’ll be happy that I truly put myself into something.  I tried.  For Real.  No risk, No reward.  There will be the people who sit on the sidelines (or the couch) and judge other people for things they do or don’t do.  I may be judged by others negatively if this doesn’t work out, but I don’t care because they don’t have the guts to try something new like I have 🙂 We’ll see how it turns out.

So getting it on QVC……..it all starts with that first initial inspiration that lights a spark inside of you to Do It, Do It, Do It.  So just Do It.  Before you know, you’re on QVC.

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Secrets of a New Puppy……or Not

Happy Jordy

Happy Jordy

Easy Living:  Our household has been floating along fine for quite some time.  My kids are teenagers and self sufficient, our dog, Mabel, is a well trained dog—easy to have around, and my husband and I are free to enjoy our social life whenever we feel like it.  Hummm……It’s nice, but I start to feel bored when everything settles down for too long.  I kinda like change.  It makes me feel energized.  So, Yeah…. we got a puppy.  Whaaaaat!!!!!  What were we thinking!

Mix It Up:  This little puppy did the trick to bring some new energy into our entire household..  He’s So Fun!!  Mable is so much happier having Jordy chew on her tail and reach up to her mouth with his little paws.  They lie next to each other all cozy-like.  We watch Jordy run around all cute.  He yelps at you with total cuteness.  He’s scared to venture up the steps and we help him go up, up, up step by step.  Even though I have to get up at the crack of dawn and  take him out every morning and clean up teeny tiny pee and poop, it’s kinda fun.  Something new is mixing us all up.  I’m loving it.

Not a Puppy Person?:  Sometimes we just need Fresh Air.  We need to “mix up” the feeling of our everyday life.  Here are some suggestions for how to Mix it Up and bring some fresh air into a complacent life.

  • Re-arrange your furniture.  Nothing changes the energy of a room like switching the furniture and accessories around.  Did you get a new house?  Feels like it.
  • Volunteer.  Blahh.  Making phone calls to find out if you can join in is intimidating for some people.  Just Do It.  Make a phone call.  Ask how you can help.  Get a Date.  Show Up.  It’s unbelievable how great a person feels when they help others in a new way.  Hold newborn babies in the hospital, help kids or adults learn to read, call a church, go on the internet.  There is SOMETHING enjoyable for you to do that can help others at the same time…..AND Add some fresh air to your daily life.
  • Start a Get-Together.  I play cards once per quarter with 3 of my friends.  We play Spades or Yucher.  It’s not too much, only 4 times a year, but I really look forward to it. We have wine, compete, gossip, eat, laugh and enjoy girl time.  No one has to do the “entertaining”.  The card game does the entertaining, so it’s low pressure.  Perfect.
  • Take a class.  The old…you should take a class.  Blahh again.  But seriously, it’s a great idea.  I downloaded a French Language app called Duo Lingo.  It’s awesome!  Then I went online and found a Meet Up for beginner French speaking people to go to a coffeeshop twice a month to practice speaking French.

Move:  Our puppy “secretly” energized our lives.  But there are other secrets to energizing your life. It’s easy to sit around and be complacent.  It really is.  Why move when you don’t have to?  Like anything else, you just have to Do It.  So, Do It.  You’ll be that much happier.  We only have one life to live.

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Chinese Proverb Wednesday

Chinese Proverb Wednesday

Chinese Proverb Wednesday

You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.

I love these visuals.  How did Confucius learn to communicate so well with images.  Simply put, Let It Go.  I realized some time ago, that I have a choice.  I can choose to ignore any of the harshness that comes my way, and it’ll be gone forever or I can choose to grab onto it, sink my claws into it, pull it close to me, stick it in my heart and leave it there to stew, stew and stew………Or maybe stick it in my hair instead of my heart and let it build a nest and live in there keeping me messy forever.

Let It Go.  I use this visual……I see it going in one ear, passing through my head and going out the other ear to be gone forever.  Ahhhh, my head stays nice and clear, not messed up and cluttered by the anger that effects everything.

Or another visual……..I imagine myself as a screen door and toward me the nasty stuff comes, and travels right through my screen door holes out the back to be gone forever. Ahhh……..my heart is nice and clear and fresh.

Aside from major issues (I’m talking rather small, even medium-sized events here) we all, at sometime time or another, have a problem or an experience that we must deal with.  Then deal with it.  When its over, take a few long deep breaths in through the diaphragm and let the nasty feeling of the experience attach itself to the breath, it goes out the nose and leaves forever.  It sometimes take a few sessions of this, but don’t worry, each time it remains less and less.

It’s my choice.  It’s your choice.

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How to Depart from Something Sentimental

My Mom's pot from her apartment in Italy almost 50 years ago

My Mom’s pot from her apartment in Italy almost 50 years ago

A Family Heirloom?:  I’m cleaning out my kitchen and I have a dilemma.  What do I do with this pot?  This pot was in my Mom’s apartment when she and my Dad, an Army Intelligence enlistee, lived in Italy.  I was born in Italy and moved back home to Philadelphia with my parents when I was just a year old.   This pot came with us.  I grew up with this dented old pot.  I ate My Mom’s chili from it.  I ate Spaghetti made in it.  I washed it, dried it and put it away all of my life.  We didn’t use our dishwasher growing up because no one wanted to empty it, and my Dad would throw a fit if all the dishes were still in there……clean or dirty.   It has been with me in my own kitchen for over 20 years.  I guess it’s a priceless family heirloom, even if only in my own heart.

It’s Time to Go:  I recently went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought some great quality All Clad pots that I enjoy cooking with.  An organized person like me only has so much room for stuff.  This pot has become a misfit, sitting in the back of the cabinet never being used nor admired for its family value.  No one gives it the love and affection of a wash, dry or put-away anymore.  It’s time to go.

A Final Goodbye:  So……….This pot will be going into the trashcan soon 😦  No one would want a pot that’s dented and has a broken handle.  The fact that I’m putting any energy into even Thinking about this pot, let alone spending 20 minutes writing about it seems crazy!  Well, let’s consider it a loving final Ode to A Family Heirloom.  I’m giving this old pot the final attention and salute that it deserves.  I can take a minute to reflect on the sentiments in my life.  The pot’s nothing, but it connects me to a time in my own life that was happy and fulfilled and is long gone.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a happy and fulfilled present, but something about connecting to the past is sentimental.  It feels good to be well-rounded enough to enjoy both.  Thank you, Pot, for giving me that in this moment.

 

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How to Use Ben Franklin’s Wisdom Every Day

Ben Franklin Discovers how to Attract Electricity

Ben Franklin Discovers how to Attract Electricity

THE Most Interesting Person in American History: Ben Franklin has made more contributions to our modern society than anyone else I can think of.  I think I have a crush on him.  Not only did he famously discover how to attract electricity and put that discovery to use by installing lightning rods on the rooftops of Philadelphia homes so they wouldn’t burn down from lightning strikes, but he was the inventor of a host of other present day institutions. They include the first public lending library, first hospital, first fire station, first non-religious educational university (University of Pennsylvania), he plotted the Jet Stream during his travels to and from Europe, invented the highly efficient Franklin Stove and even invented bifocals…..and more!  Ben franklin believed in maintaining an agreeable personality in order to put no offense toward anyone.  This personality style allowed him to single-handedly gain the friendship and alliance of the French which was key in helping us win our Independence from England when the chips were down and we were on the verge of losing the Revolutionary War.

The First Self-Help Author:  Ben Franklin wrote The Art of Virtue.  He listed 13 virtuous behaviors he aspired to live by, and then graded himself daily on his performance of each.  He found that he wasn’t as virtuous has he’d liked, but that he could gain self-betterment through this practice.  His 13 Virtues are:  Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity and Humility.  The Art of Manliness has a great blog devoted to this in more detail.

Be Like Ben:  Write down Ben’s list of behaviors (or create your own list) and put some thought into your daily review of your own performance.  They say in 21 days you’ll create a new habit.  They also say writing things down helps you achieve them better.  Share with me what a few of the behaviors on your list your list would look like.

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Chinese Proverb Wednesday

Chinese Proverb Wednesday

Chinese Proverb Wednesday

A gem is not polished without rubbing, nor a man perfected without trials.

Keep Going Forward.  Slowly, with calm awareness.  Understand yourself.  Look into the future at where you want to be.  Then prioritize what needs to be done and come up with action steps to get you there.  Constantly, every day.

Sometimes action steps take you outside of your comfort zone.  Use your head in these situations, not your heart.  Force yourself to DO the thing that needs to be done even if it’s uncomfortable.  That’s the secret signal to yourself that you’re growing.

And OMG! You might mess up.  Great.  Learn from it and try it again a little bit differently.  Pretty soon you’ll get it right.  You’ll be polishing the gem and creating something perfect.  You’ll respect yourself and others will have respect for you.

 

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Keeping My Family Close by Going on a Group Vacation

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My Family at the Nighttime Dancing on the Beach Party

A Giant Family Trip:  This week we went to Hilton Head Island for a family vacation.  We joined our best friends and former college roommates and their 30-person extended family for a super fun week.  Everyone stayed in the same high rise condo complex on the beach.  What makes this trip so special is how much fun and interaction the entire clan had together. Everyone….from the 3 year olds to the high school kids, the college kids and recent grads, all the way up to the grandparents enjoyed each other’s company the entire time.  We laughed together, ate together, played games together, watched each other’s kids, drank wine together and had a super fun dance party on the beach at night together as a group.

A Nice Surprise:  Sometimes we think we want to be “just the four of us” on a vacation.  We think we need to be alone to enjoy the most out of our family, and we have had some awesome times vacationing as a family.  The nice surprise about this trip was that we actually enjoyed and interacted with each other so much, maybe even more, than if it were “just us”.  Maybe because our kids are teenagers and they’re bored and annoyed with us a bit lately (like any normal family).  Having all of those great kids and young adults and funny fun parents with us opened up the fun for us to enjoy each other even more.  My kids enjoyed not having all of our focus on them.  We all got to interact together.  It was great.  

Who You Hang With:  Who you hang with is so important.  Hang with fun funny people, and you laugh and have a lot of fun.  Hang with boring people and you’re bored.  Hang with a bunch of angry complainers and the whole time is a drag. We tend to become like the people we choose to hang with.  Choose wisely.  Close, fun families help your family stay close and be fun.  That’s just the way it works. My thanks to all of my friends this past week for enriching my life so much.  I can’t wait to see you all again soon…..Now go buy a SharkCut from my website.

 

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