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What I’ve learned in the past year

It’s been a fast, full year.

It started when my sewing teacher Sandra Betzina, introduced me to Seymour Jaron in San Francisco in March 2009. Seymour showed me that he could hand-tailor the Purse Perfector in America, my dream since 2001. I thought that my path would be clear, but I had so much to learn.

As a life-long sewer (and fabricaholic), I knew the type of durable, washable fabric I needed for the Purse Perfectors. Seymour helped me find a good manufacturer. Then came decisions on zippers and embroidery colors. How many units, which colors, what’s the best delivery system?

But learning how to build an online web-store was the most daunting task. What is SEO? Where do you get an SSL and why? That was just the beginning. And it doesn’t end once you go live. It’s been about 370 days since the website went up. There have been so many changes that it would be impossible to count them. But now I know what to ask for and perhaps how to shorten the learning curve. If only there was a comic book primer for entrepreneurs whose skills lie elsewhere.

Last year I didn’t know what NAPO was. Now I’m a huge fan and an associate member. Janine Sarna-Jones, a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), referred one of her NYC clients to my website. That sale led me to joining NAPO and attending their annual conference in Columbus, Ohio – only 2 hours away!

Working with NAPO members across the country has been a terrific experience. They have enthusiastically shared Purse Perfectors with their clients nationwide. I’ll be attending the NAPO San Francisco Bay area One Day conference in October and look forward to being with the thoughtful and energetic members in that great city.

The greatest education and joy I’ve had in the last year is how helpful people have been to get my sewing room creation out of my house and into your purse. Friends and mentors over the years have introduced me to others to get me to the next connection and the next. I am very blessed with the many people have led me to this day.

The power of women’s friendship is also part of what I’ve been able to witness this year. One example: a neighbor bought Purse Perfectors as gifts for her sisters. Her sister in Cary, North Carolina then had lunch with her friends and over 2 days, I received 5 orders from Cary. Women share the things we love and I’ve seen the power of that from Cincinnati to Cary, Billings to Annapolis, to NYC, Toronto and Milwaukee.

I’ve also updated my my geography skills: Purse Perfectors are in every state but Alaska, in many parts of Canada and in 16 other countries.

Transforming women’s lives, one purse at a time.

I don’t know what the next year will bring, but if it’s anything like the last year, I’ll welcome it with open arms. I just may try to sleep, exercise and sew a little more.