Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Day in the Life of: a Retail Rat

Whether it's the same 'ole, hum-drum routine, an exhausting pace or a mere lack of passion, there is something driving the inner entrepreneur in all of us. Therefore, we are kicking off a monthly series that will share background stories from Leopard Umbrella clients... women who, like you, were looking for something more!

"Retail Rat"

The alarm clock chimes at 6:45 A.M., I hit snooze and roll over to catch a few more sweet moments of much needed rest. Seven o’clock comes and I grudgingly get out of bed all the while dreading going to work. In the kitchen over breakfast, I stare at my frighteningly long “to-do” list trying to decide which items I will have the energy to tackle after a long day on my feet. The only place open early enough to get part of my list checked off before work is the dry cleaners. After work I will take care of: groceries, prescription pickup, Target run and Petsmart. The rest can wait until I have more energy. Now I get ready for work and throw a load of laundry in the wash before leaving.

I get to work at ten minutes before nine – and I sit in the car for nine more because I just don’t want to go in quite yet. And now, the grind...

Some of the customers are really sweet and get excited over the smallest bit of information I can share with them. For those customers, I call them the “rays of sunshine,” I am eternally grateful. It’s the folks who just want to vent that have a knack for spoiling my mood (and they do). But that is enough complaining. After many long hours and far too short a lunch break, it’s FINALLY time for freedom.

First stop, drugstore. I’m too tired to make it to Target or Petsmart, so I head straight to the grocery store…after all they sell dog food, right?

Ah, home at last! You know, I love how my dog is just always thrilled when I get home. She helps me bring in the groceries (OK, she is moral support at least) and tilts her head to the side when I enthusiastically throw off my shoes.

So…please bare with me, as I am too tired to write in complete sentences any longer. (Thought to self: How am I supposed to throw motherhood in to this mix?!)

Move laundry to dryer and start dinner. After dinner, clean up. After cleaning kitchen, fold and put laundry away. Read for a while. Wash up for bed. Too tired to write anymore. Pass out.

The alarm clock chimes at 6:45 A.M., I hit snooze…

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Name Game

When starting a new business, one of the most important pieces of identity to consider is what you name your business. Sometimes it takes weeks and weeks of brainstorming sessions (with everyone you know) to come up with a compelling name. Sometimes it takes a mere flash of brilliance at the exact right moment to find it. It doesn't matter how it comes to you, just that it does. Make it memorable and make sure you LOVE it.

So what is the significance of "Leopard Umbrella," you might ask? There are several levels to the answer of this question. The "umbrella" half of the name was the definite piece of the name game because an umbrella, in the business sense, is a broad, all encompassing symbol that lends itself to allude a breadth of functions within the business. An umbrella, in the literal sense, is a tool that provides cover from the blazing sun or rain. Umbrella - check. Now to figure out what to put before it…

Sometimes you just have to laugh about when inspiration strikes, often at the most odd of moments. Carli's bonus-mom gave her and her hubby a painting to put in their house, the chosen room being the master bathroom. One day Carli walked in and looked at the painting and wondered, “What possible reason in the world would anyone have to paint this?” It is of a watercolor umbrella adorned with animal spots (see attached photo). VOILA! Leopard Umbrella! It was perfect (and clearly an act of fate…or so we think). Not only are Leopards strong, fast and formidable creatures, but Carli is also from South Africa to boot.

So chose your name wisely and make it count, as it is the first level of your business identity. Play on the whimsical side if it fits your personality. Play on the straightforward side if it fits the business. The possibilities are endless and in the end, all that matters is that you had fun choosing it. Happy naming!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Are you stuck in NWL?

I am beginning to think that every female in her late twenties/early-mid thirties hits a point professionally when work just starts to (um) suck! We are bombarded by an onslaught of emotionally charged questions: Should we start a family? Should we make a career change? Are we contributing enough to the well-being of society? OR, should we be riding things out and keeping our unhappy, schizophrenic butts calm and settled?

Sound even remotely familiar? If so, we think you are going to like the concept of Leopard Umbrella!

Leopard Umbrella is a boutique firm designed with the purpose of helping women, like you, weather these storms! (Cheesy line, yes, but our sole intention, absolutely!)

The term that comes to mind is "No Man's Land," only we are going to re-phrase it "No (Wo)man's Land" (or NWL for short). Leopard Umbrella is committed to empowering you so that you can break free from the confines of NWL; we want to help you achieve a new level of professional and emotional independence!

So, if you are trying to adapt to a new type of lifestyle (be it marriage, kids, divorce, unemployment, etc.) while still maintaining some degree of personal identity...

If you are looking for ways to give more, grow more, do more in a flexible and supportive environment...

If you want to bring home some "bacon" of your own, so that when the credit card bill arrives in the mail, or when a friend calls and invites you to the beach for the weekend, you do not have to feel the slightest tinge of guilt...

We are your go to girls, and we invite you to follow us on this journey.