Monday, November 24, 2014

Shop Small while Dreaming Big

I met the ladies of First Impressions at a Real Housewives of Nova event and fell in love with the stylists energy.

RHNova's 3rd Anniversary (look left, MagnifiCuffs display!)
Ive been going to them for almost a year and recently realized how differently I carry myself now, mostly due to my easy to manage and perfectly colored hair. When I have issues finding an outfit, I never have to worry about my hair. That is such a relief!

Not only have the gals at First Impressions taken care of my physical appearance, I have also been extremely inspired and motivated by the owners.  Rocio and Diane are sisters (you all know how much I love the sister bond...back me up Aa) and although Ive mostly worked with Rocio I have such respect for both of them.

When Rocio told me her age and I did the math of how old she was when they opened the salon she almost had to peel me off the floor.  Seriously.

Rocio encouraged me over the summer to give her a lookbook and line item sheet.  I was all "Say what?!" but got to work on it.

first impressions 3rd anniversary and breast cancer benefit
my set up at their 3rd anniversary

Months later I finally have my product in their salon!

I am so grateful for Rocio's patience, encouragement and ease to work with.  I wasnt ready over the summer with the boys home full time and it took me a while to get adjusted with kindergarten and preschool but here we are the Monday before Shop Small Saturday and I am set up in their joint.  Yay!

Current Display at First Impressions

I trust the ladies of First Impressions implicitly with my locks and am excited to not only be their client, but also have them as a customer now too!  When worlds collide!  Wahoo!

If you are in the Fairfax area, please stop by and check out the salon.  You'll love it.

Til next time, see you on:  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Brace Yourself!

For those of you who aren't following along on FacebookInstagram and Twitter (sorry for neglecting you Pinterest), I have added magnetic bracelets to my repertoire of handmade fashion accessories!





Boy are they a hit!

customer appresh photo


For just $5 a piece they make a huge statement for a small cost.

taking orders thru 10/24/14

At my niece and nephew's vendor event on Saturday all of my pint sized customers loved how easily the bracelets snapped together and their parents were totes impressed too.



As advised by my bff (I love you, Janie!) I'm not ditching the MagnifiCuffs for MagnifiBracelets (although it is tempting since people know what bracelets are) but will be offering them from now on in addition to the cuffs!

Stay tuned party peeps!

Love,
Marcian

Monday, September 8, 2014

Real Mom Style #5

It's been a while since I've done one of these!  Yesterday I got decked out for a wedding AND my company has a current campaign that could use some fresh eyes so please check out this edition of Real Mom Style.

head to toe (lighting was funky)

I drank Champs all day!  :op

wearing Ryan's wedding band because I forgot my rings! 



What I Wore:

Wings of Gold MagnifiCuffs from the "Go Gold" Collection (100% of proceeds from this collection is going to my friends family for Pediatric Cancer Awareness month in September).

Pretty Purple Ralph Lauren dress that I (my parents actually bought it for me!) scored from Ross for $60 before the Femworking conference...it fit a bit more snug yesterday!

Gold Embassy Watch (the battery was dead...dont judge me)

Pearl Bangle from Twirls & Pearls (she's like my IG bestie)

"love" earrings from Lia Sophia that I got from my networking ninja mentor Anne Monseur

This weeks edition of #RealMomStyle is hosted by Ellen the Thrifty & Chic Mom.  To participate yourself, please visit the link up and add your site.

Monday, August 25, 2014

2nd Annual Go Gold Campaign for Team Mathias

Last year we told you about our dear friends the Giordanos. Unbelievably after 2 long and painful years Mathias is still battling Osteosarcoma with all his might.  Just this morning he had a CAT scan and MRI which are both things no 13 year old (or 13 year olds loved ones) should have to endure.  

Mathias & Me at his bday 1k

As long as I am the owner of MagnifiCuffs (and a mom) I will work diligently to help raise funds and awareness for the Giordanos and all families affected by pediatric cancers.

Please help us bring awareness to pediatric cancers by going gold in September.  More awareness equals more funding from big businesses!

Do as Dexter Says!


For every MagnifiCuffs Go Gold Collection set sold, we will donate 100% of the proceeds to Team Mathias!


Click HERE to Shop

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Trunk Show & Anniversary Pictures!

The trunk show and anniversary party at Langford Market in the Mosaic District on Sunday was amazing!  Below are some pictures. 


Anniversary gift from my sis & b-i-l! 

 
First sold set of the day!  Thanks Lims!
 
 
 
Close up.
 
 

Mom, Tina, Me, & Dad.
 

Display.

 
Far left set was purchased for a bride!

 
"Can you see the MagnifiCuffs if I hold the cupcakes like this?"

 
Close up. 

 
Trunky!

 
Wear what you preach. 
MagnifiCuffs by Moi.  Earrings by JhenSunshine & bracelet by Regenerous Designs

Monday, June 16, 2014

Anniversary Party Already!?!

On Sunday, July 13 we will be celebrating MagnifiCuffs first anniversary at my first ever trunk show!  This will be happening from 1-4 pm at the Langford Market in the Mosaic District
 

Leading up to July 13 each day I will post a picture and description of someone who has been an inspiration to me or integral in keeping MagnifiCuffs in business. 

I came up with the title Daily MagnifiCuffs Gratitude Post and shrunk it down to the hashtag #dailymagnitude.  I then realized my real passion in life is coming up with hashtags. 

Jk...

But seriously, magnitude is defined as "great importance or consequence" and that is exactly what all these peeps/experiences I will highlight are to me and MagnifiCuffs. 

Instagram Feed of Past 4 #dailymagnitude Posts

Please follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to see who my #dailymagnitude post is about. 

I hope to see (and meet!) lots of you at the anniversary party and trunk show! 

Love,
Marcian

PS New sets were added to the shop.  Check them out and buy your first pair for 20% off with code:  firstpurchase  http://www.mkt.com/magnificuffs-llc

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cost of Goods Sold

There were way more unknowns than knowns when this all began last year.

I didn't know how to turn my idea into a tangible product, how to price the product, who my potential customers were, and how to successfully market to find more customers. 

Since officially launching MagnifiCuffs on July 11, 2013 there has been a lot of product development, package revisions, social media updates, networking, collaborations, mentor appointments (seriously, thank God for Sonja!) and growth.

Slowly but surely it all came together! 

I am very happy to tell you that the product is now at the highest level possible. 

The magnets are the maximum size that will fit within the ribbons, giving them the strongest connection possible.  The adornment glue is specifically made for affixing metal to material.  My sewing skills are so honed that although each set is still hand sewn, they look like they were sewn by machine. 

With the cost of all of the material improvements deducted from the sales price there was a crystal clear realization that I would lose money with each sale.  Say what!?! 

When I initially calculated my COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) I made the rookie move of not including labor in the cost.  This is apparently a very common mistake of many first time business owners to use labor as profit. 

Since I'm at home anyways, making any sales and bringing any money in is a good thing.  Right?  Wrong. 

About a month ago Ryan (husband and Chief Officer or anything I don't want to do) asked how I intended for the business to ever become profitable, or even stay afloat, if labor wasn't included in the cost of the product.  If I need to hire someone in the future, how will we pay them an hourly rate if labor costs weren't factored into the price of the product?

D'oh! 

A funny thing happened once I increased my prices a few weeks ago.  I started to improve my online shop by uploading more uniform pictures.  I stopped feeling resentful whenever I made the product.  I wore my product with pride and took more care when sending sets out.  I reached out to some people and started to form some awesome relationships including a photographer who gets me great shots of the product in use. 

I started to treat my business as a business!  Not a hobby that would hopefully one day help us pay ourselves back our initial investment.  Truth be told, we never would have paid ourselves back because I kept putting money into it to grow the business. 

But putting money into a business that costs money to sell the products...well that's a shotty idea.

As we all know, I could easily outsource the work and get the prices down but that goes against my core values and the reason I started this business in the first place. 

So when you see our prices please know that you are paying for a one of a kind (or limited edition) set of trendsetting accessories that are handmade by a Mama within the US.    

Love,
Marcia

P.S.  Check out our online store and use the code: firstpurchase for 20% off  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Real Mom Style #4

After months of only online communication back and forth, Maria Jose Ovalle of Very Busy Mama and I finally met in person a few weeks ago.

As some of you know from reading past posts (including this guest post on Clarendon Moms), Maria has been a huge inspiration to me as an entrepreneur and also helped me very early on to reach her audience by doing a post on me.

Within minutes of meeting her I realized that Maria is just as awesome and real in person as she is online.  What you see is what you get with Maria, and that authenticity is hard to find.

We spoke a bit about the purpose of Real Mom Style and how both of us have benefited from it.  Her and I, and all the participants in Real Mom Style, make time to take care of ourselves physically and then share stories and photos about the pieces we've chosen to wear and to where.   It's a fun way to chronicle not just our outfits, but also the events we wore them to.

Because of serious issues last week, Maria's current Real Mom Style post is not about donning her favorite shoes, or a brand new accessory, it's about taking care of herself mentally.  You can see a very candid video of Maria sharing her battle with depression and her hopes for anyone who needs help to seek professional assistance sooner than later.

When your business idol is at her lowest it feels weird to write a post about fashion.  But I got an email reminder with Maria's video and that she would be hosting Real Mom Style this go around so wanted to support her by posting this.

My Real Mom Style feature is on the outfit I wore earlier today to "This is My Brave", an event held in Arlington.  On the stage sat 14 amazingly brave people who one by one opened up to a sold out show about their mental illnesses.



There seemed to be a common theme over the weekend with news of Maria's experience followed by the "This is My Brave" performance.

My heart hurts for my new dear friend who is going through such a confusing and vulnerable time right now.  As much as my heart hurts, it is also full of admiration for the strength that she is showing by sharing this piece of herself in hopes of helping others.  

And although I cried the majority of the "This is My Brave" performance, it was a truly amazing experience and something I feel proud to have attended and gotten through.  

Mental illness and depression affect a lot of people and we don't have to fight it alone.  I hope that if there is anyone out there that thinks they may need help, that they seek it.  Slow down now and get the conversation
started with a medical professional immediately.





About the outfit:
Shirt from Old Navy
Pants from Ross
Sandals were a gift from a friend
Cant remember where the silver dangley earrings were from
Sunglasses (whoops, didn't make the pic) are Kenneth Cole from Ross
Friendship bracelet from Regenerous Designs
"Amber is the Color of Your Energy" MagnifiCuffs

Friday, April 25, 2014

Monogram MagnifiCuffs Now Available!

We are *so excited* to offer embroidered sets of monogrammed MagnifiCuffs thanks to our new partnership with Heidi Mac Embroidery.  Just in time for Mothers Day! 


 
                          


There is a production time of 7 - 10 business days from order confirmation.  Sets will be mailed via USPS First Class in a jewelry box.

From Heidi:  "As for colors, black with white, pink with white or black, navy blue are good basics. I can probably accommodate requests."  You choose the ribbon color. 

Order now at our updated Square Market shop which accepts all credit cards without setting up a profile.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Real Mom Style #3


Yesterday I had the extreme pleasure of experiencing a blowout at Heaven and Elle Haute Beauty Bar hosted by the Virginia Bloggers Club
 
Molly is on the left...she did my hair <3
 
All of the guests were welcomed with wine, champagne, martini glasses full of strawberries and platters of cheese and crackers!  There were also towers of cupcakes by Belladi Treats, LLC (whose owner is as awesome as her sweets are tasty). 
 
I wish I had taken more pictures of the d├ęcor but am sure the event's photographer, Aliyah from Alimond Photography, will do Heaven and Elle extreme justice. 
 
With dark greys on the walls, tall mirrored vases of flowers, and beautiful light fixtures this place is tres chic!  Having been there in the day in awe of the warmness, I can only imagine how beautiful and soft the feel is at nighttime.  
 
This is *definitely* a place I could see myself going to during the winter blues for a pick me up. 
 
Within minutes of arriving, Cindy, the owner of Heaven and Elle, gave me an adorable swag bag filled to the brim with fantastic products. 
 
Hair product, brush, candy (!), nail polish and more!

After a bit of mingling I had my hair washed and was brought to the magical transformation chair.  Here's the before pic (I should have practiced taking a mirror shot because this took about 5 minutes!):
 
Notice the barware in the background?
They have a liquor license so can serve beverages!
 
During my blow out Cindy did a raffle and I won a Kevin Murphy plumping line of products!  I was told that Kevin Murphy's line is cruelty free, Made in America, and (from his site) "are made from renewable and sustainable resources whenever possible, using pure essential oils, plant extracts and natural antioxidants.  All KEVIN.MURPHY hair products are sulphate and paraben free." 
 
I was also told that the plumping technology used in this line is the same that Latisse uses for eyelashes.  So excited to use it!
 
The bag is awesome too!
 
After all the raffles were given out Molly got back to my hair.  She asked what I wanted...I gave her a blank stare.  Below is the end result!  YES! 
 
Photos by Carin Kilby Clark
MagnifiCuffs on the sleeves!


 

Here's Carin (aka The Mommyhood Mentor) and me outside letting our luscious locks fly in the wind. 




Photo by Cheryl Fischer Powell
About the Real Style Mom (to participate yourself, visit Thrift and Chic Mom to link up) outfit:

Photo by Carin Kilby Clark...love the angle!

The Neela Cotton Blouse is Velvet by Graham & Spencer picked up at Zoe Boutique during their third birthday party last weekend.  I originally tried on the Velvet Tamila top and was going to purchase that but then saw and tried on the Neela Blouse.  I came out of the dressing room to show the Zoe gals and they all lit up.  You know I love my Zoe girls!  Like my first Graham & Spencer top, I knew this one would be perfect with MagnifiCuffs

Denim skinny bottoms from Ross last summer.

Nude slingbacks by Nine West.

Navy and pearl MagnifiCuffs and pearl chain earrings by JhenSunshine

Classtastic

Yes, I wore the same accessories combo to the Real Housewives event a couple weeks ago but they're my fave for a reason!  Plus navy and pearls are totes in right now. 

Last week I added many more sets to our shop at http://www.mkt.com/magnificuffs-llc but love creating custom pieces for you all as well so if you have something in mind, contact us

We have an exciting product line coming soon so stay tuned!  Keep in the know on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest

Wishing well,
Marcia

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March is for Collaborations

In my life common themes have a way of appearing and reappearing until something is done about it.  For the past 6 weeks or so the word "collaboration" kept appearing. 

Naturally I went out and started collabing.  And by "out" I mean through my trusty laptop.  Jk, I did get out in the real world too. 


I am so grateful to be surrounded by supportive peers who provide an avenue for me to get my thoughts and product in front of new eyes. 

My first attempt at appeasing the collaboration theme was by offering to write a piece on the importance of collaborating for Nicole Dash, the Founder of Connect Authentically.  You can read the guest piece here:  A Perspective on Collaborating in Business with Peers.

The same day the collaboration piece went live, MagnifiCuffs and 4 other companies (From Mi To You, Heidi Mac Embroidery, Jewelry by jHenSunshine, and Sweet Pea Etc) participated in a group giveaway that valued over $120.  One lucky winner won all of the items shown in the picture* below! 

 


Last week was also a very collab filled week as I met up with representatives from two different organizations to give multiple sets of MagnifiCuffs for silent auctions to raise money. 

We feel amazing being able to assist in raising funds for worthwhile causes.  We are always available to hear these types of requests so if you know any non-profits who are raising funds, please Contact Us.

The more successful our company gets the brighter our philanthropic spirit glows because we know it is all connected.  Here are 6 of the sets that went to the Rainbow Center 4-H Therapeutic Center and the Parkwood Wee Center: 
 



Last week I also met with a lady who does home parties for a high end clothing company.  She loves the idea of giving sets of MagnifiCuffs to the hostesses of her parties.  Well that is a great idea!  Her and I will meet again this week so she can go through my arsenal of ribbon and adornments to custom create personal sets for herself and also choose combos for her hostesses. 

Because life can't be all business all the time, the week ended with a trip.  My 2 sisters and I headed up to New York to surprise our oldest sister for her birthday.  She was so surprised it was awesome!  During the trip I got to test out the MagnifiCuffs mug I had shipped to my parents a couple months ago.   



Have a great week everyone!  Get out there and make some collaborations! 

Yours truly,
Marcia

*Hopefully we can also do more #fabcollab giveaways in the future.  If you or your company are interested please Contact Us

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It's Official!

We are in retail!

Friday morning I went to Steppin' Up Children's Boutique and with the help of the owner set up our MagnifiCuffs display *in the window*! 



8091 E Alban Rd, Springfield, VA (off Ffx Co Pkwy)


Window Spot!

It was such a wonderful experience. The night (morning) before I was up from 1 am to 5 am too excited to sleep. Our age limit stamp arrived earlier on Thursday so I spent that time stamping the boxes. It was a good thing I was productive during that time because after dropping the 5 year old at preschool I was too fuzzy brained to have done it then.



My Bag was Packed...I was Ready to Go!
Channeling my innermost tired entrepreneur

On the way home from the store I almost deposited the check through the ATM


Receipt from this is on my bulletin board

then thought it would be a great photo opp with the boys. I mean seriously you only get your product into stores the first time once in your life right?! 
 
 
Our beautiful boys and me depositing (!!!) money

It took up until that first call to Steppin' Up Children's Boutique to feel comfortable selling to retail but I believe it's happening in the time frame it should have. 

I have never been more confident in the quality of the MagnifiCuffs.  My craftwomanship, magnet strength, and packaging all meet my expectations and I am very proud of how far the product and we (the LLC) have come. 

Watch out DC metropolitan area shops, I'm coming for you! 

Love,
Marcia