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Sneak Peak at "Models" Shoot

June 14, 2010 16:57

I have a big thing about using kids with no modeling experience in our photo shoots. This is primarily because I think the photos are more genuine and captivating when the kids are just being their silly, goofy selves. It's also because we are a start-up and I know plenty of cute kids who will "work" in exchange for an afternoon of swimming.

OK, some of them are also related to me. Actually in the last shoot we did, all but two were related to me. Yes, as of right now, every single child with the exception of one on is either a Teasdale or a McGowan. Shoestring budget people! And good genes - I have 23 to choose from, what can I say.

So it was a real pleasure to get some non-family smiles into the mix last week. Our unbelievable photographer Dawn Shields came in for two days and we assembled 12 kids in multiple locations, with every single product we carry. I am on pins and needles to see everything and get the new shots up, but here's a sneak peek!

Story on the 4th shot: Max and Kate (who is my niece) are in preschool together, and one might have a wee crush on the other. Can you guess which one? Hint: she takes after her aunt - and he *is* quite a looker! Right now Kate's interest seems to register the same reaction as Max's scary old Aunt Marge who pinches his cheeks too hard. He literally hid from her for most of the shoot, and she finally accused him of preferring her 6-year-old sister (which I can assure you from observation is not the case). It probably didn't help that in our effort to loosen Kate up we asked her who her favorite classmate was (Max), who the cutest boy in school was (Max), and whether she wanted to kiss him (yes). *She* is the one who brought up marriage.

Max, I promise, some day you're gonna thank me.



Kissy Kissy Hooded Towel

Monogrammed Myself Belts

Monogrammed Bella Bliss Toddler Robes

Personalized Wee Ones Head Band Wrap

Photo Shoots Are Phun

June 14, 2010 14:02

We spent 4 of 7 days last week shooting all of our products, both on their own AND with some hilarious and adorable kids. I have to say, I had an absolute ball. Also, it made me really tired.

The first shoot was last Saturday and Sunday, and was product-only. On day one we were able to sneak into one of the most gorgeous homes in St. Louis thanks to my great friend and interior design phenom Amie Corley, and boy did her home do our products justice! The shots are truly beautiful. One shot was of hooded towels hanging in the Corleys' master shower and I *swear* we will be getting emails asking how to order the shower, not the towels.

The second day we camped out at Bill's and my house, which was a sad substitution for the Corley household, but lucky for us, the shots are very tight so hopefully we can crop out the dust bunnies and Ritz Carleton liquidation furniture. I will be fascinated to see the difference in conversion rates between the shots taken at the Corley's home and the shots taken at ours.

Our photographer also does all the straight product images for the site (the images you see when you design your own gifts), and it was remarkable to see him work his magic outside of the studio. His assistantwas equally adept, and the addition of a gifted local stylist rounded out an all-star team that produced some unbelievable shots that are going to put the big guys' sites to shame. The entire weekend was a great reminder of why I started Makaboo, and in addition, was an even bigger reminder that I am SO grateful to be in the company of so many talented, smart people who have been able to listen to my meanderings and turn them into something beautiful. That beauty will be bouncing out of your monitors in just a few weeks!

In the meantime, he's a pre-post-production sneak peek.


Bella Bliss Toddler Swim Trunks

SwaddleDesigns Personalized Organic Burp Cloths

Kissy Kissy Personalized Baby Hat

SwaddleDesigns Personalized Fuzzy Lovie


Kissy Kissy Personalized Converter Gowns

Kissy Kissy Personalized Baby Bibs

My CMO (Chief Mothering Officer)

June 4, 2010 17:40

My mom Liz came down to the shop today with a childhood friend who now resides in Manhattan, and mom's unbridled enthusiasm for Makaboo and its goodies made me realize I've never blogged about her remarkable transformation from wary parent to CMO (Chief Mothering Officer).

My parents started out dubious (to put it politely) of the entire notion of Makaboo. I'm their youngest child, and I'd just moved back to St. Louis from San Francisco to marry my hometown sweetheart. All I needed to do to fulfill my role as perfect adult child was pop out a couple of attractive, well-behaved grandchildren. And instead what do I do? Risk my entire nest egg on an online venture. At 31. With no partner. And no experience running a business.

I should preface this by saying that my parents are conservative by nature. They are products of the Depression and the War, and their (perhaps their generation's) MO seems to be that anything out of the ordinary is inherently risky. My father worked at a law firm named after *his* father for 45 years. My mother uses phrases like "pray tell" and "SHE is the cat" (i.e. a woman in one's presence should be referred to by name, not by pronoun).

But I seemed to pop out of the womb anything but ordinary. At three, when my father yelled at me for running out into traffic, I turned on my heel, put both hands on my hips and yelled "Don't you talk to me like that!" I decided to go to boarding school at 14. I decided to move to Miami for a fisherman. I decided to move to San Francisco for a company with the word "fish" in its name (no relation to the fisherman). And yes, at 31, I decided to start a company instead of starting a family (not counting my amazing husband Bill and my very special cat Me).

All of these decisions were labeled - with love and concern - "risky" by my parents, or, if not risky, "irresponsible" or, my all-time favorite for its distance from the truth, "impetuous". I am the biggest overthinker/overanalyst on the planet - I can't make an "impetuous" decision at the grocery store, let alone in life!

So, to see my mother go from skeptical about Makaboo's fate to certain of its success is pretty cool. And I have to say, it started when she started *seeing* what we were doing - the products, the embroidery, and of course the site.

She's never said that she's proud of me, but the fact that she now carries her CMO business cards with her wherever she goes (and that she even asked for them!), makes me feel pretty good. She's given them out to all of her friends, to passengers next to her on flights, to pregnant strangers at the mall.

I hope she, like me, thinks the risks have been worth it.

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