Saturday, February 28, 2009

Children and their Toys


It is so much easier to buy toys for babies, or even for toddlers. Any toy you give them is readily appreciated, but for children it’s a different matter all together. Children, I found out recently that they have certain preference and expectations when it comes to their toys. Lorenzo’s 6th Birthday is days away but my husband and I are still at a loss on what gift to give him.

“Mommy I want a PSP for Christmas”
My parents were puzzled on what a PSP is, a request Lorenzo made a month before Christmas. We were amazed on why would a 5-year old child demand a PSP, and what will he do with it. Investigating I found out that most of his friends, playmates and classmates have one and would often tease him when is would borrow theirs to ask his mother to buy one for him( whew! Talk about peer pressure).

When I told my husband about it, he was already planning on giving our son an electronic gadget for Christmas. We decided not to give him the PSP for its not practical for a gadget that costs more than ten thousand, we gave him an mp4 we bought in CD-R king instead.

Why an mp4?
My son loves to sing, dance and take pictures. I was having problems then because he always wants to use my ipod and digital camera. One of the factors we considered is Lorenzo’s interests and hobbies and the mp4 we chose has wide LCD Screen, speakers, FM Radio, a built in camera, audio recording, memory card and supports SNES and NES Game format and it has a 2GB memory to store all his pictures. At least now we don’t have to share my ipod.

What now?
We plan to give him a bicycle for his birthday, but he wants his own laptop! My Gosh! Children these days. My husband and I have a laptop each so it seems he reasons he has to have one too. Well I believe a 5-year old is too young to have his own. I’m still negotiation for a desktop computer he can have. My son is an active computer user, he has his own games, fave websites and even a plurk account. I believe he still is a kid and kids must have toys for kids, so I am trying to get him interested in LEGO or Robots. It’s much cheaper than the laptop he thinks he wants.

SM City Marikina Goes Wireless!


Participating on the SM Marikina Bloggers Event was so much fun. Bloggers were invited by SM Marikina to stress test their wireless connection today. Bloggers were encouraged to go around the mall and try the Wifi connection with their laptops, cellphones ,PSP or any WIFI enabled device. It was also an opportunity to touch base with fellow bloggers and relax after a stressful week. It also gave me an opportunity to bond with my husband who joined me in the event.

Here are my observations:


* The WIFI connection was fast early in the event with only a few bloggers at the start of the event. I had published two blogs and uploaded a file for my egoup.
* After 3pm, the WIFI connections started to slow down as more bloggers arrive.
* By 4pm I lost my internet connection completely.

Recommendations:

1. Introduce a Surfer/Blogger Membership for the mall so that people will be encouraged to visit the mall frequently by giving them additional perks(you can charge minimal membership fee).
2. Have a WIFI area for bloggers to maybe charge their batteries even for a few minutes and a lounge to relax and surf while they wait.
3. Make the WIFI signal stronger because once the people connecting to the network increases the current connection dies.
4. Have more events like this to increase awareness that SM Marikina is a WIFI zone. Maybe attracting to bloggers residing near SM like Marikina, Cainta and Pasig areas to encourage them to regulary visit SM.

I am looking forward to more event such as this one at SM Marikina.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Successfully Sweet Valentine!



Business was brisk last valentine, almost all my products were sold out and my customers were very happy. They looked for me after valentines and said his wife was very happy about the chocolate bouquet that he gave her. An organization that I supplied chocolates said that they earned a lot that valentine.

I actually had doubts that I will have a successful season this valentine. Everything was quite a week before heart’s day, no one was buying, and even my “sukis” were not yet contacting me. Then, two days before valentine everything heated up, inquiries and order came flooding in. And deliveries were made from sun up till 10pm at night.

I barely slept that week, averaging only 2 hours of sleep a day, I still attended my classes, which was amazing since I also have a valentine booth at Informatics Cainta. Informatics Cainta celebrated their college week then that is why I had the opportunity to participate.

In reflection, for an entrepreneur like me having a successful valentine season sales would not be possible without several factors like
Timing – I was a the right place at the right time and meet the right people who wants the products
Support – I had the full support of my family, friends and co workers who understood my situation
Great Help – I have two dedicated assistants who were really interested to learn and enjoyed what we are doing even though it was almost two weeks without sleep.
Good Customer Relations – I have great customers who also become my friends as time and season goes by

Due to this success, I have some serious decisions to make, Is this the time to make my business full time? I am seeing countless opportunities. What about my teaching profession? The students that I will be able to help and the opportunities they will have in teaching them about Information Technology.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lorenzo in Training



I had my hobby turned business since 2000, over the years I expanded my product line and have busy seasons (Christmas and Valentines) and loyal customers. Having a child in 2003 did not change that; I just gained a little assistant. I had Lorenzo with me while making my orders, when he was still small he was in the kitchen with me in his crib(he even manages to get a bite or two of chocolates when I was not looking). There was a time that I had to let him sleep first before I can work for he insists on tasting every product I am making.

I never intentionally “taught” or “trained” him to do what I do. Maybe it was the environment he grown up in. Ever since I can remember he would always want to help me. That is why I named my online store after him: http://www.mylittlebaker.com. My family is amazed on how adept he is in handling my equipments and he is familiar with the ingredients that I use. Last Christmas he volunteered to prepare the fruitcake boxes that I use for packaging.

This Valentines season, it just happened, I had a valentine booth at Informatics Cainta and the opening day of the “tiangge” Lorenzo had no classes. It was a last minute decision to bring him along. I dressed him up with the chef uniform I had made specially for him, it was for the promotional pictures of mylittlebaker website.

He was a hit! He learned about having a business that day. He learned how to sell chocolates and how to handle money. I was so proud of him. He was even treated like a star, customers wanting to have their pictures taken with him and even asking for a kiss.

Many commented that I am already training him in the business. It was not my intention to do that, it never entered my mind. Being a working mom, I just wanted to spent time with him. In retrospect, exposing him in business is not bad, I believe that it will benefit him in the future. As parents you would always want to give him the best, and whatever he would like to do in the future we will give him our 100% support.

I just have to adjust my mindset I suppose, it is not just “my business” now it is mine and Lorenzo’s. He is mylittlebaker after all.