Sunday, July 8, 2007

And The Winner Is..... Mama's Pocketbook!

I have been sitting on this long enough I guess. Well, not really sitting on it because I have told an awful lot of people about it, but I haven't posted it officially ... so now I am!

Mama's Pocketbook has been awarded the Grand Prize in the Finance category of the MSN Business Breakthrough Challenge II! Seriously! This is a for real prize ... we are not talking leg lamps here! We are talking $10,000 worth of custom business solutions just for my business! Major business makeover!

The official word came exactly a month ago, on June 8th, but I've been waiting to see when MSN would put up the info on their website. Well.... still waiting on that, and I figured there were cobwebs growing in here so I better write something new and this is the best something new I've got!

The contest/competition is really pretty cool. I found it one Saturday in March while I was searching for information on how to get help from the SBA. I just stumbled onto the MSN Business Breakthrough website, read about the contest and since it was one of those rare Saturday's where I didn't have anything major going on, I sat down and wrote an essay about my business, how I started it last year, some of the really great steps I've taken (joining MMP!) and some of the setbacks I've run into (financial, due to my husband's back issues and his surgery) and what my plans are for growing the company and how we have managed to stay on top of things and keep it going. Apparently my essay was compelling enough ... the essays are judged three times, based on four levels of criteria. The first go round determines the top 20 out of all entrants, the those are judged again and the top 10 are picked, then a third judging is done to pick the winner.

That would be me or rather, my company, Mama's Pocketbook. Which is pretty much ... ME!

Ok, I do all the sewing and designing, and packaging and shipping, and website building, and ordering, and every other hands on management of my business, but I'm not alone... I have the most fabulous support network anyone could ask for. I have my awesome family. My brilliant hubby, Steve, who has his own exciting entrepreneurial stuff going on (on top of his teaching job and while recovering from major back surgery) , is forever encouraging me, supporting me, believing in me and basically treating me like a Queen. He helps take care of the house and the kids and animals and yard and all the domestic stuff. He's a keeper for sure!

And then I have my Pink Sisters at MMP, who are unbelievably talented, sweet, wise, resourceful, and marvelous in every way. I could not face the day without my coffee club check in at MMP! And of course without this great network I would not be sewing my fingers to the bone (that is when I'm not trying to chop them off with a food processor blade.... but that's another story!). Thanks to my MMP ads, as you've seen below, I've been completely overwhelmed with orders for the past two months! But that's not a complaint ... no, not at all. It's been just the blessing we have needed.

I can't leave out my single parent forum friends. They keep me grounded. They know way too much about me! But they are always supportive and really only want to see me succeed. And they want me to take them with me when I'm on Oprah! LOL!

I'm excited about my prize from MSN. Things should start happening now, I have my financial advisor and we are working on my plan, and my proposal (wish list) for what I need MSN to provide to push Mama's Pocketbook to the next level. Maybe get some help for the construction process of my items, get some cool inventory, fabrics... I can't wait to get my Amy Butler fabrics and purses to add to her pattern line that I carry already... and hopefully, even get me some walls for my studio. That would be sweet!

OK, so there, now I feel better. I'll update as the excitement builds and I start seeing the real effects of winning this thing!