In The District:

A Workaround for Undeliverable Emails

It still looks like some of you are experiencing problems with referral emails not being delivered to your friends. While we are continuing to work with Internet Service Providers to get these emails delivered, we have a workaround for you in the meantime.

We have discontinued sending referral emails from our mail server (which in some cases is being blocked). Instead, we have enabled a way for you to put your unique referral links directly into your own emails, which should not be blocked.

Here’s what to do:

1. Return to the Target deal page:

http://www.plumdistrict.com/moms/discount/everywhere/home-and-garden-deals/target-plum-reward-20-target-giftcard-mar2011-everywhere

2. Click “Get It” and re-confirm your mailing address in Step 1.

3. This time on Step 2, your unique referral link appears in the box labeled “For Copying and Pasting.” Copy your unique referral URL (and the explanatory text, if you want).

4. Create an email in your personal email service/program and paste the URL (and the other text if you copied that too). Now you can invite your friends directly through your unique link without having to rely on our mail servers to get stuff delivered.

We’re Experiencing Intermittment Issues…Pls Stand By

Due to the overwhelming response to our Target Plum Reward, we are experience some intermittent site issues as we bring new servers online to handle the volume. Please bear with us, and we apologize for any inconvenience that this may be causing you. We’ll be sailing smoothly again in a few minutes.

Why I Love Shopping at Plum District

It’s true — I’m a heavy Plum District shopper.  I buy at least one deal every week.  I can’t help myself.  In fact, it’s one of the best parts of my job.  What’s not to love about getting a great deal, learning about a new vendor or service in your local area and learning more about the Plum District business.  This is truly combining work and personal!

Recently, I purchased three training sessions from Gardie Jackson Fitness. Unfortunately, the large quantities of yummy marshmellow, cornflake holiday cookies have permanently settled on my thighs and it was time to bring in a professional.  Gardie was amazing–showed up at my door early on a Friday morning.  He was full of what seemed like boundless energy.  I, on the other hand, was happy that I was able to get out of bed, didn’t call and cancel the night before as I was tempted to do, and remembered to brush my teeth.

Over the next hour, he encouraged and pushed me through a number of exercises in the middle of my living room.  At the end of the session, I felt better about my thighs and thrilled that I was up and ready to take on the day!  In between my squats and rows, I learned that Gardie has had a great experience with the clients that he met through his Plum District offering and he wants to run another deal with us.  I like to do mystery shopping when I buy the deals and not tell vendors that I work for the company.  I am always pleased that they have such great feedback and they get a kick out of later learning that I’m the CEO.

I had a similar experience with Natasha Thomas of Urban Darling. We recently moved to a lovely, but very small house with even smaller closets.  In the last year, I’ve gone from wearing suits every day to trying my best to look fashionable and casual. Natasha provides wardrobe consultations and was a woman on a mission in my minuscule closet. She had me try on everything, gently forced me to part with some items that had never seen the light of day and came up with 30+ new outfits.  After a few hours with Natasha, I had a short list of some basics that I needed to buy and wonderful new combinations from closet. Now that is saving money!  I wore one of my new combos today and felt great!

Business look: Off white motorcycle cropped jacket, black slacks, green and cream printed blouse and Gucci heels

Business casual look: H&M cropped jacket, dark wash jeans, tan silk tank & Gucci heels

Thanks Natasha and Gardie — very much looking forward to our next session and thanks for the great feedback!

We couldn’t help but notice…

Natalie Portman on the red carpet at the Oscars, Feb 27, 2011

Natalie Portman in our favorite color (AP photo)

That mom-to-be Natalie Portman wore plum to the Oscars last night. Could it have been a coincidence that she chose to swathe herself in the new official color of savvy moms everywhere (and looked damn good doing it) on the night she took home the statue for Best Actress? Sure, anything’s possible. But we’d like to think that she did so because she knows where it’s all happening.

Congrats from all of us, Natalie, on your win, and best wishes for a happy, healthy motherhood! If you want an in on the stuff that’ll make your life as a mom a little easier and more enjoyable, come on by the website. We’ll hook you up.

The right way to get your Plum Reward for CPK

Hi everyone! We’re really psyched that so many people across the country are excited by today’s Plum Reward for a CPK Gift Card, but we’ve noticed that a few people are trying to grab more than their share. This opportunity is limited to one per person and one per household. We want everyone to earn a gift card, but please respect our community and follow the rules of the deal. Even if you figure out how to game our site to snag more than one card for this Plum Reward, we have multiple mechanisms in place to eliminate duplicate recipients before we fulfill our deals, and you will only receive one in the mail.

We’ve had some questions from users regarding referrals for this Plum Reward. Plum Reward referrals are separate from other Plum District referral bonuses (like Plum Dollars). To refer friends for this Reward, you must use the email form or links that you’re presented after you click “Get It” on the deal page. Don’t use the “Refer a Friend and Get $10″ link in the top page navigation to refer friends to get your gift card –those count as separate referrals.

Thanks to everybody who’s been spreading the word about this great Plum Reward. If you’re new to our site, welcome. If you’ve already earned your gift card, way to go! If not … good luck. We’re rooting for you!

Los autobuses, Cervezas, y Burritos. Translation: Buses, Beers, and Burritos

What started off as your typical night on the Mexican Bus (www.mexicanbus.net) evolved into the most exciting Thirsty Thursday to date. The office was elated all day with visions of shots of tequila and bottomless cervezas. Getting to the Mexican bus with our supplies of beer, booze, snacks, ice (the essentials really) was an exercise in team building in itself. As the clock neared 6PM, we all scrambled to load up our goodies and carry them a block away to where our Mexican chariot awaited us. Smiling and excited for our adventure around SF, we all pitched in (except Mike) to carry bags, a cooler, and a highjacked recycling bin that we MacGyvered into an ice chest. It was a thing of beauty.

As we approached our colorful bus “Lola” we were greeted by our driver Richard. The bus was perfectly bare-bones for our journey – benches, an Ipod jack, and a communal shot glass that dangled from the ceiling. It was everything we dreamed it would be. Instantly we began celebrating with Coronas, margaritas, and of course Patron. We arrived at the Ramp, the perfect place to chill outside on an unseasonably warm SF evening. We sipped our drinks, took in the bay, and had a great time. But by 8P we were ready for food, so it was off to La Taqueria. By the time we got there we were getting low on our beer supplies, so once again we worked as a team. Divide and conquer – “ok you guys go get beer and we’ll go get the food, meet back at the bus hasta la pronto!”

Everyone returned to the bus to enjoy their burritos and Tecate. And just as the party was getting started again … our bus Lola broke down! And what do you think we did? We did what any group of thinkers would do … we finished our food, grabbed the beer, and hit the road. It was like a fire drill- what would you grab? Cookies, snacks, and coolers were left behind, but not the Tecate! While some people might have been discouraged by this misfortune, we interpreted it as part of the experience. Perhaps divine intervention even. Everyone got out their bus passes, we jumped on Muni and headed to Double Dutch. From there we all gradually dispersed and called it a night. This was one night this Plum gal will never forget!

Welcome Ben & Audrey: Our First Plum Babies

Welcome the first Plum babies!  Ben (7lbs 1oz) and Audrey (6lbs 4oz) were born Monday, January 24, 2011 to Carrie Barley from our Chicago sales team. Carrie reports that she and babies are doing well, and that she’s loving every minute of it! Congratulations, Carrie!

Monkeying around: Your kids have more in common with chimps than you think

Ever watched your toddlers tumble and play and thought they weren’t all that different from the chimps you watch frolic at the zoo? Turns out there’s some evolutionary biology at work. We sat down with two chimp researchers from Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, both parents, to talk about how having kids has opened up new avenues of their research with great apes.

Read more…

Monday Sneak Peek

It’s coming, it’s going to be huge, and you head it here first.  Monday we are partnering with Papa Murphy’s to offer you a great deal for Papa Murphy’s nation wide.  Living in San Francisco, is a foodie’s paradise where many a good pizza can be found, but I must say I still think that Bacon Artichoke deLite from Papa Murphy’s is my favorite pizza.  So visit the district on Monday, because quantities are limited!

Plum Party!!!

Socrates (or maybe it was Prince) once said, “Two thousand zero zero, party over … oops, out of time.” Not wanting the clock to run out on our fun, last week the denizens of Plum District HQ partied like it was 1999 December 2011.

We’d been so busy last month — moving offices, forging new relationships with vendors, inventing squishy, new phases of matter — that we couldn’t corral everyone long enough for a holiday party. So we made up for it with our Holidays in January party (perhaps the first of a new annual tradition?), at Laszlo in the Mission. Hard to sum up in words, but it was a night full of this:

Margaret goes to town

and this:

VP Product Micki toasts our year

aaaand some of this:

The web production team

and oh yeah, a bow tie:

Dave outstyles us all

And did we get Megan a gift?

Rewarding our CEO

Yes. And was it a purple kimono?

The CEO costume

Good guess.

Our web producer Melissa gets a special shout-out for organizing the shindig. Thanks, Melissa! So while it’s a little belated, the PD office toasts everyone in The District, wishing you a belated Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. Are we ready for 2011?

Cheers!

Oh yes. Stay tuned!