In the world of motherhood, I think the only thing that prepares you for what’s ahead is to surround yourself with other moms.
July 14th, 2011 | 2:42 PM
If you had told me a year ago that I’d be working for a San Francisco-based daily deal website that catered to moms I would have laughed at you. Well, maybe not at you, but I definitely would have been chuckling on the inside. I mean, I have a graduate degree in French Literature. I spent the last eight years working at Sotheby’s Auction House. My strengths are discussing existentialist literature and explaining a Jeff Koons sculpture. What on earth would I know about finding a deal for a birthday party entertainer, or where to get a discount on those cute shoes I saw someone wearing at the water park? Yet here I am entering month three of being a district consultant for Plum District. And you know what? I love it! It’s such a gift to work at a place that not only embraces the fact that I’m a mom, but encourages me to use my newfound abilities in a business environment.
When you stop to think about it, you really do learn a whole new skill set as a mom. And these aren’t skills I read about in the 16 books I bought during my pregnancy, or practiced in the myriad of prenatal classes I took. These were learned over the course of twelve months in a constant array of trial by fire situations. I can change a diaper while my child is running around the living room holding a maraca. I can breastfeed on a park bench while emptying my diaper bag of long-forgotten raisins and puffs. I can do the funniest pretend sneeze this side of the Mississippi. I can have a heated discussion about the distance covered by projectile vomit. I mean, these are serious strengths. But then the sobering fact hits me that I have so much more to learn. Sometimes I feel like I have completed my first year at Mom University and while I puff my chest out about my credentials, I cower when I see the upper classmen walk by toting scooters and soccer balls and (gasp) siblings?! I watch them from afar with star struck awe.
They say knowledge is power, but from where do you get that knowledge? In the world of motherhood, I think the only thing that prepares you for what’s ahead is to surround yourself with other moms. We are simultaneously each other’s teacher and student, guidance counselor and teammate, mentor and mentee. Plum District expands this network of knowledge by providing us all with great resources, ideas, and of course, deals. As a district consultant, I look forward to sharing some of my education with you and your family. And if you ever want to talk about those Koons sculptures, well that would be just fine too!
How do you keep your work life, mommy life, partner life and sanity all at the same time?
July 14th, 2011 | 2:42 PM
Do you ever feel like an octopus with only two arms? Or like a piece of banana salt water taffy; every direction seems to be a stretch? How do you keep your work life, mommy life, partner life and sanity all at the same time?
We all have responsibilities to our families, our spouses, our parents, and of course ourselves – we just need to prioritize the immediate needs and non-immediate needs. I know it sounds logical, but how do we “get ‘er done” without losing our minds? Half of our problems can be handled with organization and the other half with power: I have two simple answers.
My first piece of advice is: become a list person. If it’s good enough for Oprah, it’s good enough for me. Plus if I don’t write something down, it never seems to get done. Somehow my hand is directly correlated with my brain; my memory seems to store things I’ve written down at least once. Whether you use a Blackberry, tablet, post-it, magnetic paper list from the Target® dollar bin, or your computer, put your daily duties somewhere and start checking them off your list.
Number two: learn how to say “no”. Most of us mommies are people-pleasers – we can’t help it, seems to be in the mommy make up. We need to learn how to tell people no every once in a while. We can’t possibly attend every birthday party, every sports night, every sleepover, every function…just say no ladies. I promise, saying that one little word will free your schedule up so you can include the things that are really important. The easiest way to say yes to a calmer household and calmer life is simply by saying “no”.
Take time for yourself, appreciate the little things, tolerate the insanity and always remember to: Eat, Drink and Be Plum.
I value honesty, integrity and a general sense of happiness...those are the watch-words for my life both personally and professionally.
July 14th, 2011 | 2:42 PM
I may be crazy, but I decided to open a business in this stormy economic climate! When I opened Verde Salon last April I knew I would really need to “bring it” and somehow rise above the sea of full service salons clamoring for the opportunity to win you (and your hard earned bucks) over. I, however, like you, am discerning in my choices today when it comes to where I spend my time and what I truly place at high “value”.
I value honesty, integrity and a general sense of happiness…those are the watch-words for my life both personally and professionally. It may sound odd to say this considering the competition in my industry, but I don’t just want to get as many people in the door every day and live and breathe for the “bottom line” (the daily totals). I sincerely care about the quality of clients I serve, not the quantity.
And with all of the online daily deals magically arriving in your inbox every day, I would imagine a clever person could pretty much pay next to nothing for salon services for the rest of their life! Honestly, that is not the client for me.
When it came to getting my name out there, I wanted to be work with a company whose platform I could align myself with on every level. So, I asked myself these questions before ultimately choosing Plum District amidst the many advertisers clamoring for my business:
Have I myself purchased a “Daily Deal” from this company? My Answer: “YES!”
Do they have a simple, realistic and desirable product? My Answer :”YES!”
Do they attract Sensible, Savvy, Loyal and Respecting customers? My answer: “YES!”
Fast forward 3 months… I have just finished my 2nd “Daily Deal” with two markets with Plum District and have a 3rd which will be running next week (watch for it!).
If I do say so myself, I too am one of Plum District’s Sensible, Savvy, Loyal and Respecting customers because I couldn’t be happier with my decision.
The customers we have had the pleasure of serving through our Plum District offers are exactly what we were looking for… Not folks only looking out to save a buck, but rather, women looking for unique experiences, quality services and long-lasting relationships with the businesses they use.
Thank you Plum District for attracting a high level of target followers, for being so easy to work with and for… promising what can realistically deliver and delivering what you promised! You really do rock!!!
Gigirenee Heredia / Colorist & Salon Director
VERDE SALON – An Aveda Concept Salon
What does a “deal” mean to you?
July 14th, 2011 | 2:42 PM
What does a “deal” mean to you? Something special? Hard to find? An accomplishment? The dictionary defines ‘deal’ as, “a usually large or indefinite quantity or degree.” That certainly rings true. For the average mom, I think it means financial empowerment. When we think smart with our buying power and make the effort to get the most for our money, we are embracing one of the best things we can do for our families: be economically responsible.
Deals are hot right now, especially in the current economic climate, and Plum District is meeting a need that moms are really clamoring for. Whether we work full-time, part-time, or as a stay-at-home mom, we so often take the reins when it comes to purchasing saavy on behalf of our kids… and ourselves. Whether we seek clothes or ice cream, school supplies or a Saturday matinee, maximizing the dollar is where it’s at. Not to mention, those little “me” splurges that moms certainly need every once in a while. Manicure anyone? With all those demands on our day-to-day budgets why “waste” money when you don’t have to?
Moms can and do take charge to save money on all kinds of products and services for their kids and themselves. They are empowered, thanks to Plum District – a benefit to kids and families any way you look at it.
“You CAN have it all. You just can't have it all at once.”
July 14th, 2011 | 1:29 PM
Many people dream of a “work from home job” – and not one of those seems-too-good-to-be-true scams. I know I always did.
However, that dream changes and shifts, especially when you add kids into the mix. It’s not always as wonderful or easy as it is thought to be. I always pictured working from home to be something along the lines of being able to check my emails first thing in the morning over a cup of coffee while attending important meetings from my couch throughout the day.
Oh good – you’re laughing, too!
Then, my idea of what working from home shifted again after I found Plum District – all thanks to my husband, actually! While I’m not conference-calling from the couch – I am working and maintaining a balanced life with two toddlers. I really never thought it would be possible for me to able to work for a company like this with all I have going on and still able to stay home for my kids.
I’ll be honest. It’s not easy. It takes a lot of P’s: prioritizing, pre-planning, then more planning, preparation and patience.
It is possible, though. I do a lot of my work off-peak hours – after the kids go to sleep, on weekends and during nap times. If I plan it right, I can get some things accomplished during the day, too. I sneak in emails and phone calls when I can – in between doing the household work, taking care of my kids and going out and about for errands and such.
Of course, I have those days where nothing seems to get done. That’s when I table what I can for later, or another day and focus on what needs to be taken care of. It can be frustrating, but I know it all gets done eventually.
However, my family has always been and will always be my first priority. It had to be a very special opportunity for me to decide to take time away from my kids and family and I’m proud to be with Plum District.
Plum District is truly an amazing group of people that I have the pleasure to work with and for – both here in Connecticut and all over the U.S. I love what they represent and the opportunities they provide for the businesses and companies they promote in addition to the opportunities they provide to their own employees.
So, if you’re considering a career change or are looking for some inspiration, then I’d like to share with you one of my favorite quotes by Oprah Winfrey. She once said “You CAN have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.” I feel right now I certainly have the best opportunity to have a lot – if not “all.” I feel even luckier to have found an organization that not only recognizes that, but actually supports and encourages it.
July 13th, 2011 | 9:02 PM
This week at Plum District we are doing something big. We are partnering with FamilyCord to provide discount of half off cord-blood collection and storage services for expecting moms. Cord-blood collection can be pricey — usually about $2,000 ($4,000 if you have twins like I do!). As parents we want to have the best medical options for our kids, but sometimes the investment can be a barrier to getting them.
To be able to offer families this choice makes me realize how much I love my job—this week I get to offer a deal that could really make a difference in the long run!
Umbilical-cord blood offers a controversy-free source of stem cells, which scientists agree are one of the most promising medical therapies. They’re currently used to treat 80 life-threatening disorders including cancers, immune-system deficiencies, and bone-marrow deficiencies. There is also research being conducted into their use to treat cerebral palsy, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and spinal-cord injury.
As parents, we hope that collecting cord blood is a precaution that we will never have to use. If that time should come, though, we want families to have the choice to prepare themselves with the best medical options.
This is an important decision so please do your research! This offer will be available for a full week. We visited the Family Cord cryobank a number of times and saw firsthand why it is respected as one of the world’s leading facilities for cord-blood stem-cell collection, processing, and storage. The only doctor-owned and -operated facility serving all 50 states and more than 30 countries worldwide, Family Cord has earned its reputation.
March 21st, 2011 | 9:33 AM
Aileen Lee, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Plum District Board Member, wrote an outstanding guest post this past weekend on TechCrunch entitled “Why Women Rule the Internet.” Aileen focuses on investing in early stage consumer Internet companies (like Plum District), and in this post she shares a wealth of insight and knowledge about rising trends on the Internet. Most importantly, she discusses why “girl power” is fueling the unprecedented growth of today’s social Web.
Read her excellent post and get to know another member of Plum District.
March 11th, 2011 | 5:21 PM
We’ve been quiet on the blog today, but we’ve been resolving the kinks from yesterday’s Plum Reward and keeping our ears open to your comments and thoughts. If you have questions about yesterday’s deal, please bring them to our attention at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be happy to address them with you directly. Thanks again for communicating with us, and for your patience as we work to address your concerns!
March 10th, 2011 | 9:50 PM
Dear Plum District community members,
Today we ran a Plum Reward deal that gave our members the opportunity to earn a $20 Target GiftCard for referring four new users to our site. While, to this point, thousands of people have successfully earned a gift card through this reward, we’re also keenly aware that many people were frustrated, angered, and disappointed with their experience with our deal today. For that we are genuinely sorry.
We want to thank you for being part of our community, for recommending us to your friends and family, and for trusting us to offer you discounts on products and services that we think will make your lives easier and more enjoyable. We take your trust seriously and pledge to work every day to keep it.
As for our deal today, we’ve seen accusations that it was some kind of scam. It wasn’t, and thousands of people will soon be receiving their gift cards in the mail. We don’t yet know exactly how many people will get them, and that’s part of the problem. People are still using active referral links and we are still tallying deal statistics. More frustratingly, the number of visitors to our site today overwhelmed our capabilities; we underestimated the popularity of this deal. The traffic prevented our system from accurately updating people on the number of referrals they had reached. As many of you found out, our email system slowed to a crawl and set off spam alarms at several email providers, Yahoo in particular. We’re working with our email provider, SendGrid, to resolve some issues that are still outstanding, but can’t say that we’ve eliminated them all as of now. We’ll keep working.
We also can’t yet say with certainty who will and won’t earn a Plum Reward from today’s deal. We know many people, particularly on the East Coast, are waiting late into the night for information. Unfortunately, we don’t have it for you at this time. What we can say is that we hope that each person who referred friends in good faith today will earn a Plum Reward.
Again, if you felt short-changed by your experience with Plum District, we sincerely apologize. Though we may have fallen short for some of you tonight, our experience helped us put in place more robust systems that will make future deals easier and smoother for you. Thank you for your business and for all of your referrals. We will update you tomorrow with more information.
March 10th, 2011 | 4:31 PM
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:
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.