Tapping Into Deals Makes Perfect Sense

What does a “deal” mean to you?

Digital Image by Sean Locke Digital Planet Design www.digitalplanetdesign.com

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.

 

A Plum Life

“You CAN have it all. You just can't have it all at once.”

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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.

Why Women Rule the Internet

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.

Thanks for your questions and comments

Hi, folks.

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 help@plumdistrict.com, 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!

Please accept our apologies

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.

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.