Archive | July 2012

Excuse me, Mr. Lawyer-man, but I only know English..

While attempting to become a “real deal” startup (Yes, that is proper government grammar), we have had some interesting literature thrown in our faces. This is the type of literature, you will not find at a children’s book store. Nor would you find this literature grazing the shelves of your local grocer. Actually, I am wholeheartedly convince much of this literature comes from outer space, and although we have many talents, we do not speak alien. In fact, we speak English and maybe some German. As we prepare to take on investment and register as a C-corp. We carouse through document after document, wondering what it all means. I’m sure it means a great deal to those who know this alien language, but to us it is simply gibberish. In our opinion, the process of reviewing these documents means three things: This is getting really SCARY and really SERIOUS. And we need a LAWYER as soon as possible. So were we introduced to a great one.  In fact, we are working with an award-winning law firm with experience working with early stage startups.

It’s times like these were we are thankful for our great lawyer. He answers our dumb question-filled emails with a smile (if an email had a facial expression). He took the pressure off of us presented to us by our investors, and all we had to do was read (or browse) and sign on the dotted line. Actually, you should probably read every document intently to insure everything is correct. Although minor, I have found a few mistakes in some of the documents. After questioning, they were immediately corrected. Sites like Legalzoom.com are great, but as you start to attract outside interest, it’s better to have someone fighting in the battle for you. There are so many things fighting against you as you just try to focus on the war strategy.

Moral of the story: Get a great lawyer. It may cost you a little, but it’s definitely worth it. You will be protecting you and your business in the early stages. As you build and grow you will have a solid foundation to rely on. Plus, simply put, it will go a long way in expediting the process in tasks you really don’t care much about. You just focus on disrupting whatever industry you are disrupting. Okay? Okay.

Shawn

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The Co-founder that was TERRIBLE at EVERYTHING…

I am terrible at many many things. I can’t really dance. I can’t read while in a moving vehicle. I am awful at riding a bike in the street. Also I just discover (with the help of a friend) that I can not rotate my left foot clockwise while rotating my finger counterclockwise.

If I am honest with myself, I am terrible at several things in life, and it is times like these when I call in backup, a WICKEDLY AWESOME co-founder. I’d like to introduce you to Kristen Pagan (pronounced Pah-Gone).

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Kristen Pagán joins SeamBLiSS with experience in both fashion and marketing. Kristen’s unique mix of business and marketing experience allows her to think about fashion from all perspectives. Prior to joining SeamBLiSS, Kristen worked as a Marketing Analyst at trend forecasting firm Stylesight, where she managed lead generation and ran analytics for email and online marketing campaigns. As an assistant for Boston-based fashion designer Nirva Derbekyan, she gained inside knowledge of the needs of independent apparel designers. She also has experience in the recruiting of creative professionals, having interned at boutique fashion and design recruiting firm Janou Pakter. Kristen brings enthusiasm for the interaction between fashion and technology, as well as a love of online shopping.

Kristen Pagán holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Germanic Languages & Literatures with a secondary field in Economics from Harvard University. She will complete her Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Fashion Management from LIM College in August of 2012.

We are excited to have Kristen on the team. She brings a wealth of knowledge along with her. So here’s to a great future not only for her career, but for SeamBLiSS as well. She will help even out my “terribleness.”

Shawn Oates
Proud Co-Founder of SeamBLiSS
http://www.seambliss.com

The Business, formerly known as…

Transitions, you hate them or embrace them. We are engaging in the latter.

As we embark on a new C-corp registration (suitable for outside investments), we have decided to change our company’s name in light of the changes. We are knitting a fresh seam (pun intended), under a new name, SeamBLiSS. We wanted a name that is, first, available, easy to spell, and meshed well with our business intentions. SEAM: referring to apparel or jewelry; BLISS: perfect happiness or  great joy. Bring it all together and its SeamBLiSS. SeamBLiSS offers a SEAMLESS experience full of HAPPINESS for the emerging designer, SEAMSTRESS, and consumers alike. Like it?

We will also be introducing a new site design. In a few days, we hope to engage our users and visitors with an eye-popping design that never escapes your thoughts.

This is not all. You will also noticed another change as you journey along with us. I can not announced this so-called “change” just yet, but it is definitely one that comes with great innovation, problem-solving, and just plain awesomeness. So I assume it is safe to say that things are changing around the “house.”  Out with the old and in with the new as we prepare for disruption in such a powerful way.

Stay tuned and stay amazed!!

Need to build a team? Inspire…

The ability to inspire those you come in contact with and those around you is an overlooked quality that all entrepreneurs should embrace. Looking for a technical web developer to join your team? Or how about a business developer with domain experience? Or both?

If you answer is yes to these questions, I’d strongly suggest that you get to recruiting. As an founder, you need not take breaks from recruiting. I believe you should always be in contact with your next executive, your next developer, or even your next customer service specialist. Recruiting for a startup is hard as it is (although getting easier as now all of the sudden working for a startup seems cool and hip) so taking a break from it will only put you further behind.

Let’s face it your company will not grow unless you have smart individuals behind it pushing it. So get off away from the computer and go network. You should always be in hiring mode whether you are actually hiring or not. When smart individuals that fit your business culture deny your requests to join your startup, DON’T GIVE IN. Keep recruiting and continuing to propel your business, because they will watching. The right time might arise to hire them and at that point, they might just say that word we have come to love, YES.

Slow Progress on Development…Scary

This title simply sat in my blog drafts, but was never elaborated on or submitted. Now is the time to make it happen.

I’ve always been an impatient human being. I have to have what I want when I wanted it. I never take the time to watch as things unfold. A recent example was when I purchased a new computer and discovered that I did not have Microsoft Office. After quickly shelling out 200 big ones, I immediately downloaded it in frustration. The next day I discovered that my job offered a deal that allowed me to get the entire Microsoft Office for just 10 measly dollars. Refund, you say? Not a chance.

Bring it home: The site development has gone a lot slower than I would have liked, but at least it is progressing. I enjoy discovering when thinks have been put in placed and have evolved. Maybe I should continue to be patient and one day I might just be satisfied with what we have built. And maybe then, I will no longer be SCARED TO DEATH.

YES!!! Someone besides US and our USERS believes in Fresh Seams

Monday evening I received an unknown phone call. The person on the other end was the president of a local business incubator. After a few cordial comments, I had learned that we were accepted into the competitive program. This is coming after several (hundreds would be more accurate) applications were filled for accelerators and incubators across the globe.

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Have we made it BIG? I’d quickly deny these claims as there is A LOT of hard work left to be completed, but having your business and team validated by angel investors and other prominent business individuals sure does bring a smile to my face. Judging by the above diagram, our chances of success greatly increase. Out of the many “No’s” we have heard, we have finally heard a “Yes.” All you need is one and you are swept off your feet by the “prince” who will introduce you to people and things that will excel your business.

So watch our business grow as we take what we learn and put it into our business and GROW GROW GROW. The program begins on August 6 and will end with a Demo Day on November 1.

Accepted into TechLaunch’s LaunchPad at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey