Read With Max Original Childrens song, "READ A BOOK", Performed by Marrisa Begin on Center Sound Records has been officially released. I am very excited to announce my second children's song produced with Emmy nominated writer/composer Craig Brandwynne. Mike Grant also helped with the music and lyrics. "READ A BOOK" is performed by actress/singer Marissa Begin of Center Sound Records. With in a week my song will be released and available on iTune, Amazon.com and CDBaby.com under Marissa Begin. It truly is a great childrens tune that encourages reading. Yes, adults like to listen too. A big thank you goes out to my mom for creating the cover design. This truly has been a team effort. Stop by and hear a sample of the song on the "Read With Max" website. You also can enter the Music Video Contest for great prizes. If you could please share this post and join me in encouraging children to "Read A Book!"
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
Its been a while since all of you have heard from me. I doing well and been so so busy. We are getting ready to welcome two new additions to our family; twin boys Alex and Nick. Very exciting. I have been in the recording studio as well with Center Sound Records finishing a few more songs. I will be releasing my song this week along with a great Music Video Contest. Over $500 in prizes offered. Get your video camera/cell phone out and start recording. Adults and Children are both allowed to enter this contest. Full rules will be posted on our new site. Next, I have been training my brother who is a basset hound, Wrigley, to start taking over the family business. Wrigley and I are in the process of writing a cooking book. You will also see more of Wrigley and his adventures soon. Also, Wrigley and I have finished writing our first pilot episode of "PAW CITY DOGS" Yes, I becoming a cartoon and we have a series we are putting together. We will be looking for sponsor for our episodes. ...Stay tune Last but not least, I have been working on my new website. It will be easier to navigate and learn about my new projects. I hope everyone will visit often and spread the word. Thanks for being patient, but as you know when I am quite I usually have something exciting I am working on. Hugs and Licks: MAX
Posted by Maximus, a.k.a "Max" at 6:05 PM
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Well hello all! I would like to thank "MAX" for providing me the opportunity to share with you about our adventure of a crazy family of 6, inventing a USA Made product and striving to live the American Dream!
My hubby, Bryan Ricci, invented the Eraselet® after our youngest daughter, then in second grade, sat down to do her homework after school. She went to her Poppy (that is what we all call Bryan around here because he is so fun!) and asked for an eraser. “What happened to the erasers I just bought you?” says Poppy? “I don’t know”, replied Audrey. Now many of you know from experience, that there is ALWAYS lots of pencil left but never enough eraser on your pencil! As Bryan looked down and noticed all the bracelets that Audrey was wearing he said, “As many bracelets you wear on your wrist, I am going to just tape one on you!” And there you have it, the “light bulb” moment and the birth of the Eraselet® The Bracelet That Erases! http://www.eraselet.com
Now, it is one thing to come up with an idea, it is TOTALLY another to follow it through. We do not have loads of money. In fact, with 4 kids we are pretty much tapped out like most of America. We live modestly in our 1978 built home and have come to learn how to make the most of our avocado kitchen countertops and harvest gold toilets. So when Bryan came up with this idea our next step was to secure a trademark and hiring a lawyer was out of the question, so Bryan hopped on the computer and went to USPTO website to learn how to self file a trademark and see if Eraselet was available. Yes it was available and yes it was going to cost us a little more than half of what was in our already meager bank account to file it. So, with caution thrown to the wind, we went for it!
Now we have never done anything like this before. Bryan was working full time as a service tech for an appliance company and part time doing graphic design and web development from our home, but he has never done anything like this. After work each day, he would come home and research the steps that needed to be taken to bring our little invention to the market.
Our next step was to file for a patent pending. We feared that if we attempted to take it to a manufacturer or anyone else, without the protection of the patent-pending, it would be taken away from us. Now patents are expensive and quotes from various patent attorneys were upwards of $20,000.00! That is a lot of money that we did not have. So, Bryan, being the self motivated fella’ that he is, gave himself a 3 week crash course on how to do a self-patent with the USPTO! Once we received our tax return, we had the funds to pay for the patent and off we went to find a US manufacturer and we soon found out that that was not an easy task!
Now there were several reasons why we were adamant about finding a manufacturer in the US. 1) We wanted to do our part to help rebuild the American economy. 2) We wanted to prove that it is still possible to believe and live the American dream. 3) We wanted to ensure the safety of our product because it is sold primarily to children. 4) We wanted to be involved with the development to ensure it would be a quality product. 5) We wanted to ensure our product is made responsibly in relationship to the impact on the environment.
Time and again we were told that if we wanted to make our product in the US it would be impossible for us to find a US manufacturer. We were told over and over again to go to China. We were told that even if we found a US manufacturer, we would not be able to make it affordably and that it would be next to impossible for the product to meet the margins needed for the retailers to pick it up. I myself searched for two months and even US manufacturers were telling me to go to China!
Out of frustration I told Bryan that I just didn’t think that we were going to be able to find one but he didn’t want to give up! He sat down and made a list of 25 rubber manufacturers and sat out to call every single one himself. After calling all 25, it turned out to be the first company that he contacted that not only wanted to work with us, they were in the perfect position to do so! Dennis Long with Alliance Rubber Company would turn out to be one of our closest allies and greatest proponents of Eraselet®! Not only did Alliance work with us diligently to create the type of rubber that we needed to make the perfect Eraselet®, they also loved the product so much that they put forth the investment to fill our initial inventory and worked out a licensing deal with us to be able to sell Eraselets to their clients and through their distribution channels as well. We are proud to say the 150 associates at Alliance Rubber Co make our product in the USA!
Being limited on funds and being blessed with many talents Bryan often spends 16+ hours a day on Eraselet®. He designs all of our fun little characters, he has designed our retail packaging, he built both of our websites and did both our YouTube videos, our favorite being Naner Bananer’s Extra Erasable and he is the head honcho, at least I let him think he is! Bryan also takes time out to speak at local non-profits, primarily relating to troubled teens, because as a homeless teen, it is his desire to help them know that they can make something out of their life. But that another story entirely and I will share that with you at another time!
Now, here we are almost a year after “officially” opening our company and we finally have our online store, scripture Eraselets in Lifeway Christian Stores and a test going on at the Dollar General Market to test our 1.00 item. We have also developed a custom department that allows us to make custom Eraselets for school, non-profits, churches, business, etc. We also founded a non-profit called Erase World Hunger http://www.eraseworldhunger.org It is our desire to use our little blessing to help bless others.
Do you have a cause you’d like to erase? The Eraselet® is the perfect promotional item to bring awareness to your cause. Not only is it a bracelet but it has a function as well! And by using that function we provide a new way to bring awareness to “Erase Your Cause”. You can “Erase Bullying”, “Erase Autism”, “Erase Debt”, “Erase Cancer” and the list goes on and on!
Having 3 kids in public schools, we realize the difficulties our school systems have and we also want to do our part to help teachers and schools raise much needed funds! That is why we offer our retail packages by the case at wholesale prices to schools, teachers & PTO/PTA’s to help raise funds for their class, school or various programs. Your school could earn up to 100% profit by selling Eraselets, just contact me to find out how!
In closing, I’d like to encourage you all to follow your dreams! Yes, it is difficult! Yes, it is challenging! However, I’ve got good news for you! We are normal people just like you and we are doing it, so you can do it too! Do you have a business you’ve always dreamed of starting or product that you have invented? Well there is no better time like the present to start!
Again, I’d like to thank Moms 2 Moms for giving me the platform to share our story and about our little product, Eraselet. We have a long way to go and I hope I have the opportunity to update you from time to time to share about our progress and challenges that arise. Our little adventure has been by no means easy, however, it has been a lot of fun and we are having the time of our life!
Look for Eraselet on Moms 2 Moms and please feel free to contact me at Kimberly@eraselet.com if you would like more information about a custom Eraselet® or using Eraselet® to raise funds for your school!
VP Sales & Marketing, Mom & Wife
Sunday, December 4, 2011
You may have heard of Mr. Mark Cuban if your a Dallas Mavericks Fan, or watch NBC Shark Tank. He has been extremely successful in all his career endeavors and I am very excited to have a chance to interview such a extraordinary individual and gain access to advice especially for MOM looking to be mom-preneurs. Here is my interview and responses from Mr. Cuban.
There are many mommies out there that dream of creating their own business
but haven't a clue where to start. What advice do you have for them?
Find something you love to do, can do on your own and doesn’t require
any more capital than you can afford to lose personally. The most
valuable asset you have is your time, talents and ability to
communicate. Focus on those strengths and what you can do rather than
what you can’t do.
There are many young moms who are just beginning their lives and can relate to
you when you said you were sharing a small apartment with 6 people and
sleeping on the floor. How can someone keep their eye on the prize when they’re
living on Ramen noodles?
Who cares how you are living today? I loved every minute of living in
that dump. The low rent and utilities and eating Mac n’ Cheese all
the time allowed me to afford the startup of my business. Instead of
paying myself much, I could put it in to my business.
One part in your book I loved and my heart sank at is when your fiance
lost your $7500 ring. What's your advice for those moms out there who are distracted by a relationship? How do you balance a real life with your dreams?
I never was able to balance. Each person has to make their own
decisions. But remember, your competitors aren’t sitting by idly
waiting for you to have a nice dinner with your significant other.
They are trying to kick your butt. So choose wisely.
You encourage entrepreneurs not to hire a public relations firm, Mark. How did you get the word out about your eBook?
I tweeted, posted on Facebook, [used] Google Plus and responded to emails. Nothing more.
Where can we get a copy of your eBook, How to Win at the Sport of Business?
Anywhere eBooks are sold: Amazon, BN.com, and sites that support independent bookstores too.
Thank you Mr. Cuban for taking the time to talk. I know many of the moms will appreciate all the terrific advice.
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Question: Your children's book, The Adventures of Smitty looks magically. Tell us about it.
It's the story of a magical island of little creatures called Smilies and the mischievous little main character, Smitty. He's such a naughty boy. Haha! All the moms and kids I've shared it with have been giving me such a wonderful reaction. I cannot believe it. I have to tell you how excited I am to finally have a life-long dream come true. Writing The Adventures of Smitty was really about finding a story that I would want to read to my children at night.. It has to be exciting but not scary so that my two daughters can go to sleep. Basically, I was looking for that perfect blend to read to my kids at night and decided, "Why not try writing my own?"
We've had a lot of changes in our life recently, so I want to make sure that when I put my daughters to sleep that they feel safe. I have short chapters because I know how busy we moms are but if you can just sacrifice 5 minutes at night reading to your kids, it makes a world of difference. Your kids will never forget it. And although we're running around the whirlwind of life, our kids grow up so fast, and that time that we'd rather finish watching what happened in our favorite soap opera instead of reading to our kids will never come again. I hope that The Adventures of Smitty and books like it help moms do exactly that.
And it's only 99 cents this week. That's what I love about it. Now, You are recently divorced. How have you been able to continue writing when going through such a change?
Yes, it is by far one of the most challenging points in my life. To see a marriage you thought would last forever to not last forever was difficult for the two of us. I really learned a lot about myself and most importantly, it's brought me closer to my daughters. I think that's what really motivated me to finish this children's book no matter what. When you're going through changes in your life like this, you need something to hold on to. There's a part of you that wants to prove that you can make it, that you will be a success even if it's not with the partner you originally imagined building a life with. I had to keep writing, for my kids. I want to show them that they have to keep strong, no matter what.
We as women, as moms really need to stick together to support each other and our dreams. We're living in an age when I think we're finally realizing, although we want love, the men in our life aren't the answer to everything. We have to stand up on our own two feet and keep going. True love will happen, but until then, we have to keep moving forward. Our children depend on us and we depend on us.
In addition to being a children's book author, you're also a small business owner. How do you juggle taking care of two daughters and at the same time running a business?
Yes, I am a fashion designer and have a retail store. Any type of creativity is what I'm passionate about. That's why writing The Adventures of Smitty was so important to me. Let me tell you, running a small business in today's economy isn't easy especially when raising two girls at the same time. But somehow, it seems someone's watching over me because my dreams are coming true no matter what. To have that many moms glowing about my children's book, means so much to me. And I know my girls are proud.
When do you ever have time to write?
You mean, in between laundry, running a business, chasing my girls around the house, cleaning the house, and flying back and forth fromMiami to New York? Haha? That's one thing I've learned, when you really want to do something, you find a way. Things fall into place if you just go for it and that's what I want to encourage all the moms who are reading this right now. Whatever your goal is, you can do it. Don't let the challenges in your personal life stop you from going for your dreams. Just go for it and it's almost magical how things fall into place.
Where can we get a copy of "The Adventures of Smitty"?
Right now, it's available online by going to: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/94655 You can also visit my website:http://www.AnnaDeskins.com where you can read more about my writing process, my recommendations for other books and my own adventures in Mommyhood.
I'm so grateful for your support and the support I'm getting from so many wonderful moms who dream of writing children's books one day too. Writing The Adventures of Smitty has been such an emotional experience for me, a true journey as I was going through so many changes while writing it. It's truly been a blessing in my life. It, along with my daughters, and that guy upstairs have really pulled me through a challenging time.
Thanks for the interview, Anna. And let's go out and support a fellow mom by getting a copy of The Adventures of Smitty today. I know I will!