Looking Back and Looking Forward

January is naturally the month for making resolutions and goal setting.  We are busy putting together our 2011 goals and have a lot of great Pilloroo ideas in the works with some new fun ideas on the way.  We keep striving to make Pilloroo better and bigger while being amazed by the successes we have been able to acheive and blessed by the smiles we have seen on our Pillrooo Fan’s faces.

I can’t help but look back.  We are often asked, how did you get started?  It’s with a chuckle, that I explain, “At my mother’s kitchen table; BillieJo on one end and I on the other with our sewing machines buzzing.”  Our first meeting, she brought the pillow I had made for Jacob years prior and with much luck and a few false starts, I figured out how to make it again.  We sewed nearly 75 Pilloroos in the next weeks and signed up for a craft fair in Springville.  With butterflies and high hopes, that’s how we started.

Pilloroo Fun

Watch our biggest Pilloroo fans play with their pillows.  So fun!

A Shipping We Will Go…

It’s been hectic and wonderful here at Pilloroo as we ship out orders for Pilloroos.  There will be many happy children this Christmas unzipping their Pilloroo pouches and finding a fun toy inside and a very special hiding spot.

Last Saturday, I had a fabulous opportunity to go to Woods Elementary School in Clovis, California to show off our Pilloroo line. It never gets old watching children unzip the zipper for the first time and say Wow!  They truly love the Pilloroo and that really makes us feel GREAT!

We love our Pilloroo Fans and as a special Holiday Gift to you, we have lowered our prices on some of our most classic designs.  Shop  http://pilloroo.com/products.html to find the perfect Pilloroos for the fun kids on your list.

The Perfect Packaging for our Pilloroo

Packaging

Choosing the right packaging for our Pilloroo was something that took a lot of time and effort.  As a shopper, I always took for granted packaging.  Skimming store aisles, I would pick up products that caught my attention.  Designing the packaging for Pilloroo, we realized how much goes into thinking through every detail of a product’s packaging.  We started looking at great brands differently.  Going back to our favorite stores like Target, Carmel Kids, Macy’s, this time as students, we observed everything from how the products sit on the shelves to how the packaging communicates the brand.

Pictured above are mock ups that I actually made in my office.  Cutting, pasting, redesigning, hours were spent trying new and different ways to present the Pilloroo in a way that was fun while showing customers the hidden pouch.

We’ve received many compliments on our packaging.  Many kudos coming from long time exprerts in the industry.  It’s a great feeling when hard work pays off!

Getting Started

building-pilloroo

Every entrepreneur has to start somewhere.  Usually it starts with an idea or a dream and then finally the courage to get started.  For Billie Jo and I, it was over lunch.  “Why don’t we sell pillows like the one you made for Jacob?”  We couldn’t have guessed where that one little question would take us.  Initially, it took us right down to the fabric store to find some fabric to make some pillows.  We then met at Mom’s house with our sewing machines to see if I could figure out how the pillows went together.

Midway through the day as we sewed away, we brainstormed names.  Billie Jo shouted, Pilloroo!  Everyone loved the name, Mom, Jim and even the golden retriever Sophia.

We are no longer sewing the Pilloroos ourselves, but we are still on the journey to see where our idea will take us.  Tomorrow, I am going to Crestwood Elementary School in Visalia to talk to 90 5th Graders about our journey as entrepreneurs.  Above is the first slide to the Powerpoint.  “Sew Samples”.  Sometimes the first step is not as hard as it seems.  

These 5th graders are starting a unit in entrepreneurship where they will all build businesses that will compete for classroom dollars in their Classroom Micro Economy.  It will surely be an exciting day.  I can hardly wait to hear all of their great ideas!

Pilloroo the Extreme Pillow

didi-extreme-home-makeover1

“The Pilloroo…is a smart idea and a great gift for children.”

When Extreme Makeover Home Edition came to Fresno and built a home for a local family in need, Pilloroo sent a pillow to one of the top designers on the show, Didi Snyder.  Her review, “Pilloroo is a smart idea and a great gift for children.”  Meeting Didi in person was a great experience.  She is as warm and genuine in person as she appears on the show.

Didi is part of something so special, it was an honor to see first hand how the team transformed the Fresno house into a customized home for the local family whose mom was born with no legs and one arm.  Mary Ann Riojas is truly an extraordinary woman, and it was nice to see the Extreme Makeover team including Didi work so hard creating a home that helps her everyday chores seem so much easier.

Pilloroo is on the Road!

17 cities in just 3 days.  Billie Jo has loaded up the car with Pilloroos and hit the road.  She has her route set out and is scheduled to visit boutiques and toy stores, looking for the perfect places for our Pilloroo.  

Her first stop will be Paso Robles, California.  She will then visit Cambria and Cayucos.  Once she gets to Morro Bay, she will hop onto Highway 101 and visit more beautiful coastal cities along the way.  When she hits Oxnard, she will turn around and head back home coming through Santa Clarita, Valencia and Bakersfield.  She has a lot of work ahead of her – but she is excited to show this pillow with a hidden pouch to new retailers who are looking for a great product for their customers.

We wish her luck and hope she finds some fabulous stores to carry the Pilloroo.  We’ll keep you updated on her progress.  

If you have a favorite store in any of these towns that you think would be great for Pilloroo or you just want to cheer Billie Jo on, please leave us a comment.

Central Coast, here we come!