Join Me For Our First Indie Site Party!

I am pleased to announce IBN’s first online Indie Site Party on Monday, November 30 — Cyber Monday — at Noon New York time!! Our first party will be hosted at our social networking site and will feature IBN member Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer, of Newport News, Virginia. Indie Site Parties are just like…

Details

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s been three years since we moved from our hometown of Washington, DC to Charlotte, North Carolina. While we love a lot of things about Charlotte, we miss home, especially our family. After traveling all day, we finally arrived here late yesterday afternoon. Being here is such a treat. This photo was taken a few…

Details

My 3 Blogs

I am often asked what I do. While I am involved in lots of business activities, my initial answer is always the same: I lead the Indie Beauty Network (IBN), a trade organization that provides business and advocacy services to small companies that make health, beauty and lifestyle products, and also to the companies that…

Details

Indies On Assignment: Assignment No. 1: Beef Up Your Brand!

In the 1980’s, a popular commercial for a chain of fast food restaurants featured two elderly ladies praising the “bigness” and “fluffiness” of a hamburger bun. A third lady looks more closely and hollers, “Where’s the beef?” The circus-like music in the background reminds of us how ridiculous it is to praise a flashy hot…

Details

Radio Show and Book Review: My Interview With Michael McLaughlin

This week’s Indie Business Radio, show features Michael McLaughlin, author of Winning the Professional Services Sale: Unconventional Strategies to Reach More Clients, Land Profitable Work, and Maintain Your Sanity. Michael is a management consultant and speaker with more than twenty years in the professional services industry. He is the founder and a principle of MindShare…

Details

Eye Contact: Optimizing The I to Eye Connection

This is a guest post by Luci Weston of Here We Are With Luci, sharing topics and solutions to make your life better, brighter, and easier. If you would like to submit a guest post for my blog, please read the guidelines here. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook offer new ways to socialize that are simple,…

Details

Why You Don't Have To Be Smart To Be Successful

In his new book, What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures, Malcolm Gladwell says that psychologist Daniel Willingham conducted a set of experiments designed to test how quickly people become efficient at a task. For the experiment, he told people in Group A in what specific sequence a pattern of x’s would appear on a…

Details

FTC To Host Workshops On "Journalism and the Internet Age"

On December 1 and 2, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold two days of workshops on how the Internet has affected journalism. The workshops come in the wake of the release last month of the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, which become effective on the first day of…

Details

My Remarks At Indie Business Revolution: Portland

These are my prepared remarks for tonight’s event. I wish everyone reading this could be here, but since that’s not possible, I wanted to give you a flavor for what fun we are going to have and let you know that I hope to see you at a future event when I come to a…

Details

The Social Media Revolution

The brains behind this video is Erik Qualman of Socialnomics. Erik is a seasoned social media expert who was a guest on Indie Business Radio a few weeks ago. On the show (you can read a summary, watch a video and stream the audio of the whole show here), Erik shared lots of tips and…

Details

Announcing Products Liability Insurance For Your Sweets and Confectionery Products

When I launched IBN in 2000, there was a small but growing number of people making soaps, cosmetics and other consumer products in very small quantities. With the explosion of the Internet and the availability to everyone of multiple e-commerce opportunities, micro-manufacturing in many markets has grown tremendously. Up until 2005, Illinois-based RLI Corp. provided…

Details

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, A La Mamma Mohs

I usually don’t blog about baking, but I do love to bake. I don’t get to do it often because I’m such a busy Indie, but I like to make time for baking during the holidays because it seems to enrich my family life to do so. My kids love me for it and my…

Details

Six Strategies For Being An Effective Media Outlet For Your Small Business

In order to be an effective media outlet for your business, you should abide by some basic journalistic principles. While the technologies that support journalistic endeavors are constantly changing, the basic tenets of good journalism have remained constant for hundreds of years. The challenge for you is to use those principles to establish the branded…

Details

Announcing The Beauty-Fall Bath & Body Recipe Contest!

As you may know, I am the founder and CEO of the Indie Beauty Network, a trade organization representing small and independent manufacturers of cosmetics, candles, aromatherapy products, soaps, jewelry, confectionery products and other health, beauty and lifestyle accessories. My members manufacture products on a micro-scale, often by hand from scratch. In addition to manufacturers,…

Details

Twitter List Widgets Use RSS To Help Small Business Owners Expand Their Reach

If you enjoyed my article containing 10 ways small business owners can use Twitter Lists to expand their sphere of influence and build trust and credibility, then you’ll be happy to know about this new Twitter widget creator allowing you to quickly and easily aggregate specific List content into a widget that can be displayed…

Details

Proof That Social Media Is Killing Print Magazines

When I quit my corporate job to start my business, the first thing I did was call the vice president of public relations at the company I was leaving and ask her how to get good PR. She referred me to a veteran in the industry who broke the devastating news that my business was…

Details

FDA Social Media Hearings: Day 1 Wrap Up

Today, I attended via webcast the FDA’s hearings on the use of social media to promote medical devices and drugs. The hearings started at 8:00 this morning and I listened uninterrupted until around 3:00, and then off and on after that. The speakers included drug companies (including some that also make cosmetics, such as Johnson…

Details

Senator Al Franken Introduces Household Product Labeling Act of 2009

On September 23, Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) introduced the Household Product Labeling Act. You can read the full text here (only 4 pages — yay!), and you can read the Senator’s press release here. The Act requires that the product label for all household cleaning products include all of the ingredients in that household cleaning product. “Household…

Details

Why I’m Headed Back To Capitol Hill On Behalf Of America’s Small Businesses

I am pleased to announce that, on December 3 and 4, I’m leading another delegation to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The purpose of my visits is to share small business perspectives on pending cosmetics legislation, and also on current rules, regulations and current events affecting the cosmetics industry. This is my second…

Details

Safe Baby Products Act of 2009

[An article about this bill was originally published in April 2009 at my old FDA Globalization Act blog. Due to a technical glitch, the article did not transfer here. This is what I recall of that post. Update: 8/11/2010: This post is here for informational purposes only, as the bill seems to have died in…

Details