Saturday, June 2, 2012

Keeping up with Facebook

You might have already heard or seen this before, but if not, if you use Facebook (which is most of us), you should read this. We promise its not long, and there are pictures too! On the eve of its IPO, Facebook revised its advertising revenue forecasts because a large number of its users access Facebook on mobile devices (cell phones, tablets, ipads, etc.) and there are no adds on the Facebook app. One of the way Facebook is making up for this "lost revenue" is with something called Promoted Posts. In the past, it was assumed that if you "liked" a page, you'd see that company's posts in your news feed, but that's not the case anymore. Now page posts are reaching only about 5-20% of their fans. See:

(Click on the pictures to see them larger)

Facebook's solution to this manufactured problem- oh, and they did manufacture it with their algorithms:

Anyways, Facebook's "solution" to allow all our fans to see our posts, is Promoted Posts. We must pay Facebook, and the fee is based on how many fans we have. We have almost 7500, so in Facebook math that costs $30:

Some people argue that as businesses we're getting an advertising service from Facebook, and we should have to pay. We won't argue with that, the problem is that Facebook changed the rules of the game in the middle of playing, and didn't really do a good job of telling the players that the rules were changing. As a user, did you realize Facebook was determining for you, what they feel you'd like to see in your news feed? Yeah, probably not. There's another problem with Promoted Posts. By paying to promote a post, it will reach more of our fans, but it will also reach random people too. People who might not like us, or care about us. Its insidious, unwanted advertising sent directly to your news feed. You've probably seen it already- something in your news feed even though you haven't "liked" that page. Weren't you bothered by it? We were. Its an ad- something we didn't ask for. Your news feed should be yours- filled with the content you want to know about, not random ads. When we have to pay Facebook to promote our posts to our own fans, we're also contributing to more random ads on Facebook, and that's just not cool. So what can you do? 
 Well, we definitely don't have the answer. But here's something you can do. We're illustrating this with our page (obviously), but you can do it with all your "likes". Go to the page and hover your mouse over the Liked button:

You'll see a drop down menu appear:

Make sure the Show in News Feed option is checked. That's it. Its as simple as that!   Now, at Hero On My Arm, we only post when we're having a sale, a special, we have a new product to show you, and a few times a month when we upload new photos of the custom orders we've completed recently.  We don't bug you with tons of posts, or random posts (hey, everyone, what's for dinner?)- we only post things that you'll want to know and see.  So hopefully, we'll see you on our Facebook page {}, and you'll be able to see us too!

Now for those of you interested, there is more that you can do to customize your news feed, keep reading if you want to learn more.

Above the Show in News Feed option on the drop down menu is another option, New List:

If you click here you can add pages (and people) to the new list you are creating:

Then you can name your list, and set your privacy settings:

Now, when you go back to the homepage, over there on the left, under Interests, there's you're list. If you click on it, you'll see all the posts from all the pages and people you added to your list!

Hope you find this helpful- happy Facebooking everyone!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Businesses for Sale

Well, hello there!
We have two business opportunities listed for sale right now on eBay. They are:

We figured you might have some questions, so we thought we'd preemptively answer a few of them for you. Obviously, if you have any more questions, just ask!

Why are you selling these? If they were successful you wouldn't be selling them, so there must be something wrong with them, yes?
No, not at all. We absolutely pinky swear promise that we're not trying to sell you a lemon, honest! The reason we're selling these two business opportunities is different for each, but we'd be happy to explain.

Demand for Christmas stockings is always high, that's why its the most developed stand alone business (has its own website already). Each year, in the summer, we start planning for Christmas and the plans are all so lovely...then it hits, the Christmas rush, and we're so swamped making purses, we STOP promoting the Christmas stockings, because we're too busy. Business peaks for them at a time that simply does not fit for us with our main business.

The bears don't fit with us for a different reason. It involves production. They are just TOO different from everything else we do. The supplies are different (stuffing, takes up a lot of space in our cramped studio), the number of inputs (pieces) is different, the machines are different (we sew our purses on commercial machines, and the bears on home machines), and they are more labor intensive (which lends itself more to being a home based business, than a studio based business, like we are). We like them, they are popular, but they just don't mesh with the day to day production of purses. I think that as a home based business, they'd be spectacular- we just don't have the space, time and resources to give them all the love they deserve.

What if I can't sew, can I just hire someone else to sew for me?
You are free to do whatever you like, but we suggest, starting out, to keep your overhead costs low, that you expect to produce the items yourself. That's what we'd recommend- but again, its just a suggestion, and you can do whatever you choose, you're the boss!

What are the differences between the two businesses you are selling?
There are a few differences! Here are the big ones.
-Sewing skill level- The stockings are easier to make. I truly believe that even if you've never sewn before, you could take a class, learn, and make perfectly lovely stockings. The bears, while not extremely difficult, are harder than the stockings, especially putting their heads on :)

-Seasonality- Bears will sell year round, while the Christmas stockings are a seasonal business, and you'll do the majority of your sales in the fall and winter for stockings. Both can be a blessing (year round sales or seasonal sales), just depends on what you're looking for

-Equipment- The bears come with a sewing machine but not an embroidery machine, and the stockings come with an embroidery machine, but not a sewing machine (see a few questions down for why)

-Website- The stockings already have their own website set up, with a template installed. The bears do not. You can choose to sell however you want (a website, Etsy, facebook, etc), but if you want to sell on a website, the stockings have that one extra step already done. If you're curious about the cost- we are happy to show the buyer of the bear business how to set up a website template for $20, however, if you want something custom designed, a website designer will cost anywhere from $100 to $1000's, depending on who you choose.

Is everything I need to start my own business included?
Pretty much. There are probably a few omissions, like there's no stuffing included with the bears (mainly because it would be a pain to ship). The stocking business doesn't include a sewing machine, just the embroidery machine, so if you don't already have one, you'll need one.

What if I have tax questions?
You should consult with a tax professional.

What if I have legal questions?
You should consult with an attorney.

Why are you selling one business with an embroidery machine and the other with a sewing machine?
We actually debated this one a lot. Truth is, I had just one extra sewing machine and one extra embroidery machine (see question below as to why), so I had to decide how to split them up. We decided to put the embroidery machine with the stockings because we felt that personalized stockings were more necessary than personalized bears. Plus, you can satin stitch initials and a heart on the bear with the sewing machine. And even a hand embroidered name would be adorable on the bears.

What condition are the machines in?
Excellent condition, actually. I bought both of these machines in January 2011 when we opened a satellite location (our main studio was still in our basement back then, and we needed to expand to accommodate more employees). In a classic "live and learn" scenario, I sublet space without reading the tenant's original lease, and we had to leave after just one month. So both of these machines were used for just a month, they are practically brand new.

How much money will I make?
Consulting crystal ball...Okay, no, seriously. No one can answer that question for you, and if they say they can, or guarantee that you'll make a certain amount of $$$, they're not being honest with you. Just like everything else, what you put into it, will determine what you get out of it. Not, the answer you were looking for? Sorry, I know, but its the truth.

Will I make money? Will I loose money?
See question above. But, I wouldn't be selling these if I didn't think that yes, you can make money operating them. And yes, we currently make money operating them.

What are the overhead costs?
That will depend on how you set up your business. If you want to keep the URL's you're getting, those will cost you about $10 a year. If you want to operate a website for your business (as opposed to selling on someone else's site, like Etsy), you'll also have web hosting fees, which can be anywhere between $5-$15/month. Rest assured, you're not committing to something with very high overhead costs- both of these business opportunities {we feel} make great home based business opportunities, with low overhead costs.

Why are there some seemingly random things included?
You noticed that, did you? lol
Well, we've been operating our business for over 8 years now, so there were things in the design studio that we figured you {might} be able to use, so we included them, like the bookmark sleeves- they make awesome covers for fabric swatches. But rest assured, we didn't just throw together a bunch of random stuff we don't use and call it a "business". Both of these items are things we currently had in our production line, so 98% of what's included is stuff you'll use everyday.

Are these businesses set up just to make items out of uniforms, or can they be set up to make items out of fabric instead?
We make things out of uniforms, so both of these businesses, as we operated them, the products were made out of actual uniforms. However, nothing changes production-wise (except fewer steps, because you don't have to deconstuct the uniform) if you choose to make the items out of fabric. You can do one or the other, or you can do both.

Can I buy them both? Is there a discount?
Sure, you can buy them both! Each is an auction, so the final prices for each will be determined by the participants of the auction, so there can be no discount on the sales price. We will be happy to ship everything together, and give you a discount on the shipping (whatever the actual shipping costs are).

Why do I need you at all? Can't I just start a business all on my own?
Sure, absolutely, you can start a business all on your own- you don't need me! But, I priced both business opportunities with starting bids well below the market price of just the supplies you are getting alone- basically, if you went out and bought all this stuff, you'd pay a lot more for it. We've been in business for over 8 years now, so you also get to "pick our brain" and get our help in setting up your business, a service that others charge thousands of dollars for.

Are you (Hero On My Arm) going out of business? Is that why you're starting to sell off things?
No, a thousand times no! Hero On My Arm isn't going anywhere. We've been in business for over 8 years now, and as businesses grow and evolve, they try new things, not all of which end up being a good fit with the original business. That's all this is. Things we've acquired, that we think would be more successful in different (less busy) hands.

Are you going to sell Hero On My Arm?
Well...probably not. These (the bears and stockings) are small enterprises, and Hero On My Arm is a big enterprise, so if you are asking if you'll see it listed on eBay one day, the answer is no, most definitely not. That being said, Hero On My Arm is like our child, we love it and we want what's best for it. If an opportunity to see it grow and thrive in different hands, on a scale we can't provide for it came along, we wouldn't want to hold it back. Geesh, that's sappy, isn't it? But, no, we're not actively trying to sell it. In fact, we have some awesomely fantastic goodness about to launch this summer- if you love Hero On My Arm, you're going to love all the great things headed your way in the coming months!

What if my question hasn't been answered already?
Send us an email at or call the studio at 405-485-3842

Saturday, May 26, 2012

If you are reading this...

If you are reading this and wondering exactly what this is/what's going on- here's the deal: I had this idea, I've had it for awhile, in fact, of this place, and what it would look like. A really cool blog for military support businesses and their customers. Problem is, I'm so busy running my own business, that I haven't had a lot of time to dedicate to this idea. So it's sat, way far down on my to do list forever {like years}. Finally, I realized, there is no perfect time to do anything, if you wait for that perfect time- when you can launch a new idea and its 100% finished and perfect- it'll never happen. There's no "perfect time", there's only right now. So I've taken the leap, and the result is what you're seeing right now. It's my hope, that as you come back and visit us, you'll see it growing, see it come to life. That's the plan anyway!

Yellow Ribbon Loft's official launch is scheduled for September 1st, 2012

Business Directory

Looking for a yellow ribbon business? Well, you're in luck! Here are some great ones:

{Coming Soon- Official launch 09/01/2012}

Are you a yellow ribbon business and would like to be listed here? Read our business directory guidelines {here}.

Special Promotions

Here are some current sales and promotions from our favorite yellow ribbon companies:

{Coming Soon
-Official launch 09/01/2012}

Are you a yellow ribbon business with a sale or a special you'd like us to promote? Read our special promotions guidelines {here}

Product Reviews

Here is a list of all the product reviews that we've done:

{Coming Soon-
Official launch 09/01/2012}

Are you a yellow ribbon company interested in having your product reviewed here? If so, please read our product review guidelines {here}

Friday, May 25, 2012

Special Promotion Guidelines

{Starting September 1st, 2012}

Yellow Ribbon Loft has a page devoted exclusively to sales and special promotions, here:

If you are a business with special promotion or running a sale, and you'd like us to feature it on our page, simply email us with the following information:
-your business name
-your business website
-your contact information for customers (email and/or phone number)
-details of the promotion (example, free shipping)
-the dates that your promotion is running (example, June 1-30th)
-any codes/coupons the customer needs to redeem (example, enter code 123ABC at checkout)

Send emails to:

The Special Promotions page is updated every {Thursday}- please submit your promotions for the week no later than {Tuesday}.

Business Directory Guidelines

{Starting September 1st, 2012}

Yellow Ribbon Loft has a Business Directory, a multitude of {Yellow Ribbon companies} all together in one place, where customers can find you here:

If you are a yellow ribbon business, and you'd like to be included in our business directory, simply email us with the following information:
-your business name
-your website
-your contact information for customers (email and/or phone)
-a short description of your business and the products you sell/services you offer.

Send emails to:

Product Review Guidelines

It's our goal here at Yellow Ribbon Loft to do at least two product reviews a month.  If you have a product that you'd like reviewed, please send us an email, we'd love to discuss it with you in more detail:

Products submitted for Product Reviews will be given away in a promotional contest for our blog readers.  We will never keep items for ourselves.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

About {Yellow Ribbon Loft}

{Our official launch is 09/01/2012} So what exactly is Yellow Ribbon Loft? At its core, its simply a blog, but really its a lot more than that! The idea of a successful entrepreneur of a military support products company (what we here lovingly refer to as a yellow ribbon company), the loft is a place for fellow entrepreneurs to connect with one another, network and collaborate. Eventually, we'll offer a large selection of business guides and how to's in our shop, and we blog about important and timely business topics each week. They'll also be patterns and business services offered, like logo design, branding, business plan writing and business coaching. But the loft is not just for businesses! The most successful, vibrant and relevant marketplaces do one thing, and they do it really well- they bring sellers and buyers together. So here at the loft, we have a comprehensive business directory, so shoppers can easier find what they are looking for. There are also product reviews, occasional giveaways, helpful blog posts just for shoppers, fantastic finds, and a special section filled with sales and promotions. We hope you like it here, and you find it useful. Suggestions are always welcome and you can connect with us in the following ways:

by email:

subscribe to our RSS feed: coming soon

on Facebook:

on Twitter:!/MyYellowRibbon

on Pinterest:

and shop with us:
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