Thursday, February 28, 2008

Just Arrived... New Stephen Joseph Ladybug Items!!

The New Ladybug Stephen Joseph Items have just arrived!! The new items inlcude, adorable Pink, Purple and Red Ladybug Book ends, that even have a small picture window for a picture of your favorite ladybug!! Other new Stephen Joseph items include the "Little Lady" Ladybug Quilted Backpack, Ladybug Bottle Buddy, Get Up & Go Ladybug Duffle Bag, Mini Get Up & Go Ladybug Bag, Smiling Ladybug Penny Pal, and the Ladybug Sticky Scriblet Notepad. View all of LadyBug Shop's New Items now!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why "Click & Mortar"?

As I have discussed in an earlier entry, the LadyBug Shop is what is called a “click & mortar” business. This means that we sell both via the Internet (the “click” part) and we have a store that sells to customers who shop in our physical store in downtown Milford, Delaware. I expect that if we hired an outside consultant to study our business and tell us what we should do to increase our profits, he would say “Get rid of the store and focus on the Internet sales”.

It is true that the bulk of our sales are made over the Internet and shipped to customers we will probably never see. And on a cost per dollar of sales basis, we get a higher return from our Internet sales than from our store sales. The cost of our website and AdWords advertising is less that the cost of having a show room, print advertising and the time it takes to wait on customers.

Why then don’t we not get rid of our show room, rent out cheaper quarters outside the downtown business area and focus our energies on the Internet business?

There are many reasons. It is nice meeting customers and interacting with them. We like being members of a downtown business community and interacting with other merchants. It is more interesting to work in a small, historic downtown business district that in a warehouse in some industrial park.

But the primary reason we are a “click and mortar” business today is that we started the business in large part to demonstrate what we believed could be a way for small businesses to get started and survive in a downtown that was trying to revitalize itself. We had been active for several years in Downtown Milford, Inc.—a typical small town commercial business district revitalization effort. (Visit for more information about this great group.) And we had watched for several years as numerous small retail businesses tried and failed to get established in our downtown. It was a chicken and egg situation—there were too few interesting shops in our historic downtown to attract many shoppers, yet without the shoppers we could not attract and sustain new start-up businesses.

We felt the solution was to build a business that could tap the rapidly growing and global body of shoppers who search for special products on the Internet, while at the same time attract shoppers to our shop by our unique, but locally connected products. And by attracting shoppers to out store, we would also be helping to increase the volume of shoppers in our downtown who could patronize other shops that located there. In other words, we see the “click & mortar” business as an important tool for "mainstreet " revitalization. And that is the primary reason we remain committed to the “click & mortar” model.

For more information on “mainstreet” revitalization efforts across the United States visit And if you are interested in shopping at other "click & mortar" businesses that are contributing to the revitalization of their downtowns visit

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tagua Turtle Pet

The Tagua Turtle Figurine is hand crafted from an ivory like nut of the tagua palm tree. The unique Turtle comes in a hand woven basket, with a real Tagua Nut inside! The fact that this turtle is hand carved from the nut is amazing! And for only $12.99 makes a wonderful gift for any occassion. The Tagua Turtle measures approximately 2" wide and 1 3/4" tall. The Tagua Turtle and woven basket is hand crafted by One World Projects an established industry player in the fair trade, socially & environmentally conscious market.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New York International Gift Fair

For the past week I have been attending the New York International Gift Fair looking for new products for the LadyBug Shop. This Fair is the premier gift and decorative accessories market in the United States. This semi-annual event fills 638,000 net square feet, including the entire Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan and several additional exhibition halls. The 45,000 national and international attendees are drawn from major retail outlets, specialty retailers, distributors, catalog companies and others. There are more than 2,800 firms exhibiting in eleven major merchandise sections of the Fair, including international sponsored groups representing Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Canadian Province of Quebec, South Africa, Thailand and United Kingdom. I had a great time--and now have sore feet. I walked for miles and met with most of our current wholesale suppliers and met many new ones. Dan, who works in New York, was able to lend a hand for part of the show. He served as my scout, searching for new products as he walked up and down aisles quickly. I followed, placing orders. Thanks to a lot of great work that Zoe helped me with prior to the show, I was able to restock much of our inventory that was greatly depleted over the past holiday season. During this show we were particularly interested in expanding our line of turtle products, and were delighted to find many excellent new turtle items. We were especially pleased when we found suppliers who produced nice items in both ladybug and turtle variations. Obviously we are not the only ones who see the harmony of the two as a pair! Over the next weeks we will be presenting some of the new and exciting items we purchased at the Fair as shipments arrive and we put them up on our website. So watch this space!

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Ladybug Game

Have you played The Ladybug Game? The Ladybug Game is a great board game for young children, ages 3 and up! The Ladybug Game is designed for interactive play between parents and children. Parents are encouraged to read a lively introductory story about the adventures of four ladybugs – Ella Yellow, Rickie Red, Tommy Teal and Olivia Orange. The object of the game is to help them find their way back home (a rosebush) after a windstorm launches them airborne and they land on a faraway dirt pile. The first ladybug to find her way "home" is the winner. Along the way, the ladybugs encounter various hazards such as tall grass, praying mantis, aphids and ants. Purchase The Ladybug Game for only $13.95! And have fun helping the ladybugs find their way home!

Fun Ladybug Game