Monday, October 18, 2010

Promote Fall titles and crafts!

NOW is the time to promote wonderful Fall titles including the The Gigantic Turnip,  The Barefoot Book of Monsters and Tales of Mystery and Magic.  These three titles make wonderful Halloween gifts or to be read at an event or storytime.  

I recently came upon this easy craft that would be great at a storytime and craft event.   Monster Masks..

Creating monster masks is a creative way to help children understand that something are not as scary as they seem. That monsters are a part of our imagination. Just like the one they are getting ready to make.  You'll need:
  • Paper Plates
  • Craft Sticks
  • Miscellaneous craft supplies
  1. Give each child a paper plate. Make sure that if you are going to use eye holes that you cut them out in advance.
  2. Offer craft supplies and glue.
  3. Encourage the children to decorate their plate to make a monster mask.
  4. Tape the craft stick to the back bottom part of the plate.
  5. Find some fun monster music and let the children dance with their masks on
Read more about the source of this craft here
Happy Fall

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Think outside the box, part 2

Holiday time is right around the corner - make sure you are keeping up with the scattered holiday events in your area.  Churches and other fellowship organizations are great places that host holiday sales and bazaars.  Keep these tips in mind:
  • If it's advertised as a "craft fair" it's still worth taking a peek to see if they would allow a Barefoot Books vendor.  The books are special and different.  Also some organizers will allow you to attend if you provide a craft or activity sheets for the little guests.   (Pssst - Busy little ones = more parent shopping time!)
  • Think about hosting an online fundraiser, which will only help expand your business and contacts.  Donate a portion of your commission to the organization that you feel passionately about.  Online fundraisers are seldom much work
  • Look to hospitals, large hotels that host various events, assisted living facilities, dance studios, yoga studios and other venues that target your desired audience.  These books and products have a wide appeal to people of all ages.  Don't loose sight of that!
  • Balance - be sure to maintain a balance during the busy holiday season....don't sign up for every event you see, you'll only end up exhausted and too busy for yourself.  
 Read - share and enjoy this special time of year!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Barefoot on GMA

Just wanted to post the link to a recent link featured on Good Morning America that highlighted several direct sales companies, including (you guessed it) Barefoot!  Take a look here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer is the perfect time to go Barefoot!

I apologize that I haven't been keeping up with this blog as much as I would like.  I don't have a good excuse, just the fact that life has sort of gotten in my way of focusing on Barefoot Books as much as I'd like. 

I would encourage everyone on my team to also become a member of Dena's Team Barefoot page on Facebook.  Dena is who I roll up under and is full of knowledge and information about these wonderful books and products.  As far as I'm concerned the more we share with one another, the more successful we will all be.  Oh, and be sure to congratulate Dena on the birth of her new son!

Just a couple of June tips...Barefoot Books and the activity cards make wonderful "Happy Summer" gifts as well as end of the school year teacher gifts.  Teachers love these books and inspire creative little minds - Riley's teacher is getting a deck of the Kids' Garden Cards, great for Summer and beyond!

As always, please do not hesitate to ask me any questions and offer suggestions! 

Happy Summer everyone!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Last days...

As most of you know, Barefoot Books' Cambridge Store is closing shop at the end of April and moving to their new location in Concord, NH.  Inventory there is up to 50% off (or more by now).  If you are in the area, it might be a great time to take one last look at this fabulous store that's been open since 2001.  Read more about it here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kids' Garden!

We were pretty thrilled today when our very first copy of the Kids' Garden cards finally arrived.  Riley sat right down to "dig in" and they certainly did not disappoint!  They are broken into five different categories:

  1. Exploring the Garden
  2. Planting and Growing
  3. Fun with PLants
  4. Discovering Creatures
  5. Creative Garden Art

Riley (age 5) really liked the deck but had a few favorites including - Corn Husk Dolls (a card all about how to make your very own). Planting a Pizza Bed and of course, Creating Flower Crowns.

It also includes a little pamphlet all about garden tools and saftey when using them!

I am honestly giving this new deck to every little one (and bigger ones) that I know for Spring and Summer birthdays.  What a fabulous gift!  I would encourage you to take a deeper look at this particular deck which, like all the Barefoot decks is full of wonderful, educational and thought provoking activities for your customers. 

 Really, who wouldn't want to plant a rainbow?  

Sorry for the lack of posts recently.  Two little ones makes life very busy these days.  I'm still learning to balance home, family and a business.  If anybody has suggestions of topics they'd like discussed or addressed, please email me at or comment here and I'd be happy to address any requests!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Books with cds shipping update

From today's ambassador weekly update, keep in mind this important piece of information regarding your orders!  Definetely something to consider!

North America shipping
We want to inform Ambassadors in North America that the United States Postal Service no longer allows books with CD's to ship as bound printed matter. As a result, if you place an order on the Barefoot Books website that contains a book w/ CD you will no longer see the USPS $4.99 shipping option. These orders have to be shipped via UPS which is based on order weight and delivery zip/postal code

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Discount Codes Extended until the end of 2010 and New Video!

Just read a post on Barefoot today that confirmed the discount codes we currently use will be extended until the end of the year.  Read more information about it here.


Also, as many of you have seen, the Animal Boogie Video is up and ready to be seen!  Take a look here

Have a Happy St Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Reminder of this week's meetings!

Just wanted to remind everybody about the meetings this week - you know the drill....

Tuesday, March 16th at 1pm EST: Newcomer Conference
Also the open e-chat in the evening at 9pm EST
Wednesday, March 17th at 1pm EST and again at 9pm EST
Topic: Looking for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? We'll be discussing new ways to maximize your profits and how to take full advantage of the compensation plan. This looks like a great one to attend if you can!
Thursday, March 18th at 1pm EST and again at 9pn EST: Technology conference

Participant Passcode: 199753 

Toll-Free Phone Numbers:

NORTH AMERICA:  1 888 619 1583

Also, keep in mind that you can mute your line if you have distractions or little ones in the background by hitting *6 (I often mute my line when I attend and just unmute the line to participate, it works well!)
There is no Wednesday meeting next week (3-24), which is the date of the leader's call however, the community update will be on Wednesday, March 31st which is a great source of information.  

To get all the information, click here

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Exciting new reports and changes to old ones!

Be sure to check out the enhanced reporting features that are now available at Barefoot! These reporting updates will make it easier to run our businesses and manage our team.  Check your inbox for the Ambassador Reporting update which outlines which new reports are available and what changes were made to the old ones! 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Have you seen it yet?

It's no secret that I'm VERY EXCITED about Barefoot's new Spring titles!  A few weeks ago, Who's In the Garden arrived here and the girls haven't put it down since.  Full of bright, beautifully colored illustrations - this peekaboo book is a perfect Easter or Springtime gift.  We love it!

Next up?  The most anticipated card deck (in our house anyway)!  Kids' Garden is sure to delight with 40 fun indoor and outdoor activities and games.  We love Kids' Kitchen around here and I'm sure this will be no different.  It's full of simple garden and science projects you can do inside and out....since we're a little stir crazy around here these days, we will most certainly be OUT!  Coming soon from Barefoot - be sure to let your customers know!  This is sure to be a great seller in the upcoming months!

Friday, March 5, 2010

"Every child needs to be read to."

The pool of Barefoot ambassadors is quite impressive.  The business brings people together from different walks of life but we all have one thing in common, our love of books.  I recently came across an article in Wickedly Local Wellesley all about Laurie Mattaliano, a Barefoot Leader who spent her time and energy over the holidays to make several children and families even happier this past holiday season.  Check out the article here.

Here's to the heart of Barefoot Books, the children.  Isn't that what it's all about anyway?

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Meetings

Newcomer Web Conference

Tuesdays: 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 March
10a PST/1p EST (North American Ambassadors)
2p GMT (European Ambassadors)
Have questions about getting started, or need a kick start after some time away? Join us for this weekly web conference where we’ll discuss tips and resources to help you launch your business.

Open E-Chat

Tuesdays: 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 March
6p PST/9p EST (North American Ambassadors)
9p GMT (European Ambassadors)
This weekly meeting held in our online chat room is very casual and perfect for getting to know others in the Barefoot Books Ambassador community. You can come and go as you please, there is no set agenda, but there’s always a little business and a lot of fun! 

Weekly Training Web Conference

Each week we focus on a different topic and share ideas, tips and resources to help you build your Ambassador business. Log into our web conference room and dial the toll-free conference line to participate.
Wednesday, 3 March at 10a PST/1p EST/6p GMT
and again at 6p PST/9p EST

Join us for a discussion about training and nuturing new team members.
Wednesday, 10 March at 10a PST/1p EST/6p GMT
and again at 6p PST/9p EST

We'll discuss how to grow your list of contacts and customers and how to make the most of it.
Wednesday, 17 March at 10a PST/1p EST/6p GMT
and again at 6p PST/9p EST

Looking for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? We'll be discussing new ways to maximize your profits and how to take full advantage of the compensation plan.

Weekly Technology Web Conference

Thursdays: 4, 11, 18, 25 March at 10a PST/1p EST/6p GMT
and again at 6p PST/9p EST

Have technology questions? We have answers! Join us for this interactive web conference where we can show you how to find what you’re looking for, format html code, and use all of the tools you have access to. Each week we’ll focus on our new digital media along with tips on creating and maintaining a blog!

Ambassador Community Update Web conference

Wednesday, 31 March at 10a PST/1p EST/6p GMT
All Ambassadors are welcome to this monthly web conference. We’ll discuss new developments and important issues...a great opportunity to ask questions!

Participant Passcode: 199753 

Toll-Free Phone Numbers:

When available, please use local toll-free numbers for your area. 
NORTH AMERICA:  1 888 619 1583

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A great resource

The page on Barefoot that reflects the articles and buzz that Barefoot has generated is a great marketing tool!  Take a look at the media regarding Barefoot often times, if a customer hasn't heard of Barefoot or aren't interested, they may be more interested if say - Mothering Magazine has done a write up regarding the products.

It's a great day to do extra reading today anyway - cold, damp and yes, more RAIN!

Yesterday's Community Update Conference Call

Some great information came out yesterday during the community update meeting.  Some highlights:
  • We talked a bit about the Ambassador initiative and getting the right types of ambassadors who are interested in the business and growing with Barefoot.  Don't just sign up everybody you know.  For every ambassador who signs up under you and joins your team, you'll get 10,000 loyalty points and will work toward the teambuilder competition.  The grand prize is a trip to the 2010 conference.  
    As a reminder, new ambassadors are eligible for the starter kit at $99.99 and will earn 20% commision on that as well. 
    An Animal Boogie Digital Short is coming in the not too distant future.  It will be similar to the Driving my tractor digital short that came out last year.  An ambassador asked about the possibility of these coming to DVD and Rebecca stated that it was something they talked about but no concrete plans to do that yet.
  • Barefoot's very first official PODCAST will be coming soon!
  • Barefoot is working on seasonal themes that they hope to get out to all ambassadors about a month ahead of time so that we can plan our business around special events, incentives and promotions. 
  • They have hired a new director of IT, communications and community relations team.  So, some shuffling at the corporate level.
  • The loyalty points report is now available, which will let us know where our points are coming from and how they are spent. 
  • They are working on the team member sales report. 
  • Coming soon:
    • Updated marketing materials (including new catalogs)
    • Information regarding approaching trade accounts, which will now be something that ambassadors can offer to stores, gift shops and specialty stores.    
Please let me know if you have any questions!  Definitely an exciting time to be an ambassador!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Today's Meeting

Today's meeting is a good one to attend if you have the time.  The monthly conference seems to be a good way to get some new information and of course, ask any questions that you may have.  If you can't attend, I'm planning to post the notes from the meeting on the blog later this week.  

Ambassador Community Update Web conference

Wednesday, 24 February at 10a PST/1p EST/6p GMT
All Ambassadors are welcome to this monthly web conference. We’ll discuss new developments and important issues...a great opportunity to ask questions!

Participant Passcode: 199753 

Toll-Free Phone Numbers:

When available, please use local toll-free numbers for your area. 
NORTH AMERICA:  1 888 619 1583

Friday, February 19, 2010

Emily's Tiger

Yesterday, Riley was having "A DAY".  She is still recovering from her cold, was tired and a wee bit growly.  After opening my latest stock order, she was upset that I wouldn't let her put a sign on the door that read, "Book Sale".  I literally grabbed Emily's Tiger and it couldn't have been more perfect!  She immediately joined me for the read and loved to hear about disgruntled Emily and how she learned, via her Grandmother, how to put her "growly attitude" into perspective.  I would highly recommend this book for those parents who are looking for the perfect book to tame the "beast" in their children.  Worked for us, calmed the mood and we walked away smiling (she still wants me to put up the sign though.)
Ages 3 to 7 years
Illustrated By: Miriam Latimer

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

No Wednesday meeting this week but next week's will be a monthly recap!

Ambassador Community Update Web conference

Wednesday, 24 February at 10a PST/1p EST/6p GMT
All Ambassadors are welcome to this monthly web conference. We’ll discuss new developments and important issues...a great opportunity to ask questions!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Use the free resources!

Sometimes it's easy to get overwhelmed with all the advice and resources that are out there for Barefoot ambassadors.  Try to take it one step at a time as you learn more about the business.  One excellent resource is the Childrens Craft and Activities tab on Barefoot's homepage.  Here's where to find it:
Along the top of the home page on, click on "Our Story".  Along the left, scroll down until you see "Children's Crafts and Activities".  Here, you'll find various activities, audio books and songs that are perfect for you to get to know the stories and utilize at vendor events, parties and fairs.  Feel free to modify these as needed.  This past Summer, I utilized the Creepy Crawly Calypso activity after reading the story and listening to the song.  The preschoolers loved drawing their creepy crawlies and learning more about the creatures.  This would also be an interesting activity to pair with the new book, Who's In the Garden. 
I've also handed out printables such as the Zig Zag Zebra activity and the Cleo the Cat activity at various events.  These are an excellent way to showcase the books and get the children interacting...and their parents shopping!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stay in touch...

No, you don't want to bombard your customers with constant emails and reminders but you do want to stay in touch with them.  It's a tricky balance, I found that over the busy holidays I was emailing my customers quite a bit because the promotions from Barefoot were always changing.  Then again, remember that your customer joined your mailing list so that they could be informed about new products, sales and events in their area.  You'll find that customers appreciate the knowledge of a sale, who doesn't like to save a little money.  It's also nice to remind your customers prior to a holiday that books really do make lovely gifts for the children in their lives.  I like to email my customers updates about once a month but if you don't feel comfortable with that, you can do what works for you.  I also know successful ambassadors who have monthly newsletters and those work well for them too. 

I used to send my email and marketing campaigns via gmail however, recently, I signed up for Mailchimp.  Mailchimp is an email marketing and list management website.  It's simple to use and free for your first 500 subscribers.  The features include list management, creative marketing campaigns and tracking which is essential when you want to see who really is paying attention. It also allows people on your list to unsubscribe, if desired.  Really, it isn't helpful to you or to them if they are not interested in the product.  I highly recommend visiting Mailchimp or Constant Contact to see if one of these email marketing companies would make your business run more smoothly and your campaigns more effective. 

Good luck!  Please feel free to leave a question or comment that you want to share with the team.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Reminder - meeting today at 1pm EST

Wednesday, 10 February at 10a PST/1p EST/6p GMT
and again at 6p PST/9p EST

We’ll discuss social networking and ways to reach out in a personal way in the online world.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Update your marketplace when you can...

I try to make an effort to go in and update my marketplace about once every month.  Based on holidays, personal favorites and seasons, it's a great way to introduce new books to your customers.  This month, I updated my marketplace to highlight some of Barefoot's great romantic titles that include The Boy Who Grew Flowers and Barefoot Stories Book of Stories from the Opera.  When customers are looking for Valentine's Day gifts, they may head to your page for recommendations and this is a great way to showcase your suggestions. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Keep good records...

One piece of advice that I was given when I started Barefoot, was to keep good records.  Unfortunatly, I'm realizing (as tax season is upon us), that I could have done a better job.  One of my goals for 2010 is to keep better records of everything, every little expense that goes towards business needs to be noted, tracked or supported by receipt (or all of the above).  This includes:
  • Computer related items such as ink, printer paper, your computer (if you buy a new one for your business)
  • Supplies such as pens, staples, tape, anything that you use to support your Barefoot business can be a write off. 
  • The money you spend on printing flyers, newsletters, business cards, etc
  • A portion of your cable bill - you can't run your Barefoot business without the internet, so this is a cost of doing your business.  The same holds true for your telephone. 
  • Anytime you give a Barefoot book or product, you track this expense for marketing, even if it's a book that you are giving as a gift, it's considered marketing.  If you run a table at a holiday fair, for example - you write off that expense of the table but also the donation of the book that you have contributed.  
  • Gas to and from events 
  • Meals when you are at an event
In essence, keep track of anything you think you might be using to promote your business. 

Laurie, a very successful Ambassador from Massachusetts had an outstanding entry on her Marketing Barefoot blog in which she details the whys and hows behind what she keeps track of and why.  Like her, I am not an accountant but it is really smart to keep track of anything and everything.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Know when it's time to take a break....

Some days are busier than others - sometimes your children, your friends, your husband will need you and sometimes YOU will just need YOU.  So, try to recognize when it's time to step away from the computer, put down the business cards and just say "uncle".  I've found that I become more frazzled if I'm endlessly searching for events and business opportunities - sometimes it just make more sense to step away and realize that things will come up on their own.  Yes, this business takes time, effort, connections and work but you won't be any good at these things if you don't give yourself a break once and a while.  The hardest part of this job for me has been the balance between work & family.  It's something that I'm getting better at and it takes time to perfect.  If anybody has any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment and let the rest of us know what you do to maintain that balance.  You, your family and BAREFOOT will be all the better for it!

Have a great evening!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Know your product...

What I love best about this job is that you can center it around the people you love.  I can't say enough about my family and the fact that I have been able to do "work" while reading The Story Tree or Driving My Tractor or Emily's Tiger.  The best part of all this is that you can do "research" with your children as you escape to far away places and jump into beautiful stories.

Learning about these books, sharing your favorite titles and knowing your product will only make you more successful as you venture out into the world of fundraising and book selling.  

Hoping that you and your family take the time this weekend to relax and read together.  

"Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier." Kathleen Norris

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Think outside the box....

We all know that it's a good idea to look for fundraisers at schools in your area, holiday fairs, children's festivals and book parties.  It's also a good idea to look at other avenues for your Barefoot business.  That being said, think of different places in your community that might be interested in having a fundraiser or showcasing your products.  I try to think about places where children and their parents congregate as possible business opportunities.

For example, I contacted our local Yoga studios to see if they were interested in promoting the yoga cards or the My Daddy is A Pretzel book.  I've found that yoga teachers and students love these cards, especially if they offer childrens classes. 

My daughter's dance class offers a variety of  classes for children of all ages and were thrilled to have a Barefoot fundraiser.  The Barefoot Book of ballet was perfect to showcase during this event.

Your local nursing home often has activity directors that are always looking for good activities for older people.  One director approached me at a holiday fair and told me that she has purchased Shakespeare's Storybook for a storytime and book discussion that her group holds on a weekly basis.  These stories are intellectually stimulating and interesting.  Best of all, she had several residents ask to borrow the accompaning cds so that they could listen to the stories in their rooms.  Fabrics of Fairytale and Tales from Celtic Lands are also great options for this type of venue.

Just try to stay inspired and get creative.  Looking at alternatives to the normal events often lead to success especially in the slower months of the year.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just a reminder...

Today's training conference will be held at 1pm EST
We’ll discuss team building basics and the cycle of a typical Ambassador so you can be sure to meet the needs of your new team members every step of the way.  So, if one of your goals for 2010 is to start building your very own team - this would be a great training to attend.  As always, feel free to ask questions you might have at the end of the conference call.  I always learn something new!

Check out the information below about logging in or visit the training page on Barefoot to get the details. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Remember - Newbie Training Conference today

Information below about how to long into today's newcomer training conference.  It's at 1pm EST

If you join, be sure to post a comment about something great that you learned, heard or got out of this call!  I'll be on (hopefully) tomorrow's call.  Hope to "hear" you all out there!  I'm usually on mute for these calls - Sydney would prefer if she could contribute as well - I'll let that be our little secret that the mute button is on!

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Barefoot Newcomer, Training and Web Conferences

I have learned so much from attending Barefoot's weekly training,  newcomer and web conferences.  They are posted under training at Barefoot Books and a variety of topics are discussed.  Even if you aren't a brand new ambassador, I always learn something from the Newcomer training, held most Tuesdays.  The Training conferences are held on Wednesdays and discuss a variety of topics from how to run successful events, setting goals, team building and more.  The web conferences allow ambassadors to discuss effective online marketing campaigns, how to use social networking to enhance your business, run a blog and ask questions.  There is also a Tuesday chat where ambassadors are encouraged to discuss whatever is on your mind in an open forum with other ambassadors. 

This is a great way to get connected with the corporate side of Barefoot and hear from other ambassadors.  I always learn something from these forums and would encourage you to check them out as well!


Participant Passcode: 199753

Toll-Free Phone Numbers:

When available, please use local toll-free numbers for your area. 
NORTH AMERICA:  1 888 619 1583

Friday, January 15, 2010

Suggestion of the day...

Social networking sites are a great way to expand your Barefoot business.  It's OK to start small - you don't need your Barefoot homepage, a Facebook page AND a blog - you can have one or all of them.  Whatever works for you.  Creating each of these is relatively simple and allows more customers, potential team members and contacts find you.  Blogger offers standardized, premate templates that you can easily create with little help.  Facebook has a tutorial as well.  Think of a clever name that sets you apart - there are a lot of "Barefoot" facebook pages so try to be original with your title but also stay connected with the company.  Let me know if anybody needs help setting a page up and I'd be happy to assist.  It's a great way to stay connected with your customers.  I have a blog where I talk about everything from saving money, to my kids, to Barefoot - the hope is that people will come back and read and then eventually remember me when they are looking to make a gift or book purchase.  My Facebook page is solely for my Fans and the list has grown well over the past few months. 

The best thing to remember?  Do what works for you - there isn't a cookie cutter business plan that needs to be followed so feel free to explore your options, make changes as you see fit and go Barefoot!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Welcome to Team Barefoot New England!

This is a new blog that I will be running so that we have one central resource to refer to regarding our Barefoot Team.  I am relatively new to managing a growing team and want to ensure I am providing all the support to each and every one of you.  I will post new information, best demonstrative practices, helpful articles, book reviews and more on this blog and will try to post everyday.  My goal is to use this blog as a resource for you as you grow your Barefoot Books business in 2010.  I encourage all of you to comment to posts and threads as necessary and don't hestitate if you have questions or concerns.  I'm here to support all of you as you continue to build customer relationships and your business. 

As always, you can certainly continue to contact me via email but I wanted to provide one resource for the team in addition to email and the Barefoot website. 

Here's to going Barefoot together in 2010!  I'm so excited!