Archives

Motherhood Talk Radio Welcomes Chef Tracy Fleming of Stewart & Clark Fine Foods, January 11th

Stewart and Clark, Stewart and Clark Fine Foods, Chef Tracy Fleming, Tracy Fleming, gourmet sweets, Ocean View Sweets, Motherhood Talk Radio, Motherhood Incorporated, Sandra Beck, Christy Holly, Rick SwansonChef Tracy Fleming left L.A and her career with Nestle in their test kitchen to start her own food business in late 1997.  She opened Ocean View Sweets in 1997 with her amazing Chocolate Espresso Truffle Cookies, Cranberry White Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chip with Toasted Peanuts and Milk Chocolate Chunk, having crafted their recipes in Santa Barbara in a rented kitchen.

Tracy’s mother, Lisa Fleming, joined her shortly thereafter with a crazy notion to make Handmade Marshmallows, initially intending to sell them locally. Lisa’s long career as a food stylist (beginning at CBS in 1952) and Tracy’s experience as her assistant for many years along with 10 years as a caterer in Los Angeles gave them many skills to make their products beautiful and inviting.

In January 2000, Saveur Magazine did a piece listing them as #3 in their top 100 products of the year. Soon they heard form the New York Times, Dean & Deluca, Esquire Magazine and many others. A move in 2000 to the Santa Ynez Valley provided a kitchen of their own as their business grew.  The Food Network featured the mother/daughter team on “Food Finds” which first aired in May of 2001. Customers began calling us from almost every state in the country.

Then something happened that no one could have expected. Lisa, at the far too young age of 69, found out that she had cancer and in April of 2004 lost her valiant battle with the disease. It was very difficult for Tracy to know how to proceed. Lisa had been her inspiration for her food career and still is the single biggest influence in her path in this life of food. Ocean View Sweets wavered a bit and took a few steps back. It was 2 years before Tracy mastered the marshmallows. After much thought, great consideration and a year at the Cordon Bleu Institute in Los Angeles, Stewart and Clark Fine Foods rose out of Ocean View Sweets and began refreshed and ready for a rearranged path. The name Stewart and Clark comes from Tracy’s and her husband’s middle names. It’s simple, easy to remember and can go anywhere.

In 2009. Stewart and Clark Fine Foods moved into a new kitchen in San Luis Obispo, CA about 40 minutes North of Los Olivos; and area which they love. To honor Tracy’s mother, Stewart and Clark Fine Foods maintain “Mama Lisa” and “OVS” references everywhere. The name Stewart and Clark may be newer but the base of the company has its roots firmly planted in Ocean View Sweets and Santa Barbara County. They feel their good fortune now comes from all the groundwork of Tracy and her mother’s history.

With a book on the way, managing her catering, and co-owning Fiero Cafe with her husband, Glenn, Chef Tracy is as busy as ever, feeling fortunate to be in a great place and with the devotion to feeding her customers the best of what she can produce.  To find out more about Chef Tracy’s story, visit www.stewartandclark.com or check out their blog and Fiero Cafe specials at www.stewartandclark.tv.

Motherhood Talk Radio is powered by Motherhood Incorporated, bringing you the most powerful voice in women’s issues today and is hosted by Sandra Beck, Christy Holly and Rick Swanson.  Motherhood Talk Radio airs on www.Toginet.com every Tuesday, 3 pm pacific, 4pm mountain, 5 pm central and 6 pm eastern and can be downloaded from   www.Itunes.com and www.motherhoodtalkradio.com.

Career Focus: Work at Home as a Web Designer by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

 If you’ve got a knack for computers, then web development could be the work-at-home career for you.  You don’t need a lot of extra schooling to become a web developer, though it can be helpful.  Whether you have a formal education or are self-taught, what matters most to employers and clients is your ability to set them up with an outstanding website.Buntstifte

 

The Technology

 

To work out of your home, you will need a computer with Internet access.  Since web design projects can be large scale, project management skills are also important.  At-home web design can be done on a flexible schedule, making it very family friendly.

 

Getting Started

 

Start out by building your own website.  Potential clients and employers will expect a web designer to have a top-notch website showcasing her skills.  This is a great opportunity to experiment with different ideas, and get a sense of your personal style.  Be sure to include your resume and contact information.  You never know when a hit on your website will result in a new client.

 

Building a Portfolio

 

Showcase your talents through a portfolio.  As you build websites, collect a record of your professional experience through examples of the quality work you provide.  If you are willing to work hard and give your all to a few friends or organizations free of charge, your portfolio will quickly come together.  Don’t know anyone looking for a website?  Try volunteermatch.org.  The site will pair you with nonprofit organizations looking for volunteers.  Not only will you gain experience, but you will also be helping out a cause close to your heart. 

 

Choosing a Niche

 

Once you have a few jobs under your belt, you may find it beneficial to choose a niche or specialty.  Maybe you excel when working with nonprofits, or prefer the informal touch of a personal website.  Capitalize on your strengths and interests when choosing a niche market.  Specializing will help you gain credibility with your clients.  With a little planning, and a lot of hard work, you will be a professional web designer from the comfort of your home before you know it.

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

Career Focus: Work at Home as a Virtual Assistant by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

  by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

You’ve worked in an office for years.  You’re good at your job, but dread the morning commute.  You long for a flexible schedule that works with your family needs, not against them.  If this sounds like you, you could work at home as a virtual assistant.  Virtual assistants provide administrative services to their clients via the Internet.  Though not required, experience as an administrative assistant can be helpful. AdirondackSchirs

 

The Technology

 

To work out of your home, you will need a telephone line, personal computer, printer, and Internet access.  A fax machine is also helpful.  If you would rather not invest in a fax machine, try an online fax service.  For a monthly fee, you can send and receive faxes by email.

 

Certification

 

Some virtual assistants find certification helpful in keeping their skills at peak performance.  The skills improved upon through certification include executive support, business decision-making, customer service, and project management.  Certification is also helpful in gaining credibility among your colleagues, and potential clients.  Try vacertification.com for more info on becoming certified.

 

Pump Up Your Resumé

 

Is your resume looking a little thin in the experience category?  If you are willing to volunteer your time, you can quickly gain the experience you need to succeed.  There are a number of websites available to connect you with a nonprofit organization in need of your skills.  Try idealist.org, volunteer.gov, or volunteermatch.org.  Beneficial to your career and the charitable cause of your choosing, this match is a win-win situation.  Work hard and you will likely accumulate some professional references as well.

 

Choosing a Niche

 

Once you have established yourself as a virtual assistant, you may want to consider choosing an area of specialization.   Most virtual assistants choose to specialize in a field of interest, such as real estate or medical transcription.  Make the most of your expertise and interests when choosing a niche market.  Specializing will help you gain credibility with your clients.  Over time, you will become an expert in your field, all from the comfort of your own home. 

 

 

Sources:

(2007). The Media’s Virtual Assistant Survey Results.  Retrieved March 7, 2009 from VA Networking Website:

http://www.vanetworking.com/survey/virtual-assistant-statistics.htm.

 

(2004). Virtual Assistant Skill set.  Retrieved March 7, 2009 from Virtual Assistant Certification Website:   http://www.vacertification.com/skillset.htm

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

 

 

Sales Plan – Creative Marketing for Your Small Business by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck/ Motherhood Incorporated

 

 

When you have a small business chances are that your marketing budget is also small.  That doesn’t mean that your marketing plan has to be small.  We’ve already talked about internet marketing, blog marketing and social networking as great ways to get your message out to the masses and we’ve also talked about the advantages of branding to make all of your marketing count, now it’s time to think outside the box.Path

 

You know who your target market is and you=2 0know what your unique selling proposition is, how can you effectively let people know about your product?  It really depends on what your product is.  If you are a cup cake business specializing in really cool cupcakes for baby showers, you might want to team up with your local baby boutique and offer a coupon for ten percent off your cupcakes to expectant Mom’s who register at the boutique.   For the cost of printing a few coupons you can effectively reach your local target market.

 

If your business is offering services to business owners you may want to check out the local chamber of commerce and all of their social functions.  Some Chamber events will even let you do a “live commercial” just for attending.  What a great way to notify local businesses about your services.

 

It’s crucial to consider where your target market ventures.  Do they go to coffee houses or are they shopping for diapers?  If you know where they go, you can formulate a way in which to court them.  Contests, coupons and incentives are great ways to get your business’ name well known.  People may lose the coupon but they tend to remember your name if you’ve branded yourself well.

 

The main thing is to seek out your target audience in a way that is conducive to their daily rituals.  If your product is good and you’ve affectively addressed its unique selling proposition you should have no problem attracting your target market.

 

To learn more about Starting Your Own Business, check out www.sandrabeck.com and www.motherhoodincorporated.com.  You too can work from home, have time with your family and make a great living with what you already know!

Make the Switch: How to Change Careers by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

I made the switch to a work-at-home career, and so can you.  Here are a few easy steps to get you started on the path to a new career:popcorn

 

Assess Your Skills

 

If your primary focus is the ability to work out of your home, you’ll need to know which of the skills you have will be most helpful when you make the switch.  There are many skills that are useful across a variety of industries, including many work-at-home careers.  Consider not only what you are good at, but also what you enjoy.  Here are a few skills common to many work-at-home positions:

 

l       Computer Skills

l       Customer Service Skills

l       Project Management Skills

l       Communication Skills

l       Research Skills

l       Accounting / Business Finance Skills

 

Choose a Career Path

 

Now that you’ve pinpointed which skills you already have and which you most enjoy, it’s time to decide on a direction.  There may be more options than you realize for work-at-home mothers.  Here is a short list to get you started: 

 

l       Executive Assistant

l       Graphic Designer

l       Web Designer

l       Research Assistant

l       Marketing / Public Relations Consultant

l       Bookkeeping and Accounting

 

Gaining Experience

 

Depending on the career path you chose, you may need additional schooling or certification.  Check for professional organizations within your industry.  They are a great source for volunteer and network opportunities, and may help you assess which certifications will be most beneficial to you.

 

One of the greatest challenges posed when switching careers is the sudden lack of experience.  It can be hard starting over again, especially in a market that seems interested only in seasoned professionals.  Test run your new career by volunteering your time to a friend, or a nonprofit organization.  Offer your services free of charge and put in your best effort.  You’ll gain experience and professional references, all while helping out a worthy cause.

 

Don’t Give Up

 

Switching careers is exciting, but it is also difficult.  Remember, it takes time to build a career.  The rewards are great when you are willing to give it everything you’ve got. 

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com