Steve's Blog - Big Kidz Jeanz

The Struggle to Find Kids Jeans that Fit

My last blog I was featured in our local Times Union as Father Fashion.  Well it seems that holds true as I’m becoming the person folks all over the country are asking to help fit their children with our Big Kidz Jeanz.  Every day I talk with people having terrible issues finding jeans to fit their tall thin kids or bigger husky kids.

Yes it has been some time since my last blog but raising two boys as a single Dad, running two companies and finding a balance to enjoy life and time with my boys is always a challenge.  Unfortunately the blogging fell down at the bottom of the list but I’m making an effort to move it back to the top.  Speaking of the top here is a recent picture of my boys and I skiing Whiteface Mountain and a beautiful view near the top. Definitely some quality time spent that day with my boys and that’s what is most important in life.   For those of you following me on Facebook you may have seen this picture already but it is worth repeating here in my blog.

Whiteface with Boys 1-15-15

Big Kidz Jeanz is not quite at the top yet of the custom kid’s jeans market yet but that is certainly our intention.  We feel that no one out there is doing it quite like we are.  We continue to fill orders from all around the country with our custom length pants cut to fit.  We cut and ship within a few days of orders being placed on our web site.  Our web site http://bigkidzjeanz.com/  makes it easy for our customers to place an order and enables us to ship quick.  We also provide a reasonable price for a custom pair of jeans that fit your child which are delivered right to your doorstep.

Never thought I’d become an expert on fitting kids into pants but that is what has happened over time here.  Customers call or send emails everyday asking for help fitting their sons and daughters.  I always ask what size their children are wearing now.  Many reply they don’t know and can not fit their children in to what stores call “traditional” sizes. Very frustrating indeed and I know firsthand from trying to fit my two sons.  One in to tall slim jeans that are too short the other in to husky jeans that are never long enough.

I reference a few other companies’ size charts like Lands End, LL Bean and The Gap.  What baffles me is the wide range of sizes they come up with.  How can an 18 Husky be a 28” waist on one chart and 33” waist on another?  The inseam length can vary as much as 4” or more as well.  I always ask what is the age, weight and height of your child.  I also offer my sons stats and sizes they wear to give an idea of where their child may fall.  We range from a 26” waist up to 44” waist so think we have a very good range of size scale.  We can cut to 34” length (34.5” if really needed) all the way down to 16” length.  Our waist measures true to size and the only way we could accurately ship proper fitting pants.  Our BKJ Athletic Pants will finally be in this spring and we range from 24” to 46” waist size so this is an even bigger range to help fit kids and adults.

Being in business over 15 months now I can tell you my idea has been validated by the great testimonials folks have sent me from all over the country and world (yes we have a customer in the UK and few in Canada.  We get emails saying…. “You’re a life Saver!”….”Thanks you so much for Big Kidz Jeanz”…”You’re a Godsend”…..”Finally a retailer who gets it!”…. “About time manufacturers realized all kids don’t fit in the slim regular and husky sizes.  Thank you again!!  You really should do more advertising and I’m telling everyone about your great jeans and great service!”

These great comments really make all the effort, expense and trials and tribulations of a new start up company worth it.  That is why I started Big Kidz Jeanz in the first place as it really seemed we needed someone to fill this niche.  We are striving to be on top of the fashion world for slim and husky kids jeans for sure!  Pretty much like this picture here on Whiteface where I’m on top of the world and above the clouds! 

Whiteface 1-10-15

Father Fashion Making Custom Pants for Kids of All Sizes

Well it has been some time since my last blog and lot of good things have been happening here at Big Kidz Jeanz.  The most exciting news is the great article that appeared in the local Times Union on Father’s Day.  It was written by Leigh Hornbeck who did a tremendous job covering all the aspects that have gone in to starting an on line custom jeans company.  For all of you out there that did not get a chance to read the article here is a link to the digital copy   http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Father-fashion-5548403.php

TU Pic 1

The title on the article is Father Fashion and thought that was pretty neat.  I never considered myself as such but sort of like how it fits (much like our Custom Jeans and Athletic Pants!).  Leigh notes in her piece:  “Unable to find jeans for his sons, a dad takes bold step”.  How true is that and sums up the last 18 months of trials and tribulations that I’ve faced creating a company to fill a niche in the marketplace for parents struggling to find pants to fit their children.

Many a sleepless night was spent last summer struggling with supplier issues and trying to get things done properly.  The struggle is still not over and hope the outcome is in my favor.  At one point I was ready to throw in the towel but I persevered because I knew folks out there were struggling with the same issues I that I had with my sons.  Finding pants for my husky son was a multi-step process of buying a pair of pants that hopefully fit his waist, trying them on and then going back and forth to a local tailor to have them hemmed to the proper length.  If the store bought pants did not fit his waist then I was back to the store looking standing in the return line and then off to the racks to try to find another pair that would hopefully fit him.  Here he is modeling for his picture in the newspaper looking proud of his BKJ Jeans his is wearing.  Alec TU Pic 2

My younger son does not even have an option at times.  Certain pants are just not long enough for his small waist.  He is tall and thin and at 9 years old he is at size 10 or 12 length but not a 10 or 12 waist size, even in the slim style cuts.  You can only pull in those darn elastic waists with the buttons so much before your kid looks ridiculous with a waist band that is all wrinkled and bunched up.  Our jeans go down to a size 26” waist and that is a good start for the taller, thinner kids out there who are wearing high waters or pants that are too short.  We go up to a hem length of 35” so the tall thin teenagers have a place to turn to be fashionable.

So I continue to Google and peruse the web and still do not find any companies out there that are doing it like we are here at BKJ.  We try to make the process very simple and easy.  You go on our site and click your Waist measurement and Inseam length and within 24 hours you have a pair of custom length jeans on their way to your door step.  Many folks picked up on our article and sent kudos for what we are trying to accomplish here at Big Kidz Jeanz.  Hope you can help spread the word that there is a place to go now for those hard to fit kids that are out there and Father Fashion has taken a bold step to help them out!

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed here at Big Kidz Jeanz

Our BKJ return policy is not slippery unlike this picture of my son wearing his BKJ Jeans walking on ice!  In fact our return policy is very straightforward and rather warm and comfortable.  I’m writing this post on April Fool’s Day and want to add we are NOT FOOLING!  We here at Big Kidz Jeanz have a very generous return policy of satisfying our customers all over the country.  Sometimes it may be someone has measured their son’s waist wrong and the BKJ Jeans do not fit properly.  Or it could be they did not get an accurate inseam or length measurement and the jeans are too long or too short. Does not matter.  We aim to please and make sure our customers are taken care of.

Alec Ice

In fact it states right on our home page – 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed (you can check it out here:  http://bigkidzjeanz.com/ ).  We recently had that moved right to the top.  Wanted to make sure people who may be a tad skittish about ordering a pair of our custom length jeans knew we stood behind our product.  Right from the beginning we had a vision and wanted our return policy to mirror some of the other top notch on line retailers.  Earlier blogs have mentioned how important customer service is to Big Kidz Jeanz.  Obviously without customers we would not last too long.

Of course we hope that folks can get accurate measurement the first time around but unfortunately it can be a tad tricky at times.  In fact I just added and updated some verbiage on our How To Measure Tab on the Big Kidz Jeanz web site so people can have a little more instructions on what to do.  Here is the link to that page so you can see what was added ( http://bigkidzjeanz.com/content/how-to-measure ).  Seems people may have a tendency to measure the waist a little too loosely and their jeans are little too big.

Part of the reason the jeans may be a little roomy is our nice built in stretch elastic waist band.  They are constructed on both sides which allows for some comfort and give on our BKJ Jeans. This is especially true for the plus size or  husky boys looking for jeans out there.  On the tall thin kids we need to make sure the measurement of their waist is very snug.  We can usually tell when an order for a tall thin kid comes in as it will be a smaller waist size like 28 and longer length like 28.  Can tell you there is no retail store out there offering that size right off the rack.

The orders for husky kids jeans (which we also refer to as plus size jeans) are easy to spot as well when they come in.  We’ll see a size 34 waist and 26 inch length and know right away it is for a bigger husky child.  In fact that measurement is the exact same as my oldest son and we have had several orders come in as such.  My younger son is the bigger, tall thin size boy.  What people may forget is that Big Kidz Jeanz is for big kids of  all sizes not just big and husky but also tall and thin.  It is very hard to find tall thin sizes in retail stores as well.

When I reach out to customers to ask them how they found us and how was their ordering experience I get such tremendous, positive feedback.  Folks thank me for bringing this whole custom length jeans concept to market.  We have repeat customers who order a pair or two of BKJ Jeans and they get them in and turn around and order another pair or two.  Everyone likes our web site and how easy it is to place an order.  They also love the fact our BKJ Jeans show up in a just few days on their doorstep via the USPS.

One thing we do need to get in is our line of Athletic Pants as people have been asking and inquiring about those.  We are still working on them as the original batch came in with a major defect of the waist band not having enough recovery (stretch) as we had specifically asked for.  The size scale was way off as well.  Thought we would be way better off refusing an inferior product rather than having people dissatisfied with their order and risk ruining our reputation.

So to me reputation and having a positive buying experience is what makes a company great.  That brings us back to that generous 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed Policy.  We’ll make sure we can get your plus size and taller size kids in a pair of our jeans, even if it takes a return or two.  We have customers that can vouch for our great service.  We want you to warm up to us here at Big Kidz Jeanz!!  Please take a minute and visit our Testimonials page ( http://bigkidzjeanz.com/testimonials  ) we recently set up.  We keep adding more satisfied customers every day!!

Steve 3

Finding Big Kidz Jeanz in the Wacky World of Internet Searches

Been a while since my last blog.  Crazy busy getting caught up (before and after) vacation.  Had a wonderful week off with my boys for Presidents week break.  It was winter adventure week at Lake Placid and our camp in the Adirondacks.  We did some skiing (XC and downhill), snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice fishing so plenty of winter activity fun!  We also had some nice down time at end of day to relax, read and also watch bunch of movies.  Most nights it was double feature night at our camp.

Boys skiing Royal Mtn

While I was vacationing and spending quality time with my boys the orders were coming in at Big Kidz Jeanz.  Still trying to reach out to every customer to find out how they found us.  Most of the time it is some long string organic search term.  Too many to list all of them but a few that have found us used things like “husky boys jeans with elastic waist”, “custom jeans by waist size and length”, “how to measure your jeans by waist and length” ……   Not sure what terms are being driven by SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or Google Ad Words or my blogging at this point.  Could be a combination of a bunch of things.  Can also tell you what works one day might not work the next.

Therein lays the whole point of this blog…. How the heck does Google figure out who finds who or what or where in this whole wacky world of internet searches?  Google has changed the way businesses get found on the internet by using more complex formulas and algorithms.  They are trying to drive more people to their Ad Words and Google + and other options that require spending more time and money to be found on the good ol’ world wide web (www.).  To me it just seems like a crap shoot and very frustrating at times.  Certainly it takes at least a 4 year degree to figure it all out.  That is why I have a quality team of professionals at Inbound Marketing Group working to make Big Kidz Jeanz come out on top.

Can tell you if I had a $1000 or more per month budget for Google Ad Words as well as more SEO/SEM work I would come out on top or at least first page.  For now the big box retailers have all the money and can afford the most popular search terms.  Things like “husky boys jeans”, “big kids jeans”, “tall thin kids jeans”, “big boys jeans”….. the list goes on and on.  I have over 100 key word terms on my Google Ad campaign but going to look hard at a lot of those terms and pare things down a bit here.  Try to focus on more specific things like the organic search terms that are finding us at Big Kidz Jeanz.

Again hindsight is always 20/20 and would have been way ahead of the curve had I named the company Big Kids Jeans spelled proper.  Had mentioned two or three blogs ago.  I own the domain for Bigkidsjeans.com and it would have been much better for search engine optimization had I used this name.  In fact I can not believe any of the big box retailers had not purchased the Big Kids Jeans domain.   To me Big Kidz Jeanz spelled with a “Z” was more catchy and unique.  Hopefully when Big Kidz Jeanz is a house hold name and widely recognized it will all be OK!

When I was naming the company there was an upcoming trade show in Albany at the Empire State Plaza called the Kidz Expo.   There are also many other kids’ venues and such using the more catchier Kidz name.  We are going to have a booth there again this weekend to show folks our product and web site.   It will be much better than last year when I had nothing but a banner, business cards, free BKJ T-Shirts and this great idea of making custom length Jeans and Athletic Pants that ship to your doorstep in just a few days.   That show was great to get very positive feedback from people on how they also have struggles with finding pants that fit their kids properly.

They say Rome was not built in a day and neither was this beautiful Ice Castle in Saranac Lake!  We stopped there on our way to camp from Lake Placid.  I have seen the Ice Castle in previous years before and it is always an impressive site.  This year it seemed even more exceptional due to the fact sub zero temperatures made 2 foot thick ice for building blocks!  So for now we are going to keep working on the building blocks of SEO and Google Ad Words and continue plugging away at Big Kidz Jeanz!!

Saranac Lk Ice Castle

Can Big Kidz Jeanz help solve the Saggy Jeans Syndrome?

OK I am sure all of you out there have been behind that guy in the check out line and you are forced to stand there staring at his boxers because his jeans are hanging halfway down his butt.  Not quite sure what possesses one to wear their jeans like this but I am thinking that perhaps there is an opportunity here to correct this terrible fashion faux pas. Thinking perhaps these are tall thin people that have the high water problem I have blogged about and their jeans are too short.  In order to compensate they drop their drawers to get their bottoms longer.  Certainly Justin Bieber can afford a pair of pants that fit, though with all of his recent legal issues he may be running out of money!  What is his deal lately anyway?!  What a terrible role model for our kids.  saggy-pants-butt-bieber

Does anyone want to weigh in on this?  Am I on to something?  Could it be as simple as buying a pair of BKJ pants that fit right?  We definitely have the husky folks covered with our custom length pants and have duly noted the tall thin people out there as well.  They just need to visit our site http://bigkidzjeanz.com/  and order pants that fit so they do not have this saggy pants thing going on.  Drives me crazy!

It is especially embarrassing when my boys are with me in the check out line. They ask Dad what is up with this guy’s boxers hanging out and you’re stuck making excuses like maybe he forgot his belt….. Or his jeans were on sale at the local thrift shop but didn’t fit his waist properly….. Or they were not long enough so he lets them hang low to keep his ankles warm…..  Sure there are many more reasons out there and then you have that whole prison thing that you really do not want to have to explain to your 8 & 10 year old.  At least my boys seem as though this saggy pants thing is pretty silly looking and they are not going to be running around anytime soon with their pants halfway to the floor. Thank goodness for that as I wouldn’t let them out of the house with saggy pants.

The other thing I do not get is how these people are able to walk or run with their jeans sagging down around their thighs and butt? If you go to my web site my header page says “Live. Play. Go Places.”

How the heck you going any place fast in life with your jeans sagging down around your butt?!  Isn’t it difficult to get any type of a gait or stride going when your pants are hanging that low?  If they could just get on line and go to our site they would find out how easy it is to measure your waist and inseam length.  Then all you have to do is plug in those 2 measurements, your address and credit card information and wallah you have a pair of BKJ Jeans sitting on your doorstep in a few days.  Surely I hope all of you out there reading this realize I’m using this whole situation in jest to raise awareness that a solution lurks around the corner and perhaps sell more custom length jeans!

Customers that have ordered on our site always give positive feedback on how easy it is to navigate.  We recently made it even easier by not having to sign in and you can simply place an order as a guest.  Met with our web team yesterday to talk about adding a testimonial page/tab along with You Tube video tab where I can start downloading some videos.  We will be working on a video of Top Ten Ways to Measure Your Child for Big Kidz Jeanz.  Maybe we’ll even work on a video of Top Ten Ways to Solve Your Baggy Pants Problem.  Wouldn’t that be great!  Here is a picture of how to wear your BKJ jeans in case anyone out there is afflicted with Saggy  Jeans Syndrome!

Alec Jeans1

 

Big Kidz Jeanz – Helping People with Disabilities

Guess people are wondering how it is that Big Kidz Jeanz is helping out disabled people?  It would be our intention someday to make a donation to an organization such as the Center for Disability Services here locally in Albany, NY, but that is not how we are helping out for now.  We are helping out by providing custom length jeans (and athletic pants in the works) that fit a population that has never been served quite like this before.

In an earlier blog a month ago I had mentioned how we had a few orders for people with disabilities.  It seems there are many folks in this population out there that need a shorter hem and larger waist size.  Today I had a meeting with The Center for Disability Services that went very well.  They are a top notch organization that I have had the pleasure of working with now for over 26 years on the SAF Print & Promotional Products side of things.  You can visit them here http://www.cfdsny.org/htmlweb/CFDShome2.html   if you’d like to check out all the many great services they provide to many different types of people with special needs.

In our meeting there were about a dozen different directors and residence managers who came to listen to my presentation on Big Kidz Jeanz and how we can help their clients.  They were very impressed with the ease of our BKJ web site.  We looked at the product and the easy drop down menu for Waist size and Inseam/Length.  Showed them the How to Measure Video and diagram as well.  Discussed my blogs to highlight what motivated me to start this whole new venture.

They all could relate to how difficult it is to find jeans that fit their residents or that they have to roll up their current pair of pants or take to get them hemmed.  There are too many other struggles these people face in their day to day lives that the last thing they should have to worry about is pants that are too long.  This really holds true out there for all the working parents out there that never seem to find enough hours in the day to shop or spend quality time with your kids.

Rather than spend time at the malls or stores looking for hard to find pants that may or may not fit your kids, you can just go on our web site https://www.bigkidzjeanz.com .   Here you can order a pair of custom length pants to fit your sons, daughters or even husbands!  Guess I’m directing this to the female population that keeps the household running smoothly.  Would like for all the ladies out there to become more familiar with Big Kidz Jeanz and spread the word we are out there trying to fill an all important niche in today’s fashion shortfall.  Again I will say it is not just the husky kids either but also the tall thin kids that can never seem to find pants that are long enough and yet tight enough around their waist.

So keep the faith and realize there is an alternative out there to having jeans that are way too long or too short.  Save those repeated trips back and forth to the store to return your pants that do not fit or back and forth to the tailor to have them altered to fit.  Spread the word that Big Kidz Jeanz is out there to offer a solution to these problems!

Steve 1

Big Kids Pants vs. Big Kidz Jeanz and What it all Means in the SEO/SEM World

OK if you are like me you didn’t even know what SEO or SEM meant until a few years ago.  Now I am quickly getting a lesson in to what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) mean to the lifeblood of an on line clothing company.  Some days it makes my head spin and trying to digest it all can be a challenge.  Fortunately I have great guidance from my marketing firm (Inbound Marketing Agents) and also my web guru Alex Silverstein from Unified Digital.

Guess early on I should have named my company Big Kids Pants and that may have helped me in the search world tremendously as people would land on my page right off the bat since I own that domain name.  By choosing the name Big Kidz Jeanz vs. Big Kids Jeans spelled proper I also didn’t help myself any as people looking for big kids jeans aren’t landing on my site.

In talking with Jason the SEO expert at IMA I found out that there are many, many different factors that affect your company being listed on the first page or near the top on a Google search.  Jason has a blog as well that is very insightful and much more informative than what I am blogging about here so check him out -   http://www.inboundmarketingagents.com/inbound-marketing-agents-blog/

Google has also made it much more difficult for companies to get ranked near the top unless you are advertising with them or have expensive Google Ad Word Campaigns.  Yes this gets in to algorithms and is a whole other can of worms and something I am going to work on in the future.  With a limited budget it is tough to spend a ton of money with Google to drive traffic to your web site.  You essentially buy “clicks” and there is no guarantee once someone lands on your site that they are going to buy something.

Some of the customers that have found me have been by long string organic searches like “custom length jeans by waist and length”.  Some folks have put in a specific waist size and length of 34W by 27 inseam and Big Kidz Jeanz comes out on top that day.  I have a well over a couple hundred search words and phrases registered with Google such as “custom length jeans”, “husky boys jeans”, “skinny boys jeans” and the list goes on and on.  Some you pay or bid for against huge retailers.  Keep in mind that the search rankings of your company are changing every day as well.

On Thursday last week I had lunch with Alex at Unified Digital ( http://unifieddigital.com  ).  They’re my web design and maintenance team and have done a great job for Big Kidz Jeanz.  Alex runs the show at Unified and gave me some great insight on increasing my internet presence (increasing my SEO).  Things like creating a Linked In page for Big Kidz Jeanz and signing up on Yelp will help.  We are going to reach out to a few customers as well and get some testimonials on Yelp as well.  The other great suggestion was to really focus better on the Google Ad Words that are out there which do not need huge bids in order to drive traffic to your site.

Trying to stay on top of all this is certainly a tad overwhelming at times.  Again my first priority is raising my two boys.  As a single Dad that presents its own challenge some days.   Speaking of challenges we had a bit of a challenge this weekend up to my camp snowshoeing in heavy wet snow.  Here is a picture of boys and my eldest son is bringing up the rear wearing his BKJ Jeans of course.        Snowshoe 1

On this whole SEO/SEM stuff there are days you feel as though you are just throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something will stick.  Need to stay focused on building SEO to sell MORE custom length jeans and increasing our chances for being discovered in the huge world of the internet.  Read in the paper a couple days ago how internet sales increased once again this past holiday season.  So please visit us at http://bigkidzjeanz.com/  and see that our BKJ Jeans are of great quality and stylish for both kids as well as adults.  Here are a few pictures of our BKJ Jeans as I have not posted any in quite a while:       011 (2) 018 057 (2)

So I’m staying on top of this custom pants venture and hoping the SEO and SEM work pays off in the future.  Right now orders are coming in but certainly like to see more.   Who would have ever thought this past Christmas that the best present Big Kidz Jeanz could have had was a #1 Google ranking!

 

Keep the Custom Length Jeans Orders Coming

Big Kidz Jeanz has been up and running for a month now and the orders are starting to roll in.  Seems people really do have a need for custom length jeans that fit their kids.  Of course our BKJ jeans fit adults too but most all of the orders have been for kids that have shorter length inseams that are 22” thru 29” so far.  Waist sizes have been from 28” to 38”.

When I came up with this whole idea it was because my sons didn’t fit in the today’s conventional sizes yet they are pretty normal sized boys.  My eldest boy is husky and younger one is tall and thin but nothing out of the ordinary.  It just blew my mind that no retailer really had pants that fit right off the rack. 

You get real tired of doing returns and also going to the tailor to get pants hemmed all the time.  It can get to be a real drag.  So is not even having a pair of pants that even fit my younger tall, thin son.  One can only scrunch up the waistband on a pair of size 10 slim jeans just so much before they get a too darn wrinkly and look plain silly.  Kids just want to have pants that fit right and they can go on with playing and doing the fun things that kids do. That they deserve. 

Here boys are taking dog for walk and then sleigh riding Christmas day.  

walking dogsledding

 

 

We give our kids everything else in life it seems these days.  Why shouldn’t they have pants that fit right measured by length and waist size.  This holiday I know some kids that had custom length BKJ jeans sitting under their tree and were very happy I have been told.  When I was a kid clothes really were not my favorite Christmas gift but I really have to say my boys love getting clothes from Santa.  Who would have thought but it is true. 

Here is a Christmas morning snap shot and there are certainly some clothes and BKJ Jeans in those presents.

Xmas Presents

So the holidays come and go and you go on in life with the major juggling act of being a single Dad. Certainly I am no circus performer but I do feel like I have too many balls up in the air some times and hopefully don’t drop any.  The number ONE ball we all jog is our kids.  Being a single parent is not easy if those of you out there can relate.  You do it all on your own and it can take its toll so having the holidays to unwind and shut down a tad was important.  2013 was a very busy time with starting a whole new company and a full year of adjusting to single parenthood.    

The number TWO ball is staying on top of this whole new venture I started.  Big Kidz Jeanz  https://bigkidzjeanz.com certainly has been a challenge but I’ve been on top of things and it is going as well as to be expected for a brand new start up.  Admittedly I dropped the “blogging” ball over the holidays and apologize for that.  I just wanted to spend some quality time with my boys.  Kept the eye on inquiries and orders going on but took a break from blogging.  The 2014 New Years Resolution is to stay steadier on my blog and make Big Kidz Jeanz a success.

The number THREE ball is keeping an eye on my core business of SAF Print & Promotional Products  http://www.safprint.com  which pays the bills right now.  Being in business since 1999 is a good thing and we are very proud to remain open and steady in business especially with the hard times we hit since the 2008 financial and economic melt down.  It has not been as profitable as the good old days but still steady and we have a loyal client base which I am very thankful for.

So those 3 balls are enough to juggle and I can actually say that I can juggle a bit but 3 balls is my limit!  If you really focus and concentrate hard enough you’ll find you can do it.  Wishing those of you following and reading my blog a belated Merry Christmas, very belated Happy Hanukkah and most certainly a very healthy and prosperous New Year!

OTB Club Fire

Going Grassroots here at Big Kidz Jeanz


OK I’m sure some of you out there reading this are wondering what the heck does “Going Grassroots” mean.  Well I guess it can have a few different meanings but to me here at Big Kidz Jeanz it means getting back to the basics of why I started this company.  To that effect I need to remember that when I thought of this whole idea it was all about my boys and making them feel better about the jeans they are wearing.  In fact jeans are what they mostly wear especially this time of the year.  Here is a nice picture of my boys near our fireplace sporting their jeans.

IMG_20131010_073617_836 

When you look up the definition of grass roots you may find some political connotations but my grassroots campaign has nothing to do with politics.  In fact I am really not in to politics too much at all.  Sure I follow candidates and exercise my rights as a citizen by voting.   But more often than not I find politics fracture a community or even a friendship at times if each party is steadfast in their political beliefs.

Well I’m not trying to fracture any relationships I just want to build a relationship with the local community here in Albany and the Capital Region and let them know about Big Kidz Jeanz and what we stand for (as if I was politicking you know….). We stand for the parents having a difficult time finding pants to fit their kids.  We stand for all the kids out there who are running around stepping on their jeans all the time because in order to get the waist that fits right you get a length that is way too long.  Then of course there are the tall thin kids out there running around in high waters all day because they can’t find pair of pants that are small enough around the waist yet long enough to cover their ankles.

My grassroots campaign is about making folks aware of  Big Kidz Jeanz and a unique product of custom BKJ jeans to fit your kids right out of the box.  Yes they come in a USPS (US Postal Service) box delivered right to your door step in matter of days.  Sportsmaster in Troy has been absolutely phenomenal in turning our orders around in an only a day or two.  For me that is what this was all about.  Getting a pair of jeans in a matter of days that fit your kids with no hassle.  You just go to our web site  https://bigkidzjeanz.com  and you pick your child’s waist and then their inseam length and Walla you have a pair of custom jeans delivered right to your doorstep in a few days.

NO more standing in line at the return counter because the pair of jeans you bought does not fit your kid’s waist.  NO more going to the tailor to have your jeans hemmed and then back again in a week or two to pick up along with the extra $10 or more you are spending for this service.  NO more kids being bummed out because the jeans you bring home never seem to fit.  Our very first customer Wendy Carter in Texas posted to our Facebook site  https://www.facebook.com/BigKidzJeanz  how her son’s face lit up when he tried on his pair of Big Kidz Jeans.  While you are on our Facebook page please LIKE and join us.

So that is what I’m talking about in going grassroots.  We need to spread the word locally and through Social Media like Facebook, Twitter and other ways.  I’m going to start hitting up my friends and business contacts (many of whom are very good friends) and see if they can start spreading the word.  I’m very fortunate to have a great network of business associates and many great friends so reaching out to them is going to be critical in the whole grass roots marketing strategy.  Will still need to employ SEO and SEM (that is Search Engine Optimization/Marketing if you are not familiar with these terms) strategies to build awareness as well.  Then there is the whole Google Ad words campaign which is a whole other can of worms.  I’d need a few blogs to try and explain all of that but basically it is how Google makes their gazillions of dollars.

Have to keep blogging as well so people follow me and know what is going on.  Hopefully I can keep my blogs fresh and have people enjoy reading them.  Blogging can certainly become a challenge after you have written quite a few.  Keeping your content interesting and titles catchy is a bit tricky at times.  Then there is that whole writers block thing you get going on once and awhile. If anyone out there has ideas of what to write about then please feel free to hit my contact page and let me know.  You can also join my blog feed by clicking here  http://bigkidspants.com/feed/.

So I think that gives you a pretty good idea of what Going Grassroots means.  Have blogged about my BKJ Jeans fitting adults as well as children which is true.  But I need to market and build awareness out there for my product to kids for now.  You can get caught up trying to head in different directions and it is all good advice but need to stay focused on why I started this whole venture in the first place.  That would be making Custom Pants for Kids of All Sizes.  Below was my first art creation back in February for my initial web site and think this pretty much sums it all up.  Enough said!

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Reduce the Stress and Buy Big Kidz Jeanz

Yes tis’ the season and my feeling is why venture out shopping when you can do it all on line these days from the comforts of you own home.  Especially when it comes to custom jeans that will fit your kids as well as adults.  Yes ADULTS!  We have to promote that more here at Big Kidz Jeanz and let everyone know out there that our jeans fit people of ALL ages.  I have mentioned that our jeans fit adults and recently a friend suggested I need to market my brand to an older population too.

Xmas Tree

Have talked with a lot of men who are shorter and stout that have a problem finding pants that fit.  They average about 38” waist but length or inseam is about 28”- 29” and they tell me all the time how hard it is to find pants that fit properly or they take them and get them hemmed.  Sounds familiar if you have been reading my earlier blogs and what I had to do for my oldest son until Big Kidz Jeanz came along.

Actually our BKJ jeans are scaled for an adult and fit many shapes and sizes.  Remember I’ve blogged many times on having the solution for both the husky as well as tall thin people out there.  Guess with a name like Big Kidz Jeanz you sort of get categorized only for kids clothing but we are able to fit adults just as easily.  I proudly wear my BKJ jeans and they fit well, look great and are very comfortable.  Check us out at http://bigkidzjeanz.com/  and see for yourself.

We have been getting orders in and it is certainly exciting.  Of course we would like to see more traffic but people out there are just getting to know us and we have to keep spreading the word.  We have had a couple of orders for people with disabilities.  In talking with these customers I learned they have the same issues as others in trying to find pants that fit right.  They were very excited to finally find an answer to their problem and found it very easy to order from our site.  Told me they would be ordering more from us in the future.

I have most all of my shopping done for Christmas already.  Sure some of you reading this may not like me too much for saying that especially if you have not started your shopping yet.  You can certainly pop on to our BKJ site and easily order a snazzy pair of custom jeans for anyone even if they fit in to what the fashion industry classifies as “normal” sizes.   I started shopping early as I was not sure how busy it would be with the launch of Big Kidz Jeanz and did not want to stress out and have to do it all at the
last minute.  It is much easier starting it early and grabbing a thing here and there rather than that mad dash at the last minute.  You know the deal when you’re all stressed out and traffic is crazy and the stores are crowded with rude people.

So reduce the stress and take the time to trim the tree, hang the lights, put up decorations and all those traditions that go hand in hand with the holidays.  Pretty sure Cyber Monday this week was a success and an increase over last year’s sales.  People seem to be catching on to the fact it is a lot easier to order jeans and other products on line.    Maybe you’ll even have time to go sledding with your friends and family or even just relax by the fire (yes those are my moccasin clad feet in the picture below).  Tis’ the season for nice warm fires too!

SleddingFire

Custom Length Jeans and Winter go Hand and Hand

You may ask yourself why do custom length jeans and cold winter weather go together?  Well let me explain why I think so.  Number one is the fact husky kids will not be slushing around in the snow and ice with jeans that are too long.  It is quite annoying when you have bottoms that you’ve been stepping on out in the cold and they freeze up like a brick because they are soaking wet.

Then there is reason number two and the tall thin kids who have ankles that are ice cold because their jeans are too short to cover them up.  They do not have to worry about the snow and slushiness but certainly have to worry about frost bite on their ankles! Lol.  OK I know that may be an exaggeration but I’m trying to get my point across.

Reason number three is the fact that only the crazy kids are still wearing shorts in the winter and most kids want to throw on a warmer pair of jeans to go and play in.  My younger son still likes to wear his athletic pants with a pair of thermal long johns underneath.  For those kids we have the BKJ Athletic Pants in black shown here below(to attract more heat from the sun of course!).

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The orders are coming in but not as much as we would like and they seem to be coming from down south (Texas, Florida) where winter is not a factor as much as it is up here in the Northeast.  Go figure.  That sort of shoots my whole theory on custom jeans and winter going hand in hand.  Honestly it does not matter where the orders come from as long as they come in and we are able to fill this niche in the market where a kid’s pants are too long or not long enough.

So those are the reasons I think the winter season is a good time for custom length BKJ Jeans and Athletic Pants.  That being said I think everyone should go to our Big Kidz Jeanz web site and start ordering up some right now!  Here is the link again:  https://bigkidzjeanz.com so please come visit us soon!!

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Big Kidz Jeanz is Ready to Sell Custom Jeans for your Hard to Fit Kids!

Finally the time has arrived where we are ready to go! Please check us out and our recently revamped web site at  http://bigkidzjeanz.com  . Been a long time coming and certainly a struggle but hopefully the wait will be worth it. Being able to bring a solution to the market where folks can effortlessly buy custom length pants by waist size has been a challenge for sure. To start with we only have one style of jeans but certainly down the road we hope to bring different styles, fades and washes of jeans along with custom athletic pants (the BKJ Athletic Pants did not cut it and ended up being rejected so we are currently working on another order).

My 8 & 10 year old boys will definitely be happy to get jeans and athletic pants that will now fit them properly. Especially since Dad has the hassle now of having to get every pair of jeans or track pants altered for my eldest son who is huskier. Everything I buy him that fits his waist is always way too long in the leg. My younger son doesn’t even have many options as most everything that fits his smaller waist is too short. I noticed how short his pants were after looked at this picture I took up near my camp on this huge boulder over the weekend. You can clearly see how his blue track pants are definitely too short for sure! In the other picture below we have my eldest son sporting his new BKJ Jeans and happy they fit so well and he can play around without tripping over the bottoms!

Alec & Kyle Camp

Alec Jeans1

Mentioned in my Halloween blog how our very first customer Wendy Carter in Texas was very excited to find our web site and order a pair of BKJ Jeans for her son. She said his face lit up when he tried them on right out of the box and they fit perfect! She is all we could hope for in our first sale as she immediately joined us at Facebook and Twitter and expressed her gratitude and commented on our product. Please take a minute to check us out on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/BigKidzJeanz   and follow us as well as on Twitter  https://twitter.com/bigkidzjeanz  or @bigkidzjeanz.com. Social media is an integral part of how I hope to market and build this company so even if you are not the parent of a husky or extra tall kid please pass along the word.

You have noticed I’ve mentioned athletic pants and sometimes track pants quite a bit. For those of you out there like me that may come from a tad older generation, Athletic Pants is a fancier name for “sweats”. They are in fact fancier for sure. Ours are black with a nice accent stripe down the side and made of a Polyester material vs. the old standard (gray) cotton sweats. Our bottom opening does not have elastic like the old styles either. Our BKJ Athletic Pants that we had made did not meet our approval so we are with a new manufacturer now to get these produced to our specifications. You can take a peek at a couple pictures here to see what’s in the pipeline.

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So now we can focus on selling jeans to all of those kids out there that have fallen through the cracks of the current fashion industry’s shortcoming when it comes to bigger kids. My sons are certainly part of that fashion faux pas and the whole reason Big Kidz Jeanz was created. The company was founded and started by me, a single Dad who was frustrated with constant trips back and forth to the store and also to the tailor. Hopefully all my investment in time, emotions and certainly money will pay off and people will catch on to how easy it is to order a pair of custom pants on our web site. Please don’t forget my promise is to have them in your hands within a few days no matter where you live in the US. That way we can focus on spending time with our family which is what it’s all about. Standing on this big boulder this past weekend alongside my two boys is way better than standing in line at some return counter trying to find a pair of jeans that never seem to fit your husky child!

Camp boulder pic


BKJ 1

 

Treats – NO Tricks – This Halloween!

We have had a lot of tricks being played over last several months with our supplier in NYC.  So this Halloween, it is our hope all the tricks are over and we can move on and focus on the treat of selling jeans. The Big Kidz Jeanz website is pretty much ready to go and now we’re just waiting on our BKJ brand jeans to get into the good ol’ US of A.  If you get a chance, check out our newly revamped site! There may be a couple of glitches still, but it is looking really sharp and almost fully switched over to a newer more visual appearance.  Any feedback anyone has can be left on our contact page or on the WordPress blog site at BigKidsPants.com.

Big Kidz Jeanz Halloween

There is good news to report that the jeans are actually on the boat (albeit slow) from China.  By Thanksgiving, we hope to treat those who have been patiently waiting to the ease of ordering custom jeans online to fit your kids.  It has been a long time coming but hopefully the wait is going to be worth it! We have been preparing now for many months so things should go smoothly. 

On the other end of things is the current business I run called SAF Print & Promotional Products, which I believe I named in an earlier blog. This, I must say, has been no treat at all these last 5 years. Two of our largest clients were local newspapers and they were tremendously affected by the 2008 financial meltdown, so things really slowed down for us as well. Obviously many other businesses that are clients of ours have been affected as well. The real trick has been to stay focused and working hard to keep the business coming in.

I’m very fortunate to have a tremendously dedicated sales assistant/book keeper/customer service person by the name of Barbara Griffis. She does it all and works hard every day to make sure things run smoothly with SAF. It has certainly been a treat to work with her for over 12 years now, and I value her work ethic as well as our friendship. It has been especially important these last several months, as most of my focus has been on the Big Kidz Jeanz venture while she takes care of business at SAF.  It is taking up all of my time to make sure all of our bases are covered with respect to our launch here soon. The logistics involved are overwhelming at times.

My head swims with details such as handling customer service, shipping, returns, inventory, production, financing, Pay Pal, and shopping cart issues – and the list goes on and on! Certainly let’s not forget about all the issues and tricks to the procurement of our jeans and athletic pants, which has caused a 5 month delay. We are still not going to have our BKJ athletic pants in to sell for another few months. It has been no treat at all and many of my blogs have focused on this, but we are moving in the right direction now.

With all of this going on, it is nice to find out someone placed an order last night! What a treat this is after all of the tricks being played this summer and now fall. A huge shout out to Wendy Carter in Texas – our first true Big Kidz Jeanz customer!!  I told her that I am throwing in a BKJ t-shirt for her boy as well. She faces the exact same issue I have blogged about and found us through a Google search all on her own. We do not even have the SEO turned up or keywords backed up, but it is very exciting to know she found us and ordered a pair of BKJ Jeans. In speaking with her this morning, she plans to order more jeans when the full shipment arrives around Thanksgiving. Let’s keep scary suppliers away and bring on the TREATS of online ordering custom pants to fit kids of all sizes!!

Steve Big Kidz Jeanz family

My boys all dressed up for Halloween.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

- Steve

Steve Frazee Founder of Big Kidz Jeanz

Not Letting a Bad Supplier Rain on Your Parade

With the rain pounding down on the roof of my friend Bill’s camp in Sacandaga this past weekend it made me think how rain can ruin a good time.  Whether it is rain ruining your hike, camping trip, wedding, sporting event… the list is very lengthy, yet how you handle the adversity is the true test.  This is pretty my much how I feel right now with this whole Big Kidz Jeanz venture.

The rain started pouring down early from all the issues with this supplier in NYC (purposely left nameless at this point).  My purchase order (PO) stated a delivery date of mid-June and here we sit mid-October with no product to sell.  Without getting into all the specifics let’s just say the ball was dropped in many respects.  It has certainly knocked some of the wind out of my sails but no matter what I’m bound and determined to keep sailing on here.

So many things have happened along the way, they are too numerous to list.  Some of the shortcomings had been mentioned in earlier blogs.  We had been at a standstill for last month or so due to the fact the BKJ track pants were not made to the proper size.  Also some details that were supposed to be corrected from the 3rd and final pre-production sample were not done, such as using a better quality stretch waist band.  The pre-production sample came in with only about a 2” stretch and I was looking for a stretch of 4-7”.  This would help accommodate a huskier child and add more comfort to the track pants.  The bottom line is we have refused to accept the track pants as they are just not sellable.

Fortunately the BKJ jeans came out nice, though, again some finer details were missed or changed from the 3rd and final pre-production that was sent.  The problem is we are now stuck paying for the retrieval of those jeans from China.  The PO states again that shipping and handling were to be included in the cost.  This was documented by the supplier early on in their written proposal.  Now instead we are paying for shipping and the duties from China.  I figured it was worth it to get some product in here to finally start selling.

The target arrival date of our Big Kidz Jeans is just after Thanksgiving.  We’ll miss Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales event, but surely folks will catch on to the idea of ordering “Custom Pants for Kids of ALL sizes!”  We are going to start ramping up the marketing effort as well as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that people will know about Big Kidz Jeanz out there.  The best form of advertising is word of mouth.  I really hope people out there will spread the word on how convenient and easy it is to order jeans that FIT their kids online at Big Kidz Jeanz.   That is the whole reason I started this whole venture in the first place!

Well it didn’t rain on my parade this weekend up at Sacandaga Lake.  Yes it did pour Saturday night but the hike we did earlier that day up Hadley Mountain in the Adirondacks was beautiful.   It is always great to be at the peak of a mountain to give you that refreshing on top of the world feeling.  Hopefully selling a bunch of BKJ jeans will give me that same rush!  Standing a couple hundred yards from the summit in this picture below pretty much sums it all up.   I feel things are finally coming together and that I’m close to being on the top, though I’m smart enough to know there will be many more peaks and valleys to come!

- Steve

Hadley Mtn. pic

Spending Quality Time with My Boys – Priceless

You really can’t put a price on being able to spend quality time with your kids.  At the ages of 8 and 10, my boys are as excited to spend time with me as I am with them.  In earlier blogs I mentioned I’m a single dad, and only having my boys half the time really makes you appreciate even more the time you do get to spend with them.  I’ve been told when they get older they won’t be as excited to spend time with dad, so I’m taking full advantage of our time together at this stage in their lives.

Columbus Day weekend was a blast, and having 3 days to hang with them and do things together was super.  Saturday my younger son had his last fall baseball game, which I help coach.  It was a really great game and came down to last inning where my son pitched and he held the other team to no runs.  Our team got their last ups and scored 2 runs to win the game!  The kids were all excited and certainly made all of the coaches proud of how well they played.  Here is nice team photo.

That night we went to the Albany Devils home opener at the Times Union Center.  The boys had a friend along and the game was great (the Devils won, which is always nice).  Sunday we got up, sat in the hot tub, and made a nice breakfast, with my oldest son cooking bacon on the grill.  We headed over to Jiminy Peak for their annual craft fair and ski sale.  Its always great to see my boys mingling around the different tables and their appreciation for various crafts and goodies.  They especially like the free samples of dips and other food stuffs for sure!  After all of the sampling we took a chair lift ride to the top of the mountain.  It was a beautiful fall day and this picture with my boys captured the moment.  They are sporting their new Yankees hats we purchased from the craft fair!

Columbus Day Monday was another really beautiful day.  Went for a bike ride in the Pine Bush Preserve right near our house.  All was great except for when I hit a patch of sand with my mountain bike and ended up wiping out my oldest son, but he was okay thankfully.  Work hard, play hard, they say! After that we headed out and made a brief stop in to my regular SAF office to clean up a few things  Then we had a nice lunch at Moe’s and played a few arcade style games over at Wolf’s 111 (compliments of my good friend Don who gave me a free gift card from there).  We came back and made dinner and boys went back to their Mom’s at 7pm.  All good things must come to end, they say, and the priceless weekend was over.

So how does this blog relate to Big Kidz Jeanz, you all ask?  I’d say it does because, for the families out there, quality time spent with their kids is so valuable nowadays.  With carting your children off to sports activities and other extra curricular stuff, it seems there is never enough time in the day.  I’m surely hoping that parents will save time and have the convenience of going to the BKJ web site (also at BKJ.me) to order a pair of custom pants that fit their child right out of the bag.  Go to our site and simply put in a waist size and a length and you are done.  The whole process should take less than 5 minutes, which includes the measuring part (that is if you can get you kids to stand still for 1 minute!)

We can all save time by not having to go to the store and perhaps even back again to return and grab another pair of pants that we can only hope fit your children.  Forget the other part of it for husky kids who may have to have their pants trimmed and hemmed to fit properly. That is a whole other time consuming and costly process.  Then there are the tall, thin kids like my younger son who I have a tough time even finding pants that are long enough, yet small enough to fit him properly on his waist.  Being able to bring a solution to the market place for busy parents that will save time and money is what it is all about.  Then we can get back to spending what little quality time we have left in these crazy days with our kids.  That is surely priceless!

- Steve

Steve 1

Coming to a Crossroads at Big Kidz Jeanz

After a lot of frustration and soul searching last week and last night I’ve come to a crossroads that I need to regroup on this whole new online custom pants venture called Big Kidz Jeanz. I reached this decision based on the fact that developing a supply chain has been very difficult to establish, but part of that was choosing the WRONG supplier out of NYC. After 8 months of trying to procure a line of custom made BKJ jeans and athletic pants to no avail, it makes you want to throw in the towel.

Well, I’m not a quitter so I plan to keep on forging ahead regardless of the difficulty. We were supposed to be up and running back in June, maybe July at the latest. This was allowing 4-5 months to make custom jeans and track/sweat pants. Our current supplier advised on a new brand that would take 3-4 months, so I really thought we were allowing enough extra time to get things done. Unfortunately it just did not happen. After numerous mistakes and issues with BOTH the BKJ jeans and athletic pants, we are still not up and running. The main issue now is the track pants are too small to scale and definitely no good at all even for the tall/thin kid profile.

So the back and forth goes on while our pants sit on a dock somewhere in China. We are without any product to sell and they have half my money down and hold all the cards (this sounds like my recent blog on Vegas and Taking a Gamble! Here it is, in case you missed it). At this point in the crossroads of building this company, I am exhausted, stressed and my patience has been tested. Surely I feel though that all the struggles and frustrations will be worth it.

I’m certainly not going to give up on the custom BKJ brand of jeans and track pants. I feel this is the best way to bring to market a quality product that parents out there can identify with. This fashion problem is not going away anytime soon, so there is going to be this niche where we can fill the need for the husky kids as well as tall, thin kids. I refuse to give up on this online custom jeans venture. I have to keep fighting for all the hard working moms and dads out there who struggle fitting their kids with store brand jeans and track pants. Don’t forget the convenience of sitting in the comfort of your home and ordering up a pair of jeans or track pants that fit your kids delivered right to your doorstep. To me that seems worth fighting for.

Last time I blogged I made an appeal for more people to follow me. I’m hoping that folks out there can relate to the struggles a single dad faces in raising his kids while trying to run an established company and start a whole new company all by himself. I promised to keep on blogging and will continue to do so at least 1 or 2 times a week. Coming to a crossroads only means to me that you choose a different path and forge ahead with your vision and spirit in tact. Hope you all agree and stay tuned!

- Steve

big kidz jeanz steve

Friday Night Funnies Aren’t So Funny

Don’t ask me where I came up with this blog title other than the fact it is Friday night when I’m writing this and the week at Big Kidz Jeanz (https://bigkidzjeanz.com) has been anything but funny. I apologize for not staying steadier on the blog trail here but building a new venture and trying to keep my main business afloat gets time consuming. I promise to try and be more consistent on the blog posts in the future and I’m inviting anyone reading this to please come back and visit my blog page again. If you join our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/BigKidzJeanz we send out a notification of when the next blog is posted. Would really love to get more folks to follow me so please pass along to your friends as well!

One excuse on the inconsistent blogging is the important fact I like to spend quality time with my boys when I have them. Mentioned in earlier blogs how it has been an adjustment only seeing my boys half the time. When I have them the last thing I want to be doing is spending couple hours or more writing my blog. Sorry, but by nature I’m pretty much straightforward and honest. Sometimes that is good and not so good.

In the realm of building my custom made jeans and track pants (sweats) being brutality honest and straightforward may have not been so good. One thing I have a hard time with is being lied to or deceived whether it is in business or life in general. My supplier in NYC has pushed me to the outer limits of my patience. We were supposed to be up and running by June, maybe July at the latest and here it is the end of September with NO product to sell. There are 2400 pairs of pants (well actually only 2370 pairs and we’ll get in to this later) sitting on a dock in China somewhere while the haggling goes on. We are waiting for some type of a resolve to monies due and being charged additional shipping charges as well as some issues with the sizing and accoutrements on the track pants.

The BKJ jeans are of great quality and right up to snuff with all of the details we had in mind. Here is an actual live sample from my completed order. Up to now they have just been factory made pre-production samples:

big kidz jeanz kids jeans pants sample prototype

A sample of our signature Big Kidz Jeanz jeans

So the question I ask of myself, and to all you who may be reading this, is, “How does someone fit nicely in a pair of size 36 BKJ Jeans but the large size track pants (36”-38”) are a little too tight?” I can tell you when I put them on I immediately thought of Richard Simmons in a pair of his gym shorts (I just had a flashback there and it wasn’t pleasant by any means!). So we’ll need to add some type of a disclaimer on the Big Kidz Jeanz web site saying if you are a “bigger huskier kid then order the next size up.” I think the tall thin kids will be just fine. Right now we are waiting on a box of every single size of BOTH the BKJ track pants and the BKJ jeans to make sure the sizing is correct along with some of the other issues.

Other issues with track pants was that the white accent stripes were changed from my pre-production samples and the embroidery was not as crisp as I’d like on the live sample received. This is nothing anyone would notice or cause me to withhold payment but just adds to the steady stream of miss-steps by the supplier. Here is a picture of an actual finished sample of BKJ Track Pants:

big kidz jeanz kids jeans track pants sweatpants sweats

A sample of our signature Big Kidz Jeanz track pants

The main issues we are haggling over was we received a pack list stating the quantities 1188/1182 = 2370 and the invoice generated stated 2400 pairs for billing. Without revealing the cost of my product let’s just say it amounted to a few hundred bucks or more and if I did not catch I’m sure the wired monies would have been gladly accepted. The invoice was corrected after a couple days of waiting once I brought to their attention.

The other issue is additional shipping charges have been added on because of our request to have more pre-production sample made because the ones received did not meet our standards. This one is really sticking in my craw because there were some crazy mistakes made along the way by our supplier. How about a black “B” sewn out on black fabric? That would show up really nice right? NOT! Here is picture of pre-pro received a while back:

big kidz jeanz kids jeans logo

In the sprit of moving forward we are paying the extra shipping charges. Just want to get product in so I can finally get up and running here soon. Missed back to school season so next up is the Holiday shopping season. Really hope to tap in to the $963 billion spent last year in online holiday sales!

big kidz jeanz steve

Leaving Las Vegas & Taking a Gamble on Big Kidz Jeanz

I was passing through Vegas last week on my way to and from a golf event and again I was reminded of how much of a gamble starting a new company is. After pulling on a few one armed bandits and not having much luck, think I prefer to take my own gambles in life rather than get lucky on a slot machine! Starting a new online custom clothing company is certainly a big gamble.

The golf event was the Blaine McCallister Golf Invitational in Fort Stockton, Texas. It is an honor to be invited to this event as the field of players is limited to 100 two man teams. Guys come in from all over the country and Canada to play. We donated a couple hundred Big Kidz Jeanz poker chips as ball markers for the event, so they included my partner and I in on some of the festivities before the tournament started. One of the things they do is go bird hunting out in this huge grove of pecans. I didn’t hunt any birds but certainly hung out and chatted it up with the good ol’ boys from Texas.

Here is a picture of the tournament host and myself. Blaine McCallister is a former 4 time winner on the PGA tour and now playing his first year on the Senior PGA tour. I can’t say enough about what a tremendous gentleman he is. I met him over 20 years ago when he was coming to Albany, NY, to host and support local charity golf events. I’m very fortunate to know him and call him my friend.

Blaine McCallister golf pro big kidz jeanz kids jeans

Steve of Big Kidz Jeanz with Blaine McCallister

One thing I will say is there is nothing like good ol’ southern hospitality and friendship. It had been 10 years since I was last down there and the same guys are still playing and supporting the event. The tournament raises enough money so all the local Fort Stockton students all get FULL memberships to the local Desert Pines Golf Course where the tournament was held. All the guys remembered me and made me feel so welcome to be back to Texas.

One thing for sure is that once BKJ gets rolling, I hope to give back to local and perhaps even national charities and maybe even have my own BKJ Invitational golf event to raise even more money! There were many people in Texas that were very interested in my new venture. A few people had come up to me during my visit to tell me their stories about their kids not finding jeans that fit them properly. It is pretty nice to travel another part of the country and know people are still facing the same fashion issues that we do here in the Northeast.

Certainly my intentions for Big Kidz Jeanz is to make it a nationally recognized brand. I mean why not think BIG right! Speaking of BIG, we are sad to report the true production samples of my BKJ Track Pants came in and they are running SMALL. All 1200 pairs are done so not sure how we are going to resolve this issue. I’m thinking of putting a disclaimer on to our web site that states “the BKJ Track Pants run smaller to scale so please consider ordering the next size up, especially if you are a more husky”.

Again I took the gamble to start this company and also took a gamble to go ahead with production after 3 pre-production samples all came in wrong (I had asked for size 36 samples all along so I could try them on) at size 34. When I finally got the size Large track pant (36-38”) in last week I tried them on and they are definitely running a tad on the small size. Think they are going to be perfect for the “taller, thin” kids but tight on bigger size kids.

So right now I am back and forth with my supplier in NYC and plant in China. I’m not sure where we will end up but I promise to be up and running soon. You take a chance in life and roll the dice and it doesn’t always come out in your favor, but how you handle the adversity is what matters most. I’ve said this before in some of my blogs and will say it again, “If it was easy everyone would be doing it!”

- Steve

Steve 1

Getting Closer to Selling Custom Pants

Yes siree folks it is finally getting close. My projected launch date is about a month away. This process has dragged on for some time now. I was hoping to be selling custom jeans and athletic pants by now at bigkidzjeanz.com but we all know that things in life do not always work out as planned.

A few people have made comments to the effect that if it was easy everyone would be doing it. Guess that really strikes a chord with me because it certainly hasn’t been easy. Besides the time and energy I’ve put in to building Big Kidz Jeanz, the financial drain has really taken its toll. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I really hope to make some money soon to help offset all of the costs associated with this new venture.

Most certainly I came up with the idea to help solve today’s fashion shortfall with the husky and the extra tall kids falling through the cracks. But most everyone I know starts a business to be successful and make some dough (and no I do not mean I’m going in to the baked goods business too). Let’s not kid ourselves when I tell you I really hope to be successful and have BKJ go viral.

I still run-in to people almost everyday who ask me if they can buy custom jeans or track pants off my web site yet. On one hand it really makes me feel great but it just kills me to say no “I’m still waiting for product to come in from China”. On that note I found out this week the Athletic Pants (I use the word track pants as well, they are the same thing) are done. The Jeans will be done early next week. So now all that needs to happen is that whole slow boat from China ordeal I blogged on about a month ago!

Unfortunately I do not have any more pictures to insert in this blog. You have seen quite a few of both the BKJ Jeans and Athletic Pants. They are really sharp looking and I feel proud of how things turned out. My whole plan was not just to slap any old pair of jeans or track pants on my web site but to build a quality brand that hopefully someday people will recognize all over.

Yes I missed the back to school buying season but there is always Christmas! One thing I have learned in life is you have to stay positive and not let things drag you down. Going through a separation can knock you for a loop but you have to be thankful for what you have especially with 2 healthy and beautiful boys. Also I know I am not selling tomatoes and if my custom jeans and track pants don’t fly off the shelves right away they are certainly not going to spoil!

So until my next blog I say stay positive and true to your beliefs. If you do that then at least you can say you tried and did your best and always look yourself square in the mirror.

- Steve

Steve 1

Big Kidz JEANS 3

Let’s Leave The Falls At Niagara Falls

steve big kids jeans

Yes I know the title on this blog is a tad confusing or goofy but it sort of sums up things for me at Big Kidz Jeanz.  My marketing company in Tennessee, Inbound Marketing Agents (http://www.inboundmarketingagents.com/) has been guiding me on this whole on line custom clothing venture and said you need to expose yourself at times.  More specifically it was Bill Faeth, President and CEO, who gave that advice when he told me I need to start blogging and pretty much I take notice and fully respect any advice he gives to me.

I’m just getting back from a tremendous week of vacation with my two boys.  The first part of our trip started with a visit to my Mom and sister/brother in law in Rochester.  On Sunday I took my boys to Niagara Falls.  Guess that is what made me think about this whole custom jeans venture and perhaps taking a huge “fall” flat on my face.  Sure we know all the sayings out there “nothing ventured nothing gained”, “no risk, no reward” and I can go on and on.  Definitely nerve racking when you have your retirement on the line and also go in to debt with bank checks (very embarrassed to say my credit score not to great for me lately so getting a loan not an option) to fund what you think it is great idea.

Niagara Falls is surely a majestic site and takes your breath away much like the Grand Canyon.  My boys were totally amazed and psyched to see such a beautiful and breath taking site.  Sort of makes you feel miniscule because of its vast size and the water cascading down below totally pumps you up!  Here’s another great picture of my boys and I at the USA falls side:

Falls1

We did a Maid of the Mist boat tour right up to the base of the USA and Canadian side of the falls.  Highly recommend doing this as it gives you a whole different perspective, albeit a wet one.  After spending a few hours at the Falls we hopped in the truck and headed up to Lewiston for lunch and our Jet Boat ride.  Again this is something I highly advise you try if you can.  Going 50 mph up the Niagara River and then back down through Devil’s Hole a few times is absolutely heart stopping.

Portraits 2-03

After our Niagara Falls day trip Sunday, we got back to GrandMa’s for a nice home cooked meal and another overnight stay.  On Monday we headed to our camp in Adirondacks and spent couple days there before gearing up and heading to Piseco Lake for 4 nights of camping.  Anyone seeing us traveling up north on Wednesday would certainly think back to the days of Redd Foxx and Sanford & Son.  The truck was loaded to the gills with 3 bikes and gear along with 3 kayaks strapped down to our small 14’ aluminum boat in tow.  There was no cell service on the campgrounds so it was very nice to unplug and try to forget about BKJ for awhile though it is always on my mind.

Sitting around the camp fire on those chilly nights gave me time to reflect and ponder the future of this whole custom jeans business.  It does make me nervous when you think about failing or falling flat on your face. If anyone starting a business tells you otherwise I think they are lying or wired a lot different than most people.

Having 4 days to spend quality time with my boys and decompress was super.  The stress of building a new company takes it toll more than you know.  All of the product issues I had faced the past several months knocked some of the wind out of my sails.  So all of that being said I can only do my best to take the steps to ensure success of Big Kidz Jeanz.  Certainly we will know soon enough.

Hope I end up on top of the world much like Superman.  Sort of like my youngest son flying through the air in this photo when we were sitting around the camp fire one night!!

Superman

 

- Steve

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