The Beginning: My First Brilliant Marketing Idea. PART I

The dreamer....

It was the very late summer of 2004. I had just graduated from the Eller School of Management at the University of Arizona in May; the third ranked entrepreneurial program in the country at the time( I think that it has held onto that distinction. It then outranked Harvard and Warton .) 73 of us were admitted into the program, and the attrition rate was so high, 36 of us graduated together. Of the 73 admitted, 5 were female. of the 36 that finished- 5 were female and I was the only one admitted without a business background. They bent the rules to let me into the program, because I had a degree( just graduated with both University and English Honors from the U of A in May of 2003) and this program was specifically targeted to the best of the best in the business school. But...they thought I had potential, a couple of my professors from the english department gave me glowing credentials... and I got in. Anyway.In September of 2004...I was ready to conquer the world and bursting with ideas.

I was living south of Tucson, and was driving up to Tucson for the day ( as I had every day for 3 years to go to school, which = determination @120 miles a day), listening to the radio in my car, and the new talent, John Mayer came on, singing his new hit
" Your Body is Wonderland."

" ...Your candy lips and your bubble gum tongue...
If you want love...we'll make it..."

And the ideas started racing in. desirable woman.A desireable woman to whom? And what did she do with that?

Jewelry was what I had decided I was going to market and sell at Eller. My way. Because the traditional norms concerning jewelry were: expensive jewelry was a gift...from a man to a woman. In the world of the wealthy, it had more to do with the man than the woman who wore it. It was about his status, his wealth, his way of showing the world what he was worth, through his wife, girlfriend...or both- and what he could buy for them. His choice had to be an obvious lexicon readable to the most casual observer.Of what he could afford. The bigger the rocks,the more plentiful the 'ice', the better he -and she- looked. Most women saw that equation as quite acceptable, but I insisted that there had to be some that were as different as I was. And it was going to be my mission to find them and lead them to the glorious freedom of self expresion and independence!
I objected.I thought that the jewelry a woman wore, should be about her taste, her style...something she could wear at any or night, formal or informal and love what she was wearing with out guilt or worry of how others would perceive her. In my opinion...the jewelry should be meaningful and subtle in it's opulence. The quality would be there for anyone with discernment to see... but no 'bling' in this collection . This was about style and taste...not social status or wealth. I wanted the pieces to be practical...pendants that were interchangeable so the the pendant, on a different necklace.....was amazingly the prefect white t-shirt with a suit, or jeans.

The ideas founded a script....this movie short started to form in my mind...the story line evolving completely in 45 minutes...beginning to end...script, actress(me) the sets, the styling, the mood..all of it. Done. And when an idea is that clear...I cannot rest until I see it done. front of me...a concept made manifest. I cannot let it go.

The lyrics forming John Mayer's song had made a lot of sense to me in a very clear way. I knew without any vanity that my reality had been that I had always been approached by men,( sometimes, scarily to me, women) since I could remember. (One terrifying moment, when a stranger tried to convince me to get into his car when I was eight.) Wanted. And I had to ( and still can't) make sense of that. I was just me. And yet, it was something I had to learn to deal with. Wanted. A desirable woman. Fortunate, yes, unfortunate also. Always battling to be 'seen' for myself... and not the envelope that held me. To have voice, opinions, thoughts...feelings that were respected. not to be an ornamented object, but a treasured and loved person. John Mayer's song didn't speak of the person in the body at all. It was all about body parts. I could really relate to that distinction.( We all know a lot more now, than we did then, about John Mayer and therefore ..why...he would write a song like that...but still...he was making a point that I wanted to address about the value of a woman and the social norms I objected to.) I came up with the catch phrase,"Some Women Are Unconquerable" which made perfect sense to me. In my mind...some women could not, would not, be bought. They were un-buyable, unconquerable and owned themselves.They saw themselves (I did...anyway) as free spirits who wanted to be understood and loved with depth. Not in a superficial and topical way...but for their heart and soul.The rest should be gravy...not the meat.

Also...I have always objected quite strongly to rules. There were a lot of rules for a woman that did not apply to men. Why? Why did they have freedom of movement,traveling, going out...the rules of engagement and of camaraderie with their guy friends that I,as a woman, did not enjoy? Why ?Why was certain behavior seen as promiscuous in a woman, and not in a man...or at least less tolerated? Why....Not that I wanted to be promiscuous...but why weren't we equal? Why more guys in business school?Why?!!!Who made those rules! ( Remember too, my family was/is Greek...very patriarchal and androcentric...and I was just coming into my had a LOT of questions about what I could and could not do, and be, who I could go out with, how I could dress, behave.... and I was super good.Imagine if I had been a wild child! of my team mates had a friend that was building my website. I told them about my idea. They thought it was great. My idea was...make this movie short, burn it to DVD, make this amazing package, buy a mailing list and send it off to 10,000 homes of the kind of people who would buy my jewelry in New York. Then, with the 1% return, fund my business so that I never needed investors. Ever.
The movie short was about: This woman who was pursued by these people trying to 'bribe' her to be "theirs". She wasn't interested in their gifts of expensive jewelry ( the millionaire that I actually knew) , their promise of sexual conquest( the famous- and married- male renowned, who had made a very explicit remark to me, about wanting to get into my knickers) their romantic promise of eternal love ( my good, girl friend from english, who after being friends for two years, made a pass at me and thus ended our friendship). At this time in my life...I was pretty pi...ed about all of them... and my family's control.. and had a lot to say about it. And I was going to. In this movie. About what kind of jewelry a woman like that wanted , and did, wear. And there was going to be a very tasteful shower scene. Why? Because that was really how her day really started. And my family was going to object to that scene.So I was going to do it. Because I could. My friends from business school ( all guys) loved the script, the idea, thought it was a great business concept, and wanted to help with filming of the movie as well as the production of the DVD's. I didn't need any more encouragement. I was on fire! This was going to be the most , best, business launch ever!

PART II tomorrow. The Strategy : I can't upload the video right now for some reason...but watch it on YOUTUBE for now