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What if your campaign is too successful...?

By Molly Hill 9 Aug 2017 2:15:43 PM

Last week Melbourne Central held the highly anticipated Unicorn Festival - 2 nights of rainbow delights to brighten Melbournians' streak of Winter weather. 

During Melbourne Central's last Centre Update (a quarterly meeting to keep retailers in the loop with what's happening), the Marketing team gushed about the 19,000 people who expressed their interest in attending the festival on the Facebook event page. 

Melbourne Central Unicorn Festival 

Sure, there's a difference between being 'interested' in an event and actually attending - we've all got those friends who bail on the party last minute, or give an enthusiastic "maybe!" but know their night will be spent rugged up watching Netflix.

But having said that, Melbourne Central knew this was going to be a big deal, everyone loves Unicorns! 

Since the event was just upstairs from Ottoman3, I decided to check it out with my 8 year old sister, who was super excited, and informed me on the drive there that Unicorns are her "favourites of the mythical creatures".

As we got closer to the event, anxiety started to kick in as the magnitude of the crowd became clear - the Link Bridge was a mosh pit of families struggling to push passed each other. I felt sorry for the little ones dressed in their unicorn onesies, who couldn't see past the person in front of them. 

 Melbourne Central Unicorn Festival

It was kind of scary! As my sister and I lined up for what I assumed was fairy floss (we were too far away to actually see what the line was for) security guards informed us that the current wait time was an hour and 20 minutes! Did we want fairy floss that badly..? Nope. 

They also offered glitter face painting and a photo booth - both with minimal staff and huuuuge lines. 

Melbourne Central Unicorn Festival 

This comes just a week after MAC Cosmetics copped serious flack for their 'National Lipstick Day' giveaway. The international promotion went viral, and even news and radio stations were hyping up the day - only to disappoint customers who lined up for their free lipstick when only about 40 units were made available. 

 Some U.S MAC fans posted photos of the crazy-busy stores on the day.

 MAC Cosmetics Free Lipstick Day

 

Surely with so much press coverage comes the realisation that demand will far outweigh supply, and leave lots and lots of angry customers. 

Both MAC and Melbourne Central have been in PR overdrive responding to frustrated customers on their social media platforms - but it's worth noting the reason these customers were so mad is because they're passionate about the offer/event.

 MAC Cosmetics Free Lipstick Day

The balance is a hard one to get just right. Here at Ottoman3, one of our biggest challenges came after dropping the appointment system, and using a barber style structure. 

We wanted to ensure that our Brow Artists weren't spending too much time on the phone taking appointments, and instead be on the 'tools' and focusing on what's most important - your Brows! 

As a result, wait times are something we keep a close eye on eyeryday, and analyse each week to ensure we are staffed up enough to meet the demand of our Brow Babes. 

Ottoman3 Brow Bar

These days we have managing wait times down to an art, after all, we have done over half a million brows! And while we do experience 30 minute waits on the odd peak time, our company standard is 6 minutes.

Because at the end of the day, those customers who are lining up for you love the brand! Make sure they feel the love back and have an experience like they're the only one in the salon/store/festival! 

We all face the same challenges in business, and hopefully you can find your own equilibrium between demand and supply!

 

Travelling with a baby/toddler!

By Mini Latif 29 Jun 2017 2:44:19 PM
Travelling with a baby
 
 
I must had Googled a hundred times “how to travel with a 16 month old?” - “what you can pack when flying with a baby?” - “how much milk or liquids can you bring when flying with a baby?" etc etc. The amount of conflicting information that l found was so disheartening and what l was left with was going on my first international trip with my baby with 5 suitcases and no knowledge what so ever.
It was hideous l tell you, just hideous. 
 
What l can tell you now is that l have all the answers to those questions about getting through security with a baby, because l can assure you l asked every security guard both here and in Fiji the same questions and the answers were all the same. So ladies and gents, if you are lucky enough to be prepping for a trip that requires a plane and a little bubba under the age of 3 - here is all you need to know!
 
PS: once you know the rules, travelling with a kid under 3 means VIP service BABY! I am going to miss it when she turns 4!
Read on, you’ll see why! 
 
Skylar Sarkissian
 
 
Question: How much liquids can l take on the plane when travelling with a baby or toddler?
 
The simple rule is ‘UNLIMITED’ as long as your kid is under 3. The security guard said to me, that if you do get any push back from someone about your water supply, you just tell them that they water is ‘distilled’ for your baby. As you know you cannot make formula in advance, so l needed to bring my perfectly tempered water to mix with my formula on the plane. l would have to say this was the biggest stress leading up to this trip as l would have died if l was forced to lose my thermal water bottle.
 
When leaving Fiji at their airport l purchased a bottle of none other than Fiji Water and the guy at the counter said to me to make sure l drink it whilst we were at the gate as there’s another round of security before getting on the plane. However, l knew that now l had found this miracle travel partner, my ‘baby’, that l could bring the water on board with me for her ‘formula’. And l did and when they went to check my bags just before walking on the plane, l said l had water for my baby and they didnt even bother opening my bag.
 
Question: Can l bring homemade food for my baby or toddler on the plane?
 
YES you can! No special sealed packaging is required as long as it is for your kid under 3! Bring on home cooking!
 
Question: How do l get through airport security with a Baby or Toddler?
 
Now this is when the Gods started to smile when we got to the airport. As soon as we hit that silver sliding door at Tullamarine airport to get through to security, the guard looked at my little baby and said “Y’all can go left”, whilst everyone else was going right. This is when l discovered the VIP line for familias! I could not believe it. You all know what it’s like going through security when the guy in front of you has a back pack and bumbag and they ever so slowly empty the contents of their bags and pockets and locate their laptops and you are thinking “for the love of God, could you not speed this up, l have a plane to catch?”. Now imagine that guy is 2 parents and a baby with a pram, 3 over head luggages that are filled with liquids and food. Mate l was already feeling sorry for the poor people that would be waiting impatiently behind us. But this never happened. We had our own guard, our own security line and an endless amount of owwwing and ahhhing from the staff at my cute kid. I thought, this was too good to be true, wait till we get to the Immigration line!
 
Question: How do l get through Immigration at the airport with a Baby or Toddler?
 
You guessed it - we got our own Family Line!!!!!!!! After 20 odd years of international travel on my own, l never knew this VIP service existed when traveling with babies. Guess what - it gets better. 
 
So now we are at the gate early and l am trying to tire my 16 month old out, so she passes out on the plane. And as soon as the airline staff arrived at the gate, they came up to me and let us in front of the queue so we would be the first on the plane. No queues here either!
 
 
Skylar Sarkissian
 
So a couple of tools of the trade when flying:
 
Try the Mountain Buggy Bag rider - it does not hold much inside as only one side is available for storage, but boy oh boy will your kid love riding on this thing in the airport. Also, it will immediately make you one of the cool kids, as you will hear a hundred “OMG look at this kids ride!!”
 
If travelling with a second adult, try booking the aisle and window seat and pray that no one books your middle seat. We were lucky on both legs that the middle seat didn't get taken and it was a god send. 
 
If you airlines has it, try upgrading to economy X or +. For an extra $59 we got the additional leg room with Virgin Airlines and this allowed our kid to play around our feet for a couple of hours. In fact on the way home, we had the wall in front of us and l made up a bed for her. These things all add up to a manageable international travel experience.   
 
Happy travels peeps. Let me know how you go!
 
Mini - BabyTravelWhisperer

4 Boxes to tick by 40

By Mini Latif 6 Jun 2017 2:43:12 PM

So today l'm in Fiji on vacation and l turn 40.

As l do on all birthdays, but particularly on new decade birthdays, l like to do a stocktake on my life. 
You know, ensure l have ticked enough boxes to be what we are all in pursuit for… Happiness. 

Mini Sarkissian
 
 
On my 10th, l was super duper happy to be entering double digits age and hoped to God that people would stop treating me like a kid!
 
On my 20th, l was tres excited that l officially left childhood, teenhood and made it to the all aspire ‘Adulthood’. Still hoping to God that l would be treated like an adult.
 
On my 30th, l celebrated in my parents homeland of Cyprus and loved every moment when my cousins called me Mini’cik - ‘cik’ at the end of a name is something you usually do for little kids and so the irony of life began and my obsession of growing up pretty much ended there. Since then l have immersed myself in life and not cared too much about achieving an age milestone. Funny that!
 
At 30, l gave myself a decade to tick a few boxes. These boxes seem to be quite popular with most people and yet for me l felt was a struggle - every box just had so much heart ache to get ticked. But here l am, 40 and ALL my boxes ticked! Want to know what my boxes were? Well keep on reading then!
 
• Own a successful company. After 8 years and over half a million eyebrows completed, l can confidently say now that my business Ottoman3 is successful. Yep, glass of champagne for me. 
 
• Travel the world. Now this is partially ticked as apparently l need another 40 years to get anywhere close to the whole world.
But l have made a great dint in my passport and l love my alone time when l get to reflect.
Beyond that, my travels have inspired all of the products l have ever manufactured, right down to the bristle heads of our brushes. No matter what product we have at Ottoman3, when l hold one l am taken back to a place that made me go… l need to make this for my Australian lovers (of Brows!).
 
• Marriage. Yep now this probably needs more than a box, as it is not only a tick, but an ongoing work in progress. Marriage to me at 10 was all about the wedding day, at 20 was all about the guy, at 30 was all about the life style l wanted to live with a partner and now at 40 it is so much more. It is about friendship, respect, kindness and pretty much the art of negotiation. They say marriage is a job and l can certainly say it requires so much work. But by god, l had the most glamorous wedding day, the guy l had a crush on forever, a lifestyle that has surpassed my expectations and now a home that is busy, full and complete.
Love is home now.
 
• Motherhood. I never thought too much about this one as l kind of expected that l would just have a kid one day. The other boxes above seemed so much more difficult to get. But when Skylar came along 16 months ago, my heart grew out of my body and my stress levels toppled to heights unprecedented. Wow - just wow to being a mum to this kid. Daily l look for signs or similarities of me or my husband in her. But honestly, Skylar is her own person and she is just so ‘nice’. I have said this many times, but l made my own sister and we just hang out. My crew is complete. 
 
So that my friends were my 4 boxes to tick by 40. All ticked, so now what?
 
I decided no more boxes. Too stressful. Now l simply live. I still have many aspirations, but not boxes. Boxes were a set up for perceived failure. The truth is, if l didn’t tick one or any of those boxes, l know l would still be happy today. How do l know this? Well aside from all the things l can control, a few things happened whilst l was busy making lists:
 
My parents are both still living and living well. This makes me happy.
My brothers are both on standby for any Mini emergency great or small, so l have never really been alone. This makes me happy.
My cousins are residing all around the world and l can pick up and continue our friendship at any moment, because we just get each other. This makes me happy.
My girlfriends are so cool, they still want to hang out with me even with my highly strung, controlling personality. This makes me happy. 
My health is good. This makes me happy.
 
Mini Sarkissian
 
So my gift to myself today is to stop & smell the frangipanis in Fiji and celebrate a life with boxes ticked and a life to be lived well. 
 
Thank you for my blessings. 
 
Fab at 40 - Yes, yes l am. 

 

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