We've been playing with some functionality to make life a little easier and faster to choose products.
At any given time there might be 2-3 hundred product choices in any one product style.
Ana the talented Spaniard has built a little function that will now allow you to search via colour and text
We are trialling it with the recycled billboard macBook sleeves and would appreciate any feedback you'd like to offer up. It'll save you trawling through the entire site....especially if you're the indecisive type.
Once we get it sorted, we'll use it across all billboard and print blanket products.
Some tips on how you can search: you can't put a single letter or number [eg. H or 8] in the search box put in the word 'text', or colours [eg. blue, green, red] More tips here.
Until recently I thought all dogs lived large like me, until I was chatting to a couple of young pups who told me that life was tough if you get stuck on the wrong side of the tracks. Some woofers don't have a roof over their head! This is a disgrace.
Calendars don't just make themselves you know.
As the Village People said: “No dog does it all by himself”.
My PA called my personal photographer (Gina Milicia) who called my
biographer (Valerie Khoo). I called in a favour from the Spaniard (aka
Ana Garcia) who designed my calendar & website. A plan was hatched.
We'd do a calendar with ALL profits going to Lort Smith Animal Hospital
in North Melbourne. Lort Smith is the largest animal hospital in
Australia, helping 100,000 pets a year on the smell of an oily rag.
As a Social Media Expert I thought the best way to get this happening
was to reach out to my peeps on twitter and facebook. I created some
buzz and got you, the punters involved by having you caption each
month's pics. Some of you are budding jingle writers... others clearly
have no talent and should stick writing job applications. The captions
were submitted daily and voted on by the Pulitzer Prize judges. See them all here
The Gus the Boxer 2010 Calendar Project became a reality and social media experiment!
You don't think it's going to happen to you, you think you're prepared if it does, good systems in place, well insured and backed up.
Then you get to the door one morning, notice it's ajar and a quick glance tells you things aren't right. The shiny new imac isn't on the front counter. Burgled.
On Melbourne Cup weekend in early November the haul store, office, workshop and warehouse got rolled.
A couple of imacs, macbooks, SLR digital cameras, FLIP cam, backup disks, a good chunk of stock that was about to shipped out to retailers for the first Christmas drop. The worst part was the server and wireless network was taken as well.
Like most businesses, we have data backup procedures, off site disks and to the web, not all files make it off site and you lose many designs and info that you assume is backed up but isn't.
Insurance covers the essentials, but not the wasted time and frustration and definitely not the lost momentum.
Thanks for all those who helped us out and kept us rolling whilst we put the puzzle back together. Matt Irwin who lent us a camera, Ric Luz of MacMate a server, Ian at Caffe Piccante for letting us hog his internet to stay online. Special thanks to our suppliers who were patient allowing us to pay bills late whilst we used the cash to keep the House of haul rolling.
Gus the boxer has been relieved of his 'Security Director' duties and will now concentrate on his brand ambassador / design / personal shopping assistant duties.
It wasn't so bad, severe damage wasn't done, no one was hurt and the business wasn't left vulnerable.
So, go check your insurance and make sure all the new tech stuff and increased stock levels are on it.
ps, if someone offers you cheap macbook sleeves this Xmas, they probably are 'HOT'.
Ana "The Spaniard" Garcia - Sunday, September 27, 2009
We've been working with some new materials over the past year.
One of the haulers found out that the offset printers used a rubber mat as part of the printing process. [big deal i hear you say... ok, work with me here].
Newspapers are printed using them, so are can and bottle labels. Once they've done a truck load of impressions they have to be changed so the next run doesn't smudge. [I know it's so technical].
Anyways, they used to go straight into landfill until we road up on our big white charger and saved the day.
We mixed up some secret herbs 'n spices to seal in the last print and our first cab off the rank is a sleeve that will fit 13" & 15" macBooks or a4 document folders. Up next [late Oct] portfolio bags and belts.... stay tuned here.
Ana "The Spaniard" Garcia - Tuesday, September 15, 2009
We'll take 4 stars from an Apple bible any day of the week.
Back in May, the mag gave our recycled billboard macBook sleeves some Featured Product love.
We got that nice warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with lots more eyeballs spying our goods.
Fast forward a few months and sleeve samples were summoned to San Fran and we are seriously
I've been asked to speak at a few gigs since the middle of the year. Mostly there are a few variations on theme of the one main topic, which is the haul story. Sometimes it's the green aspect of the business, sometimes the brand story and other times the trials and tribulations of growing a business.
Mid year I repaid a favour to my friend Carol Hanlon and spoke at the WA innovation festival in Perth about how we do, what we do at haul. Later that evening to some Perth fashion designers about developing and growing a brand.
In Aug talked to a bunch of up and coming entrepreneurs at The Hive in Melbourne about the Long haul and all things business. I went to lots of these events when haul was getting rolling, so it's flattering to be asked to speak and share the experiences. Too often you hear fluffy 'one year i started the biz and two years later i was a millionaire' business success stories, so I like to do some illusion shattering and let people know that road is long. Google might buy your biz 6 months after starting, but i wouldn't count on it.
I have been working my arse off at haul for all of my 5 years [nearly 6] with hardly no respect.
I don't get paid at all, yet I do more jobs than Eddie McGuire. I am a greeter, I design my own line of products, I am a personal shopping assistant, I provide counseling and guidance to the your hauler staff. I am very busy.
But it wasn't until my friends Jayne D'arcy and Valerie Khoo [Val to me] wrote of my epic work did I receive the recognition I deserve.
Jayne got me in the Sunday AGE and Val in the Age & Sydney Morning Herald [for a few hours I was even on the front page of both online].
I"m now looking for a 3 picture deal with Miramax a contract with Kong to exclusively endorse their balls and maybe a range of Gus action figures with Matel.
A few years ago one of the haulers said we needed to design a cool way of doing one-off-events like design festivals that didn't involve a market tent or something else just as lame.
The plan we hatched was to get hold of a retro 1960's caravan and turn it into a mobile retail beast.
We knocked on a few farmers doors inquiring about old caravans, we'd side in fields from the road and scoured the Trading Post before a few popped up on Ebay.The first two we found, went to other [not-so-good] homes after some amateur bidding efforts by Team haul.
Time to get serious, another was located: a 4.5 mtr Premier model online that was a gem, sliver exterior and not too many dings. Bidding was scheduled to end at 10pm on Saturday evening [now really, who would do that?] so iPhone Ebay app to the rescue. Bidding reached the giddy heights of $1,500 with 2mins to go but with a Coopers in one hand, the final plunge of $1550 was made with the other [& enough to get the chocolates - who said iphones weren't for business].
Located down the coast from Melbourne in the sea side town of Barwin Heads near Geelong, the old girl was in good shape according to Peter the Octogenarian bloke selling it. He wasn't wrong. We nursed it back along the freeway to North Fitzroy where it awaits the haul treatment.
Can't give too much away but, some solar panels, iMacs and a barn door effect style treatment is underway.
We've had a good look at the Global Financial Crisis and after much consideration....decided not to participate.
These things come and go, the world hasn't stopped so why waste hot air and energy worrying about them.
2008 was a swell year at the House of haul and as part of the plan for 2009 we are looking to open another retail store in the laneways of Melbourne.
It will be called TOWNhaul.
We've only got so many pairs of feet to hoof it around looking for an industrial, edgy space in the city so we thought we'd engage you [the haulers] and run a little competition.
Send in a suggestion to win a PROPHYLAPTIC macBook sleeve and if you hit the spot, you might be wearing the Mayoral robes at the opening night soiree.
Ana "The Spaniard" Garcia - Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The fine people at MacLife magazine in the U.S. (all things Apple & Macintosh - there's a couple of words you don't hear much these days) have featured the haul PROPHYLAPTIC recycled billboard MacBook sleeves in their May '09 edition.
They talk up the sleeves as being unique & green... and really, who are we to argue?