Sarasota women find job hunt all in the wrist
Wake up and good morning. After getting some in-state media notice for their recession-resisting "Laid Off Need A Job" wristbands, Sarasota entrepreneurs Stephanie Aucoin, 48 and Barbara Bourn, 59, got some national attention today on the "Career Journal" page of the Wall Street Journal.
The story, of course, is classic. After after being laid off from an executive-assistant position at a local accounting firm last September, after plowing through her savings with nary an interview, and after borrowing $10,000 from her parents, Aucoin teamed up with Bourn (who was forced to sell her house after her hours in an interior-design sales position were cut back). They came up with the idea of creating and selling these $3 wristbands and a Web site: laidoffneedajob.com. (Photos courtesy of laidoffneedajob.com.)
The gem of this story: Aucoin got a job offer the same day she was stopped in an elevator by an executive who noticed her new yellow wristband embossed with black letters. As the Journal reports, the executive was a chief financial officer at an alternative energy company who was looking for an assistant and told Aucoin to stop in to meet with him. Bingo. She started the new job in March.
But apparently you never, ever know when advertising can pay off. Aucoin and Bourn even set up their own testimonial page from people who supposedly found benefits to wearing the wristbands.
The two women spread the word about their venture via social-networking site Twitter (they have 219 followers) which helped spark sales, today's Journal reports. Last week, their Web site averaged 500 visitors a day. After about five weeks in business, the pair has sold 4,500 bracelets, broken even on their investment and pocketed $8,900.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist