Thursday, February 17, 2011

What A Wild Ride!

Never A Dull Moment

Last week on Wednesday evening, as I was closing out my day, I was relaxing with my husband, pondering what to make for dinner, when a familiar chime came across my smart phone. A dandy little tool which keeps me connected to my business even when I am not in the office.

I moved across the living room, picked it up, scanned to open the screen, and an email was sitting in the queue for me to read. I clicked it and filled my entire screen with bold letters, "CBS The Doctors TV Show (fashion 911 episode)".

I could hardly believe what I thought I was seeing on my screen. I began reading the email, and basically they were inquiring about my company, Sterling Minerals. The email was from a production assistant on behalf of her producers, stating that the show maybe interested in featuring our products on this episode (above) which would have a segment to involve discussion about safe cosmetics and what women should look for in cosmetics, especially those with skin issues.

I read the letter over and over, trying to make sense of it, as my mind reeled at potential, while remaining cautious of this being a possible hoax....I mean could this be? It also had a PDF file attached which I couldn't open on my phone and there wasn't a signature, so at this point I still was unsure as to the validity of the email.

Excitement Tempered With Caution

Not willing to wait until tomorrow, I returned to my office, booted up my computer and accessed the email where I could look at the original to see what the PDF file was. Upon opening it, there at the bottom of the email was an image for a signature, which is why it did not show up on my phone since it won't display them in an email. It had as big as life, her name, her direct line, "THE DOCTORS" along with their address and the PDF attached. I opened the file and it was the statistics of the show in regard to viewership.


• In June of 2010, THE DOCTORS won the Emmy Award for Outstanding
Daytime Talk Show: Informational.

• THE DOCTORS is seen by approximately 14 million viewers per week.

• THE DOCTORS is seen in 199 markets across the USA, which is over
98% of the country.

• During its premiere season, THE DOCTORS was the most watched new
syndicated television show and the # 1 new talk show.

• The Doctors” ranks among the top 20 first-run strips in syndication,
averaging approximately 3 million viewers per show.

• “The Doctors” is the #1 medically themed talk show in syndication
according to Nielsen’s most recent household ratings (May 2010 sweep),
beating “Dr. Oz” in head-to-head competition.

• In New York, “The Doctors” is the second highest rated syndicated strip on
WCBS-TV among women 25-54.

• In Los Angeles, “The Doctors” ranks #1 in its time period among women

• The gender composition for THE DOCTORS is 72.4% female and 27.6%

Now my interest was piqued and waiting until tomorrow was not an option. After all it was only a little before 6 pm in California and she emphasized how she was on a tight deadline since they wanted to tape the show February 18th. So I began the process of giving her a call.

Testing The Waters

Now mind you, I had been receiving a lot of emails since Christmas asking us for free products to do reviews by highly publicized Bloggers and YouTubers. The emails always sounded professional and official along with a link and supposed signature by the authors of record. Each and every time I reached a threshold of excitement by these contacts, as I knew it was inevitable as our company grows and is getting the recognition after years of hard work. However, upon further research, I noted in some cases they were illegitimate contacts since the emails were not the same as those on the actual channel or blog.

In these instances I would blind cc the actual email of the blogger or YouTuber unbeknownst to the person sending me the email. Sure enough in each and every case, the contact was bogus as the actual authors would write me back stating their apologies for those that would use their channel or blog to solicit free products, but they were not the ones' who actually made the contact. At which point the imposter would write to me again also, thinking they had me on the hook. To which I replied after learning of their deceit, that a purchase would be necessary and once the review was done and posted, a refund would be given.....never heard from them again.....only because I am quite sure they knew full well that review would never take place.

I proceeded much in the same way with this latest email, being ever vigilant, but this was huge, and almost felt too good to be true. So instead of contacting her directly to the phone line provided in the that was too easy, I began my investigative dance of due diligence of making the contact in such a way, it would be the real deal.

I contacted CBS and asked for the production assistant of The Doctors show, and they told me I had the wrong building, that show was across the street. They gave me the correct number to call and I hung up and took a deep breath as this began to feel more real to me than anything else had in the past, and I do mean in a big way. I called the number and a young man answered and identified the studio of the show and I asked him if they had this production assistant on staff. He asked me to hold and after a brief pause, he came back and stated, "YES". I asked him if the phone number I had for her was correct, he stated, "NO". My heart sank, as I began to think I had been conned again.....I decided to go for it anyway and asked him to put me through.

Heart pounding, palms sweating as adrenalin flooded my system, her phone rang and a sweet, young voice answered stating her name and immediately placed me at ease. It was the name on the email, it was confirmed, I had reached her.....still with a bit of trepidation, I introduced myself and asked her first thing if she had contacted my company about being featured on the show......holding my breath for a split second, the response was a resounding..... wait for it...... "YES"....yes, yes she had indeed!

The clouds parted, the seas calmed, and the song "hallelujah" played in my head. I shyly laughed as I briefly explained how I had gone about contacting her based on past experiences with others of late, and she got a chuckle out of my story, but totally understood my ambivalence over the contact.

Getting Down To Business

After the pleasantries of getting to know each other a bit, she proceeded with a phone interview for the next 20 minutes and then asked me at the close of our conversation, what I thought would be best to send her in the way of products to provide to her producers. I told her to pick something for her and the production staff that they could also enjoy to use in order to discover what so many other women have been raving about after they use our products. She told me she would research it and would let me know tomorrow.

The next day she still had some confusion on what to get and told me the lateness of the hour was placing her in a bind and further research was not in the cards. I essentially had to step up to the plate and help her with this decision as she was a very busy person. Her production meeting was the following Monday and this was Thursday. I did stop to ask her if she had contacted other mineral makeup companies, and she said she had, but was very excited to try my products as she relayed how much she also enjoyed the website. So, I wasn't going to let this deter me even though I was essentially competing for a spot on the show. She wondered if I would be willing to overnight the products since she would need them by Monday at 8 am. USPS can't make this kind of guarantee so I told her I would take them to Fed Ex.

The Whirlwind Begins

Gathering up a versatile selection of full size products all nice and tidy tucked inside their packaging, I headed to Fed Ex so they could whisk my package up and away, to get it to her awaiting hands. The price ranges for time specific delivery ranged from 43 to 80 dollars. Since it was an arrival on Friday I chose the "close of business" time frame since she would have them well in advance of her production meeting on Monday.

Friday morning at 10 am, I received and email from her, telling me she had received the package already, (so much for time specific delivery) and was most grateful for my help and looked forward to the pitch and trying the products when all was said and done. She then asked me for some talking points which I happily sent back to her immediately in a return email, and the race was on.

In the event we are chosen, the influx of visitors and orders to my website would be huge. My phone went into overdrive as me and my staff began the process of contacting raw material suppliers for availability, packaging, printers, hiring extra staff, extra phone lines, larger space, production line manufacturers of the additional machinery we would want to ramp up production. It was all surreal for us. Our tech department was prepared to create multiple mirrored sites to handle the influx and prevent the site from crashing. We were literally being swept up into a whirlwind of excitement, anticipation and growth spurt like we had never seen.

Still Hoping For Selection

I spoke to the production assistant yesterday, and she told me they still hadn't decided on their choices for the show, and she was just heading into a meeting to hopefully get the final approval.

She explained that much of what they do for these shows is done on extremely tight deadlines and can be last minute, right to the wire. Not being familiar with television production, I had to let her be my guide and wait and be patient. She told me she would call me once she knew their decision.

But whatever their decision, it was a wonderful and exciting experience, and I told her, that in the event we weren't chosen, I thanked her for their consideration of us and truly enjoyed the process. I wanted her to please enjoy the products I sent and maybe if not now, something in the future together, and I would love her feedback nevertheless, on what she thought of Sterling Minerals.

The Camaraderie I Felt

She was gracious and thankful in return for the opportunity to try our products for herself and her fellow production staff, and in the end that was all that had mattered to me. We were chosen literally out of possibly hundreds of companies in the industry, as a possible featured company by a production team in Hollywood for CBS The Doctors. This is huge....I was giddy, breathless and overwhelmed....what a great time.....and it isn't necessarily over. My products remain in the hands of those in Hollywood at CBS studios....others may become curious....perhaps she will share her experience with others.....maybe the high gloss packaging will catch Oprah's eye if she should walk by....dare to dream....but regardless it is another step toward my ultimate goal, of having our products get into the hands of millions of women so they too can share in the secret of beauty renewed.

I had also learned so much about friendship during this past week. The concerted team effort I received by all my contacts to pull together for me and my company to make things happen on a moments notice. These are not just my business contacts, but they have shown me to be true friends with such incredible support.

My heart literally swells with gratitude to everyone who offered to go the extra mile for us. Literally within 3 days, we had packaging, machinery, raw materials, larger space, extra help all lined out for us, ready to go when and if I receive the thumbs up. As of the writing of my blog this morning, I am still waiting and hoping to hear we were selected.

So I just wish to say thank you to all of those I contacted with my good news, and I cannot express enough how much it meant to me to know that everyone had my back and literally helped shoulder the experience we were getting ready to hit us like a whirlwind....

WOO HOO What A Wild Ride!

Protected by Copyscape Online Infringement Detector


  1. Hey Katherine, congrats for being considered!
    Hope Sterling Minerals will be chosen. Luckily I bought your products not long ago and would be experience a crash of the website right after your products appear in the show :p

    --Fiona Leung

  2. Thanks Fiona,

    Due to the lateness of the hour and not hearing back, unfortunately, it appears we may not have won this one. But we had the website thing all figured out and a crash was not going to happen. So no worries there. I am still just tickled to have been selected for consideration. This tells me we are becoming a contender in the mineral makeup biz and our goals are being reached. It is a very exciting time for us.


  3. Congrats Katherine
    Call the Assistant back and ask when they will do the next segment on natural Makeup or skincare or safety issues with beauty products.

    They are very busy but they do keep a timeline/schedule of topics much like magazines.
    There's a fit for you in many categories. If you're ready for media, you might get an agent. Wishing you best of luck. Lisa

  4. Oh my word, Katherine. This is incredibly inspiring. I loved reading this, and let me tell you... it's a Sunday morning here and I have a mountain and a half to climb this next three days. You have just put some badly needed wind into my sails. I will smile for you for days. I know it's after the event now but you still deserve the congratulations. Thank you so much for the inspiration! May another real opportunity happen your way soon.

  5. A comment left at our Facebook Fan page:

    Wow! GO STERLING GO!!! This product and your web site has changed my life. It took six long months for my face to go back to normal after ten long years of Pro-Active abuse. I almost gave up and went back to Pro-Active. If not for the information on your web site that my face would get worse before it would heal I would have went back to the circle of chemical messes. It all made perfect sense after reading your blogs. Not only is your minerals the best on the market so is your skin care line. When you get big don't change what we all love. When you have a great thing it sells it self.

    Melody C.

  6. Thanks Manor Hall and Lisa (aka Spanky)

    It has been a whirlwind of activity to be sure. And I am happy the article lent inspiration. But I have received same from so many other Indies in the past. So I finally got my chance to inspire others and return the favor.

    Will still contact the assistant just in case there is still a chance or this segment may have been pushed back for something more timely in nature, but definitely don't want to be a pest and there is always that fine line...certainly don't wish to cross it.


  7. Good luck, Katherine! Even if you don't get this one, your foot is in the door and you have the contacts. You can milk it for a newsletter subscription perhaps, or use chances to send information of interest to her about the topic of safe cosmetics. Even if you're not on this segment, you can be a helpful resource, and that makes you a positive influence on the process and puts you top of mind when they have questions or opportunities in the future.

  8. Thanks dM,

    I realize this as an important beginning to gaining more and more contacts within the TV biz including other forms of media. I am still excited about the potential and future contacts which may grow from this one.