What I’m loving about Fine Fit Day’s review of SwaggerTag ID Tags
After the outside temperature started to finally rise above -10°C, I took the opportunity to get back into my running schedule. For motivation, I started to peruse a few fitness blogs, and came across Carly Pizzani & Fine Fit Day.
Carly is an Australian ex-pat living in Brooklyn, NYC with her husband & two-year-old son. She’s an ACSM certified personal trainer, currently working part-time and writing her Fine Fit Day blog, as well as a weekly column called Working (Out) Mama for The Stir of CafeMom fame. Her goal with Fine Fit Day is to motivate and encourage everyone to exercise. She’s a holistic health proponent, and shares workouts, fitness tips, inspirational stories, recipes, as well as updates from her life as a trainer and a fit mama.
“A while back, Karen from SwaggerTag emailed me, asking me if I’d be interested in trying a sample of her product. It’s a cool idea – a small, colorful tag that you can personalize with your own photo or logo, then you write your contact details inside and attach to luggage, or gym bag, or kid’s bag. It’s totally safe, your info is hidden, but still accessible if you lose your stuff. Another small, independently owned business, too! (And Karen is funny, lovely, and actually went to the trouble of making an insert with my logo in it when she sent me a sample). Disclaimer: my SwaggerTag was free, but I would buy it in a heartbeat.”
By Karen Walker
SwaggerTag hits The Glebe at Readi Set Go!
We are very happy to announce that SwaggerTag ID Tags are now for sale at Readi Set Go on Ottawa’s Bank St., just south of Glebe St.
In today’s fast-paced environment, everyone’s always on the go. Readi Set Go provides all the high quality and fashionable accessories to meet your needs while you are on the run without sacrificing your style. Since 2007, they have built up a complete line of functional and adorable products. They collect all their best sellers and add them to their web-store, offering the luxury to shop from home. Their goal is to give their customers the healthier, more eco-friendly and more fashionable alternatives to their life on the go!
SwaggerTag is a choice that fits for Kiddie Kobbler
SwaggerTag is thrilled to announce that our Identification Tags are “the choice that fits” for the St. Laurent Blvd. store of Kiddie Kobbler in our nation’s capital (and the city of my birth!).
This is Ottawa’s oldest and most well known Kiddie Kobbler location. Boasting an inventory of almost 1 million dollars…NOW THAT’S A LOT OF CHILDREN SHOES!!! This store offers shoes for moms and dads, and other great accessories, too; they have something for everyone! Let Rob the Shoeman and his entertaining staff make shoe & accessory shopping fun! Make sure you get their “shoe club card” to become part of the family AND get a free pair of shoes (after 12 pairs)!
SwaggerTag is being featured in the
2nd edition of The Mom Inventors Handbook!
I wanted to share with you that SwaggerTag and I are going to be featured in the second edition of a book I’m a big fan of: The Mom Inventors Handbook.
When I first started talking about developing my SwaggerTag concept, my sister-in-law gifted me The Mom Inventors Handbook, How to Turn Your Great Idea Into the Next Big Thing, by Tamara Monosoff. For a few weeks, it collected dust because I was skeptical of it’s title, but one day I decided to give it a read and was amazed with the very useful & actionable information it contained. And despite it being U.S. based, I found it very relevant for my Canadian business.
I became a member of Tamara’s Mom Inventors online community and developed a relationship with her over her Moms Helping Schools program and a few other initiatives. When she decided to write a second edition to her very successful book, she reached out to her community asking for new examples she could incorporate. I responded, along with many others, and was selected to be included in the book. I am the only Canadian!
If you are interested in bringing your own idea to market, I highly recommend The Mom Inventors Handbook. This new edition includes written and personal video stories, like mine, from over 50 entrepreneurs, many of whom used the 1st Edition of this book while developing their products. Tamara provides clear steps from patents to funding to manufacturing to sales to publicity to licensing.
The book will be available for sale starting April 2nd, 2014. In thanks for our participation and help with getting the word out about her book launch, Tamara has invited me to set up an affiliate links, which I’ve done on both Amazon.ca (for Canadian residents) and Amazon.com (for U.S. residents), if you care to purchase a copy of your own.
Anyone who purchases the book by 12:00 midnight Pacific Time, on Thursday April 3rd, will be entered into a drawing. All you need to do is submit your Amazon.com or BN.com book purchase order number at www.tamaramonosoff.com/bonuses. Drawings will be held and announced 9:00 PM Pacific Time/12:00 Midnight Eastern time, April 4th.
Please feel free to share this message with anyone who is thinking of starting their own business.
…And the Winners Are…
Easy Daysies is a magnetic scheduler and visual organizer for kids. Developed by school teacher Elaine to initially help her students in the classroom, parent demand for a home-based version of her popular tool became overwhelming. Initially modeled on the concept of having easy days, parents found that Comeau’s magnetic scheduler reduced anxiety and created routine for better management of their hectic schedules, allowing children easier transitions and visual reminders of daily expectations. Easy Daysies has won many product and parenting awards, can be found in over 1300 stores across North America and is recommend by child psychologists and occupational therapists.
It was quite the ride, and I’m very proud of my two years as a Finalist and would like to thank my incredible group of supporters who helped me get there. I made a number of friends and other great connections in these last two years. In addition to the Event & Gala ticket, Finalist luncheon, and meeting Arlene Dickensen, I received a one year membership to the Toronto Chapter of The Mompreneurs and a lovely glass keepsake.
Meet the fabulous Top Finalist Mompreneurs
SwaggerTag was named as a Top Finalist in the 2014 Mompreneur Award of Excellence along with 11 others. Nine were selected by supporting votes, and 2 more as “Wild Cards” by the judges. It’s an impressive group of women & businesses, and I thought I’d share them. (Please note that I’ve added SwaggerTag to this list, as this post is being shared by some of the other Finalists.)
Lux Keepsake Quilts by Angel Dutrisac:
Lux Keepsake Quilts creates beautiful, high quality, quilts using fabrics that are near and dear to the heart, the fabric of your life – clothing. These Keepsake Quilts are designed to be both aesthetically pleasing and practical. They are for picnics at the park, movies on the couch, used for wall hangings or bedroom decor. These pieces are snapshots of time, and made to tell stories, reflect the individual, and most importantly, to create lasting memories for generations to come! Creating high quality, modern keepsake quilts out of old, outgrown, and memory-filled clothing. From baby’s first outfits to t-shirt and memorial quilts, no matter what the raw material, the end result will be a beautiful, solid, luxurious, warm, one-of-a-kind piece that is “worth every penny and more”! These pieces are not your average quilts – they are Lux Keepsake Quilts.
Coupon Christine by Christine Hicks
Coupon Christine is dedicated to helping families save money. They strive to be a blog and fanpage where people can learn not only how to coupon successfully in Canada, but have a good time managing their money. It is a very stressful time for many, and Christine Hicks & her partner Lily at CouponChristine.com feel that teaching others how to save money is their way of giving back to their communities in a positive way. They have a lighthearted approach on their page and their fans come back to enjoy their posts and deals they share because of that. Their site is dedicated to helping those save money. We do not sell anything, but rather run their business on sharing deals, freebies and information about couponing. The product they sell is education and wisdom to others.
Easy Daysies Ltd. by Elaine Tan Comeau
Easy Daysies was started on Elaine’s kitchen table, created by parent demand by a school teacher who is blessed to be a mom of three. The goal of Easy Daysies is to create visual schedules & organizational products to help kids have easier days one day at a time – that is how it got its name! In today’s society, we face stress, chaos, and scrambling every day, and Easy Daysies strives to create tools to help busy families and teachers succeed so that all kids can feel successful, confident and happy. Easy Daysies® Daily Schedules help show kids the “shape of the day”. Use these fun magnets for a single routine, like bed time or after school routine, or plan the whole day! This mom/teacher-created product, made with 70% recycled materials, help children become more co-operative, independent, & less anxious because they feel safe & confident knowing what is happening next! Wonderful for helping kids of any age, & children with special needs, deal with event transitions or anxiety.
Dressed to Deliver by Julie Ann Berg
At Dressed to Deliver, they strongly believe every woman deserves the option to feel comfortable, confident, concealed and beautiful – before, during and after one of the most important days of her life! Their hope is that our birthing gowns will be a small yet beautiful part of every woman’s child’s birth-day. A fashionable collection of birthing gowns – a great alternative for the unflattering & uncomfortable ‘one size fits NONE’ hospital gown. The birthing gown has all the features of a hospital gown with discreet access for fetal monitoring, IVs & epidural administration, as well as C-section incision inspections & healing. Dressed to Deliver Birthing Gowns are cleverly designed so that they can also be worn as a maternity & nursing dress with access for skin-to-skin contact & breastfeeding.
TravelBug Baby by Sheree Wells
At Travelbug Baby, they make traveling more accessible to families by providing rental baby equipment and supplies to save time, space and money. A more sustainable and green lifestyle doesn’t have to stop when travelling and they are committed to provide eco-friendly choices whenever possible. They are passionate about helping families spend more meaningful time together while sharing what their great city, Toronto, has to offer. They rent top brands of equipment such as Clek, Bloom & Peg-Perego. Their inventory includes strollers, car seats, cribs and eco-friendly supplies. Their gear is selected for quality, safety, portability and ease-of use. All equipment is safety-inspected, monitored for recalls and sanitized using non-toxic cleaners. They help you select equipment and offer recommendations for family-friendly attractions. Their service includes fast delivery, set-up and pick up to a destination of your choice.
Bauer Barrels by Ashley Thorpe Bauer
Bauer Barrels makes handcrafted furniture and accessories from reclaimed Ontario wine barrels. They custom make each item from their home-based workshop. They work with their clients to create very unique pieces. They guarantee that no two items are the same as each wine barrel is unique in shape, size and colour. Their mission is to provide high quality and unique handcrafted furniture and products at reasonable prices using reclaimed wine barrels. They strive to use reclaimed wood and sustainable and environmentally friendly resources wherever possible.
Oemi Baby Inc. by Vanessa Richardson
Oemi Baby’s mission is to create fashionable and functional diaper bags and layette that exceed the highest expectations; backed up by exceptional customer service. Their passion doesn’t stop there; they want to be a part of positive change in the world not only for themselves but for their children, they know giving to those in need has to be a constant focus for their business. Their entire product selection of Diaper bags and layette have been designed by them from seam to seam. They designed a gorgeous functional leather diaper bag that could easily be mistaken for the season’s hottest bag – not a diaper bag. Their bags are made to transition from early baby days to toddler and even back to the office! Their product line includes their custom designed baby sleepers in warm gender neutral colours, and they’re amazing organic cotton, Canadian made oversized swaddle blankets.
SwaggerTag ID Tags by Karen Walker
SwaggerTags are identification tags that reflect your personality and help you keep track of your gear. By customizing with your own photo, image, logo, or message you can let everyone know it’s your stuff. You decide what personal details to include and your SwaggerTag reveals the information only if it is opened. A SwaggerTag is water, weather and impact resistant, with strong attachment points and ties to ensure it will stay with your gear. Available in six distinctive colours. SwaggerTags were created to help families identify their gear and increase the odds of that gear being returned to them if misplaced, while keeping safety, reliability, multi-functionality, affordability and fun in mind. SwaggerTags combine a unique set of features that go well beyond what other id/bag/luggage tags offer, to make them the best way to tag everything that heads out the door with you.
SleepBelt Inc. by Hayley Mullins
The SleepBelt was designed to facilitate simple, hands free skin-to-skin bonding for moms, dads and newborn babies! We are learning the value of Kangaroo Care, and hope to encourage this healthy behaviour while allowing parents a bit of a break (use your tablet, smart phone, or read!) while baby snuggles securely. Soft, stretchy and snug, SleepBelt is a hands free skin-to-skin support system, designed for babies 0-3 months/up to 15 lbs. Different that a wrap, carrier, sling or skin-to-skin shirt, SleepBelt’s strapless design facilitates easy transfer of baby from chest to crib. It is easy to use (no wrapping, tying or adjusting), is on in seconds, ensures baby stays snuggled in their most comfortable position (knees tucked or froggy-style), and can sub in as a belly binder when baby isn’t in it!
Signature Little Ones by Patricia Mercurio
Signature Little Ones create unique, one-of-a-kind and personalized gifts for babies, toddlers and children. They offer the coolest backpack collections, banks, fabulous room décor pieces and the most adorable hooded towels and luxurious blankets in a wide range of styles and colour choices. You can add your signature by selecting the embroidery option to make it a personalized gift for any little one to enjoy. What separates Signature Little Ones from other businesses is they also offer design services, photography and event planning. Their mission is to not only offer the most elegant and unique baby gifts for any little one to enjoy they also want to ensure your complete satisfaction on every visit. Furthermore, they take great pride in our extensive services in helping parents with any and all of the planning required for their Little Ones.
And as “Wild Card” entries:
Lice Squad by New Dawn Mucci
The Lice Aquad provides professional and confidential pesticide-free head lice removal service as well as safe and effective products to camps, daycares, schools, private homes and other child related organizations. A National franchise system across Canada means you have access to the largest team of head lice removal professionals. Their exclusive line of Nit Pickers Secret products are available Nationally through select drug and heath food store chains. Their company mission is to dispel the stigma associated with head lice and to stop the over use and abuse of pesticides on children and out planet.
myColdCup by Gwenda Lindhorst-Ko
myColdCup makes a high quality stainless steel insulated cup with a freeze stick inside that keeps drinks below 4C, refrigeration temperature, for 6 hours. Gwenda designed myColdCup for milk, the hardest drink to keep safely cold because of bacteria, the difficulty keeping crevices clean, and the fact that milk warms up faster than other beverages due to its fat content. myColdCup is being used as an alternative to the school milk program because it is much cheaper to bring milk from home. For others who are lactose intolerant, it allows them to take soy milk or other drinks to school. myColdCup is also being used by children who have medical needs which require their drinks to be kept refrigerated, such as allergy formulas. In the US, where kids spend up to half of their lunch time waiting in line for milk, they can now skip the line and have time to enjoy their lunch. Although Gwenda is the primary drive behind the idea, many parents have given input to the design along the way, for which she is very grateful.
Congratulations to all!
After the 106-day voting period, I am pleased to announce that SwaggerTag was named a Finalist for the 2014 Mompreneur of the Year Award on Monday, March 3rd, 2014. The program started on November 17, 2013 and by the end date of March 2nd, 2014, there was much jostling and nail-biting right to the finish. It was set-up specifically to keep all the nominees and their supporters guessing, and it certainly did! In the end, 10 finalists were taken from the top voted, and two more were selected as “Wild Cards” by the judges.
The 12 Finalists will be reviewed by the judges: Maria Locker, CEO, Mompreneur Showcase Group; Jane Bradley, Group Vice-President and Publisher, ParentsCanada Group; Erica Ehm, Creator, Publisher, Yummy Mummy Club; Amy Ballon & Danielle Botterell, Co-Founders, Authors, Spark Consulting, MOM Inc.; Julie Cole, Co-Founder & Vice-President, Mabel’s Labels; and Sharon Vinderine, Founder & CEO, PTPA Media
The 2014 Grand Prize includes Over $30,000 in Cash & Business Services. Last year, SwaggerTag came in Second Place, so there’s only one way I’ll be able to move up. Wish my luck!
This Little Piggy Shop adds SwaggerTag ID Tags
I connected with Kat Armstrong on Twitter recently, each of us having learned a bit about the other through our respective nomination listings for the 2014 Mompreneur of the Year Awards. A few keystrokes later, we had arranged to meet up at the This Little Piggy Shop on Queen St. West in Toronto.
This Little Piggy was born out of the frustration that goes along with searching for the best quality, affordable baby products while ignoring all the unnecessary add-ons that suck the money right out of your wallet. The brainchild of Faye Moxam and Kat Armstrong, This Little Piggy takes the guesswork out of shopping for a new baby, and the different stages of development. Two moms, four kids, no nonsense.
What impressed me most was Kat & Faye’s interest in supporting Canadian products & entrepreneurs, and the welcoming, casual atmosphere that greets everyone who walks into their boutique. Walking in, I felt like I could happily spend the afternoon chatting with these two women at the community that they attract. And it doesn’t hurt to have the city’s best specialty doughnut shop next door (Glory Hole, in case you’re wondering).
Whether it’s your first or third, they promise that their offerings are right on the money and ignore those unnecessary trinkets that collect dust in your nursery. With everything from bath time essentials to a dad’s only diaper bag, they’ll give you what you need in the first two years to take you through.
SwaggerTag would like to thank Spoiled Baby for including our ID Tags in their fabulous Davisville & Yonge, in mid-town Toronto boutique.
Since 1995, Spoiled Baby has been featuring unique baby gifts and innovative products. This independent, owner-operated boutique is proud to offer a fantastic array of “smart” baby tools that will make caring for your little one an easy transition. They sell baby clothing, shoes, toys, books, body care, nursery décor, baby furniture and no-nonsense, smart, baby products, and now SwaggerTag Identification Tags. They pride themselves on their fantastic customer service, great prices, and unique selection that keeps parents coming back to their store and recommending them to others.
The owners have four great kids, with loads of parenting experience, so they have a hands on approach, and are always in tune with new trends and concerns. Plus, Nadia has been wonderfully supportive of me and my product.