Posts tagged under Savvymom. Show all posts.
It takes a team of people to bring SavvyMom to our readers every week. And while we’re not sure if it’s by design or by accident, every one of those people is a mom. Between that and the fact that we are a small business, that makes for different work environment that many people are accustomed to in larger organizations. The funny thing about having all moms here is that, other than the odd ‘where do you think a good place to get a new raincoat for Jimmy?’ conversation, everyone is pretty focused on getting down to business so we can all get home to
tend to our families. Lunch time is spent on family errands (we picked our office location to be close to banks, grocery stores and more) and after-work drinks are, well, pretty much non-existent (unless you count the glass of wine I usually have on the go while I chase my three kids through the bed and bathtime routine).
So it was fun this week to actually have a ‘birthday in the boardroom’ moment to celebrate Denise’s special birthday (age is irrelevant so we won’t bother mentioning the number). The sales team lured her into the meeting room under false pretences—to get her help with a report, they said—and then the rest of us marched in with the most beautiful cake from Yummy Stuff to surprise her. It was fun sharing a slice of lemon-raspberry cake with the team. We will do it more often!
We’ve been honoured with another distinction!
A few weeks ago, we found out that SavvyMom Media had ranked #14 on the 10th annual PROFIT HOT 50 ranking—which lists the ‘hottest’ and fastest growing companies in Canada. Well, as if that’s not exciting enough, the people at PROFIT invited us to a weekend of networking and training (what they call ‘Growth Camp’), which took place last weekend in Niagara-on-the-Lake. There Sarah and I met the other CEO’s of the other top 50 companies, listened to inspiring talks and participated in some group workshops. It was a busy weekend but it was very helpful and very inspiring, as we learned the stories of all the other businesses in attendance.
Here is a video that kickstarted the final keynote speech made by Cameron Herold, former COO of 1-800 Got Junk. It captures the spirit of what everyone was celebrating over the weekend—entrepreneurship—and how entrepreneurs can change the world.
If you are a small business owner yourself, a mom entrepreneur or if you know one, you’ll appreciate this.
The PROFIT HOT 50 is the definitive ranking of Canada’s Emerging Growth Companies. Published in the October issue of PROFIT magazine and online at PROFITguide.com, the PROFIT HOT 50 ranks young firms by two-year revenue growth.
It’s Christmas, we’re stressed and we’re all trying to get things done while pretending to enjoy spending the required mandatory family fun time with the gang.
But instead of droning on about that, for a change I’m thinking about what I am grateful for (aren’t I an angel?). At SavvyMom I’m grateful for the whole team, of course, but the team members that sometimes get marginalized are the writers and they are very dear to my heart here at SavvyMom—I like to refer to them as my “Savvy Scribes”.
We’ve put together quite a team of writers across the country and I thought I might introduce you to the lifeblood of our organization. Without these moms-in-the-know who are out in the trenches, testing all of the savvy finds we bring you weekly, we would have nothing to send you.
Andrea Tompkins, Ottawa SavvyScribe
Martha Cass, Toronto SavvyScribe
Heather Johnson, Calgary SavvyScribe
Sheila Colman and Michelle Tice, Vancouver SavvyScribes
Barb Collumbin, Victoria
The most recent addition to the team, welcome Barb!
And I can’t leave out Patti Ryan our other Ottawa writer who has taken the year off with her family to travel. Read more about her journey on the SavvyMom Guest Blog.
I’ll be telling you a little bit more about these remarkable moms in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.
Our SavvyMoms love the holidays. Once everything is bought, wrapped, opened and everything is checked off the list, there is calm after the storm. That’s when we get to relax and spend time with our families and have a bit of a rest.
I’m actually spending time with my family on a sunny beach right now so I couldn’t be happier (seriously, I’m not sure I have ever been happier).
Before I left, I spoke to most of the team and found out what they were doing for the hols this year and here’s what some of them told me. Some are going far and some not so far but everyone is looking forward to the downtime for a few days at least.
Here’s what Martha Cass, our Toronto scribe emailed me:
“Holiday greetings to all of you from sunny Mexico. Our holiday celebrations are already done (we celebrate Chanukah, which finished last weekend) and this year was fantastic! We love to invite friends and family to eat latkes (my husband Randy’s favourite food) and jelly doughnuts on the first night of the celebration. For my boys (Benjamin 7, Nathan 5 and Daniel 2) it’s all about the presents (it’s pretty much like Christmas in that way).
But for me, my favourite part is lighting the candles each night. It makes the house glow and my heart feel warm. On the first night we say a special prayer to express our joy for reaching this happy season. That is my holiday wish for all of you. May you feel all the joy in the world this holiday, however you celebrate. Thank you so much for reading SavvyMom!”
Sheila Colman, our very savvy scribe in Vancouver also has big plans to spend time with her gorgeous family:
“For me, the holidays bring a much needed break from the school routine, the soccer pitch and the hockey arena. All good things start with S for my family this Christmas: snowshoeing, skiing, shopping the sales in Seattle and (of course) sipping Shiraz while savouring scrumptious suppers.”
I know Sarah will be spending time with her in-laws in Saskatoon and then her own family in Canmore, Alberta with lots of skiing, hiking and family time with all of the cousins.
Angela is in Costa Rica (can you stand it)? Heather is skiing in the interior of BC and let’s not forget about Patti Ryan who is in Cambodia. Because why wouldn’t you?
There’s more to the team…and we all wish you a very relaxing week filled with health, happiness and of course, SavvyMom emails.
We had such a great response to our recent holiday slideshow that included everyone from the SavvyMom team. It seems like our readers really loved seeing the faces behind the scenes that are responsible for bringing SavvyMom to them every week. Some readers were struck by how so many of the pictures our team shared were outdoor shots—we’re a healthy bunch who love to get outdoors. Others were just interested in seeing the pictures of our children. And a few were surprised about just how many people it takes to drive the bus we call SavvyMom (sometimes I am too!). Some other answers to your questions:
|Make a Smilebox greeting|
This morning I was surprised and delighted when I walked into my office to see Denise in a mini-dress standing on a chair with Sarah (our esteemed publisher) also on a chair changing the fluorescent lightbulbs in my office! I have written before about the realities of running a small business—i.e. if you want to sit down somewhere, you better know how to put your own chair together and here was another great example of the necessary know-how of small business owners. This time it was different than the chairs though, because we were all working as a team (and I am pretty sure those two thought I would just sit there in the dark forever without changing it myself).
We view these kind of challenges as excellent team building opportunities, and it’s cheaper (and less messy) than paintball!
Three years ago, I attended a UBC Alumni Olympic event, and during the course of the evening as we listened to all the amazing things that were going to happen in 2010, we also learned more about the Torch Relay. There was an amazingly poignant story shared from the 1988 Calgary Olympic Torch Relay that really resonated with me (in fact, I still get teary when I re-tell the story). As I left the event that night, there was only one thing on my mind: I had to apply for a spot on the torch relay, even though I knew my odds of being chosen were not great.
Just over a year ago, the selection process began. The first part of the process was random, and by June of last year, I found out that I was lucky enough to have been chosen by Coca-Cola to move to the second round. To advance past this second round, all candidates had to write an essay on either the positive impact they have had on themselves or others related to active living or helping the environment. I chose active living. I wrote about how I hoped my own accomplishments, most recently completing my first triathlon at age 40, would inspire my children to have confidence in their abilities and to continue to challenge themselves.
I also wrote about how important it was for my sons to lead an active life and how I hoped to instill the same passion and dedication in them that I have for sports, especially since one of my three-year-old twin boys has Type 1 Diabetes. Regular physical activity is critical to his long-term health and creating an environment where being active was routine and meant having fun was incredibly important to me and to our family’s health.
I found out in August that my essay had been selected by the Red Ribbon Panel of Judges, and I cannot even begin to express the excitement I felt. After a background check, my official congratulatory email arrived in September, and in December, I received the details of my relay segment and my official Cheer Kit and uniform. As the days count down to my relay day (February 5 in Whistler Olympic Park), and as the Torch’s 45,000 journey comes closer to its end point, I am becoming increasingly more excited and emotional about being one of 12,000 incredibly lucky individuals to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I look forward to sharing my experience with you next week. Until then, wish me luck.
It is difficult to put into words the truly amazing experience I had last Friday as I carried the 2010 Olympic Torch along the Callaghan Road as it traveled from Whistler Olympic Park to the town of Whistler. From the moment I arrived at my designated meeting place and met the group of torchbearers with whom I would be sharing a shuttle, we were all made to feel an important part of this journey. We introduced ourselves, learned how to hold the torch and pass the flame, and shared our individual stories of how we came to be here. Everyone’s story was inspirational and touching. We even had a former Olympian in our group. We took lots of photos, saw video footage from other days and were given some last-minute words of inspiration as we traveled to each person’s spot along the road.
The Torch had travelled 99 days to where we were at that moment. Officially a symbol of peace, harmony and goodwill, to me, it also represents the determination and spirit of Olympic athletes, and the pure magic of the Olympic Games. This particular 106-day relay is also a uniquely Canadian experience, and once it arrives in Vancouver on Friday, the flame will have been within a one-hour’s drive of 90% of the population, and have passed through over 1,000 communities.
My actual time with the flame was brief, but exhilarating. It was an honour to be part of this flame’s journey and humbling to represent Canada and our athletes. A strong contingent of Whistler friends joined my family in cheering me on and made the experience even more personal. The shuttle bus ride back to my family meeting place was a let-down, as I knew it would be, but that feeling was soon replaced by the happy sounds of my young boys. We headed to Whistler where we saw the cauldron being lit, and there we enjoyed live music, fireworks and an incredibly upbeat, proud atmosphere, fitting of a small town about to make its Olympic debut. Having grown up skiing at Whistler and even spent a couple of years living and working in the town, I could not help feeling extremely lucky to have carried the torch here.
As the torch now makes its final journey through Vancouver today and tomorrow, get out and cheer it on—it will renew your Olympic spirit.
Sarah and I had a great time at the One of a Kind Show yesterday. We were asked to present some of our top picks for moms there—this meant we had to stand up on the stage and talk to the crowd (which also meant an extra 15 minutes of blow drying in the morning). We arrived on a lovely, sunny morning and were greeted by Marie, who escorted us up to the main office first to review all of the beautiful items we had picked.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again…it was not easy to narrow it down to only ten items (we actually cheated a bit and presented about 12). Everything at the One of a Kind Show is beautiful and it’s such a pleasure to meet the artisans who make each and every piece they display. It’s truly amazing to think about how each item is made as you walk up and down the aisles.
I know you’re wondering which items we chose, but you’ll have to wait until next week’s newsletter where I’ll be writing more on this topic.
In the meantime, leave your beloved with the kids in this great weather for a few hours and get down to the show. Apparently, the best time to go is later in the day when it’s not as busy. That’s the inside scoop.
What were your favourite items from the show?
There are a few important purchases we make which can easily define the stage of life we are in. A bike, a car, a ring, a house and then finally, a stroller.
The stroller is the quintessential defining purchase for the new parent and it’s a bigger decision than ever these days because of the price tag and the many options available. These kinds of decisions can be rather stressful for an expecting couple, so we at SavvyMom are here to help with a new contest we have put together where you can enter to win your choice of either an EasyWalker QTRO Stroller plus Carrycot OR an EasyWalker DUO Stroller worth $800.
Just in case you don’t win, we’ve have also shared a few tips and tricks on how to go about making that big choice. Scroll down on the contest page to read our recommendations on what to keep in mind when you are purchasing a stroller. It will make your decision a walk in the park.
Enter now—you just never know if you’re going to be our lucky winner.
We get to do a lot of fun things around here at SavvyMom, but one of the most fun, I think, is awarding the awesome prizes we have to give away from time to time through our contests. If you were reading our newsletters in March, you might remember we had a fantastic contest we called ‘Pack in the Fun’, the grand prize for which was a seven day trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando for a family of four. Needless to say, lots of you savvy SavvyMoms took the time to enter the contest.
And today we’re excited to announce that Marcia Morris of Surrey, BC is our lucky winner. She’s going to be taking her family (of four, coincidentally) to Walt Disney World, complete with:
When we got in touch with Marcia to tell her she had won, here’s what she had to say: “WOW! Thank you so much. I have always wanted to stay at one of the Disney Resort Hotels and take the family to DisneyWorld. This is a once-in-a-lifetime dream come true. When I entered the contest I thought that would be sooooo wonderful… It is my perfect holiday. Thank you again.” You’re very welcome, Marcia—we’re thrilled for you, too.
Don’t fret if you didn’t win. We’ve got a stroller contest to keep you on the go, and lots more great contests coming up soon.
Here’s a great job description for parents that made its way into my inbox recently. I liked it so much, I found myself reading it over, forwarding it to friends, reading it out loud in the office and smiling and nodding a lot.
Now that my boys are getting a bit older, I can relate to the part about endless sports tournaments and being hated (temporarily) until someone needs $5. But no matter what the age of your children, there is something in this that you will relate to—especially the end. But I won’t give it away, you can read for yourself. (Ed note: my favourite part is the compensation package.)
POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION:
WAGES AND COMPENSATION:
Last weekend SavvyMom joined hundreds of mom brands and businesses at the International Centre for the 12th Annual Spring BabyTime Show. It was a great weekend and we met a lot of other interesting companies and vendors.
It goes without saying that we most enjoyed meeting the ladies from Please Mum, our show partners this year. Please Mum is a Canadian retailer started by a mom entrepreneur with over 90 stores across the country. They sell adorable and affordable kids’ clothes (in case you haven’t heard of them, but I’m pretty sure you have). Our partnership is based on an exclusive contest we are running with them for SavvyMom readers—a chance to win a $500 shopping spree! This contest is running online and is being promoted in stores as well throughout the month of May.
The BabyTime show was a great opportunity to launch the contest and get some buzz going. And since we like to ‘super-size’ everything we do, we decided it would be fun to showcase some of the fabulous fashions for kids by hosting a fashion show. So we did just that. All of the SavvyMoms from our office with babies and toddlers came to the main stage to show off their kids in the latest Please Mum summer fashions.
Thank you to Ally, Madeline, Riley, Josh and Mathew, who all got up and smiled, waved and danced in front of all those strangers! And thank you to our savvy staff who brought their beauties to the show and accompanied them out on the catwalk!
Just last Friday, Sarah and I joined the SavvyMom sales team for the annual Ad Club Internet Day lunch. It’s consistently the biggest networking event of the year (and by the way our very own Myra Thompson is on the committee) where each year media planners, media buyers, publishers and marketers come together to enjoy a stimulating, motivating and inspirational luncheon. That’s the idea, but this year’s speaker threw people for a bit of a proverbial loop, you might say.
The keynote speaker was Adam Penenberg, author of Viral Loop, a book about social networking and the power of virility for brands and their audiences. Despite the fact that he upset most of the people in the audience with his statement claiming that “banner ads just don’t work” (seriously, he actually said that to a room full of digital media buyers and salespeople), he did have some very interesting points to make.
I was pleased that it shone a favourable light on the strength of SavvyMom as a way to reach a highly engaged niche audience, and that our strong suite of integration with the right partners for our readers is already taking us beyond the banner. I’ll leave you with a few bullet points of what I took away from the address:
I don’t want to dwell too much about the fact that he said advertising doesn’t work (that’s just crazy talk), but I don’t think anyone is going to jump in and say that banner ads are the best thing to happen to digital media, either. I think we all know that as an industry, we can do better and SavvyMom for one is constantly looking for new and creative ways to reach our readers and help our brand partners.
Thank you to the entire committee for putting on a delicious meal and an entertaining and lively debate.
We’ve been telling you about it for the past few weeks on SavvyMom, we put on a big display a booth at the Toronto BabyTime Show and we even hosted a fashion show to help promote it. So you can see that we’re very excited about our partnership with Please Mum and the SavvyMom Stylish Kid Contest we are running with them this month.
We teamed up with Please Mum because we think it’s a great Canadian brand (run by a mom entrepreneur) that makes great clothes for kids that are fun, stylish and practical. (Did we mention they’re affordable, too?)
And for you, our loyal readers, we are offering a chance to win a shopping spree worth $500. With the great deals and discounts at Please Mum, you can buy a lot of fabulous kids’ clothes with that!
So if you still haven’t entered, go ahead and do it now before the contest ends. Haven’t you always wanted to go on a shopping spree?