Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Doing your own PR this holiday season? Advice and tips to help you.

Written By Shara Lawrence-Weiss

Are you a start-up business? Short on cash? Have you decided to run your own PR this holiday season?

Just this week I was chatting with a friend and was informed that their company paid 5K for 3 months of PR services. The company simply sent out some press releases and landed the business a few blog reviews. Nothing more. You’ve probably heard similar stories and perhaps you’ve made up your mind: “These people just can’t be trusted with my money and my passion. No one can promote my business as well as me.”
There are some terrific PR firms and single entities out there, working hard for their clients. That said, there are also lots of firms doing very little to spread their clients around the Internet, through mom blogs and across the twitter/facebook shores.

Here are some tips for running your own PR this holiday season:

Don’t overdo the sales pitches
If you are on facebook or twitter, be sure you engage with your followers/readers. Don’t simply tweet or post about your sales, discounts, new specials and new products. That will quickly turn people away. Sales and social media are a dance, of sorts. Weave your pitches in between the other moves.
Let your followers/readers know you care about them
This is ‘key’ to small business sales. The typical consumer wants to know that the business cares about their needs, wants, likes, dislikes, family values and more. By ignoring this, you’ll likely cut sales short.
Be open to feedback
Are people telling you that your site is hard to navigate? That they get lost in the pages or confused by too many options? That your prices are just too high? That your shipping is too steep? Listen to this feedback! These are your potential customers and they are giving you valuable insights.
People first – sales second
Never put a sale over a person. People matter more than money. Most moms can smell a sales-pusher from a mile away. “No thanks. I don’t want to buy from you because I can tell that you care more about the end result than about me.” This is a sure turn-off for most mom shoppers.
Another sale will come – no worries
Worried that you missed a sale? Don’t fret. Everything in due time. Everything has it’s season. Perhaps you missed a sale today but there’s always tomorrow. Tomorrow might even bring along a bigger sale and a more loyal customer. You never know. Keep your chin up and don’t let negativity take over.
Support others
We all know what Mama used to say: “What goes around comes around.” If you spread love, it generally comes back your way. Spread selfishness – same deal. So – spread generosity and love. Buy from a mom business. Support another small business. Don’t expect that person to return the favor (although they may). Do it because you want to support them and because you understand it’s helping another family – another child – another business owner – and our economy. That has to make you feel great! Chances are, if you continue in a pattern of supporting others, the support will return. Some way, some how. It just will.
Offer your advice to others
Do business owners come to you, asking for advice? Offer it. Don’t keep your information and expertise stored up like a secret agent. Offer tips and help as you can – to stop other business owners from falling into ditches. This is not to say that you shouldn’t be paid for consulting time, if your business is consult-related. I’m simply saying: “Be a giver. Share when you can. Help others. Give-and-take. Givers Gain.” You don’t have to stick all of your eggs into the carton and pass them over, free of charge. You can still be kind and helpful in increments, nonetheless.
Undercharge but over deliver
The small business owners mantra: sell for less but offer more. Include a hand written card with orders. Send a kind email after the shipment goes out. Include a free gift with your shipment. This need not be over-kill but even something small will be met with gratitude, not quickly forgotten.
Remember details
Did someone tweet you, mentioning a sick grandmother? Or a contest they were in? Or a new product they were excited to show you? Remember these things and when appropriate, bring it up: “Hey! How is your grandmother doing now?” or “Hi there. Did you win that contest?” or “How’s the new product launch coming along?” People appreciate when you remember the details. Details and small acts of kindness are often what people care about more than anything else. “Love me in the little things” – and all that jazz ;-)

Places to post your information
Post your giveaways here for free:
Post a press release here for free:
Need moms to review your products? Contact them on your own!
Need someone to review your App this season? Contact a blogger here:

I wish you well this holiday season and beyond!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Momtrepreneur Exchange - A Great Resource For Women Entrepreneurs

I met Jill Salzman, Owner and Founder of The Momtrepreneur Exchange, online and just had share what she is providing for women entrepreneurs across the nation.  I just love the concept of what she has Jill rocks!  I think this is a wonderful resource for the Womentorz network to take advantage of as well.  Here's some more information about the group in Jill's words:

The Momtrepreneur Exchange
is a real, live and local monthly meeting where mom entrepreneurs can exchange, connect and learn from one another.  Incredible women living right in your backyard meet up to swap start-up stories, interact with renowned business experts, and build personal and professional connections within the ever-growing network of mom-owned businesses.
How did it get started? Honestly, it was by accident.

I had 3 businesses, 2 kids and 1 desire to have a cup of coffee with fellow entrepreneurs who also happened to be mothers. So I set up a get-together through I hoped that maybe four or five women would join me. Fast forward to now: we’re 245 746 1,335 momtrepreneurs and counting.
Soon enough, one member approached me about opening up the group to a new geographic region…and since then, we’ve grown beyond the boundaries of my hometown, into cities like Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Boulder, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Charleston, Seattle, Costa Mesa, Saint Paul, Houston, Milwaukee, Brisbane and New York City.

Why are we growing so fast? Because we rock.

Unlike many formal, stiff and expensive women’s-or-business-and-0r-entrepreneurial groups that I’ve attended, we’re real women making a difference and having fun doing it. We dress casually. We bring our noisemakers (babies, toddlers, kids) and discuss the ultimate balancing act. We talk about opportunities to help our business grow. We share tips, we listen to expert advice and we come back for more.  We create relationships, promote deeper connections and engage in ways distinct from the daily online blur.
Please join us.  Let’s continue to pay it forward and help moms get down to business.

Visit to get connected!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Learn how to Think like a Genius

By Taryn Voget

Here is the unspoken secret about inventing a product line and starting a business: the business decisions are easy, managing your own emotional state through the start-up process is what's hard. One moment I'm on top of the world and the next billionaire, the next moment I'm pretty sure no one will buy a thing I've made and I've wasted a lot of time and money on a flop. This mental cycle repeats itself several times in a day, a week and a month. Maybe you can relate?

When I decided to launch the Everyday Genius Institute, I made the conscious decision to create products that I wanted and needed.  I reasoned that if I needed a product, so would many others. So when I needed to learn how to write copy that explained and sold my products, I deconstructed the copywriting strategies of one of the best copywriters in the business. I learned his strategies and then created a product to teach those strategies to others. Thus was born "Think like a Genius Marketing Copywriter: Write copy that SELLS using the simply genius strategies of a top copywriter."

When I needed to set clear goals, see things from different perspectives, eliminate fears and get motivated, I created a product called "The Core Strategies of Genius: Unlock your inner genius using these 7 proven techniques." In all seriousness I use at least one of these techniques everyday to help me break through barriers, take my business to the next level and manage my own emotional state.

Launching the Everyday Genius Institute and creating the Think like a Genius product line has been the hardest and most rewarding thing I've done in my career.  My hope is that our products teach people how to be more effective in every area of their life. From one woman inventor and entrepreneur to another, check out these products and discover how they can help you take your invention, business and life to a whole new level. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve.

About Taryn Voget, Founder and CEO of the Everyday Genius Institute

Taryn Voget is an entrepreneur, business adviser and adventuresse. She began her career with Accenture and for 13 years thrived as a high-end management consultant, helping the best companies in the world define, streamline and improve their business processes. She has worked with companies such as Disney, Gap, Genentech and the US Postal Service. At age 29 she started her own successful management consulting firm and amassed a client roster of Fortune 100 and startup companies. Taryn has an uncanny knack for unpacking complex processes and streamlining them. Through her years working with dozens of business and thousands of people, she has developed the unwavering belief that genius is always in the simplicity.  Her inspiration for the Everyday Genius Institute was ignited by her desire to reveal strategies of genius and make them accessible to everyone. 

Taryn spends her free time traveling the world, mentoring young professionals and enjoying her 5 siblings and adorable niece and nephews. She donates her time on various projects for her alma mater, Georgetown University, where she received a degree in Finance and Management. When you meet Taryn, you’ll find that she is a lover of perfect moments and believes that everyone has a genius.

Copywriting Product ($99)
Wine Product ($49)
Core Strategies Product ($149)
A+ Student Product ($99)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Should I license my product or make it and sell it myself?

By Jim DeBetta

This is one of the most common questions I hear from inventors and entrepreneurs and the answer is simply NOT simple….

First of all, you must understand that no matter what, embarking on either path takes knowledge and time and you must be committed to seeing your project through. People often call me and tell me they want to license their idea and think it is easy and a quick way to making a lot of money. I tell them that getting a product licensed is almost always much more than what it appears. It is not just calling a few big companies like Proctor & Gamble and telling them about your idea and then they put a big fat licensing deal in front of you. In fact, these companies reject most everything they see. They have to. They have access to an endless supply of inventors and thinkers who approach them with ideas and the fact is they can only choose a few things that they can get behind and bring to market. They have budgets too and constraints internally and just cannot take on everything they like.

It is true that there are a handful of very savvy and talented people that can convince and negotiate with big companies to get a licensing deal done. However, these people know what to do and how to do it. They understand that in order to be considered for a licensing opportunity, they must have a compelling product that can be patented and at a price that is compelling to them and the consumer – among other important factors. These people know what the licensee wants and needs and prepares their presentation to suit the company’s needs. They also clearly understand that they may get a lot of “no” before they get a maybe or a yes. It is not an easy path to take but certainly can be rewarding if you can prove to a company that your product has all the right stuff! The key is to learn everything you can about what path you want to pursue so that you are fully informed about what to expect and how to move forward.

For those of us that like to develop products and manufacture them ourselves, this path is traditionally much tougher and more time consuming and requires much more of a financial commitment – but the rewards can be much greater. It is still a difficult but reachable dream but no matter what you wish to do please realize that good old fashion hard word and determination are some of the basic foundational components you will need to succeed.

So, which path do you take? Well, that depends on your risk tolerance and the amount of time you have to devote to your invention idea. If you have a career and don’t want to run a business, then licensing may be for you. If you have always dreamed of running your own business and feel like you have the wherewithal to take your idea, have it manufactured, and then offer it to retail stores then doing it yourself might be the way to go. Whichever path you take, be patient! It often takes many months and even years to achieve success in this highly competitive business….just follow the correct steps and seek knowledge every step of the way.

Jim DeBetta
Retail Product Placement Specialist

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mistakes Inventors Make

By Roger Brown 

Below are things Inventors need to Stop Doing or Truly Understand when it comes to inventing if they want to succeed. 

1. Understand that inventing is a business. Treat it like one. How do you expect a multimillion dollar business to take you seriously if you don’t appear to understand how business works?

2. Actually research your idea before you send it to a company. Walking into your local Wal-Mart or not having that product at your house does not constitute a complete search.

3. Don’t tell them “There’s nothing out there like this!” When spending 2 minutes on the web they find several items exactly like yours.

4. Understand every company has a different method and time range for reviewing submissions. Don’t send a proposal on Monday via snail mail and call them Tuesday at 8:30am wanting to know when they will be sending you a contract. It is a simple task to ask the company you are submitting material for review “What is your normal turnaround time for reviewing submissions?”                                                                                                                                        For example Progressive International only looks at new submissions the first week of every month. So, using that example if you sent it the second week of the month they would have already locked in those items they were going to review. You would be on next months list for review. So calling would be useless because you will be waiting 3 weeks before they even review it.

I always ask what the companies’ normal protocol for reviewing submissions is. That way I am not being a pest calling every week and I now know what to expect. It saves you a lot of headaches and nerves’ wondering what is going on if you just ask up front. Plus, it makes the company reviewers job easier not having you call every couple of days for an update.

5. Don’t be married to your product and totally against changes to make it marketable.

6. Put your contact information on every item you send them. Don’t make them guess who sent it. Companies will send parts of your submission to various groups within the company to get their input. So, if your material/prototype does not have your contact info on it the chances of it getting lost are high.

7. Don’t send prototypes unsolicited. Let them know a prototype is available upon request. You can’t expect a company to pay shipping to return your prototype for every prototype they receive unsolicited.

8. Understand every idea is not a million dollar idea. Yes, there are million dollar ideas, but they are not the majority of ideas. Be realistic in your expectations.

9. Realize everyone that rejects your idea is not stupid. They have their reasons. It may not make sense to you, but it does to them. If they sent you any feedback with the rejection try and learn from it to make your next presentation to a company better.

10. Don’t send a 20 page explanation of your product. Be concise and clear on your sell sheet. If it takes more than two pages to explain your idea you have a problem.

11. Know who you are sending your submission to in the company. Don’t assume they will figure it out for you if you just send it in care of the company. Submissions sent to the bulk/general mail box of a company rarely make it to the person you intend.

12. Don’t assume the person reading your sell sheet will magically know all the selling points/benefits of your product that you left out. Example: What if your idea revolves around fishing and they don’t fish and know nothing on the topic?

13. Be patient and do not call every other day asking if they have reviewed your product. They can be on vacation, at trade shows, out sick, or very busy. They are not sitting around and only waiting for your package.

14. Make sure you have an idea/plan of who you are going to contact about licensing your product before you spend the money for a provisional patent. A large number of Inventors pay for a provisional, knowing they don’t have money for a full patent and have not done any research on who might be interested in licensing it. They spend 6 months of the one year looking for company contacts which means they only have 6 months to try and gain any interest before their time runs out. They didn’t have any intention of paying for a patent and now are forced to let it drop or pay for a patent. If you work it right you have all of your 12 months to find a company.

15. If you decide to bring in a partner on your project – make sure you have a clear WRITTEN and SIGNED understanding what is expected from both sides and what each party is to receive for their efforts. It doesn’t matter if it is your best friend in the world, your sibling or a parent, GET IT IN WRITING. You need to have clear guidelines or one of you will end up doing the majority or all of the work and the other partner still gets their share of the gains.

16. Keep a concise log of who you contacted in the company and what you sent them. A number of Inventors send out packages and two days later couldn’t tell you what they sent or to whom. The person from that company calls and they are floundering trying to remember who this person is while talking to them on the phone.

17. When contacting a company remember they own the company, not you. Write your letter to the company from a realistic perspective; give them actual facts, not what you wish them to be. Don’t write your letter in a threatening tone or from the aspect that they are nuts if they turn you down. Don’t fill your letter with information they really don’t need, such as how you came up with the idea, how long it took you to build your prototype, etc. They are only interested in will it make them money. DO NOT USE THE PHRASE “My idea is worth MILLIONS!!!" Let them decide for themselves what it is worth.

18. Don’t send prototypes to companies that don’t work and tell them “I am sure you can work the bugs out of this”.

19. Make sure you know the companies submission policy BEFORE you send them anything. Some companies list the method and documents required prior to submitting any ideas to them. Some companies also post that if you send them any submissions and they like the idea that they are not obligated to compensate you for the submission. You MUST READ every boring line of any document you sign so you know what you are agreeing too.

20. When you are writing your proposal don’t use phrases that only you may know the meaning of such as “They will sell like gangbusters, more than you can shake a stick at, more than you can imagine, like you have never seen before, or You will sell a butt-load of these. For those of you not familiar with a “butt-load” (it’s a lot) the Oxford English Dictionary has a citation for “butt-load” as a unit of measure equal to “about six seams”,(A nautical term) which amounts to roughly 450 gallons.

Who says you can’t learn something new every day! : )

To learn more about Roger Brown, his inventions and services please visit his websites at:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Homemade Millionaire is the Reason Womentorz was Born

It's hard to believe that it was over a year ago that I attended the casting call held in Chicago for a show being produced by Kelly Ripa and part of the TLC Channel now called Homemade Millionaire. At the time I was just at the prototype phase of my invention called the AttachaTray, which was a laptop tray that attached to a recumbent bike.  I had two weeks to prepare for my trip and finish my prototype.

You see, I'm not comfortable speaking in front of large crowds, so this was a terrifying concept for me to wrap my brain around, but something told me that I should go for it.  My invention was quite expensive to have manufactured, so having an avenue where this could be backed financially and instantly marketed was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

I was soon off to Chicago with recumbent bike and invention in tow.  In a way it was good that I didn't have a lot of time to prepare and over think the process.  The morning of the big day came and I felt pretty good besides the butterflies that wouldn't stop making me feel like I was going to lose my breakfast.  When  I got to the hotel where the auditions were being held I was immediately surrounded by amazing women who put my nerves at ease.  We all had a lot of time in line together and I was amazed at how far along they were in the inventing process.  Many of them had already had their product manufactured and were all over the web, but they were running into challenges getting exposure for their product.  This is why they were auditioning for the show.  I saw how much passion they had for their inventions and how much they had invested financially and emotionally.

It was finally my turn, which came and went so fast I'm not sure what I even said.  After being in line with so many fantastic women I new that my chances were slim to none to get on the show, but there was something in my gut that told me I was there for a different reason.  I couldn't help feeling at ease.  On the flight back form Chicago the concept of Womentorz came to me.  I thought, "How great would it be to use the group marketing concept where all of these inventions and inventors could be found in one location and use the power in numbers to their advantage."

The process of building Womentorz began soon after, which has been quite the roller coaster ride for the past year.  I have so many amazing women in my life now who, if it hadn't been for the audition for Homemade Millionaire, I would have never met.  This show will hold a very fond place in my heart because I know what the women on the show went through to get this opportunity.  Please tune in on November 19th at 10:00/9:00c.  I know I will!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Get Your Own Storefront For FREE in the Womentorz Inventor Marketplace!!!

Yes, it's true!  We are now opening up the Womentorz Inventor Marketplace to ALL women inventors who want to get exposure for their product.  There are absolutely no strings attached.  We have found how valuable building the community and network can be and beefing up our efforts for group marketing.  The larger the community the more opportunities each inventor has to save money when gaining exposure for their invention.

In just three easy steps you can get up on the site:

1. Register as an inventor (piece of cake)  Click here to register
2. Add a product (Please only 3 per inventor)
3. Fill out the editor completely following all directions and load your photos

You're up and running!!!

Please visit our "Inventor" page and read about our Signature Services and all of the perks your own website and product will automatically receive by simply getting up on the site.  For only $50 a month you can be on the homepage and receive even more traffic to your product.  This feature is prorated within your account and is something you can control within your own product page.  You have nothing to lose by getting on Womentorz!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Potty Spray Guard is Making Potty Training Easier!!!

For some time now I have struggled potty training my three year old son.  He is quite the stubborn one so it's important to make the process fun.  Unfortunately, potty training is a messy process, so I'm constantly finding myself cleaning floors, toilets and tons of clothes. 

I can't tell you how thrilled  I was to have Jody Brimhall and her Potty Spray Guard become a part of the Womentorz Community.  I felt like the potty training gods were shining down on me!   I ordered her product immediately and couldn't wait to give it  a try.  You see, my son is a little too big for the portable potty and its built in spray guard, but the mini toilet seats don't have any protection.  There would pee everywhere! 

My intention was to use the Potty Spray Guard on this inner seat, but wasn't sure it would work since it was built for the main toilet seat.  Little did I know, Jody had designed it so well it fits on virtually any size of toilet seat AND it can even be used on the back of the toilet seat for bigger boys who pee standing up to protect the back of your toilet.  Genius!!!

I am proud to say that the Potty Guard works perfectly.  My son may not be potty trained yet, but now that I have this essential tool we're well on our way to a diaper free world.  Thank you Jody!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Green Halloween is a HUGE hit in Downtown Edmonds

Colleen and I were so excited to be part of bringing Green Halloween to the Downtown Edmonds Halloween Festivities.  This was a joint effort between,, Sustainable Edmonds and the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce with Coldwell Banker Bain hosting the Costume Swap on October 9th, which was a huge hit.  We really appreciated the support during the entire process of introducing Green Halloween to Edmonds.  Our booth was so overwhelmingly popular that we could barely keep up and went through thousands of products that were handed out to literally tens of thousands of families.  We've never seen anything like it!!!  It looked like Woodstock! 

The most popular event at the booth was the Recycle Toss.  The kids LOVED it as much as if they were at a carnival.  We also had a candy buy back program with a chance to win a $60 gift card to Toys R Us.  There was something for everyone!

All of the business involved in sponsoring the booth received huge exposure and peace of mind that they were providing a healthy alternative to the massive candy normally passed out during Halloween.  It was quite the experience and very fulfilling.  We hope to get more businesses involved now that we know how popular the booth was.  It's nonstop activity and excitement!!!  

Here are some photos from the event. I apologize for the quality.  I forgot my camera through all of the craziness and could only use my camera phone.  


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Want to Launch a Product? Here's how to get it done! Make it, Distribute it, Sell it

Here's the announcement for the panel discussion on October 26th through Ladies Who Launch about various resources available to people wanting to get their inventions developed and to market.  Womentorz will be one of the guest panelists.  We hope to see you there!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Inventor Showcase: Potty Spray Guard

Having two boys; one completely potty trained, but doesn't have the best aim, and the other just starting the potty training process; I know how valuable and genius The Potty Spray Guard is.  Jody Brimhall has encompassed what being a true inventor is all about. She has a product that simply solves a messy problem.  Here is some insight into her creation and product development:

Q. How and why did you come up with the idea of your product?

When my first son was little, and getting more independent on the potty, I came up with the idea for the Potty Spray Guard. I couldn’t figure out how the edge or back of his pants were getting wet. And sometimes the floor was wet with urine. Then I realized, a little squirt was spraying out the front of the toilet between the seat and bowl. He was too big for a kid’s seat, but couldn’t quite manage his aim, so…with his pants pulled down to his knees, he would leave messes, and get embarrassed. I would usually hold a piece of toilet paper to the front of the toilet. And I wondered why there wasn’t a product to block the opening in the front of the seat. After many years, I came up with this simple solution.

Q. How is your invention different than other products on the market?

The only other solution is a full plastic potty seat with a potty shield, or a plastic shield that clips on the toilet. The Potty Spray Guard is easily strapped on with Velcro and elastic. It is thin and flexible, and won’t scratch the boy’s little legs when they sit. And when the toilet lid is lifted up, it just folds out of the way. It is very easy to put on and take off. Then to clean, just wash with soap and water.  

Q. What was the process like getting your invention ready for market?

Getting it to market is yet to be seen. I have just released it, and I’m in the beginning stages of getting it out there. First stop “Monentorz”. 

Q. Who would be the ideal consumer of your invention?

Any parent, caregiver, and preschool with young boys who are using or trying to use the potty, would enjoy the Potty Spray Guard.

Q. What advice would you give women who have a great idea but don’t know where to start?

Start by first looking on line to see if it already exists, then do as much research as you can.
Don’t get scammed by any company who says they will help get your product to market or get it licensed. If they ask for money upfront, you will never see it again, and they won’t do much for you.

Q. How do you juggle running your own business with daily life obligations?

I have had my own art business for the last 20 years, ( and have always found time for both family and work. I have 3 kids, now 20, 17 and 14 years old. I’ve been fortunate to work at home while supporting my family. I got help when I needed it, and things were chaotic at times, but what I always seemed to get things done. Deadlines were met, carpools were done. Everyone has their own style. So do what works for your lifestyle and your family.

Q. What’s an interesting fact about you that readers wouldn’t know by just meeting you?

Hmm, an interesting fact? Probably that I’m a professional artist, and have made a living doing it. It’s a tough business at times with lots of ups and downs. But I have found a way to provide for my family by painting, and I think that surprises people sometimes. 

Click Here to visit the Potty Spray Guard Storefront

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Womentorz is hosting local Costume Swap. Find out where one is in your area!

Womentorz is so proud to be hosting a local Costume Swap at Coldwell Banker Bain in Downtown Edmonds, Washington on 5th Ave. this Saturday, October 9th from 11:00 to 2:00.  We are asking families to drop off their costumes at any time prior to the event and obtain a ticket with the number of costumes you can come back and swap for.  This is a great way from families to save money while helping not fill landfills with old costumes.  For the Edmonds Costume Swap all leftover costumes will be donated to the local YWCA, so even if you don't find a costume you will be giving to a wonderful cause.  

This is a national event with over 50 Costume Swaps scheduled across the nation.  You may see it on Good Morning America this morning.  Please visit to find a Costume Swap in your area.  If there isn't one maybe you would like to host one yourself. It's very easy!  Happy Swapping! 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Inventor Showcase: WrapADoodle Swaddle Blankets

 We have been getting so many great inventors and inventions joining the Womentorz community.  The WrapADoodle is one of those inventions that I am so proud to have part of our network.  Victoria O'Neill bring so much talent and creativity to the mix.  The WrapADoodle makes the perfect baby gift!!!  Let's get to know Victoria:

Q. How and why did you come up with the idea of your product?

I was in a baby store and just wondering why we're still using a rectangle baby blanket when it's clearly not the best shape for wrapping a baby in.
Q. How is your invention different than other products on the market?

The WrapADoodle Swaddle Blanket is the cutest, the easiest to use and the best kind of swaddle - holding the baby at the torso and leaving the hips and legs free to move for proper growth and development. The tapered ties on the WrapADoodle Swaddle Blanket naturally adjust to the baby inside for a secure and snug fit.

Q. What was the process like getting your invention ready for market?

It's been a learn as you go, step by step process. I'm naturally curious and a hands on learner. I take it as it comes and keep chugging forward. I have been chronicling the process via the WrapADoodle blog. Fortunately I do have sales, marketing and graphic art and design skills.  Words and pictures are my forte, but anything that has to do with numbers crosses my eyes, so I am getting ready to take on a business manager. I'm currently in negotiation with a production manager to take that off my daily hands as well.

Q. Who is the ideal consumer of your invention?

The WrapADoodle Swaddle Blanket is the best baby gift ever, so anyone who knows someone who just had a baby or is going to have a baby is a potential customer. Most  customers are people who are going to a baby shower.

Q. What advice would you give women who have a great idea but don’t know where to start?

 Go to the library and read everything you can get your hands on. I am now a walking encyclopedia on a few new subjects, such as intellectual property law and production sewing. The way I've been working is to do it my own way, and time will ultimately tell whether or not that was a good approach. Haha! So far so good.

Q. How do you juggle running your own business with daily life obligations?

I've stopped trying to juggle. Somehow it all just flows together. In addition to launching the WrapADoodle Swaddle Blanket I am a full time artist ArtyPantz and blog about living the creative life at my ArtyPantz blog.   Creativity flows through me like a hose on full blast, spraying in different directions, all at once.  That is just the way it is!

Click here to visit Victoria's storefront and add a comment on her discussion board.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Why I Think Womentorz is a Great Site: Guest post by Invention Addict Stephen Bozzone

I am very grateful to have the opportunity to be a guest blogger on the Womentorz blog. I was on Facebook one day and saw an interesting site geared toward women inventors. Being an inventor myself I was curious about this new community. I connected with Melinda and here I am.
I don't claim to be an expert but I have made my share of mistakes and ran down some rabbit holes in my pursuit of creating value with my ideas. I am always happy to share my experiences in the hope that others can learn.
"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field."-Niels Bohr Physicist
Three key things every inventor needs to know 
Get help
Helping people is what a a mentors do. Help is exactly what new and even experienced inventors need. It's not always easy to ask. When you think about getting help there are often even more questions. Who should I ask, what should I ask, what if I look dumb, and on and on. Fear can grip you and prevent you from taking the steps you so desperately need.
It's important to find a safe place to get the help you need. There are numerous scams out there with people just waiting to take your money. I met a man who was scammed out of $20,000 by a company promising to promote his invention and get it licenced by a big company. His story inspired me to start the InventionAddict blog and consulting business Inspiration2Innovation LLC.
Strength in numbers
I love the way Womentorz allows women to band together. By getting a group of inventors together it gives the site critical mass to attract a broader audience. Sure you can go it alone as an independent inventor and set up an on-line store for one product but you are narrowing you potential market. By offering a broad array of products you can get cross-over sales. Someone shopping for a gift may see a cute baby item they didn't know they needed.
Marketing matters
This is the area where I see the greatest need. A lot of people are good with the product but when it come to selling it they either have no idea where to start or they start and get in so deep on the wrong path they get discouraged and give up.
When pitching your invention think in terms of the benefit to the user, not the features of the product. Distill the benefit of your product into a single sentence. You have one sentence to get the attention of your prospective customer and if you don't hook them, they will move on.
The reason why I think Womentorz is such a great site it because it's on target with each of three of the key areas I've outlined.
Remember these things:
  • Get help--you're in a good place for that!
  • Keep in mind that one size does not fit all. Licensing is another way to get your product to market.
  • Get started today, do something. Start small but start. Keep moving forward!
A little about me:

After working for almost 20 year as a mechanical design engineer and manager, I've made my first million. The trouble is that most of it is spent, in a 401(k), tied up in my home's equity. I'm now in pursuit of my second million. My goal is to work my out of my day job and work for myself.
My blog,, is centered on four things key things I am passionate about: reading, writing, learning, and teaching. By reading all sorts and sources of information and writing about on the blog, I continue to learn and it gives me the opportunity to teach people one-on-one via e-mail and webinars. I also just published my first inventing ebook, it's FREE!
Please visit the blog, my Facebook page, YouTube channel and Twitter. Feel free to send me an e-mail but don't disclose your invention until we get a NDA. I can help with CAD design, prototypes, tooling and a lot more.
Best of luck with you inventing endeavors.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Womentorz Contest Winners!!!!

OK, I hope you’re all ready to see what you’ve won!!!!  I have either your blogger username or your email attached to identify who you are.  Please e-mail me at with your mailing address and shoe size if applicable and we will get your prizes out to you ASAP.  I will keep track of who sends me their mailing information.  Congratulations!!!  You were all winners!

LisaLisa - $100 Macy’s Gift Certificate
Ros Guerrero – Grill Charms

Michelle Mallory – O’Couture Ballet Flats
Cathy Herard – Parking Pal

Angela Akinniyi – Pouch Pals Sandwich Size
YouthfulTips  - $100 Gift Certificate to Macy’s
Elena Perez – Pouch Pals Snack Size

Natalie - – Parking Pal
Julie Davis - Ficklets Eyeglass Charms

BabyPlusMe  - Papillon Baby Bath Ring

My So Called Homeschool Life – Lizzie Lou Shoes (Children’s Size)
Holly - The Work at Home Woman   - $100 Gift Certificate to Macy’s

Smokymtnqueen1 $50 Gift Certificate to Macy’s

Jennifer Clay – Esse Reusable Bag – CarryAll Tote

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Womentorz Contest w/ Amazing Prizes!!!

Follow These Five Easy Steps

   1. Important - Leave your name and a way to contact you below in a Comment

   2. Follow the Womentorz Blog to the right

   3. Like the Womentorz Facebook Fan Page:

   4. Suggest the Womentorz Fan Page to your friends - Document Date    

   5. Sign up for the Womentorz Newsletter at

List of Prizes

3 - $100 Gift Cards to Macy's

$50 Gift Card to Macy's

Ficklets Eyeglass Charm

Do you struggle to get your child to wear their eyeglasses? Kids think eyeglasses are geeky. Ficklets makes them Hip & Cool. Introducing Ficklets, the first interchangeable eyewear charm hugger, designed to adorn eyeglasses with a fun, fresh twist to help kids feel comfortable in their glasses and make the whole experience more enjoyable.

Papillon Baby Bath Ring

Turn your bathtub into a water wonderland!  The Papillon soft bath ring is exactly what your baby needs to play securely in the water while you wash him safely.  The Papillion‘s revolutionary butterfly shape prevents baby from tipping over in the tub. It lets baby “float” around the bathtub and reach for bath toys freely! Simply tie the Papillon around baby’s waist and let the fun begin!

Pouch Pals - 1 snack size and 1 sandwich size

We LOVE Pouch Pals!  How could you not love these reusable sandwich and snack pouches?  They save you from using hundreds of disposable plastic baggies in your kids' daily lunches over the course of the school year.  Pouch Pals are fun, safe and easy to clean.  Go to to learn more and see how you can save money, save the environment and teach your children to do right by mother earth.

Grill CharmsTM

Grill CharmsTM offer an entirely new concept in outdoor entertaining.   They are dime-sized solid stainless steel charms that are placed in your food BEFORE grilling. The serrated stems hold them in securely while flipping, moving and grilling food like you normally do. Grill CharmTM  food prior to cooking to distinguish spices and flavors, steak temperatures, or to avoid health or allergy issues.

Esse Reusable Bags - CarryAll Tote
All Esse Reusable Bags are washable, made from high quality materials and are built to last! Our line includes a super strong flat bottom grocery bag that folds down to an 8" square, lightweight mesh produce bags that allow you to shop, wash and store your items all in one bag, and the Everyday Bag~ a large capacity shopper that rolls and folds into a 2" x 5" size making it the perfect bag to have with you at all times to eliminate hundreds of sneaky little plastic bags from your life.

Lizzie Lou Shoes in Children's Size
• Extra soft EVA cushioned insole
• Beautiful embroidered white fabric
• Embellished with genuine crystals
• Hand-made and embroidered in India
Pictured style isn't necessarily the winning prize.  Style will be based on supply.

O'Couture Ballet Flats

Romance your feet with our charming Newport Ballet Flat, with all the comfort and style you’d expect from a shoe that’s designed especially for today’s modern woman. Chic, eco-friendly flats feature soft Italian leather uppers, linings and soles with elastic back.

Each pair of flats comes with the magnetic interchangeable ornament shown in the photo, with square bead center and a triplet of oval beads on layers of elegant grosgrain ribbon. Simply interchange the magnetic ornaments (other styles available separately) to alter your look anytime you please, and keep your carbon footprint to a minimum without compromising style.

Parking Pal

The Parking Pal is an inexpensive, fun product to keep kids safe around vehicles.  With drivers of SUV's having an increasingly difficult time seeing young children around their vehicle, and children rarely paying attention to their surroundings, there is a real potential for injury to children in parking lots. The Parking Pal is magnetic and is placed on the side of your vehicle.  It was designed with bright colors, playful illustrations and a small hand print that children love to place their hand on.  A child will quickly learn that this is their safe spot when stepping out of the vehicle or upon returning to the vehicle.  It also helps teach children responsibility in parking lots and around moving vehicles.