Sunday, January 31, 2010

Moms Wear Your Tees

We love connecting and supporting entrepreneurial women who are providing a service that helps our online network strengthen.  I was recently contacted by Scarlet Paolicchi and was extremely impressed with her business called Moms Wear Your Tees, which is a unique way of advertising and promoting your business.  I thought I would share this service with my fellow women inventors and entrepreneurs.

Moms Wear Your Tees was started by a stay at home mom looking to create an income and have fun working part time.  It is a new website that uses social media to help popularize cool websites and products. Social Media marketing is really exploding right now. It has so much potential because is is basically a "word of mouth" advertising that can spread through networks at a rapid pace.

Moms Wear Your Tees combines networking power with a method of leaving links to the website being promoted on several social media venues such as Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Groups, and Forums. These multiple links result in additional traffic flow not only from direct following of the links from the postings but also from a traffic that will continue to build as the search engines index the postings and are found through search engines. Additionally, the website may experience a climbing of search engine ranking after their promotion because one of the main factors search engines use to rank is the number of links a site has.

Moms Wear Your Tees focuses on attracting and representing companies that have eco-friendly green products, natural health products, and family oriented products. It is the goal of Moms Wear Your Tees to advertise for cool companies and help popularize them in a niche that will enjoy the products they never knew existed!

Moms Wear Your Tees does more than just website promotion through social media marketing! They also do product reviews and giveaways. Moms Wear Your Tees offers a great way for a client to get some product buzz and shine a spot light on their company while leaving them free to do what they do best- serve their customers!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fridays and Shark Tank Go Together Like Peas and Carrots!

Time seems to be flying by at mach speed and there are so many exciting things on the horizon! It feels as though the stars and planets are aligning, reinforcing my true belief that things happen exactly as they are supposed to!

Tonight is another exciting night of Shark Tank viewing on ABC at 9/8 central! I am sure we will be doing a little tweeting about it under #womentorzluvsharktank, so be sure to check in! It will be very exciting to see if Jill with LipStix Remix can navigate the waters and come through unscathed! Go Jill!

I am also now more aware than ever after my interaction with the incredible Leslie Haywood, Founder of Charmed Life Products, LLC and Shark Tamer Extraordinaire, that no matter what life throws at you it is possible to move through it, rise above it and let it mold you for the better!

We recently showcased Grill Charms on our blog, but wanted to share a bonus clip from the viewing party at Leslie's home. She is absolutely an inspiration and just plain COOL!

Enjoy and have a wonderful day!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Inventor Showcase: Prissy Designs Diaper Clutch

We are so excited to have Prissy Designs Diaper Clutch on Womentorz.  Laura Page has been a great addition to our inventor family and a true pleasure to get to know.  Her product is an incredibly stylish and efficient way to run out the door with your little one knowing you're well prepared for the always unplanned little and sometimes big present left for us mommies.  Here's our Q&A with Laura:

Q. When did you think of the idea of the Prissy Designs Diaper Clutch?

 I was pregnant with my third child.  My second was only 9 months old when I became pregnant  again. A friend of mine had given me a fabric diaper holder as a gift to carry diapers and wipes in.  This was great but I noticed that when I wanted to go somewhere quick I found myself sticking my keys, license, cash as well as a small blanket in there to lay her on so she wouldn’t have to lay on a dirty surface.  I was never a person to carry around anything that really looked like a diaper bag I am definitely a purse lover.  One day while I was out and had to change her diaper I thought it would be great to have a small purse to carry the diapers as well as everything else but that would also have a changing area.  I did look and knew there were others out there but nothing that was what I was looking for.  I wanted it to look like a clutch and have the convenience of carrying the essentials but be completely machine washable as well.  That is when the designing and sewing begun.

Q. What are the features of your invention that differentiates it from anything else on the market?

 I have included a key ring and id holder in each of the bags for convenience you can just grab and go.  I have designed them to look like a purse on the outside but have a cute stylish pattern on the inside no one ever knows I am carrying a diaper bag.  The whole bag including the soft fleece changing area is one piece which is machine washable.  Just remove the ID holder and throw in the wash that’s it.

Q. How long did it take to have your invention made? Were there any hiccups in the process?

I started out by making my own pattern out of a manila folder which I still use up to now   The first attempt was pretty scary but it was my sample which I showed to several close friends to get an opinion.  Once I knew it was what I wanted It took about 3 different attempts to get it just right. 

I then started purchasing fabric to get started. I find it difficult when I find specific fabric for a product and I go back to find it is no longer available.  I have already had issues with specific fabrics being discontinued or not being able to find them again. So I either try to find a popular fabric that I know I can order or if I really like one I buy all I can then just make it until I run out.

Q. What or who motivates you through those challenging moments?

I find that that when I am having moments of stress and trying to find time or motivation to get things moving along that my family and friends are my greatest support.  My husband has been very supportive of all of my crazy ideas that I have had over the years.  He is always there to listen to my ideas and give me opinions and advice as well as deal with the crazy amounts of fabric and mess building up everywhere.  My son is also a great supporter.  He is 8 years old and always loves to join me at boutique events that I go to.  He is the best sales person and I think he is always quite proud to be there with me.

Q. How do you juggle your business with family life and its daily demands?

I just try to take it one day at a time.  I currently work full time during the week so when I get home it is all about the family, dinner, playing and spending quality time.  After bedtime is when I get to work cutting patterns and sewing, that is if I have the energy after a long day at work.  Sometimes I save it for the weekends. 

Q. If you had a day to spend in any way you choose how would you spend it?

I think I would spend the day with my husband and kids at Disneyland or Sea World.  We haven’t been able to take a fun family trip with them yet and I think that they would really enjoy it as much as I would enjoy seeing their faces.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Whittle Your Waistline Wednesday ~ Week 4!

Howdy Doody and Happy Wednesday! For some reason my brain is swirling a bit this morning! It's one of those days when eating right will be important not only to my physical well being but to my mental well being too. It's been a great week! I would call it a week of maintaining, as I definitely splurged a bit last Friday during the eight hour brainstorming session with Tracy (Pitchwoman) Sanders and John (Dr. of Shopology) Cremeans in Tampa. I'm back on track now, so let's get to it. Here's what I am eating today!

FIRST THING ~ Tall glass H2O

BREAKFAST ~ 1/2 Bolthouse Farms Berry Boost Fruit Smoothie in blender w/1 scoop EAS Vanilla Whey Protein Powder and ice. Easy - yummy!

SNACK ~ One hard boiled egg ~ sprinkled w/pepper

LUNCH ~ Kashi Chicken Florentine ~ it's fast and delicious which is what I need today!

SNACK ~ 1/2 scoop EAS Vanilla Whey Protein Powder in shaker w/8 oz. water

DINNER ~ Grilled chicken breast w/big salad of romaine, red onion, craisins and pine nuts. Note: I will marinate the chicken in fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a Ziplock baggy before grilling in my favorite cast iron skillet. I will eat 1/2 of the chicken breast if it is big and save the other half for lunch tomorrow.

LATE NIGHT SNACK ~ 1/4 cup 2% cottage cheese OR 6 oz. skim or lowfat milk

Thanks for checking in and please share some of your favorite healthy snack or meal ideas with us if you like!

Have a great day~

Monday, January 25, 2010

TeleTweetConference This Evening, January 25th from 5:00 - 6:00 PST

 Be sure not to miss the first of TeleTweetConference scheduled for this evening, January 25th from 5:00 to 6:00 PM PST.  Sarah Shaw will be discussing the best way to get your product manufactured with tips and advice derived from years of experience in the manufacturing industry.

We call it a TeleTweetConference because we will not only be having a live discussion that Sarah will be hosting, we will also be fielding questions over Twitter using #womentorz that Sarah will be answering towards the end of her class.  You are welcome to send your questions prior to the conference by DMing them to @womentorz throughout the day.

This type of advice would normally cost thousands of dollars, but Womentorz and Sarah Shaw are partnering to provide this monthly class in order for participants to see the level of expertise they could receive one on one with Sarah's consultation.

If you happen to miss this session, Sarah will be recording each discussion, which will be provided in a series later on in the year.   We look forward to connecting with you this evening.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Celebrating the Goddess in All of Us - By Marianne Impal

As President and CEO of RaeCole, home of the Goddess Box™ concept, I am happy to announce a new and exciting venture that is worth sharing…
A good portion of you reading this probably have a similar connection with me where we are all Women Inventors who have created, marketed, nurtured struggled and emotionally attached our embryo babies into real life products equip with a company name; only waiting to see if our outcome grows up to be that strong, independent and prosperous dream we envisioned it to be. 

My such “baby” was developed for my baby girls, but only to be used during what most people consider the most awkward time of their life… puberty.
I’m reaching out to the Moms of girls out there who want to connect with me on a very important topic that may be invading your young girls now or will soon come, by time Middle School starts.  I’m talking about teen pregnancy, lack of self-esteem, Media that is raising our girls to grow up faster than their little immature minds can handle.
Our girls are unconsciously hungry for information on their sexuality, be it their body image or the way society says they should act; and will look towards Media and friends for that information if not discussed in the home first.
Having two daughters, I consider myself a very outspoken, open-minded and open dialect Mom, so to match this contemporary thinking of mine, I developed a Goddess Box™ concept to commemorate my girls’ for when they would get their first period.  My idea was simple back then… “Every girl remembers such a milestone in her life… why not make it a positive experience, since adolescence is already awkward in itself.” 
It never dawned on me that I would use this gift concept for my daughter BEFORE getting her period.  It never dawned on me that I would have a hard time connecting with my daughter as she got older.  It never dawned on me that this concept would evolve into one of the Nations greatest needs.

As a user of the Goddess Box™, I can honestly say I established one of the most powerful connections with my daughter; and it was because of the Goddess Box™ that I was able to put ALL the focus on the beautiful treasure in front of us, while indirectly touching on what would rather be embarrassing topics for her to discuss with me one on one.  Because each product is specifically designed to center on subjects such as healthy body image, self-esteem, self-integrity and first period; conversation was natural and not pushed and most importantly she felt comfortable to talk and listen!

After countless times being asked if I do parties… I can confidently say yes!  Please support my venture as I travel house to house, party to party in the NY, NJ and PA areas, to help educate moms like you who have daughters between the ages of 9-15, who want to know first hand on this simple concept in connecting with our daughters.  Just for booking a party with me, instantly gives you 20% OFF your purchase of a Goddess Box™ and for our Winter Promotion, receive an additional 20% OFF your purchase if booked before March 1st!  The more Moms you invite, increases your chance to receive a Goddess Box™ completely FREE!

In keeping with my connection to Moms of Daughters, Melinda, Jen and I were interested in hearing your feedback on possible weekly or monthly discussions to be posted on the Womentorz Facebook site. 

After all, it’s the nurturing that we need to do when our girls are young to give them the Brainz, Broadz and Big Ideaz they deserve!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Whittle Your Waistline Wednesday ~ Week 3

Good morning! I can't believe it's already Wednesday again! I am excited to report that all of this healthy living is paying off! Some of you may be wondering why I haven't posted numbers or measurements here to track my progress. For me a scale is my worst enemy, the devil incarnate. In the past I have found that if the number was wrong it seemed to be an instant trigger to say well, what the hell - may has well throw a cheeseburger down my throat! I have come to realize that the more complicated I make a "diet", the more of a head game it becomes. So here's what I know: I am not on a "diet". I like how I feel when I eat a certain way and get to the gym or outside for some vigorous aerobic activity! My clothes look and feel better and I have dropped one size! Yipppeee Skipppeee!

Since I have not completely planned my day today, I thought I would share some ideas for fast convenient meals that are balanced and designed to keep your metabolism moving. I can't help but revert back to knowledge gained from the Dr. Barry Sears' and The Zone. I do eat frozen meals at times and when I do, I look for the ones that have similar amounts of carbs vs. protein. I like to think of them as a team working together.

Here are a few examples of what I might be eating today:

FIRST THING - Water (love you Gram!) Gotta have a nice cup of coffee too!


Quaker Oatmeal (not instant) 1/2 cup mixed with hot water - NOT COOKED - just stir in the water and let sit for a minute or so, sprinkle some cinnamin and maybe a little Stevia (natural sugar substitute) and enjoy! You could also cut up some fresh strawberries to mix in as well. It's a great way to start the morning and keeps you feeling full!


1/2 of EAS Edge Bar - Peanut Butter Chocolate is my fav! OR
1 small Golden Delicious apple OR
1 2% Fage Yogurt ~ comes with strawberry, cherry or peach! YUM


Lean Cuisine Meatloaf w/whipped potatoes (might sound odd - but it's a PERFECT Zone meal!) OR
Lean Cuisine Chicken w/wild rice OR
Kashi Chicken Florentine*

*The Kashi meals are really delicious! They do have more carbs, but that is because of the high fiber content which is great and theyare all natural! These are a little more expensive, but really tasty for a frozen meal!


Same options from snacks listed above!


Not gonna lie - it's probably going to be chicken with broccoli or just a big plate of broccoli sauteed with a bit of olive oil and garlic, topped with some toasted pine nuts - I never get tired of it :).

SNACK (late night)

6 oz. skim or lowfat milk OR
1/4 cup cottage cheese OR
small slice of cheddar w/ 1/4 cup of wine (I know it's just a nip, but it works!)

Make it another great week and please share your ideas, tips, thoughts, whatever you like! We wanna hear from you!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Say-N-Play SALE Benefiting
Haiti Relief Efforts!
 Say-N-Play $10.00 off original price
and $20.00 donation to
Yele Haiti relief efforts

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Inventor Showcase: Grill Charms!

Leslie Haywood is one class act! She swam with the Sharks, started a feeding frenzy and is still riding the big wave in! I cannot say enough about what a truly charming, smart, and talented lady she is. She has fought her way through the kind of adversity that would cause many of us to crumble. The authentic person she is on the inside shines right on through to that beautiful person you see on the outside! She has a lot of very important information to share with us, so I hope everyone is paying attention.

1. Prior to entering the Shark Tank what was the starting point for getting Grill Charms into stores?

I think for most inventors and product developers the best place to start is in your own back yard. Success begets success and the perfect place to start is with your local stores. In today's world especially, folks are very eager to help others in their community. I went to a locally owned, independent kitchen store that I shopped at, simply walked in with my sample and gave her my schpeel. It was my first sales call and I'm not sure if she felt sorry for me or genuinely like the product (and it really doesn't matter) but that 1 local store was my first wholesale account. From there, I went to another local store in a different area of town and did the same thing and so on and so forth. Once you conquer the local area with your "hometown" story, than branch out from there in your state, then nationally etc...

2. You have shared that Charmed Life Products, LLC operates within a very tight budget. Where would you encourage inventors to spend their money (i.e., PR, Advertising, Patenting, etc.)?

There are a few areas where I think money is best spent. I think branding is important and doesn't have to break the bank. Having professional "materials" and by "materials" I mean brochures, sell sheets, business cards, stationary very important. In the beginning not having those things is okay, but when and if you want to get into the larger stores, you will need to present yourself like someone that can handle a 20,000 unit PO. Sending in your product submission vendor application on plain white paper with a handwritten return address on the envelope might not get you the attention you want. The larger retailers want to know that you are not a small-time operation with your office across from your children's playroom....(EVEN IF YOU ARE!!) Shhhhh.....(Don't tell anyone, but my office really IS across from my children's playroom ;) hee hee! Don't forget, perception is reality. Also, if you really want to be in the wholesale market, you need to do the RIGHT tradeshows for your industry. At most shows in today's times you simply hope to break even at the show, BUT the contacts you make and the experience you gain are INVALUABLE!

3. How has your family reacted and adjusted to Mom becoming a bona fide entrepreneur with her products being sold on a global level?

I'm not sure they'd admit it now, but I don't think my family really thought I'd actually do it. Every day people have crazy ideas and say "I'm going to do this thing", but such an extremely small percentage of people actually follow through. I don't blame them for looking at me funny when I said "I'm going to bring this product to market". I'd look at me funny too! Since then they have certainly gotten used to the idea. My children who were 1 and 3 when I had my light bulb moment are now 5 and 7 so they grew up with it and think everyone is an inventor. A few years ago my then 4 year old asked my sister "Aunt Brandy, what did YOU invent?" My daughter then proceeded to tell her Aunt that she was going to invent crayons when she grew up. That was my daughter's first lesson in "inventing". I explained to her that crayons were already invented but she could make a better crayon someday. Some people think what I have done is something special or even "extraordinary". My daughters think it's the norm. I can't imagine the loftiness of their goals when they grow up!!

4. I stole a quote from your blog "There are no short cuts. (Remember that newbie entrepreneurs!)" - What is one important piece of advice you could give to the rest of us?

I'm going to answer this with another part of my blog because I think it's so important:

I would like to share with you one of the biggest lies about business and a mistake that many new inventors and entrepreneur make:

"I naively thought (as you might too) that Press = sales. That is simply not the case....unless maybe you get on Oprah. PR is necessary and gives you the credability to go GET the sales, but it is not the golden goose that newbie inventors and entrepreneurs think it is. I thought that a few big newspaper articles, a national cable TV appearance and a few national magazines would mean life on easy street. NOT SO! There is no substitute for good ol' fashion pounding the pavement. Making sales calls is where my money comes from, not from an article in a magazine or a few appearances on TV. Had I understood that sooner, I would have made a lot more sales calls early on and wouldn't have been so preoccupied with the press. New entrepreneurs think that there is some "golden ticket" out there and I'm here to tell you, it's a lie. Don't get me wrong, PR and marketing are important, but you have to understand what it is, what it does and how to use it to increase revenue. It (in and of itself) is NOT instant millions! Press alone does a lot more for your ego than it does for your bottom line.

Now I might wind up eating my words and lord knows, I sure hope that day comes, but if you are looking for that 1 golden ticket or are basing your entire business plan on fame and not sales, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. I do what I do to keep my name in the media to continue to build brand awareness, but I no longer hold out for that "one big break". Sales Sales Sales is where my bread gets buttered."

I actually wrote that before I had my prime time debut I will admit that certain press and media opportunities can take you from not profitable to profitable, so maybe, just maybe Oprah is not the only golden goose. Regardless, I still stand by my original statement in that basing the success of your business on press and media is a BIG MISTAKE and in most cases, if you don't parlay your media attention into something more than your 15 minutes, then you will be no better off a month down the road, then you were before you got your "big break". Should you get a big break, in order to maximize your 15 minutes and try to turn it into 30, do all the "right things" such as notifying other media, current customers, target customers and pie in the sky accounts as well. Have your press release ready to go and set up interviews with folks who have been there for you in the past. You need to make sure you get some real sales instead of just flooding your inbox with people wanting to know if you can get them the name of your media contact or soliciting everything from closeout inventory offers to warehousing. I do know one thing for sure..... sitting back on your 15 minutes is a HUGE mistake. It's your job to use the attention for what it is... a door to get more sales and not rely on it to bring sales all by itself. In the days and weeks after the attention, call on every account you can. 24/7 sales baby! No matter how dazzling you might be, John Q public is fickle and has a short memory.

5. Who is one of the greatest inspirations in your life?

That's easy, MOM. When I was seventeen years old, she was in her thirties and was diagnosed with IV breast cancer. The gravity of her diagnosis and the triumph of her recovery would only hit me after I too was diagnosed with the horrible disease at the age of 34 with 1 and 3 year old daughters of my own. Her courage and grace in her darkest hours gave me the strength and inspiration to make it through mine. I was right in the middle of starting my company when I got my diagnosis. Because of her love and support, I forged ahead with Grill CharmsTM, beat the cancer and now am working on giving back to the cause through my businesses. and

Some people say that I am an inspiration. I laugh at the thought. I got a set of new boobies and a tummy tuck out of the deal. She fought for her life and won. She is my friend, my confidant, my hero, and forever my inspiration.

6. Why aren't you in Hollywood making a movie!? Okay, seriously, tell us something funny about yourself!

Wow... a movie you say??!!! How cool would that be?! Okay... something funny huh.... I have the appetite of a 500lb man. Seriously... some people like to eat, but I'm sort of a freak of nature at how much I CAN eat. I am very disciplined now that I'm older because I have to be, (darn that slowing metabolism!) but I have on more than one occasion embarrassed people I have been with at restaurants with the quantity of food I can put away. I'm a small gal and it's sort of freaky to see an entire "boat" of sushi be devoured by one little 5'4" chick that weighs about a buck twenty. It's genetic. My mother and grandmother were the same way. My sister started doing a little research and we think that I don't have the proper amount of the chemical that tells my brain my stomach is full. Like I said... I do control myself because I have to, but when it come to red meat (shocker;) and sushi in particular, I do let myself go. My friends joke that on nights we decide to do sushi, fish all over the world begin to shudder with fear. If you ever get to Charleston, I'll show ya!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Whittle Your Waistline Wednesday ~ Week 2

Hey everybody! For the second installment of WYWW I want to tell you how much I admire Bethenny Frankel of The Real Housewives of New York and, more importantly I think, bestselling author of “Naturally Thin”. She is smart, beautiful, HI-larious, and tough as nails. Nothing has been handed to this girl. Hard work and sheer determination have gotten her where she is today – and deservedly so. She is a natural foods Chef and will soon be adding “Mommy” to her list of accomplishments!

One of the reasons I am fascinated with Bethenny is because, it turns out, she too has struggled with her weight in the past! She, however, has unlocked the key for recognizing and dealing with things that may trigger overeating. The book is written in her voice and if you are a fan, you can absolutely hear her talking to you. It’s funny and real and makes you say “YES” out loud throughout. She really has helped me to change the way I look at food.

There are 10 rules outlined in Naturally Thin and one of my favorites is rule #7 “Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself” : In part it reads “This rule encompasses one of the most important things you can do for yourself: stop binge eating. Never do it again. Just knowing you can have any food you want can keep you from going overboard…”

Bethenny makes healthy choices, but she is also realistic (she loves a good steak!) – she eats what she wants- she just doesn’t eat ALL of it. She will just have a few bites and really take the time to enjoy those bites. It is said that if you really pay close attention, after three bites of anything, you aren’t tasting it anymore, you’re just eating it. I’ve tried it and it is true! Bethenny’s new book is out and full of great recipes. “The Skinny Girl Dish” is definitely on my list of books to buy Stat!

It’s been a great week – a busy week! I have put in the exercise and made good food choices. It has been at least 7 days since my last diet coke. (Wow, that almost sounded like I was in confession…)

We would love to hear what you all are doing to get and/or stay healthy! Here’s what I am eating – warning - it’s a little hard core today!


Big glass of water!


1 nice cup of coffee w/splash of lowfat half/half

1 scoop EAS Vanilla Whey Protein Powder in shaker with 8 oz. water


(after gym)
2 cups steamed broccoli (it’s got almost equal amounts protein and carbs!!) sautéed with a bit of olive oil, garlic and sprinkle of pine nuts – red pepper flakes replace salt! YUM!



1 scoop EAS Chocolate Whey Protein Powder in shaker with 8 oz. water


Several baby carrot sticks – they are sweet AND crunchy

Big glass water


Grilled chicken breast topped with fresh bruschetta topping
Fresh baby spinach sautéed with garlic in a bit of olive oil


6 oz. skim or lowfat milk

Again – this is just meant to be an example as I am trying to give myself a little jump start and I know what I can handle…believe me, I enjoy eating and just want to get back to being the healthiest me I can be. Food is love and I put a lot of it into what I cook!

Things I am avoiding: Salt (if I really need a salt fix I will eat a small dill pickle), Bubbles (i.e., soda, beer), alcohol, cheese, crackers (I have a serious love of Wheat Thins and Pepperidge Farms crackers).

All right – your turn!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Inventor Showcase: The Amazing Sippy Straw Cleaner

Every time I have the privilege of talking to Jennifer Reyes, the inventor of the Sippy Straw Cleaner, I am absolutely astounded by her brilliance and tenacity.  She has the most amazing ideas and unending energy and ambition.  I can't wait to tell you more about her latest iPhone application that's getting huge media attention as we speak.  To top it off, I just found out she is competing in an upcoming marathon in honor of her mother.  She's amazing!

I am so excited about showcasing her latest invention among many to come.  Don't be surprised if you see it on the shelves of a huge chain soon.  Everyone is trying to get a piece of the Sippy Straw Cleaner!  We feel honored to have her product on Womentorz.

Q. Was there a specific "aha" moment when you realized you had something special?

I’ve had MANY “aha” moments over the years, but never really followed through with any of them. I live in Texas, with the Texas mega-heat, and if your children leave a Sippy Straw Cup or Thermos in the hot car for more than 20 minutes… you’re guaranteed to have a “gunky” mess.  I searched the online mommy message boards for answers, but never really found a full proof method.  I endured countless episodes of frustration in trying to clean the curdled milk and moldy apple juice out of both my kids’ straws and spent tons of money purchasing new sippy straw cups because I wasn’t confident that I had gotten them clean enough. At my final attempt of cleaning my last straw in the house, I came up with the idea of a nylon bristle brush that was small enough to fit into those teeny straws. 

Q. When did you start the process of bringing your invention to fruition?

I came up with the idea in August of 2009 and believe it or not, I was on the market by November 1st  2009.  I’m blessed that all my work and countless late night plans fell into place, as I have now run across many inventors that have been working on their project for 5+ years.

Q. How do you juggle going to school, running a business with your husband, releasing an iphone application (isweat2thebeat – now launched) getting an invention to market and most importantly children?

I did dress up as Wonder Woman for Halloween with the rest of my Super Hero family this year, but I no way, in any shape or form, could claim to be her in everyday life. I would like to say everything runs smoothly every day, but I think every mother out there knows it just doesn’t happen that way. My first priority, always, is my family. Sometimes I have to juggle and reschedule the rest to make sure of it, but without the support of my family, there is really nothing else to work for.  I stay home with my daughter during the day while my son is at preschool, and fortunately they are great about bedtime being 7:30pm.  Come nighttime, that’s my green light to go …go … go and more times than not, I’m up until the wee hours of the morning trying to get all my “to-do” lists completed.

Q. What has been your biggest challenge in getting your product to market?

Being a stay at home mom, when it came to PR and marketing, I felt HUGE limitations. Moms and parents were my ideal customers, but initially sitting in my jammies on my computer trying to get my product name out there was difficult. Once I jumped on the “social media” train of Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger mommy reviews and giveaways my business really launched and we’ve been full steam ahead ever since.

Q. What or who motivates you through those challenging moments?

I have to cheat and say three people, both my mom AND dad, and all the rest of the parents with young kids out there.  I lost my mother this year on Valentines Day before I ever started this venture.  I know, without a doubt that she is watching over me, and super proud of how far I’ve come this year.  As for my father, he’s my silent partner in crime during this invention process, and I couldn’t have gotten this far without him. He’s my go to guy for legal questions, to financial backing, and now, being my primary shipper… we’ve developed a fantastic working AND father daughter relationship. Finally, it keeps me motivated to know that if I can save some mommy or daddy the frustration of trying to clean one of those “icky” straws… it’s totally worth it!

Q. If you had a day to spend in any way you choose how would you spend it?

If it were even the slightest bit possible, I would spend the entire day with my mom in heaven. Until then, I get to relive the most amazing memories of her everyday!

Q. Do you have a hidden talent?

Oh gosh, I can’t believe I’m even going to admit this! Since I was a kid, I have been able to swallow my tongue. I know, ridiculous, but hey, it could have landed me a spot on Jay Leno’s stupid human tricks skit!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Advertising for our Members

Advertising is a huge part of what we offer our Womentorz members in order to drive traffic to their products.  This is the missing link that most inventors are in need of.  By coming together in one marketplace we are able to pool resources to not just advertise, but hire experts who can really target our demographic and place our name in front of the right people.  We are continually modifying our national advertising campaign for hitting the perfect keyword search terms.  Rich Marketing is providing the research in this area and finding what drives the most traffic possible.

The big news is that we will be advertising on Red Tricycle, which if you're on the west coast you know is the ultimate for moms who don't have a lot of time, yet have a lot of money.  Womentorz will be their playground and fits right with what they are looking for....products to make life for moms easier.  We are working out the details, but it looks like we will be on their website and featured in their newsletter.  This will greatly increase sales on the site!  Here's to great shopping and advertising!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Inventor Showcase: Fit In Clouds - The foldable ballet flat

I wish I had had Fit In Clouds the day of my wedding!  This is the answer to foot comfort on the go.  Everyone should have a pair of these!  They can easily fit in a small purse and even your coat pocket. 

Here's our interview with Patrizia Damiani, the inventor of the foldable ballet flat:

How did you come up with the concept of Fit In Clouds?   

The idea of Fit in Clouds was born after watching many girls leaving the clubs barefoot weekend after weekend and after having experienced myself that moment of the night were you cant take your heels any longer and end up dancing barefoot!

What was your experience like manufacturing your invention?   

Manufacturing was really interesting. We made the first samples ourselves, then we used the help of a cobbler to produce a more sophisticated prototype, until we reached out to several manufacturing facilities that would produce different style and colors of shoes for us. We then picked the one that most satisfied our vision, had a few modifications done until we reached to the product that we wanted and went ahead with production!

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

I would say that the most difficult thing to do is to get started, so my recomendation is to beat the fear and just do it. Once you break that barrier you will learn on the way and find ways to progress as well as opportunities that come on your way. 

What features make Fit in Clouds so unique? 

Fit in Clouds has many unique features. It is the foldable shoe available in the market that at its compact size offers the most comfort and protection for your feet. This feature makes this product ideal to walk on basicaly any surface and stay safe. Also, since we love fashion we are constantly launching new colors and styles and the price... is the most affordable foldable shoe available in the market. You will really get value for your money!   

Please explain why your product makes the perfect travel companion. 

How many times have you missed unique moments on a trip because your heels hurt? Well with Fit in Clouds this will no longer be a problem. Take Fit in Clouds with you as your business or leisure trip companion and you will be sure that foot pain or lack of comfort will not get on the way of enjoying every minute of your trip and acting at the fullest of your capacity!

What has been the most challenging part of getting your product to market? 

 Building a brand and making people aware that such a unique product is available in the market has been our greatest challenge. When ladies find out about our product they love it, but much publicity is needed to make them aware!

How has your background helped you with your business?  

This is funny, because you will be surprised to know that I come from a psychology background, then decided to change gears and go to business school, start a business and make my creativity fly as Fit in Clouds grows.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Whittle Your Waistline Wednesday!

Welcome to the first weekly installment of Whittle Your Waistline Wednesdays with Jen! Let’s face it women love to discuss and share ideas about how to shed those few extra pounds, so I thought it would be fun to have this feature on Wednesdays to share what I’ve learned over the years. I try not to make too many big promises to myself this time of year because in true Gemini fashion I will totally jinx them into oblivion. I will only say that my goal this year is to try to be the best version of me that I can be. Talk less, listen more, read more and watch less television at night…and get back down to my fightin’ weight! I have tried lots of things over the years and now I sort of pool the things together that work best for me.

Please take what looks interesting and DO please share with us what works for you! So, without further ado, here is what my day on a “diet” looks like today:
NOTE: I am 42 and things have slowed down a bit so I like to have some sort of nutritional intake every two hours – it’s not as hard as it sounds!


One of the best pieces of advice my beloved Gram ever gave me was to drink a big glass of water first thing in the morning! Just do it!

BREAKFAST (for me between 7-8 a.m.)

Must have – Coffee w/lowfat half/half OR Big cup Green Tea with lemon

Option 1: 3 eggs (ditch 2 of the yolks!) scrambled with a little olive oil and chopped veggies. Whatever you like! I love it with chopped mushrooms and/or fresh baby spinach. Season with red pepper flakes…EASY on the salt! If you can’t live without it have ONE piece of whole wheat toast – plain .

Option 2: Yummy Smoothie - Half scoop EAS Whey Protein Powder (Vanilla) (you can buy big bag at Sam’s!) in blender w/ 8 oz. water and ½ cup frozen berries – throw in a splash of skim or lowfat milk if you like!


I am very busy, so I will grab my shaker, throw in ½ scoop of protein powder with 6-8 oz. of water and drink.


1 can fancy albacore tuna in water mixed with 1 tbs. light mayo, one blob of Dijon mustard, fresh ground pepper – then add in ½ cup steamed brown rice (I steam the rice ahead and keep it in the fridge). I also like spicy things so, don’t be afraid to throw a little of your favorite hot sauce on! Try it – it’s good!

Fiber One Bar (oats and strawberries with almonds is my fav) This helps me through the hungriest part of my day. Big glass of water!


Grilled chicken breast w/steamed broccoli – which might not sound great UNTIL you sauté the two together with garlic, a pinch of sea or course (kosher) salt and a small palm full of pine nuts! A sprinkle of parmesean cheese won’t kill you either! I LOVE THIS MEAL!!

LATE NIGHT SNACK (usually around 9 p.m.)

I personally love the concepts of the Zone diet and also Ann Louise Gittleman’s Fast Track Detox Diet and so incorporate what I have learned from the two. One of the things I have learned is that a late night snack is just as important as breakfast to keep your metabolism burning through the night. I have also found that when I incorporate this properly, the result is a better nights sleep.

6 oz. lowfat or skim milk (convenient/easy) OR
Small slice of cheddar cheese w/6 oz. red wine

These are perfectly balanced “snacks”

Lastly, I will get to the gym or outside (burr) for 3 miles, 3-4 days this week. One down (Monday), two to go!

We'll be checking in next week, but until then we want to know your secrets for staying healthy so we can try them as well!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

We Welcome Jennifer Magee and Express Yourself Baby!

The story of how I met Jennifer Magee ranks right up there as another one of those fateful moments where all of the stars have aligned to make it so. I really did not feel like making the trip to Sam's Club that day, but I knew I had to because I had a large order of burritos to make for a party I was catering the following weekend. So, as my beloved Gram used to say, I gave myself "a lick and a promise" (i.e., wash face, slap on a little deo for the b.o. and GO!) and was, reluctantly, on my way. As I walked in and headed straight for the aisle I needed, I noticed a gal with her two daughters. They were carrying American Girl dolls and I could not pass up the opportunity to say hello and tell her about Carry-Her, made by another of our fabulous WI's. Here I am looking half a hot mess, saying "hi, are those American Girl dolls? Well, I just want to let you know about a website I collaborate on for women inventors where you can find the greatest doll carrier for them...."

To my surprise, Jennifer was very excited as I told her about Womentorz because as it turned out, she too was an inventor and had been looking for just such a platform to get the word out about her product for teaching kids sign language! To top it off, we're practically neighbors! We both started digging for something to write with to exchange information - all I could find was a broken crayon...umm and then we remembered our Blackberrys :). Jennifer and I both agree our paths were meant to cross that day and Melinda and I are so proud to welcome her as our newest member here! Add Image

1. We love your story Jen. Can you tell us what the inspiration was for creating these DVD’s?

I started teaching my daughters sign language around 3-4 months of age. I was having positive results with teaching them and communicating with them at an early age. I wanted to share my knowledge of sign language with other parents and teachers. So I came up with the idea of creating DVDs based on communication and self-expression introducing basic sign language to young children.

Besides my children, my friend Gina has been one of my inspirations from the start. We have had a special bond since childhood and she is the reason I learned sign language in the first place. When I was 7 years old living in Philadelphia Gina who is deaf, moved into the neighborhood and I wanted to learn how to communicate with her. When Gina’s parents found out she was deaf, they moved to a new house to be closer to their relatives for support. One day Gina was riding her bike, along with some other kids who lived on our street. As she was riding she had stopped suddenly not knowing there was someone riding close behind. I kept yelling out to her to ride faster or to move out of the way but she did not respond. She continued to ride toward her house. As I followed behind her I was becoming angry because I thought she was ignoring me. I would soon discover that Gina is profoundly deaf. As we approached her house, Gina’s mother, who is hearing, was standing there and she explained to me that Gina was deaf and they use sign language to communicate with one another. From that day on, I was determined to learn how to communicate with her and other Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals as well. Today with the support of my friend Gina, I am creating a series of DVDs as well as many other educational products to share with other hearing children and families so they can do the same.

2. How do you find balance in your daily life as a mom and an inventor/entrepreneur?

As a mom and an inventor/entrepreneur creating balance in my daily life I find to be one of my biggest challenges. I am continually striving to attain the best way to achieve balance in all aspects of my life. One technique I use is to write down my long-term and short-term goals on a daily basis. I also create schedules to follow which include dividing my time between work, my family and myself. I do not always follow it exactly because as you know things “come up” but I do my best to deal with any obstacles and try to get back on track to achieving my balance and goals.

My daughters are 7, 4 and 2 years old. I constantly remind myself that they will not be little for long and to be patient with my expectations for my business. Spending time with my children is a high priority and having my own business allows me to take the time to spend with them at home, in school and during activities. As we grow together I will continue to find the best ways to balance my life.

3. Tell us a little bit about the translating work you do and how it relates to Express Yourself Baby.

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Drexel University and later attained another degree in Interpreter Education. I always wanted to have my own business and decided to combine the two to form Express Yourself Baby. I believe an essential part of creating DVDs that teach a language is to use the language and continue to improve your skills. Translating keeps me involved within the deaf community and helps build my language skills. Developing my skills helps me to continue to promote valuable educational products. As a translator you act as a liaison between the hearing and deaf individual and our sign language DVDs have the same purpose, in a sense, they promote communication between individuals.

4. What is the biggest challenge you faced in the process of making your vision a reality?

The biggest challenge I continue to face during this process as I mentioned before is finding more time to focus on the business. I have so many ideas to put into Express Yourself Baby but dividing my time among my family and business is always a challenge. I came to the realization that it is going to take a little longer to have a full line of products. My family is my biggest support system and again spending time with them is my number one priority. I keep telling myself to focus on the journey, not the destination. My family and I are on this wonderful journey together. It does not matter how long it takes!

The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.
-- Frank Lloyd Wright

5. Who can benefit most from this incredible learning tool?

All children can benefit from this incredible learning tool. There are so many ways hearing children can benefit from learning sign language. Firstly it can improve communication. Children can communicate their thoughts and feelings before they mastered verbal skills. It also has been shown to help build vocabulary at a younger age. Today American Sign Language (ASL) is being used in early literacy programs as a tool for letter recognition, sight words and basic vocabulary. Ask yourself this, do hearing children benefit from learning a “foreign” language? ASL, much like Spanish and French is a second language and is being used in schools and at home. One of the most beautiful outcomes is when communication barriers are broken down between Deaf and Hearing individuals. Sign language comes naturally to infants and children and it is fun for all ages!

6. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

My husband and I have been to a few exciting places over the years but there are many places I would still like to visit throughout Europe, Australia and Bermuda to name a few. My first choice, however would be to go to Greece. From everything thing I have read or seen Greece is a country that has so much to offer like history, beautiful landscapes, countless islands, sandy beaches, crystal blue waters and of course delicious cuisine.

7. Tell us something we might be surprised to know about you.

I am 5 feet and a 1/2-inch tall and can hit a golf ball 200 yards! I haven’t golfed in about 6 years, because I have been busy with my children. But I enjoy the game and any sport for that matter. Someday I plan to get back on the course for tee time.