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2015 Mompreneur® of the Year

Andrea Iervella 2015 Mompreneur of the Year - Mompreneur Award of Excellence presented by TruShield Insurance

This past weekend marked a celebration of International Women’s Day, as well as recognition for the achievements of Mompreneurs across Canada! We are honoured and excited to announce the Grand Prize Winner of The 2015 Mompreneur® Award of Excellence, presented by TruShield Insurance:

Andrea Iervella of Calgary, AB – Founder of SchoolWorx

Andrea was one of 12 Finalists up for this year’s award – a collaboration between ParentsCanada and Mompreneurs®, and the only finalist based outside of Ontario. Her acceptance speech was moving, as she told of her struggles in running her business between naptimes and meeting the needs of her family. Andrea encouraged other attendees to ‘put themselves out there’, telling her story of attending the previous year’s Mompreneurs® Conference, getting outside of her comfort zone and aiming to make as many connections as possible, not knowing a single person in the room. She had set a goal for herself to be on-stage at the 2015 Mompreneurs® Conference & Awards, and told the audience that if she could do it they could too. Andrea was congratulated on stage by Tony O’Brien, Senior Vice President for Small Business & Personal Lines at TruShield Insurance, as well as given an emotional send-off from 2014 Grand Prize Winner Elaine Tan Comeau of Easy Daysies. We are thrilled at what this next year will hold in store for Andrea, and we can’t wait to share her story with other moms and entrepreneurs around the country! Find out more information on SchoolWorx >>

“It was my sincere pleasure to announce Andrea as our winner for the 2015 Mompreneur Awrd of Excellence; she absolutely epitomizes who a mompreneur is: smart, capable, innovative, and resourceful with a passion to make sure her family life doesn’t suffer for her work life. What Andrea has developed with SchoolWorx is unique and also intrinsically helpful to the broader community on so many levels; I’m excited at the many opportunities this year will hold for her, and look forward to helping Andrea push her business forward as Canada’s Official Mompreneur of the Year!” – Maria Locker, Founder & CEO of Mompreneurs®

Continue reading 2015 Mompreneur® of the Year

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#MOMPconf Twitter Party #2: March 5, 2015

Twitter Party for Mompreneurs Conference

 

 

We’re SO close to kicking off The 2015 National Mompreneurs® Conference, presented by TruShield Insurance! What better way to celebrate than to host a Twitter Party so we can connect with you and our incredible roster of sponsors, speakers, partners, and attendees!

With $1,500+ in prizes to give away, we know this is the party you WON’T want to miss!

Be sure to follow our sponsors and partners PLUS RSVP below for your chance to win!

@TruShieldIns  @TheMompreneurTM  @ParentsCanada  @UPS_smallbizCA  @TELUSbusiness  @Manulife  @SAGENAmerica @GoToMeetingCA  @RexallDrugstore  @SparqStreet  @OURSbyCH  @CampTechCo  @MSFT4work  @YouInc  @Bing  @Office365 

 

PRIZES INCLUDE

1 of 3 All Access Passes to The 2015 National Mompreneurs® Conference (valued at $175 each)

Tickets to see the Toronto Maple Leafs – game details TBA c/o presenting sponsors TruShield Insurance (valued at $350)

1 0f 2 $500 Business Service packs towards new Business Services with TELUS 

A Queen-sized down-filled Pillow, c/o Mompreneur® Award Finalist Old Europe Duvet Co. (valued at $135)

A Gift Basket featuring the full line of OURS by Cheryl Hickey products (valued at $105)

An iPod Nano, c/o UPS Canada (valued at $150)

A full year of Office 365 services, c/o Microsoft Canada (valued at $99)

A beautiful “BE Better” Argan Oil Haircare Gift Basket, c/o Rexall Drugstore (valued at $106)

A  21-Day Digital Meal Planning session, c/o Mompreneur® Award Finalist Love What You Eat

The Red Card Blue Card Game pack, c/o Mompreneur® Award Finalist The Red Card Blue Card Game

A Soap & Bath Accessories Gift Box, c/o Mompreneur® Award Finalist The Rad Kat Organic & Natural Soaps (valued at $30)

A Shaidee Sun Cover & A Shaidee Bug, c/o Mompreneur® Award Finalist Shaidee Sun Gear  (valued at $60)

A FEBY Empowerment Party Pack, design kit with 12 bracelets, c/o Mompreneur Award Finalist FEBY (valued at $50)

A Profit Domination Training Kit (6-CD Box Set + Book) c/o Odette Laurie – Business Women on Top (valued at $80)

A $50 Gift Box  from Love Child Organics, c/o The BabyTime Show (valued at $50)

A set of 3 books from Inspirational Comedienne Susan Stewart (valued at $60)

1 of 2 “Baby Combo” Label Packs c/o Mabels Labels (valued at $26.95 each)

1 of 3 sets of 2 passes to The Spring BabyTime Show (valued at $32 each set of 2 tickets)

1 0f 5 signed copies of “Darling You Can’t Do Both” by Nancy Vonk & Janet Kestin  (valued at $30 each)

… with more prizes to be announced!

 

Please RSVP Below…



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Announcing Elaine Tan Comeau as Mompreneurs® Ambassador: Coquitlam, BC

Elaine Tan Comeau, Mompreneurs® Ambassador, Coquitlam BC

We are excited to announce our first official Mompreneurs® Brand Ambassador, and who better to welcome than our 2014 Mompreneur® Award of Excellence winner ELAINE TAN COMEAU of Coquitlam, BC!

Elaine will be helping us welcome members and supporters from British Columbia, and we hope to one day soon bring an event to the area to further help our network of women in business!

 

About Elaine

Elaine Tan Comeau is an enterprising mother of three young children, a wife, and a former elementary school teacher who is the founder and CEO of the multiple award-winning Easy Daysies, a visual magnetic scheduler to help children and families with their daily routines. Elaine was awarded the 2014 Canadian Mompreneur of the Year and has received the Chamber of Commerce Award for Excellence in Business, as well as an Award in Teaching Excellence.  Her products are recommended by child psychologists, occupational therapists and educators.  Easy Daysies was named one of Dragons’ Den favorite deals by Mr. Wonderful Kevin O’Leary and was chosen by Ford Company as one the 2014 Dragons’ Den Driven For Success Companies that exemplified Ford’s Four Pillars of Success.

Elaine has been featured in the Financial Post, Maclean’s Magazine, Canadian Business Magazine, Huffington Post, to name a few, all wanting to know her story about being a mom entrepreneur. Her products have been featured on CBC, CTV, ABC, Breakfast Television, FOX32 News, KCAL-TV , WPIX, WISH-TV, XETV.  Elaine has been published in Educational Psychology (Allyn & Bacon Canada, 2000, and Pearson, 2015 IV ed.) for her insight on teaching diversity. She has written and published several e-books (2013), and she continues to be sought after for her sell-out webinars and speaking engagements on educational strategies for both educators and parents.  Elaine is a frequent speaker on educational topics, entrepreneurship, and continues to be a guest blogger for Staples Canada, Scholars Choice, Mompreneurs® and Creative Teaching Press (USA). Elaine is also raved about in both Kevin O’Leary’s and Jim Treliving’s latest books.

 

Get in touch with Elaine

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Karyn Climans — Tail Wags

Some entrepreneurs will try out any old idea that comes into their head…

tail-wags_logo_150While others have a eureka moment thrust upon them. For Mompreneur® Member Karyn Climans, a close call with serious injury sparked a desire to help others avoid a similar fate. Thankful for the protection afforded her by the helmet she was wearing, Karyn decided to work towards promoting their use. To make the prospect more attractive to both kids and adults, she founded Tail Wags Helmet CoversWe interviewed Karyn and spoke about the impetus behind starting her business, the struggles of maintaining her focus in the face of life’s tribulations, and what the future might hold for her, her family and the company she’s building.

Continue reading Karyn Climans — Tail Wags

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Think BIG – Tips to Help Your Business Grow

By Paul Gaspar, Small Business Director, UPS Canada
It’s no surprise, small businesses power Canada’s economy and supporting them is an integral part of sustaining a bountiful economy.

Here are a few tips for those businesses who want to grow. Let’s break this down; there are three areas that all small businesses should focus on. These three things can assist in creating better customer experiences and of course boost revenue. Who wouldn’t want to strive for that?

1. Invest in tomorrow!

Constantly reviewing all aspects of your business to stay on top of the market is essential. Why? Because things change quickly – the processes and tools you started with may need to be upgraded to fit where you, your competitors and the market are now.

Tip: Use free online tools like surveys and social media polls to take the pulse of your customer base. It’s that feedback which will help you understand the impact of possible changes to your bottom line. These results are extremely valuable for you and your business goals. Continue reading Think BIG – Tips to Help Your Business Grow

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How Effective is Your Social Media Presence?

effective social media tips for mompreneurs and entrepreneursBy now, most business owners understand that they need to have a presence on social media.  However, just setting up an account and updating it every once in a while isn’t enough.  To get any real benefit out of this tool, you need to be genuinely engaging with your audience; not just posting at them.  Here is an evaluation framework that will help you determine whether or not you are actually reaching your customers through social media.

Analytics.

Anyone who is active on social media needs to be paying attention to their analytics.  Your analytics are statistics on how many hits, views, friends, shares, replies, etc. that your posts receive.  Your analytics can give you a snapshot of your reach, engagement, and popularity.  It shows you what’s working and what isn’t and it lets you know whether or not your social media presence is improving.  While it doesn’t provide you with a complete picture, it is an excellent place to start.

Use of Images.

Pictures receive more interaction than any other type of content on social media.  Do a quick audit to determine how often you are posting pictures; the more, the better (of course within reason). If you’re using stock images or digital images from an online or free resource, be sure to give credit and follow user guidelines where images are concerned!

Personal Touch.

Are your posts clearly written by a real, live human?  Do you interact, mention people in your posts, listen to what people are saying, and actually respond?  Your audience will be a lot more invested in your social media presence if they see evidence of the person behind the computer.

Engagement.

Do you capture people’s attention with your posts or are you just part of the noise?  How many reposts and replies do you generate?  Do people contact you through your Facebook pages? If you’re not engaging your audience, it may be time to think about a new strategy.

When it comes right down to it, all that matters is whether or not your social media presence is contributing to your business goals.  Many companies use social media in a way that looks impressive, but doesn’t actually do anything for their business.  The key with social media is to engage with your customers.  If you are able to create a genuine connection, then you have struck social media gold.

 

(Written by: Karen Bivand, photo courtesy of ‘Sira Anamwong’ via freedigitalphotos.net)

 

 

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#MOMPconf Twitter Party #1: Feb. 5, 2015

Twitter Party Mompreneurs

We’re getting closer to our big annual event: The National Mompreneurs® Conference presented by TruShield Insurance! What better way to celebrate than to host a Twitter Party so we can connect with you and our incredible roster of sponsors, speakers, partners, and attendees! With $1,500+ in prizes to give away, we know this is the party you WON’T want to miss!

Be sure to follow our sponsors and partners PLUS RSVP below for your chance to win!

@TruShieldIns  @TheMompreneurTM  @ParentsCanada

@UPSsmallbizCA 

 

 

 

PRIZES INCLUDE

1 of 5 All Access Passes to The 2015 National Mompreneurs® Conference (valued at $250 each!)

1 of 2 $50 Gift Cards for Indigo/Chapters

The Red Card Blue Card Game pack, courtesy of Mompreneur® Award Finalist Cindy Williams

… with more prizes to be announced!

 

Please RSVP Below…


 

view official rules

 

 

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The Magic of ‘Mom and Pop’ Shops

Everyone loves the family business.  There’s something romantic about mom, dad and the kids working together to create a company that is as unique as they are.  Customers like family businesses because they tend to be friendlier and they treat you like a real person.  If you have a family business, are you making the most of your competitive advantage?

Loyalty.

There is competition and in-fighting amongst employees in all businesses, but in family businesses, everyone understands that the well-being of the family and the success of the business trump everything else.  This loyalty motivates everyone to put their self-interest aside and do what’s best for the company.

Commitment.

When you create a family business, you are building something that is greater than yourself.  Perhaps you inherited the company from your parents, or you might be working hard to leave a legacy for your children and grandchildren.  Your investment in your work goes far beyond a regular job.  This level of commitment causes owners of family businesses to put their heart and soul into their company, which contributes to its success.

Trust.

The level of trust that we have with the members of our family is completely different than it is with anyone else.  Our family are the only people lucky enough to see us without our make-up.  We tell them exactly how we feel and exactly what we think.   This openness ensures that problems are dealt with swiftly and that everyone’s point of view is heard.

Values.

Often family-owned companies reflect the values of their owners.  The line between the business and the family that owns it can be impossible to distinguish.  Business owners have a sense of pride when their company actually stands for something.  Many family businesses are strong supporters of their community and customers choose the business because its values resonate with them.

Relationships.

Working together as a family is a rewarding experience and the strength of these relationships benefit both the family and the business.  Family businesses have a long-term orientation that many companies lack.  The family is invested in the business for the long haul, during good times and bad.

Never underestimate these ‘mom and pop shops’; the family business is the oldest type of business and these companies make an important contribution to our economy.

 

 

(Written by: Karen Bivand, image courtesy of ‘artur84’ via freedigitalphotos.net)

 

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Effective Multi-Tasking for Mompreneurs

By: Barbara Viteri, CEO of “Viteri Style Management”

 

Many working mothers will admit that after having children they became better multi-taskers. I’m one of them. We all get the same 24 hours in a day and we all understand the word “balance” is as hard to achieve as our goal weight. But what is fascinating is how being a working mother trains you to be more efficient and effective with your time.

When I started my first company over two years ago, I was more sleep deprived than when I had my first child. My daughter was a wide awake baby ready to party all night and sleep soundly all day. She was close to being an only child as sleep was more important than sex at that time. Thankfully she did learn to sleep well as we did it all over again when our son arrived. No explanation needed on why we didn’t have a 3rd. This is when I had my other baby, my company.

There is much talk about how technology and increase life disruptions have us not functioning optimally when multi-tasking, but I don’t agree entirely. Yes driving a car and texting is multi-tasking, but is idiotic and extremely dangerous.

“I’ve learned to embrace effective multi-tasking

by defining what it means

and being proud with what gets accomplished.”

We are hard on ourselves when every item on that to-do list is not crossed off. We stress to manage both our personal and professional lives by trying to multi-task and not seeing great results. But if you can define effective multi-tasking that is achievable to you, you will learn to celebrate those accomplishments. Here are a few of mine:

Exercising with my children: I made a conscious effort to get healthier before my 40th birthday. Finding time to squeeze in a Zumba class is impossible, but exercising with my kids was not. I enjoy walking or bike riding with them. We even go to indoor parks with monkey bars and trampolines that adults can take advance of. This is effective multi-tasking for me.

I run my entire business from the palm of my hands: I’m a huge proponent of technology and innovation. I like that we have the capabilities of running our businesses remotely from any mobile device and location. Photo shoots and filming days are long. Having my company operate cloud base lets me run my entire business virtually from my cell phone. If you ever see photos of me with my tablet or phone, best believe I was conducting business at the same time.

Bringing back lunch meetings: I can’t believe the “Business Lunch” is not considered effective multi-tasking these days. I enjoy having meetings with clients and business partners over a great meal. It forces you to be present in that moment and builds stronger relationships. The rule is to leave your phones on the table for the duration of the lunch which seems to speed things up. Whoever picks up their phone first before the agreed upon lunch meeting time, will have to pay the bill. It works! Some of my best lunch meetings have yet to exceed an hour.

 
 
Barbara Viteri, blog for multi-tasking mompreneurs, 'designerlebrity'
Barbara Viteri is a 38 year old, wife and mother of two children, Anabella and Leonardo (ages 9 and 6). Barbara is the CEO of Viteri Style Management, a consulting firm that provides practical business management solutions to interior designers and Viteri Style Productions, a digital content producing company for the interior design industry. She is also an executive producer, creator and developer for the brand, Designerlebrity™ which consists of interior design shows and events featured through online media. Adding to her already full plate is the development of her own talk show which is currently airing season 1 on The Design Network and two new show concepts in the works for 2015. It is no surprise to witness her honesty on social media. From the highs and lows of building her businesses to her failed attempts to cook for her family, she shares it all with a great sense of humor. Barbara relies on “Effective Multi-Tasking” to keep her crazy world in order.  
Connect with Barbara on Facebook, Twitter, or visit her website:  www.viteristylemanagement.com(image courtesy of  ‘jesadaphorn’ via freedigitalphotos.net)

 

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3 Quick Tips To A Fresh Start

Better Family Communication, De-Cluttering, and Cleaning Up!

Written by:  Elaine Tan Comeau, Founder of Easy Daysies, 2014 Mompreneur® Award of Excellence Winner

tips for a fresh start for entrepreneurs in 2015A new year is here and let’s kick start it with quick tips to improve a busy family’s home with easy strategies you can use right away to get your family to communicate better, and have a cleaner, more organized home! Try these quick and easy strategies that will make your house a breath of fresh air within a week!

 

1.  “The Busy Board”

When a family is busy and sometimes feels like no one knows where anyone is going and coming from or what is even for dinner, have a family centre where everyone can see what everyone is up to! Make a quick and easy “Family Tweet Board” (DIY white board where mom or dad starts it with a 140 character or less statement about the day and everyone else can walk by and comment) or pick up an Easy Daysies® “Peek At Our Family’s Week” board so that everyone in the house can quickly communicate to each other in a fun and easy way!  It is so important to keep communication open in a family and why not start it in now to set the tone for the rest of the year!

 

2.  “The Ten Minute Tidy”

Who doesn’t love a clean house?  Here is a fun strategy to get everyone up and cleaning each week to make it a tidy home all year long!  This is a great ten minute block to make a part of the family routine every Saturday morning for the whole entire year!  The strategy here is to do a little each week so that it does not pile up to be a big unbearable job.  a) Create an awesome ten minute dance music CD for the whole family to shake their booty to while cleaning, b) Create a fun personalized clean up bin for each family member with everything they need for their ten minute tidy, c) Choose a consistent time and day each week for this ten minute tidy to occur, best is Saturday Morning.  When something becomes a regular consistent routine it is easier to get kids to cooperate and do it regularly because they know it is going to happen and is expected of them, and when the whole family is doing it all at the same time, it is easier to be motivated to do it as well!  This is a great strategy in the classroom as well that I used to do!  We all looked forward to it!

 

3.  “Everything Has A Place” with E.H.A.P. Bins

Everything Has A Place!  Now is the perfect time of year to get organized and start decluttering that home of yours!  It is also a great time to start new habits! First, “In” and “Out” Bins.  These bins are to help sort and organize all the paper work that comes into the house, weather it is bills to pay or field trip notices and permission slips.  Empty those school bags as soon as they come home and put it in the “In” Bin! Same with the mail!  When they are signed or ready to be mailed, it goes in the “Out” bin!

Second, I love this one too.  Each closet should have a “laundry bin” and a “give away bin”!  So this makes it easy to immediately sort out and declutter right away those clothes that automatically get shoved back into the closet or drawer that we just can’t wear or don’t like any more.  Toys and books can go here too!  You will love this quick strategy all year long too!  When bins are full, it is time to drop off or call for Big Brothers or Salvation Army pick up or drop off bins!

 

Follow these three steps and enjoy the happy and decluttered home you always wanted!

Warmly,

Elaine

 

 

Written by Elaine Tan Comeau, Winner: 2014 Mompreneur® Award of Excellence

Elaine Tan Comeau, Mompreneur of the Year 2014Elaine Tan Comeau is an enterprising mother of three young children, a wife, and a former elementary school teacher who has just been awarded the 2014 Canadian Mompreneur of the Year.  Recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Award for Excellence in Business, as well as an Award in Teaching Excellence.  She is the CEO and Founder of one of Dragons’ Den favorite pitches, Easy Daysies, which incited a bidding war among all five Dragons.  Her products are recommended by child psychologists, occupational therapists and physicians.  Easy  Daysies was also chosen by Ford Company as one the 2014 Dragons’ Den Driven For Success Companies that exemplified Ford’s Four Pillars of Success.   Elaine has been featured in the Financial Post, Maclean’s Magazine, Canadian Business Magazine, Huffington Post, to name a few, all wanting to know her story about being a mom entrepreneur. Her products have been featured on CBC, CTV, ABC, Breakfast Television, FOX32 News, KCAL-TV , WPIX, WISH-TV, XETV, and CBS.  Elaine has been published in Educational Psychology (Allyn & Bacon Canada, 2000, and Pearson 2015, VI ed.).  She has written and published several e-books (2013), and she continues to be a sought out speaker for webinars and speaking engagements on educational strategies for both educators and parents, as well as entrepreneurship. She is also a guest blogger for Staples Canada, Scholars Choice and Creative Teaching Press.  Elaine is also raved about in both Kevin O’Leary’s and Jim Treliving’s latest books.

(image courtesy of ‘Stuart Miles’ via freedigitalphotos.net)