One thing I love about writing this column is that I get to learn about some innovative women as I research topics, ideas and products. So, several times a year, I make room for a segment that I call For Her, By Her so I can showcase some of these unique items. Read on to see some cool stuff that these gals have created. And be inspired by their motivation to make their ideas a reality. You go girls!
For Her Baby: MoBoleez by Diane Sam
A 2009 Outstanding Product award winner from IParenting Media, MoBoleez breastfeeding hats are unique and useful. Canadian mom Diane Sam nursed both of her children and wanted to invent a product that celebrated nursing and was also functional. Diane found traditional nursing covers were too bulky and cumbersome to use. So, she came up with the idea to create a comfortable and cute baby hat that would give just enough coverage.
MoBoleez hats are the modern alternative to a bulky nursing cover. All hats are reversible and come in sizes 0 – 6 months and 6 – 12 months. Each hat also comes adorned with a light-hearted message that celebrates breastfeeding, like the navy blue hat with stars that says, “The Milky Way”…fun! Hats also come in a Couture Collection with black and white floral prints, pink and brown tropical tiles and more. Or choose from the Classic Collection with colors that include baby blues and pretty pinks, among others. Each hat sells for $29.00 and can be ordered through www.moboleez.com.
For Her Toddler: Shoezooz by Ellen Lichtman
Here is a very helpful product for your toddler called Shoezooz Educational Shoe Stickers for Kids. Shoezooz are fun and educational stickers that help kids differentiate their left shoe from their right shoe. Children learn how to put their shoes on all by themselves, with no reading required. By simply matching up the cute animal halves illustrated on the stickers, shoes are put on the correct feet, which make kids feel very proud!
Baltimore mom Ellen Lichtman, a graphic designer, came up with the idea in 2006 to help her toddler daughter learn how to put her shoes on the right foot....and by herself to boot! After several years of research and development, Shoezooz were launched in 2010 and now help small children feel confident, independent and self-sufficient. As kids become more independent, Shoezooz saves time for parents, care-givers and preschool teachers. A real plus for everyone!
I like how Ellen created the stickers to look like puzzle pieces, so the animals become whole when the shoes are put on the correct feet. It’s instinctual, so kids learn to put their shoes on correctly through self-correction and reinforcement. A very clever invention, indeed!
Shoezooz stickers easily adhere to the inside heels of most any pair of shoes. Plus the price is right, too. Three pairs sell for $5.99 and are available online at www.shoezooz.com. I wish Shoezooz were around when my kids were little!
For Her Keepsake: T-shirt Quilts by Patty Dircks
I found a local arts and crafts professional who gives new meaning to recycling t-shirts. Phoenix mom Patty Dircks takes your kids old t-shirts and turns them into a beautiful keepsake quilt. She recently made two for a local hockey mom that turned out beautiful. Watch the segment to see her masterpiece quilts, that are now adored by the 9 and 14-year-old boys who received the blankets. She sells the beautiful quilts for $300 and it takes her 6 to 8 weeks to make each one. For more information or to order one from Patty call her at 602-541-4380.
For Her Body: Alyson Michaels Body Essentials
Alyson Michaels creates all-natural sugar scrubs that pamper skin from head to toe. Alyson believes that what you put on your body is as important as what you put in it. So her sugar scrub products are made with all natural ingredients like pure cane sugar, essential rosemary oil, peppermint essential oil and more.
After I tested her Rosemary Peppermint Sugar Scrub, my skin not only felt like I had just received an expensive spa treatment, but my bathroom smelled like a spa, too. Her line of lovely scrubs, that also include a Vanilla Orange Creme Brown Sugar Scrub and a Lemon Creme Sugar Scrub, made me feel good inside and out.
Alyson's 16 oz. jars of the good stuff sell for $22 each and can be ordered from her website at www.alysonmichaels.com or call 602-292-1964.
For Her Family: Sunsational Style by Gina Cannova Phalen
Arizona mom Gina Cannova Phalen knows first-hand how dangerous our desert sun can be. She was diagnosed with basal cell skin cancer at the early age of thirty. As a mom to three boys, she felt the need to create a one-stop shopping website that would offer stylish sun-safe stuff for everyone in the family.
From cute little UPF 50+ swim skirts for baby girls made by Banz ($19.95) to adorable Banz 50+ flap hats for both boys and girls ($16.50) to unique products like sun protection driving sleeves ($23.95) and sunscreen wipes (pack of 15 for $12), Gina has created a website that offers sun protection products from numerous companies all in one convenient place. For more information and to order products, visit www.sunsationalstyle.com.
For Her Hair: The Braid Lady's Instructional DVDs
Cosmetologist Celeste Aviva, also known as The Braid Lady, has been braiding hair since she was in pigtails. I first met her five years ago when my daughter tried figure skating. Celeste was all set up at a hair booth and would create just about any magical style that the skaters could dream up. Celeste had so many requests for personal lessons, that she came up with the idea to create a collection of instructional DVDs that show mothers and daughters how to make everything from a simple braid to zig zag pony tails to elaborate updos.
Watching her DVDs has also been a fun summer activity for me and my daughter, as we are both eager to learn how to braid and style our hair...and each others!
Celeste's DVD collection includes Beginning Braids; Buns and Pony Tails; Up Do Styles; and one called Advanced Braids. Each sells for $24.95 or purchase the complete set called The Complete Works for $89.95. To order, visit www.thebraidlady.com.
For Her Feet: Foot Petals by Tina Aldatz, C.PED.
Once a busy merchandising director for BCBG Max Azria in New York, Tina Aldatz grew tired of having sore feet from her stylish high heels. Not wanting to give up her beloved heels, she decided to do something about the discomfort that so many women put up with so they can wear pumps! So, she bought orthopedic insoles and cut and pasted them to fit all her different shoe styles.
Tina then decided to take her hand-cut insoles a step further, so she found the perfect material in a U.S. factory. After testing the material, she found its benefits to be many and better than anything else being offer in stores. So Foot Petals was born and the company offers just about every type of insole for every type of strappy sexy heel you can think of!
Items like Sole Stopperz that prevent slipping from wear and tear (yes, I've fallen down from wearing worn heels that slipped out from underneath me!); Haute Heels that are heel cushions that help absorb shock to heels, legs and lower back; Killer Kushionz that provide the ultimate support and can be worn with open-toe shoes and more.
And if that wasn't enough, Tina decided to get foot-educated too, so she trained and become a Certified Pedorthist, which is an individual trained in the modification of footwear and orthotics in accordance with medical prescriptions for the treatment of disease, injury or deformity. Her collection ranges in price from $6.95 for a double pack of Sole Stopperz to $44.95 for the 8-piece Stiletto Stylist Kit that contains the ultimate cushion kit for a variety of shoe styles. Foot Petals are sold at stores like Nordstrom and Dillard's and online at www.footpetals.com.
So if there was something listed that you can use, support those fabulous female entrepreneurs and check out their product. I love all of their unique ideas.