Archive for October, 2009

Oct 31 2009

One Entrepreneur’s Journey: Corey Colwell-Lipson of Celebrate Green by Amber Singleton Riviere from UpstartSmart.com

This part of a series called “One Entrepreneur’s Journey,” where I’m talking with solo entrepeneurs about their successes (and failures) along the path of entrepreneurship.

In this interview, I spoke with Corey Colwell-Lipson of Green Halloween and Celebrate Green, both part of a company (The Green Year, LLC) that she started with her mom and business partner, Lynn Colwell.  Last year, they wrote their first book, Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, and they’re on their way to becoming a nationally recognized success!

Tell me a little about your business and how you got your start.

We’ve got two main things going on.  The first one is Green Halloween.  It’s not actually a business, but it is what started everything, so it’s an important part of the story.  In 2006, I went trick-or-treating with my girls and another group of moms and kids.  We were amazed to see that the kids were interested and excited in the things that weren’t conventional candy that were being handed out.  I think that year they were bubbles and stickers.

After Halloween night, the moms were sitting around talking, “Why is it that the kids got so excited about these things?”  We realized that kids today are over-exposed to candy.  It’s not that they like it any less.  It’s just that it’s everywhere.  When we were kids, they wasn’t the case.  Now, teachers keep candy on their desks, doctors offices hand out lollipops, and it’s at birthday parties.  It suddenly struck me that we might have an opportunity to make the holiday a little bit healthier, and if we could do so, then perhaps we could make it a little more earth-friendly as well.

I didn’t know what people would make of this idea, but the next Halloween, I launched a community initiative called “Green Halloween,” and really sort of over night received the support of businesses all over the Seattle region.  Whole Foods Market, a hospital, a parenting magazine, people kind of came out of the woodwork, loved this idea, were excited by it, and said, “How can we help?”

Moms, through blogs, found out what we were doing here in Seattle and began spreading the word.  We had a lot of people contact us and say, “When is Green Halloween going to come to our cities?”  We weren’t sure how we would make that happen or what we would do, but the following year, in 2008, we officially took Green Halloween nationwide, again with the sponsorship of businesses and organizations and with the help of volunteers.

We’re heading into year three, and we’re continuing to expand and grow.  We’ve partnered with Dr. Oz and his organization in New York City and another organization called Action Arts League in California.  We’ve partnered with EcoMom Alliance.  We’ve got things happening all over the country.

Green Halloween itself remains a grassroots initiative, but it is tucked under the umbrella of a business that my mom and I started together, which is called The Green Year, LLC.  That business is basically expanding on the ideas of Green Halloween and taking it out to other holidays and special occasions year round.  We have a book that came out last October, and we speak and write and do all kinds of things.

What has been the biggest way that you’ve gotten the word out about your organization?

I believe it has been blogs, other people getting excited about what we’re doing who’ve helped to spread the word.  We’ve been featured in dozens of blogs, in newspapers, magazines, radio interviews, and we’ve done some television.  It’s really peoples’ enthusiasm that has helped carry our idea.

What have been some of the challenges and rewards of working with a family member?

My mom and I had never really worked together, and we weren’t sure that we were going to be the best fit, but because things happened so quickly, we didn’t really have time to stop and think and analyze, “Okay, what’s your role going to be?  What’s my role going to be?”  We both have very strong personalities, but at the same time, we bring different things to the table, so her talents and expertise and passions are a nice complimentary fit to mine.

When we wrote the book, we had a publisher who asked us to write the book in six weeks, and that’s a very short period of time.  We didn’t even have an official outline at that point.  It just sort of flowed out of us.  We had no plan, and we really didn’t discuss how we were going to do this.  We didn’t have time.  One of us would just start writing one chapter.  The other would write another.  We would send it over to the other person by email and look at some edits and sort of flip flop back and forth like that, and finally, we had a book.

We took that sort of method in working when we started expanding out to other things, where one of us just says, “I’ll take this project,” and the other one says, “Great, how can I support you?”

It’s been truly an amazing process.  I’ve had so much fun working with my mom, and believe it or not, we haven’t had all that many challenges.  For the most part, we work together seamlessly.

Do you each have clear roles now within the company?

Yes, we take on different parts of the business.  My mom pretty much oversees all the PR, communications, and marketing.  She reaches out to all of the media.  I oversee all of the partner relationships.  For whatever reason, I was born with no fear of cold calling some CEO and letting them know what we’re doing and asking if they want to partner, and that’s actually been a very successful way that we’ve found a lot of our corporate partners and sponsors.  For anyone seeking corporate sponsors, literally, just call them up and ask to speak to their top person instead of emailing or starting with an intern.  So, I have handled and overseen all of that, as well as all of our coordinators and directors in cities all over the country.  As far as our writing, articles and that sort of thing, we kind of just say, “Who wants to take this one?  Who wants to take that one?”

Your business kind of came to be without much planning, but do you have future plans and goals for the company?

We do have set goals.  We do have ideas about where we want to go, but you know how people talk about vision boards?  I’m actually slightly opposed to a vision board, only because I feel that if you’re so focused on what you think your plan or dream or goal is, you might miss out on other opportunities that could take you to fabulous places.  I think that often times in business, it’s the product, the goal, the outcome that is paid so much attention, but what about creating a process board that says, “I want to be surrounded by people that inspire me”?  Then who knows what the outcome will be, but it’s the process, the journey that’s going to be the biggest part of your story.  Time and time again, we see people who get whatever it is they thought they wanted, and they’re still itching for something else, because I think it’s about the process.  I’m not really sure it’s about what the eventual goal is in the end.

I do want to throw in there that my mom and I have a luxury that maybe other entrepreneurs don’t have, and that is that this is not a need, it’s a want.  That does allow us flexibility and to be open and take risks that maybe other people can’t.  We recognize that we do get to make some of the decisions the way that we do because we’re in a fortunate position.

What would be your best advice to new solo entrepreneurs?

I think the most important thing is to do what you are passionate about.  Make sure that at the root of your business is something that excites you and that you are jumping out of bed in the morning to do it.  The hard times, the challenging times are going to be there, but because you really are excited about whatever this is, you’re able to quickly skip through those moments.

There is one other thing I would like to add.  There is no way that we would be where we are were it not for the generosity and enthusiasm of other entrepreneurs and people in our support network.  Stacey Kannenberg alone is the perfect example.  She is there at every turn to support her fellow entrepreneurs.  I think that both being open to the support and help of others and being open to helping others, even when your own plate is very full, is key.

Visit www.UpstartSmart.com today!

12 responses so far

Oct 30 2009

Let’s Get Ready to Give Our Kids BrainFuel!

When I find a great site, I love to share!!! This one is near and dear to my heart – BrainFuel4Kids.com!

BrainFuel4Kids.com aims to help take your child’s learning to the next level. Research suggests key changes in diet, exercise, and sleep can enhance cognitive abilities, and BrainFuel thus offers sections like ‘Brain Food,’ ‘Healthy Brain,’ and ‘Brain Games,’ aimed at engaging kids and Moms alike. The site provides us Moms as much benefit as our kids, featuring a forum to give parents a chance to discuss what works and what doesn’t with our kids this school year. Some of my favorite features include:

  • Explanations for our kids in answer to their complaints, “Why vitamins?!”: “The brain is the greediest organ in your body – greedier than the spleen or stomach, even greedier than the heart” and other “why!?” questions.
  • Challenging games for kids from Lumosity.com, designed to promote quicker thinking, better concentration, and improved memory.
  • Recipes that give your kids the right balance of carbs and protein, and help understanding those complicated nutritional labels.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of BrainFuel and received a lunch bag from California Innovations as a thank-you for taking the time to participate.

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Oct 29 2009

Cedar Valley Publishing Congratulates Lorie Marrero!

We had Lorie on our radio show and congratulate her on FOUR magazine spreads (!!!) – on sale now at your favorite supermarket and win her contest from Good Housekeeping Magazine!  Below is a note from Lorie:

loriemarreno

I had to mention to my beloved blog readers to check us out in FOUR magazines this month! They are November issues but they come out in October, so they are all on the newsstands right now. When you’re checking out at the supermarket, you can thumb through and find me!

  • Nov. Better Homes & Gardens, page 78 (cover headline “12 Smart Ways to Organize Your Closet”- also features our product, the Simple Division® Garment Organizers)
  • Nov. 1, Family Circle, page 147 (cover headline: “Declutter Your Life”)
  • Nov 3, Woman’s Day, page 100 (cover headline “5 Clutter Busters- They’ll Surprise You”)
  • Nov. Good Housekeeping, page 180, “21 Ways to Make an Entrance” (about entryways)

Also note– I am doing a contest with Good Housekeeping right now where the big winner gets me in his/her house for two days with $1000 of products from the Container Store. Enter the contest here at http://budurl.com/ghclutter. Other prizes include memberships to our program, phone consultations with me, and autographed copies of my book The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life. The contest entries close on November 30, 2009.

I hope you like the articles! Thanks for sharing my joy!

theclutterdiet

118 responses so far

Oct 28 2009

Mommy Cocktail Hour

Is Combining Play Dates and Alcohol a Good Idea?  I say NO to cocktails and juice box playdates!  If you want cocktail time, definitely have a Mom’s Night Out, without the kids!

The invitation reads “Mommy Cocktail and Baby Play Date: Bring your little ones over for a play date while the mommies have a well-deserved ‘refreshing’ drink.” You might also hear these gatherings described as “Juice Boxes and Wine Glasses,” “Wine and Whine,” “Tots and Tonic” or even “Booze and Babies.”

Combining play dates and adult drinks is a hot-button issue that often elicits strong emotional reactions and opinions on both sides of the spectrum.

 Click Here to read more…from BabiesToday.com

108 responses so far

Oct 27 2009

10 Qs from Justin Sachs

I’d like to introduce you to Justin Sachs who is the author of a new book, Your Mailbox Is Full and is the founder of the Creating Possibilities Coaching Program in which Justin helps teenagers to increase their grades, eliminate procrastination, and create balance in all the areas of their life.

justinsachs

  1. What do you do?  I work with teenagers to increase their grades, eliminate procrastination, create balance in their lives, and overcome any obstacles standing in their way of success.
  2. Tell us about your new book.  Your Mailbox Is Full is a book for teenagers, that teaches them the tools they need to become successful in school and throughout their lives. They learn things like goal setting, time management, living a healthy lifestyle, and modeling and attracting success.
  3. yourmailboxisfull

  4. Why did you write it?  When I was 14 years old I went to my first Tony Robbins Seminar and I was in a room full of thousands of adults thinking, “Where’s all the teenagers?” “Why aren’t other youth here getting these powerful tools and strategies?” It was with that realization that I found my passion: Empowering teenagers with life-skills and leadership development tools for success. That’s what my book is all about: Teaching youth the most powerful skills they need to know to create enormous success and fulfillment in life! Now, teenagers don’t have to wait until they are 30 or 40 to get these tools and strategies, they are available to them within Your Mailbox Is Full
  5. What makes you an expert in your field?  After going to Anthony Robbins seminars for 3 years, I began working for his product sales team and non-profit organization at all his events worldwide.  I then began working for Mark Victor Hansen, the co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, and learned even more about life-skills, writing a book, and supporting people in bringing possibility into their lives. I then read everything I could get my hands on from The Secret, to Jack Canfield, to Stephen Covey, to Eckart Tolle, among many others. I learned everything I possibly could about personal development and transformation such that I can now create transformation in others!
  6. What type of people should read your book?  The book is designed for teenagers and young adults, but parents throughout the country are reading the book and loving every page! The contents of the book are limitless, this is the perfect book for anyone looking to take their lives to the next level, especially youth!
  7. Are you on any social networks? Eg. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.  Yes, on www.Twitter.com/JustinSachs or http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511068642
  8. Advice for Teens or Parents of Teens.  Follow your passions and never give up on your dreams! If you have a goal, a vision, or a hope for the future, hold on to it, focus on it, and take action to make it happen! You’ll be amazed at how quickly your dreams will manifest themselves when energy is focused on them.
  9. Favorite Quote.  Every day, every week and every month, you must challenge yourself to continue to grow to new heights and to take your standards to higher and higher levels. ~ Justin Sachs
  10. Favorite Theme Park.  Walt Disney World of course!!!
  11. How can we purchase your book? Learn more about you? Do you have a blog?  My book is available on my website: http://www.yourmailboxisfullbook.com/ To learn more about my coaching services visit http://www.motivateyourteen.com/ be sure to check out my new radio show at http://www.motivationalmindsradio.com/

109 responses so far

Oct 26 2009

Help Celebrate Green’s Corey, a top ten finalist in the Project Green Search!

VOTE TODAY!

We are so excited that Corey, from www.CelebrateGreen.net, has entered the Project Green Search.

They are seeking a woman who embodies the spirit of green, not just in her every day life, but who is working to better the world through her commitment and actions.

If Corey is among the ten finalists, she will have the opportunity to share our message with leaders in the environmental movement and further our cause in an unprecedented way.

This is BIG so we’re asking for your vote.

Please go to the link below, scroll down and run your mouse over Corey’s picture. Then select FIVE STARS and click. (It’s important that you select no fewer than five stars.)

Votes are tracked by IP address, so if you have more than one computer, you can vote for her more than once. And every vote counts!

PLEASE vote for Corey today

and if you could please pass the word on via Twitter, Facebook, other networking groups and e-mail whomever you think would be willing to vote, we’d truly appreciate it!

We’ll let you know what happens.

THANK YOU!

12 responses so far

Oct 23 2009

Fast, Simple and Nutritious – New Cookbook by Janis Bowers

Janis Bowers has parlayed her talents as editor and publisher of the web-based menu planner, “The Dinner Spin,” into a new cookbook.  A rich assortment of straight-forward recipes and cooking tips are the soul of this new collection of recipes.

Suitably named, Simple Everyday Favorites, the new book is designed for cooks of all levels and offers delicious meal inspiration on every page.

simpleeverydayfavorites

Homespun fare is making a strong comeback, says Bowers. The economy continues to dip and obesity rates continue to rise leaving many families getting back to the basics of home cooking to resolve both issues.  These hurried home cooks are looking for easy-to-prepare recipes and cooking tips to pack a healthful punch that balances budgets and diets simultaneously.

Bowers believes that cooking and eating should be fun as well as provide an emotional and nutritional boost.  The uncomplicated recipes in Simple, Everyday Favorites reflect a no-fuss attitude that helps families find time to fit in a home-cooked meal which experts say is critical in building a relationship between family members.

For more information, visit http://www.thedinnerspin.com/.

One response so far

Oct 22 2009

Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten!

Nothing makes me happier that seeing kids reading my books!!! Check out this review!! It makes my heart sing!

Check out 4 Fabulous Familes and the book review they did for Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten.  Here’s a little snippet of it – please visit their website HERE to read the rest of this wonderful review:

I recently won some books from the Let’s Get Ready series by Cedar Valley Publishing. As an aspiring teacher myself, I have been working with my girls for some time on their kindergarten readiness skills: letter recognition, shapes, colours and memorizing our phone number in particular. I am absolutely delighted with these books.  http://4fabulousfamilies.blogspot.com/2009/10/cedar-valley-publishing-review.html

8 responses so far

Oct 21 2009

Let’s Get Ready To Help the Today Show Holiday Gift Drive!

I have been donating books for the past three years now to the Today Show Holiday Gift Drive!   See the following letter for more information:

todayshowtoydrive

Thank you so much for your past participation in the TODAY Holiday Gift Drive. This year, in these uncertain economic times, your partnership is greatly needed. We hope you can help us make our 16th Annual Holiday Toy Drive a great success.

Last Holiday season, we spread Holiday cheer to more than 3 million children in more than 200 domestic, non-profit family charities.  For many, the Today show is the sole source of gifts. We hope to have your generous support again this year. 

As in the past, there is no minimum or maximum donation.  Contributions range from $100 to more than $3 million retail value.  We are also able to accept cash contributions to the non-profit Today Show Charitable Foundation to help offset the administrative costs of our effort. The Today Show Charitable Foundation is a 501-c3 organization.  All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

We need non-violent toys, books, and electronic games, as well as board games, school supplies, sports equipment, music CD’s, CD players, videos, computers, computer software and other items suitable for children from infants up to age 18. Gifts for boys of all ages, and teens of both genders are most needed.

Participants should prepare a list of items to be donated, quantity, and for what age and gender. Your donation will be matched to the “wish lists” from our non-profits.  In most cases, you ship directly to the recipients.  We can honor requests for a specific preference for a region, type of organization, or limited shipments.

As in the past, there is no on-air promotion in exchange for gifts. Depending on show needs, on-air appearances may be very limited.  However, we hope to thank as many of our friends in the corporate world as possible in short appearances with Today’s cast members.  All our donors will be listed on http://www.todayshow.com/.

We have built some wonderful friendships through the years and hope you extend an invitation to clients who have contributed in the past, and invite new partners as well. 

Your contribution is important to us.  We hope to work with you again this year. 

Best wishes,

Sam Sagenkahn and Kate Cook
TODAY Holiday Gift Drive
212-664-7508
sam.sagenkahn@nbcuni.com
katherine.cook@nbcuni.com

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Oct 19 2009

Watch the Online Debut Episode of The Write Stuff

The historic event is finally here! The show many are calling a complete marriage between Reading Rainbow, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and American Idol has made its online debut.

In the debut episode of The Write Stuff, host Cyrus Webb makes a trip to his literary partner Wal-Mart to talk about the importance of reading and introduce this week’s guests. Bestselling authors John Saul, Erica Spindler and Emanuel Rosen talk about their incredible journey to literary success. Webb also talks about how watching Oprah inspired author Stacey Kannenberg to begin her publishing career. Author Jeff Rivera talks about the importance of an Author Platform, and finally Webb tells authors why they want to get to know author/book reviewer Joey Pinkney.  (Note: Due to the high traffic in the Wal-Mart store we were unable to use the boom mic so there is background noise.)

Click here to watch history unfold… http://thewritestufftv.webs.com/thewritestuffepisodes.htm

Music for this episode was provided by Dj Down South (The Write Stuff theme song, “I Will Still Shine” and “Get Your Read On”), Tray Chaney (“Watch, Learn and Listen), K. D. Brosia (“Love A Woman Right”) and Herschel Dixon (wrote “Get Your Read On”). 

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Look for the show to make its appearance on a tv channel near you in November 2009. Creator/Executive Producer/Host Cyrus Webb wishes to thank our literary sponsors and supporters for a successful launch. We also thank Asst. Producers Stanley Clark, Herschel Dixon, Mark Eller and Jeff Rivera. Find out more at http://www.thewritestufftv.com/.

12 responses so far

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