As owners of a personalized blanket company, we’ve seen just about everything where baby names are concerned, and there’s always a lot of talk about the latest and wildest celebrity baby names. Every prospective parent spends A LOT of time thinking about the perfect name for their impending bundle.
But how much time do we spend thinking about what to call our businesses? I recently came upon a list of company names that gave me pause. Granted, these were baby-centric businesses, but I was still surprised at many of the names. They were of the variety of ‘Bitsy Boopy Bops,’ or ‘Cutie Cuddly Patooties.’ Now, I get the appeal of giving your business a name that creates a certain feeling or emotion—that’s the whole idea—and I’m all for cute and cuddly, but you wouldn’t call your baby ‘Bunny Bug,’ because it’ll be awfully hard for ‘Bunny Bug’ to get through school, and getting a job would be extremely challenging. Maybe we all need to apply this same line of thinking to our businesses.
No matter what your line of work, ask yourself if you could walk into a room full of high level bankers one day and ask for money using that name. Ask yourself if you can imagine making the most important call of your business’ life and introducing yourself using the name in question. Even if you own a fabulous diaper business, calling up a key stakeholder and saying, "Hi! It’s Susie, from PoopyStinkyBaby.com," is going to be hard on everyone.
When we heard that Lori Joyce and Heather White were coming to town to promote the third season of their successful TV show, we jumped at the chance to meet them. You probably know Lori and Heather as The Cupcake Girls from their award-winning show, but to us they’re BFFs who started their biz in 2002, just like us at Admiral Road. We couldn’t wait to hear their take on mixing friendship, business and motherhood.
MI: How has it been running your Cupcakes business while filming a hit show?
CG: We just figure it out. It’s been really exciting to do the show, but it’s caused us to grow more slowly. When the show is taping we maintain the business, but when we’re not filming we can grow the business. It’s just the two of us running the business, which can slow us down. We are now focussing on getting a great development team.
MI: Since starting the show, you’ve both become moms. How has motherhood changed the way you work?
CG [Heather]: We have to be more efficient. There are only so many hours. In the morning and at bedtime I’m really present with my son. The phone is off and I’m with him. And then work is my escape.
[Lori] (laughs) Because that’s where I am!
[Heather] I’ve also learned that you have to take 20 minutes a day just for yourself—to go to Starbucks or whatever you need. It’s important to find that time.
[Lori] I feel like now I have everything—a great family, friends and business. And I survived the sleep deprivation! If I can do that, I can do anything!
MI: Do you believe in balance?
CG [Lori]: No, it’s not possible. You just have to be in the moment and do the best you can.
[Heather ] Yes. Balance is the structure that works for you.
MI: What piece of advice would you give aspiring mompreneurs?
CG [Lori]: It’s really important to have support. We’ve found that connecting with other female entrepreneurs has been really helpful. When you talk with other women running businesses you realize that you’re not alone and you’re not crazy!
[Heather] And, if you blur the fine line between work and play you have found your passion.
For a sweet treat, catch The Cupcake Girls at Wednesdays at 8pm on WNetwork.
(Interview has been condensed.)
Not too long ago, we took part in a YMC event at Toronto’s The Motion Room. While we love a good bar-room Tweet-Up, it was a great change of pace to get out for a night of fitness-focussed fun. What’s more, we had the chance to sample the goods of this unique gym.
The fitness professionals at The Motion Room put us through our paces with several boot-camp workouts. We also had the chance to have our percentage body fat measured by ultra sound, which was sobering, but interesting! Delicious, healthy smoothies were on offer, as was Trigger Point Therapy and Aromatherapy Massage. While all of this was terrific, what we liked best was the open and customer-focussed approach of owners James Cappellano and Joseph Martino.
The idea is that going-it alone at the gym is the reason most of us give up on our fitness regimes. When we don’t know what to do at the gym we are more likely to let our fitness programs fizzle. The Motion Room’s approach is summed up in four words: educate, motivate, guide, support. The gym requires that all clients are on a program and that programs and progress are closely monitored. For about $12 per session, you can take part in personal co-training, which means that you’re working out with a trainer every time you’re there. Every 90 days, clients are measured using a Body Composition Evaluation, and results are the focus. And there’s none of that "Maybe I’ll go to the gym today" business—appointments are usually scheduled in advance. It can be done online or by phone, and it’s easy, but we like that it ups the likelihood you’ll show up.
There are a lot of gyms out there and, in our experience, most of them hope you’ll join and never show up. At a gym we used to frequent, it wasn’t lost on us that there was a lot of newly renovated space dedicated to meeting and signing new members, and then on the inside, a lot of broken machinery and substandard workout space. The Motion Room is a gym that cares.
As an added bonus, The Motion Room offers great fitness-focussed programming for your kids, while you work out. Every mom needs to take care of herself, and this small business has made that a whole lot easier.