Our friends at YMC have been long-time and loyal supporters of Mabel’s Labels and, as a YMC blogger, I am thrilled to share some exciting Mabel news.
As a company started by four moms working out of a basement, it is exciting for us to announce that we now have a product going to retail in Walmart—the largest retailer in Canada. Since we started Mabel’s Labels over nine years ago, we have done all of our business online so this is new territory for us and with it came a lot of learning!
What’s the Product?
“Write Away!” Labels™ can be personalized at home with any permanent marker and placed on lunch containers, baby bottles, toys, school/camp supplies and much more. These colourful waterproof labels identify look-alike items and help keep them out of the lost and found.
So often people call Mabel Headquarters in a panic about needing labels quickly. We all know that feeling—you’ve procrastinated ordering and your child leaves for camp TOMORROW. We wanted to respond to the needs of the market. Now when you’re having that last-minute panic, you’ll have the convenience of being able to pick something up in a nearby retail location. We also wanted a retail product for people who still don’t feel comfortable ordering online. This allows Mabel’s Labels to get into the hands of those people.
Quite simply, Walmart is the largest retailer in Canada and all of our market research pointed us in that direction. We were intimidated at the thought of approaching such a big retailer, but we had an incredible experience. From the outset, Walmart Canada was extremely open to learning about an offering from a small Canadian manufacturer. We discovered that it is important to Walmart buyers that they stay in touch with what Canadian moms are buying online and what brands they care about. Mabel’s Labels is one of those brands that has a strong online presence, but had no retail presence.
How Did We Do It?
We created a prototype to bring to market. Retail was a whole new territory for us and it was hard to even know where to start. We connected with an old friend from university who knew someone with retail experience. We contracted this person as a Retail Consultant—then the games began! To name just a few things we had to wrap our heads around—costing, distribution, negotiating, packaging, warehousing, marketing/PR, pitching. Let’s just say the “to-do” and “to-learn” lists were miles long.
We look forward to continuing to offer our amazing personalized products on our website and are delighted to offer a retail product as well. We are proud Mom Entrepreneurs and are so thankful for the support you’ve shown us over the years! And to thank you for all of that support, we'd love to be able to give something back to YOU! Yes! We are giving away five packs of Write-Away! Labels, $12 value per pack.
Yummy Rules and Regs: You must be a YummyMummyClub.ca member to win. Click to sign up! It's free and filled with perks. One comment per member. Entries accepted until June 29th, 2012. Contest open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec). Winners will be picked using www.random.org.
My long-time friend Joanne has a TV show on our local cable station titled “In Your Corner.” She meets with local youth, giving them a voice on various topics.
When she approached me about doing a segment on sibling dynamics, I jumped at it, thinking it would be fun for my kids to share their experiences being part of a big family. Joanne sent along a form for each to fill out so she could prep for the show.
I distributed the forms to my darlings and was horrified by what they returned to me. All they wrote were complaints about siblings—“They’re annoying,” “They get into my stuff,” “I have to share,” etc. I don’t want to sugar coat their relationships or portray them in a certain way, but couldn’t they mention ONE nice thing? I racked my brain trying to think why they would have answered like this and my only theory is that perhaps siblings think it is their job to publicly declare one another pests. God forbid they gush about how awesome it is to have each other.
What didn’t they mention? No one noted the time I tried to organize “parent/kid date night” so kids could have one-on-one time, and it was a bust because nobody wanted to do an activity without a sibling. Then there is that one kid who won’t go to a friend’s birthday party without a sister there because it feels too “weird” to be somewhere without a sibling. Or that daughter who feels “lonesome” when not in the same skating group or dance class as her brother. Then there are the several kids who won’t go to bed until all the siblings they share a room with are home because, again, it feels too “weird.” Oh yeah, and how about the one who is sad because “only” three of her siblings are at her school and not all five of them. There’s fun stuff too—the secrets they share, the pranks they pull, the made-up games and traditions, the laughs in the pool, the fun they have skiing together, playing baseball and hockey, rollerblading to the park—the list goes on and on.
But did any of this get written down on their forms for the show? Nope.
I warned my friend Joanne about her biased interviewees, but she’s not one bit phased by it all. To be safe, I don’t think I’ll stick around to see the sibling bash take place on taping day. My absence will lower the chances of me standing up and yelling “CUT! It’s all lies I tell you, LIES,” which would kind of defeat the purpose of giving youth a voice.
If we can get through taping “In Your Corner” without me putting someone in the corner, I think we’ll consider it a success.