Julie Cole: The Baby Machine


Big News for Mabel's Labels and Other Local Mompreneurs

Cracking into Retail—Exciting Times!

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.

Why Retail?

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.

Why Walmart?

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.