A friend of mine brought up the idea of organizing a "Parent Camp," and it was such a great idea that I just had to share. Summer camps seem to cost a fortune, and personally, I've had to piece together several different camps so that I can be at work. Even if you're a stay-at-home parent, this could be a welcome a break/change-of-pace for your kids. Here's a great, low-cost option - Parent Camp.
This will take a bit of planning, but one parent would watch ALL the children for a day. It sounds daunting, but I find that kids sometimes do better in groups. Hours can be negotiated but our group was planning on doing 9-3. The parent in charge is in charge of keeping the kids "entertained" and safe, feeding them snacks, providing a lunch which can be pizza delivery, sandwiches, pasta (whatever the parent in charge can manage).
(it's likely that the kids will want to just play with one another, but if you want to plan some things, here are some ideas)
Growth Hacking? Adwords? Responsive? WHAT? I taught high school chemistry, became a mom, had an idea for a straw sippy cup and started a company. Creating effective websites is not my forte. When we had our first website built in 2010, we focused a lot on branding, but times have changed and in a matter of 5 years, our website became totally obsolete. We knew we had to make changes.
Long story short, we got the new site up and running in record time. Luckily, we had just completed an amazing photo shoot the month before, and we put together an aggressive, hard-working team to execute everything.
Last night, we did something as a company, that we don't do enough anymore. When Mark and I first started Lollacup, every account we opened, every milestone we accomplished we "celebrated." Never in a big way, but it could be as little as a high five and as extravagant as a Baskin Robbins ice cream cone. Well, as our business grew and we had more and more struggles, celebrating went by the wayside.
Last night, to celebrate the launch of our new website (among other major accomplishments), we went out to dinner as a team. We had Korean BBQ, and it was so great to have non-work conversations with the people we work with everyday.
Thank you to the following people who helped make lollaland.com happen:
Caroline Tran - Photography
Avalon, Decker, Marra, Shia - Models
Chad Riddersen - Digital Marketing Consultant / Growth Hacker
Vince Roco - Project Manager
We hope you'll take a look at the new website, and while you’re perusing it, please consider that April is Autism awareness month, so Lollaland will be donating 25% of all sales from today through the end of April, 2015 to Team Zoe. My first job out of college was at the New England Center for Children, a school for autism, located in the Boston area. Although I did not ultimately pursue a career in the field of autism, my year teaching at the NECC made a huge impression on me, and I'd love to do my part in increasing autism awareness.
First, congratulations. You’ve taken an idea to market, built distribution, and I’m excited to see how you and NeatCheeks fare in the infamous Shark Tank tonight!
I know it’s been a while since we last talked in October, but it’s been exciting to watch your company grow, and now - Shark Tank! I was so humbled when you, fellow mompreneurs, reached out to me for advice, and there was so much to talk about. We have so much in common: we all have three children, we’re working moms, and all small businesses inherently share similar struggles.
Thank you for sending me a few samples of NeatCheeks. I tried them for the first time on my feisty two-year-old this week. She’s two so she eats independently, but it’s never neat. She is the third of three girls, so admittedly, she is a spoiled brat. I simply have not had the energy to set boundaries like I did with my older two. Anyway, she always throws a fit as I wipe her filthy face after meals, and I just power through the process because I know she’ll get over it one day. Before I cleaned her face with NeatCheeks, I showed her the little package (which is the perfect size, by the way), and told her it was a yummy wipe. She was instantly intrigued, and it worked like a charm! I even caught my six-year-old licking a NeatCheek wipe!
I’m really excited to see what the future has in store for NeatCheeks. Whatever the outcome of your negotiations in the Shark Tank may be, I know this will mean big things for you. Cheers to years and years of success.
Hanna Lim (Lollaland)
AND, for all you parents or Shark Tank fans out there, Lollaland and NeatCheeks are hosting a GIVEAWAY. We are giving away a Lollacup + a Lollaland Mealtime Set + NeatCheeks wipes to try in honor of NeatCheeks' appearance on Shark Tank tonight. To enter the GIVEAWAY, please leave a comment (any comment) on this blog post, and we will randomly select 1 winner on Friday, April 24, 2015.
AND, for all you fellow entrepreneurs out there, we always love to network and learn from others, so please feel free to comment here or reach out to us in Lollaland!
Many companies who have been on Shark Tank are in contact with one another. We are all entrepreneurs who often share the same struggles, and it's always nice to connect with other "mompreneurs" and network. Susan, from Freshly Picked, and I did a product trade. I sent her Lollacups and Mealtime Sets for her children, and she sent me a pair of her darling moccasins for my youngest daughter, who is now 21-months-old.
I am a sucker for packaging, and these little moccasins arrived in a simple white pouch with a cute little button (both emblazoned with the FP logo). Inside were the moccasins and a sheet of emoji stickers that my older girls had a field day with.
What I absolutely love about these shoes for infants/toddlers is that they're so lightweight, soft, and flexible. I absolutely abhor stiff shoes that give my baby blisters; There's simply no need for that. Freshly Picked moccasins have become our everyday + dress-up shoe.
There aren't many shoes that can look great with both leggings and a onesie AND a velvet holiday dress, but Susan has nailed it with Freshly Picked! We are kicking off the holiday season with a "Made in USA" giveaway that is valued at $120. One winner will win a pair of Freshly Picked Moccasins (any color/any size) and a Lollaland Gift Set (1 Lollacup, 1 Straw Replacement Pack, 1 Mealtime Set, and 1 Canvas Tote - any color). This exciting giveaway begins Monday, November 24th, and one winner will be randomly selected on Monday, December 1st. To enter, comment below with your favorite thing about the holidays. For example: "Spending quality time with the kids."
NEW POLICY, PLEASE READ! The winner cannot have won any other giveaway including a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins and/or Lollaland products within the last 60 days.
Before having children and launching Lollaland, I used to be a high school chemistry teacher. My students would often ask, “Why do I need to learn this? I will never use stoichiometry in real life.” My response was, “Learning to problem solve will be invaluable in all your future endeavors.” It’s true that most people will never use stoichiometry outside of their high school chemistry classrooms, but life is full of “reactions” that could use some careful study and analysis.
Launching a business and running a company requires the most critical thinking and problem solving I’ve ever done. Thanks to Shark Tank and our amazing partners, Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec, we have had many unique and rare opportunities (one of which will be featured on tonight’s season premiere of Shark Tank, Season 6)! Partnering with Mark and Robert has been a great experience for us, and Lollaland has experienced steady growth since Lollacup's launch in 2011. This year, we were presented with one of our most exciting, but challenging opportunities – mass retail!
When our episode of Shark Tank aired in April, 2012, the most common request/comment we received was, “ I LOVE that Lollacup is 100% made in the USA, BUT I wish it were more affordable.” To answer this call, we developed a more affordable cup for this new Shark Tank/Target program. This new cup is called the Lollaland Straw Sippy Cup, and details and differences between the two cups are outlined below. Lollacup vs. Lollaland Straw Sippy Cup - Lollacup vs. Lollaland Straw Sippy Cup - Made in USA vs. Made in Taiwan - Iconic Lollacup Bird Design vs. Bear - Distinctive triangular packaging vs. more traditional box with a window The Lollacup will always be 100% Made in the USA, but we hope that the Lollaland Straw Sippy Cup will make our products more accessible for all. Thank you for your continued support.
Mark + Hanna Lim | Lollaland Here’s a little snippet about tonight's season premiere of Shark Tank, Season 6 (source: ABC.com): There will be an All Stars Update where Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran illustrate the power of Shark Tank.
They sealed a deal to sell six of their Shark Tank products in a special display at a major retail store.
The entrepreneurs from Lollaland, Kisstixx, Monkey Mat, Kazam, U-lace, and Ry’s Ruffery are thrilled to see their products on Target’s shelves for the first time.
Before their deals on Shark Tank, the combined value of the entrepreneurs’ products equaled $1.3 million dollars in sales.
Today, that value has increased to $7.7 million dollars, a 500% increase.
My favorite gift to give and receive for children’s birthdays is a book. Books are practical, timeless, and “good-for-you.” What more could a parent want in a gift? I don’t know about your children, but when my daughters receive toys for their birthday, they are over-the-top excited upon unwrapping that gift, but the elation fizzles pretty quickly. On the flipside, when they receive books, they are not at all visibly excited, but when we snuggle up in bed and read that book, they LOVE the book itself and the mommy time. As an added bonus, I often see them going back to peruse those books over and over again. A book is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Here is a list of books that I, personally, like to gift:
Speaking of gifts that keep on giving, here is project idea a friend shared via Facebook. Her son’s preschool asks parents to volunteer to read books to the class. My friend read, Hooray for Hat by Brian Won, which is an adorable lesson on friendship and sharing, and had them make and decorate their own paper hats. So fun, isn’t it?
One of the authors mentioned above has generously donated a signed copy of his book, Hooray for Hat, and a signed archival print of "Hooray for Books" to giveaway to 1 lucky winner. Lollaland is adding 1 Lollacup and 1 Lollaland Mealtime Set to the giveaway. To enter to win, please leave a comment below. In the comment you must share the title of your family's favorite book. One winner will be chosen at random on Monday, July 21, 2014. Good luck!
1 lucky winner will receive a signed copy of Hooray for Books, a signed archival print of "Hooray for Books," 1 Lollacup, and 1Lollaland Mealtime Set.
My children absolutely adore their teachers. Second to parents and family, teachers impact our children in more ways than we can count.
Last week I was alerted that Teacher Appreciation Week was fast approaching, thanks to the room parents in my daughters' classes. Admittedly, I had a crazy week at work, so teacher appreciation gifts were the last thing on my mind. Especially because when it comes to something like appreciating my children's teachers, I seem to have these grandiose visions of piecing together some amazing Do-It-Yourself project I "pinned" years ago on Pinterest. Then I happened to be on Facebook, and my go-to florists, Fleuretica, fortuitously posted the most darling Teacher Appreciation arrangements! I called them right away, and placed my order. I picked them up this morning on the way to work, and I am so in love, I just had to share. This is perhaps one of the best teacher gift ideas I have ever seen. Please share some of your "go-to" teacher gift ideas.
My first full-time job after graduating from college, was at a school for children with autism. As a 22-year-old, I didn't know much about autism and actually thought it was a rare occurrence. I had a lot less perspective than I do now. Now that I’m a parent, I'm around more families, so not only do I encounter more children with autism, but a good friend of ours has a daughter who was recently diagnosed with autism.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.
There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. (http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html) As parents, we celebrate so many of our children’s milestones with Facebook posts, photos, detailed entries in baby books, and phone calls to loved ones. Imagine if your child were late in reaching these milestones. Life as a parent is so fast-paced, and we love our children so much, that I can see how signs of autism may go unnoticed. What strikes me most about autism is the fact that the characteristic behaviors of autism may or may not be apparent in infancy, but usually become obvious during early childhood. Although there are many “late bloomers” and children develop on extremely different timelines, it’s important to visit your doctor often and watch for signs/behaviors listed below.
As part of a well-baby/well-child visit, your child’s doctor should perform a “developmental screening,” asking specific questions about your baby’s progress.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) lists five behaviors that warrant further evaluation:
Any of these five “red flags” does not mean your child has autism.
But because the symptoms of the disorder vary so much, a child showing these behaviors should have further evaluations by a multidisciplinary team.
This team may include a neurologist, psychologist, developmental pediatrician, speech/language therapist, learning consultant or other professionals knowledgeable about autism. (http://www.autism-society.org/about-autism/symptoms/) This week we are doing our small part to spread the word about Autism by sharing this information and donating a portion of sales from lollaland.com to Team Zoe. We encourage you to support Team Zoe (directly or through lollaland.com) or any Autism-related organization/cause before the month ends.
Thanksgiving week is one of my favorite weeks of the year. What is better for your soul than thinking about all the things you are grateful for? Also, who doesn’t love that it is perfectly acceptable to spend 7 straight days obsessing about gorging yourself all night?
That being said, this year’s Thanksgiving is bittersweet for our family. Hanna has been suffering all year with a severe skin condition for the past 9 months (link to blog post). I can’t even begin to imagine how I would handle being in that much pain every morning, noon, and night for such an extended period of time. Luckily we have had amazing support. We moved into my parents’ house (thanks mom!) for 6 months because Hanna was unable to properly care for our newborn and our friends would send food and flowers on a weekly basis (best friends ever). Yet, even though we feel incredibly blessed, it has been difficult to deal with the countless nights of crying and feeling utterly helpless.
While I was exhibiting at a tradeshow in Las Vegas last month, I was beginning to feel sorry for myself. Even though I didn’t show it, having to deal with this major adjustment in our lives while struggling to grow this small business was starting to affect my mental state… Until I met Bill.
Bill is the owner of Baby Face Band, a very useful item that allows you to personalize your child’s cup or bottle by putting the picture of your child on a band that goes around bottle. It makes perfect sense because your kid could easily identify his/her cup without having to know how to read!
Bill approached me in Las Vegas to talk about my experience on Shark Tank. I was more than happy to talk about our journey and when I asked him about his story, I learned that we had a lot in common. Baby Face Band was created by his wife, Laura, they were in contact with Shark Tank, and they also have three young children. It’s almost like we were the same family except in different states!
But as the conversation went on I learned that Bill had lost his wife to cancer just about a year ago and that he was exhibiting at the show to keep her vision alive. As soon as he shared this with me it took every muscle in my body from dropping to my knees and crying for him. Immediately, I felt a rush of guilt for feeling so sorry for myself while Bill, who has the biggest smile in the US, is juggling his business and his kids without his wife. For the past month, I’ve been thinking and praying for Bill and his family. We’ve only been in touch a few times since I met him in Las Vegas but his story has given me a lot of perspective. I really admire his strength and I’m hoping to learn how to be as positive as he is. I will definitely spend this Thanksgiving thanking my lucky stars and hugging my family members as hard as I can.
Lollaland + Baby Face Band Giveaway!
To enter: Send good thoughts to Bill and his three young children during the holidays and enter either Red, Green, Blue, or Pink. We will choose 4 lucky winners (Ends Dec 1, 2013) to get a free lollacup and matching Baby Face Band. Happy Thanksgiving!
Here it is in action: (picture of adorable baby not included)
I have a friend who is a talented writer, and every time I talk to her, I learn something new. The other day, we were talking and she asked me if I'd ever heard the phrase, "kill your darlings." Apparently, it's a phrase used by journalists, who often have a great idea for a piece or a fabulous opening that may turn out to be tangential or simply not a good fit. Instead of being married to said idea or concept, journalists are taught to "kill their darlings" - don’t use it, and get over it.
I began to think that I, as a parent, sometimes need to "kill my darlings." Don't get me wrong, I know my children can drive me crazy at times, but that's not what I mean. I know I'm not alone when I say that I do my best to be the perfect mother and my husband, the ultimate father. To that end, we tend to hold onto these notions of what ideal parenting looks like. We get distraught over missed naps, feel guilty about unhealthy meals, struggle to maintain discipline, etc. We get so much advice, read so many parenting tips, and witness other seemingly perfect children and do everything in our power to parent that way. BUT sometimes what's right for one family or what we hope to do and achieve as parents is simply not a good fit. Moving forward, I have vowed to "kill my darlings" and get over it. I hope you will consider the same. I'm thinking [and hoping] that it is going to make parenting a LOT less stressful.