Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Birth of the CoverBoo !

A year ago today, I finally found the motivation and time and energy to whip out the old sewing machine.
It was a sunny afternoon, the wee boy was sleeping, and DH and his buddy were in the garage working on the bike. I finally had some peace and quiet

I took a few scrap pieces of fabric and started playing with different lengths. I thought about ways I would wear a scarf and thought about what parts of my body I always tried to cover while nursing. And when I thought about it, it really wasn't all about the chest and breasts.

My main goal was to figure out how to make a scarf, (something I'd wear anyway) into a nursing cover that would easily cover my back and muffin top while I was breastfeeding.

And later that afternoon I came up with THIS:

The fabric was a dark brown stretchy material. Its a little smaller than what the CoverBoos are now.
I had to play around with different sizes to figure out what worked best for most moms out there.

I actually still have it, and I wear it occasionally just as a scarf now, as Little N is slowly weening himself off of mom milk - he doesnt need to nurse in public so much- but he's a cranky wee boy if he doesnt get his morning milk ! ( sort of like me with coffee ! )

After I made it, I wore it everywhere ! It became a staple part of my everyday outfits. I showed it to a few moms in play groups, and then I found that random women were approaching me and asking where I got my nursing cover. I then decided to make more and sell them to a few moms, then on kijiji, then on etsy...

Forn the first couple weeks, I lived, ate and breathed all things "Nursing Cover " related. Research, Branding, logo design, websites, blogs, more sewing, social media set up....etc.etc. etc. It was like a surge of electricity that was running through me. I had something to do that didnt really have to do with : the house, or groceries, or diapers....It was like I had tunnel vision with this. Dont get me wrong, I still managed to take care of and entertain little N, and do the day to day household neccessities -But any spare time I had was soley getting this Idea of mine off the ground and out there into the world !

For the first few days I tried to come up with a Name to call the scarf. There were a few I liked:

HauteMilk Couture
Haute Au Lait

and then...my dear husband's suggestion : The Tittie Scarf.
Yeah.... NO.

I wanted to call it something...cute, but not too cute. But Definatley Something respectful. Something easy to remember, something that just rolls off the tongue. And "CoverBoo" was it.

Yes- Its a Cover. What are your covering? Well, your boob...among other jiggliy things.
But also...what do some people call thier babies ? I don't know about you..but sometimes we'd call him "Boo"

CoverBoo Couture

YES! I had a name....now for a logo.

Being in the Graphic Design industry for the better part of my adult life was a bonus. I used to design and build architectural signage, corporate identities, do logo design, and tradeshow signage and advertising.

So I drew a number of thumbnail sketches till I found a clean design I could work with and tweak.
here is a peek at a few layouts I played around with.

At first the tagline was " Nursing wear for the Modern Mom"
...then I changed it to " Modern Nursing wearwith a twist" 
Kind of a play on words there - seeing how you twist the scarf when you wear it !

Once I had a name and a logo everything else just sort of started to fall into place. I started going out and meeting people from various businesses and connecting with local mom groups . Special Shout out to
catherine finlayson  of  http://bibagogo.com/ who first met with me and introduced me to a handful of local peeps who would play a very integral part in the growth of the CoverBoo Couture Brand !
So much has happened in the past year -
The first 4 months were pretty much just doing some research & Development, Doing Auctions, tradeshows, farmers markets, promos and give aways and meeting with people to create the buzz about CoverBoo and get the brand "out there".
But Things really started to to happen in January - when I finally launched the online store, did a fashion show at WEM in support of PPD, and got my first retailer to carry CoverBoo ! Since then, the CoverBoo is being sold in 2 online stores, 2 spas, and 6 brick & morter retailers in Edmonton and surrounding areas. We Got some wonderful press with a couple of magazines - one local and one Canada wide. There has been many mentions on various blogs and webstites, and even a video review. http://babybellykelli.com/2012/08/13/coverboo-couture-a-more-fashionable-way-to-cover-up/
I also got to meet a Canadian TV host and a Dragon !
Here is a few pics of some of the highlights from this journey of mine !

The CoverBoo Belles from the Fashion show @ WEM

Meeting Ms. Nanny Robina from
 "The Mom Show" & "CityLine"

 I met one of Canada's Day Time TV Hosts:
The Ever Lovely Ms. Tracey Moore of CITYLINE
Meeting Arlene Dickinson of Dragon's Den fame,
But also a marketing professional and
CEO of Venture Communications

Actually Auditioning for a Spot on Dragons Den.
 I didnt make the cut this year.
But they asked me to come back next year with more stats !

CoverBoo Couture Nursing Scarf was among one of the
Top 40 "Hot Tot Products" this year 
By ModernMama

There's just too much AWESOME to rehash - so just look on the past blog posts !

Its just so cool to think that all this started off 
because I was playing with my sewing machine in my kitchen.
And now the CoverBoo has been shipped
across Canada, and the United States
From NewYork to California and Nevada to Phoenix and Ohio to Hawaii,
From Cuba to Austrailia
and the orders keep staggering in.
It Blows my mind EVERY time !

 Photo: Fat Stack of CoverBoos shipping to Vegas, Kansas, Phoenix, Vancouver , Toronto & Lethbridge... CoverBoos popping up in one city at a time !

* On another note *
I would like to take this opportunity to state something.
Although I am in the business of producing Nursing Covers for Breastfeeding Mothers,
I would like to say for the record:


I support BreastFeeding, Bottlefeeding, Formula Feeding, Milk Banks, Wet Nurses
basically, Everywhich way you can get nourishment to your child.

The CoverBoo Couture Nursing Scarf is
designed with the mother WOMAN in mind.
Not all women who choose to breastfeed may feel the need or
even want to use a cover, and that is fine.
But some women, like myself at one point in time, can feel very self concious about
nursing in public, especially when you're a new mom.
 The CoverBoo is just a convenient way to ease the anxiety.
Those who dont have the need for a cover can still wear it as an accessory.
It is still a cute scarf !

 Photo: Here is a sneak peak at some of the CoverBoos you will see @Weestock this Saturday !!

I have to say that this past year has been quite an adventure for me.
Its been great to have a new challenge, having something new to learn, being able to meet new people.
I havent been this social in ages. Definatley more enjoyable than punching in and out at the office. 
I may have to juggle my time between being a mom, a wife, a daughter,a friend and working part time at home, designing, sewing, being a home maker...finding time to clean and get groceries, maybe write a blog post or two...But Its been wonderful .... and all I can say, is thank goodness for social media. Yes - FB and Twitter have been great for both my business part of life and personal - as my telephone conversations are strained with barking dogs and a "look at me" child in the background vying for my attention... But its worth it ! 

I would also Like to take this time to Thank Everyone who has supported me.
My Family, Friends, Business associates,Customers, FaceBook Fans, Twitter Fans,
Your advice, and feedback on the product are greatly appreciated !

Thanks again !

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Busy - But Exciting few months ...

First of all, I sincerely apologize for being absent in the Blog World ... Life has been a bit of a whirlwind that I barely even know what day or month it is.... And I find myself looking at the Calender and its almost AUGUST !!!
So to back track a wee bit - Let me catch you up on what has been going on since I last wrote to you all ...

Well I did a photoshoot with a couple of super beautiful mamas at Cafe Tirimisu - Here are some pics from the shoot :


 photos taken by:

The photo shoot was great fun - I love Cafe Tiramisu !
All in all we did a couple hundred photos in just under a couple hours.

Oh and Whats this ? A pic of Josline from Modern Mama on CTV CanadaAM - Announcing the Event for Hottest Tot Products 2012 ( May 30th ) ... whats that she's wearing ? Oh, A CoverBoo !!

So happy to say that the CoverBoo Couture Nursing Scarf was among one of the
Top 40 "Hot Tot Products" this year !!!

So I attended the 2nd annual Hottest Tot Product hosted by Modern Mama at Century Grill ! So Stoked that I was there with all these peeps ! This mama even got herself all dolled up



After going through all the pics from the photoshoot, and getting more scarves manufactured, and uploading this and that and working with the ever talented Miss JKParker on website stuff ....  ON the 1st of June, I finally launched the Newly re-vamped website.

We were also mentioned on a very popular travel tips website called " Have Baby Will Travel "

We made the list for the 2012 Gear Guide :

Also in June,
A certain fashionista ( Ms. Hillary Duff )
Recieved a CoverBoo Nursing Scarf as part of her Baby Swag Gift !

At the end of June
I welcomed a new retailer in St. Albert to the CoverBoo Family :

Also at the End of June
 I met one of Canada's Day Time TV Hosts:
The Ever Lovely Ms. Tracey Moore of CITYLINE !!!!

I met her at the Breakfast Television Studio - and then got a pass to go to the sold out taping of the show in Kingsway Garden Mall !! I was able to give Tracy a couple of CoverBoos to bring back to all her peeps in Toronto !  --- ( * More on that topic soon * )

 In July, A couple more retailers joined the CoverBoo Family !!

 MoDecor On one of the most Popular places to stroll in Edmonton : WHYTE AVE.

And Birth Source
A one stop shop for all your info on pregnancy, birth and Breastfeeding !

And at the End of July, I got a text message from my dear friend Anna who sent me this link to an article which Mentioned CoverBoo Couture in a very popular Canadian Magazine !!!

And That in a nutshell - is all the highlights of what has been going on in the Wonderful World of CoverBoo !

I promise to write more soon. I'll definatley do some more writing in August. I HAVE To... There's some new exciting things happening in the next month... I just cant tell you yet. But I will. I will try not to take so long to write next time....

See you all again soon.
Have a wonderful day


Thursday, 3 May 2012

"AWE"SOME Dinner Out with the Business Ladies

So tonight I attended the "AWE" : Alberta Women Entrepreneurs Dinner in Honor of Non Other than the lovely Arlene Dickinson of the Dragons Den !!

In my last post I was audtioning to be in the show - Unfortunatley I did not recieve a call back to attend the Pitching season this year - But was asked to come back to audition again next year with more stats !
ANY way, Going to this event tonight was AWEsome.

Not only was I surrounded by a handful of Edmontons finest Business Women, But I got to meet Her. I got to meet Arlene. Yes, Arlene Dickinson. And she's so lovely. So Genuine. I told her I was really hoping to see her in Toronto Pitching in the Den - And she said that she hoped to see me next season too !

Her speech was inspiring. Not in the way you'd think though. It wasnt fluffly - Like saying "reach for the stars" kind of BS.. It was something more down to earth Something I could really relate to. She said she did what she did because of practicality. She did what it took to be with her kids. She did what she could with what she already had knowlege & experience with and leveraged it to do something that worked for her. I'm doing all I can do right now... for the same reasons. She's the type of woman I could go out for ice cream with. or wine or coffee .. "insert food or beverage item here " 

The program itself was short, No boring long-winded talks. The Food was good..... oh damn, I didnt get a photo of my food. But there was a super great asperagus cream sauce with the chicken, roasted potatos, squash & asperagus. I could have used more than a couple glasses of wine though.

Our table was great -
Special thanks to Kristi Wozniak from KeylimeAthletics for getting our table !

Also at our Table was :

The Lovely Carol McBee
Founder & President of Mommy Connections & Bossy Mama !

The FIERCE founder Tamara Plant
Publisher & Blogger & Event Planner Extraordinaire

The fabulous Dawn Angus
Owner of Gymboree Play & Music Edmonton South

and the Magnificant Kristi Larson
Owner of Bellies Maternity & Baby

After Dinner Arlene sat for a bit to sign some books for us.

We met Arlene  & She signed my book.... Thats one more thing crossed off my Bucket List !

She's such a trooper too - After some more wine & dessert , we were packing up to leave & go home,
Arlene was still there to the bitter end making sure she signed all the books for all the ladies that were in line !

It was a Great Evening out !
Good food , Good Company
Great Venue ( Hotel MacDonald)


Saturday, 10 March 2012

How to meet a Dragon ....

I first saw the show Dragons Den a number of years ago.  And I was instantly a fan of the show !
I never thought that one day I'd be trying to audition for the show myself.
Then I changed careers, got a house, got married, had a baby, designed a new product for nursing moms, found a handful of new friends in the business world ( and parental world )

Then a couple weeks ago while my husband and I were watching the show,
I turned to him as said , "I'm going to be on that show"

I honestly didnt think I would be doing this now. In my head I figured I'd try my luck in a year or two.
I knew that there were auditions happening for the Dragons Den across Canada, I knew they were stopping in Calgary. I really wasnt planning on auditioning at all.

 Then I saw a Twitter post about them coming to the U of A for audtions this weekend. I think I may have forgot to breathe for a bit.  I knew I wasnt ready with my numbers and stats and sales figures and such. I've barely been doing this for 6 - 7 months.... But I figured I'd do the audtion anyway. Why not right ? All they could say is no.

So the Friday night before the audtion I packed up a variety of scarves, charged my phone, charged my ipod and packed a book. Then I started freaking out about what to WEAR ! OMG -- what to WEAR ! I hadnt had to wear a business suit since before I gave birth. And I was fortunate enough to have lost the baby weight and then some. ( I credit the weight loss to running after this hurricane of a kid - and not sitting at a desk all day)

But getting back to the post --  I honestly took a look at my wardrobe and had nothing to suit up with. Nothing fit. I was at a loss. I knew it was just an audition. Its not Like I was going to be infront of the Dragons yet, maybe I could do a pair of jeans and a nice top .... but during my little wardrobe freak out one of my BFFs told me some great words of advice. " Dress for the Job you Want... Not for the job you Have"  Sooo.. I grabbed the best fitting pencil skirt I had and a solid top and a bright Patterned CoverBoo add some cute heels .... aaaand I look like an airline stewardess.  Its the best I could do.

I'm a wee bit of a keener. I packed up and left the house early and got to the UofA around 830am
I didnt want to be rushing around looking for parking and hauling this suitecase around campus with me looking for the right building etc. ( especially in those heels )
I got there with lots of time to sit back and chill and talk with a few other people about their ideas and products that they were pitching. There wasnt very many people there, so I ended up being the 4th person in line to meet with the producers.

The Producers I met with were Amy & Katie
They are basically the GateKeepers.
In order to meet a Dragon - You have to go through them first.
Thankfully they aren't as intimidating as I imagine Kevin O'Leary would be.

We were all given 5-10 minutes to pitch our wares. I'm not really sure how long I was in the meeting room with them. Whatever butterflies I had in my stomach seemed to dissolve once I actually got into the whole explanation of what the CoverBoo Nursing Scarf is, what it does., how its worn, materials and patterns ... yada yada yada...etc etc etc.
(But its easy talking about fashion accessories to women )
I wasnt as nervous as I was last time ( Fashion Show @ WEM for PPD awareness )

They asked me the normal questions like how much was I asking for, how much do they retail for, whats my cost and so on and so forth. Pretty basic stuff like where they are made...  I am so Proud to say is LOCALLY DESIGNED & MANUFACTURED !!!

They said that out of all the Dragons, Arlene would probably be all over this pitch.
Both Amy & Katie seemed genuinely interested with the CoverBoo and said that if I dont get a call back this time around, to please come back next year when I could show more sales etc.
BUT .... They DID ask if I would be able to leave a sample with them so they could show the rest of the team when they got back. Thats a good sign right ?

Well - if anything, maybe they'll order a couple of CoverBoos for their new mommy friends down east !

So I'll have to wait a few weeks to see IF I'm selected  to present directly to the Dragons in Toronto.

Honestly the whole experience was pretty fun.
I was just happy to be able to audition.
I pitch the CoverBoo Nursing Scarf on a daily basis to random people so
talking about it comes easy to me.
I wont be upset it I'm not selected. I'll keep on going and audition again next year

But If I DO get selected ........ well I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
In the mean time, make sure you stop by the following locations
 to pick up your very own CoverBoo
so I can make enough money to get to Toronto for Dragons Den if I get the call.

Do it. Do it.

CoverBoos are sold at the following locations :
Keylime Athletics
Sweet Momma Spa
(St. Albert & Edmonton)
La BeBe Boutique

Also..... If you enjoy Dragons Den,
you might want to check out this new show which premiers
on Monday night called : " The Big Decision "

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

DownTown - Parent Friendly Cafe

Today was too beautiful to stay home.
We headed out to a new Parent Friendly Cafe in Downtown Edmonton.

Its called Cafe Tirimisu Located on 124 Street 
10750 124 St NW,) 


Its more geared towards adults - But is still very kid friendly.
My Son was quite vocal during lunch today - But no one seemed to mind. 
He wasnt crying or anything He was just very ... loud...in an excited way.


He got spoiled with all the attention from Grandma & his Auntie.
The Cafe was pretty busy, so to keep it quick & simple we all ended up ordering the same thing. We had the Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese wrap ! Hhhhhmmmmmm.

They do have a room on the side for the young ones to play in called the "Breathing Room"
It has a kid size table and couches and toys and the best part ..... ipads ! YES ! They have ipads there for the kids ( and big kids ) to play with.


Since I was out with both my mom & my cousin, I was finally able to record some video of me showing how to use the CoverBoo. One of the owners, Seble, graciously offered to let me do the video in the Breathing Room !

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Northside Parent Friendly Cafe !

So after a week or so of "taking it easy" after having minor surgury. I finally got my butt out of the house. Thankfully my mom has been helping out with the little one while the hubbys at work. We were going to go for lunch anyway - So rather than hitting up a mall food court or your friendly neighborhood McD's - We decided to check out this sweet new cafe called "Little Beans Cafe" In St Albert.  Its about a 10 minute drive from my place ! And still relatively central meeting point for my Northside Friends !

My first impression of the place was great ! I loved that fact that it was so BRIGHT !!!
There is a play area in the middle of the 2nd room just past the boot room. There are tables on the sides near large windows surrounding the play area. I find this set up is a pretty good for Little N's age ( almost 14 months) He can still climb around and play with stuff - But there arent too many other bigger kids around right now.

The food was pretty good, nice presentation with healthy portions !! - We had a salmon sandwich and a tzatziki platter and a couple of sodas. Total cost with N's entry fee - Just under $30.
(still beats lunch @ McD's)

I had the opportunity to meet one of the owners of this fine establishment- Shelly !!
Such a happy & welcoming lady! Made us feel right at home! I also met the other owner very briefly when my son tried to sneak into the back kitchen area...thats my boy...always looking for more food.

The windows are large, the decor is crisp with a touch of bling ! its just ..... so nice !!!! Ohhh They also had this suuuuuper cool Plant holder that was nailed to the wall in the 1st room when you walk in.

There are 2 large bathrooms and a large change area with 2 changing stations and 2 sinks

I thoroghly enjoyed it here I will definatley be back for a few more play dates ( or meetings ) !!!

Mon-Fri 7:30am -6pm and 9-4pm Saturday.
Entrance is $7 for walking age to 7 years.
$3.50 after 4pm!