Bravo to TanTo Bags for being a forward thinking company by creating a top-notch functional and stylish lifestyle product and giving me a solid gift idea for the men and women in my life! I am a fan!!!!
Are you looking for a way to find some meaning and purpose as to why your life might be topsy – turvy? Why yesterday made sense, but today it does not? Everyone at one time or another experiences a tidal wave of self – doubt, grief or apprehension.
Confession: The week I felt stuck.
Yet, despite feeling a bit “stuck” in situations that I thought I had no control, I found solace and hope in a series of books written by Linda Joy and featuring a consortium of excellent contributors. I had started reading them earlier this year, but really delved in to them this week. Pebbles in the Pond (2014), is the first in the series. This book shows that behind every life changing event there is a purpose. It also demonstrated that beyond a shadow of doubt that the human spirit is resilient beyond measure.
I don’t often review holiday specific products on this blog. However, there was something intriguing about Peaceable Kingdom’s Valentine’s Day card collections that piqued my interest.
First, they are A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E! Not only do they have some weight and substance to them (unlike the store bought ones I use to give my kids to hand out in school), but they come with messages that are thoughtful, yet not too “sappy”.
Today I spent the morning at the LA GADGET EXPO in downtown Los Angeles. I was expecting an exposition chocked full of entrepreneurs showing their newest creations and devices. The reality was more an intimate gathering of students with cool ideas and small businesses showing their unique gadgets.
While smaller than expected, the LA GADGET EXPO did offer a few very impressive companies that I felt was worth mentioning for consideration for the upcoming holiday season.
ALLOCACOC – POWER CUBE @Allocacoc
Let’s start with my FAVORITE of all the gadgets at this show. FINALLY, someone has solved the problem of the power strip that is cumbersome. Meet ALLOCACOC – an award winning idea that is a multi- prong power cube! Offers USB, international and US standard plugs. I LOVED IT! Simple and sleek. The cubes can be singular or connect to stack! The enables people, like myself, who have a ton of technology in their office much needed versatility and helps to solve the problem of “Is there another outlet?”
I can envision these at airports, restaurants and hotels! Not to mention when social media correspondents gather for events!
Price point is VERY reasonable at $12.95 for the basic cube.
Muku Labs Camera Shutter @MukuLabs
Muku Labs made a very nice camera shutter that is used with iOS and Android devices. A standard bluetooth mechanism, it is perfect for taking group or selfie photos without having to hold on to a phone. Must say that the streamlined look, feel and ease of use is much preferred over others I have tried.
Retail: $39.99 Link to purchase
DOTT – SMART DOG TAG @DottSmartDog
DOTT- Smart Dog Tag is an VERY intriguing device that is well worth a look. Imagine letting FIDO off leash at a dog park. This multi-function dog tag has dual purposes. First it helps signal the dog, through a small dog tag worn on your dog’s collar, to return back to you. Secondly, the technology allows owners to locate a dog that has wandered off. As a bonus, the tag is paired with an app that offers ancillary services, such as community alerts to find a missing animal.
From their website is this excellent description:
DOTT provides with you digital tracking of latest technology. DOTT tag sets up a virtual leash, connects your pet to your mobile phone. If it wanders off, DOTT will let you know immediately. And, our social GPS network actively tells you the last seen location and help locate it continuously.
Dog rescues and veterinary services should give DOTT some consideration. Price point is a very easy $30 online
MY OPEN ROAD @MyOpenRoad
Two companies offered eco friendly ideas. The first is My Open Road – an app for both IOS and Adroid that allows users to document how they are reducing their carbon imprint on the world by taking alternate forms of transportation – such as walking, riding a bike or carpooling. I love to see companies that are eco- friendly and even their t-shirts were made with eco-sustainable products. They also had a coveted spot at the expo and were a joy to speak with!
Their motto: Tiny Changes- Big Rewards is very clever.
URB-E is a very clever eco-friendly bike – motor scooter. I can imagine this being a huge hit on college campuses, for urban dwellers and even those who want to explore large cities but not on foot. Their price point was far more than others at this fair, starting at $1699.
URB- E gets my personal kudos for having the best online marketing, however!
They have a decent social media presence for a start-up but excelled over others with the most CLEVER holiday campaign! Check out their video for the 21 days of URB- E Christmas (and if you enter their contest you may win one of their bikes!)
I should also mention a few other gadgets that caught my attention. Sound Brake was an interesting device to help alert headphone users of environmental noises, such as a doorbell ringing. Here is my periscope interview with the founder. And, MOTI app is a healthy – lifestyle application for iOS and Android to help people register their level of exercise, healthy habits (such as water consumption), etc.
Final thoughts: I really enjoyed speaking to these creative minds who invented fun and functional products. However a word of wisdom to those who are vendors/ displayers at booths that are seeking investors, distributors or publicity – have a PR KIT FOR YOUR PRODUCT! Only a handful of the gadgets had any information about their product. Some had postcards with their websites. Others had only business cards. A PR kit for press, etc. with information, easy to find social media “411” and if possible a sample would be FABULOUS!
Do you have a gadget that you can recommend or created? Feel free to add your information in the comment section below!
Disclaimer: No renumeration was received for any of these products. These are reviews based on observation and interviews.
Just a short blog to give you some ideas on where to #ShopSmall this week. Check out these suggestions that support the endeavors of family/ women owned businesses and projects. All unique and worth a “click through” to see if something catches your eye this holiday season. A special shout – out to Shara Lawrence – Weiss of MommyPerks who welcomes those with a family friendly product or service to post on her MommyPerks Facebook wall here . She does this selfishly and is just one great example of women supporting women in the small biz world!
As usual my gift recommendations often have a secondary purpose- such as giving back to an organization or helping a national or international cause. In other words I like my hard earned $$ to be given to businesses with heart and pizazz.