Archive for the ‘Tuesday: Business’ Category

Blog Reviewers Do’s & Don’ts

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 @ 12:05 PM
posted by mrscaz

I love Bloggers who do reviews. I am a firm believer in the power that comes from their voices. We have done several blog review campaigns for our Dapper Snappers kids belts and I would say that I have loved about 96% of them. Some have fallen short which prompted me to write a blog about how to write a successful blog review. Generally, we only do a blog review as a campaign, and not individual random blogs. However, if a blogger takes the time to research our product and contacts us and if the blog has good traffic, then it makes sense for us.

So, as a manufacturer of a product, I thought I would put together a list of do’s and don’ts for Bloggers who are contacting companies for a review:

  1. DON’T  use a canned email. Be personal and at the very least, mention the name of the product. For sure don’t include a line that says, “I would love to promote your company and/or product”. Really? Please be specific.
  2. DO include your website with a link somewhere in your email. I know that one sounds like a no brainer, but we have had some who haven’t.
  3. DO proofread your email. Ok, I know I am no literary scholar (is that an actual thing?) and I have typos in my blogs, but when you are pitching a company, just take the extra two minutes to make sure your email reads well and makes sense. Here is an example of a sentence that needs some work, “I am growing my blog as much as possible with followers, so with that being said I would love to review one of your products of choice or something that you had in mind vise versa.”
  4. DO a mini review when pitching the company. Explain why you feel the product is a good fit for your blog. “I have a tall skinny 3 year old who needs a belt, but I’m afraid that it will get in the way of potty training, so I would love to see if Dapper Snappers is the answer I’m looking for to solve this problem.” Show the company that you know about their product.
  5. DON’T underestimate the power of your stats. Prior to choosing a blogger, we look at site stats, Alexa rating, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, etc. Companies are in this for the exposure and they are most likely going to choose bloggers with great numbers. I know that’s not fair to newer, smaller bloggers, but we also have to get the most bang for our buck (sending samples out does actually cost us).

Good luck when pitching that company for reviews, I hope this helps!


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor


Find the Good

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 @ 11:04 AM
posted by mrscaz

There are no words that can express the sadness and compassion I feel for the victims of the bombings yesterday. At times like this, it’s so easy to focus on the bad and the negative. However, at times like these, more than any other, we need to be focusing on the good. I love the quote above from Fred Rogers. We need to see the good that will come out of yesterday. The first responders who rushed in, without regard for their own safety, to care for the injured. The good Samaritans who volunteered to help. Let’s focus on the heroes, not the criminals.


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor


5 Tips to Increasing SEO for Mompreneurs

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 @ 11:04 AM
posted by mrscaz

You have a website. A beautiful website that you are so proud of and that showcases your product amazingly (sort of like our stunning kids belts site). You sit around and wait and wait… and wait… and nothing. You spent all of this time and money to produce not only a great product but also the time and money to produce a rock solid, professional website, so where is everyone? It’s like you sent out invites to the party, but no one knows how to get there.

That, my friend, is where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes into play. According to Wikipedia, SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural,” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”), search results. Makes sense, right? Basically you have to make sure that the search engines see your page.

This is the simplistic list of “to do’s” to  get the search engines to see you and to see you as relevant.

  1. First, you want to keep your content fresh. If it is constantly changing, search engines will keep crawling back to see whats new. A stagnant page will move down the list. 
  2. Second, you can use a keyword or phrase (specific to your product or service) and link back to other important pages on your on your site. For example, I would use the keywords “kids belts”, so I would write something like “As I sit here at my desk designing kids belts, it occurred to me that I should share with you some SEO tips for my fellow bloggers and mompreneurs!”
  3. Speaking of keywords,the third thing is to use your keywords in your meta tags and meta description. This is more on the web designer’s side, but you should ask them to have your keywords listed. Generally, you don’t want more than 20 keywords and no more than 500 characters.
  4. Fourth, Blog about it. That’s right, write. Even if you don’t think you are that great at it, do it. There are quite a few resources out there to help with topics. Why does this work? Refer back to number 1 & 2, if you blog daily, you are keeping your content fresh and you also have more opportunity to link back to the important pages on your site.
  5. Fifth (and finally, at least for now), get other sites to link back to your site using your keywords. How do you do that? You can do that with press releases and with blog campaigns. Getting your product into the hands of other bloggers, who are going to sing it’s praises to their readers and use your keywords, is a win-win situation. You will start to see your numbers (Alexa rating) decrease (yes, that’s a good thing) and your search engine ranking increase.

This is a simple (and cheap) list of ways to start increasing your SEO. These are steps you can take that aren’t going to cost you a boat load of money in advertising.


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor


International Autism Awareness Day

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 @ 08:04 PM
posted by mrscaz

Today is International Autism Awareness Day. Here at the kids belts office we decided that we want to be a part of raising awareness for this cause. We want to announce that we  will be releasing an Autism Awareness patterned Dapper Snapper later this week. This will be a fundraiser belt that will be added to our current fundraising line. We currently give back to breast cancer research and veterans groups and we are trying to continually add to that list.

We have chosen Easter Seals as our charity, $5 from every Autism Awareness belt purchase will be donated to them. We feel that we need to support and give back to the community that supports us. We are so thankful that we are in the position to give back. I have been wanting to release this pattern for a while now and we have finally gotten everything finalized to launch.

Have you ever wondered what Autism is? “Autism is a complex neurobehavioral disorder characterized by impairment in reciprocal social interaction, impairment in communication, and the presence of repetitive and stereotypic patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities. The onset of symptoms is typically before the age of 3 years. The severity of impairment in the given domains as well as the pattern of impairments varies from individual to individual; that is why diagnosticians refer to a “ spectrum ” of disability.” (courtesy of Association for Science in Autism Treatment)

Did you know … (courtesy of Autism Speaks)

  • Autism now affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys
  • Autism prevalence figures are growing
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
  • Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
  • Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism

National Institutes of Health Funds Allocation

  • Total 2012 NIH budget: $30.86 billion
  • Of this, only $169 million goes directly to autism research. This represents 0.55% of total NIH funding.

So keep an eye out later this week for the release! Let us know what other fundraiser Dapper Snappers you would like to see!


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor


Deal or No Deal?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 @ 04:03 PM
posted by mrscaz

There have been a few times where, in order to keep our brand name fresh in the minds of our consumers, we have sold Dapper Snappers kids belts to a deal of the day site. Baby Steals has been wonderful to work with and they do a great job. But now is the time to move on to bigger things.

While we feel that the “deal” sites have been great for building brand awareness, we do also want to keep our brand name at a premium and don’t want to cheapen it any by doing a deal every other week. We want to keep our retailers strong and the deal sites have been wonderful advertising for us and all our retailers. We have had so many new stores call us asking about carrying Dapper Snappers because a customer came in asking for it after seeing it on one of those deal sites.

Deal sites have definitely helped us get to where we are, however now it’s time to set our focus on other forms of advertising. Two weeks ago, we just sent a team to New York, NY to really introduce Dapper Snappers to the northeast at ENK Children’s Club. We were welcomed with open arms are are very excited to be adding retailers to the northeast! You just wait, we will take them by storm!

So, even though we won’t be doing anymore “deal of the day” sites for Dapper Snappers Toddler Belts, rest assured that you can still get great deals on our wonderful belts! There are most likely stores in your area that carry them (and if they don’t, you should be asking them to!) as well as online retailers where you can shop with your coffee in hand and without even changing out of your pj’s! What could be easier than that?? Well, ok, just sitting around in your pj’s drinking coffee would be easier than that, but then your kid’s pants would still be falling down, and then they will get tickets for indecent exposure, and then they will have a RAP sheet that will need to be expunged when they become an adult which will cost money with attorney and court fees and they will start out adulthood in debt and you don’t want that… (Ok, I may be watching way too much Law & Order lately, and I know that I totally overused the word and in that incredibly long run-on sentence.)


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor





August is No Mooning Month!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 @ 10:08 AM
posted by mrscaz

Dapper Snappers Fans
“No Mooning”
Campaign & Contest
“Taking a stand against Droopy Drawers in 2012″

Toddler Tech USA is holding a month-long contest in August for all Dapper Snappers kids belts Fans! Enter for your chance to win a $50 Dapper Snappers Gift Certificate!! There will be one drawing a week through the month of August and fans can enter as many times as they like!

How to enter:

1. Download and print out a copy of one of the Dapper Snappers “No Mooning” Posters.

No Mooning Poster FULL Color

No Mooning Poster Less Color

No Mooning Poster B&W

No Mooning Poster Less B&W

2. Take the Poster to one of your local children’s boutiques* or  consignment stores* (big box stores, ie Babies R Us, Target, Walmart, etc., not included) and take a picture of the poster in the store or near the sign. (*Any children’s store, even if they don’t carry Dapper Snappers.)

3. Post the picture on our Facebook page with the name of the store. (You can enter as many times as you would like, however, you can only use each store & photo as an entry one time.)

4. One winner will be chosen at random weekly and will be contacted through their Facebook page.

More ways to win Prizes!

Word of Mom is the Best Advertising!

We need your help!!!

If the children’s store near you doesn’t carry Dapper Snappers, print out THIS PAGE and give it to the store. Be sure to write YOUR name and EMAIL address in the “Reffered By” section.

If they place an order, we will send you a $25.00 gift certificate to our online store,!


Neither Rain, Nor Sleet…

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 @ 12:07 PM
posted by mrscaz

You’ve heard the saying, “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds”, while I am sure that this must have been true at some point, I don’t think it is any more.

As a business owner, I try to always go above and beyond when it comes to customer service because without our customers, there would be no Dapper Snappers kids belts. What get’s me is how a company as big as the Post Office can get away with such lack luster service which seems to get worse as time goes on. The thing that stinks is that there is nothing we can do about it either.

Over the last few months, we have had several packages “lost” in transit. Granted these are small packages and not valuable individually, but when more and more turn up missing, the cost to replace those pieces becomes very clear on our end.

I don’t feel like we are asking much. We want to get a package from A to B and the Post Office is in the business of getting packages from A to B. It seems to me like we should be a match made in heaven. You’d think so anyway. But, alas, it’s not. We mailed one package to New England area and, after about a week or so, our customer called to tell us she never received it. We did the tracking online and it showed that the package was received at her local Post Office. Jen called the Post Office to ask what happened and they said that they would look into it. The package was delivered two days later all banged up. How does that happen? Suddenly they found it because we called about it?

We had another package that was shipped to a customer, but was returned to us because the USPS said that the forwarding time had expired so they could not send it to the address specified. The problem was that the address we mailed it to was the address the person wanted it shipped to. We took the package back to the post office and explained our dilemma. The Postal Worker said that it was no problem, marked through the forwarding sticker, wrote “deliver as addressed” and resent it for us. A few days later it was returned to us again for the same reason… Ugh…

Now if this was UPS or FedEx, we could be on the phone complaining and they would be refunding money and apologizing and making it right, because that’s what businesses do, but for some reason, the USPS isn’t held to that standard. While it seems like a terrible way to run a business to me, we all continue to use them, because for small packages, they are the cheapest game in town. I guess you do get what you pay for…


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor


Fundraiser Dapper Snappers

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 12:06 PM
posted by mrscaz

We have just released a Special Edition Dapper Snapper Toddler Belt in honor of and to benefit US Veterans. When we started our company almost four years ago, we knew that we wanted to be able to give back to the community and support worthy causes and we are at a point now where we can do just that. We are donating $5 from the proceeds of every Special Edition toddler belt purchased to a non-profit Veterans Group. This will be the second “Special Edition Fundraiser Belt” and it will most certainly not be the last.

We are offering parents an opportunity to support a very worth-while charity while still getting a very practical product that will make their life simpler. We are choosing a non-profit Veterans group because it is near and dear to our hearts as not only is my husband and business partner a Vet, but several of our employees are as well. The original Dapper Snapper Toddler Belt consists of a short piece of suspender elastic with snaps that fit in the back 3 belt loops of the child’s pants and snaps over the outer 2 loops to cinch the pants thereby keeping them from falling down. The Special Edition toddler belt, which is a digital camo band with embossed frosted brass caps and brass components, is available from now through August and supplies are limited. Click here to order yours!

Toddler Tech USA is the manufacturer and distributor for the Dapper Snappers brand. In addition to our current line of Toddler Belts, we also have Belts for Moms, and Add-On Clips for pants without belt loops and “Big Kids” belts for children ages 4-9 suiting both boys and girls. For more information about Toddler Tech USA and Dapper Snappers, visit


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor


Retailer Spotlight – Mom 4 Life

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 @ 08:04 AM
posted by mrscaz

You all know by now how much I love our kids belts retailers. I really can’t express the amount of gratitude I have for each and every one of them out there for supporting this mom-owned, mom-operated business. You can find a list of all of our retailers on our website.

Speaking of mom-owned and mom-operated businesses, our Retailer spotlight for this month is Mom 4 Life.

Mom 4 Life is one of our newer online stores. They signed up to carry Dapper Snappers back in January and we are happy to have them!

Heather Ledeboer is the mom and owner of Mom 4 Life.  While trying to find a way to stay home with her son and still be able to contribute to her family financially, Heather was searching for something she could be passionate about. Since she has a lot of passion for being a mother, she thought helping other moms was a logical place to start.

In October of 2003, she found her first product and Mom 4 Life was born. The first product she carried was the New Native Baby Carrier  followed soon after by LilyPadz. She was so excited about these two great products and knew that other moms were sure to love them as much as she did. Shortly thereafter, she started getting recommendations from other moms about products that they knew and loved such as Hooter Hider nursing coversBabyLegs legwarmers and the Shrinkx Hips postpartum belt. Thus, her inventory began to grow and grow.

Mom 4 Life carries only hand picked, mom owned, mom invented products and donates 10% of their proceeds to moms in need. The products they carry are fantastically fresh, very often brand new to the market and not available in any big-box stores. Heather says that she is proud that Mom 4 Life’s extensive product line is comprised entirely of the handiwork of moms.

“Regardless of how many products I offer or how large my business grows, my primary goal will remain the same: to offer unique products at great prices with exceptional customer service! I am rather picky about customer service: I like to be appreciated as a person rather than viewed as a number. I want to do the same for you! ” Heather Ledeboer, owner, Mom 4 Life.

Be sure to check out Mom 4 Life’s online store where you can read more about the company and all of the moms behind their products (including me and my Dapper Snappers!).


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

Close Only Counts…

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 @ 12:03 PM
posted by mrscaz

I had the opportunity to play horseshoes for the first time this weekend. Oh, glorious horseshoes, where have you been all my life? We had a blast! Mind you, I wasn’t very good (no beginners luck for me) but I still had fun and even made a ringer! This got me to thinking (dangerous, I know) about the saying, “close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” I immediately related this to business, of course, and started thinking lately that too many companies have been applying this motto to their business plans. It seems like more and more companies are just getting by, because that works for them. The aren’t aiming for the “ringer” they are aiming to get close to the mark.

We take our kids belts business very seriously. We are always looking for ways to stand out and be noticed. Whether it’s for our amazing quality product, Dapper Snappers, or our outstanding customer service, we are always aiming for the “ringer”.

Think about it, when was the last time that you had an amazing experience somewhere? Anywhere, a grocery store, a restaurant, a theme park, a theater, some place that you would rave about to your friends? It’s harder than you think because it seems like everyone is striving for mediocre. They feel like they took your order, brought your food and drinks and then brought your ticket, isn’t that enough?

There is a small local coffee shop here that I love and I feel like they are still doing things right.  They greet you when you come in, and make you feel welcome. They are not opposed to small talk (but they also don’t hover at your table unloading about their day) and if you order a coffee and feel like it’s not right, they will remake it, no questions asked. They are aiming for the ringer. “Close” is not good enough for them and it shouldn’t be for us either as consumers.

As the economy has gotten worse, you would think that service and quality would get better. People are having to be pickier with where they spend their dollars. I for one, want to make sure that when someone purchases a Dapper Snapper, that they feel like they got way more than their money’s worth. Shouldn’t all companies feel that way?


Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor