Milkface Nursingwear Inc

What's new and on my mind at milkface

Saturday, November 29, 2008

PimpMyBiz Contest - Submission #7

We Won!

It is kind of surreal the feelings I am experiencing. I start to doubt what my ears hear hours earlier. Did it really happen or is it just what I wanted to hear? If Britt hadn't heard it too I would have serious doubts.

I sent an email to both Katfish and Kornicky letting them know that we heard the announcement and thanking them. Later in the day we get an email from a rep at the station congratulating us and advising us that a panel meeting would be held in the near future with all the prize suppliers to establish connections and run down what, exactly, we have won and how and when it can be used.

The night before the meeting was to take place we get 15cm of snow. Because of this snow the meeting is canceled. This makes no sense to me. This is Ottawa and 15 cm of snow is not a lot especially after coming off a winter with over 500cm and many days with 20+cm of accumulation. We made a lot of arrangements to ensure both Britt and I could attend this meeting but all for naught. Oh well.

We are presently waiting this meeting to happen. When it does I'll have more to tell you about. More to come.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Toronto mamas - this is for you!

Breastfeeding Rally at Queen’s Park, Toronto
Wednesday, December 3rd

Dr. Jack Newman, the Toronto doctor known around the world as a leader in breastfeeding education and support, needs your help. The Newman Breastfeeding Clinic and Institute sees more than 2500 mothers and babies each year, but is on the verge of closing its doors unless it receives more funding. The NBCI is requesting donations, but until the government recognizes the importance of institutional breastfeeding support, the clinic will always be in danger.

Supporters of the NBCI are asked to come to Queen’s Park on Wednesday, December 3rd at 10 am for a quiet nurse-in. Demonstrators will be advocating for the provincial government to recognize the importance of breastfeeding and to commit to funding breastfeeding clinics like Dr. Newman’s. The rally is supported by the New Democratic Party, and NDP health critic France Gélinas will be holding a press conference at 10 am. At 10.30 am, question period will take place in parliament, and Gélinas will use the opportunity to call for a provincial breastfeeding strategy and encourage the government to support hospitals going baby friendly.

The objective is to hold a nurse-in in the viewing gallery of Queen’s Park during question period. IMPORTANT: formal protests are not allowed within the building, so it is asked that no one bring signs, placards or banners. The hope is to fill the viewing gallery which will require a huge turn out, so please spread the word. This is an opportunity to change the status of breastfeeding policy in Ontario for years to come.

If you wish to attend please RSVP to Helen or Dani by December 1st. Spaces in the viewing gallery are limited and the NDP are asking anyone wishing to participate to add their names to the list of guests as they will have to go to the security desk to give their names in order to get in.

What: Breastfeeding Rally and Nurse-in
Where: Queen’s Park, Toronto
When: 10 am, Wed. December 3rd

RSVP to:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sling article!

Great new article on baby slings out of the UK. Enjoy while we're off with Mickey and the gang!

The blog rests for a week

The family is off to Florida for a week at Disney in less than 24 hours. The blog will be dormant for this time. Thanks for checking in and be sure to come back later in the month.

The milkface store and will be operating as usual with our great staff manning the helm.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

PimpMyBiz Contest - Submission #6

Saturday morning. "All or some" of the businesses to be profiled.

I turn on the radio at 11:40. I have missed the first 40 minutes. In the next 140 minutes I hear 4 businesses profiled. Ours is absent. Were we one the first 40 minutes? Were we overlooked? Good news, Britt has been at the store since 10:30 and the radio is always playing 88.5. Surely if we were profiled she would have heard it. Unfortunately she didn't because the store was too busy and her focus was on our customers. Jan, who was also at the store was too busy to here us if we were on. Again, I go through what does this mean if we were overlooked. Is this a good thing or a bad thing. Like a great debater I can make up arguments for both sides, each more convincing than the last.

Now we are 45 hours from the winner being announced. Britt is convinced we are not the winner. Surely they would want the winner on air to get a reaction. We have not been contacted so her argument makes some sense. I start to think that our positioning as a MOM STORE, effectively eliminating half of the listener base is what has hurt our bid. Sunday is not a great day.

Late Sunday I am listening to music. Britt calls me to come to bed and I say, "Just one more song and I'll be up." The clock ticks past midnight and of the some 5000 songs that could have been randomly selected by my MP3 played, the song selected is "This Is The Day" by The The. If you've never heard it (It has been used in an M&Ms commercial in 2008) there is a line in the chorus that goes, "This is the day your life will surely change." I'm tired and I go to bed after the song.

Monday morning comes and the girls have to be at school by 8. The winner is supposed to be announced just after the 8am news. At 8:09 we each have an earbud from the headset of my cell phone listening to 88.5 and Milkface Nursingwear is announced the winner of the Pimp My Biz contest. Were are silent as we look at each other trying to process what we just heard. Then excitement takes over.
We walk a few blocks to the store and Britt boots up her laptop with her email. At 7:59 she was sent an e-mail asking how to contact us as they wanted to have the finalists on the phone for a reaction in the event we won. Too bad we missed that email but there was no way we would have got any email after 4pm Saturday. We do our best to separate business from family time.

More to come...

Friday, November 14, 2008

PimpMyBiz Contest - Submission #5

The longest week.

I was able to review our fellow contestants online to see where we stand. A vacuum shop, a home stager, a unique (and clever) dog sitting service and a store that prepares and sells natural raw foods for pets. No common thread. Where did we fit and how did we stand out against these companies was unclear. Again, we did not know the criteria that would be applied to choose the winner. Still liked our chances, though.

I sent both Katfish and Kornicky a thank you email. They were funny and professional and allowed us the chance to spread the Milkface name on their radio station. In the end, it was the best case scenario if we were not selected a winner. They both replied with their thanks and one message say that they will replay all or most of the spots on the weekend show running from 11-2. "All or most" - seemed odd to me. This one line drove me mad for a week. Why not all? Would they only play the 4 non-winners as a consolation to them? Were some spots deemed not air-worthy? Would they only play the short list of the five finalists? Mad I say.

Over the week I try to hear the other profiles. I don't get them all. Sorry to Bone Voyage - the dog sitting service and Dave's Vacs. The other two I did hear. The home stager is a true business start-up. Having started just months earlier she would be a prime opportunity to show how marketing could launch a new company into a successful operation. On the other hand, new businesses don't always last. The prize could be for naught if the real estate market declined as expected in these new economically troubled times.

Analysis paralysis on my part. Try to relax. Nothing more we can do. It's in the hands of others. These words provide cold comfort and I continue to analyze where we are superior and inferior to our competition. I am consumed. Now for me this is an oddity. I rarely worry about things as I have recognized the absolute waste of energy we humans spend on the things that are out of our hands. Bizarre.

On the last day, the Natural Pet Food company is profiled. Existing business with a storefront and a loyal clientele that exactly fit the demographic of the radio station. These people were, in my mind, our real competition. The business was submitted to the contest not by an owner but by a friend. Seems one owner has a terminal disease that has a prognosis that does not look promising. As a human, I sympathize. As a contestant my jaw drops. I have seen too much reality TV where sympathy goes a long way with judges. It nevers earns the win on its own but it does get you closer to the prize than merit alone would. We're sunk.

More to come.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

PimpMyBiz Contest - Submission #4

Arrangements are made to take care of our 3 girls so we can make it to the radio station for 8:10 am. I have gone over our submission countless times, going over talking points we want to cover. If we weren't going to win we had to use this opportunity as a Milkface Nursingwear commercial and get some bonus exposure. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. "Britt, you want to go over this and decide who will discuss each point?" "Not really," the answer. But we do spend 5 minutes in the van on the way there. Didn't matter in the end. This wasn't our commercial, it was their show and they lead us. It worked out, probably to the betterment of all but it just goes to show that for all you do in life, your fate is often in the hands of others.

The guys are really nice. They have been a part of my life for years, almost every morning. Beyond nice, they are funny and really laid back. They can break away from a conversation in a split second after a song ends, go live on air, and fill the space with the comedic banter and information that I enjoy each morning. Real professionals that make the "magic" of live radio happen every day. This was cool. How would we do?

Rather than go on live they would record us for play later in the morning. We would be one of two business recorded on this day. We did not know who the other business was or if they, too, would be profiled this day. The spot goes well, is well directed by Katfish and Kornicky and we feel good about how we presented Milkface Nursingwear and how we would use the prize. There was more to say - so much more, but not enough time. Did we say enough to win this thing? Didn't know.

Traditionally, when the Start Up crew interview a guest they leave off with "One Final Question" - a question related to the guest or their area of expertise but never something that the guest might expect or prepare for. At the end of our interview I ask jokingly, "What, no final question." Kornicky says, "Nope, not enough time. I express relief as I knew that this would be the place where I stumble if it would happen at all. They smell blood in the water and say that they'll run long and add it. "Britt and Andy, when you first met each other, did you KNOW that (S)he was 'the one?'" Britt, without hesitation gives a "God, No!" exclaiming I was fashioned, both in personality and appearance, as a militaristic person. We laugh together. Next I answer that I did know that something was there that I could not explain. I should have left it there. Nice, sweet, touching. I didn't leave it there. I added, "But my ex-wife hates me saying that." Laughs were shared. True story.

Our spot is run later in the morning and it sounds great. We represented well and now have to wait 6 days for the winner to be announced. It is out of our hands at this point.

More to come..

Monday, November 10, 2008

PimpMyBiz Diary - Submission #3

Days before the contest closed the morning crew started mentioning the contest. Good for them - bad for us. We waited...

The contest was closed. No more submissions. It was hard but Britt and I made no mention of this contest to our friends and family. It was too good an opportunity to add more potential contestants to the pool. The fewer people who knew about it the better our chances.

Now, after the closing of submissions, a new website surfaced,, and Britt was invited to a related facebook page. Word was spreading. Would we be named a finalist? We still did not know how they would select a winner. By what criteria? Who knew? I kept reviewing and dissecting our submission. It was perfect [Sorry for my immodesty ;)]! But was it what THEY were looking for? No way to tell.

Late afternoon, October 10, the phone at the Milkface store, 385 Danforth Ave in Westboro, rang. On the other end a radio station rep telling us we were selected as a top 5 finalist and we were to be at the radio station Tuesday morning to meet the morning crew and go on air to discuss the contest and Milkface Nursingwear. Small problem. The store was closed and the phone rang and rang only to go to voicemail. Now, this was the Thanksgiving weekend. The possibility existed that the message would not be retrieved until after our scheduled time to go on air. Fortunately we did not leave for the weekend and the message was retrieved the next morning along with an email from Lauren Stone who is part of the "Start Up." Britt calls me and tells me the great news. I've never been on the radio before - what should I wear?

More to come...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

PimpMy Biz Diary - Submission #2

The contest was to be open for about 3 weeks. The morning crew, the Live 88.5 Start Up with Katfish and Kornicky, were to be the guys dealing with the finalists and announcing the winner. But for weeks after our submission I heard no mention of the contest on the morning show (maybe they talked about it from 5:30am-7:00am while I slept). I heard spots for the contest at all other times but in the morning - strange. The radio station website mentioned the contest but details on what the prize was, other than a $50,000 business marketing makeover, was unclear. Equally unclear was how the submissions would be judged.

We now know what the prize entails and that our submission alone would be the basis of selecting the prize winner. We did do a spot on the radio introducing ourselves to the the crew and the listeners but nothing new came out of that session. I'll detail that visit in a later post.

The contest close was coming up and the day before we had still not been mentioned as a contestant (no company had) and I had no real confirmation that our submission was received. I feared that maybe they hadn't got our submission. Oddly, on that night that I sent in our submission I also emailed Britt the details of our submission so she would be aware of it - she never received it. Not in SPAM folder (did the word "pimp" scare the filter?), not in inbox, not anywhere. With that in mind I questioned if LIVE 88.5 even received our submission. This contest was too good an opportunity to miss so I resubmitted using the contest form and also sent a separate email to the contest email address. I slept well that night knowing that they now, for sure, know about Milfkace Nursingwear and why we should be considered for the contest.

More to come...

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, November 03, 2008

PimpMyBiz Diary - Submission #1

With the recent win of the LIVE 88.5 FM "Pimp My Biz" contest and the incredible response we have received in the store, in our kids's schoolyard and even on the street, we thought it would be good to share our account of the process and take you on our journey as things progress with the radio station and the prize suppliers. Generally, Andy Pegan will be the author of this "diary."

It was on a late evening, around 11:30pm, when, while lisening to LIVE 88.5 on the radio in our minivan, I first heard about the contest. I had this overwhelming feeling that we, Milkface Nursingwear, would win this contest. Not that we might or could win, but that we WOULD win. I raced home to get more details online. Not much was found. A link on the radio station website,, had a contest submission form which I filled out after confirming that Milkface Nursingwear met the contst requirements for # of employees and annula revenues.

Here is our submission:

Milkface Nursingwear is Ottawa's original "Mom Store." Stylish nursingwear, an unmatched selection of nursing and transition bras up to size K, and the best selection of baby carriers anywhere, we provide mothers of new babies the tools and informational resources to ensure they are equipped to deal with the practical and social challenges of breastfeeding so they can provide the proven benefits of breastfeeding and babywearing to their families.

Milkface is a proud supporter of breastfeeding and babywearing support and advocacy groups and makes available a seminar space located above the store for these groups for free in an effort to spread the word about the benefits of these age-old, yet misunderstood practices.

All staff are parents and most are members and leaders of La Leche League in Ottawa. We know the issues new moms face and can provide counsel and support by providing real-life experience and first hand anecdotes to help moms experience the joys of parenthood.

Milkface has been a bricks and mortar store since DEC 2006. Before that we operated as an appointment-only boutique from our home basement. Britt Pegan, the founder, is a loving wife and mother of 3 daughters including twins who she had many opportunities to wear at the same time and nurse simultaneously.

Like LIVE 88.5FM, we are hip, edgy and are making our presence known to a growing number of Ottawa residents daily. In fact, LIVE 88.5FM is the station of choice for the store, our home and vehicle. 88.5FM was born to the tune, "Lust For Life" by Iggy Pop on a December day several years back. We, too, share that lust for life and wish to spread it to others through our business and charitable work in Ottawa and throughout North America. Aiding others and bringing joy to their lives is the greatest reward we experience at Milkface. We thank you for the opportunity to share our business with your listeners.

NOTE: At this time, prize specifics were not clear (specifics now known in brackets) but prize suppliers were:
Live 88.5FM radio time ($10,000 value)
Metro Daily News print spots ($10,000 value)
Curam Group Web Development ($15,000 value)
K6 Media car wrap and/or storefront design ($10,000 value) web mareketing ($5,000 value)

Milkface has been a hit since we opened our doors in Westboro less than 2 years ago. Unfortunately we now find that our space is too limiting to provide all the options available to new parents and the store can be crowded at times. We are looking to open a second store in Q1 2009 and would "pimp out" the clean-slate facade and interior of our new location (not yet determined).

Marketing would promote the new store launch as well as generate awareness of the existing store and why we exist.

Our highly acclaimed e-commerce website,, would remain largely unchanged because our customers like it – a lot. That said, SEO practices would be applied to get the word out to those looking for breastfeeding and babywearing resources on the web.

Our Honda Odyssey would be a candidate for a vehicle wrap.

Our greatest benefit would be in our ability to further help others through further support and advocacy of breastfeeding and babywearing benefits that the elements of this prize would ultimately allow us to realize.

Again, I felt that we could not lose. We tied in so well with the perceived listener demographic, we had a successful business that offered a clean-slate opportunity to build on with a new store opening propesed and we served the community on many levels including charitable offerings. Worst case scenario was that we would be mentioned on the radio as a contestant - valuable exposure in itself.

I have a few more submissions to get you all caught up today but I'll leave it here for now. Check back soon.

Labels: , , , ,