We first introduced you to Easy Daysies earlier this year. I raved about how easily my four- and two-year-old took to the system and you can tell from the article’s comments that other moms could see the benefit. I wanted to highlight the company’s founder Elaine Comeau and include her in our Entrepreneurs to Watch series, which profiles up-and-coming mom entrepreneurs that seem to have a hit on their hands.
What inspired you to start your company?
As a classroom teacher, I have always had a visual daily schedule up in front of my classroom showing the children the shape of the day. It made them feel safe, confident, and in control of their day, which resulted in having happy, comfortable, and organized students and classroom. Having a visual indicator of what was going to happen next made event transition easier for all my students; it was especially effective for my students with special needs too. It was so effective that over my years of teaching, I have had many parents ask me if I could make something like that for their child at home. I started making visual schedules for parents to help their kids at home with specific focus such as helping them get organized when they got home. I’ve made visual schedules for steps for Bed Time, Morning Routines, and Washroom Routines. Then one day I had my own children and I realized the true value of such a visual schedule at home! It worked wonderfully in my classroom and no wonder parents wanted something like this at home! When I was pregnant with my third, I knew I just had to try making these schedules to help other parents help their kids have easier days. I drew every single illustration on the Easy Daysies magnets to make sure that they were simple enough for even my two year old to understand. The goal of Easy Daysies is to help kids have easier days. This is how my visual daily schedules got the name Easy Daysies.
Tell us about Easy Daysies.
Easy Daysies is a magnetic daily schedule for kids. I launched the product line on September 14th, 2008, two days after our third little one was born! Easy Daysies is a Canadian company whose magnets, which are 70% recycled material, and ReStickables are proudly made in Canada. Easy Daysies is now sold in almost 30 stores across Canada and it continues to grow even into the USA. There are 10 Easy Daysies Magnetic kits to mix and match to create the perfect routine for any family. Easy Daysies’ newest product are Easy Daysies ReStickables – waterproof and tearproof restickable cloth stickers that can be placed on drawers, bins or baskets to help kids put their own clothes away and get themselves dressed!
What’s your vision for your company?
I would love to see Easy Daysies get into the hands of families that need them. I am hoping to somehow connect with more organizations that help families with children with special needs. I would also love to get Easy Daysies into more retail stores across Canada and the USA.
What excites you about what you’re doing?
The goal of Easy Daysies is to help kids have easier days. I am always inspired and encouraged when I meet parents with children with special needs and they share with me their success stories with Easy Daysies. Easy Daysies is trying to help children all around the world too. As of January 2009, 5% of Easy Daysies profits go to the International Justice Mission, an organization that helps to free children around the world from devastating bondage and suffering like slavery and child sex-trade. Easy Daysies is also very honoured to be involved with several fundraisers helping to raise funds for children with Autism to get their Autism Service Dogs. It always warms my heart to get emails and hugs from parents telling how Easy Daysies have made everyday struggles become smooth sailing moments. I feel so very blessed! I also feel blessed that I can be a stay at home mom with my children while having Easy Daysies!
What are some early examples of success?
Easy Daysies is only one and a half years old and is sold in almost 30 stores across Canada and it continues to grow into the USA as well. Within half a year of its existence, Easy Daysies was one of the toys featured on Global Noon Hour News. Easy Daysies was just chosen to be one of Radio Disney’s Sponsored Booths at the EdVantExpo 2010 in Los Angeles this August 2010. However, I would say that the greatest examples of success for Easy Daysies are the regular testimonials I receive about how Easy Daysies is helping children at home one day at a time!
Tell us about some of your challenges.
Some of the challenges I have with running a home-based business is, firstly, finding day-time hours to “do work” and staying up till 3AM packaging 11,000 magnets, replying to emails, preparing orders, and trying to make new connections. I have been embarrassed by typos sent in emails at wee-hours of the morning. I am so thankful for the wonderful understanding professionals out there who are kindly empathetic that I have a one-year-old, three-year-old and six-year-old that keep me on my toes all day long, not to mention my wonderful thirty Grade 5 students whom I teach on Fridays! Balancing family and a business at home is busy.
Secondly, I have never taken a business or accounting course in my life. Having an Honours Degree in BioMedical Ethics and Physiology and a Bachelor Degree in Education has not helped me to rise to the occasion of creating and marketing a product from scratch! Every day presents me with a learning opportunity and I find that I have to learn as I go! I would say that I truly need to learn how to market my product better and also learn how to follow up with the fabulous stores that I have already.
What’s next for you?
I am going to keep working hard at getting key retailers for Easy Daysies and keep learning better business practices to make Easy Daysies successful for everyone!