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Monday, April 12, 2010

Rent a Drug Sniffing Dog by the hour

I know I haven't written anything for awhile, haven't been inspired. I was just reading azcentral.com and came across this story I just can't pass up. There is a lady in Ahwatukee, Arizona who is renting out her drug sniffing dog by the hour to parents who suspect their kids are on drugs. The dog, named Dargo, could be yours for only $150/hour.

The owner, Amy Halm, says, "So many parents monitor their kids with drug tests, but Dargo provides a quicker, less-invasive option to testing. If he can assist in an intervention or deter one person, especially a young child from using drugs, it's worth it."

When Dargo sniffs out drugs, he doesn't scratch or dig, rather, he sits. Amy then posts a sticky note in the drug infested area and gives parents a list of counselors for their kid to see.

According to azcentral.com, "Dargo had a job at a police station in Indiana where he served as part of a drug detection team. Halm adopted the 6-year-old police academy canine at the K9 Global Training Academy in San Antonio three years ago after spotting him online during a pet search. The Malinois breed is a type of Belgian shepherd that is said to have high intelligence, stamina, and a keen sense of smell."

Amy's company website is www.desertdrugdog.com. Both she and her dog are certified by Zauberberg K-9 Academy in McNeal Arizona.

What I would like to know is what Dargo did to get fired from the Indiana police force??

Monday, March 8, 2010

Filling a Niche for Moms

I have a 2.5 and 4.5 year old pair of girls who keep me busy. Unfortunately, there are projects or activities I need to tend to that their attendance to part time pre school does not give me the necessary time to complete, i.e. compiling paperwork
to prepare for taxes, attending a woman's meeting, or getting a couple hours off to attend a luncheon or quiet dinner.

What's the answer? Okay, I know, a loving live in granny who can't get enough time with her grand kids or a live in nanny.

The truth is, my coverage needs aren't that constant or lengthy. Luckily, a business has come to my neighborhood for families just like ours. I'm so excited about this place!

It's called Maui Play Care. They sit in a convienent strip mall and provide drop in day care for 1-4 hours per day. Husband has a flat tire or have to get to a doctor appointment, MPC is there to the rescue. They provide a safe, clean, kid friendly facility and staff with a bounce house, great young enthusiastic CPR trained, fun loving care givers and lots of specials like face painting for those interested. My child's name and allergy information and my contact information are placed on a small name/information tag for my kids at each visit. They even cheerfully accepted my child who is just a couple of weeks into potty training.

They do limit their care to 4 hours, not wishing to duplicate full time child care
facilities. They have convenient hours, 7 days a week. It's a classic case of a business filling a need in our community and I plan to continue to support them.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Interior Designer Starts Amazing Wall Art Decal Business

When we moved in to our house, our builder gave us a gift of two interior designers for a few days to help us get the place set up. I remember our builder telling us these ladies were so good, they are like "little mice" - they would unpack our stuff, set us all up and we wouldnt even know they were there. These ladies gave me a price quotation on how much it would be to have a custom mural on my kid's nursery room wall - couple thousand dollars. Hence, I decided to "do it myself".

The mural I started over 4 years ago was of Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger. The room itself has 14 foot ceilings so at the time my nine month old pregnant body was climbing high ladders, praying I wouldn't fall. I fully completed the artwork on one wall, then got ambitious and started a second wall. I went into labor before finishing it. I joke by the time my kids are both in college I will complete the project.

Number 72 on my list of a hundred plus business ideas is to sell wall mural decals so that people who want a cool picture on their wall don't have to pay a thousand bucks and a thousand hours to have it done. Turns out I don't have to start this business because there's already a great company already doing it!

The company is called WallTat (get it - short for wall tatoos?). I checked out their website and they have some pretty cool funky designs. The owner's name is Jordan Guide. Jordan even took a few minutes to answer some of my questions. Additionally, they are offering a 10% discount, in the spirit of Spring, until the end of March. Use the code: SPRING10 at checkout.

1. How long did it take you to get your company up and running?

From the time I decided it was something that I want to pursue WALLTAT full time, it took about 2 months to get the necessary paperwork filed and another 2 months of research and development for the online store.

2. What was your inspiration to start the company?

As an interior designer, I am constantly looking for new and innovative products and materials. I have always been interested in creating wall art that challenges the boundaries of the interior space and not limited by the frame. I visualize elements growing out of the baseboards, flowing up a wall onto a ceiling, or spilling around from one corner into the next. WALLTAT is the brand that came out of these creations.

3. How long did it take you to break even and be profitable?

It took about 8 months

4. What was the most difficult part of starting the business?
Finding vendor partners that value your business was most frustrating in the beginning. When you are a small company, you are not priority to most vendors. This is why it is important to find vendors that compatible in size and value your business.

5. What is your background?

I am an interior designer, specializing in residential and commercial design. You can see some of my work at http://www.jordanguidedesign.com/.

6. What are your company goals?

I would love to get WALLTAT on the shelves of retailers and increase the distribution channels.

7. What advice do you have to others starting their own business?

For internet based companies, having a great product to sell is not enough. It is as important to have a website that is Search Engine Optimized (SEO). This will increase your website visibility and lead to more traffic and sales.