1st Annual Design Contest!

It's no secret, designing is the part of business I love the most. For me, it's passion, pure enjoyment, and sometimes even therapy. When a day is not going right and I need something to do to feel I had an accomplishing day, all I need is a sketch book, a pencil and a little design time and my day feels better. Throughout the year, while attending various retail shows across Canada and the United States, we gather design ideas given to us by customers. For example, one of our first bib collections in year 2 of business included our very popular Fire Truck bib, which is still a top seller today. That year, we heard from every Police family that we needed to design a Police Car bib, so in year 3 we did. Then, you guessed it, every Paramedic, Ambulance Driver and ER Doctor wanted to know why we had a Fire Truck bib and Police Car bib, but no Ambulance bib. In year 4 we added an Ambulance design. Seeing the look on our customers faces when the FINALLY find a baby related product with an Ambulance on it, for us, is priceless. It's hard to find, and for that reason alone our Ambulance is always a great seller when ever we sell in a metro area, as well as online. If we simply followed baby trends and didn't listen to our customers, our Ambulance design wouldn't exist and we wouldn't have made so many customers happy with this particular design. I could list many more examples of this, where our customers are the ones who inspired our designs. It's for that reason, that we thought a design contest would be great! We hear your requests, but we would love to SEE a design that you come up with! Who knows, we just might pick it to be a future Mally Bibs Design! 

Design Contest

To enter our design contest:

  • simply draw your design(s) and send either a jpg of a design created using a computer program, or a hand drawn sketch to contests(at)mallybibs(dot)com.
  • entries may be in full color, or just a single color outline - it doesn't have to be fancy!
  • Please send as many entries as you wish, but only attach one design entry per email sent to our inbox
  • Contest ends June 30th, 2012
  • Winner(s) will be announced approximately the 2nd week of July, 2012

Tips to create a design we will more likely choose:

  • Design something that is simple enough to create in leather appliqué. If the design is too complicated (ie: too many parts, it will be difficult to work with)
  • Be sure to create a design that DOES NOT already exist as part of our current collection
  • If sending a full colour design, try to work with our color pallette options (or similar) to those available via our custom bib studo

If you win:

  • We will choose at least 1 lucky winner, who will get to have their design made as a part of our 2012-2013 collection... bragging rights!
  • If your design is chosen, you will get your choice of 5 personalized bibs in your design, to keep for yourself or to give as upcoming baby gifts, or a $200 E-gift certificate for mallybibs.com, which ever you prefer.
  • Depending on the amount of entries with designs we love, we may choose more than 1 winner, who will be awarded the same prize.
  • Please note, if chosen, we may need to revise the design slightly before we add it to our collection.

GOOD LUCK and HAVE FUN! :)

UPDATE: Oh my goodness! We had so many generous entries of beautiful and inspirational designs! We were overwhelmed by each and every entrants creativeness! We had about 160 entries, and I'll be first to say it was EXTREMELY difficult to choose the designs to use as our inspiration! We finally decided on 5 design entries to use as inspiration, with a few modifciations to suit our style and work with our medium. Congrats to Chana P., Chris D. / Sheri D., Noel L., Stacey B. and Tracy F. whose designs were ALL chosen as our inspirations to work with. We will keep the winning designs a secret until we launch in late August / early September, but all I can say is this will be our best new collection yet! I know, I keep saying that every year, but it's true! We just keep getting better, and this year especially it's thanks to our customers! ;)

I also wanted to note that we had several entries of variations of the same or similar designs. In some cases the winning design was one of these where there was several entries. If you designed something that became a part of our new collection, and you were not one of the winners, it's simply because we went with a design entry that worked best for our collection. In one case we had 9 entries of the same design, so we picked one as the winner, the one that will be most like our new bib. Hopefully this makes sense!

We will be sure to have more design contests in the future! This contest was a hit!

 

 

Family Vacation EPIC Promotion

If you follow us on Facebook, you know that we travel a lot for business. There are certain months of the year when we spend more time sleeping in hotels than our own beds and more time in a plane than in a car. Unfortunately this means we are away from our kids. I contstantly have to reassure myself that it's okay to have a really unbalanced work / life scheule for a few months of the year if the rest of the year is a really unbalanced the other way. In other words, sure we miss out on a lot of family time for 2 months, but we are there almost all the time the rest of the year. Thankfully we have a great in house child care system, so that makes it a lot easier but the truth is, we miss them like crazy during our time away, and (much to our surprise) they actually miss us! This of course generates the guilt factor, which means we have no choice but to make up for it! The solution: family vacation! We have gone on a family vacation of some sort every year and we have always had hired help to ship orders while we are away, but this time we decided to do things a little differently and just shut down for 2 weeks. Money saved in hiring shipping help = money saved by our customers! Since no orders will ship for 2 weeks, we thought it was a perfect opportunity to run a BIG EPIC promotion, so that we can return to a flood of orders. Click through to our blog to check it out! 

mally bibs coupon code

Please Read below for the complete details and coupon code:

  • This offer cannot be combined with any other Mally Bibs coupon code offer, execept our automatic free shipping on orders over $75
  • A gift certificate valued at $20 will be included with each online order shipment placed from February 10th - 24th only if the coupon code was entered
  • Additionally, 10% will be deducted from your initial order subtotal when the coupon code is entered!
  • Coupon code to be entered during checkout: FAMILYVACATION
  • All regular orders will ship within 1 week of the promotion end date (by March 2nd)
  • All custom orders will ship within 2 weeks of the promotion end date (by March 9th)
  • Gift certificates will expire in 3 months from the original order purchase date
  • Gift certificates may be used by the original purchaser or given to someone else as a gift

Our company ethics; what we believe is right.

 

definition of ethical: eth·i·cal[eth-i-kuhl]  Pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong in conduct.

 
  As a small husband and wife run business, we have answered a lot of questions about our business over the past 6+ years. Serious questions, funny questions, you name it. Everything from 'how can you work with your husband / wife?' to 'can you make a bib for my cat?' You name it, we've been asked it! After a recent feature on ethicalDeal, I have decided it's time to address a few questions here that have come up on occasion over the past 6 years regarding our ethics. There's a lot of contradicting comments we have heard on this topic. On one hand we have customers thank us for using a natural, biodegradable material that is CPSIA approved for child safety, and on the other hand we have others asking us why leather? Why would we harm animals? First of all, we would never, ever harm an animal. We are animal lovers. In fact, our sweet 10 month old Lab Sadie accompanies us at the studio on a daily basis because we would feel horrible leaving her home alone every {C}day. The hides we use for our leather comes from cows that are raised for beef. Until the day comes when people no longer eat beef, there will be hides that can either be thrown out or used to make useful products. In our opinion, we believe creating something that can be used by humans is a way to respect the animal. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, so if you disagree, I completely respect that. These more negative comments typically come from vegans or vegetarians, who have chosen not to eat or use animal related products at all. They have strong beliefs and opinions and I commend them for that! I truly believe everyone should have strong beliefs and opinions, and be proud of their choices. We do our best to be an ethical company and to stand for what we believe in. Some people may disagree, just like we disagree with them. We will continue to respect their opinions and hope they respect ours. Here's a few Q & A's to explain some examples of how we believe we are ethical in our own way, supporting what we believe is right:

Why do you manufacture your products in Canada?

We realize we're going against the grain here. There are so many companies that choose to manufacture overseas for many reasons, and that's their decision. We choose to manufacture in Canada to ensure a supreme quality product and exceptional working conditions for our employees. We believe in fair wages. We believe in supporting our own economy, creating jobs in our local community. We have toured factories in another country and entertained the idea of manufacturing elsewhere, and it solidified for us that this is the right decision.

I was hoping my order would come in a gift box, but there was hardly any packaging at all!

It's true. When shopping for gifts, there's so many beautiful packages out there. Lovely gift boxes, vinyl tote bags, etc. We chose not to use any packaging for our products, other than the bare minimum needed to explain the product for two reasons: to ensure we're not creating unnecessary waste and to keep shipping costs low. Our bibs simply come with a gift tag that explains product features and benefits and our accessories simply come with tag or card explaining the product. We do wrap our products with recycled tissue paper.

If you care so much about the environment, why don't you use recycled leather?

There is so many different types chemicals used in various leather goods during the tanning process, and in order to ensure child safety and CPSIA approval, the only choice for us is to use new leather. Each time we purchase leather we have it tested by a 3rd party CPSIA approved lab (at the tune of over $500 per color!), and to test each type of recycled leather to ensure child safety would simply not be possible.

Why did you start making small leather accessories?

The truth is, after years of making bibs our leather scrap piles started taking over. Even though it's biodegradable, we couldn't justify throwing it away when we knew we could turn it into something useful, so we started designing smaller products. Look at our change purses pictured below for example. Those are made out of the necks of the bibs! Each time we cut out a bib, we are left with the circular neck piece. After a few years we had thousands of circles and came up with this idea, as the perfect way to use them. Our change purses are now our 2nd most popular item, after bibs.

mally change purse   mally change purse   mally change purse

Why not use a faux leather or vinyl material to create a similar product?

Since the leather we use is resistant to food stains (yes, even spaghetti sauce!), we believe it's the best choice for durability and to ensure maximum longevity of the product. We used to say it's the only bib you need, but honestly most people go through two (baby size, then toddler size) but then pass down the bibs to younger siblings, friends or relatives as they outgrow them.

You used to print beautiful catalogs of your products. Why did you stop?

Yes we did, and it didn't feel right. They were beautifully designed by our graphics designer and printed on recycled paper, but with the internet and having a great website that showcases our products so well, we decided it was creating unnecessary waste. We don't want to say we're going paperless, because honestly, I think for any company that's completely impossible, but we are choosing to be paper-minimalist for sure!

Meet our new product... designed by a Man!

Since those early days of business, back in 2005, when I came up with the idea for leather baby bibs it's been me who has designed our new products. I'm one of those people who can't stop designing and creating. I'm constantly being inspired and if I have an idea, I have to get out my sketch pad and pencil and start drawing. I usually can't get it off my mind until I start cutting and playing with color combinations. It's just who I am! In fact, my husband jokes that he dreads these 5 words I so often say to him: 'Babe, I have an idea'. Don't get me wrong, my husband always gives valuable input and suggestions, which I really do appreciate, but he never got as excited as I did, until recently. I think after working side by side with my husband / business partner for a number of years now, that creative side is starting to rub off on him as well! About a year ago he complained to me about how tired he was of having such a bulky wallet full of cards, half of which he never uses. He told me he was going to design something out of our leather to solve that problem. I saw it happen to him - he couldn't get it off his mind! He was ME! He started drawing, showing me, cutting, gluing, playing... he was desiging! I acted like it was no big deal, but really I was so proud, and equally excited. I knew he had something. He made up his first few prototypes and gave them to a few friends. They were a hit! Mind you, these were friends, and perhaps biased opinions, so I suggested he make a bunch up to test sell at our upcoming retail shows. Again, as excited as I get about things like this, he did, AND they sold! Now that was the first few prototypes and they were solid brown and solid black, with no D-ring on the side. He will say I added the two-tone colors and D-ring to make the idea 'mine' but I'm giving him FULL credit here! I added those details because I wanted them to also appeal to women. We had quite the argument about adding the D-ring on the more masculine colors. My argument was if a guy doesn't want it, he can just simply cut it off, no big deal! He wasn't budging until one day, at one of our retail shows, a guy came up and asked 'Can I get this solid black card holder with a D-ring on it?'. I laughed and told my husband I won that argument. It's easier to cut it off then sew one on!

NEW card holders

Now our new and simple, yet awesome / designed by a man card holders are available for order at mallybibs.com here! The best part is we designed them to coordinate with our change purses (another reason the D-ring is significant, I might add, to attach to the change purses). I have two card holders in my purse right now, one for my plastic cards, and one for my business cards. My husband, of course, has the solid black, with no D-ring. ;)

Why Mally Bibs you ask? Here is our list of 101 reasons why!

why mally bibs?Often when someone sees our product for the first time, they have 'the look'...it's a strange look, one that is both confused and intrigued at the same time.  This look is usually followed by the question 'Leather for baby bibs? Why leather?'.  Then we explain with a few key reasons, and suddenly the confused look converts into an 'ahhhh, that makes perfect sense' type of look.  For all who have not seen our product and are trying to figure out why, we've narrowed it down to 101 factual and quirky reasons:

  1. They are guaranteed not to stain. Really no joke. Yes, even spaghetti sauce, blueberries and carrots will come off.
  2. Ease of cleaning – simply wipe or rinse! 
  3. Amazing selection.  There is something for any style / personality.
  4. Simply because it is the original leather baby bib. It's always nice to buy the original, isn't it?
  5. It makes a unique and practical gift that they will remember.
  6. Each bib proudly boasts handmade quality.
  7. You can personalize the pocket with a name!
  8. By personalizing, it will be obvious which bib is theirs at daycare.
  9. Personalizing is also great for kids to start recognizing their name in text.
  10. Because it’s rare to find unique names on products elsewhere!
  11. They magnetically stick to the fridge or metal surfaces for convenient storage.
  12. They also make nice fridge décor (we have customers who choose their design(s) based on their kitchen color scheme!).
  13. Older babies / toddlers enjoy putting these bibs on themselves.
  14. Each bib includes a food-catch pocket on one side.
  15. Besides catching food, the pocket it great for filling with snacks like cheerios to keep baby satisfied.
  16. They are stitched with a heavy duty nylon thread that won’t rot or stain.
  17. They still look like new meal after meal.
  18. Your friends will be jealous.
  19. Your friends will be thrilled when you give them one as a gift.
  20. You can customize the colors to make it even more unique!
  21. Leather is a natural, biodegradable material.
  22. You deserve to enjoy every moment with your baby and Mally Bibsl They make mealtime a little bit more enjoyable.
  23. Each bib design is available in a matching art card, making them ideal for gift giving.
  24. They are designed and made 100% in Canada!
  25. Each design is kid approved by the designer’s 7 year old girl and 9 year old boy before being added to the collection!
  26. Ordering online is secure, convenient and easy at mallybibs.com
  27. The neck adjusts to fit even tiny little necks and super chubby necks.
  28. They are GREAT for travelling or eating out! Who wants to bring home a dirty, sticky bib? Just wipe it with a bab wipe and toss it in the diaper bag.
  29. Each bib ordered online comes wrapped with tissue, sealed with a sticker, includes an informative hang tag with a personal message and a card.
  30. They are baby safe – CPSIA approved!
  31. They are comfortable for babies to wear.
  32. The magnetic clasp won’t tangle hair like ties often do.
  33. The magnetic clasp won’t irritate their neck like Velcro might.
  34. They are available in 2 sizes (larger ones for bigger / extra messy babies).
  35. Gift giving is made easy with our e-gift card option online.
  36. Or, another option for easy gift giving: if gift cards are not your style, you really can’t go wrong with gifting our #1 most popular design – the giraffe. 
  37. They are so durable they can be passed down to younger siblings, cousins or friends.
  38. 1st meal photos will be more special.
  39. 1st birthday photos will be more special.
  40. If you have one, you can enter to win another one by submitting a photo and testimonial!  Submit your photo & testimonial entry to contests@mallybibs.com
  41. Even if you don’t win, you will have bragging rights that your child is a star on the mallybibs.com website.
  42. They save time, water and electricity by having no more bib laundry.
  43. For the parents of multiples, this saves double (or triple, quadruple, etc. the time).
  44. Our sports bibs are great for wearing to cheer on a favorite team! (especially when customized with team colors!).
  45. Because they are so much nicer than the bibs your mom put on you.
  46. They will be the hit of the baby shower.
  47. To make the fire fighter, police officer, paramedic, or pilot Mom, Dad, Grandma, or Grandpa proud.
  48. Because your baby deserves the best.
  49. There is an equal selection of designs popular for boys, girls & neutral. This, as most Moms to boys know, is extremely rare.
  50. Our return policy is amazing – we stand behind our product.
  51. They last a few years vs. a pair of shoes or an outfit that last a few months before out grown.
  52. Because they are fun to coordinate with outfits.
  53. We offer designs that are cool enough for bigger toddlers to wear.
  54. Babies love to chew on them, making them great teethers.
  55. Drool won’t soak through to their clothes.
  56. Drool won’t run off the bib if the pocket side is facing out.
  57. Since they are flat, they are easy to ship to far away friends & family.
  58. They make great corporate gifts for employees who have babies - we even offer a discount for companies wanting to give as corporate gifts.
  59. Fewer bibs will end up in the landfills!
  60. You are supporting a small / family run business who cares about their employees and work / life balance.
  61. Each bib goes through quality control every step in the manufacturing process.
  62. Our leather supplier processes the leather in the most environmentally friendly method possible
  63. Our vegetable bibs just might get toddlers excited about eating veggies!
  64. We are an environmentally aware and responsible company.
  65. They come in a beautiful array of colors that parents love and children get excited about.
  66. Because thousands of people are already raving about them.
  67. Celebrities love them!
  68. It is an award winning product.
  69. Because it’s fun and exciting to try something different.
  70. Because leather smells nice.
  71. To show your patriotism with the maple leaf or stars & stripes bib!
  72. They make a great baby keepsake item.
  73. Chances are, none of your friends have the exact same one.
  74. They dog or cat bibs are perfect for the dog or cat lover.
  75. Babies and toddlers love the designs = more likely to want to wear it.
  76. Even if you don’t have babies, they make the visit memorable if you offer your guests with babies to use one.
  77. When your child has outgrown it, the bib pocket can be used to store mail or notes when stuck to the fridge.
  78. A smile will come across your face when elders say ‘wow, a leather bib, when I had babies we just tied a t-towel around the babies neck!’
  79. Because they are easy off, you can rest assured knowing that they will not choke or strangle your child.
  80. The cowhide comes from cows that are raised for meat and if beautiful products were not made from their hides, they would be wasted.
  81. They are ideal for the camping family / outdoor enthusiast since baby wipes work great for cleaning them.
  82. Older siblings have fun custom designing a special one of a kind bib for new siblings through the custom bib studio.
  83. Giving toddlers the choice to pick out their own bib will make them feel special, and they will enjoy wearing it more.
  84. They make a great 1st birthday gift for the baby who has too many toys.
  85. You won’t have to worry about any more clothing getting ruined by Velcro bibs in the laundry!
  86. It’s fun to scare people by spilling spaghetti sauce on it, then surprising them by washing it off like magic.
  87. If you own dozens of them (yes, some people do!) they could be used for recognition ‘flashcards’ for baby to learn names of the images.
  88. Because you need a good reason NOT to have to use all the less attractive bibs that you were gifted by people who don’t really know your style.
  89. Because you only need 1.
  90. Despite #89, getting a 2nd one for the diaper bag is handy. 
  91. And of course, getting another one with a permanent home at grandma’s & grandpa’s house isn’t a bad idea either.
  92. They will free up your bib drawer to store something else.
  93. They last A LOT longer than flowers making them a great new baby gift.
  94. Because it just might inspire you to invent a product to make life as a parent to young children easier.
  95. Your babysitter, nanny or daycare will thank you for making mealtime easier.
  96. They make a great gift set to get for older toddler / new sibling with coordinating designs.
  97. If you are on a budget, we do have a few discontinued designs on clearance from time to time.
  98. The obvious – what bibs were invented for: to protect their clothes!
  99. The lobster bib = the design is guaranteed to generate smiles and / or laughs.
  100. Guitar bibs are perfect for the future rock stars or music enthusiasts.
  101. It’s a conversation piece – people will ask you why leather bibs, and you now have 101 reasons to tell them why!

From Our Blog

We're retiring from shows + plus, a shipping update

The title says it all, and it's true. It's time, and it feels right. After 14 seasons, we have decided it's time to wrap up the Craft Show and Christmas Market chapter in our lives and really start to enjoy the holidays. Our kids are getting older and through the years we have loved doing these shows, but the only downside it that it has also meant being away from our kids for a few weeks and for a very fast paced December served with a side of exhaustion for us all.

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