Spring has sprung at mifold! What an unbelievable time we are having.
I know that I usually write in chronological order, but we have to jump to this month and shout about the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) show that we attended last week!
The mifold team attended the JPMA Trade show in Anaheim, California. The Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association connects manufacturers, retailers, legislators and consumers in the juvenile products industry and as such is an influential and well recognised body.
mifold was the BIG winner at the show! mifold won the “Best in Show” Innovation award. Voted by a panel of expert judges: leading retail buyers, media executives and industry experts, the mifold Grab-and-Go booster seat received the most votes overall, ahead of more than 117 new and innovative products. The competition this year was very strong and we want to thank both the JPMA and the judges for honouring us with this most prestigious award.
To top that, on the last day of the show, mifold also won the “Parents Pick” award. Parents and caregivers all over the USA voted online, choosing from another strong field of competing products. The mifold seat won by a landslide, taking nearly 50% of the entire vote. We want to thank all our fans and supporters who took the time to vote for us.
We created a very impressive stand for this show which attracted much attention . It was also the focal point for the mifold/Uber “Mother and Kids’ Day Out” event. On a bright Saturday afternoon, 9 smart black Uber SUVs drew up outside the JPMA conference venue, carrying mums and their children, who were safely transported on a specially designed mifold booster seat. The families then went on to test mifold out at our booth and have fun with the mifold team.
There was certainly some celebratory excess after the show and you can see all the fun in these two videos.
Now we are all back in the office and returning back to normal.
Sales continue to explode with containers of mifold continually being shipped around the world.
We have recently received regulatory approval In China, South Korea and in Chile which are countries that require that car booster seats meet specific national criteria.
We are now a 10-person team with Gaynor Leigh joining us as Supply Chain and Logistics Coordinator. Gaynor is originally from Manchester in the UK and coincidentally went on the same school bus as Rayna! She has a wide range of experiences including: executive assistant, sales rep., trade show organiser and national sales manager and she trained as a dental hygienist. Most recently, Gaynor worked in HR. Gaynor joins mifold to assist Robert in Toronto (at long last!) with supply chain to US retail, order management for distributors, and associated reporting.
Since I last wrote Jon has been jetting off around the globe attending a variety of mifold launches. He was overwhelmed with the press launch of mifold in both Russia and in Singapore where he was treated like royalty at various star-studded events. I am still awaiting the Faberge egg he promised to bring me ...
Mark and Matt proudly exhibited mifold at the Lifesavers Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina which is the USA’s premier highway safety meeting dedicated to reducing the tragic toll of deaths and injuries on US highways. They were delighted to be involved in such a passionate and informative conference, thrilled that mifold was so well received by health and safety experts and that they were given the opportunity to share the mifold vision that no child should have to travel in a vehicle without the proper restraint.
They have also been consumed with the launch of mifold into over 120 Buy Buy Baby retail stores . The logistics involved in physically getting the mifold booster seats and the instore video, signage and aisle displays into each store has been no mean feat but they did it with aplomb! Furthermore, they are conducting training in all these stores to ensure that their personnel can sell mifold correctly and effectively.
Ken continues on his quest for world domination, successfully signing exclusive distribution agreements in South Africa, Slovenia, Croatia, The Netherlands and in the Philippines! What is more, mifold is now officially available in retail stores in Japan. We think Ken likes working here as he even brought his kids to the office on a day he was supposed to be having a holiday! He is training them young to be supersonic sales people!
Davide and Rachel in her new role as brand manager have been maintaining a positive presence for mifold in a variety of social media pages– it is amazing to see just how much time people devote to Facebook! Davide has spent considerable energy overhauling the mifold packaging and overall marketing look – I hope you will agree that he has done a fine job! They both attended the Vibe mummy bloggers meet up where they introduced mifold to an extremely diverse and international group of bloggers.
Robert is like a juggling plate spinner - we are not quite sure how he manages it. He seamlessly manages the supply of mifold from the factory to the distributors, warehouses and end users with apparent ease though we know he doesn’t ever sleep AND he manages the company’s finances. We recently added to his burdens by committing to send 800 mifold booster seats to the lead instructors of the Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) courses in the United States. These instructors hold monthly courses to train technicians on how to correctly install car seats booster seats and seat belts as well as to educate them about how to advise caregivers in the proper selection, installation and use of car seats.
In the past two months Rayna our glamorous financial controller, has been fine tuning our management reporting and now fluidly issues a weekly sales report, monthly marketing report and a monthly performance report to senior management. It feels like we are a pretty sleek and professional company….
I continue in my multi-faceted role of Customer Service Manager, Office Manager, HR Manager, Regulatory Affairs Co-ordinator and Conference Co-ordinator. There is certainly never a dull moment or a quiet day in my life!
This quarter has seen the inauguration of a monthly team meeting involving all team members around the world - thank goodness for Skype video calling! Who knew that you could see everyone on the screen at the same time! This meeting gives us the opportunity to keep in touch with everyone else’s projects and with exactly how the business is performing. We also have a monthly team Ted Talk to inspire and embolden us. Recently we have been challenged to consider our pursuit of happiness and to quadruple 6 digit numbers in our heads (I, surprisingly, never managed the latter…)
And finally, the multi-award winning mifold has received two new design awards. mifold has been awarded an honourable mention in the 2017 ePDA (European Product Design Awards) and a Silver award in the ‘A Design Award’. Davide will be in Italy in June to receive the trophy.
This quarter has been exhilarating and extremely productive – we are very much on course to meet our sales target and in addition to winning the JPMA awards, we have also just celebrated the first anniversary of shipping the very first mifold. Happily, these events coincided with Jon’s 50th birthday so we had a triple excuse for a party! (Not that we ever need much of an excuse….)
Happy Birthday Jon and Happy Birthday mifold!