{LaunchHER Loves} Shopping for a Cause :: Maiden Minnesota

As if you needed another reason to look forward to Friday, Maiden Minnesota is happening THIS Friday!
We are excited to attend and shop this amazing event again this year. The Maidens never cease to amaze with their talent, creativity, professionalism and energy.
Can’t wait to see the new vendors and favorites from past years. Our holiday giving always includes goodies from this great extravaganza.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26th · 5 pm – 10 pm

Spend a fun evening with friends.

Enjoy cocktails, exclusive sales, and a silent auction to benefit Project SUCCESS. This stylish,
charitable shopping event will feature beauty, fashion, accessories, food, décor and more from some
of the most dynamic women-owned companies in Minnesota.

Ticket Information:
Tickets $20 in advance at www.MaidenMinnesota.com. $30 at the door. Price includes one drink ticket and a $5 donation to Project Success.

The “little things” :: A Special Thank You from LaunchHER

To say that we don’t get caught up in the number of Facebook fans LaunchHER has, would be a lie.  In fact, as we’re writing this, we have 2,504 fans.  Of course we keep track!  This is the community we interact with on a daily basis.  We use our Facebook page as a place to promote your business, share our business articles, and as a place to just “chat”.  Not only that, but we are sincerely flattered when we see people share LaunchHER posts, or recommend our page to other small business owners.  Facebook fans are very important to us.

LaunchHER Legal and Marketing for Women in BusinessAt one of our usual Monday Meetings about a month ago, we chose a random milestone {2,500 fans} and decided that once we reached that milestone we would offer something special to express our thanks.  We didn’t make a huge hoopla about it, just a simple post here and there, because we want our Facebook page to continue to be a community not just a place where people just come for “free” stuff.  This is about you, and the immense support you have shown us and to the entire LaunchHER network.  We are happy to have reached over 2,500 Facebook Fans!

Maybe you’re asking, what have I done?

You “liked” a recent Freshly Launched post.

You shared.

You introduced yourself.

You found inspiration.

You gave support.

You “liked” another business’ page.

You commented.

You participated in Look @ Me Monday.

You read.

It may seem like a little thing to you, but to us, it’s ALL about the “little things” because they add up to great things. Great, BIG things.

So please, join us tomorrow to see what BIG things we have in store for you – it is a one-day exclusive that we have NEVER offered before.

xxoo, Tracy & Kara

The LOVE-ly List by LaunchHER

{ share / profess / shout / write / confess }

your love, on February 14th

We’re taking a minute on this LOVE-ly day to share a few things we love right now.  3 things, to be exact.  Of course, you know we love our friends and family, that goes without saying, but here are a few things that make our hearts sing

{ Aimee from byAimee }

  1. my new trek seven.three bike
  2. my camera’s lightscoopthe lovely list on LaunchHER
  3. the Southern California beach!

{ Tracy at LaunchHER }

  1. coffee
  2. pretty flowers in vases
  3. bbq dinners – with all the fixings!

{ Kristen at Ahoy Graphics }

  1. bookbinding
  2. going out and having fun with our “weekend buddies”
  3. fruit… lots of fruit… any fruit, really.

{ Kara at LaunchHER }

  1. Downton Abbey
  2. nikko blue hydrangeas
  3. the color red

{Tiffany Silverberg, Writer & Consultant}

  1. Chocolate.
  2. Yarn.
  3. Books.

Thanks to Aimee, Kristen, and Tiffany for sharing their loves.  It’s your turn now…we’re excited to hear what YOU love!

{photo credit :: Tracy Corcoran, Rae Dunn Clay also featured here.}

LaunchHER Top 40 :: Profiles of Women Entrepreneurs 2011

Over the past 12 months, our tongue-in-cheek 40 Under 40 list of women-owned brands has become our most-read post. While the idea behind that list was to fulfill Kara’s personal goal of being named to a 40 Under 40 list while she was still, in fact, under 40, profiling amazing women entrepreneurs was thrilling.

So without further ado, we present the…

LaunchHER Top 40 :: Profiles of Women Entrepreneurs 2011*

In no particular order, but in keeping with tradition…in reverse alphabetical order, of course. {wink, wink}

  Molly Vernon {store owner/author}  www.LuxabyBaby.com





    Jennifer Untermeyer {travel expert/entrepreneur} www.TravelKiddy.com





  Amber Toste {boutique owner/fashion lover} www.houndstoothboutique.com





women in business becky sturm 3 way beauty   Becky Sturm {beauty business expert/inventor} www.3waybeauty.com





   Kim Stoegbauer {party stylist/editor/HGTV blogger} www.thetomkatstudio.com





   Leigh Standley {artist} www.curlygirldesign.com





  Jessie Senese {party supplies} www.ShopSweetLulu.com





   Anna Ryan & Selena Srabian {nurses/inventors} www.annieandisabel.com






   Mally Roncal {makeup artist/inventor} www.mallybeauty.com






   Cassandra Rippberger {graphic designer} www.pixiechicago.com






   Angela Parks {designer/blogger} www.preppypoppy.com, www.diaryofdomesticfailure.blogspot.com





 Jo Packham {publisher/entrepreneur}


www.wherewomencreate.com, www.wherewomencook.com




   Heather Mellstrom & Stephanie Monge {designers} www.monmelldesigns.blogspot.com





   Nikki McGonigal {author/crafter} www.nikkiinstitches.com





   Holly Mathis {interior designer} www.hollymathisinteriors.com





   Jami Lindberg {entrepreneur/social media maven} www.thesavvysocialista.com





   Natalie Jost {designer/curator} www.nataliejost.comwww.olivemanna.com





   Cathe Holden {graphic designer/writer}  www.justsomethingimade.com





   Valeria Guerrero {graphic designer/entrepreneur/founder}  www.theartisangroup.org





   Sally Gemignani {party supplies} www.polkadotmarket.com





   Jenny Ford {shoe designer/sugar lover}  www.monkey-toes.comwww.sugarloco.com





   Lara Field {pediatric dietician/gluten-free guru} www.feedkids.com





   Tauni Everett {founder} www.snaptheconference.com





  Wendy Estes & Tiffany Harris {entrepreneurs/style mavens}  www.laylagrayce.com, www.zincdoor.com





   Erin Edwards {jewelry designer} www.thevintagepearl.com





   Rae Dunn {ceramic artist} www.raedunn.com





   Elizabeth Dehn {beauty writer & skincare creator} www.elizabethdehn.com





  Anne M. Cramer {clothing designer} www.annemcramer.com





   Bridget Connell {handbag designer} www.bcdesignsinc.com





   Jenni Clark {children’s clothing designer} www.charmingnecessities.com





   Kim Christopherson & Kris Thurgood {DIY mavens} www.thediydish.com





  Grace Bonney {blogger/author} www.designsponge.com





  Jennifer Berson {publicist} www.jenerationpr.com





  Holly Becker {author/founder of decor8} www.decor8blog.com





   Maureen Anders & Adria Ruff {graphic designers & party stylists} www.andersruff.com



*******************************launchher photo courtesy Megan Norman Photography

We are continually inspired by the women we meet, and are enjoying every minute of our own journey as women entrepreneurs.  Cheers!

~Kara Jensen Zitnick & Tracy Corcoran, LaunchHER

First time visiting LaunchHER? Welcome!

See what we’re all about



* This article is the sole opinion of LaunchHER. No payment or other consideration was exchanged for inclusion.

Decorate by Holly Becker Giveaway Winner!

We are excited to announce the winner of the signed copy of Decorate by Holly Becker

decorate book by holly becker decor8

She said her favorite room is the house is “the playroom…it’s where all the action is!”

She was lucky #45 according to ramdom.org

Congrats to…

Jen from Ellia C. Naturals!!!

LaunchHER Gift Guide 2011 – Wrap up the cheer!

LaunchHER Gift Guide 2011 – Wrap up the cheer!

A little known fact about us is that we love to give gifts! With the holidays quickly approaching, we are anxious to pick out the perfect gifts for each of our family members and friends. We want to help our readers find the perfect gifts too, and that’s where you come in. We are inviting you to include a product from your shop in the LaunchHER Gift Guide.

launchHER gift guide handmade gift picks 2011 christmas

What is so special about LaunchHER? ::

  • approximately 78% of our readers/fans are women ages 25-44
  • we utilize our social media networks to spread the word! f:1729 t:4009 in:445
  • we promote and share your business and product throughout November & December with a link to the guide on our sidebar.

Important details ::

  • Keep in mind that we are looking for “giftable” products to feature. Fun & unique ideas for women, men, kids, etc.
  • Fees – $25 to participate {FREE for LaunchHER League Members}
  • The featured product description & photos are due to {hello@launchHER.com} by October 26th, 2011.
  • LaunchHER reserves the right to limit products and/or shops in certain categories due to demand.

There are only 25 spots available for the 2011 LaunchHER Gift Guide and they will go fast. Sign up today, and get your products noticed this holiday season. {cheers!}

Update: The 2011 LaunchHER Gift Guide is full.  If you are interested in other advertising opportunities with LaunchHER for the holiday season, or becoming a LaunchHER League member, please contact Tracy hello@launchHER.com. Thank you!

Look @ Me Monday!

Introducing :: Look @ Me Monday!

LH Look at Me Monday

As women entrepreneurs, we are very good at supporting and promoting others.  We tell everyone about our favorite products on Facebook and Twitter, or over coffee.  Well, Look @ Me Monday isn’t about everyone else…it’s all about promoting YOU.  We want to know what new product, post, or project YOU have been working on.  Just visit our Facebook page and leave us a link!  There are no rules; share what YOU want.  Well, there is one rule, please only post 1 link per Look @ Me Monday on our Facebook wall.  That’s not such a bad rule, right?

Make it fun. Grab our attention. Toot your own horn!

Why participate?  Look @ Me Monday is a wonderful chance to show off your stuff to the ladies of LaunchHER and the LaunchHER community.  We are always looking for fun products and entrepreneurs to share with our LaunchHER community through posts, newsletters, and gift guidesLook @ Me Monday is the perfect way to connect and it only takes a few minutes.

Join us on Facebook and show off your stuff today!

LaunchHER Loves :: Luxaby Baby Shower Picks

Even though babies are born all year round, it seems like everyone tries to squeeze those baby showers in during the spring and summer months.  Of course, it is important to arrive with the perfect gift for the mom-to-be, and Luxaby Baby has a few great options that are new to their site. 

Luxaby Baby owner, Molly Vernon, is one of our resident LaunchHER Pro’s and she is the go-to gal for the latest and greatest in baby products.  Today we are sharing a few options from Pretty & Preppy, a new line at Luxaby Baby, and we absolutely love that these baby products are designed by a mother-daughter team!

Bibs ($14) : A beautiful everyday bib perfect for catching all your baby’s drips and dribbles. All of our bibs are made from premium cotton fabric and backed with a soft, white chenille.

Blankets ($58) : Adorable blankets in Vibrant playful colors and styles. Excellent as a play mat. Surface fabric is 100% cotton & back is 100% cotton chenille.


Burp Cloths ($20) : Adorable super absorbent burp cloth sets made using cotton fabrics and premium cloth diapers. A must have for any new mom. A perfect shower gift set.

Just for LaunchHER readers :: Stock up for those upcoming arrivals with 25% off your Luxaby Baby purchase with the code ‘launchher’ – HURRY! Expires Sunday, May 15th, 2011.

Shop Luxaby Baby / Facebook Luxaby Baby / Tweet Luxaby Baby

LaunchHER Gift Picks :: Profiles of Women-owned Brands

Hello, Black Friday!

Here at LaunchHER, we are typically big shoppers. We love a bargain and truly enjoy the thrill of the hunt in the quest for the perfect gift to give. Sounds like Black Friday is the day for us, no? Not this year, friends. The exceptionally cold weather we’re experiencing here in Minnesota today has us putting an extra log on the fire and adding a few more marshmallows to our steaming mugs of hot chocolate. Instead of bundling up and braving the below-zero temps, we are shopping online today!! Read on to see our top gift picks for Christmas 2010 from women-owned businesses we love! The best part? Supporting small, indie and local business.

Kara says :: With two family birthdays in the week following Thanksgiving, there’s a whole lot of shopping going on at our house this time of year! Since one of my personal missions this year has been to declutter the house, my focus for gifts this year is to purchase only items that are truly useful and meaningful. While my boys may not initially appreciate the lack of toys under the Christmas tree, I know my picks for them will be getting daily use well into 2011.

1. birdzNbeez

My second grader is really into watches, robots and “cool guy” necklaces. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined finding a watch robot pendant! Only on Etsy, right?? An added bonus are the really great pendants for others on my list, too!

2. sarah + abraham

Finding the perfect gift for a soon-to-be 3 year-old isn’t as easy as one would think. Especially with my “no clutter” mantra this year. But since a certain little man in our house practically lives on Stonyfield Organic French Vanilla yogurt, I know this darling personalized bowl will get daily use. And since it is BPA-free, the good qualities of the organic yogurt won’t be canceled out by gross off-gassing.

3. Housewife Bliss

My mother has a gift for domesticity. She has turned every house into a home in seemingly the blink of an eye. Coryanne Ettiene has the same gift. Her charming site, Housewife Bliss, focuses on nesting and the finer points of domesticity. Love it! And her marketplace? Genius. I so enjoy all that Coryanne offers. These baskets (mom made!) will do a stylish job of corralling all of my mom’s Martha Stewart magazines.

4. Red Letter Words

My in-laws have the most amazing art collection. What makes it so amazing, I think, is that many of the pieces were purchased while my father-in-law was in the Army and moving, quite literally, around the world. But being born and raised in Chicago, it’s where he is “from.” I know the Chicago City Sights art print will be the perfect addition to their already-personal collection.

5.The Black Apple

Emily Martin’s unique and charming designs have come to life in a paper doll book. Oh my!!! I’ve followed Emily since practically her first day on Etsy. I was overjoyed the day she joined Martha to sew a doll. What girl doesn’t love a doll? Growing up, paper dolls were my favorite. So I am giving this wonderful book to my nieces. My hope is that they, too, will grow as fond of paper dolls as their favorite aunt has. And, it will be super easy to send to them across the miles. Now to work on getting a signed copy…..

6. Garnish

If you know me at all, you know that I love to bake. I mean, absolutely LOVE to bake. And I love to give. So naturally, one of our traditions is to gift bake goods to neighbors, teachers, and loved ones near and far. A few years ago, I searched high and low for attractive packaging that wouldn’t detract from the goodies inside. The search was difficult. this year? My search is over. I have found Garnish. Oh joy! I’m ordering these for my cinnamon raisin mini-loaves, these for the chocolate toffee fingers, and these for the dipped pretzels.

I’m going to jazz up the simplicity of the packaging with DIY printables from Anders Ruff!

Tie it all up with this darling twine and let the gifting begin!

7. Preppy Poppy

In addition to the home-baked goodies and a Caribou Coffee card, the teachers on my list will also get a reusable lunch tote, monogrammed, of course! The impeccable quality and style of Preppy Poppy’s goods are just so amazing! Teachers have been known to still use these darling bags years after receiving them. Now that is the sign of a great gift!

8. Perideau Designs

Bridgett’s personalized holiday treat bags will be my first purchase today! Not only is she offering a great discount on her site for today only, I can think of 100 different uses for these sweet bags! Perfect not just for actual sweets, but for trinkets and small items galore. And knowing my boys, they will use the bags to tote trinkets around for months to come.

9. Sarah Bohl Designs

I’m giving myself the gift of help this year. For just $49, Sarah Bohl is designing my fireplace mantel. Yep. And she’s not even stopping by my house! I just emailed a photo to Sarah, she works her magic, and sends me her ideas, complete with where to purchase recommended items, if I so choose. She’ll even work with decor you already have. This genius service of Sarah’s is just too good to pass up. I have struggled with the seasonal decorating of my dining room fireplace mantel for as long as I have lived here (8 yrs, to be exact). The struggle is over, people! Act now if you would like Sarah’s assistance, though, as the service is seasonal and is good only through the weekend. sarahbohl@gmail.com

10. Pink and Polkadot

My sister has been on a mission to spruce up her house. While she likes the lines and size of her current sofa and loveseat set, the plain cream upholstery could use an overhaul. Because she appreciates the ease of a washable slipcover as much as I do, (and who with small kids doesn’t, really?), I am getting her this wonderful e-book, The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Custom Slipcovers. Armed with her sewing machine and her basic sewing skills, I am confident she will have just the slipcovers she has always wanted. All without breaking the bank.

Sallisha says :: This year, we decided to put up our Christmas tree before Thanksgiving – this past Sunday, to be exact. At the time, it sounded like a grand plan (and it looks FABULOUS by the way!). But, what I quickly found was that the early-tree-set-up-of-2010 has the added… um… “benefit“… of giving my children extra days to ask me non-stop… “Mommy, what’s in this present?” or “Can we open this one and then re-wrap it?” or… my personal favorite… “Can we just take a peek? We won’t tell Daddy!” So far, I’ve stayed strong… but today, I’m thrilled to share with you some of the packages that will be under my tree this year! Shhh… don’t tell my kids! :)

1. Pure Belly Exclusive Maternity Products

Like many of you, this year I am shopping for so many dear friends who are expecting a precious little one. For these blossoming bellies, I am heading straight to Pure Belly Exclusive Maternity Products. They just launched this year, and their fab OB Endorsed Maternity Products have already become a go-to brand of the stylish mommy-to-be! Their Pure Comfort Backless Tank is my gift of choice to my pregnant pals… and almost makes me want to have another little one. Almost.
2. WH Hostess

Looking for the perfect hostess gift? Or custom social stationary? Check out WH Hostess (stands for Well Heeled Hostess… LOVE the name!). My bottle of wine hostess gift for parties we’re attending will be snazzed up with wine bottle labels this year… and I’m in love with these Party Theme ideas! And I’m gifting some fab friends with these Lucite Trays… well, unless I just keep them for myself. :)
3. Untamed Petals
A few weeks ago, I started the hunt for the perfect accessories to wear to our Holiday parties this year. I was especially looking for a beaded headband to wear with this amazing silver dress that I can ALMOST get into (as I eat sugar cookies while typing…). A Twitter friend of ours suggest I check out Untamed Petals… and right then and there, I found my new favorite accessories shop! So, here’s a very transparent hint to a certain DH that I hope to find the Leona – Crystal Flower Headband from Untamed Petals under the tree this year! :)

4. Dolce Vita Mia

One of the joys of being an aunt is getting to spoil your nieces and nephews! In my case… that means getting the chance to find super sweet gifts for my 9 little nieces this year – and Dolce Vita Mia has provided me with the ideal “handmade sweetness” to wrap for these darlings. I’m a sucker for hair accessories, and these are my absolute favorites this year. They are so reasonably priced, they would be a great stocking stuffer for your little angel, too! I can’t wait to see them on the girls!!
5. Bakerella
Have you ever had a cake pop? Oh my… they are my new infatuation. I had my first just weeks ago at the Maiden Minnesota event, courtesy of the ridiculously talented Cocoa and Fig (which, by the way, I TOTALLY want to use to cater an event at my home… but that’s another post!). Each year, our family delivers baskets of baked goods to our neighbors, and due to my love affair with the cake pop, I’m determined to make them this year! On the phenominal Bakerella website, I’ve found directions that will be sure to make me the favorite neighbor! :) And… not to spoil the surprise.. but my baking friends will be getting their own copy of the Cake Pops book this year, along with a few homemade tasty treats!
6. Nelle
Another brand I was introduced to at the Maiden Minnesota event, Nelle first caught my eye because I am personally always on the look out for an incredible clutch. (Am I the only one who thinks perfect clutches are practically impossible to find?) The Cherub clutch was my first Nelle love… and as I started putting together my gift list for my family, I realized that my sister would adore… and absolutely NEEDS the Chevron Handbag this year!
7. Vintage Pearl
You know those women you call when you’ve had a great day and want to celebrate? And how, if you’re lucky, they are the same women you call when you’re about to lose it… want to cry… or need a word of advice? This Thanksgiving, I am overwhelmingly thankful that my list of “go-to” women is long… and I have been blessed with a group of friends who have supported, encouraged, and inspired me over the past year. So.. what in the WORLD to get these ladies? I’m going with unique, sentimental jewelry from The Vintage Pearl. And, let’s face it – everyone loves a personalized gift!
8. J.J. Boyles

What do you get the man who doesn’t really WANT anything? (And does anyone else get frustrated with that!?) Well… this year, I’ve found the absolute perfect gift for a certain DH of mine. I love, love, LOVE the Special Edition One Year Diaries (with free monogramming – SCORE!). We journal to our children… so this is an ideal gift! I am so excited about J. J. Boyles that I already sent the link to DH… who is now going to pick up gifts for his staff from this fab shop. Yep, the Armours are now J. J. Boyles groupies.

9. Illume Candles

Now, what to get the many teachers and instructors who impact my life (and my children’s lives!) every day? I like to put together a Holiday giftbag including a personal, hand-written note, a Caribou coffee gift card, and a “little something extra.” This year, the “little something extra” is a Monogram candle from Illume Candles. Another local brand, these celeb-favorite home fragrances are a perfect, personalized addition to a gift to say thank you and Happy Holidays!
10. Ona Jean’s Children’s Boutique and PinkyBlue

Anyone else have a 4 year old boy? Is this not the perfect age? He still thinks you’re the greatest thing EVER, has more energy than the rest of the family combined (okay- that’s a mixed blessing, I’ll admit), and still lets you dress him. :) The latest rage for my son is Robots. So, I’m putting together a Robot-themed gift that will include his favorite toy from the big-box shop and robot-themed, handmade apparel! Checkout this adorable hat and robot shirt, from two great Etsy finds. Guaranteed to get this mommy lots of hugs and kisses!

Happy Black Friday shopping!! Please support local, indie and women-owned businesses this holiday season.

The businesses profiled here and items picked are the sole opinions of LaunchHER. Kara and Sallisha were not compensated in any way, shape, or form for their gift picks. These truly ARE the gifts that the gals of LaunchHER are purchasing this holiday season.

LaunchHER Loves :: Ella’s Halo

LaunchHER Loves :: Ella’s Halo
In honor of :: Ella Jo Krumwiede, as written by her mother, Taryn

LaunchHER says :: We are honored to have the priviledge of sharing Ella’s Halo with you today.  As moms, with 5 small children between us, we were touched with the story of Ella Jo Krumwiede and wanted to help spread the world about this home-town foundation.  Please take a moment to read about Ella’s Halo, and to think of those who have (or had) children in NICUs around the world.  Thank you, Taryn, for your work to help other parents, in Ella’s memory. 

In HER words ::

Ella’s Halo was created in memory of Ella Jo Krumwiede, who was born premature and lived in the NICU at a Minneapolis hospital for 83 days, before she passed away. As her parents we saw a need to make the hospital unit more like home during our stay with our daughter.  Life in the NICU can be confusing, frustrating, and at times unbearable. It’s a time when babies, parents, and families all need extra comfort and care. And that’s what Ella’s Halo is all about.
Ella’s Halo is a non-profit organization that was developed to help improve the quality of extended stays in Twin Cities Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). Our mission is carried out by providing a variety of items to NICUs, babies, and their families to help impart a better sense of home while in the hospital. Ella’s Halo accomplishes this through fundraising efforts, community events and educating the public about life in the NICU.

Each year, about 10 to 15 percent of babies born in the U.S. are treated in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The reasons for treatment include premature birth, breathing problems, infections, and birth defects. Babies often spend months in the hospital, while parents and families stand a difficult, heart-wrenching vigil.  Ella’s Halo provides blankets for hospital beds, books and music for babies, and some sense of home to these families. We provide comfort, as well: toys, books and movies for brothers and sisters, comfortable chairs for parents, and any other items the unit feels necessary. These are often small things, but they can make a hospital stay so much more comfortable for everyone.

When Ella passed away in 2009, we as her parents promised her that her memory would not be forgotten.  After starting Ella’s Halo in 2010 we have since donated more than 500 blankets, 250 books and given over $5,000 to hospital NICUs to help babies just like our daughter.  I know that Ella’s memory is living on and helping other babies and families find comfort in the NICUs.