[quote style=”boxed”]We are all about getting it done. One we have a great idea and decide to execute on it we make a plan and implement it. It doesn’t always happen as fast as we want it to, but it does happen. We also meet weekly to keep each other accountable for doing what we say we’re going to do.[/quote]
Combine the talents of a well-travelled interior designer (Sarah J. Remington) and an award-winning marketing communications expert (Veronica Zanellato Kido), blend in a mom-preneurial spirit, and stir together with socially responsible consciences. We are the people behind Me Two You.
Sarah and Veronica are socially responsible entrepreneurs and co-owners of Me Two You, Baby Gifts That Give Back. They founded Me Two You on a simple idea: With every baby blanket purchased, Me Two You gives a baby blanket to an orphaned child.
In addition to Me Two You, Sarah owns and operates Hampshire House Design, an interior design firm dedicated to helping clients create attractive spaces. With 15 years of experience in both residential and commercial interior design, Sarah guides her clients through all aspects of the design process.
Sarah holds an Interior Design Degree from Newbury College, Massachusetts. Her professional credentials include membership in the American Society of Interior Design.
Her study of Feng Shui and her experience with international travel throughout North America, Europe, Africa and Asia is reflected in her approach to design.
Sarah was born and raised in a rural Cheshire, the heart of the British countryside. She now resides in a Boston, MA suburb with her husband and daughter.
In addition to Me Two You, Veronica is president of Kido Communications, LLC. With nearly 20 years of corporate and public relations agency experience she has worked with startup and large-sized technology product and professional services firms.
Veronica has successfully built brand identities, created effective and compelling positioning and messaging, and developed and implemented global marketing communications and public relations strategies. She applies her results-oriented, no-nonsense, and hands-on approach to help businesses increase market visibility, achieve prestigious thought leadership status, secure funding, and generate business leads and revenues.
Prior to starting her own firm, Veronica held a number of leadership positions, including marketing director, Keane, Inc.; marketing director, TowerGroup; co-founder and corporate communications director, NerveWire; public relations manager, Cambridge Technology Partners (CTP); and group manager, Manning, Selvage & Lee (MS&L).
Veronica has been named to Boston Business Journal’s prestigious “40 Under 40” and received an honorable mention in the “Crisis Communicator of the Year” category for the PR News PR People Awards. She has also authored articles for PR News.
Veronica, who has a B.A. in communication from the University of New Hampshire, began her career as a news reporter.
Veronica grew up in Bridgewater, MA, a small college town. She now resides in a Boston, MA suburb with her husband and two children.
They are working their buns off to make Me Two You successful because they truly want to help orphaned children.
What are you working on right now?
We are working on our next baby blanket product. Everyone we meet loves the high quality and luxurious look and feel of our Plush Blanket. They also love the fact that we proudly make our product in the USA and that we give a blanket to an orphaned child when they buy one. Not everyone likes the price. So we are developing a new super soft blanket at a much lower price point.
Where did the idea for Me Two You come from?
Me Two You Co-owner Sarah and her husband Chris adopted their daughter, Mia, from China 5 years ago. They witnessed firsthand that orphanages survive on donations. Mia was well taken care of during the first 9 months of her life and Sarah has always dreamed of being able to give back to those who helped her daughter while she waited to be united with her family.
During the 2009 holiday season we were barraged by phone calls from various charities and struggling to figure out how much we could give to each organization and really make a difference. Then we came across an article on TOMS shoes, which gives away a pair of shoes for every pair they sell. We combined TOMS one for one business model with Sarah’s knowledge of the needs of orphanages, and the fact that our own children just adore their blankets.
At the start of 2010, we started a business of our own selling high-quality, amazingly soft blankets to consumers and giving away a blanket to an orphaned child for every blanket sold.
What does your typical day look like?
Sarah and Veronica divide and conquer. We both have small children and own and operate other businesses while Me Two You is getting off the ground. Once the kids are off to school, it’s off to work we go. Sarah’s days are busy with designing our products, searching for the best fabrics and packaging, working with cutters and sewers, and managing our accounting and financing. Veronica aggressively markets the company through social media, events, public relations, our website, and fulfills customer orders.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We are all about getting it done. One we have a great idea and decide to execute on it we make a plan and implement it. It doesn’t always happen as fast as we want it to, but it does happen. We also meet weekly to keep each other accountable for doing what we say we’re going to do.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Social responsibility. We are excited to see a growing number of physical and online stores that provide consumers a unique opportunity to support worthy causes through everyday purchases.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
My worst job was working at an insurance company. I took the job as a new college graduate who was struggling to make it in the real world working as a news reporter. Although my salary increased and I got health care benefits, the work was so black and white, and boring. I learned that I belonged in a much more vibrant and creative environment. I also learned that when you park in a parking garage you should always take your parking ticket with you. If your car is stolen from the parking garage that ticket is your proof to the insurance company that you actually parked there.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Assess our skills and divide and conquer. The co-owners spent too much time focused initially on our branding. One of us should have done that while the other began product development.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Start a business with people you implicitly trust; follow your gut instincts; and listen intently to feedback that prospective customers share with you. If you don’t listen carefully, you could fail.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
It wasn’t a total failure, but in the beginning, we kept getting rejected when looking for a manufacturer in the USA. It took us nearly one and a half years to find one willing to take us on as a client.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Create a magnetic way to “pin” a corsage or boutonniere to a gown or suit. It seems that someone is getting pricked at each prom or wedding event trying to pin on the flowers. A magnet would not damage clothing either.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
If I could change one thing in the world it would be for every child, especially orphaned children, to have a blanket to call their own. According to child psychologists, blankets offer warmth and security, enhancing the mother-child bond. Blankets are comfort objects that help children adapt to new situations and aid in their learning.
I’m going about it by establishing Me Two You. When you buy a Me Two You blanket, the company gives a blanket to an orphaned child.
Tell us a secret.
We love to utilize the resources we have in our own town, especially talented high school and college students who either work for free or charge low fees in exchange for listing the job experience on their resumes.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
1. SCORE is a non-profit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow, and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. This association provides you with experienced experts in many different business functions (finance, marketing, etc.) to give you the guidance and direction you need to make your business successful.
2. HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a free service that brings nearly 30,000 reporters and bloggers, over 100,000 news sources and thousands of small businesses together to tell their stories, promote their brands, and sell their products and services. We use this service daily to pitch our story to the media and it has resulted in great press coverage.
3. Google makes me smart every day. I have my browser set to open up to Google and I search on it throughout the day. As Me Two You is my debut into retail product businesses I’m constantly learning about the industry.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Inc. Your Dreams by Rebecca Maddox. This book motivates readers to build their businesses and their careers around their own values and what they love to do, and to formulate personal definitions of success. This book helps you examine your experiences, resources, relationships, feelings about money, physical being, and spiritual beliefs – with the ultimate goal of creating a customized action plan for success in business and life-work balance. Inc. Your Dreams offers a practical and inspiring approach for individuals who aspire to business ownership as well as for those reassessing their current business.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
I believe that who you should follow on Twitter depends on your business and your interests. I love following people that focus on innovative retail products for babies. My top three favorites are:
1. Cool Mom Picks – Two NYC moms who find and flaunt cool baby and kid products
2. My Mom Shops – a NYC mom and expert online shopper
3. The Bump – a great source for the inside scoop on getting pregnant, pregnancy, babies and parenting
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Last night at dinner was the last time I laughed out loud. My 6 year old daughter and 4 year old son belted out a tune from Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. The refrain was “how ba-a-a-ad can I be? I’m just doing what comes naturally.”
Who is your hero?
My mom. Her name is Hazel (Masterson) Zanellato. It wasn’t until I became a parent that I realized how much she sacrificed personally and financially to be a great parent to my brother and me. She taught us to be independent, to shoot for the stars and chase our dreams, to follow through on our promises, to be loyal, and to respect ourselves and not compromise our values because of another person’s demands (even if that person is your boss).
What is your advice when considering hiring someone?
Only hire someone that you would like to invite to your home for dinner.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is when drivers do not turn off their signals.
We love hearing from people. There are lots of ways to contact us:
Me Two You’s Website: www.metwoyou.com
Me Two You’s Email: [email protected]
Me Two You on Facebook:
Me Two You on Twitter:
Me Two You on LinkedIn: (company)
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.