Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tartan Week 2009

As I sit here in my vintage tartan blazer, I am excited to spread the word about Tartan Day on April 6. In New York, this year’s Tartan Day Parade, complete with more than 1,675 participants and 570 drums and pipes, will be Saturday, April 4, with Tony Award winner and celebrated Scottish actor, Alan Cumming as the parade Grand Marshall. The event has grown a full Tartan Week, with a fashion show, the parade, and many other Scottish-themed events, all centered around Tartan.

At Janet Helm, we are definitely mad for plaid. We have been designing tartan and producing scarves for companies since 2004 when our first made-to-order design was created for Coca-Cola's chairman to give as gifts during the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland.

Since then, we have taken a modern twist to traditional patterns with contemporary designs for companies including VersaCold, Colliers, City of Vancouver, Haywood Securities, and Concert Properties.

Tartan has been a huge hit, as there is wonderful symbolism behind the gift- family, unity, friendship, community- a great message our clients want to share with their employees and customers.

With the economy in turmoil, the message couldn't come at a better time, as companies are looking for creative and meaningful ways to recognize their employees and show appreciation to customers with a limited budget.

So it seems natural for us at Janet Helm to make it easier than ever to give with meaning. For a limited time, until Tartan Week April 6, you can have your own tartan for the special price listed below.

Imagine your own tartan, made-to-order, designed and produced as scarves, complete with your personal message on an enclosure card, gift boxed just for you.

Minimum order is only 100 scarves and your investment is only $95 CAD each.

See our website for more information.

Be a Part of it - Tartan!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Influencial Women in Business Awards Gala

On March 4, I was thrilled to be among the over 400 people who attended the 10th annual Business in Vancouver Influential Women in Business Awards here in Vancouver at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel ballroom.

This year’s honorees were Colleen Nystedt of MovieSet Inc., Jane Peverett, a Corporate Director, Tracey McVicar of CAI Capital Management, Julia Kim of Phillips Hager North Investment Management, and Tamara Vrooman of Vancity.

Carole Taylor, former B.C. Minister of Finance and MLA, was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

As the award sponsor, I was excited to share in honoring the successes of these award winners, as well as celebrating all women in business.

The awards, hand blown glass figures by artisan Susan Gottselig, featured figures with arms raised in the air and swirls of red and pinkish tones, reflecting the occasion and recipients perfectly. Enclosure cards with a personal message from Business in Vancouver provided a personal touch. Information on the artist added meaning.

Each honoree shared with us their insights into what it took for her to achieve success.
Not always glamorous as we might think, the authenticity was great reminders for us all.

Colleen Nystedt- “You like me. You really, really like me!” Starting her speech with a nod to Sally Field’s infamous Oscar speech, Colleen reminded me not to be afraid of change, and that tenacity and persistence are paramount.

Carole Taylor- While a new mother, and working on Canada AM, Carole would wake at 2am for a feeding, and get to work for 3am and many times during her speech thanked her husband, Art. (former city of Vancouver mayor Art Phillips) She reminded me of the support I get from my husband Trevor, who would drive from North Vancouver to downtown bringing our first new baby to my office for feedings.

Jane Peverett shared with us networking is not a dirty word, but that a genuine exchange of hellos (at appropriate times) can be the beginning of strong, amazing friendships and business relationships for a lifetime. I let Jane enjoy her day and am excited to have met with her to network this week here at our studio.

Tracey McVicar, who entertained us all, reminded me that a sense of humor is key and paramount in success, especially during the tough times.

Julia Kim reminded me to trust- to take chances, and to take chances with others.

Tamara Vrooman reminded me to not be afraid to apologize if you have done something wrong. She took over as CEO of Vancity just before the start of the economic breakdown, and they had the grace to apologize and ensure that the few members who held severely affected portfolio items because of Vancity’s advice were looked after.

I shared our table with my right hand Jen Hiebert, my sister Denise Helm, web editor of Victoria Times Colonist, my business coaches Isabelle Mercier and Margarita Romano, who all reminded me having support in my life is paramount and an important part of my success.

BIV hosts, Cheryl Carter and Regan McDonald’s energy and genuine passion for the annual event is one of the many reasons I am so proud to be involved. They reminded me to have fun, and bring my passion for what I do to work everyday.

Nomination forms for next year’s awards will be posted online at in April.