Protected by Copyscape Unique Content Checker
Showing posts with label business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label business. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 official launch; interactive recruitment and client growth

I’m very pleased to say that a former crowdfunding project which I’ve been writing about for no less than three years has finally made it to launch. is a collaboration and social media platform which aims to put companies in touch with clients or staff within a five mile radius of their address. So if you’re recruiting, you can post free job ads online to attract suitable staff in your area, whilst job seekers, freelancers and companies looking for new clients can advertise their business for free to see if anyone in their locale needs their skills.

The advantage of this is that if employee and employer want to meet over a coffee, you can easily do so. Unlike many online job markets, where a freelancer works for an anonymous buyer in another country and/or time zone, here, you have the best billboard short of a formal CV and a job interview.

Post your ads for free online with and see who comes along. A full small business help desk service team will ensure that everything runs to plan, and recruiters may just reach that elusive staff member they’ve been wanting to find for months. Equally, freelancers and small businesses may find a new regular client. offers clever billboards with your company name, a business IT support team no matter the size of your business and the chance to reach employers and clients you might not otherwise find.

So, how to post free ads online?’s team has posted videos in most common languages on their YouTube channel. The company aims to reach anyone and their staff or clients within 5 miles of the given address. All posters on the Billboard or Post a Job sections will also receive free small business tech support services relating to their use of the site. No matter your location, hopes to help you hook up. is a totally different way to recruit and find clients. Companies looking for specific staff can post an ad on the Post A Job section, while businesses looking to expand can post on the Billboard section, which is almost an online version of the old style newspaper classified pages.

No matter which marketplace you are using, the Wizdiary team offers IT business support services should you run into any problems. The site does not run local services, so there is nothing to download and foul up your laptop, desktop or server. If you yourself are in the same line they are happy to see your advertisement too.

Business IT services are not the only field where Wizdiary can help recruiting levels, though. No matter who you’re looking for, whether you’re a company boss looking to expand or an individual searching for a job; may well be able to help.

I’m happy to see finally make it to launch, as they’re a new player in a very important market. In these testing economic times, businesses need to find their clients where they can, and staff need all the help available to keep the pennies rolling in. Wizdiary takes a different view of the job seeker/client expansion market, and aims to offer comprehensive free services, backed with a full support team, to help both sides to benefit.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Ted's Woodworking teaches anyone to make anything from wood

Screenshot of Ted's Woodworking site and introductory video.

I always wanted to try woodwork at school. But woodwork and metalwork were for the boys - us girls learned how to cook and sew. Now I finally have my chance to try proper woodwork. Thanks Ted!

Ted’s Woodworking has 16,000 plans for every conceivable DIY project going. After watching the introductory video, viewers get the chance to purchase access to the plans plus a host of bonuses worth over $400. The promise is that anyone can build things from wood without needing expensive tools or experience.

Ted McGrath comes from a crafting background - his grandfather built their house and all the furniture in it. But he himself was not gifted with the same ability that his grandfather had. He had to enrol in evening classes to learn the art of woodworking and design from scratch. He found that the plans in magazines didn’t suit and often assumed that the maker was a high level craftsman with a shed full of specialist tools. But his teacher was inspirational and willing to share his knowledge. Hence Ted’s Woodworking was born. Each plan comes with a complete list of materials, tools and cuts required, detailed instructions and 3D diagrams of each step in the process. There are high quality photos and videos for additional assistance and an estimate of the time the project should take to build plus its level of difficulty.

This resource is accessible to everyone from the complete beginner to professional carpenters and woodworkers, and because the instructions are clear, it will enable even the newest woodworker to ensure they have the right tools and the correct amounts of material for the job.

New plans are drafted monthly, which existing subscribers can download for free. Along with access to the plans, buyers will also receive a free DWG and CAD plan viewer, access to 150 free woodworking video tutorials and copies of Ted’s books How to Start a Woodworking Business and Complete Woodworking Guide.

This whole package comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. There are only a limited number of these packages available, so buyers are advised to act quickly. Whether you want to build a shed, a chair, a table or just a small wooden toy, Ted’s Woodworking can help. This offer won’t last forever, and while later offers may be made, they’re unlikely to be as good value as this one. Just for once, there is something here which just may be as good as it looks, especially for someone searching for a new hobby, a chance to learn a new skill, a startup idea for a business or a pastime to keep them busy and active in retirement.

Ted’s Woodworking also runs an affiliate program for freelance marketers looking for a change from health and wellness or household products. Given that some high profile companies in those sectors have gone to the wall recently, deciding to promote something different like woodworking products would seem like a good option. Plus, affiliates don’t have to be members either, unlike with some of the health and wellness companies who want their affiliates to be walking the walk as well as talking the talk. Information can be found at the end of the Ted’s Woodworking webpage.

Whether you’re looking for a new hobby or a new business, Ted’s Woodworking is an interesting-looking opportunity which could reward further investigation.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

TrendeeWares offers gadgets for geeks and toys for the rest of us

TrendeeWares logo.
Image provided and used with permission.

Need a gadget for a geek? A new toy for a nerd? Or just a useful bit of kit for the house? New website TrendeeWares can help. The range runs from drones to gadgets for cars and mobile phones, as well as the usual range of home accessories and targeted gifts for all your family members.

At the bottom left of the screen is a revolving carousel widget listing the most recently sold items, while the website automatically displays prices in the correct currency for the ISP’s location. That makes it easy to calculate cost, at least. As with eBay, the site incorporates a widget showing number of items sold in the last 24 hours.

And whatever ‘toy’ you’re looking for, this site has it. The aforementioned drones, yes. Several of them, at prices that won’t break the bank if they are lost. Helicopter drones, selfie drones and mini drones are all available here.

Present Ideas for Babies and Children

There are potty-style toilet trainers of various sorts and a swimming ring for babies, plus an indoor tent and a selection of remote-controlled toys for older children.

Gifts for Her

The items aimed at women are typically beauty products and slimming assistance. So, buyers will find teeth whitening products, all manner of belts and waist trainers designed to sculpt the figure, as well as makeup related items such as brush cleaners, eyebrow shapers and hair extensions.

Gadgets for Men

The gadgets for men are surprisingly low key, including bracelets, lighters and a snore-reduction kit as well as a fully USB enabled travel bag. Usually, sites like this are filled with bleeping, light-up gadgets and desktop toys, but not here.

Home Gadget Ideas

Homewares are well represented, with everything from teeth whitening kits to salad cutter bowls and robotic cleaners. Some of the items are similar to those you would find in Crate & Barrel or Lakeland Plastics; useful gadgets such as fruit peelers and slicers, but some remind me of the gadgets advertised in the small ads in magazines - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Car Accessories

Some of the range of car accessories will also appeal to dog owners and phone geeks, as there is a choice of dog travel seat cover blankets and hands-free phone accessories. Car lovers are also likely to appreciate the scratch repair pen and anti-scratch polish.

Pet lovers

Talking of pet lovers, there is a whole page devoted to items for animal fans. Items for dogs, cats and birds are currently featured, including pet coats, water bottles and doggie fashion wear.

Phone Accessories

The phone gadgets and accessories page has a range of bluetooth chargers, speakers and cases including several waterproof items. The cases are mainly for iPhones, but some of the other items are also Samsung compatible. Fancy singing in the shower? Check. Charging on the go? Check - there’s a bracelet for that.

Hot Gadgets and Accessories

This page shows popular items, as well as those with limited numbers left. Each listing has a counter under the thumbnail photo which indicates the number sold and total number of available items. Some goods listed on this page may only have a handful of items left.

TrendeeWares is that rare site which has a good choice of products at reasonable prices. Every item is discounted and the limited stock numbers ensure keen sales. The items look well made and, because they are offered at discount, buyers may be less likely to demand a refund or return if they are not satisfied. Even so, TrendeeWares offers a comprehensive refunds and returns policy which is clearly explained on the appropriate page on the site.

So, whether you’re in search of a gadget for a geek or a toy for a boy of any age, TrendeeWares is worth a look.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Screen print your own t-shirts at home

Screen printing kit from Keygadgets
Image provided and used with permission

T-shirts are easy care, wash and wear, easily replaced and tough. Jeans and a t-shirt is a casual uniform the world over, no matter the style of the jeans or the type of shoes or jacket worn with them.

Now anyone can make their own screen printed t-shirts. For €300 (£265 or US$370), buyers receive everything they need to start screen printing their own t-shirts. The kit, available from Keygadgets, comprises a screen printing machine and frame, all the tools and lamps, black ink, emulsion, paper, gloves and degreaser. In addition, there is an instruction sheet as well as a helpful video on the site itself. So, whether for a sports club, local society or starting up a business, this kit has everything required, plus the tutorial to help new users get started.

These days, many people have a ‘five to nine’, a side hustle raising some extra cash alongside a regular job. Monetising a social media feed by selling appropriately themed t-shirts is a quick and easy way to make some extra pennies. Selling unwanted or end of range clothing on auction sites, at markets or car boot sales is another popular option. The two strands can easily combine with the purchase of a screen printing kit from Keygadgets.

Screen printing doesn’t have to stop at t-shirts, either. This screen printer can cope with bags, hats and polo shirts as well as t-shirts. Small businesses could diversify from their core lines and offer t-shirt printing as an extra, or an enterprising soul could set up from scratch selling custom printed tees to order. An end-of-line clothes stall at a market or car boot sale could sell a small selection of screen printed items alongside their ex-retail stock to offer a wider selection to their customers. Specialist t-shirt retailers could offer a design-it-yourself option for their customers. After all, everyone wants a unique design once in a while, whether it’s on a hat, polo shirt or tee. With a screen printing machine, this is a distinct possibility. Talented artists could sell prints of their designs, or offer to print up other people’s designs from a suitable computer file.

Owning a screen printing machine opens the door to a wide variety of options. Although this one from Keygadgets is relatively cheap, it is built to last. The site also stocks consumables and parts so meeting demand is simply a matter of finding enough time to print the t-shirts and remembering to place repeat orders for consumables on time. What could be simpler?

Monday, December 4, 2017

Muntaha CPA Professional Corporation Accountancy and Bookkeeping Services

Muntaha CPA Professional Corporation logo and founder.
Images provided and used with permission.

Accounting may be seen as a rather mundane or monotonous job or career. It is, however, a very necessary part of business life, and anyone who runs their own business is often advised to get a good accountant as soon as they can.

With a good accountant and bookkeeper, businesses and individuals can ensure that:
  • their tax affairs are in order;
  • they file correct returns on time;
  • they issue financial statements and annual accounts;
  • they can obtain assistance in setting up and amending business plans showing how they intend the company to perform;
  • they can source payroll and bookkeeping services

Muntaha CPA Professional Corporation (MCPC) in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, is one such all-round accountancy and bookkeeping firm. Founder and Managing Director Sidratul Muntaha is qualified to Chartered Professional Accountant level and has almost a decade of experience gained in companies in the United Kingdom and Canada at time of writing. His company offers a range of services for all levels of business and in all areas of accounting and bookkeeping. The firm prides itself on high standards and thorough advice and assistance to their clients. The staff deal with clients of all sizes, from individuals looking for help with filing accurate tax returns in a timely manner to Lower Mainland business owners requiring the whole payroll, accountancy and finance package.

The team all understand that each client is different, and treat them accordingly. Each company is likely to need tailored services, and Muntaha CPA Professional Corporation will ensure that their customers receive individual attention so that their specific needs are met. The team at MCPC can offer advice on financial strategies, all areas of tax filing, general accountancy requirements and bookkeeping needs for local companies in the Mississauga area. The staff are known for their levels of clear communication, and try to ensure they are proactive when issues arise. In addition, they will point out potential opportunities for improvement when they see something which could be streamlined or worked on. The team offers either face-to-face or remote meetings as appropriate or convenient, and members are happy to meet clients at their premises or on site at the corporation’s location.

Needless to say, with all of this client-focussed work, MCPC use the latest technological advances to increase efficiency. The corporation also has a competitive price structure, as would perhaps be expected from such an all-round company.

For any individual or company needing assistance with accounting and bookkeeping in the Mississauga area, Muntaha CPA Professional Corporation should be among the companies considered. Founder S Muntaha uses his near-decade of experience in the field to offer the best possible options to clients as well as building a rapport with them to ensure they gain the highest benefit from the company-client relationship.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lifeplus nutritional supplements and personal care

Lifeplus logo. Image provided and used with permission

Lifeplus wants people worldwide to live well and be healthy. A producer of nutritional supplements and beauty products, the company offers help and guidance to all. Lifeplus is also proudly cruelty-free and acceptable to vegetarians and vegans.

Like many of the health and wellness firms around these days, it operates as a network marketing, franchising model. Lifeplus was founded in 1992 by a pharmacist who noticed that many of his customers developed issues as a result of side effects of the treatment they were taking for a specific condition. Many health and wellness companies are born of the wish to help others through nutritional science, and Lifeplus soon gathered other likeminded souls from other specialisms who were interested in holistic living.

Lifeplus operates a network marketing model (referral marketing, as they call it) which connects customers, sellers and products in one seamless circle.

The Lifeplus philosophy is that simple steps lead to permanent changes. The Lifeplus Formula is designed to help anyone make a permanent change in their lifestyle. It focuses on State of Mind, Staying Active, Eating Well and Nutritional Supplements. A series of articles showcases elements of these four areas which together lead to a more balanced and healthier way of life.

The Lifeplus product range includes nutritional supplements and personal care. The nutritional supplements are divided into groups of products called General Wellness, Targeted Wellness, Weight Wellness, Sports Nutrition and Lifeplus Recommendations. Many of the supplements come in tablet form, although there are also shakes and meal replacements in some areas. Wellness covers everything from the familiar to the unusual. Evening Primrose Oil is something most people will have heard of, but what about a colon cleanser including beetroot, kelp, walnut leaf and blond psyllium? No, thought not.

Personal care includes body, skin and dental care products, natural and organic care for surface areas rather than the gut. Tea tree oil toothpaste, anti-aging serum with grape seed and pomegranate, or bath and body gel with peppermint, rosemary and lavender are all on offer for those who prefer their products on the natural side.

Combined with the articles on a healthier lifestyle available on the Lifestyle Formula pages, this range of products has the ability to help people make a lifestyle change through small steps for starters. Someone who has never really taken a healthy lifestyle seriously might find that Lifeplus is an easy way to begin the road to healthy eating, positive thinking and exercise which experts agree is the best way to maintain mental and physical health.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

TecAdemics affiliate program

Image from Public Domain Pictures on Pixabay. CC0, free for public use.

Regular readers know that I’m always happy to write about a new affiliate program or work from home opportunity.

Tec Mastermind and the TecAdemics program is both, plus this unique set up allows top trainers to share their tips and tricks for online business success. In addition, affiliates are able to benefit from new sign ups through their page, but can also use their training to create a successful business themselves.

This website has a video which explains how business education such as TecAdemics fits with the Four Percent Group’s aims to allow anyone to become a top internet entrepreneur. Trainer Vick Strizheus believes that the reason so many internet businesses fail is because everything is too complicated for many people to grasp. They simply have information overload when it comes to setting up and running an online business, and most people have never made more than $1,000 through online sales. Affiliate programs can be a very handy way of making extra money, but this usually involves having a webpage and hosting adverts then waiting for clicks from potential customers. The trouble is, because many people run adblockers these days, they may simply never see a single advert.

The system offered by the Four Percent Group aims to simplify the online marketing process and allow members to make serious income without adverts. Quite apart from the top level business education offered by TecAdemics, the funnel system used by the Four Percent Group is specifically designed to hook interested potential students into signing up for the courses and in the process, allow the affiliate to earn commission. They don’t have to sign up to TecAdemics themselves, but can earn good money by acting as an affiliate. They may choose, of course, to reinvest some of their affiliate income in the TecAdemics program, and go on to found a separate online webshop or e-commerce site as a result.

Vick Strizheus explains more in the video. Signing up to find out more about the Four Percent Group (including why it is called that) is free, and positively encouraged as the first step to becoming successful online without hosting adverts, writing promotional articles or becoming involved in direct selling of any products. The system made over three million dollars in sales even in beta testing, so there is no doubt that it works.

For anyone who would like to try a low-maintenance way of making an online income, signing up for the Four Percent Group’s system could be the first step to improving their chances.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Wizdiary - bringing even more customers and businesses together two years on

Wizdiary video 2017.
YouTube link provided and used with permission.

When I first wrote about Wizdiary, almost two years ago in June 2015 (, bringing customers and businesses together online), it was a very new company which didn’t even have a complete website yet. It could almost have been called a ‘concept’ rather than a fully fledged business at that stage.

Wizdiary’s USP back then was a series of innovative multilingual YouTube videos explaining the business’ aims to provide a social-media-style gateway for small and medium sized companies to connect online with their potential worldwide customers. The idea was to allow businesses to advertise for new clients by showing photographs of their products or sharing examples of their work, almost like an online version of the newspaper back pages classified advertising service.

Two years later, I am pleased to say that the company is now fully operational and doing well. Businesses can advertise via the Billboard and Posted Jobs areas to bring their skills to the attention of potential clients. Billboard allows businesses to post images of goods or projects to share with those in a particular location, while Posted Jobs allows companies to advertise for specific staff or requirements for a particular project.

This simple move of filtering traffic has helped to streamline the site and point users in the right direction. Registration is free and a Billboard entry is required as part of the normal profile setup to educate future clients about the company behind the advertisement. The explanatory video for Wizdiary's Billboard and Posted Jobs areas emphasises Wizdiary’s social side while the updated introductory video goes into more detail about the clientele-locating strengths of the company. It explains the simplicity of the site and the chance for advertisers to showcase unique selling points, special products, experience or talents using photographs and existing work.

Wizdiary’s videos make the point that not everyone is looking for the same thing. A company which specialises in offering simple solutions at lean prices to small business owners and startups is not likely to be looking for a client who wants all the bells and whistles from a vastly experienced provider. A lean entrepreneur is not likely to choose the most expensive business, because their prices will be beyond a small budget and their solution could well be too complicated for the limited interest a smaller business is likely to get. Similarly, depending on the market, not everyone will want a University-educated worker; some may prefer an experienced seller who has fewer qualifications.

All kinds of people and companies can use Wizdiary to be found by new clients, connect with like minded people with similar skills and expertise or to find people with the knowledge they need. That’s the beauty of Wizdiary. It is totally adaptable to individual circumstances. If you’re a business owner who is prepared to give a new worker a break, or an experienced provider wishing to use your experience to help new businesses get off the ground, Wizdiary has a place for you.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Express yourself with Demeter Mojis

Artwork from Demeter Mojis adds class to any room.
Image provided and used with permission.

Demeter Mojis is an online art prints and merchandise shop for the discerning. Those whose taste runs to simple line drawings, almost caricature-ish in nature, may well appreciate Demeter Mojis’ work. Monochrome (black on white or reverse) line drawn faces have been printed onto just about every item of clothing and interior decoration possible. The range of branded goods runs from t-shirts and totes to mugs, cushions, throws, towels, canvas prints and more.

Those familiar with the clean lines and simple style in the work of ‘Miffy’ artist Dick Bruna may will relate to these pieces. Demeter’s influences include Picasso, Pollock and de Kooning and the style is quite unique, minimal and modern. In just a few strokes, a face appears, often quizzical, sometimes happy sometimes sad, always expressive.

A typical example of Demeter's work.
Image supplied and used with permission.

There is an enormous selection of framed and unframed art prints and a smaller range of other customised items. Some of the more popular designs are available across the whole range of Demeter Mojis’ stock, however, so it would be possible to match items in a room using a single design, or mix the selection with a choice of designs.

Demeter’s emoticon drawings can express feelings without words, and a piece of this artwork would make a memorable gift for someone, or act as a focal point in a home or workplace. Anywhere decorated in the minimalist style would benefit from a print, or maybe a cushion or two on a plain sofa.

As you might expect from an artist, Demeter Mojis is on Instagram as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Demeter states, quite rightly, that emojis are becoming an increasingly common way for millennials to communicate, citing Pepsi’s PepsiMoji campaign of 2016 (Pepsi Preps Global Emoji Can and Bottle Campaign) and Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a feeling’ campaign as recent examples of the trend. Even taking that into account, these artworks are timelessly eye-catching and unusual, fitting well with the minimalist lifestyle adopted by many through need or a conscious rejection of collecting stuff for stuff’s sake.

For a gift with a difference, Demeter Mojis’ distinctive range of prints and soft furnishings is worth a look. Today’s connected world has one great advantage - many more people can view and buy the work of individual artists, just as they can stream music by local bands as easily as well known ones. Sometimes, supporting the lesser known designers or groups can be more satisfying than buying the same print as everyone else from a chain store or paying top dollar for tickets to a popular concert. When it comes to creativity, individual tastes certainly rule. And less can definitely be more.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

SlimRoast Coffee, new to the UK, familiar to the US

SlimRoast Coffee slogan.
Image provided and used with permission.

Regular readers of this blog will be aware of two things. One, that I like to review the very latest weight loss products. Two, that I am a teapot on legs.


Having reviewed several slimming tea products before, I was conscious of the fact that my coffeehead friends were being left out of the loop. I have heard enough from them about the irresistibly sweet and tasty coffees they can buy from every coffee shop in town, while when I go there with them, I’m restricted to green tea, weak milky black tea or hot chocolate, mostly.

Now, my coffee-drinking readers have no excuse to duck their New Year’s resolution to cut down on the sweet treats and lose weight. Because I’ve been told about this new product called SlimRoast. Yes, it’s a coffee. Yes, it will help coffee lovers lose weight. My contact Mark tells me that he has lost 3 stone in the last year without having to give up his coffee habit. Like many weight loss products, it works by suppressing the appetite and restricting the amount of fat and sugar absorbed by the body.


Now, I’m hardly the ideal person to test coffee, because I don’t drink it, but I know that my coffee-drinking friends say the whole thing of it is that the caffeinated version gives a buzz. I’m guessing this SlimRoast dark roast Brazilian coffee does too, but it has also been formulated to help drinkers lose weight as an extra bonus.


The mix suppresses the appetite gently, so it curbs the urge for mid-morning snacks. It’s the natural ingredients that help, and everything which goes into the product is approved by the FDA, EU and UK regulatory bodies. It is made with Arabica coffee beans, which have half the caffeine content of supermarket blends and a handful of calories.


Typical sachet of SlimRoast with mug.
Image provided and used with permission.
The ideal way to consume these beverages is in moderation. One cup (or maybe two cups maximum) a day, for six days a week, then a rest day. The sachets are based on a 68kg adult so those who are lighter or heavier may need to adjust their intake accordingly.


Active ingredients include:
  • Garcinia cambogia, touted as a fat burner (I have also seen this in tea and tea-based health and weight loss programs);
  • organic raw cacao;
  • L-Theanine (the same amino acid found in green tea);
  • Phaseolamin, which is supposed to block starch-digesting carbs;
  • Phenylethylamine HCL, or PEA, used to stimulate the release of dopamine;
  • concentrated green tea extract;
  • Chromium Polynicotinate, a mineral which helps control blood sugar, curb carb cravings and fight body fat;
  • Chlorogenic acid, a thermogenic fat burner - it works with your body to burn more fat;
  • Premium dark Brazilian Arabica coffee; the important bit

The SlimRoast range comes in four different types: Regular, fruit flavoured Trim, Immune Boost with antioxidants and fruit extracts and Energy to increase focus and performance. The Immune Boost mix contains aloe vera, widely known as an antioxidant, while Energy contains guarana, ginseng and green tea extract for endurance.


As with all health and wellness products, there is a range of opinion online about whether SlimRoast works or not. As everyone’s metabolism, weight, body shape and lifestyle is different, some people may achieve better or worse results than others. Some reviews state that around 90% of people will achieve some weight loss, especially if they drink a cup first thing in the morning, before breakfast.


As always with these products, there is the opportunity to sell the range on to others as an independent distributor. Apparently this is not a standard MLM or network marketing scheme though I have seen some reviews referring to it as that. In the UK at the moment, it appears to be a newcomer to the market and finding its feet.


The main thing I have found with all these products is that they work well if you adopt and maintain a relatively active lifestyle as well as using them. This helps the ingredients work to their best capabilities. As ever, the old adage ‘moderation in everything’ seems to be the best advice, with a decent amount of exercise, sensible dietary choices and products like SlimRoast coffee or its fruity equivalents as part of a normal daily fluid intake.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Father's Day gifts from Explosion Luck feng shui site

Explosion Luck logo. Provided and used with permission of

It’s Father’s Day in June (June 19, 2016 for the year of writing), and my go-to website for a gift for the father who has everything – i.e. mine – is Explosion Luck. I can always find something there to suit him, something that’s far more tangible than another online voucher, and which will remind him of me whenever he looks at it. Not that there’s anything wrong with an online voucher as he reads e-books voraciously. But just occasionally, a real present is a good idea. Items from Explosion Luck have the added attraction of being associated with the ancient practice of feng shui, so when someone chooses a gift from the site, there is far more than the gift itself being offered.

Silver cricket statue with orange body
Image supplied and used with permission of
My dad is a Francophile, and the gift of one of the small cricket statues (3” wide by 6” long including antennae) would not only bring good luck, it would remind him of many days spent in France in years gone by, long summer evenings accompanied by the sound of the cicadas in the hedges. The silver cricket has a warm orange body and the gold statue a cooler blue body. The silver cricket will bring happiness, warmth and joy to the recipient, when placed in accordance with feng shui principles, while the gold cricket offers trust, peace and integrity. Both crickets are available for $79 each (May 2016) with free shipping in the continental United States.

Gold cricket statue with blue body
Image supplied and used with permission of

Alternatively, I might buy him this folding tabletop screen, which I’ve had my eye on for a while. It has a reversible image of plum blossom, with one side featuring a continuous image with a beige-gold background and the other having six individual images, one on each screen, with a white-silver background. The plum tree is a symbol of long life and prosperity, both of which my dad has in spades. This tabletop screen measures 9.5” high by 18.25” long, has six 3” wide panels and is edged in black.

Plum blossom red and gold reversible tabletop screen
Image supplied and used with permission of

For the nautical father, why not choose this beautiful porthole shaped moving sand art picture? Titled ‘Captain Haddock’, it is mounted in a hinged frame so once it has finished draining to the bottom, the picture can be tipped up and the flow started again. This gift is more expensive, at $250, but sand art pictures provide an ideal focus point for meditation and productivity for those fathers who need to settle their thoughts or produce a presentation under pressure.

Moving sand art picture: 'Captain Haddock'.
Image supplied and used with permission of

Fathers who smoke may well appreciate this antique amber and metal pipe. One version has red coral stones inlaid to the bowl, the other greenish-blue turquoise stones. This genuine antique gift may also appeal to collectors and pipe connoisseurs planning to display their gift.

Amber and metal pipe, turquoise stone inlay in bowl
Image supplied and used with permission of

Lastly, for Buddhist dads, this unusual turquoise embellished conch shell is an ideal and thoughtful gift. One of the eight Buddhist symbols, the ceremonial blowing of a conch shell in mid-ceremony symbolizes the spreading of the Buddhist word. The cracks in the turquoise come from age, not misuse, so due reverence should be paid to this item as it is rather fragile.

Tibetan embellished turquoise and silver conch shell
Image supplied and used with permission of www.ExplosionLuck,com

No matter a dad’s interests or hobbies, buyers looking for unique and special Father’s Day gifts are bound to find something at Explosion Luck. All images are from the site and used with permission of Explosion Luck.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Again Studios: explainer video production company

Again Studios, explainer video production company
Image provided and used with permission

Again Studios make individual and stylish animated ‘explainer’ videos to meet every need. For many people, a video has a more immediate impact than an article, flyer or other advertisement, especially when it is created specifically for an individual client and audience rather than being a cookie-cutter catch-all boring marketing blurb.

Again Studios’ videos are designed to sit unobtrusively on the front page of any website, not annoying potential customers by using autostart or expanding to full screen immediately the website opens. The one on Again Studios’ own homepage shows a simple stickman character explaining the great thing about having a video on your website. Again Studios’ main office is in Kalka near Chandigarh, India, and they also have a satellite office in Stockton, California. The team at Again Studios will bring the full force of their combined talent to bear on creating a short and snappy explainer video to suit any scenario.

The Portfolio page has over 30 examples of the kinds of videos Again Studios can produce. They are all in the same simple, uncluttered caricature style, often with a slick US mid-Atlantic accented voiceover. Previous clients have included IT companies, a recruitment portal, a freelance skills marketing site and providers of various software solutions. Many of the videos are aimed at small businesses or self employed freelancers, and are selling other SMEs to them as ways to simplify their business administration.

Again Studios also provide voiceovers in other commonly spoken languages including Spanish, Hindi, French and German. Videos generally take around a month to create and typically run for between one and two minutes. Short and sweet, but a video of this length can easily get any client’s message across without laboring the point. Quotes are individual to every customer, with 50% of the cost paid up front and the rest once the video has been completed and delivered to the buyer. The buyer is also at liberty to request revisions, as shown by the comments in the Reviews section. In fact, Ankit’s team at Again Studios have proved themselves versatile and adaptive to many different business video requirements and sectors. Phrases such as ‘professional’, ‘a lot of patience’, ‘highest quality’, ‘good communication’ and ‘responsive’ are just typical of the feedback received.

For small businesses and freelancers who need to give their businesses a kick, or developers wanting to promote their latest app, a short explainer video from Again Studios could be the best way to raise awareness. A link to a video detailing the new product or range can easily be shared on any social media site, included as part of an email signature or added on business cards or print on demand stationery. Once the video has been produced there is no end to the marketing opportunities it can generate. All a buyer has to do is to open dialogue with Again Studios to see how this small but powerful tool can help their business.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Calgary Signs and Banners: producing Calgary's signage for two decades

Calgary Signs & Banners logo.

Canadian company Calgary Signs and Banners (CSB) offers signs, banners, wraps and wall mural designs for every conceivable location. Whether a business wants a car wrap, an internal or external wall advertisement or internal wayfinding signs, Calgary Signs and Banners can oblige. CSB have been in business for ‘24 years and counting’ as their website proudly announces, and looking at the range and variety of signage on offer, customers can easily see why.

Ci2Group Inc 3D logo, an example of work from Calgary Signs & Banners.
Image provided and used with permission.

The image on this post shows one of their 3D signs, but the company also designs and fits safety signs, trade show displays, canvas prints and plaques. Technically, one firm could provide all the signs and advertising logos necessary for another firm to effectively market themselves. The CSB website offers many examples of their versatile art and also mentions, almost in passing, that they will beat any local written quote for certain signage by a minimum of 5% on price. In today’s money-conscious times, that’s an offer worth considering.

Calgary Signs and Banners have a crane to allow for best access to every building frontage. They are also experienced in providing drawings to landlords and management companies to ensure that any signage they are commissioned to provide conforms with the building regulations or the landlord’s preference. The company operates across Alberta, but because they are local to most people, they can conduct face-to-face consultations on suitable signage, designs and options instead of relying on electronic communications. CSB specialize in LED and 3D designs, vehicle wraps, roll up banners, wall decals and exhibition or temporary popup displays. Judging from their website, however, any form of signage is well within their means. Plus, at the end of a tenant’s time in any building location, they will remove the signs and advise whether they can be reused on a new building.

Their testimonials show that not only can the staff at Calgary Signs and Banners react quickly to a last minute requirement, but also that the company produces great work which their clients love. Some of their customers have returned to give them further business, while others have recommended them to their network. Return business and word of mouth advertising are two of the best ways to gain clients, so CSB must be doing something right. If your business is in the Calgary, Alberta area, you could do worse than consider Calgary Signs and Banners for your next signage requirement.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sublime Soaps - Handmade Soaps, 100% Natural

Sublime Soaps logo.
Image provided and used with permission.

The Sublime Soaps company has just put up a website and announced their first product. This is an ideal chance for early adopters to buy a great example of handmade, organic, natural soap.

Sublime Soaps will appeal to many people for differing reasons.

  • For those who like ethical products, the soaps are natural and organic.
  • For those supporting handmade crafts, the range is handmade.
  • For those allergic to chemicals and additives in commercially produced soaps, these soaps have none of that, but rather are soft on skin and caring to hands.

Sublime Soaps may have just opened for business, but their eventual range is aiming to cover all requirements, whether your skin is sensitive, oily or dry. The company offers 100% handmade, natural soap bars, made from organic ingredients.

The first product offered by Sublime Soaps, Peaches and Cream handmade soap, is PEG and Paraben free, made from a mix of ingredients including carrot oil, cucumber seed oil and aloe vera. Aloe Vera is soothing, anti inflammatory and moisturising; carrot oil is considered a detoxifier and rejuvenator, while cucumber oil is good for the skin. The carotene gives this bar a glowing orange shade, which is guaranteed to cheer you up even on the dullest day.

A bar of handmade soap.
Used by arrangement with

Sublime Soaps’ Facebook page lists all the properties of this carefully handmade item, including the fact that it is vegetable based and contains several vitamins. The company also claims that Peaches and Cream soap can help ease skin problems such as eczema, acne and rashes. As it is 100% natural, it is likely to have a better pH balance than some of the commercially produced soap bars, so this would not be at all surprising.

The soap will be available through the Sublime Soaps website once the site is fully live, but presently it is on sale via ebay. The website gives details of the postage costs buyers can expect, which seem to indicate that smaller orders within the UK will be sent out First Class Small Packet while larger shipments will attract a Medium Parcel rate due to the weight and bulk of the product. Soap, like many items, does not react well to being dropped, and so the bars are going to be sent well packaged to ensure they arrive in one piece rather than several. Worldwide shipping will be available and all prices and terms are clearly outlined on the site. Buyers from outside Europe are requested to contact the company to discuss shipping costs before purchase, which is sensible given that many countries charge import taxes on incoming goods even when sent as a gift.

Talking of gifts, a bar of soap from Sublime Soaps would make a good twist on the traditional ‘smelly’ gift for that difficult-to-buy-for female friend or relative we all have. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Sublime Soaps’ range develops, because several of my friends and family would probably prefer to use a totally natural product for washing than some of the other alternatives widely available in supermarkets these days. Even those with normal skin who simply prefer a soft and foamy soap could well become fans, given the moisturising and rejuvenating properties of the Peaches and Cream bar currently available.