Made in the USA and Starbucks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past June Seattle based Starbucks threw the dogs a little bone and allowed us to fetch a giant rainbow flag to celebrate Pride week in Seattle.

Best of all, the flag was made in the USA! Not only did the flag look good but it made a huge splash in the local news.

Thanks go to Starbucks for supporting ZippyDogs a local woman owned small business.

Top Dog Attends the NGLCC National Conference

Recently Top Dog, Elise Lindborg traveled to Las Vegas to attend the National Gay Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s Business and Leadership conference.

More than 700 LGBT business owners, corporate decision makers, affiliate chamber leaders, and government partners descended on Las Vegas, at Caesars Palace for an amazing three days of educational sessions, top keynote speakers, world-class networking, and unforgettable special events designed to grow business and develop new connections.

As the current 2013-2014 NGLCC Supplier of the Year ZippyDogs sponsored the conference towels for a grueling 20 minute work out by a fellow gay business owner – Shaun T of Insanity. 

Check out how good the towels looked as participants walked into the opening session!
Everyone was thankful for their towels after Shaun T kicked some butts.

Zippy Towels 1

ZippyDogs towels fill the conference hall!

ZippyDogs Towels

Happy Gays.

Elise Shaun T

Elise sweats like she has not sweated in a long, long time!

Shaun T 2

Shaun T checking Elise out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaun T 4

 

 

 

 

 

Key Note Speakers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to working her butt off at the opening conference session, Elise had the opportunity to introduce ZippyDogs to Fortune 500 Supplier Diversity reps that included Hilton Worldwide, the US Tennis Association, PG&E, Humana, Kellogg’s, Ameriprise, The Hartford, Nordstrom’s, Bank of America and many more businesses who understand the importance of supplier diversity.

If you are the owner of a LGBT business and want information on becoming a certified LGBT Enterprise, please email Elise – elise@zippydogs.com. She will give you the low down and help you through the process. Certification is well worth the effort as ZippyDogs has grown 25% every year since becoming certified in 2010. Your business will grow, you will meet amazing people and the conferences will open your mind to new ways of growing your business.

Made in USA and ZippyDogs

Great tour of Evans! Elise and Kelli went down to California (I know, any excuse to travel) and took a tour of our supplier’s manufacturing facility! Made in USA plastic – manufacturing, molding and printing. We loved this place – Evans Manufacturing!

Trans and Opaque Beads

This shows raw plastic pellets, for translucent and opaque plastics, before they melt it down and add color.

Chopped Plastic

This picture shows a close up of colored opaque and translucent plastic scrap destined for the recycling bins.

Chopped Plastic Bin

More of same – in the recycle bins. They reuse as much of plastic bits as they can, by mixing them in with another run of the same color plastic.  When the color bits get mixed together like in this picture, they can still reuse it. However, the result is a dark charcoal or black product. The end result is a 100% recycled plastic product.

Plastic Purge

This picture shows plastic that has been blown out of the lines of the injection molding machines. It it has to be done to prepare the machine for the next order.

Plastic Purge Box

The is Elise Lindborg and the factory floor manager showing us how they recycle as much of the plastic as possible. Who knew playing in plastic could be so fun and artistic?

Here are some examples of the finished products created by Evans Manufacturing! USA Made and almost everything contains some recycled plastics. Evans – you rock… I mean, You Plastic!

pig pill holder

 

Meet Gregory – a.k.a. Corn Dog!

Gregory Hunt, Corn Dog

greg email address

Greg About Us_REV

Education:

Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration in Marketing and Management.
Minor in Music from Eastern Washington University.

Specialties:

This dog brings to the pack over 20 years of customer service excellence in a variety of fields from retail, telecommunications, E-commerce and account management.

Pedigree:

Born in Hawaii and raised in Spokane, WA, this dog loves to brag about his ¼ Danish heritage! His breed is most like a Golden Retriever; happy, energetic, vocal and the ability to work well with humans!

ZippyDogs NGLCC Photos and Acceptance Speech

NGLCC Dinner

The National Building Museum was filled to capacity.

Elise and Kelli ready to accept their award.

Elise Kelli Coors Dawn George

2013 Supplier of the Year ZippyDogs with the Miller Coors marketing director and the 2012 winners – OutSmart.

Elise and Kelli plant a big one on Eugene Cornelius – Head of the US Small Business Administration.

NGLCC Dinner with Chamber Reps

Hanging in the VIP room with Chamber Directors from all over the US.

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

Can we get a woof?

Thank you! Thank you so much NGLCC. Three years ago we never imagined we could be the LBGT Supplier of the year! Holy Cow!

Ever since the day we joined the NGLCC only good things have come to ZippyDogs. So many great opportunities have come … and not just great opportunities – but G R E A T opportunities. For example: organized one on one meetings with Fortune 500 supplier diversity reps, fantastic business conferences with amazing key note speakers, a chance to learn from top business minds at the Tuck School of Business, this National Dinner, mentors, networking opportunities, today’s SBA Federal Procurement Forum, killer after parties (of course) and more!

Prior to joining the NGLCC our business hit a plateau and for two years we struggled to increase our sales. After attending our first NGLCC business conference in 2011 we found that the quality of the business building information was solid. We did not get nuggets of solid business advice – but bagful’s. Every learning opportunity presented was solid and vetted. Being in business over 14 years we have gone to lots of conferences, seminars, hired consultants, joined networking groups and I can tell you there is a lot of business fluff out there. If you truly take advantage of the opportunities the NGLCC presents your business will grow. Our sales have increased 25% or more every year we have been affiliated with the NGLCC and this year we are having our best year ever.

We are so excited to what 2014 will bring!

Thank you to our family – and by family we mean you! Everyone in this audience. Our fellow certified LGBT business owners and allies who have taken the time to share business stories and strategies.

Thank you to the NGLCC corporate suppliers who support supplier diversity by including LGBT businesses. Your support means more than you will ever know and it is truly appreciated.

In fact Kelli and I have a goal and that is to have some Pacific Northwest companies like Boeing, Microsoft and Starbucks join the NGLCC as corporate sponsors by the end of 2014.

We can’t tell you how great it feels to attend the NGLCC business conference and totally be ourselves – nothing to hide. It’s so refreshing and allows us to bring our authentic selves to the business table.

And finally, I want to thank George Pieper of OutSmart Office Solutions.

It was George who approached this skeptical Top Dog to become a certified LGBT business three years ago. It has been one of the best business decisions we have ever made! Thank you George! Thank you NGLCC. Thank you to you – our family!

ZippyDogs – Your Brand Companion. We put the wag in swag!

WOOF!

Check out the highlight video from the dinner. ZippyDogs appears at 3 minutes and 10 seconds in.

 

Top Dog and Chili expand their business knowledge!

Fearless ZippyDogs leaders Kelli Henderson and Elise Lindborg take growing their business seriously. Earlier this spring Kelli and Elise attended a six week business certificate program at the University Of Washington Foster School Of Business. Not only did they learn new nuggets of business building wisdom but they rocked their official graduation photo! Kelli Henderson claims they were trying to do the Zoolander “Blue Steel” pose but it looks like Elise is making monkey faces at the instructor! Way to class it up ladies!

Foster Graduation Elise and Kelli

How Big is a Gig?

USB Flash Drives standard memory capacity can range from 128MB, all the way up to 64GB. The most common memory size sold for the promotional industry is 1, 2 and 4 gigabyte. Flash drives, also known as thumb drives come in a variety of shapes and sizes. But how Big is a Gig? What does that mean? How much do I need?

We think this graphic will help!

How-Big-is-a-Gig

 

Top Dog retrieves smart tips from Tuck School of Business

Last November, our fearless Top Dog Elise Lindborg attended the highly regarded Tuck Executive Education Minority Business Program at Dartmouth College to learn how to take ZippyDogs to a new level of performance and success. What she learned can be applied to your small business, too.

April 2012 Elise-1

All dogs must learn new tricks to stay competitive. It’s a given that a commitment to continuous improvement is key to growing success. Seems like a no-brainer—but living up to the commitment can be a real challenge. It takes regular monitoring of all aspects of your business, including strategy and implementation, analysis of financial statements, building strategic alliances and leadership skills. Not to mention delivering on the No. 1 strategy for all businesses: focus on the customer.

The week-long program presented the ideal opportunity to check the vital signs of our business, look for ways to improve and acknowledge the things we’re really good at. Our first “assessment” taught us we were all in the same boat:

The 8 most common small business weaknesses
1. Lack of customer focus
2. Lack of strategic direction
3. Employees not effectively empowered
4. Poor cash flow management
5. Underutilized control systems (budgets, goals, surveys)
6. Inefficient processes
7. Organizational structures that are “silos of inefficiency”
8. Putting all eggs in one basket (e.g., 30% revenues from one customer—not good)

 

More nuggets from Tuck:

Business strategy—serve your customers
Evaluate your overall business strategy. Exploit your strengths, and strengthen weaknesses. Above all, be customer-focused. Surprise and delight them! Be prepared to adapt to sudden changes in the market so you can maintain your customer focus throughout. Remember that customer satisfaction is the perception of your service minus their expectations.

Operations—avoid organizational charts that are ‘silos of inefficiency’
Make sure your systems are built to achieve your strategy, that is, to benefit your customers. Identify the tasks that others can do better or more cost-effectively and outsource; moving part of a project off your desk frees you to do what you do best.

Money—cash is king!
Know what your cash flow is up to at all times. Analyze your balance sheets and income statements. Just do it.

Marketing—finding and keeping customers
Conduct customer surveys to learn how you are doing and what customers expect from your company. On the flip side, audit your customer list to develop a profile of customers you like and who fit well with your company. That will give you a clearer picture of where to focus your marketing efforts.

Communications—inspire your customers and your team
Empower employees to deliver on your strategy; make sure they are trained to address customer priorities. Likewise, work toward getting customers to do more or communicate clearly. It can be a matter of asking the right questions, as well as telling them what you need to serve them best. Call it client school, but only to yourselves. WOOF!

A great, big WOOF! goes out to the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) for providing Elise with a full scholarship to the Tuck Executive Education Minority Business Program at Dartmouth College. Learn more about NGLCC.

What Does Eco-Friendly Mean?

By Daniel Holzer, Demand Media

Being eco-friendly includes recycling, but there are other ways to guard the planet’s health.
In recent years, terms like “going green” and “eco-friendly” have become buzz words on talk shows, commercials and product packaging. The term “eco-friendly” has been used for so many different products and practices, its meaning is in danger of being lost. By understanding the true meaning of eco-friendly, you can implement the practices that will lead to healthier living for the planet and its inhabitants, big and small.

Being eco-friendly includes recycling, but there are other ways to guard the planet's health.

Definition
Eco-friendly literally means earth-friendly or not harmful to the environment (see References 1). This term most commonly refers to products that contribute to green living or practices that help conserve resources like water and energy. Eco-friendly products also prevent contributions to air, water and land pollution. You can engage in eco-friendly habits or practices by being more conscious of how you use resources.

Product Qualifications
Making a truly eco-friendly product keeps both environmental and human safety in mind. At a minimum, the product is non-toxic. Other eco-friendly attributes include the use of sustainably grown or raised ingredients, produced in ways that do not deplete the ecosystem. Organic ingredients or materials are grown without toxic pesticides or herbicides. Products with “made from recycled materials” contain glass, wood, metal or plastic reclaimed from waste products and made into something new. Biodegradable products break down through natural decomposition, which is less taxing on landfills and the ecosystem as a whole. (See References 3)

Practice Examples
You can develop eco-friendly habits to help you use less and make the most of what you have. Turn off lights in empty rooms and use a programmable thermostat so you’re only heating or cooling your home when it’s occupied (see References 2). Businesses can also institute such practices, in addition to bigger initiatives, such as company-wide recycling programs to conserve natural resources and telecommuting for employees, which decreases air pollution and fuel consumption by eliminating daily travel to work.

Greenwashing
Companies sometimes label their products “eco-friendly” or “environmentally friendly” without them truly being so. Called “greenwashing,” marketing campaigns perpetuate this practice, aimed at helping companies increase their product sales by appealing to ecologically conscious buyers. To avoid purchasing “greenwashed” products, look for products approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star program or an ecologically conscious consumer-advocacy group such as the Green Good Housekeeping Seal (see References 4, 5).

References

  1. Dictionary.com: Eco-Friendly (adj.)
  2. Ecology Fund.com: Eco-Friendly Tips
  3. University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension News; What Is Eco-friendly?; Margaret Hagen; January 2009
  4. Energy Star: Qualified Products
  5. Good Housekeeping: Green Good Housekeeping Seal Frequently Asked Questions

Nifty Tips For Networking

Source: Becky Gaylord of Gaylord LLC a consulting practice.

The time-tested adage that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” has never been more true than today. In this age of instant communication and social media, business moves fast and having the right resource accessible in a jiffy can make the difference between taking the lead or working from behind. Although technology is making networking a 24/7 activity, it’s still the in-person networking that forges the deepest connections. In order to help keep your networking skills sharp, Promotional Consultant Today offers five select tips offered by Becky Gaylord in her post titled “12 Most Nifty Tips for Networking.”

1. Set a modest goal ahead of time. Rather than going into the event as a blank slate, Gaylord suggests you set a few specific goals for the kind of information you will be looking get from your interactions.

2. Listen more than you talk. Often easier said than done, really listening will allow you to extend the conversation and start building the relationship by finding additional questions to ask. As Gaylord puts it, the people you interact with are “opening the door and letting you in by telling you about something then matters to them.”

3. Present yourself as someone you would like to meet. We’re not all cheery at all times and extended networking can be exhausting, but people like to be around others who are warm and cheery. It’s only a few hours of your life, so make the effort to be the kind of person with whom you would enjoy chatting.

4. Ask questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. It may take some practice, but by asking questions that probe a little deeper than a “yes” or “no” answer, you will increase the likelihood that you will hit on a shared topic that can naturally extend the conversation and build a deep bond.

5. Pursue possibilities promptly. Whether the person you spoke with appears to be an immediate lead or not, follow up promptly with an e-mail or note to make an impression that sets you apart from all the others that person met during the event.

Source: Becky Gaylord worked as a reporter for major publications—the New York Times, Salon.com, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal—for more than 15 years in Washington, D.C.; Sydney, Australia; and Cleveland, Ohio. She was associate editor for the editorial page at the Cleveland Plain Dealer before she launched her consulting practice, Gaylord LLC. The company helps clients improve their external relations and communication, and increase their influence and impact. Gaylord blogs about that (and a few other things) at Framing What Works.

EMPLOYEES OF THE MONTH – September 2012

The Summer of Cheap Labor!

16 year old niece Emily took her first plane ride (all the way from Indiana!) to sunny Seattle for a week in July.

 

18 year old nephew Torgeir escaped the brutal heat of Sacramento to explore Seattle in August.

 

 

ZippyDogs put them both to work in a continuation of the Internationally Recognized ZippyDogs Summer Internship Program that began last year with nephew Taylor. When contacted to speak about his experiences and recovery from his week at ZippyDogs, Taylor could not be reached for comment. Perhaps he was nursing a paper cut.

 

This summer our Interns were instrumental in many important tasks. Both were instructed on the finer points of making coffee for Top Dog, for example. Service with a smile required – Top Dog has spoken!

 

     

 

Emily stuffed promo boxes to win new customers, filed, wrote thank you notes, and completed a electronic file compression project.

Torgeir wrote thank you notes, sorted our customer file drawers, and completed a comprehensive report comparing cloud-based business solutions.

When not at the ZippyDogs World Headquarters honing their administrative skills, they enjoyed exploring Seattle!

  

 

For their newly acquired barista skills and more, they are both awarded Employee of the Month!

DOG OF THE MONTH – September 2012

Meet Oscar the Cat, our Dog of the Month

Meet Oscar: the black and white cat-who-thinks-he’s-the-bottom-of-the-pack-beta-dog!
Oscar’s pal is Cleo, the cat-who-knows-she’s-a-cat, and according to their owner, together they’re a lovely pair!

Oscar tried to guard his humans and the house (until he gets scared and runs away), and sticks his head in the closest human armpit when he needs to be reminded of the pack order.

How did this beta dog symdrome happen to Oscar? He was in a house with 4 dogs until his adoption at a year and a half old, so he really does think he’s a dog! Cleo is all cat and tries to run the show until she gets put in her place by her humans.

Oscar’s favorite food: “chicken!”
Oscar’s favorite drug: “cat nip!”

Cleo: “leave me alone I’m studying for my private pilot’s license, and no Oscar, I will not take you along as a co-pilot or baggage handler.”

DOG OF THE MONTH – August 2012

   

     

Jude was born on January 17, 2011. By March 14th he was attending his first birthday party (and stole Deputy Dog’s thunder at her own party)! His owner is a Seattle Firefighter, and Jude grew up in the firehouse.  Jude and his owner are also proud members of the Northwest Disaster Search Dog organization and Jude loves scrambling over rubble to find hidden people during training.  Aside from Jude’s excessive drooling, he’s a perfect gentleman! WOOF!

DOG OF THE MONTH – July 2012

Meet Ally

We adopted Ally from a local rescue group called PUPS: People United for Pets. They are based in Issaquah, and we had a few dogs that we were interested in. PUPS had an adoption fair at the Kirkland Petco, and we fell in love with our Ally on Feb. 19th, 2012. She became part of our forever family that day, and has been a wonderful companion to us every since.

Ally is 2-3 years old, and is a funny mix of whippet, terrier, and we think a little bit of beagle. She has super long legs, but is only 20 pounds. That girl can run! She loves to scamper after her ball, and is eager to please us with her commands. We’re working on getting her to stay when someone comes to the door… she’s already queen of the house, so that’s a big one to work on!

We can’t say enough good things about PUPS. They rescue lots of dogs, and especially small dogs, from high-kill shelters. Ally was in a foster home with a loving family (who gave her her name) for about a week before we adopted her. During that time, she was spayed and thoroughly checked out by a vet. The volunteers and foster families treat the dogs with love and care until they can be adopted.

PUP Dog Rescue - check them out!

 

Employee of the Month – June 2012

Red Merle Curran!
Deputy Dog loves the sun…unfortunately her fair skin doesn’t. So what did she do instead?

    

Kristi is off to sunny California for a wedding. What better way for a fair-skinned Seattle-ite to get a little color than to visit the spray tan booth? Too bad it didn’t go better. Deputy Dog is officially a Red Merle!  Congrats Kristi on trying something new and having a good laugh about an experiment gone wrong. WOOF!

Dog of the Month – June 2012

Meet Bo and Bea!

Meet Lord Harrington’s Bodacious Beauregard and Beefeaters Buxom Beatrice; also known as Bo and Bea, respectively.  They are both English Bulldogs but you’ll never meet a duo more different from each other. Bo is an athletic, carefree surfer boy, always ready for the next adventure.  Bea is a neurotic, loving chubby little fuss-budget who’s favorite thing in the world is to ride around, perched on the front of the shopping cart at Home Depot. (Think Leo DiCaprio on the bow of Titanic and you’ll know how she rolls; she’s the “Queeeeen of Home Deeepooot!) Bea’s birthday is St Patrick’s Day so here they are, all dressed up for the occasion.

 

Employee of the Month – May 2012

Snazzy Kristi prepares the office for a WEBENC inspection!

We now have our WEBENC certification – WOOF!

 

What’s that, you ask?  The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), founded in 1997, is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States. WBENC, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit, partners with 14 Regional Partner Organizations to provide its world class standard of certification to women-owned businesses throughout the country. WBENC  is also the nation’s leading advocate of women-owned businesses as suppliers to America’s corporations.

 

For our certification site visit, Deputy Dog chose to forgo her standard shorts and flip-flop office attire in favor of a little black dress!  She even wore make-up and only swore once during the entire site visit.  And to prove that a dress does not hinder her from being a true Deputy, she vacuumed the entire office and posed for these pictures as proof.  WOOF!

Dog of the Month – May 2012

Charlie Mooch Glennon was born at Circle M Farms in Colony Oklahoma in November 2007.  His Mom and Dad are purebred Australian Shepherds, true working dogs who spend their days herding cows, prize quarter horses and lots of little humans.

Charlie came to Seattle at the end of 2007 to live with his current Mommy. At five months Charlie began herding other dogs at the dog park. He nips and nudges his housemate kitty, into corners, off the bed and away from the holy kitchen.

Charlie loves to play soccer and can destroy a tennis ball in 7 seconds flat. His favorite activity is swimming. He loves to fetch logs, the bigger the better! Charlie is quite intelligent and he and his best friend Buddy Curran are excellent fence security testers. If there’s a hole, they’ll find it.

Charlie is a red merle with beautiful blue eyes and bubble gum tongue. He is often referred to as the “pretty girl dog” and he always accepts the misgendered compliments with grace. He is a cuddly love who is content to just be with his people all the time.

Ginger takes a carrot break, nom!

Ginger, The Enforcer at ZippyDogs, just loves her some carrots! She holds them straight up and begins to crunch and chomp – nom nom!  She is a pro, but she let’s Jagger do the clean up when she is done. (Clean up is beneath her).

Dog of the Month – April 2012

       

      

 

Name – Breia Angelina Pasonno Gabor Gauthier

Age – A true lady never divulges her age

Hobbies – Hobbies are beneath Breia.  She does enjoy dominating all the other beings in her world, including her human, Glenn.  In addition, she is obsessed with getting the ball.

Breia was born a diva and continues to amaze and delight her owner, who feels he is more handsome with her on the end of a leash.  Breia lives the life of luxury, with an eclectic art-filled home and leopard print bed.  Although considered the “mean girl dog” on the playground, she is never viscous – she simply lets all the other dogs know she is in charge. Period.

A pure-bred Belgian Tervuren, Briea is incredibly smart, has a wonderful personality, and her smile will stop you in your tracks! Of her many talents, most entertaining is watching her find her human’s cell phone and bringing it to him when it rings.  Briea also enjoys evening cookies and cocktails on the patio. WOOF!