How To...

People are always surprised to hear that you can actually machine wash Action Wipes multiple times. Yes, not just once, twice, three times, but more! We have personally tested them up to six times and they're still usable.

We created the wipes with a durable polyester fabric for a number of reasons 1) to clean out the grime and sweat out of every pore on your body really well, 2) so they don't fall apart while in use, 3) not leave any lint on your stubble (face or legs ;)) and 4) keep them out of the land fill as long as possible.

To that end, here is a short lesson on how to wash Action Wipes... (Now, keep in mind that I am not a professional videographer, scriptwriter, film director or actress! It was difficult trying to do the wash with one hand while holding the camera with the other. Ha!)

video

(If the video takes to long to buffer, you can go to our YouTube Channel)

What's Up?!

I know it's been a while since my last post (boy, that took me back to my catholic roots... "forgive me father for I have sinned. It's been 2 months since my last..."). And shame on me because a lot of exciting things have been going on...

We started September by sponsoring the 2009 MSA Classic in Malibu, CA. The surf competition brought celebrities, pro and amateur surfers of all ages from California, Hawaii, the East Coast, Japan, and Australia. This annual competition is a green-aware event and promotes the importance of sustainability. Therefore, our sponsorship was a no-brainer. When everyone was done surfing, they cleaned up with Action Wipes. (That's Sal Masekela of E!)

That same weekend, we made our way over to the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. Here too, we got to meet celebrities, pass out Action Wipes at the finish line and cheer for Action Wipes sponsored LA Tri Club and Paramount Tri Team.

End of September found us in Las Vegas, attending Interbike, the nation's largest cycling tradeshow. While we did not have a booth, you couldn't miss us. Action Wipes made their way to Outdoor Demo via Masi Bikes, the VIP tent and shuttles. At the show, we were fortunate to have BlackBottoms Cyclewear pass out samples from their booth and at times, have me share the space. The biggest thrill for me though was helping coordinate The Bike Tweetup. One of the biggest parties of the week that helped raise $1500 for charity. (Yup, that's George Hincapie)

In October, you found us at the inaugural Levi Leipheimer's King Ridge GranFondo. Here, we did have a booth at the bike expo & festival, which was a blast. 3500 cyclists, friends and family made this event a huge success. Next years should be bigger and better with a goal of 5,000 cyclists.


November was somewhat quiet. However, those participating in the Dana Point Turkey Trot found a fun surprise in their registration bag... Turkey Trot branded Action Wipes. Same great wipe, but made specially for them. But here is a very cool thing - the committee sent 2,000 of the wipes to our Marines in Afghanistan. I can't tell you how much this pulled on my heart strings. Aside from wet wipes, our troops can use other items that you may be able to help with - so please, check out the list and see if there is anything you'd like to provide.


December is keeping us busy filling orders and getting ready for the holidays. We are very thankful and appreciative to Triathlete Magazine for including us in their Holiday Gift Guide. As a national publication, this brought us a slew of new fans from all over the nation. Thank you again Triathlete!

We also received a great review from BikeRumor.com. It's so thorough that I think I'll us it as a training guide for our new retail clients! Thank you BikeRumor!

Also this month, our dear friends at Cyclefilm have released the eagerly awaited film - "Liz Hatch, Come Ride With Me", sponsored by... Action Wipes! :) So if you have a cycling fanatic that appreciates beautiful scenery and hot chicks, this is the stocking stuffer for them! Check out all their DVD's, you might just find one for yourself too.

Ok, enough for now. I will be updating the blog before the month ends as we have some exciting news to announce very, very soon...

Thank you!

Remember how we made lemonade out of lemons? Well, here's an update...


Since that blog post and with the help from friends, family and organizations such as Supplies for Soldiers, Operation: Action Pack, Help A Service Member Out, and Armed Forces YMCA, we have mailed over 30,000 packs of Action Wipes to Military personnel serving our country in Iraq and over 5,000 to non-profit organizations in the U.S.!! (It gives me goosebumps every time I think about it.)

We have received numerous letters, emails and tweets from soldiers thanking us for the donation, but really, it is we that are grateful. This was a minuscule act in relation to what they go through everyday to protect our country and our freedom. Our hearts, prayers and thanks go out to them.

Having received permission, I'd like to share a couple letters with you...

Was On Patrol & Visited A Village. The Local Sheik Said That There Was A Man W/ Burns All Over His Body So I Went & Checked It Out. Since I'm The C.O.'s Personal Security & Personal Medic. The C.O. Asked Me If I Can Help Him. His Story Is He Got Burned Working W/Asphalt. I Figured He Was Planting An IED/EFP. But I Gave Him The Benefit Of The Doubt. So I Started By Irrigating His Burns. Then I Needed Something To Scrub It Down. The Only Thing I Had Were Action Wipes! So I Used Those. Then Applied Cream To Heal His Burns. Who'd A Thought I'd Be Using Em To Treat A Burn? Can't Leave The Wire W/Out A Few Action Wipes In My Pocket! Combat Tested & Approved! - R.C. Kirkuk, Iraq

Martha van Inwegen - I apologize for this letter taking so long. My name is Sgt. Simon Adam Martin. I believe my friend Jordan Cole gave you my address here in Iraq and I received your Action Wipes. First let me tell you that your product is an excellent contribution to the field gear carried by soldiers. It is most beneficial for those men who are not provided the luxury of a shower. Also as a former US Army Ranger, I know that this product would be most beneficial to the Warriors who spend much time in Direct Action. With you permission, I would like to share some of the wipes you sent me with my comrades and offer them some information about your product.

Next let me say how nice it is that your towels are reusable which seems to coincide with the environmental approach of your company. As a student of Landscape Architecture, in my civilian life, I appreciate any approach toward a more sustainable product or process. Finally let me say how appreciative I am of your consideration for me and my fellow soldiers. It is so special to have companies, regardless of political views that are supportive and considerate of the men and women who leave their lives, families, and friends behind to support the cause of freedom.

From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank you for your help, your product, your support, your thoughts and your prayers. - Adam Martin, S.

Deception and Lies

A couple days ago, I received a voice mail from Lifetime Channel's The Balancing Act. I was advised the producers were working on a story line that offered solutions for women on the go and wanted to speak with me about Action Wipes. Not being an avid TV watcher, I went to their website and checked it out. My first observation was that each show had a topic specific sponsor.

Now, having been pitched by just about every infomercial company out there, I was leery, but curious at the same time. So, I returned their call and asked if they were trying to sell me an infomercial (typical costs range $25-70,000), advertising or banner space. The appointment setter assured me that they were not an infomercial house and that they were not trying to sell me anything, they simply wanted to speak with me to see if Action Wipes would make for a good story line. So we proceeded to arrange a conference call with one of the shows producers.

The call with the producer lasted 40 minutes today. In that time, we spoke about the history of Action Wipes, why they were perfect for women on the go, how we've been using social media (Twitter specifically) to get the word out, how the show could give us exposure and more. She was enthused and advised that the product would fit really well, however...



  1. Being on the show was by invitation only.

  2. Though she was an executive producer, she still had to go through an internal approval process.

  3. If approved, they would then create a 3-5 minute editorial piece.

  4. I would then be considered a content partner and thus I had to ensure them I would contribute to script.

  5. The script would be written with an educational tone, as this was NOT an infomercial, NOR a commercial.

  6. "If" they decided to promote me, their PR team would begin writing press releases immediately, I would get exposure via their half million daily viewers and 800 thousand email subscribers and, through their magazine partner, Women's Day.

As she walked me through each of these steps I could hear the excitement in her voice rise. I just listened silently simply saying "ok" after each sentence and thinking "here it comes"...

And, here it is... "All" that is expected from me is to work with the PR team, cross promote through our mutual websites and pay a "scheduling" fee of $39,700.00.

So while they did not "lie" when they advised they were not selling me an infomercial, they did deceive me. Deception is as bad as a lie, it's dishonest and it sucks. Big time.

If you want truthful, honest reviews on Action Wipes, just go to the following blogs. We did not pay for their view... with some however, we did send them the product to test, but with a note that stated "Please, be honest. Good or otherwise, we want to hear your feedback". Others purchased the product from our website and posted a review. So here they are - good and otherwise :)

Girl Meets Bike

Commute by Bike

The Bike Diva

Karl McCracken

Mike Martin Racing

Jill Will Run

SoCalCycling.Com

Jack and Adams Bicycles

Healthiest Life 4 Me

Bike World News

KiltRunner

BikeCommuters.Com

Joe Jacobi

Camping Blogger

Bicycle Frenzy

Naturally Savvy

Bike Skirt

Ultrarob

RunnerDude's Blog

Mike On His Bike

Iron Man Past and Future

Bike Jax

Transparent Racing

Running Relays

Of Blogs & Bulls

Boneshakerbike

Sonya Looney

Academichic

Glastonbury Festival Essentials

Heeb

The Gear Caster

Bike Commuting in Columbus

Bicycle.net

Ontri.com

Dirt 4 Life

Climbing

LA Cycling Examiner

PROBIKEWRENCH

Bikejuju

Lets Go Ride a Bike

MTB Law Girl

Bike Date

Travelling the World

We love our fans - they have taken us to places we can only dream about. Here is where Action Wipes have been recently:

Let's Make Lemonade

As many of you know, I've been very excited about the launch of our new single packs. We have spent weeks and weeks working through the package design, tweaking the formula so that it's just right, approving samples and eagerly waiting while the packs were printed and filled.

So you can imagine my excitement when UPS delivered boxes filled with the new singles last Tuesday, May 26. The delivery was well timed too as the existing inventory of multi-packs is quickly dwindling. I was so excited that I asked my UPS man to open one of the boxes right away so that he could see the fruit of my labor and gush with me as to what a great product I had created. I was like a little kid at Christmas, holding my breath as he slowly cut through the tape.

With eyes big as buttons, I saw a glimpse of the beautiful orange color and blue swoosh upon shiny white packs. But as I reached in and held them in my hands, my big button eyes quickly turned into saucers! My excitement was extinguished and disappointment quickly set in. This was not the packaging material I had approved!

As the UPS man and I began testing them, we noted that the scent was spot on, the foaming action and wetness was right - but something else was off. I then realized that the fabric was not quite the same weight as my standard wipes. As tears started rolling down my face, all I could say was "how could this have happened"? After all, I was at the factory when we created the first run of single packs (the plain packs created for teams, clubs and companies wanting to co-brand the wipes.) The only thing that was suppose to change with the second run was the printing on the packs.

While they are beautiful and work just as I intended, they are not what I promised you or the retailers and distributors that had received samples.

Needless to say, I quickly called my manufacturer and advised them of the situation and we immediately arranged a face to face meeting to discuss how to rectify it. (The great thing about working with U.S. companies, aside from keeping the money here and folks employed, is that I can meet with them as needed.) Having met this past Friday, I'm happy to report that we are working to correct the packaging within the next couple of weeks.

So this is where we turn those lemons into lemonade...

I now have thousands of single packs that I can not put into retail stores, though they still have the same great Action Wipes formula, same big-size wipe, same refreshing scent and clean feeling. So, here is what we are going to do - we are donating the wipes to our military troops! All I'm asking is for help with the shipping fees. The U.S. Postal Service has a special flat rate fee of $10.95 for boxes sent to an APO/FPO address and a flat rate of $10.35 for boxes sent to a U.S. base address. These boxes will hold about 100 single pack wipes each - enough to share with others.

So, If you have a loved one or a friend serving our country and would like to send them some of these Action Wipes, ORDER NOW. I can guarantee you that these will go fast, so put your order in right away, and please, let other military families know about it too.

If you're a non-profit with an upcoming outdoor or athletic event, contact me right away and we'll do our best to help you too!

Win a Year's Supply of Action Wipes!

So as we've been telling you - Action Wipes are strong, washable and durable. After washing, they can be repurposed for other uses, or recharged for continued personal use with our Sports Spray.

At the Avia Wildflower Triathlon this past weekend, we went through a lot of testers (as we usually do at events). Rather than have folks throw the wipes away, we always try to collect them and bring them home to wash and repurpose around our house.

As always, we were asked "how do you repurpose them". For fun, I told a team of women they could make bikini's out of them. After all, if they can withstand 5 machine washings, they should be able to withstand a wave or two - right? So I proceeded to create a bikini - using nine (9) Action Wipes from our recycling bag.


Pretty cool and sexy don't you think? (Note, there are no pins, buttons, bobby pins or anything but hand knots holding it together.)



Having created this masterpiece, we asked Amy & Julie of Whooha Gear if we could hang it up as part of their clothing collection, again, just for fun. The response was great, people loved it!


To that end, we are creating a contests to test your imagination, craft and adventure skills, while at the same time help a charitable cause...


The Contest (May 5 - May 31, 2009)
We're looking for an Action Wipes Girl and/or Guy to fill the pages of our 2010 Calendar. If you are a cyclist, triathlete, marathon runner, climber, hiker, surfer, kayaker or overall outdoor enthusiast - we want you!

The contest starts by submitting a brief proposal (with pictures) or video as to why you should be considered as our 2010 Action Wipes Girl or Guy. The 5 most creative proposals will receive 20 single packs of Action Wipes. From there contestants will have to create an outfit made entirely of those wipes. You will then submit a video modeling your creation and describing how you made it. The two most creative contestants will be crowned as the 2010 Action Wipes Girl(s) or Guy(s).

Winners will receive a year's supply of Action Wipes and featured in our 2010 calendar. The calendar will be made available for purchase through our website and participating partners and retailers. Net proceeds will be distributed to the winner's favorite charity or club.

(Just FYI... we've already received some pretty cool submissions!)
Please note that by submitting your videos and photos, you allow Life Elements, Inc. to use your image. Please contact us for a full models release.

More Comments on Action Wipes

Just wanted to share February's comments... March & April will be posted soon. Keep em coming!
  • I do cyclocross and am an ex Ironman due to injuries. The wipes are perfect for Cyclocross. You want to clean up fast in the cold and rain and change into something dry!
  • Love them! Love that you can rinse and reuse :)
  • The sports spray just arrived. It smells SO good!! I LOVE eucalyptus!
  • Not in my plan, but rode bike longer than expected. Late to church mtg, so used Action Wipes. Was followed by a gang of Koala bears :)
  • I am doing cardio before work in the morning...your wipes allow me to fit it in cuz i don't have time for another shower...i shower at night
  • I am switching to morning runs, and with the associated time crunch, your product is going to make a big difference in my day!
  • Ok, I finally tried Action Wipes and I Love them! They are absolutely the perfect solution for anyone who runs during lunch.
  • Seriously... these are the real deal. They smell great, work even better and are safe. What more do you need? I've used them after a long day on the Vegas strip with sandals and after a quick run on break. Great product!
  • Martha ActionWipes are refreshing and also great for grease removal from body and bike
  • I had personal perfect service from start to delivery. Will use again and recommend to everyone.
  • After a long day in the break, there's nothing like a swipe with a wipe, "Action Wipes" that is.
  • I love the smell of the wipes! If you have a mailing list, i would love to join. Wish you success!
  • I LOVE my Action Wipes!!!
  • Have a customer traveling to Zimbabwe for a month-stocking up on Action Wipes to take with her!
  • Just got back from mountain biking and the crew loved the Action Wipes after!!
  • I ordered these to take with me to a certain desert festival last year. I ordered some extras to hand out to friends and gosh was I ever popular! These things are great! They smell great and really get the job done. We even used our action wipes on a sweaty camping and climbing trip and people couldn't believe we went two weeks without showering. We looked fresh as daisies! Plus ordering was breeze and the folks at Action Wipes are fabulous. Thanks guys!
  • I can't wait to go out and get all sweaty and ActionWipe myself down!!!
  • Still addicted to the smell!

Get Inspired

Need a little inspiration to get off your booty and do something? Want to save our planet, raise awareness for a cause or meet a personal goal? Here are some inspiring individuals, teams and events, sponsored by Action Wipes, that inspire us. We appreciate their support and love the way they rock the world. Check them out...!


The Amazing Liz Hatch

Thanks again to Cyclefilm, I just had the most amazing opportunity of spending two days with one of cycling's hottest women racers, Liz Hatch of Team Vanderkitten. All I can say is "Wow!"

Aside from being hot (like seriously gorgeous hot), she's an incredible athlete, the nicest person, and guys, she's single. Damn, I'm jealous (of the gorgeous, sexy, hot, athlete part...cuz you know, I'm very happily married - still in love married!).

You'll get to see what I'm talking about in the upcoming Cyclefilm DVD with Liz riding through Marin. Having been there for the filming, I can tell you this will be one hot video! So bookmark Cyclefilm's website for sneak previews and release dates. (Not to give anything away, but you may even find out about what Liz sleeps with and one of her biggest temptations!)

And yes, Liz loves Action Wipes! I'm telling you what - Lance has to notice this one!!




Ch-Ch-Changes

We've listened to you and were're taking action. Coming in May 2009 - Our New Single Pack!



The single (rim shot) most requested change is now in the works. This new packaging will allow you to take just one or two wipes wherever you go. They'll easily fit in your jersey pocket, transition bag, backpack, bike kit... you get the idea.

Multi packs will be offered with a washable mesh bag to allow storage of the used Action Wipes so that you simply throw the bag and the used wipes in with the rest of your whites when ready to wash. Then, as always, repurpose them for other uses. Once you have the mesh bag, you simply purchase the single packs as needed. Is that cool or what??

Additionally, we're working on refining the scent, giving it a slightly higher top note of frankincense.

Another cool thing about the new packaging - we can now offer your team, organization or company co-branding. Co-branding Action Wipes is an effective way to market your brand and guarantee that you are spreading your business name on high quality, ecologically friendly wet wipes. Not only that, but you can sell them and raise some cash for your team or club. We're taking orders now, so call or email us for more details.

I'm so excited about these changes and the awesome feedback you've provided. You've been extremely helpful; for which I am grateful. However, we still need your help in finding distributors and local retailers. So please, if you have any contacts, additional ideas or questions, do not hesitate to contact me directly or post a comment. I may be reached via email or at 805.462.2215.

It's a Small World

I'll admit it - I tend to be slightly extroverted. I like talking with people. I'm not afraid to start conversations anywhere there happens to be people around. Nope, I'm not even afraid of making cold calls. I guess that's why I was so successful in my sales career.

In fact, I pick up people.

I once met a woman at a networking event that I found interesting, so I called her the next day and said "I think you're interesting, will you be my friend?" That was in 2001, Madeline and I are good friends to this day. When we first moved to Atascadero in 2004, Curt and I didn't know a soul - until we went to the opening of the Carlton Hotel. Sitting at the bar, I found the man sitting next to us very interesting (though we had not yet started a conversation), so I said to him "we're new in town, will you be our friend?" Come to find out, he was the Chief of Police at Cal Poly at the time and I just happen to be a sales rep for a company that developed public safety applications. This turned out to be another great friendship.

It's been a couple of years since we last went to the Carlton, so last Friday we decided to meet some friends there for a drink. Curt and I arrived early and sitting across from us were two young men that I found interesting. Wanting to start a conversation, I threw them my new pick up line... "do you twitter?" (Forget "what's your sign" or "do you come here often", this one works *much* better!) This of course got the conversation started and soon we were friends with Chris from Los Angeles.

OK, so here is where it becomes a really small world - it's a little complicated, but stay with me...

Next day I had a notice that Chris had begun following me on Twitter, so I welcomed him and introduced him to my 1300+ friends. Later that morning, I checked in on his page and noticed he had several new followers since I last peeked. When I went to see who his followers were, I was surprised to see one of them was my daughter, Bettina. Hmmm, I thought, she must have seen my introduction and decided to follow him too. I better let him know who she is...

This is the twitter exchange that followed:

Me: Bettina, who is following you too is my daughter, she lives in LA

Chris: I work with Bettina at The Farm...

Me: Wait a minute, are you the chris I met last night in Atascadero?

Chris: Yep....

Me: Are you serious, you know Bettina?? OMG!

Chris: yeah, i know Bettina...

Me: Amazed at what a small world this is

Chris: I know, right...

For a moment, I was so confused. When he said he knew Bettina, I thought "oh no, that's not the same Chris I met last night, it must be one of her friends that decided to follow me. I introduced the wrong person!" But come to find out, Chris works at the same restaurant as my daughter, and even car pools at times. Who would have thought?!

We met again that Saturday evening so that I could give him some Action Wipes and we decided not to tell Bettina until he saw her - he was going to go back to L.A. and tell her he met the coolest woman (cuz, you know, I am cool). Then he was going to show her a pack of Action Wipes that I had given him - the look on her face would be priceless! Unfortunately, Bettina got laid off before he returned. (Please, does anyone know of photographer jobs in L.A?)

So Bettina, guess who I met?!

No Photoshop Used

Since the posting of the Amgen Tour of California "Lance Armstrong" marketing campaign, I've been asked numerous times if the images were photoshopped...

NO, they were not. Click here to see the making of the campaign. Thank you again Cyclefilm!

Wait till you see who's next! ;)

(Photoshop is a registered trademark of Adobe Systens Inc.)

Tour of California, Lance Armstrong and Action Wipes

All I can say is...WOW, what a blast! Like a lot of people, Curt and I typically watch the Amgen Tour of California on Versus, but this year, I got to watch the tour up close - behind the scenes close!

Thanks to Twitter, I got to meet Markus Neuert of Cyclefilm, who gave me the opportunity to tag along as he filmed the tour (watch Chasing Lance With Liz Kreutz - very cool!) Joining him at the Paso Robles stage, I tagged along through Solvang, Pasadena and San Diego where I was able to capture a lot of incredible pictures and a couple of videos which I will share once I have the opportunity to upload them from my camera.

In the meantime, take a look at this funny, grass roots, Twitter marketing campaign that I captured with my Blackberry - and which I hope to expand upon in the coming months (if you know of any celebrities that would lend themselves to this effort, I'd appreciate an introduction :))...

Lance Armstrong - You Need Action Wipes...

@lancearmstrong the Podium Girls have a message for you...#atoc













@lancearmstrong your stolen bike has something to say... #atoc
















@lancearmstrong @timjackson *Masi Bikes* said to get a better bike... #atoc
















@lancearmstrong Cannondale girls have a message too... #atoc
















@lancearmstrong, @fredcast and @cyclefilm send their hellos... #atoc
















@lancearmstrong @johanbruyneel has more advise 4 you... #atoc
















@lancearmstrong - @philliggett and @paulsherwen have one final word 4 you... #atoc
















@lancearmstrong your face is not a baby's butt, don't wipe it like one... #atoc

















Grass Roots Marketing

What a week! When I last left you, I was preparing to leave for the Shorty Awards in New York. The fun began the moment I left Atascadero to Los Angeles to catch the red eye. Long 4 hour drive followed by a 6 hour flight.

Upon our arrival to New York, I found out that my interview with The Fred Cast had been posted. How did I know? Because orders were coming in one after the other and folks were kind enough to let me know they heard me on The Fred Cast. Thank you David, I had a blast doing the interview!!

Being on a very tight budget, my daughter, Bettina, and I braved the subway to our hotel near Time Square from JFK. I didn't think it was as scary as I've heard - the only thing that happened was what sounded like a gunshot and a flash of light as we passed through Queens. Everyone in our car just looked at each other with a knowing look, smiled and went about their business, so we did the same. However, Bettina looks up at a man standing in front of us reading the Metro only to see a headline that read "Tech universe prepares to honor top Twitterers" Sweeet! (They could have used a better tweet from me, but that's ok, just hope my son doesn't see it ;))

My plan for New York was to somehow get myself on The Today Show audience holding a sign. Grass roots marketing baby. So after scoping it out the first day, I decided to wait till Wednesday morning to attempt anything. Come Wednesday, I positioned myself where I was sure to be seen behind Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry and Al Roker. It worked! If you looked hard, you could see my head and scarf poking between them. However, I later positioned myself just a little closer and got directly behind Matt and was easily seen for a least 2 minutes.

With excitement, I sent a tweet from my Blackberry stating: "@todayshow - Tweetup tonight @ Shorty Awards." This got their attention and in turn, they "retweeted" my note to their 10,894 followers. Super, super cool! All this garnered calls, emails and comments from other Tweeps such as:

When The Shorty Awards finally arrived, we were exhausted. I didn't sleep at all the night before even though we had walked what seemed all of New York by then. However, I somehow found the energy and we made our way to the Galapagos Art Space. What a blast! It was fun meeting fellow tweeps in person, MC Hammer and of course, the press. Here are some articles for which I was interviewed: Wall Street Journal, Business Week and CNN.

The Shorty Awards were streamed live, but if you missed it, you can still watch them. Note that I was the last to be presented the award as I flaked and did not hear my name being called, but luckily, I made it down on time after my husband sent me a text asking what happened. And of course, made an entrance :)


Elizabeth Holmes of Wall Street Journal (@EHolmesWSJ) and my cool "iTweet" t-shirt from Off Line T-Shirts.








Mr. MC Hammer (@mchammer)

Bittersweet Shorty Award Win

I won the Shorty Award for Brand. Many were surprised as expressed by this tweet: @rickmarshall "Action Wipes" beat @Marvel's Twitter army?" Yes, my 900 fellow tweeps helped Action Wipes pull ahead of Marvel Comics which has over 5,000 tweeps and SavvyAuntie.com with over 4,000 tweeps. Which proves it was not a "popularity" contest, but about the connection, both on a personal and professional level, one establishes with the people they choose to socialize with (hence "social media").

However, it's a bittersweet win as my dad (whom I told you about in my Thanksgiving post) passed away unexpectedly days before the announcement. So needless to say, I've been on an emotional roller coaster the past two weeks.

I was and will forever be, very appreciative of the support and encouragement my dad continually gave me. Even as he was dying, knowing I was in the lead for the Shorty Awards, he said "New York must be cursed for you." This was a reference to where the awards ceremony will be held, and to the last time I was supposed to go to New York for the launch of C&M Couples, when my mom passed away just two days prior. And in as much emotional pain as he and I were at the time, he encouraged me to go anyway. He said it again this time and encouraged me because as he said, "...you have to go."

While the Shorty Awards are unlike an Oscar, a Nobel Peace Prize or a Super Bowl win, it holds just as great significance for me. For one, it is something my dad and I got to share during his last days and secondly, it's the recognition that enough people felt strong enough to place their vote with Action Wipes and @marthavan that gives me the encouragement to continue on. But for Life Elements, the company and Action Wipes, the brand, I hope this award helps continue the growth in exposing our products and leads to additional distribution opportunities and yes, sales :-) ...All things Twitter has provided since I started using it a few months ago.

My thanks again to everyone that voted for me and much warm love to fellow Shorty Awards winner for Non Profit, Athletes For A Cure (@atheletes4acure), who tweeted "We dedicate our Shorty to Martha Van's Dad who lost his fight before he got to see his daughter win."

About the Shorty Awards

If you've been following me on Twitter, you may know that I am a finalist for a Shorty Award. The Shorty Awards were created by Sawhorse Media and recognize "The best producers of short content in 2008". Short being the operative word. On Twitter, you can say what's on your mind, socialize with other tweeps, market products, provide information and more, but it has to be within 140 characters or less (counting spaces, periods and exclamation marks!). Hence, "short content". Another way of saying it is "A way for those who wax poetic on Twitter to be recognized for their witty banter."

To get to the Shorty finals, I first had to get enough nominations to put me in the top five of one, or more, of the 26 different categories (categories range from Advertising to Weird with interpretations left to our imaginations). Now, I love contests and I'm comfortable with competition. Not sure if it's because I'm an Aries, or because I grew up playing competitive sports or what, but I'm always up for a challenge. In fact, I seriously want to compete in "The Amazing Race"! So, I threw my name in the ring for what I thought was the best category fit, "Brand". After all, I joined Twitter to tell active outdoor/sports folks about Action Wipes and create a network of peers that would help me spread the word to others about them.

To get to the finals, I asked my network of tweeps to vote for me and therefore made it to the number one position in the Brand category. Which put me against four other great brands that have used Twitter to gain greater product recognition as well: Marvel Comics, Savvy Auntie, Assistu and Surpass. (You can check out the other 25 categories and their finalists by clicking here.)

But I have to tell you something... I'm hearing rumblings from one of the other finalists that I shouldn't be here because my user ID is not a brand. You see, I use my personal name (@marthavan) as my ID instead of "@Action Wipes". I did this purposefully when I joined as I wanted folks to know my brand (Action Wipes) as well as the person behind it. So they're right, my ID is not a brand, but the competition is not about user id's, it's about "the best producers of short content". To that end, because of my poetic 140 character tweets, 900+ people know about Action Wipes, and those 900+ people are telling hundreds more and so on and so on. So have I built a brand by using Twitter? You betcha (yup, you can find her on Twitter too)!

So the race is on - the tweep with the most votes in each category at 12am (PST) on January 23, 2009 wins. Winners get to a $1,000 grant to attend the awards ceremony in New York on February 11 and deliver our acceptance speech - in 140 characters or less. More importantly, to a small business like mine, the awards will give us greater recognition, thus help us continue to build our brand and reach our goal of world-wide distribution.

If you're not a Twitter user yet, join the fun and follow me!

RT: @yoga_mama Alright, on that note...good night! I love Twitter, and you all are what makes my Twitterverse sweet. Gr8ful for u! #gratitude

Discover Surfrider Foundation, Win Action Wipes

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world's oceans, waves and beaches for all people, through conservation, activism, research and education.

What makes Surfrider Foundation unique is its membership made up of surfers, swimmers, divers, bodyboarders, kayakers and beach enthusiasts from all walks of life. Surfrider Foundation members have proven to be powerful spokespeople and caretakers of the ocean environment which they treasure.

Check out your local chapter and support their mission. With membership, you get the satisfaction of actively supporting Surfrider Foundation in achieving its mission and doing something good for our planet.

Learn more about the Surfrider Foundation's mission and principals and tells us what resonates with you. On Monday, January 12, five (5) lucky people will win a 15 count pack of Action Wipes.

Run, Wipe, Attend Symphony

Our friends at Ken Combs Running Store recently shared a pack of Action Wipes with some friends. Here is the feedback...

"I loved the wipes. I gave one to Art and he informed me that he would have wiped down more "aggressively" except that John came in the restroom and started talking to Art during the clean-up.

I used one and I felt like that I had a mini bath. The smell was nice, but not too strong (I have a very sensitive nose and I can't stand perfumey odors). I must say that when I left Otter Creek Park, it did not look like that I just ran 17.8 miles.

I also gave one to another woman...She was very thankful because she was on her way to Birmingham.

This is a product that I would take with me to triathlon races because usually there is no running water around the area. Art and I are pretty skanky after a race and then to have to drive 2 plus hours, it gets even skankier! If you carry this product in your store, I will buy it.

Again, thanks for the wipes. I believe the audience of the Indiana Youth Symphony is very thankful as well!"

Margaret