Thursday, May 7, 2015

Being a Mompreneur

Starting a new business can be an intimidating process for most people. When I created Ez Sox I thought I had this brilliant idea that of course all moms would love. I would open a website and sell millions of my cute kids socks to children around the world. It was a no brainer. 

Late nights were spent working on a business plan, approximating my start up costs, figuring out timelines for production, coming up with some fun designs, getting a domain name and then I would be off to the races. I was a business owner, my own boss, a mompreneur!

Wow was I naive. Now that I look back, I didn’t have a clue of what I was getting myself into. 
Not that this is always a bad thing. You know the expression ‘Paralysis by Analysis’. This was obviously not my case. 

I put my head down and bravely battled forth into the world of trade shows, manufacturing, internet SEO, warehousing and shipping and of course 24/7 work weeks. I made many mistakes along the way. Oh some very big ones. But now that I look back at these mistake, they were invaluable lessons that  gave me confidence and made me a little wiser. 

When your going thru a really tough time in your business,  it’s hard to think you’ll ever find your way out. 
All the cliches came bouncing thru my mind. It’s always darkest before the dawn! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel! Never give up never surrender!

So when you hit that really hard speed bump and there will be many, think back to why you started your business in the first place. Go back to your roots. I love my business. I’m proud of what I created. When I read all the wonderful e-mails and posts from Ez Sox and Ez Undeez fans, I believe that I brought something positive and useful into the world that helps kids.

The point is there will always be challenges in your business just like in life. You must persevere. There is always a positive way out of a negative situation. Learn from your mistakes. Be creative. Remember Wrigleys gum company started off selling soap and baking powder. You never know where an great idea will lead you. So for all you future mompreneurs, follow your dreams, believe in yourself and you will be successful. I promise.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Teaching Kids to Dress Themselves

It’s a usual weekday morning and you’re rushing to get out the door to make it on time for work. Your child is still trying to pull up his socks. You do a quick once over making sure everything is on correctly and then continue with your busy day. Sound familiar?
Most toddlers will try to start dressing themselves by around 2 years old. 
This builds their confidence and gives them a sense of achievement and independence.  It also helps develop their motor skills, become more aware of what clothes work for each season and helps them focus on finishing a task. Every child has different developmental skills and will learn at their own rate. 

Teaching your child to dress takes lots of practice and even more patience. So parents, take a deep breath because here is a helpful solution to make this daily necessity a little easier. I created Ez Sox because my son was struggling each morning with getting dressed. Something clicked when I saw he just did not have the finger strength to hold onto the side of his socks and pull them up straight. It was my ‘AHA’ moment.

I sewed two small loops on the top of his socks and he immediately pulled them up. I would never have thought that only a few years later thousands of kids would have fun using Ez Sox while learning to put on their socks. 

It’s been wonderful getting letters from parents telling me how much their children love wearing Ez Sox.

As my business has grown and with the addition of our underwear line, Ez Undeez, my company is developing into the ‘Go To’ place for parents to buy kids socks and underwear that truly make it easier for your child to dress themselves.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

... Not Just Socks!

We are excited to announce our newest product release Ez Teez.
Our comfy neckband is soft and stretchy and helps ease away that scary moment that all toddlers feel when a shirt is pulled over their head.

Our company vision for all our products has always been quality, comfort, fun and easy for our kids to put on, and all this at a competitive price. Eight new designs can be mix & matched with our Ez Sox & Ez Undeez.  Made with 100% combed ringspun cotton, topstitched ribbed collar and double-needle hem sleeves and bottom. Ez Teez designs help build your child's confidence as they learn to dress themselves each morning. Make getting dressed a breeze with Ez Teez.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Video games. video games and more video games. That's the battle everyday with my 9  year old son. Not only keeping the amount of time he plays in check, but also not allowing inappropriate games in the house that some of his friends are allowed to watch. Am I that strict of a parent for not allowing Grand Theft Auto for my 4th grader.

We have a rule in the house. Get straight A’s and you can play ½ hour a day Monday thru Thursday.  No A’s then no video games during the school week. The weekends I let him play but still keep it to a reasonable time. Of course what is reasonable to me is never enough for my son.

His teacher just gave his class a homework assignment for writing.
The question was "Write about a day that wasn't fair”.

Here is what my son came up with.

                “It’s not fair!” I screamed. “Go to your room!” My mom scolded.
This is a time I thought it wasn’t fair. I wasn’t able to get the video game I wanted, so I got grounded for yelling at my Mom. Definitely not fair right? The game was too inappropriate, but all my friends have it!  I was angry, no, outraged! Of course, my friends called me a “fail” when I came back to school to from the weekend. That is what friends say when they don’t like something that you did. Not naming names, but here is how it all started.

           First, I remember the day when I first heard about this video game Grand Theft Auto Five. I wanted it so badly I would die for it. I did not have enough money. It was sixty dollars! For Christmas, I got a one hundred dollar gift card. I was going to buy the game. But my Mom looked up the video game. “It is too inappropriate Harrison.” My Mom said. I started yelling at her. All I got was a invitation to my room. All my friends have it and I can’t get it! I had to stay in my room for five hours straight!

       Next, my room isn’t so bad, it has a small night table with a lamp and a radio and a couple of books. My room has an electronic drum set with a box of drumsticks. It is a nice room, but not a room you want to stay in for five hours straight when you don’t have to sleep and you can go play video games and sports! The hours went by as I did nothing and still wanting Grand Theft Auto Five, I also wasn’t aloud to play any video games for the whole week. My Mom just doesn’t get the life of  being a kid in the twenty first century. Neither does my Dad. I can’t have phone service on my   
I -phone until my birthday!
     Later, my friends did a cocoa stand without me, they were probably making money while I sat my butt on a bed. My other friends were probably playing GTA V. Finally, my mom said I can come out because we are going to kids night out. “What?” I asked confused. “We paid for it already, you are lucky you are going”. So I went and to take my mind off my punishment. It was very fun, although it was very fun, I got in an argument with somebody and got into more trouble! I hated that Saturday.

       On that Monday, I was happy again. I got an A on my math test so I could play video games, and also, I bought two other video games that cost my whole one hundred dollars. These games are Call Of Duty Ghosts and Battlefield 4, and I still play them to this date. I learned that you can live without playing video games, so you can live without one.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ez Sox Buzz - What's New

Hi Ez Sox Fans, 

Wow! it's been a busy year for us here at Ez Sox.

First we released our Critter collection consisting of 16 colorful new animal designs to delight any child.
Our next project was our "I Can Do it" Ez Book and gift box collection. Teaming with fabulous artist Peter Buchman, we released a children's picture book about a little boy learning to get dressed with EZ (our Ez Sox mascot) and his critter friends. 
We combined our Ez Book with 6 pairs of Ez Sox in a beautifully designed gift box to bring you our Ez Sox gift collection in girls and boys fun designs.

I am now proud to announce our newest innovative product release, Ez Undeez. 
It was quite a challenge to find a factory with the same creative spirit to develop a new concept in underwear. Just like Ez Sox we persevered until we found the right partner to help us with production. Our company vision for all our products has always been quality, comfort, fun and easy for our kids to put on, and all this at a competitive price. Our wonderful designs have soft embroidered handles on each side of our wide tag-less waistband to help guide your child to pull up their underwear straight and with ease each and every time. Made with 95% cotton and 5% spandex, Ez Undeez designs help build your child's confidence as they learn to dress themselves each morning.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Right Decision

Last week I made a scary decision. Almost as frightening as when I let my nanny go. I took my son out of his aftercare school program. He's in 4th grade and is expected in aftercare to do his homework and then have a little free time. The problem is he never got his homework done correctly. My son needs a little guidance and there wasn't proper teacher supervision for homework so of course he raced through it to get to his free time. Then, when he did get home we had to redo everything until well into the evening.
What a mess!

I'm a working mom and business owner, which for anyone who owns a small business knows is non stop and never ending, but I do have some flexibility with my schedule being that I'm the boss. For those of you with a 9 to 5, there are homework clubs. However, without me there to direct my son, he would easily fall into computer game neverland, bang on his drums to Nirvana, or ride his bike up the block with his buddy's. 
So I got tough and made our after school schedule to fit both our needs.

Wow, there's lots of homework in 4th grade.  Much more than when I was a kid. We spend about 2 hours reviewing all his lessons and finishing his homework. He then has to read for at least  1/2 hour. I'm happy to say it's working out beautifully. My son is feeling confident and doing great in starting the new school year. He finishes his work earlier, eats dinner and then has free time to do as he pleases. Then I get a couple of hours to finish up my business calls before I put him to sleep, walk the dog, clean the dishes, do whatever else needs to be done and then of course, go back to my computer and work until the wee hours.

Yes, It was a scary decision, just like letting my nanny go, but I know I made the right move. Twice!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sensory Smart Clothing Choices

Lindsey Biel, OTR/L

Addressing sensory processing challenges is a multi-tiered endeavor. It is a combination of finding therapy and instruction that will benefit the child, as well as putting together a daily sensory diet that optimizes varying levels of nervous system arousal. And, while all of this “good stuff” is working to ease the child’s sensory sensitivities, it’s essential to be proactive about making the world a more comfortable place for an uncomfortable child.
Previous Sensory Smart columns have addressed the impact of sensory processing problems on behavior and learning at home, at school, and in the community. A child may struggle with the odor of harsh cleaning products used in schools, or the distracting flicker and hum of fluorescent lighting, or the constant irritation of clothing tags, seams, and waistband. One of the great challenges of parenting or teaching a child with sensory issues is knowing when to push him (sometimes uncomfortably) forward through these issues, when to back off entirely (and perhaps try another day), and how often, and to what extent, we should accommodate the issues (change the environment). When a child feels physically or emotionally distressed by sensory experiences, he cannot function at his best. If a child is truly uncomfortable or in pain, it’s best to keep all three options in mind. Yes, you do want him to be able to tolerate all kinds of experiences eventually; yes, you do want to avoid situations that he is simply unable to tolerate yet; and yes, it’s a good idea to accommodate his sensitivities so he can function at his best right now.

Clothing: A Great Starting Point

Many individuals on the spectrum, from babies to adults, have strong likes and dislikes when it comes to clothing. Sensitivity to fabrics is often one of the first things a new parent notices. A baby may have a meltdown whenever she gets her diaper changed. This may be a sensory-based reaction to changes in body position, powders or lotions, the diaper, or the way she is being handled. Later, there may be particular textures and fabrics the child just can’t tolerate. The child who is ultra sensitive to tactile input may be feeling his sock seams or his shirt cuffs all day long. What a distraction to attention and learning! I have worked with many young clients who come home, tear off their school clothing, and put on cozy sweatshirts with the hood up and sleeves pulled down to their fingertips. That’s fine, but it becomes a real problem when a child insists on wearing sweatpants and shearling boots in summer or sandals and a miniskirt in winter. Clothing challenges can be physically and emotionally painful for the teenager who wants to fit in but can’t tolerate the feeling of the latest fashions, like tight blue jeans or super baggy pants.
In her wonderful foreword to my book, Raising a Sensory Smart Child, Dr. Temple Grandin wrote that, “Scratchy petticoats and wool clothes were like sandpaper against my skin. I still wear my underwear inside out so that the stitching does not rub against me. I wear old, well-washed, soft T-shirts under my new shirts to make them tolerable.” Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since the days of petticoats–and there are many companies who are tuning in to tactile sensitivity issues among both the special needs and neurotypical population.

These cute training socks for kids have easy-to-grab loops to help kids pull them up. Most have adorable animal designs on them. For supersensitive feet, select the solid colors that eliminate decorative stitching. These socks have flat but well-crafted seams.

   Fun and Function,
A great assortment of “Sens-ational Hug” clothing: short and long sleeve shirts that provide calming, gentle compression can be worn alone or under clothing, plus compression and weighted vests many kids find soothing.

   Hannah Andersson,
High quality, soft clothing and undergarments for babies, children, and women. Outstanding for its selection of sensory-friendly underwear for boys and girls that tends to not ride up or have irritating waistbands.

These adorable baby and toddler shoes and sandals have Velcro closures, wide openings, and squeak with every step. If your child walks on tiptoes, ask the company to place the squeaker toward the heel so it only squeaks when your child’s heel strikes the floor, providing auditory feedback to reduce toe walking.

   Prince’s Sensory Delights,
Tagless tee shirts with a horse appliqué that can work as a built-in hand fidget, pants that are designed to accommodate light weights (sold separately) in the pockets, and more.

A great assortment of very nice soft, tagless, tops, bottoms, cardigans, and dresses.

   SPIO (Stabilizing Pressure Input Orthosis),
These therapeutic compression garments are made from Lycra-like material that provides deep pressure to improve limb and body awareness, muscle and joint stability, and movement. Their use should be discussed with your occupational or physical therapist. Styles include a vest, shirt, and pants that can be worn alone or under clothing.

   Teres Kids,
I was the OT consultant on this beautiful 100% organic clothing line for kids with tactile sensitivity. With both short and long sleeve shirts, dresses, and pants for boys and girls, these products are great for kids who crave soft, tagfree, seamfree clothing (seams are flat sewn on the outside).

For more on tactile sensitivity and other sensory processing challenges–as well as practical strategies for dealing with them–see Raising a Sensory Smart Child and visit
Disclaimer: Lindsey Biel does not receive any compensation or benefit from recommending products in this column, including those from Teres Kids, for which she consulted on a pro bono (unpaid) basis.

10 Parenting Strategies

When it comes to clothing, it pays to become extra resourceful and creative.
1. If a child can only tolerate really well laundered clothes, wash new clothes multiple times in hot water. This will remove the sizing that can make clothing stiff and uncomfortable.
2. Use an unscented fabric softener or a scented one only if your child likes the smell.
3. Consider buying “preconditioned” clothing from a consignment or thrift shop.
4. Take your school-age child shopping with you: let her feel more in control of what happens to her body by giving her the chance to pick out her apparel.
5. Work on tactile desensitization with your occupational therapist, and learn how to give your child deep pressure, such as a firm massage, or therapeutic “brushing” before dressing.
6. Avoid or remove typical clothing irritants: tags, labels, itchy threads on seams, elastic cuffs, ankles, and waistbands, tight collars and turtlenecks, and scratchy appliques. Run your fingers along sewn sections to feel for scratchiness or bumps.
7. Buy only soft fabrics: cotton, fleece, flannel. Avoid polyster blends that pill.
8. Put high quality skin moisturizer with glycerin or lanolin on your child’s body before dressing, especially in winter when skin is dry and itchy.
9. Some parents are reporting very good results with flax seed oil or fish oil supplements—not just for mood and behavior, but also in reducing sensitivity to clothing.
10. Explore different clothing options such as seamless socks or socks worn inside out; snug tights, leggings, and tops beneath regular clothing; clothing alternatives such as soft sweatpants or leggings instead of blue jeans.