Blackout Bands modern day sleep masks were created in 2015 by Kellan Lutz and Evan Forsythe, the owners of Foresight Creative Group.
The idea came to Kellan after arriving home from shooting one of the “Twilight” films. He was surprised by a paparazzi on a Virgin flight, who photographed him sleeping, wearing the airline’s signature purple mask. Not happy at the image making the rounds of the tabloids, Kellan decided right then and there that he needed something different to fit his masculine movie persona.
After knocking ideas around, Kellan and Evan finally created the first blackout bands prototype. The glasses were specifically designed to bring a new look to the old scratchy sleep mask concept. With 98% UV400 coated non-transparent lenses, this sleep mask allows napping anywhere. Use them on the plane, at the beach, on the couch, or anywhere you need a quick snooze.
The birth of Blackout Bands led to the growth of the Blackout Travel line of products that are on the market today.
Julie Powers of Ashburn, Virginia is the owner and co-founder of Mom Things. She had worked as a meeting and event planner in the healthcare space for 20 years when she decided to put her business degree from Roanoke College to us and follow her passion to create a business that was focussed on moms.
Moms work hard! They spend their days taking care of everyone and everything else, and as a result rarely take time to pamper themselves. Being a mom herself, (to 2 small boys, Graydon and Rowan,) she knew firsthand how hard a mother works. So she created Mom Things, boxes that contained a beautiful selection of things that mom would love. She wanted women everywhere to feel spoiled and appreciated. And that’s what happens when they open a Mom Things box and see all the wonderful things Julie and her team have curated just fro them. Nothing goes in a Mom Things box that Julie doesn’t love and use herself.
Julie's mission for Mom Things is simple…in the midst of every day chaos, make a Mom feel special.
Mojgan Anvari-Brumby calls Massachusetts home, but her roots are in her native Iran. She arrived in the US on a mission—to provide healthy skin care without harmful ingredients to all who wanted it. A friend had experienced a breast cancer scare, and Mojgan began researching the suspected links between certain illnesses and skin products. And that research led her to remembering the homemade, simple remedies her mother, grandmother and aunt had created in their kitchen back in Iran.
That was the spark that led her to create Blue Monarch Skincare. Her brand combines the traditional Persian remedies handed down from her family with the most advanced technology and research. Her products only contain raw, natural ingredients, such as cucumber extract, aloe vera juice and orange oil. And the collection is free of any synthetic or harmful additives.
“Everything is made in the USA and never tested on animals. They’re tested on me!” says Mojgan. “Knowledge is power. From what we eat, to how we exercise our minds and bodies, to what we put on our skin, we need information, supported by facts and free from jargon, to make the right decisions for ourselves and our families."
Kathy Cohen of Connecticut created the Icybag after everything melted in her cosmetic bag on her wedding day.
She was tired of dealing with melted lip balm, makeup, lipstick and protein bars, and thought there had to be a solution to this problem, but she couldn't find a stylish cooling bag anywhere. So, she decided to create one herself! She designed a prototype, hired a manufacturer, and sold the first batch of bags at a trade show in South Carolina. And they sold out!
Kathy’s mission is to now help others who want to take their essential items with them and not have them get ruined. The Icybag is a compact and fashionable bag that eliminates the worry that its contents will get hot, sticky, or melted.
Kathy’s customers love that the Icybag is multi-functional, water resistant, easy to travel with and looks great. Whether it's your must-have makeup items, snacks on the go, essential medications, or your favorite lip balm, Icybag has them covered! Now that’s what we call cool.
Kevin Hoy, of Arizona, is a proud father of an awesome son, a U.S. Veteran, and a dedicated entrepreneur, who created the original Smart Apron design while waiting tables at Red Robin. Kevin's first Waist Style Smart Apron prototype was simple but allowed him to test his idea of building a multi-functional apron with 7 pockets, two zippers and other innovative features. This new apron made him more efficient at this job, and he began to think about how he could help others with this new innovative item.
After years of testing, creating over 100 prototypes, developing 10 different designs, perfecting a balance between fabric and components, and learning about the countless pitfalls in mass production, the Smart Apron is now poised to revolutionize work apron design.
Kevin is fortunate to have three long-time supporters join him to create today's Smart Apron team; Hans Schramm, Joe Kepler and Kieran Hoy. Together they have worked tirelessly to ensure that every new Smart Apron design works perfectly for their customers.
Talk about an accidental entrepreneur…that would be Kendra Kroll, of Chicago, Illinois. She didn't expect to start a company just because her (spare) tampon fell out of her pants pocket at the gym, but that’s really what happened!
That episode made her realize pockets in clothes are not always effective, and there had to be a better way to secure personal items.
The PortaPocket was created to be the solution to all those non-working or nonexistent pockets in your clothes.
She filed for a patent and trademarked the name PortaPocket while simultaneously embarking on the odyssey to the unknown…product development. Although she had a 17 year history in special events sales and marketing, she had no background in this particular subject but just took the leap anyway.
It took ~2-1/2 yrs in development and that was a rather interesting journey in itself…one where she measured all kinds of people’s body parts, while trying to keep a straight face, explaining to them how she was going to make a something so they could strap a lipstick or cell phone onto their leg.
Kendra and her team have been gratified that PortaPocket has been so helpful in making users' lives better. They serve folks from many different walks of life— from travelers, exercisers, medical device users, pet lovers, dancers, wheelchair users, bridesmaids and more. It's all about keeping your small essentials handy & accessible while going about your day.
On a rainy day in South Carolina several years ago, Nieci Pryor realized that her 2 fur babies were feeling restless, having been cooped up in the house all day. She decided to give them some treats, but to her surprise, they simply sniffed, thought about it for a second, and walked away!
Nieci began thinking about dog treats. And what was actually in them. And how they might really not be good for her animals. Or any animals. She had changed to organic eating as the result of a chronic back disease, so she thought, “Why not make the change for my pets?”
And the idea for Nieci’s Green Bites was born. She got to work and created a line of tasty, all organic pet treats for everyone to enjoy. Nowadays, Nieci’s dogs never say no to a treat—and that’s the best customer review she could hope to have! She looks forward to introducing many more pets to her treats on Shop Local.
It all began with a mid-life crisis, when I began to realize that the corporate culture at ABC, Disney and I were no longer laughing at the same jokes. It was the universe telling me it was time to move on.
My Mama, Geraldine Cunningham, a genuine Southern Treasure in her own right, had been making her cheese straws for many years. Folks would descend upon them like locusts, begging for the savory treats at every occasion.
I couldn't leave Geraldine's cheese Straws alone, and Mama Geraldine's would not leave me alone, and I soon became obsessed with the idea of creating a business out of cheese straws. It seemed like the perfect thing for me to do after leaving the corporate world. These snacks embodied all things sacred to me. Family, southern traditions, fun, and passion for extraordinarily great food.
I dove in head first, and I am so happy to report that Mama Geraldine's Cheese Straws have become a welcomed addition to many cheese boards throughout the country.
It has become my mission in life to spread the joy of Mama Geraldine’s to the world. Today Mama Geraldine’s Cheese Straws are a top selling baked cheese savory snack, so we must have done something right.
Snack on Y’all!
The inception for the BlocAid Barrier Glove story came at that moment when the world came to realize that the pandemic was here to stay and was not going to pass quickly. Having spent the better part of 36 years developing and producing technical gloves, we felt a need to create a personal PPE solution that focused on the hands and all that we touch day to day. One critical aspect of this mission was to create the science around and produce the product right here in the USA. We partnered with EcoZinc to use their patented Zinc based technology and extrude the anti bacterial and anti UV properties directly into the yarns and fibers for our gloves. It was also imperative that our solution would be eco friendly as mountains of discarded single use PPE are showing up in local landfills.
Our product is effective in creating a cleaner personal environment for the wearer, is safe for the body while continuously killing surface bacteria and germs and is also far better for the planet.
Pretty in Pinkston Skincare is a skincare line with a purpose. A black-owned, luxury skincare line founded by former runway model, Kimberly Pinkston, it was developed for the purpose of promoting healthy skin and maintaining that melanin glow.
After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Kimberly’s personal passion became helping to find a cure for MS, and to help young black girls pursue their dreams of becoming models. The company features black fashion models on the brand’s labels for maximum exposure and to help fund their education.
She also teaches runway to girls from underprivileged communities.
Even the model on her website is one of her students. “I want to get them as much positive exposure as possible. 20% of all sales are donated to the MS Foundation so that hopefully in the future no one else has to go through the pain of MS. We also have a scholarship fund for the young ladies in my program who want to go to college. I love giving back! Someone helped me on my journey, and now I get to pay it forward,” she said.
All the products are vegan, gluten-free, sulfate-free, cruelty-free, silicone-free, talc-free, paraben-free, and eco-friendly!
Prop My Pix was created to display to special holiday cards sent from friends and family.
Rather than throw them in a basket or tape them to the wall, I wanted to stand each one up like a picture frame on the mantle. After quite a few designs (and much-wasted cardstock), I developed and patented the perfect product! The props are removable and won’t damage your cards, and they are reusable, too. Not only do they display holiday cards beautifully, but they are also great for displaying invitations, memorabilia, photographs, small signage, and so much more. Prop My Pix: Stick, Display, Remove, Reuse!
Little Aller-G's, LLC is a kid's allergy awareness apparel company. Established in 2020, this brand’s aim is to spread awareness about food allergies while making kids clothing that is fun to wear.
Helping parents ensure that their kids who have allergies are safer in the world is the most important thing to founder Lena Phan. Babies and toddlers who are unable to speak for themselves can now be protected and these garments provide parents with peace of mind as they send their little ones to school, parties, and social events!
Little Aller-G's is here for all the little G's in the world.
Beth Bogdan of Connecticut founded Sound Naturals in 2020. The name and product line is inspired by her decades-long music career, a lifetime living on the Long Island Sound, and her commitment to using only natural ingredients.
Wanting to use ingredients free from chemicals and toxins, she started creating her own lotions. The first was a vitamin-rich night balm which helped reduce the appearance of a sunspot on her face. Then she set out to create a nourishing hand cream and pampering foot cream that was non-greasy, so after applying you could still answer your phone, pick up your glass or walk on the floor. The result is a hand cream that keeps your hands soft even after washing them. The foot cream helps cracked heels and may reduce fungus. The final product is a luxurious body lotion that hydrates and helps the skin from flaking.
Products are made in the USA with globally sourced materials, are cruelty-free, non-GMO, paraben-free, and chemical-free.
Sheri Long’s Sugar and Spice Peanut Butter Balls began as an accident; a lost recipe and a gathering of ingredients, thought to be what the recipe called for. Ultimately, it was nothing close to it, but the result was instead something new that evolved into a business.
Sheri had a background working with at-risk youth and wanted to include them as employees. Her goal was to employ these young adults, many of them having aged out of the foster youth system with little to no support in the way of housing, employment, education and personal growth.
She plans to develop an in-house mentoring program where they can receive guidance leading to financial literacy or furthering their education. Sheri wants to help these former foster youth move forward in life and realize their strengths and full potential. Sugar and Spice is the perfect blending of her passion for making chocolate and her business skills and background in education. Like the smoothness of her chocolate, it all comes together beautifully!
Unity PPE is a Nashville-based, woman-owned startup.
Their female co founders include a doctor, a web designer, a human factors engineer, a marketing expert, a designer, and a returned peace corps volunteer turned CEO. Their common bond is their dedication to providing solutions.
Their commitment goes beyond masks and focuses on the people those masks protect: the stranger you walk past on your way to work, the server at your favorite café, the cashier at your corner grocery. Unity PPE exists to put the “personal” back in “Personal Protective Equipment.” Started during the 2020 pandemic, Unity is committed to a safer, service-centered world. Their products and services help people protect themselves and their communities. They encourage all to join them because a community needs UNITY!
They are proud to be donating SEALS to medical heroes with our sales.
Anyone who uses reading glasses knows how frustrating it can be to lose them. We also know that carrying around a rigid pair of glasses can be an encumbrance in itself. Not to mention, most reading glasses' designs are not necessarily flattering!
Neckglasses takes eyewear style to the next level. Elegance and ease-of-use intertwine perfectly into one iconic, jewelry necklace fashion statement! Compact, high-quality, and hidden in plain sight, until you need them!
Lucky You Flowers creates adorable affordable unforgettable flower arrangements in colorful take out boxes. Every Lucky You include a fortune cookie with a message from the sender tucked inside. Lucky You arrangements are gift wrapped in a colorful organza bag and shipped nationwide in a whimsical tube.
Though food is our foundation, we’re more than that..much more! We’ve expanded into skin and hair care...where we provide unique, environmentally conscious body care products. ‘We’re Making Beauty Essential’ ..because, quite frankly, you deserve it!
Building stronger, richer & more beneficial experiences for our customers is at the forefront of our focus and it would be an honor to service you as we continue to move towards these objectives. Thanks and God Bless!
Terri Entler from Washington struggled to find the product that she needed for her beloved German Shepherd, Jake— so she decided to make her own!
The idea was born in 2011, when Jake returned from a hike with his pads burned by the hot ground. After just a few days of bandaging & soaking, Terri knew there had to be a better way.
Unable to find a pair of booties that didn’t stick to Jake’s wounds, Terri – an engineer – took matters into her own hands. Using her sewing machine, breathable mesh material, and Velcro, she crafted dog boots designed specifically for healing. By inserting non-adherent gauze pads into the boots, her invention protected Jake’s paws much more efficiently.
Terri launched Healers Medical Dog Booties under her company name, Healers Pet Care, Inc. Today, her product line includes daily wear boots, Urban Walkers, a Medical Leg wrap, Therapeutic/Anxiety body wraps, ideal for post-surgery healing, Natural, Veterinarian Formulated Remedies & Premium Health Supplements.
Every fall Julie Oliver looks forward to the crisp, cool fall "sweater weather". So many times, she would reach for a cozy warm sweater, try it on and literally rip it off before she left the house. Cotten, wool, cashmere, wool/poly blends all irritated her sensitive skin. She tried layering t-shirts, camisoles, and shapewear to alleviate this problem, only to be more frustrated. These garments bunch up, cling to your sweater, and look and feel bulky.
Out of sheer frustration this practical stay at home mom got to work. She designed a pattern out of sweaters in her closet, ordered dozens of fabrics and made the first prototype with her daughter’s sewing machine. She began making a few for her friends and they LOVED the SWIPP. After months of searching she found a manufacturer in the USA and started her e-commerce business. Since December she has sold out of the first run of the Sweater Slip, and has been featured in the IN KC magazine gift guide.
MaKen SKrubs is a family-owned business based outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Founder/Co-owner of MaKen SKrubs, Kendra Vann made holiday gifts for her friends and family back in 2014, when her friends and family members began asking for more of her extraordinary body scrubs and body butters. Kendra quickly found that she had a new business on her (silky smooth) hands and MaKen SKrubs was officially born.
The MaKen SKrubs team creates upscale products designed to leave skin feeling fresh. Our products are an ideal gift for guests, encouraging them to practice a little self-love and pampering. Guests will absolutely love our range of salt scrubs, whipped body butters and more!
We believe that the best path to healthy, glowing skin is through nature. In the creation of our products, all natural ingredients such as beeswax, oatmeal, shea butter, coconut and olive oils are used as well as essential oils. All items are cruelty-free and free from any sulfates, parabens, dyes and petroleum.