Dishing Chanukah Wishes!

Happy 1st Night of Chanukah to our friends who celebrate!

 

Dishing about deserving recipients for Giving Tuesday!

 

Giving Tuesday was yesterday however I think that we all agree that if we are able to do so, giving every day is a beautiful thing…a kind word, a financial contribution, emotional support….

If you need suggestions for deserving recipients of your hard-earned funds, please take a look at my list. Each recipient holds a special place in my heart because I know the Founders of the organizations or the recipients of the funds (or both). Each recipient is legitimate and each organization is a 501c3.

1. MAYA MACEY FOUNDATION – funds provide college scholarships to outstanding students who have overcome adversity in their young lives. www.mayamaceyfoundation.org

2. BRADY’S SMILE – funds help children (and their families), who are in the ICU at children’s hospitals. www.bradyssmile.org

3. Cure Spinal Muscular Atrophy (“SMA”) funds the treatment and cure of SMA, which is the number one genetic killer of infants. www.curesma.org

4. SING FOR BLAIR – all funds go to the Sanfilippo Research Foundation (via Susan & Roger Chapin in memory of their beautiful daughter Blair) to find a cure for Sanfilippo Syndrome. www.gofundme.com/Sing-for-Blair

5. BORN JUST RIGHT – the mission of this organization founded by Jen Lee Reeves is focused on building creative solutions that help kids with differences live a more enjoyable life. http://www.bornjustright.org

6. DIRECTLY & PERSONALLY help my lifelong friend, Niki Goodman Ricker who has stage IV Colorectal Cancer and is currently in the hospital. Funds will go to Niki’s medical care and well-being via a GoFundMe campaign. https://www.gofundme.com/lets-show-niki-goodman-ricker

 

Commemorating a Kickstarter launch & a product reveal at the same time!

RestoPresto was funded with Kickstarter!

This past week I celebrated the anniversary of the RestoPresto & Kickstarter launch! I actually set BOTH into motion on the same day since I had been keeping RestoPresto a secret until I went live with my crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the first production run in the U.S. It was a double whammy of excitement.

Since I managed my own successful Kickstarter campaign, many people have asked me how I did it. In a nutshell, it took strategic planning, brainstorming and input from my trusted advisor group to ensure that I was on track. Because of my experience, particularly knowing what worked and what I would have done differently, I am sharing my “been there done that” advise with my private clients on whether crowdfunding is the right way to go for their own projects and if so, how to properly prepare (and stay sane) for that rollercoaster ride.

Do you have an invention idea and are asking, “NOW WHAT”? Do you have a prototype and are not sure what to do with it? Is an idea for a product or service buzzing in your mind and you do not know how to take the first step? Contact me! I work one-on-one to help others progress their projects, at any stage.

Collaborate. Accelerate. Execute. Hop over to my new website: Work with Candi!

Here is a the celebratory post that I wrote on my advisory business blog to commemorate the day.
https://www.candiobrentz.com/kickstarter-launch-anniversary/

 

It has been rewarding and very special to take the knowledge gleaned from own creation process of bringing RestoPresto to market, being granted a patent and seeing it featured by Kathie Lee & Hoda on The Today Show to apply it to my clients to help them bring their own ideas to life. It’s a win-win!

Dishing about the THRILL of seeing your own product on The Today Show!


It was ONE year ago today that I was standing in Rockefeller Center watching my beloved product invention being featured on The Today Show! It was and remains an inventor and small business owner’s dream…NATIONAL TV EXPOSURE!

Click on the hyperlink to read all about my fab experience on the Work With Candi Obrentz BLOG and how I am working with people who have their OWN ideas for products and services.

I offer customized plans, guidance, connecting the dots, intros to specialists and just about everything in-between to guide people on their creation process. Bring your ideas to live with me! www.candiobrentz.com 

 

We rise by lifting others…

Asking for help can be difficult.
 
My lifelong friend, Niki Goodman Ricker, is a strong fighter, a Mom to 2 sons, a Wife, a Daughter and my childhood memory sharer from elementary school at Shorecrest in St. Petersburg, FL.
 
Niki is battling stage IV Colorectal Cancer every moment of every day…and it’s horrible. In order to focus on her treatment and healing, Niki does NOT need the added burden and constant concern about her mounting, overwhelming medical bills.
 
Fortunately, after a lot of convincing, Niki agreed to a mutual friend’s persuasion and gave her the green light to launch a GoFundMe campaign on her behalf. SO we now have an easy way to financially assist my friend.
 
Whether you know Niki or not, you can contribute to make life a bit easier for her and her family.

Here’s how:


2) SHARE this campaign with everyone who you know (there is POWER in numbers)!

3) Reach out to Niki with words of support (or a Duran Duran photo – she’s a huge fan) by messaging me and I will pass it onto her!
Thank you in advance for your consideration in supporting a wonderful woman with whom I have been friends for over 35 years! Niki will be grateful for the kind words and assistance given to her.

Happy 241st Birthday, America!

Dishing Independence Day wishes to my fellow Americans!

Happy 241st Birthday to the USA! Here’s to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Declaration of Independence

241 years ago on the 4th of July, the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted by Congress to formally separate from Great Britain AND the United States was born. The Declaration of Independence, one of the most important founding documents of the United States, is kept safe and sound in the Rotunda of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.

On my last visit to D.C., I took an early morning stroll along Pennsylvania Avenue (with my easily portable product invention RestoPresto  the Made in America wearable blanket, of course) and when I happened upon the National Archives, I had an A-HA, very meaningful moment. Here I was, at this striking building that holds a document that bestows life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and I had achieved a very American dream: I switched careers from corporate to entrepreneurship (after the age of 40) when I discovered a gap in the market for a product that I wanted but could not find. I envisioned an easily transportable, multi-functional, soft, water-repellent textile to use how and when I needed it instantly…then through hard, strategic work beset with challenges, accomplishments and several big set-backs, brought it to life! It was subsequently patented and featured on the TODAY SHOW last September.  As we all know, dreams are universal and not just an “American thing” however when you achieve a business goal in the USA, there is a unique sense of pride since our country is a young 241 years old!

So here’s the thing: since the moment I launched my Kickstarter campaign which also revealed RestoPresto to the market, people have asked me how, what, who and tons of other questions about prototyping, crowdfunding, intellectual property, manufacturing, shipping, branding, PR, social media, marketing and everything in-between. I learned that necessity is the mother of invention with RestoPresto and am now, proudly running a second business…a customized advisory business. I work with innovative people who have an idea, at any stage, that needs to progress. I customize solutions based on individual needs to bring that idea for a product or service to life. WOW – it is a totally different kind of gratification helping people do what I did with the hope of reducing the headaches and adding firsthand experienced value by sharing my “been there done that” expertise.

My doors are OPEN to work with me so please reach out if you are curious how I can help YOU and how we can partner on your project. Of course, referrals are very welcome: candi@candiobrentz.com

 

Free to Create: Give yourself permission to leave your comfort zone!

You would think that I am used to seeing my photo and articles “out there” on the world wide web, right? NOPE…it took my breath away to see that I am the “#ResetYour Ambassador of the Day” for The Reset for sharing my story about giving myself permission to completely leave my comfort zone to create RestoPresto.

This decision not only reset my life, it completely transformed my life! Click on this hyperlink to read my #ResetYour story

As I grow the RestoPresto business, I am once again leaving my comfort zone in a different way: I am building an advisory business that helps people bring their own product ideas to life. After I launched RestoPresto to the market, I received SO many questions: how did you know what to do? how did you make a prototype? what is a prototype? how did you get a patent? what is a trademark? how did you run a successful Kickstarter campaign? how did you figure out shipping rates? who helped you with your logo? how do you manage social media? HOW? WHO? WHAT? WHY? So many fantastic questions, all of which MUST be answered. So to supply the demand for guidance on bringing a product idea to life, I offer customized advisory services. Each “case” is different, each stage is different and each client is different so I work with you to create a personalized plan to get you where you want and need to be.

A new website is on the way and in the meantime, if you have any questions about how we or someone you know can work together, please contact me. No question or need is too small and of course, if you want to be added to the RestoPresto waiting list for out-of-stock RPs, hit me up!

The Reset is a terrific source of inspiration, information and ideas for me and I love that my personal and professional stories align with their mission to embrace changes: big and small in order to be your best self! Subscribe and follow @theresetsocial !

It’s Flag Day 2017 in the USA!

American Flag waving over Rockefeller Center, NY

American Flag waving over Rockefeller Center, NY

240 years ago, on June 14, 1777, the flag of the United States was adopted by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The Flag Resolution stated: “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

IMG_6148

American Flag waving over Fifth Avenue, NY

American Flag waving over Fifth Avenue, NY

Many Americans cherish the, often refuted, story of Betsy Ross being the designer of the first Stars and Stripes. As General George Washington’s seamstress and fellow-church congregant, legend says that Betsy Ross was commissioned around June of 1776 to create the flag from a drawing, which she subsequently re-designed and produced successfully. Some historians discredit this tale based on lack of evidence but either way the story is a great one.

Over 100 years later, Bernard John Cigrand, a young man from Waubeka, Wisconsin, authored hundreds of articles, made speeches and submitted proposals for there to be an annual observance of the birth of the Flag. He felt strongly that good would come from a “Flag Holiday”. Then, in 1949, President Truman signed an Act Of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day. 55 years later, on June 14, 2004, a unanimous vote by U.S. Congress declared that Flag Day originated in Waubeka, Wisconsin recognizing Cigrand’s dedication to the cause.

Since 1777, the design of the flag has been officially modified 26 times. The 48-star flag was in effect for 47 years until the 49-star version became official on the 4th of July 1959.

American Flags painted on trees in Battery Park to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks.

American Flags painted on trees in Battery Park to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks.

IMG_6149The American Flag, which is also known as the “Stars and Stripes”, “Old Glory” and “The Star Spangled Banner” with 50stars to represent the 50 states of the United States of America was ordered by President Eisenhower on August 21,1959. The blue rectangle in the canton (specifically called the “union”) bears 50 small, white, 5-pointed stars arranged in 9 offset horizontal rows of 6 stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of 5 stars.

The current 50-star American flag was designed in Ohio in 1958 by a then 17-year-old, Robert Heft, who created it for a high school class project. Apparently he received a B- on his assignment, which was subsequently raised to an A after his design was chosen and adopted by presidential proclamation.

Isn’t it fantastic that young adults have played integral (sometimes unrecognized) roles in US history?

“Flag of Honor” listing the name of each human who perished on September 11, 2001 displayed in Battery Park during the 10-year memorial.

“Flag of Honor” listing the name of each human who perished on September 11, 2001 displayed in Battery Park during the 10-year memorial.

Happy Birthday to the American Flag!

Photos are my own.

Dishing love for The Florentine, the English news magazine for Florence lovers!!

Best. view. ever. From Piazzale Michelangelo. Firenze, Italia.

I was introduced to the incredible publication, The Florentine, in 2015 when I was in planning mode for a return visit to Florence. I simply wanted access to events and exhibits information and what I received when I signed up for the newsletter and started following The Florentine on social media was beautifully curated insight into the monthly happenings in the city known as the “Birthplace of the Renaissance”.

During my dive into The Florentine’s offerings, I connected with Mary Gray the publication’s Events + associate editor  and Editor, The Tuscan Times. I shared with Mary that I fell in love with Florence during the summer of 1992 when I was a student of the Florida State University International Program and how much the glorious city meant to me as she was gathering quotes and stories from “Repeat Visitors” (like me). Fast forward to my sheer joy as I read the April 2017 issue of The Florentine and saw my quote included in the article aptly titled “The Returners“.

Dishing about being eternally drawn to Firenze!

Click on the hyperlinks to view the article and follow The Florentine on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and sign up for the newsletter!

2015 – Il Duomo

For more dishing about Florence, put “Florence” in the search box on the home page of The Candi Dish blog and all articles will pop up!

Overjoyed to have my product invention: RestoPresto with me on this return visit to Florence!

The joy of assembling bicycles for the children of U.S. Service Members during Fleet Week 2017!

I am walking on sunshine today…despite the non-stop rain and fog in Manhattan because I had the honor of volunteering with the USO today!

When my friend of 30+ years, who also happens to be a Veteran, retired Commander in the United States Navy and pilot for Delta, invited me to join the Delta Team to assemble bikes for the kids of U.S. Service Members, I jumped at the chance.

 

The USO’s ” Operation That’s My Ride” at Pier 88 on the Hudson River yielded approximately 500 bikes and tricycles for the children of military families serving on bases and ships.  The USO and its terrific sponsors (see below) made it very easy for a bicycle assembling novice like me to partner up with my friend (who is used to these types of tasks because he has 2 amazing daughters) and the feeling of accomplishment coupled with the thought of the smiles on the faces of the recipients were truly fantastic.

The bike assembly was followed by a tour of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), from Norfolk, Virginia during which I met proud Marines. It was really great.

Here are a few photos from this special event.

    

SPONSORS: Delta, Pepsi, SOMPO International, 21st Century Fox, Blackrock, Citi, Toyota, HBO & PWC.

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