March 19, 2008 > Fremont residents personalize for America
Fremont residents personalize for America
By Shari Wargo
Photos By courtesy of Kim and Carol Pedersen
Children share toys, blankets and hugs. Babies share laughter, smiles and what they had for lunch, but they shouldn't share pacifiers. As a mother, Pia Callesen knew this and so sought out ways to distinguish her baby's items from others at the day care, but all the stores she went to told her to just write her baby's name on the items with a permanent marker if she wanted a personalized and recognizable pacifier. Shocked that no one had though to offer a safer and more fashionable version of personalizing one's pacifier, Callesen developed her own personalized pacifier business.
The company started in Denmark as E-Baby with Navnesutten.dk and was immediately recognized with awards such as the Fit Pregnancy Award, the Mom and Baby (a magazine in Taiwan) award in 2002, the hit Mama ti ja (magazine in Poland) award in 2002, and design awards such as the iF Design Award and Baden Wuerttemberg Design Award in 2003. By 2006, the product was such a hit that Callesen telephoned her American family, Carol and Kim Pedersen in Fremont to ask for advice about how to expand her business to a franchise in the United States.
"Kim had worked in the Business Tax Department for the City of Fremont and had a good understanding of the process of getting a new business started. What started out as providing helpful advice evolved into us being a distributor for the USA," said Carol Pedersen. "We saw the great potential for the product and wanted to be a part of its introduction here. Our parent company started in Denmark and has now grown to six countries (Denmark, USA, England, Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany) with more to be added in the near future," she added. The Pedersen's named the American version of the E-Baby product MyPacifier Personalized Pacifiers and created the American franchise called MyPacifier.com.
"We were the first country outside Denmark to sell MyPacifier Personalized Pacifiers," said Pedersen. So, the couple had to translate the Web site from Danish to English, and found that the product features desired in Denmark would not necessarily be as well liked in the U.S. "We had to make changes to suit American tastes. Danes love red, it's part of their flag and they really love their flag. Americans didn't want so much red, so we added many color pacifier sets to suit all sorts of tastes. One of our first sets was a natural hit here, a red, white and blue MyPacifier set. There was much to learn, mistakes to be made, and we continue to learn each day. It's quite different from working for someone else because many more critical decisions must be made," she added.
MyPacifier.com doesn't simply write a name on a store purchased pacifier, they use the best available quality pacifiers from Europe, which means MyPacifier Personalized Pacifiers are EN Standard 1400 approved and exceed the quality standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's Requirements for Pacifiers (16 C.F.R. Part 1511), and don't use ink or paint. "Recently, there have been several notable recalls due to cheaply made products from foreign countries. Parents have made a judgment call as to the quality of products in some countries versus others," Pedersen explained.
MyPacifier.com offers pacifiers in a variety of colors and styles, and also gives customers the option of purchasing a ready-to-ship Designer Pacifier or personalizing one with their own inscription such as a name or, for those parents who are uncomfortable with putting their child's name on their items, a fun saying or name like "Drool Monster," "i-Pood," "Surfer Dude," or "Born to $hop." More importantly, MyPacifier.com sets these pacifiers by engraving the writing into the pacifier name plate. MyPacifier.com also makes their pacifiers out of pure Polypropylene plastic and welds the parts together using ultrasound waves so that the end result is a safe, adorable and sturdy pacifier with no glues or other ingredients added.
Nancee Borgnine, of Hollywood Connection, noticed one of the MyPacifier.com press releases online in 2006. "She thought our unique product would be a hit and fun gift for celebrities," said Kim. "We signed up for our first event, which was a real hoot, Eva Longoria's charity event on the actual Wisteria Lane set in Universal Studios," he added. The event was an annual event called "Dream of Hope," held on Sept. 6, 2006 for non-profit organization Padres Contra El Cancer.
MyPacifier.com was invited to donate MyPacifier Personalized Pacifiers to "The Bachelorette" TV show star Trista Sutter's baby shower in June 16, 2007. Then the Pedersen's were invited to present MyPacifier Personalized Pacifiers in the gifting suite at the Beverley Hills Hotel for "Night of 100 Stars- Awards Night Gala 2008" on Feb. 24. At this event, many celebrities walked by the MyPacifier.com table and were pleased to get a MyPacifier Personalized Pacifier, as well as take pictures with one. Larry Birkhead, (father of Dannielynn, Anna Nicole Smith's daughter) took a picture with a "My Dad Rocks" pacifier in his mouth, and one with Carol. The Pedersen's said that they were pleased with the outcome of the event, and how people responded to the pacifiers. "Ladies almost universally go bonkers over te concept of personalized pacifiers. In fact, several folks kept coming back to our table to chat more," added Kim. All in all, personalized pacifiers have been keeping the Pedersen's busy and mothers happy.
For more information about MyPacifier Personalized Pacifiers, visit www.mypacifier.com, and to learn more about the franchise MyPacifier.com and see pictures from their various events, visit www.MyPacifier.net.