The Right Stuff(ed)

Everybody needs a friend. Someone who will just listen, hug you when you need it, and stare at you lovingly with glassy black eyes. There is a special place in everyone’s heart for inanimate friends. Those stuffed buddies that you rested your head on after a trying day. The fuzzy chums that let you cry into their fur when you need to vent. The fluffy comforters that in the case of our founder, provided companionship for a scared 3 year old with a broken neck so many years ago. It is this reverence for our silent that brought us to the door of one of our new favorite programs and potential collaborators, The Stuffed Animal Rescue Foundation, or SARF.

The principle of SARF is straightforward. They rescue forgotten or damaged stuffed animals, tend to their wounds, and find them a safe and loving home. But through their vision and passion they have become so much more than just a repair shop, they have become an integral part of the community.

We recently chatted with Wendy Mitchell, the founder of SARF to find out her inspirations, motivations, and goals for her non-profit.

In 2008 Wendy moved to the famous 37th street, where neighbors join together to put on some of the city’s biggest and most unique Christmas displays. Utilizing the overabundance of lovingly repaired friends in her possession, Wendy created the first stuffed animal petting zoo. The tiny scenes with miniature bales of hay fake snow and water were a great hit with the kids and adults alike but as the season drew to a close she realized she had to do something with all those friendly faces.

            Wendy explained, “I didn’t just want to take the stuffed animals to a thrift store when it was over. They had personalities and props. So I decided I would let people apply to adopt them.” Inspired by the typical pet adoption websites, she created profiles and personalities for each member of her menagerie and the SARF website was born. “It just sort of snowballed from there."

SARF is still going strong. The website is filled with pictures of the happy stitched smiles of successful adoptions. This rate of adoption is a testament to the power of imagination and good humor.

“Think of a stuffed animal on a thrift store shelf. It just sits there for months, and hundreds of people walk by it without anyone even batting an eye. But if you give that object a name and a story and a history, it becomes something different. It becomes a commodity. It has an identity, and it has value again. Then those same people who walked by it before are now applying to adopt it.”

SARF strives to be a force for good. Adoptions are free of charge and the process itself adds to the wonder of making connections between the animals and their adoptive homes.

“There’s something innately magical (and maybe annoying) about waiting and mystery. The SARF seems to strike a chord with people who have long attention spans and big imaginations and who are okay with the fact that they’re not quite sure if it’s real or not.”

Wendy hopes to expand the magic into some with more creative and potentially revenue generating aspects so that SARF can provide free adoptions and care for the next 20 years and beyond. She has plans for a kids writing program, books, charitable events, videos series and even an Onion-esque news show in honor of the greatest friend to plastic eyed buddies, Jim Henson.

Keeping Texas Safe, One Media at a Time

(Austin, TX)  For the 10th year Blitz Media Labs has partnered with BAH! Design and Wick Marketing to create this year's Texas Mutual Insurance Company's statewide campaign.  This year the overall campaign is a focus on handshake-close activities tied to the cause of workplace safety-- "Work Safe, Texas." The existing url worksafetexas.com provided the home base for the building of this highly localized campaign.

"We were able to leverage our media investments with our local and statewide partners," explained Eileen Keller, CEO of ideality.com inc. and Blitz Media Labs, "to create a multi-dimensional presence for Texas Mutual Insurance inside all of the points of content distribution. We worked hard to create specialized native content through our media partners and to make sure we had a strong 'white hat' image with an event-centric profile.  It's what we are known for - creating realities through media investments."

In addition to the statewide "Work Safe, Texas" campaign, Blitz Media Labs has created the media platforms and partnerships for Texas Mutual's Safe Hand Texas presence in Amarillo and Victoria.  

"This public safety initiative touches our hearts.  As 7th generation Texans we care about the safety of drivers in the oil and gas industries as well as the citizens of the surrounding markets.  We want to thank all of the media in these markets for working with us to create a dynamic campaign for the summer of 2014," explained Keller. 

Aggressive negotiations and a tug or two at the heartstrings of the media has yielded  bonus placement and a feel-good involvement for all participants.

"We just want to save lives," said Keller.

Blitz Media Labs is a subsidiary of ideality.com inc., a 19 year old Texas grown and Austin based company dedicated to making dreams come true. 

For more information or to schedule an interview with Eileen Keller, or any representatives of ideality.com, Blitz Media Labs, or Texas Mutual Insurance, please contact eileen@ideality.com or call (512) 476-2548.

Creating Emotional Tattoos

What is an "emotional tattoo?"

It's not about hitting a target. It's not about branding a group of people with a hot stick.

It's about creating a message that solves a problem.

Finding your "friends and family"

With whom are you trying to create a partnership for your product?

Why do they need it?

What will make them carry it forward into the future?

Your role is to provide for the future.

Your role is to define points of reference that your friends and family use.

What do they read?

What do they watch?

To what do they listen?

We need a list of what they trust to tell them what to do.

Your joy will be in giving them the perfect solution.

Once you determine where they spend time finding out what to do, you need to define the value of that point of reference in reaching your friends and family.

Solutions are the most valuable commodity to your product's friends and family.

You want your people to care about your product.

You want your people to pay someone to have your name with them all of the time.

You want to create a true relationship.


5 Steps to Better Media

Time for a webinar!

Eileen Keller will cover the best practices for investing in media to reach your desired demographic. We will give you the inside 'how-to' that will allow you to negotiate the best rates and the most value-added for your dollar. This information can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising.

Benefits for You

  • You will learn the resources for best defining your advertising investment dollars.
  • You will learn to pay at or below Fair Market Value to talk to your customers.
  • You will learn to set the correct metrics for your advertising success.
  • You will learn how to save money by finding mistakes.
  • You will learn to leverage and dimensionalize your media presence.

...and if you use the link below, you are eligible for 50% off the registration fee!

5 Steps to Better Media Investments

August 05, 2014
1:00PM EST - 2:00PM EST

Register online here for HALF PRICE!

Call: 866-352-9539
Discount code: D6197080
Priority code: 15999

West Austin Studio Tour 2014

We were blessed to have a presence at this year's West Austin Studio Tour thanks to the generous hospitality of Mary Yznaga, our studio host, who opened her M.Y.Metal metalworking creative realm to not only display her own beautiful works, but also the creations of a few of us at ideality.com, her friends and collaborators. 

M.Y.Metal studio by Mary Yznaga

M.Y.Metal studio by Mary Yznaga

Gene Menger had several of his fiber and textile works on display. Visitors were continually wowed by the color palette and texture.

Gene Menger's fiber and textile works

Gene Menger's fiber and textile works

They seemed so remote and otherworldly, yet so many of us felt like wearing this particular piece like soft armor to embolden our imaginative greatness. 

Eileen Keller also presented her artwork, a series of corazon pieces entitled "hearts on fire," mixed media pieces incorporating wax, glass, words, live matches, and raw emotion.

Then of course we had the hand-forged works of our fabulous host, Ms. Mary Yznaga's M.Y. Metal. 

We were also treated to an afternoon musical performance by the Commerce Street Ramblers, starring the usual suspects (R to L): Brian Tronsgaard, Gene Menger, Dee McCandless, Jeff Kessell, and Kim Karalekas.

Commerce Street Ramblers

Commerce Street Ramblers

All in all, it was a fun and relaxing two weekends of art, music, and friends, new and old-- which is just the way we like it at ideality.com