OR..........Necessity is the Mother of Mittens.
It’s not very often you see a grown man sporting mittens shaped like bear paws and a neck scarf adorned with a stuffed animal. In fact, can’t say I’ve ever encountered that before – until last week. Headed to a meeting in the Time Warner building in Columbus Circle, I passed through an area outside of Central Park where a variety of vendors were selling specialty gifts for the holidays. And there he was – up close and personal.You simply have to stop and say hello to a man with bear paws on his hands. And it turns out, Jeff Golden wasn’t just modeling the winter accessory, he’s the co-owner and inventor of BearHands® & Buddies. He told me it was a ski trip a few years ago that inspired the concept for the gloves. Jeff and his partner Zach Golden, (father and son), recognized the need for a way to keep your hands warm and still access your fingers without removing your gloves. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention – or, in this case, mittens.Jeff and Zach designed a unique, super-warm, Thinsulate™ lined, paw-shaped mitten that permits you to access your bare hand through a secret Velcro flap. The mittens come in a rainbow of colors as well as several fur patterns and range in sizes to fit the tiniest hands in your family all the way up to the adults. Three of my step-grandchildren are getting them for Christmas. (One is a teenager and Jeff and I decided, he might be too cool to appreciate the mittens right now.) The two girls are also getting the “Buddy” scarves – both hot pink, one with a French poodle and the other with a teddy bear. Founded in 2002, BearHands® sells through children’s stores across the country and is beginning to expand globally. During the holidays, in addition to the booth at Columbus Circle, there is also one in Bryant Park. You can find a retail location close to you on their website. In addition, there are tons of testimonials, including a few from some well-known celebs. The reason I wanted to share this story with you is not simply because it’s a cute entrepreneurial success story. It’s also not to justify my holiday shopping break during a normal business day. I’m writing about this because Jeff is a typical entrepreneur working hard to run a business.You see, normally Jeff wouldn’t have been at the booth. He’s usually back at their Little Ferry, NJ headquarters. But as luck would have it, his car broke down that morning as he was delivering something to the Columbus Circle location. Jeff’s misfortune was my good fortune that day because I got to meet the man behind the paw. And there’s nothing better than a great small business story to pick up my spirits. BearHands® has been featured on “The Today Show” and in “Parenting” magazine. The day I was there, the Fox network was filming a story. If you have a great small business story, please share it with me. I believe small business is going to be the savior of our country’s economy in the next couple of years so I want to know what’s up in your world of entrepreneurship. Even if you just have an idea for a business and need advice or resources, let me know. That’s what SBTV.com and I are here for – helping you succeed. Please consider joining our new SBTV.com community – Small Biz Central. That’s where you can interact with our experts, other business owners and me. You can also upload your video, audio and text content to become one of our contributors. I like to call it; YouTube meets LinkedIn with a purpose for small business. Bearhands & Buddies produce products that are everyday items that have been recreated in a unique way and appeal to people of all ages. They are a great combination of fun and functionality and find smiles wherever they go!
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