Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas...

No. 11 in the series 12 Days of Christmas as seen by Janet Helm

When I started the tradition of creating my holiday cards using the twelve days of Christmas as my inspiration, I never dreamed I would have so much fun coming up with ideas. This year when pondering on the theme, "eleven pipers piping" I thought a 1940's feel, keeping the image black and white, the boys donned in tartan and cap, playing "pipes" would make for a festive image. My sons couldn’t believe it when I grabbed the camera and said,”okay let’s go outside and play with sticks!” Fun was had by all.

Wishing you and yours a holiday season filled 

with much peace, love and laughter.

See the first 11 days at

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'Tis the Season to be Tartan!

As a designer of bespoke tartans, I am thrilled seeing the criss cross pattern everywhere these days.

Here are a few of my favourites

The limited edition Aga stove, designed by chef, Oliver Heath. Check out how the pattern captures the texture of actual woven fabric.

MAC makeup's holiday campaign- A Tartan Tale...
I just had to buy a lipstick to receive my tartan gift bag!

Heather, our graphic designer shared with me a little inspiration from the current issue of rue magazine.

I simply love the designs we create for our customers.
Our most  popular tartan gift- lightweight wool scarves, complete with private woven label and gift box! Here you see a glimpse of a few of our bespoke tartans for -Coca-Cola, Versacold, and Colliers International

Can you imagine having your own tartan?
There is still time to give Tartan for the holidays.

Contact me to learn more.

Have you seen some fabulous tartan applications?
Please share with me your favourite tartan finds!

Enjoy seeing and experiencing Tartan!


Images courtesy of:
Aga stove -British Homes &Gardens
MAC makeup
Rue Magazine

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A chance to Win our Thank You cards

current cover of Canadian House & Home

For tons of holiday ideas from festive recipes to hip winter decorating check out the 
latest Canadian House & Home.
Subscribe to their e-newsletter and you could win a set of our antique letter pressed Thank You cards!

Holiday 2010

‘Tis the season!
Ensure your giving is meaningful, modern and stylish this festive season.
Learn a few easy tips in our Holiday issue of Giving.

Image courtesy of Ludwig Interior Design

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Keepin' it Real

Every year, about this time, for about 6 years now, we along with close family friends head to the local pumpkin patch in search of the perfect pumpkins. While the kids run havoc in the field, and the husbands catch up on each others' renos, a sailing trip, vacation plans, the two of us "moms" search for pumpkins. Both with a similar design sense our idea of perfect pumpkins is hardly the classic variety, we go for the white ones, green ones, lopsided ones, the grouping of 4-7 that will sit on our front stairs, a display we believe Martha would be proud of!
In the grocery store this week, I saw rows of plastic pumpkins- they were orange, large, and already carved!- for just a moment- a mere minute max, I daydreamed about purchasing these pumpkins as the thoughts of "ahhh it would be easy- no slopping through the mud, no cleaning out the guts, no guilt for composting the guts instead of making a pie- shhh don't tell Martha! Then as quick as the dream occurred I came back to my senses, shook my head and left the store- with only groceries.
I realized what I like about the real pumpkins is not only that they are real, but the joy, memories, and overall fun experience- mud and all- my pumpkin patch adventure brings me, my family and friends.
I also like real cheese- the older the better, real black and white movies as they were made instead of coloured, real Christmas trees, real thank yous that come from the heart not the wallet, a real fire roaring in the fireplace, and of course as most of you already know real recognition for real employees and customers.
Share with me your real must haves in your life.



                                                   photograph compliments of

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving- Celebrate the Good in Your Company

Peer-to-peer recognition is among an employer’s most powerful, cost effective tools for engaging
employees. When employees are actively encouraged to notice and appreciate the behaviors of their
colleagues that contribute to the company’s success you as a leader will create an environment that
is guaranteed to excite, inspire your team to give their best every day.
Being nice, doesn’t’ mean being a push over, soft or vague. To be clear being nice and smart and
having fun is easier than you think.
Here are 7 easy and free tips you can start today
• Be specific in your appreciation. "Thank you for ensuring our deadline was met." "Thank you
for staying late to finish the proposal, the client loves it." The message shows you
noticed, and care.
• Thank immediately. Make it easy for yourself by having a few thank you cards on handan
extra effort detail vs. an email.
• If you do use email to show appreciation, cc the CEO, or manager outlining how the
employee's effort helped the company. Again, you will be seen as a team player.
• Smile with eye contact.
• Today, visit face to face all the people who report to you. Tell them one great thing they
do to make your job easier.
• When you see a colleague who looks confused or overwhelmed, don’t walk by. Engage
them. Ask how you can help.
• Start a daily act of Kindness campaign either just for yourself, or better yet with your
team, or entire organization. Track the results in a journal, blog or online community.
As a leader you must first look at your own behaviour. Show your daily appreciation and watch your
team environment become stronger as people happily, enthusiastically carry out your goals.
Recognition done right doesn't take a lot of money, it takes listening, creativity, and the ability to say
thank you.
“Think of giving not as a duty, but as a privilege.” John D. Rockefeller

Share with me more easy, fun, and effective ways you show your appreciation.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Join me for some water fun- and give back at the same time!

Gift of the Week
Does the topic of how can we as a department, team or entire company make a difference resonate with you?

Let us make it easy for you to give with meaning!

Join Janet Helm and Fraser Riverkeeper at the H2O+ store on Robson Street in Vancouver from 5:30-8pm, Wednesday September 22 for an exclusive event. You and a guest are invited to have fun, win prizes including Jack Johnson concert tickets, sample fabulous H2O+ skincare products, all while sipping a glass of wine (or water!)
Space is limited so please rsvp me to guarantee you and a guest's invitation.
These stainless steel canteens are customized with logos and personal hang tags so your recipients know these aren't just another water bottle! 2% of sales goes directly to Fraser Riverkeeper.

Read about how it all started - The Giving Project 21- a 21 day challenge of daily good gives- bring it to your school, department, entire company, and learn how the power of appreciation will increase your bottom line.

Check out the great gives Fraser Riverkeeper does!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Make a Cool Statement- Responsibly, Sustainably, Stylishly

This summer - stay cool... with water!
I am so excited about our collaboration with Fraser Riverkeeper, where 2% of our sales of our "water gift" items go directly to them helping keep our waters clean, including shoreline clean ups and outreach. Gift items include our water bottles, glass water carafe, and the most modern rain barrel around!
click here to see the ideas and click on the Fraser Riverkeeper's link above to see what great actions they are involved in!

Let me know what you think!
Keep cool,

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 21 My last day of The Giving Project!

Wow, it went by fast. There were days I struggled with what to give, then opportunities seemed to just flow. Ways to give others a gift became easier and easier.

I am surprised how much I enjoyed the journey. I am inspired, more present, more aware- I liken it to the first time I tried on a pair of reading glasses- "wow, a whole new world, I can see the fine print!"

Amazing new opportunities at work, strengthened family and friend connections seemed to just appear and click with ease. I am looking forward to continuing this journey and sharing more with you. I know the power of giving, and simply sharing a gift a day, will enrich work environments and the bottom line, strengthen family and friends' relationships, and yes, change the world for the better.

Join me ... start anytime, and share your stories with me.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Giving Project Day 20 - Vintage Gift

Most know that I collect and wear vintage fashion and have quite a collection of purses, sunglasses, and pristine coats. From no names to Gucci and Pucci, with the impeccable quality whether an item is hand-stitched or simply made to last, I so appreciate the details that are hard to find in everyday products today.

My latest find is a 70's belt buckle I spied on our weekend getaway at a yard sale- the ink marked masking tape sticker taped across it showed $1. I gave the woman $5 and said, "keep the change, it is fun piece, thank you." Giving more at a garage sale, instead of negotiating! Not sure if I will ever see that expression on someone's face again. Not sure if I will ever give that gift again, but that day it felt right. A gift indeed for both of us.


Monday, June 28, 2010

The Giving Project Day 19 Une Tasse de Cafe

image complements from

I stopped for a morning coffee- "a quick stop," I thought.

I waited in line and waited, there was no eye contact when it was my turn, and I felt myself getting slightly annoyed. Then, just as fast as the emotion of frustration came, I stopped, and reminded myself I wasn't in Paris ordering a fresh croissant and cafe au lait -- the true experience I was after -- I was in fact on my way to a meeting, a few minutes behind, just a few extra moments to spare for a cup of caffeine, er, I mean, coffee. So I stopped, breathed, and found myself commenting to the servers how busy they were, and asked if it was usually so busy. One person smiled, and said yes, thanks for noticing. They were short staffed due to a colleague calling in sick. As I was handed my coffee, I thanked them, waved and just couldn't help a cheery, "Merci, Au Revoir" sing song.

My cup of coffee tasted tres bon.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Giving Project Day 18- Gifts for the Planet

Nicola Lake sunrise

On our weekend get away, I woke to a stunning sunrise.
Grateful, inspired and in awe of the amazing beauty I experienced, my gift today is to help the planet.
I am finding little ways to help- took my own coffee cup to the cafe in town, picked up a candy wrapper off the street and put it into the garbage, read using sky light instead of electricity. Small gifts, sure, but felt good to help a little. What small gifts can you give the Earth today.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Giving Project Day 17 -Ahhh The Smell of Fresh Library Books

I love library books, always have. I remember my mom driving us kids to the library, it was a treat to go to the library. I remember having my own library card and being able to check out any book I wanted. Judy Blume when available, was always one of my favourite finds.
Today my library trips are still treats, at least once a week with the boys. We joined the Summer Reading Club- Reading Rocks! Chris Tougas, author and illustrator of Art's Supplies and Mechanimals has created the hilarious poster and reading record for Reading Rocks! where prizes are won for reading.
I thought I would thank the librarians for sharing their favourite finds, their passion for reading with my family, so the boys and I picked a few flowers from our garden and gave them to the library staff.

I enjoyed watching my sons choose their books- what topics interest them that day. For one, currently any topic to do with sharks and haunted houses gets picked off the shelves. For my other son, anything Star Wars will do.

Friday, June 25, 2010

People are talking about The Giving Project

What people are saying about The Giving Project:

"Hi Janet. I just wanted to make sure you know how much educators appreciate it when parents take the time to say "thanks". A gesture like yours is enough to make us smile for days! So . . . thanks for the thanks!"
- Irene

"Way to go Janet. What a beautiful story. I look forward to reading you tomorrow."
- Isabelle

"love your initiative! I often try to remember to give random acts of kindness or gifts in many forms and lately I am trying to also find ways to remember to be kind to myself. We are only as good to others as we are to ourselves. I look forward to reading more of your blogs and perhaps participating myself!"
- Tamara

"It is a lovely alignment to your work -- how appropo to be involved in a giving project and a business all about giving!"
- Kathleen

How has giving that little bit more impacted your life? Share your stories with your own Giving Project. -- 21 days could change your world. Join us today!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 16 - More Easy Ways to Give

I am on Day 16 and my daily gifts have already enriched my life. I am much more present and aware of everything and everyone in my life. I find myself more grateful for the little things- my kids' smiles, my husband's strength and support, time spent with family and friends, my colleagues' great work. I guess in a sentence I am feeling more grateful, more positive. If you have thought about starting The Giving Project, or are stuck on a day, here are few easy ways you can give today.

Tell one of your colleague's they are doing a good job.
When walking into your building, look behind you and hold the door open for the person behind you.
Smile at that person you have just held the door open for.

As Aesop once said… “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fun in The Park and a Break for Mom

         image from

Day 15
One of my sons had a play date at a friend's after school today.
I thought I could return the favour and give another mom a break also- so I took my other son and his friend to the water park. Two moms got a break- now that is giving, not to mention one fun way to ensure your kids drink enough water on hot days!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 14 Sharin' The Earch

Day 14

I dug up a few of our hostas from our garden and gave them to the neigbour who has commented on their beauty. Sharing the good earth- a pretty darn cool feeling.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 13 - Easy Gives

 image from
Day 13
Coming up with easy ways to give can be a challenge.
So here is my gift today- a few gifts to give that are super easy.
Write a quick post it note- "have an awesome day" and include in a lunch kit or laptop bag.
Share a couple of new songs with someone- fresh running songs for i-pods are always appreciated.
It's the end of the school year- Thank the kids' school crossing guard - show up with a hot chocolate or coffee.

The Giving Project Day 12

Day 12
I thanked my husband for being a good Dad.
I thanked him for telling his Spider-Man bed time stories (over and over again), thanked him for helping them build those complicated Lego kits, and teaching them how to ride their bikes.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Giving Project Day 11

Day 11
I am excited about Father's Day as my gift today is gathering the Dads in my life to say thanks.
Having a bbque tonight to celebrate with my Dad, my Dad in law, and the number 1 Dad- my sons' Dad!
Burgers, beer and fun to be had by all including the moms.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 10 - The Gift of Music

                                                         photo from

Day 10 
Happy Friday.
My gift today was to share a couple of great songs with my sister who I know would appreciate them as she trains for yet another marathon! Go sis Go!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Giving Project Day 9

Day 9.

My gives lately have been thank yous, so I continue with another thank you for my day 9.

This thank you goes to Jen, my manager.

The title of Manager just doesn't say enough of how she helps me every day.

Some new titles for Jen:

Jen, who took her day off to help a client with a challenge, and I only heard about it after the challenge was solved.
Jen, her signature phrase "there is always a way" attitude that inspires me and clients.
Jen, communicator extraordinaire, builds genuine relationships with clients and suppliers.
Jen, who understands my ideas and executes them with excellent attention to all details and finesse.

Thank your colleagues today, and share with me some new titles for your managers who help you achieve your success.

Download our thank you cards here...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Giving Project Day 8

Photo by Robyn Lehr, from Real Simple

It is what as known as "step up day" at school today- the kids enjoy a day with the teacher they will have next year. My kids are excited about the day, their new teachers, and the excitement of being one grade higher! It is hard to believe the school year is almost over as I reflect on what a great year the boys have had.

My daily gift today is saying thanks to their teachers. Sure, thanks for the basics of teaching to read, spell and add and subtract, which goes without saying, but for me it is also how both teachers saw and encouraged my sons' individual strengths, guided them to be confident in their choices, encouraged their sense of humour, provided leadership opportunities, but, perhaps most of all, that the boys come home and say, "I like school."

Thank you Mrs. S and Mrs. Y.
Enjoy your summer!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Giving Project Day 7

Day 7
On my early morning run I gave my usual “gives”-smiles and waves to other runners and people I passed along the way, but today I was more aware, present of how my smiles to others, my thank you waves to cars that stop for me (and don’t stop for me) at crosswalks, makes me feel connected to everyone, that my daily gives are good for me. The Mahatma Gandhi quote comes to mind You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Share with me the little things you do every day that make a difference.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Giving Project Day 6

image from

Driving to a client meeting, I stopped at a red light. I looked to the side of the street and saw a man holding a cardboard sign asking for money and food. As the light changed, and I proceeded to move forward, I opened my window, said hello and handed him an apple. There wasn’t time for much else besides a glance at each other and then I was gone around the corner. “Would I have given him my apple if I was not doing my daily give challenge, The Giving Project?” I asked myself. Hmmm interesting question. I drive by this spot often, have seen this man before, and have never given before. I have thought about it, but never acted on it. Food for thought… for sure. Giving is good.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Giving Project Day 5. Thanks, Dad.

My Dad, 1950's

Day 5

As Father's Day approaches
, my give today is saying thanks to my dad.

Thanks Dad for my 9th birthday gift - a unicycle. A
lways think outside the box!

Thanks Dad for braces. Always look your best.

Thanks Dad for teaching me how to cast a fly, catch (and clean) a fish. Always finish what you started.

How will you celebrate the Dads in your life?

Share your ideas with me - leave your comments below. Remember, it doesn't have to cost a thing.

Happy Dad's Day. A gift - here's a link to our e-newsletter, Giving, which includes a Father's Day gift guide, for a few ways you can say thanks.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 4 - "I Gave at The Office"

Day 4

Do you experience appreciation every day at work? Do you arrive in the morning to an environment that shares appreciation? Do you show your appreciation to your colleagues?

Today, Day 4 of The Giving Project, I gave appreciation, by saying, "thank you." I called one of our suppliers, using the old fashion device called a telephone, wanting to have a more personal connection than sending an email. I was specific in my gratitude, thanking him for his excellent customer service- always just a phone call or email away, his fine craftsmanship and superior quality of work, as well as always updating us on his progress.

What do you do to show appreciation at work? Do you prefer to get a gift, cash, public or private praise? Tell me what was your best gift from a boss or a co-worker?

"The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated."
- William James

Would you like to use our thank you cards? Send me an email and we will mail them or email them to you.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Giving Project - Day 3

Janet, friends and family at a Canada Day run

On Canada Day, our community celebrate with an annual 8km run, festivities and fun for all. This year, I have been training for the July 1 run and my goal was to come in the top 3 of my age group- a lofty goal, but feelin' good about it.

Just this morning, an email came in from the organizer, who I also volunteer with as a SunRun clinic leader, asking if I would volunteer with the run. Initially, I thought, hell no, I want to beat my time and win a ribbon! But then I found myself typing back without hesitation, "I would love to help," as I thought that this can be my gift for Day 3 of The Giving Project.

It's only Day 3 and I am seeing how much more aware I am of giving, and how it is simply a choice to make.

So, the boys will run the 1km kids race first, then our family will be helping at an aid station handing out water and cheering the runners on. There is always another race to run and time to beat. With my give of the day, I already feel like I won!
How did you give today? Please share your wins with me.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Giving Project - Day 2

photo from

Standing in the grocery store line up this morning, I noticed a man behind me with a jug of milk impatiently sighing about the lineup. I gestured for him to go ahead, and said, “sounds like you are in a rush, please go ahead of me.” Not a thank you, just a gruff huff as he stepped to the front of the line, paid for his milk, and hurriedly ran out of the store. Initially taken aback, I then realized, my daily "gives" are not going to affect everyone and that is okay. The Giving Project is for me to give and others to join me if they like but with expecting nothing in return. Whether the man is sipping his milk thinking it was nice of me to help him out, or thinking, gosh I could have said, thanks, isn't the point. The point is I gave and it feels great.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Giving Project Day1

Day 1
With it being Day 1 and all, I found myself asking out loud,
"What can I give today that is different, unique, an out of the box give?"
Just then one of my sons came into the room and said with a serious, quiet tone in his voice, "Mom, the cat is loosing its hair". The neighbour's cat comes over quite often to visit and just about as quickly as the cat jumped on my son's lap, I was about to blurt out, "oh it is just shedding" and continue on doing whatever I was doing. I stopped and became very present, aware that here is my chance to give the gift of time to my son. So I sat down beside him, and as we petted Mia the cat, I shared with him that it is normal for cats and dogs to shed (loose) some hair as they don't need as much hair in the summer, just like he doesn't need to wear his winter coat anymore. I assured him the cat would not go bald, and was healthy. He was relieved and satisfied with my explanation. As he walked away holding the cat in one arm, I smiled to myself, grateful for my good mom moment, grateful for my son's caring personality and excited about how The Giving Project is going to change my family's life for the better.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Giving Project – That extra twinkle

A couple of weeks ago, my husband, our sons and I volunteered handing out cupcakes on the east side of Vancouver during the Fair in the Square celebration put on by Central City Foundation.

After an inspiring day of giving our time, we walked to our car and noticed someone adding coins to the parking meter. I would like to be telling you my initial thoughts were, “how kind ", but I actually thought it very odd, "does he think that is his car, is he out of it?” After he proceeded to put money in the next meter I realized that no, this is a random act of kindness! One of my sons called him, the parking angel. I had to quicken my step to catch up to him. We chatted briefly, I thanked him for choosing to give to the event is such a creative and meaningful way.

I wanted to keep talking but he was on his way to plug more meters. I stood there for about 5 minutes being grateful. I thought about how we volunteered today, how we gave, and how he gave simply by adding a coin to my meter. I stood there smiling. I realized that even though my initial intention was for my children to experience meeting people from a different community they normally wouldn't encounter, I was the one that learned.

My husband calls it the "extra twinkle," a twinkle in my eye that supposedly shines brighter “than usual", as he saw an idea forming in my brain. I said out loud on the car ride home, "What if we all gave something, just something small - a smile, a cupcake, plugged a meter, a simple thank you? The world would change." A challenge, I thought. I know friends, family, and clients that would give.

So here it is, The Giving Project, 21 days of giving. 21 days because that’s how long it supposedly takes to form a habit. I will blog and tweet daily on what and how I give and I ask you to join me and do the same by commenting on my posts-start at Day 1 here click here 

If you’re on Twitter, tweet me your gives (please use the hashtag #realgiving).

Friday, May 7, 2010

Best Mom's Day Present Ever!

This is what I am talkin' about- a genuine and simple Mom's Day idea and best recycling of a Coke bottle yet- My Mother's Day present from my son! As I wiped the tears of joy from my eyes, and answered his question with a teary, "Thank you.Yes, you may have ice-cream for breakfast, my dear." See what a little genuine appreciation does!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day and Corporate Giving- Surprising Similarities

                                              Photo courtesy of Ludwig Interior Design

Happy Mother's Day.
Funny thing about Mother's Day. Why do some people panic, not knowing what to get, while others know exactly how to show their appreciation?
I liken the dilemma to corporate recognition. Some companies know what recognition inspires and shows appreciation while others have no idea their choices are leaving people confused and disappointed.
One of the most important things one can do for Mom and for employees and customers is ensure your message is genuine.
Handwrite a note of thanks - doesn't have to be with a quill and ink, just add a few more lines than your name.
There are numerous websites that have quotes for Moms - better yet, choose an author you know your Mom enjoys.
For your employees - be specific in your thanks so they know why you are thanking them. This reinforces a specific task or performance they'll want to repeat.
Again if the creative juices aren't flowing, visit a 'quotation' website for a suitable phrase.
For customers - a handwritten note thanking them for their business goes a long way.
So send your appreciation the good 'ol fashion way- with pen and paper!

Friday, April 9, 2010

What can you learn from an 'Undercover Boss'?

Images of Larry O'Donnell, President and COO of Waste Management.
Photos courtesy of CBS Undercover Boss

Imagine a toilet cleaner with such a love of life at work that he attracts interest from bystanders!

I caught a repeat of Oprah's show last week based around a new reality show called Undercover Boss. I watched with huge interest as she showed clips from the show including the President of Waste Management, as he worked with front line employees cleaning portable toilets and picking up garbage. What the CEOs from the show learned was inspiring and I believe a great idea for any executive to truly connect with and engage employees.

A couple of benefits I instantly saw:
- A ‘fly on the wall’ view of employee engagement. Are employees engaged? Are they clear and act on your decided goals and objectives?
- A genuine connection. Getting to see employees passionate about their job and sharing this with customers and how they are delivering your brand face to face with your customers.
- Is your HR and employee recognition working? Do your employees feel valued, heard?

What is one undercover boss action you can take today to truly see your employees and how they present your company to your customers? Post your ideas in the comments.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

International Women's Day

photo created by Melanie Cook, from

International Women's Day was Monday, March 8.

To all the women in my life, from the first woman who said that I could be whatever I dreamed and taught me how to whistle-my mom, to my sisters, sister-in-laws, mom-in-law, aunts, cousins, past and present teachers, clients, artists, friends, and, last but not least, Jen- my right hand gal at Janet Helm, thank you.

Happy International Women's day to you all!
Love, Janet

To see international events happening around the world, check out link:

Follow JanetMHelm on Twitter I love to network ... follow me on Twitter

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Proudly Canadian

Photo credit: miss604 on Flickr

After attending the FWE luncheon (read about inspiring event here), I took some time to enjoy the sites and sounds of the Olympic buzz, as I was smack dab in the middle of it all! I walked with the crowds to the flames of Olympic Cauldron a few short blocks away. Yes, the fence was up, but still impressive indeed.

I describe the vibe as "snow falling on a cool, crisp Christmas morning and neighbors coming out to say hello, chat about the weather, their day with family and friends" - everyone is in such a grand mood. I beamed with Canadian pride, smiled and thanked a volunteer as we walked towards the cauldron together, gave a visiting mom whose child was having a meltdown a reassuring "been there done that" look, and was reminded how we are really alike and how this event is truly sensational for all.

I was reminded of how the power of smiles and happiness is contagious and an easy gift to give and receive. I then walked to Canada Pavilion, the meeting spot where my husband and our sons would be, to enjoy a few more sights together.

At the end of the day, a hot chocolate break at the Four Seasons Hotel and sharing laughs with visitors was a perfect end to a great day.

We plan to continue the appreciation celebration downtown later this week again.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Welcoming the Olympic Torch!

photograph from series of Torch Relay photographs
by unknown photographers, a j a n i photography

Donning my BC tartan scarf, with our sons wearing their "red mittens," my husband and I cheered the Olympic flame and gave a great welcome to the Olympic torch as it made its way through our community. I became surprisingly emotional as I lifted our 6-year-old up and pointed down the street. "Here it comes," I yelled. The community came out wearing red and white celebrating the torch relay with great enthusiasm and pride.

I find myself more proud of my city, my Country than expected. I am proud to see downtown Vancouver looking so ready to welcome the world. What overwhelms me most is seeing the volunteers- thousands of them in their teal blue coats, the people volunteering their time to be a part of it all. Truly Canadian indeed.

Go Canada Go!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Clear Vision for 2010

The Olympics are a few short weeks away when the world comes to my hometown, Vancouver!

At Janet Helm we are thrilled to be working with talented artisans who call Vancouver home, customizing and collaborating on gifting for local and international clients looking to recognize with the Canadian spirit.

One such person we are working with on executive gift commissions is First Nation artist Corrine Hunt, who is also the co-designer of the Olympic Medals and a participant in the Coca-Cola Aboriginal Art Bottle Program. We are excited to be promoting the sunglasses and readers adorned with with her Pacific North West designs.

Click here to read the symbolism and see how they complement your corporate culture and vision.

To see the Olympic medals and read the story visit the Vancouver 2010 site.

To clear vision for 2010!