Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happy Holidays -12 Days of Christmas

 12 Drummers Drumming photo by Janet Helm

Just over 12 years ago I started my company because I knew there were people who understood 
the power of appreciation in the workplace. 
That giving was so much more than what is in the gift box and that
recognition when done strategically and genuinely will enrich lives, motivate, inspire and create loyalty. 
12 years later I am thrilled and grateful I continue to collaborate with business leaders who experience bottom line results because of their recognition practices.
This year's holiday card is the last in our series, 
The 12 Days of Christmas.
To see the entire series see below and here.
Yes, my sons are relieved they won't have to pose for future holiday cards and
I am excited for what is next at Janet Helm- as in 2012 we are 
introducing new solutions to help our clients continue to give creatively and with meaning.
This holiday season I wish you and yours a season filled 
with much peace, love and laughter.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Stylish Way to Logo

Instead of embroidered logos use
private woven labels. We create our clients' logos as quality woven labels then sew them into the recognition gifts we design and produce for them. Woven labels inside jackets, on blankets, in scarf seams are a stylish and subtle way to brand your gift, not to mention the recipients are more inclined to wear them!
Remember your recognizing your employees and customers with a gift not a promotional item.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Think Outside The Gift Box

Some of you know I adore contemporary design, so when I saw this gingerbread house I was thrilled to see someone thinking outside the "gingerbread house kit" box if you will!

This holiday season before you rush to make decisions, I encourage you to think outside the standard gift box.

 In our recent issue of Giving we share ideas and tips to help you with your holiday giving. 
Read the heartwarming and genuine story behind Colliers tartan we designed for them.

Instead of paper, give eco-friendly wood gift cards
as they will stand out from the crowd as well as
send earth friendly holiday wishes.

Check out more ideas here or call me directly 604 730 2600
To modern meaningful giving!

 photo of gingerbread house compliments of paperseed

photo courtesy of paperseed

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Stay hungry. Stay foolish." Steve Jobs

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. 
Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, 
all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. 
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know 
to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. 
You are already naked. 
There is no reason not to follow your heart. ... 
Stay hungry. Stay foolish."
Commencement address delivered at Stanford University 
June 12, 2005.

Read daily and share with me what happens in your biz 
and personal life.

Designed by nineteen-year-old Jonathan Mak, 
a student at Hong Kong's Polytechnic University School of Design

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ask Janet

Have a question about recognition, gift giving, 
appreciation in the workplace?
Ask Janet! It's as easy as 1. 2. 3.
1. Submit your question to studio@janethelm.com
In subject line type, "Ask Janet"
2. Enter your name, email, website, company name, 
type of business and city.
3. Ask away! Keep your question brief; a sentence or two will do. If we need more information, we will be sure to contact you.

Every other week, we will choose a question.
If your question is chosen, you will receive our gift set of JH Thank You cards,
as well your question may be published in our Giving Newsletter!

PS If you do not want your name and company discussed, 
please refrain from submitting your question. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer Giving


It is summer! 

Even though for many this is the time of year for fun in the sun, get aways with family and friends,
I know the pressure is still on you to find gifts for your upcoming occasions. Our recent issue of Giving 
shares ideas to help- new solutions ideal for your incentive campaigns, recognition programs, 
and your December holiday occasions-imagine if that "to do" was off your list sooner than later!!
I also know how each occasion you need to raise the bar, how your choices must impress and inspire. I know you need to wow 'em, all ensuring your genuine appreciation is achieved. 
So pour yourself a tall cool beverage and enjoy our recent issue of Giving

to get your growing "to do" list off your plate and on to ours- after all it is what we do every day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tips to Ensure your Giving is Easy, Meaningful & On Budget

Remember- it isn't what's in the gift box, but what it represents -your appreciation.

Choosing wisely ensures your sincerity is sent and your recipients feel valued and recognized.

Here are a few tips to ensure your giving makes the impact you want- to inspire, motivate and genuinely thank recipients.

1-Plan ahead- leaving choices to the last minute will not only disappoint recipients but can actually confuse them- especially if the gift does not reflect your culture and or brand or if personal giving- reflect the recipients’ taste and style. Hurried choices typically mean rush charges from either manufacturers or having to pay for overnight delivery vs. ground – which are big wastes of your budget.

2- Give meaning – More and more companies want their gifts to have meaning, symbolism- a good story!  Choose gifts that give back to causes or charities of your choice. Choose causes and gifts that tie in with your company culture and vision. For example Coca-Cola has given fleece blanket gifts, letting recipients know the blankets were made from recycled coke bottles. 

 3- Hand written messages go a long way.
Have thank you cards handy and be specific in your appreciation so the person can repeat the action!

      Looking for more effective and successful  
recognition solutions?
Browse our ever evolving Ready to Give gift line or
contact us directly through twitter, LinkedIn, or email 

To effective, genuine recognition!


image courtesy of Ludwig Design

Monday, June 27, 2011

Teaching is a Gift Indeed! Thank You

 "Schooool's Out For Summerrrr. 
Schooools Out Forever!" 
 On the drive home from school, I was a little shocked both my sons knows the first verse to Alice Cooper's song, but ended smiling with gratitude, as I listened to them share highlights from their year,  how proud they are of their school, their teachers, and classmates.
Earlier in the day I attended their individual class award ceremonies where each teacher takes the time to share a student's trait they are most grateful for. Now, most know I cry at the drop off a hat, but to see tears of joy flow from teachers and parents alike was lovely. I was reminded how grateful I am for the friendship and support from other parents, the genuine care from teachers, their principal who leads with love, and for the enthusiasm, and school spirit from all the staff.
I am grateful for both my sons' teachers who encouraged and guided them with love and care.
Experiencing today how much the children trust, respect and care for their teachers, I am grateful.
Thank you Mrs. K and Miss I!
To the entire staff, kudos!
Have a restful summer and see you in September!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Thanks Dad! Happy Father's Day!

My Dad circa 1950s

"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it."  -Clarence Budington Kelland

"Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope."  -Bill Cosby

"Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever."  -Author Unknown 

"We have so much to be grateful for. Be grateful always and all will be great, always." -Elmer Helm

Thank you Dad, for sharing with me the power of giving-always encouraging me to live life as if it is my last day, with love, kindness, and gratitude to myself and others.

Love Your daughter, 

A recent photograph of my Mom and Dad. 
The photograph shows him receiving the Good Neighbours Awards presented by the Association of Neighbourhood Houses, where he worked for 37 years

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Win in Business by Being Nice- A Better Way to Lead

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
1 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.
2 Thank immediately. Make it easy for yourself by having a few thank you cards on hand- an extra effort detail vs. an email.
3 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.
4 Smile with eye contact.
5 Today, visit face to face at least 2 people who report to you. Tell them one great thing they do to make your job easier.
6 When you see a colleague who looks confused or overwhelmed, don’t walk by. Engage them. Ask how you can help.
7 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.

Share with me ways you show your appreciation. Post your comment and you will be entered to win a gift set of our signature Thank You cards!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bottom Lines and Plaid- What do they have in Common?

Most of the companies we work with have one thing in common- they all have a corporate culture that is uniquely their own, bringing out the absolute best in their people who end up going above and beyond- helping the companies achieve their goals- efficiently and happily.

 Recognizing employees for what they do well is a part of 
our customers' culture.

One of our most popular recognition solutions we provide to enhance a culture is our signature custom made tartans.
"Tartan?" You may ask, "What?" "Why?"
Tartan is a huge hit with our customers as the symbolism behind the crisscross pattern- family, unity, friendship, community- is a genuine connection they have within their company and want to share this with their employees and customers. 
How can a tartan be uniquely your own?

It can be as wild as you wish! See Don Cherry's suit! 
(no we didn't design that one!)

It can be created in your corporate colors- See DDB ad Agency's tartan (we did design), then produced wool scarves for clients and employees.

 Note the craftsmanship in the tailoring details and woven label adds subtle branding.

It will reflect your culture, values. Read Coca-Cola’s 
and F5's enclosure card messages below. 

"Created exclusively for The Coca-Cola Company, this tartan is a symbol of friendship.Throughout history, tartan has served a s distinct fabric that represents special connections."

 F5 Network's enclosure card

Scarves are just one accessory we have produced. Our latest ideas include commemorative plates, silk ties, umbrellas, blankets, and upholstery.

The process is easy for you as we take care of all details from design, production, prototype, enclosure cards, packaging and distribution.

Ready to have your own tartan designed just for you? 
Contact me today to get started!  604 730 2600

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Vintage Find Brings back Memories and Inspires

I am inspired by just about anything that is well designed- 
a shoe, a font, even a funky spoon has inspired me!
So when I saw this vintage Solair chair at a yard sale- I just had to have it for it's design sure, but it brought back great memories also, reminding me of my childhood. 
My parents' neighbors,The Keiths had (perhaps still have) olive green versions around their pool. I have wonderful memories of summer days swimming with the other neighborhood kids and hangin' out in the chairs.
Solair chairs were designed by architects 
Fabiano & Panzini in 1972. 
The chairs which are part of the permanent collection of the Musee National Des Beaux-Arts Du Quebec are as comfortable as funky!   
The chairs are still in production – 
which is good to know, but for me vintage makes it that much more authentic.
It is a perfect complement to my garden- a west coast design (in progress.)
Ahhh Summer is just around the corner.
To creating new summer memories!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day. Life Lessons I learned from My Mom.

My mom in the 1950s
“Use your manners. They will open doors.” 
Indeed they have and continue to do so.
 “Tweeze your eyebrows. It will bring out your eyes.”  
Thank heavens for brow bars!
“Make hay while the sun shines.” 
Work hard, play hard.
“Kiss your husband when he gets home from work.” 
I do, and make us both a martini!
“It always comes out in the wash.”   
Maybe not today, but the truth will always come out. Honesty is best policy.
“Keep your nose clean.” 
I think it means stay out of trouble, which I tend to do- most of the time.
“I’ve signed us up for tennis lessons.” 
I love the game and still play.
“When walking in the woods, hold the branch back for the next person.” 
Saved many an eye with this one thoughtful gesture.
“When buying a blouse with stripes, make sure the stripes match at the seam.” 
Quality over quantity, is my fashion motto.
“These are the best years of your life.” 

Thank you Mom. I am grateful.
Happy Mother’s Day!

A recent photo of my Mom and Dad

Friday, April 29, 2011

Introducing Real Giving!


In my continued commitment to changing the way we give
real easy, for real people, for real life, with real meaning-
the timing is perfect to share new resources, update the
Giving Project, making it all easier for you to give real!
My goal for Real Giving is to help you and your business make your giving more beautiful, creative, and meaningful connecting you to a wealth of resources, ideas, updates, and insights helping you bring out the best in yourself and others every day.

Check out our website that shares more ideas and resources.

Have a question or comment about Real Giving? I would love to hear from you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Real Giving's The Giving Project

Making it easier for you to enjoy the results of The Giving Project!

How Giving a Gift a Day will make a difference in your life and in your company!
What is the Giving Project?" you ask.

Not a project really, but an opportunity for you to change your business and life for the better!
It started as a challenge to myself- to give a daily gift for 21 (21 days because that’s how long it supposedly takes to form a habit) I blogged about my journey and it became clear from day 1, this is an opportunity I can share with my clients as well as the world. Gratitude does change everything, and you will experience the benefits in your life and business by joining and posting your daily gifts.
Read my inspiration, why I started.
Ready to join? It’s easy- simply post daily comments on the Giving Project blog. Do it on your own, or involve your team or entire company! Start at Day 1!


Gifts can be anything given to anyone...sure money, food come to mind, but smiles, eye to eye contact saying, thanks,your time, kind words even thoughts are all gifts. Start the journey by posting one day, or every day, share your story.

Post your favorite gifts and what happened as a result- the powerful impact it made on your business and life.

If you’re on Twitter, tweet me your gives; please use #realgiving

Looking for more recognition resources?
Start using our Real Giving Resources today.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Power of Giving Time

I am really glad I took a breather from my work to volunteer 
at my son's cross country track meet yesterday.
I let work go,remained present, enjoyed the scenery and even took a few photos at my spotter station in between cheering.
The kids had a blast running through the trails and I know my son loved me cheering him and others on.
Check out the beautiful "track"- only in British Columbia!

Share with me how the power of giving your time 
has improved your life at work and home

"almost there! keep going!"

Trail at Alouette Lake 
View at my station- moss, ferns, stunning beauty all around me!

Monday, February 28, 2011

March 4 is Employee Appreciation Day- Are you Ready?

To ensure a job well done never goes unnoticed, keep thank you cards and gifts handy.

Our hand blown, "You're a Star" Tokens of Appreciation are individually gift boxed with thank you cards blank inside for your personal note of gratitude.
Give an assortment to every manager in your company to promote everyday instant recognition

Ask me about commissioning them in your corporate colors!

The stuff of recognition - the awards, plaques, certificates, gift cards, isn’t the real recognition. The recognition comes with the thought and connection the employee feels. Meaning must be tied into the object for the award or gift to be a valued part of the recognition experience for the recipients. Employees are looking for meaning, and sincere appreciation for their personal value to the organization.

Here are 3 ideas you can start this month to ensure that you are providing recognition that works, making the most of your budget and time, inspiring and appreciating your team, and growing your company this year. Try one for three months and send me an update. I would love to hear your success.
  1. Show appreciation and say thank you to small things
    Show appreciation by genuinely saying thank you more often and to small things you would typically take for granted. Old school thinking is that you don’t have to say ‘thanks’ because your employees already know you appreciate them, or that too much praise will have them asking for a raise. It is a fact, thank you can never be said enough, especially now. Thank yous also encourage people to be focused on a positive outlook, rather than negative one.
  2. Listen, really listen to their ideas
    Communicate to your team how important their thinking is to answering cost savings issues. Listen to their solutions and improvements, and recognize their great ideas specifically. Thank them for how they are helping the company grow.
  3. Look at your existing recognition programs for their true recognition value
    Review all your tangible awards, promotional items, and incentive gifts for recognition potential. Look for ways to simplify. You don’t have to go over the top—just ensure you are sincere. For example, choose locally made items, especially if sustainability is important to you and your company. Present in person, include a brief explanation why you chose the award, how it reflects the company values, and how it reflects your appreciation for their specific accomplishment.

When it comes to sincerely recognizing your team, it doesn’t have to be a lot of work or expensive, just meaningful.

Interested in learning new insights on recognition strategies that work? Call me today at 604-730-2600. I would love to speak to you.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


This year once again, we at Janet Helm are proud to be the award sponsor for Business in Vancouver's  Influential Women in Business Awards. Each honoree will share her lessons learned as she rose to the top in her field. Join me to hear their stories and celebrate the accomplishments of these women at the Influential Women in Business Awards Luncheon March 2.

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Bev Briscoe, President, Briscoe Management

Tracy Redies, President and CEO, Coast Capital Savings
Evaleen Jaager Roy, Principal, Jaager Roy Advisory Inc
Amiee Chan, President and CEO, Norsat International
Tina Osen, President & CEO, HUB International Insurance
Christine Day, CEO, Lululemon

More about the event here

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

 A few years ago my husband and sons started collecting heart shape rocks for me.
I display them alongside one of the kindergarten popsicle stick crafts from years gone by.
 I am grateful.

Valentine’s Day. Funny I have never thought of it as a day only to celebrate my husband, but more of an occasion to show appreciation to everyone in my life- whether at work or home –my kids, friends, teachers, co-workers, suppliers, and clients. 
For some, saying, thank you (like saying sorry) comes easier to some than others. 
With Random Act of Kindness week starting on Valentines’ Day this year-  for those squeamish about the four letter Lword in the workplace you can use Random Act of Kindness Week  as an excuse to take a moment out of your day to say, “ thanks. I think you are doing a great job.”
Emails, texts and  tweets are a quick and easy way to show your appreciation.
Your message doesn't have to be poetic or lengthy, just genuine. 

Workplace gratitude. It is an attitude that is passed on, not just from the boss to the employees, but employee to employee, leader and employees to customers and suppliers.

All it takes is you to start the gratitude roll…. Go for it.
Share with me what greatness shows up for you at work and at home!
Happy Valentine's Day.
Love Janet

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Ultimate Valentine's Day Gift

If you're looking for a legacy for your family, friends, colleague, 
and clients, this is as ultimate as it comes. 
Invite me to design your very own tartan and join companies and families including 
the CEO of Coca-Cola, DDB ad agency just to name a couple.
Design price includes art direction meeting, 
3 design options in digital format, revisions to one design,
final design, and registration in Scotland!
Product possibilities are endless- scarves, blankets, umbrellas, 
dinner service, wallpaper and upholstery-
the sky is the limit!
Call today to receive your gift certificate! 
The design process is effortless for you and fun.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Gratitude continues

 my family enjoying the fresh air
photograph by Janis Nicolay

I am grateful for-
loving my work- being able to do what I do every day
my husband

our sons
time to think
time to play outside

time to make a snow angel

all the people I connect with here

What are you grateful for today? 
Share with me here or on the Giving Project blog