Tag: EZ2See Calendars (page 1 of 2)

Retailers

Updated:  August 1, 2019
Below are brick & mortar and online retailers.  Please call ahead to confirm available inventory.

Arizona

ViewFinder Low Vision Resource Center
1830 S Alma School Rd Suite 131
Mesa AZ 85240
480-924-8755

ViewFinder Low Vision Resource Center
10001 W. Bell Road, Ste. 115
Sun City AZ 85351
623-583-2800

California  

The Adaptations Store
California Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1155 Market Street
10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 694 7301

Braille Institute of America, Inc.
741 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 906-3124

Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
2500 El Camino Real Suite 100
Palo Alto, CA 94306
(650) 858-0202

Illinois

Chicago Lighthouse
1850 W Roosevelt Rd
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 666-1331

Maryland and Online


Independence Market
National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314

Minnesota

Ashley’s Hallmark Gifts Store
3250 41st St NW
Rochester, MN 55901
(507) 252-5000

Peoples Food Co-op of Rochester
519 1St Ave SW
Rochester MN 55902
(507) 289-9061

Missouri

Gateway for the Blind
310 Jefferson St.
Jefferson City, MO 65109
(314) 287-3333

Society of the Blind and Visually Impaired
8770 Manchester Road
Brentwood, MO 63144
(314) 968-9000

Wisconsin

Vision Forward
912 N Hawley Road
Milwaukee, WI 53213
(414) 615-0100

Online  (beginning early to mid-September)

Amazon
Calendars.com
Independent Living Aids 

Want 2 Help?

I came out of retirement to make this calendar, not because I needed a job, but because I needed a calendar that met my low-vision needs. I felt compelled to do this after looking all over and finding nothing that came close to doing the job. Those who saw the first version, urged me to start a business and make them available to help others.

Over the past four years, countless customers have told me about how much this calendar has helped them. They showed it to their friends, bought them for family and some even suggested to me businesses, organizations and re-sellers who might want them.  As a one-person business, I welcomed all of those suggestions.

Yet it’s clear to me now that I need help if I’m to even scratch the surface of the millions of people who might want it if they only knew about it.  Given the work load, I also can’t add the new useful EZ2See-themed products that I want to have.

To keep the calendar as affordable as possible, I’ve opted not to hire a conventional sales and marketing professional.  So, I’m formally asking for your help. If you support what I’m trying to do with this product and want to help others—or yourself—consider the following actions:

  1. If you have a calendar, simply show it to others when you take it with you to meetings, appointments, etc.  People who already love this calendar are its best promoters.
  2. If you shop, work, volunteer or visit places that serve or sell to people who might benefit from this product, speak up and show it to them. It’s almost certain that the business or organization will thank you for making them aware of it.  
  3. Use the Contact Us form if you or someone you know will be attending an appropriate event, meeting or location where you would be willing to take and share some flyers.  I will send them to you.

Although it feels good to do those things out of the goodness of your heart, what if you or your organization could help people AND make some money at the same time? This is certainly an option.

In general, there are four ways to be compensated for helping:

  1. You or your organization buys calendars at a discount and resells them at a profit.
  2. Be paid for making contact and reaching the decision-makers primarily by phone.  You’ll use a list of businesses and/or organizations custom tailored to your background, talents and interests.
  3. Earn a 15% commission every time your individual efforts result in a business or organization placing an order.
  4. Your organization receives a thank you donation  when efforts result in multiple calendars being ordered.

I take care of mailing out samples, shipping orders, invoicing buyers, collecting money and making payments.

Although previous business, sales and/or marketing experience is helpful, it isn’t critical.    I’m especially looking for people who:

  1. use this calendar or clearly see why it is so helpful,
  2. are well-organized, persistent and motivated,
  3. have reasonable computer skills and have access to the internet,
  4. are comfortable making cold calls and/or doing research.

Are you the least bit intrigued?  If so, be sure you’ve read the story of my company in the About Us page on the EZ2See.com website.  Then use the Contact Us form to drop me a line.  Put the word “Help” in the Subject line.   

If this doesn’t sound like you, but you know someone who might be interested and be a good fit, please mention this opportunity to them.

Thank you for your interest and the time you took to read this.

Edward Cohen, Owner

Now Available! – a superior, bold writing pen that doesn’t bleed through

While supplies last, add one to four high-contrast pens to your calendar order.

Pen Features:

  • Makes a bold black line that is EZ 2 See
  • Ideal for those dealing with declining eyesight
  • Glides on smoothly
  • The ink dries almost instantly
  • No odor
  • The white barrel and black clip make it easier to locate
  • There is a handy clip on the removable end cap
  • Makes a thoughtful gift

Not sold separately. Only available with a calendar purchase.

With each calendar you order you may order up to 4 pens and pay as follows:

# of Pens Total Price of Pens Price of Each Pen
1 $2.20 $2.20
2 $3.80 $1.90
3 $5.10 $1.70
4 $5.10 $1.60

Some Tips:

  • Always put the cap back on when not in use.
  • If it won’t write because the cap was left off, try gently moisten the tip or standing it upright with the cap on and the tip pointing down.
  • Write with the pen more vertically for a slightly thinner line
  • Write with the pen at a lower angle for a more bold line
  • Things happens, consider having two of them around
  • When the pen is used up, save the cap just in case you need it
  • If you only use it to make notes in the calendar, one pen might last a year

Sharing Tips I’ve Learned

Occasionally I’m invited to share lessons I’ve learned as I deal with vision loss and show some of the devices I find helpful.  At more than one, I’m encouraged to put this information on to the internet.  So here goes.

The first thing you need to know is that every state has a program specifically devoted to assisting people of all ages who are dealing with vision loss and blindness.  They are a tremendous resource, so seek out your state’s program.  Look for State Services for the Blind or something like it.  They have professionals who can come out to you and they may also be able to provide useful training, products and/or devices at no charge.  

Over my 60+ years, I slowly at first and later more rapidly, lost eyesight.  In a way, I’m lucky.  I’ve had the time to learn a lot of coping skills.  I’m convinced that a big part of dealing with vision loss is mental.  By mental, I mean the many unconscious habits we have.  Perhaps these actions were positive and helpful in the past.  But it’s likely that some of them are not anymore.  Some may now even be harmful or dangerous.  

Your challenge is to recognize those habits that are no longer helpful.  Let’s call them, “Habits to Stop” or H2S.  One clue that you’ve found an H2S is when you find yourself frustrated over something you just did such as walking in, setting your keys down and later can’t find them.  When you notice an H2S, you might even want to stop and say out loud, “Oh, an H2S”.  Finding and replacing it is the solution and your mission.

Once you’ve spotted an H2S, you’re on the path to success.  The next step is to find a replacement habit.   Lastly repeat it until it becomes subconscious and automatic.

In my next several blog posts, I will get very specific on the helpful habits I’m using.  I hope you’ll let me know if you find any of them helpful.  Perhaps you’ll share some of your own.

When I get an order through the mail

One of the major things that motivated me to turn this calendar idea from something just for me into what it is now, was  the feeling I got hearing the comments from those first enthusiastic buyers.  I’d think to myself, “Wow, I’m really helping someone”.   Could this be what a teacher, medical professional or the like experiences as they go about their work?  How few of us ever get to experience such a feeling.   

As each handwritten first time or repeat mail order form arrives, it reminds me of that original feeling.  Sometimes people give me feedback via the website or in a note stuck in the envelope.  How rewarding it is to hear that this simple product is making a difference in people’s daily life.  

While orders to resellers and over the Internet to individuals are a vote of confidence, these mail-order customers are somehow special to me.  I hope I never lose this feeling.

On Being Selected for the BizPitch Competition

Towards the beginning of the 2016, I was informed of an upcoming event called BizPitch.  It is put on by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in this area, a very helpful organization.  If you were selected, you could present your small business idea or actual start-up to a small group of local business-savvy people from various sectors. It was presented like the TV show “Shark Tank”, but without any money being offered.

I submitted my application and was one of 3 folks selected.  The director of the local SBDC office who alerted me to the opportunity, drove me to the event.  Fortunately, I wasn’t the first presenter because it showed me how it all worked.  It took place in the classroom of the local community college.  Tables ran around 3 sides of the room with the panel, observers and the other presenters sitting on the outside.  The first presenter was a young man with some kind of mobile app idea.  As he spoke from behind the lectern, it became apparent that the fellow was known to two of the panelists.  The feedback was basically, “yes we’ve heard all this before, what have you done with the advice we gave you last time?”  An awkward moment.  So I was prepared for some tough love.

Since no one said not to, I had already spread out all of my stuff on the tables on the 3rd side of the room.  So I was more or less ready when they said it was my turn.  I stood near my materials and talked about the situation people face who are dealing with vision loss as they try to manage their daily schedule.  I ran through my experience with seeking a product I could use and the path that eventually led to me starting my business.  That story is on my website if they wanted even more information.

Over the next 20 minutes I showed them the original, partial-year calendar that got so many people to urge me to start the business.  I showed them the 2016 version that I was selling and the Sample I created and sent out to prospective quantity buyers.  Then at the end I passed out the profit and loss statement that the accountant I had recently hired to  had created.  I finished up describing how my first year went and my plans for the next year.  

The time went by quickly and I heard little or nothing from anyone during my talk.  So I was unsure what they’d say.  With a smile growing on my face, I heard one positive statement after another from the panel.  Some assumed that I had a business background because they approved of all I had done.  One panelist was a numbers person and was thrilled to see actual figures on sales and expenses.  One panelist took a Sample to show in a near-by city to the entrepreneur support group there.  A young man who had come  to watch took a card to give to someone he knew would be interested.

The most ironic part of the day came when the 3rd presenter promoting a summer camp at an unused nearby facility, bought a calendar on the spot.  She was having increasing vision trouble and this was the first weekly planner that would work for her. That had to be my favorite part of the event.    

EZ2See Products are on YouTube!

My story is on YouTube! Mark McGlinch, a fellow attendee of Rochester Open Coffee Club Tech Meetup, created and posted this video for EZ2See Products.

On Coming Up With a Counter Top Display

During the first year, I had several retail outlets offering the calendar.  As the second year started to roll around, I spoke to all of them.  It appeared that those who best displayed the calendar sold them the fastest.  Most of them agreed that if they could stand up the calendar rather than laying it flat, more people would see it and possibly buy it.  Thus I was launched into the enormous world of “point of purchase” countertop displays.  After this experience, I will never look at product displays in the same way.  

After hours of store visits and online research, I narrowed down the options to two methods.  One was a fold up display made of white cardboard that could hold about 10 calendars.  The other option was a clear heavy plastic stand that would hold 3 calendars at a time.  Each had their advantages and disadvantages.

The cardboard ones were cheaper but when shipped were quite large.  Meaning they would not fit into the carton with the calendars.  This meant both additional shipping cost, hassle and the store had to do some assembly to set them  up.  Although the  acrylic display was more expensive, it  would fit in the carton with the calendars.  Lastly, I had to come up with a way to decide on  the text that should go on the display and how to get it on either display without costing an arm and a leg or looking like a middle school art project.

So much effort exerted to encourage a few additional sales.  But I choose not to look at it that way.  If my goal was and still is to get these weekly planners into the hands of people who need them, then I need to do what I can to support these retailers.  I chose the acrylic displays.  I used the computer to print out another slogan, “Finally a calendar you can see”.  My wife is far better with scissors and tape.  She affixed it to the small panel across the bottom and taped it so it almost looked professional.  Now we’ll just sit back and hear if it was worth all the effort.

What’s in a slogan?

Why did I add the slogan to the cover, “The calendar with the edge”?  

Actually it started out, “The calendar with an edge”?   Was it too “gimmicky”?  

I kept hearing positive things about the benefit of the black edge around the weekly pages.  That simple feature really helps those who share the same challenge that I have.  I do not clearly see the edge of the page, especially  when it rests on a white work surface or on top of other papers.  So I decided to trademark this slogan and put it on the cover.  I’m proud to let people know that this calendar might help those who could use an “edge”.

Thoughts on improving the product after producing the 2016 edition

After the first year, it was time to consider what improvements were in order. For example, what about the location of the monthly pages; keep them up front, or slip them within the appropriate weeks?  The cover raised several questions:  alter the design, make it more durable, should it be a dark color?  What about the holidays?  Who knew there were that many to choose from?  Because  the design-print-sell cycle is so demanding, there was only a few months to make all of these decisions.  

With the help of a new graphics person, I updated the appearance of the cover.  Working with the printer, we found a way to both stiffen the cover and make it moisture-resistant and yet keep the cost down.  For now, I decided that a white cover is fine and we’ll keep the monthly pages up front where they are.

All of these plans and decisions took much discussion, research and some agonizing.  I  listen closely to the feedback I get and continue to try to make this the most usable and accessible product of its kind.  

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