Elaine Tan Comeau knows the ups and downs of being a mom entrepreneur. She is a sought-after keynote speaker, author, and CEO, and founder of Easy Daysies Ltd. She went from being a schoolteacher to accidentally inventing a children’s product (launched off her kitchen table right after her third baby was born), to CEO and Founder of one of Dragons’ Den favorite pitches, Easy Daysies, which incited a bidding war among all five Dragons. Elaine was also a winner of Kevin Harrington’s Pitch Tank. She has been featured in Forbes, Macleans, CBC, FOX, CTV, Canadian Business Magazine, Parents Magazine, and the Financial Post, to name a few. Elaine was awarded the 2014 Canadian Mompreneur of the Year, Chamber of Commerce Award for Excellence in Business, is a four-time nominee for the RBC Women of Influence Award, and has multiple articles published in several editions of the University Textbook, “Educational Psychology.”
Her company Easy Daysies has won 13 awards and was announced as one of the 2018 Top Ten Most Innovative Companies by Small Business BC. Elaine loves supporting women in business through speaking on stages, through her podcast “Create Better: Elaine’s Kitchen Table… the Business of Real Life,” and through her Best Selling book, “Sell Your Passion”! Elaine is honoured to have opportunities to give back. She is a stroke survivor and spokesperson for Heart & Stroke Foundation, a member of the Marketing Advisory Council for Douglas College, a Patron for the ANCA Naturally Autistic World Festival, and served five years as the Westcoast Leader of Mompreneurs Canada. You will also see her as a regular guest Parenting and Educational Expert on CTV and Global. Please do follow her on social media @easydaysies and @elainetancomeau.
How do you generate new ideas?
Listening to the market is key. What is a problem people are facing that lines up with your skillset, capabilities, and passion? What is your ikigai? Be innovative and look at things differently so that your solution is unique and stands out as a leader. Have focus groups to make sure that your concepts work, and appreciate the feedback, learn from it and re-invent.
I tell my kids that there are two questions we should ask when waking up, “What am I grateful for today?” and “How can I help someone today?”
Every day is beautiful when we begin with gratitude and end with gratitude.
In business, this is the same, a good “workday” begins with gratitude and with purpose. Knowing that what I do is helping someone have an easier day, definitely keeps me going when there are challenging days.
How did you start a product business?
Over many years, and in different schools I taught at, I had many parents ask me to create a visual schedule, similar to the one I made for the front of my classroom, to help their children get out the door faster in the morning so I did. I fell in love with my class every year. My grade two class even sang at our wedding. So I drew every illustration simple enough for non-readers whether they were 2 or 12 to feel confident with their day. Studies show that children as young as preschool age benefit from visual schedules because they become more cooperative and independent because they feel safe and confident all because they can see and predict what is happening next in their day. After making these visual schedules for free for years by parent demand, I thought maybe there is a product here. I did the research and discovered there was no product out there that was a daily visual schedule that was a product. I saved up the initial funds needed to make my first batch of products by selling crafts and tutoring. Then launched our first product two days after my third baby was born. It then quickly because the #1 Back to School Must Have in Parents Magazine and other media and stores started to call.
Eventually, at one point, Easy Daysies was in over 1500 stores across North America all off our kitchen table.
We also were named the Top Five Most Heartwarming Pitches on Dragons’ Den, inciting a bidding war between all five investors! I am honoured and grateful that Easy Daysies has won thirteen awards and is recommended by name by child psychologists and occupational therapists to help children be more independent and cooperative and have easier days!
What are you up to right now that people should know about?
My love for building a community where we can learn from each other and build each other up is the heart behind my podcast, “Create Better”, also known as “Elaine’s Kitchen Table…the Business of Real Life”. Often people ask me how I got my products into retail stores or how I incited a bidding war on Dragons’ Den, so I share it all, tips and strategies learned through doing it. Plus, my guests, from Kevin O’Leary, to Jim Treliving, to Julie Cole, share their expertise, failures, and lessons learned as well. I have the pleasure and honour of appearing in the media (e.g. CTV Morning Live, Global, Staples Canada, etc.) as a regular parenting and educational expert sharing ideas for families to have easier days. I love writing and creating and am currently in a licensing partnership to create educational books for home and in the classroom! So very excited about this!
And most of all, I am thrilled and excited as Easy Daysies daily visual schedules are being offered across the country at Staples Canada, Scholastic Books, Scholars Choice, and soon at London Drugs for this Back to School! For updates and to connect, please do follow me on social media @easydaysies and @elainetancomeau.
Connect with Elaine:
Facebook: Easy Daysies