Revolution!—Fighting for the right for her to become all she can be.

BoxIt is everywhere: sports, music, dance, various clubs, working environments…a box. A set of boundaries that dictates what is allowed to be contributed.  A select few elected by another group of select few are the gate keepers to who gains access and what contributions can be made within the box.

As a girl my dreams were boundless and energy unrelenting…the box never fit.  As an adult, my goals were merely to use all of my talents to help, build, fix, and achieve…the box never fit.

Raising my four children and watching the box form around them angered me.  How can anyone justify limiting young potential?  Economist will explain supply and demand principals telling us there are only so many spots for talent and creativity, thus only a select few will rise and the rest will reside in the box of the “normal” distribution.

Enough!  There is so much talent, creativity, wonderment and curiosity in each child, each person—we were not created to fit into a box.  We need a revolution!  A talent revolution.  Dare to sing; dare to draw, create, solve, explore…be a visionary.  Refuse the box and live unbound and always exploring.  There is not a normal because each and every one of us is unique with gifts meant to be shared and developed.

We live in a world of boxes and gate keepers and we do need to teach our children how to navigate this reality, but let us teach them that they can create their own path.  Help them to avoid boxes with limits to their growth…find pools of people who believe in the inalienable right for them to be all that they can and should become.

Via E is my kick in the knee to those who build boxes and those gate keepers who dare to say yes to some and no to others.  Via E is a platform for every girl to showcase her talents—a place where there are no boxes.  In just a few more weeks, we will re-launch the Via E website.  Here there are no boxes to be found…just a celebration of her. There are never too many stars in the sky…my dream is to give them space and then sit back with you and watch them shine.

My heart to yours, always…Ellen.

Bring Alex Home–Passing the time with fun!

As we all await the arrival of the first production Alex dollfriends, I thought we could have a little fun to help pass the time.  This game is my way of playing with the reality of the effort to bring Alex to your home.  I hope it makes you smile.

AlexGame

Crafts for Girls–Dollfriend Tennis Racquet

This month I had to think harder to come up with a fun craft for girls.  Since summer is approaching, I thought we’d encourage some outdoor fun.  This craft can be completed with things you will find around the house.  But if you want to make the tennis racquet more authentic, you can cut out the string area and replace it with an open weave material found at a cloth store or other string like material–be creative!  Use a clear rubber band to hold it tightly in your dollfriend’s hand or weave the handle between the fingers.  Since Alex’s arms rotate at the elbow she can do forehand and backhand strokes!  So much fun!

TennisRacquet

March Craft for Girls–Team Spirit

Sporting events can be great family fun either on location or at home watching events on television.  This craft is meant to bring families together and add some dollfriend cheering for more girl fun!

Keep up with all the fun things we do by visiting our Facebook page.  Don’t forget to Like us!

Team Spirit

March Craft for Girls–Alex’s Popcorn Treat for Dollfriends

Popcorn is a great accessory for fun!  Watching a movie, going to a sporting event, slumber parties…popcorn is the main treat.  Host your own popcorn dollfriend event by downloading this craft and making enough for everyone!

Popcorn

I think dolls should play like girls do–RSVP Today

Girl’s toys seem to have taken very diverse paths since my childhood. My favorites were made by the Ideal Toy Company. The Ideal Toy Company had a knack for facilitating the play experience. Sadly they fell upon hard times and sold to another toy company who also failed to keep their doors open. Now we have only a few choices left on the shelves and many of them seem to challenge a mother’s will.

I guess that is why I pushed aside the corporate world to build a new toy company Alexwhose allegiance is to parents. Last year I took on the venture to make a new doll and surround her with educational systems that would delight and educate girls at the same time. I figure it is better to teach them how to have fun reading, writing and being creative than lessons on how to be a sexy tween which seems to be the current trend.

Alexis O’Shay, or Alex as her friends call her, travels around the world writing about her adventures. Her mother is a fashion designer and father is a travel magazine writer which creates many fun adventures that girls love.

Our girls are much more active today so Alex has joints at the knees and elbows so she can imitate real life. Her all vinyl body has been sculpted in detail to reflect a young athletic girl. She has French manicure and pedicures to bring her to life and lots of golden blond hair rooted in her head. Alex is both sporty and girly. Her medium toned skin was designed so girls of all ethnicities could relate to Alex as the girl next door.

Alex_Prototype RSVPAlex was built for water play. Bath tub, pool and even the beach! Her trademarked smile was designed to share happiness with all she meets. To help mom, we’ve added a Healthcare policy so Alex’s first doll accident is already paid for. That means mom can relax and let Alex do anything her girlfriend would like to do.

Thinking of moms, Alex was designed to be compatible with today’s popular 18″ size. This means Alex will fit in well with existing doll collections and accessories.

I hope to bring back play toys that spur on a higher level of realism and interaction. Playing with dolls is more than just play, in these moments she is rehearsing who she wants to become.

The first Alex dolls are anticipated to arrive late May, 2013. Only 500 will be available with each of them signed and numbered. You can RSVP for your Alex doll today. Pay nothing until she ships.

To RSVP for your signed and numbered first production Alex doll, email me at:

Ellen@Via-E.com

I will send you your RSVP certificate with your doll’s number along with my gratitude for being part of my first doll creation.

Many warm wishes,

Ellen

January’s Craft for Girls–New Year’s Celebration

I created this craft to help girls celebrate New Year’s–the day of new beginnings–and to encourage yearly goal setting.  Cut out the megaphone and party hat, then tape the ends together for dollfriend sized New Year’s party favors.  Then use the list provided to help her set some goals for 2013.

2013

Each New Year gives us hope.  It is like calling a “do over” for all the mistakes we made in the past, goals we didn’t quite accomplish; and provides a time where we surround ourselves with friends, family and loved ones who care about us in spite of our shortfalls.  Yes, I think this celebration is at the top of my list.  It is not dependant on gift giving, or money.  Anyone who can shout out, bang cooking pots or trash can lids, dance about and wish another a happy new year can participate.  New Year’s celebrations are an equal opportunity event.

I hope you join in the fun, find your optimism and share goodwill with a person in need of a kind word.  Make a new list of goals and pat yourself on the back for the good things you did in 2012.  We are all blessed–even when times are the most difficult.  Building a new business is very difficult.  It has required much sacrifice but I believe someday in the not so distant future the results will prove that there was no better project for my time.  So I am thankful that I can still overcome the struggles and I am thankful for you who believe just like me that serving people will always return more than what is required.

I wish you and your special girl(s) a wonderful and prosperous 2013–Happy New Year!

Warmly,  Ellen

$5 a Day—College success path

Why children should be involved in saving for their college starting today?

iStock_000012629618XSmall25% of children that start high school do not graduate.

30% of high school graduates do not go right on to college.

43% of students who start college will not graduate in 6 years.[i]

The reasons why American children are unsuccessful in our education system is multi-faceted and I would not begin to claim I have or can research all the answers to this question.  But I can state without a doubt that setting goals and doing something every day to keep that goal real and tangible makes a difference.  If college is a daily conversation, a daily event then our high school graduation rates will increase, the percent of kids who go on to college will increase and more young adults will graduate successfully.

Having the financial ability for college is the first hurdle students and parents face.  The second is based on character.  A young adult has to have the drive and tenacity to work for four or more years while sacrificing both financially and socially.  This focus does not happen the day they graduate from high school—it is developed over time.

The Science Behind the Theory

Creating a habit of success:
Five dollars a day saved towards college, and investment in the future can make a child’s future more tangible since everyday is a day participating in the goal.  With each day, the habit of saving and earning their own way to their dreams is recorded in their brain. This learned behavior will not only make college a more likely success but will also be applied to many things in life both now and in the future.

New neural patterns begin to form in the brain through repetition.  It takes approximately 4-6 weeks to form a new habit. So doing something everyday towards a goal, not only helps the child succeed but it programs in the very factors that make success a habit. Once successfully programmed these behaviors run on auto-pilot.  It is scientifically proven that long-term memory is never erased in a healthy mind.  So this gift of saving five dollars a day provides your child a lifelong gift that will become more than just funds for a college education but a behavioral foundation for success in life.

Reward System and Positive Feedback:
Our memories are programmed in a rich, multi sensory recordings.  Each experience has tags of sight, sound, smell, touch and emotional imprint.  The positive emotion, the sight of your smiling face helping with five dollars day, the positive words shared together on this project will not only build a nest egg for college but also enhance the foundation of a positive self-image.  When you show you believe, your child’s belief grows as well.

The Financial Reward of $5.00 per day:
So how does five dollars a day pay for college?  Here is the math:

Child’s age at beginning:  5 years old

Child’s age for first year of college: 18 years old

Interest rate: I assumed an economy that was progressively improving and investment vehicles that delivered higher return as the years progressed through a 13 year term. Interest is paid at the end of each month.

  • For the first three years of saving I used 3%
  • For the following three years I used 5%
  • For the last seven years I used 8%

Frequency of deposits into college account: Every 30 days

Following this plan your child would have $67,349.33 saved for college at the end of the term[ii]The average tuition for public college in 2012 was approximately $8,655.00[iii].

Final Thoughts
For the same cost of that gourmet coffee you drink every day, you and your child can build a path to college and more importantly, build a habit of saving and investing in the future.  Why not make this a family project?  Start build her/his path to a college education today.


December’s Craft for Girls–A Gift of Holiday Shoes

December’s craft is special.  It is a gift of shoes for your dollfriend but also asks that you find a pair of shoes that you may not use any longer and gift those shoes to your local charitable organization for a real girl who needs shoes but can’t aford to buy them.  Be a girl’s angle and include a note of love and hope.  Tuck your note into the toe of the shoes you donate for a girl in need to find.  Let’s help all girls feel loved this year by sharing what we have and sending our love.DecemberCraft

Write A Story–Win an iPad Mini

iPadWe are looking for our first Via Me Authors and to help get the word out we are having a contest where one lucky girl will win an iPad Mini!

Be one of the first 50 girls submitting a story and receive a FREE gift valuing up to $50.00!

How it works:
Write us a story including an illustration for the cover of your storybook, and a minimum of one additional illustration for the inside of your book. Then email or mail your story and illustrations to us for review and entry into the Apple mini iPad contest.

All stories will be edited for spelling and basic grammar before they are posted to the Via Me Author’s Desk website. An email from the editor will be sent with writing suggestions to help you improve your writing skills and to notify you that your story is published on the Via Me Author’s Desk site.  Additionally, you will be notified of any winnings to which you are qualified and or recieving.

Every girl wins!
Every girl wins when she gains the title of “Author” on the Via Me Author’s Desk.
Every girl receives discounts for Via E toys for girls.
Every girl is entered in the drawing for a new white Apple iPad mini 16GB Wi-Fi.

3 girls will achieve the title, Top Author, and will become featured Authors

AND

The first 50 Girls receive a FREE gift valuing up to $50.00!

MORE PRIZES!
10 girls receive an autograph copy of Alex’s first book, Ten Acts of Kindness
16 girls will receive signed copies of an illustration progression from rough to final for one of the illustrations in Alex’s new book soon to be released, Treasure of the Red Sand Beach

Enter as many times as you wish!*

Submission instructions:

  1. Every story must have a cover illustration and a minimum of one story illustration.
  2. Stories must contain wholesome content.  We encourage fully developed stories, however, there are no minimum word requierments.
  3. Stories may be picture books but some words must be present to “tell” the story.
  4. Each submission requires full name, age, grade in school and state or country. Please do not include city or name of school for security reasons.
  5. A parent’s signature or email expressing acknowledgement of the submission.
  6. Email your submissions to: MyStory@Via-E.com

OR

Mail to:
My Story c/o Via E, Inc.
555 N. El Camino Real Suite A288
San Clemente, CA 92672

This contest is for ages 5 to 12 years old. Contest will run until the first 100 valid submissions have been received or February 28, 2013, whichever occurs first.

* Each entry will count toward the mini iPad drawing, but only one additional prize can be received per person.

Via E, Via Me, Via Me Author’s Desk, Via Me Author’s Corner, Alex, Treasure of the Red Sand Beach, Ten Acts of Kindness all illustration, and content of Via-E.com, ViaMeAuthorsDesk.com and associated blogs and microsites associated with Via E, Inc. are copyright 2012 Via E, Inc. All rights reserved.  Via E is a young company dedicated to wholesome values and education systems designed to nurturer and develop skills for success in both the child’s today and their tomorrows.  For more information please contact:  Ellen Callen, President/CEO Via E, Inc. via email: ellen@via-e.com