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Inside Coolibar

Inside Coolibar

Taking on Colorado Rapids

Spend a moment with Rose, Coolibar’s do it all extraordinaire, as she shares her exhilarating story of taking on the rapids of the Arkansas River in Colorado.

Colorado – what a fun state to visit! In the winter, skiing can be exhilarating and overwhelming compared to riding the relative mounds that we have here in Minnesota. I thought no experience that Colorado offered could beat snowboarding from the crest of a towering mountain, but that was before I tried white water rafting!

This summer, I took a weekend trip to Colorado that was jam packed with a small sampling of exciting activities. Rafting a mighty river, hiking up a mountain, keeping one eye peeled for the nature that surrounded us and perusing a street fair filled our time. Even though we spent the majority of the weekend out in the pounding sun, our friends were shocked that neither my boyfriend Aaron, who is very fair skinned, nor I got a sunburn!

We started the weekend with the most exciting, and most terrifying activity – White Water Rafting! I was pretty anxious about rafting, because I’m not the strongest swimmer, and I was secretly, very secretly, hoping that something would prevent us from plunging into that rapid filled water – a flat tire, bad directions, stomach flu – I would even settle for our rental car getting trampled by a herd of feral elk! But, we made it to the rafting company offices in one piece, ready to risk our lives for a thrill.

After numerous safety and training talks, which somehow only made me more nervous, rather than putting me at ease, we plunged into the cold water of the Arkansas River. I was shocked by the temperature of the water, and by the sudden feeling of calm that came over me. I figured that there was no turning back at that point, so I may as well embrace the adventure. We had an easy morning, getting used to the river and to paddling as a team. Then, after a delicious steak lunch, we took on the big rapids. The counter intuitiveness of paddling into a large wall of water mixed with the disorienting feeling of plunging your paddle into water that suddenly is no longer there, took a while to get used to, but eventually was addictively thrilling. After we tackled the final rapid of the day, I was surprised by the disappointment I felt – I wanted to continue battling that river.

It turns out all the trepidation I had felt was for nothing, and in truth, the most dangerous element that I battled all day was probably the sun. Halfway through the day, our guide remembered that he hadn’t applied sunscreen. Luckily for him, I had some sunscreen with me which I gladly offered to share. After all, he was keeping me safe on the river, so I found it only natural to help keep him sun safe! And besides, though I had generously applied sunscreen to my face and hands, I had plenty of sunscreen to share because I was shielded from the sun by my Coolibar Fitness Jacket (great for this kind of activity because it’s quick drying).

My Fitness Jacket and Aaron’s Short-sleeve Swim Shirt got a lot of use the rest of the weekend, as did our brand new Coolibar hats (he had the Reversible Bucket Hat and I had the Packable Wide Brim). I was really impressed with how well my hat stayed on my head, even when I was exploring the windy area near the Alpine Visitor Center at the top of a mountain! I’m really glad I packed along my Coolibar gear, because it made all the difference between filling our time with fun activities, and spending our weekend inside, nursing a bad sunburn.

We had such a great time, and I can’t wait to go back next summer!

Rose

Coolibar Employee

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Inside Coolibar

Spend a Day with Seth and Max in the Warehouse

Seth and Max

Come 9 a.m. we hit the ground running in the Coolibar warehouse. As soon as the lights are on, so are we, to ensure all of the day’s orders are out on schedule. Once the first batch of orders are printed for the day, the “pickers” begin to scour the warehouse to find all the Coolibar products that make up our customer orders. The pickers are more efficient than ever this summer due to our newly expanded warehouse, which now houses our entire inventory in one place and provides more room to move around.

Once the orders are filled, the pickers scan each order and item for quality assurance to create maximum accuracy for our customers. Mistakes get made, but with the current system in place the only repercussion is an extra trip down an aisle to grab the correct item as opposed to a shipping error, ensuring customer satisfaction.

After being thoroughly checked, the orders move over to the packing station to be checked over once more by a different set of eyes and are prepared for shipping. The packers take great care to use the right bags and boxes as well as shipping bubbles to ensure that orders arrive to our customers in the same condition they left us.

This process continues throughout the day because any order placed by 1:00 p.m. is guaranteed to ship on the same day. This keeps us on our toes, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for a game or two of ping pong in the back during break or grilling out with lawn games during lunch.

At this point in the season we have hit our groove, with everyone finding their own expertise and method to get their orders filled and shipped as efficiently as possible. Everyone pitches in to get the job done so that by 5 p.m. the orders are all on the UPS truck on their way to our customers, the warehouse is cleaned and organized and ready for the next day, and we can all go enjoy the summer in the Twin Cities.

Seth and Max

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Inside Coolibar

Meet Coolibar’s New Apparel Designer

We’re extremely excited to have Alicia Pizzo Eakright join Coolibar’s merchandising team. Alicia will be taking on the role of Design Director for women’s and children’s clothing. The blog team decided to get to know Alicia a little better and see what we can expect for next season’s Coolibar designs.

What inspired you to get into clothing/fashion design?

I grew up sewing and designing clothes with my mom, it just seemed like a natural career move. 

What helped prepare you for working in this industry?

Starting out as an assistant 8 years ago and learning from the ground up…lots of experience!

Where do you get your design inspiration?

I get a lot of inspiration from traveling, people watching and doing trend research online.

What are you most excited about now that you’ve started working at Coolibar?

I am excited to get to know everyone here-it is really fun to work at a small company again. As for the product, I am looking forward to introducing many exciting new styles to the line-up for women’s and kids.

What trends do you see being big for 2012?

For women’s-I think we will see another wave of American inspired sportswear with classic themes (like nautical styling).  For kids, bright bold graphics will be everywhere!

What are your hobbies outside of the office?

Hanging out with my dogs (Beagle and Steve), playing with my new baby (Bee), making jewelry, yoga, going to comedy shows (my husband is an actor at the Brave New Workshop http://bravenewworkshop.com/) concerts, dinner with friends, reading, travel…

What’s your favorite Coolibar product and why?

I am still getting to know all of the Coolibar product, but so far my favorite product is anything in the ZnO fabric, it is AMAZING!

We look forward to seeing Alicia’s new apparel designs this upcoming season!

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Inside Coolibar

A Memorable Trip to Nicaragua

Yosseling and Anna

Regale with Coolibar’s Creative Specialist, Anna, and her husband Bevin on their culturally immersed journey to Nicaragua. Hiking volcanoes, cooking exotic meals, attempting newbie surfing and visiting a young girl they sponsor though a charity organization is just a taste of how this couple travels. Oh, and they did it all while learning and speaking in Spanish, which they claim is definitely not their first language!

This summer my husband and I decided to spend our five year anniversary exploring the country of Nicaragua and meeting the young girl that we sponsor through Compassion, a Christian organization that focuses on the spiritual, physical, economic and social needs of children in poverty.

After arriving in Nicaragua, we boarded a 12 seat plane and flew from the capital, Managua, across the country, and 50 miles into the Caribbean Sea to Big Corn Island.  We then took a boat, which my husband described as a giant bathtub, seven miles North to Little Corn Island, the most remote place we have ever been to, for some much welcomed relaxation.

After traveling back to the main part of Nicaragua we decided to explore some of the more than 40 volcanoes that cover the landscape of Nicaragua.  We drove right up to the mouth of Volcano Masaya, one of the more active ones, and hiked around the smoking crater.

Later in the trip we took a cooking class in Granada.  We were given our list of ingredients and guided down to the local markets to purchase everything we needed to make Indio Viejo, a traditional Nicaraguan dish.  Once back from the market, our teacher talked us through every step in Spanish.  Talk about learning a language through immersion.  Our high-school level Spanish was put to the test!

Eventually we made it to the Pacific coast of the country.  It was the first time either of us had ever tried surfing and we both stood up on our boards right away!  Not bad for a couple of Midwesterners.

After working on our Spanish for a week, we went to meet Yosseling, the young girl we sponsor.  It was great being able to meet the girl we had written letters to and to learn more about the organization and the work they are doing in Nicaragua.

Coolibar generously donated some clothing and hats to give to her and her younger brother.  She was very excited to receive new clothing, especially the Coolibar shirt in her favorite color.  It was a great ending to such a memorable trip.

– Anna

Anna’s Photos

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Inside Coolibar

Spreading Shade in Joplin after Tornado

Hats for Joplin Relief Efforts

Two months after the devastating tornado touch-down in Joplin, MO the relief efforts continue. Over 8,000 homes were destroyed and more than 150 lives were lost. Relief workers and Joplin residents alike are working together to rebuild the city, spending countless hours in the summer sun.

The recent heat-wave has been taking its toll on everyone including volunteers, residents and those living outdoors all day, every day, since losing their homes. The people in Joplin have enough to worry about already, let alone the dangerous heat and UV they’re now facing. In an effort to protect those putting Joplin back together from the sun’s harmful rays and heat, Coolibar, in partnership with the American Academy of Dermatology and AmeriCorps, was able to provide some UPF 50+ hats to the relief efforts.

Wide-brim hats not only protect the scalp, face and neck from sunburn, they also help keep the body cooler as skin is not directly exposed to the sun. Coolibar is proud to help, even in the smallest way, with the relief efforts in Joplin, MO. Our thoughts and hearts at Coolibar go out to everyone in Joplin.

If you’re looking for a way to contribute to Joplin relief efforts, visit the American Red Cross website.

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Inside Coolibar

Spend a Day with Allyson in Customer Service

Allyson in customer service

It’s 7:30 am and right off the bat the phones are ringing off the hook! Excellent, I say, that’s why we’re here and why we rose with the sun and the birds this morning!  Minutes before, we Customer Service Representatives – CS Reps for short – have already greeted each other, made coffee and we’re ready for our primary focus, our customers.

The day whisks by pretty fast. When were not on the phones, we’re answering emails, helping a customer in our retail storefront, processing hundreds of web orders, learning about new product styles and colors hot off the presses, and maybe taking a snippet minute to hear more about a fellow CS person’s day yesterday.  Our CS Reps help each other out too, if there is a customer question that occasionally stumps us temporarily – ahem, key words, “occasionally “ and “temporarily”! 

We really are a happy bunch here and genuinely like each other. (SEE PICTURES) I think that translates to our interactions with our customers. Happy Customer Service Representatives translate to pleasant customer service representatives that are ready to assist customers.

We all jot down “notes to self!” so we are sure to follow up for customers on various changes to orders and questions that came in over night or that we want to look into further and get back to them in a timely manner. Taken care of – check! 

I have an important little sign next to my phone, “Customers Really Are Everything” which of course creates an interesting acronym, “CARE”.   Am I corny? Some of the most wonderful intangible things in life are “corny”, right?!  This sign is one decoration among many we all have at our desks – a fluffy  flower, an “I like you “ pin,  inspiring quotes, cool doodles, family photos, etc…

The other day I asked some colleagues what were some of their favorite things about working in Coolibar’s Customer Service.  Answers from all:  heartfelt stories and thank yous from customers about how our clothing has made it possible to “play” out in the sun w/out the nasty UVA and UVB rays sneaking through their clothing. And bonus- they appreciate looking good in the clothing too-it has style!

It’s also good to know that young parents are definitely being “sun-smart from the start” for their children these days. As one parent put it after discovering our sun protective swim shirts and shorts, “Wow, what a relief, my kid won’t fry at camp if the counselors forget to put sunscreen on them every 2 hours.”

A real wow factor for our customers and for me was discovering that we stay cooler having our skin covered with the sun protective clothing than if our skin was bare and exposed, (healthier too of course!).

Pleasure to work at a company that operates with integrity and respect in their daily business – for our bread and butter customers, our internal customers (staff) and in our sun–protective products.

At the end of the day, the ideal scenario is all emails are answered, “notes to self” are checked off and cleared from desk and all of our customers have had positive experience with Coolibar Customer Service.

Allyson

Coolibar Customer Service

Coolibar Customer Service Team
The Coolibar Customer Service Team (There are many more!)
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Inside Coolibar

Minute to Win It Coolibar Style

To celebrate Independence Day, Coolibar’s Customer Service department hosted a 4th of July themed lunch for the rest of the Coolibar team. It was too hot to hold the festivities out in the sun, so we decided to stay sun-safe, and move the party indoors to our cool warehouse. We enjoyed delicous taco creations follwed by some homemade deserts and fun games inspired by the hit TV show “Minute to Win It”!

 

Customer Service Hosts the Coolibar 4th of July Cookout [nggallery id=13]

 

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Events Inside Coolibar

Share Your SunAWARE Side to Win!

Snap a picture of your SunAWARE 4th of July weekend and post it on the Coolibar Facebook wall for a chance to win a free UPF 50+ Coolibar Swim Shirt of your choice! 

Entries will be accepted now through Monday, July 11, 2011. Please write or indicate that you wish to enter your photo into Coolibar’s SunAWARE 4th of July Contest when posting the photo. Then, we’ll enter you in our random drawing to win a Coolibar Swim Shirt.

The winner will be announced on the Coolibar Facebook Wall on Wednesday, July 13, 2011.

Collage of Sun Safe Fun

No purchase necessary to enter. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. One winner will be chosen through a random drawing of all entries posted on www.facebook.com/coolibar before midnight C.S.T. on 7/11/11. The winner may choose one Coolibar® swim shirt up to a $76 retail value from www.coolibar.com. Prize given is subject to availability. Prize is non-transferable, not returnable and cannot be sold or redeemed for cash. Must reside in the U.S. and be 18 or older to enter. Limit one photo entry per person. Coolibar® may at anytime, remove and disqualify entries.  Contest rules subject to changes at the discretion of Coolibar®. Facebook® is not affiliated with Coolibar® or this contest.

Please ‘Leave a Reply’ below if you have any questions.

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Events

Once Again, “The Big C” Puts Skin Cancer in the Spotlight

It’s back, a new season of “The Big C”, starting on Monday, June 27, 2011 on Showtime.

“The Big C” tells the story of Cathy Jamison, played by Laura Linney (pictured to the left), a wife and mother living in suburbia recently diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma (a deadly form of skin cancer). Her cancer forces her to shake up her life and find hope and humor in spite of her grim situation.

The show may not always accurately portray the life of someone battling skin cancer; however, it brings the topic to the center stage without scaring off viewers due to its morose background. It’s a comedy, but does not neglect that there is a serious story behind the series. The Skin Cancer Foundation has praised the show’s creator Darlene Hunt and the cast for increasing awareness for melanoma, which when found early, can be treatable. Melanoma is also preventable in some cases by using sun protection, as about 65 percent of melanoma cancers can be attributed to UV radiation according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

An Overview of “The Big C”

Cathy is a high school teacher who, at the start of the series, has been diagnosed with melanoma. Reluctant to burden those closest to her, she keeps it a secret for months, but later eventually reveals she has cancer to her husband and son. Her behavior takes a major turn from her reserved lifestyle as she makes reckless choices in the face of her fatality. At the end of the first season, she decides to undergo interleukin-2 (IL-2), a treatment option for those with Stage IV melanoma. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, about 10-16 percent of carefully selected patients on IL-2 regimens respond to the drug, and about 60 percent of those patients’ lives are significantly extended. The second season picks up from here.

Have you watched “The Big C”, and if so, what do you think? Is this a good topic for a television show? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or by commenting below.

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Apply Sunscreen Expert Rx Inside Coolibar Parenting Sun Protection Clothing Sunscreens and Lotions Videos

FDA Updates Sunscreen Regulations

Sunscreen Label Changes

In case you haven’t heard, on Tuesday, June 14, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new guidelines that sunscreen manufacturers will be required to follow for sunscreen labeling in order to help protect consumers from skin damage caused by sun exposure. Beginning summer 2012 the new rules dictate that in order to earn a “broad spectrum” designation, sunscreens must protect from both UVB rays, which cause burning, and UVA rays, which cause wrinkles.

 

New FDA Sunscreen Guidelines

Here’s what you need to know about the new Broad-Spectrum labeling.  An example of the new FDA label is pictured above.

 

  • Established standards have been set for testing the effectiveness of over-the-counter sunscreens and will be labeled as “Broad- Spectrum” according to the test results.
  • A certain percentage of a broad-spectrum product’s total protection is against UVA.
  • If a sunscreen is labeled as both “Broad-Spectrum” and “SPF 15” (or higher) it can claim to protect against sunburn and if used as directed, can help reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.
  • The familiar “Drug Facts” box found on most OTC drugs will be required.
  • Any sunscreen not labeled as “Broad-Spectrum” or that has an SPF value between 2 and 14, has only been shown to help prevent sunburn.
  • Sunscreens that are not broad-spectrum or that are broad-spectrum with SPF values less than 15 will be labeled with a warning that reads: “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert:  Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”
  • No “waterproof,” “sweatproof” or “sunblock” labeling.  Water resistant labeling is allowed with SPF effectiveness times of only 40 or 80 minutes.
  • Sunscreens cannot claim protection immediately upon application (instant protection) or for more than 2 hours without reapplication, unless they submit data and get approval from FDA.
  • The FDA is proposing that the maximum SPF value on labeling is SPF 50+.
  • The agency currently considers wipes, towelettes, powders, body washes, and shampoo not eligible for the monograph. Therefore, they cannot be marketed without an approved application.


Guaranteed Broad-Spectrum Sunscreens from Coolibar

Hooray to the FDA for finally making these necessary improvements to sunscreen labeling.  If, however, the new guidelines seem overwhelmingly complex, let Coolibar take the guesswork out of your next sunscreen purchase.  Our merchandising team has researched and tested the best sunscreens on the market.  As always, we offer only broad-spectrum sunscreens with at least an SPF of 30 or higher.  You can trust that any sunscreen you purchase from Coolibar will provide both UVA and UVB protection; you have our word on it.  And when combined with a hat, Coolibar clothing and sunglasses, you’re equipped for all day, worry-free UV protection.


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