Oliver's Labels is an online business based in Toronto, Ontario which sells a wide variety of labelling products (e.g. waterproof, clothing and household) and wall decals.
The inspiration for the business was owner Debbie's young nephew (Oliver, of course!), who had a penchant for wiggling out of his shoes and tossing them off the side of his stroller. Debbie got the idea to create some simple, home-made labels with Ollie's name and phone number on them, and stick them to his shoes and other "on-the-go" items. This little trick worked like a charm when a brand new Nike runner kicked off on one of the family's excursions was found and returned, saving the family $60. Shortly thereafter, the business was officially born! (Read the full story here.)
Oliver's Labels stands out to me from other labelling businesses I've come across for the following reasons:
- Its labels and wall decals (both of which I had the oppotunity to review) are totally gorgeous - colourful, vivid and detailed. Its not a surprise that Debbie spent 6 years in the printing industry prior to starting up Oliver's Labels!
- It offers an exclusive Found-it™ Tracking System, a FREE lost and found service. Basically, a label can be printed with an (optional) tracking code linked to the customer's email address. If an item is found with a label containing this code, the finder is instructed to visit this page which offers various options (online form, direct email, phone) for reporting the item and reuniting it with its owner.
- The website and the ordering process are both extremely user-friendly. I like that you can shop by Product, Design or Package, and I was particularly impressed by the seamless preview feature as I customized the products in my review kit. When you make a change, the preview updates automatically and is a true-to-life representation of the (would be) end product itself.
- There are a huge variety of product customization options - different themes, fonts, colours, etc. And new themes regularly get added to the mix to keep things fresh!
- The company gives back via a fundraising program and regular contests, and it has a strong community focus overall.
For review purposes, I received a custom package of labels and a Room-eez™ Growth Chart.
My Review: Custom Package of Labels
Ordering a custom package allows you to sample from eight popular labelling products based on your own needs. Products available for the custom package come with half the number of labels as the same products when purchased separately (for example, the custom package allows you to purchase original labels in sets of 20, whereas original labels purchased alone come in sets of 40). So this is a nice option if you want to try a few different types, but don't need a huge number of each one. A custom package must include at least three products, and each product must have the same personalization information, however different themes can be chosen per product. I opted to personalize the set for our 8-month-old son CJ as we already have labels in our daughter's name, however a family who would like to use labels for multiple children could do so by personalizing with just their last name.
I chose the following products for our custom package:
- 20 Original Labels in the Transporation theme
- Product Info: Original Labels are big and bold to personalize everything that leaves
the house. They're not only beautiful but incredibly durable. Use them
on items that go in the dishwasher, microwave, fridge or outdoors. Original Labels stick on almost anything and stay there!
- 50 Mini Labels in the Sports theme
Product Info: Mini Labels are ideal for skinny things that don't have room for our big Original Labels. You'll find 100 places for these cute labels! Use them on items that go in the dishwasher, microwave, fridge or outdoors. Mini Labels stick on almost anything and stay there!
- 14 Shoe Labels in the Sports theme
Product Info: Shoe Labels are specially designed to stick inside the heel of a shoe. They come in right and left foot shapes and unlike other shoe labels, they’re built so durable that you don't need to stick a protective label on top.
- 35 Stick-eez Clothing Labels in the Camo theme
Product Info: Introducing Stick-eez™ Clothing Labels - the NO iron, NO sew solution to labeling clothes. Simply peel and stick to the "care tag" of your garment. Removable when you’re ready to pass the clothes on to a new owner.
Other features: Thin, flexible, high-performance material with super-strong adhesive and high quality, full-color printing - guaranteed never to rub off, even when in contact with sunscreen. Made to go in the washing machine and dryer.
All of these products have the following additional product info: Waterproof, weather-proof, scuff-proof, tear-resistant, high-performance vinyl with super-strong adhesive and high quality, full-color printing.
I opted to include a Found-it number on all items except the mini labels, which are too thin to include this information.
As I mentioned earlier, all the products certainly look terrific - they're bright, colourful and the designs have impeccable clarity. Functionality-wise, they're trim yet highly rip-resistant, they apply easily and smoothly, and they stay put and maintain their vividness through all sorts of abuse. :) Ease of removal and reapplication effectiveness, however, appear to depend on how long a label's been applied and what it has been exposed to. I reapplied the same new mini label to my water bottle about 15 times and it stuck just as firmly the final time as it did at the beginning, however many of the labels I'd applied a week or more back have become difficult to remove and then aren't as sticky when they do come off. And one more thing - although the labels are easy to apply, a little TLC is a good idea as they can stretch and distort if pulled firmly from both sides.
Alright, a bit more on the individual label types.
The clothing labels have performed to spec. On the example garments we've tested, the labels have stayed put and haven't shown any sign of deterioration through several washes (cold and warm), and dry cycles (on low - didn't want to risk shrinkage!)
The original and mini labels are both holding up fine through hand washing and a couple runs of the dishwasher.
The shoe labels have endured several trips to the playground, a splashpad and several (cumulative) hours of walking - most of this in foot sweat-inducing weather - and they keep on marching as well! (Pun intended.) That said, I did find these ones particularly difficult to pry off after all this action, presumably because they've had the most exposure to various elements.
(Note: if you're wondering about the pink, our son doesn't own any footwear yet so we got our daughter to do this part of the testing, after some initial skepticism about the "funny green things" inside her favourite shoes!)
Out of curiosity, I also tried out the Found-it tracking system. I filled out the online form the other night, and the next morning had received an email at the address tied to my account, including the details that had been supplied on the form. Unfortunately, it ended up in my Spam folder, so I've been discussing with the company if there's a way to ensure these important emails get flagged appropriately.
In summary, these are some awesome labels. They're bright, vivid, super-sticky and thin yet hardy. They do become increasingly difficult to remove/reapply over time, however I'd take this over an adhesive that loses its stick when you don't want it to! Overall, Oliver's Labels has hit one out of the ballpark with these puppies! Highly recommended. :)
My Review: Room-eez™ Growth Chart
Product Info: A Room-eez™ Growth Chart is a bold and fun way to keep track of your growing child.. It includes your child’s name (in any color or font you choose) so you can apply it to the top of the chart or anywhere else in the room. You also get 20 decals to write down the age and height of your little one and then stick to the chart to mark their growth. Many of our adorable designs also come with lots of extra decals to make a beautiful scene on the wall.
Room-eez™ Growth Chart is made from a specialized material that is strong enough to stick on the wall forever yet gentle enough to be repositioned or removed without causing any damage. Unlike the majority of wall graphics on the market, this advanced, high quality material is not vinyl and therefore doesn’t shrink, curl or stretch the way vinyl does. That means your Room-eez™ Growth Chart won’t peel at the edges and fall off the wall over time.
I was excited to get my hands on one of these growth charts as I've seen them reviewed favourably on other blogs, they look oh-so-adorable and it was high time we replaced the flimsy paper chart which came with our daughter's baby book. Not only did that one need to be pinned to the wall (obviously not ideal, with littles around) but our 32-month-old daughter had almost reached its top height marker. Our OL chart gives us an extra 9 inches to work with!
I decided on the monkey theme and chose our family name for the letter decals as I wanted to use it for both of our children.
Here's a before and after comparison of our old paper chart and brand spankin' new Oliver's Labels chart. A substantial improvement, if I do say so myself!
The chart package comes with detailed instructions for putting up the chart and letter decals, as well as a warning sticker imploring the owner to actually read said instructions before starting. Nice approach - it certainly got me to review things thoroughly before I began!
The chart is obviously quite long so some planning is required to ensure it lines up straight. The instructions suggest using a level to mark the bottom and several other spots up the wall, however we actually found it most helpful helpful to level horizontally at the chart base, as once this part is accurate the rest of the chart follows suit. Once the base was applied properly, I held the top of the chart away from the wall while my hubby rolled the remainder upward until the whole thing was applied. Two pairs of hands was pretty clutch; I'd imagine it would be quite difficult for a single person to put up one of these charts accurately without it getting all stuck to itself. (That said, we did have a single incident of self-stickage and the offending areas did detach fairly readily. But I wouldn't want to test the waters too much here!)
Applying the letter decals is a 6-step process, however it's quite straightforward and I was able to do it myself. Each letter is an individual decal, but they get applied together so they all line up properly. The letters come sandwiched between a backing paper and transfer tape, so you need to remove the backing paper first and then apply the letters from the transfer tape to the wall. I did this part after the chart was up, simply eyeballing the vertical alignment and then using a level to ensure the letters went on straight.
Included with the chart are 20 height marker stickers. For the monkey theme, markers are ever-so-appropriately coconuts. Since we're using the chart for both children, each will get 10 stickers and we'll mark heights at the following ages: birth, 6 mths, twice/year until 3 years, and then once/year until 6 years. That said, the chart itself can be written on as well if we decide we want to track any in-between ages. So far CJ's beating S in the "height race"!
One thing that would be helpful on the height stickers is little tick marks to help line them up. As they come now, you need to eyeball things to apply them at the right height. I added tick marks myself to help with this.
Finally, I need to own up to something. :) We totally gaffed when we initially put up the chart! Somehow, we'd managed to measure the chart base 12 inches from the floor rather than the 6 inches instructed. Gaaah! But, there's always a silver lining. :) This booboo allowed me to test removal and reapplication of the chart, which went just fine! Hubby thought there may have been slightly less stickiness the second time around, but certainly nothing which prevented the chart from reattaching properly. My guess is it could be reapplied at least 3-4 times before there'd be too little stick. (And probably more if each wall was washed and dried thoroughly prior to application.) The letter decals, however, were a different story. I tried reattaching them all at once to the transfer paper, but this didn't work as they were firmly stuck to the wall, and the last thing I wanted to do was move them individually. So in order to not have a huge amount of space between the letters and chart, I got creative with the extra decals included with the kit. Check it out - not bad, huh?
I do think it would be nice if the company offered a single sticker option for the growth chart letters, as this would make reapplication a lot easier.
All in all, this is a pretty cool growth chart! It's bright and whimsical like the OL labels, tall enough to track way past the preschool age and can be removed and reapplied pretty readily. Now for our daughter's next mission - hitting that 36" mark so she can ride Taxi Jam at Canada's Wonderland! Getting close now!!
You can order Oliver's Labels products directly from the company website. Regular shipping is free in Canada, and on orders of $30 or more in the US. (View full shipping info here.) Note that you need to create an account before placing an order.
One lucky Manager to Mom reader will win a $40 store credit to spent at Oliver's Labels! Open to CAN/US (excluding Quebec.)
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Disclosure: The prize is being provided and shipped to the winner by Oliver's Labels. I received no financial compensation for writing my review or offering this giveaway, although I did receive the sample items free of charge. This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours.