The MOO Blog

The first ever MOO Award goes to…

28th November 2012 by Melissa

In September, we decided to do something we’ve never done before at MOO: launch our first ever MOO Award. The MOO Award came about after we aired our TV adverts (also a first ever) that featured four of our remarkable customers. We thought hey… it’s not just our well established customers’ businesses that are remarkable, what about all our customers with remarkable small businesses?

So for a month we invited our customers to submit an entry about their business, and WOW we were impressed. We received 1,700 entries from around the world, along with a number of great physical submissions that brought entries to life (we promise we didn’t run the competition just for the free cupcakes, but they were an added bonus!). The marketing team read through each and every entry before compiling a shortlist of entries for our five founder judges, our own Richard Moross, Leah Busque of TaskRabbit, Darin Hager of Heyday Footwear, Fraser Doherty of SuperJam, and Lopo Champalimaud of Wahanda. Our founders individually scored each company on the shortlist, which then revealed the winner… actually the winners, as we chose one customer of moo.com’s UK store, and one of moo.com’s US store.

Without further ado, the winners are…

ColaLife – UK store winner
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ColaLife is an ingenius charity that aims to prevent illnesses and death in Africa caused by preventative afflications such as dehydration and diarrhoea. As Simon Berry, ColaLife’s founder explains, “While working in very remote NE Zambia in the lates 80s I noticed I could get a Coca-Cola in most places and yet I couldn’t get simple medicine to stop a child dying of diarrhoea. Even to this day diarrhoea is the second biggest killer of under five children in sub-Saharan Africa. So I thought ‘why not put simple medicines in Coca-Cola crates?’”

The judges were very impressed by how ColaLife came to distribute their product so seamlessly, from approaching Coca-Cola, to designing packaging that fit in the spaces in Coca-Cola crates. MOO Award judge Fraser Doherty enthused, “Having recently stayed with a family in a mud house in Uganda, where access to medicine and other vital supplies was sadly extremely limited but Coke was everywhere, the idea for ColaLife makes perfect sense and is one that I would absolutely love to see become a huge success.” Read more about Simon’s tips on how to get big businesses to say yes to working with you.

MONO – US store winner
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MONO was born in California out of Daniel Kushner’s passion for music and design. A match made in heaven that MONO comfortably settled into, designing amazing products such as the world’s first ever top loading guitar case. Daniel says, “MONO is 5 years young, and has thoroughly disrupted the Music Industry as a premium luggage brand for touring musicians and DJs. We are now branching out into other categories, drawing inspiration from our core market and leading with design-driven products. Where are we going with this? We make bespoke products for creative individuals.”

MONO’s entry read like a thrilling story, describing the ups and downs of building a company from scratch and delighting customers in 25+ countries worldwide. Judge Darin Hager explained the appeal, “MONO addressed a need in a niche market for rugged, stylish and functional gear bags and accessories with a super fresh looking product, and branding. It looks like it would be a perfect fit at an Apple store, on tour and also my own Heyday Footwear customer. Love it and I’m not even a DJ or musician.” Read more about Daniel’s tips on how to overcome business hurdles by being your own consultant.

Congratulations to our winners, who will receive a cash prize, MOOlah to spend on moo.com, and a trophy presented to them at MOO HQ… pictures to follow.

Read comments (12)

  1. Steve:

    Wow, very cool to see the award given to a company that is working to help the poor in Africa. Great choice :)

  2. Team Caret:

    Congrats to the winning entires from the creators of Caret: an app that lets you take control over your incoming calls by sharing your call status (available or busy) with friends.

  3. Sara:

    I think the winner of the UK shop was a great idea, as they have an innovative product and vision, and are working hard to help those less fortunate. But I thought the whole point of the contest was to help out small businesses? The other winner from the US seems to be doing quite well on its own, so shouldn’t the award have gone to someone else who has an actual small business and could really use the help and inspiration??

    • Justis S:

      Hello Sara. Thank you for the kind comments. The MOO Award was created to discover and award remarkable businesses. Both our winners have less than 10 staff members and have amazing stories of how their companies came to be. The Award was judged based on challenges faced, their solutions to those problems and the remark-ability of their businesses. MONO and ColaLife were chosen by our judges as they displayed great resilience in the presence of challenges and their business concepts and processes were remarkable.

  4. Steve:

    Well done and congratulations to the winners. Mono and Colalife seem worthy winners. Respect!

  5. JP:

    I would like to see their answers to your questions as this will help others to understand why they were chosen. I am sure many wrote from the heart – their answers would help others gain insight to why their stories stood out to you over others. The other prizes, you did not share who got these prizes…what’s up with that?

    • Justis S:

      Hello. All the entries submitted to the MOO Award were amazing but sadly we only had two Awards (one per store) to give. We have decided to keep entries confidential and thus will not be releasing the details of these. With regards to prizes we had only planned to offer the winners prizes and thus there were no runners up.

  6. Monica:

    I agree with Sara. I agree, the ideas that won are innovative and amazing. But if you have Coca Cola in your corner, you are very solvent, on your own. The business in the United States is doing amazingly well also. I feel kind of stupid submitting my entry, because I’m complaining. I think the people who won have great and wonderful businesses, however I feel silly for submitting my business. I have to choose between getting my car fixed or ordering more labels and jars for my product. That’s the truth!Love the Moo Product and am happy with my labels, so much so that I just ordered more.

  7. Laura {Babb Photo}:

    Congratulations to the winners. Perhaps next year you could have different categories to help very small businesses (i.e sole traders) compete against each other.

  8. Rachelle:

    Congratulations to the winners…actually, I think that anyone who hands out Moo business cards is a winner because it’s a sign of great taste!

    Laura, I think your idea is spot on. Are you paying attention, Moo?
    I think that breaking down the contest into different categories is genius… how about different categories for sole traders, freelance creatives, retailers, small businesses with under 50 employees, etc.

    • Justis S:

      Hello Rachelle, we are looking into ways to make the MOO Award more competitive within different categories, but as you can understand we will still have to limit the categories. We are looking forward to taking the MOO Award forward in 2013, so keep watching this space as we will be doing some cool things with it.

  9. Nicole:

    Complaints? Really? A company provides prizes and people complain? A company chooses to be generous and people complain? A contest takes lots of hours of planning, implementation, judging, etc. Please do not complain over the selections made and take from the moment for these winners or chasten the company that invested their time and energy to bless them. No wonder more companies don’t give back if they run the risk of their own websites becoming polluted with complaints over who they choose to give to.

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