Thursday, August 2, 2018

Product Review

* Learn more about the product review policy; queries welcome :)

Product Review

Isn’t it heart-warming to see inspiring people taking the cards they are dealt and making way for a better life? Local entrepreneur Jacqueline Penner is doing just that. “My sewing is an important part of my living… I can only work part time due to severe rheumatoid arthritis and I appreciate each customer who supports me.” Jacqueline explains.

She makes quite a number of products including bean bags, baby wraps, bags, curtains, kitchen towels and cushions, but the one that peaked my interest the most was the “Cooling Neck Scarves”. Having dealt with chronic pain and years of physiotherapy of one sort or another, I am familiar with the benefits of hot, cold (usually a gel product that is placed in the fridge) and ice packs for injury and had, at times, used them also to combat summer's heat. So - when I saw these scarves I got pretty excited. 

After first expressing interest and sharing our colour preferences, she utilized Facebook messaging to send several pictures of fabric she thought might interest me. And while she probably doesn’t do this often, she delivered to me… the convenience of her dropping it off was fantastic.


So here is the deal… Even though these scarves take a heck of a lot of sewing time, are very well constructed with a solid velcro closure and come with the “Thermafreeze” ice-pack insert, she can still offer these for a totally frugal price of $20. Her customers can pick up a multiple extra inserts, $5 each. Customers also have the choice of going for a gel product (considered a “cold-pack”) that is placed in the refrigerator, instead of the freezer. Alternatively, they can choose to order a scarf with decorative beads or fringes. 

thermafreeze insert
Upon delivery, she took the time to explain her experimental nature… how she’s always listening to customer feedback and tries her best to use that feedback to improve the product. For instance, a few days prior to her delivery to me she heard back from a customer who wasn’t all that keen about the condensation that happens when using a frozen product. 

Frozen Scarf Icepack Inserts; one with sock
So Jacqueline went ahead and designed a special sock to help with the condensation. Now for me, that sock was a hindrance – it impeded the flow of the insert going in the narrow opening at one of the scarf… so I took it off both the inserts, let her know and she took the feedback gratefully.

As you can see the scarves fit on our dog’s necks - tied much like people often use handkerchiefs for their dogs. After sharing this with her, Jacqueline started thinking about a cold blanket for smaller dogs and how she could easily use the “Thermafreeze” product in whole sheet size (14"x9"), put a removable cover on it …for a ridiculously low price of only $20. So I bought her prototype "Doggy Mat" as a gift for our neighbour who has a small dog that’s sensitive to the heat. An extra mat insert would be $10.
Doggy mat, with insert

Doggy mat, with insert

Ok – so what was it like to use? Heaven. We happen to have done a number of promo tours this year and the ice scarf arrived just at the right time for our next tour. I packed the inserts in the cooler - which was tucked in the back of the Jeep, behind the dog beds and water bowl, supplies and promotional materials we were bringing along. It was one hot day, and I wore that neck scarf the entire time. Dave, a manly kind of man, doesn’t want to wear the scarf in public because he thinks it makes him look less manly. However I read Jacqueline’s post recently that shared one of her male clients works construction and he kept several inserts in a cooler, refreshing his scarf as needed and was comfortable all day. Dave did find another use for the scarf however – as you can see in one pic here, his use of it for an injury. Unlike other therapeutic packs it is tied in place and did not slip around.

I think these would be a perfect gift for the elderly or people who work in the sun, have long drives on hot days, have nagging injuries, are planning a camping trip and those who really feel the heavy weight of summer heat.

If you’d like to learn more about the specially designed ice-pack insert, visit and if you’d like a doggy bed or neck scarf for yourself or any of her other products simply visit Jacqueline’s facebook page: and send her a message from there.

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