Orkid Ideas was founded in October 2010, the same month that Theo Paphitis (of Ryman Stationery and Dragons’ Den fame) created his Small Business Sunday #SBS initiative on Twitter.
Each week, Theo chooses his favourite small businesses from the thousands that tweet him on a Sunday evening and rewards them by re-tweeting their tweets to his 500k+ followers the following day.
Monday 26th March 2018 marked the start of Autism Awareness Week. Autism awareness, understanding and acceptance is close to our hearts at Orkid Ideas; it’s the reason we are even here at all and underpins our passion for TomTag and how it can help individuals with autism cope better with daily life. So it was an especially delightful surprise when Theo chose this Monday to pick Orkid Ideas at the top of his weekly list of six businesses to join the amazing #SBS winners family.
Not only does this mean a boost for us as a business but we hope it has also helped to spread a little more autism awareness to a wider audience.
“It is imperative that you have an idea you really believe in, and you also have to be absolutely determined you can make it work.” – Theo Paphitis
The Autism Show in Manchester opens its doors on Friday and we’ll be there! Jam packed with speakers, features and the largest selection of autism products and services in the UK. Come along and hear Clare speaking about her family’s experience of using visual supports (Saturday at 10.20am) and visit us on stand B18 for some special show offers. Tickets £17 on the door or £13 in advance – visit The Autism Show website to book.
With an expanding range of products to offer, we felt the time was right to give our website a bit of a make-over. Our new look site makes it easier to see just what TomTag is, how it works and how it can help our customers and their children.
Just in time for summer holidays, we’ve added a new set that can help you prepare for a school trip, holiday, respite stay, visiting relatives or any other overnight stay away from home – I know what to expect going away.
Did you know this week is Schools’ Autism Awareness Week?
Orkid Ideas are supporting this campaign, promoted by the National Autistic Society, by offering schools the chance to try a TomTag visual timetable kit completely free.
Our unique visual support tools can be easily personalised for each child and are portable, robust and very convenient to use.
A TomTag I know what to expect at school kit contains a set of colourful tags, click-in buttons and a large selection of symbols that can be combined in many different ways to create personalised visual supports to help pupils with autism in the classroom.
Here’s some examples of how the set can be used:
list the day’s lesson plan to explain the structure of the school day
use FIRST and THEN markers with two relevant images to support transitions between activities
show symbols to describe the steps of a specific task to be completed
communicate expected rules of behaviour using a symbol list that the child can self refer to
Request your free kit now
Simply send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your school details or give us a call on 01904 213123 and we’ll take care of the rest. Have a browse around the other pages of our website to find more information about this kit and our other visual support packs.
When Leah got in touch to say how much she loved TomTag, we knew it would be a great fit with her other products and we related to her passion to help children of all abilities reach their full potential.
So if you’re down under and looking to get your hands on TomTag, do stop by first at See Me Shine Kids and see if Leah has any in stock.
Since the first batch of TomTags rolled off the production line back in 2012, we’ve been developing, learning and adapting our products to meet the needs and requirements of our customers.
TomTag has developed beyond ‘the cool tool to help kids pack their bags for school’ that we started out with. Whilst this is still a key product in our range (now one of our “I can do it” sets), the unique design of our tags and buttons opens up many more possibilities for TomTag to be used as a visual schedule, routine support or communication system.
We realised that this meant we needed to find a way to make it easier for our customers to understand how TomTag can work for them and what they need to buy to get started. We now offer a pick and mix option for those who prefer to choose exactly the components they want but we’ve also put together some popular combination sets that include a 10% discount compared to buying the same items individually.
Although we have needed to increase some of our prices, we now offer more flexibility to our customers to be able to purchase the products that specifically meet their needs. We’ve also changed our packaging so that we’re able to use a more economical postal service and we’ve passed this saving on to our customers by reducing our shipping charges.
We truly believe that all our products offer amazing value for money as well as potentially life-changing results – we hope you agree!
CLICK HERE to register for your free ticket and HERE for more info from PIPS
Fri 10th Oct
Dyspraxia/Developmental Coordination Difficulties awareness day
Tue 14th Oct
Autism Central 2014 – an event to showcase support and services that are available to those on the Autistic spectrum, their families and professionals who support them. FREE to attend and also features a number of seminars throughout the day.
Our first trip this month will take us to Stafford visiting the NAS branch support meeting there this week to talk to the group about TomTag and how it might help their children.
Anyone visiting Kidz South in Reading should pop along to the Disabled Living information table where they will be able to find a supply of our leaflets.
Next stop, on 19th June, will be Lincoln for the Dyslexia Guild Annual Summer Conference. We are particularly looking forward to this as without Dyslexia Action, we might never have had the idea for TomTag and we wouldn’t be here today! Hoping to wow them with what we’ve acheived from taking part in one of their courses.
On the same day, Clare will be a delegate at the Wordswell, Towards a Positive Future Conference where we are also conference sponsors featuring in the conference booklet.
Big thanks to Rosy&Bo who will be taking TomTag with them to sell at the Autism Show in London on 13th and 14th June. Good luck Rosy & Bo!
Final stop on June 27th 10am – 2pm – we are venturing even further afield and will be at Devizes Corn Exchange for the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council SENDIS Event. See you there!
The first quarter of 2014 has seen us out and about with TomTag again.
We introduced our new information resource packs for professionals which have been really popular. Feedback suggests you are finding these a great way to present TomTag as a useful resource to the families you are working with.
In February, we braved the high roads and high winds to get to the Autism Networks Conference in Crewe and then headed south tothe Greenmead Equipment Fair in London.
March brought us nearer home with trips to Leeds for the EPIC SEN Martketplace and Starting Point Live, Wakefield’s information Market Place event for families of disabled children/children with additional needs.
We even managed to collect a few pebbles from the beach at South Shields on the way home for the Listen 4 a Change information day!
We rounded off the month in the Midlands at the fantastic Autism West Midlands Conference where we had the opportunity to speak to some adults with autism and ASD who said they would have loved to have had TomTag when they were younger. Good to know we’re on the right track!
How embarrassing that this is our first blog post of 2014.
We decided that a new year needed a new start so we spent some time doing a spot of refreshing our brand and our website to incorporate our new products and prepare for the direction we see ourselves moving in over the coming year.
Even though the process is not quite finished and there are still some more improvements we need to make to our website, we’re delighted that we have just been given a Bronze Website Award from Mumpreneur UK!
Why not spend a few minutes to take a look around and see what you think.