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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Put meaning in your small biz

By Roger Pierce

As homes get smaller while televisions get bigger, that big black box in the living room may become an unwanted eyesore. "Women, especially, resent an ugly TV in their living room or bedroom," claims entrepreneur Heather Azima.
Inventor and entrepreneur Heather Azima recently launched TV Kozy, a product designed to beautify any home and limit television-viewing time.

Azima has just launched a revolutionary product called the TV Kozy (www.tvkozy. com), which is a beautiful, custom-fitted fabric cover that conceals a television when it's not being watched.

"For years, my husband was covering his TV with a blanket," Azima says. "I liked the idea of hiding the TV but the blanket had to go, so I sewed a full canvas cover. We loved it, and knew other people would appreciate it too."

Azima and her husband, Bard, worked on the product and the business plan for a year before officially launching in May of 2005. It's available in many different fabrics, styles and sizes to fit any size television or computer monitor.

While it's a great decor item, Azima says she is really focusing on the deeper benefit to buying her product.

"It's a tool for developing a healthier family," says Azima, adding that 73% of parents would like to limit their children's television time. Since out of sight is out of mind, she says covering up the tempting black box will curb the number of hours families spend watching it, freeing up time to pursue healthier activities such as reading, playing games or physical fitness.

"These are very appealing benefits to our target market of women and parents who are concerned about the addictive and lethargic nature of television," Azima says.

She calls the time when the TV is turned off "Kozy Time," so her company website offers a Kozy Club where kids can post drawings or describe fun activities they've enjoyed while not watching the tube.

Azima says her TV Kozy is the first in a line of quality-of-life products.

"We plan to build our company by promoting healthier choices for people, especially children."

-- Entrepreneurship expert Roger Pierce trains people on how to start a small business in the Up & Running Biz Launch Program.

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