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Antonia and Lloyd Holder recognised for business innovation

Honoured guests: Lloyd Holder, left, and Antonia Holder at Fast Company’s annual Innovation Festival (Photograph supplied)

Fast Company, one of the world’s leading progressive business media brands, has recognised DigiRoo with an honourable mention in its 2022 Innovation By Design Awards.

DigiRoo founder Antonia Holder said she felt honoured.

“When I first heard we were recognised with an award, I immediately started looking at the other companies that, like us, were awarded an honourable mention in their various categories, and I was amazed to see companies like Fitbit and Pinterest,” she said. “That’s what helped me to see how huge this acknowledgement actually is.”

The awards honouring designers and businesses solving the most crucial problems of today, and anticipating the pressing issues of tomorrow, is now in its eleventh year and features a range of blue-chip companies, emerging start-ups and emerging young talent.

The Holders were recognised in the Wellness category for their product, DigiRoo, a patent-pending, ergonomically designed electronic tablet case, which boasts an adjustable stand to ensure that children watch their digital devices in a posture-safe position.

Their product was picked by a panel of judges including designers, business leaders andFast Company’s writers and editors. Entries were judged on functionality, originality, beauty, sustainability, user insight, cultural impact and business impact.

Committed to self-development and business growth, Mrs Holder explained that this opportunity was a by-product of attending a female empowerment conference back in 2021, hosted by international speaker and podcast host Rachel Luna.

From that event, she met a handful of other successful entrepreneurs — one of whom sent her details about theFast Company Innovation By Design Awards in January and encouraged her to apply.

“I didn’t even have a physical product at that stage as we were still tweaking the design and didn’t even have the prototype in hand yet,” Mrs Holder said. “However, as I started reading more about Fast Company and what they do, I got to thinking, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ The judges say no, right? So, I took a chance, prayed about it and decided to apply.”

She sent in her submission, along with design renderings and information about the product. Months later, the organisation came back to say “Congratulations! You have been selected as a Fast Company honouree!”.

“It was surreal reading that e-mail and learning that our product had been selected,” Mrs Holder said.

She and her husband were invited to a special awards party where they were recognised.

“The award itself means so much to me. However, it was also incredible to get to network with C-suite-level executives and professionals in top management positions,” she said.

The celebration took place in New York City at Fast Company’s Annual Innovation Festival, which was on hiatus the previous two years due to the pandemic.

While attending the conference, Mrs Holder was able to meet Kenneth Irvine Chenault, the first African American to become the chief executive officer of a Fortune 500 firm, the American Express Company. She also met Penny Pritzker, the former US Secretary of Commerce.

“As business owners of start-ups, one thing I’ve realised is you have to maintain the passion, excitement and faith in your product and your brand,” she said. “You have to keep the fire burning two years down the line, just as you had on Day 1, because that helps other people to see that you’re serious about it and to buy into the vision.”

DigiRoo is currently available for pre-orders via the company’s website. Mrs Holder also announced this week that the local retailer A F Smith has become her first wholesale partner.

“They truly have been champions of ours and this product from the beginning,” she said. “Plus, our businesses are aligned in such a way that the relationship was a natural fit. We have an exciting launch planned for the first quarter of 2023 and can’t wait to display the DigiRoo at A F Smith.”


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Published December 08, 2022 at 7:42 am (Updated December 08, 2022 at 7:42 am)

Antonia and Lloyd Holder recognised for business innovation

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