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Made by Mom Gift Guide: Touchy Tags

When Lauren Margulies' twins left the neonatal intensive care unit, a nurse told the new mom something she'd never forget and would be an inspiration for her product called Touchy Tags.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
Lauren Margulies is next in our Made by Mom Gift Guide, your guide to unique gifts made by local moms (and one dad). Margulies is the mom of twins in Raleigh and creator of Touchy Tags.

Margulies' children, Carson and Dean, were born 10 weeks early about 20 months ago. As they left the neonatal intensive care unit after a six-week stay, a nurse took Margulies aside and told her something she'd never forget.

"You're their last line of defense," Margulies remembers her saying. "You're their voice."

Margulies and her friends and family were careful around the newborns. But when Margulies went out in public with the babies, she found she didn't know what to say to the nice older lady or cute little girl who just wanted to stroke those little hands or toes.

She didn't want them touching her babies, for fear they might spread germs that could make her delicate newborns sick. But, as she put it, she didn't have the guts to tell them to keep their hands off.

"They're always nice people," she said.

Last fall's concerns over H1N1 flu just ramped up Margulies' concerns and the idea for Touchy Tags began to form. She left her job in pharmaceutical sales about a year ago and began Touchy Tags on Jan. 2 as she prepared for a life at home with her kids. The product was launched in April, when the twins turned one.

The tags, designed during countless dinner conversations with her husband, serve as gentle reminders to respect a baby's space. They hang from a baby seat, stroller, baby carrier or other home baby equipment. The soft, durable two-sided tags, which come in pink, blue or lime green, say "Love, not germs" and "Are your hands clean?" They can be cleaned and are BPA- and phthalate-free.

Sales have been strong. In less than a year, nearly a dozen local stores have started carrying the tags, including the gift shops at WakeMed and Rex Hospital. Click here for the full list stores in the area. You can also buy the tags on Margulies' website.

And Margulies also has committed to donating five percent of her 2011 profits to Christopher's Haven, which provides housing for families whose children receive cancer treatment at Boston's MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Christopher's Haven was selected after Margulies held her first Children's Charity Partnership Competition. Online voting decided the winner among five finalists.

Touchy Tags sell for $7.99 each, a great stocking stuffer for a mom-to-be or new mom. Learn more about Touchy Tags on the website. And watch the video to learn more about her and what she does.

The Made by Mom Gift Guide continues for one more day. Visit Go Ask Mom's Holiday Central to see other moms featured as part of the gift guide and for all of Go Ask Mom's holiday coverage!

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