Lost job leads to 'laid off' wristbands

Stephanie Aucoin lost her accounting job more than six months ago and has been spending 10 to 12 hours on the Internet looking for a new one.

Her friend of 16 years, Barbara Bourn, is employed in interior design sales for a Sarasota company and has seen her commission-based income fall 60 percent because of the sagging economy.

Frustrated, the two Sarasota residents sought to find a way to both market their talents and make an income.

The result?

A wristband that almost 6 million Americans could legitimately wear.

It reads: "Laid off. Need a Job."

"I pushed her (Aucoin) to come up with something, because she's very creative," Bourn, 59, said. "So she came up with this idea. Because we're both hurting financially, we figure this was a way to help other people and ourselves at the same time."

The women ordered 500 of the wristbands from a manufacturer in Texas and did a marketing blitz by handing some of them out for free.

They sell them online for $3 apiece through a Web site Aucoin designed at

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