Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Holy schnikes!

Ok, so seriously, does work ever end? I took yesterday off in an effort to spend more time with my son and detox after the Southern Women's Show in Orlando thinking that my work load wasn't truly that heavy. Ha!

I have to start work on two custom orders, quite a few people have been emailing us after the Women's Show, my husband just asked me to write his business plan *and* it's time for my fall cleaning of the house! Whew!!!

Anyway, the Southern Women's Show was fantastic. There were so many great vendors there (I got my anniversary present from a jewelry designer) and great people just shopping. It was fantastic to hear all the praise for the quality and attractiveness of our products -- they kept asking us who the designer was... Um, it's US! While Heidi and I aren't exactly in our college years anymore, we're still fairly young and people seemed surprised to think that our products actually came from people as young as we are. That was definitely a confidence booster. We've struggled a little on Etsy because there are so many great people selling the same things, but we're starting to carve out a great niche in the Central Florida area catering to the local community. We sold such an amazing amount that we were worried we wouldn't have enough stock for Sunday (thankfully Sunday was slow, lol). I, Jen, want to thank each and every single person who stopped by and talked to us -- you made our show spectacular and we hope to talk to you all soon. We also want to thank everyone who purchased from us -- because of you we are able to donate $70 to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orlando. We drew the winner for the raffle (a $25 gift certificate), and I'll be notifying them later on today through email (yay for Titusville!).

We do want to plug three great vendors whom we dealt with over the four day show -- Bucket & Co, Resident Chef and Cherish Bound. I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have such friendly and supportive people around us, we were truly lucky to be placed with such wonderful people.

The first is Bucket & Co located at 1804 N. Goldenrod Road in Orlando, FL. The owner is a truly wonderful lady (with a great daughter) who sells soybean wax candles and country Christmas items at great prices. I bought two candles -- Pumpkin Vanilla and Lemon Icebox Cookie that are simply to-die-for. Seriously, especially the lemon one.... it makes me hungry every time I open it to smell it! If you're in the Orlando area, check them out by calling 407-277-8377 and getting directions to their store.

The second is the wonderful creator of Resident Chef foods. Though I can probably thank them for adding another inch around my waistline, I've never eaten such fantastic food that is make-at-home. The best part is that she's not a part of a huge conglomerate marketing food with a bunch of crap and preservatives in them... she's the creator of every recipe! They're reasonably priced, completely delicious and a whiz to make (Heidi just made the potato soup last night and her husband ate three full bowls)... and you can have them shipped to you... yum. What did I buy? Heck, what didn't I buy?! By far the best dip was the BLT dip, though it was closely followed by the Chili Cheese and Bacon dip, so I bought both of those. I also bought the Parmesan Italian and the Simply Salsa (it's worlds better than jarred salsa). In the dessert cheeseball category, I chose the White Chocolate Cranberry but that was a tough decision. It barely beat out the White Chocolate Peppermint (which would be great on cupcakes... mmm) and Butter Pecan.... I'm still probably going to order the White Chocolate Peppermint now that I'm thinking about it. I also purchased the Potato Soup because it seriously rocks. Check out The Resident Chef for prices and ordering information and remember you're supporting a another home-based, handmade business!

We also fell in love with Cherish Bound and Tara Brown -- she was a lot of fun. She introduced us to the wonderful ways her company creates memory books for their clients -- kind of a digital version of scrapbooking with more orientation on the storytelling aspect versus straight pictures. I purchased a book that I'll be using for my father, to thank him for all the wonderful ways he's influenced and cared for me throughout the years. I'll probably end up purchasing a book for my husband to document our son's journey through the turbulent times of toddlerhood. She was great and her company seems fantastic -- you should contact her if you're interested in hosting a party or becoming a consultant. Yes, it's one of *those* companies but they're reasonable as far as their prices go. I purchased a hard cover, 24 page book for around $50 including tax... which isn't bad for a large company. I'll let you all know how easy setting up the book is and what the final product looks like when I'm done.

In all, we talked to some amazing people, purchased fun things and ate delicious food (no thanks to the Orange County Convention Center). We made some money (enough so that it wasn't a complete bust) and spread the word about our company. I can't think of any way the four days at the Southern Women's Show could have gone any better.

Take care,


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