Monday, January 30, 2012

Life In a 10X10 Booth

So our booth is 10x10, or put another way, the size of a Manhattan studio apartment. In this space which you can see is quite charming, well lit, has great views and includes heat and electric (wait, this sounds like a Classified Ad from the 1990's...pre Internet). OK, we enter our booth and we talk to people. First we dust, tidy up, re-arrange the FortuneKeeper tins (a tad compulsive) and then we hide our coffee cups. Nancy's can be identified by the lipstick marks, Chrisie's only needs to be lifted close to the nostril area and the smell of a double shot of Splenda is her trademark and Tim is a real purist, black with no milk or sugar. The next thing is gum. A few chews and out. Then the action starts. We meet every kind of personality under the sun. This can range from a small shop owner in Montana to the purchasing director of a major store. The thing that remains a constant is our enthusiasm for what we are selling. All of us are selling something that we had a hand in creating. It really brings out the kid in each of us. There is much pleasure to be had when someone loves what you have made. Today we met some great prospects and some very fun people. We sold 24 to a woman from Colorado who told us her store was not really a great fit for our product but she loved them so much she would try selling them anyway. Now that's what we love!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Doing Something We Love

Today Tim, Chrisie and Nancy, woke up with a feeling of excitement and anticipation. We were about to do our very first International Gift Show with our booth actually at the Javits Center. First order of business - COMFORTABLE SHOES. Nothing on this planet can be achieved when your feet hurt. Really, this should be taught in college. Forget spread-sheets and business-speak, it's the feet that matter. OK, that said, our lack of sleep was not an issue. Adrenaline kicked in and coffee in hand we were ready to enter a glass structure that on this day housed what seemed like an warehouse of everything you could ever imagine being called a gift. Aisles and aisles (and we are not kidding) of well-lit booths and busy ants (us included) putting the finishing touches on displays that ranged from "art" to "ugh." After a few artful maneuvers we were ready for prime time. Now our FortuneKeepers are something we have worked very hard on to make beautiful and over the past year we have really learned a thing or two but a FortuneKeeper is not a pot-holder or a flashlight. A buyer needs to see how it works, what makes it great and they need to understand that they really should carry our line in their store (online included) or catalog. This is why it really matters when you do something that you love and are proud of. So how did day one go? Well we are all home now and we want to share some very fun stories but it's late, so will you come back tomorrow for more?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday January 21 2012
Do something fun today. Fun can be transformational.
Snow anyone? Go for it. Throw it...have a ball:)

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Fun In Choosing

Next Sunday we will be making our very first appearance at the International Gift Show at The Javits Center Jan 28-Feb 2. We did two previous shows at The International Gift Show but we were at Pier 92 which is about a mile from The Javits Center. Our collection will include some great new images, a few of which we have posted on our FortuneKeeper Facebook page. Choosing designs is really fun. It is in fact one of the most fun things that we do. We consider who our "audience" is and what would they like. Of course we have to love it and without arguing, there are passionate cases made why something might be better than something else. It really is amazing to be able to separate what we individually like and find a consensus. Then we develop a story around the image, often based on the artist's description of the image. We then run with it and reshape it and writing our story cards is another very satisfying part of the process. Some of the greatest and most satisfying times during the Holiday Market at Union Square came when a very passionate person was buying a FortuneKeeper for a friend or loved one who was struggling, emotionally, physically and even financially. The images along with the message on the card brought some people to tears and made others so happy to be able to give a gift that carries hope. We will keep you posted as we get ready for the show.