Homegrown in the Heartland
I think we may have a future business tycoon on our hands.
Yesterday Natalie (Karen’s 5 year old daughter, my niece) paid me a visit while I was working in the studio. The first thing she did was excitedly hand over her newest creation. ”Aunt Carrie, I made you some new business cards!” Yes she did.
I would say they are kind of perfect. Simple, yet designed well. Our business name, 1canoe2, and our website address, 1canoe2.com. That’s really all the information you need to know. The orange diamond pattern in the background is right up our alley, and of course she remembered the blue canoe, our signature image. She topped it all off by putting one of us in the canoe – I’m not sure exactly who that is, but they seem to be having a really great time!
We are needing some more business cards, and are planning on designing some new ones very soon. Maybe Natalie has already done it.
I’m going to start calling her “the apprentice.”
I spent a little time reacquainting myself with my watercolors. Experimenting with some new ideas for some new products.
We had a photo shoot. What? That’s right. Some grown-up new head shots for our fancy-pants website that’s coming soon. A big thanks to the girls at Silverbox Photography. We can’t wait to see how good you’ve made us look!
We’ve got a whole bunch of new cards rolling off the press right now. I put a big dent in the “things to print” list, but there’s much more to come. I wish I knew the last time I re-set the fancy “counting machine” function on our antique letterpress. It’s been a while. I’ve been watching those numbers slowly creep up and up and up. Well, today it finally got to 99,999 and all of the numbers clicked back over to zero and we started counting again.
What a busy week! These are just a few of the things I’ve had my hand in. Karen and Beth are working their tails off as well. We have SO much going on right now. I think we all feel like we are being pulled in three different directions all the time, but we just keep rolling right along. Only one more month until the National Stationery Show! O-ma-gosh.
We had a great time at NYIGF! Travel went smoothly, we had a great place to stay, and the show went really well! So, what happens the week after a trade show? We all take a big sigh of relief, first of all. Then, its packing orders and shipping boxes to our new wholesale accounts, and re-printing items that we sold more than we have in stock. There’s a lot of following up with the contacts we made in NYC. We’re also taking a good hard look at where we are, and setting some goals for where we want to be in the weeks and months ahead.
More about our time in New York later, but for now, here are a couple of things that came out of the studio this week:
One of our favorites! Hail to the Chief! This is the second edition of this print, and it’s back in the shop. So, if you have been thinking about needing a little presidential history in your life, now is the time. Presidents day is Monday, February 20th, and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate! Treat yo’ self!!
Also, this week, another printing of our ever popular valentines! Don’t forget your sweetie! This reminder might be a little late, but in case you are running behind (we all do sometimes) you can find our valentines right here.
There has also been some interesting things going on just outside our studio this week as well. On Wednesday I took a little break from printing to go for a walk with Toby (Karen’s dog) to the big lake on our farm.
We’ve had a GIGANTIC flock of snow geese visiting this week. A lot of geese. I mean, a lot. Thousands. Sometimes they all congregate in the middle of a field, and sometimes they sit on the lake. They are loud, and they draw a lot of attention. There have been pickup trucks (ones that we don’t recognize) driving ever so slowly up and down the road. Prospective hunters, I’m guessing, just watching the birds.
The best part is when they all decide to take flight. Remember this video I posted? Amazing. Well, on Wednesday when Toby and I took off on our walk all the geese were sitting on the lake. It’s pretty hard to sneak up on a flock of geese with a labrador retriever in the midst. I had my video camera ready, and here is what we saw…
:: Carrie ::
Our booth set up for the New York International Gift Fair is coming right along! We’ve been spending time in the woodshop, building shelves, and painting signs.
This morning it all came together and we did a practice run to make sure we know how to assemble all the pieces.
We think it’s looking pretty sharp so far. One more week before everything ships to New York!
Sometimes I have to leave myself reminders to do those important things that sometimes get overlooked.
Today I just finished up printing some promotional materials that we’re sending out to prospective buyers in hopes that they will come visit our booth at the gift show in New York. We think they look pretty sharp!
Speaking of the gift show, here is an update on the progress of our booth set up…
The walls are constructed, and yesterday we had a little planning session about how we’re actually going to display all of our products. We ended up with this complicated diagram. Now to build shelves and add all the details. Hope we got those measurements right!
:: Carrie ::
This weekend I had some help tearing a little old shed down to it’s bare bones.
We stripped the boards off the outside walls, pulled out all the old rusty nails, threw the salvaged wood onto the back of the pickup truck, and took it home.
Why? Well, we have big plans for this little shed.
1canoe2 is going to be an exhibitor at the New York International Gift Fair in New York City at the end of January. We went to the Big Apple last May to take part in the National Stationery Show, which was a great experience for us. We learned a ton. But we decided that maybe we could find a better niche at the gift show, because we have more than just stationery to offer.
When we were there in May one of the big things we learned is how to really make an impression at a big trade show. We saw some incredible booths where the exhibitors had put a huge amount of time into planning a display that showed off their product. We took note. We immediately had some big ideas of what we would to the next time.
Well, the next time is here. We’re planning our set up for the gift show and that’s where this little shed comes in. We’re using the salvaged boards to build the display walls for our booth. So, why not just go buy some lumber? Why go to the trouble of salvaging it from an old leaning-over little building? Well, we decided that we want our potential wholesale buyers to really feel what 1canoe2 is all about. We want it to feel like they’re stepping into our studio when they come to visit us. So, we’re using old weathered barn board. And as my dad says, “you can’t buy this stuff.”
That’s the plan. It’s exciting, and a little intimidating.
I’ll keep you updated on the progress.