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NYIGF

NYIGF: Mission Accomplished

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We just got back from our week in NYC for the New York International Gift Fair, and we’re a little tired, but more importantly we’re feeling like we had a really successful week!

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We spent the majority of our time here, in the Javits Center, where the show took place. We’ve done shows here a handful of times now, but for some reason, I never really appreciated the beauty of the building until this trip. Its a HUGE conference center, but the main entry way is gigantic and made entirely of glass.

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Here’s our booth! We had a great response to our new greeting card collection, and our new recipe cards and recipe box were a huge hit. Hopefully they will be coming to a store near you!

Thanks to those of you who stopped by, and especially to those of you who made orders. We can’t wait to send out your packages!

:: Carrie ::

Introducing Our New Hand-Painted Greeting Card Collection!

We’re off to New York City this weekend where we’ll be setting up shop at the New York International Gift Fair. We are happy to let you know that we will be debuting a whole new collection of greeting cards at NYIGF! You may remember back in November I told you that I had been working hard on a big project – well here it is! We have 48 NEW cards, for all occasions, all illustrated by hand. Here are just a few of them…

We hope you can find one to suit all of your occasions. You can see the entire collection in our shop!

What Would we do Without Boys, Tractors, & Trucks?

It’s mid January, which means we have packed up our big huge crate with everything that makes up our trade show booth. It’s shipping out to New York City this week for the January edition of the New York International Gift Fair, and we’ll be following behind in just a few days.

We did a little maintenance to the bottom of our crate, and added some reinforcements. There’s no telling exactly what that big box goes through from the time it leaves our barn to when we are reunited with it in NYC. Then, of course, it has to make the return trip back home. Lots of picking up and moving around by guys driving fork lifts (sometimes seemingly a little out of control) who might not be as gentle with it as we are. It’s usually a little worse for wear by the time it makes it all the way back to us.

And how did we load up that big box into the back of the freight truck? With a back-hoe, of course. I mean, if it’s available, we might as well use it. One of the benefits of running a small company right in the middle of a big farming operation is the use of heavy equipment.

A friend of ours commented that “it’s nice to have boys, tractors, and trucks to help with this stuff.” Absolutely. I couldn’t have said it any better.

A BIG thank you to my dad and my brother Mike for helping us out!

:: Carrie ::

NYIGF: The Last Day

It’s been a busy, busy week at NYIGF! I think we are kind of getting the hang of this trade show thing. This is the fourth time we’ve shown our goods at a major show, and every time we build more and more on what we learned the time before.  We’re learning how to promote ourselves, and sell our products. Although, I still have a hard time tooting my own horn. I definitely would not call myself a natural salesperson. I can only take so much time in the booth, talking it up, before I have to go find somewhere a little more quiet. Karen and Beth, on the other hand, are top notch. Way to go you two! Once again, that’s why we make a good team.

But, here’s probably the best thing we have learned in the last couple of years. It has nothing to do with selling products. We’ve learned that on the last day of the show, when everyone starts the madhouse of disassembling the booths to pack up as fast as humanly possible, that it is best to just leave the Javits Center for a few hours. Take a break. Go do something fun. Then, come back later, and hopefully the crate will have been delivered to the booth site, and we can pack up everything in a bit more peace and quiet. Really, this has made our last day SO much better.

So, that’s what we did. The show closed at two o’clock.  We did some light disassembling, and packed a few small things, then we got the heck out of there. Where did we go, you ask? Well, this crew headed on down to 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

30 Rock. The home of NBC. The Today Show. The NBC Nightly News.  Saturday Night Live. And…

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon!

We’ve been wanting to get tickets to see Jimmy EVERY time we’ve come to NYC, and finally, after a strategic phone calling plan (yeah, Karen!) we got the tickets. We are all huge fans of the show, and it didn’t disappoint! So much fun! We even got a little screen time, AND some high-fives from Jimmy at the end of the show! Mission accomplished!

Afterward we grabbed a quick dinner, then headed back to the Javits Center to pack everything up into our huge crate. It was a late night, but definitely worth it.

The perfect way to end our week in the city. I’m not quite sure how we’ll top it next time.

:: Carrie ::

Working Hard & Having Fun

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We’ve got an all-star team here in NYC, and we’re working hard!

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Beth and Karen and I brought along our friend Lily this time who has been a GREAT help in and out of the booth. It’s nice having an extra hand when we need it, and Lily has stepped right up to the task. I think she’s learning a lot bout the wholesale world, which will come in handy in her own business. She’s quite the jewelry designer!

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Sales are good, and everyone seems to be excited about the new products that we’re introducing to our line!

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We enjoyed a delicious, hard earned dinner tonight at Mario Batali’s Birreria, one of our favorite places.

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Let me tell you, that Mario Batali knows how to cook a steak. I think I might have had the best steak I’ve ever eaten in my whole life. Seriously. It. Was. Good.

:: Carrie ::

Back in the City!

Well, it’s here. The New York International Gift Fair – August edition. We’re back in the city to sell our goods!

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Yesterday we got settled in, and then we took a little trip over the river into Brooklyn.

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After dinner we walked back to Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge.

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What a great night! We’re excited for an awesome week ahead. Looking forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces, and making some new friends. We’ll keep you posted!

This Week in the Studio…

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 ::

Home Again, Home Again

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What a whirlwind of a week it has been! We’re home from New York and looking forward to a couple days of downtime before we get back to work.

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We saw so many inspiring things and met so many great people while we were in NYC, and I think it will take a little bit of time before it all sinks in.

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Until then, we’ve got college basketball and the Super Bowl to look forward to. Tonight our Mizzou Tigers (#4) take on the KU Jayhawks (#8) at Mizzou Arena. It’s an INTENSE rivalry that gets rowdy every time, and the hype for this game is huge. It’s going to be a good weekend.

:: Carrie ::