Wednesday, December 17, 2014

We Do More Than Just Crafting in Our Classroom . . .

Two or three times a week, we have these Free Make & Take Projects in the classroom of our retail store – and they draw quite a crowd.  But two or three times a year, we have carry-ins – and they draw quite a crowd.  Today was one of those days . . .

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I had a couple of appointments through the noon hour, so I passed through just as the food was being laid out on tables in the back room.  Apparently the main course had not yet arrived, so folks gathered in the classroom as they waited for the gong to be sounded.

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This was the crowd just as I arrived – by the time I left, there were twice as many in attendance, and small tables were being set up in strange places to accommodate the overflow.  Or as I put it – places to sit if you misbehaved . . .

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I did notice that the only male in attendance got a spot very near the serving tables so that he could go to the head of the class once everything was ready . . .

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Burning the Midnight Oil . . .

Four or five years ago, on a whim or a hunch we decided to try a Thanksgiving Weekend Sale and were overwhelmed by your response.  So we did it again . . . and again . . . and again . . . and by now I think some of you have gotten the idea that we’re going to do it every year.  So we were pretty sure that it was going to be a busy couple of weeks.  We had no idea . . .

And so it was that my supervisor and I arrived at our store shortly after 6:00 on Friday evening to gather materials needed to fill your orders. It’s hard to stay on task during the work day – something else needs my attention, the phone rings, a customer has a question . . . you get the idea.  In the evening, it’s quiet and uninterrupted – I didn’t even have a ballgame on the radio to distract me.

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The supervisor checked on me every now and then as I matched items with orders, and boxes started filling so that I could take everything back to the mail center – where today I am going through them again to see which orders are ready to ship and which need an item or two that we need to order.

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Unlike me, the supervisor occasionally got distracted . . .

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Eventually, six boxes and Zoe were ready to leave.  I loaded all of them into my truck and went back to turn out the lights.

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And took one last glance at the clock on my way out the door . . .

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

They Were All Winners . . .

For the past several years, we have had a “Coupon Contest” in the store starting the day after Thanksgiving – for two days, customers could get 30% off in-stock items by making their own coupon.  And we promised prizes for the most artistic entries – on top of that 30% off they got for creating the card in the first place.  This year, the response was so good on Friday and Saturday that Karen and Gary decided to let it spill over to Monday.  Last Monday afternoon, I took a picture of the “entry board” . . .

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Tuesday afternoon, Karen sat down to judge the entries – and decided she couldn’t do it.  She knew who had created most of the entries, and wanted someone completely impartial to select the winners.  So she recruited the owner of the beauty shop next to Marco’s Too, and these were the winning entries . . .

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First place was a tie between Linda Pritchett and Judy Schneider.

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Second place went to Sarah Caudill, and third place went to Judy Smith.  Thanks to all who participated.

I did miss one small detail – I have no idea what you won.  But I’m sure Karen will be in contact with you soon . . .

Friday, November 28, 2014

Last Reminder – Shop Small and Save Big Tomorrow!

I hope no one thinks I’m nagging – this is such a good deal that I would hate for anyone to miss it in the hustle and bustle of the first weekend of the holiday shopping season . . .

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Click on the graphic above or on this link if you haven’t registered your American Express card for the three $10 statement credits you can earn if you shop local small businesses on Saturday, November 29.  We hope that the locals will use at least one of their credits at our retail store – you have to shop there in person, no online or phone orders are eligible.  But no matter where you are, how often does Corporate America offer you $30 in free money?

Remember that those local businesses have to be registered with Amex for you to get the statement credit (if they aren’t, it was their fault – it’s easy) – you can click on this link to to go a map where you’ll find all of the participating businesses in your area.

So far, I already know where two of my credits will be earned – Esther Price Chocolates are legendary in Dayton, and Bentino’s Pizza is the best in my hometown.  I’ll be spending a little time on that map tonight as I figure out my third stop. 

Have fun this weekend!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Black Friday Comparison . . .

I couldn’t resist the comparison when I saw my newspaper this morning . . .

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At left is what came . . . at right is what I will actually read!

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Even though they are somewhat related, I had no plans to include this when I sat down to share my newspaper with you.  But while I’m at it . . .

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We started our third (or fourth – I can’t remember) Thanksgiving Weekend Sale late yesterday – 25% off just about everything on our site through Tuesday.  So you have plenty of time to fit us in between your holiday festivities and post-holiday Black Fridaying.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Holiday “Imagine” . . .

This is what was going through my mind this morning as I filled my gas tank, trying to beat the “Hey, It’s Thanksgiving Week!” price increase I just knew was coming (and which did two hours later – 25 cents a gallon) . . .

Imagine what would happen if groceries acted like petroleum companies ... "There's a holiday on Thursday ... lots of people will be eating ... quick, raise all of our prices 10% ... we'll blame it on supplier shortages or unrest in Iowa"

I know ... someone will blame me for giving them the idea ...but just in case, I got my gas this morning ... and my groceries yesterday.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Children Are Our Future . . .

It was the beginning of a Whitney Houston song, and it fits so many situations in life . . . “I believe the children are our future … teach them well and let them lead the way.”

This phrase came to mind this morning after the phone rang at the mail center about 11:00 this morning.  On the other end was a nice lady inquiring about the Make & Take Project that was just starting at our store.  She wanted to know two things – was this something where she could just drop in and participate (yes), and would an eight-year-old girl be welcome (absolutely!).

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About an hour and a half later, she brought three of them – and when I left the store, Judy Kennard was hard at work introducing them to the art of cardmaking.  Hopefully they enjoyed themselves and learned a new hobby, and perhaps someday they’ll come back with friends – or even children of their own.