Monthly Archives: March 2016

Enjoy the process

Recently I had the opportunity to bid on a big project – 3000 – 4000 pieces, which is really really big for me!  My response was ‘Wow!  Great!  This is going to be fun!”

Then I heard the kicker; we needed to turn this entire project, from proposal to shipment in 5 days.  OK.  I can do that.   (Not sure how I can do that, but that has never stopped me before, and I always get the job done).

I went into full court press on this one.  I talked to the client about my concept.  I called my vendors to check on immediate availability of product and supplies.  I talked to UPS about special pickups at a different location.  I found an immediately available location to rent for a week.  I estimated very carefully how long it would take an untrained person to put a package together to my standards, and therefore how long the project would take to complete and how many labor hours I would need in 3 days.  My spreadsheet was a thing of beauty.

Of course, I didn’t get the job.  I was very disappointed, because I was quite psyched for the challenge of it all.   But after a pause I decided I was o.k. with not getting the job. The client seemed very impressed with my ability to create a viable proposal in just a few hours and was happy with what I presented.   I hold onto the hope that there may be a future opportunity from that same client.  Even more important, I had a terribly good time in figuring all this out. It was like buying a lottery ticket – while I was planning and dreaming  I was really enjoying myself, even if there was no payout at the end.

And that is definitely worth the time invested.

Smiles all!


Housewares Show!

This weekend was the International Housewares Association Show, which is conveniently held here in Chicago (completely for my benefit, I am sure).   I attend every year, trolling the aisles looking for a new idea, new trends, new products.   Unfortunately, the gourmet section of the show was virtually non-existent this year – so nothing new and exciting there!

That said, I did find some things I am feeling enthusiastic about.   One vendor had three!  A cupcake maker that will make a single cupcake, from virtually any cake batter, in the microwave oven in under 2 minutes.   A popcorn popper that will do 2-3 cups of popcorn in the microwave without oil.  And a cup that will make a slushie in your hand in no time at all.   I haven’t ordered these yet, but I am sorely tempted – very high on my super cool list.

A few people sent me on product hunts – I found several different melamine trays and bowls for one client – amazing the patterns that are available!  And I have a full list of really nifty ideas for one of our real estate agents!

Themes and trends – copper is still going strong, both as an accent color and as a material in cookware.  The sea and beach themes are big – whales, octopuses, sea shells and lighthouses.  I have read that the ‘colors of the year’ are pastel blues and pinks, but that certainly wasn’t evident at the show.

I will be at the show one more day – Tuesday is a short day- looking to see if there was anything I missed the first time through and filling in a few of the areas I know I missed.  Then it is down to reading the pile of catalogs and making the ideas turn into reality!