Friday afternoon I drove up to Marin to meet with Bob at “Two Neat”, an amazing store filled with all sorts of greeting cards, creative gifts, t-shirts etc. I can see why it seems to be the perfect “go to” store in Mill Valley. Not to mention the personal service you get from Bob and his staff. I had stopped in the week prior upon recommendation from Laurie Brock, a rep I had met at the SF Gift Store. Laurie was kind enough to suggest stores that I should contact to inquire about my cards. I’m grateful for her suggestion to talk to Bob. He is a wealth of information!
When I left the store, I looked at my watch and was shocked that I had been in there as long as I had! (I love that…when time flies…you know you had a good time!) What an inspiring discussion I had with Bob. In talking about the greeting card industry, we both acknowledged how much it has changed (like everything else in this world). Bob filled me in on the fact that REcycled Paper Greetings and Papyrus had both been purchased by American Greetings. The big corporate world keeps getting bigger! What’s to happen to the little guy on the street, like me, trying to make a go of her little card line?!? I had shared with him a bit of my past…how I had started “words and watercolors” initially in the mid 90’s and now, because of life’s circumstances changing, I was able to try again. This time with more time to devote to the success of this venture. As my kids are grown and I’m no longer the Commercial Office Furniture Sales Queen that I was when I first tried to get my art out to the world. It was reassuring to hear Bob’s comments that I was doing things right (printing small print runs, doing some test market research etc). Through his eyes, I could begin to see and acknowledge that this winding road I’ve been traveling actually does have some purpose to it. He and I talked about the journey’s we take in life. I could see how valuable my efforts were with the first “words and watercolors” and subsequently how much I learned when working with Brush Dance as a licensed artist for Holiday cards and Calendars. I know more than I thought I know…and as Bob could see and also acknowledged, I’ve got the skill set to do the promotion and sales efforts that is required for me to make a go of this. Many artists are missing that piece, he states. Thankfully, all those years of calling on Corporate End Users and Architects/Designers to sell Commercial Office Furniture and Carpet pays off! I intrinsically know that “people buy from people they like”, “it’s all a numbers game” and “persistence and determination pay off”. It was my “dogged determination”, I used to call it, that contributed to my success in my Sales world. I’m sure it will be the same “dogged determination” that contributes to me figuring out the pieces of the puzzle, each day, to this ever changing greeting card industry. And like Bob, I want to enjoy what I do and have fun at it…”that’s what it’s all about”…(you do the hokey pokey and your turn yourself around…that’s what it’s all about!).