You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Building Relationships’ category.

I think I was in grade five when I got frost bite on my toes while skiing at Monte Ste. Anne in Quebec.  What I do know is that I’ve had cold feet ever since.

Yeah, yeah you’re probably thinking, “Why does she always have to make these posts about herself? Get to the story already.”   … because it’s MY blog…and I’m getting to it…ok?

What’s the one thing in my closet I can’t live without? My sock drawer! Bet you didn’t see that one coming.  My sock drawer has the most amazing collection of hand knitted wool socks you can possibly imagine. Although I love ‘open toe’ season, I also really love my wool socks. Every time I go anywhere that I have to take my shoes off I immediately get compliments on my socks. I’m not kidding you! It happens ALL the time. And for good reason. I have memorable socks.My socks are amazing. Opening my sock drawer you will feast your eyes on an array of multi-coloured socks the likes of which you will probably never see anywhere else.

What's inside my sock drawer.

What’s inside my sock drawer.

Many years ago, my mom started knitting.  I was alway envious of that particular skill. I’m a lefty and knitting, although I have tried, always made me feel as though I had 6 thumbs and no fingers. So, when my mom started gifting me with not just wool socks, but hand made wool socks, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. My first pair were a heavy pair of cream coloured ones, and then another pair of cream ones followed. (sadly, one of those cream pairs has since gone to sock heaven… and I don’t mean the washing machine. I always take good care of my socks washing them by hand and rolling them in a towel to get the excess moisture out before hanging them to dry.  That way they last and last. Pretty sure that pair that’s now deceased was at least 20 years old. Mom’s socks aren’t just great because they’re wool. They’re great because they fit so well. They are shaped exactly to my foot when they are given to me. They aren’t tight, but never fall down or work their way down into the toe of my boot.   Genius!

My mom’s always been really busy for as long as I can remember. She’s an amazing cook, and her house, even though it’s almost always under renovations, always seems to look like it’s about to be photographed by ‘Martha’ herself.  When I was a little kid she bred dogs, trained them and even showed them at dog shows.  She has also been an artist for as long as I can remember, painting the sweetest acrylic on canvas paintings of houses, farms, animals etc.   She’s also painted many miniature pieces as well. Very charming. I really love her work, she has a great eye. She was an antique dealer when we lived in the east and I arrived home from school many afternoons to find her ‘stripping’ …furniture, that is. She was working out and doing yoga back before either were fashionable.  We always had a dog, a cat or two, chickens, sometimes goats, once a cow?, or did I dream that?  She’s even been a real estate agent.

These are only about one inch across!

These are only about one inch across!

Can you believe how cute these are?

Can you believe how cute these are?

Square Miniatures about an inch and a half wide.

Square Miniatures about an inch and a half wide.

   

Mom and dad now live on Salt Spring Island. A place I often equate with paradise. You know… the place on the brochure where you wish you were, but just never seem to get there.  It’s always so nice and relaxing! Obviously, I don’t get over there as often as I’d like for this reason. Going to SSI means driving 45-50 minutes to the ferry terminal, waiting there for an hour at least (if you want to get on the intended ferry) 3 hours crossing (milk run) or 1.5 hours non-stop. There’s only one non-stop on Friday, Saturday and Sunday….any way, you get my point. It’s really time consuming…to go there and come back uses up half of your weekend.

We talk on the phone often though.  When I called to chat one afternoon a few years ago (I call more than every few years btw) my dad answered. He usually doesn’t answer the phone. We were chatting for a while before I asked where mom was. Imagine my surprise when he told me  “Oh…she’s hooking in Nanaimo”.  Ok…. I’ve been to Nanaimo a few times. Driven through really, so the first thing that came into my mind was this hotel that my brother and I used to joke about because it was called the “Ho”…short for the Tally Ho.

Well I know my mom’s an original and always an adventurer, but, I guess my mind was going down the wrong road altogether. Turns out mom and  a few of her ‘hooker’ friends from SSI were attending a rug hooking seminar that weekend and I don’t think it was at the Tally Ho… although if I’d been planning it, that would have been different.

Bug Rug

Bug Rug

Bugs

Bugs

Dragon Fly

Dragon Fly

Beatle

Beatle

And now for the Rooster series….

Rooster and Egg

Rooster and Egg

Brown Rooster

Brown Rooster

White Rooster

White Rooster

And some more little treats…

Lily

Lily

Frog on Leaf

Frog on Leaf

House

House

Kitten

Kitten

And finally one of my personal favorites…

Farm Animals

Farm Animals

My mom’s been hooking rugs for many years too. Just another of her many talents. Her work is absolutely impeccable, again, because she has an amazing ‘eye’, as I call it. It’s the ability to see things with clarity and recognize balanced composition and colours etc. making it seem natural to create beauty around you… at least that’s what I think it is. Anyway, that’s what mom’s alway done with everything in her life.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Advertisements

I was running late. Had to drop off a costume to Sanctuary first and then whip over to Costco for some chocolates. I thought it would be nice to be able to offer visitors a treat when they stopped in to chat. I had put together a little slide show loop of pics from photo shoots, and had that on the end of my table playing on my laptop. The other end of the tabel had a list I had made up of all the retail locations where you could buy Cairns Technical Gear, some brochures and business cards. In the centre was a sample of the Cairns Full Protection Lap Blanket for wheelchair users and the Cairns Rain Protection Apron for scooter users.

I was a little disappointed by the location of my table. It was in the middle of the east side of the room, and because there was a projection screen in that corner, the lights were off. This wasn’t an issue for any of the tables around the outside of the room because they had spot lights aimed at their tables. In between presentations they would turn on the ceiling lights and cast some light onto my table… this is where the bowl of chocolates come in….

...all that glitters... and smells like chocolate...

I had some past customers come by to visit me and see the new product, which was a real pleasure for me. One of the customers who dropped by already owns two of the Cairns Full Protection Lap Blankets, one in each colour. It was the first time that I met her and it was such a treat. She was using her red one that day.

See how dark it is?

She was the second customer, that I had not met before, who approached my table for a chat. I just love that part of the Abilities Expo. I get to meet the people after they’ve been using the product for a winter and find out what they think, get their views and talk about new ideas.

I even had someone I’d been chatting with on Twitter come by and introduce himself. He writes a cool blog ‘Priority Seating’ about accessibility on transit in Vancouver. His Twitter handle is @nextstoporbust, if you’d like to join him. It’s so nice to be able to put a face to a name.

I had Rina Liddle and Prophecy Sun stop by from LiddleWorks to chat… we would be meeting up again later in the week to do a photo shoot.

Me and Rina

Me and Prophecy Sun

The afternoon was a whir of visitors and lots of people that came by 3 and 4 times to grab one of the chocolates. It was fun to watch as some people would saunter by for the 2nd time and act like they didn’t notice the bowl, only to turn back and grab a few more for later.

The entertainment was really good. The CanDance Team performed to a number by the Black Eyed Peas. And there was also a singer/guitar player that I really liked, Glenn David Loft. I’ve looked all over for the info and can’t seem to find it. Here’s a picture of him. If anyone knows his name, let me know in the comments.

For the last month I’ve been trying to find an active, younger guy who would like to assist me in my design process. I’m designing a pair of adapted street-wear pants that would be appealing to younger hip guys, that don’t want to look like they’re wearing adapted pants. Then, from across the room I spotted the best looking man I’ve seen in years. I started having one of those moments where I was thinking…”I can’t approach him… he’s WAY too good looking”. I’m glad I did because he was not only interested in helping me, but, he was full of ideas and enthusiasm. I’m looking forward to having the time to work on this new project.

Our friends Ken and June showed up for a chat as well. They have modeled for us in the past and are much fun to chat with. They have both been so supportive of what I’m doing.

Ken and June

The afternoon was a whir of visitors and lots of people that came by 3 and 4 times to grab one of the chocolates. It was fun to watch as some people would saunter by for the 2nd time and act like they didn’t notice the bowl, only to turn back and grab a few more for later. Can’t wait til next year. It’s a great event that ConnecTra Society puts on at the Roundhouse in Vancouver.

I’ve been having a really hard time posting anything lately…. I’m always trying to keep it ‘light’ and ‘positive’, so when times are tough, I find myself with very little to say.

Time to lay it all out there… to bare my soul, as they say, or as close as I can get to that.

Last Christmas, my daughter and I kept a really low profile. We stayed home by ourselves. We went out for dinner one night and saw a movie with coupons someone had given us. We put up our tree and enjoyed our new little kitten, who entertained us by running up the centre of the tree, over and over again.

As this year winds down, I’m asking myself, how the heck I ended up here… more broke than last Christmas, wondering how on earth I’m going to pay my rent.  I feel like I worked every second last year and really didn’t have time to even stop to evaluate my finances. I just had to keep moving ahead with my goals with little time to stop and reflect on my personal situation.

I’m just going to start by trying to remember all the things that I did accomplish or put into action.

In the fall of 2009, I started working with Teresa, from Blacklake, who I’ve been working with ever since to establish quality manufacturing for a price that would make it possible to start selling Buggy Bag® at wholesale to retailers.  The manufacturing costs here made the price untouchable at that level, so I was only able to sell  the product one at a time, directly to end users… I wanted more people to be able to find it and use it.

The year 2010 started out with work for the movie ‘A-Team‘, going to a local theatre to fix a velvet stage curtain, and the construction of some Fencing Jackets for the Arts Club Theatre.

Much work with Rina from Liddleworks, and a photo shoot with the lovely Jessie Claveau for our new flyer which Rina designed.

Got my first set of samples back from Hong Kong. They looked pretty good, but, I wanted to make some changes to the fabrics, and components, and see what the prices would be like….shipping costs $350

My generous friends took my daughter and I to Whistler for Easter weekend where I was able to prove to my self that I could still ski. That weekend was such fun!

Went to the Dragon’s Den auditions and was told I didn’t have enough sales to move ahead. That was fine, and it was a benefit to me to work on the numbers etc. with Rina before hand. These exercises always shed light on the value of planning ahead and setting goals. My friend Wendy from PumpEase made it through the auditions, and onto the show which aired in October.

I was contacted by LandMark Direct, who do TV commercials like the ‘As Seen On TV’ ads. I decided to have them make a 1 minute commercial for me that would run in 150 spots across the US. The purpose being to test the market to evaluate where advertising $ are best spent. I sent some samples of the Stroller, Jogger and Wheelchair weather blankets, and the process began.

Received another round of samples from the factory … shipping $340

I met with the SCISN Board for the Rick Hansen Institute where I met with Gary McPherson about designing some custom wheelchair weather protection for him. I made a few sales there and met some lovely and inspiring people. It was through my work for former Vancouver mayer Sam Sullivan, that I ended up there. I had done a custom wheelchair poncho for him in the fall of 2009.

I did a bit of work for a friend who had a contract to do some costumes for the Olympics. Then, an old school friend of mine moved back here from Singapore. She needed a place to land while she settled back into the Vancouver workplace and found a place to live. It was really nice having Kai here for that time and we had many fun times and good meals together. We went to many free Olympic festivities. It was really fun being in Vancouver at that time!

I shortened many, many sleeves for a TV show called ‘Human Target‘, did some pattern work for two local women’s wear designers, then I headed over to my friend Deb’s studio to help her with a bunch of gaberdine 50’s styles she was manufacturing for a TV show called ‘Fringe‘. I think I spent a few weeks over there. Nice to get out of my place… even though my place is like heaven, I still get lonely… I know I talked her ear off… I miss working with people.

Got another set of samples back, decided to focus on just the three main products for now, because of the minimum order quantities. The zippers and fabrics now looked good, but we still have to work on the reflective logo…. shipping costs $275

Found a US Patent and Trademark Lawyer and started to proceed with this process…$2500 later, I find out that even though, I have the trademark Buggy Bag Registered here in Canada and have owned the buggybag.com address since 1998, and I make and sell mobility accessories…. they feel that there will be some ‘confusion’ with the other company that makes shopping cart covers and uses my name only with an extra “g” on the end….I should have applied for the US TM back when this company first offered to buy my URL…. who knew they would just add another ‘g’ to the name. The patent is still in process… and the cost is unknown, but a fair guess would land it in the $10,000 range.

Had Lawyers read contract with Landmark Direct… $500

Found out I need some very pricey licences to be able to sell a ‘stuffed’ article in Ontario, Quebec or Manitoba. One for each province and for each year at $500 each! Ouch, there goes my rent for that month.

Next, I stumbled across a blog written by the mom of a beautiful little guy by the knick-name of Bugg. I was moved by her ability to document their life and the wonderful quality of her blog photos. http://thebuggslife.blogspot.com/ I sent this little guy a Buggy Bag Stroller Blanket to use on his tiny wheelchair. I was so happy to meet this family and help make Bugg’s outings a bit cozier. We still keep in touch and I hope to one day meet them in person.

I then built some leather dresses for the character ‘Ginn’ on ‘Stragate Universe‘, and started working on another dog movie called ‘Treasure Buddies‘ featuring lots of cute children’s costumes, and also squeezed in an alteration of a down jacket for the movie ‘The Big Year‘, hemmed some shirts for ‘Ice Road Terror‘, and a bunch more custom work for ‘Stargate Universe’.

Got some more manufacturer samples still with issues …. shipping $400

It was around this time that I met a great guy by the name of Brian Bell, the founder of Interfit in North Vancouver. Some friends and I went to their fundraiser, which I also blogged about.

Got many different script revisions over this time and finally approved one and then had to get the money together before the commercial production could begin…. $3000

I made 9 pairs double layer fleece leg warmers for Sam Sullivan to give out to his associates, the moved onto yet more alterations for ‘The Big Year’, much more work for ‘Stargate Universe’ and the leather coat I made for ‘Sanctuary‘, which I also blogged about. It was right around this time that I got the sad news that Gary McPherson had passed away.

More one on one work with Liddleworks… business plan.

Got a first copy of the actual commercial. It looked great and I was really happy with how our conversations went. I was so apprehensive about the whole thing to begin with and the amount of $, but, if everything went well we would be getting lots of sales and valuable information about the marketplace, not to mention the commercial to use in whatever way we liked…$3500

More work with Liddleworks… hangtag designs…. three tags with usage illustrations. Had a friend help with the french translations and found a hangtag manufacturer close to the factory in China.

I made a dozen various aprons for ‘Red Riding Hood‘ before starting on the years fun show…. ‘The Fairly Odd Parents’ I always have fun working for Angus Strathie and this show was no exception! Many wonderful costumes for this show.

More work on business plan…more $$$ I owe Liddleworks.

Right after that I had the pleasure of meeting Jim Byrnes and making him a pair of trousers and an overcoat for ‘Sanctuary’.

A man I  spent two years trying to forget, suddenly appears in my life again, only to vanish again two months later.

Another photo shoot featuring 5 wheelchair models and one stroller model, a mom and a sweet working dog…$600

Pay for hang tags… $1100

September finally rolled around, the commercial was ready to air, the production was in place and would be ready to ship at the end of Sept. I had to decide where to have the product shipped to, and decided that most of the sales would likely be from the US, so I found a ‘pick and pack’ place in Blaine.

Volunteered at the World Wheelchair Rugby Championships. So fun, met lots of athletes and got to see some of the games.

Commercial aired to no sales and therefore no stats… frustrating, but, must keep looking ahead.

Landmark proposed an agreement to sell the product through catalogue sales.

Lawyer read another contract…. $500.

Chris, my brother and I head down to the ABC Kids show in Vegas to see what the competition is like, what to expect when we go to the show as a vendor, evaluate what kind of a booth we need,  to look for sales reps and get a bit of R&R. We walked hundreds of miles that week and most of it was in the convention centre. We also, visited just about every hotel in the  city, we won $76, and we had some fantastic meals.

Launched new version of the Web Site that has been in the works for many months… it looks great and it’s only Phase I! Was immediately “de-friended” on facebook by the fellow that did the last version of the website.

Went on a sailing trip to Molly’s Reach with some friends, which was another stellar weekend!

Product is ready to ship, need to get financing… bank turned me down… evidently I should have bought an apartment instead of trying to make this great product available… at least that’s what they would have me believe!

Went to a private investor, who saw the real reason I’m doing all of this and wants to help make it happen…. $17,000 debt

Landed the product in Canada and the US and took delivery the same day that we had our Buggy Bag reception for friends, customers and media…$550. Had a blast even though no media showed up, the important people were there. Including David Rountree, who I met when I volunteered at the World Wheelchair Rugby Championships back in September. He brought his ‘Floor-Board‘ for all of us to try. Sylvi MacCormac was a special musical guest at our event, who was also one of our models at the last shoot. We felt so honoured.

Inspected the shipment that arrived here in my living room with Teresa from Blacklake. We realized there was a small QC issue with the shipment and had to look at our options…. do we send them back? I’m totally against that idea. I try a few different methods to deal with the issue and discover that I can solve it 100% with the use of my commercial iron.

One of the perks of working in film is the ‘wrap party’ at the end of the show. I went to 4 wrap parties and a gala benefit for Spinal Cord  Injury. I wore the same outfit to 3 of them!

Got an order for the stroller and jogger blanket from Babies’R’Us… a small trial order for the Canadian web site.

Had to buy a Universal Bar Code number for the company… $500

Dear friend Barbara passed away, which left me in a blue funk for some time. Sadly missed.

More work for  the TV shows ‘Stargate Universe’ and ‘V‘.

Teresa and I head down to the States to deal with the QC issue on that part of the shipment. One day and two very sore backs later and we are back in Vancouver, satisfied that the product is 100% perfect.

December rolled around with no movie or tv work for me, so I started making phone calls. I always said I wasn’t a sales person, but, one call led to another and another and by mid December I had already shown the wheelchair weather blanket to at least 7 places and got it into 4 stores and 10 locations in the lower mainland. This is the easiest thing in the world to sell. It just makes sense because it’s easy to use and  it helps people stay warm. I’ve been focusing on the  wheelchair weather blanket, but, also got the jogger weather blanket into two stores as well.

I read a blog that really touched me and I responded by sending a wheelchair lap blanket to the autor, Patrick, for his wife Patti. The response I got was worth every bit of the hard work I’ve done this year!

I put 2 paid ads on Craig’s List one in Seattle area and one in NYC, looking for commissioned sales reps to rep the wheelchair weather blanket… $50. There may be a few potentials among the responses… I sure hope so. And it looks like I may have a rep in the Chicago area, who is a friend of Teresa’s…. Yeah!

Ok… now it makes sense!  As a single mom, with no financial help from anywhere, I’m just getting deeper and deeper in debt. This year of business has cost a lot. I’m financing my business with my income from film work, my lines of credit and those kind enough to help me.  My coffee maker, my kettle, my watch, a computer, and my hair dryer have all become incapacitated in the last couple of months… not sure if I’m just noticing all of this because I can’t fix or replace them at the moment….but, it just adds to my anxiety levels. I have to keep reminding myself of the quote I put up on my facebook wall a while back:

‎”I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” — John D. Rockefeller

I sure hope that’s true… because my intention is to keep on keeping on, no matter what, because I believe that it is the right thing to do, and to continue to count my blessings.

This year I:

posted 171 times on the facebook fan page….

tweeted 684 times….

wrote 28 blog posts….

responded to 479 emails about the offshore production….

did work for 16 different production companies

responded to 275 emails from Liddleworks….

added a store front to my FB page as a way to sell old stock…

had 750 Buggy Bag units manufactured

took 49 guitar lessons….

spent 60 hours in dance classes….

got to 99% on Brain Challenge….

hugged my daughter 730 times….

toilet trained my cat….

After reflecting on the past year, I know what my blessings are as clearly as I know everything is going to turn out great.

I’m thankful for my daughter, my brother, my parents, my friends, my guides, my supporters, my vision, my health, my atitude, my customers, my humour,  my suppliers, my teachers, my dance partners, my employers, my mentors and everyone who has crossed my path for whatever reason…..please know that every single one of you are responsible for at least two of the things I’m grateful for.

Last Friday I start a 3-day stint as a volunteer for the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships. It was a slow start of putting promotional packages together and  poking holes in the credential holders and attaching the lanyards to them. It was still fun because the company was good…

Me, two other volunteers and a mountain of lanyards...

This morning started out at the Sheraton Hotel, with me merchandising some swag in the athletes lounge… that was fun. I was to keep the shirts, posters, pins, etc. in order and make sure that any visitors to the lounge had what they needed. I had lots of people come in to buy games shirts and I bought one of the delicious chocolates.

Games shirts and stuff

A few guys from team Sweden came in for a rousing game of foosball.

Foosball

Then, later in the afternoon, they were seen playing doubles tennis…

Doubles Tennis Match

Then there were the guys from the UK that were Rocking out on Rock Band

Rock Band Team GBR

Manni and Ash shot a great game of pool, although it turned out that Ash was a bit of a “shark”… it was a fun game to watch.

Manni and Ash

I met David Rountree, the inventor of the Floor-Board Wii Platform for wheelchairs. This is a really neat thing. The platform is designed to  be seated right on top of the Wii Balance Board. It tips/rocks down at the back as the wheelchair pushes onto it and then it even back out when the chair is perfectly balanced on the platform….Game On!

Original Floor-Board

David demonstrated to me how it worked and showed me how easy it is to slalom…yet later when I tried it myself, it proved to be much more difficult!

Tight Slalom David!

Travis from Canada, Vancouver to be more precise, gave it a whirl too.

David and Travis

From what David was saying, he’s just about to get the 3rd prototype back from the factory, each one better and lighter than it’s predecessor. I can understand what he’s going through, trying to get this great product out and into the hands of people that will use and love it. I feel like we have a lot in common when it comes to moving our products ahead…I have a lot of the same issues when it comes to buggy bag… it’s a long road, but, certainly an enjoyable journey.

David and 2nd prototype

I had such a great day and met so many wonderful people… I can’t wait til tomorrow when I go and volunteer at the Richmond Oval. I’ve never been there before and hopefully I will get to glimpse a few minutes of these sold out games.

Court 1                         Court 2

9:30               1 CAN v GBR 2 USA v GER

12:00             3 SWE v FIN             4 NZL v ARG

These are the games that will be on when I’m there tomorrow…. there will be others, but, not while I’m there. I’ve never seen the famous game of MurderBall played, but, I’m told it is very exciting…. anyway, I will let you know in my next post.

A whole week has gone by already since the shoot… I feel bad that I haven’t talked about it yet, I’ve been really busy this week… fittings for SGU, alterations, volunteering at the Wheelchair Rugby Games, getting fitted for contacts… many stories to come!

Last Friday, Rina from LiddleWorks, organized a photo shoot, so we would have some more shots for the new website. I don’t know how she did it, but, it all came together really fast and without a hitch. We had seven models, a dog, a photographer and Rina and me. Rina chose a wonderful park just to the east of Granville Island. It’s got a duck pond, a wooded area, and sea wall with city background. We got some really different looks without having to change locations.

Rina, Derek and Georgina at the duck pond

Georgina, and Duncan were the first to arrive. Duncan was fairly worried when Georgina was off with the photographer…. he stayed with me at our work table/bench and whimpered while keeping a close eye on her. Duncan is a working dog and he obviously takes his job seriously. Although, I have to say, I had a hard time taking him too seriously. I’ve never seen such “puppy dog eyes”… dark brown pools…sooo, cute!

Me and Duncan

Derek and Duncan

This was kinda funny… Derek was trying to get Duncan to go back over to to Georgina… Duncan had other ideas about how the day was going to go…

Sylvi was the second model. Now there is some talent, and I’m not referring to her modelling, although she was great at that! She is a multi-talented performer and composer of modern music. Sylvi has generously offered to let us use her music on our site, which we certainly will when we get to that point in its development.

Sylvi and Me in conversation

The next models were a team, my friend Samantha and her darling little Elizabeth, who is now about 10 months old. Elizabeth is just one very patient child. We had her in two different strollers and lots of pics were taken, she gave us smiles and was just a great model…. (so were you Sam)

Samantha and Elizabeth

June and Ken showed up next and went off with Derek while I hung around the table with our stuff.

June and Ken

Kent was the last one for the day and while Derek was shooting with him, Rina and I packed up all the things we had brought and folded up the table and started to move in the direction of the cars.

Rina, me and Kent

It was a good day. The light was flat, the rain held off, and there were lots of laughs. I feel so lucky to have such great people coming into my life…. Thanks to all of you…Rina, Derek, Georgina, Sylvi, Sam, Elizabeth, June, Ken and Kent… oh, and Duncan! …and of course Lydia from the British Columbia Paraplegic Association for helping us with the model search.

Last Saturday night, 3 of my girlfriends, my brother and I, went to the 2010 Spring Frolic. It’s a fundraiser for the InterFit Integrated Fitness Society in North Vancouver. If you’ve ever come to visit  Vancouver, or you are lucky enough to live in this amazing place, you know, that there is nothing that takes you closer to the wonder of this planet than a walk in our great forests. That is what the Integrated Fitness society is all about.

We got all dressed up and headed out to the Delbrook rec Centre. I didn’t know what to expect, because I had never been to one of their events before. The event used two large rooms, one of which was decorated in a magical way with twinkle lights and tables of 6 or 10, each with white linens and the most lovely floral arrangements. The floral arrangements were mostly indigenous flowers, placed into a wide bamboo tube… really beautiful. Surrounding two sides of the dining room were about 10 gambling centres… if that’s what you would call them… there were Black Jack tables and Roulette and Craps and a few other games…. by now, you probably have guessed exactly how many times I’ve gambled… well, I did win 10 cents when I was in Vegas at a slot machine!  Anyway, it turned out that I had some kind of magic touch with the dice that night and ended up winning $500! When we arrived at the event, we were given $300 worth of “funny money” to gamble with. It was so fun! There is something really great about gambling with pretend money…. I just loved it.

One end of the room had a stage where Adam Woodall entertained. I really enjoyed him. I had never heard him before and am pleased to say that he was really great… and, as a one man band, he had people up and dancing. Nice work.

The other room harboured the food, and the silent auction items. I had put a few Buggy Bag Lap Blankets in, so I was hoping they would get some action.  Both of them sold and I got to meet both of the people that bought them, so that was really cool. It’s always exciting to get to talk to and meet the people that use the product.

There was also a live auction with a very good auctioneer. What makes a very good auctioneer you ask? Well, to me, if I can understand what they are saying… they’re good!  MC Denny Williams also had my girlfriends and I chuckling numerous times…. oh, yes, and, did I mention the bar tenders? There’s something about a man in a Tux…. 🙂

My only regret about the evening, is the fact that I got so wrapped up in the fun, friends and food, that I forgot to take pics for my blog… I did put a plea out to people, for some shots, and, if any come, I will insert them later… sorry! Pics are always the best part, especially when you are weeding through the banter of my brain….

… come  to the next event… I’ll be the one blowing on dice at the craps table!

Last year a friend asked if I wanted to volunteer for a Vancouver event that helps deserving secondary grads that can’t quite swing the “costuming” aspect of the event. It’s called the Cinderella Project, and yesterday was my second year volunteering as what I like to call a “bird”… although I’m probably the only one that thinks of us that way. You remember in the Cinderella cartoon, where all the little birds flit around her and sew her dress and fix her hair, etc….

I worked with a team of seasoned costume/fashion construction experts. There were about 8 or 9 of us there in the alterations department. The girls would come up one at a time, Deb would do the fitting of the dress and make notes. The dress would then be altered and hung up on a rack where the girl and her fairy godmother would pick it up.

Here I am... looks like I'm just standing around watching Mel work... I'm sure that wasn't what I was doing....

Maybe this was taken just after I melted a hole in that red dress hem with the incredibly hot iron…… I do look rather worried! That was last year. I didn’t burn any dresses this year!

This is a huge event and these kids literally get outfitted from head to toe…. hair cuts/styles, make-up, undergarments, dresses, tuxes, shoes, and accessories.

Then they get a professional picture taken. I don’t get to see many of the guys, because I’m doing the dress alterations, but, the girls are so happy, they glow.

It’s a really rewarding event for everyone that get’s involved. I will be doing it again next year.

I hate to bring this up again, but….. when I was at the Dragon’s Den Auditions……

First thing I want to do is congratulate my friend, Owner/Creative Director of PumpEase™ Hands Free Pumping Supports, Wendy Armbruster Bell. She got the call yesterday to confirm that she had been selected as one of the businesses that would get a chance to make their pitch to the Dragon’s on the Dragon’s Den CBC. Awesome. I knew she would get chosen.

I met a fellow by the name of Jamie Marriott, at the Den Auditions, and he was telling me about his idea for his business. I really got excited about the whole thing because it deals with a few of my favourite things; art, clothes, team effort and charity.

His business, put simply, involves artists submitting their T-shirt Art Work, then visitors/customers vote on their favourite design submissions. The top 5 men’s and top 5 women’s styles then get made into limited edition runs on beautifully fitted Bamboo T’s, which are available for purchase. The artist/designer will receive a percentage of the sale and the purchaser will be able to choose a charity of choice for another percentage of the sale to be donated to.

Very cool concept because everyone gets to be involved on some level.

Here is a picture of Jamie at the Dragon’s Den Audition. S2S Nation… Something to Say…. express yourself…

Jamie with S2S cotton bag

The S2S Nation site launched just a couple of days ago, and is just in the early phases of gathering the art submissions. So this is your chance to get “whatever it is you’d like to say” out on a really nice Bamboo T-shirt. You can download the T-Templates on the site. Here’s what they look like.

I touched these T-shirts when I was chatting with Jamie, and they are a really soft, very high quality Bamboo, with nice fit. They are really sleek fitting T’s. Good luck Jamie, all the best with this, I’ll be keeping my eyes on your site, so I can vote, when the submissions are all in! And, I have many very talented artist friends who I think will be interested in submitting.

Today, I took my laptop, 100 flyers and business cards and some Buggy Bag® Lap Blankets downtown to the Roundhouse Community Centre. I had a table a the Disability Foundation Expo. What a great afternoon it was. I met so many interesting people. Everyone was friendly and I think most people stopped by to see what I had on the table regardless of whether or not they could personally use it. There is such a sense of community in the way that everyone seems to be on the lookout to help someone else. I love that… it feels great to be involved with a group of people that are so selfless and caring.

There was live music, videos, and many presentations on the stage. The whole perimeter of the huge, high ceiling room was lined with tables with people that were showing products or services that could benefit or make a persons life easier. It was a nice atmosphere, and I came away from it feeling elated. I bought a CD, Straight Goods, put out by Vancouver Adapted Music Society.

One of the exhibitors I met is an artist by the name of A. J. Brown. I was looking at her work on her site and came across a piece by the name of “Puck“. I’m not sure why, but it really struck me in a strong way.

I met another really interesting person, who specializes in adaptive clothing. Her name was Amberin Bonnett and her business is A Dressing Needs/Disabled Services Clothing. I’m sure we have much in common, both working out fitting issues for a living.

All in all it was a really great day and a great Expo. I came home with no business cards and only 3 flyers left, many new friends and memories, and I sold 4 Lap blankets.

This is the outside of the Flyer

Flyer designed by Rina Liddle

On the morning that the Buggy Bag® Site Launched, I was honored by an invitation to come and show the new Lap Blanket at a ConnecTra Workshop at the Vancouver Public Library. As it turned out it was also the ConnecTra Societys 10th birthday. The event was fairly well attended despite the rainy Vancouver day and the “HandyDart” http://bit.ly/wTjCO strike. I had the opportunity to speak with most of the people in wheelchairs as I went around the room getting everybody to fill out the entry form for the draw. The winner of the draw for the free Buggy Bag® Lap Blanket was a woman by the name of Violeta.

Happy Birthday ConnecTra http://www.connectra.org/… and thanks for having me come and show the Lap Blanket!

On the trail with the BC Mobility Opportunity Society's Trailrider

CONNECTRA IS…

ConnecTra is a connecting agency, linking people with disabilities to activities and programs that will, over time, allow them to gain confidence and become more active and involved in community life (it also includes self-employment group Abilities Business Co-op). ConnecTra is one of the six affiliated societies that make up the Sam Sullivan Disability Foundation

Did you know?….. Sam Sullivan served a term as Vancouver City Mayor.

buggy bag® mobility products

Buggy Bag® Mobility Products is dedicated to helping loved ones stay warm and dry while on the go. Buggy Bag® Stroller, Jogger and Wheelchair blankets protect against the cold and wet, while offering visibility in low light conditions.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,718 other followers

del.icio.us

Tweets

Twitter

Follow BuggyBag on Twitter

Time Lines

December 2018
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

buggy bag®

Advertisements