Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Country Living 2007 Event

Mary used the Country Living Desk Calendar to find photos to
design two purses for our pitch your product opportunity.

Our Easy Cropper tool helped Mary to crop the photos
to insure a perfect fit for our eight pocket purse.

Mary had to decide which photo would make the cut!
Each photo in the Desk Calendar was a piece of art.

The inside flap on the front of our eight pocket purse
can hold five more photos.

Simple, yet so elegant! The front view of our eight pocket purse.

The beautiful back view of our eight pocket purse.

Mary added an antique Abalone button to the photo.
Our high quality vinyl "gives," so there is
room for three-dimensional trinkets and mementos.
Mary hot glued an adornment to the bottom
flap of our two pocket purse.

Mary captures the true essence of Country Living.
The back view of our two pocket purse.

With our purses meticulously packed in the trunk of Mary’s car, we headed off to Chicago bright and early Saturday morning, 5:45 a.m. to be exact! We were excited and fearless as we made our way to the Chicago Marriott Hotel for the second annual Country Living magazine's Women entrepreneurs: A Celebration of Creativity.

The event would start at noon but we had an 8:15 a.m. check-in time for a special opportunity to pitch our product. We had been accepted to show our PURSuE Your Art! Changeable art purse, to a panel of Country Living magazine editors. This was to earn a chance of being featured in a future issue of their magazine.

Luckily, a few wrong turns trying to find the entrance to the hotel didn’t hinder our promptness as we arrived on the fifth floor to sign in. We were immediately directed into a large room along with 15 of the 75 other women who were also given this incredible chance.

Mary and I were briefed on what to expect when we'd meet with the judges. We were told we would have exactly three minutes to demonstrate and talk about our changeable art purse, and would have an allotted two minutes for them to ask us questions. We were informed there would be a person in the back of the room with a stopwatch! Okay, no pressure there! We are than ushered into the hallway to wait our turn.

The moment we entered the room we were put at ease by the two female judges with their warm smiles and genuine enthusiasm. We started to give them our best rehearsed spiel, but their excitement about our purse was so contagious that Mary and I forgot about our script and just spoke from the heart. They asked us great questions and sincerely wanted to know “everything” about the why and how of our purse. A tap on the shoulder and the look on the time-keepers face made us aware of our one minute overage!

We might have earned some brownie points for the purses Mary designed for our presentation. I don’t believe anyone else thought to use the beautiful art work and photos from the Country Living desk calendar that we received free for registering early. As you can see from the photos, our purses portray creativity, beauty and warmth of home life. Mary captured the very essence of Country Living.

We left the room feeling proud of our purse designs and the hard work we have accomplished over the past year. It could be at least three months before we find out if our purse will be the “chosen” product for Country Living magazine.

The entire event was more than we had anticipated. The keynote speaker was Barbara Baekgaard, co-founder of Vera Bradley Designs, an internationally recognized company that designs and manufactures luggage, handbags and accessories. Nancy Soriana, Editor-in-Chief of Country Living Magazine, was the moderator for the afternoon’s program. She led a panel discussion with seven successful women entrepreneurs who turned their passion into paychecks, and were featured in their March issue. Mary and I had the pleasure to meet some of these amazing women during the wine & cheese reception. We even had our picture taken with Nancy!

We were inspired, informed and entertained the entire day. Mary and I felt truly blessed and grateful for this wonderful opportunity to not only show off our purses but to be able to meet and network with creative and successful women from all over the United States.
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thebeadingmuse ~ said...

Yippie! and Yay for you and Mary!! I am so excited and cant' wait to hear more good news! "The" news! Get ready for your heightened success! It is here!

xxoo Cheryl

Sarah Moore said...

That is so awesome! what a great opportunity! When will you know MORE!?

us florist shops said...

Yippie! and Yay for you and Mary!! I am so excited and cant' wait to hear more good news! "The" news! Get ready for your heightened success! It is here!xxoo Cheryl