We spent this Thanksgiving at my in-laws. My father-in-law being the kind hearted man that he is had heard a woman in his rotary group mention that she would be having Thanksgiving alone this year as both of her children were too far away to come this year (one lives overseas and the other back east).
To be honest at first I wasn't all that excited about having an unfamiliar person joining us in our Thanksgiving feast... but it turned out to be wonderful. She was extremely knowledgeable and very interesting to talk to. We exchanged stories about places in the world we have traveled as we enjoyed our dinner. She was curious to learn about my puzzles and after hearing about different people and ways that have helped me have success she said something that has stuck with me since --
"You never know who will end up being your champion."
So very true. I have thought about this a lot as different people who I never expected have done wonderful things to promote FLIPZLES without even being asked. I'd like to share a few of those --
My Mom --
I guess you kind of expect your mom to be your champion, but I can't write this post without mentioning her. She has made her small town in Wyoming the place where I believe there is the highest percentage of puzzles per capita. She loves my product and isn't afraid to promote to stores, friends, coworkers -- or anyone else she can get to listen!
My Son's Kindergarten Teacher --
My daughter had the same teacher a couple years ago and since the time I brought in a guinea pig for her show-and-tell I was pretty convinced that this teacher did not like me... The kids have always loved her.. but I must admit I was always a bit nervous to talk to her. Well -- I feel a bit bad about that now because she definitely has been one of my champions. She loves the puzzles, and when Thurston brought one in to donate to the school PE toy drive she emailed me right away and wanted one of each for her classroom and told me she thought I should be on Shark Tank. After that she sent out an email and shared my puzzles and story with all the other teachers and kindergarten parents. Somehow the email also went to one of the other schools in town and because of it I have had many sales.
A Soccer Mom -
At one of Natasha's soccer games I was discussing work with another mom. When this mom learned about Flipzles she was so excited to share. She posted links on Facebook, mentioned me in links and had lots of ideas of shows and other ways I could market.
My Aunt -
With out ever even mentioning it -- my aunt borrowed a Flipzles puzzle that my grandma had at her house and took it to a few schools where she works to show it to people and then collected orders. The first order she sent me was for 27 puzzles! the second was nearly as big, and since then I have sent her even more! I never asked -- she just did it.
A Stranger from The Victorian Country Christmas -
During my 5 days at the VCC I met a lot of people. Lots of people say they will order online, or call or come back -- but it is rare that anyone every actually does. One lovely lady who I actually remembered a face with the name called me on my birthday (she didn't know it was my birthday) and put in an order. I remembered that the day she had been shopping at the VCC her daughter had mentioned it was her birthday and if she wanted to spend her birthday money buying something for her granddaughter that was her prerogative. Anyway, she took my card and said she would be calling -- When she actually did I decided to toss in another puzzle since it was my birthday and mention what I recalled about her birthday -- so the extra puzzle was to celebrate both. Just a few days ago she called me to thank me and told me that she was a minister's wife and that she wanted to help me promote my puzzles, so could I please send her some fliers for her to share. Another unsuspected champion.
There are so many more -- friends taking puzzles to show their family and friends, some even taking them to stores, people I don't even know searching for the puzzles and supporting me via the Internet, or finding the puzzles on facebook and loving them and wanting to share with their friends, siblings making calls on stores in their areas or connecting me with other small businesses, friends helping me get connected with bloggers they know, people hosting parties and on and on.
It is so true -- You never know who may end up being your champion.
I am so grateful for all of you -- and for the love and support I have felt during these first few months.
Thanks You Thank You Thank You!